Wrestling Review: NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4 (2018)

Brooklyn has been the site of some of NXT’s greatest matches and moments: Bayley versus Sasha Banks, Kevin Owens versus Finn Balor, The Revival versus D.I.Y., and not to mention the debut of Adam Cole (bay bay). The 2018 edition is set to raise the stakes even further as the new NXT Champion Tommasso Ciampa continues, and hopes to finsh, his war with Johnny Gargano. Following their acclaimed unsanctioned match and the brutal street fight, the two will do battle in a Last Man Standing match, with the top gold in NXT on the line. The NXT North American Championship is on the line as well, as champion Adam Cole proves he is no coward as he faces off against the One and Only Ricochet. Not to be outdone, Cole’s Undisputed Era brethren defend their tag team titles against Moustahce Mountain, as Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong looks to win the rubber match against Trent seven and Tyler Bate. Speaking of rubber matches, dominant NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler looks to get one more win against perennial thorn in her side Kairi Sane. All of this and much more as New York plays host one more time to NXT TakeOver Brooklyn 4.

+ Shayna Baszler vs Kairi Sane (NXT Women’s Championship): I often say Impact Wrestling’s Allie is the cutest thing in the wrestling world, but it may just be a tie with Kairi Sane. Baszler is the best person, man or woman, doing the gimmick she is doing right now, and it is such a perfect contract between the two. I enjoyed this, but I do hope it isn’t over
+ Adam Cole (c) vs Ricochet (NXT North American Championship): the best way to describe this would be a NJPW match in PWG. These two did all the big NJW spots of trading elbows and fighting through pain, and then all the crazy moves (potentially dangerous, but they are so good, so I’m sure it was safe). This was really good, and a great showing from both men
+ The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick strong) (c) vs Moustache Mountain (Tyler Bate & Trent Seven) (NXT Tag Team Championships): good lord Tyler Bate is strong. These two teams have had three matches, and all three have now been tag team match of the year contenders

Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs Johnny Gargano (Last Man Standing match for the NXT Champiionship): this was really lackluster. I was looking forward to the triple threat (involving Aleister Black) a lot, and this just felt like more of the street fight from their last meeting, which in hindsight was really not that great. This felt so by the books, with the same spots from previous matches, a super predictable ending and generally a feud that has just run its course. Win lose or draw for either man, I hope this was the end of it
EC3 vs The Velveteen Dream: this wasn’t necessarily bad, but it was not really at the levels of Dream’s other big match (vs Black, vs Ohno, vs Ricochet – but just compare that trio to EC3). EC3 is just so big now he is almost immobile, and it made for a bad stylistic match-up between the two. They each could have used someone else

> From the day D.I.Y. formed, I said Johnny was great, but Ciampa was on another level entirely. SInce his heel turn, I have been proven right at every step. Anybody that watched Ciampa in AAW through 2015-2016 and didn’t pen him in as one of the best bad guys of all time was not paying attention
> And we get the standard “new signess in the crowd” moment, this time it was Matt Ridle, bro

Should you watch this event: It really is Undisputed who the best trio (soon to be foursome) on NXT are, with Cole, O’Reilly and Strong being such incredible MVPs of this brand. Gargano/Ciampa has run its course, and no matter the outcome of the main event, I am ready for them to move on to other things. Dream is getting better and Shayna and Kairi are the top of the women’s division for a reason, but that main event really fell flat, and left a bad taste in my mouth. This was okay, but it should have been great.

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