When I first saw one of their shows a few months ago the action blew me away. But did they manage to capture lightning in a bottle again? That was what I was hoping to find out by watching WWE NXT Takeover: Fatal 4 Way, shown this past Saturday night on Sky Sports here in Britain.
The show began with the title action as the Lucha Dragons, Kalisto and Sin Cara, challenged Konnor and Viktor of the Ascension for the NXT Tag Team titles.
Short and sweet would probably be the best way to describe this very enjoyable encounter. Cara took the punching bag treatment from the start as the big guys doubled up on him to good effect, and things certainly went up a notch or two when he managed to get the hot tag to Kalisto.
The bodies were soon flying through the air, and although Viktor and Konnor were able to use their power advantage to good effect it wasn’t enough to get the win, with a fast-paced series of moves ending with Kalisto taking Viktor down with his Salida del Sol for the title winning pin.
Then it was on to the hair versus hair match as Sylvester LeFort, accompanied by Marcus Louis, faced Enzo Amore, accompanied by Colin Cassidy.
We had an absolute ton of jaw jacking at the beginning of this one, so much so that I was almost tempted to shout “get on with it” at the television. When the match eventually started it wasn’t too bad. There were some nice little exchanges, and both guys acquitted themselves pretty well. Naturally we had a confrontation between the supporters outside, which ultimately led to the end when Amore rolled up LeFort for the pin.
Needless to say though that Mr. LeFort was somewhat reluctant to lose his long black locks, and when Cassidy and Amore tried to carry him to the barber’s chair his buddy Louis came in for the save, only for LeFort to leave him high and dry and at the hands of the victors as he headed for the hills. Amore and Cassidy still needed someone to try their hair-loss potion on, and Louis proved to be the perfect candidate.
After KENTA changed his name to Hideo Itami and sent the Ascension running for cover it was back to normal action as Bull Dempsey took on Mojo Rawley.
There wasn’t really much to write home about in this blink or you’ll miss it encounter. We had a brief moment of brawling and a couple of fluffed moments before Dempsey flew down from the top rope with a flying headbutt for the winning pin. I’ll probably forget about this one in a few days.
After Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy dragged Marcus Louis back to the ring so they could reveal his new hairstyle to the world it was on to the penultimate match of the evening as Bayley challenged Charlotte for the NXT Women’s title.
You know what? This wasn’t too bad, and while it was nowhere near as good as Charlotte’s match with Natalya at the last Takeover show it was certainly a lot better than some of the women’s matches I’ve seen this year.
Charlotte played the part of the heel extremely well, while Bayley’s never say die attitude gave us the very interesting storyline, because no matter what Charlotte did Bayley kept coming back for more and giving as good as she got.
This led to Charlotte getting more and more frustrated as the match went on, but eventually something had to give, and Charlotte’s natural selection finisher was a move too far for the challenger as the champion took the title retaining pin.
Afterwards Sasha Banks came down to the ring to attack the fallen Bayley, only for Charlotte, somewhat surprisingly, to make the save.
The main event saw Tyler Breeze, Sami Zayn and Tyson Kidd challenging Adrian Neville for the NXT title in a fatal four way match.
This one certainly ticked all of the right boxes, because for nearly twenty-five minutes these four went at it full tilt, pulling out all the stops as they put together a tremendous encounter.
All four men put in great performances in what was a great piece of storytelling. It began somewhat slowly before the flow was established, with heels Kidd and Breeze forming an alliance so they could take Neville out before focusing their efforts on Zayn.
The inevitable soon happened though when they began to disagree, and although Kidd continued his assault on Zayn it wasn’t long before Breeze and Neville returned to the fold, signalling the beginning of the all hell breaking loose segment.
This was when things really got going. We had plenty of drama and plenty of high spots, with all four men coming close to getting the winning pin. Zayn looked like he was going to take the whole thing after he took Kidd down with his yakuza kick, but after his buddy Neville pulled the referee out of the ring before he could complete his count, and after deal with Zayn at ringside the champion climbed to the top rope and inflicted further damage on Kidd with his red arrow. A three count later and Neville had retained his title.
In conclusion – the first time I saw an NXT show back in May I was absolutely blown away by the quality of what I saw that night. Everything about that show was just so good, and it still remains one of my favourite shows of the year.
Which meant that this follow-up had a lot to live up to, and although the match quality was good, they didn’t quite make it.
The show itself was pretty enjoyable, and there were a lot of positives coming out of this one. I really enjoyed the tag team opener, and although I found Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy extremely annoying and Bull Dempsey’s performance a little disappointing the performances in the main event certainly made up for that disappointment, especially the performance of Sami Zayn.
As for my match of the night no-prize there was only really one contender, the fatal four way main event for the NXT title.
So with all of that out of the way there’s just one more thing left to do, and that’s to give this show the thumbs up.
By day I work in a local museum, but by night I’m the author of The Two Sheds Review, Britain’s longest running professional wrestling and mixed martial arts blog. Visit my site at www.twoshedsreview.vze.com. It’s been online in one form or another since June 2000!