By Jason Powell
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NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II
Aired live on WWE Network
Brooklyn, New York at Barclays Center
Footage aired from the previous Takeover event in Brooklyn… Shots aired of various NXT wrestlers talking about what they were doing a year ago. No one mentioned TNA. They also closed by talking about how this is NXT: Brooklyn and how they are ready…
Powell’s POV: Cool video package to start the show.
The broadcast team of Tom Phillips and Corey Graves stood by the broadcast table in the new Raw style. Phillips said the event was sold out with over 15,000 in attendance…
1. No Way Jose vs. Austin Aries. The crowd popped big for Jose’s entrance music. He had a train of dancers at ringside. There was a loud chant for Aries after the opening bell. Aries offered a handshake. Jose took it, then slapped Aries across the face. Phillips said Jose wasn’t willing to play Austin’s games. Jose was the early aggressor, but Aries cut him off and got a two count off a second rope elbow to the back of the head.
Jose came back and ran the head of Aries into the turnbuckles while Aries was on the apron. The crowd became distracted by Ric Flair taking a seat at ringside. Back in the ring, Aries applied the Last Chancery and his fans roared. Some of those fans booed when Jose reached the ropes. Jose got a two count off a kick.
At 7:20, Jose set up for his finisher, but Aries blocked it and sent Jose to ringside. Aries stood up and performed a suicide dive in front of Flair. Back inside the ring, Aries threw a nice running dropkick in the corner. Aries was setting up for a brainbuster when Jose countered into a modified falcon arrow of his own for a two count. Graves said the power advantage of Jose came into play in that situation.
Aries threw a rolling elbow. Jose caught him with a clothesline. Aries went for a cruifix bomb that appeared a bit off. Aries followed up with a dropkicking the corner for two. Aries went up top. Jose recovered and cut him off, but Aries countered with a sunset flip bomb and then applied Last Chancery for the submission win…
Austin Aries defeated No Way Jose via submission in 10:45.
Afterward, Aries attacked Jose and applied Last Chancery again. Hideo Itami’s music played and Aries released the hold. Itami walked to the ring wearing a suit with white shoes and no socks. Aries offered him a handshake, then sucker punched him. Itami came back with some quick punches and a nice kick. Itami hoisted up Aries and put him down with the GTS, which received a huge pop…
Powell’s POV: An entertaining opener. A nice win for Aries, who really needed one. Jose is fun and he does a nice job of selling with his facial expressions. Aries is terrific and this was no exception. The post-match angle with Itami was very good and it’s cool that this crowd recognized the GTS as his move. I’m sure there were some viewers who assumed it was Itami performing CM Punk’s finisher. Fortunately, Graves was there to explain that Itami invited the move.
A shot aired of Flair sitting next to his girlfriend Wendy Barlow, who worked as Fifi the French Maid back in the day. She was not acknowledged by the broadcast team… A shot aired of Shinsuke Nakamura stretching for his match while Funaki and Kota Ibushi sat on folding chairs…
2. Ember Moon vs. Billie Kay. Moon got a strong reaction and wears red contacts. Blue is to Billie what red is to Eva Marie. Kay performed Gail Kim’s Eat Defeat for an early two count. Moon came back with a kick, neckbreaker, and a suplex. She let out a howl and then did a handstand into a clothesline in the corner. Moon followed up with a twisting neckbreaker off the top rope for the win…
Ember Moon beat Billie Kay in 4:45.
Powell’s POV: This wasn’t as lopsided as I assumed it would be given the big buildup for Moon. Kay got a lot of offense before losing, which is fine because Moon’s finisher was cool and that’s what people will remember. Graves wasn’t even sure what to call her finisher because he said he’d never seen the move before.
The broadcast team set up footage of Bobby Roode arriving at the building and being interviewed. It was the same clip that aired during the pre-show with Roode heeling on Brooklyn… A video package set up the Roode vs. Almas match…
3. Bobby Roode vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas. Roode appeared on a raised platform that lowered him slowly to the stage as his “Glorious” entrance theme played. Once on the stage, he pointed to the video screen that listed his name, then he showed off his “Glorious” robe. Almas received a poor reaction. Once the match started, the fans chanted “This is glorious.” Funny.
