Heavy Machinery def. The Mighty
What Happened: With Tucker Knight back in full capacity, he and Otis Dozovic were out for vengence against the team that put Knight on the shelf, the Mighty. Nick Miller and Shane Thorne found themselves getting dismantled as soon as the bell rang, but gained the upperhand after once again resorting to underhanded tactics. Not too soon afterwards, the Mighty was reminded that they had a second debt to pay from their conniving ways, as the Street Profits picked the one moment when Miller and Thorne had a chance to put away Knight to hold a surprise party with the NXT Universe. Shocked and infruiated Miller didn’t see Knight tag in Dozovic and fell victim to the Compactor, amplifying the Profits’ party mood and giving Heavy Machinery a measure of revenge.
My Opinion: Much like Kassius Ohno, I believe that the Street Profits don’t get enough air time. They are highly entertaining, kind of reminding me of a tag team version of R-Truth. Hopefully, they start getting more prominent roles in NXT’s tag team division or get moved up to Smackdown Live.
Moustache Mountain def. Matt Knotts & Brandon Taylor and invoke their rematch clause
What Happened: When last Moustache Mountain stepped between the yellow ropes, they suffered the most heartbreaking and devastating defeat of their careers when Tyler Bate was forced to surrender the NXT Tag Team Championships to arguably save Trent Seven’s career. For anyone that expected Bate and Tyler to let that defeat haunt them, they were highly disappointed as the former champions dismantled their opponents in quick fashion for the win. With the fire in their souls burning hotter and brighter than ever before, Moustache Mountain made clear that their scuffle with Undisputed Era last week was just a warning shot, as they were invoking their rematch clause for the NXT Tag Team Championships, and they wanted it at Takover: Brooklyn 4.
My Opinion: This is more than just a back-and-forth tag team storyline. This stroyline has depth, creativity, and emotion. Yes, championships come and go and are won and lost, but as a fan, you can’t help but get emotionally connected with Moustache Mountain.
EC3 def. Kona Reeves
What Happened: If you were looking for a match that clearly displays the future of NXT, look no further than EC3 vs. Kona Reeves. The Top One Percent and the Finest have been tearing through opponents left and right in recent months, so it was inevitable that their paths would eventually cross. After a bit of a stalemate, Reeves gained the first advantage by sending EC3 throat-first into the top rope before locking in the Kona Clutch. EC3 refused to give in though, powering out of the submission and bringing the match to another stalemate with a neckbreaker. With both competitors down, Velveteen Dream made his presence known. Why? If you remember the Dream abandoned EC3 in tag team action back in June, and there was no question that the Top One Percent wanted to know why. By the time Velveteen made his exit, EC3 was not only left without answers, but also left laying, courtesy of a Hawaiian Drop. But NXT’s Finest was left raging and fuming when EC3 kicked out, and with his loss of composure came his first loss since his return.
My Opinion: Man, looks like the Biggest Event of the Summer is going to be TakeOver because Velveteen Dream will be facing EC3. That aside, I now have a little more understanding surrounding the hype around Kona Reeves. To me, the quality of a talent is not based on his or her win-loss record, but how he or she is able to keep a match against a high-caliber opponent entertaining and keep their persona interesting. Both EC3 and Kona Reeves achieved those missions tonight.
NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler def. Candice LeRae
What Happened: Although she fell short in the No. 1 Contender’s Triple Threat a couple weeks ago, Candice LeRae still got a shot at NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszlier, albeit without the gold on the line. Baszler’s cockiness was on full display from the get-go, actually offering LeRae a chance to bail from the match. But Candice Wrestling was having none of it, dropkicking the Queen of Spades out of the ring to start the match. Incensed at LeRae’s resolve, the champion brutalized her adversary arm before locking in the Kirifuda Clutch. LeRae, however, refused to submit, reaching the ropes and finding her second wind, avoiding a second attempt at the Clutch and landing a double stomp-Unprettier combo that almost put Baszler out. But the Queen of Spades would not be upset, forcing LeRae to tap out on a third Kirifuda Clutch try. But after the bell, Baszler refused to leave well enough alone, trapping a frantic LeRae in the Clutch for a third time, prompting officials and Kairi Sane to intervene. With her Brooklyn opponent running interference, the champion seemed content with her damage total for the night, until she kicked an unsuspecting Sane in the back of the head, enraging the Pirate Princess to the point where the officials had to restrain her instead of Baszler.
My Opinion: With this year’s Mae Young Classic set to begin in a matter of days, the obvious choice would be to hype up Kairi Sane as much as possible. But I’m glad they’re not. The Mae Young Classic, while significant as a launching pad for Sane’s WWE career, was just another step in Sane’s overall career. I also believe that Baszler-Sane doesn’t need any excessive buildup, as I believe the match can be built up naturally.
Johnny Gargano pays for his NXT Championship sins
What Happened: In a moment that the NXT Universe prayed would never come, Tommaso Ciampa entered Full Sail University as NXT Champion. And the Blackheart had no problem rubbing it in the face of each and every member of the NXT Universe. In typical Ciampa fashion, the new champion relished in that fact NXT’s greatest nightmare had come true due to the shortcomings of his arch nemesis. After this point, Aleister Black didn’t wait too long to make his presence known, but immediately found himself nearly ran over by a charging Johnny Gargano who went right after Ciampa, ejecting him from the ring. In almost an outright acknowledgement of his mistake last week, Gargano screamed that Ciampa only had the gold because of him. In his furied state, the Rebel Heart possibly had forgotten about that he passed up the Dutch Destroyer on his way to the ring, but he was brutally reminded of that fact in the form of Black Mass. With Gargano laid out and Ciampa having scurried away, Black only had one thing to say: “I guess you’re right [Johnny]. The only reason he’s NXT Champion is because of you.”
My Opinion: Some say Black turned heel, some say Ciampa turned Gargano heel by proxy, I say neither. Ciampa remains the only heel in this storyline. Gargano, a face, tried to right a wrong he made. Black, a face, went after the man that essentially robbed him of the NXT Championship. To tie this all back to the original Gargano-Ciampa feud, this is another tick in the win column for Ciampa, for as long as Black is focused on making Gargano pay for his sins, he, Ciampa, can hold on the his ill-gotten title for as long as he pleases.
This is the type of pay-per-view buildup that people want to see. In case you forgot or lost track watching NXT tonight, three high-quality matches were made for TakeOver: Brooklyn 4.
- Moustache Mountain vs. Undisputed Era for the NXT Tag Team Championships
- Adam Cole vs. Ricochet for the NXT North American Championship
- EC3 vs. Velveteen Dream
These three matches, in addition to Baszler-Sane and the yet to be determined NXT Championship match is making Brooklyn 4 much more buzzworthy than SummerSlam.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Segment of the Night: The NXT Championship segment was my favorite segment of the night, and it was really completed with the crowd’s You Deserve It! chants when Gargano took Black Mass.