We kick off SummerSlam weekend in Brooklyn, NY with another NXT Takeover event. Tonight, NXT takes over the Barclays Center in advance of WWE’s biggest party of the summer to bring us Takeover: Brooklyn III. Titles are on the line tonight as Bobby Roode, Asuka, and the Authors of Pain stave off challenges from Drew McIntryre, Ember Moon, and Sanity respectively. The full card is as follows:
- Bobby Roode (c) vs. Drew McIntryre; NXT Championship
- Asuka (c) vs. Ember Moon; NXT Women’s Championship
- The Authors of Pain (c, w/Paul Ellering) vs. Sanity (Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain, w/Eric Young and Nikki Cross); NXT Tag Team Championship
- Aleister Black vs. Hideo Itami
- Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade Cien Almas (w/Zelina Vega)
Charly Caruso, Corey Graves, and Sam Roberts were the panelists. They recapped the feuds leading into the event. I tuned in at the point where Big E joined the panel to assist in discussing the tag team championship match between Sanity and Authors of Pain.
Various former NXT stars appeared during the pre-show. Renee Young interviewed Shinsuke Nakamura, who had comments regarding Bobby Roode vs. Drew McIntyre. Neville joined the panel and discussed his NXT history and Aleister Black vs. Hideo Itami as well as Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade Almas.
Carmella and Sasha Banks joined the panel, as did Lita, to discuss the women’s championship match and their history in NXT. Carmella picked Ember to win. Charly noted that the Mae Young Classic will begin airing on August 28. The ladies discussed the tournament and noted that there is a bracketology event airing after SummerSlam. Renee Young then interviewed Becky Lynch and Bayley backstage.
The panel hyped WWE Network as well as SummerSlam, highlighting main matches. They then ran down the NXT card one more time, recapping the main event of Bobby Roode vs. Drew McIntyre with a video package. The panel returned to Sam, Corey, Charly, and Baron Corbin. Corbin made fun of her immediately for referencing the failed cash-in of his Money in the Bank briefcase. They quickly made predictions after some discussion of Corbin’s history in NXT and of the match.
They ran a video package hyping the rise of NXT and focusing on the various stars that have moved on to the main roster. They moved to the current stars and feuds in the package to close the pre-show.
NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III, Live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY
They opened the show with a video package and the band Code Orange to play a song. The video was shots of the talent in the matches tonight, both posed shots and clips of various segments. Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson, and Nigel McGuinness were the commentary team.
Match #1 – Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/Zelina Vega);
Winner: Andrade “Cien” Almas
The Reax: Mauro made reference to the split of #DIY. Fuck you, Tommaso Ciampa. Vega is the former Thea Trinidad. While Almas finished his entrance the commentary team ran down the card. Watson hyped that this match was about two men who were looking to refocus their careers. The crowd chanted “Johnny Wrestling” loudly to start.
The two worked some early chain wrestling, with Gargano flipping over into a pinning predicament. After some rope running, Gargano hit a huracanrana then an arm drag into a crucifix pin. Gargano locked in a front facelock and had the crowd fully behind him. Almas started to take over the offense, dropping Gargano with a backbreaker/clothesline combination with Gargano tied up in the ropes.
Gargano sent Almas into the ropes, but Almas caught him in a triangle in the ropes, then started to focus on the arm. Gargano escaped the arm bar then sent Almas to the buckle with a drop toe hold. Moments later the two connected with clotheslines. The two sold momentarily then exchanged strikes mid-ring.
Gargano got the better of it, taking Almas down and throwing a low kick. Gargano hit a slingshot spear through the ropes for a good two count. Gargano tried to load a suplex but Almas floated over. Gargano threw him into the ropes then hit a kick and followed with a suicide dive. Gargano followed with a springboard DDT for a good near fall.
The two exchanged counters, then Gargano tried for the slingshot spear again. Almas caught him and hit his breaker/clothesline combination then followed with a tornado inverted DDT for a good near fall. Almas perched him on the buckle and threw a hard chop. Almas set up a superplex, but Gargano fought him off. Almas escaped a sunset flip attempt.
Almas threw Gargano to the corner and tried double knees but missed. Gargano locked in the Garga-No Escape and Almas struggled to escape. He countered with a buckle bomb then hit his running double knees in the corner. Great near fall and the crowd popped hard for it. Almas threw some knee shots on Gargano.
Gargano threw two superkicks and threw Almas into the buckle face first. He set up for his next move but Vega threw a shirt in at Gargano. The distraction let Almas hit his hammerlock DDT for the win. Almas and Vega celebrated as the commentary team recapped it. Gargano sold in the ring. The camera panned back to show Kurt Angle and Daniel Bryan watching from a skybox.
