WrestleMania weekend is here! Which means it’s time to start speculating.
While pay per view/event predicting usually factors in long term booking this weekend is different. Talent from NXT is often brought up to Raw or Smackdown after ‘Mania. Story lines reach their conclusions. Thus guessing who will win based on where the story goes next becomes irrelevant the majority of the time for these two shows.
But I’m still going to take the time to try and armbar armchair.
War Raiders (Hanson and Rowe) (NXT tag team champions) vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet
The interesting thing here is that Black and Ricochet are wrestling twice this weekend. They are also in the Smackdown tag team title match at WrestleMania. With rumors of NXT as a third equal brand as of this fall with the new TV deals, what better way to put a shine on the talent than with double champions? These two entering the grand stage of WrestleMania already holding titles adds a level of prestige to both matches.
Winners and new champions: Aleister Black and Ricochet.
Pete Dunne (NXT UK champion) vs. Walter
The entire point of signing Walter was to showcase him. One of the hardest hitters in all of wrestling and he is still an unknown to most of your average wrestling watchers. Dunne has been a great champion and currently the longest reigning one across all of WWE. It’s time to move the belt and put a shine on someone else. Pete Dunne won’t be hurt at all with a loss.
Winner and new champion: Walter.
Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole Two-out-of-three falls match for the vacant NXT Championship
This was supposed to be Gargano’s night before Ciampa was injured and had to vacate the NXT title. Ciampa is out for a year following neck surgery and I don’t think Gargano is going to still be in NXT in a year. Nor do I think Cole will be either. And I think Cole gets moved first, along with his stable the Undisputed Era. Gargano gets the win for a feel good moment but whatever his next challenge will be will attack him right away.
Winner and new NXT Champion: Johnny Gargano.
Velveteen Dream (NXT North American champion) vs. Matt Riddle
I never believe all titles will change on a show, so this is the one to stay in place. It won’t be a clear pinfall though. Count out, DQ, something screwy. While many stories end this one will continue until at least the next TakeOver.
Still champion (but maybe not winner of the match): Velveteen Dream.
Shayna Baszler (NXT Women’s champion) vs. Io Shirai vs. Bianca Belair vs. Kairi Sane.
Shayna is near a lock to be on Raw after WrestleMania. She can easily be Ronda’s friend or replacement depending on what Rousey does after ‘Mania. But which woman makes most sense to lose the title to? I think Io Shirai winning sets up great match potential against Belair and Sane over the next couple months.
Winner and new champion: Io Shirai.