It’s a big night for NXT as they hold their second annual NXT Takeover Brooklyn event. Last year’s Brooklyn show was arguably the best NXT special ever. Can they top it? Maybe. The lineup is very strong. I’m really excited about it.
There was a 30 minute NXT Kickoff Show with Renee Young, Lita and Mauro Ranallo. They just went over the matches by airing video packages and talking about the matches as well.
NXT Takeover Brooklyn II
August 20, 2016
Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York
The show began with some clips of last year’s NXT Takeover Brooklyn. Then it featured the different talent talking about how most of them weren’t in WWE a year ago. Samoa Joe said a year ago he was part of the historic event and Bayley said she still thinks about it last year. Nakamura said he watched last year. They said “This is NXT” and talked about how they would “take over” the show. Very good video.
There was no pyro for the show. Tom Phillips and Corey Graves are the announcers for the show with the table to the right side of the entrance similar to Raw. The NXT announce table is in a similar spot, but on the left side of the entrance. They welcomed us to the show.
No Way Jose made his entrance. There was a conga line made up of fans that dance around the ring with him. A lot of the fans were chanting his theme song as well. Austin Aries made his entrance. They showed his attack against Jose two months ago.
Analysis: It’s a chance for Jose to show us what he can do against an experienced vet.
No Way Jose vs. Austin Aries
The crowd chanted for Aries early, then Jose slapped him in the face and took him down. Aries went out of the ring, Jose chased him and nailed a punch to the face to send Aries out of the ring again. Jose with a double axehandle sent Aries to the floor. Back in the ring, Aries sent Jose’s neck across the top rope to take control. Aries with an elbow to the back of the neck for two. Headlock by Aries. Jose danced his way back to this feet, but Aries took him down with a back elbow. Jose came back with punches and sent Aries over the top to the floor. The crowd was going wild because Ric Flair was going to his seat – the announcers didn’t mention that, but I saw him in the background. Aries came back with the Last Chancery submission hold. Jose was able to crawl to the ropes to break the hold. The crowd was chanting for Aries and maybe for Jose, but it was louder for Aries. Jose caught Aries and dropped him with a TKO slam for a two count. Nice nearfall there. Aries sent Jose to the floor, ran the ropes and took him down with a suicide dive into the barricade. Neckbreaker by Aries using the ropes to assist. Back in the ring, corner dropkick by Aries. Jose came back with a front suplex into a slam for a two count. Another solid two count. Jose with a huge clothesline. Jose’s mouth was bleeding. Aries slammed him down with a crucifix bomb and a corner dropkick for two. Aries went up top, Jose went for an uppercut, but I don’t think it connected that well. Aries gave Jose a sunset flip Powerbomb out of the corner. Aries applied the Last Chancery and Jose tapped out.
Winner by submission: Austin Aries
Analysis: **3/4 That was a solid opening match. I liked the idea of Jose coming very close many times, but I expected Aries to win the match from the beginning and that’s what happened. Good job by Aries using his aggressiveness and veteran savvy to work him over. Jose came back from it well. The crowd wasn’t fully behind Jose, though. They wanted Aries to win because they knew who he was.
Post match, Aries nailed Jose with a forearm attack. Then Aries applied the Last Chancery submission again. Hideo Itami entered the arena to a good ovation. Itami was wearing a suit. Aries hit him first, but then Itami punched and kicked him. The crowd chanted “GTS” and Itami picked up Aries and hit the GTS to knock him down. Wow. Great moment.
Analysis: That’s a huge deal because Itami is the one that made the move famous in Japan, but then CM Punk popularized it in WWE. After CM Punk left, people wanted Itami to use the move. He teased it a bunch of times and never did it. Good spot for him to do it for the first time.
There’s a shot of Ric Flair and fiancée Wendy sitting ringside watching the show.
The NXT Champion Samoa Joe was shown getting ready in his locker room and his challenger Shinsuke Nakamura was also shown getting ready. Nakamura has Funaki and Kota Ibushi with him.
For Ember Moon’s entrance, the arena was filled with red light and she had a mask on. She took off the mask and the crowd gave her a pretty good ovation. The announcers noted that Booker T was one of the guys that trained her.
Ember Moon vs. Billie Kaye
Good quickness shown by Moon, who has the red contacts in her eyes. Kaye took her down with a big clothesline for two. Moon nailed a springboard cross body block for two. Kaye did the Eat Defeat move that Gail Kim does and that’s good for two. Kaye applied a submission by putting Moon on her back and stretching her in a Widow’s Peak like submission. Kaye slammed her onto her stomach. Moon broke free with a back elbow, forearm smash, spin kick, neckbreaker and a suplex. Moon did a cartwheel into a clothesline in the corner. Moon up top, Kaye was standing and Moon connected with a Stunner like move for the win after about four minutes. Awesome finisher.
Winner by pinfall: Ember Moon
Analysis: *1/2 That was a great finish. It was a twisting stunner while Kaye was standing. Looked great. It’s unique and different, which fits the character of a woman with red eyes. No surprise that Moon got the win. I’m glad that Kaye got in some offense because it wasn’t total squash. Moon is likely going to get a big push in NXT in the near future. They have high hopes for her.
Commercial for SummerSlam.
There was an “earlier today” interview with Bobby Roode. He ripped on Brooklyn and just mentioned his debut is going to be glorious.
A video package aired about Bobby Roode in anticipation for his first televised match in NXT. If you think he's losing his first match after watching that you are wrong.
Bobby Roode made his glorious debut. He entered on a stage that was high in the arena and then lowered. The crowd sang along with his “GLORIOUS” song because it’s such a damn good song. He’s got a nice robe that says “Glorious” on it too. Loud “Bobby Roode” chants for him in the ring.
Analysis: I’m so glad the crowd sang along with the Glorious track because it’s fantastic. Roode’s supposed to be a heel, but I doubt the crowd is going to boo him.
Bobby Roode vs. Andrade Cien Almas
The fans chanted “this is glorious” before the match. Roode held onto the ropes to avoid an attack from Almas. Roode went to dump Almas outside the ring, but Almas stopped between the ropes. Almas with a dropkick, a headscissors, a kick by the apron and then he avoided a Roode attack in the ring. Almas went to the top rope, but Roode stopped him by hitting the ropes and Almas went crashing down. Running knee to the gut by Roode. Delayed suplex by Roode on Almas gets two. Roode went the middle rope, so Almas hit a dropkick to knock him to the floor. Almas hit a springboard corkscrew plancha to take out Roode on the floor. Back in the ring, cross body attack gets two for Almas. Bulldog by Almas gets two. Roode came back with a massive clothesline for two of his own. Almas did a flip off the ropes when Roode was trying to take him down. Almas with a straight jacket suplex for two. That’s a move you don’t see very often. Nice quickness there. Roode got his knees up to counter a double moonsault attempt. Inside cradle for Almas gets two. They did a punch exchange with the crowd chanting for Roode more than Almas. Spin kick by Almas. Running splash in the corner by Almas. Roode got an elbow, but then Almas with a boot to the face. Roode came back with a massive spinebuster. He has done that move for many years. Roode with a pumphandle slam for the victory with Phillips saying that’s the Glorious Bomb. It went 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bobby Roode
Post match, there was a big spotlight on Roode in the ring. He smiled about the win.
Analysis: *** Pretty good match. Some might say glorious. It’s awesome how they can get over a simple word like “glorious” for Roode. No surprise that Roode won his televised debut. It would have been foolish to have him lose. Almas has had a hard time winning over the crowd, but he’s a very good performer if people give him a chance. I liked the way Roode was put over a huge deal. I’m not sure about the Pumphandle Slam as a finishing move because it’s just an average move we have seen in wrestling for many years. It’s fine, but they should change it soon. Roode was not booed even though he's portrayed as an egotistical heel.
There was some video that said “Sanity” on a wall. No idea what it’s for at this point. The announcers acted like they had no idea what it was for.
There was an Earlier Today clip with Triple H talking to the guys from Orange County Choppers. They made a trophy for the winner of the Cruiserweight Classic. It’s a big trophy with a globe on top of it. It will be presented on WWE Network on September 14 during the finals of the Cruiserweight Classic.
Some of the competitors from the Cruiserweight Classic were ringside: Brian Kendrick, Kota Ibushi, Brian Kendrick, Rich Swann and announcer Mauro Ranallo.
Analysis: Cool looking trophy. No Cruiserweight Title for the winner, but that’s coming to Raw later in the year, I assume.
Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa were backstage with Ciampa tossing him a shirt. They said “DIY” for Do It Yourself so maybe that’s their team name.
Video package aired to set up The Revival vs. Gargano & Ciampa.
NXT Tag Team Titles: The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) vs. Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa
The Revival are a great heel team. Crowd loves Gargano & Ciampa, so the atmosphere is great for this match. Dawson stalled early on by going to the floor. Ciampa nailed some chops to work over Dawson and he brought in Gargano, who did a double knee attack into a Ciampa clothesline. Loud “Johnny Wrestling” chant for Gargano. Dash got in there, but he was met by a Gargano dropkick. Dawson tagged in wit ha back elbow for Gargano. They did a spot where all four guys were in the ring until the champs went to the floor. Gargano took out Dash with a dive while Ciampa did a running knee attack off the apron onto Dawson on the floor. More stalling by the heels although it worked because Dawson nailed a back suplex for two. The champs continued to work over Ciampa in their corner. Ciampa kicked his way free and went for the tag, but Dawson pulled Gargano off the apron. The Revival does that spot in nearly every long match they have because it works so well. Double team front suplex spot by the champs gets two. Ciampa with a jawbreaker on Dash. He wasn’t able to make the tag, though. They did the classic tag spot where the heels distracted the ref, Gargano got the tag and the ref made him stay out. The champs got a nearfall on Gargano soon after. Huge clothesline by Dawson as the match has gone past the 12-minute mark at this point. Ciampa avoided an attack by Dawson in the corner and avoided a Dash attack. Tag to Gargano.
Gargano was on fire after the hot tag with a great rolling kick to Dawson and a neckbreaker for two. Loud “Johnny Wrestling” chant. Gargano kicked Dash and nailed a spear on Dawson for two. Great nearfall right there. Loud “this is awesome” chant for this tag match. I agree. Dash tagged in and got a DDT for a two count. Ciampa tagged in and applied a flipping armbar submission. Dash was able to make the save although it was really close to the finish. Nice drama there. Gargano with a Spear on Dash and then Ciampa with a cradle on Dawson for a very close two count. Loud “NXT” chant from the crowd. What an awesome atmosphere. Ciampa with a knee attack, but Dawson nailed a punch. Dash went for the Shatter Machine, but that didn’t work as Ciampa avoided it. Double team move by Gargano & Ciampa connected. It was their kick/knee combo. The ref counted the three, but then Dash’s foot was on the ropes because Dawson put it there. The match continues. Dawson sent Ciampa into the ring post. Gargano knocked Dawson off the apron, so Dash nailed a forearm smash into the back of the knee of Gargano. Dawson applied a knee bar, so Dash jumped off the middle ropes with an attack to the knee. Dawson did a reverse figure four, Gargano was close to the ropes, but he tapped out instead. It went 19 minutes.
Winners by submission: The Revival
Analysis: ****1/4 Awesome match. It was an old school wrestling tag match where they used all the tricks we grew up watching in tag team wrestling and making it work so well. The crowd was into it from the beginning. They kept on getting louder as the match went on. I loved the way they did all the old school things to make the match entertaining. The faces came so close, they weren’t able to get the win and it’s easy to feel sympathetic towards them. That’s the art of storytelling within a wrestling match. The champs were booked to be so smart while the faces had a lot of heart and kept on coming back. The false finish was well done too because it could lead to another match down the road. I just loved the way they built that match. Listen to the crowd and they made more noise as the match went on too. That’s because the guys in the ring put on one of the best tag matches of the year. Well done.
Post match, The Revival left with the titles. Gargano & Ciampa received a standing ovation from the crowd. Well deserved. Gargano said sorry. Ciampa hugged him.
Analysis: I think they’ll do the title change in a few months. Build up to it some more.
Commercial for the WWE 24 special about women’s wrestling. I saw it. Pretty good, but they ignore a lot of things and tell things in their own unique way.
The Women’s Champion Sasha Banks was ringside along with Becky Lynch. Charlotte was also ringside, but not sitting with them.
Video package for Asuka vs. Bayley.
Huge reaction for Bayley walking in as the NXT Women’s Title challenger. The inflatable balloons travel well apparently because they were with her. Asuka was cheered as well.
NXT Women’s Championship: Asuka vs. Bayley
This is a rematch from six months ago in Dallas. Bayley with a clothesline early on. Asuka came back with a knee lift to the nose as some in the crowd chanted “Asuka’s gonna kill you.” When Bayley was trying to come back, Asuka sent her face first into the middle turnbuckle. Asuka with some kicks to the head. Bayley stayed on the middle ring apron for like five seconds, so Asuka hit a running kick to the head. Bayley came back by sending Asuka into the turnbuckle several times, suplex, elbow to the spine, clothesline and knee drop gets two. Asuka went for a hip attack, but Bayley moved and hit a neckbreaker with the ropes assisting. Bayley with a springboard crossbody block gets two. There’s a “Bayley’s gonna hug you” chant. Bayley missed a cross body block off the top, so Asuka followed with a running knee for two. They went to the top rope, Bayley hung her upside down and hit a running elbow for two. Knee attack by Bayley, but Asuka hit the hip attack. Bayley came back with a running boot. Asuka tripped her up and applied the Stretch Muffler submission. Bayley fought out with a nearfall, but Asuka was there with an Ankle Lock submission. Bayley got out of it.
Asuka unloaded some kicks to Bayley, but then Bayley blocked it and yelled “hit me in the face” at her. Bayley with a backslide gets two. I heard Bayley say “push me” so Asuka did and there’s a spinning back fist by Asuka for two. Bayley couldn’t get her up for a move, so they did it again with Bayley picking her up Powerbomb style and slamming Asuka onto her stomach. Asuka Lock submission is in, but Bayley’s close to the ropes. Bayley got back to her feet and hit the Bayley to Belly suplex. Asuka kicked out at two! Nice nearfall there as Asuka kicked out of Bayley’s finisher. Loud “women’s wrestling” chant for them. Bayley charged in, Asuka took her down and applied the Asuka Lock again. Bayley rolled into a pin attempt for two. Asuka with a kick, Bayley with a forearm smash, Asuka with a spin kick and Asuka with a roundhouse kick wins it after 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Asuka
Analysis: ***1/2 Another very good match on this show. I loved the way that Asuka used her submission moves throughout the match to try to finish off Bayley, but Bayley kept on fighting back. When Bayley hit the Bayley to Belly suplex it looked like that would be the end, yet Asuka found a way to kick out. I didn’t think Bayley was going to win, but they did a damn good job of having her come close several times. Asuka winning was the predictable result. No reason for her to lose with Bayley likely to move on while Asuka remains an undefeated phenom in NXT. This was another example of how good WWE’s women’s wrestlers can be when they are given a chance.
Post match, the two women hugged in the ring. I know Asuka teased a heel act leading up to it, but looks like they are keeping her a face for now. Cool moment there.
Bayley stayed in the ring to soak in more cheers. Fans chanted “Thank You Bayley” for her because they know it could be the end of her in NXT. She hugged Sasha and Becky at ringside. She even hugged Charlotte at ringside. She also hugged her mom at ringside. There was a hug for her superfan Izzy at ringside too. Of course Izzy is crying. Bayley walked away to a loud ovation.
Analysis: Now that Bayley has lost the rematch to Asuka, the questions come about when Bayley moves to the main roster. She really has nothing more to do in NXT, so time for her to move on. It should happen as soon as this week, but it may be another month or two. No idea.
They mentioned some NXT shows coming to Australia and New Zealand in December. First time NXT is heading that way.
The NXT Champion Samoa Joe was shown walking down a hall for his match. The challenger Shinsuke Nakamura was shown getting ready in his locker room as well.
A video package aired to set up Joe vs. Nakamura. Oh hell yeah I’m so excited about this one.
They showed Raw GM Mick Foley and daughter Noelle Foley at ringside. Also, Raw’s Finn Balor is ringside for this match.
There was a violin player standing by the entrance to set up the introduction for Shinsuke Nakamura since he’s got that cool song with violins. The crowd gave him a big ovation.
Shinsuke Nakamura made his entrance to a huge reaction from the crowd. They sung along with the song as the violin player kept on playing. This entrance is so special especially in an arena setting, which is bigger than where NXT is taped. Nakamura took his time strutting to the ring. When he got into the ring to do his pose by the ropes, the crowd went crazy for that too. I don’t blame them. It’s such a unique entrance that fits this man so well. I didn’t time it, but that entrance took about four minutes. I liked the added touch of the announcers not saying a word. Let the pictures tell the story.
The NXT Champion Samoa Joe had a much more basic and simple entrance because that’s his character.
NXT Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
The match begins at 10:11pmET because these shows have a 2.5-hour runtime. The crowd was humming Nakamura’s song as the match began. They each nailed some strikes early on. Then they turned it into a submission battle. Both guys back to their feet showing things are even early on. Nakamura with knees to the ribs, then he stepped on the throat of Joe and Joe bailed to the floor. Joe pulled Nakamura outside the ring where they exchanged shots. Joe with some hard chops to the chest. Back in the ring, Joe with an enziguri kicked knocked down Nakamura. Running knee to the head by Nakamura, but then Joe moved out of the way of an attack and Nakamura hit the apron with his knee. Joe with a suicide dive forearm smash took out Nakamura. Not a lot of 300 pounders can move like that. Back in the ring, Joe pounded him with some kicks, punches and an elbow drop for two. Joe with a submission on Nakamura’s shoulder. The crowd chanted “Nakamura” in support of the challenger. Joe with a knee to the back submission as they hit the ten-minute mark.
