WWE NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable Review
May 20, 2015
By: Adam Martin of Wrestleview.com
Full disclosure: tonight was my first time experiencing a live NXT TakeOver event on the WWE Network. The NXT brand as a whole has seen tremendous growth over the last year and these WWE Network specials have built up quite a reputation.
I’m always a little nervous when the internet hypes something. Okay, very nervous. Internet wrestling fans have a tendency to really hype things up. It’s not the fault of the promotion or talent when this happens. It just happens.
NXT has become that new “OH MY GOD THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER” brand lately. Far be it from me if I was a little apprehensive going into this special tonight.
Boy, was I ever wrong.
Samoa Joe makes his arrival in NXT
Before I get slammed in the comments I want to make it very clear that I have and remain a huge supporter of Samoa Joe. From his time in ROH to his early run with TNA, Joe was easily one of the hottest acts in pro wrestling in the mid-2000s. It was incredibly disappointing to see how he was handled in TNA post-2008 and how he started to physically not care either. I was always very surprised when he continued to sign renewal after renewal with TNA. I’m very thrilled to see a rebirth of Joe in NXT and pairing him with Kevin Owens right off the bat has some insane levels of potential.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn tear it up on Wednesday night
Kudos to WWE’s production staff for putting together an excellent video package reviewing the history of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in NXT up to this point and creating a “big fight” atmosphere at Full Sail University. The chemistry between these two is off the charts and they kept an amazing pace right from the start. Between the brawling on the outside and the awesome transitions in the ring, hats off to both Owens and Zayn for producing a hell of a main event on Wednesday night. Playing up Zayn’s shoulder injury was very well done and Owens’ Pop Up Powerbomb is incredibly effective for his character.
The future is bright for the women of NXT
I was very impressed with the NXT Women’s Championship match between Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch. You hear a lot of good things these days from the ladies down in NXT and that “yeah – but it’s the internet saying this” mentality was always in the back of my mind. The internet critics were right on the money. The ring presence of Banks shows she is definitely ready for a spot on the main roster. Lynch is not far behind and she was able to show some genuine emotion building towards the climax of the match. I was impressed by both women and I look forward to seeing more from them in the future.
Tag team wrestling continuing to shine in WWE
So tag team wrestling is dead in WWE huh? Not really. Tonight was my first time getting to see Enzo Amore, Colin Cassady, Blake and Murphy in the ring. Amore and Cassady have a very entertaining act that connects great with the NXT audience. Blake and Murphy, while maybe lacking in an over the top sense, more than held their own. I was impressed the most with the ring presence of Amore who was definitely on point all night. If these two teams alone are just a taste of tag teams in developmental, I’m excited for the future.
* Finn Balor has some obvious timing issues to work on. Very entertaining entrance.
* Tyler Breeze is an act made for WWE television.
* Charlotte has really improved from the last time I saw her. She’s close to being ready.
* Bayley could turn out to be a really fun babyface act on the main WWE roster.
* Dana Brooke has the look. She just needs some time to develop.
* Baron Corbin is very rough around the edges. I’d love to see more charisma from him.
* Using veteran guys like Rhyno is smart and I hope NXT continues down that path.
NXT delivered with three really good title matches and a fun debut by Samoa Joe. With more touring beyond Florida already on the books, this brand has a ton of potential to both prepare for the future and feature some very interesting storytelling. I truthfully didn’t get it. I do now and I’m looking forward to seeing more from NXT.
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