How NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4 Will End

(Johnny) Wrestling With Shadows

NXT TakeOver Brooklyn 4

The TakeOver: Brooklyn 4 advertisements that aired during the SummerSlam go-home editions of Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live! sat in stark contrast to the ugly promos the company used for the 'Biggest Party Of The Summer'.

Relying on meme-infused clips of their biggest feuds, WWE's SummerSlam trailers were more obnoxious than the selfie promos they experimented with earlier this year. Characters that were already one dimensional somehow found themselves further flattened by the visuals, reflecting a rare swing and a miss for a crack production staff clearly otherwise engaged with the developmental brand.

Saturday's Barclays Center supercard was masterfully sold on former glories rather than future echoes. The majesty of the matches that have taken place in the building - the building that has effectively become the MSG of NXT - now insists that a 'TakeOver' pay-per-view earns the respect of its forbearers. Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane must try to step out of the lofty shadows cast by Bayley, Sasha Banks and Asuka. Velveteen Dream and EC3 must engage in a spectacle grand enough to rival Shinsuke Nakamura's 2016 Championship win over Samoa Joe. And The Undisputed Era must wreak as much havoc on their one year anniversary as they did on their very first night.

It is a place where contemporary wrestling history is made. The super-service requirements of WWE's main roster product results in little lingering long in the memory. NXT, with its tight television timeframe and razor-sharp recollections of storyline beats has grown into the only McMahon-branded product to cling to for continuity and cohesion. And it's this that's resulted in Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano becoming arguably the finest feud the company has ever produced.

Will it reimagine the scope of the genre in the way Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant did? Will it have the transformative impact on the industry Bret Hart's feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin managed? Will it transcend wrestling entirely, as The Rock and 'The Rattlesnake' did after propelling each other to mainstream success through bitter wars?

In short, "No" to all of the above. But Gargano/Ciampa has the chance to be considered something greater than all of those...



Square eyes on a square head, trained almost exclusively to Pro Wrestling, Sunderland AFC & Paul Rudd films. Responsible for 'Shocking Plans You Won't Believe Actually Happened', some of the words in our amazing Wrestling bookazines (both available at, and probably every website list you read that praised Kevin Nash.