NXT R Evolution was amazing and it shows that WWE can do a good show when it wants to.
The first thing we see is Corey Graves announcing his retirement and to join the announcement team. The reason was this was due to the fact he has had 2 concussions over the past 18 months. To put it into perspective ex wrestler Chris Benoit had the same thing and look what trying to fight through it can do to a person. I’m happy WWE has agreed to let him stay with them as an announcer post this, it’s just unfortunate to think that he’s been working for 10 years only to spend 2 on a big level on a regular basis. He will be missed but his health is the most important thing.
The first match saw Kevin Owens (fka Kevin Steen) defeat CJ Parker. This just felt like a best of from Owens’ career with good use of all the moves he’s been using in ROH. This match was fast and saw a lot of over the top rope moves and the flip he does in the corner. This feels good to see him like this and was an amazing way of introducing him. Unfortunately little from CJ Parker was seen, but seeing as Owens was phenomenal in this match that didn’t matter.
The next match was another amazing fast paced match that showed The Lucha Dragons defeating The Vaudevillian’s. This match showed everything anyone can expect with some amazing Lucha style wrestling from The Dragons and amazing feats of strength and brawling style from The Vaudevillian’s. Personally I am more of a fan of fast paced wrestling but neither team dissapointed. This left me with another amazing match and an ecstatic feeling going more into the show.
The next match was a very quick squash match that saw Baron Corbin defeat Tye Dillinger in a VERY quick amount of time. This is unfair on wrestlers like Dillinger I think as it’s stopping them from being put over, though for the context of the show, it just felt like a passing segment and nothing to take my enjoyment away from anything.
One thing I will note however is that throughout the match Bull Dempsey was at ringside watching. The way the WWE has let these two tell a story through no words or no physical interactions is incredibly clever. Reminiscent to shows like Lucha Underground it’s easy to understand and therefore easy to get into. I thought the way this was done was very clever and though the two only looked for a brief amount of time it told a huge story and leaves me with a rivalry I’m interested in seeing.
The next match saw Hideo Itami (fka KENTA) and Finn Bálor (fka Prince Devitt) wrestle The Ascension. I thought this match was amazing and finally let The Dream Team show why they were so big in NJPW and what they have to show for American Audiences. Itami showed some impressive martial arts moves and both showed amazing high flying. This has been their best match since being in the USA and it was shown to be amazing. The Ascension really didn’t show too much in comparison but when you’re working with that sort of talent it is hard to.
Balor also had a new entrance that looked phenomenal. The colours and the way the steam machine reacts with the music really creates an immense effect, this is something I loved and can’t wait to see on a Main PPV.
The next match saw Charlotte defeat Sasha Banks. This match really suffered from where it was positioned on the card, it was an amazing Divas match with some impressive high flying, but compared to Zayn and Itami it’s hard for anyone to compete. Charlotte showed however, that she is the best Diva in WWE with the ability to do some amazing flips and move combinations. I’m shocked as to why she’s not Divas Champion as she is certainly better than a lot of the Divas on the main roster. I want to see more of Charlotte from this match though and it’s more than excited me.
The Main Event saw Zayn defeat Neville for the NXT Championship. This is the ending of a huge rivalry and what a way to end it. The match lasted long with flips and fast paced movements right until the end. This match saw both amazing moves from Zayn and Neville and it concluded it’s story in one of the best manners I’ve seen.
At the end of this match Zayn celebrated by hugging Steen and giving fans a moment that they know much more than WWE. After this Zayn and Neville hugged to show an end to the rivalry, to show their respect for each other and to end an amazing story. …. but when story ends another begins, giving Owens a Heel Turn attacking Zayn after his match. This is great and based upon both of their performances tonight, this is a match I more than want to see. NXT you make me have faith in WWE again
Marks out of 10: 9/10
Match of the night: Sami Zayn vs Adrian Neville
MVP of the night: Kevin Owens