Drew McIntyre may have defeated Bobby Roode for the NXT Championship but the biggest news to come out of TakeOver is that NXT has been invaded by three of the biggest indy stars today.
Coming into their own in Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish invaded Takeover and made their presence felt in big way.
Adam Cole, a former member of Bullet Club and the only three-time Ring of Honor World Champion, attacked newly-crowned NXT Champion Drew McIntyre from behind after he was distracted by O’Reilly and Fish. He then posed over McIntyre with the belt.
Officially known as reDRagon, O’Reilly and Fish won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship twice in NJPW and the ROH World Tag Team Championships three times. Also, O’Reilly won the ROH World Championship and lost it to Adam Cole in January of this year at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11, NJPW’s WrestleMania. Bobby Fish has been the ROH World Television Championship once and lost it to the ‘Aerial Assassin’ Will Ospreay.
Earlier in the evening, O’Reilly and Fish appeared together at the conclusion of the Authors of Pain and Sanity match, blindsiding Sanity, the new NXT Tag Team Champions, and also The Authors of Pain. In recent weeks on NXT television, O’Reilly and Fish have had single matches and both lost to Aleister Black.
This new alliance could very well signal that NXT might be invaded just like when the nWo took over WCW in 1996. It remains to be seen how this angle will play out in the coming weeks and months.
As previously mentioned Takeover featured two title changes. In the main event, defending NXT Champion Bobby Roode was defeated by the returning Drew McIntyre in a solid match.
The end of the bout came with McIntyre knocking Roode silly with the Claymore drop kick. Roode barely escaped a pin fall though by draping his leg over the bottom rope and then rolling out of the ring. An incensed McIntyre bulldozed Roode with a tope over the top rope. Back in the ring, a dazed Roode beat McIntyre to the punch with spinebuster and a Glorious DDT for a two count. Roode hit another Glorious DDT and went for a third. As he did so, McIntyre staggered him with a head butt and another Claymore drop kick for the win.
Sanity defeated The Authors of Pain for the NXT Tag Team Championship when Nikki Cross sacrificed herself. She allowed Killian Dain to splash herself and Akam through a table while back in the ring Wolfe and Young hit a double team neckbreaker for the victory.
Perhaps the best match of the night though was the NXT Women’s Championship match between Asuka and Ember Moon, who gave the best match of their careers in NXT. A monumental struggle with the momentum furiously going back and forth, Moon took Asuka out with the Eclipse (diving corkscrew stunner) but Asuka kicked out. Having worked over Moon’s arm and shoulder the entire match, Asuka forced her to submit with her Asuka Lock.
With not a bad match on the entire card and every superstar upping their game as they usually do at Takeover, it seems even if a match featured a block of cheese against a coat hanger, a toaster against a coffee maker or a paper clip facing a D20, NXT would somehow inspire a match of the year candidate out of them.
NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 3: August 19, 2017
Johnny Gargano carries Andrade Almas.
Andrade Almas (with Zelina Vega) vs. Johnny Gargano
Zelina Vega is in Andrade’s ear the entire way to the ring getting him riled up. Before the match even starts, chants of Johnny Wrestling fill the Barclay Center. Gargano has Almas flustered by wrestling his way out of every hold he applies. Almas starts working on Gargano’s arm, cranking it with a triangle submission hold in the ropes. “Rip it off!” shouts Vega from outside the ring. A double clothesline takes both men down to the canvass and that leads to a slugfest in the middle of the ring. A slingshot spear from the apron and through the middle ropes gets Gargano a two count. A tope smashes Almas into the ringside barrier and an over the top rope DDT scores Gargano another two count.
Gargano goes for another spear and Almas catches him in a reverse DDT. Both men battle on the second rope in a corner. Almas buckle bombs Gargano and gets a two count. Almas waves in the negative as the crowd once again cheers…Johnny Wrestling! Gargano runs with Almas and spikes him into the second turnbuckle. Almas is dazed. Vega throws a DYI shirt into Gargano’s hands which distracts him. Almas drop kicks him and a hammer lock DDT ends the match for Gargano. The very best match Almas has wrestled in NXT. Fantastic work by both men but Almas really excelled and proved that NXT patience with his career was well worth it.
Winner: At 17 minutes and 48 seconds, Andrade Almas.
Match Rating: 7.5 / 10
The Authors of Pain double team Eric Young.
Tag team match for the NXT Tag Team Championship – The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) (c) (with Paul Ellering) vs. Sanity (Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain) (with Eric Young and Nikki Cross)
A battle of the baddies to be sure. AOP rushes the ring before the bell even rings. Eric Young pulls a table out from under the ring as the two teams brawl for about four minutes before the official calls for the bell.
AOD beat on Wolfe driving him down into the mat. They then batter him in the corner. Eric steps onto the apron and tags in replacing Killian Dain in the match. Not a good strategy as Young is clotheslined over the barrier and clobbered into the crowd. Akam misses a charge and hit a steel barrier. Back in the ring, Akam backdrops Young onto the shoulders of Rezar who lands a Canadian Backbreaker. Unbelievable.
Young is held as across a knee and he is then stomped from the second rope. AOP refuses to let Young tag almost choking him unconscious. Young tries to slide under Rezar. Rezar grabs him around the throat and hoists him into the air for a huge slam. Wolfe hot tags in and battles AOD all on his own pitching them from pillar to post. A flying head butt from the top rope scores him a two count. Young lands a flying elbow but Rezar is pulled out of the ring by Akam. Nikki Cross holds onto Young from outside the ring causing Rezar to powerbomb Akam by mistake. Cross jumps off the top rope but is caught by Rezar. Dain splashes both Akam and Cross through the table. After a double team neckbreaker from the top rope with Wolfe, Young gets the pin fall for the team.
After the match, O’Reiley and Bobby Fish, known as red Dragon, attack both AOP and Sanity.
Winners: At 12 minutes and 12 seconds…and new NXT Tag Team Champions…Sanity.
Match Rating: 8.5 / 10
Aleister Black kicks Hideo Itami.
Aleister Black vs. Hideo Itami
Jim Ross is announced as the special guest commentator and the Barclay Center goes nuts. Code Orange plays Black’s entrance live as he rises through the stage with red candles all around him. Just freaking awesome.
Itami taunts Black before the match begins. The two strikers exchange kicks, head butts and shoves. A combo of forearms, kicks and knees puts down Itami down for a two count. Black misses a kick and is caught in the ropes. Itami hits a guillotine knee drop. Black’s nose starts to bleed badly and the official puts on his gloves.
Itami soccer kicks Black in the back and asks the crowd if they want him to deliver another. Itami mocks Black sitting cross-legged in the middle of the ring. Black is a DDTed for a two count. Black bleeds even more as he absorbs more and more punishment from Itami.
Black fires back with a series of kicks of his own. Black crushes Itami with a springboard moonsault for a two count. Itami topples Black with a clothesline from the top rope and a Fisherman’s Suplex but cannot pin him. A roundhouse kick puts Itami down but Black is caught on the top rope. Itami spikes Black with a Falcon Arrow from the top rope for another two count.
A furious Black rises to his feet and the two men slug it out in the middle of the ring. Another Falcon Arrow and another two count for Itami. After a drop kick in the corner, Itami prepares for the Go To Sleep, Black fights out. Itami demands respect. Itami misses a kick and gets a Black Mass for his troubles and is KO’ed, pinned.
Once again, if NXT and WWE handles Black’s career with care, he really could be the next big thing.
Winner: At 12 minutes and 55 seconds, Aleister Black.
Match Rating: 7.5 / 10
Asuka works on Ember Moon’s arm.
NXT Women’s Championship – Asuka (c) vs. Ember Moon
Ember’s family is in attendance. Asuka comes to the ring with some kind of a crown, headdress on. Both women go nose to nose, trash talking each other before the introductions. Chants of…Asuka’s gonna kill you!…echo throughout the arena.
Moon drops Asuka as the bell rings surprising her with a barrage of kicks. The battle goes to the floor as Moon splashes Asuka from the top rope. Asuka throws Moon into the ring steps and then starts pummelling her. Moon is suplexed on the steel ramp with a thud.
Asuka starts working on Moon’s injured arm. Moon is slammed onto her arm with an STO by Asuka. A surfboard causes further agony. Duelling chants fill the Barclay Center. Moon executes a Teardrop Suplex to free her arm. A barrage of kicks and an enziguri kick lays out Asuka.
A Tornado Suplex from the second rope puts Asuka’s shoulders down for a two count. Moon climbs to the top rope but Asuka cuts her off at the pass. Asuka gets hung up in a Tree of Woe and stomped into the mat for another two count. Moon nails the Eclipse but Asuka kicks out. Moon goes back to the top rope but Asuka pulls the official in the way. Asuka rolls up Moon holding her trunks but the official sees it all and forces the break. The crowd chants…NXT! Asuka plays possum and slaps on the Asuka Lock. Moon fights and fights but eventually taps out.
Winner: At 15 minutes and 15 seconds…and still NXT Women’s Champion….Asuka.
Match Rating: 8.5 / 10
Bobby Roode prepares to defend the NXT title against Drew McIntyre.
NXT Championship – Bobby Roode (c) vs. Drew McIntyre
Winner: At 24 minutes and 40 seconds…and new NXT Champion…. Drew McIntyre.
Match Rating: 8 / 10
Overall Event Rating: 8.5 / 10