WWE NXT Takeover II: Results, Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights
NXT presented its third two-hour special and, keeping in line with its predecessors, Takeover II produced some superb action from the future stars of World Wrestling Entertainment.
Adrian Neville, Tyler Breeze, Tyson Kidd and Sami Zayn delivered a Fatal 4-Way match for the NXT Championship that was every bit as good as fans expected, given the immense talent of the men involved. Kidd and Zayn were especially good, standing out in the monumental main event, but it was Neville that seized an opportunity and retained his title following a Red Arrow to Tyson Kidd.
Bayley, motivated by the passionate NXT fans, turned in a strong performance as she attempted to wrest the women's title from second-generation Diva Charlotte. Despite a tremendous effort on her part, it was Charlotte who was able to retain her gold and further cement herself as the Diva of the future in WWE.
The newly dubbed "Lucha Dragons," Sin Cara and Kalisto, did the seemingly impossible by knocking off the Ascension in the night's opening match and delivering NXT its first new set of tag champions in nearly a year.
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady, Bull Dempsey, Baron Corbin and the debuting Hideo Itami (Kenta) all made their marks on what was, from top to bottom, one of the better shows produced by WWE this year.
What the long-lasting effects on NXT are remain to be seen. Until they become apparent, enjoy this look back at NXT Takeover II with analysis, grades and highlights of the outstanding WWE Network special.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: Sin Cara and Kalisto vs. The Ascension
Kalisto and Sin Cara attempted to be the first team to knock off the Ascension in nearly a year, earning the NXT Tag Team Championship opportunity after defeating the Vaudevillains in the finals of the No. 1 Contenders' Tournament.
The crowd was split right down the middle as the bell rang to start the match.
Viktor and Sin Cara started the match for their respective teams. The masked Superstar combated Viktor's power-based strikes with a high-flying onslaught that caught the champion off guard. That is, until Viktor knocked the Mexican competitor to the arena floor.
A tag to Konnor resulted in further punishment for Sin Cara, who had his back repeatedly rammed into the ring apron.
Viktor wore Sin Cara down in the center of the ring as the fans tried desperately to get the fan favorite back into the bout.
Sin Cara caught Viktor with a headscissors takedown but Konnor knocked Kalisto off the ring apron, preventing a tag.
An enzuigiri kick nearly knocked Konnor out and the hot tag to Kalisto injected the match with some tremendous energy. A corkscrew body block took down the champions and a dive by Sin Cara further damaged Konnor and Viktor's grasp on the match.
Vicktor dodged a moonsault and flattened Kalisto with a lariat. They set up for the Fall of Man but Sin Cara pulled Konnor out of the ring. Seconds later, Kalisto planted Viktor with Salida del Sol for the pinfall victory.
Kalisto and Sin Cara, via pinfall, when Kalisto pinned Viktor to win the titles
Highlights and Quotes
"To say that this team is ready is a huge understatement."—Renee Young on the challengers
"That may be the biggest upset in NXT history!"—Young
"Konnor and Viktor's reign dies at 344 days."—Byron Saxton
An action-packed, energy-filled way to kick off the evening's show.
Kalisto and Sin Cara continued to demonstrate outstanding tag team chemistry and knocked off the Ascension in one of Konnor and Viktor's finest matches to date.
Renee Young, Byron Saxton and Tom Phillips did an absolutely outstanding job of putting over the importance and historical significance of the moment, really making it feel like a special occurrence that can only happen in NXT and on one of its huge two-hour specials.
A great way to kick off the show.
Baron Corbin vs. CJ Parker
The result of CJ Parker demanding a match on the card turned out not-so-spectacularly for the environmentally friendly Parker.
Baron Corbin blasted Parker with a modified Downward Spiral for the win, just seconds after the opening bell.
Baron Corbin via pinfall
Highlights and Quotes
"He's a walking Hot Topic shirt, that's what he is."—Renee Young on CJ Parker
"In the immortal words of R-Truth, 'he got got.'"—Young on Parker
It appears as though the CJ Parker era in NXT may have come to an end while Baron Corbin is poised for big things following an absolutely dominant defeat of the Earth-friendly star.
Corbin is a big, athletic young star who has potential to star for the company for the next decade. If he can continue his progression as an in-ring competitor that is.
Hair vs. Hair Match: Enzo Amore vs. Sylvester Lefort
The product of Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady's victory over the Legionnaires in the tag team tournament, Amore and Sylvester Lefort squared off in a Hair vs. Hair match Thursday night.
Amore entered Full Sail University to a huge ovation for the match, clearly the star of the match. He threatened Lefort with different hairstyles as he promised to win the match.
The Superstars locked up early, trading headlocks. Amore caught Lefort with a dropkick and brought the Frenchman back into the squared circle with a big hiptoss.
Lefort caught Amore with a bodyslam and trapped him in a basic headlock. He followed with a running knee to the midsection in the corner, drawing a chorus of boos moments later as he taunted his opponent.
