NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III Preview

It’s that time of year again. Summer is wrapping up and that means WWE is heading to Brooklyn New York with its little buddy NXT in tow. It’s time for NXT’s biggest show of the year as we’re ready for “Takeover: Brooklyn III”. This show really doesn’t seem to have the same pop that a lot of the series’ entries have had, but there’s one thing I’ve learned watching NXT: never bet against them blowing you away.

Tag Team Titles: Authors of Pain(c) vs. Sanity

This is a match that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention but the more I think about it the more interesting I think it could be. The Authors have run roughshod over the NXT tag team division since they won the titles about seven months ago, but the key is they’ve won them against teams who are going to come at them with a logical plan. TM61, Revival and DIY are all smart teams, but they’re also teams you can plan for. How do you plan for a pair of crazy monsters? Can the Authors really hang on against these two?

Yeah I kind of think they can. The more I think about it, the more I think Sanity is better suited for the main roster (imagine them as part of a re-energized Wyatt Family or just something more like them) than the Authors. The problem is the Authors aren’t exactly the most in-depth team in the world and I’m not sure what they would do on the main roster. Once they lose a match, a lot of their mystique goes away. Sanity has a lot more depth and that would suit them better on the main roster, perhaps as the people tormenting Breezango? The Authors retain, pinning Wolfe in the process.

Aleister Black vs. Hideo Itami

This is all about who can kick the hardest and while the ending may look pretty obvious, that doesn’t mean the match won’t be entertaining. Itami has had a much better edge in recent months, all starting back when he lost to Bobby Roode in Chicago. Black on the other hand has turned into one of the best characters on the roster as he’s just freaking cool. His entrance is awesome, his calm is sweet and that Black Mass kick looks like it could stop anyone.

In what isn’t the most surprising choice in the world, I’ll take Black to win after one heck of a hard hitting (or kicking in this case) match. It’s pretty clear that Black is going to be one of the bigger stars going forward and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him getting the title at a big show in the future. Itami’s floundering continues but there’s nothing wrong with being the heel gatekeeper who you beat on your way to becoming a bigger star down the line. Black wins, likely with a great looking Black Mass.

Women’s Title: Asuka(c) vs. Ember Moon

If NXT timed this to coincide with the lunar eclipse on Monday, they’re some of the most brilliant people I’ve seen in years. I don’t think that’s actually the case but you know Mauro Ranallo is going to mention it about a million times on Saturday. Asuka has been a dominant force for well over a year now but WWE has built up the Eclipse as the deadliest weapon in NXT. Moon isn’t as great overall as Asuka, but Asuka doesn’t have anything that can hang with that one big move.

I’ll take Moon to become the new champion but it doesn’t feel like she’s ready to win the thing just yet. The problem here is Asuka has been built up as completely unstoppable and that makes it really hard to take the title off of her. Moon is going to need a lot more than just one move to make her a champion and that needs to be showcased in this match. The pinfall is going to be a big deal but if they don’t earn their way there, it’s risking a major failure. Asuka needs to go straight to the main roster after this as there’s just no reason for her left to do in NXT.

Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade Cien Almas

Now this one actually interests me more than almost anything else all night long for one simple reason: I’m not completely sure who is going to win. There’s no reason to believe that either of them should lose as Almas has grown a lot as a heel while Gargano has gotten one heck of a rub since the DIY split. You really could go with either of them winning here, which really isn’t something you would expect most of the time on a Takeover.

I think I’ll actually take Almas as Gargano seems like someone who can bounce back up from a single loss with a lot less effort. By putting Zelina Vega out there so recently, it would be a huge question mark to have Gargano beat Almas so quickly. Let Almas get a big win for a change and then Gargano can come right back with a win later on. Granted you could say the exact same thing with the names reversed, but I’ll take Almas to win here in a pick likely to go wrong.

NXT Title: Bobby Roode(c) vs. Drew McIntyre

The more I think about it, the less I’m sure that McIntyre wins here and it’s because of the Roderick Strong match coming up. There isn’t much of a story to McIntyre rising up to the title but Strong is right there ready to defeat Roode and take the title. Then you can have McIntyre go down the ladder a bit and rise back up to get the title later. McIntyre keeps talking about how he took things too lightly back in the day and now he needs to be more serious. What better way to test that than by having him lose here and build himself back up?

I’ll take Roode to retain the title here, likely through something other than a clean win. Have him get a pin with his feet on the ropes or something like a DQ but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him retain the title. McIntyre’s day will come, but I have a feeling it’s not coming just yet. We’ll go with Roode retaining the title, but don’t be surprised if they go with McIntyre winning for the feel good moment to end the show.

This is a show where everything is going to come down to the booking. We could have some great matches and that’s all that it needs to have an awesome show, but the right choices really need to work at the same time. It doesn’t feel like the biggest show of the year but that’s definitely how NXT sees Saturday night. The 15,000 people in the crowd probably won’t hurt either.


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