The SmarK Rant for NXT Takeover: Fatal 4 Way

The SmarK Rant for NXT Takeover: Fatal 4-Way In a cool touch, the NXT guys have been remixed into the “Now / Forever” opening, and KENTA is part of the opening now! Live from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Renee Young, Bryon Saxton & Tom Phillips NXT Tag team titles: The Ascension v. Kalisto & Sin Cara This is probably it for the champs because clearly they’re going to demolish the Usos on the big stage before the year is out. Viktor pounds on Sin Cara to start, but he fires back with a springboard moonsault for two before getting tossed into the railing. Konnor pounds on the back and gets two and they work Cara over in the corner. Viktor tries a slingshot powerbomb, but Sin Cara escapes that with a rana and the Ascension gets rid of Kalisto to cut off a tag. He fights off Konnor and makes the hot tag, however, and Kalisto runs wild with a sunset powerbomb on Viktor for two. Konnor bails and Sin Cara hits him with a dive, then he regroups and hits both guys with another dive. Back in, Viktor hits Kalisto with a lariat to cut him off and they set up for the Fall of Man, but Konnor gets tripped up and Kalisto finishes Viktor with his neckbreaker deal at 7:45 to win the tag titles. Mostly a nothing match, but the finishing sequence was super hot. *** Really, they were long overdue to get those belts off the Ascension. My wife was actually very impressed with Kalisto’s acrobatics, although she was very confused because I’ve been binging on horrible 95 RAWs for the past month and she was like “How come I haven’t heard of any of these guys before?” Adrian Neville clarifies the difference between confidence and cockiness. CJ Parker v. Baron Corbin Corbin seems to have begun his Sons of Anarchy-inspired repackage, as they call this his “NXT debut” despite months of doing jobs. And in fact he destroys Parker and finishes quickly with a downward spiral at 0:30. He’s apparently getting one of the newbie Divas as his biker babe as part of the gimmick, and if so they could have something with this guy. Tyson Kidd does a funny promo, carrying on with his spectacular douchebag act. Basically he puts over the other guys in the match, then reveals that he was talking about himself the whole time. Haircut match: Enzo Amore v. Sylvester Lefort A pre-match vignette gets over that most faithful of wacky wrestling concepts: DEADLY HAIR CREAM. Frankly I’m shocked it’s taken this long for it to make a comeback after the heyday in the 80s. Enzo’s options for Lefort are limited to ZERO OPTIONS and someone’s head is going in that bucket of cream tonight. Enzo’s manic energy has been sorely lacking from Cassady’s act these past months and I’m so happy to have him back. Frankly it should have been them to end the Ascension’s reign. They head off a headlock while Renee discusses the subject of hair loss and how it has personally affected her in the past. Enzo with a dropkick to send Lefort running, but he catches Enzo with a necksnap to take over. We hit the chinlock and Lefort knees him in the corner and slugs him down while the hair debate rages at the commentary table. Renee does not care for the abuse that Enzo puts his scalp through! Lefort with a clothesline for two, but Cass takes out Marcus Louis and Enzo rolls up Lefort for the pin at 5:45. It’s for the better, he looked too much like 1999 Randy Savage anyway. * But then, since life is unfair, Louis attacks and allows Lefort to run away, sacrificing his own hair as a result. Well, he got a big bucket of hair cream dumped on him, but no one actually got shaved, so they kind of pussied out on the only stipulation…TWICE! So kind of a major fail all around. Tyler Breeze faces #UGGO, #Hobbit and #NattiesHusband tonight. Luckily, gold goes with any outfit. William Regal joins us to formally introduce KENTA and the crowd is immediately going nuts for him. He changes his name to Hideo Itami, because apparently the NXT Random Name Generator works in Japanese as well, but Ascension hits the ring and tosses him because they’re in a bad mood. This proves to be a bad idea as Itami kicks their asses single-handedly and sends them running. So that was pretty bad-ass, but what the hell was wrong with “KENTA” as a name?! Bull Dempsey v. Mojo Rawley Bull steamrolls in and runs Mojo over in dominating fashion, then goes up with a diving headbutt to finish at 1:11. I don’t see anything in Bull, especially with Kevin Steen coming in and doing the same gig right away, but Mojo hit the wall a long time ago and this might be the end of the line for him. DUD The problem with Bull is that he looks like a long lost Godwinn brother at best, and a 1995 RAW job guy at worst. Meanwhile, Enzo and Cass go searching for the Legionnaires, because