Amore mounted a comeback aided by punches but Lefort put him back down.
At ringside, Big Cass took down Marcus Louis, and seconds later, Amore scored a rollup for the victory.
After the match, Louis attacked Amore and Big Cass from behind and tried to rescue Lefort from his fate. It backfired on him as Louis—not Lefort—wound up with the hair cream dumped over his head.
Enzo Amore, via pinfall, with a rollup
Highlights and Quotes
"Unfortunately, your options are limited...to ZERO OPTIONS!"—Amore, describing what awaited Lefort
"It would definitely take away one's game with the ladies."—Renee Young, describing why, clearly, neither man wanted to lose their hair
As a match, it was incredibly basic. Neither guy is particularly flashy in the ring but Amore won and the crowd got their desired outcome. Unfortunately, it was not Lefort who had his head shaved. Instead, it was Louis, and even then, he had the hair cream dumped over his head and fans never actually saw the finished product.
An entertaining segment that put Amore and Big Cass at the forefront, even if it was not exactly as advertised.
Ring announcer JoJo welcomed NXT general manager William Regal to the ring. He wasted little time introducing a Kenta video package, which featured Superstars putting over the international competitor.
Kenta entered the NXT Arena to a huge ovation.
He thanked Regal, then spoke in his native tongue. "This is...dream come true!" he exclaimed before expressing his happiness with being in WWE and NXT.
He revealed that, as a tribute to his hero, he will be known as Hideo Itami.
His promo was interrupted by the Ascension, who dumped the newly rechristened Itami to the floor. Poor decision, as Itami cleared both Konnor and Viktor out of the ring and grabbed a chair to even things up.
Highlights and Quotes
"I have goosebumps right now."—Alex Riley upon KENTA's entrance
"If you didn't know much about Kenta, you're about to learn a lot about him right now."—Renee Young
"This is his house now."—Young
There is absolutely no better way WWE could have debuted the international star than what fans witnessed on Thursday night.
In a single segment, they introduced Kenta, rebranded him as Hideo Itami and had him single-handedly take out the toughest stars in NXT.
A star-making segment by any definition.
Mojo Rawley vs. Bull Dempsey
The blowoff to the feud that no one wanted to see.
Mojo Rawley hit the ring and a brawl between he and Bull Dempsey immediately broke out.
Seconds later, Dempsey finished Rawley off with a diving headbutt.
Bull Dempsey, via pinfall, following a diving headbutt
Highlights and Quotes
"Bull knows how many eyes are on NXT right now, and he's trying to make an impact."—Renee Young
"Dempsey has destroyed Mojo tonight at Takeover."Tom Phillips
There was no reason for this to be on the show. It could have easily been saved for a future episode of NXT. Instead, it took up three minutes of time that could have been used for another match.
Or promo segment.
Or anything else.
NXT Women's Championship Match: Bayley vs. Charlotte
Bayley's journey to the NXT Women's Championship culminated in a huge title match, classified as one of the night's main events by Tom Phillips, against Charlotte Thursday night.
The challenger had new theme music and wore streamers that were reminiscent of something the legendary "Macho Man" Randy Savage would wear.
Bayley was the overwhelming fan favorite as the bell rang to start the contest.
The huggable Diva sent Charlotte into the corner and drove her shoulder into her midsection early but a knee to the face slowed the early onslaught. Bayley fought back with cross body block and a knee to the face.
Charlotte fought out of a backslide attempt and delivered a vicious neckbreaker that turned the tide in her favor.
The champion used the figure-four headlock on Bayley, trying to wear the energetic and motivated challenger down.
Charlotte kicked away at Bayley in the corner as the fans in Full Sail University tried to will the popular Diva back into the contest. The champion reverted back to the figure-four headlock as chants of "Bayley" rose throughout the NXT Arena.
Charlotte looked for the more traditional Figure Four but Bayley caught her with a rollup for two.
An arrogant Charlotte talked trashed and was met with a hard right to the face, which she answered with a forearm. Bayley fired off a round of hard forearms to the face. Charlotte again cut her comeback off and tried for a moonsault. Bayley blocked it and delivered a headscissors off the top rope, eliciting a "NXT" chant from the fans.
Charlotte delivered the moonsault but Bayley kicked out at two. Seconds later, Charlotte finished Bayley off with Natural Selection (formerly Bow Down to the Queen) for the win.
After the match, Sasha Banks made her way to the ring and began attacking Bayley. This led to Charlotte making the save for her opponent and tossing her former BFF partner off of the fallen challenger. Charlotte and Bayley exchanged a glare before the champion left the ring, the crowd not quite sure how to react to the champion.
Charlotte via pinfall
Highlights and Quotes
"What a moment for Bayley!"—Renee Young
"That dream is going to hit a harsh reality in just a few moments."—Byron Saxton implying that he believed Charlotte would retain the title
"She certainly delivered on the big stage during her match with Natalya at Takeover, but she doesn't have her dad with her tonight."—Young on Charlotte
"This has not been as easy as Charlotte said that it would be."—Tom Phillips
A hard-fought match that continued Charlotte's reign but really put over Bayley's resiliency and resolve.
