William Regal was announced as the new General Manager of NXT recently, and it was certainly a good decision. I enjoy watching Regal serve as mentor of sorts on the show.
We get right to it with the NXT Tag Team Championship match, The Ascension defending against The Lucha Dragons in Kallisto (formerly Samuray del Sol) and Sin Cara. Very fast paced match, Konnor and Victor being the big brutes while the Dragons fly around the ring in dizzying fashion. This proved to be the decline of the Ascension, as while setting up for Fall of Man, Sin Cara broke it up, allowing Kallisto to hit the Salina Del Sol finisher for the surprise victory. I was shocked they would drop the titles to the Lucha Dragons, however this might be the opening for them to be brought up to the main roster. Both teams impressive. Very impressive, even for Sin Hunico-cara.
CJ Parker gets mauled in minutes by newcomer Baron Corbin. Don’t know what that finisher was, but it was interesting. Corbin looks like a beefed up Bo Dallas, and scary.
Enzo Amore with Big Cass defeats Sylvester LeFort with Marcus Louis in a Hair vs. Hair match. Another short but solid match with Amore winning after a surprise roll-up. The fun stuff actually happened after the match, when LeFort ran away, leaving Marcus Louis at the mercy of Team SAWFT, and he winds up getting his head shaved. I really like these guys. Very few times do the big-guy-little-guy teams work, but these guys make it work. Their after-show interview was hysterical, and they are awesome on the mic.
Out comes KENTA, but not for long. Why? He announces he will be competing under the name of his childhood heroes, Hideo Itami. Bit odd, but I suppose he didn’t want WWE owning the rights to his KENTA name which was made famous in Japan. As he talks, two uninvited guests in The Ascension return to the ring, demanding an immediate rematch for the NXT Tag Team Championships. However, KEN… I mean, Itami beats them both up. My guess is that is the farewell to Konnor and Victor, in the hopes they are moving up to the main roster.
In another squash, Bull Dempsey runs through Mojo Rawley. I still don’t get the deal with Rawley. Every time I watch him, he gets smushed to paste.
In an awesome match, a match which the women on the main roster should watch, Charlotte retained the NXT Women’s Championship against Bayley. Incredible match, Bayley is a firecracker. Charlotte looked like a giant next to Bayley. The challenger hit some amazing aerial moves, including a huge standing hurricanrana. Bayley refused to tap to the figure four, while Charlottle switched between powerhouse moves and mat wrestling. Bayley showed how she was able to keep up, and hell, perform better than all of the Divas on WWE. Great match. I just don’t like the overly shy girl gimmick, if the character wants to be taken seriously, then break out of the shell. It was a great match.
Post match, Sasha Banks arrived to stir trouble, but Charlotte drove her over.
I don’t even know where to start in order to describe the main event of NXT TakeOver. Adrian Neville put his title on the line against Sami Zayn, Tyler Breeze, and Tyson Kidd. Best parts about the match, crowd chants of “This is Wrestling” rang out more than once. They really put on one hell of a show. For a while the action stalled, as Kidd played the uber-hell by constantly throwing people out of the ring to keep it one-on-one. I was also not too thrilled with the “spot” moments where Adrian Neville was always on the outside, unless it was time to hit a big move. Ultimately, the action picked up exponentially with all four blazing around the ring. It is really incredible to think about how this is under the WWE banner. This was a Ring of Honor match right here. When they were on RAW, the four participants outclassed the entire show. They did it again, and I was surprised Zayn did not come away with the title. He was so close so many times. Some interesting moves from Adrian Neville, holding the arm of Tyler Breeze to prevent him from tapping to Tyson Kidd’s sharpshooter, and then pulling the referee out of the ring when Zayn had a pin on Kidd. After Neville knocked Zayn into next week with a superkick, he hit the Red Arrow on Kidd for the win.
Great show overall, but some of the squashes felt unnecessary. I get it was meant to put people over. KENTA changing his name is akin to Bryan Danielson changing his name to Daniel Bryan.
If NXT is the future, then wrestling fans will not need to worry. However, I wonder if the style of wrestling in NXT would carry over to RAW or SmackDown. WWE Creative allowed it on RAW, which I don’t think they would have ever done years ago. With that in mind, keep an eye out for more of NXT on RAW and SmackDown.
As the show went off, Titus O’Neal posted on Twitter he might come pay NXT a visit in the near future, and target the NXT Champion. So I guess Kidd, Breeze, and Zayn, are done with the title hunt for now. Why bring O’Neal? Perhaps they are using him as filler until they decide who might be the next contender for the championship. Looking forward to it.
Michael Dworkis is a man of vast talent and industry. A former writer and corporate assistant of World Wrestling Entertainment, “MSD” is the Wrestling Columnist for Pop-Break, as well as contributing columns related to comics, movies, pop-culture, and of course, anything Transformers. He recently completed and obtained his Masters degree in Mental Health in Counseling, and recently became licensed to practice as an LAC by the National Board of Certified Counselors. If you need either a therapist or your wrestling fix, come to this man. Michael also is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Media, and previously managed an internet retail company. He blames Bill for having so much wrestling on the site and pleads with his superiors to create a feature on his very own Transformer Collection and to subdue Michael Bay for a serious talk. Michael is still searching for a Japanese Grand Maximus or any Japanese Generation 1 exclusives. See more of Michael at MichaelDworkis.com and follow on Twitter @Omegax80.