MCNEILL'S TAKE McNEILL’s Late Night Blog - "NXT Takeover: Brooklyn" - a/k/a Don't Tell McMahon about this show until after Summerslam
Aug 24, 2015 - 2:29:37 AM
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By Pat McNeill, PWTorch columnist
"NXT: Takeover" has taken over Brooklyn. On the pre-show, your panel is Corey Graves, Lita, and a mute with no visible tattoos. Nice suit, though. I like how they have the panel set up, Fox News style, so you can see Renee Young and Lita’s legs. I’m sure that’s a coincidence.
The panel explains how the dastardly heel, Kevin Owens, demanded an NXT Title ladder match, and how Finn Balor is at a disadvantage because he’s not as experienced in ladder matches. Sure.
Video package time. Baron Corbin has a problem with people who talk about paying their dues in pro wrestling. Samoa Joe has a problem with Baron Corbin. Where’s the sports entertainment in this? Brennan interviews Joe, who promises to put Corbin to sleep. The Brooklyn crowd, of course, is chanting for The New Day.
Corbin’s catchphrase is that he’s the agent who decides your fate. So, he’s Billy Gunn?
Apollo Crews debuts tonight, en route to his Rocky IV rematch against Rusev at WrestleMania.
NXT has taken over the home of the Brooklyn Nets. It couldn’t have been too difficult. These ARE the Nets we’re talking about.
Sasha Banks and Bayley arrive at the building. They should have been here hours ago. All Bailey’s friends turned on and left for Raw. She thinks being NXT champion is “her spot.” Really? This spot crap again? They do show Bayley’s run to the title, and it’s a freaking great video. They show Bayley’s mom, who looks like she’s, well, Bayley’s mom and not an actress.
Corey Graves is in awe of how NXT has grown. I’m just happy people in WWE are reading my preview columns.
Dasha and Greg from NXT television aren’t even allowed in the building. They’re interviewing the scrubs outside the building.
Last month, Alexa Bliss cost The Vaudevillians their match. This month, Lita’s coming to the ring with The Vaudevillians. Saxton calls his bookie. Might not have good information, though.
Neville and Balor and Cesaro are together backstage. Nice suit, Finn. The crowd, of course, chants for Sami Zayn.
Jushin Liger is here to take on the Squire of Selfies, Tyler Breeze. Breeze is busy making fun of Rich Brennan. Renee asks Lita to explain Jushin Liger to newbies. She tells the fans to ask Siri. (Well, she should have.) After the hype, Saxton tells us that Kevin Owens demands respect.
NXT Takeover begins with Triple H’s Theater In The Round. His mic doesn’t carry to the rest of the arena, but he gets the opening glory shot. I can’t wait for Triple H to lead the NXT invasion of Triple H’s WWE.
NXT Raw begins with Tyler Breeze, who’s too sexy for this opening match, if you know what I mean, as he does his little turn on the catwalk. His opponent is Jushin Liger, who, in a breach of etiquette, does not have a selfie stick. Liger’s entrance in "WWE ’16" is going to look twelve kinds of awesome.
“This is surreal.” Yes, yes it is. The fans are rooting for Liger, but they want to see Breeze hang with the King of the Super Juniors. Believe it or not, Saxton learned Liger’s bio, and Brennan learned the names of Liger’s signature moves. And believe it or not, Liger used the selfie stick.
Running Liger Bomb. Thunder wins. Decent match.
The Wolfpack scored front row seats. They’re here to hype their appearance on the epic 50th episode of PWTorch “Wayback Playback“ next weekend. Meanwhile, Charlotte & Becky are backstage with Bayley.
It sounds like a Chyna promo, but it’s actually a promo for Nia Jax, who debuts soon on NXT. She sounds suitably evil.
The Vaudevillians are out to fight Blake & Murphy for the NXT Tag Titles. Amazingly, The Vaudevillians are over. Alexa Bliss is out with her generic tag team champions. She berates The Vaudevillians. But The Vaudevillians have a surprise in the form of Leva “Blue Pants” Bates, who comes out to an a capella version of “The Price Is Right” theme song.
The fans are thrilled, and they declare that Brooklyn is “Blue Pants City." Corey explains that this must be an “ironic hipster thing." Just go with it, ink boy. English does a passable Ricky Morton impression until he makes the hot tag. Blake and Murphy are gonna get Gotched. Blake and Murphy try for a stacked up superplex, but The Vaudevillians want nothing to do with it. Blue Pants saves the challengers from Alexa. (No, really.) The challengers hit the Whirling Dervish, and Gotch and English have the NXT tag titles.
Are Blake and Murphy on their way to the main roster? Well, they’re certainly big and dull enough for the WWE Tag Team Division.
Hey, there’s another show tomorrow on WWE Network. Cool. Are you tired of that Sleeping With Sirens song yet? Former SMW owner Rick Rubin and his beard are in attendance.
Time for Uhaa Crews to debut against Tye Dillinger. I think we’ve found 13,000 regular NXT viewers, because they’re all familiar with the Perfect Ten gimmick. And I am disappointed that Apollo Crews didn’t come out to “Living In America” by James Brown. Don’t worry, I’ll get over it.
