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NXT TakeOver: ‘Brooklyn III’ Play-by-Play and Review

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You can scroll to the end for a TLDR recap of the show. The show kicks off with a live performance from Code Orange mixed in with video cuts of the wrestlers on the show tonight.

Match #1: Johnny Gargano v. Andrade Almas (w/ Zelina Vega)

There is lots of counter wrestling early on before Almas gets caught with a hurricanrana. Gargano tries to get a crucifix pin and winds up with a front face lock. Almas misses a chop and Gargano hits a few of his own. Almas takes control when Gargano gets caught in the ropes and eats a knee to the back and a slam. Almas gets thrown into the ropes, but decides not to showboat and hooks Gargano in an arm submission.

Almas eats a drop toe hold into the middle buckle and then both guys nail each other with a double clothesline. They reset by trading shots with Gargano coming out on top. Gargano hits the roll up roundhouse kick and the spear through the ropes, but only gets a 2 count. Almas gets tagged with a big kick that sends him to the floor and Gargano dives to the outside. Gargano slingshots back in with a DDT for another near fall.

Gargano gets caught on another spear attempt and gets driven face-first into the mat. Almas hits a tornado inverted DDT, but Gargano gets the shoulder up. Gargano blocks a superplex attempt and tries for a sunset flip powerbomb. Almas back flips to his feet, hits a back elbow, but runs right into a Gargano enzuigiri. Almas hip tosses Gargano into the corner, but Gargano responds with a tilt-a-whirl into the Gargano Escape. Almas picks up Gargano for a huge buckle bomb. Almas hits the knees in the corner and Gargano kicks out of an insanely near fall. What a sequence!

Gargano hits 2 kicks and a snake eyes into the middle buckle. Vega tosses a #DIY shirt at Gargano to distract him and Almas crushes him with the Hammerlock DDT for the win.

Winner: Andrade Almas via pinfall

Thoughts: This was a really good match. Almas had to win to keep his new thing going and it made sense as he cheated to win, in a way. The use of the DIY shirt also keeps Ciampa fresh on everyone’s mind. Really good opener and great job by both guys.

Ringside: Daniel Bryan and Kurt Angle are in a box seat watching the show. Roddy Strong is chatting with Angle while the Iconic Duo is annoying Daniel Bryan.

Match #2: NXT Tag Team Championship: Authors of Pain (c) (w/ Paul Ellering) v. SAnitY (Killian Dain, Alexander Wolfe) (w/ Eric Young & Nikki Cross)

Corey Graves is introduced as a special guest commentator. The AoP hit the ring to brawl during introductions. AoP clears the ring and the brawl continues at ringside. Eric Young pulls a table out from under the ring. We finally have a bell with Wolfe and Akam in the ring. Rezar tags in to deliver some kicks and clubbing blows. Akam tags back in and misses a charge into the corner. Eric Young decides he is taking Dain’s place and tags in. Akam clotheslines Young into the first row, though. Young and Akam are brawling into the crowd, but then Akam goes shoulder first into a gate.

Back in the ring, Akam back body drops Young and Rezar catches him (!) and nails a Dominator for a close call. AoP use quick tags to keep Eric Young in trouble. Young does a Flair flip in the corner and eats a double-handed choke slam. Rezar misses a charge in the corner and Young finally makes the hot tag to Wolfe. Wolfe knocks Akam off the apron and levels Rezar with a big boot. Wolfe hits Akam with an exploder suplex and then a release German on Rezar. Wolfe nails a top rope clothesline, but Akam breaks up the pin.

Wolfe gets a double team powerbomb/neckbreaker, but kicks out at 2. Wolfe counters a super powerbomb with a Frankensteiner. Wolfe gets the tag to Young, who hits a big neckbreaker on Rezar. He gets crotched on the top buckle, though. EY blocks a superplex by Rezar. Akam comes in for a Tower of Doom spot, but Cross holds EY’s feet so Akam just powerbombs Rezar. An EY top rope elbow later and Akam breaks up the pin. A series of dives later and everyone is down at ringside. Nikki Cross gets in the ring and so does Ellering. As the referee is distracted by Ellering, Cross jumps off the top and into the arms of Akam at ringside. Dain drives both Cross and Akam through a propped up table with a running cross body. Good lord. Rezar gets the double team neckbreaker in the ring and SAnitY wins!

