Again before a big 4 PPV we have an NXT TakeOver show. Again the card is STACKED. Again it’s going to be a great show. AGAIN I, and this show more than ever, I really don’t know who’s going to win which I guess makes it all the more fun. So lets get into it, here’s my preview of NXT TakeOver’s return to Toronto!
NXT Tag Team Championship: Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) (C)
NXT have had a recent history of TakeOver shows opening with the Tag Title match. And they’ve all been great. And I don’t think this will be any different. Street Profits finally got their big babyface moment at TakeOver 25, and whilst they’ve been a great act and solid champions I just think that sometimes you have to sacrifice things for the greater good, and booking-wise, as you will see with my later predictions, this factors in to a wider storyline. For so long now Adam Cole has mentioned that Undisputed Era will be ‘draped in gold’ and hold all the titles in NXT. And part of the reason I think it could happen given their various opponents is because of how over as babyfaces they are. I don’t think the NXT universe are going to suddenly stop cheering Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins if they were to lose to Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly (ideally via some form of interference or cheating, which is a theme I’d like to see for the night). Kyle O’Reilly is from Canada so that’d help the crowd reaction, not that Undisputed Era ever get anything but a great crowd reactions at TakeOver shows but still. And even if Era didn’t win here it’d not only be interesting story-wise but be a massive win to legitimize the Street Profits even more so. But I’m not sitting on the fence and I’m letting my heart decide my prediction. One thing that is for sure is this match will be great. I think they’re going to do it. I hope they do. Undisputed Era will finally have their night where by the end of it they will all be DRAPPED IN GOLD!!! #drapedingold
Prediction: Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly become the new NXT Tag Team Champions
Candice LeRae vs Io Shirai
After the ‘Genuis Of The Sky’ became the EVIL of the sky following her attack on her former ally Candice LeRae these two have since taken part in a series of aggressive confrontations and segments. And although it was originally rumoured that the Breakout Stars Tournament Final was apparently going to be on this show, we now have the pleasure of seeing two of the finest female wrestlers in the world go at it on the grand stage of NXT TakeOver. What a time to be alive! It has been YEARS since we had two women’s matches on a TakeOver show, and for sure the crowd will be hot for this one. They booed Io for a full EIGHT MINUTES when they tapped her first segment of her as a heel, and Candice is immensely popular with the NXT fandom everytime she’s at Full Sail. As far as a prediction goes I’ve during the course of this week changed my mind for this one… I think Candice takes it. Although the old school booking would make you think the recently turned-heel should win here, in my opinion Candice is next to take on Baszler for the title, and therefore I think she could do with a big TakeOver win. As for Io you could easily have her get her heat back with a beatdown either after the match, or at the next set of tapings. This is going to be fantastic if given the time, which on a TakeOver I would think they will be. Fingers crossed.
Prediction: Candice LeRae
NXT North American Championship: Roderick Strong vs Pete Dunne vs Velveteen Dream (C)
I think Dream has been a great champion and the whole idea of a mid-card title in NXT was made for people like Dream. Someone who is as over as anyone on the roster, but doesn’t quite fit into the NXT Championship picture. I’m already excited to see what form of entrance and special ring gear he wears (full Bret Hart cosplay ideally but given his recent AEW appearance I’d presume not, so maybe someone like Edge). Equally Pete Dunne is long overdue his run on NXT US as opposed to the UK show. Sure NXT UK has so much talent but I always presumed the long term idea was that we’d have NXT’s all over the world and that the US show would be the main one where the best talents from the NXT’s around the world could graduate to. Pete Dunne deserved his ‘call up’ based on his Walter match in New York alone, he’s got history with Roderick Strong of course given it was Dunne who Strong originally turned on to join the Undisputed Era… but I don’t think he needs to win here. And so that leaves us with Roderick Strong. Everything logic wise suggests Strong shouldn’t even be in this match, he lost to Matt Riddle at the last TakeOver and tapped out to Pete Dunne on a recent NXT episode. It seems logical that if anyone is going to ruin Adam Cole’s proclamation that Era would be ‘draped in gold’ it would be Strong. They teased a dissension in the ranks between Strong and Cole around TakeOver New York time but that seemed to be squashed when Cole won the title. But if and when they do split it seems obvious that it’d be Strong who would break up the group. And part of my prediction plays into the next TakeOver show, which I’ll get into more when I discuss the main event, but at the end of the day it’s all part of the main point of this show… in my opinion… #drappedingold
