NXT Takeover: Toronto

Takeover: Toronto
Date: November 19, 2016
Location: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips

We’re up north this time as NXT gets another showcase event on the weekend of a major WWE pay per view. There are a few rematches tonight but we’re also getting the finals of the second annual Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic as well as the return of WWE legend Mickie James, who is challenging the unstoppable Asuka for the NXT Women’s Title. Let’s get to it.

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NXT Takeover: Back To Brooklyn

Takeover: Back to Brooklyn
Date: August 20, 2016
Location: Barclays Center, New York City, New York
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves

This might be NXT’s biggest show of the year, especially after last year’s amazing double main event that really turned Bayley into a star. This year’s main event could be even bigger with Samoa Joe defending the NXT Title against Shinsuke Nakamura and Bayley trying to get the Women’s Title back against the monster champion Asuka. Let’s get to it.

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NXT Takeover: The End

NXT Takeover: The End
Date: June 8, 2016
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves

We’re back with a big show at Full Sail for the first time since last fall. It also might be the final show under the Takeover banner depending on which news source you believe. If nothing else it’s likely to be the final match between Finn Balor and Samoa Joe for Joe’s NXT Title inside a steel cage as the gimmick makes its debut in NXT. Let’s get to it.

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NXT Takeover: Respect

NXT Takeover: Respect
Date: October 7, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Byron Saxton, Corey Graves, Rich Brennan

This is one of the weaker looking Takeovers on paper as it’s only been about six weeks since the last special. However, there are four major matches taking place tonight with a thirty minute women’s Iron Man match for the Women’s Title and the final three matches in the inaugural Dusty Classic Tag Team Tournament. Let’s get to it.

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The SmarK Rant for NXT–08.26.15

The SmarK Rant for NXT Takeover Brooklyn 0.5 – 08.26.15

Buffering update: Just for fun, I tried watching the 10/07/96 episode of RAW that has become my white whale at work on my phone, which has LTE speed. Started buffering 2 seconds in. So I guess I’m limited to the live stream stuff for the time being until they get their shit together. This show streams beautifully, of course, with no problems whatsoever. It’s just the damn archives.

Taped from Brooklyn, NY

Your hosts are Rich Brennan and Corey Graves.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for NXT–08.26.15

NXT Takeover: Brooklyn

NXT Takeover: Brooklyn
Date: August 22, 2015
Location: Barclays Center, New York City, New York
Commentators: Byron Saxton, Corey Graves, Rich Brennan

It’s the biggest show in NXT history (so far) as NXT is on the road again. We have a double main event tonight with Finn Balor defending the NXT Title against former champion Kevin Owens in a ladder match and Bayley challenging for the Women’s Title against champion Sasha Banks. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT Takeover: Brooklyn

NXT Takeover: Brooklyn

On August 22nd (one day before Summerslam), NXT Takeover will take place live at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center!

Should be the biggest NXT show to date. Crazy how this brand continues to grow. Funny how a quality product works like that (even though they obviously have more $ resources than say ROH or TNA)…

What would you like to see on the card? Balor/Joe? Multi man NXT championship match? Sasha/Becky rematch (2/3 falls? 30 min Iron Woman?)? Sasha/Bayley?

Also did you watch this week’s episode? What would you rate Carmella’s buttcheeks?

​Alexa Bliss is the gold standard for buttcheeks in NXT as far as I’m concerned. Carmella has the rest. I didn’t watch the last two weeks because I’m going through a thing with Sporting News right now and kind of waiting it out.

As for Takeover, I think we’ll get: ​

​Balor v. Itami (or Balor v. Itami v. Breeze v. Joe) in some form. I really think Breeze is the guy who should be champion, because clearly he’s at the point where he can carry it, and he’s not going to the main roster any time soon, and he probably needs to finally win the big one soon.

Enzo & Cass winning the tag titles, either in straight tag match or multi-team deal with the Vaudevillains. But either way, they’re in BROOKLYN, ​why wouldn’t you do it there?

Sasha/Becky II, because why not keep going to that well until it doesn’t work?

The SmarK Rant for NXT Takeover: Unstoppable–05.20.15

The SmarK Rant for NXT Takeover: Unstoppable Belated happy birthday / drunken bachelor party wishes to my compadre Zen, who is now on the wrong side of 40 like myself and soon to be married. Finally. Good on ya, and welcome to old age. Live from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Rich Brennan, Byron Saxton and Corey Graves #1 Contender: Tyler Breeze v. Finn Balor Sadly, Hideo Itami was attacked on the pre-show and suffered a shoulder injury, which the company obviously knew nothing about beforehand. Because why would they advertise this as a triple threat for weeks beforehand unless they were totally ignorant of the injury? That would just be silly. Kevin Owens is suspected due to making a sarcastic remark on the way out of the shot. It’s CSI: WWE. Finn Balor is portraying a dragon tonight and usual gets a monster reaction just by walking out. Like basically Balor is the closest thing the company has to a larger-than-life superhero right out of the comics at the moment. The crowd is so jacked for him that they chant “This is awesome” just for the entrance! They trade headlocks to start and Balor dumps him, but can’t get the dive in time. Back in, Breeze hits the springboard dropkick to put Balor on the floor and stomps away in the ring. Some jackass in the front row has a “We Want Riley” sign. Who is “we” in this situation? Doesn’t that require more than one person to hold an opinion? Breeze with a neckbreaker for two and he works a chinlock, but Balor fights out and puts him on the floor with a seated dropkick. Double stomp from the APRON follows. Ouch. Back in, Tyler rolls away from the finisher, but runs into a mule kick in the corner that gets two. Sadly the tweet scroll for NXT is just as idiotic as the main show version. “Did Kevin Owens attack Hideo?” YA THINK?! Balor walks into a Supermodel Kick and Breeze gets two off that, but he stops to loosen a turnbuckle and pounds away in the corner. Beauty Shot misses, but Breeze gets a rollup for two. Blind charge misses and Balor rolls him up for two, but Breeze sends him into the exposed turnbuckle and hits the Beauty Shot for two. This prompts a tantrum in fine heel fashion, because these guys actually CARE about wins and losses. Breeze bails to the floor to regroup, but Balor hits him with a forearm from below the ramp, and then dives off the ENTRANCE SET while the fans chant “Please don’t die”. I concur. Back in, corner dropkick, Coup de Grace, and it’s good night Irene at 11:00. Hard work, great near-falls, crazy finish, this was fantastic for an opener. **** Meanwhile, Kevin Owens is typically