NXT returns to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY for the second year in a row, and brings with it another card that looks like it stands the chance of delivering another great show. Shinsuke Nakamura, the King of Strong Style, brings the fight to Samoa Joe, looking to dethrone the current NXT Champion. Will he pull it off? Will Bayley become the first 2-time NXT Women’s Champion by knocking off Asuka? Also Ember Moon debuts for the brand tonight, as does Bobby Roode. The full card is as follows:
- Samoa Joe (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura; NXT Championship
- Asuka (c) vs. Bayley; NXT Women’s Championship
- The Revival (c) vs. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa; NXT Tag Team Championship
- Bobby Roode vs. Andrade Almas
- Austin Aries vs. No Way Jose
- Ember Moon vs. Billie Kay
We’ll come back to cover pre-show notes as the night goes on.
NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II, Live from the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
We got a recap of the previous Takeover event in Brooklyn, and they moved to shots of the various talent involved talking about what they were doing a year ago. They closed it by saying how this is NXT: Brooklyn and they are ready.
Bill Says: A well produced package. WWE does it well in that regard.
The commentary team checked in, and it’s Tom Phillips and Corey Graves. They stood by their announce table in Raw style. Phillips hyped that the event was sold out.
Match #1 – Austin Aries vs. No Way Jose;
Winner: Austin Aries
The Summary: The crowd popped big for Jose, who came out with a train of dancers. Austin Aries got a big chant as the bell rang. Aries offered a handshake, which Jose accepted, but then slapped Aries. Phillips said that Jose wasn’t willing to play the games Aries wanted to play. Jose was aggressive early, but Aries caught him and got a two count from a second rope elbow.
Jose mounted a comeback, running Aries into the buckles while Aries was on the apron. The fans got distracted by Ric Flair at ringside in the crowd. Aries locked in the Last Chancery for a pop from his fans. Some booed when Jose broke the hold in the ropes. Jose hit a kick for two. Jose tried for his finish but Aries blocked it and sent him to the floor. Aries hit a suicide dive.
Back inside, Aries threw a running corner drop kick and set up for a brain buster but Jose countered to a Falcon arrow of his own for two. Graves played up Jose’s power advantage. Aries threw a rolling elbow, then ate a clothesline. Aries tried a crucifix bomb, then followed with a drop kick to the corner. Aries went top rope but Jose met him there. Aries threw a sunset flip bomb then locked in Last Chancery for the win.
Aries went back to the Last Chancery after the bell, but Hideo Itami’s music hit. Aries broke the hold and sold disbelief. Itami came to the ring, and Aries offered a handshake, but sucker punched Itami to momentarily get the better of him but Itami fought back. He hit a kick then hit the GTS (yes, CM Punk’s old move) to a big crowd pop. Itami stood tall and played to the crowd afterward.
Bill Says: Coming in late as I had a truck project that went longer than expected. A good win for Aries, and Jose sold everything very well. The post match angle was well done also, and the GTS got a huge reaction. I’m sure people thought Itami stole Punk’s move, but actually Itami invented that. Graves filled that hole in nicely.
They showed Ric Flair in the crowd with his girlfriend. They then showed Shinsuke Nakamura stretching out backstage with Funaki and Kota Ibushi watching on.
Match #2 – Billie Kay vs. Ember Moon;
Winner: Ember Moon
The Summary: They talked about how Billie talked trash on Ember Moon on the pre-show. The commentary team hyped WWE 24: Women’s Revolution after the event as Kay made her way to the ring. Moon (the former Athena) got a good reaction.
Kay hit Eat D’Feet at one point early on for a near fall. Moon rallied with a kick, then a neckbreaker and a suplex. She howled and did a handstand into a corner clothesline. Moon followed up by hitting a twisting neckbreaker from the top for the victory.
Bill Says: This was the expected result, but not as lopsided as I thought it could be. Kay got in a lot of offense before she gave up the loss. The finish was memorable and something the fans will remember. Graves didn’t even know how to call it.
The announcers set up Bobby Roode arriving earlier. He cut a heel promo on Brooklyn, calling himself more of a Manhattan kind of guy.