Joe with a Powerbomb gets two, so then Joe did a Boston Crab. Joe with the STF submission and then a crossface submission. Nakamura got back to his feet as he connected with an enziguri kick. Nakamura with a spinning kick knocked down Joe. Both guys were down. Nakamura up with some kicks, a running corner attack and a knee lift to the gut while Joe was against the ropes. Joe with an atomic drop and kick to the head, but he missed a senton splash. Nakamura hit some knee strikes to the head. Joe countered a running attack but slamming Nakamura down with one arm. It didn’t connect as well as Joe usually does that move. Nakamura fought out of the Muscle Buster and hit a leaping kick to knock Joe down again. They exchanged strikes again with Joe winning this time. Huge clothesline by Joe led to a flip bump by Nakamura. Joe went for another move, but Nakamura went for an armbreaker. Joe was able to fight out of it with a Texas Cloverleaf submission. Nakamura got to the ropes. Huge knee attack by Joe led to a two count. Joe applied the Coquina Clutch submission, but Nakamura was able to get to the ropes to break it. Nakamura nailed a release German Suplex right on the back of Joe’s head. Joe came back with a powerslam for a two count. Joe with an enziguri kick, then he put Nakamura on the top rope and hit a Muscle Buster for two. Awesome nearfall as we hit the 20 minute mark with this match.
The crowd is standing as Joe looked shock that he couldn’t put Nakamura away. The crowd was humming Nakamura’s song again. Nakamura fought out of a Muscle Buster attempt and Nakamura came back with the Kinshasa. Joe kicked out at two. Wow. I’m shocked that he kicked out of that. Nakamura off the middle ropes with a knee to the back. Nakamura hit the Kinshasa knee attack for the pinfall win after 22 minutes.
Winner by pinfall and new NXT Champion: Shinsuke Nakamura
Analysis: ****1/4 An excellent main event match by two of my favorite guys in WWE. I’m glad they were able to have a 20+ minute match like that. It wasn’t the match of the year like I thought it might be (that’s still Nakamura/Zayn), but it was damn good and above the four star level I use for my ratings. I liked the strikes by both guys. The crowd was into it the entire time and seemed to get stronger later on as they rallied behind Nakamura by humming his theme song for much of the night. The amount of submissions Joe used was pretty cool because it showed how hard he was trying to finish him off. They kicked out of big spots with Nakamura kicking out of the Muscle Buster and then Joe kicked out the Kinshasa knee strike, which was a surprise to me. The title change isn’t a surprise. It felt like the right thing to do since Nakamura is undefeated and Joe is ready for the main roster although it may be a few months. Nakamura should be on the main roster, but they need to keep NXT strong as well.
They aired replays of the key spots in the match.
Nakamura celebrated with the title while Joe was helped up the ramp by officials. There are people on Twitter saying that the refs threw up the "X" sign suggesting he may be hurt. Hopefully it's nothing serious if he is hurt.
There was more of a celebration for Nakamura. The show went off the air at 10:35pmET.
Five Stars of the Show
1. Shinsuke Nakamura
2. Samoa Joe
3. The Revival
4. Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa
5. (tie) Bayley
5. (tie) Asuka
That’s eight people. I tend to cheat during NXT events. Too many good performers.
Another outstanding NXT Takeover event. It’s become repetitive at this point. The good kind of repetitive, though, because it means we keep getting outstanding shows from the NXT brand.
I thought the NXT Title and Tag Team Title matches were the best, which is why they got the same rating from me. Both matches got a lot of time while telling great stories.
It’s pretty cool that both the NXT Champion and NXT Women’s Champion are Japanese wrestlers. A year ago neither one was even wrestling in WWE, yet here they are now holding two important titles. A few years ago WWE didn’t even have any Japanese wrestlers. Now they have several and they are adding to it, which is great.
Bobby Roode’s first televised NXT match was entertaining although I think WWE will have a tough time keeping him heel for very long.
I’m interested in the NXT future of Bayley and Samoa Joe now. Both of them should be on the main roster as soon as possible, but they might have to wait a bit more.
The reason why Takeover shows are usually better than main roster is because it’s just five or six matches with most of them getting time and not really doing much in the way of major angles. It’s just about the wrestling. It’s proof that keeping it simple is the best way to book wrestling. It works for NXT.
Bring on SummerSlam this Sunday night in Brooklyn.
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org