Knockout blows will not be in short supply when Aleister Black, still undefeated inside the yellow ropes, takes on the increasingly volatile Hideo Itami in a newly announced match for TakeOver: Brooklyn III.
The two scary-intense warriors crossed paths last night on NXT when Black, who was entering the ring for a match, interrupted Itami’s mid-ring diatribe. Itami took exception, but Black cleared him from the ring with Black Mass. Later in the evening, after NXT went off the air, Black and Itami got into it again as Itami tried to ambush Black in the parking lot.
It hasn’t taken much to provoke Itami’s temper recently. For weeks, the Japanese Superstar has decried his station and treatment in NXT. His demeanor has turned bitter and his actions unpredictable, such as his post-match attack against onetime ally Kassius Ohno.
If it’s respect that he wants, Itami need not look any further than his showdown against Black in Brooklyn. Itami is in search of a big win that will catapult him back into the main-event picture, and a victory against the tatted terror — who has decimated everybody he has faced so far — might just accomplish that. Black does not seem particularly interested in starting beefs, but he might be all too happy to settle them. The pencak silat master has vanquished mighty competition since making his NXT debut. Black, however, has yet to face a Superstar with the credentials of Itami, making TakeOver’s battle of elite strikers even more compelling.
Can Black make the jaw-jacking Itami “Fade to Black,” or will Itami turn out Black’s lights with his unstoppable Go-To-Sleep? The NXT Universe will find out Saturday, Aug. 19, when TakeOver: Brooklyn III streams live at 8 ET/5 PT, exclusively on the award-winning WWE Network.