19th Aug2018

‘NXT Takeover: Brooklyn VI’ PPV Review

by Nathan Favel

nxt-brooklyn-4-header

Welcome to the NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 4 review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we should just jump right in.

Match #1: NXT Tag Team Champions The Undisputed ERA def. Moustache Mountain

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

The old saying is: If you’re going through hell, keep going. That might apply to The Undisputed ERA in a way they didn’t anticipate. The NXT Tag Team Champions’ grueling defense against Moustache Mountain may end up being little more than a five-star appetizer en route to a feast by the War Raiders, who made good on their promise to target whoever left NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV as Tag Team Champions. If Undisputed ERA’s destiny is to defend the titles against the War Raiders, however, they certainly earned the honor. Moustache Mountain came to Brooklyn more than prepared for the champions’ chicanery, with Tyler Bate & Trent Seven excellent both individually and in tandem. It was a performance as well-oiled as their ’staches, but what they weren’t prepared for was Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong’s tenacity.

Both the Tyler Driver ’97 and Seven Stars Lariat failed to earn pinfalls, as did their tandem kneedrop-Burning Hammer combo. Inevitably, Moustache Mountain found themselves in a mirror image of their title loss, with Bate trapped in an agonizing heel hook and Seven narrowly convincing himself not to throw in the towel. Bate managed to muscle his way back to Seven to tag in, but his damaged leg left him just hindered enough for Strong to blast him out of the ring with a knee. UE quickly transitioned to a High-Low to Seven, putting him down for a successful pinfall. That’s when the War Raiders struck, obliterating O’Reilly & Strong in a beatdown that seems to foretell disaster for the champions down the line. Suffice it to say, retaining the NXT Tag Team Titles may be the worst decision The Undisputed ERA ever made.

My Take: This was all action, all the way. This was great and is as good of an opener that there has ever been in wrestling.

Match #2: Velveteen Dream def. EC3

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

The Velveteen Dream and EC3 are certainly legends in their own individual minds — it’s what made them such ideal teammates before Dream bailed on the match to kick off their rivalry, and it’s what makes them such entertaining personalities. But it can never be said they don’t back up their talk. Their clash at TakeOver: Brooklyn IV wasn’t just appropriately bitter given their history, but it was a larger-than-life slugfest full of personal slights and out-there mind games that ultimately ended exactly as Velveteen likes to promise: “Dream over.”

The five-tool prodigy set up his victory in the most brutal fashion possible, by spiking a surging EC3 onto the ramp with his twisting DDT, creating a weak spot that Velveteen didn’t hesitate to exploit. The only mistake Dream made was pausing to douse The Top One Percent with a bottle of water — that’ll teach him to toss Dream into the deep end — briefly opening the door for an EC3 comeback. But Dream made good on his earlier groundwork, hitting a Dream Valley Driver on the apron to stop EC3 cold, and then connecting with a Purple Rainmaker on the strongman’s prone torso to put him away.

My Take: This was a decent match that gave Dream a big victory.

Match #3: Ricochet def. Adam Cole to become the new NXT North American Champion

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

As bad a look as it was for Adam Cole to duck a prospective challenger, the NXT Universe might just have to give him credit for likely knowing what was coming against Ricochet. In a long-awaited clash at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV, The One and Only delivered the ultimate shock to Cole’s system, his ego, and his championship status by upending The Undisputed ERA ringleader to win the NXT North American Title.

The victory was made all the sweeter given Cole’s repeated assertions that Ricochet wasn’t “special” enough to be a champion — a ridiculous thing to say, true, but one that seemed to have gotten in the challenger’s head nonetheless. Between Cole’s constant insults and his admittedly perfect scouting, The One and Only found himself either fighting from underneath or flying headlong into traps laid by Cole, including one breathtaking instance where he moonsaulted directly into a superkick. Once Ricochet found his confidence, however, it wasn’t long before Cole found himself lined up for a 630 and the champion returned to his game plan: run away. Cole rolled through the ropes and a frustrated Ricochet followed, launching him off the apron with a leaping hurricanrana and finally swooping down with the 630 to win his first title in NXT. It was good. It was great. It was special.

My Take: This was another great match that gave Ricochet a huge victory and his first NXT title.

