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Sami Zayn seeks answers from Kevin Owens; confirms his status for Takeover
Several segments throughout the show, from the opening pre-credits sequence to a backstage interview with Zayn, highlighted his shoulder injury. I found it odd that they didn’t work in anything regarding Hideo’s injury, but that’s an entirely different situation, I suppose.
Zayn entered the ring, and was quickly joined by Owens. In a very obviously overdubbed segment, Zayn (off-camera) told Owens that even though he injured his shoulder against John Cena on Raw, he would be wrestling at Takeover. Zayn said that all he wanted to know was why Owens had attacked him in the first place.
Zayn said that he knew there was an element of truth to Owens’ claim that he was doing it to put his family in a better position by gaining the NXT Championship. Owens refused to answer, so Zayn asked him if it was jealousy, because Zayn got there first. Zayn asked him if it was even more personal than jealousy, so Zayn asked if it was about Owens’ son.
Zayn said that it shouldn’t bother Owens that Kevin’s son would rather wear Zayn’s merch than his father’s, taunting Owens, who held the microphone up to his mouth, before lowering it again and departing the ring. As Owens reached the entrance ramp, he said that everything Zayn said was irrelevant.
Owens said that after Zayn lost to him, he had said that he went home to Montreal to clear his head. Owens claimed that he knew the real reason, and that it was because Zayn was injured. Owens said that he also knows Zayn is still injured, and that he was the one who hurt him.
Owens said that he knows exactly where the injury is, how he caused it, and that he’ll do it again. He added that this time, Zayn won’t be coming back.
Scott’s Thoughts: As we’ve learned time and again, these two are so good together that physicality isn’t even necessary. Another spectacular promo segment from two of the best in the business.
Tyler Breeze and Adam Rose def. Hideo Itami and Finn Balor by pinfall
The tag match featuring all three of the No. 1 contender’s triple-threat competitors at Takeover — and also Adam Rose — began with a Finn dropkick to Rose. Finn rolled through a sunset flip to hit a basement dropkick, earning a two-count. Finn tried to springboard over the top rope, but Rose caught him with a stiff elbow, knocking him from the ring.
Breeze tagged in and got Finn back in the ring, hitting a leg drop for two. Rose and Breeze isolated Finn in their corner, wearing him down, with Rose earning a near-fall after a snap suplex. Breeze hit a vertical suplex of his own for two, with Rose adding a spinebuster, which he cleverly transitioned into a Boston Crab.
Finn finally reached the bottom rope, and Breeze used a referee distraction to add a guillotine legdrop, earning Rose yet another near-fall. Finn fought back with a jawbreaker and a Pele Kick, finally tagging in Hideo. Hideo hit a tornado DDT onto the top rope on Breeze, then a flying clothesline to take out Rose.
Hideo nailed a corner dropkick on Breeze, but Finn blindly tagged himself in. Finn hit a Sling Blade on Rose, then dropkicked Breeze into the turnbuckles. Finn set up for the Coup de Grace, but Hideo tagged himself in, in retaliation. Breeze took advantage, rolling Hideo up for the pinfall.
After the match, Breeze planted Hideo with a Supermodel Kick, following up with a Beauty Shot to Finn. Rose tried to celebrate with Breeze, but Breeze disposed of him with another Supermodel Kick.
Scott’s Thoughts: This feud has done a great job of making Tyler Breeze look very, very strong. It feels like a long time ago that I was complaining about how it felt like he was lost in the shuffle a bit, because he sure isn’t anymore.
Baron Corbin def. Solomon Crowe by pinfall
Corbin connected with a clothesline, then violently threw Crowe repeatedly into the turnbuckles. Corbin took his time, wrestling a much more heelish style than we’ve ever seen on NXT TV. Corbin stood on Crowe’s head and posed for the crowd, and Crowe finally fought back with a dropkick.
Crowe followed up with an enziguiri, but Corbin caught Crowe springboarding off the bottom rope, planting him with End of Days to polish him off with relative ease. Rhyno entered the arena, saying “So you’re the other unstoppable force everyone’s talking about. Are we gonna do this or what?”
Corbin punched Rhyno, and the two brawled around the ring until they were separated by about a dozen backstage personnel. Corbin retreated up the entrance ramp, so Rhyno started Goring random backstage workers until the ring cleared.
Scott’s Thoughts: This will be a fine undercard bout for Takeover: Unstoppable. We saw these two wrestle at the NXT San Jose live show during Wrestlemania weekend, and it was a fun match.
Alexa Bliss def. Carmella by pinfall; Carmella somehow makes the Tag Title angle work
Alexa caught Carmella in a crucifix for an early two-count, but Carmella responded with a suplex for two. As Carmella locked in a submission, Blake and Murphy entered, cheering on Carmella. After a sloppy exchange, Alexa hit the Blitz Flip, but Carmella responded with a headscissor submission.
Blake and Murphy jumped up on the apron, giving Alexa time to climb up top and hit the Sparkle Splash for the pinfall. Alexa blew Blake and Murphy a kiss on her way out. Blake and Murphy entered the ring, as the crowd chanted “No means no!”
Blake told Carmella that hanging out with trash like Enzo and Cass makes her smell like garbage. Carmella said that Enzo and Cass are walking out of Takeover with Blake and Murphy’s titles. Carmella said that after they lose to her boys, there will be only one word to describe them. Carmella led the crowd in a SAWFT chant to close out the segment.
Scott’s Thoughts: The Blake and Murphy versus Enzo and Cass feud has been dead in the water for weeks. Who would have thought that it would be Carmella — of all people — who would finally inject some life into the rivalry? It was nice to see Carmella finally get over, as she had the crowd firmly behind her, thanks to her self-assured delivery.
Sasha Banks def. a local wrestler by submission
The unnamed local wrestler gained a couple of near-falls, with a backslide and a running crossbody. Sasha fought back with her signature double-knee to the gut, then hit the Bank Statement, forcing the submission.
Scott’s Thoughts: I’m not really sure why this happened. I hate local jobber squash matches.
– Bayley and Charlotte challenged Dana Brooke and Emma to a match at Takeover, which Dana and Emma accepted later in the show. I mean, I guess they need something to do? I would rather if NXT had just come up with a reason for Bayley and Charlotte to simply wrestle each other, but no matter.