Where the main-roster WWE special events have been rather hit and miss lately, every NXT event has been fantastic. TakeOver: Brooklyn is aired live from the Barclays Centre in New York City, and will see a stacked card, with every title in NXT on the line. Kevin Owens has been running roughshod over the RAW and SmackDown rosters, but it is the Irish demon Finn Balor that has held sway over the NXT shows, and these two will be facing each other in a match Owens considers his specialty – a ladder match. There has previously only been one ladder match in NXT, and this one looks set to be just as good. Bayley will also get her first one-on-one match against The Boss, Sasha Banks, and the Lone Wolf of NXT, Baron Corbin, finally gets his hands on the Samoan Submission Machine Samoa Joe, in Joe’s first ever live WWE match.
+ Sasha Banks (c) vs Bayley (NXT Women’s Championship): Holy crap, what a match. Match of the night by far, and proves once again that the ‘Divas’ of NXT are given far more leverage in terms of what they can do. Every single thing abuot this match, from the entrances to the crowd to each and every single move was millimeter perfect. See below for some more thoughts on these two fantastic competitors
+ Blake and Murphy w/ Alexa Bliss vs The Vaudevillains (NXT Tag Team Championships): The ‘villains, Aiden English and Simon Gotch are fantastic in the ring, and their transition from good guys to bad guys, and seemingly back to good guys (if not somewhere in between) has been a fantastically enjoyable period. Blake and Murphy (I don’t think they have a team?) are brilliant bad guys, in a way that I feel is very under appreciated; many commenters say they are boring or bland, but that is exactly the point and their alignment with Alexa Bliss has worked wonders for all three. The match was great, and never became tedious, with a fantastic ending (depending on which team you like, I suppose)
+ Jushin “Thunder” Liger vs Tyler Breeze: Tyler Breeze’s entrance, once again, was a fantastic way to start the show. Liger is a legend in Japan, but I admit I was surprised at just how well these two worked together. Breeze plays the lovable bad guy just so well, and it was a pleasure to see Liger in front of an American crowd. He was looking spry for a 50 year old man
+ The debut of Apollo Crews (f.k.a. Uhaa Nation) against an on-the-rise Tye Dillinger was short-but sweet. Crews has done crazy good things in the Dragon Gate promotion, and his strength and almost unbelievable agility were on full display here. It was somewhat strange to not just put him against an unknown local talent, rather than someone who is gaining momentum, but oh well; it worked nonetheless for those whom may not have seen Crews before
– Finn Balor (c) vs Kevin Owens (NXT Championship Ladder Match): this match was much hyped, and I think in the end it suffered because of this. The match was kept relatively slow paced, and the crowd was obviously a bit tired out after the amazing Women’s match. But most importantly, nothing much happened. There were few big moments, and of the few we got, one important one was kind of shrugged off quickly, which retroactively ruins some previous moments in NXT history. This was not a bad match, but it failed to live up to the standards of previous Takeover main events.
– Baron Corbin vs. Samoa Joe: The match itself as kind of sloppy, but Corbin is still relatively new to this, and I don’t think it offensive to say that Joe’s best days are behind him. Corbin’s change from hated good guy to hated bad guy has been seamless and done a great job in refreshing his character, including some new power moves. I am high on his future, but for now he’s just not good enough to keep these longer matches interesting.
> It is somewhat of a shame that this show card was so stacked, because I honestly believe that Banks/Bayley could and should have closed the show. Bayley is in an interesting position in her career, in many ways, becaue she is not appearing on the main roster, but is probably the best Diva (aka female competitor) in many years. The simple fact she can be marketed towards little girls (rather than sex appeal for older males) is such a simple but effective thing to do.
> The crowd was the largest which the NXT performers would have ever been in front of, and was loud throughout the whole event. Much like the crowd at Full Sail University, in Flordia (where NXT weekly’s, and the previous events were filmed) they sometimes chanted things about themselves rather than the performers, but in general the crowd was able to accentuate most matches.
Should you watch this event: Overall, yes. Go out of your way to see the Women’s Championship match and the Tag Team Championships match. The opening bout was worth it for the spectacle of Liger in a WWE ring, and seeing Apollo Crews perform is always a joy. Even the two matches listed above as negatives are worth watching, as both may prove to be important going forward in the TV tapings. Even if you have to Youtube it in parts, this is definitely worth at least a single viewing.