This is going to be one of the shows of the year, and maybe one of the best WWE shows of all time. Watch it. It’ll be good. and It’s my birthday. Here’s the matches, here’s what I think will happen, and here’s who I think will win. Enjoy! (Apologies for the lack of an intro…. BUT IT’S MY FUCKING BIRTHDAY TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!)!!!!!!
NXT Tag Team Championship: ‘Moustache Mountain’ (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) v ‘Undisputed Era’ (Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong) (C)
To give you all the info you need to know about this match I will say this; If you are aware of who Dave Meltzer is then know that in all the years he has been observing pro wrestling and rating matches with his famous star-ratings then you should also know he has awarded ***** to ONE regular WWE weekly-programming match (non-ppv or Takeover/network special) ever… and it was the 2nd match between these 2 teams. And now this is the 3rd in the series. As for the first match, it took place at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and to the shock of everyone Moustache Mountain won the titles to one of the loudest crowd reactions in recent memory, one at least on par with anything Stone Cold got in the Attitude Era. They would lose the titles back in their 5 star classic on NXT TV not long after but this here is 2 guys in Tyler Bate and Trent Seven who I saw less than 2 years ago at an independent wrestling show in a sports hall in Nottingham, and WHILST THE SHOW WAS STILL GOING ON they were back at the merch stands trying to flog some stuff. Both of them deserve all the success on the stage they are getting right now, and in this instance the ying is just as impressive and deserving as the yang. Kyle O’Reilly may be one of the most genius all-rounders in professional wrestling. Just watch him, and the things he does that may go unnoticed to some he does so incredibly well (be it a look, a minor action, the way he sells etc.). His partner Roderick Strong may be one of the best in-ring workers in the entire WWE, not to mention his simply sublime transition from hard working babyface to the ultra-cocky heel he played in Ring Of Honor for some of his time their. He fits in with the rest of the Undisputed Era like a glove, and maybe he wouldn’t have been in this role had Bobby Fish not been injured but nonetheless it has allowed Strong a greater spotlight to be able to do exhibit his array of skills, and in full flow he is something else. In short this match will be fantastic, if you just want really good professional wrestling then THIS is the match for you. There is some tough competition but if any match on this show or throughout the entirety of Summerslam reaches the high level of in-ring work in this match I’ll be surprised.
Prediction: Undisputed Era retains
Velveteen Dream v EC3
In the next 2-4 years both of these guys could well be main-eventing Raws and Smackdowns regularly. In 10 years time if he continues at his current rate Velveteen Dream will be the face of WWE. But right now where are we at with these 2? Well EC3 is still I’m sure enjoying not being in Impact wrestling as much as he IS being a part of WWE once again. He’s over, he’s fine in the ring, he’s good on the mic. The level of stardom he reaches all depends on how much of a push he is presented with. You could have him against one of the top guys; AJ, Rollins, Nakamura NOW and he’d do fine I think. Velveteen Dream? Well, he is something else. Just looking at the Dream tells you he is a star, and will only shine brighter with experience. As we speak he in my opinion is at 8-9/10 levels in all areas; look, character, mic work. His in-ring work whilst prone to the odd mistake here and there is only getting better. He’s one of, as are people way more experienced and have been on the main roster even for some time, many that if you put them in a match with a great in-ring worker he will be more than able to play his part. He’s got epics with both Aleister Black and Ricochet in his book already and was a key part of the incredible ladder match at Takeover in New Orleans. He is a star right now, and in the years to come EVERYONE will SAY HIS NAME!