Roode tried to throw Almas out of the ring, but Almas caught himself on the ropes. Almas used a huracanrana to send Roode to the floor, then followed up with a kick. Almas toyed with Roode when he returned to the ring by flipping over the rope and standing on the apron, leaving Roode wondering where he was for a moment. Roode cut off Almas on the top rope and then put the boots to him.
Roode held up Almas for a vertical suplex and covered him for two. There was a “that was glorious” chant. Almas came back and performed a springboard corkscrew dive onto Roode on the floor. Almas played to the fans by slapping his thigh and didn’t get much of a response. Roode caught him with a clothesline and covered him for two.
The crowd chanted “Bobby Roode” around 8:00. He went for a German suplex off the top rope, but Almas landed on his feet and then performed his own German suplex in the ring into a bridge for a two count. Andrade performed a springboard off the ropes into a moonsault, but Roode put up his knees.
At 9:00, they traded punches in the ring with the crowd cheering Roode and booing Almas, who got the better of the exchange with forearms and then a spinning kick. Almas set up for a hammerlock DDT, but Roode fought out of it. Almas kicked Roode, but then ran into a spinebuster. Roode looked up and said “glorious” and then performed a pumphandle powerbomb called the Glorious Bomb for the win…
Bobby Roode defeated Andrade Almas in 10:40.
Powell’s POV: This won’t compete for match of the night, but the crowd’s love of Roode made it fun. It’s cool to see him finally leave TNA where he had done everything there was to do and now feel so fresh in WWE. It’s not an anti-TNA thing by any means, it’s simply that Roode desperately needed a change of scenery. Meanwhile, Almas continues to struggle in terms of getting the fans behind him. He was in a tough spot here. Still, I wonder if Triple H is going to regret asking who thought it was a good idea to have Almas in a mask.
A video package aired that showed a bunch of anarchy scenes and then a graphic read “Sanity”… The broadcast team stood in front of their desk and wondered aloud what the video was all about…
Footage aired from earlier in the day of Triple H and the guys from Orange County Choppers unveiling the Cruiserweight Classic trophy… Kota Ibushi, Rich Swann, Nam Dar, Mauro Ranallo, and the Orange County Choppers guys were shown in the crowd in the same area where Flair was earlier… A video package set up the tag title match…
4. “The Revival” Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder vs. Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano for the NXT Tag Titles. Triple H will be on Facebook Live after the show (which is where he made that Almas comment following a previous live special). There were in-ring introductions for the title match. Graves questioned whether the crowd would work against the challengers because they are not used to working in front of so many people.
There was a loud “Johnny Wrestling” chant when Gargano checked in. Phillips noted that there were 16,671 fans in attendance. Dawson dragged Wilder to ringside to pull him away at one point. Gargano performed a suicide dive, then Ciampa followed up with a dive of his own. There was a brief network glitch on my end and it appears others had an issue around the same time based on Twitter.
The champs isolated Ciampa. He made it to his corner for a tag, but Dawson was on the floor and pulled Gargano down with him before Ciampa could tag him. The champs worked over Ciampa more and he played up the hot tag attempt by being just inches away from making the tag before Dash pulled him back to the corner of the champions. Dawson checked in and worked over Ciampa. The champs continued to work over Ciampa and got a two count while Graves marveled over their antics on commentary.
Gargano took the hot tag at 12:50 and quickly cleared Dash from the ring. He ate a punch from Dawson, but came right back with a neckbreaker for a two count. The crowd chanted “Johnny Wrestling” again. Gargano performed a spear through the middle rope on Dawson for a good near fall. The crowd chanted “this is awesome.” Dawson teased punching Gargano, who ducked, and then Dawson put him down with a DDT. Dash covered Gargano for two.
Gargano rolled up Dawson for a two count that the fans counted along with. Ciampa caught Dawson in an armbar. Dash was held up by Gargano on the floor and the crowd got excited, but he broke free and broke up the hold. There was another near fall for the challengers and the crowd chanted NXT loudly.
Dawson and Ciampa traded punches with the fans cheering for Ciampa and booing Dawson. Ciampa avoided the finisher of the champions and rolled up Dawson for another good near fall. Ciampa and Gargano hit a simultaneous kick and running knee on Wilder. Gargano covered him and the referee counted to three, but then noticed that Dash had his foot on the bottom rope. The fans booed.
Moments later, Dawson ran Ciampa into the ring post. In the ring, Wilder clipped the back of Gargano’s knee and then tagged in Dawson, who held Gargano’s leg while Dash stomped it from the second rope. Dawson applied a hold on Gargano’s bad leg and he eventually tapped out. After the Revival left, Gargano and Ciampa received a nice round applause from the Brooklyn crowd. Ciampa walked with Gargano, who limped toward the back…
The Revival defeated Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano in 19:05 to retain the NXT Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: A very good match with some crazy near falls that had the live crowd believing that the challengers were going to win the titles. Dash and Dawson are tremendous at what they do, and it’s great to see that Ciampa and Gargano have quickly filled the void left by American Alpha as the top babyfaces of the tag division. I was actually fearful for a moment that Ciampa was going to attack Gargano as they were leaving the ring. I’m happy they didn’t go there because there’s still plenty of story left to tell with these tag teams.
After an ad aired for the women’s WWE 24 special, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch were shown in the crowd. They cut to another camera that showed Charlotte, who received some boos… A video package set up the women’s title match…
Bayley received a big pop and fans held up “Hugger Section” signs. Bayley’s super fan Izzy was shown in the crowd with her family. The inflatable men popped up behind the ring in addition to on the stage. Asuka received a favorable reaction as well. She rolled out a long white piece of material that was attached to something on the stage and rolled out nearly to the ring. Greg Hamilton delivered the in-ring introductions for the title match…
Powell’s POV: This has a really big match feel and the cool entrances only added to the vibe.
5. Asuka vs. Bayley for the NXT Women’s Championship. Phillips asked Graves what Bayley needs to do to become a two-time champion. Graves said he thought long and hard about it and he just doesn’t know. Asuka jumped out to the early advantage. Graves said there’s no sense of urgency, it’s just systematic destruction from Asuka. Bayley dodged a charging Asuka at 6:00 and then performed a cross body block off the middle rope for a two count.
Bayley tried to follow up with a cross body block from the top rope, but Asuka avoided it. Asuka screamed as she ran the ropes and followed up with a shining wizard for a two count. At 8:45, Asuka ran the ropes, but Bayley followed and caught her with a knee. Asuka returned the favor and eventually applied submission hold. Bayley countered into a cool pin for two. Asuka applied an ankle lock at 9:30. Bayley rolled out of it, but Asuka reapplied her grip. Bayley used her other leg to kick herself free.
Bayley caught Asuka in a backslide for a two count at 11:00. Bayley threw a series of strikes at Asuka, who fired back with a spinning back fist. Bayley blocked a kick and wanted to power up, but she toppled under her weight. The broadcast team chalked it up to Bayley’s bad ankle. Bayley regrouped and slammed Asuka for two. At 12:10, Asuka applied the Asuka Lock. Bayley eventually powered out with elbows and a punch, then hit the Bayley to Belly for a two count.
Asuka caught Bayley in the Asuka Lock again. Bayley countered into a pin. Asuka blasted her with a kick. Bayley absorbed it and slapped at Asuka, who fired back with a pair of big kicks and then got the clean pin.
Asuka defeated Bayley in 14:05 to retain the NXT Women’s Championship.
