It’s here, it’s finally here! WWE NXT Takeover Rival is tonight and if you aren’t prepping your evening for the NXT Takeover extravaganza, then you’re missing out.
Two month’s ago, we were gifted with NXT Takeover R Evolution, a PPV/Special Event that not only tore the house down to bricks and mortar, but was catapulted up into the upper echelon of PPV’s for 2014 and of this current decade. While these may be developmental stars, guys and gals who are wanting to do whatever it takes to make it to the main roster; they’re able to steal the show just like Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania.
I don’t expect tonight to be any different than December 11th, where R Evolution rocked the foundations of the WWE and declared that NXT had truly arrived. With February being the one year anniversary of NXT Arrival, the first ever live show on the WWE Network and NXT’s first ever PPV/Special Event/live show, it’s only fitting we have an NXT Takeover event. Without further ado, let’s get into it:
At R Evolution we were treated to a special announcement by Corey Graves, something that was exciting, but nerve racking all at the same time. What ended up happening was he had to retire due to concussion issues, prompting him to say he’s done in the ring, but he’d be joining the booth team from now on. Two months later and while we aren’t expecting anything major just yet for the Pre-Show, we do get to see Graves and Co in their natural habitat; something I look forward to every week, because I think Graves was born to be a commentator.
Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy defend their NXT Tag Team Titles against The Lucha Dragons
I’m still applauding the move to put the belts on Blake and Murphy, being that they’re a team with loads of talent and the drive to succeed; I also did so and continue to do so because I don’t think that Kalisto is going to stick around NXT much longer and certainly doesn’t need the belts for that exact reason. The main roster is needing a healthy dose of tag teams and this is one that could easily succeed on Raw and Smackdown, so there’s not much point in keeping them down in NXT any longer.
Blake and Murphy won the belts on smoke and mirrors, using sneaky tactics to overcome their more experienced enemies –something that clearly worked like a charm.– With Murphy getting disposed of by Kalisto, Blake tagged in without Kalisto noticing, then Blake waited for Kalisto to hit his finisher on Murphy and then hopped in the ring to get a roll up pin on Kalisto –he also pulled his trunks– and got the 1-2-3 championship victory. It was a great moment for them and an even greater moment for NXT, because the titles had switched hands on a normal NXT taping, versus it being saved solely for a Takeover special. Now we know they’re willing to have titles be won and lost on a normal episode and then work towards a title rematch at the following Takeover.
So what do I think happens in this one?
I think Blake and Murphy retain after a match that’s primarily dominated by The Lucha Dragons, where they once again out think their opponents and come out on top. It feels like these two are meant to be underdogs –even if they are good sized dudes,– because they weren’t widely known or featured and then they suddenly won the belts. They went from being enhancement talent, meant to just make their opponents look good –or jobbers, depending on who you talk to,– but they stood out in all of those matches, despite suffering losses in all of them; then they went into a match against The Vaudevillains and came out with a win, which shocked us all. NXT took notice of the talent these two guys have and the fan reception they’ve been getting for the last couple months and they put the titles on them to help elevate them further.
Look for The Vaudevillains to be involved somehow, be it as an interruption or as the welcoming committee if/when Blake/Murphy win their match. It will either set up a series of 6-man tag matches between Blake/Murphy, The Lucha Dragons and The Vaudevillains –which will lead into a tornado tag at the next Takeover– or The Vaudevillains will start up a feud with Blake/Murphy moving forward and The Lucha Dragons will be left behind.
Winners: Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy
- Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy (80%, 4 Votes)
- The Lucha Dragons (20%, 1 Votes)
- DQ (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 5
Hideo Itami vs Tyler Breeze
First off, let me just say that I apologize there isn’t a more proper image; for some reason, NXT didn’t make a graphic for this match yet.
This went from being a pipe dream match, what with them facing one another in that #1 Contenders Tournament match and because it seemed like Breeze would be facing Marcus Louis tonight –I’m hoping they don’t bring Louis into this, even just as a distraction; I feel like it would take away from the match itself and it isn’t necessary, just let these two go at it,– considering he was this phantom character who was watching one of Breeze’s matches…and then he disappeared. I said in my review of NXT last week, that I wanted to see this match made for tonight’s Takeover event and hours later, WWE posted a video to their Youtube page, where Hideo was being interviewed and then was suddenly attacked out of nowhere by Breeze, who was still fuming after losing to Hideo a couple weeks prior. This video sparked Hideo’s need to get revenge on Prince Pretty and due to that, the match was officially made. Needless to say, I jumped for joy, because Breeze is being featured on a Takeover event again and I think these two are just so talented that they deserve a match against one another, to prove to themselves and everyone watching, that they know how to steal a show.
