Jason Albert is taller than his hairline +++ The 344 days of dominance are history +++ Baron Corbin appears like a CM Punk / Dean Ambrose mix-up +++ The bystander loses his hair +++ Kenta a.k.a Hideo Itami a.k.a Beautiful Pain +++ Bayley has earned Charlotte’s respect +++ Goodnight, RAW & Smackdown +++ Epilogue
Jason Albert is taller than his hairline
Once again, I feel the need to talk about one subject that hasn’t got much to do with this incredible show. Well, it has its connections because it’s about Renee Young. Again, I have read some negative criticism, one of it started with “I’m her biggest fan, blah, blah, but she botched this show every time she opened her mouth. She needs to get back to color commentator school, take lessons from Michael Cole etc. and show some emotions.” And it finished with “She isn’t a commentator. She’s an explainer.” I basically laughed my ass off when I’ve read that because this person must be bipolar at best. I mean, he loves her but can’t stand her. Or what else should I read into this?
So, I’ve read this before I have watched NXT TakeOver 2, and because of that I paid extra attention to Renee Young’s commentating style. Of course, I have experienced her as color commentator before but now I wanted to talk about it, so I needed to come to terms with her style. First of all: I simply can’t stand her voice. At any time, when I listen to her, it’s like a big, rusty nail makes it into my brain. But: when time goes by, I’m getting used to it, it gets better and at some point it’s really enjoyable.
Now on the criticism above: there are lots of people who call out WWE to bring back William Regal for commentating to replace Renee Young with him. First of all, now him being the General Manager of NXT makes it basically impossible to do commentary for the foreseeable time. Second, I think his recent health issues that also caused problems to his voice might be the cause that he stepped down from commentary to become General Manager where he doesn’t need to talk that much. Yes, that’s a shame because William Regal undoubtedly is one of the best on commentary but it’s better for his voice when he’s not doing commentary, so that’s the only option. Because health is everything.
But, what William Regal did on commentary, was a lot different to what Renee Young now brings to the table: William Regal told his (wrestling) stories of the past, explained certain moves. Renee Young doesn’t do this. She’s sometimes late with any reaction or just reacts like a comic character during a fight. She likes to talk about how wrestlers look and some gossip. She isn’t as excited as William Regal or Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton were as her co-commentators for the show. But, this is something I don’t need: three hyperactive, over-excited commentators, basically three Michael Coles. Renee Young should learn from Michael Cole? Please, no! Never! She should work on her voice and her style as well. She shows her emotions like she probably feels them. Why do you need just another over-acting commentator on the panel? I don’t.
Other criticism blames her for being too buddy-buddy with the wrestlers, not acting “professional” enough etc. Well, if you all haven’t noticed already: WWE, NXT and any other wrestling show is entertainment. So, she’s professional in her own way. Some people even blame her for not having a gimmick style. Well, perhaps that’s her style, being friendly with all wrestlers, fangirling on some, plainly disliking on others?
To bring this to a finish: Renee Young still has a lot to learn and she needs a voice coach but she already does an okay job as an interviewer and a color commentator.
And we stay with Renee Young because of this photo you can see on the left side: the shirt sleeve of William Regal with his embroidered name on it. If this can’t be called classy stylish arrogance, I don’t know what can. He doesn’t live that hard to his old gimmick any more but with things like that and his entrance music – that we now are going to hear again very often since he’s General Manager of NXT – he still got a lot of evil charisma around him and I can’t wait for the day when he will effectively get involved into a feud. But we are still in the recent past, not in the far future. So, my subject from now on will be indeed NXT TakeOver 2.
The pre-show started with Renee Young, Jason Albert and Alex Riley in the foyer of the NXT arena of the Full Sail’s University in Orlando, Florida. Many fans were standing outside the closed doors in their backs, so you could always see and hear their reactions. That will be important a bit later. A first little preview to the main event, the Fatal-4-Way for the NXT Heavyweight Championship made way quickly for a quite long preview to the NXT Women’s Championship. Side note: It’s quite funny that women or female wrestlers are taking seriously in NXT while on the so-called main roster in WWE they are more or less fillers and good-looking chicks. The WWE women’s title is called “Diva’s” Championship and you can see in every 3-minute championship match for the “Diva’s” title that Vince McMahon is the old-fashioned big boss of this company, still stuck in the 50s.
So, while we had this nice film about Bayley, Sasha Banks, former best friend with Charlotte, had joined the panel, pointing out that she was the boss of NXT, that her time will come and that she made Charlotte and taught her everything. After the commercial break we had a far lovelier guest sitting there on the table between Jason Albert and Alex Riley: the already mentioned GM of NXT, William Regal. He first told us about this being his most important day in his 31 year long career in this industry and when the talk came to Kenta and how William Regal could get him to NXT, he told us that Kenta came to him. Such importance NXT would have grown. Until then nothing really important happened. But then, one huge sign came through the supposedly closed door. And the sign brought CJ Parker with it. So, Parker went straight for William Regal to complain about not being in the show. And the only possible way to get rid of him quite quickly was to give him a match which William Regal wasn’t shy to do. The only thing was that CJ Parker wouldn’t get to know his opponent up until his match will actually happen. But CJ Parker was more than happy with it and so he strolled away again. William Regal though had visibly fun later on because he already had something evil in mind. More on that later.
The talk then went to hair. Actually, Renee Young told William Regal that he would always have fabulous hair and it was then when William Regal told us that he only uses a touch of coconut oil as an extra treat. Some comparison with the lack of hair on Jason Albert’s head later, we got a little preview to the hair-vs-hair match between Enzo Amore and Sylvester LeFort. A backstage segment with a poodle gave us a hint what would happen later tonight. Renee Young, Jason Albert and Alex Riley were on their own again when we got a little promo for the Tag Team Championship match between The Ascension and Kalisto & Sin Cara. And also here, with the mention of the 344 days reign of The Ascension to date, there was a little teaser that they would actually lose their title tonight.
The last segment of this pre-show was a backstage interview with all four competitors of the Fatal-4-Way match with Alex Riley. That was well choreographed as well because that also teased us with the outcome of the actual match: Tyler Breeze and Tyson Kidd left the interview, so it came to the show-down between Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville which Sami Zayn also left for Adrian Neville being the last survivor of this interview.
The 344 days of dominance are history
And here is where the actual show finally started: with the Tag Team Championship match between The Ascension and Kalisto & Sin Cara. And that meant physical power vs high flying action. Kalisto & Sin Cara indeed had the first momentum of the match but during these 7:37 minutes of the match The Ascension more and more took over and dictated the ongoing of the match. But what actually counts is the very finish of a match and that happened to be the high flying action won it over physical power: The Ascension were dethroned and Kalisto & Sin Cara are the new Tag Team Champions.
As a first appreciation for their win, the new Tag Team champs were interviewed right on the ramp. And then we got a look of her colleagues on the commentator table to reveal a rather interesting choice of clothes by Byron Saxton: white suit, black shirt and pink tie. Other men would probably look ridiculous in this combination. But it very much suited Byron Saxton.
Baron Corbin appears like a CM Punk / Dean Ambrose mix-up
The next match was CJ Parker’s big NXT TakeOver 2 moment: his match that William Regal made up for him at the pre-show. His opponent was revealed now: the debutant Baron Corbin, a 6ft8 guy who has the idea of likeness with Dean Ambrose and the tattoos of CM Punk. When the match started, Baron Corbin basically killed CJ Parker within 29 seconds for one of the most impressive debuts in NXT / WWE. Walking back backstage through the ramp afterwards, Baron Corbin also showed off some evil cockiness I might like. But I need to see more from him. And I need to listen to his ability to cut a promo.
The bystander loses his hair
Of course, the next match was all about the fun about someone would lose his hair. It was also Italy vs France, so that was the topping of the cake: emotions and languages fighting with each other. And I have to say that Sylvester LeFort really grows on me: he starts talking French when he’s really angry and he’s just fun to watch.
So, because it was a fun segment, the match was quite short with 5:38 minutes. But it was a fast and entertaining one with Marcus Louis and Colin Cassady on ringside doing their part. In the end, Enzo Amore got the win and saved his hair but after some attempts to make Sylvester LeFort bald, the Frenchman could flee backstage. Attention now went for Marcus Louis and he had to stand in for his tag team partner in getting put out the mystery liquid all over his head. It turned out later that this liquid must have been some hair removal foam because Enzo Amore and Big Cas brought him back to the ring with a towel around his head to reveal a not really good looking scalp of Marcus Louis. But I think, totally shaved there he could actually look better than before. We will see next time.
Kenta a.k.a Hideo Itami a.k.a Beautiful Pain
And now it was time for Regality to hit the roof once again. As you could already see, William Regal was very serious during his short introduction for Kenta. I’m still convinced that everything in wrestling has got a meaning so I took much care in everything that went on from now on. First of all, Kenta came out, told us something in Japanese that I couldn’t understand unfortunately. But it was probably similar to that he said in English later on, that he’s proud to be on NXT now and that the NXT Heavyweight Championship is his target. He also told us that he would be now known as Hideo Itami, a name supposedly chosen by him but of course needed to be make so WWE is able to use name and gimmick as an own brand. Actually, I’ve read from Disco Von Doom that this name could be translated to “Beautiful Pain” and when Kenta lives to this gimmick, we will certainly watch some very interesting matches.
And his first opponent apparently interrupted this introduction because The Ascension came out. They actually just wanted to demand a re-match from William Regal for the Tag Team Championship and thought shoving Hideo Itami out of the ring would leave them alone with the General Manager. But Hideo Itami came back inside the ring to clear it from both guys of The Ascension. He kind of challenged them to come after him again. So, if I was William Regal, I would made up a 2-on-1 handicap match to humiliate The Ascension even more. There are rumours going on that they are set for the WWE roster, so their days at NXT are probably counted. I highly doubt that a tag team match between Hideo Itami & William Regal vs The Ascension is a real option given the health of William Regal, even though there were some indications for that in this segment. So, I don’t give up hope and wait patiently for the next episode of NXT.
The next match was between Bull Dempsey and Mojo Rawley. Even though there wasn’t a chain involved like I hoped, this one wasn’t really needed. Because Mojo Rawley was basically destroyed within just 1:11 minutes. I’m not sure if he’ll demand a re-match.
Bayley has earned Charlotte’s respect
The next match already was the second main event: the match for the NXT Women’s Championship between Bayley and Charlotte. Because of the extended promotion for this match during the pre-show, everyone could re-live the built-up to this match and the growing feud between these two. And this is actually a storyline I can relate with: it’s all about arrogance on one side and the demand just for some respect from the other. It’s not about beauty or who has got the better boyfriend. No, it’s a storyline that both, male and female fans, can relate with. And that’s probably something that won’t happen in WWE in the near future.
Already their entrances were epic and in case for Bayley they added something new to it. Right at the start of the match I even noticed some shades of the first match between Dean Ambrose and William Regal at FCW when Regal extended his hand for a handshake but Ambrose refused to take it and instead argued with Regal over it. The same now happened between Bayley and Charlotte: after weeks and weeks of showing anything but respect towards Charlotte, she now wanted to shake hands. But Bayley didn’t go for it but started the fight right there. Because of that she got the early momentum and at some point Charlotte didn’t really know where she was.
But Charlotte stepped up her game a bit so the match then was quite even with momentum on both sides. And you only have to watch these two Gifs to feel the intensity and storytelling these two showed in their match that lasted for 10:46 minutes – a very respected time for a women’s championship match. Charlotte was annoyed that Bayley just didn’t give up and give in while Bayley really wanted to show Charlotte that she was a serious competitor. Just fabulous in equal way. But finally it was indeed Charlotte who regained her title. She then left the ring but watched on at the titantron what exactly Sasha Banks would do to Bayley. Charlotte’s former best friend had entered the ring after the match and now beat up Bayley who was still down on the mat.
And now something very touching happened: Charlotte came back to save Bayley from further beating. That’s the teasing picture for this review. A silent moment followed when Charlotte and Bayley just looked at each other with Sasha Banks looking on. Now, this is proper storytelling with real emotions that everyone could relate to. Bravo!
