5/29 WWE NXT Takeover Live Coverage: Tyson Kidd vs. Adrian Neville for the NXT Title, Charlotte vs. Natalya for the NXT Women's Title, The Ascension defend NXT Tag Titles, Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze
By Zack Zimmerman
WWE NXT Takeover
May 29, 2014 at Full Sail University
Outside of Full Sail University, a crane cam panned the crowd before Renee Young welcomed Christian and Paul Heyman to the pre-show panel. Heyman teased that he was looking for another "Heyman Guy or Girl." Christian said he was excited to have a front-row seat for the future of WWE. Heyman mentioned Adam Rose, Rusev and Lana, and Bo Dallas as recent successful transitions from NXT to WWE and said the next ones are in action tonight at Takeover.
Renee began to preview the Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze match as the crowd broke out in an "Ole" chant. Christian said Breeze lulls people in to a false sense of security and then pulls out the wins. A good video package aired on Breeze. It featured soundbytes from a sit-down interview playing over highlights and selfies of Prince Pretty. Christian compared Sami Zayn to himself saying they have the best match of the night every time they go out there. Okay. A video package highlighted Zayn's match with Antonio Cesaro and Zayn said that he took the loss hard but you have to learn to lose before you learn to win. Another very well-done video package.
Cesaro joined the panel and said tonight wouldn't be a breeze for Sami Zayn. Ba-dum pshhh. He said Zayn needs to prove that he can win. Renee probed Cesaro for what he whispered to Zayn after their match, but Cesaro would only answer in French. That was it for Cesaro. CJ Parker was in the crowd with a sign that says "There is no Planet B!" Funny.
The panel highlighted the NXT Women's Championship match. Christian predicted Charlotte would win before Renee threw to a video package that reminded everyone Charlotte is Ric Flair's daughter. Christian said it'll always be about the Nature Boy but Charlotte can't live off his fame. Heyman said the Harts vs. Flairs was the marketing ploy that NXT was going for in this match. He threw to a video package of Bret Hart and Ric Flair each doing a sit-down interview putting over their families. Bret predicted Natalya and Flair predicted Charlotte. Go figure.
CJ Parker continued to stroll the crowd with the other side of his sign that said "This sign is eco-friendly." The panel turned to the NXT Championship match and a video package highlighted Adrian Neville since his title win at Arrival. Neville said Tyson was his toughest challenge because they're so similar but he said he's faster, stronger, and hungrier than Tyson. He called the NXT Title his armor and said nobody could get through it. Heyman said he has his eye on Tyson Kidd and has for a long time. Christian predicted Neville and Heyman predicted Kidd.
They threw to a sit-down interview Michael Cole conducted with Natalya and Tyson Kidd. Natalya said this was one of the biggest matches of her career and she was a little scared. Kidd said that if Neville wins, he's still a former champion; if Neville wins, Kidd never was. Cole said that Kidd and Nattie don’t come across well on Total Divas and asked if Tyson was using this to repair a bruised ego. Nattie kept answering for Kidd and not letting him speak as Cole pointed out that Kidd was essentially being emasculated. Kidd finally spoke up and said he would prove himself at Takeover. Nattie whispered for him to relax. They're definitely teasing friction. Cole wished them both luck to close the interview.
Heyman joked that soon on the WWE Network would be "Couple's Counseling with Michael Cole" and "Divorce Court with Michael Cole." Heyman and Christian bantered about how great NXT is. Heyman hyped that you're watching the future and suggested showing this show to non-wrestling fans to make them fans. Christian said there were MOTY candidates on the show tonight. They disagreed on who would win before Adam Rose's music hit and the Exotic Express rolled up to Full Sail University.
The posse danced their way off the bus and Rose hyped up the crowd with a mini-megaphone. Renee closed out the pre-show and said NXT Takeover was up next…
A video package for Takeover aired focusing on change… In the arena, the commentators welcomed viewers as the camera panned the crowd. Adam Rose and the Exotic Express danced their way through the fan entrance and all around the crowd before making their way to the ring. Camacho made his entrance next and was met with a "party pooper" chant.
1. Adam Rose vs. Camacho. Rose pranced around Camacho and broke free from a full nelson by grinding on Camacho. Camacho took control seconds later and wore Rose out with boots. Camacho hit a double-underhook suplex for a two-count and then settled into a modified cobra clutch. The crowd chanted Rose's theme song and rallied behind him. Rose began to Hulk Up, but Camacho dropped him with a boot to the head and settled back into the hold.
The crowd chanted "party time – all the time!" and picked up the pace as Rose looked to fight back but again Camacho quelled it. Rose finally began fire back with a series of strikes and he planted Camacho with a spinebuster as the crowd chanted "We are Rosebuds!" Rose hit the Bronco Buster and followed up with the Party Foul (snapmare driver) for the win.
