(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v36306835/?contentId=&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wwe_nxt )
Is this the greatest Fatal 4-Way match in WWE history? Well, since there are no WWE Fatal 4-Way matches in the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List, this is the best match by default! True, I can’t think of many Fatal 4-Way matches from the WWE that are memorable (oh, apart from the Fatal 4-Way match at this year’s Summerslam. But that’s after the time of this 100 Best Matches..List). However, I would try to find space for the Fatal 4-Way match for the NXT Woman’s Championship from NXT Takeover: Rival. Check it out! However, the Fatal 4-Way match from NXT Takeover: Fatal 4-Way deserves to be in the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List (but if you’ve watch #100 you’ll know the end of the match!). It’s a culmination of several storylines and the progression of one storyline in particular that manages to highlight all four wrestlers involved.
At this point in NXT’s history, Adrian Neville was the reigining, defending NXT Champion. The other three wrestlers were a peculiar bunch, to say the least. You had the home-grown Tyler Breeze, the indie darling Sami Zayn and the WWF reject Tyson Kidd. Yes, he was relegated to NXT for almost the entire year of 2015. I never saw much potential in Breeze apart from his outing in this match. He’s just a little…bland, even with his larger-than-life character. Of course, the favourite to win (and the crowd favourite) was the perennial underdog, Sami Zayn. Just listen to the pop for him and reflect on how he’s been misused in the WWE. Well, you can say that for everyone involved in this match. But from this one match, you’d expect great things for all four wrestlers.
Look at Tyson Kidd’s performance throughout the entire match. For me, he’s the MVP. He paces the match, dominates much of the middle part, and displays an aptitude for a heel persona that could have been capitalised on in the main roster. Of course, it wasn’t. He plays the veteran of the match in more ways than one. I’ll only ever remember him for this match and his tag team with Cesaro. He keeps the eyes on him whilst other wrestlers take their obligatory rest on the outside. That always happens with multi-man matches, doesn’t it? Two wrestlers carry the action while the other two lie on the outside, waiting for their cue.
Fortunately, the obligatory rest is masked well. Whilst Kidd is battering Zayn, for example, he keeps fending off Neville’s attempts to enter the match. Breeze’s absence is more noticeable, because he seems to disappear for much of it for no apparent reason. However, his sudden burst of activity makes him stand out. Honestly, it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen him do! It may be brief, but it’s memorable. Neville plays the desperate champion wonderfully, stopping pinfalls and submissions left right and centre. And, of course, Zayn gets beaten down for much of the match until a final act offence spree that raises the roof. Although Kidd is the MVP of the match, Zayn is clearly the favourite to win. He takes a beating like no other wrestler in WWE/NXT, and his comebacks are always a wonder to see. He’ll have you on the edge of your seat in the closing minutes of the bout.
I could say this about NXT forever, but the bookers know how to build a match and have storylines paid off in that very match. Each of the four wrestlers has a role to play, and they each play in to perfection. Even Breeze, who I’ve never seen much in, displays an aptitude for wrestling that is impressive. Kidd looks like he’s showing off simply to prove that WWE was wasting him (and they were). Zayn is the ultimate underdog. Neville is the champion who’ll do anything to retain the title in a match where he doesn’t have to be pinned to lose the match. In the interest of gender equality, I’d swap this match with the Fatal 4-Way match for the NXT Woman’s Championship from NXT Takeover: Rival. But in a perfect 100 Best Matches…List, they’d both be included!
VERDICT: 9/10. Apart from the occasionally noticeable obligatory rest periods for half the wrestlers involved in the match, these four former NXT wrestlers show the main roster how a Fatal 4-Way match is done. Great roles, great storylines, great wrestling. They make it look easy!
Does this match belong in the WWE Network’s Best 100 Matches To See Before You Die? Leave your comments below!
Click here for my review of #91 Ric Flair vs. Kerry Von Erich (NWA World Heavyweight Championship No Disqualification Steel Cage Match, WCCW Christmas Star Wars 1982 (aired on WCCW, December 28, 1982)
Click here to view my list of reviews of the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die
Umm, mate just checked and you’ve definately already reviewed this match.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Cheers, not sure why I thought I hadn’t reviewed it!