The Good, the Great and the Awesome from NXT Takeover
NXT Takeover was the second of the brand's live specials aired exclusively on the WWE Network, and again, the young stars of the company's developmental program became the talk of the wrestling world thanks to a stellar show.
Adrian Neville defeated Tyson Kidd to retain the NXT Championship and preserve his spot atop the brand.
Sami Zayn and Tyler Breeze stole the show, tearing the roof off the NXT Arena at Full Sail University with a drama-filled match that was won by "Prince Pretty" himself. As a result, Breeze earned a shot at Neville's title and, more importantly, legitimacy.
The Ascension retained the NXT Tag Team Championship by tearing through Kalisto and El Local in another demonstration of its dominance.
Charlotte made history by defeating Natalya and becoming the second NXT Women's champion. The match cemented Natalya's status as one of the best women's wrestlers in the world today and was the latest step in Charlotte's development as a worker.
On a night in which the spotlight was on the future of the industry, NXT proved that it is among the best promotions in wrestling in the here and now.
Relive the event's best by taking a look at the good, the great and the awesome from Takeover.
Adam Rose vs. Camacho
While not much in the way of a great match, the opening contest of the night got the NXT Universe excited and energized for the rest of the night.
The Adam Rose Experience continued to play far better to the Full Sail audience than it has in other arenas across the United States, and Rose came across as a star because of it.
Camacho was passionate and aggressive in the match, proving that he has come a long way from the days on SmackDown where he felt like an anchor to a very talented Hunico. A second-generation star, he has all of the potential to be a star for Raw or SmackDown but is looking for an opportunity to break through a loaded roster.
It was a very basic battle between the ropes, but it was exactly what the proverbial doctor ordered in terms of kicking the night off on the right foot.
The Ascension Reigns Supreme
The Ascension has absolutely dominated every tag team put in front of it over the last year. Thursday night was no different as El Local and Kalisto failed to take the NXT Tag Team Championship from Konnor and Viktor.
The champions dismantled the speedy Kalisto, then laid waste to El Local with the Fall of Man, preserving their title reign.
There was nothing inherently wrong with the match itself. Like Rose vs. Camacho, it was fairly basic but a satisfying showcase for the men involved.
The problem with the Ascension's domination of every team it competes against is that NXT cannot adequately turn out tag teams quickly enough. Jason Jordan and Tye Dillinger are the only team left that could possibly give the champions a run for their money, but whom would they beat to earn a title shot?
The champions may be built up because of the winning streak, but the rest of the tag team division has been devalued to the point that it is nearly nonexistent. Eventually, a team is going to have to step up and provide a legitimate challenge, or the Ascension's title reign will be marred by questions pertaining to the quality, or lack thereof, of its opposition.
Adrian Neville vs. Tyson Kidd
The moment it became apparent that Adrian Neville would defend the NXT Championship against Tyson Kidd at Takeover, there was a great deal of excitement and anticipation for the match. Both men are strong workers whose in-ring resumes speak for themselves.
Pairing them against one another would surely result in a great match.
And it did.
Kidd showed an aggression unlike any he has ever exhibited before, and Neville proved incredibly resilient, overcoming the onslaught of his determined opponent to flatten him with a head scissors from the top rope, followed by the Red Arrow for the win.
Kidd's attitude post-match indicates that a heel turn may be on the horizon. At the same time, the new No. 1 contender determined earlier in the night would seemingly indicate that Kidd's time in the title hunt is over for now.
Where Kidd heads from here is a mystery, but one thing is for certain: In the biggest match of his WWE career to this point, he delivered.
The Mojo Rawley character, while a crowd favorite in NXT, is incredibly annoying. Running around and jumping up and down like a five-year-old hopped up on Pixie Sticks, he shows great energy, but said energy can prove overwhelming at times.
Thursday night, his need to stay hyped got him in trouble as he rushed to the ring and right into an assault by the Bulgarian Brute Rusev.
Twice Rawley suffered the pain and agony of the Accolade as the Ravishing Russian Lana watched, satisfied with the actions of her dominant charge.
Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze
Zayn is the best wrestler in NXT, bar none. He has proven it repeatedly and did so again Thursday, wrestling an absolutely phenomenal match against Tyler Breeze.
The competitors thrilled the audience and kept them on the edge of their seats thanks to a myriad of nearfalls and false finishes.
The dive over the top rope onto Breeze was a high-impact spot that saw both men splatter on the steel entrance ramp. The finish, which insinuated that Breeze benefited from a low blow, could open the door for Zayn to remain in the title picture.
If not, a feud with Tyson Kidd could be fun.
For Breeze, Thursday's win was the culmination of a months-long journey from midcard comedy act to a more serious, more focused and more aggression competitor capable of beating anyone he faces. A match with Neville could prove to be one of the better title matches in recent NXT history.
Natalya vs. Charlotte
Speaking of great title matches in recent NXT history, Charlotte captured the Women's Championship by defeating Natalya in match more technically-sound than anyone ever could have imagined. It was full of counter-wrestling and submission-based offense that fit right in with the legacies built by Bret "Hitman" Hart and "Nature Boy" Ric Flair.
Charlotte's growth as an in-ring competitor is stunning. A year ago, she looked every bit as green as she was, relying far too heavily on her pure athleticism but not necessarily picking up the ring game. Since then, she has been determined to master the ring game and if Thursday's bout was any indication, it is paying off.
Natalya once again proved her skill between the ropes, carrying a match that was easily the best Divas match in years.
The slap fight between the two as they were locked in the Figure Four was awesome and something fans are not used to seeing out of the more girly Divas WWE promotes on its main programs.
Everyone from the competitors to their relatives at ringside should be incredibly proud of the outing turned in at Takeover.
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