Looking forward after NXT Takeover
It was a night seemingly christened for greatness. An electric, sold-out crowd filled the seats of Full Sail University in Orlando, Fla., to bear witness to NXT Takeover. One week removed from the live WWE Network special, history begs the question: What's next? This week, we take a look at some of Takeover's biggest winners, along with expert analysis on what the future may hold for these elite Superstars.
NXT Champion Adrian Neville
Adrian Neville more than met the demands of his first high-profile title defense with a successful victory over Tyson Kidd. Gratified and elated after his hard-fought win, it was on this night that the NXT Champion was able to breathe a sigh of relief. However, as we've come to find with any champion, the challenges don't stop. Earlier that night, NXT's self-proclaimed most gorgeous man, Tyler Breeze, earned No. 1 contendership to Neville's NXT Championship. Seemingly a dark horse just months ago, Breeze has spring boarded himself to the forefront of the NXT Title picture. Will Neville be able to adjust? WWE.com spoke to former NXT & Intercontinental Champion Big E about what Neville can expect at this stage of the game.
“I think it's clear that Adrian Neville is a premier talent among a sea of talented men and women in NXT,” Big E said. “The one thing Neville has to watch out for is complacency. My reign as NXT Champion was successful up until I took one guy lightly, and that's when I got defeated by Bo Dallas. Neville now has Tyler Breeze breathing down his neck, so he can't afford to do the same.
“As long as Neville keeps his hunger, not only will he be successful on NXT, he can become a memorable talent in WWE for years to come. My advice? Treat every match like it’s your first title defense and stay hungry.”
NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte
In what will go down as one of the most historic Divas matches in the history of NXT, Charlotte defeated Natalya to win the vacated NXT Women's Championship. It was a surreal scene that saw Ric Flair standing in his daughter’s corner while, just across the other side of the ring, fellow WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart cheered on his niece, Natalya. Family history aside, the NXT Universe was privy to an intense showdown between two of WWE’s premier Divas. A highly emotional Charlotte proudly celebrated the win and the importance of carrying on the legacy of her family name, but now harsh reality must hit. The Divas division is as competitive as ever with both NXT and WWE Divas eyeing the prize worn by the second-generation contender. NXT Divas Trainer Sara Del Rey explained how crucial it is that Charlotte maintains her preparedness.
“The last thing I heard from Charlotte coming out of Takeover was ‘now the hard work begins,’” Del Rey said. “This attitude is what drove Charlotte to be the NXT Women's Champion and that same attitude will keep her there for a long time. All the Divas are hungry and capable, but it takes a focus and unrelenting passion to be on top.
“The cool part is all the text messages I've gotten from other Divas, who are excited and anxious to get to work and sharpen their skills with new determination,” she added. ”So, I guess time will tell how successful Charlotte's reign really is.”
NXT Tag Team Champions The Ascension
"Bring your best and watch us mow you down" has been the physical mantra of Konnor and Viktor. Having now held the NXT Tag Team Titles for almost 300 days, unstoppable would be a drastic understatement to describe the dominance of The Ascension. At Takeover, NXT's Tag Team gatekeepers took on what many surmised could be the most unpredictable threat to face the champions to date. While Kalisto and El Local were not known for their feats of strength, it was their speed and innovative ability that posed the biggest threat to the champions. However, though the chapter was new, the story remained the same: The Ascension reigned supreme in the center of their hallowed ring. WWE Superstar Alex Riley, having witnessed The Ascension's rise (no pun intended) throughout the last year, suggests their success may go unscathed.
“After seeing what The Ascension is capable of doing at Takeover, it is clear now that their dominance will change not only NXT, but WWE forever,” Riley said. “I think the only team that can truly stop the Ascension is … themselves.”
Adam Rose and The Exotic Express
It’s party time all the time when you're Adam Rose. And thus far the party has not only stood strong, its legend seemingly grows weekly! Though Rose is embroiled in a developing rivalry with Jack Swagger, Camacho was the first Superstar to ruffle the feathers of the Exotic Express. Dubbed the "party pooper" by the NXT Universe, Camacho tried to end the party at Takeover. The result? Rose and his Rosebuds transformed the NXT Arena into an impromptu pep rally of celebration on his way to picking up a win over the hardened Camacho. Will the fun and games continue as Rose climbs the ranks of NXT and WWE? NXT Diva Bayley seems to think so.
“I really think Adam Rose is going to go far in WWE. I've seen him recruit more and more Rosebuds since he started at NXT, and it seems like the party just keeps getting bigger every Raw!” the energetic Diva said. “His Exotic Express is no doubt going to travel the world, and it’s where the whole WWE Universe wants to be. He's got the skills in the ring but doesn't forget that this is fun, and I can get on board with him.”