unimpressed by his new challenger. Dana Brooke & Emma v. Charlotte & Bayley Bayley is actually a really interesting character now, because they haven’t had anyone to appeal to young girls for a long time and that’s exactly the demo she’s hitting. Dana immediately gets double-teamed by the babyfaces and tags out to Emma, who gets greeted with an “Evil Emma” chant. She hides behind Brooke and gets wiped out by Bayley anyway, but Bayley goes up and gets hauled down for two. If there’s anyone born to play face-in-peril, it’s Bayley. To the heel corner for some double-team stomps as this crowd really hates Brooke. Emma Sandwich gets two. Emma stops to mock Charlotte, however, and Bayley gets the hot tag. Charlotte hits Brooke with a neckbreaker as Dana’s gear malfunctions a few times, and hits a double DDT on both heels. That gets two on Emma. Emma comes back with a flying bodypress, but Charlotte rolls into the figure-four and then bridges while holding it, which is the Figure Eight. Bayley gets rid of Brooke and Charlotte finishes Emma with the Natural Selection neckbreaker at 6:50. Fun little match and thankfully Brooke didn’t do much and let Emma carry the workload on live TV. **1/2 Rhyno v. Baron Corbin I love it, no bullshit, just ripping right through to the next match. Someone e-mailed me asking if the Sons of Anarchy theme would work for a wrestler, and while I don’t think Corbin is QUITE right for it, he could totally use “John The Revelator” from the end of season one. Rhyno tosses him and they brawl on the floor, but Rhyno goes up and Corbin sends him to the floor again. Back in, Corbin takes over and slugs him down, then pounds away in the corner. Sliding punch gets two. OK, this is already too long. They collide in the corner for the double KO and Rhyno comes back with elbows and a spinebuster for two. Belly to belly sets up the GOAR, but Corbin counters with a clothesline and finishes with the End of Days at 7:10. Baron is definitely still a work in progress. They need to go back to short matches again for him. Not particularly bad per se, but Corbin was totally lost out there. *1/2 Meanwhile, Greg the idiot interviewer interrupts Kevin Owens in the locker room, even though he’s really sorry to do so, and asks him how his week was. WHO WRITES THESE QUESTIONS?! Owens takes this moron in stride and points out how dominant and awesome he is, and promises that tonight is the last time we’ll see Sami Zayn. NXT tag titles: The Dubstep Cowboys v. Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady I love the champions if only because they have their names on their tights so I can tell them apart. Enzo gets a quick bodypress on Blake for two, but Cass comes in and the champs back off. Cass slugs Murphy down for two, and Enzo comes in with a flying bodypress for two. He bails to the apron and Murphy clotheslines him to the floor so that Enzo can take his god-given place as face-in-peril. Blake with a backbreaker and he works a chinlock. Over to Murphy for his own chinlock, and they cut off an Enzo comeback with a Blake abdominal stretch. A cool powerbomb into a backstabber from the champs gets two. They fight to the top and Enzo comes back with a tornado DDT on Murphy and it’s hot tag Cass. Cass clears the ring and lays out Blake with a big boot and SAWFT elbow drop for two. Sideslam on Murphy and he puts Enzo on the top rope (while still half-unconscious) but Alexa Bliss heads down and attacks Carmella, then turns on Enzo to knock him off the top and allows Murphy to get the easy pin at 9:00 to retain. Well you knew the Jersey crew was coming up short here one way or another, and now we actually have a tangible direction for this feud again. **1/2 Match was nothing special, but served the purpose. Meanwhile, they cut to Eva Marie from Total Divas in the audience, and no one gives a shit. That was legitimately great. Like, what exactly is that girl’s role in the company? Wrestler? NXT Women’s title: Sasha Banks v. Becky Lynch Becky is apparently steampunk tonight. Because, hey, why not? They trade rollups to start and go right into the pinfall reversal sequence, and Becky goes for the arm before Sasha bails to the ropes. Becky with a springboard kick to put Sasha on the apron, but Sasha yanks her to the floor. Like a boss. Back in, that gets two. Sasha works on the arm, but Becky cradles for two. Sasha wraps her up with a straightjacket hold into a backcracker, but Becky makes the ropes. So Sasha hits the double stomp in the corner for two. Sasha twists Becky’s arm in a way that nature did not intend, which gets two. Sasha with the SHORT ARM SCISSORS, and of course we get the power spot to break. Haven’t seen that one in a while, actually. Becky makes the comeback and goes up with a missile dropkick for two. Sasha hits her with a pair of running knees in the corner, which gets two. They slug it out and tumble to the floor, where Sasha meets the post, and Becky gets a hammerlock suplex and goes to work on the arm. Backdrop suplex gets two. Sasha tries a suplex, but trash-talks first and gets wrapped up in an armbar as a result. Only talk shit when you’re in control, Sasha! That’s basic heel strategy! Sasha thankfully makes the ropes as the crowd freaks out, and she tosses Becky to take a breath, but hits Becky with a dive and gets caught. Becky sends her arm into the stairs and they head back in, but Becky goes up and gets brought down in the Bank statement at 15:30 to keep the belt on the Boss. SHOW STOLEN. ****1/4 I am 100% Team Sasha at this point, although my wife thought that Becky’s shorts and hair were cuter. Thankfully the crowd gives Becky the standing ovation for a job well done afterwards, even though she came up short. This was pretty much everything great about wrestling that we love. And finally… NXT title: Kevin Owens v. Sami Zayn Kevin Owens has a John Cena shirt tonight because he’s the best. As usual, he walks away to start, so Sami attacks on the floor and slugs away, then sends Owens into the stairs and into the crowd. Owens tries to escape and Sami chases, so Owens catches him in a powerbomb and Sami grabs the railing to block. That would have been scary. Back to ringside and finally in the ring, a Blue Thunder Bomb gets two. Tornado DDT is countered by Owens, as he drops Sami on his shoulder to take over. Sami keeps coming with a suplex into the corner, however, and Owens escapes the ring again. Sami chases again and suplexes him on the floor, but charges one time too many and gets powerbombed onto the apron. Owens pounds away on the floor while the refs try to pull him off, but Sami won’t quit. So Owens hauls him into the ring as dead weight while a gaggle of refs run interference, and finally William Regal himself gets involved and gets headbutted out of the ring. Owens grabs a chair…but SAMOA JOE debuts and shit is about to get real. Owens chooses to walk away from that one. I presume this was a no-content somewhere about the 8:00 mark. Hard to rate as a match, but it was tracking at about *** before the Zayn injury angle ended it. So now Samoa Joe on WWE TV is a thing that has happened. Poor Sami, though, getting destroyed again. The Pulse Can’t argue with a pair of **** matches, including another classic from Sasha Banks, and the WWE debut of Samoa Joe! Not the blowaway show that some of these have been, but I was entertained for two hours and that’s all I want out of these. Thumbs way up.