Post-match, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly hit the ring and destroy SAnitY! They also take out Rezar. EY now gets totally destroyed. ReDRagon look at the titles and walk out. Wow.

Winners: SANitY via pinfall to WIN the NXT Tag Team Championship

Thoughts: This match had a hot start and then sputtered a little in the middle. The last 1/3 of the match was excellent, though. SAnitY were the clear crowd favorites and got a huge reaction for winning. There are no complaints from me on this. SAnitY gets the credibility back after losing to Roddy Strong and friends. Also, is Dain going to be annoyed that EY took his spot in the match? The bigger story is the O’Reilly/Fish appearance. Did anyone see that coming this soon?

Ringside: Nakamura, Kalisto, and Neville are in the crowd

Match #3: Hideo Itami v. Aleister Black

Jim Ross is a guest commentator for this match. Aleister Black gets played out by a live band, presumably the CFO$ (Nope, it was Code Orange). That was awesome .Right off the bat, they are trading kicks. Black fakes the springboard and then catches a kick. Black is just pummeling Itami early. Itami hangs Black on the top rope and hits a top rope guillotine knee drop to the back of the head. Black has a bloody nose. Itami repeatedly kicks Black in the spine and locks in a chin lock.

Itami sits down to taunt Black and then spikes Black with a DDT. Black fires back with kicks, a leg sweep, and a knee to the head. A springboard moonsault barely connects and basically knees Itami in the face. Black sets up for the Black Mass, but Itami counters. Itami hits a tornado neck snap and a top rope clothesline for a near fall. Itami hits a fisherman’s suplex and then some strikes that collapse Black in the corner. Black then rocks Itami with a roundhouse kick and he’s down. Itami catches Black on the top and hits a top rope Michinoku Driver!

Both guys reset and trade strikes. Black hits a huge knee and Itami goes right into a Falcon Arrow for a 2-count. Brutal sequence. Itami hits a basement dropkick and sets up Black for the GTS. Black counters, but gets a knee to the gut. Itami wastes too much time and ends up walking right into the Black Mass and he’s out cold. Black covers him for the win.

Winner: Aleister Black via pinfall

Thoughts: Another really fun match. It was exactly what I expected and more. This is the match of the night so far. There isn’t much else to say. What’s next for Hideo? We know Black has the title in his future.

Ringside: Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Becky Lynch are in the crowd

Match #4: NXT Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) v. Ember Moon

Asuka is on Day 504, by the way. Something like 200-0. The crowd split is the same as at Full Sail. Maybe closer to 75/25 pro-Asuka. Moon nails a kick to the face and a basement drop kick at the bell for a one count. Moon hits a snap suplex and Asuka leaves the ring. Moon goes after her, but gets a kick. Moon rebounds with a cannonball off the second rope to Asuka on the floor. Asuka goads Moon and sends her into the stairs. Asuka hits a brutal suplex onto the steel ramp. Back in the ring, Asuka works on Moon’s arm. Asuka nails an STO with Moon’s arm hammerlocked. Asuka is just tearing her apart.

Asuka locks in what I think may be the Black Widow, then a Fujiwara Armbar. Moon stands up with Asuka and drops her to break the hold. Moon fights back with kicks and a step-up enzuigiri for a near fall. Asuka hits a German suplex into the bottom buckle, which seems insanely high risk. Asuka tries for the Asuka Lock, but can’t quite get it locked in. Moon reverses and locks in her own Asuka Lock. Asuka breaks it and fully locks in the Asuka Lock. Moon escapes by rolling into a pin attempt. Moon hits a running lariat with her good arm.

