This Wednesday, February 11, WWE will be featuring another quarterly live NXT special on the WWE Network. The show is titled NXT Takeover: Rival, and it features another great card from top to bottom. Just as all other NXT television tapings, the show will take place from Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida. Its airs live at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time.
The past three NXT Takeover specials have received rave reviews from wrestling fans and the wrestling media alike, and this NXT show figures to be no different. The final card for the event is listed below, along with a brief preview for each match.
Hideo Itami vs. Tyler Breeze
After his loss in the NXT Championship No. 1 contender’s tournament to Finn Balor, Itami looks to re-group in a match with rising star Tyler Breeze. Both men have been teasing a match on Twitter in recent weeks, and Breeze took it upon himself to attack Itami in a post-match interview segment following Itami’s match with Balor on last week’s NXT show. It was confirmed earlier today that the match has officially been added to the NXT Takeover card.
No Disqualification Match: Bull Dempsey vs. Baron Corbin
Corbin and Dempsey continue their rivalry, this time in a no disqualification match. The two NXT bruisers will probably provide all the brawling and weapon use the show needs in this no-disqualification match. These guys usually aren’t ones to compete in lengthy matches, so this one will probably be over fairly quickly. Both men were formerly undefeated, but since they have each suffered their first defeats in recent weeks, the winner of the match proves to be a toss-up.
No. 1 Contender’s Match: Finn Balor vs. Adrian Neville
Two of the best wrestlers in NXT clash for a chance at the NXT Championship. Balor and Neville’s status as premiere in-ring talent isn’t just limited to the NXT roster; their ring ability ranks near the top of the class when considering the main WWE roster, as well.
These NXT Takeover shows typically feature at least one match, sometimes several, that promise to compete for match of the year when all is said and done. This bout, as well as the NXT Championship match between Zayn and Owens, promise to be in that conversation following this edition of NXT Takeover.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: Wesley Blake & Buddy Murphy (c) vs. The Lucha Dragons
There have been rumors abound that WWE is considering re-packaging Kalisto as a gay hair dresser. So far, there remains no movement on that, as Kalista continues to hold firm as a member of the Lucha Dragons in NXT. Is this his last hurrah in the tag team ranks? New champions Blake and Murphy attempt to hang on to the NXT tag straps as they are challenged by the former champions. Considering they just won the belts, along with the fact that it looks like the Lucha Dragons are about to be split up, it’s a good bet that Blake and Murphy keep the belts. They look to be a prominent focus in the NXT tag team division throughout 2015.
NXT Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte (c) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Baylee vs. Becky Lynch
Even if the WWE Diva’s division bores you, please give this NXT women’s match a chance. They just might change your point of view on women’s wrestling. These girls work their tails off, and this four-way for the NXT Women’s Championship has a chance to compete for best North American women’s match of the year.
Charlotte is among the most prominent rising stars in the WWE, and I don’t mean just in the women’s division. In all of NXT, Charlotte has just about as much in-ring ability, charisma, and star potential as anyone on the roster. Recent years have shown that women can drive interest in sports just as much as men do (see: Ronda Rousey), so the WWE has a real opportunity with Charlotte to break through the glass ceiling when she is brought up to WWE. And those other three girls aren’t too bad, either. With Charlotte looking more and more likely to make the jump to the main roster any day now, a title change looks to be a possibility.
NXT Championship Match: Sami Zayn (c) vs. Kevin Owens
NXT began building this match at the conclusion of December’s NXT Takeover show. After winning the NXT Championship from Adrian Neville, Zayn was attacked by his former friend, Kevin Owens. Both men grew up in the business together, traveling down the roads of the independent scene alongside one another for years as Kevin Steen and El Generico. Now, they clash for the top prize in WWE’s NXT.
Both competitors will go into the match, likely with the goal of topping the Neville/Balor match earlier on the show. While that match will likely be a high flying, technical affair, the main event proves to be a hard hitting, physical title bout with the occasional high spot throw in.
Picking out a winner in this match proves to be tough, if not impossible. Zayn had a long journey to the title in 2014, finally capturing it at NXT Takeover: R-Evolution in December. Is it possible he drops the gold just two months later? Kevin Owens has been on a destruction path through NXT since his arrival in December, and he looks to be a guy that could be brought up to the main roster relatively quickly. If the WWE wants him to have a run as NXT Champion before that move is made, we can’t rule out a title change here at NXT Takeover. Whatever the outcome, this match is sure to conclude on a high note with what looks to be an excellent show on paper.
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