NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 2 HITS:
#DIY vs. The Revival – Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa have arrived on the big stage in a big way. This was the match of the night, and it’s not even close (and, as you will notice a developing pattern in my HIT list, there wasn’t a bad match on the card). I am so happy to see two of the hardest working guys I’ve ever met be given the platform to do what the do best in front of the biggest audience in the world. And how about The Revival? The Revival have yet to have a bad match with anybody in NXT. They’re just so damn good. The little things that they do in a match to transition from move to move, and spot to spot, are incredible. As much as I love them in NXT, their eventual call-up (hopefully) to the Smackdown Brand will lead to such an incredible series of matches between American Alpha. But, do yourself a favour. If you only have 30 minutes to watch anything from NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 2, watch this match, and watch both Bobby Roode’s and Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrances.
Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – As close to a Strong Style match as we might ever see in a WWE ring. This two took it to each other, and delivered an excellent cap to an excellent evening of wrestling. There were plenty of oh my god moments throughout the match, including Nakamura nearly breaking Samoa Joe’s jaw at the end of the match, however perhaps the biggest oh my god moment came before the match even got started. Having a violinist play Nakamura to the ring, accompanied by 15,000+ people singing his theme music along with the tune was jaw dropping. Shinsuke Nakamura is a mega star, and NXT is lucky to have him. A fitting choice for a new Heavyweight Champion.
Bayley vs. Asuka – Bailey’s swan song in NXT. Much like Sami Zayn’s crazy match with Shinsuke Nakamura, or Finn Balor’s crazy match with Samoa Joe, this match comes with the bittersweet realization that Bayley is graduating on to bigger (and hopefully better) things, and we will never see her in an NXT ring again. Asuka and Bayley have great chemistry in the ring, and while essentially telling the same story each time they meet in the ring, manage to have different, innovative and exciting matches anyways. Asuka has made for an excellent Womens Champion, and I like the direction they’re going subtly with her heel mannerisms. Bayley is the real deal, and will fast become one of the biggest stars in WWE history. It’s impossible for these two to have a bad match with each other. Just add another one to the collection.
Bobby Roode vs. Andrade Almas – Bobby Roode only made his televised NXT debut a few weeks ago, and NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 2 was his first televisied match in an NXT ring. However, if you go back and watch that tape, you would think that Bobby Roode was an NXT megastar, and that he had been around for years, just from his entrance alone. As Triple H tweeted out shortly after it happened, wow “that’s one way to make an entrance”! And, despite the clash in styles, Andrade Almas and Bobby Roode had an excellent contest that managed to elevate both men at the end. Don’t underestimate Andrade Almas. He’s had a tough go at Takeover events when it comes to being matched against cult favourites (Roode and Dillenger). He is an incredible athlete that will eventually develop a cult following of his own.
Austin Aries vs. No Way Jose – The best match of No Way Jose’s short NXT career, and perhaps the best match of Austin Aries’ NXT career as well. This was an excellent way to open the show, and both men are on the right path to success. And despite the fact that this was a good match, it’s hard not to be excited for the developing Austin Aries/Hideo Itami feud. Itami looked like a beast hitting Aries with kicks that were so fast I think they even surprised Itami himself. And the place absolutely came unglued when Itami finally hit his GTS for the first time on NXT television. Amazing stuff.
Overall Show – Absolutely nothing to complain about on this card. Ember Moon’s debut was fine, and her finisher is a work of art. And for those worried about where NXT will go from here, now that so many stars have been poached for the main WWE roster, I’d suggest the future is as bright as ever on NXT. Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Hideo Itami are all ready-made superstars. Plus we will have the debut of Eric Young in the coming weeks. There’s plenty to be excited about, and I’m really looking forward to the next generation of stars getting their opportunity to shine. Bring on NXT: Takeover Brooklyn 3!