The two month wait was finally over for NXT fans as the first Takeover of 2015 finally took place with some brilliant matches on show at Full Sail University.
The NXT fans are being spoilt by the WWE as the last Takeover took place only two months away as the superstars and divas of NXT continued to impress and all eyes were on Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens.
Sami Zayn defended his NXT Championship in the main event as Owens looked to dethrone the champion two months after his debut as Charlotte and Blake & Murphy also defended their gold, here’s what went down at NXT Takeover: Rival.
HIDEO ITAMI VS TYLER BREEZE
Kicking off the evening after the 30 minute pre-show was Hideo Itami as he took on Prince Pretty himself, Tyler Breeze after Breeze attacked Itami backstage last week. It was an excellent match to kick off the show as a female fan jumped on to Breeze before being pulled away. Breeze continued to impress with his new mean streak as he focused on Itami’s legs and it looked to have taken its toll as Itami slowed down for the duration of the match.
Itami fought his way back into the match after a Suermodel Kick couldn’t keep him down, Itami fired a number of kicks to the chest of Tyler Breeze before hitting a running kick to the face to pick up the victory.
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BULL DEMPSEY VS BARON CORBIN – NO DISQUALIFICATION
The no disqualification didn’t really live up to expectation and it was just like any other Dempsey and Corbin match we’ve seen in the past few months. Corbin started off strong by charging to Dempsey but Dempsey took control with a vicious suplex on the ramp.
The only weapon action we really witnessed was Bull Dempsey bringing in a chair – which he didn’t use – only for Corbin to catch him for the End of Days and the victory.
BLAKE & MURPHY © VS THE LUCHA DRAGONS – NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
The first gold to be defended on the evening say The Lucha Dragons try to recapture their championships as Blake and Murphy continued to look like a solid tag team on NXT. It was a back and forth encounter, Sin Cara and Kalisto actually had a number of opportunities where they could have attempted pin-falls to make it a little more dramatic but they failed to do so which allows Blake and Murphy to fight their way back into the match.
Towards the end Sin Cara rolled Blake into a powerbomb but only for a two count before Kalisto was knocked off the top apron and this allowed Murphy to hit a running suplex on Sin Cara followed by a brilliant frog splash from Blake as they retained the NXT Tag Team Championships.
During the celebrations the Solomon Crowe teasers continued to air, and it looks as if next week we will witness his debut.
ADRIAN NEVILLE VS FINN BALOR - #1 CONTENDERS MATCH FOR THE NXT CHAMPIONSHIP
The fans knew this would be a fantastic match as they are two of the best workers on NXT but all eyes were on Finn Balor as he once again donned the body paint he used two months ago. As expected the match was absolutely fantastic and one I’d recommend you go and watch. Adrian Neville was the more aggressive throughout the match as Finn Balor refused to stay down time and time again.
Neville gave it his all and the crowd played a huge role in this match, genuine surprise, brilliant chants and amazing energy throughout the match just like they provide every single week. They were behind both men as we saw plenty of high-flying manoeuvres, back and forth action and close calls. Neville hit an impressive middle rope Phoenix Splash on Balor as Balor responded with a Sling Blade before hitting a huge clothesline and an implant DDT; all for a two count.
The end looked to be near for Balor as Neville hit a couple of kicks and looked to hit the Red Arrow but Balor got his knees in the way and attempted a roll-up pin, only for a two count. Balor then went to the top and hit the top rope double stomp to Neville’s ribs for the victory.
Finn Balor is our new number one contender and the two shook hands before a quick video package hyped up the NXT Women’s Championship match.
CHARLOTTE © VS BAYLEY VS BECKY LYNCH VS SASHA BANKS – NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
The divas always step up when it comes to Takeover and as expected the four women stole the show yet again. All four had chances to win and the fans would have been happy with any result based on their reactions to every movement in the match. All four divas ensured the fans knew that any of them could be a successful champion at any given time with four incredible performances as Bayley looked to be heading to victory multiple times.
Top rope hurricaranas, diving to the outside, very close calls and plenty of submission manoeuvres and the divas told a great story in one of the best fatal 4 way divas matches you will see. Sasha Banks impressed by hitting a dive through the ropes and Charlotte followed it up by a crossbody to take out the others. Back inside the ring Becky Lynch almost had the match won by hitting an impressive suplex but Charlotte kicked out. Bayley then nailed an impress Bayley to Belly suplex off the top rope but failed to get the three count.
Sasha Banks locked in the crossface for quite a while and eventually, she rolled up the champion for the victory and we have a new NXT Women’s Champion in Sasha Banks; an incredible match.
After the match Sasha Banks celebrated her impressive win with her new championship before she and the former champion Charlotte shared a hug and then shoved each other away as a video package aired for the main event; Sami Zayn defending the gold against Kevin Owens.
SAMI ZAYN © VS KEVIN OWENS – NXT CHAMPIONSHIP
What a journey it has been for the two men, from competing together and against one another on the independent scene to main eventing NXT Takeover with the championship on the line, and the tense stare off to kick off the match just showed how far the two have come in their careers and how big of a milestone this match was.
Kevin Owens has been masterful in his manipulation so far in only two months on NXT and even though Kevin Owens opted to leave the ring at the beginning, Zayn wasn’t staying put and took the match to the outside before a brief brawl inside of the ring. The fans were split between both Zayn and Owens as the chants suggested throughout the match as they continued to play a big role in the match.
The chemistry between the two was clear as Owens started off stronger, wearing down Sami Zayn and every time he looked to gain some momentum, Owens was there to put him back into his place with some heavy manoeuvres. Owens dominated the majority of the match, showing glimpses of the Brock Lesnar and John Cena match at SummerSlam where Lesnar decimated Cena and Owens methodically picked Zayn apart.
Owens performed a number of impressive moves including a dangerous-looking piledriver on Zayn’s neck but as expected Zayn fought back with a Blue Thunder Bomb and the match was split 50-50 once more. He looked to have it finished when he went for the Helluva Kick but Owens rolled out of the ring and then turned the tables by hitting a powerbomb for a two count.
In the end Kevin Owens was close to getting himself disqualified as he refused to get off Zayn by laying into him with fists and kicks. The fans were well into this match and looked upset as Owens hit two vicious powerbombs, back to back but Sami Zayn stayed in the match, somehow.
The match ended in controversial champion, the medical team were out and watched Owens hit two more powerbombs as the referee stopped the match without a pin-fall, and just like that Kevin Owens is our new NXT Champion as he stood tall over the fallen Sami Zayn to end Takeover.