NXT TakeOver: R Evolution
|NXT TakeOver: R Evolution|
|Date||December 11, 2014|
|City||Winter Park, Florida|
|Venue||Full Sail University|
|WWE Network event chronology|
|NXT TakeOver chronology|
NXT TakeOver: R Evolution was a professional wrestling and WWE Network event produced by WWE, under their NXT brand. It was broadcast live on the WWE Network, available to subscribers. NXT TakeOver took place on December 11, 2014 at NXT's "home" arena, Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida and featured six matches as part of the main broadcast and one match prior to the televised portion of the show. The show was the third show in the NXT TakeOver series of Network exclusive shows. The show marked the in-ring debut of Kevin Owens, who had signed with the company in the months prior to the show. The main event was for the NXT Championship with Adrian Neville defending against Sami Zayn, with the added stipulation for the match being that Zayn would have to leave NXT if he did not win the championship. The show featured five additional matches, including matches for the NXT Women's Championship and the NXT Tag Team Championship.
The NXT TakeOver series of professional wrestling shows started on May 29, 2014 as the WWE developmental league NXT held their second ever WWE Network exclusive live broadcast billed as NXT TakeOver. In subsequent months, the "TakeOver" moniker became the brand used by NXT and WWE for all of their NXT live specials as they held NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way prior to R Evolution. The third TakeOver was billed as "R Evolution", playing off both the term "Revolution" and "Our Evolution".
The card consisted of eight matches, including one on the preshow, that resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches, with results predetermined by WWE's writers. Storylines that played out on the NXT television program.
On November 27, 2013, Adrian Neville became the number one contender for the NXT Championship as he defeated Sami Zayn in a tie-breaker match between the two. After several unsuccessful challenges, Neville was finally able to defeat Dallas for the Championship in the main event of NXT Arrival On the May 8 episode of NXT, Sami Zayn, Tyson Kidd, and Tyler Breeze all participated in a 20-man battle royal where the winner would get a match for the NXT Championship. The match ended in a three way tie between Zayn, Kidd, and Breeze. As a result, the three faced off a week later in a triple-threat match, where Kidd won to become #1 contender. At NXT TakeOver Adrian Neville successfully defended the championship against Tyson Kidd, while Tyler Breeze cheated his way to victory over Sami Zayn to become the number one contender. Following TakeOver, Neville, Zayn, Breeze, and Tyson Kidd became involved in a four way feud, that led to a four way championship match in the main event of NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way. During the match, Neville prevented Zayn from winning the match as he pulled the referee out of the ring to stop the count. Moments later, Neville capitalized on the distraction to win the match and retain the championship. The way Neville regained the championship led to tension between Neville and Zayn, putting a strain on their friendship. With the loss, Zayn felt the need to redeem himself, as he took on and defeated Tyson Kidd, Titus O'Neil, and Tyler Breeze to earn another match for the NXT Championship. During the championship match, Neville appeared to be injured during the match, only to reveal that it was a ruse to trick Zayn to lowering his defenses. A surprised Zayn was quickly rolled up for the pinfalll loss. Zayn later responded to comments that he was "too nice" to win the big one by laying out one final challenge to Neville for a match at TakeOver: R Evolution. Zayn also promised that he would quit NXT if he did not win the championship.
In early May 2014, Charlotte entered in the tournament for the vacant NXT Women's Championship, defeating Emma in the first round, Alexa Bliss in the semi-finals, and Natalya in the finals at NXT TakeOver, to win the NXT Women's Championship. After a four-month absence from the show, Summer Rae returned on the June 6 episode of NXT, distracting Bayley and allowing Charlotte to get the victory. After the match, The BFFs ("Beautiful Fierce Females", Charlotte, Summer Rae, and Sasha Banks) attempted to attack Bayley, only to be chased away by Emma and Paige. This led to a six-woman tag team match on the June 12 episode of NXT, which The BFFs lost after Bayley pinned Charlotte. On the July 3 episode of NXT, Charlotte got retribution over Bayley in a tag team match, where she and Banks defeated Bayley and Becky Lynch. After the match, Charlotte let Banks get attacked by Bayley, with Banks officially disbanding the BFFs in a backstage segment later that night.
