NXT Champion Adrian Neville vs. Sami Zayn
For Sami Zayn, it all comes down to one match. It’s all or nothing as the fiery French-Canadian challenges NXT Champion Adrian Neville at TakeOver: R Evolution, and has promised himself that he will either win the NXT Title or walk away from NXT.
The rivalry between the two friends has been brewing since TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way in September, when Zayn was on the verge of capturing the NXT Championship, only for Neville to yank him out of the ring, superkick him and go on to retain the title himself.
Since then, a series of tough losses have made the resilient Zayn journey down a road to redemption to prove to himself, Neville and NXT GM William Regal that he’s worthy of challenging for the title, let alone holding it. Zayn defeated Tyson Kidd, Titus O’Neil and Tyler Breeze along the way, while Neville hounded him about not being able to “win the big one.”
Neville eventually agreed to put his title on the line against Zayn on the Nov. 13 edition of NXT. After missing an attempted Red Arrow, the NXT Champion suffered a knee injury, bringing the match to a grinding halt. Zayn joined the referee in checking on the fallen champion, only for Neville to roll him up and retain the title. The move left a stunned Zayn sitting in the ring, having learned a hard lesson in what a champion will do to hold on to his title.
One week later, a dejected Zayn called Neville out and challenged him to one last NXT Championship Match. Neville, not wanting “to be responsible for ending [Zayn’s] dream,” seemed reluctant to accept. However, William Regal made the match official, setting the stage for one of the biggest championship matches in NXT history.
Can Sami Zayn prove to himself and the world that he’s worthy of the NXT Championship, or will Adrian Neville extinguish his friend’s fire and hold on to the title? Find out at NXT TakeOver: R Evolution, LIVE on WWE Network Thursday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT!