The first NXT TakeOver event took place over three years ago in May 2014, but in today's WWE, the special event for the NXT brand has become a major part in the weekend of some of the company's biggest pay-per-view events of the year.
The NXT TakeOver special event series has helped NXT grow from a brand that was originally recognized as just WWE's developmental division, to a brand that many fans see as on par with Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live as WWE's official third brand.
The NXT TakeOver special event series has now grown and travelled across the United States to places like Chicago, Brooklyn, and San Antonio, as well as outside the country to Toronto and London.
However, the first NXT TakeOver event had simple beginnings on May 29, 2014, taking place at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida, and it was an absolute classic.
Here are the matches that took place at the first NXT TakeOver event three years ago, and where the superstars that were involved in those matches are now.
- Brandi Rhodes, the wife of Cody Rhodes, was the ring announcer for this event. She's now wrestling for Ring of Honor after leaving WWE just days after her husband did in 2016.
- The commentary team on this night was Tom Phillips, Bryon Saxton, and William Regal. Regal is now the NXT general manager, while Phillips and Saxton are now on the main roster as part of the commentary team on SmackDown Live.
- Rusev and Mojo Rawley also had a segment during the event, which resulted in the two brawling and The Bulgarian Brute coming out on top. They're now both part of the SmackDown Live roster.
- Paige appeared during the event too to thank the NXT fans for their support over the years. She is now part of the Raw roster as a member of Absolution.
Adam Rose def. Camacho
With Braun Strowman as one of his Rose Buds, who is now a major superstar on Raw, Adam Rose managed to win the first match at NXT TakeOver after hitting his Party Foul finisher on Camacho.
Rose would go on to debut on the main roster later that year with his Exotic Express gimmick before leaving the WWE due to being involved in a domestic violence case. Earlier this year, he announced 2017 would be his final year of wrestling.
As for Camacho, he's now working for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) under the ring name Tanga Loa and is part of the famous Bullet Club.
The Ascension def. El Local and Kalisto - NXT Tag Team Championship
The second match of the night saw The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) successfully defend the NXT Tag Team Championship against Kalisto and El Local. Viktor pinned El Local after the Fall of Man to retain the title.
The Ascension debuted on the main roster later that year and they're now part of the SmackDown Live tag team division. Kalisto, on the other hand, would pair up with Sin Cara as The Lucha Dragons and debut on the main roster a year later. He's now part of the Cruiserweight division.
El Local, also known as Ricardo Rodriguez, he was released from the WWE two months after NXT TakeOver and he retired from pro wrestling in May 2017.
Tyler Breeze def. Sami Zayn - No.1 contender match for NXT Championship
In the number one contender match for the NXT Championship, Tyler Breeze executed a Beauty Shot on Sami Zayn to win the match while The Underdog from the Underground attempted a Helluva Kick.
Breeze was unsuccessful in his attempt to win the NXT title off Adrian Neville after becoming the number one contender. He would debut on the main roster in October 2015. He is now part of the SmackDown Live roster in a tag team with Fandango called Breezango.
Zayn would stay in NXT for almost another two years due to injuries, but he did win the NXT title at NXT TakeOver: R Evolution in December 2014. He also had great feuds with Adrian Neville and Kevin Owens during his time in NXT. He's now fighting alongside Owens on SmackDown Live.
Charlotte (with Ric Flair) def. Natalya (with Bret Hart) - NXT Women's Championship
Charlotte became the NXT Women's Champion for the first time when she pinned Natalya after Natural Selection to win the title. The Queen would hold on to the title for 258 days before losing it to Sasha Banks at NXT TakeOver: Rival in February 2015.
Charlotte would go on to debut on the main roster later in 2015 and has since become a six-time champion and is the only wrestler to have held the three currently active WWE women's titles (the NXT Women's, Raw Women's, and SmackDown Women's championships), as well as the retired Divas Championship. She is now part of the SmackDown Live roster where she is SmackDown Women's Champion.
Natalya, who is also part of the SmackDown Live roster, has been involved in various different storylines since this match but did recently win the SmackDown Women's title at SummerSlam this year against Naomi. She then lost the title to Charlotte, ending her reign after 86 days, and she just recently lost her rematch at Clash of Champions.
As for Ric Flair and Bret Hart, both have made appearances for the WWE since this match, but The Nature Boy has been used more often, especially during Charlotte's early title reigns on the main roster.
Adrian Neville def. Tyson Kidd - NXT Championship
In the main event of NXT TakeOver, Adrian Neville successfully defended the NXT Championship against Tyson Kidd, executing a super hurricanrana and a Red Arrow on Kidd to retain the title.
Neville eventually lost the NXT title to Sami Zayn in December 2014 at NXT TakeOver: R Evolution. He made his main roster debut the following year in March, and has become a two-time Cruiserweight Champion following the introduction of the Cruiserweight division.
However, Neville has been on hiatus from the WWE since October 2017, with reports stating he's unhappy with the way he is being booked.
Kidd, on the other hand, started teaming up with Cesaro after his time in NXT successfully revived his WWE career. He won the Tag Team Championship with The Swiss Sensation, but his in-ring career was brought to an abrupt end in June 2015 after he suffered a severe neck/spinal injury. Since June this year, Kidd has been a full-time employee for WWE as a producer.
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