With NXT celebrating its 30th Takeover show on Saturday, Rushonrock’s king of the ring Andy Spoors gives us his rundown of the best arena-flattening tunes to have graced the event…
10) NXT Takeover: Dallas – Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes – Devil Inside Of Me
Used as the soundtrack to Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe, this track superbly paired with the visceral nature of the pair’s feud. Joe’s obsession with not only capturing the NXT title, but systematically destroying the Demon King pushed both men into becoming household names for the WWE Universe.
9) NXT Takeover: Orlando – I Prevail – Come and Get It
The arrival of Aleister Black in NXT heralded the brand’s first fully embraced metal Superstar (sorry Baron Corbin). A real line in the sand moment, the quality had always been there for Takeover events, but Orlando arguably saw the consistency over the entire card hit a new level.
“Welcome to our stomping grounds. Where the kids throw down and the shit gets loud. This is an invitation to get the fuck out if you can’t take it.”
8) NXT Takeover: Dallas – Halestorm – Mayhem
The sickly-sweet hugger persona of Bayley perfectly juxtaposed new arrival Asuka as the latter pushed the former NXT Women’s Champion to find the next level to keep hold of her title. It wasn’t to be and instead marked the beginning of Asuka’s undefeated streak and gave a glimpse of just how dominant the Empress of Tomorrow would be.
“A little mayhem never hurt anyone, when am I gonna get some?”
7) NXT Takeover: Chicago – Fozzy – Judas
The foreboding title of WWE legend Chris Jericho’s Fozzy hit track became a stark reality for reasons that became all too clear at the end of the show. One of the ultimate betrayals in NXT followed a fantastic main event, as DIY spectacularly imploded when Tomasso Ciampa astonishingly attacked Johnny Gargano to set up the best feud in decades.
“What have I become now that I’ve betrayed, everyone I’ve loved and pushed them all away?”
6) NXT Takeover: Respect – Bring Me The Horizon – Throne
Bayley vs Sasha Banks in a 30 minute Iron Man Match…
Far removed from the current double champs and best friend storyline Banks and Bayley find themselves in heading in to Summerslam, the pair were embroiled in a feud containing some of the most memorable women’s matches NXT has seen to date. This may not have been their final match together but Bring Me The Horizon’s nu-metal hit about creating your own throne from past experiences created a perfect soundtrack.
“The sticks and the stones that you used to throw have built me an empire. So don’t even try to cry me a river. ‘Cause I forgive you, you are the reason I still fight.”
5) NXT Takeover: London – The Struts – Could Have Been Me
The first and only Takeover event outside North America celebrated by tinging the soundtrack with British rock including Motörhead’s Ace Of Spades. NXT has always shown a penchant for showcasing up and coming rock and metal acts, so the inclusion of Derby rockers, The Struts was more than welcome. The main event that night included a Jack The Ripper-inspired Finn Balor taking on Samoa Joe.
4) NXT Takeover: New York – Billie Eilish – You Should See Me In A Crown
Before hitting the mainstream, NXT selected an upcoming talent by the name of Billie Eilish to provide one of the themes for the New York coined Takeover (despite taking place in Brooklyn). Shortly after the event Eilish’s Bad Guy catapulted her into a household name, but NXT proved ahead of the curve once again.
This Takeover show marked Johnny Gargano’s ascent to the top of the mountain as he defeated Adam Cole for the NXT Championship – finally grabbing the elusive crown that had been snatched away so many times before.
“Bite my tongue, bide my time. Wearing a warning sign. Wait ’til the world is mine.”
3) NXT Takeover: Toronto – Slipknot – Unsainted
The current providers of the weekly NXT theme, Slipknot, are another act that enjoys something of a special relationship with the black and gold brand. The atmospheric beginning to Unsainted before the inevitable crescendo dovetailed perfectly with the 2 out of 3 falls match between Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole.
Gargano, the perennial good guy finding himself the recipient of boos and a heel Adam Cole receiving cheers from a vocal Canadian crowd mirroring Corey Taylor’s lyrics.
“I’ll never kill myself to save my soul. I was gone, but how was I to know? I didn’t come this far to sink so low. I’m finally holding on to letting go.”
2) NXT Takeover: Portland – Poppy – Fill The Crown & Anything Like Me
Live music performances at WWE events have long been balanced on a knife edge. Bigger names in the music industry have been mercilessly booed from start to finish, so for Poppy to open the Portland Takeover with two songs speaks volumes. Previously singing Io Shirai to the ring, the company hold Poppy in high regard.
A throwback to an era when WWE freely embraced metal and seemingly dressed as a Power Ranger villain, the 25-year-old received a huge ovation for her mini set.
1) NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 4 – grandson – Blood//Water
One of the best rivalries WWE, let alone NXT has ever witnessed, deserved a theme tune fit for the occasion. The once best friends Ciampa and Gargano tore each other apart in a Last Man Standing match for the ages. Drawing inspiration from their previous bouts, fans were treated to DDTs to the unprotected wooden ring boards, handcuffs and a heart-breaking conclusion.
Blood may be thicker than water but when best friends fall apart in wrestling, they do it spectacularly…
“Beg me for mercy, admit you were toxic. You poisoned me just for another dollar in your pocket. Now I am the violence…”
Photo credit: WWE.