NXT Takeover: Respect begins with the first match of the four teams remaining in the Dusty Rhodes Classic.
Finn Balor & Samoa Joe - Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson
The show opens from the Full Sail arena with the NXT Champion Finn Balor making his way to the ring. Balor did not bring the demon to Full Sail, but instead appears with his leather jacket. His partner Samoa Joe makes his way to the ring thereafter. He looks ready to go, as he looks onto the Dusty Rhodes Classic trophy to his right. Dash and Dawson both make their way to the ring together. Both are wearing matching gear and appear in sync. Samoa Joe takes over at the beginning, but the duo of Dash and Dawson take control with fast tags and their quickness. Joes is able to tag Balor and Finn clears the ring. The NXT Champion bounces off the ropes and flies through the air with a senton bomb over the ropes to both of his opponents.
Inside the ring, Dawson is able to chop block the left knee of Balor. The two start to focus their attention on Balor’s knee. Dawson on the outside slams his knee against the steel ring post. They continue to make quick tags in and out of the ring. Every time Finn gets close enough to tag Dash is able to either knock Joe off of ringside or able to distract Joe in some sense. Dawson launches himself shoulder first into the turnbuckle and it’s the opening Finn needs to tag Samoa Joe. Joe takes control with a tremendous senton, after a gigantic running kick. He then spikes Dash Wilder with a Rock Bottom out of the corner. Joe tags Balor, then connects with the muscle buster on Dash. Finn attempted the coup de’ grace, but couldn’t climb the turnbuckles due to the damage on his knee. Finn decides to just pin Dash Wilder instead.
Winner by pinfall:
NXT Champion Finn Balor & Samoa Joe
Jason Jordan & Chad Gable - Rhyno & Baron Corbin
Jordan and Corbin start this one off. Corbin looks huge next to Jordan. There is a loud “Corbin Sucks” chant. Jordan uses his amateur background to take control of Corbin, but Corbin’s size helps prevent Jordan from doing anything. Corbin tags Rhyno. Soon after Jordan tags Gable, the crowd is hot for Gable with loud chants throughout him out maneuvering Rhyno. Rhyno connects with a shoulder tackler to stop Gable in his tracks. Rhyno puts the attack on Gable, but Gable is too quick and again gains control. Gable has Rhyno’s arm and hops to the top rope balancing, then drops into and arm lock on the outside ropes. The ref counts to 5 breaking up the submission due to the exposure to the ropes. Rhyno is able to make the tag and Corbin takes control of the match. At this point Corbin locks in some rest holds and stops Gable from tagging Jordan by knocking Jordan off the ring apron. Corbin then tags Rhyno, who goes to the top rope and attempts a big splash. Gable is able to move out of the way and tags Jason Jordan.
At the same time Rhyno tags Corbin. Jordan lands a couple of huge dropkicks and a big T-bone suplex. Jordan flips his lid with a big running shoulder spear to Corbin. Jordan tags Gable. Corbin hits a big End of Days, but Jordan breaks up the pinfall to Gable. Rhyno gores Jordan out of the ring and Gable hits a big german suplex. Gable then becomes on the receiving end of an end of days from Corbin for the victory. This was an awesome match between all four individuals. This really put a shine on the younger talent.
Winner by pinfall:
Baron Corbin & Rhyno
WWE Hall of Famer Kevin Nash is shown in attendance for NXT Takeover: Respect.
Dana Brooke with Emma - Asuka
Asuka has a great presence to her and presents herself like she’ll be a big star in the WWE.
Dana Brooke locks in an arm wrench, but Asuka is able to reverse with awesome agility and reverses the arm wrench. She then rolls with Dana the entire way. The two then exchange slaps and Asuka releases a relentless assault. Asuka has shows great charisma and intensity. She locks in a killer submission arm lock, then gives Dana some fast kicks. Emma then interferes by grabbing Asuka on the ring apron, causing Dana to gain the advantage. She then shows her leg strength with a leg submission to Asuka’s abdomen, then kicks Asuka, but Asuka locks in a leg lock. Asuka then locks into a quick arm bar and connects with a right foot to Dana’s chin.
Emma gets on the apron only to receive a big punch. Asuka then hits a shining wizard to Brooke. The crowd starts chanting “Asuka City.” Asuka then locks in a crossface chicken wing she calls an Asuka lock. Dana quickly taps out. Incredible debut for Asuka in NXT at Takeover: Respect. She will definitely be Bayley’s competition in the coming months of her title contender ship. Asuka just stares Emma down as she leaves the ring with a big smile.
