WWE held the second live NXT special on the WWE Network this past Thursday night. NXT "Takeover" emanated from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida and much like NXT "Arrival," would have to be considered a success for the developmental brand.
From top-to-bottom, the work in the ring throughout the evening was excellent. The feel of the show, however, is what sets NXT apart from anything else in the industry today.
I'll probably get a ton of heat from the TNA marks for this one, but in my opinion, NXT has much more of a "different" feel than WWE, even more so than TNA, which of course is a completely separate company, whereas NXT is technically a WWE brand.
To me, TNA feels like a crappy version of WWE. Basically, a bunch of guys using a talent roster and doing their best version of "WWE Lite," or "Diet WWE." NXT, on the other hand, feels like an old original ECW show, or something along those lines.
The characters are very different than what we see on WWE television from a week-to-week basis. There's a mood that just feels different when watching a live NXT special. I can't quite put my finger on what it is, but it feels like the old days where there really was alternatives to WWE. And again, while TNA is absolutely an alternative to WWE, it just doesn't feel like one to me. Like I said, it just feels like a bad version of what WWE is.
The match of the night at Takeover on Thursday, in my opinion, would have to be Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze. While I think the Breeze character is among the most douche-chill-inspiring characters I've ever seen, one cannot deny his ability in the ring, and more so than that, Zayn is an absolute stud.
It will be very interesting to see what happens when Zayn makes the jump to the main roster. As long as he doesn't get stuck with a crap-gimmick or character, it seems inevitable to me that he's going to be successful.
The dynamic in the NXT Women's Championship match between Natalya (with Uncle Bret Hart in her corner) and Charlotte (with her father, Ric Flair, in her corner) was really cool. The match itself -- especially for a women's match -- was off-the-charts excellent. The emotion that played out between Flair and his daughter Charlotte, who became the second-ever NXT Women's Champion, definitely felt like a "moment." It felt really special and really cool, and absolutely added to the show as a whole.
After "Arrival" and "Takeover," you can add me to the list of those excited to see the next NXT live special. It's always an enjoyable experience, where you are nearly guaranteed some amazing matches, some different characters, and all-in-all a different feeling product. In the modern wrestling landscape, that's very refreshing. I have missed the days of WWE, WCW and ECW for a long time. While NXT isn't on a high enough level to give that old feel of multiple legitimate promotions in existence, it is nice to know that once every few months you can sit back and for two hours, relax, and enjoy a pro wrestling event that doesn't feel like the "same old thing."
What did you guys think of the second live NXT special? Leave your feedback on "Takeover" in the "Comments" section below. Additionally, you can hit me up directly at Facebook.com/MattBooneWZR and/or @MBoone420.