10 Thoughts On… NXT Takeover: Brooklyn (Sasha Banks vs. Bayley “Just Amazing”, Baron Corbin vs. Samoa Joe “Quite a Surprise”)

That venue looks great and the crowd is ready. Triple H is in the ring and puts over NXT and the fans. it almost sounded like he meant it too.

1) Takeover starts properly with Jushin Thunder Liger in a WWE ring. Just saying. Good, fun match designed to please the fans. It’s amazing what Liger still can do at the age of 50. I also liked the fact that he used Breeze’s character to mock him. It’s in the little details. Lots of respect from the fans AND from WWE/NXT booking for Liger. And great job from the commentary team to put Liger’s achievement over. Hate to say it, but, good job there WWE. Very entertaining opener that easily achieved its goals.

2) Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman are in the crowd and get some camera time. Good backstage moment with Charlotte and Becky wishing Bailey good luck. And little promo announcing the arrival of  Nia Jax. All fun until now.

3) Alexa Bliss mocks the Vaudevillains for failing to find someone to accompany them into the ring. I love Simon Gotch’s expressions here. But wait, they did find someone. Crowd pops huge for Blue Pants. Good tag match here with, in my opinion, Gotch making the best impression. I just love his retro routine. The inevitable Alexa/Blue Pants catfight was kinda sloppy but did achieve its purpose. Deserving and crowd-pleasing win for the Vaudevillains who have really come far lately. The Blue Pants thing is just hilarious.

4) The “Perfect 10” gimmick of Tye Dillinger is a rather amusing one. Apollo Crews was allowed some impressing moves, but I thought they should have gone for a full squash here. Dillinger’s offense just wasn’t believable. Still, not a bad debut for Crews.

5) I just loved that the Tough Enough contestants were boo-ed.

6) Baron Corbin vs Samoa joe was quite a surprise for me. On all level. First of all the booking was decent, and I’m not saying that just because Joe won. Secondly, Corbin, at last, showed some potential. He still has a long way to go, but he probably earned more respect from that one loss than from all his squash wins combined. Nothing really wrong with this one.

7) Ric Flair and Sgt Slaughter are in attendance alongside… Kana??? At a WWE event??? First Liger, then Kana, what the hell is happening? Commentators put her over as a “world-renowned wrestler”. WWE treating outsiders with respect, I must have entered the fourth dimension without noticing.

8) Kana being there will undoubtedly start speculations amongst fans. OK when I say fans, it’s probably just gonna be Joseph Hargrove and me, but still. They need female performers to replace Charlotte, Becky and Sasha, and , let’s face it, Kana is one of the very best. Could be very interesting. But WWE clearly has something in mind, all those sudden references to Japanese wrestling and legend can’t be just a coincidence.

9) Steph comes out to put the women/herself over. I’ll let you judge. Sasha Banks vs Bayley was just amazing. From the excellent video package on, relating the history between the “Four Horsewoman”, you just knew you were about to witness something special. Amusingly, Banks had warned fans should expect the greatest woman’s match they had ever seen. She wasn’t kidding. While Bayley was amazing, this match is a perfect illustration of why I’m always saying Sasha banks is better than Charlotte.  Just look at her ring work here, absolutely to-notch. On top of that she effortlessly plays the audience. And she’s only 23. Just amazing. If anyone is going to revolutionize anything, it’s Banks, mark my words. Speaking of revolutions, here is where the real revolution has been happening, and this match is the perfect illustration of that. Forget the watered down version we’ve seen on RAW until now, this is it. I hope Steph and Co noticed. Post-match there was a very touching curtain call, with Bayley, Sasha, backy and Charlotte making the “Four Horsewoman” sign while the crowd roared its approval; Just perfect on all levels. Match of the Year candidate beyond any doubt!

10) Finn Balor and Kevin Owens actually had a tough job following THAT. That says it all, really. While the two assembled an very good and very enjoyable ladder match, they couldn’t top the woman’s match. Nothing could really. Owens remains great at playing an jerk, even finding time to mock Zayn. Balor is edging closer to his greatest performances in NJPW, which is a good thing. All in all an excellent main even, with the right result, to close this show.

The bigger venue, greater crowd and appearance of a legend could have backfired on WWE/NXT. It didn’t. On the contrary, Takeover can be considered an enormous success on all levels. A red-hot crowd,some top-notch performances, a commentary team that did all they could to put the matches and the performed previous achievements over and the booking that was flawless, this was a great event. I can’t even imagine how Summerslam can even hope to top that, despite the hype, but WWE better be ready or, come Monday, one of their events will be praised to the moon while the other will be completely panned.

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