In the summer of 2014, Kenta Kobayashi, better known simply as "Kenta", signed a full-time contract with WWE to go to NXT in preparation for a main roster position at a later date. Kenta made his first NXT appearance on September 11 at NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way, where he was introduced by NXT General manager William Regal. During his introduction, Kenta announced that he would be known as "Hideo Itami" from that point on. Moments later, he was attacked by The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) who were still angry over losing the NXT Tag Team Championship earlier in the night. Itami made his wrestling debut for NXT during the following day's tapings of NXT. After defeating Justin Gabriel, he was attacked by The Ascension once more, as Konnor and Viktor took advantage of outnumbering Itami. In subsequent weeks, Itami kept fighting against the Ascension, but ended up getting beaten up each week as he was always outnumbered. the storyline was that as a newcomer in NXT, Itami had no friends around to help him. In November 2014, Itami finally introduced his friend, Prince Devitt, who was rechristened "Finn Bálor" as he made his debut to back Itami up. Following Bálor's debut, a match with Itami and Bálor facing the Ascension was announced for NXT TakeOver: R Evolution.
At NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way, the Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara) defeated the Ascension to win the NXT Tag Team Championship, ending their reign as the top tag team after 364 days. The Lucha Dragons successfully retained the championship in a rematch against the Ascension and then moved on to their next challengers, The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch). The comedic heel duo used several silent movie clips to antagonize the Lucha Dragons as they claimed to be better than two "masked men", portraying themselves as the brave heroes, at least in their minds, as they made a challenge for the tag team championship.
On August 12, 2014, WWE announced that Kevin Steen had signed with them and was due to report to their developmental system NXT on August 25. He was given the new ring name Kevin Owens, and NXT began airing promotional videos from November 20 to hype his upcoming debut; Owens detailed that he had wrestled for 14 years before making it to WWE, having faced (and formed a friendship with) several current WWE or NXT wrestlers on the independent circuit years ago, but WWE signed them first. Now that he was here, Owens declared that he would fight anyone and everyone, because fighting was the best way he could provide for his family. Soon after, it was announced that Kevin Owens would make his in-ring debut at the next TakeOver event.
The commentators were Rich Brennan, Alex Riley, and Corey Graves. The pre-show panel consisted of Jason Albert, Alex Riley, Renee Young, and additionally Corey Graves, who prior to joining the panel, announced his retirement from the ring due to concussions.
Next, The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara) defended the NXT Tag Team Championship against The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch). Kalisto executed a "Salida Del Sol" on Gotch to retain the title.
In the fourth match, The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) faced Finn Bálor and Hideo Itami. In the end, Bálor performed a "Coup De Grâce" on Viktor whilst Itami performed a diving double foot stomp on Konnor. Balor pinned Viktor to win the match.
In the main event, Adrian Neville defended the NXT Championship against Sami Zayn. During the match, Zayn performed a "Blue Thunder Bomb" on Neville for a two count. Zayn applied a Koji clutch on Neville, but Neville placed his foot on the bottom rope, forcing Zayn to release the hold. Zayn performed a "Helluva Kick" on Neville, during which the referee was knocked down. In the end, Zayn performed an exploder suplex into the turnbuckles and a second "Helluva Kick" on Neville to win the title.
After the match, the NXT roster appeared to congratulate Zayn. Neville hugged Zayn and raised his hand in a show of respect. After the NXT roster left, Zayn celebrated with his close friend Kevin Owens. Suddenly, Owens pushed Zayn down onto the entrance ramp and performed a powerbomb on Zayn onto the ring apron. NXT General Manager William Regal checked on Zayn as the event ended.