they wanna see someone bald. So they kidnap Louis and reveal his baldness, complete with shaved eyebrows. “He looks like a Chia pet!” declares Renee. Well, they’re trying. Speaking of trying, their next social media project that they probably won’t shut up about is buying articles on Buzzfeed, sandwiched between quizzes about which One Direction member your cat is most like and animated gifs of ostriches who are SO OVER the new Taylor Swift song. Although really those ostriches are crazy, that song is catchy as hell. NXT Women’s title: Charlotte v. Bayley Bayley attacks to start, but Charlotte fights her off with chops, so Bayley gets a low dropkick for two. Backslide is blocked with a neckbreaker and drops knees for two. Figure-four headlock and Charlotte beats on her in the corner with more chops. Back to the figure-four and she rides Bayley around the ring with her freakish leg strength, but Bayley reverses into an inside cradle for two. Rollup gets two, but Charlotte cuts her off again with a clothesline for two. Bayley finally snaps and fires away with forearms, but Charlotte takes her down in the corner for two. Bayley fights back again with a top rope rana, but only gets two. Charlotte rolls her up for two and then rams her head into the turnbuckles in a ugly spot, and the moonsault gets two. Charlotte way overshot on that one, too. Neckbreaker finishes at 10:50. Really, really disappointing, although it had super heat until the finish completely deflated the crowd. Way too long for what it was, though, as Charlotte really got exposed without someone like Nattie to carry the pace. It really needed more hope spots for Bayley, who never seemed to be seriously threatening. ** Sasha Banks comes out for the beatdown on Bayley afterwards, prompting an argument from the crowd about whether she’s ratchet or not (half feels that she is, the other half feels the opposite) but Charlotte kinda makes the save. NXT Title: Adrian Neville v. Sami Zayn v. Tyson Kidd v. Tyler Breeze Big brawl to start and the heels get dumped, and Zayn USES TYLER’S PHONE. That’s just wrong. Tyson goes after Zayn and gets caught in a Koji Klutch as a result, but Breeze breaks it up and they all go brawing up the ramp again. Neville takes a double suplex from the heels out there, and back into the ring as they beat on Zayn as well. The crowd notes “Nattie’s Better”, but I’d have to take issue with that. Kidd’s a hell of a worker. FACT. Finally the alliance breaks down and Kidd turns on Breeze and dumps him, hitting a neckbreaker on Zayn for two. Poor Neville gets tossed AGAIN, a total non-factor in the match thus far. Kidd chokes out Zayn while the other two disappear into the ether, and a corner dropkick gets two. To the chinlock as Breeze must be legally dead or something, and Neville finally gets in and goes after Kidd. Sami puts everyone on the floor and Neville steals his dive mojo, and now finally we get the Zayn v. Neville showdown everyone has wanted all along. Zayn blocks a handspring with a backdrop for two, but Kidd dumps Zayn and goes after Neville again. Poor Adrian hits the floor for the zillionth time and Kidd suplexes Zayn for two. Sharpshooter is escaped by Zayn and he makes the comeback, but walks into the Beauty Shot. Breeze hits finishers on EVERYONE and gets a series of near-falls, but no luck. Well there was his one sequence of hope spots. Everyone piles up on the top rope, giving us the Tower of Doom spot and Zayn gets two. The ref should have counted three, actually, and the crowd totally calls him on it. Zayn unloads on Kidd in the corner, but walks into Neville’s boot, and the shooting star press allows Breeze to steal a two count on Zayn. This crowd is insanely ready for Breeze to win on a fluke but I don’t see it happening. So Breeze takes another shot at Zayn, but Kidd catches him with the Sharpshooter instead, and Neville saves just as Breeze is going to tap. So Neville slugs it out with Zayn and Neville hits the floor yet again, allowing Zayn to hit him with a dive into the front row. Tornado DDT for Breeze on the floor, and Huluva Kick for Kidd…gets two. Neville pulls out the ref and instantly turns heel. THEY HAD ME. Neville lays out Zayn, and the Red Arrow finishes Kidd at 24:11 to retain. **** The first 10 minutes or so was kind of aimless, but once they hit the crazy spots it took off big time. Man, they really ripped out the heart of the crowd with that finish, though. Zayn finally winning would have been the epic moment they were shooting for with him, and I don’t know if they can get back there again. The Pulse Certainly not on the level of the first two specials, but the main event was certainly worth going out of your way to see and the rest was inoffensive and fun. Thumbs up.