NXT Takeover: Unstoppable

NXT
Takeover: Unstoppable
Date: May 20, 2015
Location: Full Sail
University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Rich
Brennan, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s another live two
hour special with a rare rematch for the main event. Tonight it’s
Zayn vs. Owens II as Sami tries to get the NXT Title back from the
man who beat him by referee stoppage back at Takeover: Rival. These
shows are always worth checking out and there’s no reason to think
this won’t be the same so let’s get to it.

The opening video
features a bunch of fans talking about why they love NXT and thanking
the promotion for giving them wrestling back. It transitions into a
regular opening video with clips of every match and soundbytes from
the wrestlers.
Four models, wearing
fur and talking pictures of themselves, walk the aisle like a runway
and I think you know where this is going.
Tyler
Breeze vs. Finn Balor
This was supposed to be
a triple threat but we get a clip of Hideo Itami being attacked in
the parking lot as he arrived. Kevin Owens is there and says that’s
a shame. THANK YOU! This is one of those things you never get
anymore in wrestling and it drives me crazy. Itami is injured, so
why not give Owens (or anyone) credit for it instead of just saying
“yeah he’s hurt. Too bad.” It’s so nice to see. It’s also nice
to see the full on Irish demon entrance for Balor again, complete
with dreadlocks, paint, the dragon style cape and spikes down his
back. He even has a huge yellow eye on his back.
Feeling out process to
start with Breeze looking disturbed (rightfully so) by Balor’s
appearance. Tyler finally nails a big kick to put Balor on the floor
before choking with the boot in the corner. We hit the chinlock on
Balor and Tyler seems to have his own group of fans tonight. Balor
rolls up and tries a sunset flip but rolls through into a basement
dropkick. Another dropkick to the side of the head sends Breeze
outside and Balor hits a running double stomp to the back from the
apron.
Back in and Balor kicks
him in the head for two more. The Sling Blade gets the same but
Breeze stops a charge with a Supermodel Kick for a very close two.
Tyler unhooks a buckle pad but misses the Beauty Shot. Balor misses
a double stomp and gets rolled up for two before being sent into the
exposed buckle, setting up a Beauty Shot for two.
Balor rolls outside and
walks a bit (Fans to the referee: “YOU’RE NOT COUNTING!”) before
surprising Breeze with a running forearm. Finn goes up to the bottom
of the Titantron (Fans: “PLEASE DON’T DIE!”) for a big dive to
take Breeze down again. Back in and the Coup de Grace makes Balor #1
contender at 11:05.
Rating:
B. Great choice for an opener
here and Breeze continues his hot streak. Balor was just too much
for him here though and that’s the right thought process. It’s hard
to go with Breeze, who has gone from a comedy character to a serious
wrestler, over someone who is one of the best packages in all of NXT.
Balor vs. Zayn or Owens should rock the house too.
Owens
watches from the back.
Someone
from Game of Thrones and Stephanie McMahon are in the front row.
Clips
of the northeast tour.
Dana
Brooke/Emma vs. Bayley/Charlotte
That place is going to
erupt when Bayley finally wins the title. Bayley catapults Dana into
a clothesline from Charlotte to start and chases Emma to the floor.
Emma hides behind her partner on the floor but eats a dropkick from
around the corner. Back in and Emma gets in a blind shot to take
over on Bayley, setting up a neck crank. The Emma Sandwich gets two
and Emma mocks the Bayley high five. That earns her a suplex and
it’s off to Charlotte who comes in with a double DDT. Emma’s cross
body is countered into the Figure Eight but Dana makes a save, only
to walk into the Belly to Bayley. Natural Selection ends Emma at
6:38.
Rating:
C+. This was fine but a bit
short. It’s a good move to not have Brooke take the fall as they’re
probably setting her up for something bigger down the line. Bayley
not getting the pin keeps Bayley vs. Emma ready for later on and
hopefully then on to the title pursuit again. Nice little match here
but the time hurt it.
We
look at Sami injuring his shoulder on Raw a few weeks back. I’m
still not sure how legit that injury is and I love that I can’t tell.
Some
NXT rookies are here, headlined by the still yet to be named Uhaa
Nation.
Baron
Corbin vs. Rhyno
Just a power brawl
here. Rhyno looks almost the same as he did back in ECW. Baron gets
sidestepped and clotheslined to the floor to start and Corbin is in
early trouble. Back in and Corbin knocks him off the top and out to
the floor as the fans think Cor-Bin Sucks. Rhyno tries to fight back
but gets thrown into the corner and stomped down until the referee
pulls him off. We hit the chinlock and the fans aren’t sure who they
like more. Rhyno fights up and wins a slugout but Baron headbutts
out of a belly to belly. Instead it’s a spinebuster for two on
Corbin but he blocks a Gore with a clothesline, setting up End of
Days for the pin at 7:13.
Rating:
C. Take two guys, let them beat
each other up for seven minutes, soak in the cheers. There
isn’t much more to this one than that as Rhyno was brought in exactly
for this purpose: make other people look good and do the job at the
end, because he’s an established veteran who is going to bounce back
from whatever losses he has. Good power match.
We
look at Owens beating up Cena on Raw.
Owens
is asked about his busy week, which he breaks down in detail. The
NXT Title is a real prize, unlike the US Title. He
has a bit of veteran advice for Sami: don’t show up tonight, because
it’s the last time anyone will ever see (insert You Can’t See Me)
him.
Tag
Team Titles: Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady vs. Blake/Murphy
Enzo
and Cass are challenging with Carmella in their corner, who may or
may not have turned on them. Enzo
says Team Cottonelle is taking an L tonight because there’s a bounty
on their head. In a nice
touch, Cass spells out the word and we cut to a SAWFT sign in the
crowd with the camera panning over each letter in time.
Enzo
takes Blake (with his hair
in ponytails) down to start
and it’s off to Big Cass, sending the champs hiding in the corner.
Murphy’s chop has no effect
on Cass so he throws Murphy hard into the corner for two. Enzo
adds a high cross body for the same but the champs cheat a bit to
take over, setting up Murphy for a backbreaker. Enzo
gets stomped down in the corner and
caught in a powerbomb into a Codebreaker for two more.
Back
to Murphy for a superplex but Amore fights him off and hits a tornado
DDT to set up the double tag. Cass
cleans house and gets two off the Empire Elbow before tagging a very
banged up Enzo for the Rocket Launcher. Cue
Alexa Bliss to jump Carmella, drawing Cass out before he can throw
his partner. Bliss crotches Enzo to give Blake the pin to retain at
8:48.
Rating:
C. Nice swerve here as Bliss
going after Carmella was teased a bit last week but it wasn’t enough
to make you think it was going to happen. People were waiting on
Carmella to turn and then you get a nice surprise instead. Enzo and
Cass probably aren’t taking the titles anytime soon and it might be
time to send them to the main roster.
Eva
Marie is here and is met with indifference.
We
look back at Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch.  Banks took Lynch
under her wing and used her to retain the title.  Becky shook
her off and has become #1 contender, saying it’s her time to prove
that her career has all been worth it by becoming Women’s Champion.
Women’s
Title: Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks
Becky
is challenging and sporting a new look with orange
hair, a black coat, goggles
and shorts. The ring gear
is similar to Lita’s look when she returned from her broken neck.
Becky cranks on the arm to
start and trips Sasha down into a rollup for two. We
hit a pinfall reversal sequence for some near falls each until Sasha
bails from an armbar attempt. Sasha
crawls away from a stomp on the apron and twists Becky’s arm into a
faceplant on the apron. Fans: “LIKE A BOSS! LIKE A BOSS!”
Now
it’s Sasha going for the arm and posing on the apron to mock Lynch’s
entrance. We hit the
chinlock from the champ before
she switches to a double arm choke with her foot in Becky’s back.
Sasha’s double stomp in the
corner lands on the arm for two and Banks steps on the arm, bending
it all the way back to the mat with her boot on the wrist. Off
to a short arm scissors for
a bit before Becky rolls over and does her Backlund/Bulldog lift into
a slam to break the hold.
Becky
makes the one armed comeback and gets two off a missile dropkick but
Banks goes back to the arm for two. Sasha
goes for the arm again but they both wind up on the floor. It’s
Becky going after the arm this time before throwing it back inside
for a suplex onto the arm. An armbar with the feet has Banks in
trouble and another suplex gets two. Fans:
“SUPLEX CITY!”
Sasha
flips out of a pumphandle suplex but gets pulled down into the seated
armbar, sending her crawling to the ropes for the break. Becky
gets kicked out to the floor again for a suicide dive but Lynch
catches her (mostly) on the
fly and drives the champ
into the steps. Back in and
Becky gets knocked off the top, setting up the Bank Statement (with
an additional arm trap) for
the tap out at 15:30.
Rating:
A-. I
know I say this every time, but I can’t remember the last time I was
this into a women’s match or most matches for that matter. These two
were beating the tar out of each other with the arm work going back
and forth making for a great story throughout. These
girls somehow get better and better every single time and they’re
stealing all of the Takeovers. Great match.
Becky
gets a standing ovation.
We
recap Owens vs. Zayn. They were friends for years but Owens attacked
Zayn after Sami won the title at Takeover: R-Evolution. Owens said
he wanted to provide a better life for his family but has been using
that as an excuse to be an evil jerk. He beat Zayn for the title
last time but now Sami is coming in with a bad shoulder.
NXT
Title: Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Sami
is challenging. Owens comes
out wearing a John Cena The Champ Is Here shirt. After
the Big Match Intros, Owens bails to the floor as is his custom.
Sami gets tired of waiting and goes after him by sending Owens into
the steps and hammering away. He throws Owens into the barricade
before they spill into the crowd. Owens tries a powerbomb on the
concrete but Sami grabs a barricade to escape.
Sami
knocks him onto the concrete to take over again and they head inside
with the Blue Thunder Bomb connecting for two. The
half nelson/chicken wing suplex gets the same and Sami loads up a
tornado DDT, only to have Owens block it with a raised knee to the
back for a unique counter. The Cannonball misses though and the
t-bone into the corner rocks Owens again. He’s able to roll away
from the Helluva Kick though and it’s back to the floor. Another
exploder suplex staggers Owens but he catches a running boot and
powerbombs Sami onto the apron.
Cue
the referees to check on Sami but Owens keeps hammering away. Owens
stomps away as the fans want to let them fight. Kevin
throws Sami against the steps and punches him down again as the
doctor keeps trying to check on him. They
actually get back in the ring and I’m not sure if this match is still
going.
GM
William Regal comes out and calls Owens off, eventually ripping at
Owens’ face, earning Regal a headbutt. Kevin
gets the title and a chair (the same weapon that started their feud
in ROH) but we’ve got music. Cue SAMOA JOE (with that name on his
shirt and called that name by Brennan) and the fans are stunned. Joe
gets right in Owens’ face and the champ runs. We’ll call the match a
no contest at about 12:00.
Rating:
B+. Heck of a fight while it
lasted but that’s twice in a row now that Owens has knocked Zayn out
to beat him. It’s one heck of a rub for Owens and the beauty of it
is that Zayn is going to be right back on top through pure charisma.
Joe vs. Owens is going to be a war and that’s quite the way to have
him debut, even if it was spoiled.
Owens
comes back out but says he’s done his job to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
B+.
Somehow, this is a downgrade over their previous shows. Really
fun show this time with the girls making up for the angle disguised
as a main event. Joe debuting is a great moment as he’s such a huge
name on the indy scene that the NXT fans are going to accept him with
open arms. This was another great Takeover and the future continues
to shine so brightly for this company’s future.
Results
Finn Balor b. Tyler
Breeze – Coup de Grace
Charlotte/Bayley b.
Dana Brooke/Emma – Natural Selection to Emma
Baron Corbin b. Rhyno –
End of Days
Blake/Murphy b. Enzo
Amore/Colin Cassady – Blake pinned Amore after Bliss crotched him
on the top rope
Sasha Banks b. Becky
Lynch – Bank Statement
Kevin Owens vs. Sami
Zayn went to a no contest
Remember to follow me
on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete Monday
Nitro Reviews Volume III at Amazon for just $3.99 at:
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The SmarK Rant for NXT Takeover: Rival

