We’ve all seen it coming but NXT Takeover: Brooklyn just pretty much confirmed it: Triple H’s baby is here, and their time is now. It was a wonderful night of awesome matches and entertaining wrestling, including what could possibly be WWE’s best women’s wrestling match ever.
Jushin Thunder Liger def. Tyler Breeze
We get to see Jushin Thunder Liger and Tyler Breeze battle it out first after a rare non-Authority Triple H opening promo. It’s no question that Liger is a great Japanese legend, however I’ve always been convinced that his age is starting to catch up to him. And boy, was I so damned wrong. It’s true that he’s now wrestling a safer style, but he has made it work and has made it completely entertaining. This is a complete 180 from what I said last year during his match with Ring of Honor’s Adam Cole. This match is a perfect opener, with the crowd completely into Liger’s tactics and taunts. Breeze also looked good in this match, but we sure hope he gets out of this midcard slot. Liger winning may have been a goodwill gesture by WWE, seeing as the NJPW brass was in attendance as well.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match
The Vaudevillains (w/ Blue Pants) def. Blake and Murphy (w/Alexa Bliss)
This feud has been mainly centered on The Vaudevillain’s inability to get the gold off of Blake and Murphy due to the schemes of Alexa Bliss. But the Manly duo got some timely help from Blue Pants, who received one, if not THE biggest pop, of the weekend. Everyone played their roles nicely, making this another solid outing for these teams. The Vaudevillains finally take the win on this one, winning their first NXT gold.
Apollo Crews def. Tye Dillinger
Apollo Crews is one crazy specimen. The former Uhaa Nation has been wowwing indie crowds prior due to a freak combination of strength and athleticism. Think a cross of Bobby Lashley and a luchador. Whilst followers on indie wrestling already know what to expect from him, it seemed like NXT opted to not show everything off in this debut. Tye Dillinger played the gatekeeper role well here imho, too. Didn’t really seem that it’ll affect his gimmick’s push for now. In terms of debut matches, I’d give this an 8/10.
Samoa Joe def. Baron Corbin
This has to be Samoa Joe’s best NXT performance to date. And guess what, it’s Baron Corbin’s best match too. It was so nice to see a grizzled vet like Joe bring out the potential of The Lone Wolf in this match. This might just be the reason why Joe is in NXT in the first place. I won’t mind not seeing Joe in the main roster as long as he keeps doing this while making up and comers look good in the process as well. This made a lot more for Corbin as against those numerous squashes we’ve seen week and week out. Now it’s up to NXT to take advantage.
NXT Women’s Championship Match
Bayley def. Sasha Banks
This month alone, we have been seeing Match of the Year contenders pop up all over the place. This match though, I figure would easily make a top 5 MOTY list. IT’S THAT DAMNED GOOD. This is pretty much Bayley’s babyface story through and through, but the crowd (and even me who was watching through the monitor) was so invested in the match, making the atmosphere just so incredible. Sasha vs Becky was already good, this one just simply blew the roof off the place. Pretty much the epitome of why the NXT Women’s division is so different from the main roster’s. Bayley had to use everything she has (including a freakin’ poisoned rana off the top rope) just to beat The Boss. And while Bayley was awesome here, what about Sasha Banks? It’s simple: SASHA BANKS IS THE GREATEST WOMEN’S WRESTLER IN THE WWE TODAY. Bar none. It’s a shame she is wasted on the main roster dealing with The Bellas.
Ladder Match for the NXT Championship
Finn Balor def. Kevin Owens
Well, good luck following that up. On any given day, this ladder match would’ve been match of the night. But not tonight though. Which is to say that Balor and Owens provided us with a really good ladder match. The only thing lacking though was the purpose, I felt the Balor vs Owens feud didn’t really progress as naturally as it could’ve been. But the question remains though: where does Balor go from here?
It’s hard to imagine that we are still dealing with WWE’s developmental promotion at this point. It’s also hard to imagine that we got a WWE special event that had really good to great matches from top to bottom. NXT’s time is now, and let’s applaud everyone in the Performance Center for making it work.