The Hype is Real – NXT TakeOver Brooklyn II Recap


Tonight’s NXT TakeOver Brooklyn II recap is brought to you (unknowingly) by Cigar City Brewing Jai Alai IPA.  Those of you joining us in Orlando for Wrestlemania will have to join us on a short road trip towards the coast to visit Tampa and taste it from the source, because it’s damn good from 8 hours away.

One year ago…..

The vast majority of this card was not even with NXT.  Bobby Roode was with TNA.  No Way Jose was….wherever the hell No Way Jose is from.  Ciampa and Gargano were tearing up the indie circuit.  Asuka was killing people in Japan.  And strong style had yet to invade the Western shores.


15,000+ strong are packing every corner of the Barclay’s Center to see the magic one more time.

Let’s get straight to this:


Initial impression, I am a touch surprised that these two are the openers on this card.  I thought they’d be in the middle of the road somewhere.  But you might as well kick off with a bang, and NWJ and AA are going to do just that.

Wow, you don’t really realize how short Austin Aries is until he’s in the ring with another competitor.  He’s even shorter than the ref.  I mean, he may stand eye to eye with Bayley.  But one thing he’s not short on is talent.  This man is an incredible wrestler.  Contrary, No Way Jose, as I said in the prediction post, is not short on excitement himself.  He dances and keeps it fun, but the man is a fighter, and he puts on a show.

Jose was in command for a good bit early on, but Aries took over about five minutes in.  Just ruthless aggression, which is great for a heel character.  Brutal attacks, like a double stomp on Jose’s face, monkey slaps to the sides of his head, a face wrenching sleeper.  But Jose dances his way to his feet, and hit just big spot after big spot even though he clearly took a shot to the mouth.  He was bleeding pretty heavily from either his gums or his lip.  But all the big spots couldn’t save him, as Aries hit the sunset flip powerbomb off the top to reverse the superplex, and then locked in the Last Chancery for the Win.

After the bell, Aries went back for another, and drew out the save Hideo Itami, in a 3-piece suit and loafers.  It was spotty, but Hideo still doesn’t have his timing back after the lengthy injury leave.

Jeremy: 1        Matt: 1


And her opponent, she hails from Outworld, standing 5’6″ tall, Smoke.

Sorry, I have to make Mortal Kombat jokes.  What isn’t a joke is how absolutely fu***ng phenomenal a talent Athena/Ember Moon is.

And I use the word phenomenal intentionally.  Watching her wrestle, she’s the women’s division version of AJ Styles.  A well seasoned veteran of the independent promotions with some serious talent.  She’s going to be amazing and I hope beyond all hope that they build to an Ember Moon vs Asuka match at TakeOver Orlando on Wrestlemania weekend.

What I’ve learned from this match, aside from the fact that Billie Kay is also quite damn good in the ring, is that the women’s division in NXT isn’t lacking, but they need to move Bayley on so that they can start to focus more on some of the rest of the women in their division.  Bayley is great, and she’s going to be wildly successful on Raw/Smackdown (probably Raw), but these women need the TV time that they are spending on Bayley each week for no real reason anymore.  She’s ready, get her up now.

Holy hell, Ember Moon just hit a Moonsault Stunner.  That just happened.  Find video, watch the whole match, that was incredible.

Jeremy: 2        Matt: 2



I absolutely love Andrade Almas, he’s fantastic.  I got to see a non-televised match when NXT came through Atlanta and he took on the Perfect Ten Tye Dillinger.  That was an amazing match, and Almas did not debut in what was his debut for me.  He’s essentially a luchador, only there was no place for a mask and a fedora, so he went with his hipster instincts.

And since I mentioned Dillinger, it is still the only disappointment I can imagine for this card that he’s not on it somewhere.

I’m going to go ahead and say the same thing about some of the top men’s wrestlers on NXT that I did about Bayley, because I’m equal opportunity.  They don’t need Samoa Joe anymore.  The talent that H is capable of bringing through the performance center is nothing short of, well, Glorious.

Almas is so limber, and he makes everything look easy.  At one point, Roode aimed to throw him between the top two ropes, and Almas caught himself with his legs and basically just laid out between them like Tyler Breeze used to do in the corner.  He taunts his opponents with the high flying ability.

Roode, contrary, is very technically sound.  He’s kind of the perfect combination of what a wrestler needs to be.  1/2 technical, 1/2 show, that way the “cargo shorts and baggy t-shirt wearing” bottom feeders that attend wrestling shows won’t find him boring, even if he wants to fill the crowd with the elite.

Almas hit some massive moves, one was basically a front flip into a bulldog.  It was awesome, but then Bobby Roode basically took his head off with a clothesline.

