WWE NXT TakeOver: In Your House Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and More
On Sunday night, the men and women of the NXT roster took to the ring for this year's TakeOver: In Your House event.
After weeks of back and forth insults, Cameron Grimes and LA Knight fought to see which one was the true high roller of NXT in a Ladder match for the Million Dollar Championship.
The women's division had two matches on the card. Xia Li took on Mercedes Martinez and Raquel Gonzalez defended the NXT Women's Championship against Ember Moon.
Two titles were on the line on one match when Bronson Reed teamed up with MSK to defend their North American and NXT Tag titles against Legado del Fantasma in a Winner Takes All bout.
Lastly, the night was headlined by a five-man match for the NXT Championship. Karrion Kross put the title up for grabs against Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly, Pete Dunne and Johnny Gargano.
Let's take a look at each match from Sunday's show.
MSK and Bronson Reed vs. Legado Del Fantasma (Winner Takes All for Both Titles)
The first match of the night featured Reed teaming up with Nash Carter and Wes Lee of MSK to battle Raul Mendoza, Joaquin Wilde and Santos Escobar of Legado del Fantasma.
Mendoza and Lee started for their teams with an exchange of quick takedown attempts before Carter and Wilder tagged in and did their own routine. Neither team had a clear advantage until The Thicc Boi came in.
After Escobar found out how heavy Reed was the hard way, he tagged in an unenthusiastic Wilde. The North American champion almost pinned him with a big slam before he and MSK hit a triple-team move for another two-count.
Everyone took turns hitting dives out of the ring until Reed took out everyone with a gigantic suicide dive. Once they got back in the ring, Legado del Fantasma controlled the pace for a long time by keeping Lee isolated in their corner with quick tags.
Reed ended up putting Escobar through the barricade to take him out of the match. This allowed him and MSK to take out Wilde and Mendoza for the pin and the win.
WWE overuses a lot of gimmicks, but it has only held a handful of Winner Takes All matches for multiple titles over the years, so it always feels like a big deal when it happens.
The combination of five Superstars known for their speed and agility with a powerhouse like Reed helped make this a fun match with a lot of highlight-reel moments.
They did a good job giving everyone equal time in the ring and allowed both teams to look like they had a real chance of winning. The outcome was somewhat predictable but it never felt like a foregone conclusion.
NXT always kicks off its events with entertaining, high-energy matches and this was no exception. It's hard to find much to critique about this performance.
Mercedes Martinez vs. Xia Li
The second bout of the evening saw Li take on Martinez in a grudge match. These two have had issues for weeks and earned the only non-title spot on the TakeOver card.
They locked up and fell out of the ring fighting for control. Martinez had the upper hand until Li used an illegal hold to wear her down for the full five-count.
Li dominated Martinez until she avoided a kick at ringside and Li hit the ring post. She almost failed to make it back into the ring by the count of 10. From that moment forward, Martinez was in the driver's seat.
After a short scuffle at ringside, Li nailed Martinez with a kick out of nowhere for the win. Boa handed Li a chair after the match was over, but she hesitated long enough for Martinez to recover and take it from her.
She proceeded to take out both members of Tian Sha with the chair. The masked leader stood up from her chair on the stage and approached Martinez. They had a long staredown before Mei Ying grabbed her by the throat. She threw Martinez off the platform to end the segment.
The Tian Sha stable and gimmick has been spotty at best, but every time Li gets in the ring, she exudes passion and confidence. She has singlehandedly made this gimmick watchable.
Martinez is a veteran who has waited a long time for the opportunity to shine on a big stage. A singles match at TakeOver without a title involved is rare for the women's division, so WWE clearly sees something worth pushing in both of these women.
The end of the match felt a little abrupt, but it didn't hurt the flow of the show. The post-match segment was intriguing and it will be interesting to see where they go with this storyline. Will Mei Ying finally get in the ring?
Cameron Grimes vs. LA Knight (Million Dollar Championship Ladder Match)
Ted DiBiase came out with two guards to hang the Million Dollar Championship above the ring for this battle of the high rollers.
Knight used his size advantage to push Grimes around a bit at the start of the match. Grimes found a way to get the upper hand before Knight tried to bring the first ladder into the ring.
Grimes narrowly avoided getting crushed by a ladder a couple of times. They tried to use it as a weapon a few times unsuccessfully before it finally became a factor.
Grimes sent Knight into a ladder with a beautiful release German suplex. Knight got his revenge with a neckbreaker onto the side of the ladder.
They continued to trade control back and forth as they progressed to bigger spots. Grimes ended up bringing the biggest ladder into the ring. It was appropriately painted gold for the occasion. Both men climbed opposite sides and began to brawl at the top.
