NXT Takeover: Fatal Four Way (9/11/2014)- Orlando, FL
NXT TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: The Ascension(c) vs. Sin Cara & Kalysto- 6.5/10
Exciting babyfaces taking on big scary monster heels. Classic stuff. There was a lot of great action in this match, good storytelling, and, hopefully, the end of the era of boring Ascension squashes.
RENEE YOUNG INTERVIEWS SIN CARA & KALYSTO- Great promo, and a cool new team name: the Lucha Dragons.
BARON CORBIN vs. CJ PARKER- great squash.
It’s rare that the unknown guy who didn’t even get his entrance shown is the one doing the squashing. A good little twist by whoever is booking this (is it still Dusty?). They claimed that this was Corbin’s NXT debut, which is not even close to being true.
HAIR VS. HAIR MATCH: Enzo Amore (w/Colin Cassaday) vs. Sylvester Lefort (w/Marcus Louis)- 3.25/10
For some reason, Enzo shaved off his beard GOING INTO a hair vs. hair match. This was by far the longest match either guy has been allowed to have in NXT. They did a lot of basic stuff, but their character-work was good, as it always is, which is why the crowd reacted so well to everything.
Lefort lost, which made me very sad. He tries to escape, but Colin and Enzo stop him. Marcus Louis saves Lefort, who then immediately abandons him. The babyfaces beat down Louis and shave his head via a bucketful of hair-removal cream. As Renee pointed out, this was very reckless and dangerous of them, because something like that can’t be good if it gets in your eyes.
It will be interesting to see what they do with this on a few different levels. Does Lefort need to get his head shaved? Will Louis turn babyface on Lefort? And should we really feel sorry for Louis, considering that he was the one who accepted this match on Lefort’s behalf, which wasn’t very nice of him.
PROMO FOR WWE NETWORK MONDAY NIGHT WAR SPECIAL ON MICK FOLEY- HOLY SH*T BRYAN SHAVED! AND HIS HEAD, TOO!
WILLIAM REGAL INTRODUCES KENTA-
They first had a video package for him, and, strangely, the two guys they had put him over in interviews were Kofi Kingston and Big E. Langston. It seems to me that Neville, Rollins, Zayn, Cesaro, Tensai, and (especially) Daniel Bryan would have been much better choices for this.
KENTA spoke English, which already puts him over the original Sin Cara. He announced that from now on, he would be known as Hideo Itami, as a tribute to one of his heroes (though they never said who, I can’t figure it out of the top of my head). Either way, having him take on this new name instead of just introducing him with makes the name change feel like it is almost part of his character. By changing his name as a tribute to one of his heroes, it tells us that he has a deep respect for tradition, and has people who he wants to make proud. I’m sure that doing it this way also makes the name change much more palatable to the Japanese fanbase.
The Ascension come out, knee him in the stomach, and toss him out of the ring. Konnor says that they are pissed off and demand that Regal give them a rematch. Then Itami gets back into the ring. He takes off his jacket, loosens his tie (and the people go NUTS), and gets his business face on. Konnor charges at him... and Itami ducks the clothesline, then fights them both off. On his own. If you want to get a guy over, having him singlehandedly fend off the monster heels who have run roughshod over the tag team division for over a year is a damn fine way to do it. In the space of two minutes, this man just became the biggest badass in the entire WWE.
MOJO RAWLEY vs. BULL DEMPSEY- no rating. AWESOME segment.
Bull kicked Mojo’s ass in about a minute, but it was a minute full of big men slamming into each other. Not only is Bull now the new biggest dog in the yard, but this string of big losses in high-profile situations will hopefully lead us to explore some new facets of Mojo’s character. These are the sort of situations that, if properly capitalized on, can turn a one-dimensional character into a two or three-dimensional one.
WE FINALLY GET A PAY-OFF TO THE HAIR VS. HAIR MATCH- okay. This made the babyfaces look a bit more like bullies than I’d like.
Renee plug an article on Buzzfeed that put over NXT. She specifically mentioned “Kevin Steen” and “Prince Devitt” (as well as others who have already debuted on NXT) by name.
NXT WOMEN’S TITLE MATCH: Charlotte(c) vs. Bayley- 6.5/10
Good stuff. Both women showed a lot of character. Bayley was a good babyface, Charlotte was a good heel. I probably would have given it 6.75/10 if not for that AWFUL moonsault. If not for that, the finish would have been great. They’ve apparently changed the name of Charlotte’s finisher to “Natural Selection,” which is MUCH worse than “Bow to the Queen.”
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- AWESOME!
Sasha came out to make fun of Bayley and started to beat her down, but Charlotte made the save, turning her babyface so we can get a BFF vs. BFF feud.
FATAL FOUR-WAY MATCH FOR THE NXT TITLE: Adrian Neville(c) vs. Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze vs. Tyson Kidd- 9.25/10
AMAZING action, two or three fantastic false finishes, and a great finish with some interesting character implications. They told two or three different stories over the course of this match, and all were great. Unless I am somehow forgetting something, huge, this is WWE’s Match of the Year so far (yes, better than Shield vs. Evolution from Extreme Rules). A fantastic way to cap off a GREAT show from NXT.