The SmarK Rant for NXT Takeover: Rival Live from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Rich Brennan, Corey Graves & Jason Albert Hideo Itami v. Tyler Breeze Tyler now has a blinged selfie stick, which you have to figure will factor into the finish. Also of note, a hot chick jumps out of the crowd and clings to Breeze before getting hauled off. Breeze with a pair of elbows in the corner to start, but Itami gets his own and puts him down with a knee to the gut that sends Breeze to the floor. Back in, they collide on a bodypress attempt and Itami nails him with kicks. Breeze makes another run for it as Brennan notes that “some OBSERVERS say we’ve only seen bits of pieces of Itami’s potential…” WINK WINK. Breeze catches him with a cheapshot on the apron to take over. He goes to work on the leg with a ringpost figure-four and a modified Sharpshooter. Very nice! Itami makes the ropes. We AGAIN get the mean tease of the GTS and a high kick gets two, but Breeze superkicks him for two. If Itami ever hits that damn move the place is gonna explode. They slug it out on the mat while the crowd is actually torn between them, but now Itami is PISSED. Backfist and a spinkick set up the kick combo on the ropes, and Breeze eats the corner dropkick and big kick to the face to finish at 8:20. Heck of an opener. *** Baron Corbin v. Bull Dempsey Baron attacks and runs into an angry Bull, and they brawl on the floor. Back in, Corbin gets a spinebuster for two and they tumble to the floor again. Bull comes back with a diving headbutt for two, and he goes with a chair to end it, but walks into the End of Days in a sloppy finish at 4:15. Yeah, even this crowd wasn’t very forgiving of that ending. *1/2 Match was OK for what it was, but really we’ve seen Corbin squash him decisively twice now anyway. NXT tag titles: Blake & Murphy v. The Lucha Dragons AAAAAAAAGH SO MUCH DUBSTEP. Brennan compares their title win to the Mulkeys getting their one win 30 years ago. Ouch. The champions have matching tights AND put their names on their asses so I can tell them apart. That makes them OK in my books. Sin Cara gets double-teamed, but comes back with a flying headscissors on Blake and they all fight to the floor. In the ring, Sin Cara takes Blake down from the top with a victory roll for two, but lets him tag out for some reason. Kalisto (Spanish for “fake gay hairdresser rumor”) comes in with a senton for two on Murphy, but Sin Cara walks into a massive double-team neckbreaker. That should probably be a finisher. Murphy hits the chinlock, but Kalisto comes in with a springboard bodyblock and a knee to the head for two. Ouch. SDS is countered into a facelock and a powerbomb, which Kalisto reverses into a rollup for two. They trade near-falls off that and Sin Cara springboards in for two. Blake with a suplex, but Cara reverses into a rollup for two. Another one is countered for two. Blake with a sunset flip for two. Murphy gets powerbombed for two. Kalisto gets knocked to the floor and Cara is on his own, and the champs finish with a brainbuster into a frog splash at 7:45. Crowd didn’t really get who to cheer for, but this was a fun and energetic indy style tag match. ***1/4 Blake & Murphy need a big heel foil, though. Next week: SOLOMON CROWE. #1 Contender finals: Finn Balor v. Adrian Neville Full entrance for Finn, although sadly my wife doesn’t get the deal with him. Neville with the headlock and they fight to the stalemate, but Balor gets a low dropkick and Neville bails. Back in, Balor with the dropkick and Neville rolls out again, but cuts off a dive attempt a second time. Springboard dropkick gets two for Neville off that. Neville with a couple of chinlocks (“His makeup is rubbing off!” notes my wife on color commentary. “That stuff is expensive, I bet.”) Balor bails and tries a springboard dropkick, but Neville nails him with his own dropkick and gets a suplex for two. Neville goes up and Balor kicks him in the face to put him on the floor, then follows with a dive. Neville retreats to the timekeeper’s area, and Balor stalks him and dropkicks him into the railing in a crazy spot. Speaking of crazy spots, Neville crawls in and Balor double-stomps the BACK OF HIS HEAD off the top for two. Balor tries a dragon sleeper, but Neville fights back with kicks and they do the DUELING HEAD KICKS and both guys are out. Neville recovers first with a german suplex, and a second one gets two. To the middle rope for a mini version of the Red Arrow, which gets two. Balor catches him with the Sling Blade and comes back with a lariat, and the inverted DDT gets two. To the top, but Neville cuts him off with a head kick and goes up himself, but the Red Arrow misses and Balor gets a small package for two. Corner dropkick and the flying double stomp finish at 13:27 and the crowd goes BATSHIT. Well that’s gonna be a tough one to top. ****1/4 NXT Women’s title: Charlotte v. Sasha Banks v. Becky Lynch v. Bayley Everyone attacks Charlotte to start and Bayley rolls her up for two before the heels pull Charlotte out and beat her down, breaking the LED board on the side of the ring in the process. I was wondering when that would happen. Back in, Becky and Sasha pound on Bayley, but can’t decide who gets the pin and Becky turns on her. So Becky takes over with legdrops on Bayley for two, and she goes to work on the leg with a grapevine. Sasha breaks it up and beats on Becky in the corner, but Becky gets a missile dropkick for two. Charlotte comes back in and hits Sasha with a neckbreaker for two. Another neckbreaker on Lynch gets two. Sasha comes back and mocks Charlotte, and that goes badly for her. Charlotte and Bayley team up with a codebreaker on Sasha that’s pretty awesome, but Charlotte turns on her and boots her out of the ring. Sasha manages to stack Charlotte and Becky in the corner and hits them both with double knees in a funny spot, and that gets two on both. Bayley returns with suplexes on the heels and she elbows Charlotte into the corner, setting up a top rope rana and Bayley to Belly for two. Becky saves and she brawls to the floor with Bayley, allowing Sasha to hit both of them with a dive. And then Charlotte hits all of them with her own. Back in, Becky catches her with a cheapshot and a suplex for two. They fight to the top and Bayley saves by suplexing Becky, and hits Charlotte with a top rope Bayley to Belly for two. Sasha saves and steals a two count off that. Sasha with the crossface on Charlotte, but Charlotte fights for the ropes, so Sasha smartly rolls her over in a crucifix for the pin and the title at 12:00 in something of a shocker. So she won the title in a match by beating the champion due to being a better wrestler? Like that shit would ever fly on RAW. Another contender for “Best Divas match ever” in the running series of them on NXT. **** Charlotte gives her the victory hug, but Sasha shoves her off instead. Because she’s the Boss. NXT title: Sami Zayn v. Kevin Owens The opening video package is one of the best that WWE has ever produced and sums up their entire feud in 2 minutes, giving both guys their motivation for anyone new that’s watching. If they can finish with something great this show is gonna be an all-timer. Owens immediately ducks out of the ring to mess with the fans, until Zayn has had enough and hits him with the dive. They slug it out in the ring and Zayn gets the best of that by unleashing his anger, but Owens drops him on the top rope and clotheslines him to take over. He whips Zayn around the ring while the crowd is very split on who they’re cheering for here. It’s a new golden age of Canadians in the main event! Owens with a chop for two and they trade forearms, but Owens slams him for two and works on the chinlock. Back elbow gets two as the announcer discuss the brass ring in veiled terms. Sami fights back, but Owens suplexes him onto the top for two and goes back to the chinlock. Sami fights up and Owens suplexes him for two. To the floor and Owens throws some very loud chops and beats on Zayn, and back in for two. Gutbuster and senton get two. Sami keeps fighting like he does, and the announcers reference Brock v. Cena at Summerslam, which is so weird because it’s like the main roster is something out of a different world than these shows. Sami keeps fighting and clotheslines Owens to the floor for another fight out there, where he makes the comeback with a clothesline. Back in, Zayn with the Blue Thunder bomb for two. Owens hits a superkick and Zayn is loopy, allowing Owens to hit the cannonball in the corner for two. Owens with a crazy pumphandle backbreaker for two. Zayn fights back again with the dropkick to block the powerbomb, and he suplexes Owens for two. Owens bails to the apron and necks him, then goes up, but Zayn pops up with a superplex and Owens fights him off. Top rope senton hits knee, however, and Sami comes back again. Owens charges and Sami suplexes him into the corner, and the Heluva kick misses as Owens runs away. They fight on the floor and Sami escapes a powerbomb out there, then follows with an equally crazy moonsault press that causes Sami to knock himself silly on the ramp. Sami, who is never not awesome, sells it like he’s concussed and staggers around the ring, unable to hit the kick. He walks into the powerbomb, and Owens gets two. Sami is just the best at selling a beating like this. Owens keeps beating on him and levels him with an uppercut until the trainer has to come out and check on Sami. Another pair of powerbombs follow for Owens, but Sami barely rolls over at two while WOMEN ARE LITERALLY CRYING IN THE FRONT ROW. The trainers want to stop it, but Owens powerbombs him two more times and the ref stops it at 22:46 and awards him the title. The crowd is shocked and horrified. I LOVE IT. Sami Zayn fighting from underneath is money and this is the finish I’ve been waiting for someone to try for a long time. **** The Pulse It astonishes me that the monkeys who produce the garbage for the main shows don’t watch these and LEARN. This was probably one of the best two hour wrestling shows you’ll ever see and well worth your $9.99 to check it out. Highest recommendation.

NXT Takeover: Rival

NXT
Takeover: Rival
Date:
February 10, 2015
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Rich Brennan, Corey Graves, Jason Albert
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
been less than two months since the last Takeover and NXT is starting
to crank up the frequency of these specials. The main story coming
in is fallout from last time as Kevin Owens is challenging former
best friend Sami Zayn for the NXT Title after betraying new champion
Zayn at the end of the last show. Let’s get to it.

