By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Tye Dillinger def. Solomon Crowe
It's really a shame how cold Crowe feels right now. I've seen what he's capable of and he hasn't shown anything since debuting six months ago. On the other hand, it's great to see Dillinger finally getting a chance to shine and the crowd quickly took to the 10 gimmick. He's also a hell of a hand in the ring, so I hope they go all the way with his push. As a result, Crowe was an afterthought in this match, but he and Dillinger still managed to have a nice match together and of the two, Dillinger definitely needed the win more.
Baron Corbin def. Axel Tischer
Any regular reader of these reviews knows how sick and tired I've grown of seeing Corbin compete in meaningless squash matches, and I'm sure many viewers of NXT out there share those sentiments. Thankfully, it's finally lead to something with Samoa Joe, who has also been directionless for some time now. Corbin is getting the wrong kind of heat because the crowd is beyond bored with him, but at least this short-lived program with Joe keeps both of them busy while getting them on the TakeOver: Brooklyn card and it has the potential to be decent.
NXT Champion Finn Balor def. Macus Louis (Non-title)
This wasn't meant to be much more than a brief showcase for Balor, so it was successful in that respect. Besides, I'm glad it was kept short and sweet because I can't stand the Louis character; it's pointless! The post-match brawl between Balor and Kevin Owens was obviously much better and it added to my excitement of their pending Ladder match at TakeOver. I expect Balor to retain in that match, so it was smart for Owens to be the last man standing going into the event.
Bayley def. Becky Lynch in a No. 1 Contender's Match for the NXT Women's Championship
I love how women's matches in the main event of NXT has become the norm over the last several months. Hopefully it won't be long before we see the same thing happen on Raw! As expected, Bayley and Lynch put together a very good match where the crowd was behind both competitors throughout the bout. They found instant in-ring chemistry together and even though the ending outcome was slightly predictable, it was an excellent match, nevertheless, and I couldn't be happier to see Bayley competing her chase for the NXT Women's Championship come TakeOver. I suspect that will be the night she finally wins the gold, and the reaction from the Brooklyn crowd will be insane.
The build to NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn started out slow, but it's certainly picked up in the last two or three weeks. On paper, the card is stacked and they've done a solid job of making each match feel important. As for this episode, it was highly enjoyable and I liked how every segment and match had to directly do with the next live special. Even the opener, which I assume won't have anything to do with TakeOver, was fun and reestablished Dillinger with his new gimmick, so the future of NXT is undoubtedly bright.