Hello everyone and welcome to my NXT Takeover Brooklyn review. This is out a bit late because, as I announced on my twitter, my WWE Network decided to malfunction, preventing me from watching this. That aside, I’m very excited to watch this show. I have heard a lot about it, and the card is absolutely stacked. Without further ado, lets get this show rolling.
We start with Triple H in the ring with the lights dim. He very dramatically recounts the rise of NXT, saying the fans are mostly responsible for the rise. The lights rise up and the crowd LOSES THEIR SHIT. They are hyped. This leads us right into our first match.
Tyler Breeze vs. Jushin “Thunder” Liger
Okay, first the entrances. Tyler Breeze’s feels like a freaking WrestleMania entrance, with models in NYC themed costumes, and a very large and gimmicky outfit. He is also billed from “his summer retreat in Cairo, Egypt”. Awesome. This is one of the best things in wrestling all year. Liger gets a big pop, and his entrance music is a knock off of his normal theme. I really wished he used this though.
This was a simple match, but the perfect opener for this show. Liger started the match by mocking Breeze, Breeze gets the heat, Liger makes a comeback, and then they go to the finish. They didn’t do insane nearfalls and burn out the crowd, or try and have an epic match. This was structured to showcase Liger for the live audience, and give Breeze some rub by wrestling with a legend. The middle was a little slow, but it’s fine. The early going, and Liger’s comeback make up for it. Overall, nothing special, but it was a serviceable opener.
(Sidenote: Chanting “Full Sail Sucks” was stupid, especially in a match with one of the best of all time.)
We see Bayley backstage with Beck Lynch and Charlotte before we see a vignette for Nia Jax. According to Wikipedia, she has been wrestling for just over a year. I mean she can’t be worse than Dana Brooke, right? This leads us to our next match…
Blake & Murphy (c.) vs. The Vaudevillians – NXT Tag Team Championship Match
Alexa cuts a very good promo about how the Vaudevillians couldn’t find a valet. She feints a slap before Blue Pants enters for a HUGE pop.
This was the standard tag team formula done as well as possible in this day and age. Lets get this straight, it was no Rock & Roll Express match, but it was very fun. Blake & Murphy kept the pace up during the heat so it never got boring, and the teases of the hot tag were very well done. The hot tag was timed pretty much perfectly, and the faces ran wild, which was fun. I appreciate everyone’s effort a lot, but Simon Gotch really stole the show for me. Early on he did some nice matwork, and down the stretch he was stiff and impactful. Also, Alexa Bliss is an awesome valet for the team. Her facials throughout the match were great, and the interference at the end was very good. Overall, this match is cliché and nothing new, but the execution makes it stand out.
Next, we see Finn Bálor enter the arena with Neville and Cesaro, which is pretty cool. Our next match is…
Tye Dillinger vs. Apollo Crews
These two are really fun characters. Dillinger’s perfect 10 gimmick is a riot, and Crews is insanely charismatic. He could be a megastar tomorrow if WWE wanted him to be. As for the match, it was pretty much a Crews showcase. Dillinger got too much offense, but Crews made a good comeback with power and agility. It was an alright squash match, but the real story is seeing where Apollo Crews goes from here.
William Regal is backstage to announce a tribute to Dusty Rhodes, The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, which is a tag team tournament that will culminate at the next Takeover. A pretty sweet video hypes our next match, which is…
Samoa Joe vs. Baron Corbin
This was a shockingly good match that impressed the hell out of me. Samoa Joe was Samoa Joe, meaning he was awesome, but Corbin was surprisingly good; green but good. I think it helped that Corbin actually has a character and some direction. He is the anti-indie wrestler, who is only in it for money, and doesn’t care about paying dues. This allowed him to be a cocky prick throughout this match, while Joe was a killer. The match was just a brawl, with guys trading strikes and power moves. Corbin’s power moves were good, but his strikes still have no power or weight behind them. That is made clearer by how great Joe’s strikes were tonight. All that aside, this was a really fun match, and a pleasant surprise.
At ringside we see Ric Flair, Sgt. Slaughter, and newly signed wrestler KANNA (the artist formerly known as Kana). Also, Team B.A.D is there. Out comes Stephanie McMahon to, first, announce the totally legitimate attendance, hypes the extraordinary failure that is the Diva’s Revolution, and hypes our next match. A video package plays for…
Sasha Banks (c.) vs. Bayley – NXT Women’s Championship Match
This was phenomenal. These girls had everything a good match needs: brilliant psychology, physicality, exciting spots, a GREAT heel/ face dynamic, and a molten crowd. Sasha showed no respect to Bayley, taunting and mocking her, until she realize down the stretch that Bayley is a threat. Bayley, on the other hand, played a fantastic babyface with tons of heart and fire. Her comebacks were spirited and fast paced, and her selling was very good. Another layer was when Banks viciously attacked the injured hand of Bayley, which played a pivotal role in the match, and Bayley sold well. After all this, Bayley and Sasha put together one of the best finishing sequences of the year, with Bayley and Sasha pulling out all the stops, and putting together some insane spots. One example of this is when Sasha blocked a top rope hurricanrana, and Bayley fell right onto the top of her head. Brutal. Everything worked in this match, and it was brilliant. The only flaws are that the match started a little slow, and there was one little moment of sloppiness early on. Otherwise, this is a MOTYC and another feather in the cap for the NXT women’s division.
The post match was absolutely beautiful. Charlotte and Becky Lynch came out to congratulate Bayley; then Banks embraced her. Finally, in one of the best moments of the year, the NXT’s Four Horsewomen stood tall together. Absolutely phenomenal.
Next up is an ad for Summerslam hyping Cena vs. Rollins. We see Seth Rollins in the audience as well. They show Triple H announcing the NXT European tour, and then a video plays for our MAIN EVENT!
Finn Bálor (c.) vs. Kevin Owens – Ladder Match – NXT Championship Match
While not as good as the previous match, this match was still a ton of fun. Owens and Bálor worked a balls to the wall brawl with brutal spots sprinkled throughout. They fought all around the ring, in the crowd, and up the aisle. The ladder was used sparingly early on, but it became vital as they inched towards the finish. Both guys took some incredible bumps, like Owens falling off a ladder onto another ladder in between the bottom rung of the ladder and the turnbuckle or Bálor’s double stomp off a ladder. Aside from crazy spots, Owens’ personality shined, and he was a very good bully throughout. Even though this match does not compare to some of the better ladder matches, it was still crazy and had tons of personality.
Bálor celebrates atop the ladder as the commentators bid us farewell. Close curtain.
This was a fantastic show with absolutely nothing bad. The undercard was all at least fun, and every match had a purpose. Even the worst match, Crews vs. Dillinger, showed off the incredible athleticism of Crews. Then, the double main event delivered big time, with both matches being 4*+, and one being a MOTYC. This was the best show I’ve seen since Wrestle Kingdom 9, and my favorite NXT special yet. Watch this RIGHT NOW!
Well that was NXT Takeover: Brooklyn! Next up will be the Summerslam review, which will be out next week. After that, I will return to the Starrcade reviews, and the RMR will return soon as well. Anyhow, if you want to contact me, my Twitter and Email are here. Other than that, thank you for reading, and see you next time!