NXT TakeOver: The End
NXT TakeOver: The End, also called NXT TakeOver: The End... of the Beginning, was a professional wrestling show and WWE Network event in the NXT TakeOver series that took place on June 8, 2016. It was produced by WWE, showcasing its NXT divisions and streamed live on the WWE Network. The name "The End" stemmed from this being the final TakeOver event (to date) to take place at NXT's long time home at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.
|NXT TakeOver: The End|
|Date||June 8, 2016|
|City||Winter Park, Florida|
|Venue||Full Sail University|
|Attendance||400+ (Sold Out)|
|WWE Network event chronology|
|NXT TakeOver chronology|
The NXT TakeOver series of professional wrestling shows started on May 29, 2014, as the WWE developmental league NXT held their second ever WWE Network exclusive live broadcast billed as NXT TakeOver. In subsequent months, the "TakeOver" moniker became the brand used by NXT and WWE for all of their NXT live specials as they held NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way, NXT TakeOver: R Evolution, NXT TakeOver: Rival, and NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable prior to NXT TakeOver: Respect. NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn was the first TakeOver show held outside of Full Sail University. NXT TakeOver: London was the first TakeOver show held outside of the United States. NXT TakeOver: The End was the tenth overall show held under the NXT TakeOver banner and the second held in 2016. It was also the last TakeOver to be held at Full Sail University.
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.
On April 21, at a house show in Lowell, Massachusetts, Samoa Joe defeated Finn Bálor to win the NXT Championship. On the May 11 episode of NXT, NXT General Manager William Regal scheduled a rematch at NXT TakeOver: The End. Throughout various house shows, the duo were unable to refrain from engaging in all out brawls, and on May 17, during a contract signing at WWE Performance Center, the match was made a Steel Cage match. This marks the first ever steel cage match in NXT history.
At NXT TakeOver: Dallas, American Alpha defeated The Revival to capture the NXT Tag Team Championship. On the May 18 episode of NXT, William Regal made the rematch official at NXT TakeOver: The End.
On the May 18 episode of NXT, Nia Jax defeated former NXT Women's Champion Bayley. Following Bayley's loss and her inability to perform at 100%, on the May 25 episode of NXT, Jax defeated Carmella and Alexa Bliss in a Triple Threat #1 contender match, and would face reigning champion, Asuka, at NXT TakeOver: The End.
On the May 25 episode of NXT, Austin Aries declared his intention to become the next NXT champion, which prompted a response from Shinsuke Nakamura. William Regal would then schedule a match between Nakamura and Aries at NXT TakeOver: The End.
|Ring announcer||Greg Hamilton|
|Pre-show panel||Renee Young|
Next, American Alpha (Jason Jordan and Chad Gable) defended the NXT Tag Team Championship against The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder). In the end, The Revival executed the "Shatter Machine" on Jordan to regain the title. Post-match, American Alpha were ambushed and attacked by two men wearing black (later to referred to as "The Authors of Pain"). Paul Ellering emerged and accompanied the duo backstage.
After that, Shinsuke Nakamura faced Austin Aries. During the match, Aries applied the "Last Chancery" but Nakamura reached the ropes to break the hold. After Aries executed a Death Valley driver on the ring apron on Nakamura, he attempted a suicide dive but Nakamura avoided Aries, who collided with the guardrail. In the end, Nakamura executed a "Kinshasa" off the middle rope, an inverted powerslam and a "Kinshasa" on Aries for the win.
In the main event, Samoa Joe defended the NXT Championship against Finn Bálor in a steel cage match. During the match, Bálor executed a super Sling Blade for a near-fall. Joe executed a muscle buster on Bálor for a near-fall. Balor executed a "Coup de Grâce" on Joe for a near-fall. In the end, Bálor attempted to escape the cage after escaping the "Coquina Clutch", but Joe executed a super muscle buster to retain the title.
NXT TakeOver: The End received positive reviews. Professional wrestling commentator Jim Ross described the event as "compelling" and "entertaining" television, with positives in several aspects: booking, "in ring action", move execution and TV production. Ross was "proud of" the "efficient" commentary by Philips and Graves, which helped by "focusing in the action and diligently trying to get the talents over". For the matches, the main event was "classic", the women's title match showed off engaging "physicality", Nakamura-Aries "was one of the best TV matches on WWE TV in recent memory", and finally, "NXT has done a notable job making their tag team scene have significant meaning."
James Caldwell of Pro Wrestling Torch reviewed each match out of 5 stars. The "surprisingly quick" match for Almas-Dillinger was the poorest rated 2.0 stars. Caldwell commended Almas for "a money look and tons of charisma". The "super-hot tag match" was rated 3.75 stars; Caldwell described the outcome as "stunning" and praised all four men's work in the match. Aries-Nakamura was the best rated match at 4.25 stars: although "methodical early on", it reached "an epic conclusion". Aries was highlighted for "fire and in-ring ability", while Nakamura had "superior skills" and an "amazing" entrance. Asuka-Jax was rated 2.75 stars as both women gave a "fine display", with Asuka showing "underdog fire" and Jax "as a dominant force ... done in by her hubris". Bálor-Joe was rated 3.5 stars, "a very good main event", but due to a predictable match result, the "tired concept" of cage matches, and "close camera work" without "intimacy", it "just didn't seem to come together as the total package to 'end an era' for NXT."
Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald wrote that the event was "another action-packed, crowd-pleasing NXT TakeOver special" in front of a "very amp'd crowd". Ultimately, The End showed how NXT "continues to develop and grow into its own white hot brand". Varsallone credited how "those who started the NXT phenomenon" (examples include male wrestler Kevin Owens, female wrestler Sasha Banks, tag team Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady, manager Lana and referee Jason Ayers) have already transitioned to WWE's main roster, so now "it's time for the next group to step up, and they are" indeed shining. For the matches, the tag title match was "stellar", Aries-Nakamura was a "dream matchup", while Almas-Dillinger was "really good" and enhanced by the crowd supporting both wrestlers. Varsallone also listed a variety of chants for each match by fans.
Jason Powell of Pro Wrestling Dot Net thought that The End was "another excellent NXT Takeover special", "never a dull moment" despite less "buzz". Powell thought that the "strong, dramatic" main event had enough uncertainty as to its outcome to make "the near falls count". For the other title matches, the women match was "entertaining" although it "won't compete for best of the night", while the tag match was "excellent" and even better than their previous matchup at NXT TakeOver: Dallas. As a sidenote, Powell wrote, "As a longtime fan, I love the use of Ellering, who looks tremendous for his age." Meanwhile, Aries-Nakamura was "a hell of a match" with Powell enjoying how "Aries looked so strong in defeat". Lastly, in the opener, "Almas showed some tremendous athleticism, and Dillinger played his part in the match very nicely".
|1||Andrade Cien Almas defeated Tye Dillinger||Singles match||5:22|
|2||The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) defeated American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan) (c)||Tag team match for the NXT Tag Team Championship||16:00|
|3||Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Austin Aries||Singles match||17:05|
|4||Asuka (c) defeated Nia Jax||Singles match for the NXT Women's Championship||9:12|
|5||Samoa Joe (c) defeated Finn Bálor||Steel Cage match for the NXT Championship||16:10|
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Don't miss a second of the action when NXT TakeOver: The End... airs live on the award-winning WWE Network.
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NXT TakeOver: The End of the Beginning was a night full of surprises...
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