WWE editor Tim Fiorvanti breaks down all six matches on Saturday's NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II card, and senior stats analyst Sean Coyle offers evaluations with a maximum rating of 5. Criteria is based on storytelling, in-ring execution, match psychology, timing and innovation -- all worth up to 1 point each.
The following will be updated in real-time.
Austin Aries def. No Way Jose
When the over-the-top video promos for a character improbably named "No Way Jose" started to air during NXT broadcasts, who would have thought that person would be successful and charismatic enough for the fans not to boo him out of a building like the Barclays Center? No Way Jose got his fair share of a reaction, and his conga line entrance added a nice touch. The reactions for him weren't nearly as strong as they were for Austin Aries, but there were certainly healthy sized "Si se puede" and "No Way Jose" chants running through the crowd.
The match itself was solid, and Jose more than held his own when compared to what the expectations might have been. Aries played the cowardly heel well from the opening bell, sneaking through the ropes and hiding behind the ref at the first sign of trouble. He got in his patented high flying aerial offense to much aplomb, and No Way Jose looked strong at times as well -- particularly with a well-executed Michonoku driver. Jose got what he needed out of this match -- the ability to show he can hang with somebody like Aries -- but Aries is ultimately headed to the top soon, so it came as little surprise that the second time Aries slapped on the Last Chancery, it earned him the victory.
We quickly got a look at the future as, when Aries wouldn't let go of another Last Chancery, Hideo Itami came out to confront him. After a bit of a scrum, Itami picked Aries up in a Go-2-Sleep and the crowd absolutely erupted.
Ember Moon def. Billie Kay
This was a brief showcase for Ember Moon's debut, and while both she and Billie Kay got in some good offense, it was far too short to serve as much of anything significant beyond that introduction.
Billie Kay got in the offense at the beginning, tying Ember Moon up in a painful-looking standing submission, and looked strong as a dominant heel. As soon as things turned around, it didn't take long for things to wind toward a finish. After laying Billie Kay out, Ember Moon hit a finisher that was truly jaw-dropping, as she jumped off the top rope and hit a move reminiscent of the Stone Cold Stunner to lock up the victory.
Bobby Roode def. Andrade "Cien" Almas
Without having had a single televised match on NXT to this point, it's crystal clear that Bobby Roode is both crazy over with the crowd and ready to step up as one of the big stars of the near future. His entrance proves that the NXT brass feels the same way; as the piano music at the start of his theme began, a light illuminated him atop a giant platform. He slowly descended as the crowd continued to cheer loudly, and they rarely let up for the rest of the match.
Andrade 'Cien' Almas has seemed to draw the short stick in almost every showdown he has had to this point in NXT -- starting with his debut against Tye Dillinger. Almas' offense alone makes him a stellar attraction, and he briefly won over the crowd several times with crazy-looking corkscrew top rope maneuvers, but each time Roode's popularity was too much to overcome. Roode hit a pump handle powerbomb to secure the victory, and his future looks bright.
For Almas, it might be time to consider a turn to the dark side.
NXT tag team championship: The Revival (c) def. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa
DIY is an all-too-appropriate moniker for Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, considering where they started in NXT. There was little fanfare to their debuts, but from the beginning, the crowd got behind them and never really let up. They had to scratch and claw for every last they got in NXT, but over time they simply performed too well to be ignored any longer. Dash and Dawson served as the perfect counter to that, as few in this company have curated and maintained their status as bad guys who always get booed. It's a long way from the severely embarrassing, "Which one's Dash? Which one's Dawson?" chants that used to haunt them.
This match started somewhat slowly, but the atmosphere built slowly and steadily as The Revival kept control and kept Ciampa down. There was a brief moment of respite, with a combo suicide dive from Gargano and running knee from the apron from Ciampa. Dash and Dawson pulled out every heel tag team move in the book to keep control, and there were some great teases where Gargano almost got in. There was a creative forearm-reach forearm-reach sequence where fingertips almost touched, and then there was a tag that the ref didn't see. With the crowd reaching a fever pitch, Gargano finally got out and cleaned house.
He hit all of his signature offense, including some vicious kicks and the diving-through-the-ropes spear, as Ciampa slowly recovered. Ciampa and Gargano hit some strong tag team offense and whipped the crowd into a frenzy, with 2-count after 2-count bringing everyone to their feet. The first "This is Awesome" and "NXT" chants of the night rang through the building, as the energy reached its first peak of the night. Gargano and Ciampa hit their signature running knee and kick combination and looked as if they had the win locked up, only for Dawson to put Wilder's leg on the rope at the last possible second, to the crowd's dismay. Ciampa got taken out, and The Revival attacked Gargano's knee. After several brutal maneuvers further attacked the knee, Dawson locked it up and Gargano eventually submitted.
