The SmarK Rant for NXT Takeover Brooklyn III – 08.19.17
Live from Brooklyn NY
We start with a song from Code Orange, who helpfully introduce themselves despite the giant screens behind them saying ‘CODE ORANGE’ in bright flashing LED lights.
Thanks to all who bear with me through the website bullshit this weekend. To say it was a tad frustrating that I had to upgrade to a plan nearly three times as expensive and then have the site immediately go down…well, that’s an understatement. Your support is greatly appreciated, and hey, we can always go back to rspwfaq.net if worst comes to worst.
Johnny Gargano v. Andrade Cien Almas
They trade some stuff on the mat to start and Gargano snaps off a rana and gets a wacky rollup into a crucifix for one before holding a facelock on him. Almas catches him out of the corner with a neckbreaker and follows with a low kick for two. Almas goes to work on the arm, but they slug it out after a double knockdown and Gargano slingshots in with a spear for two. Is that “1, 2…sweet!” deal supposed to be a thing that crowds do now? Because, like, I’m not very OK with that. Gargano tosses him and follows with a tope suicida, and back in with a slingshot DDT for two. Almas blocks a second slingshot spear and turns it into a DDT, and then follows with a tornado DDT for two. They head up and slug it out on the top rope, but Almas flips out of a sunset bomb in impressive fashion. Gargano recovers with an enzuigiri, but Almas puts him into the corner, then misses the charge and Gargano wraps him up with the crossface in the middle. Almas reverses out and into a turnbuckle bomb, then hits him with the running knees for two. Almas pounds the arm on the mat while Gargano does the sympathetic babyface sell, but Johnny comes back with a superkick and spears him into the corner. Almas’s chick throws a t-shirt at him to distract him, however, and Almas finishes with the hammerlock DDT at 13:13. Finish was pretty weak because it was supposed to be a DIY shirt and the camera didn’t really catch it, but the hot crowd still made a great match even better leading up to it. Almas has been 1000% better since turning heel. ****1/4
NXT tag team titles: The Authors of Pain v. Sanity
The video package doesn’t really make clear what the issue is or who we’re supposed to be cheering for here. The Authors charge in for the attack and clear the ring to start, but EY grabs a table and that gets left there for later, I’d assume. Back in the ring, Wolf gets thrown around by the AOP, but Eric Young takes the place of Killian and brawls out of the ring with Akam, and into the crowd, where a guy has already managed to bring a “Missing: Dewey Jackson” sign. Did he not finish watching the episodes? Back in the ring, Rezar puts Young down with a backbreaker and Akam pounds him down for two. Rezar goes to a head and arm triangle on Young to get the heat on him. Eric tries a Flair Flip and gets caught and choked out for his troubles. Well, it rarely worked for Flair, either. Rezar misses a blind charge and it’s hot Wolf, which is the weirdest hot tag I’ve seen in a while. The crowd really likes Young but doesn’t care about Wolf so it didn’t really get over. Wolf manages to get them into it a bit more by suplexing the Authors all over the place, and a top rope clothesline gets two. The Authors have had enough and get rid of Young, then hit the double team powerbomb on Wolf for two. Wolf manages to take Akam down with a rana and brings Young back in, but he quickly gets crotched. The Authors try a stacked powerbomb in the corner, but Nikki holds onto Young and Akam accidentally powerbombs his own partner as a result. Sanity hits them with stereo dives, which leads to Nikki getting into it with Ellering and diving onto Akam, and Killian puts him through that table to save her. Back in the ring, Rezar is alone with Sanity and they hit a double-team neckbreaker on him to win the tag titles at 13:30. Huh, I guess AOP is going to be the mystery payoff for the Fashion Police angle. Really, AOP had run through everyone in the tag division anyway. Lots of improvement shown by the Authors, who paced themselves well and had a good match that built to a crazy finish. ***1/2 And then the celebration is interrupted by Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly, who run in and destroy both teams in impressive manner. That would have been a hell of a lot better had they not already debuted on NXT TV, I will say.
Aleister Black v. Hideo Itami
They thrown down to start and Black does his “flip and sit” taunt and then puts Itami down with kicks for two. Itami puts him down for one and goes to a neck vice before kicking him down and working on a chinlock. Then he teases a highspot and sits down instead, playing his new “anti-highspot” type of character to annoy the fans. DDT gets two. Back to the chinlock, but Black comes back with kicks and a legsweep into a springboard moonsault kick for two. Almost blew the timing on that one. Itami comes back with a necksnap and goes up with a flying clothesline for two. Fisherman’s suplex gets two. Black rolls him up for two and puts him down with a high kick, but he goes up and Itami cuts him off and brings him down with a Michinoku driver off the top! That gets two. Black makes the zombie comeback and they slug it out, but Itami hits the Falcon Arrow for two. Itami with the dropkick in the corner, but Black escapes the GTS. Itami gets all sidetracked with wanting respect, and walks into Black Mass at 12:22. “Black just rocked Itami like the Kasbah!” declares Mauro. Oh, Mauro, you so crazy. Good hard-hitting match with the finish that the fans wanted. ***1/4
NXT Women’s title: Asuka v. Ember Moon
Kind of weird how they did the big mysterious intro and buildup for Ember Moon and now she’s just kind of an angry black woman cutting normal promos. Apparently Asuka passes Rockin’ Robin on the list of longest women’s title reigns tonight. Rockin’ Robin was champion for a YEAR AND A HALF?! I mean, they just kind of started ignoring the title a month after she won it, so I hardly think her reign counts for that much. In fact, was there ever footage of her actually winning it in the first place? Moon discombobulates her to start, as Mauro works in my favorite obscure word, and they fight to the floor before Moon cannonballs off the middle rope and wipes her out. So then Asuka sends her into the stairs and hits a hammerlock suplex on the ramp. Back in, Asuka goes to work on the arm and I learn that STO stands for “Space Tornado Ogawa”. Mauro is just a fountain of interesting information tonight. Asuka wraps her up with the OCTOPUS and cranks on a standing armbar, but Moon escapes with a suplex. Moon makes the comeback with an enzuigiri for two. Asuka tries for the Asukalock, but Moon reverses to her own attempt, and Asuka destroys the arm to escape that. Asukalock, but Moon rolls her back for two. Asuka with a hip attack for two, but Moon blocks another one in the corner and suplexes her out of the corner for two. They slug it out and Asuka drops her with a knee strike and just brutally kicks her in the face until Moon fights back with a sideslam for two. They fight to the top and Moon tries to bring her down with a powerbomb, but Asuka blocks, so Moon takes her down with a neckbreaker instead. Moon hits the Eclipse…but only gets two. She goes up again, but Asuka hides behind the ref, so Moon hits a bodypress instead, and Asuka rolls through for two. Moon superkicks her for two and the crowd is buying all the near-falls more than any other Asuka match I’ve seen. Asuka suckers her into a cross-armbreaker, but Moon rolls her over for two, and then Asuka locks in the crossface and Ember Moon is eclipsed at 14:47. DAMN. **** If they were gonna beat Asuka, this was the time, so who knows where she goes now.
NXT title: Bobby Roode v. Drew McIntyre
Kind of disappointing that they’ve ditched Drew’s genius former entrance for another generic chugging guitar music entrance. Drew overpowers him to start and Roode heads to the floor, but comes back in with chops in the corner and a quick attempt at the DDT. Drew pounds on him in the corner and puts him down with a big boot and follows with a drop suplex before Roode goes flying to the floor again. They fight on the floor and Drew catches him with a tilt-a-whirl slam on the apron as Nigel wonders about the effects of the match that Drew had with Roderick Strong “three days ago.” Come on, it’s 2017, are we really playing that game still? Roode comes back with a neckbreaker off the apron and goes to work on the neck. Neckbreaker gets two. Drew fights back and gets whipped into the corner as a result, and Roode actually hits a missile dropkick for two. Roode with the chinlock and he turns it into the sleeper, but McIntyre escapes with a suplex and alley-oops Roode into the turnbuckles. McIntyre goes up with a flying clothesline, and the Air Raid Crash gets two. Roode necksnaps him and goes up, but Drew follows, and gets crotched. His eggs are scrambled, says Mauro. However, he sits up from the Tree of Woe and throws Roode off the top, and Roode promptly suckers him into a rollup for two. Backstabber gets two. Roode slugs away in the corner, but McIntyre reverses a neckbreaker into the backslide for two, and the Future Shock DDT gets two. Drew takes him to the top for an Air Raid off the top, but Roode escapes with a powerbomb for two. They slug it out and Roode hits the enzuigiri, but Drew hits the Claymore Kick for two. Roode wisely escapes to the floor, but Drew hits him with a tope con hilo. Back in, Roode counters the Claymore with a spinebuster, but Drew escapes the Glorious DDT with a rollup for two. Roode with another Glorious DDT for two. Roode hits another one, but decides to roll through for a third one instead of pinning him, and McIntyre escapes and hits the Claymore Kick to win the title at 22:25. ***3/4
Ladies and gentlemen, we are living in a world where TWO MEMBERS OF 3MB ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS.
And then Fish and O’Reilly come out again and break up the celebration, and this time Adam Cole joins them to complete the ROH invasion. What a world we are living in.
Best show of the year from WWE thus far? You bet. Everything either delivered or over-delivered, although Sanity getting the tag titles would not be the payoff for the Authors that I would have went with. Quibbles aside, this was great. Thumbs way up.