This is my first review blog written live during the show, so bare with me and forgive any gaps. I think it’s more interesting to read my thoughts as they were watching the event as it unfolded than when I’m reflecting on it the next day for example. So here’s what happened @ NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 4.
NXT Tag Team Championship: ‘Undisputed Era’ (Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong) (C) v ‘Moustache Mountain’ (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate)
Crowd shockingly seems great tonight to begin the show…
Big reaction for Era. Ok ish reaction for Bate and Seven.
This is really fun to watch and the rasslin is really good. Simple as that.
Strong and O’Reilly executing some brutal looking submissions at various points. Bate and Seven with amazing strength. Seems like these 2 tag teams could have a good match against one another with their eyes closed.
Strong kicks out of Bate’s finisher which was the end of a fabulous sequence on both Undisputed Era members from him.
Kyle gets a heel hook on Bate with Seven looking on for the tag, …
Seven goes to throw towel in (a throwback to when Bate threw in the towel to save Trent Seven in the last match between these two teams) but throws it in crowd. Bate pushes towards Seven and gets the tag, Seven strikes Kyle HARD, now Kyle kicks out of Seven’s finisher!
MM double team finisher but KOR kicks out. THIS IS SICK AF!
Bate taken out by a Roderick Strong knee, ERA finisher on Seven. Era retain.
WAR RAIDERS ATTACK ERA!!! And fucking Destroy them!!!
Gargano shown backstage in locker room and the crowd cheer.
Velveteen Dream v EC3
Crowd cheers as both are shown to advertise the match. A good sign for their level of interest and liveliness during a match I feel will need their help to be great, and I mean that in a good way.
Dream comes out up through the stage and wearing a quite… colourful outfit. A big pop too. He’s the best.
DREAM HAS THE WORDS “CALL ME UP VINCE” ON HIS BACK OF HIS TIGHTS. I’D LIKE TO DECLARE HE MAY WELL BE IN MY END OF YEAR TOP 10 OFF THE BACK OF THAT ALONE!
EC3 is also very popular.
I so hope this is good…
EC3 is beating Dream up in the early stages. I’ve told Stefan I’m having a vodka if I give this ****, which I deem a success for this match.
EC3 dances ala dream whilst stood over him which was funny.
Dream does a twisting ddt on the rampway. Dream playing to the crowd…
Dream getting back into it now… EC3 powers out of Dream’s move but he gets it back on and gets a 2 count with a neckbreaker.
Dream just threw water at EC3… no really…
EC3 with a sit out powerbomb for a 2 count. Shock as EC3 shows he is strong.
Crowd seem more behind Dream tbf. Superplex by EC3 and gets a 2 count from it.
Super kick then a rolling DVD by Dream. 2 count again.
Ec3 pulls Dream BY HIS EAR to the apron, Dream hits a perfect rolling DVD on the apron and follows up with his Rainmaker elbow to EC3 on the apron. 123 Dream wins. This match was fine.
Im having a vodka anyway haha.
MATT RIDDLE IS IN THE CROWD!!!! HAPPY HAPPY DAYS! This energetic and charismatic former UFC fighter was one of the most popular acts on the independent wrestling scene, and rumours had been everywhere that he’d been coming to NXT. He is awesome (and another I’ve seen in the flesh wrestle live in the past).
Ciampa shown backstage staring at his belt.
Adam Cole and Ricochet both with good crowd responses when shown on screen.
NXT North American Championship: Ricochet v Adam Cole (C)
In one of the least surprising things to happen so far; Ricochet gets a reaction worthy of and comes out looking like a megastar. Ricochet’s gear is a beautiful white design.
Adam Cole is popular. Another shock. The “Bay Bay” from the crowd was very loud. Shock.
It already seems like these 2 could have a great match one on one in their sleep.
Adam Cole ruthless in his offense so far. Ricochet showing off his athleticism as usual whilst Cole maintains his advantage.
Ricochet with a series of high front dropkicks sending Cole to the outside before an ott jump onto Cole on the outside whilst landing on his feet (I kid you not that’s what he did).
A springboard European uppercut from Ricochet gets a 2 count.
Fyi Ricochet is jokingly athletic. Mauro just called Ricochet “a cheat code” . He’s not wrong.
Ricochet handspring into an Adam Cole backbreaker gets a 2 count. That looked real smooth.
Ricochet moonsaults off the rope and Cole superkicks him MID FLIP!!!! Then follows up with a firemans carry kneebreaker but only gets a 2. That was SICK and crowd loved it. Apparently Cole did the same spot or similar to Will Ospreay in their PWG match.
After a few moves more each the crowd have woken up from their nap.
Ricochet is scrambling to the top rope as opposed to covering him but Cole rolls out the way.
Ricochet does a leaping hurricanrana… and then the 630 splash… 123… RICOCHET IS THE NEW NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPION!
Awesome laser light effect on him stood on the ramp with his newly won belt.
Mark Henry and Kevin Owens in the crowd at ringside.
