NXT TakeOver: XXX: Pat McAfee impresses, Karrion Kross and Damian Priest walk away with gold

Spread the news

NXT TakeOver: XXX boasted an impressive card worthy of celebrating this milestone in the black and gold brand’s lineage.

With the North American Championship up for grabs in a ladder match, NXT champion Keith Lee seeking revenge for a fireball to the face from Karrion Kross and Pat McAfee’s in-ring debut, there was a lot to be excited about.

With that potential for massive success in mind, how did it all play out?

Which segments stood out as the best and worst of the event? What disappointments fell short of the hype, and which matches exceeded expectations?

Presented in order of appearance, here are the highlights and low points from WWE NXT TakeOver: XXX.

WWE NXT TakeOver: XXX Results

Breezango defeated Legado del Fantasma and the team of Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan by pinfall to become the No. 1 contenders for the NXT Tag Team Championship.
Finn Balor defeated Timothy Thatcher by pinfall.
Ladder Match: Damian Priest won the vacated North American Championship.
Adam Cole defeated Pat McAfee by pinfall.
Io Shirai defeated Dakota Kai by pinfall to retain the NXT Women’s Championship.
Karrion Kross defeated Keith Lee by pinfall to win the NXT Championship.

Highlight: Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee

How surprisingly smooth and incredibly talented was Pat McAfee in this match?! That was such a welcome shock!

Right out of the gate, McAfee looked like he fit here and that this wasn’t his first rodeo. Even his silly ring gear was fitting for his character.

He showcased skill in both in-ring athleticism and psychology to levels that some people who have been training at the WWE Performance Center for years can’t grasp.

Granted, it’s understandable if you’re not fond of this because you don’t like the idea of the longest-reigning NXT champion struggling against a non-wrestler. That’s worth a debate.

However, it’s not as though McAfee was coming into this an out of shape nobody. He’s still a professional athlete who had the size advantage.

Plus, if Cole had just squashed him, the complaint would be that it wasn’t even much of a match.

Instead, they told a story of McAfee doing a much better job than most expected, doing some outstanding moves like his swanton, moonsault and standing leap onto the top rope, as well as holding his own through the minutia.

Cole got the win, as he deserved, but this was a standout performance from McAfee, who WWE should consider hiring for a regular spot on the roster.

Low Point: Keith Lee’s Championship Reign Comes to an End

Karrion Kross is no slouch and has been built up as a true monster, so he’ll provide a fine impossible hurdle to overcome as champion. It isn’t a low point that he won the title, it’s who he had to beat to become champion.

Keith Lee’s reign atop the NXT roster was so short that he basically didn’t get a run with the title. After having such a feel-good ascension and making history as the first person to hold two singles titles at the same time on the black and gold brand, he basically peaked from the start.

This has become a trend in NXT. All too often, babyfaces have an arduous journey to the top and once they achieve their goals, they’re pushed aside in favor of the next big heel.

It happened to Bayley, Ember Moon, Sami Zayn, Johnny Gargano and others, with Lee being the latest in this line.

It’s a shame WWE couldn’t hold off on this match until later this year or possibly 2021 in order to give Lee a proper title reign. Here’s hoping there are plans to give him something worthwhile to make up for it, like a main event spot on Raw or SmackDown in the next draft.

Outside of not having Mauro Ranallo on commentary, this was the only real gripe about the show. Even still, Kross winning the title is likely a highlight for lots of fans, so it’s not all bad, either.


Spread the news

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *