Next generation: Hart vs. Flair at ‘NXT Takeover’ live on WWE Network

NXT Takeover is 8 p.m. EST Thursday, May 29 live exclusively on WWE Network, and WWE’s own version of the Hatfields and the McCoys will take center ring during the special broadcast.

It’s Hart vs. Flair, the female version.

WWE diva Natalya (with uncle/Bret The Hitman Hart in her corner) will battle NXT diva Charlotte (with dad/Nature Boy Ric Flair in her corner) in the finals of the NXT Women’s Championship Tournament.

“One of the things that I love about NXT is the availability to give everybody the opportunity to go out there and really showcase what we do in a little bit more of a pure form, and this is one of those situations in creating this storyline for the show,” Paul Triple H Levesque, WWE executive vice president of talent, creative and live events, said during a conference call.

“What better way to look at it and go ‘Wow, I can have Flair out there and Bret out there and just have this really cool moment.’ How can you as a fan not look at that and go, ‘Wow, this is just amazing to see the Flair/Bret Hart rivalry transition to the next generation.’ It’s awesome.

“Part of me, when I do these things, I put my fan hat on for a minute and say, ‘All right. Here’s the people I have to work with. What do I want to see? What would I like to watch? What would I tune into the network to see from an NXT standpoint?’ That’s kind of how we book it.”

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.

A former star volleyball player, NXT diva Charlotte is a tall, beautiful, well-conditioned athlete. Blonde, too, but don’t know if she will be strutting or ‘Woo-ing’ like her dad and the crowd.

“Clearly, Charlotte is progressing very well. She wouldn’t be in the spot she’s in [at NXT Takeover], if she wasn’t,” Levesque said. “She’s an amazing natural athlete. When I’m here sometimes and I see her do things in the Performance Center that I’m just like, ‘Good God.’

“She’s the girl who walks by the guys doing box jumps and goes, ‘Let me do that’ and then does what they can’t and makes them all hang their head in shame and then walks away. She’s great. She’s very naturally gifted -- imagine that -- of the technical aspects of what we do. It just took her a while to get past her insecurities and to get in her mind to not just play wrestler but to go out there and just be.”

Natalya, who knows how to ‘be’ better than most, poses quite the test for Charlotte.

“This is an amazing opportunity for Charlotte,” Levesque said. “She’s going to work with one of the best divas we’ve had.”

Natalya is an NXT alum. Other 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, 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.

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.

NXT Takeover matches also feature Adrian Neville (champ) vs. WWE superstar Tyson Kidd for the NXT championship; Sami Zayn vs. Prince Pretty Tyler Breeze in a No.1 contender’s match; The Ascension (champs) vs. Kalisto and El Local for the NXT tag team titles; and more.

If Kidd and Natalya win, they will become champions on the same night as husband and wife.

WWE superstar Adam Rose and the Exotic Express will kick-off NXT Takeover.