Match #4: Kairi Sane def. Shayna Baszler to become the new NXT Women’s Champion

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Can we call her “Killer” Kairi Sane now? It might be a stretch to say The Pirate Princess is flying a black flag following the events of NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV. But the first-ever winner of the Mae Young Classic did dig into the long-dormant “killer instinct” Shayna Baszler said she lacked to dethrone The Queen of Spades as NXT Women’s Champion. Baszler’s repeated insults lent their rubber match an especially personal edge. Even though Sane had proven to be a little more rabid than anticipated in the weeks leading up to their title bout, she was looking to be no match for The Submission Magician’s unique brand of cruelty. It was only after Baszler torqued Sane’s knee into a pretzel that The Pirate Princess transformed into a shrieking, striking banshee, slapping the champion in the face and ripping off a rally that forced Baszler into the defensive.

Even though damage to Sane’s knee meant her lead was a little less secure than she would have liked, it quickly became clear that The Pirate Princess had shown up in a way Baszler didn’t anticipate. The Queen of Spades hung tough, kicking out of one InSane Elbow and blocking a second with her feet. But Sane gave as good as she got, aggravating Baszler’s back by locking her in an Anchor through the ropes, and ultimately stunning the champion by rolling up Baszler while trapped in the Kirifuda Clutch to notch the victory. The look on Baszler’s face spelled pure disbelief. Kairi’s read relief and gratitude. Either way, Kairi Sane is champion. And now, for Shayna Baszler, this is reality.

My Take: This was an interesting finish to yet another great match. Maybe Shayna is getting ready to move on to the main roster? If not, then Shayna will be fine in NXT without the title. Kairi should be a good champion.

Match #5: Main Event – NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa def. Johnny Gargano (Last Man Standing Match)

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

It’s not a stretch to say that Tommaso Ciampa becoming NXT Championship is a nightmare of Johnny Gargano’s own making. His retention of the title was, too. Ciampa remained NXT Champion after a grueling Last Man Standing Match against his best friend-turned-mortal enemy, thanks in no small part to Johnny Wrestling’s own ferocity, which literally carried him over the edge and allowed The Scourge of NXT to retain his championship. The grisly end point of the match was a fitting conclusion to a match that turned more and more into a free-for-all with each passing minute. Apart from one insane sequence which saw Ciampa attempt to entomb Gargano with a destroyed barricade and inadvertently KO’d crew member, the match largely saw the two Superstars break out the inhumane strategies they employed during their previous two encounters. Someone was thrown over the announce table, prompting a “Mamma Mia” chant (Ciampa again). The apron was torn off the ring and someone was DDT’d onto the bare boards (Gargano this time). A Superstar was put through two tables and sent crashing onto the exposed concrete of the arena floor (Ciampa again). Someone found himself handcuffed (Ciampa) and thrown through the LED boards atop the ramp (Ciampa).

But it was Gargano’s attempts to plumb the depths of his depravity that ended up being his undoing, as he handcuffed Ciampa to the lighting boards on the edge of the screen and unleashed a barrage of superkicks on the champion, who begged, fruitlessly, for forgiveness. When Gargano pulled down his pad and administered the running knee, however, it proved to be his literal downfall: The challenger plowed through Ciampa and straight through a pile of crates at ringside, rendering him unable to answer the count of ten. Ciampa, however, simply rolled off the edge of the ramp, landing on his feet to beat the count at the last possible second to retain his title. After the match, it was revealed that Gargano had, apparently, dislocated his knee, leaving him literally unable to walk out of the arena. Equally weighed down by the impact of his injury and the opportunity he squandered, Gargano ended TakeOver despondent and hobbled. Ciampa, meanwhile, took a curtain call just to rub it in his old friend’s face: Not only is he the last man standing, he’s the only one who could.

My Take: This was a wild main event that was every bit as good as the other great matches tonight. This match felt like an old school brawl that went every-where and destroyed every-thing. Ciampa was as vicious as any-one has ever been in a wrestling match, while Gargano played the part of an over-zealous face perfectly. This feud just keeps getting better and better. Over-all, this was one of the best WWE matches of the year.

News Of The Night:

  1. Matt Riddle has joined NXT.
  2. Pat McAfee was on the pre-show interview segment and pissed off the entire panel for being too excited.

Final Verdict: This was one of the best WWE cards of the year, even with the dull EC3/Velveteen Dream match in the middle of the PPV. This is going to make the upcoming WWE Week In Review very interesting. Summerslam has its work cut out for it, tomorrow night.

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