Arrival, the first live special for WWE’s developmental brand turned super popular critical darling NXT, aired on February 27, 2014. Three months later, they’d follow it up with NXT TakeOver. On Saturday night, NXT TakeOver XXV airs live on WWE Network, and what a long, strange trip it’s been.
In celebration of the event (and to avoid just copy-pasting in a bunch of stuff from the Best and Worst of NXT weekly TV column), we’ve decided to dig back into the archives and present the best GIF from all 25 NXT live specials. That’s 24 TakeOvers and Arrival, if you’re keeping score.
What do we consider the best GIF? Of course it’s completely subjective, but for this feature I tried to capture the single most memorable, talked-about, and historically important moment from each event. Bigger and better things may have happened, but I looked to build a cohesive narrative from Arrival to TakeOver: New York, touching on the feuds and division that were most popular at the time, and the *moments* that pop into your head when you hear that show’s name. If I missed anything or got anything horribly wrong — keeping in mind the entire thing can’t just be Gargano and Ciampa GIFs — drop down into our comments and let me know.
As for now, here are my personal picks for the most important and best GIF from every NXT TakeOver.