Posted August 24, 2016 by LJ Zenarosa in Entertainment

The Saga Continues – NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II in Review


The first TakeOver: Brooklyn was a landmark moment for NXT and it was an amazing event through and through. That being said, TakeOver: Brooklyn II was met with a lot of expectations. Were they able to live up to, if not surpass those expectations? Let’s find out.


No Way Jose vs. Austin Aries

Let me just get this out of the way first — that conga line during No Way Jose’s entrance was a trip. Now heading on to the match proper, everyone knows what Austin Aries brings to the table in terms of experience, even though Jose has the size advantage. Despite ending up with a loss after a Last Chancery, nothing can be taken away from the Dominican sensation. Life may be a fiesta for No Way Jose but given this opportunity, his offensive move set against Aries was all business. Though I would admit that Jose could’ve done better with his slap on Aries after they shook hands at the start. It wasn’t a great match but it was a good way to warm up the crowd for what’s to come later on that night. Hideo Itami’s presence and his GTS (with the emphasis on “his” since he was the OG behind the move) to Aries after the match had a louder reaction than the match itself and that hurt the match a bit. If it turns out that Aries was responsible for Hideo ending up on the sidelines for over a year, then I’m already excited for the next TakeOver.

Rating: 3.5/5


Ember Moon vs. Billie Kay

A solid debut for Ember Moon. Her bloodshot eyes scared the crap out of me. And her corkscrew stunner from the top rope was very impressive. Though I would admit she could hop less as she makes her way down the aisle. Billie Kay, on the other hand, was also impressive and had her shots in. It’s a shame she wasn’t built up sooner but since the NXT Women’s Division has experienced a major shakeup after the Draft, things could be looking up for her.

Rating: 3.5/5


Bobby Roode vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas

The hype for Bobby Roode was real from his entrance (with the crowd singing along to the chorus of his theme) to the “This is Glorious” chants. And Roode lived up to the hype in his debut against the equally impressive Almas who was coming into the match undefeated. While Almas held his own against The Glorious One in a solid match, one Glorious Bomb later and that was it for “Cien”.100 to zero real quick. Not really that quick but you catch my drift.



Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa vs. The Revival – NXT Tag Team Championship

The only tag team match of the night had all the makings of a show-stealer. Team #DIY (Gargano & Ciampa) were coming into this match with a lot of momentum from a great main event first round match against each other. As a team, their high-octane offense brought the entire Barclays Center crowd on their feet and helped them hold their own against Dash & Dawson. There were instances when Gargano & Ciampa looked like they were about to win the titles, even one spot where they almost had the three-count had it not been for Dawson putting Dash’s foot on the bottom rope. This was exciting from start to finish.Take nothing away from all four men who gave everything they had in that ring.

Rating: 4.5/5


Bayley vs. Asuka – NXT Women’s Championship Match

Compared to their first encounter at TakeOver: Dallas, Asuka and Bayley stepped up to the plate and outdid themselves. These two ladies were on another level, bringing out the best of each other from start to finish.

Bayley has proven time and time again that she can be tough in the right position (as if passing out while on the receiving end of an Asuka Lock wasn’t enough evidence).She was on another gear this night, showing a side that was more aggressive than usual. If this is indeed Bayley’s swan song before her impending call up, it definitely comes full circle for her as she ends her NXT run right in the place that put her on the map.

On the other hand, Asuka continues to legitimize her reputation as a fighting champion. Aside from that, she definitely earned her stripes as the standard bearer of the NXT Women’s Division by raising the bar she and Bayley set in Dallas even higher. And if the hug they shared was a symbol, it was that of Asuka fully embracing the role as the leader of the next crop of NXT’s female Superstars.



Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Samoa Joe – NXT Championship Match

Sometimes, the best way to have a live performance of a Superstar’s entrance is just by having one performer instead of a full band. One of the best examples was Lee England, Jr. playing his violin with “The Rising Sun” (Shinsuke Nakamura’s theme song) in the background. I have to give Lee credit for continuing to play his violin until production cut Nakamura’s music.

The highlight for this match was the difference in style between both men: Samoa Joe was the hard-nosed ground-and-pound submission specialist while Nakamura was the flamboyant but hard-hitting striker and technical wizard. Through these differences, there was synergy throughout the match. Joe played his role as a hard-ass down to a tee, which helped show Nakamura’s toughness and determination beneath his offbeat personality. Both men had their moment in the spotlight but when all was said and done, Nakamura’s momentum was undeniable. One Kinshasa dislocated the jaw of the Samoan Submission Machine and another helped him bring home the gold.

Rating: 4/5



Overall, NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II was able to give the first one a run for its money. Most of the matches that were built up in the weeks leading up to the event saw a fitting, if not an epic conclusion.

The debuts of Ember Moon and Bobby Roode may not have been immediate classics but they were just a taste of things to come out of them. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they would be thrust into the title picture early on. And with Shinsuke Nakamura’s win, no longer is he only the King of Strong Style; he’s now also King of NXT.

All in all, the flow of the card was wonderful. The main roster better watch the throne. Because NXT is inches away from taking the brass ring from their clutches.

Final Rating: 4.5/5

All photos are from WWE.com

LJ Zenarosa

Nurse by day but a geek 24/7. Cat Lady who loves wrestling. And can eat lots of sweets -- like a LOT.