WWE runs the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the first time this weekend this evening, as they present the first NXT TakeOver special of 2018.
NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia airs live on the WWE Network this evening. If you don't have a WWE Network subscription, fear not, we have you covered!
We will be providing detailed, live play-by-play results coverage of tonight's NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia event as soon as the show begins. Make sure to bookmark this page and return later this evening for the live coverage.
NXT TAKEOVER: PHILADELPHIA KICKOFF SHOW
The pre-show for tonight's NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia special is about to get underway momentarily. Stay tuned for live results coverage of tonight's show.
We shoot live to the opening WWE "Then, Now, Forever" montage. From there, we see a blimp view outside the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia as we hear Charly Caruso introducing us to the NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia pre-show.
We kick it to the pre-show panel as Caruso introduces her panel guests for this evening, Sam Roberts and Samoa Joe. The three talk about their excitement for tonight's show.
The panel runs down some of tonight's matches and give their take and predictions on them. From there, we shoot to Renee Young and Corey Graves who reveal some of the NXT end of the year award winners.
They announce the winner for the NXT Rivalry of the Year for 2017. The honors go to Aleister Black vs. The Velveteen Dream. A video package on their feud in 2017 airs. The Velveteen Dream enters to accept the award. Young hands him the trophy, which is a golden ring bell. The Velveteen Dream cuts a promo. He promises a 30-second knockout of the knockout artist, Kassius Ohno, at tonight's show.
They kick it to Kayla Braxton, who is outside of the Wells Fargo Center with the rabid members of the WWE Universe. NXT fans are on hard in force this evening, as they stand in the background cheering and chanting "N-X-T!" as Braxton talks about tonight's show and some of the NXT Year End Awards. We go back to Young and Graves who reveal the next award.
Young and Graves say that this is a big award. They reveal that they are about to announce the NXT Male Superstar of the Year for 2017. They run video packages on the nominess. The winner is Aleister Black. He arrives to accept the award and cuts a promo. Young tells him he also won the NXT Breakout Superstar of the Year for 2017.
We shoot back to the panel who run down some more matches on tonight's card. From there, we head back to Renee Young and Corey Graves. They introduce the NXT Female Competitor of the Year for 2017 award. The winner is Asuka. She arrives and cuts a promo about being ready for the first-ever Women's Royal Rumble match tomorrow night. Now we run clips showing the nominees for NXT Match of the Year for 2017. The winner is the Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne match for the U.K. Title at NXT TakeOver: Chicago 2017. Bate arrives to cut a promo.
We go back to the panel. Pete Dunne has joined the gang at the desk. He talks about winning the Match of the Year award and his year in 2017.
We go to ringside where we see Percy Watson and Mauro Ranallo. The two talk about the feeling inside the building and the stacked lineup for tonight's show. They run down some of tonight's matches and give their insight on them.
After the panel breaks down some more of tonight's matches, we go back to the NXT Year End Awards. Renee Young and Corey Graves are now on the stage in the arena and they introduce the nominess for the Overall Competitor of the Year for 2017 in NXT. The video packages for the nominees airs. The winner is Asuka. Asuka makes her real ring entrance to come out and accept the award. She holds up the golden ring bell trophy as the crowd inside the Wells Fargo Center cheers. We head back to the panel for some more pre-show commentary.
Zelina Vega joins the pre-show panel and complains forever about Andrade "Cien" Almas not winning any awards in the NXT Year End Awards for 2017. She continues to kill time, as there is 6 minutes left on the Kickoff Show. NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia is just minutes away, folks! Stay tuned for live results coverage of the show. The panel wraps up the pre-show by delivering a final hard sell for a free trial subscription to the WWE Network at WWENetwork.com. It's time for the real deal! NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia goes live ...now!
NXT TAKEOVER: PHILADELPHIA
The video package for tonight's NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia special event airs, highlighting the top feuds and matches heading into tonight's show, the first NXT TakeOver of 2018.
We shoot to ringside where Mauro Ranallo and Percy Watson introduce us to tonight's show. Nigel McGuinness is sick, so they will be a two-man announce team tonight. We head to the ring for our first championship match of the evening.
