The Rope Break #15: NXT Takeover Brooklyn 3 Review!!

By Curtis Suthard – 8/21/2017

 

The Rope Break #15:

NXT Takeover Brooklyn 3 Review

Credit: WWE.com

For anyone out there who has already seen it, it should go without saying that NXT Takeover Brooklyn 3 was INCREDIBLE! Five ridiculously good matches without almost zero flaws. Start to finish, this show was great. Possibly the best NXT Takeover that has been done, so far. There were shocks and surprises, narrow victories and title changes, blood, sweat and tears. So, without any further ado, let’s take a look back at NXT Takeover Brooklyn 3.

Credit: WWE.com

Johnny Gargano VS. Andrade “Cien” Almas with Zelima Vegas: Right off the bat, things went from zero to a hundred quick. This match was a fast-paced, hard-hitting affair and a great showing from both Gargano and Almas. Johnny was rightly in the spotlight for this one, as this was his first high-profile solo outing. Gargano looked great while on the offense, showcasing his multi-faceted skillset as a solid high-flyer, sound technical wrestler and competent striker. But, it’s when Gargano is down that he is at his best. Johnny plays the part of the consummate “underdog” very well, taking unlimited amounts of punishment and the occasional stiff shot or nasty bump, only to scrape together an exciting counter or reversal at just the right moment.

Credit: WWE.com

Andrade, on the other hand, looked even better out there. Finally, he is getting the push that he is deserved. Almas’ new more aggressive attitude and focus, which he owes in part to new manager Zelima Vegas, has served him very well by racking up the wins. Andrade took it to Gargano throughout this entire match, though he did still take a second or two out to gloat a bit, but never took his eye off of the prize long enough to really give Johnny a lot of breathing room. Almas looked like the “La Sombra” of old and that is a great thing.

Credit: WWE.com

Anyway, in the end, it took a distraction from Zelima, who threw a #DIY t-shirt at Gargano, to help set up Almas to get the win. Gargano seemed to be a bit distraught by this reminder of his former Tag Team, even after the losing the match. I was a little surprised that Ciampa, Gargano’s former Tag Team partner, didn’t show up to attack him after the match, but I can see why that didn’t happen, as there were plenty of sneak attacks to come and this one wasn’t necessary just yet. It probably serves the story a bit more to let everyone start to forget a bit about Ciampa, before he inevitably shows back up and gives Johnny yet another beating. Kudos to Andrade for the win. Let’s hope that this win only helps to increase the momentum that he needs to get a proper push in NXT and possibly to the Main Roster.

Credit: WWE.com

Sanity VS. The Authors of Pain (NXT Tag Team Championship): So, because I’m a bit late to the party, I see everyone has beaten me to the punch about The Authors’ masks and outfits making them look like an even crappier version of Michaels Bey’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles revamp. I’m not sure if anyone just didn’t notice this before they made their entrance? Maybe, they lost a bet or something? Anyway, it looked pretty silly and I don’t think that The Authors ever intended to come off as comical. But, who knows?

Credit: WWE.com

The rest of this match was anything but “silly”, it was downright awesome. I’ve been waiting for some time now for Sanity to really gel together as a formidable unit and with this match, they truly did. Wolfe started things off with Killian Dane standing on the apron, seemingly waiting for the tag. But, at the last moment, Eric Young and Dane would switch places, making EY Wolfe’s official partner for the match and possibly throwing the Authors off their game a bit. This kind of chaos, as I said in my predictions post, is just the way that Sanity should behave and fits nicely with their whole gimmick. Anyway, Wolfe looked really good throughout the match. This was possibly his best showing, so far. Young, on the other hand, looked great as well. EY is one of those guys who I’ve always felt is a bit underrated and this match gave him an opportunity to show that he can go.