Knight fell first but knocked the ladder over to prevent Grimes from securing the belt. Grimes climbed part of the set and took out his opponent with a huge dive. Knight tipped over the ladder and sent Grimes crashing into another. He climbed up and retrieved the belt to win the match.
Both of these guys have gimmicks designed to be kind of annoying, but the buildup to this match has been a lot of fun and made both characters more enjoyable in the process.
Some wrestlers start using the ladder as soon as they can, but these guys took their time incorporating it into their offense. When they did, it took several attempts before someone finally used it as a weapon successfully. It helped the match build up steam over time instead of trying to go pedal to the metal right out of the gate.
They took a different approach to this kind of match than a lot of people have in the past. They made each spot with the ladder mean something instead of trying to pack as many things into one bout as possible.
The pace was a little on the slow side at times, but that came as a result of them selling each bump as more painful than the last. They sacrificed the spot-fest aspect of this gimmick in favor of storytelling. It will keep this from making a lot of top 10 lists, but it helped make it less sloppy than many of the past ladder matches we have seen. It was definitely the best thing either man has done in NXT so far.
Raquel Gonzalez vs. Ember Moon (NXT Women's Championship)
Dakota Kai accompanied Gonzalez to the ring for her title defense, but Moon did not have Shotzi Blackheart at ringside for support. It immediately put her at a disadvantage.
Moon hit a dropkick as soon as the ref called for the bell. She was aggressive as she kept Gonzalez reeling with quick strikes. Gonzalez stopped her in her tracks by refusing to go down from a crossbody. She sent Moon flying into the barricade from the apron with a shoulder tackle.
The powerhouse yanked Moon off the mat and into a sidewalk slam with one arm in an impressive show of power. After a few minutes, Moon began to build some momentum with a series of strikes and a code red for a close two-count.
The former champion wrapped the current champion in a submission, but Gonzalez made it to the bottom rope with Kai's help. Moon retaliated by taking Gonzalez out with a missile-like suicide dive.
Gonzalez tried several things but Moon refused to stay down for the count. She hit Gonzalez with the Eclipse but when she went for the pin, Kai put her friend's foot on the rope to break the count. This brought Blackheart out to chase her to the back.
Moon hit a tornado DDT onto the elevated platform next to the ring for a near-fall. Moments later, Gonzalez hit a powerbomb to retain her title.
Wade Barrett called Gonzalez the most improved wrestler in the world over the past 12 months. It's hard to argue with him when she continues to impress with each match.
This was a physical war between two women who both felt like they had something to prove. Even with some shenanigans from Kai and Blackheart, the focus was still mainly on the competitors in the ring.
This match started off hot and never lost any steam. This was a great performance and helped cement Gonzalez as the most dominant woman in NXT. Moon did an excellent job putting her over and deserves praise for her performance, too.
Karrion Kross vs. Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Pete Dunne
As expected, The Fatal 5-Way match for the NXT Championship closed the show. As Gargano made his way to the ring, Blackheart and Kai could be seen still fighting backstage.
It should come as no surprise that this bout started with a quick pace and never slowed down for a second. All five of these Superstars are known for their athleticism and intensity. Their styles are different but they can all work at breakneck speeds.
At one point, Gargano and Dunne shoved Kross through the front door on the stage set. This took him out of the match for a few minutes. The other four men went back to the ring and began pairing up for different sequences.
When Kross returned to the ring, he dismantled the other competitors with a series of power moves. A fast-paced sequence with Dunne, O'Reilly, Cole and Gargano softened them up so Kross could come in and beat everyone up by himself.
The challengers briefly worked together to take him down, but their alliance was over as quickly as it started. Everyone came close to getting the victory several times before Kross choked out O'Reilly with the Krossjacket submission to retain his title.
The more people you add to a match, the more complicated it gets for the performers. This is even truer with an uneven number of competitors because they can't just pair up for different intervals. They have to figure out how to juggle that extra competitor.
Thankfully, they found ways to utilize all five competitors in different ways. Kross usually played clean-up after everyone else put each other through the wringer, forcing everyone to work together against him several times. It led to several fun moments like Cole and O'Reilly hitting a double powerbomb.
A few spots looked a little too choreographed but that is a minor complaint compared to the number of positive things you could find to say about this match. Even though only one man could win, all five competitors came away from this looking like worthy challengers.
This was an outstanding TakeOver, but none of the matches stand out as a classic. They were all great in their own way. It just didn't feel like anything stood out as legendary. After so many great TakeOvers, it's getting harder for WWE to outdo itself with these events.