It's that time of year again, the biggest show of the NXT year. August 19th, 8pm ET (7pm if you're that one person who watches NXT pre-shows), NXT take over Brooklyn for the third edition of NXT: TakeOver Brooklyn III. Coming to us from the historic (is it historic? It's probably historic) Barclay's Center with Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson and Across the Pond Editor James' fave 'Showtime' Percy Watson calling the action. Advance press claims that for the one person who watches the aforementioned pre-show, they can expect discussion from Corey Graves, Charly Caruso, Lita and Sam Rosenberg aswell as special guests Neville, Shinsuke Nakamura, Sasha Banks and Carmella & interviews from Renee Young. Obviously the thing you're all most excited about - the theme tunes and this year, they've got a pretty bumper crop including one of this writer's current faves - Code Orange.
Aleister Black vs. Hideo Itami
Johnny Gargano Vs. Andrade 'Cien' Almas
Another singles match that has the potential for strong in-ring action but also has basically no reason to be happening. Andrade Almas, alongside his new manager Zelina Vega has returned with a new attitude and actual wins, yes, you heard correctly Almas has won consecutive matches, yet, he has to contend with the returning Johnny 'Wrestling' Gargano, fresh off being betrayed by his former best friend Tommaso Ciampa, has returned and is determined to remind us why he's called Johnny Wrestling. It's because he's really good at wrestling if that's not clear. I don't see them not giving Gargano the win as this is essentially a re-debut for him and as one of the purest babyfaces in WWE, a clean win for him would be a nice way to start the show but Almas could benefit more from a win against someone who matters (sorry, No Way Jose) to avoid getting that 'new top jobber' label from people like me who mistake their opinion for fact. Either way, should be fun.
NXT Tag Team Championship
Authors of Pain vs. SaNItY (Wolfe/Dain)
So this is happening, the nihilist murder babies take on the Rammstein fan club for the right to consider themselves the biggest lads in NXT. After Drew McIntyre defeated Killian Dain for the NXT Championship No.1 Contendership and Nikki Cross missed her opportunity to take Asuka's title, the crusty punks turned their attention to the tag gold with the former WxW and ICW Heavyweight champions Alexander Wolfe and Dain taking the reins as lead by Cross. But what of Eric Young, their mysterious leader, where was he? It was all part of a master plan he was concocting. This master plan it turns out was to turn up out of nowhere and attack them from behind utilising the three lads are better than two rule. Genius. How long did it take you to come up with that one, Eric? Logic would dictate that SaNItY might be in line to take the belts as frankly, what else do you do with the Authors at this point? But then again, SaNItY have been suffering from that Wyatt family booking wherein they struggle to look that effective as they win matches but not feuds. If you are the kind of person who likes watching four big lads do big lad things and also love heel shenanigans, look forward to this one as that's going to be both teams! Who do you root for? I don't know, who cares? Probably not me, moving on.
NXT Championship Match
Bobby Roode (C) Vs. Drew McIntyre
It's finally happening, the King of the Mountain title match that never was. All we need is a run-in by Mr. Anderson (Editor's Note: KEEEEENNNNNNEEEEDDYYYYY) and the scene would be complete. It's been a quick rise back to the top of the card for Drew McIntyre, having been in the crowd at TakeOver: Dallas in April, now just two big shows later, he's here at the top, farting bagpipes theme and all. It's an interesting method they've taken with pushing McIntyre as it seems the further up he gets, the more humble he is about not wanting to take it for granted like he maybe did last time, about wanting to fight for his place and to keep fighting. Then we have Bobby Roode who keeps telling everyone that it is his NXT, who only competes in big matches now, who is finally starting to get the crowd off his side, even if they join in with his chants and theme music. Bobby doesn't seem ready to give up the title and I don't know if it's time for him to let go of it. As much as Drew is fully prepared to be a top guy, even if I wish he still had the Futureshock DDT at his disposal, I feel like the build suggests that this is just act one of the story. Also, let's not forget the potential involvement of one Mr. Roderick Strong, whose issues with Bobby Roode are far from resolved. Equally as they are clearly priming Ember Moon for a Women's title win and even SaNItY could potentially walk away with golden waists, I can't see all the titles changing hands in the same night. That said, the old school heel style of Roode contrasting with the modern Scottish Strong Style of McIntyre could make for a fascinating collision and whatever happens, a worthy addition to the Brooklyn NXT Championship canon. Even though we all know there's only one match that deserves to be at the top of the card and it involves a certain 505 day champion...
NXT Women's Championship
Asuka (C) Vs. Ember Moon
505 days. 505 days Asuka has been the NXT Womens Champion. Her streak has outshone Goldberg's, with Nikki Cross she's put on the best WWE Womens match this year, what else is there left to do? At this point, the 'how do you beat Asuka?' question is far too big, if she has to be beaten, it has to be by someone worthy of destroying the streak, if she simply absconds to main roster, it essentially devalues the efforts of everyone who tried to take it but if she keeps holding it, well, she's been ready for Main Roster for a while now and the longer she holds it, the fewer trainees can get a chance to test themselves as an NXT champion before they have to jump in the weekly live TV deep end. Yet here we are, watching the NXT TakeOver: Dallas rematch of Ember Moon and Asuka. Certainly the booking has suggested that Asuka could be beaten by Ember: she's had to throw referees to win, at the No.1 Contenders Battle Royal, she had to injure her to stop her getting a shot, I'm not saying they're trying to say Asuka's scared of Ember, but is she? Certainly it seems that the match once again comes down to one factor; Can Ember hit her Eclipse Top Rope Corkscrew Stunner? If she can, we could be seeing a new champion, if that happens, we could be seeing a new addition to the RAW or Smackdown Live Women's division. If not, I guess we wait and see who wins the Mae Young Classic...*
First off, don't be surprised if we're shown three time ROH Champion Adam Cole (baybay) sitting in the front row somewhere before the main event as that seems to be the new favoured way of announcing big acquisitions. Secondly, it's a big show, who knows Triple H might turn up for the first time on WWE TV since WrestleMania, he was on Jimmy Fallon the other night slamming Jim through a table so he might do his standard 'This. Is. N.X.T' speech before to get everyone excited. Also, who knows? Maybe there'll be a big debut or re-appearance on the show, TM61's Shane Thorne must be close to being on the mend by now? The big question is could there be another match added to the card? Ignoring the standard filming of matches for next week's NXT, every Brooklyn special so far has been six matches and currently, there are only five announced for this one, all of them straightforward one-on-one (or one team-on-one team) encounters, it's also become clear that Pete Dunne, Trent Seven, Tyler Bate and Mark Andrews are in the Americas at the moment. Could we be seeing a UK Title Fatal Four Way added to the card as a surprise? If that happens, will I be able to contain myself? Will I be able to contain myself anyway? Check back soon to find out.
Article by Jozef Raczka (@NotJozefRaczka)
* I mean, we all know it's going to be Kairi Sane right?