With half as many events per year as the main roster, NXT TakeOver events are immensely important for the men and women in the developmental brand as far as exposure and momentum to carry them into the next stage of their careers. There are only a few opportunities to get on the card and each spot is highly coveted real estate.
The card for this Sunday’s NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III event seems pretty locked in at this point and per usual, not every superstar was able to make it onto the lineup.
For whatever reason, these men and women weren’t deemed important enough to find a spot for at the pay-per-view—at least as far as what’s currently being advertised. Some of those omissions might be justified while others are a bit more questionable.
Let’s take a look at who will be sitting this show out.
It must suck for Kassius Ohno to spend the past few weeks building up Hideo Itami’s heel turn only to have the feud play out on regular NXT episodes instead of the next TakeOver event.
I really don’t get the decision to have Aleister Black randomly tossed in as Itami’s opponent other than someone in the back merely preferring to see Black on the card and saying “screw it” or something along those lines.
With the way things work, I expect Ohno to wrestle in some capacity before TakeOver begins, where that match will air the following Wednesday. It’s not the special event itself, but it’s still something.
Boy, following up the Kassius Ohno entry with Roderick Strong seems like it’s almost a copy and paste situation.
Strong was feuding with Bobby Roode for weeks and their blow-off happened far enough in the past at this point that he couldn’t have necessarily been the most viable contender to the NXT Championship, even though Drew McIntyre was basically slotted in there with minimal effort.
I’m very curious what Strong’s direction will be going forward as there are a few different routes, yet none of them seem completely mapped out 100%. Does he start something with Andrade “Cien” Almas? Maybe The Velveteen Dream?
Here’s hoping it’s nothing with SAnitY again, at the very least.
No Way Jose
Given his track record, “No Way Jose” is probably what he was told when he asked if he’d be wrestling at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III.
Joking aside, I’ve actually come to like No Way Jose and it’s kind of annoying in my mind that he hasn’t been given more to do in the past few months.
At this point, I’d honestly like to see him move up to the main roster to start a tag team with somebody, whether it be Darren Young, Rich Swann (how that would work with Swann being in the cruiserweight division, don’t ask me), or someone else who could use a little adrenaline shot for their entrances and maybe guide him a bit more in his career.
If not that, at least start putting him on NXT television more often. He’s one of the longer tenured guys on the brand right now, so he should be used as such.
The Velveteen Dream
I’ve been a fan of Patrick Clark since the beginning of Tough Enough and even though I never would have imagined The Velveteen Dream being the character he’d go with, I’m willing to turn into the skid and see what happens.
Right now, he’s in a position where he’s only recently made his redebut, so it makes sense not to have him wrestle on the TakeOver card over the other people involved as he still has improvements to make in connecting with the crowd and setting himself up with a proper feud.
Like Kassius Ohno, I expect TVD to be wrestling during the tapings beforehand, possibly even against Ohno, but just as likely against someone who can easily job to him.
While Johnny Gargano is set to do battle with Andrade “Cien” Almas, his former tag team partner Tommaso Ciampa is still on the sidelines healing from his injuries he suffered before the last TakeOver special.
It will probably be quite some time before The Psycho Killer is back in the ring, which is very unfortunate, but when he’s able to return, rest assured his match against Johnny Wrestling is going to be worth the wait.
From the Women’s Division
Very rarely is there more than two women wrestling on a particular NXT TakeOver event due to the time constraints of being a much shorter special event, and with Ember Moon and Asuka at the forefront of the division, no better options could have been chosen at the moment.
Per usual, this means the likes of Aliyah, Liv Morgan, Mandy Rose (who is never seen for that matter), and Sonya Deville won’t be making appearances, nor will any of the women from the Mae Young Classic like Bianca BelAir.
The biggest absentees, though, are Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot.
While there’s a chance Cross can hang around ringside for SAnitY’s match against The Authors of Pain, that doesn’t always happen, so for now, it’s up in the air.
There’s one caveat when it comes to the women’s division in this list, though: the possibility of a celebration when Ember Moon defeats Asuka. If that happens, there’s a chance several if not all of the women on the roster come out to congratulate her for ending Asuka’s undefeated streak.
From the Tag Team Division
While Heavy Machinery was getting a decent sized push for a few weeks, their shot against The Authors of Pain already happened and they came up short. A match between AOP and SAnitY is a much bigger deal, so it makes sense to curb Otis Dozovic and Tucker Knight.
With half of TM-61 being injured, that leaves TM-30.5 with nothing to do. I apologize for that joke, but I just had to make it.
The Street Profits have yet to make their debuts, Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli as well as The Ealy Brothers are more on the supporting staff, and there’s been no official pairing of Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly yet, so all of those tag teams fall short of being prioritized as well.
Don’t expect to see Lars Sullivan and a random jobber that he would beat up after losing, either.
The Backup Dancers
All the supplemental performers who appear on house shows but only sporadically on NXT itself are naturally not part of this lineup, so the likes of Cezar Bononi, Kona Reeves, Jeet Rama, Tian Bing and other singles stars are no surprise to be left out in the cold.