Almas went for a double somersault backflip splash but met the knees of Roode, who went for a Fisherman Suplex that was reversed into a roll up.  The two traded a number of chops/punches, with Almas getting the better of Roode and hitting the knees in the corner.  Almas tried for the double underhook DDT, but Booby reversed and hit a massive spinebuster.  The Glorious Bomb for the Win.

Don’t take anything away from Almas.  These two just put on easily a top-10 match of the year candidate, because they were almost meant to be in the ring together.  This match was incredible.

Jeremy: 3        Matt: 3



I have not been quiet in my anticipation of this match.  These are 4 of the absolute best wrestlers working right now, and when they’re paired up as they are, both teams are unstoppable.

This is a collection of four highly technical wrestlers, four incredibly talented performers, and two unbelievably talented tag teams.  As a cohesive unit, there is literally no team that I’ve seen in probably twenty years that works as well as the Revival does together.  I could go back as far as Hawk and Animal to find a team that was as perfect together.  Ciampa and Gargano may be the best of friends and work really well, but there’s something about putting Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder in the ring together to work a tag match.  It’s just chemistry, and you can’t teach that (literally, you can’t teach that, like being 7′ tall).

I’m not even really going to recap this match, because if you didn’t watch it you did yourself an awful, awful disservice as a wrestling fan.  But, for the sake of finality here,  I’ll let Triple H explain it to you:

And yes, easily a top 10 match of the year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if The Revival and Ciampa/Gargano have a couple in that top 10.  A highlight to look for, the Gargano dive through the second rope to hit a brutal spear.

Jeremy: 3        Matt: 4


Oh how I love you Hugster, but seriously, you’re getting the better end of a loss that’s surely coming here.

This crowd has been amazing.  All 16,000-ish of them led with the “Asuka’s Gonna Kill You” and went right to a Bayley chant, and toggled between them throughout.  It’s kind of like a Cena-AJ Styles match, only there’s no split, everyone in the arena loves both of these women and can’t actually choose between them.

I really do feel like I’m doing a disservice by recapping this show.  If you don’t watch the entirety of it, you’ve missed so much amazing wrestling by absolutely deserving performers.  “Bayley’s Gonna Hug You” “Bayley’s Gonna Hug You”.  This crowd is absolutely on fire, and not in that super cheesy British way that the TakeOver London crowd was.

This went so back and forth it was incredible.  Bayley took some vicious forearms to the face, so she may end up with a shiner like Becky had after Mania, but this was awesome.

Asuka with the brutal kick to the side of the head, sort of her version of the Kinshasa, for the win.

Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks at ringside looked super disappointed.  Should also point out that those are the exact same seats where the CWC and OCC people were earlier in the show when they got screen time.

“You asked me before and I still don’t know how you beat Asuka” – Corey Graves

I do, it’s that crazy Ember Moon chick from earlier.

The after match moment was quite reminiscent of last year’s Sasha-Bayley moment.

“Thank You Bayley” from 16,000 strong.  They know what I assumed.

Jeremy: 4        Matt: 5


The Nakamura entrance was absolutely amazing.  A live dude playing Violin.  NXT tweeted about it earlier today, but I didn’t know who he was.  They just showed a photo of a guy looking at a violin and I knew what it was for.  Nakamura is simply amazing.  As soon as he speaks cleaner English, he’s going to be main roster gold.  (I don’t think that should be detrimental, but the powers that be didn’t think Cesaro spoke clean enough English even though the man could carry promos in like 11 languages).

Joe, however, seemingly tried to do the Angry Samoan version of Eva Marie’s entrance by himself….it was weird.

This crowd isn’t even torn on this one.  16,000 people are just rolling with the Shinsuke theme song.

“Oh my god, his name sounds so much like Sh**stain when the commentator says it” – Daisy

This, oddly enough, was probably one of the only disappointing matches in this entire event, and it wasn’t even bad, it just shouldn’t have followed up that women’s match, which really had enough trouble following up that tag match.  I think the problem that NXT has, and it is the best problem in the world for a wrestling promotion, is that how do you follow up every great match with another one that one ups it?  and then another? and then another? and then another?  There are 6 matches on this card and the first of them was already damn fantastic.

Having said that, it wasn’t even a bad match.  Joe works a slower pace than a lot of guys, and Nakamura is talented enough that he caters himself to the opponent.  He’s kind of got that AJ Styles vibe, where he can work with anybody because he can work his own style to anybody else’s.

Nakamura kicked out of a Muscle Buster.  In that moment, you had to know that this match ended the way it did.  Kinshasa for the win, and a new NXT Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura. 

Jeremy: 4        Matt: 6

I mean, I don’t want to be one to brag or anything, but there were 6 matches on this card, and if you check the scores……