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NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day Results - Winners, Grades, and Video Highlights

The Dusty Cups wrap up; what did Adam Cole do?
The Dusty Cups wrap up; what did Adam Cole do?

NXT celebrated Valentine's Day in their own special way, with a TakeOver event. How else would they do it? NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day took place tonight, with five stellar match-ups for the WWE Universe.

Both the NXT Men's and Women's Dusty Cup Finals would take place tonight, along with three championship bouts. Finn Balor would defend the NXT Championship against Pete Dunne in what some were already calling a future match of the year candidate.

Johnny Gargano was also forced to put the NXT North American Championship on the line against Kushida. Gargano, the first-ever NXT Triple Crown Champion, was also the first man to hold the NXT North American title on three separate occasions.

Io Shirai won the NXT Women's Championship back at NXT TakeOver: In Your House in a Triple Threat Match. Tonight, she would defend it in a Triple Threat Match, and wouldn't it be kind of poetic if Toni Storm or Mercedes Martinez were able to take it away tonight?

On the NXT TakeOver Kickoff Show, Eli Drake, now known as L.A. Knight, was revealed as the latest signee for the brand.

We kicked things off with the NXT Women's Dusty Cup Finals. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez, the odds-on favorites for the tournament, battled Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon.


NXT Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez vs. Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart

The odds on favorites have made it to the finals of the NXT Women's Dusty Cup
The odds on favorites have made it to the finals of the NXT Women's Dusty Cup

Shotzi Blackheart went toe-to-toe with the powerhouse of the NXT women's division, Raquel Gonzalez. She was quickly tossed back into her corner, leading to Ember Moon tagging in. A tilt-a-whirl counter into a sidewalk slam led to Blackheart taking another shot, this time in a two-on-one situation.

Raquel Gonzalez absolutely dominated both of her competitors. Moon was dumped to the floor, leaving Blackheart to fend for herself. Once Dakota Kai entered the fray, though, the tide shifted. Blackheart nearly had a submission victory with a cloverleaf. Kai made it to the ropes, leading to the senton by Blackheart and a running knee from Moon.

A slingshot press by the former NXT Women's Champion earned a two-count. Blackheart and Moon tagged in and out, working over Kai's knee all the while. Kai struggled to make it to her corner, dragging Moon who held her in a heel hook. Moon overpowered her, bringing her back to the middle of the ring while never loosening her grip.

Kai and Moon traded kicks with their free legs, leading to Gonzalez rushing the ring. The referee didn't notice Blackheart tagging in, and forced her to leave. Moon responded by sending Gonzalez to the floor, again focusing on Kai's injured leg. An ankle lock counter sent Moon face first into the turnbuckle, finally giving Kai the chance to tag out.

Gonzalez came in and did what she's known for, absolutely demolishing the competition. Moon and Blackheart both took some nasty fallaway slams as Kai recovered on the apron. The Captain of Team Kick was ready for a tag, and was launched off the top by her partner for a diving clothesline.

Blackheart broke the pin-up and brawled with Gonzalez on the floor. Gonzalez countered a hurricanrana with a powerbomb into the plexiglass. Moon was left on her own, and Gonzalez held her in place for a vicious running dropkick to the back.

Moon managed to duck a clothesline, sending Gonzalez into her own partner. Moon followed up by launching Kai into Gonzalez's arms, following up with a leg guillotine that also spiked Kai in the process.

The Eclipse dropped Gonzalez, but Kai made the save by distracting the referee. Gonzalez picked up Moon for her powerbomb, only for Blackheart to return to the match with a missile dropkick. It wasn't enough for the three-count, and neither was the scissor kick that followed.

Blackheart and Kai tagged in, with Kai still clearly working with a bad wheel. Blackheart hit her spin-out kneeling facebuster for a near fall. Gonzalez tagged in but was unable to take down Blackheart. A Bret's Rope Sliced Bread No. 2 took Gonzalez down, and it would've been the end of the match had Kai not broken it up.

Kai was taken out with a suicide dive from Blackheart, and Gonzalez was left in the ring to face a series of tag team maneuvers. She refused to quit, kicking out at two-and-a-half. Kai attempted to break up their flow, leading to a nasty elevated crossbody.

Gonzalez chased Moon, but had her leg taken out from under her. A nasty modified STF nearly earned a submission victory, but Kai was able to recover and kick Moon square in the jaw.

Dakota Kai and Shotzi Blackheart were in, and Kai caught Blackheart with the scorpion kick/Kairopractor combination. The assisted Go To Kick rocked Blackheart, but it wasn't enough. Gonzalez sent Moon careening to from the ring to the ramp before sending her flying into the plexiglass. However, back in the ring, she was caught with a rope-assisted springboard leg drop.

Unfortunately for Blackheart, it was still a two-on-one situation. After Gonzalez dropped Kai from on high onto Blackheart, her powerbomb left Blackheart unable to kick out.

Results: Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai defeated Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart via pinfall at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day.

Grade: A-

It's time for Johnny TakeOver
It's time for Johnny TakeOver

Prior to the next match, Johnny Gargano was with The Way getting prepared for the NXT North American title Match. The Way was on their way to the ring with Johnny TakeOver, but nobody noticed Dexter Lumis kidnapping Austin Theory. During Gargano's entrance, they noticed he was missing, and he sent Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell to the back to search him out.

NXT North American Championship: Kushida vs. Johnny Gargano w/The Way(c)

Kushida wasn't messing around at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day, quickly rushing Gargano for the Hoverboard Lock. The NXT North American Champion tied himself up in the ropes for a quick break. Gargano wrestled Kushida down to the mat, but the challenger quickly turned it in his favor.

Gargano escaped to the floor and baited Kushida into following him, rocking him with a kick after a missed dive. Kushida was sent shoulder first into the steel steps as Gargano exclaimed "This is my world!" The taunting was enough to give Kushida time to recover, and countered a suplex with a falcon arrow into an armbar.

A chicken wing suplex dropped Gargano on this injured arm. Back in the ring, The Time Splitter of NXT further damaged the arm. He countered the running armbreaker, though, and managed to catch Kushida on the ropes with a rope-assisted hangman's neckbreaker.

Gargano dragged Kushida into the ring for another neckbreaker, but Kushida turned it into a backslide attempt. Gargano reversed into a gourdbuster and a Kushida-like kick to the arm. Kushida broke away from a submission and locked in an octopus stretch. Gargano managed to escape, leading to both men trading pinfall attempts.

Kushida managed to get the better of a striking trade, with a series of kicks laying out the NXT North American Champion. Gargano was able to prevent the chicken wing suplex only to be caught in an ankle lock. The German suplex dropped him, and Kushida followed with a roundhouse for a two-count.

Gargano avoided the handspring double kick on the ropes, and his slingshot spear was caught by Kushida. Some heavy lifting allowed Kushida to bring Gargano over with another chicken wing suplex. Gargano made it to the apron, but his One Final Beat was countered. A running armbreaker into the turnbuckle left Gargano in a bad way.

Kushida nearly had the former NXT Champion in the Hoverboard Lock, and even though it failed, he rocked Gargano at the top with a handspring double kick. Gargano did his best to counter the Hoverboard Lock and fell forward with a twisting suplex. Gargano held onto Kushida and picked him up for a tornado DDT off the ropes, though it still wasn't enough.

Gargano escaped the armbar, leading to both men looking for their submission moves. Another armbar had Gargano trapped, but he was able to turn it into a pinfall attempt. They ran into one another, battering each other with clotheslines before falling to the mat.

Gargano countered the handspring back elbow with the Garga-No Escape right in the middle of the ring. Kushida rolled around, eventually transitioning into a Kimura Lock. Gargano made it out, and lawn darted his challenger into the ring post.

A cross armbreaker off the top rope left Gargano in serious trouble in the middle of the ring. Gargano had nowhere to go, and it looked as if he was going to finally tap. Somehow, in some way, Gargano made it to the ropes. Kushida failed to release it, holding it as they fell to the floor. Gargano drove Kushida's back into the apron and barricade before crawling to the ramp.

Kushdia wouldn't let him get away, though, and another kick to the arm left Gargano wailing in pain. The three-time NXT North American Champion broke the Hoverboard Lock by sending Kushida's neck first into the ropes. Kushida fell to the ramp where Gargano spiked him with One Final Beat.

Another one in the ring dropped Kushida on top of his head, giving Gargano yet another successful NXT North American Championship defense.

Results: Johnny Gargano defeated Kushida via pinfall at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day.

Grade: A+

The Grizzled Young Veterans doing what they do best; talking trash and dominating
The Grizzled Young Veterans doing what they do best; talking trash and dominating

NXT Men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: MSK vs. The Grizzled Young Veterans

The former NXT UK Tag Team Champions made it to the finals of the 2020 NXT Dusty Cup last year, falling short to The BroserWeights. Tonight, they found themselves in the finals again against newcomers to the brand MSK.

Zack Gibson and Nash Carter kicked off the match, with Gibson getting the best of his opponent. James Drake was in next and was caught with a springboard corkscrew press by Carter. A running uppercut in the corner set up for a slingshot dropkick from Wes Lee and a Bronco Buster from Carter.

Gibson got back in the bout, but couldn't keep up with the speed of MSK, who lit up the inaugural NXT UK Tag Champions with a series of strikes. A plancha over the top took out the Grizzled Young Veterans, but Gibson avoided the second dive, rocking Carter with a clothesline.

The Vets slowed things down significantly, bringing things down to their pace while keeping Carter very far away from his corner. Carter was forced to stay on the mat as Drake and Gibson moved in and out, and any time he got to his feet there was a stiff clothesline waiting for him.

Gibson dragged Lee off the apron when Carter broke away, and as Lee tried to get back in the ring, he inadvertently distracted the referee. GYV rocked Carter with a missile dropkick/flatliner combination for a near fall.

After several more minutes, Carter finally made it to Wes Lee who came in like a house of fire. After sending both of his opponents to the floor, Lee leapt over the ring post for an insane tope con hilo. Back in the ring, a handspring axe kick struck Gibson right on the dome for the closes two-count of the night.

Drake prevented Lee from diving off the top, allowing Gibson to rush in and knock him to the mat. Lee countered a powerbomb, however, turning it into a rolling facebuster. Carter was in next, and MSK rocked Gibson with a slingshot superkick.

Carter rocked Drake with a dropkick, knocking him to the floor. Gibson was all alone, and Carter lit him up with some great punches. A springboard cutter planted Gibson, only for a two. Lee was back in, but another handspring axe kick was countered with a running knee.

Gibson planted Lee with the Helter Skelter, and a 450 Splash from Drake almost put MSK away. The NXT rookie refused to quit, though, leaving GYV questioning what they could do to put them away. The Doomsday Device was countered, with Lee rolling Drake up for a two-count.

It was time for Ticket to Mayhem, but Carter saved Lee. After sending GYV into one another, MSK hit Hot Fire Flame over Drake onto Gibson. A poison rana spiked Drake on his head. MSK leapt onto Drake with a Swanton Bomb and Spiral Tap, but Drake somehow found it in himself to kick out.

On the floor, Gibson held Lee up on his shoulders, allowing Drake to hit a suicide dive/Doomsday Device on Lee. There was no way he was getting back up, and Carter was forced to face off against GYV all alone.

Carter pelted Drake and Gibson with rights and lefts, but was ultimately caught with a powerbomb/backstabber. It wasn't enough. MSK would not be denied the NXT Dusty Cup. Ticket To Mayhem was blocked again, this time by a recovered Lee. A pair of superkicks rocked GYV.

Drake was planted with the spinebuster/springboard neckbreaker, and MSK picked up the biggest win of their career.

Results: MSK defeated Grizzled Young Veterans via pinfall at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day.

Grade: A+

From debuting in NXT's highly anticipated tournament, to picking up wins over some of the best tag teams NXT had to offer, to knocking off a duo like the Grizzled Young Veterans in the NXT Men's Dusty Cup Finals. What a run for Wes Lee and Nash Carter so far.

Io Shirai, the NXT Women's Champion, as confident as ever
Io Shirai, the NXT Women's Champion, as confident as ever

NXT Women's Championship Triple Threat Match: Mercedes Martinez vs Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai (c)

Before the ring announcer could finish, these NXT Superstars ran at one another. Mercedes Martinez was sent to the floor, leaving the Mae Young Classic Finalists in the ring with one another.

The former NXT UK Women's Champion dropped Shirai and hit a sliding clothesline, but was taken to the floor by Mercedes Martinez. An elevated rolling neckbreaker took Toni Storm out momentarily. The NXT Women's Champion looked for a moonsault, but Martinez walked away, sending Io Shirai crashing into the barricade.

Back in the ring, Martinez was focusing on Storm. A Three Amigos attempt was stopped when Shirai came off the top for a missile dropkick, sending Mercedes into the corner. Before she could follow up, a Bossman Slam from Storm dropped her. Storm took the fight to Shirai, but taking her eyes off of Martinez allowed the powerhouse to plant her with a spinebuster.

Shirai broke up Martinez's submission and locked Storm into a crossface. Martinez quickly woke up, locking Shirai in a dragon sleeper. Shirai wouldn't tap, so Martinez took her over with a reverse suplex. Shirai responded by sending Martinez into the ropes for a 619 and a springboard missile dropkick.

Storm stopped the NXT Women's Champion from following it up, looking to bring Shirai down to the mat with a superplex. Mercedes Martinez broke up that attempt, launching Io Shirai off onto the floor and spiking Toni Storm with a spider suplex.

When Mercedes rose back up, Shirai was waiting. NXT's Genius of the Sky hit a diving double stomp on a hanging Martinez, leaving her out in the corner. On the floor, Martinez ran Shirai into the plexiglass, but was taken out by Storm.

The former NXT UK Champion cleaned off the announce desk, looking to drive Martinez through it. Martinez blocked it, hitting a DDT instead. As they both stood up, they were taken out by Shirai, who hit a diving crossbody off the truss.