Adam Rose pinned Camacho in about 5:00.
Zim Says: What a fun crowd! That match was a pleasant surprise. Nice way to open the show. I really like the little change with Rose pulling up in the Exotic Express bus and dancing their way into the arena. It's still silly, but it's a good touch.
Rose and the Express danced to the back before the commentators threw to the same video package of Sami Zayn that aired on the pre-show… Ring announcer Eden informed everyone that Tyler Breeze has entered the building… NXT Tag Champs The Ascension made their entrance. Their reign stands at 239 days according to Tom Phillips. Kalisto and El Local were out next to awful music and failed at starting a "lucha lucha lucha" chant as the crowd was into The Ascension with "yah yah yah" chants."
2. The Ascension vs. Kalisto and El Local for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Konnor and Viktor attacked first but were both taken to ringside by tandem hurricanranas. The luchadors looked to hit tandem topes, but The Ascension popped up with shots that rocked them both. The Ascension took control in the ring as the crows battled with "Let's go lucha – yah yah yah" chants. The Ascension worked Kalisto over in the opening minutes much to the approval of the live crowd.
Kalisto was put in the tree of woe and continued to take the assault from the champions. At ringside, Konnor tossed Kalisto into the ropes but Kalisto reversed with a rana-like facebuster into the apron. Local got the hot tag a short time later and botched a springboard headbutt. Local hit a sliding enzugiri and a moonsault, but The Ascension regained control moments later and hit the Fall of Man for the win…
The Ascension beat El Local and Kalisto in about 6:15 to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships.
Zim Says: Meh that was super weak. Just a miss all around. The crowd was into the wrong team for the story, the hot comeback was awkward, and the finish was mediocre. After that performance, I’d be surprised to see Local back in a role this prominent. Hopefully Kalisto will find success. The NXT tag division remains the glaring weakness in the show.
The video package on Tyler Breeze aired… Sami Zayn made his entrance to new ska music and a big "Ole" chant from the Full Sail faithful. Tyler Breeze also had new music. It's him singing about how gorgeous he is. I shit you not.
3. Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze to determine the No. 1 Contender to the NXT Championship. The two circled for nearly a minute before finally locking up. Zayn hit a lucha-style armdrag to take Breeze down and spark another "Ole" chant. A few minutes into the match, Zayn looked to hit his double-jump crossbody but Breeze took out a leg which knocked Zayn to ringside. Zayn sold it well. Breeze took control back in the ring with stomps in the corner and a knee drop.
Breeze hit a running bulldog-style move that drove Zayn head-first into the turnbuckle and kept the upper hand with a facebuster for a two-count. Breeze settled into a chancery as the crowd rallied and Zayn was finally able to toss Breeze off him. The crowd was right back into it with the "Ole" chant before Zayn sent Breeze to ringside and connected with an Arabian Moonsault plancha. Back in the ring, Zayn came off the top with his high crossbody for a near-fall.
Zayn connected with the Blue Thunder Bomb for another good near-fall and then went to the top rope. He jumped over Breeze, but Breeze caught Zayn with a lifting spinning DDT for a near-fall of his own. Breeze pulled a seated Zayn out of the corner with a sitout alley-oop powerbomb for another close near-fall. Breeze wore Zayn out with shots in the corner, but Sami came back with an exploder suplex that drove Breeze into the turnbuckles.
Both guys were selling the effects of the match and Sami won a battle of "yay – boo" strikes but Breeze got a nearfall on a surprise rollup. After a back-and-forth exchange, Breeze drilled Zayn with a superkick and made the cover, but Zayn managed to kick out before the three-count. The crowd picked up big time and rallied with "Ole" chants once again. Zayn used the ropes and struggled to his feet, where he slapped Breeze in the face and Breeze fired back. Zayn went for his indie trademark double-pumphandle Orange Crush Bomb, but the two stumbled a bit. They recovered however and Zayn connected with the move for a great near-fall.
Zayn charged for the Helluva Kick but Breeze rolled to ringside so Zayn changed plans and flew over the top rope with a tope con hilo. Back in the ring, Zayn charged for the Helluva Kick but Breeze dropped down and (intentionally or unintentionally) struck Zayn with a low-blow. Zayn sold it which allowed Breeze to follow up with the Beauty Shot for the pinfall.
Tyler Breeze defeated Sami Zayn in about 16:00 to become No. 1 Contender to the NXT Championship.
