Review: NXT Takeover
That NXT is the most interesting product that WWE is currently putting out is probably the worst kept secret in the wrestling world. There are several reasons for this; more matches, less talk and young former independent wrestlers being retooled. Many of these wrestlers have been allowed to keep much of their old move set and taunts. On the other end of the spectrum there are also many wrestlers who are steeped in WWE style of wrestling and the difference between these two types of competitors is very obvious.
This was also very obvious during Takeover where whenever an indie wrestler faced a WWE type wrestler.
Adam Rose vs. Camacho **
The reason for changing Kruger to Rose was in one way understandable. The Kruger figure was intense in many ways, but also very uncharismatic and stiff. Rose is almost the polar opposite to Kruger and is a lot more exciting to the audience, from the character to his music. The issue with Rose is that he is quite a one dimensional character. His charm will wane fairly soon and he does not seem to have the in ring ability to be interesting. In comparison Camacho is also a very pale character. He has the look of a typical Mexican gangster, but WWE seems not to want to go all in with this figure.
The match between Rose and Camcho was slow and derivative, the same as it has been before. Both wrestlers don’t bring anything interesting to the table and the audience felt bored in the end. If either of these guys are going to have a future they need to step it up.
The Ascension vs. Kalisto/El Local *1/2
Like Rose Conor and Viktor are quite flat characters. They are billed as a team that steamrolls the competition, but it is obvious to anyone who watches them that they do not have the skills to back it up. This has been especially clear when they have faced far superior wrestlers, like The American Wolves (billed as the pitbulls). They use the same brutal moves again and again without muck fantasy or variation. This is quite sad to see when one considers that Conor has been at developmental the longest and should be much better than he is. Kalisto (formerly Samurai del Sol) did not get to show all the things he can do in the match and the things he has done have unfortunately been stolen from Davey Richards and Johnny Gargano. The point in adding El Local as Kalisto’s partner is beyond reason. He is past his prime and not very interesting to see, what needs to be done is add another younger luchador and remove the straps from the Ascension. This match could have been much better if Kalisto and El Local had won a non title match.
Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze *****
Absolutely the match of the night. It is quite obvious that Sami Zayne (El Generico) can pull a good match out of anyone. It is in a way sad to see Zayn stuck in NXT when he already is a complete wrestler, much like Adrian Neville, when people like Bo Dallas get more than one shot at Raw and Smackdown. Breeze hasn’t shown much in the way of ability the past year, his character is the best part, but it may be easy to forget that he was FCW champion as Mike Dalton. The best moves were pulled off by Zayn and Breeze sold them well and was also given the chance to show some good moves. One must question the outcome and to what end Breeze won, when a match between Zayn and Neville would have torn down the house.
(Rusev vs. Mojo Rawley)
Pointless altercation between Rusev, now Russian apparently, and Mojo. Both wrestlers are still very green and rely on power and hype instead of ability. Rawly could become an interesting figure, but he needs to have better moves than butt bumps.
Natalya vs. Charlotte ****
The biggest surprise of the night was the Divas match. Usually the Divas are tired and uninteresting, although the ones in NXT are far better than the main roster, most likely thanks to Sara Del Ray. Both girls pulled out all the stops and there were nice near falls and good spots and the decision to put the belt on Charlotte was better than giving it to Natalya who has had her day in the sun.
Tyson Kidd vs. Adrian Neville ***
To follow Breeze vs. Zayn and the Divas match was not going to be an easy feat, but with Adrian Neville (PAC) in control of things it could take the show to the next level. Unfortunately Tyson Kidd got to control most of the match. If one wants the champ to seem strong and credible he can’t be taking a beating for most of the match only to come back with one move and then hit the finisher. It is understandable that the WWE wants to get Kidd back into the game by sending him to the minors, like they did with Cesaro. Difference is that Cesaro has the skill and charisma to pull something like that off; Kidd just doesn’t have what it takes. Hopefully this is the last time we see him in NXT.
In closing one can say that while Takeover wasn’t a bad special, it wasn’t great. It shows that there are several wrestlers who need work and when matching them against better competitors it really shows where their faults are.