With the 2016 brand extension bringing up several people from the NXT roster to help bolster Raw and SmackDown’s lineup, the card for NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II had a much smaller pool to pick from. Thankfully, that hasn’t stopped it from still having a handful of matches that could end up being great, as we’ll be seeing names like Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode, Andrade “Cien” Almas and more competing.
Normally, with every special event, I like to do a recap of the most important people who have been left out of the mix when it comes to booking wrestlers for the card to showcase how WWE could have possibly fit them in there. Because of NXT not having as many names to pick from, the positive this time around is that there aren’t a lot of people being ignored. The downside, of course, is that more people are going to need to be added onto the roster to allow for some flexibility for future events so we don’t see these exact same people wrestle each other at the next TakeOver.
There aren’t many, but there are still a few names on the NXT brand that aren’t booked for this TakeOver event, so let’s examine who those most important names are.
Easily, the one that stands out the most is Hideo Itami. He just recently made his return after spending so many months on the inactive list that many people probably forgot he was even on the payroll.
To say Itami badly needs something fun to kickstart his momentum is an understatement. Even in the small pond of NXT, it can still sometimes be difficult to be the big fish and with his injury putting him on the shelf for so long after not making as big of waves as he was advertised to do in the first place, Itami will need to prove his value sooner rather than later.
A squash match against a random opponent from the Cruiserweight Classic or someone like Sawyer Fulton wouldn’t do much to rectify those issues, but it would keep him relevant enough that he was at least on the card. Of course, it’s understandable why he wasn’t in consideration as he made his return rather far into the tapings on August 3rd, which didn’t leave much room to build something up properly for him.
Nick Miller and Shane Thorne: TM-61 / The Authors of Pain
The tag team division is limping on right now in NXT, with The Revival retreading on the same ground they’ve been at for a while and not many other options on the table. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa are hanging in there, but I can’t help but feel that they’re splitting up or being called up for Raw’s Cruiserweight division once that ball gets rolling.
The only two other teams on the NXT roster are TM-61 and The Authors of Pain—both of which are new enough that they could use some more exposure. The tricky part with adding them into the card is that you can’t really put them against each other without either a) killing the mystique of The Authors of Pain by having them lose, or b) making TM-61 look like chumps because they were squashed by the powerhouses.
I’d argue against including these two teams into a Fatal 4-Way for the Tag Team Championship as well, because those two scenarios are unavoidable unless you want the titles to change hands or you do something like the Gargano/Ciampa split with them taking the pinfall loss from The Revival, which could just as well happen in their regular match.
Fans of these two teams will just have to be patient a little while longer as Nick Miller, Shane Thorne, Gzim Selmani and Sunny Dhinsa build up more of a reputation over the next course of NXT tapings and secure spots on the TakeOver event that will follow Brooklyn.
Were you hoping to see anybody on this list wrestle on the card for NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II? Are there any other names you feel should have been included in the list? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!