NXT Takeover: Unstoppable
Date: May 20, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It's another live two hour special with a rare rematch for the main event. Tonight it's Zayn vs. Owens II as Sami tries to get the NXT Title back from the man who beat him by referee stoppage back at Takeover: Rival. These shows are always worth checking out and there's no reason to think this won't be the same so let's get to it.
The opening video features a bunch of fans talking about why they love NXT and thanking the promotion for giving them wrestling back. It transitions into a regular opening video with clips of every match and soundbytes from the wrestlers.
Four models, wearing fur and talking pictures of themselves, walk the aisle like a runway and I think you know where this is going.
Tyler Breeze vs. Finn Balor
This was supposed to be a triple threat but we get a clip of Hideo Itami being attacked in the parking lot as he arrived. Kevin Owens is there and says that's a shame. THANK YOU! This is one of those things you never get anymore in wrestling and it drives me crazy. Itami is injured, so why not give Owens (or anyone) credit for it instead of just saying “yeah he's hurt. Too bad.” It's so nice to see. It's also nice to see the full on Irish demon entrance for Balor again, complete with dreadlocks, paint, the dragon style cape and spikes down his back. He even has a huge yellow eye on his back.
Feeling out process to start with Breeze looking disturbed (rightfully so) by Balor's appearance. Tyler finally nails a big kick to put Balor on the floor before choking with the boot in the corner. We hit the chinlock on Balor and Tyler seems to have his own group of fans tonight. Balor rolls up and tries a sunset flip but rolls through into a basement dropkick. Another dropkick to the side of the head sends Breeze outside and Balor hits a running double stomp to the back from the apron.
Back in and Balor kicks him in the head for two more. The Sling Blade gets the same but Breeze stops a charge with a Supermodel Kick for a very close two. Tyler unhooks a buckle pad but misses the Beauty Shot. Balor misses a double stomp and gets rolled up for two before being sent into the exposed buckle, setting up a Beauty Shot for two.
Balor rolls outside and walks a bit (Fans to the referee: “YOU'RE NOT COUNTING!”) before surprising Breeze with a running forearm. Finn goes up to the bottom of the Titantron (Fans: “PLEASE DON'T DIE!”) for a big dive to take Breeze down again. Back in and the Coup de Grace makes Balor #1 contender at 11:05.
Rating: B. Great choice for an opener here and Breeze continues his hot streak. Balor was just too much for him here though and that's the right thought process. It's hard to go with Breeze, who has gone from a comedy character to a serious wrestler, over someone who is one of the best packages in all of NXT. Balor vs. Zayn or Owens should rock the house too.
Owens watches from the back.
Someone from Game of Thrones and Stephanie McMahon are in the front row.
Clips of the northeast tour.
Dana Brooke/Emma vs. Bayley/Charlotte
That place is going to erupt when Bayley finally wins the title. Bayley catapults Dana into a clothesline from Charlotte to start and chases Emma to the floor. Emma hides behind her partner on the floor but eats a dropkick from around the corner. Back in and Emma gets in a blind shot to take over on Bayley, setting up a neck crank. The Emma Sandwich gets two and Emma mocks the Bayley high five. That earns her a suplex and it's off to Charlotte who comes in with a double DDT. Emma's cross body is countered into the Figure Eight but Dana makes a save, only to walk into the Belly to Bayley. Natural Selection ends Emma at 6:38.
Rating: C+. This was fine but a bit short. It's a good move to not have Brooke take the fall as they're probably setting her up for something bigger down the line. Bayley not getting the pin keeps Bayley vs. Emma ready for later on and hopefully then on to the title pursuit again. Nice little match here but the time hurt it.
We look at Sami injuring his shoulder on Raw a few weeks back. I'm still not sure how legit that injury is and I love that I can't tell.
Some NXT rookies are here, headlined by the still yet to be named Uhaa Nation.
Baron Corbin vs. Rhyno
Just a power brawl here. Rhyno looks almost the same as he did back in ECW. Baron gets sidestepped and clotheslined to the floor to start and Corbin is in early trouble. Back in and Corbin knocks him off the top and out to the floor as the fans think Cor-Bin Sucks. Rhyno tries to fight back but gets thrown into the corner and stomped down until the referee pulls him off. We hit the chinlock and the fans aren't sure who they like more. Rhyno fights up and wins a slugout but Baron headbutts out of a belly to belly. Instead it's a spinebuster for two on Corbin but he blocks a Gore with a clothesline, setting up End of Days for the pin at 7:13.
Rating: C. Take two guys, let them beat each other up for seven minutes, soak in the cheers. There isn't much more to this one than that as Rhyno was brought in exactly for this purpose: make other people look good and do the job at the end, because he's an established veteran who is going to bounce back from whatever losses he has. Good power match.
We look at Owens beating up Cena on Raw.
Owens is asked about his busy week, which he breaks down in detail. The NXT Title is a real prize, unlike the US Title. He has a bit of veteran advice for Sami: don't show up tonight, because it's the last time anyone will ever see (insert You Can't See Me) him.
Tag Team Titles: Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady vs. Blake/Murphy
Enzo and Cass are challenging with Carmella in their corner, who may or may not have turned on them. Enzo says Team Cottonelle is taking an L tonight because there's a bounty on their head. In a nice touch, Cass spells out the word and we cut to a SAWFT sign in the crowd with the camera panning over each letter in time.
Enzo takes Blake (with his hair in ponytails) down to start and it's off to Big Cass, sending the champs hiding in the corner. Murphy's chop has no effect on Cass so he throws Murphy hard into the corner for two. Enzo adds a high cross body for the same but the champs cheat a bit to take over, setting up Murphy for a backbreaker. Enzo gets stomped down in the corner and caught in a powerbomb into a Codebreaker for two more.
