It’s the saviour of SummerSlam weekend, it’s NXT’s TakeOver PPV and this time we’re in Brooklyn. How does it all hold up? Let’s take a look! We opened the show not with a wrestling match. But a musical performance? I mean it wasn’t too bad, it gets across the outsider style of NXT and gets you pumped up for the PPV, and they did do an excellent cover of Aleister Black theme.
MATCH 1: Johnny Gargano vs Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas w/ Zelina Vega
Andrade’a chill attitude was still present within the match, but with the added edge of him knowing when to strike. Think he’s just relaxing in the ropes, nope! He’s just waiting for you to get close so he can lock you in an arm bar. Johnny Gargano though was more than ready to work with whatever Almas had to offer, always getting back up to face his opponent head on.
This was a fun match as you never knew what the other opponent had up their sleeves. Almas could be playing possum and suddenly catch you off guard and slam you with a buckle bomb, or Gargano could be trying to take you down with a head scissors, but then convert that to a submission move. The match ended after Zelina Vega distracted Johnny by throwing at him a DIY t-shirt. Almas used this to drop kick him and finish the match with a hammer lock DDT. Johnny loses the match, and we see that his past is still going to haunt him, how he confronts it will be up for the future to decide.
MATCH 2: Authors of Pain vs Sanity – NXT Tag Team Championship
The match didn’t even get started as Akam and Rezar went all in and attacked Killian Dane and Alexander Wolfe. After many strikes, the match officially commenced and AOP took control. Things soon changed as Eric Young got tagged in the match, as it was never explicitly said who was representing Sanity, it’s all above board.
The AOP where better than usual here. They got involved in some creative spots and looked very dominant. They still aren’t perfect though, still about sloppy in places but they did an okay job. Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe were energetic as hell, probably to balance out the slow moving nature of AOP. Feels weird for them to be the “face” in this situation. But man, is it entertaining to see them work creatively to fight AOP. After an all-around team effort, Sanity had won the NXT Tag Team Championships. A great match and a deserved win for the stable, but the craziness didn’t stop there. Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish attacked Sanity from behind, making a statement on their thoughts of the new champs.
MATCH 3: Hideo Itami vs Aleister Black
Black was not his calm and collected self, he came her because he was pissed and wanted retribution. Hideo was annoyed by his position in NXT and wanted to take out his frustration. All of this was presented extremely well throughout the match as Black and Itami’s strikes felt hard hitting and full of anger.
“Show me respect!” Itami would shout, this was truly a match of honour. Both men trying to gain the respect that they deserve or think they deserve. Itami even going as far as to mock Black’s sat down pose. The battle raged back and forth, the tension reached a breaking point. A GTS was teased but it all came crashing down for Itami when he got hit by the dreaded Black Mask.
This is probably one of my favourite matches from the night both from a psychological and an in-ring standpoint. Itami has not earned the respect he deeply desired and Black walked away victorious and satisfied.
Match 4: Ember Moon vs Asuka – NXT Women’s Championship
We’ve been building this rematch for months and it finally came! As soon as the bell rang, Ember immediately went to work and started dominating the champ. There was a spark in Ember (not sorry) that had her motivated to give 110% and Asuka had to find a way to bring her crashing back down to earth.
How was she going to do that? Focus on a single point like the previously injured arm, and keep her down. Things started to get more intense and the pace picked up, an improvised Asuka lock hadn’t kept Ember down we started to wonder how all of this could end? Ember finally hit the Total Eclipse in a match. But it was only a 2 1/2 count?! She even went to go for another one but it was reversed. Ember felt so close to winning the belt and she was putting in so much effort. Sadly it all ended with the Asuka lock and we have a retaining champion.
I’m feeling like they’ve taken power away from the Total Eclipse and it doesn’t seem like we’re going to get another match with these two. I might be wrong. But it’d be pretty hard to come back from a tap out loss. She got a standing ovation from the NXT crowd, so maybe all is not lost.
MATCH 5: Drew McIntyre vs Bobby Roode – NXT Championship
The match got started as a test of strength and already it seemed like Roode was trying to find ways to escape. Drew took the match by force and tossed Roode around, fully composed and wanting to take his opponent down piece by piece.
Bobby meanwhile when he finally got a chance to take the top position. He took and made sure Drew knew that he was the champion for a reason. The match had started to take its toll in the two competitors, both men started hitting their hardest moves but neither men would concede. Exhaustion set in and both men were trying to find a way to finish the match for good.
No matter what they did, they couldn’t keep the other person down. Liger bomb, back stabber, none of these could stop the other person getting back up. It was almost the end when Drew hit the claymore, but Bobby slyly put his foot on the bottom rope. Even when the Glorious DDT hit, Drew still managed to kick out. It all ended with Drew hitting the claymore one more time and we have a new NXT Champion.
A perfectly paced match and overall a really good NXT TakeOver PPV. If I had to pick a match of the night, it’d be extremely close but I’d have to go with the main event as it perfectly ends and sets up another possible match of the night candidate. Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish and a surprise signing ADAM COLE! Attacked Drew McIntyre and made it clear that he’s coming for the championship.