FEEDBACK: NXT TakeOver: R-Evolution (2014)

Rewind-A-Wai #80 will be released on Tuesday, February 16th for all members of the POST Wrestling Cafe.

The next show we will review is NXT TakeOver: R-Evolution from December 2014. This show was selected by Espresso Executive Producer @czek21.

The event can be watched on the WWE Network.

You can leave us your feedback and questions for the show in this thread.

NXT TakeOver: R-Evolution
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Full Sail University
*NXT Championship: Adrian Neville (champion) vs. Sami Zayn
*NXT Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (champion) vs. Sasha Banks
*Hideo Itami & Finn Balor vs. The Ascension
*Baron Corbin vs. Shawn Spears
*NXT Tag Team Championship: Sin Cara & Kalisto (champions) vs. The Vaudevillains
*Kevin Owens vs. CJ Parker


With all due respect to the previous events, for me this was the show that ushered in a golden age of Takeovers. How long that golden age lasted might be up for debate, but the buzz this show had at the time was palpable. I have a vivid memory of my friends and I sitting on the couch, absolutely riveted by the main event. Neville’s subtle heel goading of Zayn heading into the match was a masterstroke, and by the time Zayn was tempted to attack Neville with the belt you knew you were watching some absolutely classic pro wrestling storytelling. Zayn’s earned a lot of praise for his self-important, know-it-all heel work and deservedly so, but performances like this remind you of why he was arguably the best pure babyface in North America at the time. Zayn dropping the belt and deciding to finish Neville off fair and square got a massive cheer from our group, and even brought the gospel of Mark to mind: “For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Factor in the brutality of Owens’ attack, kicking off the next chapter of an eternal feud and you have one of the most powerful finishes to a show I’ve ever seen. Lastly, whenever I’m reminded of CJ Parker I’m heartened by how he’s managed to carve out a spot for himself. The NXT character was going nowhere fast and there was nothing about his in-ring that suggested much upside. Happy he was able to prove me and all the other doubters wrong.


Great pick and this was what I’d consider the beginning to the Peak of NXT that would go all the way until Brooklyn 1. These were times when talent felt stronger as they moved up a card (Neville) and surprises and new talent were being brought in to much fan fare. Each episode felt can’t miss and maximum story telling was being accomplished with only an hour Weekly product.

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The glory days of NXT Takeovers. There was still a huge novelty to these shows back then. I LOVED the synergy of Owens debuting in the curtain jerker and leaving his mark in the main event. Great turn. A shame Sami didn’t have a long run but Owens’ run was one of the most memorable nxt title runs in company history debuting on the main roster with the belt and feuding with John Cena.

I like to call myself a wordsmith but the R-Evolution name is the case of someone thinking way too much about words and language. Its too cute for its own good.

What is your favorite named NXT Takeover? Sometimes simplicity is best and NXT Arrival (though it predates the Takeover branding) is more my speed.

Thanks to the espresso Cafe member for this walk down memory lane.

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Great choice by Charlie.

Just a brief thought on booking babyfaces — we often hear justified frustration from WWE main roster viewers about this. Well, this show (and most of the year of weekly NXT TV leading up to it) prove that there are some people in the company who can do it well. It almost feels nostalgic to hear a crowd urging the good guy not to hit his opponent with a cheap shot.

As entertaining as Sami is as a heel, it’s a shame he didn’t get to reach his potential as a face on the main roster before they turned him. I suppose it was one advantage of taping a month’s worth of TV at a time. Longer-term booking gets baked in, rather than plans for Raw and Smackdown being upended on the day of the show.

All the best!

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I FORGOT HULK HOGAN SORT OF SIGNED KENTA. Jesus that’s weird. I never bought that Devitt and KENTA were real friends. What on earth would they even talk about???

Everyone’s comments were right about Sami — I honestly don’t think I’ve cared for a babyface as much as Sami Zayn and I don’t think I really have since. Pure, unabashed, unironic, slightly embarrassing belief in a character. I still get chills watching him wipe his face for that final Helluva kick. I’m sure he’s great as a heel but no thanks. Leave the memories alone.

Real quick: the chants of “Sasha’s ratchet!” in this era were so gross - a dog whistle that I am certain wouldn’t have been yelled at a white wrestler. The past isn’t always fun to revisit.

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