Credit: WWE.com

Now, The Authors had an undefeated streak, coming into this match, as well as being the Tag Team Champs and it seemed that there was no end in sight to that reign. Which is why I was stoked when Sanity stepped up to the Authors, as they came off as a true threat to the two monsters. Every other team that the A.o.P. has ever faced has never come off as that much of a threat. Sure, TM61, #DIY and the Revival were sound, solid Tag Teams, but physically they just didn’t seem to stack up to the Authors and came off as the underpowered underdogs. Heavy Machinery, on the other hand, were equals to the Authors in size, but just obviously lack the ability and experience. So, Sanity finally seemed to have the perfect combination of skill and size, not to mention outnumbering the Authors, to pose a real threat.

Credit: WWE.com

In the end, The Authors of Pain fell to Sanity, who are now the new NXT Tag Team Champions. Hopefully, Sanity will be able to use the “Freebird Rule”, switching up which two members get to defend the titles, as The New Day does, in the future. I don’t want to see Big Killian Dane-Mo getting left out. I know that there some rumors swirling around that Sanity would be getting the call up to the Main Roster soon, but this win should help squash some of that talk as they really should take some time to work out all of the kinks of their gimmick and deserve a run as champs. Not to mention that NXT’s Tag division is lacking a little, right now and can’t really stand to lose any talent. Sure, TM61 should be coming back sooner or later and other guys like Heavy Machinery and the Street Profits just need some time to build themselves up enough to convincingly challenge for the Tag Team titles and carry them going forward.

All of that may be a bit moot, though as the NXT Tag division seems to have a gotten a huge boost, as Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly, known as ReDragon, ambushed both the Authors and Sanity after the match. Fish and O’Reilly have both already had solo debuts, but that fact that it seems NXT is seemingly teaming them back up is great and the perfect addition to the Tag division.

Credit: WWE.com

Hideo Itami VS. Aleister Black: This is the match that I am a bit on the fence about. I cannot deny just how great it was, it’s neck in neck, in my mind with the NXT Women’s Championship match as the match of the night. But, I am a bit disappointed to see Hideo Itami suffering yet another loss. But, even though Itami lost this one, he has nothing to truly be ashamed about as this was easily the best match he has had in NXT, period.

Credit: WWE.com

This was one of the stiffest matches that I have seen in WWE in a long time, as both guys kicked the hell out of each other. Black got his nose bloodied early on and the shots only got harder from there. The kicks throughout were solid and loud, making me cringe a bit with the delivery of every other one. Both guys are known for their kicks and they seemed to just throw caution to the wind and went out there and gave it everything. Black looked great and his bloodied nose only heightened the realism and seriousness of this match.

Credit: WWE.com

I figure that Aleister may be on a fast track to the Main Roster and, especially after this match, I don’t know why anyone would doubt that he can easily bring something unique to the either of the big shows. His entrance is great, his gimmick is a stand out and his in-ring skills are unique. Black may not have the best mic skills, but who cares. The silence only lends itself to the whole character instead of detracting from it.

Credit: WWE.com

Hideo tried everything to put Black away as he endlessly shouted for Black to show him respect. Even hitting Aleister with his GTS, or “Go To Sleep”, he just couldn’t get the job done. In the end, they went through a great series of maneuvers, which only helped to set Hideo up for Black’s spinning back kick, The Black Mass, which put Itami down for the count. I hope that this feud maybe continues a bit, as these two clearly work well together and I would love to see them attempt to outdo themselves and top what they did in this match.

Credit: WWE.com

Ember Moon VS. Asuka (NXT Women’s Championship): I was thoroughly convinced that this would be Asuka’s swansong and a fitting stage for her undefeated streak and title run to come to a close. That belief only made this match that much more fun to watch, as I smugly thought that I had it all figured out, like the good little “smark” that I am. So, color me shocked when Asuka retained and kept her “streak” alive. I have asked this question every other Rope Break in which I discuss an Asuka match and I’m going ask it again: Who can possibly beat Asuka? No one it seems and that’s the way it should possibly stay, going forward. I think Asuka should carry the NXT Women’s Championship over to the Main Roster, like Paige did a while back, and just drop it due to winning one of the brand’s Women’s Championships and deciding not to defend it anymore in NXT.