NXT Takeover: Fatal Four-Way

Fatal Four-Way
Date: September 11,
Location: Full Sail
University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Renee
Young, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
For once I’m actually
looking forward to a WWE special. This is the third two hour live
event that NXT has run and the first two were knocked out of the
park. The main event tonight is a four way with NXT Champion Adrian
Neville defending against Tyson Kidd, Sami Zayn and Tyler Breeze in
what should be a classic. Let’s get to it.

The regular WWE video
plays but an NXT video hacks in. You might even say it takes over.
Opening sequence with
only shots of people appearing tonight.
Team Titles: Sin Cara/Kalisto vs. Ascension
Sin Cara and Kalisto
won a tournament to get this show. They also now have their own
music which starts with someone shouting LUCHA LUCHA LUCHA!
Ascension has held the titles for nearly a year and have barely ever
broken a sweat in a defense. Viktor knocks Sin Cara up against the
ropes but gets caught by a standing Lionsault for two. That’s fine
with Viktor though as he sends Cara out to the floor so Konnor can
drive him back first into the apron.
Back to Viktor for a
hard slam for two as the champions are already dominating. We hit a
double chickenwing before Cara escapes a powerbomb. Konnor knocks
Kalisto off the apron though and Cara can’t make the tag. An
enziguri stops Konnor but he puts on a front facelock and just drives
Cara back into the corner. That’s fine with Cara as he flips over
and makes the tag to Kalisto.
Everything speeds up
with a spinning slingshot plancha. A semi-botched sunset bomb gets
two on Viktor as Cara dives on Konnor. Both champions go outside and
catch Kalisto in mid air. Sin dives on both of them for a huge crash
and the fans are WAY into this. Back inside they load up the Fall of
Man but Cara trips up Konnor. Kalisto rolls out of the way and hits
Salida Del Sol (standing sitout Sliced Bread #2) on Viktor for the
pin and the titles at 7:48.
B-. Power vs. speed is
something that is going to work no matter how many times you try it.
They had to get the belts off of Ascension at some point and putting
them on Lucha was as good of a way as they could have done it. This
frees up Ascension to go after the Usos, which makes sense given that
they already debuted on Main Event this week.
new champions dub themselves the Lucha Dragons.
get a quick pause in memory of 9/11.
on Adrian Neville about how tough a year it’s been for him but he
hasn’t lost a single match. Everyone will remember that he’s the man
that gravity forgot. He’s beaten all of his challengers and now he
has to beat them at once.
Parker vs. Baron Corbin
is an added match. The much bigger Corbin shoves the Eco Warrior
Parker into the corner….and then plants him with a very powerful
one armed Downward Spiral for the pin at 32 seconds. He made it look
even better by rocking Parker forward and then snapping him back.
That’s a good way to start a push.
on Tyson Kidd where he lists off some of his facts, mainly talking
about each man in the main event tonight. He will walk out as
champion. Fact.
Amore vs. Sylvester LeFort
Enzo has new music
which he might sing himself. This is Jersey Shore vs. France in a
hair vs. hair match. Amore even has “hair cream” to get rid of
Sylvester’s hair. Before the match, Enzo suggests a few hairstyles
for LeFort, including a combover and a mushroom, complete with the
fans shouting HOW YOU DOIN after every suggestion. According to
Cass, after the match, Sylvester’s hair will be S-A-W-F-T.
Enzo grabs a headlock
to start and ruffles LeFort’s hair to really mess with him. A
shoulder puts Sylvester on the apron but he snaps Enzo across the top
rope to take over. We hit the chinlock on Enzo followed by a hard
kick between the shoulders. Amore fights back with some stiff
punches but a Marcus Louis distraction lets Sylvester nail a
clothesline for two. Cass takes out Louis, allowing Amore to grab a
rollup (and tights) for the pin at 5:46.