The
opening video gives us a quick background of every major match.
Hideo
Itami vs. Tyler Breeze
This
was set up late last week after Itami lost in the semi-finals of the
#1 contenders tournament and was attacked by Breeze. A blonde woman
jumps Breeze during his entrance and is quickly dragged away. She
was too good looking to be a real fan. Hideo misses a running kick
to start but nails a clothesline out of the corner. A forearm knocks
Breeze to the floor and Hideo dropkicks him out of the air. Tyler
wakes up and goes after the knee to take over by ramming it into the
apron and dropping some elbows. The knee is wrapped around the post
and Breeze slaps on the Figure Four around the post as well.
Back
in and Breeze puts on a unique submission hold which is kind of a
Texas Cloverleaf/Figure Four/Sharpshooter combination. Itami gets to
the ropes and tries the GTS, only to have Breeze escape and hit the
Supermodel Kick for two. I guess selling doesn’t translate to
Japanese. Hideo starts Hulking Up and kicks Breeze in the head
before firing off a series of them to the chest. He is nice enough
to limp a bit after doing the offense with no issues. A running
delayed dropkick in the corner and a running big boot to the face is
enough to pin Breeze at 8:20.
Rating:
B-. Entertaining match but the
lack of selling got annoying in a hurry. It’s also not a good sign
that Hideo was right back to kicks only offense. Yeah he varies them
up a bit, but they’re all just kicks no matter how you look at it.
Breeze is getting to the point where he puts over so many people that
it’s not meaning as much. Itami needed a win though and this was his
biggest in a singles match to date.
Baron
Corbin vs. Bull Dempsey
No
DQ. Corbin charges at him to start and they fight on the floor with
Dempsey hitting a suplex onto the ramp. He posts Baron as well and
takes him inside, only to get caught in a spinebuster for two.
Corbin charges him out to the floor where Bull runs him over again.
Back in and the flying headbutt gets two on Corbin, sending a
frustrated Dempsey outside for a chair. That takes a bit too long
though and Corbin catches him in End of Days for the pin at 4:11.
Rating:
C. Good brawl but my goodness
let it be over now. These two didn’t need to fight again after the
first two times but it kept going for the sake of having another
match here. That’s unlike NXT and I really hope it’s nothing that
becomes normal. At least the right guy won and they kept it short.
Tag
Team Titles: Blake and Murphy vs. Lucha Dragons
Blake
and Murphy beat the Dragons to win the belts a few weeks back and
this is the rematch. They’ve also lost their first names during
their title reign. Cara and Murphy get things going but it’s very
quickly off to Blake, who eats a spinning cross body. The champs
take over and Kalisto gets the tag, only to botch a dive over the
top.
Instead
a victory roll gets two out of the corner before Cara slams Kalisto
onto Murphy for the same. This match is kind of all over the place
so far. Back to Blake as the champs take over with some fast tags
and quick offense. Kalisto gets another hot tag and cleans house
with his rolling kick to the head and low hurricanrana but Murphy
counters the Salida Del Sol. A powerbomb gets two on Kalisto and
they hit a pinfall reversal sequence until both partners make saves
at the same time.
Cara
rolls Blake into a powerbomb for two but Murphy rolls out for two of
his own. It’s quickly back to Murphy who can’t roll out of the
powerbomb as everything breaks down again. Kalisto is knocked off
the apron and Murphy hits a running suplex on Cara, setting up a
great looking frog splash from Blake to retain the titles at 7:28.
Rating:
C. This was entertaining but
kind of sloppy. They didn’t really try for any kind of psychology
but the champs looked smooth out there and the match worked well
enough for what it was going for. Blake and Murphy are actually good
champions and work well together, though I could use a big more to
separate them. Still though, good enough stuff.
During
the champs’ celebration, we get the longest Solomon hack to date,
complete with “Next week” coming up on screen.
Recap
of the #1 contenders tournament, which quickly turns into a video on
Neville vs. Balor. Both of them have worked hard to get here and
they’re ready to go through the other to get their shot at the title.
#1
Contenders Tournament Final: Finn Balor vs. Adrian Neville
Balor
does his full on painted, crawling entrance. Neville runs him over
to start and grabs a headlock on the mat. That’s fine with Finn who
rolls through and hits a basement dropkick to the face, sending
Adrian rolling out to the floor. Back in and Finn runs him over
again before slapping on a chinlock. Balor escapes and goes to the
apron but gets dropkicked down while trying a springboard. This is a
chess match so far. A delayed suplex gets two for Adrian and it’s
another chinlock.
Finn
is out quicker this time though and he kicks Neville out to the floor
for a huge flip dive. After taking a few moments to get up, Balor
slowly stalks around the ring and hits a running dropkick to send
Neville through the barricade. Back in and a top rope stomps to the
back of the head gets two more for Balor and frustration is setting
in. Neville wins a kick off but Finn scores with a Pele to put both
guys down again.
Adrian
is up first and muscles Finn over for a German suplex and now it’s
his turn to be frustrated. A middle rope Phoenix Splash gets two on
Balor but he comes back with a Sling Blade to put Adrian down again.
Finn’s running clothesline turns Neville inside out and a reverse
implant DDT gets two more. Neville scores with a pair of kicks to
the head but the Red Arrow hits knees, allowing Finn to hook a small
package for a VERY close two. I totally bought that as the finish.
Now it’s Balor going up for a top rope double stomp to the ribs for
the pin and the title shot at 13:32.
Rating:
A. Now THIS worked. Both guys
were rocking the whole time and this was one heck of a back and forth
showdown. Balor is being treated as the real deal and they’re doing
a great job of rocketing him up the card. This was a great war with
some white hot near falls with both guys looking great and topping
each other until Neville just couldn’t get up anymore.
They
shake hands post match.
Video
on the four way Women’s Title match which is a pretty simple idea:
Charlotte has the belt, all
three other girls want it, and they’re willing to fight everyone to
get it.
Women’s
Title: Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch vs. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
Other
than the main event, this is the match I’ve been looking forward to
more than anything else, including Balor vs. Neville. It’s a basic
title feud but they’ve executed it so well that I want to see it.
Consider that this is the company that also has the Bellas being
pushed to Mars and back and you’ll be even more astounded by that.
It’s a big brawl to start
with Charlotte knocking both villains to the floor but getting rolled
up for two.
Now
it’s Bayley getting double teamed with a double clothesline and then
just being thrown into the corner. Banks
and Lynch of course get into an argument over who should get the
cover. Sasha turns her back on her partner though and gets launched
with a kind of pumphandle throw. Lynch
goes after Bayley’s bad knee and puts on a kind of reverse figure
four but Banks makes the save. Becky
hits a missile dropkick to put Sasha down for two but it’s Charlotte
making the save.
The
champ starts busting out neckbreakers for two each before getting in
a slugout with Banks. Sasha
gets the better of it and whips Charlotte into the ropes, only to
have her spear Becky down. Bayley gets back in and catches Sasha in
an assisted Codebreaker but Charlotte boots her in the face. Sasha
sends Charlotte shoulder first into the post and drapes her over the
middle rope. She puts Becky across the bottom rope for good measure
and drives her knees into Charlotte’s ribs to send her into Lynch for
two on both of them.
Bayley
throws Banks down and it’s down to Bayley vs. Charlotte. A
series of running elbows in the corner have Charlotte reeling and
Bayley tightens the ponytail to make it serious. Bayley
scores with a top rope hurricanrana and the Belly to Bayley but Becky
pulls her out to the floor. That’s
too much for Bayley as she snaps on Lynch, only to have Sasha dive
through the ropes to take both girls down.
The
champ has a breather but screw that because she dives onto all three
to put everyone down. Back
in and Lynch hits an exploder suplex for two on Charlotte. Bayley
breaks up something out of the corner and German suplexes Becky,
setting up a super Belly to Bayley on Charlotte but Sasha dives in
for the save and a VERY closer near fall of her own. The
Bank Statement goes on but Sasha lets go to kick Becky down. She
slaps the hold on again before rolling Charlotte up in a crucifix for
the pin and the title at 11:57.
Rating:
A-. FOLLOW THAT BELLAS! I
would have ended it with the stolen pin off the superplex but good
grief these girls are awesome. These matches are always a highlight
and it never ceases to amaze me how hard they blow the Divas out of
the water. Actually check that. The NXT girls and the Divas don’t
belong in the same water. Awesome
stuff here and the NXT girls continue to get more and more amazing
every time.
Charlotte
hugs the new champ post match but gets shoved away by the Boss.
We
recap Zayn vs. Owens, which is all about jealousy from Owens. Sami
won the belt at the last Takeover and Owens turned on him during the
celebration. Owens has been there with Zayn the whole time but Sami
was called up first. That title means a better life for Kevin’s
family and he’ll do whatever it takes to win it. Sami just wants to
hurt Owens no matter what it takes.
NXT
Title: Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
We
get the tracking shots of both guys coming to the ring, which is a
trend I’d love to see come back. After
the big match intros, they stare each other down as the fans are
mostly behind the champ. Owens
bails to the floor to get inside Sami’s head and we’re in full on
Zbyszko mode. Sami finally
just dives over the top to take Owens down before throwing him inside
for a beating. A hot shot
breaks up Sami’s momentum and the pro-dirty traitors strike up the
FIGHT OWENS FIGHT chants.
Owens
rips the skin off Sami’s chest with a chop and Sami quickly loses a
slugout. We hit the
chinlock on the champ to get a breather before
Kevin just grinds his forearm into Sami’s jaw. Sami
tries to fight up but gets dropped ribs first over the top rope for
two. Back to the chinlock
which makes sense as Kevin
has been trying to grind Sami down. A
hard belly to back suplex gets two and they head outside so Sami can
be rammed into the apron.
The
fans have switched up to KILL OWENS KILL as he takes the champ back
inside to yell in his face. Owens
also puts fists to his face before
a gutbuster gets two. Sami
jawbreaks out of the third chinlock as
the announcers bring up Lesnar vs. Cena from Summerslam. That’s not
the longest stretch in the world. Sami
fights back with some clotheslines, including a big one to send Kevin
to the floor.
Now
it’s Owens going into the steps and getting his head taken off with a
clothesline. Back in and
Sami hits the Blue Thunder Bomb for two but the Helluva Kick is
countered with a huge superkick. There’s the Cannonball for two and
the pumphandle driver onto the knee gets an even closer near fall.
The popup powerbomb is
countered with a dropkick and the Half and Half suplex gets two for
the champ.
Kevin
snaps the throat over the top rope but gets caught on the same rope,
only to knock Sami down. He spits at the champ but his Swanton Bomb
hits knees. The Exploder
Suplex into the corner looks to set up the Helluva Kick but Owens
bails to the floor. Owens
can’t hit the apron powerbomb so Sami hits the bouncing moonsault,
only to have both guys bang their heads on the ramp.
Sami can barely stand and
staggers on the attempt at the Helluva Kick, allowing Owens to hit
the popup powerbomb for an even closer two.
Owens
just unloads with right hands to the head and the champ’s eyes are
glazed over. He pounds away
in the ropes and keeps
getting dragged away by the referee. The trainer comes out to check
on Sami but Owens powerbombs Sami again. A
second powerbomb has Sami out cold but he slowly rolls his shoulder
up to keep this going. The
trainer gets in the ring now, earning Zayn two more powerbombs.
Kevin loads up a fifth in a row and the referee finally pulls him off
to stop the match at 23:12, giving
Owens the title.
Rating:
A-. This was absolutely brutal
and a great way to get the title off Zayn. Owens looks like a
killer, but the key thing here is he could not pin Sami. This
sets up a big time gimmick rematch as well as writes Sami off TV
while he on the international tour during the next TV tapings. In
other words, NXT has come up with a way to avoid their champion not
being around for over a month of TV, because they’re that much
smarter than WWE. Excellent
stuff here with Sami looking like a warrior and Owens looking like
the most awesome monster this side of Brock Lesnar.
Oh
and next up: Owens vs. Balor.
A
smiling Owens stands over Sami to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
A. Good grief. I mean
just good freaking grief. How in the world does NXT manage to keep
blowing away every bit of wrestling WWE can put out time after time?
I’m not sure if any of the three big matches here were as good as the
triple threat from the Rumble (and they likely weren’t due to the
stage the Rumble was on), but I’ll take three awesome matches over
one incredible triple threat any day.
Another
outstanding show here with the wrestlers working themselves to the
bone to make the whole thing work. There are stories, character
development, great matches and hard work all around and there’s no
way that doesn’t equal an excellent show. NXT is still on fire and
shows no signs of slowing down with even more names on the way, like
Crowe and that trio of amateur guys that have been getting rave
reviews. Great stuff here and again, if this doesn’t give you enough
reason to buy the Network, I don’t know what more you could ask for.
Results
Hideo
Itami b. Tyler Breeze – Big boot
Baron
Corbin b. Bull Dempsey – End of Days
Blake
and Murphy b. Lucha Dragons – Frog splash to Cara
Finn
Balor b. Adrian Neville – Top rope double stomp
Sasha
Banks b. Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Bayley – Rollup to Charlotte
Kevin
Owens b. Sami Zayn via referee stoppage
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