Goodnight, RAW & Smackdown
And then there was the first main event of the evening: the Fatal-4-Way match between Tyler Breeze, Sami Zayn, Tyson Kidd and Adrian Neville. Tyson Kidd was extra cocky when he came out because he still had his headphones on to avoid listening to the Natty chants or the Natty’s husband chants. The real action only started when the match was already one minute old because all four men had to check at each other. But then, the action went its way, first with Adrian Neville vs Tyson Kidd and Sami Zayn vs Tyler Breeze. After a few minutes of fighting outside the ring, the first standoff between Neville and Zayn happened back inside the ring. But they didn’t go after each other but instead Kidd and Breeze made it back inside the ring as well to now form some kind of partnership: basically together they kept Neville outside while beating up Zayn. But their alliance ended quickly when Breeze kicked Zayn for the pin fall but Kidd kicked Breeze to get the pin himself. Around this time the only thing Adrian Neville did was collecting himself outside the ring after he was kicked out for several times.
And this was the moment when Adrian Neville came back into this match. Sami Zayn was just preparing for a suicide dive through the ropes on Tyler Breeze and Tyson Kidd when Neville cut him off to do a Moonsault from the top rope himself. That was actually the first cocky move by Neville to the detriment of Zayn. And because of that, both men finally had their first little fist fight inside the ring until they were interrupted by Kidd again. Breeze now got his momentum, too, when he had the chance to get his pin, first on Neville that failed and then on Kidd that failed as well. He then unleashed the drama queen that was obviously quite funny. But for some reason the audience now chanted for CM Punk. That was followed by some boos and rightly so. This was a highly entertaining match, so I have no idea why some people had to chant for this guy.
And this was just the next highlight of this match. Besides the great storytelling there were also some spectacular moves you only see in these kind of matches: Adrian Neville was put on the top rope and Tyler Breeze to his right with Tyson Kidd to his left prepared for a double suplex when Sami Zayn joined the move to finally make it a triple suplex. Fabulous to watch; a real jaw dropper. But no successful pin fall was the result of that once again. Just some moments later, Adrian Neville was able to connect his Red Arrow on Sami Zayn but Tyler Breeze got him off to try the pin fall himself. Zayn now kicked out and Breeze couldn’t believe it once again. Then Tyson Kidd connected with the Sharp Shooter on Tyler Breeze and this time Neville and Zayn had to stop Breeze from tapping out.
Since everyone else got their momentum already, it was time now for Sami Zayn to actually get insane. He took out Neville first, then Kidd and Breeze with the Tornado DDT through the ropes and around the steel post like you can see on the right side. He then almost got the win on Tyson Kidd but Adrian Neville interrupted the three-count with pulling the referee outside the ring. And this was the moment when there were finally “This is awesome” chants.
Now, Neville and Zayn argued for a few moments until Zayn joins Neville outside the ring just for Neville to superkick his friend, so he could now connect with his Red Arrow on Tyson Kidd for the win after 24:06 minutes to regain his title. Fabulous match and well worth to be the main event.
After the show, of course, there were a lot of interviews. The first one was Bayley who was visibly upset but also proud and she expressed her wish to get a re-match so she could finally take the title from Charlotte. The now challenged woman came out and finally told Bayley that she gained her respect tonight. But Sasha Banks once again had to interrupt to repeat she was the boss of NXT and she would get the title some day. That really smells like a Triple Threat match between these three. Cameras then were already off them when Bayley finally got her hug from Charlotte. You can see this little scene when you watch the Fallout video shown above.
The other segments basically offered some teasers for us what we can expect in future NXT shows: first, Sylvester LeFort challenged Colin Cassady and Enzo Amore for a tag team match. Marcus Louis wasn’t outside for this promo but he would probably agree. Then, Tyson Kidd basically blamed his wife so he couldn’t be with Total Divas right now, showing around “his” title. A backstage interview with The Lucho Dragons and The Ascension will probably culminate into a re-match next week. And finally Adrian Neville said that everyone would have done the same to regain his title. Then a tweet from Titus O’Neil was read that said that Adrian Neville would have stolen his RAW time last Monday. So, Neville challenged him to come down to Orlando for a match. But since there are already rumours / plans to exchange NXT / WWE superstars in the next couple of weeks, this match could also happen at RAW or SmackDown.