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Did NXT Takeover Brooklyn Continue The Brand's PPV Momentum?
NXT Takeover Brooklyn III featured Aleister Black. Photo: WWE
WWE's NXT brand has produced the benchmark Pay Per View's of the whole WWE product over the last year or two. With amazing title matches such as Shinsuke Nakamura v Samoa Joe, Finn Balor v Joe and Kevin Owens v Sami Zayn the NXT product is the 'must see' of WWE's PPV's at this point in time.
So could the third edition of NXT's Takeover Brooklyn continue the trend?. It took place on August the 19th in the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn New York and it had momentum on it's side.
The show opened with a live performance from Hard Rock Band 'Code Orange'. Wrestling and Hard Rock/Metal have always had a good relationship.
Tonights commentary team consists of the golden pipes of Mauro Ranallo and the UK Superstar Nigel McGuiness. Percy Watson will also sit there and add very little.
Johnny Gargano v Andrade 'Cien' Almas
The NXT crowd were heard chanting Gargano's nickname "Johnny Wrestling" before the match began. Andrade used some very stiff chops early on. McGuiness' experience in the ring and detailed description of moves/holds is very refreshing. An exchange of strikes and punches from the two competitors gets the crowd vocal.
A suicide dive from Gargano elicites loud "NXT" chants from the crowd. A Tornado Inverted DDT from Cien scored a near fall. Some very quick and athletic moves sets a quick pace for the opening matchup. A high impact DDT puts Gargano down for the three count.
Winner: Andrade 'Cien' Almas
This was a great way to kick off NXT Takeover with a fast paced action packed match-up. Cien was very stiff and his moves where very high impact.
☆☆☆☆ Rating for Gargano v Almas.
Kurt Angle and Daniel Bryan are shown checking out the show from a Sky Box. Billy Kay and Peyton Royce are shown chatting to Bryan. Is a move to Smackdown Live on the cards for the girls?.
Corey Graves comes out as a guest commentator to a huge reception. Drew McIntyre is shown backstage putting on his best "serious face", unfortunately it looked more comedic than serious.
Ember Moon. Photo: WWE
NXT Tag Team Championship Match
Sanity's entrance music is awesome!(Just in case anyone has not noticed yet). They will take on the 'Authors of Pain' for the NXT tag team belts. AOP have a rocking entrance tune as well (Sanity's wins though). Most of the early part of the match is a barrage of fists and kicks. Eric Young 'played' the opponents by making it look like he would not be a part of the match. He slyly stepped up to make the first tag in to fool everyone.
Eric takes alot of punishment and double-teaming (is he know regretting being in the match?) . This continues with a sleeper hold and a huge backslam. He finally manages to get the vital pin to Alexander Wolfe. Young had time to recover and eventually tagged back in a few minutes later and hit a big flying elbow after a mix-up by the Authors. This nearly scored the '3 Count' and a victory for Sanity.
Nikki Cross then climbed into the ring followed by AOP Manager Paul Ellering. They had a short pull apart followed by Nikki going to the top rope. She proceeded to dive onto Akam who was outside the ring. He actually caught her but they instantaneously gets splashed through a table by Killian Dain.
This then gave Wolfe and Young the opportunity to hit a double-team neckbreaker on Rezar for the pin.
Winners and new NXT Tag Champs: Sanity
This match started off slow with copious amounts of punching but got better as it progressed. We had a few big spots at the end, vastly improving the outcome.
☆☆☆ Rating for Sanity v Authors of Pain.
After the match Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish attacked Sanity recieving a huge pop from the crowd. The two have wrestled for various wrestling companies around the world and have only made a few appearances in NXT. It would appear that the team known as reDRagon are looking to challenge for the NXT tag titles.
Neville is shown in the crowd. Shinsuke Nakamura and Kallisto are also shown (looking a tad more happy then Neville) sitting amongst fans. Then cameras behind the curtain show Bobby Roode doing his 'serious pre-title backstage face'.
Good 'ole JR Jim Ross is brought to the guest commentary position to a big babyface reception from the Brooklyn crowd.
Aleister Black v Hideo Atami. Photo: WWE
Aleister gets the band Code Orange to play him to the ring. The singer sounds like he is a big fan of Rage Against The Machine (bordering on copywrite infringement). Aleister shows, much like Atami, that he too has very educated feet early on.
