Last week’s edition of NXT saw the arrival of William Regal as General Manager, and immediately made his presence felt by announcing an incredible main event for NXT Takeover II, a fatal four-way for the NXT Championship. Adrian Neville will defend his coveted belt against Tyson Kidd, Tyler Breeze and Sami Zayn. These multiple threats pose the greatest threat to the Brit’s six-month reign as champion, with all three legitimate threats alone. Takeover is shaping up to be an excellent advert for the superstars of tomorrow, and the go-home show should have the same excitement surrounding it. All four competitors in the main event will be in singles action, looking to carry all the momentum they can into the big show.
Championships are once again the order of the day, as the NXT Championship is not the only strap on the line at Takeover. The Women’s Champion Charlotte will be in action, taking on the spirited Alexa Bliss in preparation for her defense to Bayley. And, after weeks of action, the tag team tournament reaches its much-anticipated conclusion, as the luchadore pairing of Kalisto and Sin Cara battle the nefarious antics of the Vaudevillains. Who will have the unenviable task of trying to dethrone the overwhelming dominance of The Ascension?
- Charlotte defeats Alexa Bliss
- Tyler Breeze defeats Tye Dillinger
- Tyson Kidd defeats Adam Rose
- Sami Zayn defeats Marcus Louis
- Adrian Neville defeats CJ Parker
- Kalisto & Sin Cara defeat The Vaudevillains
Charlotte vs. Alexa Bliss
The NXT divas open up the show, as the petite Alexa Bliss makes her way towards the ring. She has only featured sporadically since her debut back in May, and has only been able to show a fraction of her potential. Tonight, Bliss has the opportunity to assert her place in NXT with a bout with the best the roster has to offer. Charlotte, genetically blessed and the current Women’s Champion, is preparing for her title defense at Takeover through the plucky Bliss. The Nature Girl has been champion since May, and coincidentally defeated Bliss in the semi-finals of the tournament in which she first claimed the belt. She would be hoping for an equivalent result as she builds momentum before taking on Bayley next week.
The much taller Charlotte takes immediate control with a firm headlock, but Bliss is able to escape and lock in one of her own. Charlotte hoists her diminutive opponent onto the top rope, but Bliss flips through into a pinning predicament, a nicely worked spot. The “sexy Smurf” (Renee Young’s words, not mine) connects with a headscissors, but is then caught in painful gutbuster. Charlotte takes control, using her long legs to choke Bliss against the ropes. This doesn’t last long however, as Bliss fights back with forearms and a dropkick, before being caught in a powerbomb position, which is rolled into a sunset flip for a near fall. This only serves to anger the champ, who lands a hard shot to the back of Bliss, before putting her in position for Bow Down to the Queen.
Another victory for Charlotte in a short match, and Bliss once again is only allowed to show an ounce of her potential. Still, the champion gets some much-needed momentum towards her title defense. But, her celebration is cut short by the music of Bayley. Despite her childlike smile, she warns Charlotte that though the champion doesn’t take her challenge seriously, Bayley is coming to Takeover to take her title. She once again offers her hand to Charlotte, and is met with a shove against the ropes. But, a ducked clothesline is countered into a rather sloppy looking Bayley-to-Bayley. Nevertheless, it sends the message that Charlotte’s title is under threat, and Bayley will be a tough challenge.
Rating – 2/5
Tyler Breeze vs. Tye Dillinger
The first of the four NXT Championship competitors in action this evening is the Selfie-Obsessed Tyler Breeze. Prince Pretty had his one-on-one shot against Adrian Neville interrupted by Tyson Kidd, and is not particularly fond of any of his upcoming opponents. The feeling, however, is certainly mutual. Therefore, Breeze needs to be in top condition in order to handle the challenge awaiting him at Takeover. Each member of the spectacular main event has been interviewed pre-match about why they will come out on top. For Breeze the answer is simple – he is the best looking man there has ever been, and that equates to being the best man period. I’m sure his opponents will take exception to those remarks by systematically working over that pretty face. For tonight, Tye Dillinger is the immediate challenge.