Credit: WWE.com

Anyway, that’s the future, let’s look at the not so distant past. Ember Moon easily had her best match this night and though she may not have won, she proved that she has the goods to be a future champion. Ember was aggressive and vicious throughout the match and displayed a passion that had yet to be seen. It just wasn’t enough that night. If Ember continues to improve upon what she showed at Takeover Brooklyn 3 she will easily maintain her spot at the top of NXT’s Women’s division and will be well on her way to the top of the Main Roster’s division as well. Even though she lost this one, Ember received well-deserved standing ovation after the match.

Credit: WWE.com

Asuka just continued to stand out as possibly the best female wrestler in the world today, if not possibly one of the best performers, either male or female, currently. Her strikes were on point and her technical ability was flawless. Asuka also showed just the right amount of weakness throughout to make it seem plausible that this was the end of her title reign. Asuka worked over Ember Moon’s shoulder and arm from the start which perfectly set up the finish. After kicking out of the Moon’s Eclipse finisher, Asuka pulled out her heelish tricks and pulled the ref in front of her as Ember went to the top rope for another Eclipse. Ember instead went for a Crossbody off of the top rope which led to Asuka rolling her up in a pin, but the ref noticed that she was pulling Ember’s tights for leverage and called it off. This led to a couple of near falls and reversals that resulted in Ember falling into Asuka’s Crossface Chicken-Wing, “Asuka Lock” and tapping out. This was simply a fantastic match.

Credit: WWE.com

Drew McIntyre VS. Bobby Roode (NXT Championship): If I had to pick the weakest match of the night, this one would probably be it, but that doesn’t mean it was bad. It was a bit slower and more of a traditional match, but still a very good showing form both Drew and Roode. The champ, Bobby Roode, seemed to be on the defense throughout much of the match as Drew really took it to him. Drew, on the other hand, showcased all of the improvement that he has made over the last few years since being let go by WWE and improving himself by working around the world and really stepping things up. As the match went on, Drew McIntyre really displayed that he was indeed championship material and looked the part.

Credit: WWE.com

Both guys worked each other over in a nicely paced, give and take, but it was Drew who pulled it out in the end. After knocking Roode to the outside Drew launched himself over the top rope in spectacular fashion and crashed down on the champ. Drew then rolled Roode back into the ring and, just as he was setting up for his running Claymore Kick, Roode reversed it into a solid Spinebuster. Roode pounced and went for the Glorious DDT, only to have Drew reverse that into a pin attempt. After kicking out, Roode got shot into the ropes and on the rebound, Roode reversed a seeming Tilt-A-Whirl Backbreaker into the Glorious DDT, much to both Drew and Bobby’s surprise. After a failed pin, Roode went for the Double Glorious DDT, but Drew then shrugged off the second one and following a headbutt, delivered the Claymore Kick for the win.

Credit: WWE.com

Of course, that wasn’t the end, as ReDragon returned only this time they had a friend in tow, as Adam Cole (BAY BAY!) made his debut in NXT and threw a beatdown on McIntyre, the new NXT Champion. I know that there is a large contingent of fans out there who believe that Cole is a bit overrated. I am not one of those. Now, I don’t think Cole is necessarily the second-coming of Shawn Michaels or anything, I believe he is an incredible talent who is only going to get better with time and improvement. NXT is the perfect place for a larger audience to not only be introduced to Cole, but for Cole to hone his craft before inevitably making the leap to WWE’s Main Roster, a place that he is sure to be headed. No rush needs to be given to him either. A year or so worth of Cole running rough shod in NXT should hopefully help to convince those out there who may doubt the guy that he truly has all of the tools to become a future legend. The future was bright in NXT and it just got that much brighter.

Credit: WWE.com

This whole show from start to the very finish was great and you really couldn’t have asked for more from it in the time it was allotted. Of course, this sets up, as always, for the following night’s WWE Main Roster show to get overshadowed, as it struggles to live up to the previous night’s NXT showing. NXT Takeover Brooklyn 3 easily earns a 5 out 5 on the Official Nerd Nation Radio Pocket Protector Scale!

Need a little more wrestling gripes, complaints and whining? Well, check out my review of WWE Summerslam 2017 simply BY CLICKING RIGHT HERE!

 

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