The Network is buffering. There might be a few people watching. That dropkick by Dillinger would have looked better at a different angle. Maybe. Dillinger attempts to be the first man in 15 years to win a professional wrestling match with a basic sleeper hold. Nope. Gorilla press, backflip press, and Apollo (ahem) cruises to victory.
William Regal is here to announce the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament, which will wrap up on October 7 at the next "NXT:Takeover." Cool. Somebody donated $100K to Connor’s Cure. Cool.
The Tough Enough finalists are in the house. Meh.
Samoa Joe vs. Baron Corbin. The good news is, Baron Corbin is progressing nicely. The bad news is, Corbin wrestling an actual competitive match kills his aura. He’s like a skinnier version of Dan Spivey. That might not be the vibe WWE wants for this guy.
The two men trade shots and escape each other’s big moves before Joe chokes out Corbin. I thought for sure Joe was being brought in to put over guys like Corbin. Guess not.
Ric Flair, Sgt. Slaughter, and Kana are together. That must have been a hell of dinner table before the show. I wonder if Kana is coming to NXT? The signs are there. They’re already misspelled her name. Oh, Naomi & Tamina are there, too.
Normally, if you want to get this many wrestlers in attendance on a Saturday night before a pay-per-view, you have to run a UFC show.
And here comes the Queen Bee of Buzzkill, Stephanie McMahon. “This is so cool." Yes, it WAS, before you interrupted. Stephanie hypes the Divas revolution and the Sasha vs. Bayley match. Wrap it up, boss, we’re running long.
I am watching grown, middle-aged, overweight men in the crowd dancing to Bayley’s music. And it’s awesome. The Boss makes an awesome entrance, flanked by Usher’s entourage.
I just now figured out that Byron Saxton is ripping off his mannerisms and cadence from Gus Johnson. He could do a lot worse.
I hate to say it, but Sasha Banks appears to be the fan favorite here. Sasha makes fun of Bayley for wearing polka dot wristbands in honor of Dusty Rhodes. That fires Bayley up.
The other thing that makes NXT great is that the announcers let you know there’s a difference between the babyfaces and the heels. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it is a big improvement.
Bayley kicks out of the Top Shelf. Saxton refers to Banks as a cagey veteran. Somebody needs to talk to Saxton.
Sasha works over the injured hand of Bayley. For the first time tonight, the crowd is chanting “This is wrestling." Then Sasha hits a flip plancha and the crowd goes nuts. Sasha’s closer to Ronda Rousey than Bayley. But the crowd gets behind Bayley when it counts. Bayley can’t hit the Hugplex. Sasha gets the Bank Statement. Bayley reverses it. At the next break, we get the standing ovation. Sasha kicks out of the Belly to Bayley. Shame. That would have been a great finish.
Bayley wants the superplex. Sasha shoves Bayley off and she lands awkwardly. “Sometimes when you push someone too hard, they push back." Mr. McMahon probably wouldn’t understand that line. Bayley hits the revesre rana and her finisher, and wins the title. People are freaking excited.
Bayley cries in the middle of the ring, and it doesn’t seem excessive at all. Charlotte and Becky celebrate with Bayley. And Sasha breaks character and hugs Bayley. They flash the Four Horsewomen sign. They’re doing the Curtain Call. In New York City! That’s hilarious.
If you’re wondering why the crowd had such a flat reaction to the announcement of NXT going to England, it’s because those people have priced air tickets recently.
“Theme to a Lowering Cage” is back. It plays as Kevin Owens heads to gorilla position. Owens screams at the crowd, but he does pause to hug a random blonde at ringside. Balor’s entrance looks pretty gosh-darn swank inside a major arena like this one. I like Owens sitting in a chair at ringside, refusing to be thrown off by the theatrics. I like Owens’s disgusted face as the announcer mispronounced the name of his hometown.
Ladder match time. The announcer actually mention how Owens’s stock has dropped with the recent matches. There’s a fight or something in the crowd, so we slow it down.
Based on the crowd chants, I think this crowd will be rooting for Brock Lesnar tomorrow.
And now, the two top stars in NXT battle over the ladder. The crowd, of course, chants for Sami Zayn.
Owens is an awesome heel. He makes the extra effort to be a dick. We get a painful looking series of ladder spots, including Owens power bombing Finn off the ladder. That’s not good. And another power bomb on the ring apron. Owens drags Balor up the ladder for the package power bomb, but get dropped from one ladder onto the second one. Coup De Grace off the ladder, and Finn climbs to keep the title. It was really good, but it felt anti-climactic.
I suspect the only reason that the men went on last was to not give away the finish to the ladies’s match.
So, we had six matches and six babyfaces went over. This was such a feel-good show I was expecting Hunter and Steph to come out at the end and sing “We’re All In This Together." It’s a different product, and that’s great. Thumbs up.
Don’t let Mr. McMahon watch "NXT:Takeover" until after Summerslam. It’ll just upset him.
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