NXT’s TakeOvers are always special. It doesn’t matter what the build is like or where it’s taking place, they deliver a combination of incredible in-ring action and exciting storyline moments. Whether it’s a big debut or titles changing hands, you know that something is going to go down. So, with all that in mind, let’s start throwing out some stars for NXT TakeOver Brooklyn 2017.
Andrade Almas defeated Johnny Gargano
If you ignore how silly it is that Gargano would allow someone throwing a t-shirt at him to distract him, this was a good match. These two are great workers and while things haven’t quite gone to plan for Almas, NXT finally seems to have decided to do something with him. These two are a smart pairing until Ciampa is ready to come back because Gargano can eat a couple of pinfalls. He’s an underdog, so losing in style is almost as good as winning.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Sanity (Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe) defeated The Authors of Pain (Akem and Rezer) to win the NXT Tag Team Titles
I groaned when Killian Dain dropped off the apron to be replaced by Eric Young. Leaving the group’s best male worker on the outside seemed like a mistake. However, and not just because I had low expectations, this turned into an entertaining match. Authors of Pain have come on leaps and bounds since their debut and this showed that they don’t need to face off against super workers to impress. I’m still not sold on Wolfe and Young but Wolfe did pull off a good hot tag here and this was easily their best performance. With Sanity picking up the belts I wouldn’t be surprised if The Authors make their way to the main roster sooner rather than later.
Verdict: Three Stars
Enter The Dragon
If The Authors are heading to the main roster, then their spot in the NXT tag division has already been filled. Teaming Red Dragon up is simple but perfect booking. We all know how good they are and they are the kind of team that NXT has built the belts around over the last year and a bit.
Aleister Black defeated Hideo Itami
Anything you can do I can do better. This was a classic case of two great strikers going out there and trying to one-up each other. It’s also a sign that the real KENTA is beginning to stand up. While it’s a bit strange that this wasn’t Itami vs. Ohno, you’d be a fool to complain about having two fantastic wrestlers do their thing. They kicked each other around the ring with an intensity which is indicative of both of their careers. The question is where does Itami go next? He can only lose so many big matches before people begin to lose faith in him and while I understand the wish to protect Black, Itami could be as important to NXT if he is used right.
As a final note, I hate to say it, but once again Jim Ross was a shadow of his former self. Ranallo did all he could to guide him through the broadcast, but it wasn’t enough.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Asuka defeated Ember Moon
If Asuka is still unbeaten a year from now, I will be a happy man. Her title run is up there with Okada as being one of the best ongoing reigns in wrestling and it’s all down to how dominant she looks. However, she never squashes people. They all come out of their matches with her looking better than they did when they went in and Moon is no different. She’s a great athlete with a lot of upsides but at this moment I don’t think she’s quite there and her getting the title would be a mistake. She went out there and had the next in a line of great Asuka matches (perhaps one of her best) and that is more than enough at the moment.
Verdict: Four Stars
Drew McIntyre defeated Bobby Roode to win the NXT Championship
I want to like Bobby Roode more I do. I struggle to get past the fact that the guy is an entrance theme who works like latter day Triple H. It’s a shame because his matches always show glimpses of greatness but when he’s on the offence they end up being boring. When you compare it to everything else that happened on this card, it isn’t good enough. Thankfully, McIntyre is an exciting worker and he was able to do enough to stop this match from slipping into bad territory. It always catches me off guard how tall he is because he works like a man half his size and is great at coming from underneath. With Roode’s era in NXT not being great from a business perspective, it will be interesting to see if McIntyre is a big enough star to make a difference. The one guarantee is that the main event matches are set to improve.
Verdict: Three Stars
Adam Cole Bay-Bee!
Post match we had another appearance from Red Dragon but this time they were playing distraction to allow Adam Cole to sneak in from behind. I have to admit to having never been blown away by Cole but this was a big boy intro and if we’re getting an ROH style stable to go with him then it’s definitely intriguing to see what will happen next. At the moment, I’m reserving judgement until we see a bit more from Adam Cole Bay-Bee!
You should never question a TakeOver. Business might be down but from an in-ring perspective, NXT might have never been better. The roster is stacked and it’s more a question of how they fit them all in rather than who do they push. Throw in the fact that they had the awesome Code Orange appear and NXT suddenly feels like the cool place to be again. These TakeOvers rarely let you down, but for top to bottom consistency, this might be one of the best yet.