SAnitY Attacked NXT Tag Team Champions The Authors of Pain
While I'm still not overly excited for these two teams facing off for the NXT Tag Team Championship at TakeOver: Brooklyn, this was easily the best thing I've seen from them up to this point in the program. SAnitY's attack was strong and the crowd popped for the return of Eric Young (who I believe was away from TV to deal with the death of a family member). I guess this makes Authors of Pain the babyfaces in this situation, so it will be interesting to see whether they're cheered over SAnitY in Brooklyn or if the crowd just sits on their hands.
The Street Profits def. The Metro Brothers
NXT's tag team division can use all the help it can get at the moment, so The Street Profits are a nice addition to the mix. I've heard all the criticism from fans calling them a rip-off of Cryme Tyme, but at least they have personality and apparently have the support of the crowd. Angelo Dawkins is no different than what we've seen from him in the past, but Montez Ford brings a lot to the table and I'm looking forward to this tandem growing.
Roderick Strong Interrupted the Face-to-Face Confrontation Between NXT Champion Bobby Roode and Drew McIntyre
McIntyre's rise to the NXT Championship was pretty sudden, so these promos he's been cutting lately have been a good way of making up for that lost time and connecting with the crowd. He's improved immensely on the mic since his last stint with WWE, while Roode always excels in his role as well. Meanwhile, Roderick Strong is so great as this headstrong babyface and I love that Roode has a number of possible title contenders. This was successful in hyping McIntyre vs. Strong for next week's show as well as McIntyre vs. Roode for the NXT Championship coming up.
Danny Burch def. Oney Lorcan
If you look at Burch and Lorcan and think they're nothing more than "directionless bald jobbers," you are horribly mistaken. Burch and Lorcan are two of the most physical and hard-hitting competitors in NXT and when put together, they constantly create magic. This match started out slow, but it picked up nicely and ended up being quite the treat. Obviously, Burch avenging his loss to Lorcan means a rubber mean is only inevitable and I have no complaints.
Andrade "Cien" Almas def. No Way Jose
No Way Joe is a major fan favorite, but unless he's in there with an amazing wrestler, his matches aren't too much of note yet just enough to receive a pass. That's exactly what this was as he had a solid showing, but the real focus was on Almas and Zelina Vega attempting to get him to focus. She can do quite a bit to get him on track and I like the pairing of Almas and Johnny Gargano at TakeOver: Brooklyn. Sure, the bout has no build, but I'm sure they'll have no problem producing an enjoyable match.
On paper, TakeOver: Brooklyn is easily the weakest of the three Brooklyn installments to date, but that doesn't mean it can't be an exceptional event. The hype for the live special has been really well done so far and this show was another example of that with an effective talking segment, a notable debut, a cool brawl to kick off the night, a flat-out fun match from Lorcan and Burch, and a new match announced for TakeOver.
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