Re: NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV Discussion Thread
Brooklyn IV. I'd say this was not only the weakest of the four Brooklyn shows so far, but one of the weaker Takeovers for me in a while......... and that's saying something, considering I still really fucking liked this show. Two great matches, a good Main Event and a decent women's match were the anchors for another NXT Takeover winner of an event.
Undisputed Era vs Moustache Mountain is yet another kick-ass Title match, and for TUE it's at least on par with the supreme AOP match @ Philadelphia and possibly the Lorcan/Burch match @ Chicago II as well. Had some issues (finisher kick-outs in the opener of a PPV is about as blah as you get, despite the blow softener of this being the trilogy capper for the two teams; starting minutes were a little off for me and the beginning portion was fine but also stuck in a bland second-third gear limbo, due to the unexciting nature of Bate and Seven's face in peril selling), but similar to that Lorcan/Burch match, once it got kicking, it got Bruce Lee'ing. Bate is otherwordly. The kid is an absolute genius. TUE's team work was sound and solid as well. I did not see either of their previous two matches, for the record, but thankfully the commentators let me know on what the story was, and the Seven towel stunt worked with me all the same. Really good match, overall. War Machine/Raiders beatdown was gold.
Dream vs EC3 isn't a match that I was very interested on tbh, since EC3 really has no business being a babyface and Dream is over as fuck but he's too good as a heel as well (though I'd buy him as a babyface before I'd buy EC3, so the argument is there that the alignments were flipped for my tastes). And yup, my fears were confirmed. Average at best fluff, and the least fun I've had with a Takeover match ft Dream (I even remember enjoying the Ohno match that everyone forgot about more). The few very fun parts usually came from Dream's antics, selling or bumping. A couple of stiff shots every now and then to bump up interest. Otherwise, it was a bit of a snooze. Despite the injured neck giving him something to do, EC3 as face was awkward as fuck and pretty unbelievable. Crowd wasn't having any of face EC3 either, which didn't help the chorefest (yeah, they were resting after the great opener, but Dream vs Ricochet in the previous PPV was a hot match, so no excuses). The two had very little chemistry, control segments for either were more dull than watching paint dry and it probably wasn't too long but felt like it dragged on endlessly. I was bored and didn't really care about this one. Nice ending, though.
Cole vs Ricochet took no more than 5 minutes for me to like it 10x more than the stinker it followed. Didn't expect it to become utterly fantastic as it did, though. Wow. Great stuff. Anchored by one simple sentence that made all the difference in the story being told: "you're not special". It built up, built up and built up to a crescendo pay-off that was totally worth it, and it was the match's heart and soul. Cole was fire, with his confidence, taunting and timing here. He was the perfect cocky heel to play off of Ricochet's plucky high-flying babyface. In return, Ricochet proved that he is a monstruous workhorse of a man and that he absolutely is special, leaving no doubts about that. I thought that they were going to head off with Cole retaining after Ricochet not going for a pin and climbing up the top rope instead (which would have hammered in how much Cole did get inside Ricochet's head and would've been a very good ending to solidify Cole as a smart, sly genius heel), but Ricochet kept his calm, pulled that insane Hurricanrana spot and won it all in a fantastic ending to a great match. Only serious flaw was the cringetastic kick/knee trade-off, which made me roll my eyes. Otherwise, hell of a contest and MOTN for me.
Shayna vs Kairi right off the bat started on a strong note cause female ref. Ok, maybe that's not a novelty (I didn't watch anything from the Mae Young Classic), but whatever. As for the match, I enjoyed it, but not without some issues. Kairi's selling was questionable. I bought that she was hurt and I liked some of the ways she worked around the hurt leg, but I didn't buy that she was so injured that the bad leg really stopped her in her tracks, like someone who would actually sell the leg greatly would do. Adrenaline rushes I can forgive; Alabama Slamming someone who is bigger and stronger than you with ease despite a bad leg is the kind of bullshit that just ruins my suspension of disbelief. And the ending is the most rematchbaity nonsense imaginable and quite the anti-climax for Shayna's title reign. Despite all of this, Shayna was awesome, once again, being the perfect amalgamation of a bully and a bitch, and Kairi is just so damn likeable and rootable, and I loved how both of them really got inside the other's head and brought something new out of one another (Kairi showing off some fire and killer instinct; Shayna being more emotion-driven and less cold-blooded). The match would've been a lot better if Kairi's selling had been more solid (while not outright bad or awful imo; certainly not Nakamura-piss poor), but I still thought it was solid.
Ciampa vs Gargano III had two tough acts to follow. And the first half of the match immediately set the sentence that it would not live up to them.... luckily, the second half still made sure that at least it threw an attempt at it. The match started off hot, then got pretty slow and lame, then got really hot again and then ended in an.... odd way. The first half of the match I wasn't on board with, as not only was it slow and generic (while having its moments, sure), but it gave me shades of some of that modern wrestling nonsense that I hate so much (like spending too much time setting up tables when your opponent is fucking up already, and trading Superkicks and knees as if they are nothing whatsoever in an absolute no-sell festival). I'm also not really a huge fan of the Last Man Standing format, even though it has potential for some very creative things, mostly because 'creative' is what people never get with LMS, nevermind the questionable selling which was noticeable in that opening portion of the match as a whole. Ciampa unpadding the ring was when the match got good. From that point on, the spots were very naturally setup, as was the selling and how they beat the count of 10, and the match had both the physicality and the storytelling to live up to both its namesake and the previous two matches, and ultimately be a pretty good match all in all. Though I'd be fooling myself if I didn't say that this was my least favorite of the three by a considerable margin. The ending.... ehhhhh. First of all, of all places Gargano could have handcuffed Ciampa, why did it have to be in a place that Ciampa could, you know, stand up? Why not flip him upside down or hang him up from where he couldn't get his feet down in any possible way? Second, why the hell did Gargano fuck himself up the way he did? You could say there's poetic justice in Gargano trying to put away Ciampa with the DIY finisher only to then ending up dislocating his knee and not being able to get himself back up, but weren't there better ways to accomplish the same result without making Gargano look like a total moron? He destroyed himself more than he destroyed Ciampa, without a doubt. And finally, are we really gonna continue this feud? This is the third PPV Main Event in a row for the two of them. I think you cannot possibly do anything else with either of them, unless you bring down Hell In A Cell or something like that. And it makes zero sense for Gargano to get another title shot this year. He's lost every. Single. One of them clean as a whistle, and I believe he's had at least three title matches in 2018 alone by now. Either way, it was a good match and a good closer overall, despite the rough start and blah ending, but I'll still take the New Orleans and Chicago II matches any day.
Special thanks to King Gimp for the sig.
Daniel Bryan | Bad News Barrett | Dean Ambrose | Damien Sandow | Sami Zayn | Kevin Owens | Pentagon, Jr. | Austin Aries | Kota Ibushi | Kenny Omega | William Regal | Bayley | Renee Young | YOSHIHIKO - The greatest dummy wrestler of all the times | Anything DDT tbh, especially the Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship matches