clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WWE NXT recap, reactions, video highlights (Aug. 22, 2018): One to grow on

For a more detailed recap, check our live results post here.

A recap video of all the action from TakeOver: Brooklyn 4 opens a show that also features packages on each individual match from Saturday night and all the fallout segments which debuted online after the event. You can catch up on all of those here.

As these post-TakeOver episodes always are, this one was heavy on highlights, interviews and (more than I remember past editions being) commercials. It is what it is. They’re always well done and can stir some emotion even if you just watched the event itself, and I often catch little things I might have glossed over on a live watch when I see them presented this way.

That said, it doesn’t add a ton of fuel for discussion if you’ve already processed Brooklyn 4. I haven’t really dug into the fallout videos anywhere, and there were a couple new items on the show. So let’s hit all those in some bullet points:

- Velveteen Dream crowning “Queen Cathy” Kelley should be GIF-ed more, and probably will be. EC3’s chat with Mike Rome makes it sound like he’s not leaving, and might even not be done with Dream, but it’s couched in his not being done with any feud or match he’s lost, so it’s good cover for the call-up speculation. His addressing the Aleister Black investigation in a way that points a finger at Lars Sullivan and makes you wonder if he’s not playing “Keyser Soze” to deflect attention away from his own guilt was great... and the latest example of why we love NXT.

- Speaking of the quest to find Black’s attacker, Mauro Ranallo used some Blade Runner tech to tell us Nikki Cross was standing on rooftop watching the whole thing. Which is a bummer because it might mean SAnitY’s Twisted Sister still isn’t joining her men on SmackDown, but cool because maybe she’s the key to General Manager William Regal unraveling the whole mystery?

- Ricochet’s post-match talk with faceless backstage question-asker guy turns into set-up for next week’s main event, a tag match with lots of gold in it. Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly will battle the new North American Champ and UK Titleholder Pete Dunne. The Bruiserweight made it clear he wants Ric’s new strap, though, which should make their partnership strained from the jump. If Tyler Bate and Trent Seven are still in town, and Adam Cole and War Raiders crash the party, maybe they’ll go ahead and book TakeOver: WarGames 2’s main event at Thursday’s taping.

- Like EC3’s bit from later Saturday night, Shayna Baszler declaring she’s the better fighter than new Women’s Champ Kairi Sane (and that Kairi didn’t win, Baszler lost) can be read either as a sign she’s staying, or just a signal her rivalry with the Pirate Princess is neverending.

Bianca Belair def. Deonna Purrazzo via pinfall following her burning hammer facebuster

The EST been off our screens for a while, written off with an unspecified storyline injury for her honeymoon with Mr. Belair (aka Montez Ford of Street Profits). This six-ish minute affair was designed to remind us she’s a big deal. It did its job.

Aside from also reminding me I really like her new finish, and that it needs a name, this didn’t do much else for Bianca. I’ve been on her bandwagon since last summer and think she’s closer to being ready than pretty much anyone who didn’t come into WWE Developmental with indie cred - and a few who did. But this was her greatest hits. Not much to go on for the purposes of determining if she’s ready for a title shot, or possibly run.

My inclination is to hope they wait until 2019 to give her that spot. Maybe she could handle it now, but another 4 - 6 months to practice working different and longer matches would probably be ideal. We’ll see what people who actually know what they’re talking about decide.

Really excited to see Purrazzo escape the purgatory that is Women of Honor, ROH’s “see, we book girls, too” nod to the growth in women’s wrestling. Even in her appearances as unsigned enhancement talent on this show, she always makes her opponent look really good. Seeing as they’re not changing her name or look - she had a custom (if pretty generic) entrance video - or shying away from her NXT history, Deonna may be cast in a gatekeeper role, which would be a little disappointing. It’ll be interesting to watch how she and the other Mae Young Classic ‘18 class fit into things in a few months.

Pete Dunne def. Zack Gibson via pinfall following Bitter End to retain the United Kingdom Championship

Liverpool’s #1 also got a video earlier in the show to set him up for folks unfamiliar with the British wrestling scene. The Barclays crowd seemed to be among the already initiated, but I couldn’t help but wonder while watching the main event... what would someone with no exposure to Gibson make of him?

He’s definitely a more than capable performer, and he heeled it up well enough to play his part opposite the anti-hero UK Champ. But so much of his gimmick is tied up in regional based “cheap heat”. Zack’s going to have to do more to stand out if he hopes to follow the British Strong Style trio as crossover hits with Americans who think the Reds and the Blues are Raw and SmackDown’s Survivor Series team nicknames.

His match with Dunne is fun - I’ll never complain about watching young master Peter - but probably more impressive if you didn’t see the recent, better version of it: their more exciting showdown on day two of the 2018 United Kingdom Championship Tournament from Albert Hall. This one’s a slobberknocker, though, with both guys spitting blood by the time the Bruiserweight’s hand is raised. I imagine it was a bit more fun live than it was on screen. Not to rag on Gibson too much, and this isn’t really on him, but the ending where he loses because he got caught slowly deciding to throw the champ’s mouthpiece to the crowd makes him look like a dolt.

Bigger picture, they’re obviously high on Zack for the new brand, or they wouldn’t have given him this spot so soon after those London shows featured him so prominently. The announcers were really driving home the length of Dunne’s title reign during entrances. Makes me think it’s either about to become a bigger plot point, or it could be coming to an end soon.

Not essential by a long shot, but not a bad way to spend an hour and get your NXT fix until next week (or tonight’s spoilers hit).

Grade: C+

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats