WWE NXT TakeOver 36 - As It Happened

Titles and pride on the line at the Capitol Wrestling Center

We were live once again from the Capitol Wrestling Center in Florida as WWE hosted NXT TakeOver 36.

We had three sanctioned title matches (and the unsanctioned Million Dollar Title) on the line, and with Nick Khan and WWE promising changes to NXT in the coming weeks, never mind the potential end of Adam Cole in NXT, could TakeOver 36 be the end of an era? 

Regardless, TakeOver was as ever a good show, with a must-see battle at the heart of it.

Trey Baxter vs. Ridge Holland - Kickoff Show

This was Holland’s second NXT match since returning from injury, and it’s safe to assume that most of us expected a quick squash. Baxter got a few licks in to start things off, but Holland quickly took control as Pete Dunne watched on from ringside. Holland looked impressive as he threw Baxter all over the ring, but Baxter used his speed to get the better of Holland until he ate a big headbutt to the back of the head, and a sit-out suplex slam sealed the deal for Holland.

Post-match, Holland called out Timothy Thatcher, saying Thatch can expect some of what Baxter just endured.

Winner: Ridge Holland

LA Knight (c) vs. Cameron Grimes - Million Dollar Championship

Ted DiBiase was out first with a Million Dollar Trashcan, into which Cameron Grimes threw his butler outfit, unveiling some Million Dollar Man styled ring-gear. 

The CWC were firmly behind Grimes, as he came hot out of the blocks, rocking Knight with a stiff slap to shut his trash talking up. Grimes tried for the Million Dollar Dream early, but Knight bailed to the outside, and ate a running kick for his troubles. Knight got into the bout after shoving Grimes off of the top, but Grimes wouldn’t stay down. Knight got a nearfall after reversing a Frankensteiner into a stiff powerbomb, and continued the momentum with a sleeper hold, and a tilt-a-whirl slam.

After avoiding a springboard moonsault, Grimes came back into the bout, folding Knight with a German suplex, and a Frankensteiner for a two count. Knight had another flurry of offence but couldn’t put Grimes away, with Grimes himself coming close with a two-count after a nasty looking moonsault slam reversal off of a running crossbody. Huge Kurt Angle sell from Grimes after eating a ginormous avalanche German suplex, but again Knight couldn’t get the job done. Cameron finally got the Million Dollar Dream locked in on his third time of asking, and almost nothing Knight could do could break the hold until he launched Grimes into the turnbuckle. 

Knight grabbed the Million Dollar Title and looked to use it as a weapon, but walked straight into a headkick from Grimes, before eating the richest right hand in wrestling and a Million Dollar Dream from Ted DiBiase as the ref was distracted. Cave In took Grimes to the Moon as he got the three, and the Million Dollar Championship.

Winner and new Million Dollar Champion: Cameron Grimes 

Raquel Gonzalez (c) vs. Dakota Kai - NXT Women’s Championship

Firm slap from Dakota to start things off, using her speed to avoid Raquel’s fury and strength advantage. Gonzalez fought her way out of an armbar, but before she could properly get her hands on Dakota, Kai had slipped away and to the outside. Gonzalez finally got into the swing of things with a couple of Scott Hall-esque Fallaway Slams, then rolled through a top-rope crossbody into a military press. Yakuza Kick out of nowhere by Dakota, but Raquel was rocked to the outside before Kai could get a pin attempt. Dakota was firmly in control after that huge kick, but her cockiness was her undoing as a fired up Gonzalez came right back into the contest.

Gonzalez went for the Chingona Bomb, but Dakota held on for an armbar, before eating the turnbuckle. Huge sit-out powerbomb from Raquel got a two, but Dakota fought on with a series of kicks, before a Kane-like reverse powerbomb to the top rope and onto the ramp halted Dakota’s momentum. Dakota rocked Gonzalez with several huge kicks and a flipping backstabber got a two count. Gonzalez went for a chokeslam but was whipped to the outside, before taking a massive double stomp back in the ring for another two.Cheeky Nandos from Kai set Raquel up for the Yakuza Kick, but Raquel caught it and hit a huge top-rope Chingona Bomb to retain the title.

Before Gonzalez could celebrate with the belt, Kay Lee Ray came out to stare the champ down.

Winner: Raquel Gonzalez

WALTER (c) vs. Ilja Dragunov - NXT UK Championship

Time for the rematch of the 2020 Match of the Year - WALTER Dragunov II. First chops of the night courtesy of Ilja, as Dragunov avoided Der Ring General’s offence in the opening sequences. Both men looked for the upper hand on the mat as they engaged in some crisp counter wrestling, with Ilja successfully slowing the giant Austrian down with a side headlock. WALTER went for the trademark chop, but Ilja had it scouted, working over WALTER’s arm to take that huge meaty limb out of the equation. It was no use though, as WALTER chopped Ilja to the outside from the top, before hitting a nasty apron powerbomb.

Ilja ate a big German suplex as the NXT UK Champion took firm control of the bout, as WALTER locked in a Boston Crab, before shifting into an STF, and eventually a side headlock. Standing blows from both men ended up in WALTER’s favour as he locked in a sleeper, but as he went for the powerbomb, Ilja flipped him out of it and hit two huge clotheslines before the champ sunk a big sambo suplex. Another vicious chop rocked the challenger, before a big boot took him off of his feet, but it fired Ilja up, as the two slugged each other in the middle of the ring. Dragunov backfisted WALTER repeatedly, before knocking him down with a stiff knee. A massive Kobashi lariat from the champ could only garner a two, and a follow up chop fired up Ilja, who rocked WALTER with a German suplex. Dragunov was a head of steam as he suplexed WALTER for a close two. Diving dropkick and a follow up senton from Ilja got him ready for the running headbutt, but WALTER had it scouted with a Sleeper Suplex. However Ilja took it like a pro and nailed a pair of Torpedo Moskaus for a close two. Standing chop battle came out in WALTER’s favour, but as he went up top he was caught with a superplex and a missile dropkick from Ilja as both men were rocked.

“Fight forever” chants as WALTER hit the Powerbomb, but he could only get a two count as the crowd reached fever pitch. Two disgusting slaps from WALTER led to a second powerbomb and the Superfly Splash, but again Ilja had the fortitude to kick out. This only angered the champ, but Dragunov rocked him with a turnbuckle Torpedo Moskau, before locking in the sleeper. WALTER fought out, but Ilja was determined to beat Der Ring General, locking in a second sleeper and chopping the tar out of WALTER as the champ tapped! After 869 days, WALTER’s NXT UK Championship reign is at an end, at the hands of Ilja Dragunov.

Ilja took his new championship, and planted his foot on the downed Ring General in celebration.

Winner and new NXT UK Champion: Ilja Dragunov

We heard from the new Million Dollar Champion Cameron Grimes and Ted DiBiase, as the Million Dollar Man put over the new champ, handed out some wads of cash, as Grimes said the party ain’t gonna stop and promised the two of them were going to the Moon.

William Regal caught up with Samoa Joe before his NXT Title Match tonight. Regal said although they’ve had their differences he wants Joe to kick Kross’ arse.

Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly - The Undisputed Finale; Three Stages of Hell

Both men were straight at it with kicks, and quickly fought to the outside as Kyle flattened Cole with a knee off of the apron in the first match - a straight wrestling match. Both men were back and forth with a series of high impact kicks and knees, before Kyle went for McGuinness jawbreaker lariat and a flying manoeuvre which was met with a superkick. Cole went for Panama Sunrise, but Kyle scouted it, and got th quick shock first fall.