Match #3 – Bobby Roode vs. Andrade Almas;
Winner: Bobby Roode
The Summary: Bobby Roode’s entrance was a thing of glory. Dare I say, Glorious. It was pretty impressive, with the entire crowd singing along with the music. He was lowered to the stage slowly on a raised platform. He pointed to a screen that showed his name, then showed off his Glorious robe. Almas did not get received well. The fans chanted “this is glorious” to start the match.
Roode tried tossing Almas from the ring early but Almas caught himself. Almas came back with a huracanrana that sent Roode outside, then he followed with a kick. Almas toyed with Roode a bit, flipping over the rope and standing on the apron. Roode looked momentarily confused. Roode cut Almas off on the ropes and put the boots to him.
Roode held Almas for a suplex and got two to “that was glorious” chants. Almas hit a springboard dive on Roode on the floor. Almas played to the fans but got little response. Roode hit a clothesline for two.
The fans chanted for Roode. He set up for a German suplex off the ropes but Almas landed on his feet and hit a German of his own, bridging it for two. Andrade hit a springboard moonsault, but Roode got his knees up.
The two men traded shots, with Roode getting the cheers. Almas threw a series of strikes then a sloppy looking kick. He cued up the running knees a second time and tried for his Hammerlock DDT, but Roode cut him off. Roode took a big boot off the ropes, but Roode came back with a big spinebuster.
Roode poses and says “glorious”, then hits the Glorious Bomb to get the pinfall win. Roode posed and played to the fans afterward.
Bill Says: Boy, I feel like Almas needs a reboot. Do you put him back behind the mask? I don’t know, but he was in a tough spot here and he’s not connecting. But as for Roode, a spectacular debut that the crowd in Brooklyn received very well. Roode was really the fan favorite here and he felt fresh and new here. That’s not a slap at TNA – it’s just he did everything he could there and needed the change of scenery. Not to mention WWE presented him like a star.
There was a video package that showed rioting and ended with a picture that said “SANITY.” Someone’s debuting? Eric Young, perhaps?
They cut backstage to Triple H with Paul T and the guys from Orange County Choppers. They unveiled the Cruiserweight Classic trophy for the winner of the tournament. I’m sure it’s nice, but it was poorly lit. They showed some of the CWC competitors at ringside watching the event.
They showed Johnny Gargano getting ready backstage when Tommaso Ciampa walked in. He threw Gargano a t-shirt and said “DIY.” They fed it to a video package to hype up the tag team championship match.
Match #4 – The Revival (c) vs. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa; NXT Tag Team Championship;
Winner: The Revival to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship
The Summary: Gargano and Ciampa got a great reaction when they got their entrance. A mixed reaction for the champs as they came out. In-ring introductions for this championship match took place. Graves hyped how Gargano and Ciampa would be out of their element in front of this sized crowd.
Ciampa and Dawson got chippy right off the go. Loud chants of “Johnny Wrestling” for Gargano when he checked into the match. As the action set in early, so did the fans.
At one point, Dawson and Dash flee to safety outside the ring. Gargano hits a suicide dive, then Ciampa hit Dawson with a flying knee off the apron. Gargano and Ciampa played to the crowd to a good reaction. After an exchange of getting in and out of the ring, Dash and Dawson ganged up on Ciampa. He initially landed forearm shots, but Revival got the better of him. Ciampa continued to sell for the heels.
Dash fell into the ring, and when the official checked on him Ciampa tagged. Official didn’t see it, so he holds Gargano off. That let Revival hit a double-team backbreaker/elbow combination for a good near fall.
Gargano got a hot tag and he went on a run. After eating a punch from Dawson he hit a neckbreaker. Moments later he hit a spear through the ropes on Dawson for a great near fall. Dawson teased a punch but Gargano ducked and Dawson followed with a DDT. Dash covered for two.
Gargano rolled up Dawson for two, then Ciampa locked Dawson in an armbar. Gargano held Dash up as Dawson teased tapping, but Dash broke free and broke the hold. Good near fall followed for the challengers as the fans chanted NXT. Dawson and Ciampa traded shots with the ‘yay’ ‘boo’ thing going on. Ciampa avoided Shatter Machine and rolled Dawson up for a good near fall.