A really enjoyable opening match. I’ve seen Almas before and wasn’t impressed initially but he continues to grow and get better with every match. Gargano is a great opponent to work with as well because he is so talented, and the crowd was hot for all of the near falls.
They showed Drew McIntryre backstage getting ready for his title match. They hyped the NXT Tag Team Championship match coming up, sending it to a video package to hype the match.
They hyped NXT Takeover trending worldwide #1, then welcomed Corey Graves as the guest commentator for the next match.
Match #2 – Authors of Pain (c, w/Paul Ellering) vs. SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain w/Nikki Cross and Eric Young); NXT Tag Team Championship;
Winner: SAnitY to win the NXT Tag Team Championship
The Reax: Sanity came to the ring first, then the champions. This match doesn’t even get officially underway when things go nuts. AOP and Sanity brawl, with AOP clearing the ring. Sanity repaid the favor by dragging AOP out. Eric Young got a table out but it never came into play. Finally things settle down and the bell rings.
AOP took the offense to Wolfe in the early going, working quick tags. Wolfe avoided a corner charge, then Eric Young checked himself into the match to replace Dain. Young and Rezar fought into the crowd, then came back to ringside. Back in the ring, AOP teamed up for a backbreaker into a face first suplex on Young for two. AOP continued to control the offense. Rezar locked in a triangle, but Young escaped. Rezar got him back and went back to the hold.
Young did the Flair flip on an Irish Whip, then tried to slide in. Rezar caught him and picked him up by the throat before bombing him to the mat. EY avoided an avalanche then tagged Wolfe in. He went off with a series of big boots, hitting an exploder suplex on Rezar and a German on Akim. Impressive strength spots. He hit a flying clothesline for two.
AOP teamed up for a double neckbreaker for two. They set for a top rope bomb but Wolfe countered with a Frankensteiner. Akim got sent to ringside and Wolfe tagged in to hit a neckbreaker. He went top rope but got crotched. Nikki Cross got involved by holding Young’s legs to prevent the tower of doom spot aside from Rezar powerboming his own man unaware. EY was able to hit his elbow drop for a really close near fall. Young hit a suicide dive, then Wolfe hit a top rope dive too. Nikki got in the ring and teased getting involved.
Ellering got in the ring and argued with Nikki, then as the official separated them she climbed the buckle. Akim caught her, but Wolfe speared her and Akim through the table at ringside. Back in the ring, Young and Wolfe teamed up to hit Rezar with their finish to get the victory. They recapped the finish.
A solid tag match between two big-man teams that I wasn’t sure was going to play out as good as it did. Surprised by the title change, and they did it in a heelish way by using all of their team members to get the win. So AOP gets protected by that in the loss. The crowd is into this action and it definitely helps the feel of the show.
During the celebration, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly hit the ring to attack Sanity. I’ve got fucking goosebumps – is this a RED DRAGON REUNION?! They hit Young with Chasing the Dragon, took out AOP, and hit Young with another move then exited back through the crowd. Mauro referenced their runs in NJPW and ROH.
Holy shit. I’m all about this, because Red Dragon was an outstanding team in ROH. I love it, and it feeds NXT a new team to put in the mix.
They showed Neville, Shinsuke and Kalisto sitting in the crowd and hyped their matches on the SummerSlam card. They showed Bobby Roode getting ready backstage then hyped the feud between Aleister Black and Hideo Itami. Jim Ross was introduced to call the next match. The fans chanted for him.
Match #3 – Hideo Itami vs. Aleister Black;
Winner: Aleister Black
The Reax: JR and Mauro hyped this match as a battle of two great strikers. Black got played out live by the band Code Orange, which was pretty badass. Dude just has “star” written all over him, he has such a presence and look to him. Black and Itami got in each other’s faces in the ring while the band finished the song. The two went right for strikes and kicks then faced off. Black sent Itami to ringside then sat down to applause.
Black started to get the advantage, throwing a big knee for an early count. Black continued the assault with kicks then threw him across the ring. Itami lifted him over the ropes, then Black tried to shoulder block him through the ropes but Itami caught him with a kick. He hit another knee lift to take control of the match.
Itami continued to press the offense, hitting a kick that Mauro referred to as Spinal Tap. Itami stayed focused on the upper part of the body, snapping Black down then non-chalantly kicking Black then assuming his seated pose. Black started to fire up but Itami hit a DDT. Itami went back to a headlock to ground Black.
Black escaped, then started to fire up with some kicks and knee strikes. He hit a springboard kick for a good near fall. Black threw Itami to the corner but got kicked on approach. Itami went top rope and hit a springboard clothesline for two. Itami followed with a fisherman’s suplex for two.
Black took Itami down with a kick then went top rope. Itami went up with him, but Black elbowed him down. Itami went back with a kick then set up a move off the ropes, hitting an avalanche Falcon arrow. He got a two count off it.