Winner by submission:
Tyler Breeze - Apollo Crews
Both men lock up, but Apollo’s strength is a great advantage. Apollo hits a high dropkick. Breeze sets up a vertical suplex, but Crews’ strength allows him to easily take control. Breeze attempts to takes control but again Apollo’s strength wont allow it. Breeze throws Apollo to the outside and then into the NXT video apron. Crews hits hard and bounces right off. Breeze is now able to capitalize with a modified back cracker. Breeze goes to the top rope, but Crews meets him there and attempts a gorilla press slam. Breeze is able to get out and locks in a sharpshooter.
Breeze is a graduate of the Storm Wrestling Academy so it would make sense for him to use a sharpshooter. Apollo reaches the ropes to break up the submission. Breeze is then able to hit punches in the corner Apollo goes for a powerbomb, but Breeze reverses with a headscissors. Breeze and Apollo reverse maneuvers and Apollo hits a crisp sounding kick to Breeze. The two are reversing one move after another. Breeze jumps off the turnbuckle at one point, but Apollo is able to catch him for a powerslam. Crews then connects with a gorilla press slam and goes for a standing moonsault, but Breeze grabs his leg. Apollo gets him off and goes for the standing moonsault only to meet Breeze’s knees.
Breeze goes for a pin, but Apollo kicks out. Apollo then takes it to the finish with an atomic drop modified into a power bomb for the pinfall. Both men appeared impressive in this match. It showed that there are big plans for Crews, but didn’t protected Breeze with his smarts, quickness, and agility.
Winner by pinfall:
Final match of the Dusty Rhodes Classic Tag Team Tournament:
Baron Corbin & Rhyno - Samoa Joe & NXT Champion Finn Balor
Finn Balor decides to start this one off, regardless of the brutal assault to his knee in the last match. Rhyno is the man from the opposing team to begin the match. Finn is still quicker than Rhyno and displays this by avoiding all of Rhyno’s offense. Rhyno tags Corbin, who begins an assault on Finn’s leg. Finn tags Samoa Joe. Joe hits Corbin with a quick sequence of punches.
Joe connects with a running kick to Corbin's face while Corbin was sitting upward. Joe then lands a senton and continues with headbutts to Corbin, but Corbin is able to reverse to tag in his partner. Rhyno comes in and takes control of Joe, including a big Ric Flair like “Woooooooooo” after a running shoulder to Joe in the corner. Rhyno continues to bring Samoa Joe to his corner and tags Corbin into the match. Corbin is relentless with his hard clotheslines in the corner, followed by a rough looking big boot to Joe. Samoe Joe is slow to get up and Corbin continues to bring a slow methodical pace to Joe, but Joe is able to reverse and irish whip to the corner. He capatlizes by connecting with an enziguri and tags Balor. Balor runs toward Rhyno and jumps off Corbin’s back to connect with Rhyno in the corner. Balor sells his knee from the earlier match and Rhyno trips Finn, causing Finn to sell the knee even more. Corbin takes the advantage with more damage to Finns knee.
His knee has now become the main focus of Corbin. All of Corbin’s offense is focused on the knee. Balor is able to find an opening and slices through Corbin with a slingblade. Finn tags Joe as Corbin tags Rhyno. Joe goes right through Samoa Joe and Corbin makes his way into the ring. Joe doesn’t care and hits a STO on Corbin. Rhyno hits a gore on Joe, but Finn breaks up the near fall. Finn then takes Corbin out and Corbin makes his way out of the ring. Samoa Joe sets up Rhyno for a muscle buster, tags Finn, hits the muscle buster, and Finn leaps off the top rope to hit a big coup de’ grace for the pinfall.
Winner by pinfall and the Dusty Rhodes Classic:
Samoa Joe and NXT Champion Finn Balor
The Rhodes family appears in the ring to congratulate the winners; Dustin Rhodes with his wife, Cody Rhodes with his wife, and Dusty Rhodes widow. Cody is on the microphone and says his father dies on the same day as his hero John Wayne died. He then quotes John Wayne and pays tribute to the Dream. He shared a very personal perception of his father. He ends what he says by saying “Let me make it official, tonight we are all Rhodes.” The American Dream music then plays Samoa Joe and NXT Finn Balor out, as the crowd gives a loud chant of “Thank you Dusty!” What a special moment this was. It really came across as a proud moment in wrestling history to be a part of. Each person in the ring had a gigantic smile.
30 Minute Iron Man Match for the NXT Women’s Championship:
Sasha Banks - NXT Women’s Champion Bayley
Sasha and Bayley circle each other and begin to stare each other down.
