Sunday, August 19, 2018

NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4 Recap

The black and yellow brand delivered the fourth incarnation of TakeOver Brooklyn this evening from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY on the eve of Summerslam. The card boasted five matches with all four NXT championships on the line. In addition to the stacked card, the WWE Network audience was also treated to commentary by, in my opinion, the best commentary team in the WWE comprised of Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson.

NXT Tag Team Championship
Undisputed Era: Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong (c) vs. Mustache Mountain: Trent Seven and Tyler Bate
Winners: Undisputed Era

Invoking their rematch clause, Mustache Mountain came out with a full head of steam to start the match. Their momentum was quickly stifled by the Undisputed Era as they put on a tag team clinic highlighted by the Muay Thai training of O’Reilly. Despite a late flurry by Mustache Mountain, O’Reilly and Strong hit the High-Low on Trent Seven to earn the pinfall.

After the match, the celebration didn’t last long as the Undisputed Era were ambushed by War Raiders leaving them in a mass of carnage.

EC3 vs. Velveteen Dream
Winner: Velveteen Dream

This match pitted two of the most charismatic, polarizing sports entertainers on the NXT roster, who seem destined for a main roster call-up sooner than later, against each other. If one questions this sentiment, then take a second look at the Rick Rude-esque tights that Dream donned which proclaimed, “Call Me Up Vince” across the backside. Velveteen impressed in the closing moments of the match as he first laid out EC3 with the Dream Valley Driver on the ring apron, followed it with an elbow of the top rope, and finished him with the 1-2-3.

NXT North American Championship
Adam Cole (c) vs. Ricochet
Winner: Ricochet

Both of these performers put their extensive ring IQs on full display. Ricochet pulled out his full arsenal of awe-inspiring aerial maneuvers while Adam Cole countered with some devastating strikes and counters. In the end, Ricochet hit the phenomenal 630 to earn the pinfall victory as a new North American Champion was crowned.

NXT Women’s Championship
Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Kairi Sane
Winner: Kairi Sane

Baszler and Sane squared off in the rubber match of their trilogy that began when Sane defeated Baszler in the final of the inaugural Mae Young Classic a year ago. Baszler dictated the pace of this match in the early going as she utilized her extensive MMA striking and submission wrestling background. In the end, it appeared that Sane was doomed as Baszler blocked her third attempt at the Insane Elbow. Baszler quickly sought to seal the deal as she attempted to lock in the Kirafuta Clutch only to have Sane reverse it into a shocking pinfall victory.

NXT Championship-Last Man Standing Match
Tommasso Ciampa (c) vs. Johnny Gargano
Winner: Tommasso Ciampa

Ciampa shocked the NXT Universe as he defeated Aleister Black for the NXT Championship just a few weeks ago due to an accidental assist from Johnny Wrestling. After Black sustained an injury as a result of a backstage attack from an unknown assailant, this bout was changed from a triple threat match to a Last Man Standing match by Commissioner Regal. With this ruling the match marked the third consecutive Takeover main-evented by these two fierce competitors. Just as a refresher, a match contested under Last Man Standing rules essentially means there are no rules and one wins when his opponent is incapacitated to the point that he is unable to answer the referee’s ten count. 

Gargano didn’t even wait for the introductions to conclude before he ambushed Ciampa to get the fight underway. If you thought these men couldn’t surpass their performances from the last two Takeover events, you were dead wrong. They broke each other’s bodies with tables, chairs, crutches, and ring stairs. Ciampa even attempted to bury Gargano at ringside with anything in sight, including a ringside crewmember, at one point to no avail. The match eventually migrated to the entrance stage where Gargano handcuffed Ciampa to a part of the display.  Gargano attempted to seal the deal with a knee strike to Ciampa’s head which he dodged at the last second. Gargano then slammed his knee into a crate and plummeted off the stage. Johnny Wrestling was unable to answer the referee’s ten count so your winner, and STILL NXT Champion, “The Sicilian Psycho” Tommasso Ciampa!

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