Charlotte Flair challenged Rhea Ripley to a match at WrestleMania 36.
WWE NXT TakeOver: Portland was a stacked wrestling card that started out hot as Keith Lee defeated Donovan Dijakovic in yet another instant classic between the two.
The Broserweights (Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne) became WWE NXT tag team champions while Adam Cole retained the WWE NXT Championship over Tommaso Ciampa in the main event following a Johnny Gargano heel turn.
The biggest news of the night came when Charlotte Flair shockingly appeared, attacking Rhea Ripley following Ripley’s win over Bianca Belair. Flair challenged Ripley for the WWE NXT Championship at WrestleMania 36.
Last week’s episode of WWE NXT drew 757,000 viewers, suffering yet another head-to-head loss to AEW Dynamite, which garnered 817,000 viewers.
WWE NXT TakeOver: Portland Key Competition
- 2020 NBA All-Star Game
From the Forbes WWE Vault:
WWE NXT Total YouTube Viewership for Go-Home Show: 1,621,539 views
- Most-Viewed: The BroserWeights Sneak on Triple H’s Plane: 278,058
- Least-Viewed: Tommaso Ciampa Plans on Getting his Live Back in Portland (45,233)
- Median Viewership: 137,395
WWE NXT TakeOver: Portland—Estimated Attendance: in A City:
Average Ticket Price at the Moda Center: $85
WWE Average Attendance for “A City”: 9,235
Estimated Live Gate at WWE NXT TakeOver: Portland—$784,975
Keith Lee def. Donovan Dijakovic—WWE NXT North American Championship
Keith Lee was sporting a t-shirt that said “Mayberry Strong,” and for obvious reasons I thought he was peculiarly supporting Roderick Strong.
Donovan Dijakovic wears Okada’s ring gear and as great as he is, he will never be Okada. Perhaps he could switch to tights?
The first big-man hurricanrana came in this match’s first minute. These men are guaranteed not to disappoint.
Dijakovic’s dive to the outside on an office chair with Keith Lee siting in it was one of the most accurate wrestling moves I’ve ever seen.
The true art in all this was Lee and Dijakovic’s ability to get fans this worked up for a matchup they’ve seen countless times. Always different. Always fresh. Always scares me half to death at some points. This was brilliant.
This match proved that even as big men evolve in athleticism, wrestling fans love a monster truck massacre between two giants.
Dakota Kai def. Tegan Nox
It was very refreshing a WWE grudge match start with a wild brawl as opposed to a tie up after patiently awaiting one another’s entrances.
Tegan Nox hit an awkward and scary looking butt bump to Dakota Kai (in a trash can). It looked liked she overshot a drop kick and accidentally landed on her back, but she sold it so well and the announcers put it over as her risking her own body in a blood feud. Everything worked out.
Tegan Nox hit the table and it didn’t break but it slipped from under her, and believe me when I say the latter looked so much more painful.
Finn Balor def. Johnny Gargano
This feud’s supblot was essentially to bury “the old Finn Balor” as dead and gone, which means if and when Finn comes back to the main roster, he’ll be a heel. One can only hope.
This match received a massive pre-match pop. Every Johnny Gargano NXT TakeOver match should.
Fans applauded Finn Balor as he performed pushups while trapping Gargano in a head scissors, but they dropped the ball by not counting how many pushups he did.
This match featured Finn Balor literally knocking Johnny Gargano’s tooth out. Ouch.
As good as this match was, Johnny TakeOver matches have an extremely high bar and this one came just below it.
Rhea Ripley def. Bianca Belair—WWE NXT Women’s Championship
Nigel McGuinness had to read one of Bianca Belair’s tweets in an English accent and it was every bit as hilarious as you would imagine.
This match hardly struggled to follow a very good Johnny TakeOver match, which was a victory in and of itself.
Bianca Belair was flying all over the ring in this one and Rhea Ripley did a great job keeping up with her.
These two women wrestled their way to becoming two of the biggest stars in the building until Charlotte Flair showed up.
The Broserweights def. The Undisputed Era—WWE NXT Tag Team Championship
Intentional humor or not, Matt Riddle hilariously had to read his t-shirt to remember his Bobby Fish riddle.
Matt Riddle flawlessly delivered the Bobby Fish tongue-twister, yet somehow managed to flub the words “Broserweights.”
Nigel McGuinness on Bobby Fish: “How many legs could Bobby Fish break if Bobby Fish could break legs?”
This match reached a new gear every five minutes without fail.
Adam Cole vs. Tommaso Ciampa—WWE NXT Championship
Tommaso Ciampa has an excellent connection with his fanbase.
WWE is obsessed with exploiting real-life injuries during a wrestling match for shock value and it’s really not as effective as they think it is.
So. Many. Near. Falls!
This match appeared to hit a wall with this crowd as it reached its climactic stages, but they fought through it and finished strong.
Heel Johnny Gargano feels like a much-needed change of pace for the man.