NXT Takeover is 8 p.m. EST Thursday, May 29 live exclusively on WWE Network.
WWE’s NXT features the future superstars and divas of WWE. They learn and train at the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center in Orlando.
NXT alum currently in WWE include The Shield, The Wyatt Family, Cesaro, Alberto Del Rio, Brie Bella, Big E, Brodus Clay, Damien Sandow, AJ Lee, Curtis Axel, David Otunga, Darren Young, Fandango, Paige, The Usos, Heath Slater, Emma, Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne, Kaitlyn, Xavier Woods, Santino Marella, Ryback, Alicia Fox, Sheamus, Alex Riley, Adam Rose, Natalya, Tyson Kidd, Titus O’Neil, Drew McIntyre, Naomi, Primo, Wade Barrett, Rosa Mendes, Brad Maddox, Justin Gabriel, Bo Dallas, Summer Rae, Jinder Mahal, Jack Swagger, Cameron, Ricardo Rodriguez, Epico, Rusev, Tamina.
Who will be next?
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NXT Takeover is at Full Sail Live at Full Sail University in Winter Park, near Orlando. It is the second NXT live special to air on WWE Network.
“I’m excited where we’re at with NXT,” Paul Triple H Levesque, WWE executive vice president of talent, creative and live events, said during a conference call. “[NXT] Arrival was an opportunity for us to show something else other than the main cool product of WWE of Raw and SmackDown and the main roster.
“I thought we did that in an amazingly successful way to the point that [WWE Chariman/CEO] Vince [McMahon] has been outspoken about that we not only showed some of our upcoming talent, but we launched a brand, and I truly believe that as well. We launched NXT into being a full-blown brand.
“That being said, I don’t want to lose perspective of what it is. The goal of all of these [NXT] guys and girls is to be on Raw, to be on SmackDown, to be in WrestleMania, to be the biggest stars in the business. That’s why they’re here.”
The current plan for the NXT live specials on the WWE Network is to do them quarterly.
“I look at the opportunity for NXT from a learning perspective for everybody who touches our business, top to bottom,” Levesque said. “We train camera guys. We train audio techs. We train lighting crew. We train directors and producers, all of it. For them to have the opportunity to work side-by-side with our key players and also have the opportunity to do it live on a quarterly basis, there’s a whole different buzz level.
“As much as they buzz when we do TV out of Full Sail on a regular basis, when we come to one of these specials and it’s live, it’s like a WrestleMania to these guys and girls. It’s just an amazing opportunity. Live presents a whole different ball game. There is no net, no safety. You live or don’t on your own. That’s really exciting to them, but it’s a whole nother level of challenge. Let’s face it. When they get to Raw, that is the challenge every single week. A little bit less on SmackDown [because it’s taped], but when you’re on Raw, it’s live. When you’re at pay-per-view, it’s live, and they have to get used to that.”
NXT Takeover matches include Adrian Neville (champ) vs. WWE superstar Tyson Kidd for the NXT championship, and Sami Zayn vs. Prince Pretty Tyler Breeze in a No.1 contender’s match.
“I do believe that there is room, and there is opportunity for a whole nother brand,” Levesque said, “and to create some buzz and some hype around superstars like Adrian Neville, where you see this amazing talent, or Sami Zayn, and then you think to yourself, ‘Wow, what happens when he gets to the main roster? What happens when he hits the ring with Daniel Bryan? What happens when he hits the ring with John Cena? What happens when he hits the ring with Bray Wyatt?’
“Having this brand allows that ‘what if scenario’ that we don’t necessarily have anymore.”
NXT Takeover also features The Ascension (champs) vs. Kalisto and El Local for the NXT tag team titles, WWE diva Natalya (with uncle/Bret The Hitman Hart) vs. Charlotte (with dad/Nature Boy Ric Flair) in the finals of the NXT Women’s Championship Tournament and more
WWE superstar Adam Rose and the Exotic Express will kick-off NXT Takeover.