The WWE Network has, at this point, featured two WWE PPV’s and, with this event, two NXT Special Events. The second two-hour NXT Special, titled Takeover will feature matches that feature a selection of NXT.
The show opens with the first match of the night, Adam Rose, along with his posse of party people, entering the NXT arena for a match against Camacho. The fans are on Rose’s side throughout the match and they react to him and his offence. Camacho looks to be in great shape but it never appears that he has a chance of winning against Rose, who has recently made his debut on the main WWE roster. The match, not particularly a long one, ends when Rose hits his finisher and pins the Samoan youngster before leaving with his party-timers.
Result: Rose wins.
Second match of the night is where the show really picks up steam as we are treated to a number-one-contenders match between Sami Zayn and Tyler Breeze, with the winner being the first in line for a shot at the NXT Title after this show. This match was the best match of the night and an early 2014 contender for match of the year. Breeze and Zayn pulled out all the stops and put on a fantastic back and forth contest that the NXT fans were invested in from start to finish. The variety of holds and moves that these two men brought to the table in this lengthy scorcher was astonishing. Breeze hasn’t looked better since his debut on NXT and Zayn, a constant high-level worker, also gave one of his best WWE-career performances. The two men have an undeniable chemistry in the ring and it was a joy to see them work such a well-constructed wrestling match on a stage that had plenty of eyes on it. The final moments boasted some intense action leading to Breeze hitting his heel kick for the three count victory, becoming the number one contender to the NXT Championship.
Result: Breeze wins.
The fans needed chance to rest their voice-boxes after the brilliant match they had just witnessed and so we were given a slower match. The Ascension took on the newly formed tag team of El Local (Ricardo Rodriguez) and the newly-debuted Kalisto. The Luchadors didn’t really get the chance to show their aerial artistry in this match against their much larger opponents. Kalisto has the talent and the look to make it far in WWE, it would be nice to see a veteran luchador such as Rey Mysterio bring Kalisto in and pass the torch to him. He is what Sin Cara could have been and the sky is the limit for the wrester formerly known as Samuray Del Sol. The Ascension held the upper hand for much of the match with the luchas only hitting a couple of offensive moves. The match ended when the NXT Tag Champions hit their double-team finish on El Local for the victory. I hope we get to see better and bigger things from the talented Kalisto from now on.
Result: The Ascension wins.
“The Ravishing Russian”, Lana, was out next to introduce her “super-athlete” Rusev. Lana talked about Russia being a super-power and Rusev’s dominance in WWE before being interrupted by a US-Flag swinging Mojo Rawley. Rawley cuts a short and fairly awkward patriotic promo on the stage before hitting the ring. Rusev immediately takes Rawley down and proceeds to beat him up and put him in the “Accolade” submission hold. This wasn’t a match, just merely a way to held Rusev appear dominant again against a large development talent.
Our next match was the tournament finals for the NXT Women’s Championship. Charlotte, accompanied by her father, the legendary Ric Flair, took on Natalya, accompanied by the also-legendary Bret “Hitman” Hart. The match had a nice story to it, with the ancestry of both women being spoken about in the pre-match promo as well as on commentary throughout the contest. The commentary here, and throughout the show, was strong and the team of Regal, Saxton and Phillips did a commendable job of putting the talent and the matches over. The women’s match was good, and felt very different to other women’s matches we’ve seen in the past few years. There was a lot of focus on submission moves and both Nattie and Charlotte played up their heritage and rivalry to bring heat to the match. It went back and forth, with Bret and Flair cheering on their respective wrestler’s. There was a fun figure-four-leg-lock/sharpshooter spot which worked well as a way to acknowledge the lineage of both women. The match ended when Charlotte hit a dazed Natalya with her jump-over-DDT for the victory, becoming the new NXT Women’s Champion. After the match, a tearful Charlotte audibly thanked Nattie in the ring before hugging her, followed by an emotional Ric Flair shaking hands with Hart. This was a lovely moment and showed a lot of respect.
Result: Charlotte wins.
The main event of “Takeover” was for the NXT Championship, with defending champion, Adrian Neville, taking on Tyson Kidd. It was nice to see Kidd given a shot here and a chance to show more people why his peers think so highly of him and the work he does in the ring. The intensity that both men showed before and during the match was great and gave a feeling that the match and the result of it mattered highly to both men. There was a great mix of technical mat work and flying here, something that both Kidd and Neville do exceptionally well. Their chemistry, like Zayn and Breeze, was great and the fans loved that these guys did. It was a great technical match that went over twenty minutes, but I still feel like Neville is being told to hold back, perhaps we’ll see more and more of his vast capabilities as his career develops in WWE. The match ended when Neville hit his “Red Arrow” corkscrew shooting star press on Kidd, retaining the NXT Title. After the match Kidd refused a handshake from Neville and shouldered him as he walked out of the ring. A possible heel turn from Kidd means we might see another match from these two, which I won’t complain about.
Result: Neville wins.
NXT: Takeover was, much-like NXT: Arrival, a great show that featured some top notch matches. The Kidd/Neville main event, the Zayn/Breeze match, and the women’s scrap between Natalya and Charlotte were all very good, especially the Breeze and Zayn contest which exceeded even my high expectations. If WWE can keep presenting NXT Special Events of this quality then I will be a happy viewer. I am enjoying the NXT shows more than the main roster ones at the moment, and matches like these are the reason.
Until next time…