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WWE NXT Takeover: Unstoppable

by Samoa Rowe

Sami Zayn

May 20th 2015

-Follow me on Twitter @SamoaRowe

-From Winter Park, FL. Our hosts are Rich Brennan, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton.

-Earlier today, the cameras were following Enzo Amore, Big Cass, and Carmella arriving at Full Sail, but were distracted by Hideo Itami down and out on the ground.

#1 Contenders Match:
Tyler Breeze vs. Finn Balor

Breeze gets an extra fancy entrance, posing for selfies with an entourage of super models, and Balor gets the bad-ass demon outfit and light show. These entrances get the show going on the right note. Balor has a scary “Eye of Balor” painted on his back too, adding an extra layer of coolness. Finn gets a hot start until Breeze drop-kicks him off the apron. Balor absorbs Breeze’s rest-heavy offense and comes back with a double stomp off the apron, onto the back. Tyler avoids a suplex but eats the Sling Blade. Tyler sneaks in the Super Model Kick for an eyebrow raising near fall. Breeze exposes a turnbuckle and misses the Beauty Shot, but manages to avoid a double stomp. The Beauty Shot connects but Finn kicks out. Breeze spends too much time having a tantrum and gets clotheslined on the ramp. Balor climbs the set and scores a flying clothesline. Balor’s running drop-kicks sets Breeze up for the Coup de Grace for the win at 11:04. Great opener that (hopefully) sets the right tone for the rest of the evening, ***¼.
Winner: Finn Balor

-They show highlights from recent NXT live events outside of Orlando. NXT is gaining momentum as the WWE’s “third brand” that ECW couldn’t be.

Dana Brooke and Emma vs. Bayley and Charlotte

Emma recently returned to NXT and turned heel by trying to disenchant Bayley for not being “serious” enough for the main roster. Brooke is a former fitness model who Triple H supposedly has the hots for, so she’s getting a premature push. Charlotte and Bayley display some nice teamwork before Emma wrenches Bayley off the top rope to isolate her. Emma does most of the work for her team, as Dana is still limited, but at least she gets a chance to establish a mean streak. Charlotte inevitably gets a hot tag and goes to work chopping Dana. Emma distracts, but Charlotte catches her and Dana in a double DDT. Charlotte reverses Emma’s flying cross body into a Figure Eight. Bayley slides under Charlotte to drop Dana with a Belly to Bayley. Charlotte finishes Emma with Natural Selection at 6:55. Basic formula match here, elevated by Bayley and Charlotte being insanely over with the Full Sail crowd, **½.
Winners: Charlotte and Bayley

-The newest crop of NXT signees, including KC Cassidy and Uhaa Nation, are shown in the front row. The fans know who Uhaa is and chant for him.

Rhyno vs. Baron Corbin

I’m bracing myself for Rhyno doing an embarrassing job to the comically green Corbin. The fan backlash to Corbin that started in San Jose has spread to Full Sail and he’s booed during his entrance. The match starts off with basic, but competent action, but then Corbin botches a bump through the ropes. Corbin knocks Rhyno off the ropes while the fans chant “Corbin Sucks” to the New Day beat. Corbin manages to competently beat Rhyno down, even though this match is longer than his first six televised matches combined. They both go down after a collision and Rhyno mounts a comeback. Corbin counters the Gore and nails End of Days for the win at 7:10. Man, Baron must have felt like he was in an Iron Man match or something. Boring match, but kudos to Corbin for proving he could go longer than 90 seconds, *.
Winner: Baron Corbin

-NXT Champion Kevin Owens is interviewed backstage. Owens isn’t in the mood to talk, but still brings up all the successes he had during NXT’s recent Northeast tour, as well as laying out John Cena on Raw. Kevin advises that Sami Zayn not show up tonight, or else this will be the last time anyone sees him.

NXT Tag Team Championship:
Blake and Murphy © vs. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady (with Carmella)

Sometime since my last NXT review, Blake and Murphy became the latest victims of the first-name stealing spirit. No one ever got over with a name like Murphy, just ask that guy in TNA who used to team with Gunner. Enzo still wrestles like a man on the verge of seriously hurting himself when he collides with Blake’s rib cage in a nasty cross body spot. Murphy throws some chops at Big Cass, that only seem to annoy him. Enzo splashes Murphy in the corner and almost kills himself again with another cross body. Murphy and Blake overwhelm Enzo to set him up as the face in peril. Enzo survives a lungblower/power bomb combo that should have been a 3 count. Cassady gets a hot tag after Enzo counters with a flying tornado DDT. Colin looks impressive in his hot streak, even with a possible miscue here and there. Alexa Bliss randomly runs in and attacks Carmella. Alexa trips Enzo on the top rope, allowing Blake to gain the pinfall at 8:51. That was certainly surprising, I’ll wait and see where this goes, Bliss should make a fun heel. Average match otherwise, these guys are still learning, **.
Winners and still NXT Tag Team Champions: Blake and Murphy

-Eva Marie is in the front row and blows some kisses. I need to be reminded that she’s still an active star on Total Divas, making this appearance not as random as it seems.

NXT Women’s Championship:
Sasha Banks © vs. Becky Lynch

After getting a big fight entrance (complete with backstage footage set to dramatic “lowering the Hell in a Cell” music) they start chain wrestling and I become a happy, happy fan. Becky starts working over the arm, hoping to win via submission like in their previous encounter. Sasha counters by snapping Becky’s arm into the ring frame. Sasha applies a straightjacket chinlock and holds on while delivering a lung blower. The “Sasha’s Ratchet” chants from the Full Sail crowd makes me kind of hate them. Banks relentlessly goes after the arm, but Becky single handedly lifts her up for a slam! Lynch mounts a flurry of offense, including a missile drop-kick for 2. Sasha rebounds, nailing double knees to the face. They trade counters all the way to ringside, where Lynch pulls Banks into the ring post. Snap suplex by Becky sets up a modified armbar. Becky doesn’t quite manage to hold on so she nails a suplex onto the arm. Sasha seems ready for a comeback, but Becky rolls her into a dangerous armbar. Sasha gets a rope break scores a suicide dive. Becky didn’t quite manage to catch Sasha, but saves the spot by tossing Sasha into the ring steps. They’re selling their arm injuries well enough that any botch can be explained away. Banks nails a top rope double knees into the arm, setting up the Bank Statement for the submission win at 15:30! Great finish capping off a gutsy performance from both competitors, ***¾.
Winner and still NXT Women’s Champion: Sasha Banks

-The fans sing the intro to Becky’s song while she and Sasha show each other respect.

NXT Championship:
Kevin Owens © vs. Sami Zayn

Going into this, I figured it was a foregone conclusion that Owens would retain, partly due to Sami’s shoulder issues. But then Owens showed up on Raw, flattened out John Cena, and earned himself a PPV match against The Champ himself. All bets are off now. Owens awesomely comes to the ring wearing Cena’s U.S. title t-shirt. Bell rings and Owens immediately starts stalling. Owens is distracted by the crowd, allowing Zayn to tackle him off the ring steps and the fight is on. Sami shows some fire while ruthlessly knocking Owens around the ringside area. They spill past the barricade, and Sami has to grab a rail to block a power bomb. Kevin gets back dropped into the ringside area and Sami nails a Blue Thunder Bomb in the ring for a near fall with less than 5 minutes gone. HALF NELSON SUPLEX by Zayn also gets 2! Zayn’s tornado DDT is countered into a sick backbreaker. Owens misses a cannonball, and Sami delivers a corner exploder. Kevin flees to the floor, where he eats another suplex. Owens rebounds with the pop-up power bomb onto the ring frame! Officials try to check on Sami, but Kevin keeps attacking. William Regal tries to restore order, and resorts to grabbing Owens by the face. Owens clears Regal out and grabs a chair. He’s interrupted by SAMOA F’N JOE! YES! OH MY GAWD, YES! Joe storms the ring and goes nose to nose with Owens. They tease a fight, but Owens decides to take a hike. Oh, I think the match ended via DQ around the 12 minute mark, but I was obviously distracted. Great ***½ brawl, with a memorable finish.
Winner via DQ: Sami Zayn

-The man we all know as Samoa Joe lingers in the ring to loud “Joe” chants. Referees can finally check on Sami. Owens storms back out, seemingly ready to fight after all. Owens reconsiders yet again, saying “not tonight.” Joe stares a hole through him as the show ends.

Final Thoughts: Probably the quickest two hours of wrestling I’ve watched in a long time. Still marking out over Samoa Joe’s NXT debut. Big thumbs up.

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