I think they beat the holy hell out of one another, leaving each man struggling to even stand by the end of things; Breeze hits his Beauty Shot finisher, but Hideo kicks out, Breeze then gets up on his feet, throws a fit for not getting the pin, turns around and Hideo lifts Breeze up on his shoulder and finally –FINALLY– hits his GTS finisher for the win. Not only do they put on a great match, but Hideo fully shows up and proves himself to any doubters, leading to a full blown feud with Breeze or perhaps this is where Solomon Crowe shows up to feud with Hideo.
Winner: Hideo Itami
- Hideo Itami (100%, 6 Votes)
- Tyler Breeze (0%, 0 Votes)
- DQ (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 6
Baron Corbin vs Bull Dempsey in a No DQ match
I was entirely against these two facing one another before a PPV, but they provided us with a great feud going into the last Takeover event and have solidly built upon that going into tonight. I believe that Bull has a chance in a No DQ match, which helps make this all the more interesting; I just personally hope that NXT allows this match to go a lengthy distance. I want to see what Corbin really has, what he’s fully capable of if given 5+ minutes and the ability to use weapons. They’ve done well in protecting him, making sure he’s given the chance to shine and not put out there for the negatives to come to light. He’s still very green, very raw, but there is so much potential there that it’s ridiculous. I wrote about him being the Next Big Thing back in October, something I meant then and still do now. He may not have a ton of matches under his belt, but he’s got presence, size, a great look, a fan-da**-tastic entrance and a top notch finisher –personal opinion, I think the End Of Days finisher looks menacing.– He’s got all the tools that Vince McMahon looks for, but he also seems capable of developing all the tools Triple H looks for.
This is one that I’m struggling with a little, mainly due to it being No DQ, which makes me think Bull is going to find a way to win this one. Having Corbin roll over Bull like he’s been doing every match, isn’t something that should happen tonight, which is why it was given a stipulation, one that should even the odds a bit. Another possible option is the next feud for Corbin or even the next level of his feud against Bull, comes out to help Bull win this one. I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing someone help Bull out, to even the odds that much more and take out the Lone Wolf.
In the end, I think Bull brings wrath down on Corbin, but Corbin manages to fight everything off, unleashing a fury like we’ve never seen out of him and the End Of Days comes like a bat out of hell –look for End Of Days to be hit on the steps or something a little more abnormal than simply doing it on the mat.–
Winner: Baron Corbin
- Baron Corbin (100%, 6 Votes)
- Bull Dempsey (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 6
Sasha Banks vs Becky Lynch vs Bayley vs Charlotte in a Fatal 4 Way match for the NXT Women’s Championship
We saw Charlotte and Sasha almost outshine every other match at R Evolution, providing us with a match that nearly defied everything we’ve ever known about women and wrestling –which is a phenomenally good thing.– Tonight I don’t think things are any different, in fact, I think this Fatal 4 Way match is going to reiterate what R Evolution stated about this Women’s division.
It’s fairly clear that Charlotte isn’t sticking around for much longer, she’s just too far ahead of nearly the entire WWE Diva’s/Women’s division, to keep her in NXT another few months. I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if they wait until the Raw after WrestleMania, but that means not having the belt for another month, because why have another NXT Women’s Champ have to drop the belt, just like what happened with Paige last year. She’s going to lose the belt and she’s going to lose it tonight; but she’s not going to be the one who gets pinned and the winner may just surprise you: Becky Lynch.
While Sasha has earned the title with all her hard work, I don’t think she needs it at all; just like I don’t think Bayley needs it. Both women have built up their fanbases, both have successfully gotten over without the belt and will continue to do so. The one who could use the belt to help elevate her and get her the additional experience that comes with having to defend the title week in and week out, is Lynch.
I think this ends up being an incredible match, but when it comes to the pin, look for Lynch to go after her former teammate, Sasha Banks.
Winner and new NXT Women’s Champion: Becky Lynch
- Becky Lynch (67%, 4 Votes)
- Charlotte (17%, 1 Votes)
- Sasha Banks (17%, 1 Votes)
- Bayley (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 6
Adrian Neville vs Finn Bálor in a #1 Contenders match for the NXT Championship
This is it, this is my match of the night that I’m most looking forward to and there’s really no reason to hide that fact; Bálor is my favorite in all of the WWE right now and this is a match with so much “tear down the house” potential, that I think Full Sail University needs to check their insurance coverage, because the entire university might just collapse after this one.
