It’s been no real secret that WWE has been floundering a bit over the past few months with a solid direction for their programming. Raw is a three hour weekly live event and week-in and week-out it feels like they fail to put their best foot forward. Everything just has to be so complicated that it feels like they are always having trouble keeping their heads above water.
So what happens when WWE pushes out a live program that is kept relatively simple? It’s fantastic. NXT isn’t always the best wrestling program in the world, considering that it is WWE’s developmental territory intended to showcase up-and-coming wrestlers and give them experience in the ring, in front of the cameras before they are called up to be in front of the huge crowds and the many cameras. That being said, when NXT is good it is the best thing going for the organization by leaps and bounds and NXT TakeOver II: Fatal 4 Way was a prime example of that.
This was the third such live event this year and delivered just like the previous ones have. There will be debate among fans as to which NXT live event has been the best, but it almost doesn’t matter. What matters is that fans consider these events to be special and look forward to them. It’s clear that NXT is Triple H’s pet project right now and that WWE needs to look closer at how good these events are in comparison to their main product and try to make the appropriate changes (although if we are honest we know it won’t happen).
Lu-CHA! Sin Cara and Kalisto Take the Tag Straps
The Ascension are the kind of tag team that WWE has been wanting for ages now and this felt like a bit of a send-off for them. They’ve gotten about as much polish as they are going to get down in Florida and WWE’s tag team division is hurting for good heel teams right now, considering that it’s the Wyatts jobbing to the faces every week and Ryback is on the shelf for a bit right now.
Hunico has done wonders under the Sin Cara gimmick in NXT and Kalisto has all of the makings of a masked star, which is something that you don’t see very often in WWE. This match was a bit sloppy at times with a few miscues on some spots, but it was still forgivable.
Enzo Amore is a Perfect WWE Comedy Guy
Was this the best wrestling match on the show? Nope, not even close. Was this solid comedy wrestling gimmickery? Absolutely. Enzo Amore is a guy that will move merchandise and have a home on WWE television for a long time to come. He’s charismatic, okay in the ring and commits to whatever story is pushed at him. Some purists will thumb their noses at this, but this was fun professional wrestling, which is important.
KENTA is Hideo Itomi
We’ve all been really concerned with how WWE would handle KENTA. This guy was huge in Japan and was an inspiration for a lot of wrestlers who have come up recently. Surely they can’t handle him with respect, right? This segment put him over as a big star (granted, a big star who has to start out in NXT, not WWE’s main shows) in a big way. There’s a few things to note here: Yes, he has a new name. He’s taking the time to learn English and it’s not perfect, but the effort will win him supporters within the company. He oozes superstar potential.
I’m excited to see what he can bring to the table, especially in NXT if he works against some of these top guys that they have.
NXT Lets Women Wrestle and It’s Awesome
NXT’s Women’s Division has shone through in all of the NXT live specials, with Charlotte being featured heavily. They did a tremendous job of selling Bayley as the tough young competitor who is kind of goofy but can turn it up when she needs to. This was sloppy in a few spots, but the match was given time and laid out masterfully. The finishing sequence solidified Charlotte as the top of the NXT Women’s division, but also put Bayley over for being uber-tough. Great stuff.
Best Fatal 4 Way in WWE History
What better way to cap off the show than by showing that Fatal 4 Ways don’t need to just be for when creative needs to fit a bunch of guys into a match, but that Fatal 4 Ways can be really awesome? This match had tons of storytelling, tons of build and some really incredible spots littered throughout.
Neville cutting off Zayn’s dive to do one of his own then staring him down was incredible, the Breeze kickfest was amazing, and hell, even a Tower of Doom spot fit into this perfectly. The finish setup Neville as a heel and Zayn as the little engine that could and will make for a great feud down the line. It’s also hard not to tip your hat to Tyson Kidd who worked most of the match and was really the glue that kept everything together. Just a great effort from all four guys and really this was one of the best four ways imaginable.