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[2017-08-19-WWE-NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III] Johnny Gargano vs Andrade 'Cien' Almas

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Really great opener. Some convincing near falls that the crowd bough, and a nice Frye/Akiyama tribute trading strikes. I was worried that Gargano forgot about selling the arm during the match, but right on cue he started selling it again. Johnny Gargano may be the best babyface in the world right now. I enjoy Almas' work more than many, and he held his own in the match.

The finish was the distraction from Almas' manager at ringside throwing a t-shirt at Gargano, which was a little bit cheap for my liking, however, it plays into Almas' character. ***1/2

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I was confused as to why they didn't have Gargano open up the shirt. On commentary over the replay, McGuinness noted that it was a #DIY shirt and that was clear to fans familiar with the context, but unless I missed it, they never had Gargano himself actually open up the shirt. I think it would've been a decent visual to have him rip it up after the loss. On my blog, I also had this at 3.5-out-of-5 and noted that it was probably the best Takeover showing I've seen from Almas (I don't watch NXT weekly so my knowledge is mostly Takeover based) and that probably has to do with how over Gargano is (compared to the guy he fought at the last special - Roderick Strong maybe?).

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Same grade for me on this one. Would have pushed 4 * if the finish was exectuted better. In my relatively limited exposure to NXT, this was easily the best Almas has looked to me. I always enjoy Gargano.

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