Enough hyperbole though, this one doesn’t really need much of a build, mainly because we know the talent level of both men and the fact this match has never, ever happened, makes it all the more awesome. Both men have traveled the world, both have spent a lot of time in Japan, but neither one of them have ever gotten into the ring against the other…ever. We’re seeing the first Neville (Pac) vs Bálor (Prince Devitt) match, so let’s just bask in that.
Neville is going to come out with the confidence he’s been displaying for months and Bálor will come out with a new paint scheme, combined with an entrance that will wow the crowd once again, as he did at R Evolution. The only aspect of this that’s a little sad, is knowing Neville is only in NXT for long enough to feud with the new blood –Bálor, Hideo and Owens,– which leads me to believe that Neville will undoubtedly lose this match. Bálor is one of Triple H’s main guys, someone that he truly believes in, so stopping his push would be ludicrous; although, in order to succeed, you have to fail at some point, so who knows? Hell, it could even come at the hands of Crowe, considering his “technical difficulties” hacking, has been occurring during Neville and Bálor matches.
There’s likely going to be a lot of near falls, counters and big big big spots; which is why I’m most looking forward to this one. I’m expecting for Neville to go for his Red Arrow finisher and either hit it, but Bálor kicks out or he goes for it and Bálor does something to counter Neville mid-air. Whatever happens tonight, I know as fans we’ll all be proud of the work they put in; I’m just hoping Bálor steps up even more than he already has.
Winner: Finn Bálor
- Finn Bálor (86%, 6 Votes)
- Adrian Neville (14%, 1 Votes)
- DQ (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 7
Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn for the NXT Championship
The main event is set to be a complete and utter slobberknocker, given their history, their passion and their individual abilities. The only thing I don’t want to happen in this match, is for Owens to waste time by rolling out of the ring and walking around every couple of minutes, like he did at the start of his match against Neville a month or so ago. I want to hear the bell ring and them to just attack like rabid dogs for a shiny bone.
This is another one that I’m not 100% sold on for either side winning. I could see the benefits for both, with Zayn not honestly needing the belt –but deserving it wholeheartedly– and Owens needing it to get over with the fans that didn’t come over with him from ROH. While Owens has one of the highest selling shirts on WWE Shop, it’s because his ROH fans bought them up and a select amount of new fans did as well; but people like My Fiance, aren’t sold on him at all. Her point is that he’s not done anything yet, he’s only had two matches and only one of them was good throughout –She didn’t like the Neville match;– so what has Owens done to earn the belt? He hasn’t done enough, not yet, but it’s not about earning it a lot of the time, it’s about needing it. There’s a reason why guys like Scott Hall and Jake The Snake never got the main title, because they truly never needed it to help their character; they were so over with the fans that it was almost a waste to throw them the gold, it was so much more fun seeing them going after guys, instead of guys going after them.
Owens is a different story though, he’s a guy –heel– that I think a lot of people would love to see guys go after; it means he might get what’s coming to him and that’s an exciting prospect. He’s willing to fight anyone and everyone, well what happens when literally everyone starts coming after him? Does he fend them all off, proving he’s the type of fighter he claims to be or does he pull out more heel tactics and run away, saying he chooses when to fight? Owens could be a great heel champion and we haven’t had one of those since Bo Dallas –not a great champion, but a heel that everyone loathed.– While it would mean Zayn loses the belt, I think Owens could use it a lot more than Zayn ever could; the fans already love him and they’ll continue to do so, because he’s Sami Zayn.
On the flip side though, I would be far more interested in seeing Bálor face Zayn for the belt than to see Bálor go up against Owens; granted there’s an easy fix to that, just have Bálor get into a feud with Zayn over who’s really the #1 Contender, which would not only give us multiple matches between Bálor and Zayn, but it also lets us see what Owens can do against a guy he’s not familiar with.
Giving the belt to Owens just two months after his debut, in his first title match in WWE, seems like a stretch, which is why I hesitate in declaring that I believe Owens will live up to his word and come out of NXT Takeover Rival, as champion.
Winner and new NXT Champion: Kevin Owens
- Sami Zayn (67%, 4 Votes)
- Kevin Owens (33%, 2 Votes)
- DQ (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 6
That’s The Lowedown on what I think happens at NXT Takeover Rival, thanks for reading and remember to watch more wrestling!
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The future is bright and full of suplexes!
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