NXT TakeOver: Portland Review - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

NXT TakeOver: Portland Review - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Dallas Allsopp Thursday, February 20, 2020
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Dallas Allsopp, Bodeen Green and Greg Coleman will be reviewing the recent NXT TakeOver: Portland pay-per-view.

NXT TakeOver: Portland was the final stop on the road to NXT TakeOver: Tampa, with wrestlers determined to prove they deserve a spot at the biggest show of the year. Tommaso Ciampa was determined to reclaim his beloved Goldy, whilst Rhea Ripley was eager to prove to Charlotte Flair that her challenge should be accepted. But just how good was the event, and what will the ramifications be as we work towards NXT TakeOver: Tampa?

Question 1: Dakota Kai defeated Tegan Nox with assistance from Raquel Gonzalez. Will this union allow her to challenge for the NXT Women’s Championship in 2020? Did she deserve to go over Nox?

ALLSOPP: Dakota Kai is a thoroughly entertaining wrestler, however she can now make her mark within the women's division with Raquel Gonzalez by her side, who can fulfil the same role that Diesel played to Shawn Michaels in the 90's. Kai is a true heel, therefore it only makes sense for her to use the size advantage of Gonzalez. There isn't really anyone who can match Gonzalez's imposing presence in the women's division, therefore this gives Kai a distinguishable x factor. I expect her to not only succeed in NXT in 2020, but crush it as she becomes NXT Women's Champion with assistance from Gonzalez. She deservedly beat Tegan Nox, although I expect their feud to continue for a few more weeks.

GREEN: Although Dakota Kai beat her former friend Tegan Nox, I definitely don't see this as the end of their feud. With Raquel Gonzalez making her debut at NXT TakeOver: Portland, it is clear that NXT see a lot of potential in her, and have big plans for her. As for Kai, I don't see her in the NXT Women's Championship picture just yet, mainly due to the fact that Rhea Ripley will be defending her title against Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 36. However, if Ripley retains and Kai continues her momentum, I can definitely see her getting a title match later in the year.

COLEMAN: Yes, this union will eventually get Dakota Kai a NXT Women’s Championship opportunity at some point in 2020, as she now has a heavy that can help her cheat in high profile matches. She deserved to go over Tegan Nox because it was necessary to build her heel character and get more heat. This also continues the rivalry, as Nox can now go get Mia Yim or a debuting NXT women’s wrestler for back up.

Question 2: Finn Balor put down a marker with his victory over Johnny Gargano. What did you think of their match, and what is next for both men?

GREEN: Both men had an extremely hard job due to their spot on the card, being forced to slow the action down at first to allow the crowd to get their breath back after an intense street fight, in addition to the exciting NXT North American Championship match. Despite this, both men put on an amazing match which benefited the both of them. As for the effects it will have on both men, I can definitely see Finn Balor getting a title opportunity in the future, potentially challenging Keith Lee for the NXT North American Championship at NXT TakeOver: Tampa. As for what is next for Johnny Gargano, it is almost certain that he will face Tommaso Ciampa at NXT TakeOver: Tampa after turning heel, which is a match fans were robbed of a year ago after Ciampa's neck surgery.

COLEMAN: Their match was better than I expected, and my expectations were high. NXT Finn Balor is a completely different animal, kind of how they used to talk about Sunday Tiger in Tiger Woods’ prime. If not for Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic, it would’ve been the best match on the card. Balor has nowhere else to go but to the NXT Championship. In his past 2 NXT TakeOver events he has beaten Matt Riddle and Johnny Gargano, therefore the next stop is Balor vs Adam Cole II, which will probably put the 2 longest reigning NXT Champions in history against each other to determine who is the greatest NXT Champion ever.

Gargano clearly goes into a feud with Tommaso Ciampa, however he’s now the heel and Ciampa is the face. I don’t mind the feud, and feel the role reversal is a fresh look for the rivalry. However, I feel NXT dropped the ball with how they went about it. Gargano and Ciampa should’ve gotten back together as a tag team and had Gargano turned on Ciampa during a title match with The Broserweights. This would be a good time to have the first hell in a cell match in NXT history, or even an I quit match.

ALLSOPP: This match was simply incredible. Finn Balor is revelling as The Prince, which harkens back to his successful days in New Japan Pro Wrestling as Prince Devitt. Balor is quite frankly a license to print money, especially in NXT, which means his next opponent should be Adam Cole in a titanic fight for the NXT Championship. Not only would this validate The Prince character, but it would bring even more prestige to the NXT Championship. Johnny Gargano will undoubtedly face off against Tommaso Ciampa in a violent match, which should lead to them moving to the main roster.

Question 3: Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic put on a wrestling classic in the opening match. Were you impressed by Dijakovic?

COLEMAN: I was extremely impressed with Dominik Dijakovic. I don’t know how long he will stay in NXT because he could instantly step into the United States or Intercontinental Championship pictures and be an asset. Selfishly, I would love to see him and Keith Lee compete again, with Dijakovic taking the NXT North American title off Lee to allow him to chase the NXT Championship.

ALLSOPP: I was surprised at just how well Dominik Dijakovic came across. He thoroughly rose to the challenge of competing against Keith Lee, a wrestler who had one of the best breakout years in WWE for a long time. Dijakovic made fans believe he was going to win, which is impressive as Lee seemed nailed on to win. Dijakovic is seemingly poised to challenge Lee again, but I hope it leads to a loss and a heel turn so he can spend a year working towards the NXT Championship, a storyline narrative that would set him up for long term success within WWE.

GREEN: It's been said a thousand times, but guys the size of Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic should not be able to move the way they do. Their ability to blend speed, power and agility is just simply amazing. Both men have such great chemistry with each other, and are able to keep things feeling fresh despite the fact they have faced each other on numerous occasions. Whilst Lee was able to win the match, Dijakovic looked extremely strong, and even in defeat looks like a future champion.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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Dallas Allsopp is a writer with two main interests, Pokemon and wrestling. He has been writing for a few years for his own personal blogs and is now taking his passion for wrestling and putting it into his writing. You can follow him on Facebook.


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