The time has finally come!
WWE runs the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut tonight for the milestone NXT TakeOver: XXV live special.
NXT TakeOver: XXV is scheduled to kick off at 7pm Eastern Time this evening on the WWE Network. The show will feature a 30-minute pre-show streaming live on the WWE Network, WWE.com, as well as WWE's official Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.
Headlining tonight's show is the NXT Championship rematch between current title-holder Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole, as well as the NXT Women's Championship showdown between Shayna Baszler and Io Shirai.
Also on tap for the special is a four-team Ladder Match for the vacant NXT Tag-Team Championships. The match will include The Undisputed ERA (Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish), The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford), The Forgotten Sons (Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler) and the team of Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch.
The show will also feature NXT North American Champion Velveteen Dream defending his title against Tyler Breeze, as well as a one-on-one showdown between Matt Riddle and Roderick Strong.
For potential NXT TakeOver: XXV spoilers for tonight, check out the NXT TakeOver: XXV Betting Odds.
NXT TAKEOVER: XXV PRE-SHOW
The 30-minute lead-in to tonight's live special from the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut is also airing live for free right now via WWE's YouTube channel, WWE's Facebook page, WWE's Twitter feed and on the WWE App.
Check out the complete video of the NXT TakeOver: XXV pre-show directly by clicking here.
NXT TAKEOVER: XXV RESULTS
The main show opens with the usual elaborate, bad-ass opening video package. This one was extra special, as tonight's show is the milestone 25th event in NXT TakeOver chronology.
The video package also took a look at the journey for the top few NXT Superstars as they prepared for tonight's top matches, including Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole in a rematch for the NXT Championship and Shayna Baszler vs. Io Shirai for the NXT Women's Championship.
From there, an excited Mauro Ranallo welcomes us to NXT TakeOver: XXV inside the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT. He introduces "The Glamazon" Beth Phoenix and Nigel McGuinness as we see the three-person broadcast team at the announce table at ringside for tonight's event.
Roderick Strong vs. Matt Riddle
"And we begin tonight with a shock to the system," says Ranallo, as The Undisputed ERA graphics are shown on the big screen at the entrance stage and Roderick Strong makes his way down to the ring. His one-on-one showdown against Matt Riddle will kick things off inside the squared circle here at NXT TakeOver: XXV.
The bell sounds to make this one official and the crowd is already on fire with chants of "Bro" for Riddle. Now some chants for Strong and Undisputed ERA break out. The two begin to go at it, with the action being pretty even from an offensive perspective thus far.
Strong starts to take control of the offense now, focusing his attack on the back of Riddle, or at least that is what the announcers are focusing on every time Strong slams Riddle or does a move that results in Riddle bumping on the mat. Strong hits an Olympic Slam for a near fall, after which, Riddle finally starting to make his first comeback.
Riddle keeps fighting back and now the two are fighting back-and-forth, with neither guy in firm control of the action. Riddle is working over Strong with a variety of kicks now as the crowd gets into the action again.
We see Riddle blast Strong with a GTS before a big German Suplex for a close near fall. Strong is fighting back now, nailing Riddle, who was seated on the top rope, with an Enziguiri from the mat. Strong goes up and follows-up with a superplex off the top for a close near fall. Strong pounds the mat in frustration when he only got a two count.
Both guys are back to their feet and blasting each other back-and-forth with punches. Strong fires up and takes over, finishing with the closest near fall of the match, after which the crowd gave a standing ovation followed by a passionate "NXT! NXT!" chant. Strong goes back to work on Riddle, but Riddle knocks him out to the floor.
Back in the ring, Riddle hits a big rip-cord knee strike to the face followed by a huge powerbomb. Riddle hits a Final Flex knee strike for his closest near fall of the match. The crowd again gets into the action. Riddle goes to the top rope for a high spot, but he lands back-first on the knees of Strong.
Strong follows-up with a big powerbomb but only gets 2 1/2 on the pin attempt. Wow. The crowd energy picks up yet another level. Strong has a knee-to-the-back sharpshooter / scorpion death lock on, which Riddle reverses into a submissio of his own. It looks somewhat like Eddie Bravo's rare Twister submission. Strong manages to survive. Finally, Riddle hits his cradle tombstone finisher and gets the 1-2-3.
What an excellent opening contest here at NXT TakeOver: XXV. The fans give Riddle and Strong a standing ovation after the finish. We see some highlights as the announcers put over the quality of the action. Great match.
Winner: Matt Riddle
Backstage: Johnny Gargano Prepares
After a couple of commercials, we see NXT Champion Johnny Gargano backstage warming up and preparing for his rematch against Adam Cole, with his title on the line, in tonight's main event.
