It’s the go home show for NXT TakeOver Brooklyn IV, and it’s set to be another packed show. Aleister Black is officially out of TakeOver after sustaining an injury. WWE released videos of the aftermath of Black being attacked in the parking lot of Full Sail after last week’s show. So now we have a whodunnit on our hands. Also on tonight’s show, Street Profits take on The Mighty, Kairi Sane faces Aliyah, and Tyler Bate meets Roderick Strong one on one ahead of their tag title match at TakeOver.
Street Profits def The Mighty
Kairi Sane def Aliyah
Tyler Bate def Roderick Strong
Tonight’s show, as with all WWE’s programming this week, was dedicated to the memory of Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart.
The show opened with footage of William Regal being called to see Aleister Black who had been found unconscious in the car park. It was then announced that Tommaso Ciampa versus Johnny Gargano at TakeOver will be a last man standing match.
Street Profits vs The Mighty
Tag team division action to start the night. The Mighty’s new attitude has definitely not gone down well with the rest of the division. It’s worked in their favour in terms of exposure, because everyone wants to fight them. Street Profits are incredibly over with the crowds when they’re doing their schtick, but the match was oddly quiet for the most part.
The NXT tag division is in a good way. Plenty of teams interacting, stuff going on outside of the title picture, and loads of very entertaining matches. This was one. Street profits started hard, looking for revenge for the stolen victory The Mighty hold over them. But their impressively theatrical double teaming wasn’t enough to keep Thorne or Miller down for three.
Angelo Dawkins took a lot of punishment once The Mighty turned things in their favour after Shane Thorne caught him with a kick to the gut. Eventually, he got back to Montez Ford and he set about cleaning house.
In a moment of turnabout is fair play, Montez Ford pinned Shane Thorne with a handful of tights.
Shayna Baszler was shown backstage giving Aliyah some tips ahead of her match with Kairi Sane.
Undisputed ERA promo. Roderick Strong can’t believe they have to face Moustache Mountain again. They talked about injuring Trent Seven’s knee in their last match and cast aspersions on his conditioning. Then they moved on to badmouthing War Raiders, which really doesn’t seem that sensible. Adam Cole said one year ago in Brooklyn was when the Undisputed ERA began and they’re still dominating NXT. It’s their era, and that’s undisputed.
Kairi Sane vs Aliyah
Shayna Baszler joined commentary for the match. One thing I will say about NXT, they seem to have a better balance between talking to guests on commentary and talking about the match.
It was a good match as well. Kairi Sane was sending a message to Baszler throughout, looking at her while she delivered three InSane Elbows. Aliyah wasn’t going to kick out, but Sane wasn’t done so she pulled her up before the three.
To finish it, Kairi Sane slowly locked Aliyah into the Anchor submission with her eyes on Baszler the whole time. Sane kept the hold on with one hand and pointed at Baszler with the other while Aliyah tapped out.
It wouldn’t be a go home show without some hype packages. This one was for Adam Cole versus Ricochet. Man, there’s a lot of big egos at TakeOver this time around.
Velveteen Dream came out to do his pre-TakeOver promo. He told the crowd he found it funny that they cheer for him. And EC3 is funny too, and smart and clever and charming. Just like the NXT universe, EC3 had The Dream’s curiosity Now he has something he doesn’t think anyone wants, he has The Dream’s attention. EC3 has made an enemy of Velveteen Dream and, on Saturday, it will be ‘dream over’.
He was about to carry on but EC3 came out and interrupted. He said ‘so, this is what it sounds like when doves cry’, and gave Velveteen an insincere compliment on his fanny-pack (bum-bag in the UK, please). He knows Velveteen is trying to get into his sick twisted degenerate head, but he lives in people’s heads, he builds things in peoples heads. The time for talking has ceased, the time for fighting has begun and he’ll claim victory after victory… honestly, he does go on a bit.
Velveteen Dream gets frustrated too quickly. He sounded on the verge of a tantrum when he said EC3 wouldn’t be getting his hand raised in Brooklyn, the only thing anyone will be thinking is, ‘dream over’. He didn’t seem too impressed at the crowd chanting, ‘fanny pack’, at him.
EC3 took his jacket off and started to unbutton his shirt as he said, ‘we don’t have to wait for Brooklyn, we can do this now’.
Velveteen Dream started to remove his jacket and accessories, looked and prodded at his shoulder like he might have tweaked it, then put his jacket over EC3’s head and commenced the brawl.
EC3 came out on top and left Velveteen Dream laying on the canvas looking shocked. Their TakeOver match is going to be fun, if a bit too ego-heavy.
Cathy Kelley went through the available footage of the aftermath of Aleister Black’s attack and named all the superstars shown in the video as potential suspects. It’s quite a list, but here goes – Johnny Gargano, all of Undisputed ERA, Lars Sullivan, Tucker Night and Otis Dozovic, Kassius Ohno, Kairi Sane and Candice LeRae (I’m guessing they’re not actually suspects but you never know) Steve Cutler, Jaxon Ryker, Wesley Blake, Kona Reeves, Ricochet, Shayna Baszler, Velveteen Dream, Fabian Aichner, Marcel Barthel, Cezar Bononi, Tommaso Ciampa, and EC3. Any of them could have seen or heard something, several of them had a potential reason to carry out the attack.
Of course, the biggest hype package of the night was for the NXT Championship match. I know it’s a last man standing match, but seriously, what else is there for them to do to each other.
Bianca Belair was shown back in training at the Performance centre. Apparently, she’s being insufferable, but working hard and on track to be back soon.
Pete Dunne will defend the UK Championship against Zack Gibson on next week’s show. That will be a nice extra match for the TakeOver live crowd.
Tyler Bate vs Roderick Strong
One of the nicest things about this match was how much of it they got to have without any interference. Trent Seven accompanied Tyler Bate and Roderick Strong had Kyle O’Reilly with him, but they didn’t get involved except too much.
That was good because there was no need to spoil a great match. It started fast, with Bate trying to get some revenge for Trent Seven’s knee injury. It was Kyle O’Reilly that gifted Roderick Strong the upper hand. He got up on the apron and Tyler Bate distracted himself by punching him in the face.
As matches designed to hype other matches go, this did its job. They threw everything at each other, with the pace only dipping momentarily in a few places.
Trent Seven and Kyle O’Reilly had their own bit of aggro on the outside towards the end of the match, which enabled Strong and Bate to finish things in peace.
The Tyler Driver 97 secured the win for Bate to give Moustache Mountain the momentum going into NXT TakeOver Brooklyn IV.
TakeOver looks epic, yet again, but I’m really disappointed about the title match. Quite apart from the fact Aleister Black is one of my favourite wrestlers to watch, I’m a bit over Ciampa and Gargano. I know it was inevitable that they were going to fight again, but it’s been no time at all since they half-killed each other, and I could have done with Black as a buffer between them. But, accidents happen (Black was injured at a live event), and the whodunnit storyline could be fun. I hope they make it someone interesting rather than just Ciampa or (my current bet) Gargano.
The full card for NXT TakeOver Brooklyn IV is:
Tommaso Ciampa (C) vs Johnny Gargano – Last Man Standing match for the NXT Championship
Shayna Baszler (C) vs Kairi Sane – NXT Women’s Championship match
Undisputed ERA vs Moustache Mountain – NXT Tag Team Championship match
Adam Cole (C) vs Ricochet – NXT North American Championship match
Velveteen Dream vs EC3
Check back on Rear View Reviews tomorrow for the full preview of TakeOver, and after TakeOver for the review.