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NXT TakeOver: R Evolution Preview: Hideo Itami & Finn Bálor vs. The Ascension

At WWE NXT TakeOver: R Evolution, two of NXT’s brightest new Superstars, Hideo Itami & Finn Bálor, will join forces to battle the most dominant tag team in NXT history, The Ascension.

This simmering rivalry took root at NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way in September when Konnor & Viktor, incensed over losing the NXT Tag Team Titles earlier that night, spoiled Itami’s introduction to the WWE Universe by ambushing the acclaimed grappler from Japan. Though Itami was able to handle himself that night, The Ascension’s interest in ridding NXT of the newcomer turned into an obsession, with Konnor & Viktor not only viciously attacking Itami but also his mentor and friend, Funaki.

Enter Finn Bálor. With Itami’s back seemingly against the wall, he reached out to the Irish-born Superstar to help him turn back The Ascension, and on the Nov. 6 edition of NXT, they did just that. Mere moments after Itami introduced his friend, the two international fighters cut Konnor & Viktor down to size in an exhilarating blitz.

Anxious to remind everyone — most of all, Itami & Bálor — of their well-deserved bad reputation, The Ascension made a statement weeks later when they trashed two teams, Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady and Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder, in a brutal beatdown and then promised to “rise again.” Then, on the Nov. 27 edition of WWE NXT, The Ascension attacked Bálor during his match against Tyson Kidd, prompting Itami to enter the scene and setting off a wild, pull-apart brawl!

Which team will prevail when NXT TakeOver: R Evolution airs live on WWE Network? Will the dynamic combo of Itami & Bálor prove to be more than Konnor & Viktor can handle, or will they succumb to the Fall of Man? To find out, watch NXT TakeOver: R Evolution on WWE Network Thursday, Dec. 11, at 8pm. ET/5pm. PT.




NXT Results and Photos – November 13th 2014

Live Event Digitals > November 13th, 2014
Screen Captures > November 13th, 2014

Finn Bálor & Hideo Itami def. Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel

After helping Hideo Itami decimate The Ascension last week, Finn Bálor attempted to address the NXT Universe, only to be interrupted by Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel. The two cornered Bálor until Itami evened the odds. NXT GM William Regal responded to the situation by making a tag team match on the spot.

Kidd and Gabriel couldn’t quite counter the hard-hitting Irishman, as Bálor took out Gabriel with a devastating dropkick, then stunned them both with a breathtaking dive to the arena floor! Itami and his friend countered everything their foes threw at them and earned the win after Bálor crushed Gabriel with a double stomp off the top rope.




NXT Results and Photos – November 6th 2014

Live Event Digitals > November 6th, 2014
Screen Captures > November 6th, 2014

Konnor and Viktor seemed confident as they called out Hideo Itami for the face-to-face meeting the Japanese sensation demanded, vowing to rid NXT of Itami once and for all.

Itami was all smiles as he walked out to the ramp by himself before gesturing for his backup: Finn Bálor! The NXT Universe erupted in cheers as the debuting Irish Superstar stood side-by-side with Itami and charged into battle with The Ascension. Bálor and Itami pummeled the monsters into the canvas, with Bálor unleashing a pair of vicious diving double stomps on Konnor. Itami promised that the odds would be evened, and Bálor helped him prove that, as the two friends stood tall over the longest reigning Tag Team Champions in NXT history!




NXT Results and Photos – October 30th 2014

Live Event Digitals > October 30th, 2014
Screen Captures > October 30th, 2014

Five tag teams were fighting for a title opportunity in this Battle Royal. In order for a team to be eliminated from the bout, only one member had to be thrown over the top rope and have both feet touch the arena floor.

Though The Ascension eliminated every other team in the bout, Hideo Itami ended Konnor and Viktor’s championship dreams, making his presence felt and giving Aiden English and Simon Gotch an opening to dump the monsters and earn a future title opportunity! After the bout, Itami rushed to battle his monstrous rivals, but the numbers game caught up with the Japanese sensation once again, as The Ascension left him lying after a vicious attack. Later that night, a furious Itami vowed that if Konnor and Viktor want a fight, he will bring a friend next week!




NXT Results and Photos – October 23rd 2014

Live Event Digitals > October 23rd, 2014
Screen Captures > October 23rd, 2014

Konnor and Viktor have been on a rampage since losing the NXT Tag Team Titles, including vicious attacks on Hideo Itami and his mentor Funaki. Jason Jordan & Tye Dillinger barely got a chance to mount an offense against their monstrous foes. The Ascension bulldozed them, hitting the Fall of Man on Dillinger to pick up the victory.

After the bout, Itami rushed to the ring to fight The Ascension. However, the two-on-one advantage was against him once again, and the Japanese sensation soon fell victim to the Fall of Man.




NXT Results and Photos – October 9th 2014

Live Event Digitals > October 9th, 2014
Screen Captures > October 9th, 2014

Hideo Itami def. Viktor

Hideo Itami hoped for a fair singles match against Viktor after last week’s vicious assault. He got his wish, as Viktor showed up for the bout alone. The two Superstars wasted no time trading blows, with Viktor getting the early advantage.

Itami rebounded and took control, but the Japanese star was soon distracted, as Konnor emerged on the stage, battering Itami’s friend and mentor, Funaki. Itami still managed to pick up the victory with a running kick to the head, but was soon on the end of another two-on-one beatdown. The Ascension tied Itami in the ropes as Funaki crawled to the ring to try and save him, but Konnor & Viktor forced Hideo to watch as they bulldozed his mentor with the Fall of Man. The NXT Universe was hushed as WWE’s medical staff rushed to Funaki and Itami’s aid.




WWE.com: From Gratitude To The Griddle: Hideo Itami On NXT, IHOP and Adjusting To Life In America

As one of the most anticipated WWE signings in recent history, Hideo Itami’s NXT debut at TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way was met with excitement and jubilation, which was to be expected, but also controversy, as The Ascension tried to spoil the international Superstar’s first appearance.

With a new career chapter under way and two monstrous foes already, WWE.com caught up with Itami while he prepared for his NXT Live Event debut in Jacksonville, Florida. From his first match under WWE contract to his favorite American food, NXT’s resident Japanese legend explains what it’s been like adjusting to life in the U.S.

Continue Reading >




NXT Results and Photos – October 2nd 2014

Live Event Digitals > October 2nd, 2014
Screen Captures > October 2nd, 2014

Before the bell could even ring in what was supposed to be a singles match between Viktor and Itami, both Viktor and Konnor attacked Itami, stomping him into the canvas. Every NXT official rushed to the ring to try to stop the former NXT Tag Team Champions, but The Ascension could not be halted until the duo laid out Itami with a vicious double-team maneuver. The NXT Universe was hushed as medical personnel attended to the dazed Itami. Later on in the night, Hideo’s good friend and former WWE Superstar Funaki arrived to let Itami know that he has his back.




NXT Results and Photos – September 25th 2014

Live Event Digitals > September 25th, 2014
Screen Captures > September 25th, 2014

The Ascension were out to reclaim the NXT Tag Team Titles, after The Lucha Dragons ended their 344-day reign at TakeOver. Konnor wasted no time after the bell, pummeling Sin Cara into the canvas. The Lucha Dragons rebounded and stayed one step ahead of The Ascension with their patented lucha libre offense.

Viktor and Konnor eventually forced their way onto offense, overpowering the smaller champions. The challengers looked to have the championship within their grasps, when Hideo Itami entered the arena! The Ascension was distracted by the presence of their new rival, which allowed Kalisto to hit Salida del Sol on Viktor to retain the titles! Konnor rushed after Itami, but the Japanese star clobbered him with a lightning-quick combination of kicks that echoed throughout the arena.




NXT Results and Photos – September 18th 2014

Live Event Digitals > September 18th, 2014
Screen Captures > September 18th, 2014

Hideo Itami def. Justin Gabriel

After making a statement last week at TakeOver, Hideo Itami made his official in-ring debut this week, taking on Justin Gabriel. The South African daredevil looked to have the upper hand on Itami, though the newcomer tagged Gabriel with a few hard kicks to remind him that he wasn’t in the ring with a rookie. Itami took control of the bout and looked confident doing so, as he rocked Gabriel with another devastating series of kicks, capped off with a vicious double stomp off the top rope to earn his first victory in NXT. The celebration didn’t last long, as The Ascension blindsided Itami and laid him out with the Fall of Man!