Welcome to The LAW’s coverage of the NXT Takeover Brooklyn card from the Barclays Center.
Prior to the Takeover special, they taped the following matches for this Wednesday’s episode:
*Peyton Royce vs. Sarah Logan
*Pete Dunne & Wolfgang vs. Tyler Bate & Trent Seven
The pre-show panel features Charly Caruso, Lita, Corey Graves and Sam Roberts. It is worth noting that in NXT it’s a “pre-show” as opposed to the “kickoff” terminology on the main roster shows.
Renee Young is conducting interviews in the back, she first spoke to Kurt Angle, who plugged SummerSlam and may be scouting talent.
Big E. joined the panel wearing a Ric Flair t-shirt. They showed highlights of Big E. becoming NXT champion in 2013 defeating Seth Rollins.
Renee spoke to Shinsuke Nakumura backstage about his title match with Jinder Mahal and tonight’s match between Bobby Roode and Drew McIntyre.
Neville was next on the panel and they discussed his title loss this past Monday. There were highlights of Neville winning the NXT title from Bo Dallas on the first Takeover special in Feb. 2014.
Carmella and Sasha Banks were the next and Charly noted this is the “first all-female panel”, which is up there when it comes to historical moments in WWE history. They mainly promoted the Mae Young Classic that debuts next week.
Renee Young spoke with Bayley and Becky Lynch. Bayley said she has had there therapy sessions for her shoulder while here in Brooklyn and regaining motion and will have a better timeframe for a return a month from now.
The final panel guest was Baron Corbin before the pre-show ended.
Code Orange opened the show with a live performance.
JOHNNY GARGANO VS ANDRADE CIEN ALMAS
Gargano started the match in control until being draped off the middle rope into a back breaker on the knee of Almas. Almas caught him with a Minoru Suzuki armbar in the ropes and focused on Gargano’s left arm.
There was a mention of Ric Flair and wishing him a quick recovery.
The two traded strikes, including a big slap from Almas. Gargano got a near fall from a slingshot spear into the ring from the outside apron.
Gargano hit a suicide dive and got a big reaction for it.
Almas stopped a second slingshot spear and then followed with a tornado inverted DDT for a great near fall.
Almas landed on his feet from a sunset bomb attempt, Gargano was hip tossed into the corner and then a big tilt-a-whirl with Gargano applying the Gargano Escape, Almas powered out and slammed him into the corner and a major near fall as Gargano kicks out. The crowd was going insane for the match at this point.
Gargano landed two superkicks and lawn darted Almas into the corner turnbuckle, right out of Naito-Ibushi.
The finish was a bit anti-climactic as Zelina Vega tossed a DIY t-shirt at Gargano to distract him and Almas capitalized with a running dropkick and hit the hammerlock DDT for the win.
This was a great opener.
WINNER: Andrade Cien Almas at 13:12
Kurt Angle and Daniel Bryan were shown in a private box with Angle chatting with Roderick Strong and Peyton Royce & Billie Kay chatting with Bryan. No Way Jose was also there.
Corey Graves was brought out to call the NXT tag title match.
AUTHORS OF PAIN VS ALEXANDER WOLFE & KILLIAN DANE FOR THE NXT TAG TITLES
The Authors charged the ring and the teams brawled prior to the bell ringing.
The Authors are in control and then Eric Young gets on the apron and takes Dane’s spot in the match. Young and Akam brawled into the audience. Rezar used a Canadian backbreaker into a slam onto Young back inside the ring.
Rezar used an arm-triangle and then hit a tree slam as he beat down on Young.
Sanity worked as the babyfaces but when they built to Young making the hot tag to Wolfe, the audience didn’t react to it. They got into Wolfe’s offence with a series of suplexes and a top rope clothesline to Rezar.
Sanity blocked a Tower of Doom and then Young landed a top rope elbow for a two-count.
Nikki Cross ran in with Paul Ellering, the referee stopped Ellering and Cross dove off the top and was caught by Akam on the floor, Dane then speared both into a table on the floor for a big reaction.
Rezar was left in the ring, Wolfe lifted him and Young hit a reverse neck breaker off the turnbuckle and Wolfe pinned Rezar.
WINNERS: Sanity at 12:04 to win the NXT tag titles
Once the audience took to Sanity as the babyfaces, it really picked from a crowd reaction standpoint and there were a lot of well laid out spot throughout the match and a strong ending sequence.
Sanity celebrated with the titles and then Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly stormed the ring and attacked all three members of Sanity and the Authors of Pain. Rezar was run shoulder first into the post in the corner and then hit Chasing the Dragon to Young. Fish & O’Reilly grabbed the tag titles and left them on the mat with the fallen members of Sanity.
Neville, Shinsuke Nakamura and Kalisto were all shown in the audience.
Jim Ross was brought out to call the next match and received a huge response.
