Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano.

WWE

Sunday is WWE’s SummerSlam, the 2nd most significant wrestling show of the year. The night prior to WWE’s big programs, though, the business deals with fans to NXT TakeOver events. These are pay-per-view style displays of WWE’s “developmental” brand name, NXT. I put developmental in quotes, due to the fact that it’s truly more of a separate brand. NXT stars like Roderick Strong, Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole are as excellent as anybody on the main lineup, and NXT TakeOver shows are probably the most dependably excellent in all of professional wrestling.

NXT TakeOver: Toronto was an excellent program, but a peg listed below the typical quality. There were no bad matches, although the NXT Women’s Championship bout struggled with an uninterested crowd, and one impressive match in Velveteen Dream vs. Pete Dunn vs. Roderick Strong.

Below is the complete recap for the program, from end to beginning, along with scores (out of 5 stars) for each match.

Adam Cole retains NXT Champion

Main occasion time. The very first fall is a normal match, the second a street battle. The third fall, if it happens, will be revealed by NXT General Manager William Regal. Gargano is out first with Wolverine-inspired gear. The crowd is hot for Adam Cole, bay bay, who is without a doubt the crowd favorite.

The 2 begin with mat fumbling. These 2 have actually wrestled in 2 prominent centerpieces in the previous 4 months, so the story of the match is that they know each other’s offense so well. Counters on counters, in other words. Cole pulls Gargano outside and hits a wheelbarrow slam to the ring apron for the very first big relocation of the match.

Cole locks Gargano in a reverse triangle choke in the center of the ring. Gargano counters with an ankle lock, however Cole counters with a forward roll, sending out Gargano into the turnbuckle. Cole charges on Gargano, but Gargano counters with a belly-to-belly throw. Counters and counters and counters.

Gargano retains control with a roll-through kick and an angler’s driver. Gargano ascends the turnbuckle and Cole strives a superkick, however Gargano doges and jumping stomps into Cole’s leg. Gargano puts Cole in a figure four, but lets it go. Cole returns with another wheelbarrow slam but offers his hurt leg.

The two exchange kicks, and Gargano catches Cole with a sunset driver. Gargano flies off the leading rope, however Cole counters with a codebreaker and a powerslam for a two count. The 2 exchange strikes and take each other out with a simultaneous clotheslines. Gargano attempts a suicide dive but Cole captures him with an enziguri. Cole opts for another wheelbarrow slam, but Gargano counters and sends Cole into the barrier. Gargano sends out Cole into the ring and nails a top rope DDT. Two count.

Gargano chooses a mid rope spear but is caught with a superkick. Cole follows up with a brainbuster and gets a 2 count. Cole brings a chair into the ring. The referee takes it from him, but Cole punt kicks Gargano in the balls as the referee is getting rid of the chair. Two count.

Cole chews out the referee and is hit with a superkick by Gargano. Gargano takes the chair and clocks Cole with it, getting himself disqualified. He then repeatedly whales on Cole with the chair as we enter the second fall, a street battle. Cole 1, Gargano 0.

The 2 brawl into the crowd. Gargano leaps off a barricade, and hits Cole with a superkick. He then leaps off one barricade to crash Cole through another barricade. The crowd chants for tables, and Gargano starts to undress the commentator’s table. Provide individuals what they want. The two scramble for position, and Cole winds up being sent out through the Spanish announcer’s table. Gargano sends out Cole back into the ring, then takes out 2 tables out of under the ring.

Cole hits a shining wizard as Gargano re-enters the ring and follows up with an Ushigoroshi. The crowd chants “this is awesome”. A chair readies up in between the ring posts. Cole strikes a superkick on Gargano, but Gargano counters Cole’s next relocation and tosses him like a yard dart into the chair. Gargano puts Cole in a Gargano Escape, Cole taps. Cole 1, Gargano 1.

The 3rd fall is a cage match. A cage garnished with weapons descends upon the ring. There are sledgehammers, tabes, chairs and even a fire extinguisher in the ring.

Cole and Gargano exchange strikes. Super kicks, clotheslines, more superkicks. Each grabs a Kendo stick and swing on each other, then hit superkicks on each other at the exact same time. The crowd is loving it. Gargano establishes among the tables but is dropped in his tracks by a chair shot from Cole. Cole strikes a backcracker on Gargano and sets two chairs up by a turnbuckle. He goes for a superplex however Gargano battles out with strikes. Gargano sprays Cole with a close-by fire extinguisher and strikes a twister DDT through the 2 chairs. It looked very agonizing for Cole. 2 count.

Gargano climbs the cage to obtain a sledgehammer, but Cole satisfies him on the ropes and defend it. Gargano knocks him away and strikes a sunset flip. Gargano gets a 2 count, then recovers the sledgehammer. He tries to hit Cole with it, however is met a superkick. Cole gets a ladder, which was sitting atop the cage, and tosses it at Gargano. Gargano evades but consumes a Panama sunrise piledriver. Two count. Cole sets up the ladder, jumps off and strikes another Panama dawn piledriver for another two count.

Gargano doges a shining wizard and chokes Cole with a Kendo stick, but Cole bites Gargano’s hand. Gargano gets the sledgehammer, however, and smashes it into Cole’s guts. Gargano sets up 2 tables and a ladder, then ascends the ladder. Cole rolls off the table, however, however gets smashed with a Kendo stick. They discover themselves on the leading rope. Gargano hits a sundown flip piledriver. Two count.

Both climb to another table set up atop the cage. They both fall, crashing through among the tables setup in the middle of the ring. Cole rolls over Gargano, scoring the 3 count.

