NXT Takeover: R Evolution Review
December 11, 2014
Review by: Jason Namako of Wrestleview.com

Zayn and Neville put on a classic

What a main event between Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville. They somehow were able to top their two previous encounters on NXT TV and put on a match that will be remembered for a long time. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, Sami Zayn is the best babyface performer in WWE right now, there is no disputing it. The guy just causes you to WANT to see him win and you can’t find very many others that can get fans invested into wanting to see them win currently in WWE. Neville was great at constantly showing subtle heel signs throughout the match. ADORED the spot near the end where Zayn thought about hitting Neville with the title belt and it almost costing him. Post-match celebration for Zayn by the lockerroom put him over the top as a big deal in NXT. Just sensational stuff all around.

Kevin Owens did indeed change everything in the span of one night

FIGHT…OWENS…FIGHT. That is the mantra for the former Kevin Steen, now Kevin Owens, who in the span of one show, did indeed what he said he was gonna do, change everything. First, Owens had a fun showcase of a debut against CJ Parker. While Parker caught him with a big palm strike that busted Owens open, it actually enhanced the match. Crowd was SUPER into Owens and he showcased his new finisher, the Pop-Up Powerbomb, which was a signature of his in his ROH days. Then after the main event, Owens embraced his best friend, Sami Zayn, after Zayn won the NXT Title and then turned on him, laying out Zayn with an Apron Powerbomb to close the show. This plugs Owens right into the main event scene already in NXT against his longtime rival and partner in their independent days, Sami Zayn. Owens had an awesome first night in and the fact that they going right for he & Zayn as a feud shows that NXT and WWE sees a lot of potential in the former Kevin Steen.

The third time is a charm, and done with Flair 

Charlotte made it three-for-three on NXT live specials, having another very good performance tonight against Sasha Banks. Sasha really stepped up here and put on the best match of her NXT run, showing off very good presence as a heel throughout the match, with constantly mocking Charlotte and her father, Ric Flair. While Charlotte is not ready on the promo end for the main roster, the in-ring work is 100 percent ready to go as she has now consistently stepped up things on the live specials, showcasing a Top Rope version to her Natural Selection finisher to get the win here over Sasha. Thanks to the Queen of Wrestling, Sara Del Rey, now trainer for the NXT Divas, the future of WWE women’s wrestling looks very bright, as long the main roster gains more knowledge on how to showcase them in the right way.

Finn Balor and Hideo Itami get REALLLL with the Ascension

Since the former Prince Devitt (Finn Balor) and KENTA (Hideo Itami) have arrived in WWE, it definitely felt like there was some growing pains for both guys in the ring. Well here tonight, all those growing pains were lifted off their shoulders. Donning for the first time in WWE what became over the last year his customary body & face paint, Finn Balor cosplayed as Carnage in a bad-ass body & face paint job, while Hideo Itami went back to his KENTA roots in his ring attire and in his moveset, showing off more that his style is indeed Kick. The Ascension did a very good job at being bases for Balor & Itami, while showing off their powerhouse, rugged offense. Balor got to bust out some of the Devitt playbook, including an inverted Bloody Sunday at one point. Crowd then came alive towards the end when Itami teased doing the Go 2 Sleep, that will be saved for down the line, much like Sami Zayn and the Turnbuckle Brainbuster! Ascension is ready for the main roster as a tag team, been much improved over the last year, while Balor & Itami make nice steps in their progression from the land of the rising sun to the WWE. It indeed got REAL!!

Along with a good tag team title match between the Vaudevillains and the Lucha Dragons and another fun squash match with Baron Corbin, NXT Takeover: R Evolution might just be the best NXT live special of 2014 and that is saying something with the 3 previous outings they had this year. If you have the WWE Network, or even if you don’t, I implore you to go check this show out because the future is indeed now, but its not on the main roster of WWE, its down at this great place called Full Sail University with the best wrestling show on TV each and every week, NXT!

Follow me on Twitter: @Jason_Namako

Til next time, good night from New Jersey!