Following a jam-packed and newsworthy SummerSlam, NXT had their chance to follow the main roster for the first time. Would they be able to deliver though? That was the question at hand heading into it and all night long. Here are the NXT TakeOver: 36 results along with analysis for the NXT Championship match and match ratings for every bout.
NXT TakeOver: 36 Results & Match Ratings (8/22/21)
Preshow — Ridge Holland vs. Trey Baxter
Winner: Ridge Holland
Rating: 1.50 (*1/2)
— Million Dollar Championship: LA Knight (c) vs. Cameron Grimes — If Grimes loses, Ted DiBiase becomes Knight’s butler
Winner: Cameron Grimes
Rating: 2.75 (**3/4)
— NXT Women’s Championship: Raquel Gonzalez (c) vs. Dakota Kai
Winner: Raquel Gonzalez
Rating: 3.25 (***1/4)
— NXT United Kingdom Championship: WALTER (c) vs. Ilja Dragunov
Winner: Ilja Dragunov
Rating: 5.00 (*****)
— Kyle O’Reilly vs. Adam Cole in a Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match — Fall 1. Singles Match, Fall 2. Street Fight, Fall 3. Steel Cage (If Necessary)
Winner: Kyle O’Reilly
Rating: 4.00 (****)
— NXT Championship: Karrion Kross (c) vs. Samoa Joe
Winner: Samoa Joe
Rating: 3.75 (***3/4)
NXT TakeOver: 36 Results: In-Depth Match Analysis
NXT United Kingdom Championship: WALTER (c) vs. Ilja Dragunov
Pure brutality and ultimate emotion. When it was announced that WALTER and Ilja Dragunov would be running it back for the NXT United Kingdom Championship at NXT TakeOver: 36, people got excited and understandably so. Their first match was the definition of war. If that was war, then this was something we have never seen before. Ilja Dragunov was visibly showing how much he wanted this. How this was the only legacy that he wants to follow. Winning the title was the dream, but being the man to defeat WALTER was his mission. It was so fantastic in the sense that you as a fan at home could feel that from bell to bell. Your emotion matches Dragunov’s as he scratched and clawed to a needed win.
The beauty of this one was that it somehow managed to be better than their first and for good reason. All throughout the build and battle itself, Dragunov showed that he was willing to lose everything but his spirit to win the title he had been dreaming of. There was an invested emotion for all those who followed. Every chop, every elbow, every utterly grotesque attempt to destroy the other man added to this wonderfully brutal match. While you could hear it and see it on the bodies of both men, you could feel it too. Beautiful violence was the story in this one as the heart of Dragnuov was enough to overcome WALTER once and for all as he made “The Ring General” tap in the middle of the ring, making WALTER’s first singles loss in his WWE career. This is WWE’s clear bet for match of the year and one everyone should watch, no matter what promotion they are a fan of. Barbaric greatness.
NXT Championship: Karrion Kross (c) vs. Samoa Joe
Karrion Kross has been one of the most dominant NXT Champions in the history of the title. Undefeated in NXT, there was a sense of this being the last chance for NXT to escape the reign of Kross once and for all. The only man who could save everyone? The returning Samoa Joe, who had been out of in-ring action for a year and a half. The first-ever two-time NXT Champion was more determined to finish off Kross than win the gold. Every moment of the match was physical, intense, and downright breathtaking as they hit what felt to be final shot after final shot. “The Samoan Submission Machine” was losing it in the middle of the match with ring rust to blame as Kross was devastating him.
Then Joe found that championship pedigree that made him a two-time world champion in the promotions of Ring of Honor (ROH) and Total Nonstop Action (TNA). He threw everything at Kross from his signature elbow-striking dive through the ropes to his backbreaking Uranage in the middle of the ring. Kross was able to lock on the Kross Jacket after escaping the Coquina Clutch, making it feel as though this was the end like many before. Yet, Joe had enough in him to storm out. He would take a strike from Kross in the corner before Joe managed to hit him with an Enziguri before following it up with the Muscle Buster, a move Joe hasn’t used in years. Planting Kross in the middle of the ring, Joe pinned the unbeatable champion to become the first-ever three-time NXT Champion. These two held nothing back against each other and while it didn’t reach the hard-hitting limit of WALTER versus Dragunov, it was still managed to be a phenomenal onslaught between two beasts.
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