Shawn Michaels & Road Dogg Are Front Row
From there, we shoot to ringside where we see a couple of WWE Hall Of Famers sitting front row. Shawn Michaels and Road Dogg Brian James are shown sitting together in the front row as Mauro Ranallo puts over Road Dogg's work behind-the-scenes at NXT, as well as Michaels' work with NXT and the WWE Performance Center.
NXT Tag-Team Championships
(Fatal-4-Way Ladder Match)
* The Undisputed ERA (Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish) vs. The Forgotten Sons (Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler) vs. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
The video package for our Fatal-4-Way tag-team ladder match for the vacant NXT Tag-Team Championships airs. The ladder match is up next.
We shoot back inside the Webster Bank Arena where The Street Profits' theme song plays and out comes Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford. The music for The Forgotten Sons plays and out comes Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler. Next, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch's theme plays and they make their way to the ring. Finally, the music for The Undisputed ERA hits the speakers and the fans pop as Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish head to the ring.
With the pre-match video package, the ring entrances and pre-match introductions out of the way, it is time for our first of four championship matches remaining here at NXT TakeOver: XXV.
The bell rings and it doesn't take long for this one to get going. Within minutes there's ladders in the ring and bodies flying all over the place. #NXTTakeOver is now Trending #1 Worldwide on Twitter, as Ranallo informs us on commentary.
Back in the ring, the the ladders on each side of their head, using them as battering rams to take out each team. Out of nowhere, Burch and Lorcan get behind them and hit suplexes that drop The Forgotten Sons on their heads hard. Now we have a big frog splash spot and another ladder being spiked into the ribs of other competitors.
The ladder is draped across the ropes now as we see a leapfrog splash spot onto the ladder bridge. Now everyone is taking bumps on the ladder bridge set-up.
With a ladder set up in the middle of the ring, one member of The Undisputed ERA climbs while the other plays defense like a football game on the mat. Out of nowhere, one of The Forgotten Sons grabs one of the members of The Undisputed ERA and power bombs him into the other member as he was climbing up the ladder to retrieve the hanging NXT Tag-Team Championships. Awesome spot.
Now with Cutler climbing the ladder, O'Reilly goes in the middle of the ladder and locks him in a leg submission with his leg pulled through the ladder steps. Finally, Blake breaks it up. Now a giant stomp from off the ladder spot happens with Cutler flying off the ladder and smashing him with a stomp on the way down as Blake hits a reverse DDT on him at the same time. Wow.
Lorcan explodes off the top with a European uppercut and then another big multi-person spot off the ladder happen as the crowd absolutely erupts with "NXT! NXT!" chants as they stomp their feet simultaneously. Crazy energy in the Webster Bank Arena for this match.
Jaxson Ryker comes down out of nowhere as Mauro Ranallo flips out. He stops Kyle O'Reilly from climbing the ladder and getting the victory. Now he takes out Danny Burch and Montez Ford. He takes out other members of the match, including knocking the ladder over while Dawkins was climbing it. The crowd is booing like crazy through all of this. Ryker smashes the ladder into Dawkins in the corner over and over and over again.
Ranallo explains that no one can stop him because there is no disqualification in this one. Ryker hits a wicked back-body drop on Cutler on the ladder as Ranallo almost ruins his throat on the call on play-by-play.
Now several competitors in the match team up to take out Jaxson Ryker. They stomp him it and beat the crap out of him with the ladder. They knock him down, face-first off the ring apron with a shot from the ladder. Montez Ford hits an insane dive spot over a ladder and the ropes onto Ryker on the floor. Now Danny Lorcan does the same. Dawkins goes to try the same, but Fish and O'Reilly clothesline him with the ladder. Burch then dropkicks the ladder off the top, which sends Fish and O'Reilly smashing down to the canvas.
Finally, Montez Ford does a wicked jump from the ropes to the ladder, where he lands it perfectly. He knocks the only other competitor off the other side of the ladder and unhooks the title belts.
The Street Profits, in their NXT TakeOver debut, become the brand new NXT World Tag-Team Champions. Dawkins and Ford celebrate with their newly won titles in the ring before continuing their celebration through the crowd as highlights of this insane four-way ladder match are shown and analyzed by the announce team.
Winners and NEW NXT Tag-Team Champions: The Street Profits
NXT North American Championship
* Velveteen Dream (C) vs. Tyler Breeze
The video package for our next title match here at NXT TakeOver: XXV airs, as we see the Velveteen Dream vs. Tyler Breeze video package for the NXT North American Championship match. That is up next.
