Aleister Black vs. Andrade 'Cien' Almas
NXT TakeOver: New Orleans
This week, NXT will debut its weekly series on the USA Network, and it's worth looking into how the former developmental league for WWE became one of the most sought-after properties in wrestling.
Ever since NXT became the first special on the WWE Network (with 2014's NXT ArRival show), the product has turned out hours of quality matches, often making their Raw and SmackDown cousins look weak by comparison.
A hybrid of sorts between traditional WWE pay-per-view offerings and the briefer Saturday Night's Main Event shows, NXT TakeOver specials often generate several four- and five-star matches each outing, showcasing up-and-comers, established stars and performers who had proven themselves in other companies before signing a WWE contract.
In counting down the Top 50 NXT TakeOver Matches, we looked at the following criteria:
How significant were the matches historically?
What kind of story does the match tell?
What did the match do for a performer's career?
How well was the match regarded by wrestling critics?
If you'd like to be a part of this conversation, Tweet us at @canadianbulldog using the hashtag #Top50, or leave a comment below.
Ready? Here we go!
In the main event of NXT TakeOver: Chicago on May 20, 2017, The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) took on top contenders DIY (Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano) in a ladder match. Not only did DIY lose their opportunity to win the gold, but Ciampa turned on Gargano, setting up for an epic rivalry.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Samoa Joe
NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II
The opening match of NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV on August 18, 2018 featured Moustache Mountain (Tyler Bate and Trent Seven) in a rematch against NXT Tag Team Champions The Undisputed Era (Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong). After The Undisputed Era retained the gold, they were attacked by War Raiders.