Welcome one and all to the TJRWrestling live coverage of NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III! I am your host, Kurt Zamora, and I appreciate you joining me for what is being labeled as, “The WrestleMania of NXT”. We’ve got 5 big matches scheduled and hopefully a surprise or two. The preshow on the WWE Network was pretty cool with various NXT Alumni doing interviews and talking about what NXT meant to them. The most surprising tidbit was the crowd BOOED Bayley. She looked like she wanted to be anywhere else in the world and didn’t look like what you expect from Bayley. It’s really sad to see how far she’s fallen.
The live broadcast starts with a live performance from Code Orange, who had one of the theme songs for tonight’s show, while the opening video for the show plays.
Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/Zelina Vega)
HUGE ovation for Gargano. He tweeted shortly before the show that he was notified his shirt had already sold out in the arena. Great chain and mat wrestling to start with. Gargano starts things off with a hurricanrana and an armdrag. He gets a rolling crucifix pin and then turns that into a front face lock. Massive “Johnny Wrestling” chants. Sounds like a really hot crowd. Gargano with a chop and LOUD “woo” chants, which leads Maruo to give a shoutout to The Nature Boy. Gargano got tied up in the ropes and Almas landed a Reality Check while he was in that predictament to turn the momentum. Almas followed that up with a seated dropkick right to the temple of Gargano. Almas does his pose in the ropes and Gargano tries to attack him but ends up getting caught in a triangle arm bar over the top rope. The ref makes Almas break it, but Almas goes right to work on the arm. Gargano drop toe holds Almas into the turnbuckle to get some separation. They both come off the ropes and both had clotheslines on the mind and are both down. They trade blows and Almas slaps Gargano in the face, which fires him up. He lands his seated roundhouse kick and then gets on the apron to do his spear through the ropes. He gets a two count. Gargano sends Almas to the ropes, where he does his pose again, but this time Gargano superkicks him out of the ring. Gargano with a suicide dive through the ropes. He tosses Almas in the ring and then slingshots over the top rope and catches Almas with a DDT. Great near fall for that one. This crowd is on fire for Gargano. It’s awesome to hear. Gargano ends up on the apron again and goes for the spear but this time Almas catches him! A reverse Reality Check this time and then Almas goes to the top rope and grabs Gargano in a reverse Tornado DDT. Another great near fall. Almas sets up Gargano for a superplex but Gargano blocks. Gargano with a straight headbutt and then a chop that sets up Almas for a sunset flip powerbomb, but Almas flips and lands on his feet! Gargano ends up on the turnbuckles and Almas wants his running knees, but Gargano gets up and hits an enziguri. He charges Almas but Almas hiptosses him into the turnbuckles. He goes for the running knees again but misses again. Gargano comes off the ropes and turns a headscissors into the Gargano Escape! Almas rolls out of it though and turns it into a one armed turnbuckle bomb! Wow! The third time is a charm for the running knees but Gargano kicks out!! Myself and Brooklyn thought that was it for sure!! Almas works on that hurt arm some more but Gargano ends up superkicking Almas twice and then picks Almas up and lawn darts him into the turnbuckles! It was a launching snake eyes basically. Gargano is setting up for the win, but Zelina throws a DIY shirt at Gargano and he doesn’t know what to make of it, but that leads to the opening for Almas to hook on the Hammerlock DDT and Almas picks up the surprising and huge win! It went about 16 minutes. My buddy Hank McAllen called it in the preview, these two guys worked to steal the show. Tremendous effort from both men.
Winner: Andrade “Cien” Almas
We get a shot of one of the luxury boxes in the arena and both Daniel Bryan and Kurt Angle are there and Roderick Strong, The Iconic Duo, & No Way Jose are in there with him.
Corey Graves is announced to the crowd as a special commentator for this upcoming match.
NXT Tag Title Match
The Authors of Pain (c) (w/Paul Ellering) vs. SANITY
All four members of Sanity are present for this one. It’s been advertised as Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe for this match, but EY is in his ring gear as well. He and Nikki go to ringside though, so it will in fact be Dain and Wolfe. The Authors of Pain have new ring gear and masks that looked awesome. AOP charges the ring and we’ve got a brawl before the match begins. Wolfe gets dumped to the floor and AOP double team Dain. Dain goes to the floor as well, but Sanity pulls them out. EY is grabbing a table and props it up on the guardrail as all four men continue to fight. Akam with a big clothesline on Wolfe. He throws Wolfe in the ring and now the bell has officially rung. AOP with multiple tags as they work over Wolfe to begin with. Wolfe ducks a charging Akam and goes to make a tag but EY gets on the apron and Dain drops down so Wolfe tags in EY! EY and Akam end up on the floor and EY goes over the barrier into the crowd and we’ve got yet another four man brawl going. EY and Akam are fighting in the crowd as Wolfe and Rezar in the ring. Akam and EY get back in the ring and Akam back body drops EY into Rezar’s arms, who turns that into a Dominator. That was impressive! AOP double team EY again with a side slam/curb stomp combo. Sanity is working this match as the babyface with EY looking for the hot tag. The crowd is behind them too. EY tries to escape Rezar but Rezar grabs him by the throat with both hands and holds him over his head before dropping him hard. Rezar tries an avalanche splash in the corner but EY moves and he finally gets the tag to Wolfe. He hits a big boot on Akam to take him off the apron and then hits a running bicycle kick on Rezar. Wolfe decides that Suplex City is his for a night and tosses both members of AOP with suplexes. He goes to the top rope and hits a clothesline but Akam breaks up the pin. Akam throws EY to the floor and then AOP double team Wolfe with a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo. Wolfe manages to kick out. They set up Wolfe for a top rope powerbomb but Wolfe turns it into a hurricanrana and he gets the tag to EY. He hits a jumping neckbreaker on Rezar. EY to the top rope but Rezar crotches him. AOP tries to do a Tower of Doom but Nikki Cross grabs EY and Akam ends up powerbombing Rezar! EY comes off the top rope with an elbow drop and Akam makes the save for the champs! AOP go to the floor and both members of Sanity take turns diving to the outside. Nikki Cross gets in the ring to a great ovation. Paul Ellering tries to get in her way, but she goes past him and she dives off the top rope! Rezar catches her, but here comes Killian Dain with his cross body block and he slams Rezar through the table! Nikki caught a lot of that too and couldn’t have felt good. “This is awesome” chants and I completely agree. Back in the ring, EY goes to tag in Wolfe. They set up Akam for the double team back suplex/neckbreaker and we have new tag team champions!! The crowd loves it! I completely forgot to see when this match started, so not sure how long it went. I guarantee that match was better than anyone could’ve expected though. They knew what they needed to do and they did it to perfection! I couldn’t be happier for Sanity.
Winners: New NXT Tag Team Champions, SANITY
The celebration doesn’t last long though, ReDRagon is here!!! Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly take out Dain on the steal steps. They’re attacking both teams and finish up with Chasing The Dragon on EY. They then land a version of Total Elimination for good measure and the tag team division has been put on notice! Hell yes!!
After a commercial break, Neville, Kalisto, & Shinsuke Nakamura are shown sitting at ringside.
Our guest commentator for this match is none other than Good Ol’ JR Jim Ross! Great reaction for him. Great to hear him for what should be a hard hitting affair.
Hideo Itami vs. Aleister Black
No yellow ring gear for Itami anymore. Just him in his trunks. This is the match I thought could steal the show, but we’ve had two matches already that have their claim on that title, so let’s see what these two can do to follow. Code Orange is playing Black out live, which looks and sounds awesome. Big ovation from the crowd and Itami gets right in Black’s face. The bell rings and both men charge with duel big boots. JR says it’s all about who’s going to kick the other’s head off, and he’s right. Black kicks Itami to the floor and then does his lionsault into a seated position. Lots of quick strikes by Black and he gets an early two count. Itami turns the tide and suplexes Black over the top rope and leaves him hanging there. He comes off the top rope with a knee drop to the back of the neck. This match is a commentator’s wet dream as it’s just Mauro and JR so far and it’s tremendous. Itami finally starts to slow the match down with a neck wrench. Black comes off the ropes and gets a knee to the gut for it. Itami follows up with a series of kicks right to the spine. Black has a bloody nose and that could’ve come from one of many shots. Itami does two knee drops and then goes for a third one but then just sweeps his foot on Black’s face. He then mocks Black’s seated position pose. Black sees it and isn’t happy. Itami catches him in a DDT though and gets a two count. Black fights out of a side headlock and then avoids a charging Itami in the corner. Black goes back to his quick strikes and lands a shining wizard. He connects with a high hanging standing lionsault. He almost missed Itami, but caught him with a knee on the way down. He goes to pick up Itami with his boot but Itami doesn’t let him. Itami ends up getting Black with his Tornado DDT over the top rope and then comes off the top rope again with a clothesline. Fisherman’s Suplex by Itami and that gets a two count. Not sure if Black’s nose is broken, but it very may well be cause it’s bleeding a lot. Black catches Itami with a pin but Itami kicks out. They both get up and Itami is caught square in the jaw with a kick. Black goes to the top rope but Itami cuts him off. Black manages to send him back to the mat, but Itami gets right back up. Itami now wants a superplex and he turns it into a Falcon Arrow off the second rope! Black is able to kick out. Black gets up in a menacing way, which catches Itami off guard and now both men are trading serious blows. Black with a serious high knee but Itami shakes it off and lands another Falcon Arrow but Black still kicks out. Itami lands a hesitation dropkick in the corner and now wants to go for GTS. He gets Black up but Black fights out. Itami yells for respect from Black and starts yelling at the crowd. Black is crawling to his feet in the corner and Itami charges him, Black ducks it, Itami turns around and BOOM! Black Mass and that’s all she wrote! Another fantastic match! 14 minutes of hard hitting action. Loved it! Itami looked better than ever and JR really put him over on commentary.
Winner: Aleister Black
Three of the Four Horsewomen are shown at ringside. Wish Charlotte could’ve been there, but she’s where she needs to be clearly.
NXT Women’s Title Match
Ember Moon vs. Asuka (c)
I cannot wait to see how they’ve booked this match to go. Ember actually gets a better reaction than I expected. I thought it’d be all boos, but it was quite favorable. New ring gear and attire for her, she’s gone from red to emerald. Really cool attire for Asuka. Mauro announces that Ember’s family is in the crowd, so take that for what you will. During the big match introductions, there were the boos for Ember I expected. Asuka gets a majority cheer, but some boos sprinkled in. A mixed crowd to say the least, which is not what I expected. They’re ready for this though. The bell rings and Ember comes right at Asuka. She dropkicks her immediately and then some more kicks followed by a suplex. Asuka goes to the outside to regroup but Ember doesn’t let her. They trade kicks on the floor and then Ember climbs to the 2nd rope and takes out Asuka with a cannonball dive to the floor! That landed solid. Asuka tries to crawl away and then pulls Ember into the steel steps. Asuka with her kicks on the floor and then does a hammerlock suplex on the rampway. The story is it’s right on the arm/shoulder that kept Ember out of the match at Takeover: Chicago. Asuka with a nasty looking chicken wing submission on Ember. Ember tries to escape but can’t and Asuka now nails a hammerlock STO. Asuka surfboards the arms and stomps right on the spine of Ember. Dueling chants now. Asuka now has the Octopus Hold on. Ember manages to pick up Asuka while she has a armbar on and does an eletric chair drop of sorts. Now it’s Ember with the quick kicks and then a step up enziguri. She goes for a pin but Asuka kicks out. Asuka grabs Ember in a German suplex and Ember lands right on the bottom turnbuckle. Ember avoids the Asuka Lock and she actually tries to turn it into an Asuka Lock on Asuka. Asuak avoids it herself and now mounts Ember and it looks like she has it locked on, but barely. Ember drops backwards and Asuka releases the hold, but only for a second. She locks it back on, but Ember rolls backwards and turns it into a pin. Asuka kicks out. That’s the Bret Hart special as I call it. Dueling chants again. Asuka hits the Rear View and goes for a pin but Ember kicks out. Another one in the corner but Ember lands a forearm to the back to stop it. Ember then lands a tornado suplex but Asuka kicks out again. Both women trading blows but Asuka lands a GTS style knee and then kicks Ember repeatedly. Ember catches Asuka with a Side Effect out of nowhere though, but still only a two count. Ember to the top rope but Asuka cuts her off. Ember tries to powerbomb Asuka out of the corner, but Asuka holds on. Ember kicks her into a tree of woe position and then curb stomps Asuka in the chest to drive her into the mat. Another two count. Ember right back to the top rope and she nails the The Eclipse! Is this it?! NO! Kickout by Asuka and the crowd cannot believe it! It said it needed to take more than one of those, so I’m happy to see that near fall. Ember is now determined to hit it again but Asuka grabs the ref! Ember jumps over the ref and cross body blocks Asuka! Asuka rolls through and she has the tights! The ref sees it and Asuka is in disbelief. Ember catches her square with a superkick and that looked to be it too but Asuka kicks out again! Asuka looks out cold, but she’s playing possum and grabs Ember in an armbar! Ember gets out with a pin attempt, but Asuka turns it into the Asuka Lock!! Can Ember escape? She’s fighting, but nope, there’s the tapout! The legend continues! Match went about 16 minutes and was absolutely outstanding. Ember got her breakout moment but this was the right decision. They made Asuka look close to losing, but she holds on. Perfect booking.
Winner: Still NXT Women’s Champion, Asuka
Post match, Ember knows how close she was and is emotional, but she gets a WELL deserved standing ovation from the crowd. That’s her moment and she deserves it. I hope she is the one that dethrones Asuka, but I’m glad it wasn’t tonight. It needs to take more to defeat Asuka. Put her in a match like Nikki Cross had with Asuka, two or three Eclipses and that will really make the title switch mean something.
After a commercial break, Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens are shown at ringside to great reactions.
NXT Title Match
Bobby Roode (c) vs. Drew McIntyre
Drew is brought out by the NYPD Pipes & Drums. They bring back the piano on the rampway that plays itself to signal the arrival of The Glorious One. Roode’s entrance is a spectacle without really having to do anything. New robe for him. I can’t believe Roderick Strong is not getting added to this. It’s the wrong decision, but these two guys have a ton on their plate to follow what’s happened tonight. McIntyre gets majority boos and Roode majority cheers, which doesn’t surprise me with this crowd. This match is starting right at the top of the hour. McIntyre tries to start aggressively. He lands a shoulder tackle and Roode right to the flood to regroup. He gets back in and unleashes a series of chops on McIntyre. He ducks a charge in the corner and tries to lock on the GLORIOUS DDT but McIntyre escapes. More chops by Roode but as they go to the opposite corner, McIntyre catches him with a kick to the chest. He chops Roode now and then a big boot. He picks up Roode in a suplex and then just tosses him across the ring. Clothesline over the top rope and both men on the floor now. McIntyre lifts Roode up and drops him across the guardrail. Roode gets on the apron and jumps but McIntyre catches him. Roode escapes that but instead gets caught in a tilt-a-whirl slam on the corner of the apron. Dueling chants but far louder for Roode. McIntyre tries to get in the ring but Roode catches him with a swinging neckbreaker through the ropes. McIntyre back to the floor and this time Roode jumps off the apron and lands a blockbuster on the floor. They get back in the ring and Roode is in full control. Rude Awakening neckbreaker that gets a two count. McIntyre tries to fight back but Roode whips McIntyre hard into the turnbuckles. Roode with a dropkick off the second ropes, but McIntyre kicks out. Roode has the sleeper hold on but McIntyre rams him into the turnbuckle. Roode tries to come off the ropes but McIntyre catches him with an overhead belly to belly throw. McIntyre starting to come back with forearm shots in the corner and then he goes to the top rope with an ax handle smash. Crowd is quiet for this match now. Roode with an atomic drop and a knee lift but McIntyre catches him with White Nose, which Mauro says McIntyre is calling the Celtic Cross. Roode drops McIntyre over the top rope to catch a break, but McIntyre stops him on the top rope and goes for a superplex. Roode fights it off but McIntyre goes for a second one and this time Roode crotches him. McIntyre is now caught in the tree of woe but as Roode is showing off, McIntyre sits up and grabs Roode in the overhead belly to belly throw. McIntyre wants the Claymore Kick but Roode is out cold. He goes to pick him up but Roode catches him in a pin. McIntyre goes for Future Shock but Roode reverses it into the backstabber. Roode with a clothesline in the corner and goes for another Rude Awakening but McIntyre turns it into a backslide. Roode kicks out but gets up and walks right into the Future Shock. Roode still kicks out. This crowd is drained or dead or both. Not much of a reaction to that near fall. Drew picks up Roode for the Celtic Cross again and this time goes to the second rope with it but Roode gets out and powerbombs McIntyre out of the corner. McIntyre kicks out. Now both men trading blows. Crowd trying to get into it now. Roode lands an enziguri. Drew comes right back with the Claymore Kick! Pinfall attempt and Roode gets his foot on the rope at 2 1/2. Roode crumples to the floor and the ref stops McIntyre from following him. McIntyre says screw it and does a huge front somersault dive over the top rope! That had to hurt both men equally as McIntyre landed hard. McIntyre drags Roode back into the ring and goes for the Claymore again. Roode catches him with a spinebuster though! Roode immediately goes for the GLORIOUS DDT but McIntyre blocks it. He goes for a pin but Roode kicks out. Roode comes off the ropes and a tilt-a-whirl move that lands Roode in position for the GLORIOUS DDT! He nails it but McIntyre kicks out! Roode wants to land it again and he does. He rolls through though instead of a pin and McIntyre blocks the third one. McIntyre rushes to the corner and Claymore Kick again… New champion!! Drew McIntyre is your new NXT Champion after 23 minutes.
Winner: New NXT Champion, Drew McIntyre
The show looked like it was gonna end, but the crowd started going crazy and all the sudden, ReDRragon are now in the corner staring down McIntyre, so you know who’s not far behind… ADAM COLE BAY BAY!! The crowd is going nuts!! All three men attack Drew McIntyre and Cole holds the title in McIntyre’s face and then all three men stand over the new champion as we now go off the air.
K-Tank’s Final Take: First off, yes he was called Adam Cole and yes BAY BAY! was mentioned. ReDRagon were called by such as well. This was one of the best Takeover shows EVER. Could be #1 in all honesty, but that’s a lengthy discussion. Every match was incredible. Yes, the main event was a different pace and style but those guys are veterans and worked to their strengths. No complaints for me. With Roode basically just rolling out and leaving after the match, it REALLY leaves me scratching my head on where Roddy Strong stands now. He doesn’t get a title shot against Roode and that certaintly felt like a easy way to write Roode off NXT and a move to the main roster. (Which Roode obviously deserves as he has STAR written all over him with his presentation) I get the title change when you put Adam Cole in the equation. Him, Fish, and O’Reilly are a perfect fit clearly and I cannot wait to see the story behind those three coming together. Maybe Strong joins them because of how Regal basically held him out of a match he belonged in. Sanity has turned babyface, rightfully so, so you put them with McIntyre in certain situations and the numbers match up. NXT made their name in Brooklyn, and tonight they reminded everyone that they’re still the best thing going under the WWE banner. This was probably my favorite show to write up in my time at TJR.
Thank you for joining me tonight! I’ll see you on Wednesday for all the follow up. Until next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… but if you do, name it after me!