The SmarK Rant for NXT Takeover REvolution

The SmarK Rant for NXT Takeover REvolution Live from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Rich Brennan, Corey Graves & Alex Riley. So I guess Graves has decided to hang it up after all. It must suck to be forced into retirement before you even make it out of developmental. Kevin Owens v. CJ Parker Hopefully this “KO” will work out better than the first one. Huge pop for Owens once his video reveals his identity and he attacks Parker, tosses him, and then splats him with a dive on the ramp. Back in, CJ catches him with a spinkick and throws weak knees, followed by the palm strike for two. This actually busts Owens’ nose open, and he levels Parker with a lariat and a muscle buster. Powerbomb finishes at 3:12. So that was quite the debut. **1/2 NXT Tag titles: The Lucha Dragons v. The Vaudevillains Sin Cara gets a quick bodypress on Gotch for two and the Dragons double-team him with a senton for two. The villains work Sin Cara over and English gets two. Blind charge hits elbow, but Cara remains trapped in the corner. The beating continues for a bit and Kalisto gets the hot tag and throws kicks on Gotch. They toss the heels and follow with a double dive on English, but Gotch gets out of the way and tries to capitalize on Kalisto. Sadly, he takes the SDS and gets pinned at 6:54. Kind of a nothing match, not much heat to it. ** Tye Dillinger v. Baron Corbin The crowd timing the match is a funny bit. Corbin hits the Snake Eyes, big boot and finishes with the End of Days at 0:40. That’s a hell of a name for a finisher. He and Bull Dempsey have a staredown at ringside afterwards in some good old fashioned rasslin’ story development. The Ascension v. Finn Balor & Hideo Itami Well the babyface team doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue easily. But Finn Balor’s interpretive dance entrance WINS THE INTERNETS because holy shit. This was like something out of NJPW’s over the top theatrical entrances and I love it. The babyfaces clear the ring and the crowd chants “Marking out”. Itami and Balor control Viktor in the corner and Balor throws chops for two. Over to Konor, who gets dropkicked for two. Itami throws kicks, but walks into a flapjack for two and the Ascension takes over. Konor stomps away for two and Viktor goes to a chinlock. Konor with a corner clothesline for two. Viktor does some old school cutting the ring off, but misses a charge and hits the post…and then Konor knocks Balor off the apron like an ASSHOLE. That’s great. Itami keeps fighting back, and this time makes the hot tag and the crowd goes cray cray. He kicks Viktor into the corner and then hits him with an enzuigiri on the top, putting him on the floor and following with a dive on both Ascension. Back in, he misses a double stomp on Viktor, but hits an inverted DDT for two. Viktor with the STO for two. Itami tries a GTS as the crowd freaks out, but Konor breaks it up and they set up for the Fall of Man. Balor hits a Pele on Konor and both faces go up with stereo double stomps to finish at 11:34. Devitt is a STAR and I was way into this one. Although he was such a huge star that he pretty much overshadowed Itami in the process, which might be a problem. *** Meanwhile, Renee Young interviews Roman Reigns, who as usual has nothing much to say. NXT Women’s title: Charlotte v. Sasha Banks Sasha throws chops in the corner and gets beat up as a result, and they take it to the floor. Sasha sends her into the stairs and back in for two. Sasha stomps away in the corner and gets two off that. Sasha stops for a strut and gets rolled up for two, and they do a nice little reversal sequence that leads to Sasha hitting a backstabber into a straitjacket hold. Charlotte powers out of that, but Sasha takes her down with a headscissors. Charlotte powers out with an electric chair and makes the comeback with clotheslines and a neckbreaker for two. Sasha dumps her and follows with a suicide dive, and that gets two. They trade chops and Charlotte puts her down with a spear, but goes for the figure-four and Sasha cradles for two. Neckbreaker gets two and she fights for the count. Good to see that. I also love the touch of Sasha getting all pissed off because she can’t beat Charlotte. Charlotte misses a moonsault, but recovers with a senton instead for two. What a great spot. Sasha escapes a Razor’s Edge and sends Charlotte into the corner for a superplex, but Charlotte blocks it. Natural Selection from the top rope finishes at 12:13. Good, no point in bringing her up after the debacle on Monday. This was an amazing performance from Sasha Banks, as I had no idea she had this kind of match in her. ***1/2 NXT title: Adrian Neville v. Sami Zayn The heat for Zayn is off the charts as he somehow manages to keep people invested in him despite all the failures. They trade wristlocks to start and Neville starts working the arm, which leads to a stalemate. Sami with a backbreaker to put Neville on the floor, and Sami hits him with a quebrada. Back in, Neville with a crucifix for two and a back elbow for two. Low dropkick gets two. Neville with the chinlock, and three kneedrops for two. Sami fights up, but Neville gets a dropkick for two. Sami fights back again and dumps Neville for another dive, then follows with a crossbody for two. Neville tries a handspring and Sami catches him with a powerbomb for two. Neville with a running elbow and german suplex for two. Sami escapes a powerbomb, but tries a ropewalk and Neville reverses into his intended powerbomb for two. Neville throws forearms, but Zayn gets more fired up and comes back with a lariat. Heluva Kick misses, however, and Neville goes up, but the Red Arrow hits knee and Zayn hooks the Koji Klutch. Sadly, he makes the ropes. The ref gets bumped “accidentally” by Neville, and he hits a superkick and crazy inverted rana for two. How do you even take that bump? They slug it out and Zayn drops him on his head with a suplex, so Neville bails. Zayn follows with the diving DDT through the ropes, and back in the ref gets bumped AGAIN. Neville grabs the belt while Zayn wastes time checking on the ref again, but this time Sami gets the belt and contemplates using it. Sami finally decides that he can’t win it that way, so Neville rolls him up for two. Zayn has had enough and comes back with the exploder into the corner and Heluva Kick to FINALLY WIN THE BIG ONE at 23:13. And the crowd LOSES THEIR MIND. What a cool morality play, with Zayn getting tempted and beaten down, but finally learning that hard work and fair play can triumph in the end. **** And Kevin Owens comes out for a big tearful manly hug with his best friend. Neville also gives him a hug as we get the celebration with the entire locker room and Owens comes out for one more hug to end the show…and then FUCKS HIM UP WITH A POWERBOMB ON THE FLOOR. While the end graphic was on the screen no less! Well there’s your next challenger. The Pulse Easily the best, or at least more purely enjoyable, show of the year thus far. All killer, no filler. Even if the weekly show has been pretty weak as of late, everyone came out trying to steal the show and more than a few succeeded. Three great matches to close the show, in three totally different styles, makes this a giant thumbs up.

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
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

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

Takeover:
Fatal Four-Way
Date: September 11,
2014
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.
Tag
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.
Rating:
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.
The
new champions dub themselves the Lucha Dragons.
We
get a quick pause in memory of 9/11.
Video
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.
CJ
Parker vs. Baron Corbin
This
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.
Video
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.
Enzo
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.
Rating:
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
head.
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
interrupt.
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
debut.
Bull
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.
Women’s
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.
Rating:
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
great.
Post
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.
NXT
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
Tyson.
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.
Rating:
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.
Sami
looks at Adrian with frustration on his face to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
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.
Results
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
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

