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WWE 24: NXT Brooklyn Recap: HHH, Bayley, Kevin Owens, and Finn Balor

With NXT Takeover: Respect right around the corner, WWE is bringing back its WWE 24 series to chronicle the events of the Brooklyn Takeover show at the Barclays Center from the night before SummerSlam. The roster starts the special talking about how excited they are to have sold the building out under the NXT banner. HHH says they've taken what was developmental and are now selling out NYC. Hunter tells the NXT crew "holy f---ing sh-t!" and there's no other way to describe the rise of NXT. Owens says he saw the rise and wanted to be a part of it. HHH says the goal of NXT is to be a platform for the roster to learn on and be more than just developmental. Matt Bloom describes NXT as punk rock and underground.

Paige says it feels like an independent with less talking and more action. Charlotte says the new crew has no idea where they came from, and they talk about how poorly-run FCW was. Charlotte says some shows had only 9 fans. Seth puts over the Full Sail crowd as being their own thing, while Enzo says that fans reciting his promo is just a sign that they've been doing it at their own home. Corey puts over Blue Pants as being made entirely by the FS crowd, and she says she's like the wacky neighbor in the sitcom - you don't know when she's going to show up.

Fans pose with Samoa Joe while Bayley says the fans are able to connect with the wrestlers on a deeper level while one of the Ascension guys calls them the best fans in the world meeting them outside the building. We see clips of the initial NXT shows outside of Full Sail, while Byron says they expected Barclays to get maybe 7,000. For the second time, we see the HHH clip about them being developmental two years ago and selling out NXT. HHH tells the class that they'll kick ass in NYC. We see some media appearances and a graphic notes it will be the final NXT show for Charlotte, Becky, Sasha, and Owens. Finn takes some photos with fans and says he had a great morning until he remembered he had a ladder match. He loves NXT and doesn't ever want to leave it. Finn says he was determined to wrestle after seeing WWE and Bloom says he was determined to succeed no matter what and we see clips of the mini-doc they did on him earlier this year. F

inn is amused by a locker room noting that he has dancers now. Owens says that he first met Balor in England before they came to NXT and now they're having a match here. Owens says he drove to TLC in 2012 to see his friend Seth Rollins debut and he got emotional then, and now he's main eventing NXT's biggest show ever in the Barclays Center. Balor says it's tough to not see his parents for months, but it's part of the sacrifice. Sasha is amused that she now has bodyguards, and they're apparently sharing a room with Stephen Amell here.

Sasha says she's excited because the fans bought tickets to see them and tears up thinking about the journey they've had. Sasha says she's been watching since she was 10 and always wanted to be in WWE. She wanted to be the female Eddie Guerrero and we see photos of her notebook from 2005 where she went to Judgment Day and filled out pages on the card. Her mother knew she would get there and Sasha says she would always e-mail schools to train. She started in 2010, got signed by WWE in 2012, and now she's on the main roster living her dream. She says she was 99 pounds when she started and opponents were scared to even touch her. She's first cousins with Snoop Dogg, and noticed he was always called "boss", so she took that for her character and liked the sound of "The Boss" Sasha Banks. Sasha says she's nervous, but she's got an NXT panel to go to now. Corey says they couldn't sell tickets to save their lives in FCW and we see clips of Seth becoming the first NXT Champion with JR on commentary. It's amusing to see him swing the title around here since he would later do that with the WWE Title at WrestleMania 31.

HHH hypes up that WM 31 was a show with at least one guy in a match from NXT. Well, other than Brock vs. Taker and Sting vs. HHH. Sasha says she dreamt of having matches like the men, but as a kid, all she had to watch was stuff like bra and panties matches. Sasha says she was told to wrestle like a diva when she came in, but she wanted to fight. HHH said that he wanted them to be treated just like the men and Sasha says they all wanted to change for the future. Bayley says their goal is to have better matches each time out. Sara Amato says they're all driven, while Becky says they all bring something different to the table and it allows them to compete without taking spots. HHH says that they're about 30% where they want to go and gives Sasha a lot of credit for getting to that point and he puts Bayley over huge too. We see photos from Bayley's youth of her posing with Bret and holding a pink-backed belt over her shoulder in another photo. One photo has her in a Rey shirt, while another shows her with Cena in his Ruck Fules shirt. 

Bayley wrote a lot of poetry in school about wrestling. Bayley's mother says she was determined to do well, and Bayley says she needs it all. She didn't like being on camera, but loves how much she's grown. Bayley says she's basically either herself, or herself as a 10 year old now. Bayley hugs her fans and we see her recite another piece of writing from her youth while tearing up thinking about how much she loves wrestling. The actual document is shown and her teacher was quite happy with it. Bayley says she wants to have the best women's match that anyone has ever seen. Six hours before the show, we see dress rehearsals for the entrances. Tyler says his is a tour of NYC.

HHH tells Crews to slow down and take his time. Finn does his intro and we see Kevin Owens and his son Owen. Kevin asks if his son filled in for him and he said it shouldn't be too hard - just walk and shake your head. Kevin says his son loves John Cena, so he had his wife record Owen's reaction and we see the unbridaled joy of him seeing his dad going up against Cena.

Becky Lynch is backstage looking at photos on her phone, including one with her mother when they were flight attendants. Becky's excited for her parents to see catering. The look of sheer joy in Becky's eyes is amazing here. Finn and his painter discuss the bodypaint idea. Finn says the paint helps him channel something within. Before he debuted it, his friend told him the paint was his worst idea yet - but it's worked out great two years later. Bloom says the character is part of him and that's why it works. Finn is upset with how the rehearsal went earlier. He's prepared physically and mentally, and can rehearse, but he doesn't know what to expect from the match since it's his first ladder match. We see Kevin pass Vince's office with a giant no smoking sign on it while Fill says Kevin is a master of ladder matches. Finn doesn't know how to approach the match. 

Showtime is nearing and Charlotte is getting her makeup done. Fans talk about how excited they are for NXT and we see more of it being the boutique indy that HHH has designed NXT to be. Corey says the difference in NXT is they don't just put their divas in the main event - they are the main event. Becky's mom says she's cheering for Becky just to change the outcome tonight. It's also the first time she's seen Becky wrestle live. Ric Flair says he's proud of what Charlotte has done in just two years.

Bayley tears up a bit before her match, and HHH tells the crew their attitude needs to be "follow that". Michael Hayes is is an astonishing getup. He has lavender pants and vest combo alongside a purple shirt underneath it, a WM 31 ballcap, and a black fanny pack. The roster makes their intros on the Takeover show and pre-show tapings. Becky and Charlotte come down while Ric watches their match on a monitor backstage. The Kliq, Rick Ruben, and Seth Rollins are shown in the crowd. Blue Pants' intro gets over huge as does the Vaudevillians' title win. Apollo Crews' match is shown in highlight form and with his intensity, he comes off as almost like Goldberg. Bayley says she wants fans and the roster to say it's the best women's match they've seen. Sasha says they'll have the greatest women's match in NXT history. Bayley says that for every show, she peeks out to feel the crowd. In Brooklyn, she doesn't need to - and we see the crowd imitating both her and the inflatable tube men.

Sasha comes out and says she that she had to scream to let out emotion while in the Escalade. Sasha's mom wipes a tear from her eye after the intro and we see clips of the match. The roster loses it seeing Bayley spike her head on the mat when Sasha held onto the buckle for the top rope rana. Bayley's mom is in the crowd scared for her daughter. Top rope double knee spot is shown alongside the ring step big boot. Sasha's dive over the ref is shown from the crowd's perspective. All of the film footage here looks fantastic and gives things a different feel. Bayley's scary reverse super rana is shown, then the belly to Bayley and the title win! WWE's Four Horeswomen celebrate in the ring and they got a standing ovation backstage. Seth wipes a tear from his eye after it from the crowd. Cesaro says that kind of reaction is what wrestling is all about.

Sasha tells a story that Bayley told her she didn't want to go, and she didn't want to. Sasha cries thinking about raising the four fingers up and now that era is over. Kevin Owens hugs Bayley and says that it's a tough act to follow. Cesaro says the ladder match has the chance to be brutal, and that's what you want in a ladder match. Fans are shown banging their heads to Kevin's theme. Kevin hugs his son in the crowd and hugs Becky's mom. Finn does his intro and says the only time they got it right was live - they tried and failed 30 times before. Owens slamming him on the ladder and then doing Finn's pose is shown. Finn flips to the floor to regain control and then hits the double stomp, but eats the powerbomb while being pulled off the ladder. We get a beautiful shot of Finn doing his pose right before the double stomp off the ladder. He climbs up and grabs the title to win the match. Finn poses with HHH after the match backstage.

Finn says he hopes Kevin leaves NXT and can now become an even bigger star on the main roster. Kevin says he did his best, but knows it could've been better. Finn says it's just the start of a bright future for NXT. HHH says Dusty called the roster his NXT kids while everyone tells Dusty stories about how much he meant to them. Charlotte says that Bayley would be on top, and Dusty was right. Becky says she loves all the fans who love NXT while Blue Pants cries at the thought of reaching this point. The show closes to a Sinatra-style song set to NXT clips.

*****

This was a perfect time capsule for the growth of NXT, and it really felt like they've achieved their goal of making NXT what ECW was in the '90s. It's a place where international talent can be used nearly-perfectly in front of an audience that adores them already, while veterans can be given new life and stale talents can try something new and add new dimensions to their acts. There was a sense of sadness in the roster going from NXT to the main roster throughout this, and it wasn't just due to the "last day of high school" feeling. It's like Sasha knew this was the peak of her career in every major way, so she was going to savor every moment of it. She came off wonderfully here, as did both Becky and Bayley. Charlotte left no impression, while Kevin Owens came off as a hard-working guy who almost seems to realize he might've come here a bit late since he did his best, and didn't feel it was good enough. WWE 24 has been hit or miss, but this was far better than expected and went into more depth than they usually do by just focusing on fewer people.