The inaugural WWE Network live special event, NXT ArRIVAL, kicked off on February 27, 2014.

We began with a pre-show featuring a panel of Renee Young, Kevin Nash, Bret Hart, and Paul Heyman. I watched the show on a laptop and the stream hitched up a few times during the pre-show but only once during the regular show.

Sami Zayn vs Cesaro IV

In one of the more prominent NXT rivalries that has spanned three previous matches, Sami Zayn took on Cesaro for a fourth time. William Regal, Tom Phillips, and Bryan Saxton were on commentary for the night. “Match of the year” chants inundated the arena before the match even began. However, before long, they were replaced by “This is Awesome” and battling “We the People” and “Sami Zayn” chants. As to be expected, this was a superb albeit rather one-sided match that saw Cesaro dominate Zayn. For what it’s worth, this could be considered a showcase of Zayn’s fortitude rather than his entire repertoire of moves. Cesaro was able to counter most of Zayn’s offense, including an impressive uppercut to counter Zayn’s signature suicide dive tornado DDT. At one point, Cesaro countered a Koji Clutch into a Stretch Muffler (Brock Lock). Cesaro won with a neutralizer and the two embraced in a show of respect, signaling the end of the rivalry.

CJ Parker vs Mojo Rawley

Unfortunately I didn’t catch most of this rather short match. Parker portrays a “hippy” character while Rawley portrays a hyper character, thus earning his moniker “The Hype Man.”

The Ascension vs. Too Cool – NXT Tag Team Championships

The Ascension’s opponents were shrouded in mystery until it was revealed they were to face Grand Master Sexay and Scotty Too Hotty. Periods of long rest-holds defined this match. The crowd was mostly indifferent until Scotty (mostly) set up the worm, but it was countered and eventually the Ascension hit their finisher, Fall of Man, for the victory.

Paige vs. Emma – NXT Women’s Championship

Stephanie McMahon was out to announce the combatants. Paige debuted a new theme and a new submission in this match. Emma dominated the match early with several submissions. She also impressively countered a superplex into a sit-out powerbomb, which led to “Better than Batista,” chants from the crowd. Paige hit the Paige Turner but Emma surprisingly kicked out. Eventually, Paige submitted Emma with a new submission that William Regal referred to as the “Scorpion Crosslock.” Following the match, the two embraced like Cesaro and Zayn earlier.

Xavier Woods vs. Tyler Breeze

Woods came out to Brodus Clay’s (Ernest Miller’s) theme. Personally, I’m not a fan of how they continue to hot potato this particular theme. A cool thing I noticed was that the video feed from Breeze’s phone was playing on the titantron. Before the match was able to get underway, Alexander Rusev interrupted and roughed up both men. His manager, Lana, came out and cut a promo about the “Next Generation Super Athlete,” which led to USA chants. Rusev cut a promo in Bulgarian after showcasing his submission finisher (Camel Clutch) on Woods.

Adrian Neville vs. Bo Dallas – NXT Championship

Before the inaugural NXT ladder match was to begin, Shawn Michaels came out carrying the belt. The crowd chanted “One More Match,” to which Michaels quickly changed the subject to a plug for his new “Mr. WrestleMania” DVD. Big heat for Dallas including “No More Bo” and “No!” chants. Neville is cat-quick with incredible speed and agility. A good example of this was when Neville jumped over Bo, who was ascending the ladder, from the top rope. Another cool spot was Neville hitting the Red Arrow (corkscrew shooting star press) on Dallas, who was laid out on a grounded ladder. In a rather anticlimactic finish, Adrian Neville climbed the ladder to become the new NXT champion.

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