The SmarK Rant for NXT Takeover

The SmarK Rant for NXT Takeover LIVE from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and William Regal. Adam Rose v. Camacho A sign in the crowd notes that “This person only attends Lemon Parties”. Stay classy, Full Sail. On a related note, I was discussing Lemon Party with a co-worker and it came up that he had never Googled “blue waffle” either. Sadly we couldn’t do it on the work computers so he could add that to his bucket list. Camacho attacks and gets a sleeper, but Rose fights out and starts to make the comeback before Camacho cuts him off and goes back to the sleeper after a big boot. The crowd chants “Party Time / All the time” to get Rose fired up, but Camacho puts him down and drops a leg for two. Hey, some people only want to rock n roll all night and PART of every day, to quote Paul Rudd. Rose comes back with the corner splash and broncobuster, and the Party Foul finishes at 5:06. Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling. ** Tyler Breeze has just entered the building! NXT Tag team titles: The Ascension v. Kalisto & El Local The Ascension charges in and attacks, but they get tossed as a result and the luchadors try a dive…only to get caught with stereo forearms. Ouch. Viktor beats on Kalisto in the corner as the crowd is torn as to who to chant for here. Konor drops an elbow for two and Viktor chops him down for two as Kalisto is your cara-in-peril. Viktor drops him in the corner for two and goes to the chinlock, then decides to just toss him and let Konor beat on him outside. Kalisto fights them off, but Konor cuts off the ring in classic fashion and Kalisto has to fight off Viktor with a victory roll before making the hot tag to Local. Rolling kick out of the corner and moonsault get two on Viktor, but he goes up and misses, allowing Viktor to hit the STO. Fall of Man finishes at 6:15. Bigger challenge, same result. Keep the new meat coming! The more they work longer matches, the better they’ll get. Again, totally fine, fun wrestling. ** Tyler Breeze gets a video package! #1 Contender match: Sami Zayn v. Tyler Breeze Sami has new music for some reason, as does Breeze. Why are they messing with what was working? The crowd was really into Breeze’s entrance before and this kind of kills it. They fight over a wristlock to start and Zayn goes to the armdrags and puts him down with a leg lariat. He goes up and Breeze shoves him to the floor and then chokes away in the corner. Breeze with a bulldog into the corner for two. Faceplant gets two. Breeze holds a facelock on the mat, but Zayn powers out and chases him to the floor, then follows with a quebrada that looked like it smashed Breeze’s head into the ramp. YIKES. Back in with a flying bodypress for two. Breeze elbows out of the Blue Thunder bomb, but a second try hits for two. Zayn back up, but he misses and Breeze superkicks him into a DDT for two. Powerbomb out of the corner gets two. Breeze slugs away in the corner, but Zayn suplexes him into the turnbuckles. They’re letting it all hang out here, for sure. Breeze with a rollup for two and they fight for another one, but Zayn walks into a superkick that gets two. They keep slugging it out on the ropes and now Zayn is PISSED. They fight over a wacky suplex variation, and Zayn is like “fuck it” and turns it into a crazy powerbomb for two. I don’t know what that was, but it was AWESOME. Breeze takes a break, so Zayn follows him out with another dive that smacks poor Tyler’s head into the metal AGAIN. I hope it’s worth the concussion. Back in, Sami crotches himself trying the corner kick, and the Beauty Shot finishes at 15:55! Tyler Breeze is the #1 contender! I presume this means Zayn is headed to the big time, because otherwise there was no point in having him blow the big one yet again. There was a point where Breeze was clearly off on another planet after the head injury, but this was easily a show-stealing classic otherwise. **** Rusev is again talking about Putin, and that’s a no-go for Mojo! Rusev kicks his ass, regardless of patriotic fervor, though. They need to bring back Bill Watts and have Rusev bury him under the Russian flag again. NXT Women’s title: Charlotte v. Natalya So we’ve got Flair in one corner and Bret in the other, and I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to guess which is which. They trade armbars to start and Nat works on a headlock while the crowd is torn. Charlotte cartwheels out and goes to her own armbar, but Nattie goes for the leg now and taunts Flair. That never works out well for people. Charlotte tries a wheelbarrow suplex and Nat reverses into a rollup for two, and goes right into a bodyscissors for two. Rollup gets two. Charlotte finally uses the POWER OF THE CHOP to take over, and Ric does some strutting to celebrate. Nattie tries a sleeper, but Charlotte sits down with a jawbreaker for two. Charlotte wraps her up with a figure-four headlock and bounces her face off the mat a few times, then flips her over for two. Regardless of her experience as a wrestler, Charlotte is a freakish athlete. They trade abdominal stretches and Charlotte dropkicks her for two, but Natalya comes back with a butterfly suplex and the low dropkick for two. Charlotte with a Flair Flip and Nat knocks her off the apron, so Charlotte yanks her to the floor in response. Back in, that gets two. Charlotte goes AERIAL, but misses the moonsault and Flair is going nuts at ringside. Nat with the STO for two. Sharpshooter, but Charlotte counters out to the figure-four in a slick move, and they fight for the reversal on that. That turns into a SLAP FIGHT before Nat makes the ropes, but Charlotte rolls to the floor and hangs on before finally breaking the hold. Charlotte sends her knee into the stairs, and back in for her own Sharpshooter, but Nat then reverses THAT before Charlotte fights her off and finishes with the neckbreaker at 16:41 to win the NXT title. Everyone hugs it out afterwards because Flair is so damn proud of his daughter. And well he should be, the match was awesome. ***3/4 NXT Title: Adrian Neville v. Tyson Kidd Some pretty badass gear on Kidd tonight. Kidd takes him down with a headlock and gives him a shot to the head to show he’s meaning business, and controls with a wristlock on the mat. Neville goes to the armbar, but Kidd makes the ropes and monkey-flips him, only to have Neville land on his feet. They reach a stalemate and now it’s on. Kidd throws the first forearm and hangs Neville in the Tree of Woe for some punishment. Back elbow gets two. Kidd cranks on a chinlock and Neville fights up, so Kidd dumps him and follows with a flip dive that gets two. Back to the chinlock, but Neville fights up again and puts him down with forearms and puts Kidd in his own Tree of Woe. Regal sings the praises of sweet revenge and Neville springboards in with a forearm for two. Kidd bails to the apron and catches Neville with a forearm to block his dive, and that gets two. Kidd to the top, but Neville catches him with a forearm and flips away from a potential powerbomb. And then he does his own for two! Neville tries a springboard move, but Kidd follows him up and brings him down with a Russian legsweep for two. Kidd to the top again, but he lands on Neville’s foot and gets cradled for two. Kidd throws kicks and tries a suplex, but Neville reverses and they both suplex each other to the floor in a crazy bump. Both guys JUST beat the count. They slug it out while the crowd does a dueling chant, and Kidd takes him down with a Sharpshooter, which Neville blocks, so Tyson turns into the rare Dungeon Lock instead. Kind of a triangle choke. Neville makes the ropes, but Kidd goes up with a somersault legdrop for two. Kidd to the top again and Neville keeps trying to follow, so Kidd keeps fighting him off, but finally Neville flies in with a rana from the top and finishes with the Red Arrow at 20:53. Rough night for the Kidds, but that’s what they were there for. ***1/2 Neville wants the handshake, but Kidd gives him the COLD SHOULDER. Oh no he didn’t! The Pulse Payback is gonna have a bitch of a time topping this show. There’s your $10 worth for the Network in 2 hours. No bullshit, great action, and easy to follow storylines with logical payoffs. Thumbs WAY up.

NXT: Takeover

NXT:
Takeover
Date: May 29,
2014
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Tom Phillips, William Regal, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s the
second two hour live NXT special tonight and the card looks solid.
The main event is Adrian Neville defending the NXT Title against
Tyson Kidd after Kidd won a triple threat a few weeks ago. Other
than that we’ve got the other two titles on the line as well, with
Ascension defending against Kalisto/El Local and Charlotte vs.
Natalya for the vacant Women’s Title. Let’s get to it.

The opening
video is about change, with NXT taking over the world. A Takeover
you might say.
Adam Rose
leads his party from outside, all the way into the arena for his
match. Awesome entrance.
Adam Rose
vs. Camacho
Rose is
feeling rather playful as he jumps into Camacho’s arms, only to be
slammed down to the mat in a hard landing. A nice butterfly suplex
gets two on Adam and we hit the chinlock. The fans sing the song to
get Rose back to his feet because this is the most awesome crowd in
wrestling. Rose escapes and starts Hulking Up but a hard boot to the
face puts him down for two. Another chinlock slows things down as
the fans chant PARTY TIME. Camacho drops a leg for two but Rose
fights back with left hands and a big spinebuster. A Bronco Buster
sets up the Party Foul to pin Camacho at 5:10.
Rating: C.
This wasn’t a great match but it was the perfect way to open up a big
show. Rose is very similar to Godfather, as the matches aren’t all
that impressive but he’s going to get a crowd over no matter what
he’s doing. That’s a very valuable thing to have and something that
should keep Rose on the main roster for a long time.
Video
on Zayn vs. Camacho from Arrival.
Tyler Breeze
has entered the building. Regal: “My night is made!”
Tag Team
Titles: Kalisto/El Local vs. Ascension
Ascension is
defending and their challengers have only wrestled together a few
times. The champions go after the masked men to start but stereo
headscissors put them on the floor. Local and Kalisto load up stereo
suicide dives but charge into uppercuts to knock them back into the
ring. Viktor starts by throwing Kalisto around before it’s quickly
off to Konnor for a big elbow drop. A double chicken wing has
Kalisto in even more trouble.
Back to
Viktor who rips at Kalisto’s mask before putting him in the Tree of
Woe for kicks from Konnor. They head outside to keep up the
destruction but Kalisto kicks Konnor in the face and rams Viktor face
first into the apron. It’s not enough for a hot tag though as
Ascension takes him into the corner. Kalisto FINALLY dives over to
make the tag and Local speeds things up. A middle rope moonsault
gets two as everything breaks down. Viktor just ENDS Local with a
running clothesline though, setting up Fall of Man for the pin at
6:20.
Rating:
D+. The hot tag was a bit of an
improvement but this was more of the same from Ascension. At the end
of the day, they’re desperately in need of competition unless they’re
brought up to the main roster to take the belts from the Usos soon.
Either that or the new pretty boy team will knock them off, which
isn’t the worst idea in the world.
Video on
Tyler Breeze.
Sami Zayn
vs. Tyler Breeze
#1 contenders
match. Breeze has new music, completely with paparazzi sounds.
Tyler cranks on the wrist to start but gets taken down by a top
wristlock. Zayn snaps off three very fast armdrags to take over and
hooks an armbar. Back up and Sami goes to the corner, only for Tyler
to grab his leg and whip Zayn all the way down to the floor. Breeze
stomps away in the corner before hitting a nice bulldog into the
middle buckle. Tyler’s hair is down, I believe for the first time
ever in NXT.
We hit a
front facelock on Sami but he finally fights up and throws Breeze
off. I love the subtle things Sami does like have to try three times
before shoving Tyler away. It’s a great way to build up sympathy and
get the crowd behind you. Breeze heads outside so Zayn hits a huge
slingshot moonsault to take him down. Back in and a high cross body
gets two on Tyler followed by a wicked Blue Thunder Bomb for the
same.
A frustrated
Sami goes up top but has to roll through a cross body, only to charge
into a kick to the ribs and a DDT for two. Tyler comes back by
pulling Sami from the mat out of the corner into a sitout powerbomb
for another near fall. Breeze goes nuts in the corner with right
hands but Sami comes back with an exploder suplex to send him into
the buckles. They slug it out with some very intense BOO/YAY chants.