Prediction: Roderick Strong wins becomes the new NXT North American Champion
NXT Women’s Championship: Mia Yim vs Shayna Baszler (C)
So this is the match where everything logic and pattern wise goes out the window. I just can’t see Mia being the one to dethrone Shayna. It’ll be a fine match I think given they are irl friends, and with it Yim’s TakeOver debut and the fact that Shayna seems to always rise to the occasion at these shows I think in-ring it’ll be good. I don’t think Mia Yim, as good as she is, is the right woman to take the title from Shayna. But at the same time we are kind of short now given Shirai has turned heel of potential and credible babyface challengers to Baszler. If there is a way to have Shayna win but in a way where Yim was wronged you could have them go again at the next TakeOver and then have Candice LeRae be next up to take on The Queen of Spades? Now here’s the logic that I’m going to disregard; always on these shows we usually have a 3-2 of babyface to heel or heel to babyface wins. And (spoiler alert) I have 4 heels and just 1 babyface going over on this show… so to retain the normal 3-2 face/heel or heel/face wins MAYBE you could have Yim shock everyone and get the title here, and then drop it back to Shayna at a later date… maybe… But I don’t see why you’d do that as it’d only hurt Shayna to me and take away from the moment and the woman who is finally the one to take the title once and for all.
Prediction: Shayna Baszler retains
NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano vs Adam Cole (C) – 2 out of 3 Falls Match (Fall 1 is a singles match, Fall 2 is a Street Fight and Fall 3 is TBD by NXT General Manager William Regal)
Now you could say that maybe they’ll have Fish & O’Reilly and then Roderick Strong do their bit and the plot-twist be that their great leader be the one to fuck up his own proclamation. That’d be interesting right? Well, yes but they’ve made a point of saying over and over that this is IT… Cole vs Gargano 3 will be their final match against one another. So that makes me think Cole is more likely to win. I don’t know what story you could tell with Gargano after so perhaps he’d be done in NXT with a loss here? And I’ve got this wild theory/dream/idea for the next TakeOver show that directly comes from the Undisputed Era being ‘DRAPED IN GOLD’ after this show. So… the next TakeOver (not til November but bare with me) is once again going to be headlined by a War Games match… last year we had a 4 on 4 War Games featuring the Undisputed Era against a tag team and 2 singles stars… now… maybe… just maybe… we could have The Undisputed Era (the NXT Champion Adam Cole, the North American Champion Roderick Strong and the NXT Tag Team Champions Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) on one team and then any 4 against them. You could put the titles on the line but for the result I want and think would make sense it’d make more sense to just do a War Games match without the titles up for grabs. So THIS is when and how I’d have the Undisputed Era begin to implode, you’d have Strong lose the fall for the champions team. The next TakeOver you have the Era individually defend their titles against their respected War Games match counterparts. Hypothetically maybe Street Profits, Velveteen Dream and maybe Matt Riddle could be the opposing team, but I don’t think it’s as important who they faced as long as it made sense at the time. But I’m firmly pinning my colours to the mast, and it may all fuck up and sure there’s lots of things you could do and ways you could have Adam Cole’s grand plan be fucked up somehow. But I think the better long term story starts with them having their big night on this show… BAY BAY #drapedingold
Prediction: Adam Cole retains
So… I don’t think I need to let you all know after you’ve read my blog that this show is going to be great. But I’ll say that this is the most unpredictable TakeOver show for some time, and I think that makes it the most exciting show going into it for a long time. The one certainty is that it’ll be memorable!
One final thing I’d like to whisper before I sign off with regards to Cole winning, someone needing to get redemption for him perhaps, and what on earth this mystery third fall could be or involve, and the potential interference of the Undisputed Era in the Cole vs Gargano 3 match, and who next for Cole if this is indeed the end of his rivalry with Gargano, and Matt Riddle (who looked to be the long term next in line before he began his feud getting beat up by Killian Dain) being just not in the spot to challenge Cole anytime soon…
If only Gargano had a friend who has a personal interest in the NXT Championship with some unfinished business…