NXT Takeover: Brooklyn Ring Report

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August 23, 2015 by gorillapressonline

NXT Takeover Brooklyn posterThe previous NXT Takeover Special Events, as they have been called in order to distance themselves from the typical WWE PPVs, have all been outstanding.

This, their first, real on the road event staged in the same venue that will house Summerslam and RAW on the following two nights, is no different.

And, it goes without saying NXT have sold it the the fuck out tonight. After a passionate and very personal introduction from Triple H, we are thrown straight into the best two hours and change of wrestling this year.

Summerslam should be very, very scared.

Tyler Breeze Vs Jushin “Thunder” Liger
Jushin Liger and Tyler BreezePrince Pretty versus the NJPW legend was the perfect match to kick off the show, and that fact that these two are jerking the curtain says a lot about the quality of the card, too.

Tyler Breeze has the esteemed honour of being the legendary Liger’s first ever WWE opponent, and he wastes little time in showing off. Whenever he bests the Japanese powerhouse, he takes the time to gloat and show-boat at the top of the ropes, a move that is then returned in kind by Liger himself in a nice little comedic touch.

Breeze and Liger have a wonderfully kinetic chemistry and the ring veteran applies submission manoeuvres and fluid transitions to keep the the pace steady throughout.

Prince Pretty looks to end things early on, with a stunning Supermodel Kick, but Liger manages to escape the match continues at full speed.

The raucous crowd chant “Full Sail sucks” and they are vocally giving the home of NXT a run for its money, as Liger lands a rolling kick and follows up with an impressive tilt-o-whirl.

Jushin Liger wraps this excellent opener up with a Ligerbomb after a shotei palm strike, concluding an impressive match from the two and a perfect place setting to the night.

One can only hope this isn’t the only excursion to NXT for Liger.

A VT for a new Diva by the name of Nia Jax airs before The Vaudevillains get their shot at the NXT Tag Team Championships. Make of that what you will.

NXT Tag Team Championship: The Vaudevillains vs Blake and Murphy (c)
vaudevillains blake and murphy

Blake and Murphy look fired up as they make their way to the ring. The addition of Alexa Bliss to this team has really helped them tenfold; everything down to the movement of the duo has altered significantly, and they feel fresh, although it would be great to see Gotch and English steal the titles from them here.

Bliss takes to the microphone to goad The Vaudevillains over their lack of support from the female locker room, as the Brooklyn crowd chant “We want Blue Pants”. As if by magic, her music hits and she comes to make sure Bliss doesn’t get involved and to add another interesting element to this match-up.

Simon Gotch controls the early pace with some nice roll up submission combinations, asserting some dominance over the champions. These two teams work tremendously well together.

The champions isolate Aiden English, showing some great ring awareness, getting a close two count to retain and forcing the challenger to exert precious energy.

As English finally tags his partner in the crowd absolutely erupts. This is a well told story and the fans are well into it. As Bliss and Blue Pants collide, it isn’t a hindrance to the pace but rather a great tool to further the story and set up a new feud between the trio – something we don’t see very often in WWE.

After the champs get a close call, Gotch manages to kick out and land that huge uppercut of his as English follows up by hitting the Whirling Dervish to finally gain the NXT tag championships. The fans go, predictably and suitably, wild.

Tye Dillinger Vs Apollo Crews
Tye Dillinger Apollo CrewsThe début of Apollo Crews is finally upon us, and, mark my words, this high-flying big man is going to be one to watch in NXT over the next few months.

His match tonight is kind of a catch 22, as the perfect ten gimmick is over with the crowd so it may be too soon to have him lose to Crews. On the other hand, it would hurt a monster push for Crews if he were to lose here.

The newcomer brings an explosive style to the ring, and offers some beautiful dropkicks to Dillinger. The perfect ten then applies a textbook sleeper hold, wearing down the big man, before downing Crews and hammer-fisting him on the mat.

Crews then hits an impressive standing enziguiri, which he quickly follows up with a Gorilla Press and a standing moonsault, with some seriously huge height! A fantastic début for Apollo Crews all round, and it will be interesting to see in which direction he is taken.

Up next, NXT GM William Regal announces that, on September 2nd, a Dusty Rhodes memorial tag team tournament will air in a fitting and heartfelt tribute to the late Dream.

Samoa Joe Vs Baron Corbin
Samoa Joe Baron CorbinThe first true test for NXT‘s Lone Wolf Baron Corbin, in what is sure to be an all out war, there is nothing pretty about this match, it’s simply two behemoths slugging it out to prove who is the better man.

This could help legitimise the paper-thin squash push that Corbin has had over the past few months, if he were to beat the Samoan submission machine.

As Joe swaggers to the ring, the crowd wait with hushed, baited breath. The initial lock-up ends in a stalemate before Joe applies a headlock and tries to get the Coqina Clutch early on.

Baron Corbin steam rolls Joe into the turn-buckle several times over, leaving the Samoan crumpled on the mat for a close two count.

Samoa Joe turns a second pin-fall attempt into a half crab in a nice sequence, before applying a modified crossface, painfully stretching out the arm of Corbin.

The two stand toe to toe, exchanging punches and strikes as Joe throws in some spinning backfists. Then, as Corbin goes to the top, Joe tries to get a musclebuster with the Lone Wolf fighting back to evade it just barely.

A beautiful transition from the Coqina Clutch into the End Of Days back into the clutch is a highlight of the bout, which culminates in Corbin tapping out following a supremely hard-fought match on both sides.

Corbin looked great against Joe and his performance tonight just solidifies the fact that, given a solid opponent and some proper ring time, he can put together an entertaining match and is more personable than we may have initially been led to believe.