Asuka hits a running hip attack, but Moon kicks out. Moon blocks a second hip attack and hits a tornado suplex out of the corner. Moon hits several knees, but Asuka unloads with a back fist and strong style kicks. Moon counters into a side slam for a 2-count. Moon gets caught on the top rope but blocks a superplex attempt. Moon tries for a powerbomb, but Asuka holds on. Moon takes her legs out and drives Asuka to the mat for a near fall. Moon again goes for the Eclipse and hits it, but Asuka kicks out!! Moon goes for another Eclipse and Asuka uses the referee as a shield, but Moon jumps anyway with a cross body. Asuka rolls through and holds the tights for a pin attempt, which the referee sees and stops the count. Moon kills Asuka with a superkick, but she again kicks out. Asuka is dead weight, but she is faking and goes for the cross arm breaker, then transitions into the Asuka Lock! Moon taps out!!!

There’s a well-deserved ovation for Moon after Asuka leaves the ringside area.

Winner: Asuka via pinfall to RETAIN the NXT Women’s Championship

Thoughts: What. A. Match. These two had me hooked from start to finish. Is Moon done with her title shots? Is anyone even left? God, that was great.

Ringside: Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe are in the crowd.

Match #5: NXT Championship: Bobby Roode (c) v. Drew McIntyre

McIntyre is coming out to bagpipes and drums. Roode is reusing the big Rock Band-style LED keyboard intro. It’s a slow start with McIntyre establishing the size and power advantage. Roode has the speed, though. He hits several chops and fails at an early Glorious DDT attempt. Now McIntyre scores with chops and a big boot. On the floor, McIntyre catches Roode’s cross body and ends up hitting  tilt-a-whirl slam on Roode on the ring apron. Roode catches McIntyre with a neckbreaker across the middle rope when he tries to come back into the ring.

Roode jumps off the apron with a rolling neckbreaker on the floor. Roode takes over and targets the head and neck of McIntyre. A hangman’s neckbreaker gets a 2-count. McIntyre tries to make a come-back, but Roode reverses an Irish whip to cut him off. Roode hits a missile dropkick, but it’s only good for a w count. Nigel points out a nasty bruise on Roode’s quad. Roode locks in a sleeper hold, but McIntyre drives Roode into the corner to break it.

McIntyre catches Roode with the overhead belly-to-belly and a hot-shot into the top buckle. McIntyre hits a top rope clothesline and nips up. McIntyre hits the Celtic Cross and gets a 2-count. Roode snaps McIntyre’s neck across the top rope but gets caught on the top rope. McIntyre ends up in the Tree of Woe. McIntyre sits up and launches Roode off the top rope. McIntyre warms up for the Claymore, but Roode is motionless. Roode suckers him in and ends up hitting a back stabber.

McIntyre tries a backslide, then pulls Roode right into the Future Shock DDT, but Roode kicks out! McIntyre goes for a top rope Celtic Cross, but Roode rolls out and hits the sunset flip walkout powerbomb. Both guys just tee off on each other now and it leads to Roode getting hit with the Claymore. Roode is too close to the ropes and gets his foot on the rope to break up the pin. Roode rolls to the floor for a breather. McIntyre goes for a somersault plancha and hits Roode, kind of. Ouch. He rolls Roode back in the ring and sets up for the Claymore again. Roode counters into a spine buster.

Roode goes for the Glorious DDT, but McIntyre counters. Roode turns a tilt-a-whirl into the Glorious DDT! McIntyre kicks out! Roode hits a second Glorious DDT and then rolls through for a third, but McIntyre counters with a Claymore! He covers Roode and that’s it!

Post-mach, ReDRagon is on the ring apron. From behind, Adam Cole attacks McIntyre! Fish, O’Reilly, and Cole stand tall to end the show!

Winner: Drew McIntyre via pinfall to WIN the NXT Championship

Thoughts: Pretty good match. It had to follow Asuka and Ember Moon, so there was no way to top that. That said, I thought McIntyre had no chance, so I am shocked by this. It was a good match, though. This sets up an interesting scenario with Roddy Strong. Is Roode losing to Strong and going to Raw/SD? It looks like a new era has begun…

TLDR

  • Andrade Almas beat Johnny Gargano
  • SAnitY beat Authors of Pain to win the Tag Team Championship
  • Aleister Black beat Hideo Itami
  • Asuka beat Ember Moon to retain the Women’s Championship
  • Drew McIntyre beat Bobby Roode to win the NXT Championship
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