The pair lock-up, with Dillinger forced back into the corner. However, he avoids an onrushing Breeze and lands a shoulder block. Breeze looks to leapfrog the oncoming Dillinger only to be caught with an atomic drop, followed by a hard chop and stomp to the face. Breeze breaks up the onslaught with a kick to the head, and unleashes his vicious streak with repetitive kicks to his prone opponent in the corner. He locks Dillinger in a front face lock, but is thrust into the turnbuckle when he escapes the mat. Dillinger once again avoids a charging Breeze, and ducks a clothesline, but his reward is to run face first into the Beauty Shot. An easy victory for Breeze that was never in any jeopardy. Dillinger gets some TV time and did his job. Nothing spectacular, but a necessary result. It is up to his three future opponents to find a fitting response.
Rating – 2/5
Tyson Kidd vs. Adam Rose
In Tyson Kidd’s pre-match interview, he initially appears very complimentary of his three opponents at Takeover. However, by the end, all the kind remarks are thrown down the drain. The only thing that remains true in Kidd’s mind that he is the most ruthless and callous man in this match, and this gives him the edge when it comes to the fatal four-way. Kidd’s time on NXT has been a revitalization of his career, and to crown that winning its top championship is his sole obsession. He looks hell-bent on the title, and will let nothing stand in his way of getting it. Yet, he would be ignorant to overlook his immediate threat, as he takes on the driver of the Exotic Express, Adam Rose.
The early chain wrestling is broken up by Kidd with a kick to the gut of Rose, forcing the eccentric party animal to the corner. But, Rose turns the tables, launching his signature stomps into the chest of his prone rival. A few elbows send Kidd to the apron, but an attempted suplex back into the ring by Rose is blocked with a kick to the skull. Another kick to his fallen opponent is followed up with a swinging neckbreaker. Kidd continues to vent his aggression on Rose, whilst he is labelled a lemon by the Full Sail crowd. Kidd lands a suplex, and then locks Rose in a rear chin lock. Rose is able to rise to his feet, and fend off Kidd with repeated elbows to the skull. A few more shots are chained with a delayed spinebuster, but a charge into Kidd in the corner results in a swift dropkick to the knee. The damage opens Rose up for the Sharpshooter, and though he valiantly clambers for the ropes, he has to relent and tap. A solid victory for Kidd in another short and sweet match.
Rating – 3/5
Sami Zayn vs. Marcus Louis
Sami Zayn is next to dance his way down to the ring, and doesn’t hold back what he wants out of the upcoming title match at Takeover. Zayn says the ultimate goal is to pin whoever he has to, but in order to prove that he is the best man and the rightful champion, he ideally wants to pin Neville to get the job done. Zayn’s popularity is based on his willingness to do things the hard way, and his desire to be the best not only concerns winning the championship, but proving to himself that he is better than everyone else. Tonight, he gets the chance to strut his stuff in front the NXT audience, and takes on Marcus Louis. The Frenchman will likely be on the sidelines when Sylvester Lefort puts his hair on the line against Enzo Amore, but an opportunity to battle one of the championship contenders could prove a real shot in the arm.
Louis takes immediate control, wrenching the arm of Zayn. Zayn nips up and reverses, only to be met with a scoop slam. The Frenchman follows up with some shots to the gut, and then a hard backbreaker. Zayn is then locked in headlock, whilst the crowd cheer on the much-traveled competitor to make a recovery. Zayn’s resilience comes to the forefront as he responds with clotheslines and a dropkick. Then he lands the STO, which is immediately transitioned into the Koji Clutch, and Louis has no answer. He taps to give Zayn a victory. Zayn had very little offense, as this match appears to have been orchestrated to exemplify his heart and fortitude, surviving an onslaught by Louis only to pick up a quick victory. Unfortunately, it was far too short to show that effectively, and hopefully Takeover gives him the platform to shine as he has done on the last two NXT specials.
Rating – 1.5/5
Adrian Neville vs. CJ Parker
Finally, the NXT Champion is the last member of the main event to perform this evening, as Adrian Neville is set to take on the Earth’s supposed savior, CJ Parker. Neville himself suggested the idea of a fatal four-way match to William Regal for Takeover, and whilst many would consider that an unnecessary risk, that is what the champ is all about. The high-flier has been champion 190 days, and is looking towards extending that streak into the 200’s with victory next Thursday. He rightly states that he has beaten all three of his challengers individually, and beating them all at the same time will just save him time. Parker, however, is coming soon after a gimmick change, and following consecutive victories over Xavier Woods, will be a tough proposition for Neville.