NXT TakeOver: R Evolution received critical acclaim. Larry Csonka of 411Mania felt as though the NXT Tag Team Championship match was disappointing, giving it ** (out of *****), saying "It was fine, but it just lacked something. The NXT tag team division, as a whole, continues to lack overall." Reviewing the match between Finn Balor and Hideo Itami and The Ascension, he claimed that Finn Balor was the standout star of the match, saying "If you know anything about Balor, you know that he can go big time and work with anyone, WWE has something there if they want it." He gave the match ***1/2. Speaking of the NXT Women's Championship match, he said "They worked hard, they put together a good match and they were able to keep the crowd emotionally invested because they are given the proper formula to do so," giving the match ****. Giving high praise to the main event, Csonka stated "This was just an awesome match, from the story going in to the story they told, the pacing and the overall in ring work and yes the ref bumps, this all worked to get the goal, which was Zayn with the title. They told the story; they completed the journey and delivered excellent wrestling. This is a true MOTY (Match of the Year) candidate." He gave the main event ****3/4. He gave the entire event a score of 8.5 out of 10.
|1||Kevin Owens defeated CJ Parker||Singles match||03:14|
|2||The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara) (c) defeated The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch)||Tag team match for the NXT Tag Team Championship||06:40|
|3||Baron Corbin defeated Tye Dillinger||Singles match||00:41|
|4||Finn Bálor and Hideo Itami defeated The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor)||Tag team match||11:38|
|5||Charlotte (c) defeated Sasha Banks||Singles match for the NXT Women's Championship||12:12|
|6||Sami Zayn defeated Adrian Neville (c)||Title vs. Career match for the NXT Championship; had Zayn lost, he would have voluntarily left NXT||23:18|
- Howell, Nolan. "Neville tops Kidd at NXT Takeover". canoe.ca. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
- Howell, Nolan. "Neville shocks, defies odds at NXT Takeover: Fatal 4 Way". Canoe.ca. SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "WWE NXT TakeOver: R Evolution to air live on WWE Network on Thursday, Dec. 11". WWE. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- Namako, Jason. "Spoilers: Matches set for 12/11 NXT live special". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- Johnson, Mike. "Updated WWE NXT Takeover lineup". pwinsider.com. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- Grabianowski, Ed. "How Pro Wrestling Works". HowStuffWorks. Discovery Communications. Archived from the original on November 18, 2013. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
- "Live & Televised Entertainment". WWE. Archived from the original on February 26, 2009. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- James, Justin (21 November 2013). "James's WWE NXT report 11/20 – Week 73: Bo Dallas returns, Beat the Clock Challenge ensues, Ohno/Hero wrestles prior to his release, Overall Reax". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- James, Justin (29 November 2013). "James's WWE NXT results 11/27 – Week 74: Yoshi Tatsu resurfaces, Hero wrestles pre-release, Zayn/Generico vs. Neville/Pac flashback, Overall Reax". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- Howell, Nolan. "NXT ArRival: Neville reaches for the gold". SLAM! Sports: Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- James, Justin. "James's WWE NXT report 5/8 - Week 97: Battle Royal for NXT Title shot, Women's Title tournament continues, Triple H appearance, Exotic Express; Overall Reax". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- James, Justin. "JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 5/15 - Week 98: NXT Title #1 contender match, Women's Title tourney continues; Overall Reax". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- "James's WWE NXT TakeOver report 5/29: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live special on WWE Network". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- Howell, Nolan. "Neville shocks, defies odds at NXT Takeover: Fatal 4 Way". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- Chiverton, George. "Chiverton's NXT Scouting report: Latest Network Era Rankings, evaluation of "Takeover" fall-out". PWTorch.com. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- Namako, Jason. "WWE NXT Results - 10/9/14 (O'Neil vs. Zayn)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- James, Justin. "James's WWE NXT report 10/16 - Week 122: Sami Zayn vs. Tyson Kidd main event, Women's champ Charlotte; Overall Reax". PWTorch.com. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- Howell, Nolan. "NXT: Zayn topples Titus in rematch". Slam Wrestling. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- Witner, Emerson. "WWE NXT TV Report: Finn Balor (Prince Devitt) debuts, Hideo Itami, Sami Zayn, more!". Wrestling Observer. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- James, Justin. "James's WWE NXT results 11/13: Zayn challenges Neville for the NXT Title - with a twist ending, Itami & Balor tag match, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- James, Justin. "James' WWE NXT report 11/20 - Week 127: Kevin Steen's debut teased, Zayn vows to quit if he doesn't win NXT Title, Overall Reax". pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