Ciampa and Gargano team up with a running knee and low kick. Garagano covers, but Dawson puts Dash’s foot on the bottom rope for a great near fall sequence. Gargano and Ciampa thought they won, but the official warded off the count, so the match continued.
A few moments later, Dawson ran Ciampa into the ring post outside, leaving Gargano on his own. Dash clipped Gargano and tagged to Dawson, holding Gargano’s leg for a stomp from the second rope. Dawson locked on a reverse figure four and Gargano eventually tapped. Afterward, Gargano and Ciampa stood in the ring to a good ovation from the Brooklyn crowd before leaving the ring.
Bill Says: This was fantastic. The Revival pulled out all the heel tactics to remain the champions. Lots of great near falls for both teams, and Gargano and Ciampa fill a void that the recently promoted American Alpha left as babyfaces. There’s a lot of story left to tell with Gargano and Ciampa as a team and with the Revival, so I’m glad no one turned tonight.
They ran an ad for the WWE 24: Women’s Revolution then showed Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte in the crowd. They thanked Neckdeep for the theme song of the show. They moved on to hype Asuka vs. Bayley, which is up next.
Match #5 – Asuka (c) vs. Bayley; NXT Women’s Championship
Winner: Asuka to retain the NXT Women’s Championship
The Summary: Lots of theatrics for Asuka’s entrance as she pulled a white veil along with her to the ring. In-ring introductions for both competitors, and Bayley got a great reaction. They teased an early test of strength then Bayley took the fight to Asuka. Asuka threw a knee that sent Bayley to ringside as the commentary team asked if Bayley lost teeth on that move.
Bayley rushed the ring, but Asuka was ready for the challenge. She tied Bayley up in the ropes then continued to throw shots. Bayley tried to throw a shoulder block by the apron but Asuka sidestepped it. Moments later she hit a drive-by style kick, covering for two. Graves said we might be looking at a rout tonight.
Graves called it a systematic destruction. Bayley dodged a charge and followed with a cross body block for two. Bayley goes top rope and tried a cross body but Asuka ducked under. She followed with a shining wizard for two.
Asuka ran the ropes but ate a knee from Bayley. Asuka returned the favor and locked in a submission. Bayley countered to a neat pinfall for two. Asuka locked in an ankle lock that Bayley rolled out of, but Asuka rolled it back in. Bayley kicked herself free.
Bayley caught a backslide to get a two count then threw strikes. Asuka returned them along with a spinning back fist. Bayley blocked a kick and tried to power up but fell under her weight. The announcers said it was because of her ankle. Bayley regrouped for a slam, but Asuka came back with the Asuka lock. Bayley powered out, throwing punches and elbows. She hit the Bayley to Belly for two.
Asuka locked in the Asuka Lock again, but Bayley rolled it over into a pinning situation for two. Asuka landed a big kick. Bayley slapped back, then Asuka threw two big kicks for the win.
Graves said he still doesn’t know if anyone can beat Asuka. Bayley sold on the mat while Asuka played to the fans. Asuka circled back to Bayley, and the two shared a hug before Asuka went back to playing to the fans and exiting. Bayley continued to sell in the ring, then the fans cheered for her and chanted “thank you Bayley” after Asuka left. She went to ringside and hugged Becky Lynch and Sasha, as well as Charlotte and a young girl who looked like her superfan Izzy.
Bill Says: I guess that was it for Bayley in NXT. I loved the hard hitting closing minutes of this. It was a great women’s match in a different sense than last year and the physicality made it that way. The post match moment was great, and Bayley deserved that moment if indeed this is it for her with NXT. Graves did a great job with calling this match, staying heel but yet giving credit to Bayley. All around well done.
They showed Samoa Joe walking to the ring backstage, shoving a security guard. They ran a video package to hype up the main event. In the arena, a violinist appeared on the stage and played to a nice ovation from the live crowd. The lights turned red and he played along with Shinsuke’s entrance music. Nakamura got a huge ovation and the crowd sang along with his music.
