As I said in my review of the show itself, I thought Takeover Brooklyn III bent itself and NXT’s ongoing stories way out of their natural shape to fit in the big segment at the end of the show where Adam Cole & reDRagon attacked new NXT Champion Drew McIntyre. Here is how would have booked this, preserving the Roddy vs. Roode feud, and trying to create a more natural flow of events so that this doesn’t just feel like the Ring of Honor guys all decided to form a heel stable together because someone wanted to book a top heel stable.
If I were booking this I would have had SAnitY stays heels and cheat to win the belt, while both members of reDRagon lose on the TV taping undercard part of the show (probably one to Roddy and one to Ohno). I would have had the women’s match be the main event not only because it has been built up better, but also so Cole could make his debut tonight by somehow screwing Drew out of the title. Drew would feud with Cole on TV, Roddy would chase Roode, and reDragon would decide to reform their tag team because they’re both not doing so well in singles matches. reDRagon would pursue the tag titles but be screwed by SAnitY’s numbers game. They would demand the title shot at the next Takeover (in three months, right before Survivor Series) but the Authors of Pain would demand their rematch, resulting in the match being made a three-way elimination match (so that SAnitY can be DQed if their members on the outside run in).
Meanwhile, in the men’s singles division there would be some tension between Cole and Roode (perhaps they are forced to team together against Drew & Roddy), with Cole claiming that would even be champion right now if not for him, so Roode had better give him a title shot. Cole would lose to Drew on a controversial call while Roode would really cheat to beat Roddy (I’m talking something major, like a chairshot).
At Takeover: Houston the AOP and SAnitY, seeing reDRagon as obnoxious gnats getting involved in a war that doesn’t concern them, would team up to eliminate the much smaller team before fighting it out amongst themselves (which we would imply was a pre-match deal made between Ellering and EY). Cole would once again lose to Drew (the presumptive #1 contender due to having been screwed out of a fair title shot in Brooklyn and beating Cole on TV), perhaps being screwed by some sort of ref bump or something, while Roddy would finally get his big win over Roode to win the title. As Roddy celebrates with his family, that dirty heel Adam Cole shows up to rain on his parade, but Roddy’s babyface friends reDRagon show up and stand next to Roddy. Knowing that Roddy is too injured to defend his family they position themselves in front of Roddy’s mother, wife, and child… which also places them behind Roderick, so he never sees the attack coming. Drew comes out to try to make the save but he gets overwhelmed, too (and if you want to include her you could probably find a way to put Baszler on the heel side to do something terrible to Marina Shafir, which would be a fine non-Mae Young Classic introduction for her… she does have minor history with reDRagon, after all). Roddy’s mother runs away with young Troy, but the heels beat the babyfaces down until the whole locker room has to come out and chase them off.
These guys will give an interview saying that they banded together because they were tired of getting screwed and knew they needed someone to watch their backs. The AOP have Ellering, SAnitY has each other, Drew has Regal watching his back by giving Drew all of the good calls, and Cole has had Roode’s back even though Roode won’t acknowledge that that is the only reason he beat Drew in Brooklyn. Both Cole and reDragon were looking for someone to watch their backs, so it was only natural that they would turn to each other.
This scenario gives us not only the surprise that Hunter wanted for Brooklyn, but doubles it by having Cole debut in Brooklyn and moving the surprise FutureDRagon attack to Houston. It also allows Roode vs. Roddy to have the finish it deserves, doesn’t force SAnitY into a role they’re not suited for, and does a much better job of telling the story of how nice babyfaces like reDRagon could be driven to ally themselves with a scuzzbag like Adam Cole. It also creates tension between FutureDRagon and many more people, including an interesting heel vs. heel match-up between Roode and Cole and also similarly makes reDRagon & SAnitY more interesting. Image FutureDRagon in six-man tags against the babyface squad of Roddy, Drew, & Gargano, or Roddy and Drew forced to team with Roode, or six-man tags with SAnitY (or eight-person tags if you want to go the route that includes Baszler). You get to the same place, but my way gives you more big surprise moment, a better initial heat angle, and does a better job of telling the story of how we got there. If I give this some more thought, maybe I’ll post a follow-up on where I would take this.
The sky is the limit
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