Black and Itami went on a striking exchange that the crowd got into. Black hit a big running knee but Itami came back with a Falcon Arrow for two. Itami hit a corner running drop kick then called for the Go to Sleep. Black elbowed out but Itami kneed him in the gut. Itami yelled “show me respect!” Itami charged, but Black ducked and hit Black Mass to get the win.
A physical, hard hitting striking match. Black just continues to impress me. He has a great look, an “it” factor and presence, and he’s very athletic. He’s got a bright future. Itami looked good here even in defeat and I think the heel turn for him has helped him. He’s going to be just fine, overall.
They showed Bayley, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks at ringside. They showed Ember Moon and Asuka getting ready backstage for their title match. They fed it to a video package to hype the match.
Match #4 – Asuka (c) vs. Ember Moon; NXT Women’s Championship;
Winner: Asuka to retain the NXT Women’s Championship
The Reax: Ember made her entrance, then Asuka. She had a special headdress on, and the commentary hyped her title run, noting that she has been champion 504 days and was entering her second Takeover event undefeated. Mike Rome handled the introductions. Asuka mouthed the words to her introduction along with Rome.
Moon flew out of the gate with a couple of big kicks, then caught Asuka’s leg on a kick attempt and followed with a suplex. Asuka rolled out to get a break but Moon gave chase. Asuka hit a kick, but Moon came back with a cannonball to the floor in a big spot. They went back into the ring, but Asuka rolled out. Moon gave chase, but Asuka sent her to the steps.
The two continued to fight outside the ring, with Asuka suplexing Moon onto the steel ramp. Asuka fed her back into the ring and delivered kicks to the left arm. She continued to work the left arm in her offense. Asuka hit an STO then went back to the arm again, controlling the early offense. She stretched Moon out then threw kicks to the middle of her back.
The crowd got into dueling chants for both women as Asuka locked in an octapus hold. She followed with an armbar on the left arm. Moon scooped her up and hit a teardrop suplex then tried to throw strikes, hitting a step up enzugiri for two. Asuka came back with a German suplex into the buckle, then tried to go for her Asuka Lock. Moon elbowed out and went for her own submisssion. Asuka countered back and went for the submission again.
Moon stood up and suplexed out. Asuka went back for another submission but Moon rolled her over to a pinning attempt, scoring two. Moon hit a forearm shot. Asuka came back with a hip atttack, then tried for a second that Moon blocked. Moon hit a tornado suplex off the second rope for two. Nigel noted that Moon can’t get enough of the hook with her left arm hurting.
Moon and Asuka went with a strike exchange, with Moon getting the better of it with a running knee lift. Asuka came back with some strikes and a kick, then she held on to the left arm and booted her in the face. Moon came back with a slam for two.
Moon went top rope, but Asuka met her there. Asuka wanted a superplex but Moon escaped, kicked her leg out and tied her up in a tree of woe and hit a stomp that got a two count. Moon went back top rope and hit the Eclipse for a tremendous near fall. Moon was shocked and the crowd popped for the near fall.
Moon went back top rope, but Asuka put the official between her and Moon. Moon went over him anyhow and hit a cross body, but Asuka rolled it through and grabbed a handful of tights. The official stopped the count and told Asuka about it. Moon hit a superkick for a tremendous near fall again.
Asuka played possum and locked in an armbar when Moon approached for her next move. She transitioned to an Asuka Lock, but Moon rolled her over for a pinning predicament. Asuka rolled back out of it again and maintained the hold. Eventually, Moon tapped out. The commentary team recapped the big moments of the match. Asuka posed and celebrated as she left, then the fans applauded for Moon as she sold the loss in the ring and was clearly emotional.
A tremendous match between the two ladies. I kept finding myself pulling for Moon, but really she’s not the one to break the run. I’m not sure who is, right now, but Asuka was really pushed to the limits here tonight. The crowd was fully engaged in this match and it was very well done. I’m just not sure what’s next for Asuka. She has pretty much cleaned out the division of worthy challengers right now.
They showed Kevin Owens at ringside, as well as Samoa Joe. The commentary team hyped the night and talked about the main event, feeding it to a video package to recap their feud.
The NYPD Emerald Society Pipes and Drums came to the stage and formed a line for Drew McIntyre’s entrance, playing along with it. They joined him on the walk to the ring. Good ovation for McIntyre. Piano keys played a song on the stage prior to Roode’s entrance.
Side note – I don’t get to see the weekly NXT shows as much as I’d like. Does it take this long for Roode to get to the ring on a weekly basis? And while I admit Roode’s work is good, the “Glorious” thing is getting old for me now.