NXT Women’s Championship: Kairi Sane v Shayna Baszler (C)
Apologies in advance for lack of notes on this match. I’m suddenly really nervous and really really really want Kairi to win…
KAIRI SANE IS THE NEEEEEWWWWW NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPION!!!!!!
In short that was one of the best women’s matches I’ve ever seen. Certainly the best I’ve seen since Asuka v Charlotte at Wrestlemania.
NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano v Tommaso Ciampa (C) – Last Man Standing Match
Gargano comes out with gear featuring an “angrier” version of his ‘Gargano face’. He looks FOCUSED.
The boos for Ciampa are absolutely thunderous. This really does have a BIG FIGHT FEEL!!!
Gargano jumps Ciampa before the bell and we are off and they are GOING FOR IT immediately!!! Gargano on physical offence from the get go, until Ciampa pushes Gargano into ringsteps.
Gargano exposes a large part of the concrete floor, Ciampa gorges at the eyes of Gargano, Gargano dives onto Ciampa off the apron before sending him into the broadcast area as the ref begins a 10 count.
Gargano is on the announce table with Ciampa but Ciampa reverses it and instead launches himself and Gargano through the spanish announce table next to it. Gargano is down only for 6. We’re about only 5 minutes in!
Ciampa grabs a chair and brings it into the ring, he boots Gargano in the face after he tried for the chair. He later delivers two brutal looking running kness to Gargano slumped in the corner. He presses a chair against him but Johhny is able to throw the chair into Ciampa’s knee brace before going on the assault with the chair.
Ciampa choke hold on Gargano gets a 6 count. Before Ciampa puts the sleeper hold on AGAIN! … crowd try to urge Gargano to escape… GARGANO managed to get Ciampa above him to break the hold and long dart him into a chair previously wedged into the corner. He barely staggers to his feet at 6.
Gargano gets TWO tables from under the ring!!!! A madness INCOMING… commentary really selling how Gargano is not the same man he once was and is a lot darker than before. Gargano tries to launch Ciampa through both but eventually Ciampa wrestles into 3 German suplexes back in the ring.
Huge knee with his brace on from Ciampa before he goes on the attack with the steel chair. Ciampa hits his former finisher ‘Project Ciampa’ THREE TIMES! Ciampa sets the chair and sits on it waiting… but Gargano gets to his feet at NINE and hits a massive superkick to Ciampa.
They exchange strikes… really REALLY hard strikes, … both men get up at ONE and exchange more strikes… this is a great match… a lot more plain wrestling in this than their 2 previous Takeover main events.
Gargano misses a dive and lands HARD on the floor, before Ciampa hits his finisher on Gargano onto the steel steps!!! Johhny up at 9 after commentary super sold that could be the finish.
Ciampa is cutting the ring apron to expose the wood (he beat Gargano last time with a ddt onto the exposed ring floor btw), in between ramming Gargano’s head into the steps again, … suddenly Gargano sprays Ciampa with a fire extinguisher!!!!
Gargano hits Ciampa with a crutch multiple times (another feature into this match from previous spots in this feud).
GARGANO DDT’S CIAMPA ONTO THE EXPOSED RING CANVAS!!!! Crowd: “you deserve it” … Ciampa up at 9! Tope suicida immediately from Gargano. And then ANOTHER! This match is a MADNESS!!!
Gargano accidentally superkicked a timekeeper, then Ciampa grabs literally EVERYTHING at ringside and covers Gargano in a pile of EVERYTHING!!!!! THIS COULD BE IT… CIAMPA IN DISBELIEF AS GARGANO GETS UP!
Ciampa gets handcuffs for Gargano (another spot from this feud) … eventually though after a back and forth Gargano waves goodbye and superkicks Ciampa and sends him falling through the stacked 2 tables below him… Ciampa is up at 9.
Ciampa gets up using the crutch for leverage. Very clever.
Gargano now pounds away then launches Ciampa into the stage (just how Ciampa ended DIY). Gargano escape is locked in, Ciampa taps. Gargano handcuffs Ciampa to the stage, then rams his head repeatedly into the stage and then superkicks him.
Ciampa says he’s sorry but Gargano tells him it’s too late… and kicks him some more… Gargano is hesitating but takes his knee brace down and hits him but takes himself out and over some boxes and crashing into some cases due to the momentum of his run. After hurting his knee… the draw maybe?!?! NO CIAMPA GETS UP 9.9… CIAMPA WINS!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!
So after all the teasing of Johnny going to the dark side and a potential heel turn to have to overcome Ciampa, in the end it was his own viciousness towards his opponent that cost him victory. What a heartbreaking end to what could well be the final chapter in this historically excellent rivalry.
Crowd seem stunned.
They’re selling that Gargano has seriously hurt his knee, possibly dislocating it. As Gargano is tended to as Ciampa walks away slowly with his title.
Gargano is being caried away by officials with Ciampa still stood on the rampway looking on.
Ciampa strolls BACK out… and holds up his title, with an injured Gargano not too far away to close the show.
This was a very good show. But one that leaves us with lots and lots and LOTS of questions.