The entrance theme music for "Prince Pretty" plays and out comes former WWE main roster Superstar Tyler Breeze. After that, the entrance music for Velveteen Dream plays and out comes the charismatic champion.
Dream takes off one of his gloves and throws it in Breeze's face to get this one underway. Breeze fires back with punches and this one is officially on. The two fight back-and-forth, and taunt / play to the crowd back-and-forth in equal doses.
When the action picks up, Breeze seems to be focusing his attack on the leg of Dream, attacking it with a variety of strikes and using multiple leg submission attempts.
The fight spills out to the floor where Dream blasts Breeze with a super kick on the floor. He rolls into the ring and lets the referee count Breeze out. Dream ends up going out before the ten count and taking it to Breeze even more viciously, smashing his face into the announce table over and over again.
Dream stops his violent attack and goes over and grabs a cell phone. He goes back to Breeze, who is laid out a beaten man on top of the announce table. He grabs Breeze's unconscious face and picks it up to take a selfie that he photo-bombs. He then plays to the crowd who has some fun with some chants.
The action resumes and Dream walks into a super kick from Breeze. Back into the ring, Dream hits a Dream Valley Driver on Breeze for a close near fall. He then goes to the top rope, however Breeze notices this and rolls out under the ropes. Breeze blasts Dream with a big enziguri kick. Both guys are down now in the center of the ring as the referee starts a double count.
As both guys get up, the pace in the match picks up. Dream reverses an Unprettier attempt from Breeze into a Dream-DT for a close near fall. The camera zooms in on Breeze and we see some blood coming from his head.
Mauro reminds us on commentary that #NXTTakeOver is still Trending #1 Worldwide on Twitter as the action resumes in the ring. Breeze cuts Dream off on the top rope, crotching him on the turnbuckle.
Both guys reverse Tombstone piledriver attempts from the other over and over again. Dream rolls onto Breeze, picking him up and then switching to an Unprettier for a close near fall. We see the blood coming out of Breeze's head again. Breeze hits the Unprettier on Dream out of nowhere for the closest near fall of the match. That crowd bought into that as the finish for sure. Highlights are shown now as the crowd is still coming down from that one.
Dream hits a Dream Valley Driver and a Purple Rainmaker finisher for the win. The crowd pops as Velveteen Dream begins his post-match victory celebration in the spotlight with the NXT North American Championship. He takes a post-match selfie with Breeze in the ring and then heads to the back.
Winner and STILL NXT North American Champion: Velveteen Dream
Damien Priest Is Coming Vignette
A mysterious vignette for Damien Priest (f/k/a Punishment Martinez) airs. It was in black and red colors and was actually pretty bad ass.
NXT Women's Championship
* Shayna Baszler (C) vs. Io Shirai
The pre-match video package for "The Queen of Spades" Shayna Baszler's NXT Women's Championship defense against Io Shirai airs. Our co-main event of the evening is up next.
"The Genius of the Sky" Io Shirai comes out wearing a mask as an ode to WWE legend Rey Mysterio, as Mauro points out on commentary as she makes her way to the ring. The theme song for the NXT Women's Champion plays as we see "The Queen of Spades" confidently walking towards the ring with two other Four Horsewomen, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, walk with her. They stop as she reaches gorilla position and the NXT Women's Champion heads out to the entrance stage by herself. She heads to the ring.
The formal pre-match ring introductions are given for this, our co-main event of the evening, as it is a singles World Championship contest. After the introductions the bell sounds and the action immediately gets underway.
Baszler gives Shirai a smack early on. Seconds later, Shirai knocks Baszler down and returns the favor, giving her a slap to the face of her own for good measure. Baszler heads to the floor for a breather, but Shirai hits the ropes and flies out to the floor under the bottom rope with a baseball slide right into Baszler's grill.
Back in the ring, Baszler cuts Shirai's offensive run short and now she is having her way with her. She stomps on her arm brutally. Ranallo calls it the nastiest of reality checks as we see replays of the stomp on Shirai's elbow / arm that was bent.
Shirai finally starts a comeback with another tribute to Rey Mysterio, as she blasts Baszler with a 6-1-9 through the ropes before following up with a springboard flying smash onto "The Queen of Spades."
The two trade punches before Shirai gets Baszler in a crossface on the mat for a close submission finish attempt. Baszler powers out and goes back to work on delivering dominant punishment to the challenger.