After the match, Asuka and Bayley hugged. Bayley squatted down and then Asuka held up her title belt and left the ring. Bayley watched Asuka leave. The fans gave Bayley a big pop and chanted her name. She got back to her feet as a huge “Thank you, Bayley” chant broke out. Bayley walked over to Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch and hugged them together, then she walked over to Charlotte and hugged her. Bayley hugged her mom and then found Izzy and hugged her near the entrance. Bayley walked up the ramp and pointed at the NXT logo on the stage before heading to the back…
Powell’s POV: One can only assume that this was the end of the line for Bayley in NXT. The hard hitting closing minutes of the match were great. I never really bought into the idea of Bayley regaining the title in this match, but I still enjoyed the hell out of it. The post match scene was terrific and if this was it for Bayley in NXT then the Brooklyn crowd gave her the sendoff she deserves. By the way, Graves is just tremendous in matches like this and I love the way he stated afterward that he still had no idea how anyone could beat Asuka.
A video hyped the NXT tour of Australia and New Zealand… Samoa Joe was shown walking backstage with security. He pushed one of the security guards… A shot aired of Shinsuke Nakamura in his locker room… A video set up the main event… Mick Foley and Noelle Foley were shown in the crowd as the broadcast team hyped the debut of Holy Foley. Finn Balor was also shown in the crowd and his title match was hyped for SummerSlam…
A man walked onto the stage and played the violin version of Shinsuka Nakamura’s entrance music, which was tremendous. Nakamura walked out and the crowd sang along with the music as Nakamura did Nakamura things behind and then in front of the violinist, and continued dancing around and then inside the ring. Joe made his standard entrance. Nakamura was waiting for him and Joe shoved him. Nakamura teased throwing a kick. Hamilton delivered the in-ring introductions for the title match…
Powell’s POV: Nakamura had one of the all-time great entrances in pro wrestling history. That was special.
6. Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT Championship. The crowd was chanting Nakamura’s song as the match got underway. Nakamura was the early aggressor with his “good vibrations” bit in the corner. Joe rolled to ringside and ended up pulling Nakamura to the floor and chopping him. Nakamura slammed Joe’s head into the apron and threw kicks, but Joe landed a big chop.
Joe rolled Nakamura back inside the ring. Nakamura fought back, but Joe whipped him into the corner and caught him with an enzuigiri. Nakamura had Joe down on the apron and tried to drop a knee, but Joe moved and Nakamura landed at ringside and sold a knee injury. Joe followed up with a suicide dive.
Later, Joe landed some kicks and then dropped and elbow that led to a two count. Joe controlled the bulk of the offense for the next few minutes. At 13:00, Nakamura avoided a running senton. A short time later, Nakamura charged Joe and ended up taking an awkward uranage. The ref checked on him.
Nakamura came back with a kick off the ropes. They traded shots in mid-ring with Nakamura getting the better of it initially, and Joe coming back with a clothesline that turned Nakamura inside out. Joe went for another lariat, but Nakamura turned it into a cross arm breaker attempt. Joe blocked the move and rolled on top of Nakamura.
Joe applied a cloverleaf at 16:30. Nakamura reached the ropes to break it. At 17:05, Joe caught a charging Nakamura with a great knee. Joe threw elbows at Nakamura and then applied the Coquina Clutch, but Nakamura reached out his leg to the rope to break the hold.
They fought near the ropes with the broadcast team speculating that Joe was going for the Muscle Buster. Nakamura fought away from the ropes and performed a wicked German suplex. Joe came right back with a power slam on the charging Nakamura, who was looking for his finisher.
Joe hit the Muscle Buster at 19:30 and covered Nakamura for a good near fall. Joe expressed disbelief. Joe went for a second Muscle Buster, but Joe couldn’t keep him up. Nakamura popped up and hit the Kinshasa. Joe kicked out of the pin attempt and held his jaw. Nakamura hit him with a knee to the back from the second rope. Nakamura followed up with another Kinshasa and pinned Joe clean…
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Samoa Joe to win the NXT Championship in 21:15.
Nakamura celebrated in the ring with the title belt while the live crowd sang along to his instrumental music.
Powell’s POV: A great match with a slow build into some great drama late. The only negative is that it likely means Nakamura won’t be going to the main roster anytime soon, which is still absurd to me. On the bright side, maybe Joe will. Either way, this was a great main event to a fantastic show. I will have more to say in member exclusive audio later tonight. Join me tomorrow for WWE SummerSlam live coverage beginning with the two-hour Kickoff Show at 4CT/5ET.
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