NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4 sees all the gold on the line as NXT TakeOver returns to the Barclay Centre. The titles are well and truly in the hands of the bad guys going into NXT TakeOver, whilst we’ll also get a battle of egos as EC3 takes on Velveteen Dream.
The Undisputed Era vs Moustache Mountain
Undisputed Era retain the NXT Tag Team Championships
Velveteen Dream vs EC3
Velveteen Dream defeated EC3
Ricochet vs Adam Cole
Ricochet becomes The NXT North American Championship
Shayna Baszler vs Kairi Sane
Kairi Sane becomes the new NXT Women’s Champion
Johnny Gargano vs Tommaso Ciampa
Tommaso Ciampa retains the NXT Championship
Did it TakeOver?
An opening match that surely deserves plaudits. Trent Seven pulled out all the stops to show why he’s still a contender, whilst Tyler Bate demonstrated his gymnastic background and superb physical conditioning in a match that bought out the best in Moustache Mountain and Undisputed Era, with Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong showing an aggressive streak that set the tone for the whole match. It set the bar high for the rest of the show and the ovations were well deserved.
Two championship changes – the NXT North American Championship and NXT Women’s Championship, along with War Raiders attacking Undisputed Era – give us some tantalising matches going forward in WWE NXT. Sane will be a different champion to Baszler and Ember Moon, so it’ll be interesting to see how her championship reign is defined. Ricochet as NXT North American Champion is a bold choice and it’ll certainly push the highflier to even greater heights and challenges. Undisputed Era has been at the top of the tag team division, even when they lost the championships to Moustache Mountain, but War Raiders will give them a whole new level of competition.
The main event Last Man Standing match where Gargano had to go much further than Ciampa to get the job done. Watching Ciampa, for the most part, just deliver devastating moves from his extensive arsenal whilst Gargano looked for more brutal ways to incapacitate Ciampa made this match. The ending was storytelling perfection as we say Ciampa beg for mercy before pulling off the unthinkable.
What needed a MakeOver?
One, two… sweet. Oh, how very clever of the crowd. Perhaps we’ll get “and only” for a one count and the all-important “three” can end with “count.”
After the greatness that was Aleister Black vs Velveteen Dream, it was always going to be hard to catch lightning in a bottle again and EC3 vs Velveteen Dream fell short… just. The build-up to this match was a touch hokey in places, which didn’t really play into the match. We saw “The Dream has no memory of that”, the whole swimming pool incident and the silliness of the two biggest egos in NXT battling over who deserves the biggest ego. Whilst it was a strong match, the build-up didn’t entirely translate into TakeOver.
Five matches, all high quality and all with a purpose, along with ample use of storytelling to keep us all in the picture, showed us the top tier of WWE NXT talent at its finest. That said, at 2hrs 38m, it could have run for an extra 22m and fit in another match (or two) showing us more of the talent. It’s not like WWE NXT are short of it. Only one match wasn’t for a championship; it would have been good to see some of the other WWE NXT storylines continue into NXT TakeOver, even if they didn’t end there.
A strong PPV that sets up future stories and redefines the championship picture for the NXT Women’s Championship and NXT North American Championship, NXT TakeOver continues to show what WWE can achieve without the influence of all the advertisers and broadcast outlets. With a trimmed down running time (that could still be a touch longer) compared to the WWE PPVs, NXT TakeOver was a great showcase for its talent and for storytelling with many moments that will no doubt be spoken about for months to come.
NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV is available on the WWE Network
All pics courtesy of WWE.com