NXT Tag-Team Championship
* Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly (C) vs. The Authors Of Pain
The video package for our first match, which is for the NXT Tag-Team Championship, airs. Both teams make their way to the ring, the ring announcer gives the official pre-match introductions, the bell sounds and here we go with our first match of the evening.
This was an excellent opening contest, which saw Razar and O'Reilly in particular working really well together. The finish saw O'Reilly pin Akam with a schoolboy in a hectic finishing sequence.
The Authors of Pain hit the Super Collider at one point, however he he could be slammed down, O'Reilly hit Akam with a Hurricanrana, which sent Akam into Rezar, which knocked him out of the ring. Akam sold his knee injury, which let The Undisputed ERA get some heat from the fans inside the Wells Fargo Center. Fish at one point hit a massive spear on Rezar through the ropes and onto the floor.
Winners and STILL NXT Tag-Team Champions: Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly
Kassius Ohno vs. The Velveteen Dream
Our one-on-one contest between Ohno and The Velveteen Dream is up next. Remember, The Velveteen Dream promised to knock out the knockout artist, Kassius Ohno, inside 30 seconds in this match. Our second bout of the evening is now in progress.
The finish in this one saw The Velveteen Dream win with a Rolling Death Valley Driver and a Purple Rainmarker off the ring post instead of the top rope.
The Velveteen Dream did hit a knockout shot on Kassius Ohno at the 30 second mark as promised, however he celebrated and never pinned him, so the match ended up continuing.
Winner: The Velveteen Dream
NXT Women's Championship
* Ember Moon (C) vs. Shayna Baszler
The video package for tonight's highly-anticipated NXT Women's Championship match is airing now. Our third match of the evening is coming up in just a moment, stay tuned.
This turned out to be somewhat of a new type of match that the crowd didn't fully seem to be with at all times. The finish saw Baszler attempt an armbar for nearly four minutes while Moon tried to get out of it. Finally, she was able to roll Baszler into a cradle pin for the 1-2-3 to retain her title.
They let "The Queen of Spades" do a UFC-tyle entrance where they followed her from the locker room to the ring, ala Bill Goldberg in WCW. A lot of Baszler's offense in this one was submission-heavy, which felt like a series of rest holds in pro wrestling lingo at times.
After the match was over, Moon celebrated until Baszler grabbed her in the aisle and locked her in the Rear Naked Choke.
Winner and STILL NXT Women's Champion: Ember Moon
Extreme Rules Match
* Adam Cole vs. Aleister Black
The video package for tonight's Extreme Rules Match between Adam Cole and Aleister Black airs. Both men make their way to the ring for what will be tonight's co-main event.
The bell rings and here we go. The fans chant "This Is Awesome" before anything happens. Cole blasts Black with some vicious kicks early on. Cole goes out to the rope and grabs a steel chair. The fans chant "E-C-W" as Cole brings the chair in to the ring while Black sits Indian style in the center of the ring. Since this is an extreme rules match the chair is legal.
Cole gets in the ring and swings but misses and he retreats to the floor while Black stares him down in the ring. Black takes the chair Cole had, unfolds it and sits defiantly in the ring, staring Cole down hard.
At one point, Cole somehow got his hand busted open bad enough that the match was temporarily stopped while the medical crew cleaned him up. We get some ladder spots mixed in now, with the brutality in this one picking up quite a bit. Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly tried to interfere, leading to SAnitY members Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe coming out to make the save. Killian Dain hit a suicide dive to all four men on the floor to clear all of them out of the picture.
The finish in this one saw Black pin Cole with the Black Mass after Cole tried to hit him with a chair. This was a pretty good Extreme Rules gimmick match.
Winner: Aleister Black
Ethan Carter III (EC3) Is In The House
Throughout the evening they have been showing new talents and celebrities sitting at ringside during the show, such as Ricochet (Trevor Mann), War Machine and Maria Menounos. Now they just showed EC3 (Ethan Carter III) sitting in the crowd.
NXT World Championship
* Andrade "Cien" Almas (C) vs. Johnny Gargano
The video package for our main event, the NXT World Championship match between current title-holder Andrade "Cien" Almas and number one contender Johnny Gargano airs. Our final match of the evening will be getting underway momentarily, stay tuned.
