Though the recent NXT releases didn't do much to really change the face of the "Black and Gold" brand it did shake up the foundation of the brand. On a card filled with long term story telling taking center stage it also the moment that will be bringing NXT into the next phase. For example, current NXT Women's champion Raquel Gonzalez was brought into NXT as the bodyguard of Dakota Kai who is her opponent tonight. This rivalry has similar roots to the Diesel vs Shawn Michaels rivalry from 1994-95 the only question is it having the same results.
In my opinion, some of the best programming of the last few months has been given to us from Cameron Grimes and Ted DiBiase with LA Knight fitting in like a glove. Knight's confidence has grown since his arrival in NXT a few months back, and even in defeat so has the stock of Cameron Grimes. Every now and then WWE shows they still know the best way to prove that some legends can be assets to television instead of liabilities. Grimes has tapping into his inner Damien Sandow as the butler for LA Knight recently and this match is the final straw for the rivalry. Knight has enough momentum to take one of his first loses in recent memory and finally give something back to the underdog who has won both the fans over and the "Million Dollar Man."
One thing missing from this show seems to be any involvement from one of the feuds that has seen intensity rising weekly and it's over the NXT North American Championship. Santos Escobar and Isiah Scott have been tangling in brawls seemingly every week with the tensions and temperature rising on a week to week basis. I know that Takeover 36 has the matches to spotlight and you don't want this to take away from any other match, but it'll be interesting to see if anything happens between the factions.
At this point, not much is needed to be said about the three other matches set for the event on Sunday. Kross and Samoa Joe became a match people wanted to see from the moment that Joe returned to NXT a few months ago. It seems likely that Joe has taken the spot once occupied by Finn Balor as the brands veteran, but it is hard to tell if a win is needed to give him credibility or Kross needs a little more seasoning. Two of the biggest matches on the card though that need no conversation about are the likely main event between Adam Cole and Kyle O' Riley and the UK World Champion Walter vs Ilja Dragunov.
It is entirely likely that this Takeover is the last we see of Adam Cole in NXT and is one of the many reasons why Takeover 36 needs to stand and deliver. In my opinion, this Takeover closes a chapter in cases of NXT's past and will open the door for the future of the "Black and Gold" brand.
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