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NXT Takeover: Brooklyn – Hugs Are Available At The Top Of The Ladder


Date: August 22, 2015
Location: Barclays Center, New York City, New York
Commentators: Byron Saxton, Corey Graves, Rich Brennan

It’s the biggest show in NXT history (so far) as NXT is on the road again. We have a double main event tonight with Finn Balor defending the NXT Title against former champion Kevin Owens in a ladder match and Bayley challenging for the Women’s Title against champion Sasha Banks. Let’s get to NXT Takeover!

HHH is in the ring to start and talks about how the NXT fans made this company unstoppable. They wanted something new and made it into a revolution. Because of that, the future is now. WE ARE NXT!

The arena looks amazing as this feels like a full on WWE pay per view.

Tyler Breeze vs. Jushin Thunder Liger

Breeze has a New York themed fashion show, complete with people dressed as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. Jushin of course gets the legend’s pop that he deserves but he doesn’t have his signature music. Tyler scores with an early shoulder and lays over the top rope. Jushin takes him down and drops an elbow to the back before laying out just like Tyler.

We get a modified surfboard before the real version has Breeze in even more trouble. Liger is just going through his normal stuff here. A monkey flip sends Breeze face first into the mat before Liger steals the selfie stick for a quick picture. The Liger Bomb is countered and Breeze goes for the mask to make him the most evil man in the building. The Supermodel Kick gets two and the fans argue about levels of gorgeous. A modified backstabber gets two more for Tyler and the fans think Full Sail sucks.

Back up and the Liger Kick stuns Breeze but he gets the knees up to block a splash. Breeze takes too long yelling at the referee though and eats the palm strike. The threat of another dive sends him to the floor, only to have Liger hit a flip dive off the apron. Back in and the Liger Bomb finishes clean at 8:38.

Rating: B-. As cool as it is to see Liger in WWE, I’m really not sure about that ending. You brought Liger in to make Breeze look good and then Liger beats him in less than nine minutes? I don’t hate the result because Liger is indeed a legend, but I wanted to see Breeze go on as one of the top names in the company and now he’s losing here? To be fair though, Sami Zayn is the biggest star in NXT history and got big by losing over and over.

Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman are here.

Becky Lynch and Charlotte wish Bayley luck.

Nia Jax is coming. She’s not like other girls.

Tag Team Titles: Vaudevillains vs. Blake and Murphy

The Vaudevillains are challenging. They also have top hats, making them even more awesome. The question here is who the Vaudevillains have to counter Alexa, who calls them pathetic for coming out alone. Fans: “WE WANT BLUE PANTS!” And here’s Blue Pants. Gotch works on Blake’s (now in trunks instead of tights) to start as the fans chant BLUE PANTS CITY. English comes in with a big boot for two before cranking on an armbar of his own.

Murphy comes in and eats an armbar as well, which the fans declare as manly. Blake finally gets in a cheap shot and comes in for a chinlock. The champ switch off for another chinlock before Blake is sent out to the floor. He’s smart enough to pull Gotch off the apron though and the hot tag is prevented. That’s one of my favorite spots. Murphy throws Aiden into the air for a neckbreaker and a two count. Heel miscommunication finally allows English to dive over for the tag and Simon starts cleaning house.

A quick tag brings English back in but he’s quickly crotched on top. The superplex takes too long though and Gotch powerbombs both champions, setting up a high angle swanton from English for two. Blue Pants pulls Alexa down but they both wind up in the ring for a catfight. Murphy tries a rollup for a very hot near fall but walks into the Whirling Dervish for the pin and the titles at 10:16.

Rating: C+. If this is the worst match of the night, this show is going to rock. The Vaudevillains winning the titles is a long time coming and it makes sense that Blake and Murphy lose as soon as the odds are even. Good match here and the crowd was white hot on those near falls. I can’t imagine how the main events are going to be if this is an indication.

Neville and Cesaro wished Finn Balor luck earlier.

Tye Dillinger vs. Apollo Crews

Dillinger is the Perfect 10, which is cut into the back of his hair. Crews looks amazed to be here. Tye flips across the ring and declares it a 10. Crews cartwheels into a backflip and thinks it’s the same. A dropkick breaks up Crews’ springboard in a big crash and Tye pats himself on the back. Crews powers out of a chinlock but gets kicked in the face for two. An awesome standing enziguri smacks Tye in the head and a gorilla press drop into a standing moonsault is enough to put Dillinger away at 4:45.

Rating: C. Well that worked. Crews was incredibly impressive here and got to show off both the power and the athleticism here. This was an awesome debut and Crews looks like he’s going to be the next big thing in NXT. Dillinger looked good too and has something sweet with this Perfect 10 thing.

William Regal announces the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, starting on September 2 and ending at the next Takeover on October 7 (a Wednesday). No more details are given but Regal says it will make the American Dream very proud.

We recap Baron Corbin vs. Samoa Joe. Corbin talks about his amazing background with all of his success in everything he’s done. He’s heard all these stories about people going around the world but he’s never heard of any of them. All Corbin had to do to come here is make a phone call. Joe answered a challenge and says he didn’t have to make a phone call because NXT called him.

Samoa Joe vs. Baron Corbin

The announcers think Joe is going to kill him. Joe has the Clutch on in less than a minute but Baron makes it to the floor. Back in and an enziguri in the corner puts Corbin right back on the floor, only to have him blast Joe in the face to stop a suicide dive. Joe kicks him in the face though and does his rotating submissions spot until Corbin puts his foot on the ropes.

Baron grabs a heel hook but Joe makes the rope a few seconds later. Something like a Boss Man Slam gets two on Joe so Corbin superkicks him. That earns Baron a second enziguri though and both guys are down. Back up and they slug it out with Joe taking over. Corbin locks the Muscle Buster before hitting kind of a loose Jackhammer for two. The End of Days is broken up so Corbin lifts him up into a choke spinebuster. Joe flips the cover into the Koquina Clutch though and Corbin is out at 10:24.

Rating: B-. Easily both guys’ best match in NXT as Corbin looks like he can last through a long match. Having Joe as the submission master who can switch to striking if need be is fine and Corbin worked the power style just fine. I’m always a fan of having people hit each other really hard and that’s what we got here. Good stuff.

Corbin says he never gave up.

Sgt. Slaughter, Ric Flair, female Japanese wrestler Kana and Team BAD are here.

Here’s Stephanie (whose music says she’s SELF MADE. You can’t buy comedy like that, though I’m sure she would have a crack team of comedy writers who are smart and funny to make them up if she could) to say we’re all making history right here and right now. A few weeks ago she started the Divas Revolution but it started right here in NXT. Therefore, she’s going to introduce the first main event.

We recap Bayley vs. Sasha Banks, which is about the spirit of the women’s division and Bayley fighting for the right thing. Sasha knows she’s the best though and wants to prove to Bayley that fairy tales don’t have happy endings. Bayley has lost over and over but tonight she’s more fired up than ever and has been on a roll.

Women’s Title: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks

Banks is defending. Bayley comes out with a yellow polka dot headband to honor Dusty in a very nice touch. Sasha on the other hand comes out in a Cadillac Escalade surrounded by a team of bodyguards. Sasha laughs off the Dusty wristbands and it’s a catfight to start. Bayley scores with a basement elbow for two and the fans are WAY into this. The champ sends her into the buckle over and over but Bayley shakes it off and ties Sasha in the Tree of Woe for a springboard elbow drop.

Banks goes outside for a breather so Bayley baseball slides her in the face. They fight into the corner where Bayley avoids the double knees, only to have a kick to the knee send her out to the floor. Sasha mocks the high fives to the fans before she hits Bayley’s running elbow to the back. The champ wins a slugout in the corner but still can’t hit the double knees. Instead she sends Bayley face first into the buckle and puts her on the top rope for the BIG double knees.

The kickout stuns Sasha so she tries some trash talk, only to be sent face first into the buckle. Bayley gets all aggressive with right hands but gets overzealous and sent outside. With desperation setting in, Sasha rips off the hand brace and sends the recently healed hand into the steps. That’s not enough so Sasha put the hand between the steps and the post and kicks them together to put Bayley on the floor and writhing in pain.

The referee takes too much time checking on her for Sasha’s liking though so Banks flips over him to land on Bayley. Back in and Sasha grabs the bad hand and walks the corner with it, snapping Bayley’s arm over the top. Sasha crashes hard on the floor though and seems to have banged herself up. The delay lets Bayley make her comeback with ax handles and the running corner elbow.

Sasha drops to her knees to block the Bayley to Belly and there’s the Bank Statement. Bayley crawls for the ropes but Sasha STOMPS ON THE BAND HAND to keep her away. Sasha tries to pull her back but Bayley rolls into a Bank Statement of her own. She cranks the heck out of that thing but Sasha rolls over to get her foot on the ropes. What a sequence. Bayley pulls her up to her feet for a Bayley to Belly but Sasha kicks out at a very close two.

With nothing else working, Bayley loads up the super Bayley to Belly but Sasha knocks her down. Bayley runs the corner for a forearm though and tries a super hurricanrana, only to have Sasha shove her away, sending Bayley crashing down onto her face. Sasha will have none of this waiting though and dives down onto Bayley for a VERY close two. They fight to the corner again and Bayley pulls off a super reverse hurricanrana. Sasha is DONE and the Bayley to Belly gives Bayley the title at 18:12.

Rating: A-. The wrestling and action have been topped before, but this was all about the story. Bayley showed all the heart in the world here and they managed to make me believe she actually might not get the title here. This felt like a war though and the fans carried it even higher than it was getting on its own. Awesome match here and I was right there with them every step of the way.

Becky Lynch and Charlotte come in to celebrate and it’s hugs all around, including one for Sasha. They all stand together and give the Four Horsewomen sign.

Seth Rollins is here.

Earlier tonight, HHH announced that NXT is taking over the UK in December.

We recap Kevin Owens vs. Finn Balor. Balor took the title from Owens in Japan so tonight it’s a ladder match to show that Japan was just a fluke.

NXT Title: Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens

Ladder match with Balor defending and he’s in full demon mode. Balor does his big entrance and when the lights come on, Owens is sitting in a chair at ringside, leaned back against the barricade. Owens talks trash and starts going after the ladder but Balor pulls him back in and hammers away. Kevin drops him with an elbow to the jaw and drops the senton but the fans look at what seems to be a fight in the crowd. Thankfully Owens is smart enough to slowly walk around and stomp Finn until they have the crowd back.

After the powerbomb is countered, Owens drills him with the Cannonball as the OLE chants begin. The announcers acknowledge that it’s after 11 but they’re going to keep going. Graves: “It’s our network.” The Slingblade puts Owens down but he rolls out of the corner and goes for the ladder, only to be decked from behind. Balor gets crushed between the ladder and the ring so Owens loads up something but stops running and punches Finn in the face instead.

They fight into the crowd but Balor has to backdrop Owens over the barricade to counter another powerbomb. Owens whips him all the way over the announcers’ table then throws the covering at Balor. It’s ladder time again but Balor runs off the table to dropkick it into Owens’ face. Balor climbs but Owens pulls him down and throws him out to the floor, into another ladder. Some slams onto the ladder followed by a senton crush the champ’s ribs but he’s still able to backdrop Owens onto an open ladder for a sick crash.

Another Cannonball hits the ladder and Balor scores with a Coup de Grace but Kevin is up fast enough to powerbomb Balor off the ladder. Balor makes a save of his own and sends the ladder into Owens’ ribs. The powerbomb onto the apron is countered but Owens avoids a Coup de Grace off the apron. Balor charges right into the apron powerbomb and both guys are down. Owens tries to climb but Balor makes the save, only to get punched in the face again. With nothing else keeping Balor down, Owens bridges a ladder into the one that is standing like a platform but can’t hit the fisherman’s superplex.

Instead Balor rams Owens into the ladder, knocking him down and into a huge crash. The ladder is off center though and Owens gets up, only to be kicked down again. Balor looks at the crowd, likes what he hears, and drops the Coup de Grace off the ladder. That is SO risky and Balor is holding his ankle. Not that it matters as he climbs up and gets the belt to retain at 21:40.

Rating: A-. I liked the violence better here but the storytelling wasn’t quite as good as the previous match. Still though, outstanding match here with Owens playing the ultimate bully until Balor kept fighting to get the win. This was all about the violence and there’s nothing better to do in a ladder match. Really good main event even though the ending was never in doubt.

Overall Rating: A. Another excellent show here and did you really expect anything else? This is what NXT does: take their time building up a major card with two matches they know are going to blow the roof off the place and then a totally solid undercard to carry the rest of the show. Awesome stuff here and it’s great to see the show nail it on this big of a stage.


Jushin Thunder Liger b. Tyler Breeze – Liger Bomb
Vaudevillains b. Blake and Murphy – Whirling Dervish to Murphy
Apollo Crews b. Tye Dillinger – Standing moonsault
Samoa Joe b. Baron Corbin – Koquina Clutch
Bayley b. Sasha Banks – Bayley to Belly
Finn Balor b. Kevin Owens – Balor pulled down the title

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