Three things in life are guaranteed. Death, Taxes, and NXT Takeovers being some of the best wrestling of the weekend. I’ll be the first to admit, my watching of WWE has been limited as of late, but there was no way I’d miss an NXT event, especially one as stacked as this. One thing that NXT seems to do better than most is their handling of production to tell a story. Each match was treated as special, and even someone like myself who hasn’t watched in months, felt like I hadn’t missed a single moment.
NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era (c) vs. Moustache Mountain:
The first match of a card can make or break the crowd. Too dull of a match, and you run the risk of the crowd trying to take over the show. That mistake wasn’t made here though, as the Tag Team Titles were put on the line. It was the final in a trilogy of epic battles between the former champions in Moustache Mountain, who were up against one of only two Two-Time NXT Tag champions in the Undisputed Era (represented by Roderick Strong, and the king of air guitar Kyle O’Reilly).
The crowd was split almost down the middle in terms of who they were pulling for, which was surprising to me considering how heelish the Era has been.
This match was everything a great tag contest should be, calling back to their previous two matches. The champs targeted the injured knee of Seven, but they couldn’t keep him down. The slams here hard, the strikes were stiff, and we were treated to a number of jaw-dropping spots thanks to Tyler Bate.
From leaping over the top rope with ease to swinging and spinning the champs on his own, the youngest champion in WWE history left Takeover looking like the future of the WWE.
At one point, it looked like we were going to have a repeat of their last match, as Trent came close to throwing in the towel when it looked as though Bate was going to suffer a serious injury. Much to the satisfaction of the crowd, the champs were able to retain with a throwback to the Eliminators as they added a twist on Total Elimination.
Winners: The Undisputed Era
What happened after the match was something that changed the landscape of the tag division. Former Ring of Honor and New Japan champions War Raiders (formerly known as War Machine) hit the ring and laid waste to the champions. After a pop-up power slam and their finisher, the message was clear as day. They had their eyes on the Tag Team titles, and God help anyone standing in their way.
EC3 vs. The Velveteen Dream:
You had to feel for whoever was given the task of following up that match, but if anyone could, it would be Velveteen Dream. The feud between Dream and EC3 started during a tag match where Dream walked out on his partner, causing them to lose. Coming off of two consecutive Takeover losses, it was clear that Velveteen needed a win.
From the getgo, there was no doubt who was going to be the most talked about superstar of the night. As someone known for elaborate outfits, the 22-year-old one-upped himself by having the message ‘Call me up Vince’ along the back of his trunks.
Fun fact, in a post-match conference call, Ryan Satin ( @ryansatin ) asked about Vince’s potential reaction to, it to which Triple H replied “”You thought he meant Vince McMahon?!” before claiming Dream “has a friend Vince who just lost his phone.”
Maybe it was because of how high octane the previous match was, or perhaps the chemistry just wasn’t there yet, but the match seemed slow to the start. A few psychological games were played, but it took a turn for the better when they spilled outside of the ring.
An unusually modified DDT onto the ramp got the crowd back into it, firmly behind the crowd favorite Dream.
Once back in the ring, they traded power moves and at one point EC3 took a shot that opened him up right above the eye. It seemed as though the finish of the match was rushed, perhaps due to the blood, but Dream was able to pull out the much-needed win after two apron spots that showed the risks he was willing to take. The kid is living out his dream, and we should all be glad to be a part of the ride.
Winner: Velveteen Dream
Post-match, we were treated to the King of Bros Matt Riddle in the crowd, sporting a lovely suit and fitted cap combo.
Tune in to Part 2 for more coverage of NXT TakeOver Brooklyn 4!