The post-match events were interesting in that they seem to point to an eventual Triple Threat match. Charlotte, Sasha and Bayley have carried the Divas division for months now, and a match between the three competitors would be a fitting way to end their issues once and for all.
When that match would happen, however, is the question.
NXT Title Match: Adrian Neville vs. Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze vs. Tyson Kidd
The first Fatal 4-Way match for the NXT Championship headlined Thursday's Takeover II and did so with some of the most talented young stars clashing over the right to call themselves the best.
Sami Zayn was the crowd favorite, as one could have guessed, and the NXT Universe greeted him with a tremendous pop as he made his way to the ring. Tyson Kidd, conversely, was greeted with a great deal of heat.
Zayn and Tyler Breeze and Adrian Neville and Kidd paired off to start the match.
The competitors brawled around ringside early as Byron Saxton reminded fans that there are no disqualifications and no countouts in the match.
Zayn blasted Breeze with his own cell phone, then took a selfie.
Neville, Kidd and Breeze fought up the ramp, where it appeared as though the champion may have suffered a bit of a knee injury. He suffered more immediately afterward as Breeze and Kidd delivered a big suplex on the stage.
The repeated the action with a suplex to Zayn on the steel ramp.
Heels Kidd and Breeze isolated Zayn and wore him down, working a "divide and conquer" strategy to moderate success. Kidd took control of the match, dumping both Breeze and Neville from the ring and focusing his attack on Zayn.
Kidd trapped Zayn in the ropes, climbed to the top, and delivered a legdrop that put the former El Generico down for two. He followed up by delivering a kick to the chest that put Neville down on the arena floor. He applied a headlock to Zayn until Neville finally returned to the ring.
He dropped Kidd with a big back body drop. Breeze re-entered the ring but found himself on the receiving end of an offensive onslaught by Zayn.
Neville delivered a moonsault to the floor that took out Kidd and Breeze as a tense staredown between Neville and Zayn occurred.
Neville and Zayn finally paired off for a brief moment before Kidd returned to the ring. He set Neville up on the top rope for a superplex but Neville fought him off. Kidd sent Zayn into Neville, knocking him to the arena floor.
Kidd tried for the springboard elbow drop but Zayn got his knees up. Breeze came from out of nowhere and destroyed Zayn with the Beauty Shot, then caught a diving Neville with a dropkick to the midsection. He tried covering both men but received only a two kick.
A huge Tower of Doom suplex spot led to a near-fall for Zayn that elicited a "that was three!" chant from the NXT faithful.
Zayn fired up but caught a boot to the face. He headed up top for the Red Arrow. He executed the maneuver on Zayn but Breeze appeared, dumped Neville out of the ring and covered for the closest near-fall of the match.
Breeze tried for the Beauty Shot on Zayn but he ducked out of the way and Kidd trapped him in the Sharpshooter. Neville rolled into the ring, prevented Breeze from tapping out and Zayn broke the hold up.
Zayn sent Neville out of the ring and caught Kidd with the Exploder Suplex into the corner. He dived through the ropes, taking Neville out, then planted Breeze with a DDT on the ramp. Zayn delivered the Helluva Kick and looked to have the match won when Neville pulled the referee out of the ring.
Neville caught Zayn with a super kick, then delivered Red Arrow to Kidd for the win, deflating the crowd in the process.
Adrian Neville, via pinfall, when he pinned Kidd following Red Arrow
Highlights and Quotes
"This is a career-changer for Tyson Kidd."—Byron Saxton, clearly believing the Hart Dungeon graduate would leave the NXT Arena with the heavyweight title
"They're here to prove that any one of these four men could be NXT champion."—Renee Young
"This is wrestling!"—NXT Universe
"HOW THE HELL DID ZAYN KICK OUT?!?!?"—Tom Phillips
"You knew these four men would give everything they had, and they did not disappoint."—Saxton
The Fatal 4-Way match from NXT's event suddenly—and deservedly—joins the shortlist for match-of-the-year candidates, thanks to stellar performances from all involved.
Kidd was absolutely phenomenal, turning in the performance of his career. He was clearly the grizzled veteran of the group and did a tremendous job of holding the match together.
Neville was the resourceful champion, doing just enough to retain his title. He prevented tap outs and took advantage of openings when they presented themselves and won the match as a result.
Breeze was the sneaky, sly villain who waited for the perfect time to sneak in a pinfall attempt or execute a finisher, then made himself scarce until the next chance arose.
Which brings us to Zayn, who was not only the favorite but the best wrestler in the ring. He was so good, taking a beating and selling to perfection, then ratcheting up the intensity late in the bout and having fans believing that he would leave the arena with the NXT title.
Another outstanding performance from the best worker in developmental. If the ending to the contest is any indication, Zayn will be champion in the very near future. He will have to beat Neville to do it, and it should be an enormously fun ride to get to that point.