December 5, 2014 by gorillapressonline
As the build-up to NXT Takeover R Evolution intensifies, resident beauty expert Tyler Breeze (think Derek Zoolander with the athletic prowess of Dolph Ziggler) opens the show in impressive style, by berating French superstar Marcus Louis.
Breeze is one of the main wrestlers in NXT who is most clearly ready to move onto the main roster, his selfie/fashion-themed entrance is perfectly suited to his brash, cocky demeanour, and he is definitely one to watch in future.
Louis had his head and eyebrows shaved a few weeks previous and to be frank Breeze is disgusted that he has to share a ring with an Ugo. After a few moments of school yard bullying Breeze capitalises with the Beauty Shot taking the win as the fans chant this is awkward to the distraught Louis.
Tyler Breeze cheating a fast victory over Louis.
The excellent bonafide G duo of Enzo Amore and Big Cass take to the ring next, but not to wrestle, accompanied by the self proclaimed queen of Staten Island Carmella, who is set to face returning jobber Old Blue Pants, who is so much of a nobody she has yet to even be named properly.
The crowd are totally behind Carmella but OBP is determined to gain a victory this time, which isn’t too surprising given the fact that the mystery jobber is actually indy darling and all round great wrestler Leva Bates who made a name for herself in Shimmer.
This is not the perfect introduction to an already outside established superstar but the higher ups must feel she needs to make a name for herself in the NXT/WWE style of wrestling.
Enzo and Big Cass are so over with the NXT crowd their heat transfers to Carmella and she takes the win with an impressive figure four headlock variation.
Expect to see the real Bluey over the next few months in NXT, hopefully with a real persona and time to showcase her abilities.
Carmella gets the W and you can’t teach that!
Non title tag team action is next, with current NXT champions The Lucha Dragons facing off against the hard hitting team of Ty Dillinger and Jason Jordan.
The fast-paced ring style of the Dragons is great to watch and WWE did the right thing moving Sin Cara into the NXT ranks as, with Kallisto by his side, they are fast becoming a team to reckon with.
A wheelbarrow senton shows the fluidity of the team, and the innovative move set has the fans chanting Lucha no end. Kallisto, in particular, could flourish in the WWE as his in-ring awareness and ability to control and up the ante significantly will ensure he goes far.
The no-nonsense brawler style of Dillinger/Jordan suits their physiques and although they miss some opportunities due to miscommunication, they could easily each have an impact in the already impressive tag ranks of NXT.
Kallisto ends things with the Solida Del Sol for the win. Undoubtedly the Dragons are focused on The Vaudevillains and Takeover R Evolution will offer a more aggressive duo as they defend the titles.
The Luchas take the win.
Cryptic messages over social media, the past few weeks, have teased of an arrival to NXT and oh boy is it a good one – former ROH champion and a man advocated highly by Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kevin Steen – Kevin Owens in NXT – is debuting on the PPV on December 11th!
This is excellent news for fans of tough brawlers, the big guy is surprisingly aggressive and agile. Many dream matches will be fulfilled in the ranks of WWE/NXT with Owens, and the promos have sparked a lot of buzz and interest in this huge talent. Soon the wait is over and NXT will be rife with the classic-tinged chants of “Kill, Owens, Kill!”
In the meantime, check out some of his ROH action for a taste of things to come.
Despite not heading up the NXT women’s division, fan favourite Bayley takes to the ring next to confront bullies Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, and to address the NXT universe about the duo, too.
As is expected Lynch and Banks don’t really care about Bayley and her heartfelt speech and are soon on order to attack and humiliate the fun-loving Diva.
Before the tantalising Main Event (Finn Balor V Tyson Kidd) we are given a backstage interview with Kidd, which sadly delves into Total Divas territory. Lately, the Kidd/Natalya marriage angle has been seeping into NXT, with Kidd seemingly more interested in his cats then either his wife or the match he’s currently involved in.
This doesn’t suit the NXT vibe and takes so much away from the persona Kidd has developed. Proclaiming himself the new Hitman, after Bret Hart, is, on the other hand, better, as the cocksure and determined side of Kidd should be the focus not the husband of Nattie from a reality TV show.
The Vaudevillains have a silent film to screen next, with those pesky Lucha Dragons (LuchaLumpas) trying to rob a bank……with dynamite! This old-timey silent movie is fun, adding a less-than-gentlemanly air to The Vaudevillains and setting them up as under-handed, in the tag title chase.
Finn Balor, with the grand, orchestral entrance and slow, methodical pace, has the crowd eating from the palm of his hand from the get go. Balor has made such an impact, in just a few short weeks, both as a singles competitor and in a tag team with Itami, that it’s easy to understand why everyone was so excited when he was originally signed. It’s truly a great time to be an NXT fan.
Ground based mat wrestling is on display from the early stages of the match. Kidd and Balor, both athletes working the crowd with transitions and rope running, culminate simultaneously with one hell of a drop kick from Balor. These two have such a good chemistry in the ring, it’s great just watching their back and forth.
Kidd backs out of the ring and hides behind Nattie, to halt an incoming diving assault from Balor – Kidd can move from aggressor to cowardly heel in seconds and make it look convincing, which is great to see. He then attacks Balor with a brutal neckbreaker outside the ring, taking advantage of the slow in pace.
Kidd takes control of the match but the presence of Nattie gets in his way. After her refusing to help him strangle Balor on the ropes, Kidd loses his cool in a convincing way and although this is playing up to the Total Divas crowd, he manages this change well, not allowing it to totally detract from the action. Chants for both Balor and Kidd echo throughout the arena, as the fans are clearly eating all this up.
A beautiful Pele Kick from Balor, followed by a modified brainbuster suplex, allows the momentum to shift – something Balor takes full advantage of until he misses a diving double foot stomp.
He then counters a moonsault, with his knees up, and again swings the action to his favour, only for the match to be disrupted by The Ascension (rumoured to be moving up to the main roster following the PPV), who attack Balor as Kidd slithers out of the ring to safety.
Itami rushes to the aid of his tag partner, giving the fans a preview of the action to expect in their upcoming match at R Evolution.
No winners here, it’s all build-up
By all accounts, The Ascension are ready for the WWE – they recently appeared on Main Event to a good reception – and, although Itami and Balor work well as a team, they will both flourish as singles competitors and even better against each other. Expect The Ascension to rise through the ranks of the WWE and breathe some fresh air into the tag division, at the same time.
Overall, the NXT product is hitting the nail on the head right now. The past week or so has seen a little bit of the WWE-style storyline tropes fall in – the Kidd/Natalya angle in particular, along with Breeze and his insensitive mockery – but, as long as the focus stays firmly on the in-ring action, then NXT is proving to be a vital wrestling show for fans, and the main reason for a WWE Network subscription, too.
The PPV has been nicely hyped too (compare it to Survivor Series, for example) and we can expect a few more matches to be announced on the next episode, as well as Owens’ opponent/involvement.
Catch NXT every Thursday on the WWE Network