NXT Takeover: R-Evolution

NXT
Takeover: R-Evolution
Date:
December 11, 2014
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Alex
Riley, Rich Brennan, Corey Graves
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re
at the latest major show for NXT and the main event is a pick em at
this point. We have Sami Zayn putting his NXT career on the line for
one more shot at Adrian Neville’s NXT Championship. Other than that
we have Hideo Itami/Finn Balor teaming up to take on the Ascension
and the debut of Kevin (Steen) Owens. The card is stacked so let’s
get to it.

The
opening video focuses on the main event but also gets in a bit of
Kevin Owens.
Kevin
Owens vs. CJ Parker
Owens
hits two straight running clotheslines in the corner at the bell and
the Cannonball crushes Parker in less than fifteen seconds. He rips
up Parker’s My Fight Matters sign and hits a HUGE flip dive over the
top to take Parker out. Back in and Owens hammers away, only to eat
a boot to the jaw.
Parker
misses a running backsplash but the Third Eye gets a VERY close two.
Back up and Owens no sells a charge in the corner and takes CJ’s head
off with a clothesline. Owens is bleeding from the eye as he picks
up Parker for a kind of pumphandle shoulder breaker. He throws
Parker up and powerbombs him in half for the pin at 3:22.
Rating:
B.
WHOA. Yeah the rating is high but this was one of the most
impressive debuts I’ve seen in a very long time. Owens looked like a
killer out there and just destroyed Parker. I even dug that they
gave Parker some offense and a near fall to add some drama. Owens is
the kind of insane guy that they haven’t had in awhile and seemed a
lot like what they were shooting for with Dean Ambrose. Excellent
stuff.
Neville
is ready.
Lucha
Dragons video.
Tag
Team Titles: Vaudevillains vs. Lucha Dragons
The
Dragons are defending and beat the Vaudevillains in the #1 contenders
tag team tournament a few months back to give the Vaulevillains a
reason for revenge. Gotch
and Cara get things going with a standing Lionsault getting two for
the champ. A headscissors/armdrag combo takes both Vaudevillains
down before it’s off to Kalisto for a front facelock. Back to Sin
for a dropkick as the fans are entirely behind the challengers.
English
comes if off a blind tag and low bridges Cara out to the floor.
Fans: “THAT WAS MANLY!”
They
head back inside with Gotch cranking on the neck before getting two
off a crucifix. English
sends him outside for a baseball slide, earning him a chant of his
own. The
villains keep taking turns on Cara with Aiden cranking on a chinlock.
Sin finally pops up and flips over English to make the tag off to
Kalisto. Things immediately speed up and everything breaks down.
The Dragons send them to the floor for a big double dive, only to
have English shove Gotch out of the way to take the shot himself.
Fans: “CHIVALRY!” Back in and the Salida Del Sol on Gotch
retains the titles at 6:50.
Rating:
C.
The match was pretty standard but the ending was really a surprise as
I would have bet on the Vaudevillians to pick up the belts here.
That being said, it’s not the worst idea in the world as the
Vaudevillians are being turned face by the audience reactions alone
so it’s only a matter of time anyway. Still a surprise though.
Tye
Dillinger vs. Baron Corbin
As
usual the fans count the time of Corbin’s match, ending at a far
higher than usual 39 seconds with End of Days. The match was so
short that I didn’t have time to mention Bull Dempsey watching from
ringside.
Sami
is in the locker room and turns down Cass and Enzo’s offer of milk.
He looks over and sees Owens looking back at him. We can’t hear
anything said (if anything was) as we’re listening to an inset
interview from yesterday with Sami saying he’s ready.
We
recap Hideo Itami/Finn Balor vs. Ascension. Itami is a hotshot
rookie and Ascension are bullies. Balor debuted to help Itami in his
war and this is the showdown.
Hideo
Itami/Finn Balor vs. Ascension
Balor
has an insane entrance now with a pounding red light that sounds like
a heartbeat, a ton of smoke and face paint that looks like a cross
between Delirious, Great
Muta
and Ultimate Warrior. Ascension
looks stunned as the fans are bowing to Finn. It’s
a brawl to start before the bell with Ascension getting pounded down
in the corner. Stereo corner dropkicks send them out to the floor
and we get the opening bell.
Itami
dropkicks Viktor down to start and it’s off to Finn for a slingshot
stomp. Balor charges into a knee in the corner to change control and
it’s off to Konnor. Back to Itami who hammers away but eats a
flapjack as Ascension keeps control. Viktor
breaks up a hot tag attempt with a hard elbow drop to the back for
two. Off
to a reverse chinlock followed by a fist to the head and yet another
chinlock. Ascension
keeps up the double beatdown as Viktor puts on another chinlock.
Hideo
finally kicks Konnor to the floor and dives for a tag, only to have
Konnor knock Finn off the apron.
The
hot tag comes a few seconds later and Finn cleans house with
enziguris. Viktor avoids the top rope double stomp but eats a
reverse Impaler. Konnor makes the save but Itami takes him to the
floor, only to have to save Finn from an STO. Itami loads up GTS
(his invention) and the fans go NUTS, but Konnor makes the save.
Hideo breaks up the Fall of Man and the super team goes up for double
foot stomps for the pin on Ascension at 11:45.
Rating:
C+.
This was better than I was expecting but the ending was never in
doubt. I can’t get over that ROAR for the GTS attempt though. It’s
a good sign that Itami can do more than kick because he really hasn’t
shown me much yet. Ascension is ready for WWE and has been for like
a year, so this is probably their swan song.
Roman
Reigns is in the back and says he’s here to see an awesome main
event. His
goal is to be the first NXT alumni to become WWE World Heavyweight
Champion, which creates some continuity issues as that would be
Daniel Bryan. I know it’s a different version of NXT but it’s a bit
confusing.
Ric
Flair is here and gives Charlotte a hug for luck.
We
recap Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks. They used to be friends but
Charlotte won the Women’s Title. Banks says that belongs to hear and
tonight is the showdown.
Women’s
Title: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte
Sasha
throws her modified Charlotte shirt (Charlotte: “Do it with some
Flair!” Banks: “Do it like a Boss!”) and the champ chases her
to the ropes. They trade chops in the corner with Charlotte getting
the better of it (of course) but Banks gets in a quick kick to the
head to take over. She sends Charlotte hard into the steps for two
back inside but stops to yell at Little Naitch.
Banks
drives her into the corner for some shoulders to the ribs before a
double knee to the ribs has Charlotte in even more trouble. She
mocks the strut though and Charlotte gets all fired up. The champ is
so fired up that they mess up a spot, followed by a Backstabber into
a double arm stretch from Banks. She pulls Charlotte down by the
hair out of the corner and puts on a Figure Four neck lock, complete
with a WOO. Charlotte finally lifts her up for an electric chair
drop to put both girls down.
A
series
of forearms puts Banks down and a suplex into a neckbreaker gets two
on Banks. Charlotte
misses a charge though and falls out to the floor, setting up a
pretty bad looking suicide dive from Sasha. They
slug it out with Banks getting the better of it but eating a big
spear to give Charlotte control again. She charges into a boot but
counters the Bank Statement.
The
Figure Four is countered into a small package for two and Banks gets
two off a neckbreaker. A big suplex sends Banks flying and the fans
think THIS IS WRESTLING. Charlotte tries a moonsault but has to land
on her feet, only to flip forward for a backsplash for two as Banks
gets her feet on the ropes. Sasha sends her hard face first into the
middle buckle but Charlotte throws her off to block a superplex. A
top rope Natural Selection is enough to retain the title at 12:06.
Rating:
B.
The Women’s Title match has become a highlight on all these shows and
Banks just had her best match ever by about a million miles. Much
like Ascension, Charlotte has been ready for the next level for
months now and really should be on Raw like tomorrow. Well Monday
but you get the idea. Really solid match here and a great match that
happened to have women in it rather than a good women’s match if that
makes sense.
Long
recap of Zayn vs. Neville. The short version is Zayn has never won
the big one but has to win the title here or leave NXT.
NXT
Title: Sami Zayn vs. Adrian Neville
Neville
is defending and they
have over thirty five minutes for this. After
the big match intros, we’re finally ready to go. Feeling
out process to start with no one able to get an early advantage.
Neville cranks on a wristlock but Sami takes over with one of his
own. They head back to the mat with Adrian working on a hammerlock
before grabbing a chinlock. The
champ grabs an armbar and another OLE chant starts up.
Sami
spins out and grabs a wristlock of his own but Neville flips over to
land on his feet instead of on the mat. Adrian
says bring it but gets caught in the armbar again. Neville flips
into the corner again but walks into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to
give Sami his first real advantage. The champ rolls outside and
takes the bouncing moonsault as Sami is in full control. Neville
takes his time getting back in and gets rolled up for two. He
sends Sami into the buckle to take over and a dropkick to the back of
his head gets another near fall.
We
hit the chinlock for a bit before a big uppercut gets two for Adrian.
Neville drops a series of knees to the chest for two more and we hit
another chinlock. A
nice middle rope dropkick gets the same result and Neville is slowly
getting frustrated. Neville
kicks him in the face a few times but eats a hard clothesline and
dropkick to give Sami an opening. Back
to the floor but Adrian rolls back inside to avoid the dive and snaps
off a hurricanrana to send Zayn to the floor. Sami does the exact
same thing to avoid a dive and backdrops him to the floor, setting up
the signature flip dive to take over again. Sweet
sequence.
Back
in again and the high cross body gets two for Sami. Neville tries to
cartwheel at Sami but winds up on Neville’s shoudlers for a spinning
Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Now the real pressure is starting to get
to Sami but a jawbreaker brings him back to reality. A running boot
to the face and a bridging German suplex get two for Neville and both
guys are getting winded. Sami
runs the corner but gets caught in a sitout powerbomb, landing HARD
on the back of his head for two.
Back
up and Neville fires off some hard forearms to the head but Sami gets
right in his face and they slug it out until Zayn takes his head off
with a clothesline. Neville takes him right back down with an
enziguri out of the corner. Fans: “NO! NO! NO!” The Red Arrow
hits knees and there’s the Koji Clutch but Adrian gets his foot on
the ropes, nearly sending Sami to tears. Neville
counters the suplex into the corner with a rollup but the referee
gets bumped off the kickout.
He’s
back up quickly though but a
loud
superkick and
a reverse hurricanrana (Sami landing on his head again)
gets a VERY close two on Sami after he checked on the referee. Back
up and Sami charges into a forearm but starts rolling Germans, capped
off by a half nelson/chicken wing suplex. Neville bails before Sami
can try the Helluva Kick but Sami follows him out for the dive
through the ropes into the tornado DDT. Back in again and the
Helluva Kick connects but the referee goes down again with
Adrian possibly
pulling him into
the path of the kick.
Neville
throws in the title belt but a big boot knocks him down. Sami looks
at the belt and picks it up, drops some F Bombs, but can’t bring
himself to cheat. Neville grabs a rollup for two but walks into the
exploder in the corner. The Helluva Kick connects and Sami FINALLY
wins the title at 23:55.
Rating:
A.
Oh yeah it rocked. This was exactly what it should have been with
Sami finally exorcising his demons and winning the belt. I loved
that section near the end where he wanted to cheat but finally threw
it down and won with what brought him to the dance. This was the
outstanding showdown main event and exactly how they should have done
it. Adrian comes off looking like a warrior who might have cheated
(it wasn’t clear) to try to keep the title. Great stuff here with
some very close near falls and incredible drama.
You
can hear the fans thanking Neville during the replay package.
The
locker room comes out to celebrate and Owens hugs his friend. Even
Pat Patterson is here to celebrate. Neville
gets back up and stares Sami down. The new champ extends a hand but
Neville kicks it away and pulls him in for a hug. Everyone clears
out and Sami gets to do a victory dance. One more hug from Owens
looks to end the show….BUT HE BLASTS SAMI WITH A RIGHT HAND AND
POWERBOMBS HIM ON THE APRON! What a perfect fake out as everything
looked finished and then they throw that curve.
Overall
Rating:
A.
As usual, this show blew the roof off the place and continues to be
the show I look forward to more than almost anything else. The worst
match on the show was a totally fine tag match and Owens was about a
thousand times more awesome than I was expecting. Couple that with a
Match of the Year candidate with the perfect ending and there’s
almost nothing bad here. Outstanding show and again worth checking
out.
Results
Kevin
Owens b. CJ Parker – Powerbomb
Lucha
Dragons b. Vaudevillians – Salida Del Sol to Gotch
Baron
Corbin b. Tye Dillinger – End of Days
Hideo
Itami/Finn Balor b. Ascension – Double pin after top rope foot
stomps
Charlotte
b. Sasha Banks – Top rope Natural Selection
Sami
Zayn b. Adrian Neville – Helluva Kick
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