By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Sin Cara and Kalisto def. The Ascension to Win the NXT Tag Team Championships
This was easily The Ascension's best bout to date, but I think that much was obvious. The Sin Cara character is damaged goods, but a pairing with Kalisto is beneficial for both men. Kalisto can use it as a launching pad to super stardom and it makes Sin Cara relevant for the first time in... well, ever. The match itself was very good and an enjoyable opener to the show. The title change kicked off the show on a high note and was a necessary move as The Ascension prepare to be promoted to the main roster.
Baron Corbin def. CJ Parker
It appeared as if Corbin was going to be used as an enhancement talent for Parker based off his lack of entrance, but that wasn't the case at all. Corbin completely dominated with Parker with only two moves, one being his extremely sweet looking finisher. He has a very distinct look and depending on how he's booked, he can be a big star in NXT in no time. How was this guy not promoted to NXT TV sooner? Either way, there was no matter time than now since all eyes are on the product.
Enzo Amore def. Sylvester Lefort in a Hair vs. Hair Match
The match was fine for what it was, but I never expected much out of it anyway so I wasn't disappointed. On the plus side, Amore is so over that he managed to get the crowd invested even if the match wasn't amazing. The post-match bit with Marcus Louis getting his head "shaved" instead wasn't too surprising and I can't imagine many people are pissed with it not being Lefort since the hair wasn't never the focus of this feud up until a few weeks ago.
The Ascension Interrupted KENTA
It's a shame Ric Flair couldn't make the show, but having NXT General Manager William Regal introduce KENTA to the NXT Universe was the next best thing. KENTA's promo was a bit shaky, but it was passable considering he's still getting used to the English language. I'm a bit letdown he won't be using the KENTA name anymore, but at least his new name pays homage to his heroes and has meaning unlike many of the random names NXT talents have. I was expecting someone else to come down and aid him in taking out The Ascension, but the fact he overcame the odds indicates he'll be facing one or both members of the tandem in his official in-ring debut soon.
Bull Dempsey def. Mojo Rawley
Talk about a total squash! This was shocking considering how high officials apparently were on Rawley only a few short months ago. He hasn't been booked well lately and this was seemingly the icing on the cake. They obviously have a lot of faith in Dempsey, so a total annihilation of Rawley was smart. Expect him to be contending for the NXT Championship before long.
NXT Women's Champion Charlotte def. Bayley
Once again, the ladies had a great match that met expectations. Charlotte has come a long way since her debut one year ago and that showed in this match. Bayley was awesome as usual and her new entrance theme and attire was a nice touch. They told a solid story and while there were some botches here and there, they pulled together a very good contest. Bayley looked strong in defeat and I like that she's staying in chase mode for now. Charlotte isn't main roster ready and she hasn't been champion long enough for the title change to feel like a big deal right now. Although Charlotte attacked Sasha Banks afterward, she teased turning babyface at the last special and that went nowhere, so only time will tell as to whether it's for real this time.
NXT Champion Adrian Neville def. Sami Zayn, Tyler Breeze and Tyson Kidd
An absolutely phenomenal match. Did you honestly expect any less? I really like how the pace was nicely built throughout and everyone involved looked great. They all have such excellent chemistry with one another that it made the action extremely entertaining. There were several spots down the stretch that were breathtaking and all four competitors deserve a round of applause. The finishing sequence was fantastic in that it teased a Neville heel turn and made Zayn out to be very sympathetic. Neville's flashy offense makes him a bona fide babyface, but if this leads to a feud between Neville and Zayn over the title, then I'm all for it.
I can't say this show was better than the last two specials as a whole since there was plenty of filler that wasn't all that great, but the top three matches definitely delivered. The tag titles changing hands along with the debut of KENTA (along of Baron Corbin) made this a newsworthy the event and main event alone was worth going out of your way to see. There were plenty of interesting developments on this show that have made coming weeks on NXT must-see. Needless to say, if you aren't already watching this program on a regular basis, hopefully Takeover 2 made you think twice about that.
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