Prediction: Velveteen Dream
NXT North American Championship: Ricochet v Adam Cole (C)
This gonna be GOOOOOOOOODDDDDDD!!! Adam Cole is my favourite Male Superstar in the company, and in the opening 6 months of the year I had him as my superstar of 2018 so far. As for Ricochet, watch him wrestle, then get back to me. I don’t have an awful lot to say on this one aside from it’ll be an amazing match, between 2 of my favourite guys in the company, and the story for whoever leaves Brooklyn with the North American title is one of stardom. For the loser? Stardom. Expect to see either one or both of these 2 men main event a Takeover in a big singles match within the next 12 months. At Takeover Brooklyn last year Adam Cole made his WWE debut by attacking the then NXT Champion, a year later I predict him to have another memorable night; a **** 1/2 match and a win… just…
Prediction: Adam Cole retains
NXT Women’s Championship: Kairi Sane v Shayna Baszler (C)
Given the amount of time that has been given on NXT television to the entirety of the female roster since Ember Moon dropped the championship to Baszler and headed for pastures of a red variety, it is interesting to note that it was Kairi Sane that was chosen as the sacrificial lamb here to the current champion. A point has been made to promote Dakota Kai, Nikki Cross, Bianca Belair, Lacey Evans, Candice LeRae all as credible and potential challengers, yet NXT have made in my opinion the wisest choice in picking the winner of the inaugural Mae Young Classic tournament last year for the showcase women’s match of this incredible Takeover line up. It was of course Shayna Baszler that Kairi beat in the final of that tournament, and in return it was Sane that The Queen of Spades attacked upon her debut arrival in NXT. There is plenty of story between these two, and given the time they have spent on opposing sides since they both came to WWE I am more than confident that they will produce a tremendous match. One that given the recent announcement of the Evolution PPV will show the best wrestling that the women’s division in WWE has to offer. With that in mind perhaps I should also point out that Shayna Baszler was the only female to rank in my top 10 WWE superstars of the year so far blog in June, and I believe Kairi Sane to be above Asuka, Charlotte Flair and all else in the female WWE roster in terms of her in-ring ability. So this should be a great match, one where the result seems obvious to me but I don’t expect that to take-away from the quality of the match. Expect plenty of nearfalls for Shayna, a comeback from The Pirate Princess before Baszler locks in her submission and the valiant challenger is unable to withstand anymore.
Prediction: Shayna Baszler retains
NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano v Tomasso Ciampa (C) in a Last Man Standing Match
Well… this changed from what I originally had written up for this match!!! So up until the 8th August, 10 days before showtime, this was due to be a triple threat match involving former NXT Champion Aleister Black. But after suffering a legit injury during a live event Black was written out of the match via a kayfabe attack in a parking lot to explain as to why he would be unable to compete. In it’s place though were are GIFTED the match we should’ve got at Takeover: Chicago 2 earlier this year. Yes indeed Gargano v Ciampa 2 in NXT was going to be a Last Man Standing match but was changed to a street fight so as not to clash with the Last Man Standing Match between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura that would be happening 24 hours later. So as sad as the loss of the brilliance of Aleister Black is to the main event of the NXT show of the year, we get what could well be the rubber match between 2 former tag team partners who have gone on to have one of the most personal rivalries we’ve seen for some time. This is going to be an incredible substitute, and after the last 2 chaotic encounters they’ve headlined Takeovers with who knows what on earth they will come up with here. But it remains though that I see this as a potential WWE match of the year. Either of these 2 could well end 2018 as my superstar of the year, and a large part of that will be down to who Triple H chooses to leave NXT’s premier event holding their Holy Grail. Where to start with the build to this one? Well on the same night former tag team partners turned bitter rivals Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa had one of the best matches in WWE history, Aleister Black was winning the NXT Championship at Takeover: New Orleans. And after Ciampa avenged his loss to Gargano at Takeover: Chicago he turned his attentions to the gold, and in shocking the NXT universe arguably the best heel in modern times in WWE was once again greeted with a unique reaction and chorus of boos and anger and disbelief when Gargano’s interference inadvertently helped Ciampa win the title. Black would look to seek his own revenge on Gargano, but after their match to decide the rights to face Ciampa turned into chaos a triple threat match for the ages was made. Sadly due to Black’s injury we wont get that match now but the ‘substitute’ isn’t bad right? Who wins? I have to go with my heart, and say that the story will finally go full circle, Aleister Black (as we have seen with Drew McIntyre after his injury at Takeover: War Games last year) will quietly exit NXT before an appearance on Smackdown (ideally) and Gargano will FINALLY get the championship he has been chasing for the whole year so far, and thus have the crowning moment in the best year of NXT so far, on the biggest event of NXT’s calendar. Please Triple H, send us all home happy. Please???
Prediction: Johnny Gargano is the new NXT Champion
Watch this show. It’ll be amazing. Can’t promise a great review as I’ll be writing it live as I’m awfully busy all weekend, but I’ll try and give you all of you that are kind enough to read it a decent idea of what goes down at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 4.