- WWE NXT (@WWENXT) August 21, 2016
From the way the air went out of the place with that result, it sounded as if the crowd was truly committed to Ciampa and Gargano winning. If the folks in the back were listening, maybe they will be soon.
NXT women's championship: Asuka (c) def. Bayley
Bayley vs. Asuka had all of the elements of a big fight feel and a final showdown. Bayley had some fun on her way out with even more wacky wild inflatable tube men than usual, but once she stepped through the ropes it was all business. Asuka joined her, and the referee -- in a spotlight in the middle of the ring, in an otherwise dark arena -- lifted the NXT women's championship high into the air. The pair circled one another, getting the feel of things, and then exchanged some early strikes. Asuka took the early advantage and hit the first of some brutal strikes -- building up with a long series of offense that culminated with a tarantulas like submission in the ropes.
Bayley finally regained control and inflicted some brutal offense of her own. A long series of head smashes led into a string of her signature offense, including the splash. Asuka never felt as if she lost control for long. After some brutal kicks reminiscent of Daniel Bryan's signature strikes, Bayley caught the leg and kick started a brutal looking sequence of back-and-forth strikes between the two of them. It all looked as if it were leading toward the same kind of ending as last time, as Asuka eventually locked in her signature submission, but Bayley managed to turn it over. In the blink of an eye she had Asuka up and in the Bayley to Belly, but it only drew a two-count.
Asuka locked in her Asuka lock a second time, but Bayley responded again. Proving her insightfulness, Bayley rolled it over into a pin attempt. The pair rose to their feet and Bayley hit a brutal slap, but that only seemed to give Asuka the fuel she needed to finally dispatch Bayley for good. With a pair of sick kicks to the head, the deed was done -- Asuka proving herself the dominant champion and Bayley having no remaining reason to remain in NXT.
After an embrace with Asuka Bayley was left to receive "Thank you Bayley" chants, a few hugs from each of her fellow four horsewomen, who were seated in the front row, and make her final curtain call in a brand she helped build from nothing into a phenomenon.
- Triple H (@TripleH) August 21, 2016
NXT championship: Shinsuke Nakamura def. Samoa Joe (c)
To say that the NXT championship match between Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura was highly anticipated would be completely underselling it. Two stars of an era that had never clashed on any kind of significant stage before -- two guys who many believed would never fall under the WWE banner, let alone face each other there -- squared off in a dream matchup of a main event to cap off NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II.
Shinsuke Nakamura's entrance is one that normally elicits a huge reaction on its own, but his specialized pay-per-view scaled version was as captivating an entrance as you'll see anywhere in the world of wrestling. A single violinist played slowly at first, ramping up until the electronic version hit and Nakamura made his way out. The crowd sang along well beyond the end of the entrance and even beyond Joe's entrance; in reality, the singing never truly stopped until the match did.
The match itself was a stiff and as brutal as advertised, with Joe and Nakamura trading shot after shot and each coming back for more. One of the most surprising elements of the match was Joe stepping his offense up a level further. He hit a suicide dive to the outside, but his most technically impressive showing was hitting a slick powerbomb, turning it over into a Boston crab, flipping it over into an STF and then finishing the sequence by taking Nakamura's free arm as it reached for the bottom rope and trapping it -- making it into a crossface.
Joe was the first one to hit a signature finishing maneuver -- the Coquina Clutch -- but, as would become the theme in the end, Nakamura had a response. He reached the ropes, and the pair once again exchanged a sequence of sickening strikes.
- WWE NXT (@WWENXT) August 21, 2016
A massive German suplex by Nakamura brought the crowd to life, but as he teased his Kinshasa knee strike, Joe countered into a powerslam and immediately followed it up with a muscle buster.
Joe immediately dragged Nakamura into the opposite corner and tried for a second muscle buster, only for Nakamura to turn it over and immediately hit the Kinshasa.
Nakamura quickly rose to his feet, climbed to the top rope and hit Joe in the back of the head with one last huge knee. He broke into a sprint, sized Joe up, and hit another Kinshasa knee.
The crowd counted the 1-2-3 in unison and exploded with its biggest cheer of the night as Nakamura was crowned the new NXT champion.
His celebration carried on long after the bell as staff quickly rushed from backstage to help Joe, who shook them off as he trudged backstage himself.
The fans kept singing, even as they left the arena, and Nakamura embraced his new championship as the night faded quickly into its end.
- WWE NXT (@WWENXT) August 21, 2016