A lot can happen in one night, and over the course of less than three hours, NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III set the WWE's third brand on an entirely different path as the landscape changed.
No transformation was more significant than the NXT title picture, with everything that happened in the main event and what followed. When that match began, NXT champion Bobby Roode, who had yet to be pinned or submitted in his NXT career, confidently entered the ring as champion of more than 200 straight days. After an outstanding battle between he and Drew McIntyre, Roode was finally dethroned and the McIntyre era has begun, or so we thought.
McIntyre's journey back to the WWE made his NXT championship victory all that much sweeter -- but it also made the aftermath that much more impactful. As he celebrated, former Ring of Honor stars and recent NXT signees Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly made their second appearance of the night -- more about their first appearance later -- and drew the attention of the new champion.
This was a set up, as three-time former ROH world champion Adam Cole made his debut on the back of McIntyre's moment. Alongside Fish and O'Reilly, Cole made a major statement with a swift kick to the jaw in a moment reminiscent of Kevin Owens' immediate jump into the main event picture at the expense of Sami Zayn.
With Roode's debut on SmackDown Live roster this past Tuesday, the NXT main event scene looks tremendously different than it did just a week ago. If the reaction from the Brooklyn crowd was any indication, the changes were well received, and rightfully so. There was a risk taken in highlighting three guys coming in from the outside, but the payoff stands to be the creation of three new NXT stars.
Let's get back to what Fish and O'Reilly were up to earlier in the evening, when they made another major impact by attacking SAnitY as they celebrated their own newly won NXT tag team championships, after handing the Authors of Pain their first loss.
By setting themselves up as a group that could win both titles in short order, this faction appears poised to "take over" NXT. It's the jolt of energy the brand needs with one of its biggest stars in Roode getting called up, and another in Asuka seemingly being sidelined with an injury.
As we found out Wednesday on NXT TV, we'll hear McIntyre's assessment of the state of things next week.
More TakeOver fallout
- Coming off of his loss to Andrade "Cien" Almas at TakeOver, Johnny Gargano wasn't making any excuses. "The road to mediocrity is paved with excuses and I don't have any," Gargano said this week. "That was far from the end for Johnny Wrestling."
After their stellar in-ring effort in the opener at TakeOver, if the Gargano/Almas rivalry continues in some capacity, I don't think anyone would complain.
- In a press conference-type interview, NXT women's champion Asuka addressed Ember Moon. "She's strong, but I am better than her." Both Asuka and Moon spoke to Tim Fiorvanti just a few moments later on Saturday night, and the future of the NXT women's division seemed clouded, at best.
Things grew even more confusing just two days after TakeOver, when WWE.com alleged that the champion had suffered a broken right collarbone in the match. The ensuing report claimed she could be sidelined for approximately 6-8 weeks, though one has to imagine that this injury could simply be a creative means by which to get Asuka out of the NXT women's championship picture without having her lose.
No matter the reason for her absence to come, it's tough news. If there is a silver lining, it's that there are plenty of talented women on their way up in NXT -- especially with the wave of new signings in the lead-up to next week's launch of the Mae Young Classic.
- In a backstage clip filmed moments after Roode's TakeOver loss, Roderick Strong appeared, blew Roode a kiss and said, "See you soon."
Roode addressed that matter in an interview where he stated that despite his SmackDown Live debut, "I never leave behind any unfinished business."
Look for the loose ends between Roode and Strong to be firmly tied up before Roode officially leaves NXT for good.
UK stars come to Brooklyn
WWE UK champion Pete Dunne and former champion Tyler Bate stole the show at TakeOver: Chicago in May, but a spotlight on the division has curiously been absent from NXT programming, even as no news has emerged about a standalone UK show.
While it was nice to see Dunne and his partner Wolfgang take on Bate and Trent Seven on Wednesday night, these superstars deserve more attention.
Until a weekly program featuring UK talent comes to be, Dunne, Bate, Seven, Wolfgang and company would benefit by being prominently featured on NXT television, and from the UK Championship more regularly being defended at TakeOver events.
The talent level is simply too exceptional to ignore.
Sarah Logan impresses
Sarah Logan has made sporadic appearances on NXT TV since her signing in 2016, and she's continually put forth fine in-ring performances. She'll get a chance to showcase her skills in the Mae Young Classic tournament next week as well. Depending on how things come together, if she can build up a compelling character, we might be looking at a premier player in the NXT women's division over the course of the next year.
Logan took on Peyton Royce this week and despite the loss (which came at the hands of an impressive-looking bridging fisherman's suplex), Logan had the crowd on her side in what was her finest showing since joining NXT.
Lars Sullivan progresses
Lars Sullivan's most recent NXT appearances have come in the form of tag team matches. In them, his teams regularly came up short as a result of his various teammates' shortcomings. In return, Sullivan beat each and every one of them up in fits of rage.
There were no tag team partners this week. Just Sullivan, and that was more than enough.
In fact, there wasn't even a match, as Sullivan decimated No Way Jose as Jose made his way to the ring.
This was a big step in the progression of a big man whose singles career appears ready to get underway.