Mercedes Martinez was up first and launched the champion spine first into the steps. In the ring, a knee lift left Toni Storm nearly out cold. A series of arm trapped knees to the jaw were probably enough to pick up the win. Storm couldn't escape the Fisherman Buster, but she was somehow able to escape the pinfall.

Storm responded with a headbutt, and planted Martinez with Storm Zero, the move that won her the NXT UK Women's Championship. It didn't do the job here tonight, so Storm followed up with a diving headbutt into the sternum. It was broken up, though, by the Moonsault from Io Shirai. 1-2-3, Io Shirai retained the NXT Women's Championship.

Results: Io Shirai defeated Mercedes Martinez via pinfall at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day.

Grade: B+

The NXT Champion has arrived
The NXT Champion has arrived

NXT Championship Match: Pete Dunne vs. Finn Balor (c)

The NXT Championship match that we've all been waiting for finally arrived. Once Pete Dunne returned to NXT, fans knew that we were heading toward this encounter.

Balor held Dunne down to the mat, managing to out wrestle the Bruiserweight for the moment. Dunne managed to get back to his feet, and nearly snapped the fingers of The Prince of NXT.

There was quite a long feeling out process before Dunne went for Balor's injured jaw. A few shoulder shots took Balor down to the mat, and the NXT Champion's hand was taken in by Dunne. Balor was again caught in some of Dunne's classic joint manipulation, but was able to slip out for a moment.

Balor blocked an armbar, but Dunne hit a nasty armbreaker, nearly snapping Balor's shoulder out of socket. Dunne kept his arm there, bending his hand and fingers further back. Balor managed to break away again, but the damage was clearly done.

Dunne went after the fingers once again. Balor not only escaped, but this time trapped Dunne in a hold. A modified heel hook left Dunne screaming in agony. To break the hold, he went back to the fingers, but he paid for it with a kick to the jaw.

Balor's single-leg Boston Crab failed, so he went to another heel hold, battering Pete Dunne in the jaw with some elbows all the while. Dunne broke away but couldn't get far. His leg hanging on the bottom rope, Balor stomped right through the back of the knee.

Stomps to the head and the back of the neck left Dunne in a heap of trouble, and Balor followed up with an STF. Of course, with his fingers in front of the challenger, Dunne took advantage and smashed them into the mat.

Dunne's knee gave out, and Balor smelled blood in the water. However, Dunne countered Balor with an armdrag, hitting a headbutt afterward and following up that combination with a sit-out powerbomb. Balor kicked out at two. The leaping stomp to Balor's elbow connected as well, and it seemed that his arm was completely broken to pieces.

Balor's fingers were stomped, but he avoided the roundhouse follow up. The swinging elbow drop and shotgun dropkick connected, leaving Dunne in the perfect spot for the Coup De Grace. Dunne managed to counter, trapping Balor in the Triangle Choke. Balor, after what seemed like minutes, made it to the ropes. However, he was out like a light.

Dunne told the official to check him, but the referee wouldn't call for the bell. Dunne picked him up for the Bitter End, only for the ref to then separate them. Balor said he could continue, and countered the Bitter End. Dunne blocked the 1916 attempt, bringing both men to the mat. Dunne escaped another submission hold and snapped the hand and fingers of the NXT Champion.

With that, Dunne looked again for the Bitter End. Balor swung for the fences, rocking Dunne with rights. With a low blow, Dunne planted Balor, finally, with the Bitter End. Still, The Prince of NXT kicked out.

More stomps to Balor's fingers and a roundhouse set up for another powerbomb. Balor countered, spiking Dunne with a DDT. They traded kicks, again with Dunne getting the best of the champ.

Balor countered a Bitter End with the reverse suplex, getting a close two-count. Dunne held the fingers of Balor, though, and snapped Balor's hand once again. Still, Balor had a better response, hitting a double stomp to Dunne's back.

Balor ripped the mouth piece out of Dunne's mouth, then rocked him with a dropkick to the jaw. The Coup De Grace connected, and he picked up Dunne for the 1916.

In arguably his most difficult defense yet, Finn Balor walked out with the NXT Championship yet again.

Results: Finn Balor defeated Pete Dunne via pinfall at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day.

Grade: A+

After the match, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch attacked Finn Balor. They sent him into the ring, leading to a three-on-one beat down. However, they cleared the ring as soon as Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly, and Roderick Strong stormed the ring. Once again, The Undisputed Era saved the NXT Champion.

This time around, Balor accepted the help, shaking the hand of Kyle O'Reilly. As all four men posed, Cole rocked Balor with a superkick. O'Reilly and Strong protested it, leading to Cole dropping O'Reilly with one as well.

The Undisputed Era is no more. Roderick Strong was stunned, and didn't leave with the former NXT Champion.

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Edited by Kaushik Das
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