The highly anticipated NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn event is now in the books, and what a fantastic night of wrestling there was on display.
The biggest NXT event to date was taking place at the Barclays Center in front of over 15,000 fans with plenty more watching around the world on the WWE Network.
We witnessed a legend in action, three championship matches, the tease of a new arrival as well as a fantastic debut.
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The stars were also in attendance to witness a historic night. From Grammy Award winning producer Rick Rubin, to Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman. As well as Stephanie McMahon, Team B.A.D, Sgt. Slaughter and The Nature Boy; Ric Flair.
Here’s what went down at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn.
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JUSHIN ‘THUNDER’ LIGER DEF. TYLER BREEZE
It was only fitting that Triple H kicked off the night by hyping up the event as well as highlighting how the NXT fans have made the company unstoppable.
Tyler Breeze and Jushin Liger battled it out in the opening bout of the evening. It was a good back and forth match and Liger looked right at home in the ring against a great opponent in Breeze.
Breeze looked to have the match won on a number of occasions, especially after hitting a great Supermodel Kick for a two count. Breeze spent too long arguing with the referee and was hit with a palm strike, leading into two dives before Liger hit the Liger Bomb for the victory.
Verdict: It was a solid match to open the show, possibly the perfect choice. Breeze was treated to another fantastic entrance and looked calm being in the ring with a legend.
Liger himself look right at home, moving around like a guy half his age as he pulled out with some highly impressive manoeuvres.
You can’t really argue the decision either. Breeze was the favourite heading into the event so it was a bit of a surprise but certainly well-deserved as it set the tone for the remainder of the night.
THE VAUDEVILLIANS DEF. BLAKE & MURPHY – NEW NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS
The first title match of the evening saw the challengers bring out somebody to even the numbers. The fans wanted Blue Pants, and they got Blue Pants as she was in the corner of the challengers to ensure Alex Bliss didn’t interfere in the match.
As expected, a solid tag team match between two of the finest teams on NXT. It was another back and forth encounter and not one the fans could really call down the middle.
Blake & Murphy were the favourites heading into the event and at times they looked to have the match won as they countered everything Simon Gotch and Aiden English threw their way.
Fans thought it was all over when Murphy rolled up Gotch but he just about managed to kick out before the three count. In ran English who hit an impressive Whirling Dervish on Murphy for the victory.
Verdict: Just like that, we have new NXT Tag Team Champions, and deservedly so. Fans might argue that it should have been Enzo Amore and Big Cass but the Vaudevillians deserve it just as much.
They’ve had to endure some pretty bad booking, and they need the titles more than Big Cass and Enzo ever will.
I think it’s the right decision. With new teams coming through as challengers it will be interesting to see how English and Gotch defend the gold rather than chase the gold. A massive moment for them.
APOLLO CREWS DEF. TYE DILLINGER
The highly anticipated debut of Apollo Crews lived up to expectation. A tough opponent in the form of the Perfect 10, Tye Dillinger was standing in his way.
Both men displayed their athleticism to the fans’ enjoyment. Plenty of cartwheels, dropkicks and springboard manoeuvres.
In the end it was Crews who hit the gorilla press drop into a standing moonsault for the impressive victory.
Verdict: It was a short match, but that is what we expected and I believe it was the right decision. Now the fans want to see more of Crews who displayed what he’s capable of.
The scary thing is that he’s just getting started and he certainly lived up to the hype in the five minutes of in-ring action.
I thought Dillinger also deserves some credit, the gimmick is working for him and he got in a lot of offence also, a good night for both men but it belonged to Crews who certainly has a bright future ahead of him.
SAMOA JOE DEF. BARON CORBIN
A longer match for Baron Corbin, and surprisingly he looked a lot better but that also comes down to his opponent, Samoa Joe.
It wasn’t a technical masterclass but that’s not what we expected. It was a hard-hitting, explosive match with both men showcasing their strength. It looked as if Corbin had the match won when he almost hit the End of Days, only to turn it into a choke spinebuster.
Joe turned the cover into the Koquina Clutch, Corbin didn’t submit but he passed out as the referee called for the bell.
Verdict: It was definitely a small step up from Corbin, who still needs to work. Nevertheless we saw a different side to Corbin as he lost to Samoa Joe.
I’m not sure how that fares for his potential title chances, so I think the two will definitely continue their feud for a little longer so this time round, the right man won.
BAYLEY DEF. SASHA BANKS – NEW NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPION
A fantastic divas match which stole the show. It was one of the more difficult matches to call down the middle because taping results suggested Banks would retain but it also felt like this was Bayley’s time to win.
The match had everything you expect from an NXT diva’s match. Back and forth action, plenty of close calls and actual wrestling, which is what fans want. It’s definitely a match that needs to be watched on the WWE Network, with Bayley and Banks showing why this match probably should have been the main event.
At one stage it looked set that Banks would retain. She locked in the Bank Statement, even dragging Bayley back into the centre of the ring before Bayley locked in one of her own.
She pulled off a great reverse hurricarana before hitting the Bayley to Belly for the victory and her first NXT Women’s Championship.
Verdict: The match of the night, which isn’t a surprise because they always step it up.
They both told a great story inside of that ring, and it was also great to see Charlotte and Becky Lynch also getting involved in the celebrations.
The four of them have come a long way and it was the correct decision to put the title on her. She’s been one of the most consistent and impressive divas for a while, and not it’s time for her to carry the NXT women’s division to newer heights.
FINN BALOR DEF. KEVIN OWENS – STILL NXT CHAMPION
The only title that didn’t change hands on the night, despite what spoilers were suggesting.
We were treated to the full demon Balor and the fans were loving every second of it whilst Owens continued to play his heel role to perfection. The ladder match was exactly what we expected. Owens using it more than Balor because of the experience he has with it and he wasn’t afraid to put his body on the line either, numerous times.
Balor hit a huge Coup de Grace from the ladder on to Owens before climbing back up to grab the NXT Championship.
Verdict: It was a great main event. Exactly what we expected from them and the finish itself was great.
I do feel Banks and Bayley stole the show with their incredible match but Balor and Owens put on an epic performance in front of a great crowd.
I don’t think the result came as a surprise, regardless of what the spoilers were suggesting. Balor deserves a run as champion and now he has a huge defence under his belt.
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