Both men make their elaborate entrances to the ring and the announcer does the formal pre-match introductions for our main event. The bell sounds and here we go. The announcers sell the fact that Gargano is 0-2 against the champion. These two lock up and immediately start going back-and-forth in old-school wrestling fashion. As the match goes it, it starts to feel like a big 1980s NWA match. They are giving this match a lot of time, as we're already 15 minutes past the 10pm EST. mark.
Gargano and Almas work on the mat until finally Gargano starts to fire up and try and get to a finish. Gargano spikes Almas into the turnbuckle. He starts nailing his finishers and scoring very close near falls that the crowd are completely biting on. The momentum is definitely in Gargano's favor right now, but he's having trouble finishing off the champion. Mauro Ranallo is doing an excellent job selling how big of a deal this is in Gargano's life and career. The fans break out into a thunderous "This Is Awesome" chant.
Gargano climbs to the top turnbuckle, but Almas cuts him off and crotches him. Almas puts Gargano laid across the middle ropes, climbs to the top rope himself and leaps into a flying double stomp on Gargano below. Gargano is beat to a pulp on the floor now as Almas rolls him into the ring and Ranallo goes bonkers on commentary. The referee asks Gargano if he can continue and seconds later Almas comes flying into the corner with a big knee to Gargano's face. He tries pinning him but Gargano kicks out. The announcers and Almas and Vega on the outside of the ring are selling the fact that now Almas is having trouble finishing off Gargano. The crowd is eating all of this up.
A seemingly lifeless Gargano and Almas start trading punches and chops in the center of the ring. The crowd reacts to each shot. Gargano catches Almas with a super kick and a wicked hurricanrana. Gargano is amping up now and the crowd is getting just as passionate in the background. Gargano with a tilt-a-whirl into his Gargano Escape submission finisher. The crowd explodes as Almas struggles in the middle of the ring in the hold. Almas tries rolling out of it but Gargano sinches it up tighter. Almas is trying with everything in him to get to the ropes, but it's not happening. Vega distracts the ref from the floor and Almas uses an illegal eye gouge to get out of Gargano's submission finisher. Almas goes to take advantage but Gargano throws Almas out to the floor. He hits a big suicide dive onto Almas on the floor, but Vega gets involved and hurricanrana's Gargano into the ring stairs. Almas brings Gargano in the ring, hits a hammerlock DDT and covers him. 1-2...NO! Gargano kicks out and Mauro Ranallo and Percy Watson almost have a heart attack. The crowd is going absolutely berzerk right now.
Ranallo sells the underdog Daniel Bryan story for Gargano on commentary while the fans break out into a "Johnny Wrestling!" chant. Vega again distracts the referee. She goes to attack Gargano, but his wife, Candice LaRae, jumps the guard rail and goes crazy attacking Vega. She beats her into the crowd and they fight out of the arena.
Back in the ring, Almas is laid out as Gargano comes back into the ring slowly. The fans break out into a "Thank You Candice!" chant as Gargano uses the ropes to get back to his feet. He blasts Almas with a kick and hits a sunset flip for another close near fall attempt. Gargano puts Almas back into his Gargano Escape submission finisher. The crowd is going nuts sensing a finish, however Almas gets his foot on the ropes to break the old. What a giant let-down for the fans, and Mauro Ranallo on commentary.
Almas puts Gargano's head against the ringside post, outside of the ropes on the ring apron while he was seated. He runs and slams a knee into his face, with only the ring post as his "give." That looked brutal. Gargano sells it with the blank concussion stare. Ranallo questions if Gargano needs saved from himself. Almas hits a hammerlock DDT on Gargano off the middle ropes. He covers him. 1-2-3. Almas retains in an absolutely epic NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia main event. Your winner, and still the NXT World Champion -- Andrade "Cien" Almas.
Winner and STILL NXT World Champion: Andrade "Cien" Almas
After The Match: Tommaso Ciampa Attacks Gargano
Tommaso Ciampa attacks Gargano after we watch Gargano slowly make it to his feet after his grueling main event. Ciampa blasted Gargano from behind with a crutch and stared down at his former tag-team partner in pain as LaRae consoles him. The fans chant "A**hole!" at Ciampa as Gargano sells the attack and the show silently goes off the air.