WWE NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 2
In the interest of bringing you some of that sweet Cewsh Reviews love in a more timely and consistent manner, we’ll be doing more stripped down reviews of the shows that we watch. For more elaboration on any points you see here, or to call Cewsh a jerkhead in general for his obviously faulty opinions, find us on Twitter @CewshReviews.
On with the show!
Austin Aries vs. No Way Jose
There is no greater disconnect between my own opinion and that of the NXT crowd than when it comes to Austin Aries, but I think that’s pretty commonly known by now. This match was put here to get the crowd involved, and wound up being more than just that. No Way Jose really showed something here, and while the quality was mostly thanks to Aries, Jose did more than enough to make me take another good long look at his potential.
78 out of 100
Ember Moon vs. Billie Kay
If you’ve been a follower of Cewsh Reviews for a few years, you may remember when we used to do detailed recaps of every Shimmer weekend. Two names which came up again and again in those reviews were Athena and Jessie McKay, who were bursting with potential, but had no path to WWE with women’s wrestling in the shape it was, (and for other reasons we wont go into.) Fast forward to now, and now they’re facing off in a high profile match in WWE and NO I’M NOT CRYING, MY FACE WATER JUST BROKE.
Most NXT matches that are not deliberately built dream matches and squash matches in some form or other, as was this, but they gave Billie Kay plenty to make her seem credible. But unquestionably the real star was Moon, who hit every signature spot that she developed on the indies better than I had ever seen her perform them before. She has been prone, in the past, to the old Sabu trap of going for too much and not being able to land it, but she was on fire tonight, and her finish has been the best kept secret in wrestling for years.
She’s main roster bound as soon as there’s room for her. Enjoy her in the big yellow ring while you can.
70 out of 100
Bobby Roode vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
First thing’s first. Watch the entrance. It will make you a happier human being.
It must be said that Almas has been saddled with a lot of things that are holding him back, from the tepid entrance music, to the mouthful of a name, to the outfit, which would be accepted as totally commonplace to Mexican audiences, but looks silly in this environment. The audience isn’t taking to him thus far, and in NXT that’s something that you can tell very quickly.
Bobby Roode, on the other hand, has come in so hot and with so much fervor from the NXT fanbase that he’s starting Beatlemania style crowd riots. This match certainly didn’t do anything to curb that, as Bobby Roode and the former La Sombra are both absolutely top notch talents and could have had this match in their sleep. It was good, though they could, and will, do better.
78 out of 100
NXT Tag Team Championships – The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) vs. DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa)
There are three points I absolutely have to hit here.
- I’ve been rooting Johnny Gargano on to reach WWE for years and years and years now, since the days when I would record every episode of Cleveland All Pro Wrestling, (and later Pro Wrestling Ohio,) just to watch him develop. Seeing him make it, and wrestle the match of his life while the crowd chants, “Johnny Wrestling” at him brings a tear to my stodgy old eye.
- The Revival are simply on another plane of existence from any tag team working right now. It’s one thing to develop chemistry with your partner that allows you to perform tag team moves together. It’s another thing to develop your tag team selling so thoroughly that you can make anyone you face look like an absolute god. It takes a great team to develop both of those traits. But the Revival have grown right past that, and into some fairly uncharted territory at this point. They are NEVER OUT OF PLACE. EVER. Not even for a second. Every bump is taken exactly where and how it needs to be. Every interference is done with a knowledge of where the camera is to offer maximum surprise and milk the boos for all they’re worth. They have the power to convince you that they are genuinely going to lose multiple times within the same match. It’s a level of greatness that future teams should already be studying. Fundamentally, they are the best tag team in the world.
- This match was whiiiiiite hot. It helped that the crowd was so into the storyline, despite it being pretty thin in terms of build, and not really making a ton of sense. The near falls were untouchable, and the finishing sequence where the Revival turned it into a limb working heel masterpiece in under a minute without losing any credibility? Oh my god, it was like an Arn Anderson wet dream.
These guys all delivered at the highest level. Can’t wait to see more.
92 out of 100
Cewsh’s Seal of Approval
NXT Women’s Championship – Asuka (c) vs. Bayley
Beautiful. This entire thing was just beautiful. Every little touch that they added around this match, from Sasha, Becky and Charlotte at ringside, to the little added twist on their entrances, gave this match a big fight feel that it more than lived up to.
I find it interesting, that the storyline here was basically that in her quest to find a way to defeat Asuka, Bayley stumbled across Strong Style, and it gave her the ability to hang. She lost because she needed more time, more training, more practice, even if her passion and heart had her rising from the grave again and again. Bayley didn’t lose anything from losing, Asuka looks even better for winning, and we’re all pretty goddamn lucky that we got to see it.
90 out of 100
Cewsh’s Seal of Approval
NXT Championship – Samoa Joe (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
My brain will never fully process the shock at this match happening in a WWE ring. Never, ever, ever, ever.
Putting aside Nakamura’s entrance, which may be one of the greatest in recent wrestling history, and the storyline, which was largely a cobbled together series of filler segments that showed that they knew full well that this match would sell itself regardless of anything they did to add context to it, what we need to focus on is not so much what happened in between the ropes here, but what happened outside of them.
While Joe and Nakamura had an absolutely fabulous match, it was the crowd who brought this over the top and made it special. When Nakamura kicked out of the final muscle buster and the crowd burst into a passionate rendition of his theme song to support him, and then went right on signing it after the match was over, as they were leaving the arena, and even notably on the subway on the way home.
It was the most impressive and most complete show of love that a crowd has paid a WWE wrestler in 20 years. There was nothing cynical in it. Nothing ironic or detached. NXT has finally reached the point where they are producing stars that their fans LOVE. When Nakamura held the belt over his head in victory, the people in attendance, and many more watching at home, felt something. And fuck me if that isn’t just the best thing.
90 out of 100
Cewsh’s Seal of Approval
I think it would be pretty easy to name this the show of the year now to save us all some time. It may be topped, and I hope it is, but part of what has been making these big NXT shows so special is that they are hitting so many of the right notes to keep their viewers happy, that the sum of the parts of the show always seem even better than the individual matches do. This was a show with 3 great matches, 1 good one and 2 squashes, and yet i’m over here babbling about my emotions over it like it was 100s across the board.
There’s just nothing like this in wrestling right now, and maybe there never was. At any rate, it’s pretty fucking cool and you should be watching it.