Stephanie McMahon is out next to announce the first of the Main Events (we’re getting two tonight, of equal billing and value – a smart move by NXT) as Bayley finally gets her chance to become the NXT women’s champion, as she goes one on one with The Boss, Sasha Banks.

NXT Womens Championship Match: Bayley Vs Sasha Banks (c)
Bayley Sasha Banks

After a cool VT, laying out the stepping stones to this match, Bayley takes to the ring with a lovely homage to her mentor Dusty Rhodes via her ring gear as she attempts to finally fulfill her dream.

The Boss wastes no time in getting in the face of Bayley before the match, flaunting the belt in her face. The intensity is unreal and there is an air that something special is about to go down.

From the get-go, Bayley pulls out all the stops as the crowd are deafeningly behind them both. She takes it to the champ like she never has before.

Bayley tries to put away Banks early, with a nice guillotine elbow from the ropes, forcing the Boss to escape from the ring for some respite.

Banks and Bayley have a power struggle on the top rope, which ends with Bayley taking a huge bump on the ring apron that looks positively marvellous.

The Boss applies a straight jacket submission hold, leaving Bayley writhing to escape. The way she is selling this assault adds hugely to the intensity of the match – this is excellent ring psychology and the emotion pours through the match.

Sasha Banks talks trash to Bayley in the corner and she viciously responds with a stiff strike. It’s hard not to get invested in this feud and it’s testament to the talent of these two competitors that every moment feels life-changing.

The Boss targets the injury of Bayley, pulling her protective straps off and exposing the hand to focus her attention in an excellent, textbook heel move as the champ gloats in the ring before taking out the challenger with a plancha to the outside as the crowd echoes a well-deserved “This is awesome” chant.

Sasha tries to make Bayley tap out with the Bank Statement as she crawls to the ropes. But, before she can make it, the Boss stomps on her hand. However, Bayley manages to reverse the manoeuvre and apply it to the Boss herself!

Bayley tries to go for a top rope Bayley-to-Belly Suplex but Banks manages to shove her away, digging deep to counter at the last second and keep the fans guessing.

The challenger never gives up, though, and as she finally manages to put away the Boss with the Bayley-to-Belly suplex and finally win the NXT women’s championship it is near-impossible not to lose it completely and get emotional alongside her.

This is a MOTY contender for sure, which ticks all the boxes; exciting, furious and emotional, these two ladies brought it and showed everyone – male and female – how it is done. Outstanding.

Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch come out to the ring to celebrate with Bayley and the former champ rushes to Bayley, too. And, as the tears flow, they embrace after what has been a fantastic display. This right here is the Divas revolution and I, for one, am extremely glad and lucky to have witnessed it.

NXT Championship Ladder Match: Kevin Owens Vs Finn Balor (c)
Finn Balor Kevin Owens

As much as it will have been hard to top that last championship match, this one has the potential to do so, a dream re-match with the enigmatic champion putting his title on the line after the outstanding match at Tokyo Dome just a little while ago.

The atmosphere in the arena oozes throughout the second Main Event, and it almost feels like the viewers is transported to Brooklyn themselves, we are that engaged. As this match begins, Owens stares over at the champion as the title is elevated above the ring, setting the tone perfectly.

Kevin Owens pushes Balor against the ropes and quickly heads to get a ladder and end the match. He eats a huge drop-kick for his troubles, as Balor sets things off at a frantic pace.

The Kevin Owens of NXT is a ruthless, callous competitor who will stop at nothing to accomplish what he sets his sights on. He marches down the ramp to get the ladder involved and Balor wastes no time in chasing him and take him out, before proceeding to drag the ladder behind him.

As the action spills out among the delighted fans, Owens looks to finish the match on the concrete floor with a powerbomb, but the champ manages to evade, dashing to the announce table for protection, which Owens dismantles and climbs upon, looking down on his opponent like he’s a bug about to be crushed.

Finn Balor lands a massive dropkick across the very ladder Owens was carrying with his knee getting uncomfortably twisted in the fray. Owens sets up the ladder again and then decides to try and use it as a weapon instead, throwing it at Balor as he is stranded in the corner.

Luckily the champion scopes this attack and dodges. However, as he runs to return an attack, Owens wisely clotheslines him, knocking the wind out of the Irishman.

Kevin Owens is in control for much of the early stages, but the momentum sways as Balor lands a double dropkick and the Coup De Grace, allowing him to climb the ladder and touch the gold before Owens powerbombs him from it, landing him with a sickening thud.

Kevin Owens tries to capitalise on his handiwork as Balor starts to stir, allowing him to tilt his opponent from the ladder into the turn-buckle. The action spills out the ring once more, which ultimately favours Kevin Owens and his Pop Up Powerbomb, a move that has decimated past opponents.

He lands the aforementioned move and scrambles to the ladder once again. Finn Balor pushes the ladder to the side, but Owens wisely lands on his feet and hits a superkick on the champion.

As the two climb the ladder and exchange stiff punches to one another, Balor gets the better of the confrontation as he descends from the top onto a strategically placed ladder, leaving the challenger downed and allowing Finn Balor to retain in a hard-fought closer to the best wrestling event this year that, again, is another MOTY contender in its own right.

NXT Takeover: Brooklyn delivered on every possible account; with the women once again stealing the spotlight (and our hearts) in a MOTY contender, new tag team champions crowned and even Baron Corbin proving his worth alongside the impressive debut of Apollo Crews, and who could forget the excellent opener starring NJPW legend Jushin “Thunder” Liger.

Mark this as yet another victory for NXT. Summerslam, it’s your move.

Catch NXT every Wednesday on the WWE Network

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