Recently WWE had the distinct pleasure of celebrating seven years to the day since the first ever NXT Takeover event took place. Four years proceeded the inaugural NXT Takeover. Four years in which NXT Stars fought and competed showcasing their worth leading up to May 29, 2014. In the years since, the WWE Universe has been the beneficiary of NXT Superstars' seven years of hard work. Seven years of their passion for Sports Entertainment. Seven years of their blood, sweat, tears, and broken bones as they cultivated a dedicated excellence under the WWE umbrella. And it all came to fruition on May 29, 2014. In essence, seven years of up and coming WWE Superstars have come and gone through those Performance Center doors. They proved and continue to prove that they are indeed next - the future of the WWE.
The seventh anniversary of NXT Takeover holds as many memories as most assuredly it does meaning. For the WWE Universe fans that tuned in. The WWE Superstars who were humbled to have been chosen by WWE to take part as the first to compete under the banner. And even to the future WWE NXT Superstars it would inspire. On May 29, 2014, as the inaugural NXT Takeover event unfolded, a trust equity was born that would set the standard of the black and gold WWE brand. On that night several WWE Superstars would rise above the rest.
NXT careers would be elevated and memories were made at Takeover. Legacies began and respect was earned that night. I once read somewhere that when you are the first at something, it is your duty to ensure that you are not the last. I think it is safe to say that those NXT Superstars delivered. They delivered so much so that their successes that night all but guaranteed a continuation. As the WWE Universe knows, they were indeed not the last. Instead they proved the NXT Takeover concept live on the WWE Network and here we are celebration of seven years of NXT Takeover and the doors it has opened as the developmental system and highly sought after featured brand program of the WWE.
On May 29, 2014 the WWE Universe tuned in to see the first major title defense of Adrian Neville's NXT Championship Title reign and deservedly the Main Event! The NXT Tag Team Champions, The Ascension would put their own titles on the line against Kalisto and El Local. A match that would see The Ascension continue their reign of dominance at that time. The WWE Universe would see a heated brawling confrontation between Mojo Rawley and Rusev with 'The Ravishing Russian' Lana. Also featured on the first ever NXT Takeover was a key Number One Contender match up as it relates to the Men's NXT Championship. WWE fans watched a tit-for-tat style singles match between Sami Zayn and Tyler Breeze. True to his gimmick, Tyler Breeze after a series of near falls would hit his signature move, the 'beauty shot' and thus his sights became set firmly on the Main Event between Neville and Kidd.
The WWE Universe would later see the bout for the vacated NXT Women's Championship Title. The title being stripped from Paige would eventually lead to NXT Takeover. True to the IWC, fans would pick sides as Charlotte Flair accompanied by her father, 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair versus Natalya Neidhart accompanied by Bret 'The Hitman' Hart. One legacy challenging the other. Both wanting championship gold. As a woman in Pro Wrestling, in my opinion, the hard fought bout between Flair and Neidhart is indicative of the progress made by several generations of women's wrestling.
With that said, the ladies represented in every sense of the word. Charlotte Flair and Natalya Neidhart squaring off for the vacated Women's NXT Title would ultimately fuel more competition and a new heightened level of in ring wrestling acumen in the NXT Women's Division. The two ladies unknowingly would embolden the next generation of female competitors coming into NXT. And that brings us to the Main Event! Adrian Neville would square off with his NXT Title on the line against the very formidable challenger, Tyson Kidd. Neville and Kidd would clash in their attempts to fell the other. High-flying athleticism. Risk taking showmanship . And expertly executed technical wrestling. All were utilized by Adrian Neville and Tyson Kidd as the Main Event on May 29, 2014. In the end there could only be one definitive winner and that was Neville…
In the grand scheme of things on May 29, 2014 the NXT we know and tune in to today was born. Seven years ago the very lifeblood of NXT was put to the test with Takeover. I think it's appropriate to pay homage to where NXT Takeover started and how far its come and the Superstars its created. If they had failed, we probably wouldn't be celebrating today. So looking back, it is wonderful to see the journey these Superstars have had. The downs and ups. The championship wins and crushing losses. The match of the year contenders. Where they went and the bouts they've had since. The twists and turns in their stories as WWE Superstars. Cheers to seven years and here's to many more returns of the day. Whether you know The Way or you Fall and Prey, it is safe to say that NXT Takeover is here to stay…
For more Taeler Hendrix content check out the links below
Children's Book: "It's Not Easy Being A Sloth" By: Taeler Hendrix
Children's Book: "A Fish With A Wish Is Trish" By: Taeler Hendrix
Children's Book: "Nosey Rosie and the Secret Surprise" By: Taeler Hendrix
Podcast Talks with Taeler Hendrix: bit.ly/2YvNKwP