Bill Says: That was special. On level with Bobby Roode’s “Glorious” entrance. It felt like a big deal.
Match #6 – Samoa Joe (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura; NXT Championship
The Summary: Joe just did a standard entrance as he was all business. Nakamura was waiting, and Joe shoved him. Nakamura teased throwing a kick, but held it back. We got the in-ring introductions. The fans continued to sing Nakamura’s entrance theme as the match got underway.
Nakamura controlled the early offense. Joe rolled out and pulled Nakamura out there with him and landed some chops. Nakamura slammed Joe face first to the apron and threw some kicks. He ate a big chop from Joe in return. Joe threw Nakamura back in.
Nakamura fought back, but Joe threw him to the corner and followed with an enzugiri. Nakamura got Joe down on the apron, and tried following with a knee drop. Joe rolled away and Nakamura fell to ringside selling a knee injury. Joe followed by hitting a suicide dive.
A bit later, Nakamura landed a knee to the midsection, but Joe rolled through and took out Shinsuke’s knee. He hit a powerbomb, then transitioned to a Boston crab then into a crossface. Nice transition moves. Nakamura hit an enzugiri and both men sold. Shinsuke hit a corner clothesline then perched him up for a knee shot. He teased the inverted exploder moments later but Joe countered and hit an atomic drop.
Shinsuke hit some knees to the crown then set up a charge, but Joe hit him with the STJoe that looked a little sloppy. Joe teased the Muscle Buster but Shinsuke struck his way out then hit a thrust kick from the second rope. Both men sold and the crowd applauded the action.
A strike exchange ensued between the two. Joe turned Shinsuke inside out with a lariat. Joe set up a move but Shinsuke rolled it over for a cross arm breaker, but Joe kept his hands locked to alleviate the pressure. Nakamura rolled it over looking for the triangle but couldn’t quite get it. Joe rolled it over into the Cloverleaf but Shinsuke broke it in the ropes. Good exchange that the fans applauded.
Joe goes for the Kokina Clutch but Shinsuke countered. On a charge out of the corner Shinsuke took a big knee and repeated shots. Joe goes back to the Kokina Clutch again, but Shinsuke worked into the ropes to break it. Joe put Nakamura up top and looked for the Muscle Buster again but the two ended up exchanging strikes again.
Nakamura busts out a German suplex to a reaction. Fans started getting to their feet as Nakamura teased the Boma-Ye. Joe countered with a slam that netted a good near fall. Joe looked frustrated. Joe went back to the Muscle Buster one more time and hit it for a good near fall.
Shinsuke hit the Kinishasa (Boma-Ye). Joe kicked out in a good near fall sequence. Nakamura followed with a stomp to the back of the head and came up with the Kinishasa for the second time. Three count. Nakamura is the new champion to a huge reaction.
Joe rolled out and sold and the officials threw up the “X.” Trainers came out to tend to Joe as Nakamura played to the fans in the ring. They sang along with his song as he played to them and posed in the ring. The show ended with Tom Phillips hyping that the “new generation” would write a new chapter in Brooklyn. He gave some sell for the WWE 24: Women’s Revolution special as the show faded out.
Bill Says: Wow, what a fantastic match between these two men. They started off slow and built the match well into some great late drama with near falls and so forth. A lot of physical action as well – I’m sure they’re both going to be feeling it. One has to ask if Joe is main roster bound by losing the title. We’ll have to wait and see. I’m not sure how I feel about Shinsuke staying with the NXT brand, because I feel there’s money to be made with him on the main roster, but, maybe if Joe is headed up that’s a good thing.
A fantastic night of wrestling, yet again. This show was solid start to finish, and we got a lot of great wrestling out of everyone. Seeing where NXT goes from here will be interesting, as the only story we got a preview of was Hideo Itami and Austin Aries, which should be a lot of fun.
Drew Koscelek has your SummerSlam coverage tomorrow night, so be sure to join him for that. We’ll be talking all things wrestling this weekend in the coming week ahead as all of these shows have their fallout ahead. Thanks for reading along tonight.