After watching NXT Takeover, I have a few thoughts on how the “PPV” was and on some of the talent that was on display…
– The debut of Kevin Owens was spectacular. Kudos to the Full Sail crowd because they made him look like an immediate superstar upon arrival. And kudos to Owens for putting on a helluva display for his first match. He’s already on the fast-track to the main roster with a built-in gimmick, a ton of charisma, and an abundance of in-ring ability.
– Having said all that, just what in the hell was CJ Parker doing with that palm slap? I mean, Owens was cut open hardway and he ended up requiring six stitches. I’m not sure what the deal was, but you gotta be more careful in there. Accidents happen but dude…it was an open-palm face strike. Can you NOT be a little more careful next time?
– Lucha Dragons? Meh. Sin Cara II is slow…and I mean S-L-O-W. You would think a luchadore would have a bit more speed. I’m not sure why he’s always draggin’ his ass around, but it’s embarrassing to watch. Kalisto was thought to have the potential to be the next Rey Mysterio. I dunno…I’m not 100% on that bandwagon. And for as entertaining as the Vaudvillains are, there’s not much more to the act than just the entertainment factor.
– I don’t see the big deal with Baron Corbin… He’s tall but didn’t seem to tower over his opponent. He’s got an incredible entrance but I don’t see any charisma from the guy. He’s just a dude walking slowly in an American Wolves vest. Meh. And the squash matches don’t impress me, either. This guy isn’t Rusev. This guy is just an ordinary-looking long-haired wrestler…a dime a dozen. What’s the big deal?
– I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…something is not quite clicking with Hideo Itami. He’s not showing much charisma or personality and, unfortunately, the live crowds sit on their hands whenever he’s in the ring. His offense doesn’t look nearly as impressive as it did during the Japanese matches I’ve seen over the years and, because of his plain look and small size, he needs to find something FAST to make him stand out from the rest of the roster. Maybe they just fed him to the wrong people to start things off. Maybe he needs matches against similarly-sized wrestlers who can actually help showcase his positives…because right now all I’m seeing with Itami are negatives, and that’s a damn shame.
– I don’t really get The Ascension, either. The two guys are talented, don’t get me wrong…but the big guy looks plodding and slow and the thinner guy looks like he’s in his 40’s with his receding hairline. Other than their outfits, I didn’t see much in the form of chemistry or teamwork…so I’m a little lost as to why they’re the next big thing when it comes to tag teams.
– Finn Balor impressed me, though…BIG time. This is sports entertainment and man, did he entertain with his entrance. If he does that every single time (whether it’s the same paint or something different…doesn’t matter) and adds that to his incredible in-ring talents, then WWE will have a massively marketable superstar on their hands very quickly.
– I’ve seen Charlotte a total of two times so far and I’ve been super-impressed each time. She’s got all the tools to become THE Diva over the next few years. I mean…a top rope moonsault into a standing position (pictured at right) before an immediate forward somersault follow-up? Yeah…I’m massively impressed with Charlotte’s potential.
– Gotta say that I was pretty impressed with Sasha Banks, too. It was my first time seeing her and she had good in-ring skills to go along with her really well-defined persona. She totally set herself apart from other Divas on the main roster, in my opinion.
– Normally I’m not a fan of women’s wrestling, but I was impressed with this match. Between the two personalities and the in-ring performances, they made the most of their time and put on a helluva good wrestling match. Seriously…one of the better women’s matches I’ve seen in a very long time.
– Sami Zayn vs Adrian Neville…what else can one say other than “AWESOME”?? Just a spectacular story told with a ton of time and a hot crowd with two of the best in-ring competitors in the world today. From beginning to end, that was just an incredible match and is definitely a Match of the Year contender. Both men deserved to be called up sooner rather than later.
– And other than Daniel Bryan, when is the last time you heard a crowd pop for a win like that? The crowd was hot all night, but they went absolutely ape-shit for Zayn’s win. I saw people leaping out of their seats and hugging each other…it was really an incredible reaction. WWE should know at this point just what they’ve got with Zayn. He’s a future world champion if the WWE Universe reacts the same way the NXT Universe does. And why wouldn’t they? Zayn is simply one of the best all-around performers in the world today and people respond to that.
– The attack by Kevin Owens on Zayn after the celebration was done makes perfect sense for his gimmick of “I will fight anybody”. His best friend won the title…now he has to destroy his best friend in order to win the title and move onto the main roster. And really, what a great spot to start Owens in…a program between two men who know each other inside and out. They should put on some incredible matches.
It’s an exciting time to watch NXT. At this point, it’s the best wrestling show WWE has.