A replay showed the highlights of the match and the controversial finish. Regal argued that Breeze was merely covering up. Zayn continued to sell his groin as he looked dejected. Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and William Regal hyped NXT Fallout after the show ends with guest Triple H… Backstage, Bret Hart was shown talking with Tyson Kidd and Nattie… The commentators hyped the NXT Women's Title match and the NXT Title match…
Zim Says: Very nice match. There were points where Breeze looked a bit unsure and relied too heavily on closed fists, but Zayn is a pro in there and they put together a very entertaining match with some great high spots. The Orange Crush botch was a bit awkward and I'm surprised to see him break that out of his indie moveset. It made for a great false finish though. I'm looking forward to Breeze vs. Neville (or Kidd, I suppose) and I'm curious what's next for Zayn.
Back in the arena, Eden introduced Lana who introduced Rusev. In the ring, Lana put over Vladimir Putin and Rusev delivered his catchphrase. Mojo Rawley came out with an American flag and went all 'Merica on Rusev. He stays hype. Ugh. Mojo hit the ring, but ended up getting beat down and locked in the Accolade. Rusev tossed Mojo to ringside before standing tall alongside Lana in the ring. Lana motioned and Rusev reapplied his finisher on Mojo on the ramp…
Zim Says: Humble him, Rusev!
The commentators plugged Legends House after NXT Fallout… Backstage, Ric Flair was shown walking with Charlotte backstage before a video package highlighted the NXT Women's Title match… Back in the arena, Kris Kristofferson was shown in the crowd. Who?
WWE Divas Champion Paige made her entrance to a good homecoming reaction. She said it was good to be back in NXT. She said she didn’t want to be cheesy or cliché but she wanted to thank everyone for helping her get to where she is. She held her title high and then said she was proud to be the first NXT Women's Champion, but said tonight was about a new NXT Women's Championship. She said the title was the key to the future. She thanked everyone and hoped everyone enjoyed the rest of the show…
Charlotte made her entrance to new music that’s electronic drums laid over 2001: A Space Odyssey. Big "Woo" from the crowd for Flair. Nattie was out next and Bret got a good pop as well. Both ladies got full formal in-ring introductions.
4. Charlotte (w/ Ric Flair) vs. Natalya (w/ Bret Hart) for the vacant NXT Women's Championship. They opened up trading takeovers and armlocks as the crowd battled with "Let's go Charlotte – Let's go Nattie" chants. More nice technical back-and-forth mat work throughout the opening minutes with both ladies at a stalemate around the three-minute mark. They continued to roll around until almost the five-minute mark where Natalya used a nice wheelbarrow victory roll for a two-count. Nattie got another two-count with the Gedo Clutch before the match broke down into a ground-and-pound game. Nattie reversed into an armbar and both ladies were back on their feet seconds later.
They traded slaps before Charlotte hit a knee to the back and a spinning chop to the chest. Flair was stylin' and profilin' at ringside and Bret was 4/10. Nattie hopped on Charlotte's back with a sleeper, but Charlotte reversed with a backpack stunner for several consecutive near-falls. Charlotte was frustrated and repeatedly drove Nattie into the mat before settling into the figure-four necklock in the middle of the ring. She hit multiple kneeling facebusters from that position and flipped Nattie over into a slam for a two-count.
Nattie managed to reverse an abdominal stretch with a modified one of her own. She went for a backslide but Charlotte caught her with a dropkick for a two-count. Nattie connected with a butterfly suplex and her snapmare dropkick spot for a near-fall. Charlotte did the Flair Flip over the turnbuckle but Nattie knocked her off the apron. Nattie pursued, but Charlotte yanked Nattie off the apron with a dragon screw legwhip that dropped Nattie to ringside. Back in the ring, Charlotte went to the top rope and dove off with a moonsault, but Nattie rolled out of the way and Charlotte crashed.
The crowd let loose with "this is awesome" chants and Nattie hit a discus clothesline for a two-count. Nattie hooked in the Sharpshooter in the middle of the ring, but Charlotte countered into the Figure-Four leglock. Nattie managed to hang on but Charlotte rolled to ringside and held the hold which draped Nattie's leg over the apron. Charlotte threw Nattie leg-first into the ring steps and tossed her back in the ring as she sold the knee heavily. Charlotte feigned Figure-Four and instead applied the Sharpshooter. Nattie rolled through and looked to apply it, but Charlotte kicked her off and hit her flipping cutter for the pinfall.
Charlotte defeated Natalya in about 16:50 to win the NXT Women's Championship.
Everyone hugged in the ring afterwards. Hart and Flair gave each other the most awkward hug ever before Nattie raised Charlotte's hand with the championship…
Zim Says: Fantastic match. It was just a technical masterpiece unlike anything I can recall from the ladies in NXT or WWE ever. The back-and-forth exchanges, MMA-influenced mat work, and crowd reception made it really, really special. Bravo. Follow that.
