The main thing to take away from the weekends wrestling action is just how good NXT actually is. The event head to toe oozed awesome wrestling, and although this is the first TakeOver of the year, I do not think anything can top the Gargano vs Almas main event going forward. The path Almas has been on has been an incredible demonstration of how good storytelling and booking can lead you into the Promised Land. Pre Zelina Vega, the talk surrounded how Almas was disgruntled and on the way out of WWE. Fast forward to present date and he is appearing in the 2018 Royal Rumble as the NXT Champion. Anyone who tells you they could see this happening bar Almas and Vega themselves is either lying or psychic!
The two are the perfect blend of Professional Wrestling. Andrade “Cien” Almas has bags and bags of ability in the ring, and has done since the get go. Even with this though, he never really made the connection with the fans. The man was highly touted as a flop by several well renowned wrestling critics. That was until he became involved with Zelina Vega. With Vega as a mouthpiece for him and the change in style with his appearance and attitude and presence in the ring a fire seemed to have been lit underneath him.
Almas went from another failed top signing flopping like Kassius Ohno who for all intents and purposes is now used to put over talent to someone that really demonstrates the grit to carry the brand as a top heel. I personally love the work of the pairing their chemistry and ability to work together on screen translated very well, and I would go as far as saying they are top manager/superstar combo in professional wrestling at the moment which includes Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar!
This obviously is all helped by having top stars around him helping him demonstrate what he has to offer. Every good villain has his good guy underdog counterpart and this came in the form of Johnny Gargano and Gargano has played his part and then some in creating one of the biggest underdog stories we have seen since Daniel Bryan. From start to finish the match at TakeOver was the perfect example of storytelling. It had twists and turns, it saw Vega do what she does best and cheat to help Almas pick up a victory, she even did her patented hurricarana into the steps on Johnny, but nothing seemed to be able to keep Mr. Wrestling down. Then came one of NXT’s newest signings, Candice LeRae, wife of Johnny Gargano, taking out Vega which was a truly spectacular moment and added tenfold to the story making everyone including myself believe that this just might be Gargano’s night! That wasn’t the case however, and Almas punished Gargano following on from this.
I could not praise this match more if I tried, and if either of the two produces even close to half of what they did that night again in the upcoming months we could be looking at the greatest feud in not only NXT history but also the WWE. I think if they hadn’t already eyes had been opened to how truly great not only all involved are, but predominately Vega and Almas. Even on the preshow the clash between Joe and Vega stirred up interest for possible future encounters. Everything the duo seems to touch at the moment turns to gold and with a solid showing in the Royal Rumble we might be seeing the two sooner than we think on the main roster.
Let me know what you think however! Who do you think is the best NXT has to offer at the moment and what do you think is the match of the night from TakeOver: Philadelphia! Leave a comment or reach out to me on twitter @WNW_Walker I would love to discuss this and more on there!