Fall two - street fight. Kyle sat Cole down at ringside, placed a trashcan over him and crushed him with an apron dropkick, before throwing a host of weapons into the ring. Cole knocked Kyle off of the top to the outside and crushed his ribs into the announce table, before focusing more on the ribs with a steel chair. Kyle was in a bad way as Cole wailed on his midsection with a kendo stick, but a stick assisted backstabber could only get a two. Tribute to Britt Baker with The Lockjaw, but Kyle fought back with a series of standing strikes, although he couldn’t capitalise fully due to his injured ribs. Dragon Screw into the chair got Kyle back into it, before both men hit corresponding pump kicks to take each other out. Both Cole and O’Reilly wrapped chains round their fists and wailed one one another, before Cole got a close two-count after a superkick. The fight spilled to the entrance ramp, but as Kyle went for the brainbuster onto the steel steps, Cole fought out, and back in ring set two chairs up back-to-back. Kyle hit the OG Last Shot, but when he went up top for a stomp, Cole threw him onto the chairs, and hit the Last Shot for the pinfall.

Fall three - steel cage match. Medical staff attended to Kyle as the cage lowered, but Cole kicked him out of the ring and crushed him with a thudding powerbomb into the announce table. Cole dragged a limp Kyle back into the ring, and after several minutes Kyle got back to his feet and fall three got underway. Adam threw him into the cage a few times, but Kyle came back and forced Cole into the steel himself. O’Reilly with a Lost Shot in the middle of the ring, but could only get a two-count . The two soon found themselves on the top rope striking each other, before Cole managed to hit the Panama Sunrise - but again could only get a two-count. Cole produced a set of cuffs and attached Kyle to the top rope, before sinking two superkicks. As Cole went for a third, Kyle caught the leg and sank a leglock, as Cole tapped out!

Kyle O’Reilly got the last laugh, but is this goodbye for Adam Cole?

Winner: Kyle O’Reilly

We heard from a battered and bloody Ilja Dragunov, as he said Der Ring General had fallen, and long live The Tsar.

Legado Del Fantasma sent a message to Swerve Scott, saying Hit Row will find out that 'he laughs last, laughs longest'.

Karrion Kross (c) vs. Samoa Joe - NXT Championship

Good to see Samoa Joe back in an NXT Ring, but no sign of Scarlett as Karrion Kross made his way out for the match. Crowd were firmly behind Joe, as The Samoan Submission Machine unloaded on the champ. Kross got a few licks, but Joe quickly locked in The Coquina Clutch, before eating the Saito Suplex, and an elbow to the beck of the head sent Joe outside. The two went back and forth, as Kross went for another Doomsday Saito and an ankle lock, before Joe sent Kross back outside, and hit the tope suicida. Back in ring Kross continued to assault Joe, hitting yet another Saito Suplex, but again could only get a two-count. Joe hit the snap powerslam for a two count, then the powerbomb-into-STF-into-Crossface combo - vintage Samoa Joe. Kross peppered Joe with more strikes and a DDT, but Joe replied with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Joe was fired up and firmly in control, locking in The Coquina Clutch in the centre of the ring, complete with grapevine. However, Kross rolled through and locked in the Krossjacket, but Joe fought out, only to eat an elbow to the head. Joe flattened the champ with a uranage and a massive enziguiri, THEN THE MUSCLE BUSTER FOR THE THREE. Samoa Joe is the winner, and the first ever three-time NXT Champion.

Winner and new NXT Champion: Samoa Joe

Full results:

  • Samoa Joe def. Karrion Kross (c) - NXT Championship
  • Kyle O’Reilly def. Adam Cole - The Undisputed Finale; Three Stages of Hell
  • Ilja Dragunov def. WALTER (c) - NXT UK Championship
  • Raquel Gonzalez (c) def. Dakota Kai - NXT Women’s Championship
  • Cameron Grimes def. LA Knight (c) - Million Dollar Championship
  • Ridge Holland def. Trey Baxter - Kickoff Show

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Written by Jack Atkins

Scripts, news, and features writer. Anything with words, basically.