Match #5 – Bobby Roode (c) vs. Drew McIntyre; NXT Championship;
Winner: Drew McIntryre to win the NXT Championship
The Reax: They noted the size difference between the two men as McIntyre drove Roode to the corner early. There were some 3MB chants among the crowd but they didn’t get much traction. Roode threw some chops but Drew shoulder blocked him down. Roode rolled out for a breather then returned to throw a couple chops. Drew sent him to the corner but missed on a follow up attempt. Roode thought about the Glorious DDT but Drew escaped. Roode posed and taunted that he was ‘this close.’
Drew started to pick up the offense, hitting a couple of big boots, a suplex, and sending Roode to ringside with a clothesline. Drew followed to the outside and kept up the assault, throwing Roode to the barrier and dropping him on the barrier.
The fight continued outside, with Roode trying to shove Drew to the post. Drew stopped him, then a few moments later hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on the apron. The fight moved back inside, with Roode hitting a swinging neckbreaker against the ropes. McIntryre fell back to ringside.
Roode kept up the assault at ringside, throwing elbows on Drew on the apron. Back inside, Roode kept up the assault, hitting a neckbreaker for two. He raked at the face and stomped on Drew repeatedly. Drew fired back with some punches and a chop, but Roode sent him to the opposite corner with an Irish whip. Roode went onto the buckle and hit a missile drop kick for two.
Roode locked in a headlock. Drew drove him off into the corner but Roode came back with a sleeper. Drew broke it by driving Roode back first to the corner. Drew hit a belly to belly throw off of Roode running the ropes. Moments later, Roode got dropped chin first into the buckle, then followed with a corner attack. Drew went top rope and hit a clothesline then kipped up. Drew set his next move but Roode cut him off with strikes and an atomic drop.
Roode hit a knee lift but Drew caught him with a fireman’s carry and dropped him with the Celtic Cross for two. Moments later, Roode draped Drew across the ropes then went to the buckle. Drew cut him off and set for a superplex but Roode fought him off. Drew went back up again but Roode crotched him then threw a punch to put him in a tree of woe.
Roode yelled “my NXT” and Drew sat up and threw Roode off the buckle. Roode laid motionless until Drew picked him up, flipping into a jackknife cover. Drew looked for the Future Shock, but Roode countered and hit a backstabber for a two count. Roode continued the assault in the corner with strikes. Roode looked for a neckbreaker but Drew countered to a backslide for two, then hit the Future Shock for a good near fall.
Drew picked up Roode in a fireman’s carry and went to the ropes. Roode countered out and hit a Liger bomb for a good two count. Both men sold, then the two exchanged strikes as they got to their feet. Roode hit a step up enzugiri, but Drew came back with the Claymore Kick for a good near fall. Roode got his feet on the ropes. Roode rolled to ringside.
Drew wanted to follow up, but the official kept him from going, which drew boos. Drew hit a big dive to the outside that drew holy shit chants. Both men sold. Drew threw Roode in then called for the Claymore kick again, but Roode countered with a spinebuster.
Roode tried for the Glorious DDT, but Drew escaped. Drew caught him and Roode spun his way through and hit the Glorious DDT for a good near fall. Roode seethed and looked for the Glorious DDT a second time and hit it. Roode looked for a third, but Drew shoved him off, hit a headbutt, and came back with the Claymore Kick to get the win. McIntryre posed with the championship as the commentary team recapped the finish.
They went back to the ring where Drew kissed the belt then played to the fans with the title belt. Fish and O’Reilly came to the ring, but then Adam Cole hit the ring as well. Holy shit, it’s an ROH invasion! The three attacked Drew, with Fish and O’Reilly holding Drew up for a superkick from Cole. The three posed over Drew as the show ended.
The match itself was solid, but not spectacular. Roode and McIntyre went out there and worked really hard and put on a good title match. Roode losing makes me wonder if it’s time for him to move up to the main roster – there are rumors and buzz about a shakeup coming for talent, and he might be a guy they want to move.
Newsworthy though is the appearance of Adam Cole. He has been quiet since leaving ROH, without a ton of talk around him about where he would end up. This is what makes me think Roode is on his way out – Cole made an immediate claim for the title, apparently. It’s a very interesting dynamic that could play out in a lot of ways.
Overall, a very good show that had two newsworthy title changes and a lot of good wrestling. VERY intrigued by the ROH guys that debuted on this show and where they plug in overall. I like Red Dragon to plug in to the tag division and make noise there, and it looks like Cole will be going right into some strong singles programs going forward too. And don’t forget, Roderick Strong is still hanging around too – so, he could be a factor too.
Drew Koscelek has your SummerSlam coverage tomorrow night, and don’t forget that we have a scorecard for you to download and play along with our game during the event. Check the site for that and be sure to join us for SummerSlam coverage starting during the pre show which airs at 5PM EST on WWE Network. Thanks for tuning in tonight.