Hello everybody here in the Wrestle Royalty kingdom and it is just so hard to find any fault with a Takeover isn’t it. They always deliver and rarely have a disappointing match on the card. This event was no different and further proves that this is the year of NXT.
I will not be providing a grade for any of these matches because they are all just so good and it will be hard for me to nitpick any of them. It also should be noted that Mauro Ranallo was back on announce for Takeover and I loved hearing his passion come through every match. I know some may not like his style, but I have been a fan of his for years and he has become synonymous with NXT for me.
So, without further ado, let us talk about the event that was NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 4 and get-on with the Afterglow.
The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong) vs Moustache Mountain (Tyler Bate & Trent Seven)
Takeover usually starts out with a tag match or a multi-man match of late and they did that again tonight. There was no doubt that these two teams would get the crowd hot and boy did they ever and then some. Two of the best teams in the world went at it again and they delivered right from the opening bell. There was hard hitting shots and fabulous storytelling throughout this match. Tyler Bate is only 21 years old and the things he can do in that ring are things men with 10 years more experience cannot fathom being able to do. If his mic work can catch up even slightly to his ring work, this man has the tools to be a top guy for years to come. There was a call back to their prior match when Bate threw in the towel to save Seven from a submission and it was done very well. I am not describing much in this match not because there isn’t much to talk about but because my words would not do it justice. After the match, the War Raiders would come in and lay waste to the Undisputed Era and it looks like they will be the next challengers for the NXT Tag Team Championship. This is one of the best opening matches in Takeover history and is a definite match of the year candidate.
Velveteen Dream vs EC3
This match had the hard task of following that amazing opener and I would say that Dream and EC3 did a fine job in following it. Like Tyler Bate, it is just unfair how talented the Velveteen Dream is at such a young age. 22 years old and he has that clear of an understanding as to what makes his character work is something that isn’t taught but a natural gift. Also, the “Call me up Vince” on the back of his tights was just perfection. It felt like it took a little while for them to find their groove with one another, but they did eventually find it. I had no idea who would come out on top because I feel like both are able to handle losses very well and recover from them. That is one thing NXT has done well over the main roster, make people look good in losses and not lose momentum. Somewhere during the end sequence of the match, EC3 was busted open pretty bad so I hope it was nothing too serious. Dream picked up the win and, outside of a title reign, there really isn’t anything left for him in NXT. His call-up may be coming sooner than later.
Adam Cole vs Ricochet
In the DD, I compared this match to a movie because it felt like it had a slow start that had teases for what was to come later. Boy was I right because the match started at a fairly slow pace, but by the second and third act of the match, it became one heck of a match. Cole and Ricochet are two of the best workers in all of wrestling right now and this match highlighted all their skills. From Cole’s trash talking and facial expressions, to Ricochet’s innovative offense and sheer willingness to put his body on the line. Adam Cole may be the most “main roster ready” of anybody in NXT and his future should be bright, so long as the man in charge doesn’t mess it up. Cole’s superkick to Ricochet when he was in mid springboard and upside was a thing of perfect timing. Ricochet flying over the top rope to deliver a hurricanrana on Cole, who was on the apron, to the outside was jaw dropping. Ricochet would pick up the win with the 630° senton to become the new NXT North American Champion.
Shayna Baszler vs Kairi Sane
This match may have been my favorite of Shayna Baszler during her time in NXT to date. Kairi Sane also showed a more serious and somewhat vicious side to her during this match as well. The chemistry these two have is great and it showed tenfold. The way Shayna attacked Sane’s leg during the match to immobilize her was vicious and it just made Kairi retaliate by dropping the “Pirate Princess” schtick and being a more serious character in the ring. Sane would hit multiple “Insane Elbows” to Shayna and it looked like she had it one after her final one, but Shayna was able to kick out. Sane went for a final one that had Baszler put her feet up to block and Baszler went for her choke only to have it reversed into a pin and victory for Kairi Sane to become the new NXT Women’s Champion. This was a fantastic match and I feel it was Shayna Baszler’s best as a member of NXT.
Tommaso Ciampa vs Johnny Gargano
What more can be said about a Ciampa vs Gargano match that hasn’t been said already? The chemistry is amazing and so is the storytelling. I will go on record to say that Ciampa vs Gargano is one of the greatest rivalries in history. Each match has stepped up the viciousness and intensity and it pushes each man that much further. They have had three matches this year and all three can be considered a match of the year. There were so many call backs to their prior matches and break-up throughout this match. There was a crutch used, an Air-Raid Crash through a table, the wood underneath the ring mat was exposed once again, and so much more. This is one of those matches where no words I can type can do it justice. I was at a loss for words at the end of this match because these men put it all out there once again. Ciampa was able to squeak by with the victory to retain the NXT Championship because Gargano’s hatred towards him was too much and got the better of him.
I have yet to be disappointed by NXT Takeover and this one lived up to all the hype. It started off hot and never let up one bit. Summerslam is going to have one heck of a job to come within shouting distance of NXT Takeover once again. I have said it once and I will say it again, this is the year of NXT.