Baszler goes to the top rope and grabs Shirai on the apron. Shirai kicks Baszler to break free. She then hits a springboard dropkick to knock Baszler off the top and out to the floor. She ascends to the top rope herself and hits a beautiful moonsault from the top rope to Baszler on the floor. The crowd pops huge as Ranallo again puts over Shirai as "The Genius of the Sky."
Back in the ring, Baszler stands up to receive a huge missile dropkick from Shirai off the top rope. Shirai blasts Baszler with double knees in the corner before we see Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir running to the ring.
Candice LaRae makes a run-in to save Shirai, taking out the two members of the Four Horsewomen. Back in the ring, Shirai goes back to work on Baszler. She knocks her down and goes to the top for a moonsault, but Baszler avoids it. Shirai rolls through into a bridge pin attempt but Baszler avoids it and slaps on her submission finisher. Shirai fights for a while but eventually taps out.
Winner and STILL NXT Women's Champion: Shayna Baszler
After The Match: Io Shirai Snaps
After the match, Shayna Baszler celebrates in the ring while Io Shirai recovers and is in disbelief on the floor outside the ring. We see her sadly reach over and grab a kendo stick. She runs into the ring and blasts Baszler from behind as she was on the ropes posing with the title. She beats her repeatedly with the kendo stick.
Now she goes over and reaches out through the ropes where Candice LaRae hands her a steel chair. She goes to the top rope, hugs the steel chair and does a huge moonsault off the top, with herself and the steel chair crashing onto Shayna Baszler in the ring. The crowd explodes. Baszler is laid out in the ring as Io Shirai exits the ring and heads to the back with Candice LaRae.
The fans chant "You deserve it! You deserve it!" to Baszler, basically saying she deserved the brutal attack she just received, as she sells the beating in the ring.
Stephanie McMahon Sitting In Front Row
We see Stephanie McMahon sitting in the front row inside the Webster Bank Arena as the announcers put her over.
NXT U.K. TakeOver: Cardiff Is Announced
A vignette airs promoting NXT U.K. TakeOver: Cardiff for August 31st in Cardiff, Wales.
* Johnny Gargano (C) vs. Adam Cole
The pre-match video package for tonight's NXT TakeOver: XXV main event airs promoting the rematch between Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole for the NXT Championship. Our final match of the evening is up next.
Adam Cole is out first, with live entrance music being performed by the actual artist himself. The crowd is way into Adam Cole with huge reactions during his ring entrance. Out next is his opponent, Johnny Champion, as NXT Champion Johnny Gargano makes his way to the ring looking ready for business.
The formal pre-match introductions are made for this, our NXT World Championship contest and final bout of the evening here at NXT TakeOver: XXV. The bell sounds and this match is now officially underway.
After taking an early offensive lead, Cole seems to be getting back into the match. Gargano is now looking to launch himself at Cole on the floor, but Cole keeps avoiding him. Finally, Gargano leaps off the apron and smashes onto Cole on the floor.
Gargano gets up selling his arm / shoulder. He rolls Cole back into the ring, but Cole keeps rolling and rolls out to the floor on the other side of the ring. He tries luring Gargano into a sucker shot, but Gargano avoids it and hits a springboard stop onto the arm / elbow of Cole on the ring steps. Replays are shown as the referee checks on the condition of Cole.
The action resumes now as Gargano rolls Cole in the ring and then slams his arm down on the ring apron from the floor. The fans break out into dueling chants for each guy as Gargano continues to work on the injured arm of Cole in the ring.
Cole fights his way back into the contest and now finds himself firmly in control of the offense. Cole is working on the leg of Gargano now, focusing his attack on the lower limbs of the NXT Champion. He hits a wicked DDT on one of the legs before locking it into a leg submission that Gargano eventually escapes.
Cole now with a dropkick off the top rope directly to the hurt knee of Gargano. Cole now has the arm / shoulder and right knee of Gargano hurt and vulnerable for the rest of the contest.
Gargano fights his way back into the offensive lead in this contest now, hitting a huge Tornado spot that was awesome. He follows that up with a slingshot-spear for another near fall.
Gargano flies back-first off the top rope into the waiting double-knee'd Backstabber from Cole on the mat for a cool near fall spot. Cole is now taking over control of the offense once again. He hits a spinning enziguri. He picks Gargano up in a torture rack and spins him into a big knee for a near fall.
We see some replays of that spot as both guys get back to their feet to resume the action. Cole gets up to the second turnbuckle for a high risk move, but Gargano tries to stop him. Cole ends up jumping over Gargano and landing on his feet.
