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ORLANDO, Fla. — It’s 10 a.m. at a Sunshine State body spa. The Orlando location of the pampering hub is as conspicuous as its exclusive list of clientele. Topping the list of its prime patrons is none other than Prince Pretty, Tyler Breeze. While pedicures and facials are the norm for NXT’s “most gorgeous” Superstar, we can now add another distinction to his list of traits: No. 1 contender to the NXT Championship.

“I’ve been nothing but spectacular since debuting on NXT,” Breeze said. “It was only a matter of time before I became No. 1 contender, and that time has come.”

Even though Breeze’s claims of opening-day spectacles may be true, it would also seem that the “Selfie King” has recently tapped into a more volatile side. The newfound aggression earned Breeze a victory over Sami Zayn at NXT Takeover and a one-way ticket to a chance at Adrian Neville’s NXT Championship.

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When WWE Divas Champion Paige was forced to relinquish the NXT Women’s Championship, the door of opportunity swung wide open for the competitive roster of NXT’s toughest ladies. An eight-Diva tournament that featured a healthy mix of WWE veterans and NXT stars promised to create a history-making platform for the NXT Universe to witness. While Charlotte eventually captured the coveted the title, the tournament served as the perfect stage for NXT’s newest Diva, Alexa Bliss.

“I feel very humbled by the whole experience,” Alexa told WWE.com.

The pint-sized newcomer scored an upset over Alicia Fox in the first round only to fall to Charlotte in the semi-finals. Despite her loss, Alexa’s debut created a favorable buzz throughout the NXT Universe.

“It was an honor to be in the ring with two such amazing Divas. This truly is the most amazing time in my life right now,” Alexa said.

So just how exactly did Alexa Bliss achieve her “Bliss-ness”? A lifelong athlete, the rookie Diva competed in every sport from softball to kickboxing. More specifically, Alexa excelled in the world of gymnastics and competitive cheerleading where she reached Division I status in college.

“The experience in those sports really helped me transition into the ring where I’ve been able to implement those skills into high-flying maneuvers and wrestling fundamentals,” she said.

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It was a night seemingly christened for greatness. An electric, sold-out crowd filled the seats of Full Sail University in Orlando, Fla., to bear witness to NXT Takeover. One week removed from the live WWE Network special, history begs the question: What’s next? This week, we take a look at some of Takeover’s biggest winners, along with expert analysis on what the future may hold for these elite Superstars.

NXT Champion Adrian Neville

Adrian Neville more than met the demands of his first high-profile title defense with a successful victory over Tyson Kidd. Gratified and elated after his hard-fought win, it was on this night that the NXT Champion was able to breathe a sigh of relief. However, as we’ve come to find with any champion, the challenges don’t stop. Earlier that night, NXT’s self-proclaimed most gorgeous man, Tyler Breeze, earned No. 1 contendership to Neville’s NXT Championship. Seemingly a dark horse just months ago, Breeze has spring boarded himself to the forefront of the NXT Title picture. Will Neville be able to adjust? WWE.com spoke to former NXT & Intercontinental Champion Big E about what Neville can expect at this stage of the game.

“I think it’s clear that Adrian Neville is a premier talent among a sea of talented men and women in NXT,” Big E said. “The one thing Neville has to watch out for is complacency. My reign as NXT Champion was successful up until I took one guy lightly, and that’s when I got defeated by Bo Dallas. Neville now has Tyler Breeze breathing down his neck, so he can’t afford to do the same.

“As long as Neville keeps his hunger, not only will he be successful on NXT, he can become a memorable talent in WWE for years to come. My advice? Treat every match like it’s your first title defense and stay hungry.”

NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte

In what will go down as one of the most historic Divas matches in the history of NXT, Charlotte defeated Natalya to win the vacated NXT Women’s Championship. It was a surreal scene that saw Ric Flair standing in his daughter’s corner while, just across the other side of the ring, fellow WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart cheered on his niece, Natalya. Family history aside, the NXT Universe was privy to an intense showdown between two of WWE’s premier Divas. A highly emotional Charlotte proudly celebrated the win and the importance of carrying on the legacy of her family name, but now harsh reality must hit. The Divas division is as competitive as ever with both NXT and WWE Divas eyeing the prize worn by the second-generation contender. NXT Divas Trainer Sara Del Rey explained how crucial it is that Charlotte maintains her preparedness.

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ORLANDO, Fla. – It’s 6:25 a.m. at the WWE Performance Center as Adrian Neville enters the building. The self-imposed early call time isn’t what the NXT Champion is accustomed to, but the next week of Neville’s life has warranted the extra time. On May 29, Neville will embark on his biggest match to date as he puts his NXT Championship on the line against Tyson Kidd at NXT Takeover.

“I respect Tyson and have for a while,” Neville tells WWE.com. “I’ve watched Tyson for years and I am constantly impressed with his knowledge and technique. I am honestly excited for the competition he brings at Takeover.”

Still a bit groggy after the previous day’s training sessions and media interviews, Neville begins to stretch and warm up in preparation for an early morning workout that will include strenuous upper body training mixed with conditioning and stability drills. Poised and ready, it is the look in Neville’s eyes that reveals the desire to push beyond his limits.

“My confidence comes not only from my ability, but also from my physical conditioning. Having a strong workout in the gym is huge to me because it reminds me that I can step toe-to-toe with anyone I have to face inside the ring,” the Newcastle, England, native says to WWE.com.

To many, Neville’s opponent is as competitive as they come. Kidd is a former WWE Tag Team Champion who has been long heralded for being one of the last graduates of Stu Hart’s famed Hart Dungeon. Virtually adopted by one of sports-entertainment’s greatest dynasties, there isn’t much that Kidd hasn’t seen or heard when it comes to the industry’s heavy-hitters.

“People often compare me and Tyson because we are similar in size, style and attitude,” Neville says. “Tyson and I study the same Superstars and carry a similar approach to our matches. I know Tyson will come into Takeover in incredible shape, both mentally and physically. He will prepare tactically. He’ll know me in and out. He’s experienced, and a consummate professional.”

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It’s a Monday morning at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla. The reverberating sounds of clanging weights and in-ring training can be heard in the distance, but the trainer’s room maintains a different vibe. As part of the 26,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility, the room is a sanctuary where NXT Superstars and Divas spend their time getting healthy and recovering from the rigors of the ring.

“I enjoy this job because it gives me a chance to work with professional athletes on a daily basis,” NXT Athletic Trainer Brian Duncan told WWE.com.

Duncan, who holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Science from Nebraska Wesleyan University, has worked with athletes from all walks of life, from minor league baseball players to professional soccer stars. Duncan says working at the WWE Performance Center is especially rewarding.

“It is professionally satisfying, taking someone post-injury where they can’t even walk, working with them every day and then watching them participate at an NXT Live Event or NXT TV,” he said.

Duncan isn’t alone in his task of keeping the NXT athletes healthy, as he is joined by fellow NXT Athletic Trainer Tara Halaby, who holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Therapy and a Doctorate of Therapy Degree from Arcadia University. Much like her counterpart, Halaby has spent considerable time in various sports realms, including NCAA Baseball, USA Gymnastics and wrestling.

“At any given moment, literally anybody with any possible injury could potentially walk through the door of the athletic training room,” Halaby told WWE.com. “This job definitely keeps me on my toes and keeps me up to date on my skills.”

So what kinds of situations arise when NXT Superstars push themselves to the limit in the ring? Halaby recounts a situation she encountered earlier that day.

“I was stretching one Superstar, taped someone’s ankle, wrapped ice on someone else’s ribs, cleaned someone’s blood from his back and covered the wound. After that, I started shoulder rehab for a Superstar who just had surgery seven days ago, all in a 10-minute span. Life is good,” laughed Halaby.
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