NXT Takeover II: Fatal Four Way is finally here, if you watch their weekly show you know what’s on the line here, if you don’t, this is a great show to jump into. Three of NXT’s top stars from the past year and a former WWE talent on a career renaissance do battle in the main event, Charlotte (daughter of Ric Flair) defends his Women’s Title against one of the more genuine careers in the WWE talent pool, Bayley and NXT’s dominant tag team for the past few years may finally meet their match. I’m joined by Larry as we preview and predict NXT Takeover II!
As a reminder, we’ll have a full cast of VOW characters reviewing the show live tomorrow so be on the lookout for that as well.
Mojo Rawley vs. Bull Dempsey
Rich Kraetsch: When it’s my time to go there will be a special place in hell for me where this match and the build to this match plays on a constant loop. It’s a big reason why even though I’m atheist, I still say my prayers and eat my vitamins because an eternal damnation filled with Mojo Rawley and Bull Dempsey is something I never want to see. Anyway, this is going to be awful, let’s face it, it will. The only redeeming factor is Bull will win in less than five minutes, it may even be less than a minute. The NXT brass seems to have finally, mercifully given up on Mojo (he’s a nice dude but not a wrestler). I don’t like Bull either, I think the character sucks but he’s a solid worker and in time could be worth something (that’s me trying to be nice).
Prediction: Bull Dempsey
Larry: I truly hope they don’t open the show with this shit. Bull Dempsey is a bum. You wouldn’t think an NXT talent could be any bummier until you scroll through the Superstars page and see Mojo Rawley. Just get these guys off of the screen as fast as possible.
Prediction: The real loser in all of this is US.
Hair vs. Hair – Enzo Amore vs. Sylvester Lefort
Rich Kraetsch: The amount of Jersey in the prediction below me is sickening. With that being said, I like Enzo, I like the gimmick and I like him to win here. Lefort can manage without his locks but Enzo without hair?! That’d be like Joe Lanza without Coke Zero or Larry without being a creep about women — it just won’t happen.
Prediction: Enzo Amore
Larry: I hope Enzo and Big Cass come to the ring with that fine doer of hair, Carmella. Bada Boom, hardest dick in the room. Nam’sayin? How you doin? As a man from Jersey, Enzo and Big Cass bring me a lot local pride every time I watch them. Those two dagos are great. As for LeFort…I have no idea how this bum is still on the roster and survived the recent cuts. GET LAWST! While this will be nothing special, great booking by adding the ridiculous stipulation. If Enzo loses this match…I riot. Enzo and Big Cass should have been the ones taking the belts off of The Ascension tonight.
Prediction: Enzo by ruthlessness.
NXT Tag Team Championship – The Ascension © vs. Kalisto and Sin Cara
Rich Kraetsch: It’s time for NXT to move on from The Ascension, bring them up to the main roster (they appeared on this week’s Main Event) and add them to the fire. If they can hang, cool, if not, too bad but they can’t keep toiling away in NXT. There’s time for some new blood, especially in the top of the NXT Tag division. I have high hopes for Kalisto and think he can be the next WWE “lucha” card and I made that claim before they even signed him. This will be a nice diversion as he continues to grow but I hope he’s not pigeon-holed here. Current Sin Cara (what number are we at now?) is okay, he makes for nice fodder and I like their team for now. Which, by the way, when are we getting the stereotypical Mexican name for this team?
Prediction: Kalisto and Sin Cara
Larry: Listen, I don’t personally think The Ascension have any juice for a long, successful run on the main roster. They can’t work. They can’t talk. And honestly, they look pretty goofy…not scarey. And have you see their TOTAL ELIMINATION variation “The Fall of Man”? It should win Worst Finisher for 2014. It looks Charmin Soft. Has any big, badass tag team ever had a move look that S-A-W-F-T? The Road Warriors would decapitate people with the Doomsday Device. The Demolition Decapitation probably legitimately killed a few people. And, it’s surely no MELTZER DRIVER.
Anyway…this is the fifth incarnation of the group/team at this point. Sooner or later, you’ve just got to roll with them and see what you’ve got on the main roster. As is, all they’ve done is feed token jobber teams to them on NXT. They’ve never actually had a feud, yet, they’ve held the titles for over a year. It’s time to take the belts off of them. However, it shouldn’t be the thrown-together-team of Kalisto and Sin Cara. The latest version of Sin Cara is an anchor to a potential rising star, and while I know they want to elevate Kalisto to doing something of significance on the NXT brand, I’m not sure this is the right move. I just don’t feel like there is any kind of payoff because I’m not invested in either team or the journey to get to this point. I love Kalisto, and I want to see some awesome flippy things…but as for the rest…meh.
Prediction: LUCHA! LUCHA! LUCHA!
NXT Women’s Championship – Charlotte © vs. Bayley
Rich Kraetsch: If you read my NXT weekly reviews you know my love of Charlotte, she’s the best. She’s progressing at an unbelievable, Angle-esque rate so much so you can see month-to-month, even week-to-week progression with her. She’s kept her matches fairly basic thus far so I’d like to see her really make a leap here and put together another Natalya-like classic. Bayley is a lot of fun too and while I don’t she’s even in the upper half of the NXT women, she can hang with anyone and will make for a great story through this entire match. I think Charlotte loses here as she prepares for her leap to the main roster but I won’t be too upset if she stays around for a few more months.
Larry: Charlotte might be the most improved overall wrestler in North America, and maybe the world. She really has jumped from a green-as-grass “rookie” to one of the better women in North America in one calendar year. She’s become really good, with a style that really separates her from the rest of the women currently employed by the WWE. She’d be an asset on the main roster. With that said, I don’t necessarily think the Divas division on the main roster needs any kind of boost at the moment as the Bella junk and the Paige-AJ story take up most of the Diva TV time right now. However, this looks like a “jobbing-on-the-way-out” type of set up with the never-respected Bayley finally earning some respect from the alpha female. Of all of the matches on the card, I’m looking forward to this one the most. I also think it is the most unpredictable. Totally weird, I know…because its chicks…but, these Clash of the NXT Champions shows have featured the very best women’s matches I’ve seen in a while. Give Sara Del Rey ALL THE STARS and a raise because she really does awesome work with the Divas down in Florida. I expect this to be really good. Charlotte can go. So can Bayley. Now, I don’t think its the RIGHT TIME for Charlotte to drop the title, but I just get the feeling she will. Bayley is the “next in line”, so it makes sense. Hold on, wait, did I just write all of this without any sexual content? What is wrong with me? (Editor’s Note: See, deep down, Larry is a good guy!)
Fatal 4-Way NXT Championship – Adrian Neville © vs. Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze vs. Tyson Kidd
Rich Kraetsch: I’m looking forward to this match a lot though I’m not sure it’s going to be one of the better “big” NXT matches we’ve ever seen. I honestly won’t be surprised if the Women’s match out-does this one only because you have a lot of combustible elements here. It’s a Fatal 4-Way and those almost never deliver like we wish they would. In WWE, Fatal 4-Way means 10 smaller one-on-one bouts throughout the match as the two other guys sit on the outside after taking an impactful move. I would like to see those guys buck this trend and really do something different and unique.
That’s where my excitement level comes in, these guys are all unique in their own right. Zayn is super-talented but is starting to get long in the tooth at NXT. Neville, I’ve been vocal about his staleness and inability to get the most out of his talents. Kidd has been resurrected in NXT and should stay there forever and lastly Breeze has gotten his career back on track mostly through his character.
As far as who can win here, I think Breeze fits the mold of an NXT champion the best. He’s a guy who can have a sustained run with it while he continues to build and mold his character and his ring work. Zayn doesn’t need the title nor should he have a run with it, that’s just not his character or motive. Neville has been there, done that and as mentioned, Kidd is probably better being a step below the title for his entire tenure. Though if Kidd wins, it’s not the end of the world and the dickish “I’ve been to WWE before, you’re all bums” angle could work, especially if he’s doing it against strong babyface like the inbound Devitt.
Breeze wins here and if everything comes together this could be one for the ages. Or like most Neville main events, it can be disappointing. My fingers are crossed for the former.
Prediction: Tyler Breeze
Larry: First…an open letter to a VOW favorite, Sami Zayn.
Stop fucking Skanking to the ring. NOW.
I’ve been disappointed by Adrian Neville’s NXT Title run. I just don’t think there has been anything really there that pops me. The matches have been ok, but nothing has ever really ascended to a good or great level. I mean, we all know Neville can go…but its like we haven’t seen him truly GO in a while now. I appreciate that NXT does a great job of keeping the belt on one guy and letting them have their run, but in my opinion, Neville’s time needs to be up. It’s time for a fresh coat of paint on the roster, as the current crop is growing a bit stale in this environment and you need to start at the top with a changing of the guard.
For those that have followed NXT for a while now, we’ve seen this current group come in, start from the bottom and work their way to the top of the card. All have done well in some regard, but all are just about dried out. The good news is, the next round of call-ups are upon us and there is a great batch of new croots ready to go.
With all of that said, this match should be less about the changing of the guard, and more of a graduation of sorts. I don’t like any of the talent here as champion. Neville needs to drop the belt and is getting called up. Zayn’s story isn’t about winning the NXT Title. There is money in Zayn’s long form program to winning the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Plus, he’s getting the call most likely. Tyson Kidd is a nice gatekeeper and having a renaissance of sorts but shouldn’t be holding the title. Tyler Breeze is the likely winner here, but if I’m fantasy booking, he’s a transitional champion before I have KENTA squash him the next night at the TV tapings. I’m expecting a decent match here, but I’ve tempered my enthusiasm for Neville matches during this run.
Prediction: King of Cuteville by Gorgeousness