Wednesday, February 11, 2015

5 People Needing To Shine On NXT Takeover:Rival Tonight


It is always a big night when they have an NXT Special at Full Sail. It has produced some great cards to remember in the brief history of NXT.   It promises to be an important night for everyone involved but perhaps more so for the five people we have targeted as needing to come through on this big stage.

Kevin Owens: Owens made perhaps one of the greatest impacts on his first night in at NXT than anyone has every. He was the guy that book ended the show and left a lasting impact. Now just two short months later he is challenging for the NXT Championship in tonight’s main even against long-time friend Sami Zayn. Zayn has made these NXT specials his personal Wrestlemania to display his skills to the world. He has consistently provided the match of night on every single one of these specials. While Owens and Zayn have had long and great feuds, in ROH and elsewhere this match now is displayed on the WWE stage and the stakes are high. Kevin if he could successfully capture the NXT Championship would have really done something even his biggest fans would not have seen coming for him so quickly in the WWE. The long time Ring of Honor star and former Ring of Honor Champion was the biggest drawing card for Ring of Honor for the better part of two to three years. If Owens wins, it will be a sign of incredible faith being put in him by the WWE and Paul Lévesque. It also could be a clear sign that Sami Zayn could be on to bigger things on the main roster of WWE. Everyone expects this match to be fantastic and thus the pressure is on to produce. If it doesn’t the blame will likely fall on Owens as Zayn has yet to have a bad match or even an average one in big matches like this. No one expects it not to be great but they still will need to deliver a great performance as they have in the past in places like Ring of Honor and PWG.

Baron Corbin: If Roman Reigns is the next big thing on the WWE main roster, you might say that is the position waiting for Corbin on the NXT roster. He has been packaged as a silent killer who was undefeated until losing to Adrian Neville in the semi-finals of the #1 contender’s tournament. He lost that match due to interference from Bull Dempsey who Corbin has already defeated on a couple of occasions. This match unlike the previous will be a no disqualification affair. In the end Corbin needs to shine in this spot and being on a card that is stacked will need to have some way to stand out amongst the crowd. He has a tremendous presence and a monster-finishing move in the End of Days. What we have yet to see is how Corbin can survive in a longer match. Neville provided the longest match he has had to date and his only loss. The interference in the match still leaves Corbin as very strong and he needs to carry that momentum and roll through Bull Dempsey once and for all. Dempsey has a gimmick that really hasn’t caught on with people and honestly has been a disappointment. It will be up to Corbin to not be dragged down and rise up and squash his opponent and continue on his journey to being a potential title threat perhaps sooner than later in NXT.

Sasha Banks: The lady who deems herself the Boss needs to perform like it tonight. It is thought that Charlotte Flair could be making her way to the main roster sooner rather than later. This would make a title change a real possibility in this match. Sasha had a really strong one on one match with Flair at the last event in December. This four-way encounter has a lot of options with Becky Lynch who has become Banks sidekick in recent months and Bayley as the other two competitors in this match. If Banks is to gain the title, it seems vital that she would get the pinfall over the current champion. Anything less than that would not do her any favors as the champion. If it doesn’t go down that way, it could be a great way to build on her heel persona but will always leave her as somewhat weakened by the fact she didn’t beat the champion. Like Charlotte’s dad Ric Flair says to be the man you have to beat the man or in this case woman. In any case, Banks has shown a lot of growth and improvement since Summer Rae left NXT and she has been more featured. This is her opportunity to shine and prove that she is more than just talk. In generally all four of these ladies, should have the potential to have a tremendous match. 

Hideo Itami: The man that many knew as Kenta was made of as a huge deal when he signed with the WWE; it has not exactly been a run-a-way success to this point. It seems clear of the group known as the NXT 5 that Itami is the one lagging behind in his development. You have obvious challenges of coming to a new country and embracing a new culture and language. We see this often in the NBA with European stars trying to make that transition. Some do it successfully and quickly and others don’t. One thing that they have been doing with Itami is teasing him using the Go to Sleep. The move that C.M Punk made famous in the WWE but actually was a move he stole or borrowed from its inventor Kenta aka Itami. Perhaps that drama comes to an end and he finally hits the move and gets a much-needed win. Fans will love that at Full Sail how they would react on the main roster of the WWE is another story. The last thing Itami needs is being the creator of C.M Punk chants. Bottom line Itami needs to show the folks who are not familiar with him just how good he is. He will have an opponent that is motivated to do the same in Tyler Breeze. These two faced off in the opening round of the NXT #1 Contender’s Tournament. This re-match will mean a lot for both guys.

Tyler Breeze: Tyler Breeze has to pardon the pun had the wind taken out of his sails in recent months in NXT. He had really seemed to be on the rise when he had captured the #1 contender spot with a win over Sami Zayn. Since that time an injury and just being lost in the shuffle has made people somewhat forget about the Prince of Pretty. He needs to remind everyone of just how talented he is and have a great match with Hideo Itami win or lose. Tyler has shown he is much more than just another pretty face and can get it done in the ring. It is time for everyone to fall in love with Tyler Breeze again. On a show that has Kevin Owens vs. Zayn and Finn Balor vs. Adrian Neville getting the match of the night is likely not in the cards. However, both Itami and Breeze need a match that at least gets them in that conversation, as both need to shine in this contest.

It is also a big night for others like Finn Balor, the new NXT Tag Champs of Blake and Murphy and everyone else. However, the five listed above have most to gain or more importantly lose in tonight’s event depending on their performances. It promises to be another can’t miss night of NXT Action that you won’t want to miss. There has yet to be an NXT special that has not delivered the goods and it is unlikely that this one will be the first not to do so. This should be a fun night of NXT action with a lot on the line for the people that make up the future of the WWE.