This Saturday the long wait will be over when the superstars and divas of NXT hit the Barclays Center for the third NXT special event of the year.
NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn is a sold out event with around 13,000 fans attending the massive occasion, one night before the SummerSlam pay-per-view in the same venue.
It’s set to be a huge weekend for wrestling. 20 matches are taking place – 16 of which will be shown live on the WWE Network.
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TakeOver will air six of the 10 matches on the WWE Network, whilst the others will be taped beforehand for a future episode of NXT. That adds even more pressure to the superstars and divas that will make it to the WWE Network, and a number of them need to impress.
It’s not necessarily a case of make or break for them. Good performances will be noted but bad performances will be picked up as well and the NXT fans will make sure the stars hear it for weeks to come. Here are who I believe need to impress at TakeOver: Brooklyn.
This one shouldn’t be too difficult. Banks is perhaps the most impressive diva on the roster right now, on NXT and the main roster. She’s consistently putting in great performances on a weekly basis and she always steps it up at TakeOver events.
This time she’s facing Bayley, a familiar opponent. The two have battled in the past and the matches have been great. That won’t be a problem either, we can expect the match to be a potential match of the night contender.
The problem here is that Sasha is competing the following night at SummerSlam, so she’s going to need to put in good performances back-to-back and nobody wants one performance to affect another.
She needs to make sure she can look untouchable at TakeOver which is usually the case, so fans believe she is a legitimate threat the following night.
If she can look unbeatable and can put on a great showing as a champion, she’ll have no problem the following night when all eyes will be on her in that three team divas match.
The Vaudevillians will be challenging Blake and Murphy for the NXT Tag Team Championships and many believe this is the night they will finally drop the gold.
Questions were understandably raised when Enzo Amore and Big Cass weren’t revealed as the number one contenders considering how close they are to home, so that already adds pressure on to their shoulders.
Simon Gotch and Aiden English are fantastic, and they’re more than ready to hold the titles. There’s no questioning that. It could be argued that they should have already had a championship reign by now.
Now they need to go out there on Saturday and perform like champions. They need to continue to entertain but they also need to compete in the ring as guys who are capable of spearheading the tag team division on NXT.
What a night it will be for Breeze. He’s consistent, whether it’s an episode of NXT midweek or a TakeOver special, Prince Pretty always steps it up and his standards continue to raise.
He may not be on the NXT Championship radar just yet, but at TakeOver he’s set to take on a whole new challenge, in the form of wrestling legend Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger. This will be Liger’s first – and possibly only – match in the WWE after a decorated career in the industry.
He may be 50-years-old, but it’s Breeze who has the pressure on his shoulders. Liger will definitely perform and the fans will be behind him no matter what. Breeze has the honour of saying he was the only opponent Liger faced in the WWE.
When we look back on this in years, we still need Breeze to be relevant, which he will be hopefully. He needs to ensure that happens by putting on one of his greatest performances ever against Liger.
If that means defeating the legend, then so be it.
Apollo Crews is making his highly anticipated debut at TakeOver and he’s competing in a match against Tye Dillinger. Dillinger is no pushover. In fact he’s probably the most underrated superstar on NXT, but because this is Crews’ debut he will be the victor in what should hopefully be a fun match.
That’s not why he needs to impress though. Crews is one of the most athletic guys for a big man and his move-set is what sets him apart from the rest and it’s what makes him a star attraction.
NXT fans who have never seen him in action won’t know what’s hit them on Saturday. Crews simply needs to show off what he’s capable of, if he can do that then he will have no problems in the future.
Baron Corbin is probably the superstar who needs to impress the most. This is becoming a worrying trend for him as his once loyal fan base is turning against him, and that’s putting it lightly.
He has the perfect look. He looks imposing and not somebody you want standing opposite of you inside the ring. It’s his in-ring ability and his lack of microphone skills which drag him down. It’s as simple as that. He hasn’t had a lengthy match, probably ever on NXT and his squash victories have gone far past stale.
Now he has a top quality opponent in Samoa Joe, one of the best around. Corbin simply needs to use Joe’s skill to make himself look good so he can change his fortunes around. If he can look good in a long match, then he’ll be a winner even if he does end up losing the match.
This is one of the tougher matches to call though. Samoa Joe would want to be in NXT title contention whilst Corbin needs to look strong and move up too. Whatever happens, the pressure is on Corbin to impress but it definitely won’t be easy in front of 13,000 fans.