Cole blasts Gargano with a super kick. Gargano stumbles back and hits Cole with one of his own. Cole stumbles back and hits Gargano with a bigger one. Cole goes to the top rope and comes flying off into a big super kick from Gargano. Gargano rolls out to the floor as Cole slowly works to get back to his feet. He rolls to the floor as well. They see each other from opposing sides of the ring on the floor. They run at each other and hit simaltaneous super kicks, knocking each other down.
The referee begins his double count on both guys as replays are shown. Back in the ring, Gargano hits a slingshot DDT for a very close near fall.
Cole hits a crazy suplex shoulder-first onto his knee on Gargano on the floor. He rolls back in the ring and hits Gargano with the same move and then immediately covers him. Gargano still manages to find a way to kick out. Mauro Ranallo loses his mind on commentary, making the claim that Johnny Gargano is not a mere mortal.
Gargano catches Cole coming off the top rope with a shoulder first attack. He follows that up by whirling Cole directly into his Gargano Escape finisher on his hurt shoulder. Cole fights his way out and reverses. He puts Gargano in a Figure 4 Leglock on Gargano's hurt leg. Ranallo and McGuinness take turns going crazy on commentary as Cole goes crazy in the ring, verbally shouting at Gargano to give up. Gargano, of course, will not do that. Finally, Gargano fights his way out, reversing the hold. Cole grabs the bottom rope to immediately break the hold.
Cole ground and pounds the crap out of Gargano viciously and then smashes his knee down on the mat in brutal fashion. He pulls down the knee pad of Gargano and smashes his knee down again in vicious fashion.
Adam Cole goes for a spinning toe-hold on the injured leg of Gargano, but Gargano pushes him off and then hits a draping-DDT through the middle ropes. Gargano goes to follow-up with a big dive through the ropes onto Cole on the floor, however he dives directly into a perfectly timed super kick in the face. That is followed up by a brutal Panama Sunrise on the floor. He rolls Gargano into the ring and covers him and somehow, someway Gargano kicks out at 2 1/2.
The fans chant "Mama-Mia! Mama-Mia!" now, paying homage to Mauro Ranallo, as both guys slowly get to their feet in the ring. Cole tells Gargano it's all over. Cole locks Gargano in his own Gargano Escape in the center of the ring as the crowd goes nuts.
Gargano rolls through, escaping the Gargano Escape and blasting Cole with the Last Shot for a very close near fall of his own.
Both guys slowly crawl toward each other in the ring. They both seem completely out of it. The crowd is going absolutely bonkers, cheering and chanting, as Cole and Gargano trade punches from their knees.
They continue punching their way back up to their feet where the exchange picks up. Cole starts blasting Gargano with kicks. Gargano fires back with a vicious lariat that turns Cole inside out. Gargano then turns around into a super kick from Cole. Gargano answers back with a super kick of his own.
Cole recovers and blasts Gargano with a Last Shot out of nowhere for the closest near fall pin attempt you will ever see in your life. The crowd goes nuts with a standing ovation as we watch some of the replay highlights of that recent sequence.
The fans chant "NXT! NXT!" now as Cole starts getting mad and complaining to the referee. He rolls out to the floor and goes under the ring. He grabs a steel chair but the referee rolls out to stop him.
While this is going on, Gargano recovers in the ring. He runs and hits a dive through the ropes, however he lands on and takes out the referee. Cole has the chair, Gargano turns around and he ducks a chair shot from Cole and counters with a super kick. He rolls Cole into the ring and covers him but there is no referee. The fans count for him, all the way to eight or nine, but obviously that doesn't count.
Gargano goes out to the floor and helps the referee back into the ring. He sees Cole sitting up in the ring waving to someone in the backstage area. Gargano grabs a chair and waits but nothing happens. He sets the chair down and turns around right into a draping DDT from the middle rope into the ring from Cole for another close near fall.
Cole sets Gargano up for another Last Shot kick but Gargano falls face-first into the mat. He goes over slowly to him and picks him up, but as he does, Gargano quickly comes to life and locks Cole in the Gargano Escape. Cole tries rolling out but Gargano keeps it on. Finally, Cole counters his way out of it.
Cole goes to the top and goes for a Panama Sunrise but Gargano avoids it. He tries again and this time he hits it. Gargano lands sitting up. Cole immediately follows up with a Last Shot kick and immediately covers him. 1-2-3. He did it. The crowd erupts. Adam Cole is the new NXT World Champion. The show goes off the air with The Undisputed Era celebrating with Adam Cole in the ring as Mauro Ranallo puts over Cole as the second ever NXT Grand Slam Champion.
Winner and NEW NXT Champion: Adam Cole