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    Thursday, July 19, 2018

    The NXT Grapevine, July-August: Brooklyn, Brooklyn!

    Man, can you believe we've only got a month left until NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV?

    With the next big chapter on the horizon, NXT wrapped up its tapings for the remaining episodes earlier today. There's a lot that has happened since our last big show in Chicago, with titles changing hands, new challengers stepping up and new rivalries bubbling. Let's take a look at how the next few episodes will look like, and how that shapes the upcoming Brooklyn show.

    As is usual, we'll put in our SPOILER WARNING right here. The matches and segments you will be reading about below have yet to air, so don't look at them if you want to be surprised. Also, we'll be trying something new with the Grapevine this time—rather sharing our thoughts on each episode, instead we'll take a look at everything that happened first, then take a look at the major takeaways/feuds being built up. Also note that matches are often filmed out of order, so the order you see below may not be how they play out on air.


    Airing July 25:
    • NXT North American Champion Adam Cole def. Sean Maluta in a non-title match. Ricochet then came out to challenge Cole for his title at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV, but is turned down. The rest of the Undisputed ERA (Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong) come out to send Ricochet off, but the War Raiders (Hanson and Rowe) came out to even the odds. Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) then ran out to attack the Undisputed ERA.
    • Lacey Evans def. Tenilla Price.
    • Heavy Machinery (Tucker Knight and Otis Dozovic) def. The Mighty (Shane Thorne and Nick Miller). Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) came out and threw cups into the ring to distract the Mighty, which led to the loss.
    • Moustache Mountain def. The State Line, a local tag team. After the match, Bate and Seven challenged the Undisputed ERA for the NXT Tag Team Championships.
    • EC3 def. Kona Reeves. Velveteen Dream came out with a mic midway through the match to distract EC3, but was unable to stop him from getting the win.

    Airing August 1:
    • NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler def. Candice LeRae in a non-title match. Kairi Sane made the save after Baszler continued to attack LeRae, but was hit with a cheap shot by the champion.
    • NXT Championship Match: Tommaso Ciampa def. Aleister Black (c) to become the new NXT Champion. Johnny Gargano came out and attacked both men while the referee was down. Ciampa then threw out Gargano before pinning Black to win the NXT Championship.
    • Nikki Cross def. Amber Nova.
    • The Undisputed Era (Cole, O'Reilly and Strong) attacked Ricochet as he came out for a match. Cole accepted Ricochet's challenge for the North American Championship.
    • Kassius Ohno def. Adrian Jaoude.

    Airing August 8:
    • Keith Lee def. Marcel Barthel in what was the on-screen debut of both men.
    • Mae Young Classic Qualifier: Taynara Conti def. Vanessa Borne to qualify for her second straight Mae Young Classic.
    • Street Profits (Dawkins and Ford) def. The Mighty (Thorne and Miller).
    • New NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa came out and cut a promo, saying that NXT now belonged to him. Aleister Black came out to attack Ciampa, but Johnny Gargano ran out and attacked Ciampa first. Gargano then took the blame for Ciampa becoming champion, which Black agreed to. Black then hit Gargano with a Black Mass.

    Airing August 15:
    • Kairi Sane def. Aliyah via submission. NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler was on commentary for this match.
    • Tyler Bate def. NXT Tag Team Champion Roderick Strong.
    • Velveteen Dream came out and ran down the crowd, before addressing EC3. EC3 then came out and left Dream laying after hitting the One Percenter.
    • Johnny Gargano vs. Aleister Black ends in a no contest as NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa came out and attacked both men. NXT GM William Regal came out and announced that it will be Ciampa vs. Gargano vs. Black in a Triple Threat match for the NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV!

    There's a couple of things to take in from these tapings, starting with the most obvious one of them all:
    • Tommaso Ciampa is now the NXT Champion. In a move straight out of the darkest timeline, everyone's favorite bald-headed jackass has now grabbed the biggest prize in NXT. It's actually a smart way to capitalize on how much of a heat magnet Ciampa has become. On the other hand, you have to feel for Aleister Black—it feels like his championship reign has become secondary to the ongoing Ciampa/Johnny Gargano feud, and now he finds himself caught in the middle of these two rivals. At least Black gets to main event a TakeOver now!
    • Otherwise, the rest of the card looks to have turned out as expected—it's the same set of matches we mentioned in the previous Grapevine.
    • We've got a big debut with Keith Lee wasting no time transitioning from audience guy to debuting wrestler, and there's very good reason why a lot of people are hyped for this man. It'll be interesting to see how they weave him into the weekly shows, considering how stacked this roster already is.
    • War Raiders look set to be positioning themselves as the next contenders for the tag belts, which makes sense as they've run over the other tag teams in NXT so far. Conveniently, the next big show is NXT TakeOver: War Games II, and these guys happen to have "war" in their name...


    Are you looking forward to NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV? Let us know in the comments section below!
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    Item Reviewed: The NXT Grapevine, July-August: Brooklyn, Brooklyn! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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