D+. The wrestling was bad but
what are you expecting from someone like Enzo? He’s a comedy
character and has never had a match go more than a few minutes. This
was a way to give the fans a good laugh and there’s nothing wrong
with that. Cass and Amore are just a loveable team and they beat up
the snobs. What more can you ask for?
Sylvester is being
taken to the chair but Marcus makes a save. Amore and Cass get up
though and LeFort runs off, leaving Marcus to take the cream on the
Tyler Breeze says the
new champion will be gorgeous. Every outfit he wears goes with gold.
Here’s General Manager
William Regal with something to say. He talks about how great it is
in NXT right now and introduces the biggest international signing in
NXT history. We get a video on Kenta, with various WWE wrestlers
talking about how awesome he is. Kenta comes to the ring to a VERY
strong reaction and he gives a brief welcome in English before going
into Japanese. He says this is a dream come true and he’s starting
over with a new name: Hideo Itami, a tribute to one of his heroes.
His goal is to be NXT Champion….and here are the Ascension to
Itami is thrown to the
floor and Konnor demands a rematch for the titles. Hideo gets back
in the ring and takes off his jacket. A kick and forearm put
Ascension down and a double dropkick does it again. Itami gets a
chair and stands….well not that tall actually but it’s a good
Dempsey vs. Mojo Rawley
Not much to this one as
they were in the tag team tournament and lost, causing Dempsey to
destroy Rawley. Dempsey hammers him into the corner to start as the
fans want Kevin Steen. Mojo spears him down and hammers away but
Dempsey runs him over with a splash. A top rope headbutt ends Mojo
at 1:07. If Rawley wasn’t finished before, he certainly is now.
Dempsey adds another
headbutt for good measure.
Enzo and Cass want to
see someone bald. They see Marcus with a towel over his head and
carry him into the arena for the big reveal. Enzo rips off the
towel, revealing little bits of hair on Marcus’ head and no eyebrows.
Nice touch. Enzo says he is B-A-W-L-D.
We recap Bayley vs.
Charlotte. It’s another simple story with Charlotte being the girl
that feels she’s here by birth and Bayley being the biggest fangirl
in the history of wrestling who just loves to be here.
Title: Charlotte vs. Bayley
Bayley now has
streamers on her arms. Charlotte offers a handshake to start but
Bayley drives her into the corner for some shoulders to the ribs. A
quick cross body gets two for Bayley but Charlotte counters a
backslide with a neckbreaker. We hit the figure four headlock on
Bayley and Charlotte even flips forward a few times and slam Bayley
onto the mat. They trade a few rollups with Bayley countering a
Figure Four attempt for two. Charlotte dropkicks her back down and
nails a hard knee to the ribs.
Bayley comes back with
a hard series of forearms, only to miss a charge into the corner and
get slammed down onto the mat for two. Charlotte goes up top but
gets caught in a top rope hurricanrana to put both girls down. The
delayed cover only gets two but the Belly to Bayley is countered into
a rollup. Charlotte nails her in the face, knocking Bayley head
first into the bottom buckle. A moonsault doesn’t quite hit as
Charlotte landed on her legs instead of on Bayley and only gets two.
Natural Selection (the new name for Bow Down to the Queen) is enough
to retain the title at 11:55.
C+. This was a far cry from
Charlotte vs. Natalya but they had to have a heel win somewhere in
there. I’ll give them this though: they had me wanting to see Bayley
suplex Charlotte through the floor and take the title. The story was
perfect here though and that’s as good as they could have hoped for.
The match wasn’t bad at all either and that hurricanrana looked
match Sasha Banks comes out to beat on Bayley but Charlotte makes the
save. Bayley is confused.
Sami Zayn talks about
having to be ready for his opponents. He and Neville are friends,
but he wants to beat Adrian to become champion.
Hideo Itami makes his
in ring debut next week.
Title: Tyson Kidd vs. Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze vs. Adrian Neville
Neville is defending
and this is one fall to a finish. After the big match intros, they
have about half an hour for this if necessary. Kidd’s trunks now say
FACT. The fans start their dueling chants and aren’t sure who they
like best so far. After a minute of circling each other we’re ready
to go with all four heading to the floor. That goes nowhere but they
do tease Neville vs. Zayn to a BIG response. They head back to the
floor with Neville kicking Kidd and Sami chopping Breeze.