Sami stops
himself before running into the referee and gets rolled up for two.
The Blue Thunder Bomb is countered into a series of standing switches
before Tyler superkicks Sami’s head off but Zayn kicks out AGAIN.
The fans are literally standing and cheering for this. Both guys are
spent but it’s Breeze in control. Sami blocks an Irish whip and
tries an arm trap powerbomb but the fall down in a sloppy looking
sequence. That’s fine with Zayn though as he loads up a fisherman’s
buster but flips Breeze forward into a powerbomb for two.
Breeze bails
to the floor, allowing Sami to hit a gorgeous flip dive. The landing
looked very rough though as Sami’s leg smacked Breeze in the head and
knocked it into the steel ramp. Back in and Sami tries the Helluva
Kick but Breeze’s head goes down, causing a low blow to Sami. Zayn
falls backwards and the Beauty Shot gives Breeze the pin at 15:55.
Rating:
A-. That botched sequence near
the end is one of the only things holding this back. Sami is more
than ready for WWE by this point but at some point he needs to get a
major win in NXT. I’m fine with them not making him champion, but
there’s a good chance this gets a rematch due to the ending.
Breeze’s best match ever by about 10,000 miles as well.
Here are Lana
and Rusev with something to say. Lana says Rusev has spread his
power to Raw and Smackdown but now he’s back here receive adulation.
This brings out Mojo Rawley with an American flag to stand up to this
horrid villain. Rawley says in America, we don’t get hyped. WE STAY
HYPED! Mojo hits the ring….and gets his head kicked into the
fourth row. Rusev hammers away and Accolades Rawley in about 20
seconds. Rusev still isn’t done though as he puts on the Accolade on
the ramp.
Video on
Charlotte vs. Natalya, which will see both famous relatives in the
corners.
Kris
Kristofferson is here.
Before the
match, here’s Paige to say how good it is to be home. She thanks the
fans for their help in making her Divas Champion because she couldn’t
do it without them. Paige is also proud to be the first NXT Women’s
Champion but tonight is about a new champion. Whoever that is has to
have strength, character and grace because she’s the key to the
future. Holding the Women’s Title is the key to the Divas Title, so
enjoy the rest of the show.
Women’s
Title: Charlotte vs. Natalya
This is a
tournament final for the vacant championship. Charlotte has a
remixed Ric Flair theme song and it’s really not working. After some
big match intros, we’re ready to go. Feeling out process to start as
the legends play cheerleaders. Natalya takes her down by the arm but
gets caught in a headscissors. Back up and Natalya grabs the
headlock as well. That goes nowhere either so they fight over
wristlocks until Charlotte grabs an armbar.
Natalya does
the Owen Hart roll out and grabs a leg lock to take over. Back up
again and Natalya takes her right back down with another leg tie.
Charlotte reaches around to grab a chinlock which goes into a front
facelock. They hit the ropes for a bit with Natalya countering a
wheelbarrow slam into a cradle for two. Natalya grabs a body
scissors but Charlotte rolls to the ropes to avoid a cross
armbreaker.
Charlotte
gets tired of submission stuff and slaps Natalya in the face. A BIG
chop puts Natalya down and Ric loses his mind going WOO. Natalya
tries a sleeper but gets caught in an over the shoulder Stunner for
two. Charlotte slams the Canadian’s face into the mat over and over
before choking in the corner a bit. Off to a figure four headlock
complete with Madison Rayne’s face ram into the mat.
Back up and
it’s off to an abdominal stretch on Natalya, albeit not a very good
one. Natalya reverses into a much better one and even grabs
Charlotte’s leg for good measure. Charlotte rolls out and hits a low
dropkick for two. Natalya fights back with power and a low dropkick
of her own, followed by a whip into the corner for a Flair Flip.
They head outside with Charlotte whipping Natalya off the apron by
the leg. Back in and Charlotte goes up, only to miss a moonsault.
A discus
lariat gets two for Natalya and the Sharpshooter goes on, but
Charlotte rolls out and puts on the Figure Four. Natalya somehow
reverses the pressure without turning the hold over and Charlotte
crawls to the apron. She falls to the floor with the hold still on
and both girls are in trouble. Natalya is sent knee first into the
steps and it’s back inside for a bad Sharpshooter (complete with a
glare at Bret) but Natalya rolls through, only to be kicked away from
the Sharpshooter. Charlotte hits Bow Down To The Queen out of
nowhere for the pin and the title at 16:55.
Rating:
B+. Who would have thought THIS
would be awesome? Charlotte has somehow become awesome in like two
months and more than held her own out there. It was hard to imagine
Natalya winning here but it was still an absolutely awesome match
between two wrestlers who happen to be girls.
They
shake hands post match, as do Ric and Bret for a nice moment.
Video on
Neville’s rise to the top of NXT.
Cesaro and
Christian are here.
Kidd and
Natalya are ready.
NXT Title:
Tyson Kidd vs. Adrian Neville
Neville is
defending. Big match intros are done and we’re ready to go. They
shake hands and talk trash to each other until Tyson takes him down
with a headlock. Adrian spins up and Tyson shoves him down to annoy
the champion. Back up and this time it’s Adrian taking Kidd down and
into the ropes for another staredown. The champion grabs an armbar
(Fans: “ARMBAR! ARMBAR!”) but Kidd is quickly up and things get
faster. Neville flips over to escape a backdrop but Kidd does the
same, leading to another staredown. This time though Kidd blasts him
in the face and kicks away, giving us a mid match heel turn.
Kidd puts him
into the Tree of Woe before lifting him up for a kick to the back. A
running dropkick has Adrian in trouble and we hit the chinlock.
Neville fights up but Kidd sends him to the floor and hits a big flip
dive for two back inside. Adrian is back up again and they hit cross
bodies at the same time to put both guys down. Now they trade kicks
to the ribs but Adrian hits a sliding kick to the head to take over.
Now it’s Kidd put in the Tree of Woe for the same kind of kicks that
he threw earlier.
A running
delayed dropkick knocks Kidd senseless but it’s only good for two and
the champion is getting frustrated. Kidd comes back with a pair of
kicks to the head but Adrian kicks out at two. Tyson goes up but
Neville blocks the Blockbuster with a forearm to the jaw. Adrian’s
superplex is countered into a powerbomb but Adrian flips out and hits
a sitout powerbomb for two.
Adrian loads
up what looked to be a Lionsault press but Kidd runs at the ropes for
a middle rope Russian legsweep for a close two. Kidd dives into
knees but gets rolled up for another near fall. The champion tries a
suplex but they both fall over the top rope and crash to the floor.
Both guys slide in to beat the count and they’re spent.
Kidd loads up
the Sharpshooter but leans forward to put on the Dungeon Lock
(instead of turning over he grabs Adrian’s arm and leans back for a
choke with a leg lock). Adrian is in the ropes, so Kidd ties him up
in those ropes for a top rope flip legdrop and two. Kidd loads up
the Blockbuster but Adrian counters into a gorgeous top rope
hurricanrana. Kidd is almost out cold and the Red Arrow is enough to
keep the title in England at 20:00.
Rating:
A-. Take two guys and let them
fly around the ring for a long time. Again, Kidd winning wasn’t
likely at all but that doesn’t mean he can’t go out there and tear
the house down like he just did. Neville is getting a huge star rub,
even though he doesn’t seem to be the longest term solution as
champion.
Kidd very
slowly gets up but won’t shake hands.
Overall
Rating:
A. This was an AWESOME
show with three incredible matches out of five with the other two not
being bad at all. NXT continues to be the most outstanding wrestling
promotion going right now with nothing but great matches and shows
almost every week. It’s amazing how this doesn’t translate all that
well up to WWE though, as the scripting of everything stops so much
of the momentum that NXT has due to people just going out there and
tearing the house down. Excellent show, just like Arrival.
Results
Adam Rose b.
Camacho – Party Foul
Ascension b.
El Local/Kalisto – Fall of Man to Local
Tyler Breeze
b. Sami Zayn – Beauty Shot
Charlotte b.
Natalya – Bow Down to the Queen
Adrian
Neville b. Tyson Kidd – Red Arrow
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

NXT Takeover Live Thread

The Preshow Starts at 7:30pm as the panel includes Renee Young, Christian, Paul Heyman, and Cesaro

Matches for tonight include:

Tyson Kidd vs. Adrian Neville for the NXT Championship
Tyler Breeze vs. Sami Zayn in a Number One Contender Match
Kalisto & El Local vs. The Ascension for the NXT Tag Team Championship
Natalya vs. Charlotte for the NXT Women’s Championship
Adam Rose vs. Camacho