Rating: 3.5 stars. Remarkable action, but extremely long and also preposterous. There were numerous cool relocations, however the last 3rd of the match simply felt like relocations for relocations sake. The crowd did enjoy it, however.

Shayna Baszler sends Mia Yim

Legit Mixed Martial Arts fighter Baszler takes Yim to the mat with an armbar attempt. Yim fights back, scoring a cannonball in the corner. Yim attempts a suicide dive but is blocked by Baszler, however Yim handles to send out the champ into the steel steps.

Back in the ring, Baszler turns the tide with a takedown and a tough kick to the back of the head. These 2 are having a difficult time capturing the crowd, who are weakened after the thrilling triple hazard. Baszler continues to beat down Yim, and puts her in a wicked-looking shoulder lock. Yim fights out by pulling on Baszler’s hair, however Baszler shuts Yim down with a clothesline.

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Mia Yim. WWE Yim counters out of another submission, this time with a thumb to Baszler’s eye. Yim mounts a resurgence, striking strikes and a belly-to-belly suplex. Crowd. Is. Dead. Yim attempts to wake the arena up with a suicide dive. Yim follows up with a twister DDT. After consuming a knee from Baszler, Yim secures a tarantula submission on the ropes.

The crowd awakens briefly for Yim as she manages to hit an avalanche code blue powerbomb. She attempts to keep the momentum, but Baszler catches her in a Kirifuda clutch. Yim fights out, stomps on Baszler’s elbow and puts her in an armbar. Baszler, aka the Submission Magician, counters back into the Kirifuda clutch and shifts into a triangle choke. Yim taps out.

Rating: 3 stars. Excellent wrestling here, though Yim might have been crisper. Mainly injured by no crowd heat.

Velveteen Dream beats Pete Dunn and Roderick Strong

Velveteen Dream’s entrance is always a TakeOver highlight. This time it was more diverse than usual, mixing a homage to Canadian wrestler The Mountie with breakdancers representing the NBA Toronto Raptors. Why not? And keep in mind, kids, the Mountie always gets his man.

Roderick Strong kicks off the match by socking Dream, who tumbles to the exterior. Dunn starts dealing with Strong’s fingers, as he is understood to do, when Dream fires back by clotheslining Strong out of the ring. Strong takes out Dunn, leaving Strong and Dream in the ring.

Strong, the bad guy, finds himself in between Dream and Dunn. They take turns beating him around and the crowd starts shouting for Velveteen Dream. Strong gets sent out to the outdoors and heros Dunn and Dream start grappling. Dunn captures Dream with a flying armbar, but Dream battles out.

Strong gets back in the mix, taking both Dunn and Dream to the outside and striking backbreaker after backbreaker on both. Ranallo calls Strong the Messiah of the Backbreaker. Extremely accurate. Strong brings Dunn into the ring and works him over.

After a couple of minutes Dream reinserts himself with a top-rope axehandle onto Strong. Dream offers Strong a backbreaker of his own. Dream, as a homage to Canada’s own Gunman, puts Strong in a Sharpshooter. Dunn breaks the submission up with a rocket dropkick.

Dunn and Dream take to the outside. Strong hits Dream with a trashing ball dropkick, and Dunn hits Strong with a moonsault. All three are back in the ring. Dunn german suplexes Dream, and then suplexes Strong onto dream. Two depend on Dream.

The three exchange awesome strikes and get an “NXT” chant for it. They then exchange slams for a “this is incredible” chant. The 3 wind up on the top rope. Strong avalanche Olympic Slams Dunn, who pulls Dream down as the trio all crash together. Strong sends Dream. Dunn snatches a triangle choke on Strong, but Strong counters into a backbreaker. Strong goes for a tiger bomb, however Dunn counters into a triangle choke. Strong pulls Dunn into the corner. Dream hits Dunn with a coast-to-coast elbow drop. Incredible.

Strong ties both men up on the ropes and strikes a flurry of elbow strikes. He puts both Dunn and Dream in a Strong Hold boston crab all at once. We like Roderick Strong.

After some backward and forward, Dunn all at once cracks both Strong and Dreams fingers. He ratings a Bitter End surface on Strong, however Dream separate the pinfall. Strong puts Dunn in a Strong Hold, Dream breaks it up and tosses Strong out of the ring. Dream hits Dunn in a Dream Valley Chauffeur, Strong tosses Dream out of the ring. Strong nails a suplex-backbreaker on Dunn and chooses a pin.

Dream breaks it up with a top-rope elbow drop and covers Dunn for the 1-2-3.

Rating: 4.5 stars. Great match. All three people are exceptional. Roderick Strong is particularly excellent.

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3:45

Riddle and Dain

The NXT North American Champion match remained in the process of being hyped when Matt Riddle stormed the ring. He wants Killian Dain, who attacked Riddle at a recent episode of NXT. Dain comes out through the crowd and the 2 brawl. They wind up on the phase, where Riddle drops Dain with a Kenny Omega-influenced ripcord knee.

Security then gets included, and Riddle starts taking them out. Dain smashes Riddle with a cross body and then begins securing guard himself. Damn, these people are just attempting to do their job, fellas. Riddle slaps on a sleeper hold, however then Dain gets him and jumps off the phase, crashing both of them through a table.

Io Shirai vs. Candice LeRae

Io Shirai, recently heel Genius of the Sky, handles Mrs. Fumbling Candice LeRae in the second match of the night.

This is a personal issue kind of match. Best good friend betrayed kind of thing. So it begins hot, with LeRae going straight for Shirai before the bell rings. They brawl to the exterior. Shirai damages LeRae with a suple

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