WWE NXT TakeOver: RIVAL Reaction

WWE NXT TakeOver RIVALSay what you want, but NXT knows how to shake things up and with two Titles changing hands and an incredible match between Finn Balor and Adrian Neville in the #1 Contender’s Tournament Finals, “Rival” lived up to its namesake.

Every match brought something different to the table and delivered, par for the course for these NXT live specials.

 

 

 

 

 

The Breakdown: 

– The opening video put over the true excitement brought about by the past specials and it’s downright hard to deny. The video also succeeded in hyping the Divas and Kevin Owens-Sami Zayn matches, with background and insight from sound bites from its competitors.

– The Hideo Itami-Tyler Breeze match already had some simple storyline background to it with the attack on Itami in the locker room by Breeze. Being that these two had a great #1 Contender’s Tournament match a few weeks ago, there were no complaints to see them go at it again. This was more of the same evenly matched affair. These guys work well together. Great use of the ring post by Breeze and Itami can cook up an emotional comeback like no one else. Good opener as both guys had time to shine and Itami keeps his roll going. Breeze has lost a good amount lately, but hasn’t lost much. They need to get him back on the victory wagon soon though, while his “narcissistic novelty” still shines.

– The Bull Dempsey-Baron Corbin No Disqualification match retained the intensity of their feud right from the start, which was necessary given the stipulation. Dempsey being a Brooklynite was emphasized to make him sound tough, but lately, he’s just been a sad man in a singlet, having now lost three straight matches against Corbin. He should just switch to pants at this point. The two men didn’t break new ground in terms of in-ring action, but at least Corbin is looking good from it. The post-match action with Corbin sitting on the chair, kicking at Dempsey was a bit cocky, but fit for the “Lone Wolf” character. Let’s just hope these guys don’t have yet another match. Let’s move on.

– If we’re watching the WWE Network advertise subscribing to the Network on the Network, wouldn’t that mean we already subscribed?

– The Tag Team Championship match between The Lucha Dragons and Wesley Blake/Buddy Murphy wasn’t without its sloppiness as it almost seemed both teams were going faster than they could keep up with, but they settled down towards the end and Murphy/Blake recovered and seem to be the recipients of a new push. Being Champions, it wouldn’t make sense to change hands now. Had to also love the Solomon Crowe hype signals for next week in there as well.

– The NXT Title #1 Contender’s Tournament match between Adrian Neville and Finn Balor was preceded by an excellent hype video that included sound bites from studio interviews. As usual, Balor’s “war paint” would be cool to be pulled out every bout, but picking it for “big battles” also makes the match itself feel more special. This was downright fantastic and arguably match of the night, if not one of the best of the year in wrestling to this point. The dropkick spot through the barricade was memorable and this match had some pure “omg” moments as each men kicked out of each other’s finishers and even more. The finishing exchange was downright awe-inspiring with the best near falls you could possibly see. If you didn’t watch this show, at least watch it for this. Balor had a career night here. Him going over was ultimately the smart move as he has grown immensely popular. Where does Neville go from here though? We know his character wanted the match bad.

– The 4-way divas championship match between Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky Lynch and Charlotte (Champion) made good use of the “fatal four” dynamic with some inventive spots and even had all women going to the top fearlessly. Bayley looked good in particular almost appearing to be the fan favorite at a point. That said, Banks was the smart choice to go over as Champion if it wouldn’t be Charlotte because this allows Bayley to chase her and also sparks a potential Bayley-Charlotte feud. Plus of course, Lynch will probably stand there and headbang. The post-match interaction between Charlotte and Banks was well-done as they teased a moment of embrace only to shove each other away.

– The NXT Championship match between Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens definitely had some streak of controversy, but the actual storytelling of the match itself was great from Owens’ methodical dominance to Zayn’s comeback spirit. The story of Owens basically ignoring the medical concern of Zayn to get himself the NXT Title by Referee Stoppage made him look like an absolute beast. Zayn may had first appeared to be legitimately hurt from that steel ramp bump, but they took it and made it work towards the finish. Note that Zayn did lose without being pinned or submitted and the fallout from this should make great television.

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

– Hideo Itami def. Tyler Breeze via pinfall

– No Disqualification Match – Baron Corbin def. Bull Dempsey via pinfall

– Tag Team Championships – Wesley Blake/Buddy Murphy def. The Lucha Dragons via pinfall to retain 

– NXT World Heavyweight Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament Finals – Finn Balor def. Adrian Neville via pinfall to earn Title Shot 

– Divas Championship – Sasha Banks def. Bayley, Becky Lynch and Charlotte (Champion) via pinfall to become new Champion

– NXT World Heavyweight Championship – Kevin Owens def. Sami Zayn via referee stoppage to become new Champion 

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 28-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, BrooklynFans.com and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on February 11, 2015, in NXT, WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

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