Sami and Kidd go back
inside with Zayn grabbing the Koji Clutch until Tyler makes a save.
Now they head to the stage where Adrian’s knee is taken out and a
double suplex plants him on the stage. Sami picks off Kidd but gets
a double suplex of his own on the ramp. Back to the ring now with
Sami getting double teamed by the villains. The fans tell Kidd that
Nattie is better as Adrian gets knocked off the apron.
Sami gets stomped in
the corner and Tyler covers after a suplex, triggering the brawl with
Kidd. Tyson sends him to the floor and gets two off a neckbreaker to
Zayn. Off to a chinlock on Sami but he quickly jawbreaks his way to
freedom. Kidd puts him in the Tree of Woe though as Adrian is
knocked to the floor again, followed by a kick to the face from
Zayn tries to get back
up but Kidd just pounds him down in the corner and puts on the
chinlock again. Neville finally gets back in but Tyson sends him to
the floor for about the fourth time. Adrian pops back in though and
backdrops Kidd down. Breeze returns from the dead, only to get
clotheslined down by Sami. Zayn loads up a dive to the heels but
Adrian hits a HUGE top rope Asai moonsault to put them both down.
That leaves Neville vs.
Zayn and the fans get even more into this all of a sudden. A big
kick to the champion’s head gets two as Kidd is back in for the save.
Kidd throws Neville into Sami to knock the champion to the floor and
the Moss Covered Three Handled Family Credenza gets two on Sami.
Tyson can’t get the Sharpshooter on Sami and the springboard elbow
hits knees. Sami loads up the Helluva Kick but Tyler nails the
Beauty Shot to knock him down. Neville tries to come in off the top
but gets dropkicked out of the air for a VERY close two. Tyler gets
two on Kidd as well and frustration is setting in.
Adrian goes up top but
Breeze and Kidd load up a double superplex. That’s not enough for
Sami as he makes it a HUGE Tower of Doom. Kidd somehow gets up at
two and Breeze falls out to the floor. Sami punches Tyson into the
corner and gets all fired up but charges into a boot from Neville. A
Shooting Star from Adrian crushes Sami but Breeze comes in to steal a
two count and make the fans gasp.
Tyler misses a Beauty
Shot to Sami and gets caught in the Sharpshooter. Tyson drags him
back to the center of the ring and Tyler loads up his hand to tap but
Adrian grabs his hand to hold it up in a great move. Sami makes the
save and the fans are very thankful. Sami and Adrian finally get to
slug it out until Neville gets backdropped to the floor.
An exploder suplex puts
Kidd in the corner and Zayn dives through the ropes to take out
Adrian. In an even better move Sami dives from the floor, over the
bottom rope and into a tornado DDT on Tyler on the floor. The
Helluva Kick looks to finish Kidd but Adrian pulls the referee out of
the way. A superkick drops Sami and the Red Arrow to Kidd retains
the title at 23:58.
A-. If Sami had won the title
there it’s even higher. I’m not wild on Adrian seemingly turning
heel but in theory this sets up Neville vs. Zayn in the big showdown
for the title. Thankfully Sami didn’t get pinned here and the huge
spots worked really well, especially that Tower of Doom and the
diving tornado DDT. This was more than worth the wait and now it
looks like Sami is getting his chance very soon. Notice
that they didn’t really let Sami and Adrian fight other than a brief
exchange, even though the fans were begging for it. That’s a sign
for the future.
looks at Adrian with frustration on his face to end the show.
B+. This wasn’t quite
as good as Arrival and Takeover but these things are still as good as
anything else you’re going to see in wrestling today. NXT has
mastered this idea of setting something up and then executing it
rather than meandering forever until they figure out what they want
to do and expecting us to keep watching. I
love this promotion and it holds up incredibly well week after week.
Zayn vs. Neville is going to rock and the future looks bright with
some major debuts on the horizon.
Sin Cara/Kalisto b.
Ascension – Salida Del Sol to Viktor
Baron Corbin b. CJ
Parker – Downward Spiral
Enzo Amore b. Sylvester
LeFort – Rollup
Bull Dempsey b. Mojo
Rawley – Top rope headbutt
Charlotte b. Bayley –
Natural Selection
Adrian Neville b. Sami
Zayn, Tyler Breeze and Tyson Kidd – Red Arrow to Kidd
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