Black gets a bloodied nose from a Hideo kick. Fabulous to hear the indepth commentary from JR and Nigel while the two competitors use some submissions. The Tornado Neck Snap from Hideo along with some very stiff back-hands leave Aleister groggy.
The Avalanche Michinoku Driver got a big "Whoa" from the crowd. A Falcon Arrow from Hideo could not put Black down. The 'Go To Sleep' is countered by Black who then hits 'Black Mass'. Aleister gets the 1...2...3.
Winner: Aleister Black
Quite a good match with both men excelling in the kicking offence. Aleister looked like he could have sustained a rib injury.
☆☆☆ rating for Black v Atami
So we say goodbye to JR but hello to Sasha Banks, Bayley and Becky Lynch who are shown making their 'I'm in the front row for 2 minutes' appearance. Next to do the 'backstage serious face' is Asuka. Ember Moon is shown walking towards the ring.
Past NXT Takeover Brooklyn Highlights
Finn Balor v Kevin Owens (Ladder Match for the NXT title)
Bayley v Sasha Banks and an appearance by Jushin Thunder Liger
Shinsuke Nakamura v Samoa Joe for the NXT title
Shinsuke's victory and Asuka defeating Bayley to start her reign as NXT Womens Champion
NXT Women's Championship Match
Ember Moon is a star. She legitimately looks like a vampire at times, has a great gimmick/look and deserves to be champion. Asuka is undefeated in NXT and also demands alot of credit. Ember takes a hard bump on a steel ramp on the outside of the ring in the opening stages of the match.
Asuka stretches Moon like William Regal used to bend opponents. This is a unique match-up compared to the others earlier with Asuka using a heavy mat style. Asuka's crazy glare is frightening and entertaining at the same time. Ember's Tornado Suplex does some damage and looks amazing.
Moon hits Asuka with the Abyss (A Corkscrew Stunner, which is the most amazing finisher in years in WWE) but the champ kicks out. A massive Superkick followed by multi near pin falls made the end of this match extremely exciting. An Asuka Lock eventually made Moon tap out. A match that started on the mat and progressed from there, it had everything.
Winner and still NXT Womans Champion: Asuka
☆☆☆☆ rating for Asuka v Ember Moon
Asuka Retains. Photo: WWE
Ember Moon gets a round of applause after the match. Her time to be champion is very soon, whether it be in NXT, RAW or Smackdown Live.
The ringside guests continue with Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe.
NXT Championship Match
The sound of bag pipes eminate from backstage and one can't help but think about Rowdy Roddy Piper. The bag pipes are for challenger Drew McIntyre. In the pre-match segment his 'chosen one' gimmick with Vince McMahon is referenced. Bobby Roode's entrance is 'Glorious' as always.
The wrestlers kick things off with a quick pace. Drew is very fast and energetic for a huge guy. The charisma of Roode is picked up by the microphones while he is laying on the outside recovering (feigning injury with crying and yelling). A huge 'slap' can be heard as Bobby hits a Neckbreaker on Drew on the mats outside the ring.
Bobby Roode looks to be in career best condition. He is tenacious while trying to put Drew to sleep with multiple submissions. Drew seems to grab his neck like it's injured just before doing a very energetic kip up (Shawn Michaels style). McIntyre jumps to the top rope with the ease of a cruiserweight.
Drew grabs his neck again, he actually looks hurt. These two large men are doing some insane moves from the top rope. Soon after things get even more 'full on' with McIntyre hitting a sweet 'suicide dive'. A great last segment including a Spinebuster and 2 'Glorious DDT's' could not keep Drew down. Drew recovers to hit 'Claymore' for the win.
Winner and New NXT Champion: Drew McIntyre
This was a great title match with two large men doing what cruiserweights usually do at times.
☆☆☆☆ rating for Bobby Roode v Drew McIntyre
New NXT Champion Drew McIntyre. Photo: WWE
Drew hardly has any time to enjoy the victory when Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish come back to the ring. They cause enough distraction for Adam Cole (much like reDRagon, has been in many worldwide promotions) to come through the crowd, enter the ring and attack McIntyre. This is his debut in a WWE ring so understandably his 'pop' is the biggest of the night. He lays Drew out with a Superkick. This is a nice suprise to end the show with.
So was this show on par with past NXT Takeover shows and did it keep the momentum going for the brand. In the famous words of legend Stone Cold Steve Austin...."OH HELL YEH!!" it did and will make it hard for the following Pay Per View Summerslam to match.