Thoughts on the show:
• Bit lazy calling this Takeover, same as the last show. Even just “Fatal 4 Way” is fine.
• The crowd is about 300 people were extremely lively and into every gimmick. The shows feel like a family reunion where they’re pushing their ‘home grown’ stars onto the world. Even undercard guys are over – The Ascension’s Conor’s corner stomps and pin attempts are met with “hyah!” chants. Cara/Kalisto gets Lucha! Lucha! chants, and they know all the words to Enzo’s Can’t Teach That schtick. Great to hear.
• Commentators: Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips and after the first match, Rene Young. This was her worst announcing job I’ve heard from her. Plenty off gormless shill quips “this is the greatest night of my life, seeing this (bucket on his head)”. Quit it! You’re better than that. Overall still better than regular WWE TV. Along with the video packages, the commentators get over storylines with Nitro stills, and it’s very effective. Good stuff.
KALISTO & SIN CARA vs THE ASCENSION (c)
• Whoever did the Ascension’s theme did Seth Rollins theme. It’s almost identical.
• Heels get the heat on Cara until Kalisto runs wild – it’s great – but Victor is too slow to keep up with Kalisto, as he can’t bump fast enough with a sunset flip. The Ascension need to be booked as dominant smash-mouth heels as they’re not great wrestlers.
• In the end it degenerates into a schmoz, Sin Cara hits a plancha to the outside and Kalisto hits his Salida del Sol (backflip facelock DDT) and gets the win for the tag titles. A fine match.
• The luchas kill their gimmick in a post-match interview. Sin Cara says “woo! It feels incredible” in a big yank voice. The crowd are so kind to cheer but they’re not crazy over.
CJ PARKER vs BARON CORBIN
• Hippie vs a “debuting” lad – weird as he had no entrance. Corbin’s wrestled on NXT for months but this is his ‘coming out’ match, where he’s no longer a jobber but a proper NXT wrestler. The crowd accepted that instantly. Big time clothesline and a tilt-whirl mic check. Squash in under 20 seconds.
HAIR VS HAIR: SYLVESTER LEFORT vs ENZO AMORE
• The gimmick being there’s a bucket of hair-dissolving white gloop on the ramp, loser gets a haircut.
• THE FRENCH STALLION! Sylvester LeFort. He’s amazing (well, on Lance Storm’s World of Hurt S1 finale – he was a dirty frenchmen that insulted the locker-room, hit on the women, and sniffed his jocks to see if they were alright to wear! Amazing)
• Enzo has a lot of charisma and is over with the fans, but not to me. It felt like both sets of guys were heels, but Enzo’s face (and the crowd play sing a long to his catchphrases)
• I hate Stallion’s jocks. Really ugly blue with black and white striped tights.
• Unremarkable match with no spots. Enzo gets the rollup on the three. Obviously the guy with the scraggly long hair loses, against the guy with the fresh haircut.
• Then it happens – NO FUCKING HAIRCUT. BOO. Don’t fuck people over on stipulations lads. Kills credibility. Stallion escapes (and the feud continues) while his mate is shown to get his hair ‘dissolved’ (ie cut backstage).
INTRODUCTION OF KENTA a.k.a. HIDEO ITAMI
GM William Regal (with his heel theme) introduces KENTA (with stock chopsticks intro). Like Devitt he’s wearing a tight suit and pencil tie. Makes him look even smaller. He speaks in Japanese and broken English and announces he’s changing his name to Hideo Itami (kayfabe in respect to baseball player Hideo Nomo). He fends off the Ascension, who wanted a rematch out of Regal. I like how Regal never left the ring – because 1) He’s a wrestler, dammit and 2) KENTA would T.C.B.. I wish KENTA kept his name but I’m thankful it wasn’t something worse, I’m sure to get used to it.
BULL DEMPSY VS MOJO ROLLY
Short uninteresting slugfest finishing with a flying headbutt from Bull for the win. Hmm…do another move mate, Bryan’s out injured because of repeated impacts to the neck.
NXT WOMEN’S TITLE: BAYLEY vs CHARLOTTE (c)
• Bayley’s vignette music is most known from Always Sunny. Awesome. Her gimmick is being a teen girl who loves hugging.
• Charlotte (Ric Flair’s daughter) is a tall, athletic woman that physically dominates the division.
• The match is laid out perfectly logically – Charlotte dominates, Bayley only getting hope spots when Charlotte gets overly confident.
• Loved Charlotte’s figure 4 headlock – she turns it over and bangs Bayley’s head; and rolls over and brings her opponent over with it. Great stuff getting spots out of what would otherwise be a rest hold. She’s doing extremely well, especially as she only debuted on TV a year ago.
• Disgusting whiplash as Bayley takes a schoolgirl, smashing her head on the bottom turnbuckle.
• Unfortunately the finish is a let down – Charlotte hits -well doesn’t hit- a silent moonsault for two (there was no impact – the crowd notice but dont slag her over it). Bayley kicks out (good for both the tenaciousness of her character, and not ending on a crap spot) and is finished off with Charlotte’s finishes Bayley with Natural Selection (her somersault cutter – which I think is awful). Such a nice crowd cheers the effort.
• Overall this match was the standout. Congrats to both, a match that was engaging, made sense and helped both women.
Throughout the show we got video packages of each of the main event combatants: The Geordie puts over the main event. Kidd sizes up his opponent – fact. They get over his heelish tendencies from having to cheat to win and the crowd jeering him calling him “Nattie’s husband” (which is quite funny). Tyler Breeze gets over his prissy conceited model gimmick. Zayn, a great babyface, says he made a career out of being underestimated, and will get the NXT title at some point.
MAIN EVENT 4 WAY: ADRIAN NEVILLE (c) vs SAMI ZAYN vs TYLER BREEZE vs TYSON KIDD
• The opening portion was just a 4-way schmoz. It must be under tornado rules, as they brawl in and out of the ring.
• Then it’s mostly Sayn vs Kidd, which is always great. As customary with triple threat and four ways, it comes down to two in the ring and the other two sell for an embarrassing amount of time.
• The finishing sequences of the match was highly entertaining – as everyone got to hit their big moves and almost win the match. Kidd with the Sharpshooter, free kicking Neville in the face from the apron, and some kind of Cody Rhodes driver. Tyler Breeze got to run wild and the crowd were into every big move, believing he could win it. Then Zayn’s turn, lovely STO and Koji Clutch (ripped straight from Christopher Daniels), hit the Helluva kick (groan) and Neville pulls out the ref (no DQ), a heelish move to save his title. He superkicks Zayn and hits his finisher, the red arrow (a breathtaking Corkscrew shooting star press) for the win on Kidd.
• Post match Zayn is devastated as Neville celebrates on the ramp. So in the end, half was nevermind, a quarter was very good, and a quarter was excellent.
Overall: A largely enjoyable show, although it’s run-time felt stretched at 2 hours with no ad breaks – 90 minutes would’ve been perfect. Having 4 main stars in the main event meant the undercard was a little sparser, which featured 2 squashes and a hair-vs-hair match that saw neither man get their head shaved. A couple of blown spots peppered the show as the wrestlers tried to impress the Network audience. I’d put NXT Takeover 2 lower than the prior 2 NXT special events (you can’t really beat Cesaro vs Zayn) but it’s still quite good – especially the women’s match.
Did you like the show? Will you be checking out next week for KENTA’s debut match or see you at NXT Special 4?