Parker asserts himself immediately, shouting that Neville is living in his world. He whips Neville across the ring, but the Brit acrobatically flips to safety, and after a missed springboard connects with a running crossbody. Parker works his way out of a headlock, and takes down Neville with a scything kick to the neck. Parker rains down punches to the prone champion, but taking a moment to taunt his rival allows Neville to respond with his own kick to the face of the eco warrior. Neville charges only to get caught in a tilt-the-world sideslam for a two count. Parker ascends the turnbuckle, but misses his attempted splash, allowing Neville the chance to recover. A flurry of kicks by the champ is followed dropkick to the head, and with Parker resting on the turnbuckle, he is plum for a couple of strong uppercuts. A missile dropkick leaves Parker in prime position for the Red Arrow, and when the beautiful finisher lands, the victory is the champs. The show has clearly gone for quantity in terms of matches tonight, which has cost the matches time. Still, the two were able to have a fun back-and-forth encounter, with the champ taking the momentum he needs into his huge defense at Takeover.
Rating – 3/5
Kalisto & Sin Cara vs. The Vaudevillains
The final championship match in need of attention before Takeover is the tournament for the Tag Team Championship. Eight teams have battled it out for the possibility to become champions, and now only two remain. The luchadore pairing of Kalisto and Sin Cara defeated Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy in Round One, before taking down Sami Zayn and Adam Rose in the semi-finals. Their immediate chemistry and high-flying antics have delighted the crowds in the last few weeks. Their opponents also have great chemistry, as nefarious as they are. The Vaudevillains and there toe-tapping entrance beat the odd couple pairing of Mojo Rawley and Bull Dempsey, followed by Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady. However, one has to wonder if the winner of the match truly can be regarded as such, considering their “prize” waiting for them at Takeover.
A surprising firm handshake opens this contest, with Kalisto starting out with Aiden English. English’s greater height gives him the early strength advantage, but Kalisto is able to use his speed and flexibility to escape and assert himself on the narcissistic actor. A quick roll-up has English asking for advice from Gotch in the corner, as Kalisto incites a “Lucha” chant from the crowd. English tightly grips Kalisto’s head, but the masked man escapes with a quick back suplex, and places him in a headlock of his own. A roll-up by English causes another break, the two teams clearly having respect for their abilities. English forces Kalisto into the corner, but he suffers a kick to the face, and the luchadore dives off the top rope into a arm drag. A tag is made to the veteran Sin Cara, with a double kick to the chest followed by a moonsault by Kalisto from the shoulders of his partner.
Gotch makes the tag, but is immediately caught with a hip toss and dropkick. A monkey flip out of the corner sends Gotch to the opposite side of the ring, but the charging luchadore is avoided by Gotch, who dropkicks his opponent over the top rope to the floor. Gotch tags in English, then lands a uppercut to the back of Sin Cara’s head, leaving him helpless to a running neckbreaker. English ties Sin Cara in a tree of woe, but a charge leaves him shoulder first into the bottom turnbuckle, as the masked man hoisted himself onto the top rope. A flying crossbody takes out the thespian, and both tag in their partners. Kalisto comes out guns blazing, some quick shots followed up with a tilt-the-world headscissors. Kalisto lands a low hurricanrana, with the pinfall broken by English. Sin Cara disposes of English to the outside, slingshotting on top of his rival. Kalisto handsprings off the ropes, only to be caught by Gotch. However, the diminutive Mexican escapes into Solita del Sol. The tag is made to Sin Cara, as Kalisto flips through the ropes to keep English at bay. The Falling Star senton by Sin Cara gets the win for the lucha pairing, and they will challenge the Ascension for the belt next week. Definitely the best match of a packed show, the two teams showing strong chemistry that would make for a great extended feud in the future. Can the luchadores defeat the dominant champions? I’ll take some convincing. But, they should be more of a challenge than they face most weeks. Just another component that makes Takeover a must watch show. See you then.
Rating – 3.5/5