NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia
NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia was a professional wrestling show and WWE Network event in the NXT TakeOver series that took place on January 27, 2018, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The event was produced by WWE for its NXT brand and it was streamed live on the WWE Network.
|NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia|
Promotional poster featuring various NXT wrestlers
|Date||January 27, 2018|
|Venue||Wells Fargo Center|
|WWE Network event chronology|
|NXT TakeOver chronology|
Five matches were contested at the event. In the main event, Andrade "Cien" Almas defeated Johnny Gargano to retain the NXT Championship. On the undercard, Ember Moon retained the NXT Women's Championship against Shayna Baszler and Aleister Black defeated Adam Cole in an Extreme Rules match. The event was also notable for the return of Tommaso Ciampa. The main event received a 5 star rating by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter which is the first NXT match, WWE's sixth match, and the first match since 2011 to receive this rating.
The card included five matches that resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches, with results predetermined by WWE's writers. Storylines were produced on the NXT television program. NXT TakeOver is a series of professional wrestling shows that began on May 29, 2014, as the WWE developmental league NXT held their second WWE Network exclusive live broadcast billed as NXT TakeOver. In subsequent months, the "TakeOver" moniker became the brand used by WWE for all of their NXT live specials. NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia was the nineteenth overall show held under the NXT TakeOver banner, and the first to be held in 2018.
On the December 6 episode of NXT, NXT General Manager William Regal announced that a series of matches which included Kassius Ohno vs. Johnny Gargano (the latter replaced The Velveteen Dream), Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole, Killian Dain vs. Trent Seven and Roderick Strong vs. Lars Sullivan took place to have the winners of these four matches go into a fatal-four way match to determine the number one contender for the NXT Championship. The winners were Gargano, Dain, Black, and Sullivan, who then fought in the aforementioned fatal four-way match on the December 27 episode of NXT, which Gargano won after Black was distracted by The Undisputed Era, granting him a match with NXT Champion Andrade "Cien" Almas at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia.
On the December 6 episode of NXT, Aleister Black defeated Adam Cole to earn a spot in the fatal-four way number one contender's match. On the December 27 episode of NXT, The Undisputed Era cost Black an opportunity at the NXT Championship in the aforementioned fatal four-way match. On the January 10 episode of NXT, Black teamed with Roderick Strong to challenge Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly for their NXT Tag Team Championship. During the match, Cole would get involved and ambush Black from behind. Cole began to retreat and lured Black into the crowd, allowing O’Reilly and Fish to retain their titles. NXT General Manager William Regal then came out and announced an Extreme Rules match between Black and Cole at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia.
On the January 10 episode of NXT, Shayna Baszler made her NXT in-ring debut against Dakota Kai, which ended in a referee stoppage after Baszler injured Kai's arm. After the match, Baszler continued to attack Kai's arm again while the medical staff were tending to the injury, causing NXT Women's Champion Ember Moon to rush to the aid of Kai to stop the attack. On the January 17 episode of NXT, after losing a match to Lacey Evans, Aliyah was attacked by Baszler, causing Moon to rush to stop Baszler's attacks again. After this attack, Moon challenged Baszler to a match to end her bullying tactics. Baszler refused unless the NXT Women's Championship was on the line at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia. Moon accepted, and the title match was made official by NXT General Manager William Regal.
During a January 24, 2018 conference call promoting NXT TakeOver, Triple H confirmed that a matchup between Velveteen Dream and Kassius Ohno would take place at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia.
|Ring announcer||Mike Rome|
|Pre-show panel||Charly Caruso|
The event opened with The Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly) defending the NXT Tag Team Championship against The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar). After Akam collided with Rezar, O’Reilly pinned Akam with a roll up to retain the title.
Next, The Velveteen Dream faced Kassius Ohno. Near the end of the match, Ohno hit Dream with a ripcord rolling elbow for a near fall. Ohno went for another Rolling Elbow, but Dream countered it with a Death Valley driver, and followed it up with the "Purple Rainmaker" from the top of the ring post for the win.
After that, Ember Moon defended the NXT Women’s Championship against Shayna Baszler. As Baszler applied a cross armbreaker, Moon countered into a pin to retain the title. After the match, Baszler attacked Moon and applied the "Kirifuda Clutch" on Moon, who passed out.
In the fourth match, Aleister Black faced Adam Cole in an Extreme Rules match. Cole performed a superkick into a chair on Black, who fell through two tables outside the ring, and scored a near-fall. Black performed a Death Valley driver on Cole onto two chairs. The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish) interfered and performed "Total Elimination" on Black. SAnitY (Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain) appeared and attacked Fish and O’Reilly, with Dain performing a suicide dive on Fish, O’Reilly, Young and Wolfe. Black performed a double knees on Cole through the announce table. Black performed "Black Mass" on Cole for the win.
In the main event, Andrade "Cien" Almas, accompanied by Zelina Vega, defended the NXT Championship against Johnny Gargano. Gargano performed a slingshot DDT on Almas onto the ring apron for a near-fall. Gargano performed a superkick on Almas for a near-fall. Almas performed a double knee smash on Gargano, who was seated in the corner, for a near-fall. Gargano applied the "Garga-No-Escape", but Almas escaped. Whilst the referee was distracted, Vega attacked Gargano with a hurricanrana off the ring apron into the steel steps. Almas performed a hammerlock DDT on Gargano for a near-fall. Candice LeRae (Gargano's wife, who was seated in the front row) attacked Vega and chased Vega out of the arena. Gargano performed another slingshot DDT on Almas for a near-fall. Gargano applied the "Garga-No Escape", but Almas placed his foot on the bottom rope. Almas performed a double knee smash on Gargano, who was seated against the ring post. Almas performed an elevated hammerlock DDT on Gargano to retain the title. After the match, as Gargano and LeRae left, Tommaso Ciampa made his return from injury and attacked Gargano with a crutch as the event ended.
The match between Gargano and Almas received widespread acclaim, being rated five stars by Wrestling Observer Newsletter journalist Dave Meltzer, making it the first match in NXT history to receive such a rating, WWE's sixth overall, and the first one since John Cena vs. CM Punk at the 2011 Money in the Bank pay-per view.
|1N||Nikki Cross defeated Lacey Evans||Singles match||2:28|
|2N||TM-61 (Nick Miller and Shane Thorne) defeated The Ealy Brothers (Gabriel and Uriel Ealy)||Tag team match||3:17|
|3N||Roderick Strong defeated Tyler Bate||Singles match to determine the #1 contender to the WWE United Kingdom Championship||8:32|
|4||The Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly) (c) defeated The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) (with Paul Ellering)||Tag team match for the NXT Tag Team Championship||14:50|
|5||Velveteen Dream defeated Kassius Ohno||Singles match||10:45|
|6||Ember Moon (c) defeated Shayna Baszler||Singles match for the NXT Women's Championship||10:06|
|7||Aleister Black defeated Adam Cole||Extreme Rules match||22:02|
|8||Andrade "Cien" Almas (c) (with Zelina Vega) defeated Johnny Gargano||Singles match for the NXT Championship||32:19|
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