The John Report: WWE NXT Takeover Brooklyn IV 08/18/18 Review

It’s time for the fourth WWE NXT Takeover Brooklyn event that took place on the Saturday before SummerSlam. Let’s see what the great NXT brand has in store for us.

WWE NXT Takeover Brooklyn IV
From Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY
August 18, 2018

The opening video package focused on the Ciampa vs. Gargano match while also touching on the other matches on the card.

The announce team for the show is Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness and Percy Watson.

The Undisputed Era's NXT Tag Team Champions Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong made their entrance. They are heels, but in NXT heels don't get booed that much expect for Tommaso Ciampa. The UK duo of Tyler Bate and Trent Seven known as Mustache Mountain entered to a nice ovation. They have nice mustaches and beards. Seven is 36 years old and Bate's only 21. Seven trained Bate to wrestle.

NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era (Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong) vs. Mustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate)

It started as a slug fest with Bate and Seven hitting punches that knocked the champs out of the ring. Seven with a hard slap on O'Reilly. Bate tagged in with a senton off the middle ropes. The fans were chanting for both teams as Seven hit a back splash on Strong. Backbreaker from Strong on Seven. O'Reilly tagged in with knee strikes followed by a roundhouse kick, Strong tagged in with a stomp and O'Reilly back in with a knee drop on Seven. O'Reilly tried to go after Bate, so Seven took down O'Reilly with a DDT. Bate with a diving uppercut off the middle ropes. Strong tagged back in leading to Bate doing a swing on Strong while O'Reilly was on Bate's shoulders. Bate managed to hit a German Suplex on Strong while falling back onto O'Reilly. Bate with running forearms, but Strong came out of nowhere with a running clothesline. O'Reilly worked over the left arm of Bate. Strong back in, he held Bate over his knee and O'Reilly jumped off the middle ropes with a knee drop for two. Strong back in with a Gory Stretch submission to the back of Bate. O'Reilly back in with a kick to the back of the left leg of Bate followed by a heel hook on the left leg of Bate. Strong jumped onto the left leg of Bate. There were quick tags by the champs, but Bate kicked Strong over the top to the floor. O'Reilly back in, so Bate tossed O'Reilly over the top to the floor. O'Reilly pulled Seven off the apron, but Seven knocked him down and Bate tagged in Seven. Seven was on fire with corner clotheslines, he avoided a kick by O'Reilly, a one armed Powerbomb, a Dragon Suplex and a spinning slam by Seven got a two count. That was a great sequence.

The champs were back in control with O'Reilly hitting a running knee followed by a brainbuster slam for a two count. Strong back in with a running knee followed by an Olympic Slam for a two count. All four guys were in there exchanging strikes and then Strong managed to trap Strong in the Strong Hold similar to a Boston Crab. O'Reilly with a triangle choke on Bate, but Bate powered out and slammed O'Reilly into strong. That was amazing and it led to a standing ovation from the crowd. Fans chanted "this is awesome" for them as Bate suplexed O'Reilly into Strong. Bate with a somersault dive on O'Reilly on the floor and he took out Strong with a bounce off the ropes into a clothesline. Back in the ring, Bate with a Tiger Driver 97 on Strong for because Strong kicked out. After Bate knocked down Strong, the ref was looking at Strong and O'Reilly sent Bate left knee first into the ring post. Strong sent Bate's leg into the turnbuckle. O'Reilly slapped on a leg lock on the left leg of Bate. Seven grabbed a towel from ringside, he teased throwing it in to give up for his team, but Seven threw it into the crowd. Strong ran at Seve and Seven gave Strong a back body drop out of the ring. Bate managed to crawl to his corner to tag in Seven. Huge clothesline by Seven on O'Reilly for a two count. Bate climbed up top favoring his leg, he punched Strong down and Bate hit a knee drop off the top while Seven delivered a Burning Hammer and Bate covered for! O'Reilly kicked out. Wow. That was incredible. Fans chanted "NXT" for them. Fans chanted "fight forever" for them. I agree with that. Strong got back into it with a knee strike on Bate. O'Reilly and Strong hit a high/low kick combo on Seven and O'Reilly covered Seven for the pinfall win. It went 18:06.

Winners by pinfall: Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong

Analysis: ***** Holy shit, what an amazing opening match! Wow. That was special just like their other two matches. I expected it to be at that level because of how special their other matches were. This one told a bit of a different story than those matches with the Undisputed Era picking apart body parts and ultimately their teamwork got them the win. Bate continues to impress me so much. I hate to keep saying he's good for his age, but he's really on another level compared to others that are just 21 years old. I liked everything about the match from the psychology to the sequences after the hot tags and the finish was set up really well. It could have gone either way and it would have been believable. It’s up there with the best tag team matches I’ve ever seen including The Revival vs. Gargano/Ciampa at NXT Takeover Toronto in November 2016, which I saw in person. The three matches from these teams at the UK special to NXT a few weeks ago and now this match are a great example of tag team wrestling at its best.

Post match, O'Reilly and Strong celebrated with the titles. Ranallo correctly said that the three matches they have had are among the best in NXT history. He's right. Replays aired of the key spots in the match.

The War Raiders team of Rowe and Hanson showed up from behind. They hit a double team powerslam and Hanson hit a dive on Strong on the floor. Rowe held up O'Reilly and Hanson jumped off the top with a leg drop on O'Reilly. That was an impressive attack in only one minute.

Analysis: I think we are looking at the next Tag Team Champions in the War Raiders. The attack made sense since they are next in line for a title shot.

A commercial aired for the FX television show Mayans.

A commercial aired for Lesnar vs. Reigns at SummerSlam.

Thee were images shown of Aleister Black on the concrete after he was attacked two weeks ago.

Johnny Gargano was shown in the locker room getting ready for the main event.

The video package aired for EC3 vs. Velveteen Dream. They are two unique characters and they have big egos. Traditionally speaking they each may be considered heels, but both men will be cheered.

The Velveteen Dream made his entrance. He's only 22 years old (he turns 23 on Sunday) and he got a huge ovation for his entrance. The fans were even chanting his name as he got into the ring to show his colorful tights that say "Call Me Up Vince." That's clever.

The well tanned man EC3 made his entrance with the fans singing his "Top One Percent" theme song. Dream threw his jacket at EC3, so EC3 threw it down and Dream sold it with a bump.

Velveteen Dream vs. EC3

EC3 shoved Dream into the corner and then EC3 tossed him out of the ring. They went right back in with each man going for an armbar leading to EC3 taking control. Dream with a forearm. Dream missed a corner attack, so EC3 kicked him and crotched Dream on the top. EC3 with a punch that knocked Dream off the apron two times. Hard chop by EC3. Dream with a boot to the face, EC3 with a slam, elbow drop and a clothesline that sent both guys over the top to the floor. They battled on the bottom of the ramp with Dream trapping the legs and hitting a twisting DDT on the steel ramp. That was great. The crowd was fired up as Dream jumped off the ropes and hit a punch to the back of the head. Dream worked over EC3 with punches. Dream sent EC3 to the apron, he did a neck snap off the top rope and back in the ring with a neckbreaker for two. Dream went for another neckbreaker, but EC3 fought out of it briefly until Dream connected with the neckbreaker for two. Dream dumped EC3 out of the ring again. Dream slammed EC3's head into the announce table repeatedly. Dream tossed some water on EC3. Back in the ring, EC3 with a STO takedown. Running clothesline from EC3, punch to the face, elbow and a corner splash. Rolling neck snap from EC3. Dream got a rollup for two, EC3 avoided a kick and EC3 hit a headlock into a face first slam for two.

EC3 unloaded on Dream with punches. Dream went up top, EC3 grabbed him and slammed him off the top. EC3 with a cross body block off the top. Powerbomb connected for EC3 and the fans booed him, so I guess they decided he's the heel. EC3 picked up Dream and hit a sitout Powerbomb for two. They battled on the turnbuckle with EC3 hitting a superplex off the top rope for a two count. Dream avoided the EC3 finisher, superkick by Dream and a Dream Valley Driver connected for Dream for a two count. EC3 avoided a slam and hit a bridging German Suplex for a two count. They battled on the apron with Dream hitting the Dream Valley Driver on the apron. Ouch. Dream went up top and hit an elbow drop to the chest of EC3 on the apron. Dream covered for the pinfall win at 15:03.

Winner by pinfall: Velveteen Dream

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a solid match with Dream getting the big win that he needed because he has lost a few big Takeover matches in his career, so it was good to see him win. The match was a bit slow and not at the same level as some of Dream’s other Takeover matches. They planned some of the big spots well, but a lot of the action in between was just average. I thought the crowd response to EC3 was surprisingly quiet. The fans are into his song, but when the bell rings he's not getting booed or cheered much. I think EC3 should be more of a pure heel. Since Dream has been in NXT longer, it made more sense for him to go over and possibly go after one of the two titles. Then again, maybe Dream is going to get the call up to the main roster. There are a lot of options for Dream's future.

After the match, Dream pointed to the back of his tights that said "Call Me Up Vince" on them.

EC3 showed off a nasty shiner after the match.

A commercial aired for Alexa Bliss vs. Ronda Rousey at SummerSlam.

There was a shot of new NXT signee Matt Riddle at ringside. He was wearing a suit and a hat. Fans chanted "bro" for him. Riddle got a huge ovation. Riddle was also wearing flip flops, which is usual for him, so that’s pretty funny. They were not shown, but those images were shared on social media.

Analysis: Riddle was signed by WWE recently and finished his indy wrestling commitments, so he's ready to start at any time. It's expected that Riddle is going to get a huge push very quickly. The NXT roster is only getting stronger even if they lose some guys after SummerSlam.

The video package aired for North American Champion Adam Cole vs. Ricochet.

Ricochet made his entrance first. The crowd loves him. Adam Cole entered with the North American Title around his waist. Cole debuted in NXT one year earlier at NXT Takeover Brooklyn. Cole acts like a heel a lot of the time, but when Cole does his "Adam Cole Bay Bay" chant the crowd joins him every time.

North American Championship: Adam Cole vs. Ricochet

They did some posturing early with Cole nearly connecting with a superkick, but Ricochet avoided it. Cole slapped on a headlock while telling Ricochet that he's not special. Cole with a shoulder tackle followed by his "Adam Cole BAY BAY" taunt and Ricochet ran the ropes leading to a dropkick that sent Cole out of the ring. Ricochet teased a dive to the floor, but then he did a handspring back into the ring. Ricochet went to the middle rope, Cole avoided an attack and sent Ricochet over the top to the floor. Cole tossed Ricochet into the barricade. Cole worked over Ricochet with punches followed by a neckbreaker. Cole connected with the Ushigoroshi (fireman's carry neckbreaker) that was good for a two count. Ricochet with a back elbow, he kicked Cole off and a roll through into a dropkick for Ricochet. That was impressive. Ricochet ran the ropes and connected with a dive over the top onto Cole on the floor. Ricochet with a 619 against the turnbuckle and a springboard uppercut by Ricochet got a two count. Ricochet with a headbutt to the ribs, kicked to the shoulder, standing Shooting Star Press and a spinning splash connected for Ricochet. Ranallo called him a "cheat code" because of how special he was. Ricochet worked over Cole with chops, he went for a handspring and Cole countered with a Backstabber for a two count. That was sweet. Ricochet with a forearm to the jaw, punch by Ricochet and a springboard jump with Ricochet blocking a superkick attempt from Cole. Ricochet went for a moonsault off the middle ropes, Cole superkicked him in the face and Cole hit a suplex into the knee for a two count. That was an incredible nearfall spot! Wow! The crowd exploded for that. That superkick off the moonsault was pretty awesome and it's no surprise the fans were chanting "This is awesome" for them.

Cole ran the ropes, he went for a knee, but Ricochet avoided it and got a rollup for two. Running uppercut for Ricochet, boot to the face, Cole with a step up enziguri, kick by Ricochet, kick by Cole, kick by Ricochet and Cole fell on top of Ricochet for a two count. Holy shit that was crazy! I may have missed some of the moves in there, but it was about 30 seconds of straight kicks from them. Fans chanted "Mama Mia" for them in honor of Ranallo. Cole went for a running knee, Ricochet avoided it and Ricochet hit a reverse hurricanrana that spiked Cole head first into the mat. Ricochet went up top, so Cole rolled out of the ring to the apron. With Cole on the apron, Ricochet leaped over the top with a hurricanrana to the floor. Holy shit! That was amazing. Back in the ring, Ricochet went up top and hit the 630 Splash off the top for the one...two...three and the pinfall win to become the new North American Champion. The match went 15:13.

Winner by pinfall and North American Champion: Ricochet

Analysis: ****1/4 Awesome match as expected by these two. I loved the way they told the story with Cole controlling the first half of it, Ricochet made the comeback with a flurry, then they had that entertaining sequence with each man connecting on kicks to the head and Ricochet managed to win thanks to that incredible hurricanrana as well as the 630 Splash. The match was really put together well. I picked Ricochet to win the title because I think WWE wants to book him strongly as one of the faces of NXT, so they wanted to put a title on him. I also think Cole could be a guy that goes to the main roster soon or maybe he'll become a top challenger for the NXT Title soon as well. Cole and Undisputed Era as a big part of Wargames makes sense.

There were replays of the key spots in the match with several highlights of the 630 Splash that Ricochet uses as a finisher.

Ricochet celebrated with the North American Title and the crowd cheered him. He is as popular as anybody in NXT because of the incredible things he can do in that ring.

A SummerSlam commercial aired hyping up AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe for the WWE Title.

There was a shot of WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry and Kevin Owens at ringside watching the show.

The video package aired for the NXT Women's Championship with Shayna Baszler defending the title against Kairi Sane. The video showed Sane beating Baszler for the Mae Young Classic last summer. It showed Baszler beating Sane in a NXT match and then Baszler became NXT Women's Champion. Sane said now she has to beat Baszler.

Kairi Sane made her entrance first as the challenger. She's the pirate princess. Shayne Baszler is the NXT Women’s Champion known as the Queen of Spades. Baszler is one of the wrestlers on this show that is a pure heel. There was a shot of Ronda Rousey, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir at ringside to support Baszler. Duke and Shafir have NXT deals.

NXT Women's Champion: Shayna Baszler vs. Kairi Sane

Sane went for a leg lock submission. Sane slapped on a Stretch Muffler submission with Baszler looking frustrated about it. Sane with a headscissors and a dropkick that sent Baszler out of the ring. Sane with a running punch off the apron that took down Baszler on the floor. Baszler with a dropkick to the right knee of Sane to take her down. Baszler stomped on the right leg of Sane. Baszler continued working on the right leg of Sane. Baszler stretched the knee and bent the foot of Sane. Baszler stomped on the right ankle of Sane, which drove Sane's foot into the mat. Baszler mocked the pirate walk of Sane and kicked the leg again. Baszler with a punch, Sane fired back with punches and Baszler tried to block the attack. Spinning back fist by Sane connected followed by a rolling neckbreaker and another one. Sane with a running knee attack in the corner for a two count. Sane went up top, Baszler kicked her and Baszler hit a gutwrench suplex off the top rope. That was impressive. Baszler ran the rope followed by a running knee to the face for a two count. Sane came back with a Spear that came out of nowhere. Sane to the middle ropes and she hit an Insane Elbow to the back of Baszler. Sane went up top, so Baszler left the ring and Sane jumped off the top with a cross body block on Baszler on the floor. Back in the ring, Sane up top and she hit the Insane Elbow again for a two count as Baszler got her left shoulder up. That was a great nearfall. Sane went for a Boston Crab style submission, but Baszler countered it into the Kirifuda Clutch. Sane was close to the ropes, Sane faded a bit and then Sane got the bottom rope to break the hold.

Baszler slapped on the heel hook submission on the right leg of Sane. Sane countered to a submission on the legs of her own, but Baszler managed to crawl to the ropes to break free. Sane used the ropes to pull back on the legs of Baszler. Sane with an Alabama Slam. Sane up top, she jumped off and went for the Insane Elbow, but Baszler got her knees up. Sane countered that by countering with a pin attempt and Baszler held onto the hold, so Sane won by pinfall at 13:35.

Winner and New NXT Women's Champion: Kairi Sane

Analysis: ***1/2 Very good match with a creative finish where Baszler lost the match because she refused to let go of her submission hold. That's an ending that has been used plenty of times in wrestling history, but if you don't do it often then it can work great. It was well booked with Sane taking the fight to Baszler, going for her own submissions and then finding a way to escape the Baszler submission moves. It seems likely that Baszler will get a rematch at the Women's Evolution pay-per-view in late October, but they could do a mutli-woman match to get more women on the show. Baszler could be put on the main roster too.

Post match, Sane celebrate with the title while continuing to sell the right leg injury. Sane’s celebration was great because she looked so happy while still selling.

Analysis: I picked Sane to win just like I picked Ricochet, so I went two for two in title changes with one more left.

A commercial aired for the NXT UK brand noting that it was "coming soon." No details yet.

A commercial aired for SummerSlam showing Carmella vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair for the Smackdown Women's Title.

Following Takeover, you can watch Triple H talking about the show on Facebook. He'll say everything was great and he'll be right.

The video package aired for Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano in a Last Man Standing match for the NXT Title. Gargano talked about how his dream was to be NXT Champion and Gargano said that Johnny's fairy tale was over. Ciampa won the NXT Title from Aleister Black in a match on NXT TV thanks to Gargano showing up and accidentally hitting Black in the face with the title, which led to Ciampa winning the title. Black kicked Gargano in the head because of what Gargano did and that set up the triple threat for the NXT Title. However, Black suffered an injury (really a groin injury, but storyline it was Black attacked in a parking lot), so the match was changed to Ciampa vs. Gargano in a Last Man Standing match. Gargano won in New Orleans, Ciampa won in Chicago and this was their third Takeover match this year.

Analysis: I think it's easily the WWE feud of the year going into this match and now they have a chance to add another chapter to their story.

Johnny Gargano made his entrance first as the challenger. The crowd was loud in their support from Gargano. Ranallo called this the most intense rivalry in NXT history and I agree with that statement.

Tommaso Ciampa made his entrance to no theme song because that's what his current heel persona is. The fans booed Ciampa loudly. He's the only true heel in NXT in terms of most fans wanting to boo him. Gargano attacked before the introductions were finished.

Last Man Standing for the NXT Championship: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano

The only way to win is to incapacitate your opponent so they cannot answer a ten count.

Gargano attacked with stomps followed by a Thesz Press with punches. Gargano dumped Ciampa out of the ring, which led to Ciampa shoving Gargano back first into the steel steps. Gargano got back into it by whipping Ciampa into the barricade three times. Gargano pulled off the mat at ringside to expose the concrete. Ciampa gouged the eyes of Gargano. They walked around to another side of the floor with Gargano shoving Ciampa into the ring post. Gargano off the apron with a dive that took out Ciampa. Gargano whipped Ciampa over the announce table. Ciampa picked up Gargano on one of the announce tables and drove Gargano through the other announce table. The move was an Air Raid Crash like the White Noise that Sheamus uses. That was a great bump that looked nasty. Back in the ring, Ciampa brought in a chair and kicked Gargano in the face. Running knee strike to the side of the face by Ciampa, who told Gargano “we’re not done by a long shot” as Ciampa hit another running knee to the face. Gargano whipped the chair at Ciampa and then Gargano hit Ciampa in the back with a chair shot. Gargano with multiple chair shots to the ribs of Ciampa. Gargano wanted the lawn dart into the chair against the turnbuckle, but Ciampa turned it into a sleeper with his feet on the ropes. The ref counted Gargano down for six, so Ciampa slapped on another sleeper. Gargano broke free by picking up Ciampa and launching him lawn dart style head first into a steel chair against the turnbuckle. You are not allowed to hit a guy with a chair to the head, but that move is apparently okay. It’s not like Ciampa blocked it. Ciampa’s head hit the chair hard. Just saying.

Gargano set up a table on the floor on top of the exposed concrete. Gargano set up a second table upside down onto the other table. Gargano teased a suplex that was obviously not going to work, Ciampa fought back and Ciampa hit three German suplexes in a row. Ciampa with a running knee to the face. Ciampa with a chair to the ribs and a chair to the back three times. Ciampa picked up Gargano with a Powerbomb into the knees two times and he did it again with another Powerbomb into the knees. Ciampa sat on the chair as the ref counted Gargano down for nine and Gargano nailed Ciampa with a superkick. They got into a slugfest, Gargano with two clotheslines, a rolling kick by Gargano and when Gargano went for a Spear, Ciampa with a knee. Gargano with a hurricanrana, enziguri kick, Ciampa with a German Suplex, no sold by Gargano with a kick and a German Suplex of his own. They did a double clothesline spot to knock them both down. Both men got back up as they got into a slugfest. Gargano with a superkick and a spinning lefty clothesline. That was a crazy exchange of strikes for over a minute. Ciampa got up first and left the ring. Gargano with a kick while on the apron and Gargano went for a dive off the apron, but Ciampa moved and Gargano hit the floor. Ciampa with a Fairy Tale Ending that’s like a double underhook spike that sent Gargano into the steps. Gargano was down for a count of nine and got back up at the last moment. Ciampa cut apart the ring apron like he did in Chicago, he pulled back the mats int the ring and exposed the wood that was in the ring. Gargano got back into it by spraying a fire extinguisher in Ciampa’s face. Gargano had a crutch in his hand that was a big part of the rivalry and Gargano broke the crutch over the back of Ciampa. Gargano hit Ciampa in the back with the crutch. Ciampa teased a DDT on the wood, but Gargano fought it off Gargano with an enziguri kick to the head and Gargano hit a DDT on the “unforgiving wood” as Ranallo called it. That was a big spot with Gargano getting back up at five and Ciampa managed to get back up by leaving the ring and landing on his feet at the count of nine. Gargano hit a suicide dive, then Ciampa went to the other side of the ring and Gargano hit another suicide dive. Gargano went for a superkick, Ciampa moved and Gargano hit a guy at ringside that was part of the production crew. Ciampa smashed Gargano’s face into a monitor. Ciampa with a running chair attack that sent Gargano crashing through the barricade. Ciampa tossed the barricade, chars and even the knocked out dude onto Gargano. Ciampa threw chairs onto Gargano. The referee began the slow count on Gargano while Ciampa was on the announce table and Gargano was up at nine, which drew cheers.

Ciampa tried to use handcuffs, but Gargano fought him off and sent Ciampa into the ring post. Gargano looked to handcuff Ciampa, but Ciampa connected with a back elbow to the head. They went over to the apron above the two tables, Gargano hit a superkick and Ciampa went crashing through the two tables that were beside the ring. Ciampa grabbed the crutch and used that to help him get back up right before the ten count. Fans chanted “fight forever” for them. Ciampa went up the ramp, Gargano kicked the crutch out of his hands and Gargano sent Ciampa into the screen at the top of the ramp. Gargano slapped on the Gargano Escape submission with Ciampa tapping out, but that doesn’t matter. Gargano grabbed the left hand of Ciampa and cuffed him to part of the stage. Gargano with a superkick. Ciampa pleaded with Gargano that he was sorry, Gargano told him it was too late for that and Gargano with two more superkicks. Ciampa kept saying he was sorry. Gargano took a few moments to think while he was on the stage, he exposed his knee and Gargano hit a running knee to the face leading to Gargano crashing onto a table by a production table. Gargano was holding onto his right knee as he was in serious pain, the ref was counting both guys down, Ciampa rolled off the staging area to land on his feet and Gargano couldn’t get up at the ten count, so Ciampa won the match because he was the only guy on his feet even though his hands were cuffed to a part of the staging area. The match went 30:40.

Winner: Tommaso Ciampa

Analysis: ****1/2 It was another outstanding match from these two. I didn’t go the full five stars like the previous two matches because I think the stipulation hurt the match a bit because it was too slow at times and maybe going over 30 minutes hurt more than it helped. I think Last Man Standing matches hurt because there’s not as much drama in the ref counting to ten as there is in a match with two counts or submissions. I did like some of the ways guys got to their feet to break the ten count, though, so I give them a lot of credit for that. The finish was apparently changed due to Gargano suffering a legit knee injury (a dislocated kneecap, which is pretty serious), so they had to think of something on the fly or at least that’s what Triple H said after the show. It could be a work, of course. This is WWE, after all. I think it was a creative way to end the match, but it’s not what I would do because it would have been better to end it in a more decisive way. The handcuff finish also felt like a bit of a repeat from the Chicago match. I know I’m being picky, but I think the ending was brilliant in the Chicago match and it wasn’t as good here. I get that they wanted to have Ciampa to win in a cheap manner where he got the victory by Gargano making a mistake. Once again, outstanding match and I loved it, but I’m trying to explain why it was a notch below the other matches they had.

The replays aired of the key spots in the match. Ranallo said that he was told that Gargano may have dislocated his knee. That could be a storyline, but it could be a legitimate injury.

Ciampa posed with the NXT Title on the stage while Gargano was out on the floor getting checked on by doctors. They replayed the knee by Gargano with him hitting the knee against a box that was nearby. Ciampa made the referee raise his hand as the winner while Ciampa held the NXT Title in the air.

Gargano was shown grabbing his right knee. The WWE medical team called for a stretcher, but then Gargano got back to his feet to limp away. Gargano was seated on the stage with doctors checking him out while Gargano stood in the background with his title in the air as the show ended like that.

Analysis: This is the WWE feud of the year. I don’t think anything else is close. Two five star matches before this and nearly five stars again is incredible. Somebody reading this is going to be mad at me for not going five stars for this too. I’m sorry if you disagree. I’m just giving my take and if somebody else says it’s five stars then more power to them. I’m not going to argue. It was an outstanding match. I’m not sure what the next step is, but if Gargano is legit hurt with a dislocated knee that’s going to keep him out for the rest of the year, if not more. If it’s just a work then maybe it is a way to cool off this feud for a few months and maybe Gargano finally gets the title during WrestleMania weekend next year. That’s the way I would do it.

The show had a run time of 2:38:54 on WWE Network.


Final Thoughts

I’ll give it a 9 out of 10.

It was another outstanding NXT Takeover event. The tag team match was my favorite of the night, I loved the main event although like I said above it was a bit below their other matches and Ricochet/Cole was outstanding also. The women’s match told an interesting story while I had high expectations for Dream/EC3 that it did not live up. With that said, when ***1/4 out of five is the “worst” match on the card that shows how awesome this show was.

I went five for five in my predictions on the show. I don’t think being predictable hurt the show. I think it was the right time for two title changes, so I’m glad they did it.


Ranking The WWE NXT Takeover 2018 Events (1 to 10 scale)

NXT Takeover New Orleans – 10/10

NXT Takeover Brooklyn – 9/10

NXT Takeover Chicago – 9/10

NXT Takeover Philadelphia – 9/10

I’ll be back on Sunday night with the SummerSlam Review. My contact info is below.

John Canton


Twitter @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook