NXT TAKEOVER BROOKLYN III
JOHNNY GARGANO vs. ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS: Great opener. My favourite match of the show and probably the most sustained heat from the crowd of anything on the show, they were super into this. The finish was a clever way to keep the DIY split front of mind while Ciampa isn’t around and Almas winning is probably the right result at the moment. This was top notch.
THE AUTHORS OF PAIN vs. SANITY: Considering they didn’t tease “which two of Sanity will be in the match” as a thing whatsoever on TV, having Young throw himself in there came across pretty weak. That said, the match was undoubtedly better for having Young in there. At the very least, it allowed AOP to play the heels, since the crowd clearly weren’t picking them over Sanity in the build-up. I was tipping Wolfe to come out of this the best, presuming he’d be in Young’s role. Instead he got the hot tag but still had a strong performance. Sanity winning was pretty unexpected. Obviously, that and the post angle with Fish and O’Reilly attacking everyone freshens up the division quite a bit.
ALEISTER BLACK VS. HIDEO ITAMI: The action here was fine, but the crowd were flat for large parts. If this heel turn for Itami doesn’t rejuvenate him, it might be time to consider calling him up and starting afresh, because it feels like he’s at a point where, for whatever reason, he’s never fully connected in NXT and may never do. The last few minutes had some particularly good stuff, but Itami randomly deciding to shout about respect to set up the finish could have been set up a little better. Unless blocking someone’s finisher is considered really disrespectful.
ASUKA vs. EMBER MOON: Not quite a classic, but very good. The middle of the match felt as though it drifted a bit after a promising start. More than made up for by the finish though, as they really got some drama out of the near falls, maybe more-so than any of Asuka’s defences up to this point. Probably the right call not to change the title yet. Whether they build up Ember for a third challenge, I don’t know. The way the match played out kept her strong and she got the standing ovation post match, but she lost clean, so that part of the story is gone.
BOBBY ROODE vs. DREW MCINTYRE: This seemed to suffer from the crowd not fully getting behind McIntyre over Roode. They tried, but it took until the very end and a flip dive to the floor from Drew to get the crowd. The way the TV ended last week made me think Roode winning might be in doubt, but I still didn’t really buy Drew was winning. Shame that he won it in a flat match. The crowd support might not pick up any time soon considering Adam Cole attacked him after the match. If I had to guess, an NXT crowd is going to choose Cole over Drew more often than not.
NXT AUGUST 23RD 2017
No Way Jose was set to open the show with a match and got a surprisingly big reaction from Brooklyn. Unfortunately, as he got two conga lines of fans going, Lars Sullivan ran out and attacked him, before laying him out with modified slam.
Recap of Gargano versus Almas. Gargano was interviewed by Kayla earlier in the day, saying he didn’t have any excuses for losing and he needed to be better. He knew a lot of people believed in him and he promised that was far from the end for Johnny Wrestling.
Asuka/Ember recap. Asuka was interviewed after the match by ‘international press’. It sure seemed like Kayla and Christy except holding a phone instead of a microphone, but hey whatever. Asuka said Ember was strong but she was better and she didn’t think she was in danger of losing. There was one question in Japanese, before she was asked what was next. She said she didn’t know but she’d stay champion. They then covered the announcement of Asuka suffering a broken collarbone during the match.
Christy, having found her microphone, interviewed Wolfgang and Dunne ahead of the main event. Dunne claimed his title win was the beginning of the UK brand and every time he stepped in the ring, the brand got stronger. Wolfgang took issue with not being given a title shot and asked for one after they won tonight. Dunne told him to focus on tonight and not get ahead of himself.
Peyton Royce vs. Sarah Logan
Logan got to look competitive early before Peyton took control. She got complacent and allowed Logan to get back in the match, but a knee and a fisherman’s suplex got her the win regardless. Solid match. Iconic have really hit their stride recently as characters and Peyton is one of the top women on the NXT roster in ring for my money. They’ve become a valuable part of the division.
Recap of Sanity and AOP.
Roode and McIntyre recap. Roode was shown after the match yelling at an assistant to get his car. He refused an interview, before noticing Strong, who blew him a kiss and told Roode he’d see him soon. They showed Roode debuting on Smackdown though, before Kayla interviewed Roode. Roode said he didn’t leave behind any unfinished business and the first piece of business he had to deal with was with Strong. He said he’d embarrass Strong, get his rematch with Drew and only then would he walk away, but he would go to Smackdown and make it glorious.
Itami and Black was recapped last. A bunch of unidentified people tried to interview Black on his way out of the arena but he said nothing.
Tyler Bate and Trent Seven vs. Pete Dunne and Wolfgang
Pretty standard tag match. Seven got cut off briefly, before Bate made a well received comeback on Dunne. Seven and Wolfgang got taken care of, leaving Bate and Dunne. Wolfgang tagged himself in though and when Bate hit the tiger driver to Dunne, the referee didn’t count. Bate, somehow, off camera, ended up in position for a swanton by Wolfgang and Wolfgang got the pin. So presumably Wolfgang’s getting a match with Dunne next.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Both the matches on the show were solid, but nothing to really go out of your way for, aside from the novelty of them being in Brooklyn.
NXT WEEK: An appearance from Drew McIntyre