The two exchange a series of pinfalls in the early going of the match-up, but neither competitor can score a pinfall. With 25 minutes left on the clock it remains 0 - 0. Banks lands bad from a running arm drag. Sasha hits a headscissors and connects with an arm drag from the tope rope. She attempts a Banks Statement, but Bayley reverses it. Sasha then attempts to give a handshake and a hug, at which Bayley accepts only to receive the back of her head crashing to the mat. Bayley turns her switch on after this and delivers an arsenal of moves to Sasha. She continues to have the upperhand with a dropkick through the ropes near the corner on the outside, as well as a bulldog once they go inside. Sasha attempts to use the ropes to cheat, but the ref catches her and gets her off the ropes. With the ref distracted Sasha rolls up Bayley and captures the first pinfall of the match.
It’s now 1 – 0 with Sasha Banks in the lead. Sasha has a handful of hair, but Bayley reverses and takes control with repeated head butts to the top turnbuckle on Sasha. Bayley is able to connect with her Belly to Bayley suplex. Bayley then captures her first pinfall and the score is 1 – 1, tied. The two women are on the outside, as Sasha catches Bayley and swings her head first into the ring side stairs. Sasha goes in and back out, then sends Bayley into the stairs on two consecutive occasions while mouthing off to Bayley’s family in the front row. Great way to gain some heat from the crowd. On the outside Sasha throws Bayley into the clock LED board near the entrance ramp.
Bayley has been counted out as Sasha is on the inside. The score is now 2 -1 with Sasha in the lead and fifteen minutes left on the clock. The ref begins another count as Bayley slowly crawls toward the ring. Bayley gets to the ring and Sasha rolls her in. Sasha then begins to taunt Bayley and delivers a backbreaker while lifting Bayley out of the corner. Sasha then connects with the walls of Jericho and while trying to reach the ropes Sasha kicks Bayley consecutively in the back of the skull. Sasha breaks the hold and comes back to Bayley only to be rolled up into a pinfall.
The score is now 2 – 2 tied between both women. Bayley hits a series of running back elbows and a spinning elbow from the top rope. A loud “Women’s Wrestling” chant breaks out in full sail. Bayley puts Sasha in the tree of woe and pops off the middle rope with a spring board elbow to Banks. Both women then go to the top rope and Bayley is in the tree of woe. Sasha hits her patented double knees in the corner to Bayley. Sasha then goes for a running spear, but Bayley lifts her body to the top turnbuckle and Banks hits the steel post with her shoulder. Bayley then attacks Sasha’s hand on the outside by slamming it into the ring side stairs. Bayley continues her focus on the left arm of Sasha Banks. Bayley moves the stairs and leaps off of them to clothesline Banks. Sasha kicks Bayley into the stairs with the back of her head slamming into the stairs. Bayley gets up to be on the receiving end of a suicide dive by Sasha. Bayley catches Sasha and gives Banks a strong Bayley to belly suplex on the outside of the ring.
With 3 minutes left Bayley goes for a pinfall, but Sasha’s foot is on the ropes and the pinfall doesn’t count. The match is still tied at 2 a piece. Bayley sets ups Banks on the top rope and hits a reverse hurricanrana from the top turnbuckle, but Sasha Banks lands on her feet, absolutely amazing agility by both women. Sasha then hits a Belly to Bayley on Bayley and locks in the Banks Statement with two minutes left on the clock. Bayley gets out and slams Sasha Banks’ hand to the mat and locks in her the rings of Saturn submission. While kicking Sasha’s head the clock counts down to zero. The match ends a tie at 2 -2 a piece.
Winner and still NXT Women’s Champion:
WWE Hall of Famer Lita, WWE Diva’s Champion Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Stephanie McMahon are shown in the front row applauding the match they just witnessed. The NXT roster appeared at the top of the stage with William Regal and Triple H holding flowers for both Sasha Banks and NXT Women’s Champion Bayley. Triple H walks into the ring with flowers for Bayley and says something to hear as he had his head on hers. William Regal appears to be truly touched by this moment, as do the competitors who just worked their asses off in the first ever iron man match involving women wrestlers.
NXT comes across with an old school feel or even more of an appreciation toward the wrestlers who compete. Almost like the sports aspect of sports-entertainment comes before the entertainment aspect. This may be the change WWE needs to make in order to bring the ratings up in the right direction. There has been a current slump as of late. Perhaps it has more to do with the presentation of the product than the actual wrestlers or creative direction. This event came across as sp