- Howell, Nolan. "NXT: New GM reveals Takeover main event". Canoe.ca. SLAM Wrestling. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- Trionfo, Richard. "WWE NXT TAKEOVER REPORT: THREE TITLE MATCHES; A NEW NUMBER ONE CONTENDER; HOW DO YOU SAY 'HYPED' IN RUSSIAN OR BULGARIAN?; AND MORE". PWinsider. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
- Justin James. "JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 6/5 – Week 100: Neville defends NXT Title, new Women's champ in action, Tyler Breeze music video debuts, Overall Reax". PWTorch. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- Justin James. "JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 6/12 – Week 102: Neville defends NXT Title, classic Riley-Renee commentary exchange, "Mr. NXT" sneaks onto the show; Overall Reax". PWTorch. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
- Justin James. "JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 7/3 – Week 105: Sami Zayn vs. Justin Gabriel main event, Kidd sit-down interview, Overall Reax". PWTorch. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
- Saxton, Byron (2014-10-09). "From gratitude to the griddle: Hideo Itami on NXT, IHOP and adjusting to life in America". WWE. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
- Howell, Nolan (2014-09-11). "Neville shocks, defies odds at NXT Takeover: Fatal 4 Way". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
- Twiss, Andrew (2014-09-13). "The former Kenta makes his official in-ring debut and more: WWE NXT TV spoilers from Full Sail Live". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 2014-09-13.
- Howell, Nolan (2014-09-18). "NXT: O'Neil and Kidd upset Zayn and Neville". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2014-09-19.
- James, Justin (2014-10-24). "James's WWE NXT report 10/23: Neville defends NXT Title against Titus O'Neil, Tyler Breeze, Ascension, more; Overall Reax". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
- Howell, Nolan (2014-10-30). "NXT: Zayn topples Titus in rematch". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
- James, Justin (2014-10-02). "James's WWE NXT results 10/2 - Week 120: Neville defends NXT Title, Charlotte defends Women's Title, Itami; Overall Reax". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
- Trionfo, Richard (2014-11-06). "WWE NXT report: Finn-ally, Itami gets some revenge; NXT title match set for next week; Breeze vs. Zayn; and more". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 2014-11-06.
- Caldwell, James (August 12, 2014). "WWE news: Kevin Steen officially signs with WWE, Steen talks how he found his way to NXT". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
- Trionfo, Richard (November 20, 2014). "WWE NXT report: we have a main event for the next Takeover special; someone is coming on the 11th". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
- "11/27 Zim's WWE NXT Coverage". prowrestling.net. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
- Trionfo, Richard (December 4, 2014). "WWE NXT report: final show before R Evolution; Neville and Zayn; Balor and Itami in action; Bull and Baron try to have a match with a negative length; and more". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
- James, Justin. "James's WWE NXT report 12/4 – Week 129: Final hype for "Takeover" special, Neville-Zayn final promo exchange, Itami & Balor tag main event, Charlotte; Overall Reax". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
- Trionfo, Richard (2014-11-20). "WWE NXT report: we have a main event for the next Takeover special; someone is coming on the 11th". pwinsider.com. Retrieved 2014-11-20.
- James, Caldwell. "Caldwell's WWE NXT Takeover results 12/11: Complete virtual-time coverage of Neville vs. Zayn for the NXT Title, Itami & Balor, Charlotte, Kevin Steen/Owens's debut, Corey Graves retires". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- Zimmerman, Zack. "12/11 WWE NXT Takeover R-Evolution Live Coverage: Sami Zayn vs. Adrian Neville for the NXT Championship". prowrestling.net. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
- "Csonka's NXT Takeover: R Evolution Review 12.11.14 | 411MANIA". 411mania.com. Retrieved 2017-11-27.