Back to Murphy for a superplex but Amore fights him off and hits a tornado DDT to set up the double tag. Cass cleans house and gets two off the Empire Elbow before tagging a very banged up Enzo for the Rocket Launcher. Cue Alexa Bliss to jump Carmella, drawing Cass out before he can throw his partner. Bliss crotches Enzo to give Blake the pin to retain at 8:48.
Rating: C. Nice swerve here as Bliss going after Carmella was teased a bit last week but it wasn't enough to make you think it was going to happen. People were waiting on Carmella to turn and then you get a nice surprise instead. Enzo and Cass probably aren't taking the titles anytime soon and it might be time to send them to the main roster.
Eva Marie is here and is met with indifference.
We look back at Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch. Banks took Lynch under her wing and used her to retain the title. Becky shook her off and has become #1 contender, saying it's her time to prove that her career has all been worth it by becoming Women's Champion.
Women's Title: Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks
Becky is challenging and sporting a new look with orange hair, a black coat, goggles and shorts. The ring gear is similar to Lita's look when she returned from her broken neck. Becky cranks on the arm to start and trips Sasha down into a rollup for two. We hit a pinfall reversal sequence for some near falls each until Sasha bails from an armbar attempt. Sasha crawls away from a stomp on the apron and twists Becky's arm into a faceplant on the apron. Fans: “LIKE A BOSS! LIKE A BOSS!”
Now it's Sasha going for the arm and posing on the apron to mock Lynch's entrance. We hit the chinlock from the champ before she switches to a double arm choke with her foot in Becky's back. Sasha's double stomp in the corner lands on the arm for two and Banks steps on the arm, bending it all the way back to the mat with her boot on the wrist. Off to a short arm scissors for a bit before Becky rolls over and does her Backlund/Bulldog lift into a slam to break the hold.
Becky makes the one armed comeback and gets two off a missile dropkick but Banks goes back to the arm for two. Sasha goes for the arm again but they both wind up on the floor. It's Becky going after the arm this time before throwing it back inside for a suplex onto the arm. An armbar with the feet has Banks in trouble and another suplex gets two. Fans: “SUPLEX CITY!”
Sasha flips out of a pumphandle suplex but gets pulled down into the seated armbar, sending her crawling to the ropes for the break. Becky gets kicked out to the floor again for a suicide dive but Lynch catches her (mostly) on the fly and drives the champ into the steps. Back in and Becky gets knocked off the top, setting up the Bank Statement (with an additional arm trap) for the tap out at 15:30.
Rating: A-. I know I say this every time, but I can't remember the last time I was this into a women's match or most matches for that matter. These two were beating the tar out of each other with the arm work going back and forth making for a great story throughout. These girls somehow get better and better every single time and they're stealing all of the Takeovers. Great match.
Becky gets a standing ovation.
We recap Owens vs. Zayn. They were friends for years but Owens attacked Zayn after Sami won the title at Takeover: R-Evolution. Owens said he wanted to provide a better life for his family but has been using that as an excuse to be an evil jerk. He beat Zayn for the title last time but now Sami is coming in with a bad shoulder.
NXT Title: Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Sami is challenging. Owens comes out wearing a John Cena The Champ Is Here shirt. After the Big Match Intros, Owens bails to the floor as is his custom. Sami gets tired of waiting and goes after him by sending Owens into the steps and hammering away. He throws Owens into the barricade before they spill into the crowd. Owens tries a powerbomb on the concrete but Sami grabs a barricade to escape.
Sami knocks him onto the concrete to take over again and they head inside with the Blue Thunder Bomb connecting for two. The half nelson/chicken wing suplex gets the same and Sami loads up a tornado DDT, only to have Owens block it with a raised knee to the back for a unique counter. The Cannonball misses though and the t-bone into the corner rocks Owens again. He's able to roll away from the Helluva Kick though and it's back to the floor. Another exploder suplex staggers Owens but he catches a running boot and powerbombs Sami onto the apron.
Cue the referees to check on Sami but Owens keeps hammering away. Owens stomps away as the fans want to let them fight. Kevin throws Sami against the steps and punches him down again as the doctor keeps trying to check on him. They actually get back in the ring and I'm not sure if this match is still going.
GM William Regal comes out and calls Owens off, eventually ripping at Owens' face, earning Regal a headbutt. Kevin gets the title and a chair (the same weapon that started their feud in ROH) but we've got music. Cue SAMOA JOE (with that name on his shirt and called that name by Brennan) and the fans are stunned. Joe gets right in Owens' face and the champ runs. We'll call the match a no contest at about 12:00.
Rating: B+. Heck of a fight while it lasted but that's twice in a row now that Owens has knocked Zayn out to beat him. It's one heck of a rub for Owens and the beauty of it is that Zayn is going to be right back on top through pure charisma. Joe vs. Owens is going to be a war and that's quite the way to have him debut, even if it was spoiled.
Owens comes back out but says he's done his job to end the show.
Overall Rating: B+. Somehow, this is a downgrade over their previous shows. Really fun show this time with the girls making up for the angle disguised as a main event. Joe debuting is a great moment as he's such a huge name on the indy scene that the NXT fans are going to accept him with open arms. This was another great Takeover and the future continues to shine so brightly for this company's future.
Finn Balor b. Tyler Breeze – Coup de Grace
Charlotte/Bayley b. Dana Brooke/Emma – Natural Selection to Emma
Baron Corbin b. Rhyno – End of Days
Blake/Murphy b. Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady – Blake pinned Amore after Bliss crotched him on the top rope
Sasha Banks b. Becky Lynch – Bank Statement
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn went to a no contest
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