The third installment of NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn has come and gone but as always, it delivered. All eyes were on the Women’s Title between Asuka and Ember Moon to see if someone would at least be able to dethrone Asuka from her 500 plus day reign as champion.
During the NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III pre-show, an all-female panel is made up of Charly Caruso, Ms. MITB Carmella, former NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks and WWE Hall of Famer Lita to reflect back on how much has changed since the first NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn. Sasha celebrates her TakeOver main events and credits NXT for her growth, Meanwhile Carmella admits never being on a TakeOver show but is proud of how far the Women’s division has come thanks in part to NXT.
The women then bring up the topic of the NXT Women’s Title match scheduled for tonight. They give their predictions, discusses Asuka’s dominance so far, hype up the Mae Young Classic and look back at all achievements the WWE have made for their Women’s division in just two years.
Becky says there is an incredible vibe being back at NXT and calls its growth after just two years incredible. Bayley admits to being obsessed with NXT, jokingly stating that it feels like she never actually left. She says being back at the Barclay’s Center is very special as it is the same venue where she had her highly praised match against Sasha Banks, faced Asuka and made her WWE main roster debut.
After giving a small update on Bayley’s injury, the pair asked to make predictions to the NXT Women’s Title match against Asuka and Ember Moon. Becky is #TeamEmberMoon as Ember is a talent who can’t be overlooked. Bayley is a huge fan of both women but is on #TeamAsuka tonight saying that she wants to see how her streak can truly go.
Time for the big show!
— WWE (@WWE) August 20, 2017
Our first female sighting comes in the form of NXT newcomer Zelina Vega, who is accompanying her business partner Andrade “Cien” Almas in his (great!) match against Johnny Gargano. She proves to be a great asset again when she helps Almas pick up the spotlight win by tossing a DIY T-shirt at Gargano towards the end of the match. The small distraction allows for Almas to take advantage to hit a running dropkick and hammerlock DDT combo for the win. Get that spotlight Zelina!
— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) August 20, 2017
Another female manager who gets involved in a scheduled match is SAnitY’s Nikki Cross! During SAnitY’s Tag Team Title match against the Authors of Pain. First, Nikki saves Eric Young from a Tower of Doom spot by clutching on to his legs. She then gets sandwiched after attempting a cross body on Akam, who catches her but a charing Killian Dain puts them both through a table! The risk pays off as SAnitY were named the new champions by the end of the night.
Time for the match we’ve all been waiting for: Asuka vs. Ember Moon
After our video package is played, the competitors make their entrances and introductions are done, the bells sounds off. Ember opens the match with speed – a flying high kick that knocks Asuka to the ground following by a leg sweep and basement drop kick. Ember goes for an early cover but Asuka immediately kicks out.
The champion gets to her feet and sidekicks Ember but Ember blocks it to counter with a suplex. Asuka rolls out of the ring but Ember is on her trail. She kicks Asuka from the ring apron and follows up with a flying cannonball from the second rope. Ember tosses Asuka back in the ring but the champion resorts to rolling and staying on the outside, where she manages to send Ember to the steel steps shoulder first.
Asuka stays focus on Ember’s left shoulder and delivers a hammerlock suplex on the ramp floor. The women meet back in the ring where Asuka strikes Ember’s arm with quick kicks and then into a hammer lock hold. Ember looks for an escape but gets taken down with an STO.
A dual ‘Let’s go Asuka’ and ‘Let’s go Ember Moon’ chant breaks out as Asuka locks in Octopus Stretch that is then pushed into an arm bar. Ember fights through and gets to her feet to free herself by countering with a chair drop to Asuka. Ember swaps out of her forearm strikes for kicks and takes Asuka down with an enziguri that earns Ember a two count!
Asuka back to her feet, scoops Ember from behind and deliver a German Suplex into the bottom turnbuckle. The champion begins to set up for the Asuka Lock but Ember reverses into a crossface chicken wing. Asuka escapes with arm breakers to Ember and jumps on her back to apply an elevated Asuka Lock that wears Ember down. Ember falls back to drop Asuka but then finds herself trapped into a second Asuka Lock.
Ember reverses into a cover for a two count but hits Asuka with a big lariat to keep her down. Ember looks for some comfort at a corner and in comes Asuka with a running hip attack. Ember gets the boot up in time and turns the table on Asuka with a tornado suplex from the second rope! Ember goes for the cover but Asuka kicks out.
After exchaning strikes with Asuka, Ember makes her way to the second rope of a corner. Asuka stays in pursuit and tries taking Ember down with a superplex but Ember escapes and sets up for a liger bomb. Asuka fights it off but gets taken down with a double stomp for a two count. Ember climbs back on top of the turnbuckle and hits the Eclipse! It’s still not enough to put Asuka away! Emotions are high by everyone!
Ember goes up again and opts to land a cross body on Asuka after the latter began using the referee as a human shield. Asuka grabs a handful of tights but the referee spots this before Asuka can claim victory. In the midst of the small controversy, Ember hits a super kick! One, two… kick out by Asuka!
A huge ‘NXT’ chant breaks out as Ember goes to check on Asuka. The champion plays possum and traps Ember into a cross arm breaker. Ember reverses into a roll up but Asuka reverses this as well into an Asuka Lock! Ember tries fighting it but with nowhere to go from the center of the ring, she taps out! Asuka’s histoic reign lives on to see another day!
Even in defeat, the NXT Universe salutes Ember with a tremendous ovation.
WWE.com catches Asuka during a post Q&A session where the champion vows to remain NXT Women’s Champion
Thoughts: What a great match and that really had that main event feel to it! It was fast paced, with near falls, was given a great window of time and really had so much emotion from both sides all through out the match. This is probably the most vulnerable we’ve ever seen Asuka in a title match and that’s all because of the fight Ember Moon brought out.
Even though there wasn’t a whole lot of build to this match, both women did their best in telling a story here. Ember fighting through the entire match in pain that Asuka inflicted early on. Even after Asuka kicked out of the Eclipse, Ember was determined in conquering the champion. Asuka stayed focus in targeting Ember’s weaken limb until the time was right for an Asuka lock. While I’m not sure if we’ll see an Asuka vs. Ember Moon III after this, I can say that this match (as well as their first encounter in Orlando) were fantastic!
At this point, I’m just going to have to assume there are bigger plans for Asuka’s streak coming to an end, one which may not even involve seeing the streak end on NXT. Perhaps Asuka will be called up to the main roster undefeated where someone from there will challenge Asuka. Maybe we’ll see more and new challengers to Asuka from the competitors of the Mae Young Classic as closely approach its air date. And what about the title? Will Asuka be forced to relinquish it should she go up to the main roster? Or will she carry it with her?
Asuka’s reign of dominance has reached this kind of magnitude level. Fans are all talking and debating about it, its constantly being mentioned on different media platforms and there are all these different ideas being thrown out as to how/when/if the streak will come to an end. For now, we’ll just have to continue to keep a close eye until that day comes… assuming it does.
What did you think of the match? What are your thoughts on ‘The Streak’? Who do you think will step up to Asuka left? Let us know in the comments below!