WWE NXT TAKEOVER NIGHT
Femi Solaja at the ringside in Barclays Center, New York
It was a historic moment as super stars of WWE NXT set the bar high on Saturday night with TakeOver Brooklyn III as titles were retained but most others lost theirs at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York.
One of the main heroes of the night was arguably the flamboyant Japanese female wrestler Kanako Urai fondly called Asuka who survived a painful tornado slam from formidable challenger, Ember Moon of Texas.
The feat thus mean, Asuka, a graphic designer and video game journalist holds the record of the second longest reigning female champion in the last 30 years. Asuka who has reigned for 504 days is second behind Fabulous Moolah.
Moon came close to beating Asuka, more than what anyone has ever tried previously as she hit her with the eclipse. Surprisingly, Asuka became the first superstar to kick out of it such dire situation. She worked Moon’s arm and shoulder throughout the encounter. And it worked to her advantage as Moon was forced to tap the Asuka lock in the closing stage of the fight watched by over 28,000 professional wrestling fans at the packed arena.
“I am better than my opponent. The crowd can see that I’m the champion and always a champion and I still want to remain the champion for a much longer time,” remarked exhausted Asuka after the clash to THISDAY at the ringside.
Frustrated Moon entered TakeOver as perhaps the most dominant Superstar in WWE history. Her winning streak surpassed that of Goldberg in WCW, and it seemed as though nobody was capable of knocking her from her perch.
Although there had been some close calls, it can be argued that nobody pushed Asuka more than Moon at NXT TakeOver: Orlando the night before WrestleMania.
Ember seems to have her on the ropes, but Asuka used the referee to interrupt Moon’s attempt to hit the Eclipse, which resulted in the Japanese Superstar retaining her precious belt for atleast another day.
THISDAY recalled that it was an injury that prevented Moon from competing at NXT TakeOver: Chicago, where Asuka defeated both Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot in a Triple Threat match.
In the other events of the night, Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish left as NXT champion Drew McIntyre picked the title. McIntyre defeated tittle holder and crowd pleaser, Bobby Roode to become the new men champion.
McIntyre remains undefeated since his return to NXT, as he beat Bobby Roode at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III to become the new NXT champion.
Roode appeared on course to win the match, but he got greedy by going for three Glorious DDTs in a row, and McIntyre took advantage by hitting the Claymore Kick to win.
“I don’t want to talk now, I will squeeze the hell out of him when next I come across him,” the dethroned champion Roode,yelled at waiting media after the match.
But the follow up after the match was when Cole made his debut at NXT with a savage super kick on victorious Mclntyre who was still savouring his win. He was left rolling on the ground with his belt in the ring.
Earlier in the night, the war between NXT tag team champions, The Authors of Pain and Sanity, resulted in a physical battle between the teams. Originally, it was supposed to be Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain representing the latter, it turned out to be Eric Young who replaced Dain mid-match.
Young found himself isolated from partner Wolfe for the majority of the match, beaten black and blue by the oppressive champions.
A hot tag to Wolfe led to a strong showing from the German, who broke out and brought a physical intensity and unpredictability to the proceedings.
Late in the match, both Young and Wolfe flew onto Akam and Rezar at the ringside. Nikki Cross teased following in kind, only for Paul Ellering to enter the squared circle. The Hall of Fame manager distracted the referee as Cross flew into the waiting arms of Akam.
Dain speared both of them through a table, allowing Young and Wolfe to deliver a combination neck-breaker and score the tag titles.
After the match, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish hit the ring and obliterated the new champions and stood tall, the titles in their grip.
After the thrilling night, fans went home happy and looking forward to late Sunday’s WWE SummerSlam Battle scheduled for the same venue.
The main match of the night was between WWE Champion, Jinder Mahal and Japanese Shinsuke Natalya for the men’s tittle while Randy Orton faces Rusev for the first time in his career.
In SmackDown tag team champions, The New Day will stage their tittle against The Usos in one of the several bouts of the night.