NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV preview - Aug. 18, 2018: Who will be left standing with the NXT Championship?
NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa faces arch-rival Johnny Gargano in a Last Man Standing Match, NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler reignites her rivalry with Kairi Sane and more tonight at TakeOver: Brooklyn IV.
NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano (Last Man Standing Match)
Buckle up, because the most deeply personal rivalry in NXT history — NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampavs. Johnny Gargano — is about to write a new chapter at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV.
What’s different this time around is that The Blackheart finds himself in the position of defending NXT Champion, and the bout will be contested under the most unforgiving circumstances imaginable: A Last Man Standing Match.
Ciampa had previously been scheduled to defend the title in Brooklyn in a Triple Threat Match against Gargano and former NXT Champion Aleister Black. Yet, with Black sustaining substantial injuries in an apparent parking lot attack on Aug. 8, less than two weeks before TakeOver, The Dutch Destroyer will not be able to compete at TakeOver. In turn, NXT General Manager William Regal announced Ciampa and Gargano’s Last Man Standing Match.
The Last Man Standing Match carries a high potential for danger and one barbaric objective: To incapacitate your opponent to the point that he cannot stand before the referee counts to 10. It’s almost impossible to fathom what type of brutality awaits in Brooklyn. Ciampa and Gargano have already battled twice at TakeOver this year: Gargano came out on top in their first encounter in an Unsanctioned Match at TakeOver: New Orleans, while Ciampa prevailed in their Chicago Street Fightrematch at TakeOver: Chicago II.
Which Superstar will stand tall as the NXT Champion when the dust settles? Find out when NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV streams live tonight at 7 ET/4 PT, exclusively on the award-winning WWE Network.
NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler vs. Kairi Sane
Shayna Baszler has been nothing short of dominant since capturing the NXT Women’s Title in April, but tonight at TakeOver: Brooklyn IV on WWE Network, the defiant champion will battle one of the few women to claim a pinfall victory over Baszler, Kairi Sane.
The Queen of Spades and The Pirate Princess first collided last summer in the Mae Young Classic Final, with Sane coming out on top to claim the prestigious trophy and her place in the history books as the inaugural Mae Young Classic winner. They clashed again in a rematch earlier this year. Baszler bested Sane that time around, using her suffocating Kirifuda Clutch to snuff out the spirited Superstar. Now, at NXT’s summertime spectacular, they meet again with the top prize of the NXT Women’s division on the line.
Even beyond the rubber-match intrigue, the match is a fascinating study of polar forces, both in terms of in-ring styles and personalities. Baszler is a coldblooded catch-wrestling devotee who overwhelms her competition with devastating submissions and debilitating strikes. She is as despised as she is arrogant. In stark contrast, Sane is a highflying dynamo, a virtuous competitor between the ropes who’s beloved for her courage and affable charm. As Sane recently demonstrated in her dominant performance against Aliyah, she also possesses a much greater killer instinct than meets the eye.
Baszler rules the Women’s division with an iron fist, but will Sane be able to “go for the jugular” and wrest the title away from The Queen of Spades? Don’t miss this championship duel tonight at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV!
NXT North American Champion Adam Cole vs. Ricochet
Ricochet has taken umbrage with Adam Cole’s reign as NXT North American Champion in recent weeks, gunning for a title bout against the Undisputed ERA frontman and accusing The Panama City Playboy of ducking him. And at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV, the two emerging Superstars will finally collide with Cole’s coveted title up for the taking.
Ever since the North American Championship Ladder Match at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans in April, which saw Cole outlast Ricochet and four other Superstars to become the first-ever NXT North American Champion, NXT’s One and Only has been less than impressed with the Undisputed ERA leader’s methods and tactics, most notably Cole stealing a pin fall on Ricochet during a Six-Man Tag Team Match earlier this summer.
The acrobatic marvel finally dropped any remaining pretense and called the “cowardly” Cole out, challenging him for the NXT North American Title at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV. Brazen as ever, Cole responded by saying he would not “diminish” himself by giving Ricochet a title opportunity. However, when Ricochet doubled down on his claims of Cole being a coward, it was clear that the North American Champion’s blood was beginning to boil.
All these incidents prompted NXT General Manager William Regal to make it official and sign Cole vs. Ricochet with the title on the line in Brooklyn. Will Cole be able to shock the system yet again — at the site of his unforgettable NXT debut one year ago, no less — by putting down NXT’s One and Only? Or, will Ricochet get the sweetest type of vindication possible by not just defeating the Undisputed ERA kingpin, but also dethroning him for the NXT North American Championship?
NXT Tag Team Champions Undisputed ERA vs. Moustache Mountain
After trading the NXT Tag Team Titles in two of the most incredible bouts the black-and-yellow brand has ever seen, reigning champions Undisputed ERA and challengers Moustache Mountain get set to make history again at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV.
Bastions of British Strong Style Tyler Bate & Trent Seven upended Roderick Strong & Kyle O’Reilly to win the tandem titles on their home turf in June at the NXT UK Championship special in London. Strong & O’Reilly didn’t wait long to invoke their rematch, and when the time came on the July 11 edition of WWE NXT, Undisputed ERA were at their vicious best. Strong & O’Reilly used surgical precision to attack Seven’s leg, and after suffering a prolonged onslaught, The Don was saved by Bate, who had no choice but to throw in the towel and protect his teammate (even though it meant forfeiting the titles).
Seven now claims to be back at full health, and he and Bate have one objective in mind: regaining the prestigious NXT Tag Team Championship. Undisputed ERA don’t appear too worried, at least not yet, with Strong & O’Reilly proclaiming that the devastation that befell Seven on July 11 isn’t anything compared to what they have in store for him at TakeOver.
Can Moustache Mountain bounce back and take the NXT Tag Team Titles by force? Or are Seven & Bate in for a rude awakening at the hands of the hard-hitting, back-breaking champions?
EC3 vs. Velveteen Dream
Two of NXT’s most outrageous personalities are headed for a collision course at TakeOver: Brooklyn IV as EC3 will go one-on-one with Velveteen Dream, streaming live on WWE Network.
For The Top One Percent, the “human money-printing machine” who’s looking to rebrand NXT as “NX3,” the match provides the first opportunity since April to show the NXT Universe what he’s capable of on NXT’s biggest platform, TakeOver. For Dream, the marquee matchup presents another chance to dazzle the masses at NXT’s tentpole event; the outspoken Superstar has competed at each of the last four TakeOvers and, win or lose, arguably stole the show each time out.
Yet, EC3 and Dream’s beef is about more than simply wanting the spotlight in Brooklyn. Their animosity began at the NXT UK Championship special in London, where Velveteen Dream abandoned EC3 midway through their tag team match against Aleister Black & Ricochet, causing EC3 to suffer defeat at the hands of two of NXT’s best.
EC3 has regained plenty of momentum since then, not to mention the support of the NXT Universe, who routinely hold “NX3” signs in his honor. With the wind at this back, EC3 now looks to get even with Dream in Brooklyn. Can EC3 succeed and notch his first TakeOver victory since arriving to NXT? Or can the fiendishly skilled Dream put down his hard-hitting foe and show that he’s in a class of his own?
Watch EC3 and Velveteen Dream collide at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV, streaming live tonight at 7 ET/4 PT, exclusively on the award-winning WWE Network!