The video package aired highlighting Adrian Neville. Tyson Kidd was shown backstage where a crying Nattie hugged him and told him she loved him. Cesaro and Christian were shown sitting at ringside. Tyson Kidd made his entrance followed by the champion Adrian Neville. Full in-ring intros for both guys.
5. Tyson Kidd vs. Adrian Neville for the NXT Championship. The two locked-up to a stalemate before shaking hands at the minute mark and beginning the matwork. Regal called it a human chess match. Kidd had the upper hand before Neville used some cool acrobatics to reverse back to his feet and take control with an armlock of his own. Shortly before the five-minute mark, both men hit back-and-forth spots off the ropes ending with a double-dropkick, a faceoff, and a standing ovation.
Kidd dropped Neville with a forearm to the mug and took control. He wore Neville out with stiff kicks to the back in the tree of woe and then ran across the ring with a hesitation dropkick. Kidd grounded Neville with a back elbow and settled into a rear chinlock. Kidd hung Neville up on the top rope and then took him out with a dive to the outside. Kidd for a two-count back in the ring and settled back into a chinlock.
Neville fought to his feet and both guys collided in the middle of the ring with running crossbodies. Neville fired back with elbows, kicks, and a sliding dropkick. He went to the top rope, but jumped down and hung Kidd in the tree of woe where he wore out Kidd with kicks to the back and a hesitation dropkick of his own. Good callback. Neville hit a springboard flying forearm for a two-count. A short time later, Neville went for a dive to the outside but Kidd caught him with a kick to the head for a near-fall.
Kidd went to the top rope and waited for Neville to get back to his feet, but Neville jumped up and met Kidd on the top turnbuckle. Kidd went for a sunset flip powerbomb, but Neville did a flip and landed on his feet before popping Kidd up and planting him with a sitout powerbomb for a wicked near-fall. Neville went for a springboard move in the ring, but Kidd jumped up parallel to him and hit a Zig-Zag off the middle rope for a good near-fall of his own.
Kidd went to the top rope, but Neville caught him in a rollup when he dove off. Kidd came right back with a dropkick to the head. Kidd went for a suplex, but Neville reversed and both men toppled over the top rope to ringside. They both managed to make it back in the ring before the 10 count, but it was a good close visual. Both guys were down in the ring before they fought back to their feet and the crowd let loose with dueling chants. Kidd applied the Sharpshooter, but then turned it back over and hooked in the Dungeon Lock. Kidd repeatedly kicked the top of Neville's head, but Neville managed to reach the ropes.
Neville got hung up on the middle rope and Kidd dove off the top with a summersault guillotine leg drop for another great near-fall. Kidd sold despair and went to the top rope. Neville met him there several times, and on the third he hit a huge super frankensteiner. Neville went to the top rope and hit the Red Arrow for the clean pinfall.
Adrian Neville pinned Tyson Kidd in about 21:00 to retain the NXT Championship.
Neville celebrated with his title in the ring as the commentators gushed over the match and the resilience of Neville. The crowd was on their feet. A bunch of replays aired including the finish before the steam shot down from the rig above the ring. The super slow-mo shot of the Red Arrow played before Neville attempted to shake Kidd's hand in the ring but Kidd blew him off. Kidd huffed off to the back to boos from the crowd. Regal said Kidd should have nothing to be ashamed of. Another super slow-mo replay aired of the finish and the show ended with Adrian Neville celebrating in the ring.
Zim Says: This match delivered so hard. This show delivered so hard. The build left a lot to be desired but the show left nothing to be desired. The main event opened a bit slow in the first five minutes but my word did it ramp up from there. It was no secret how much potential there was for Kidd and Neville leading into this match and it far exceeded my expectations. This match and this show are must-see.
There is no doubt that there was more buzz and hype around NXT Arrival than there was for Takeover, but if you watch the two side by side I have no doubt that this show was even stronger. The only match that fell short was the Tag Title match and I can't stress enough how much of reform the NXT tag division needs, but why focus on the negative with such overwhelming positive? Rose and Camacho was a fun way to open the show and it was the beginning of the night for a crowd that enhanced this show tremendously. Zayn vs. Breeze had a strong match that gets Breeze ready for a larger role on NXT and leaves viewers wondering with the lovable underdog Zayn. Tyson Kidd and Natalya did a great service to NXT and themselves as they delivered in two of the strongest matches in recent memory and put the young stars over in a big way. Like I said, this show is must-see.
Be sure to check back for this week's All-Access NXT Takeover recap podcast!
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.
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