Black got the superstar treatment with the live band introduction from Code Orange that does his theme. Black felt like a main event guy just with the entrance.
HIDEO ITAMI VS ALEISTER BLACK
They built this as the two best strikers trying to knock the other’s head off. Itami draped Black on the top rope and hit a flying knee from the top turnbuckle.
Itami grounds Black and hits a running kick to the back. Itami sat down and mocked Black’s cross-legged seated pose, Itami is very good with his mannerisms as a heel.
Black has a bloody nose, but makes a comeback and lands a shining wizard and follows with a quebrada to a standing Itami.
The storytelling from the announcers was very strong throughout.
Itami unloads with strikes and Black slumps down in the corner, he gets back and lands a head kick on Itami and he collapses. Itami stopped Black on the top and landed a twisting Michinoku Driver off the turnbuckle to the mat.
They had a major exchange of kicks and slaps. Black lands a flying knee but Itami responds with a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. Itami calls for the Go to Sleep, Black blocks it with elbows, Itami misses Black running into the corner and Black hits Black Mass for the win.
WINNER: Aleister Black at 12:24
The story was laid out very well, this was the strongest match of the show so far and felt like it could be inserted into the G-1 easily. Itami worked tremendously well as a heel and this was one of his best showings during his entire NXT tenure.
Sasha Banks, Bayley and Becky Lynch were shown in the front row.
ASUKA VS EMBER MOON FOR THE NXT WOMEN’S TITLE
Moon immediately hit a running enzuigiri and then hit a somersault dive off the turnbuckle to Asuka on the floor. Asuka recovered and ran Moon into the steps. Asuka worked on the left arm back inside the ring.
Moon finally slams her way out and mounts a comeback. Asuka then got a waist hold and sent Moon into the corner with a release German suplex. Asuka takes her back and is working for the Asuka Lock but Moon slammed her back, Asuka went to apply again and Moon rolled back to escape.
The crowd is hot chanting for both.
Moon drilled her with repeated knees, Asuka with slaps, then grabs Moon by the arm and kicks away at her.
Moon hit the Eclipse and Asuka kicked out as the place went nuts.
Moon returns to the top and Asuka uses the referee as a shield, Moon goes for a high cross and is reversed and Asuka grabs the trunks and the referee stops the count. Moon lands a superkick for another huge near fall as the place is exploding.
Asuka is playing possum and goes for an armbar, Moon rolls her up and Asuka kicks out and in doing so, applies the Asuka Lock and Moon taps.
WINNER: Asuka at 14:44 to retain the NXT women’s title
The final 5-6 minutes were incredible and the audience was never as hot during this show as those series of near falls. Asuka has reached a level where her title matches mean so much because of the idea it will be so memorable when she finally loses. The NXT women’s title really is the #1 title on the brand and I feel she should be main eventing these shows as it’s the match people are most invested in and title they treat with the most prestige.
Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe were shown in the crowd.
The NYPD Pipes & Drums came out and played Drew McIntyre to the ring.
BOBBY ROODE VS DREW MCINTYRE FOR THE NXT TITLE
The two fought to the floor and Roode ran at McIntyre and was dropped on the edge of the apron with a tilt-a-whirl.
Roode comes back and takes over and he is wearing down McIntyre. Roode landed a missile dropkick. McIntyre stopped him by catching Roode with a belly-to-belly off the ropes. McIntyre hit the Celtic Cross and got a two-count on Roode.
McIntyre was knocked down into the tree of woe and then lifted himself up to throw Roode off the turnbuckle. Roode got up and caught McIntyre with a back stabber. McIntyre came back and hit the Future Shock DDT for a two-count.
Roode got off the shoulders of McIntyre on the turnbuckle and hit a running powerbomb out of the corner to McIntyre.
They exchanged strikes and ended with McIntyre connecting with the Claymore kick and Roode got his foot on the bottom rope. McIntyre fired up and landed a tope con giro to Roode on the floor.
He rolled Roode back into the ring, called for the Claymore kick and missed and took a spine buster. Roode hit a tilt-a-whirl into the Glorious DDT and McIntyre kicked out. Roode got up and hit a second Glorious DDT and went for a third one but McIntyre blocked it and hit the Claymore kick and pinned Roode.
WINNER: Drew McIntyre at 22:22 to win the NXT title
Strong match, not the best on the show but it told a great story with the back of McIntyre being attacked and then going for broke with the tope con giro while further injuring the back in the process. The closing sequence of Glorious DDT attempts and into the Claymore was well done.
McIntyre is celebrating in the ring when Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly return and distract McIntyre, leading to Adam Cole jumping McIntyre from behind. Cole superkicked McIntyre and then took the NXT title.
There was not a bad match on the show, a great angle to end the show with an obvious title direction and made for arguably the best Takover they have ever presented. This was a great show.