There is a major wrestling event tonight, which means it’s time to arm bar quarterback this with predictions. I don’t claim any inside information or wrestling experience. Just a long term fan who sees patterns in the way stories are written and tries to guess where the tale goes next.
Tonight is a live event for WWE’s up and coming third brand, NXT. This Takeover is also not taking place the day before a WWE event. It is standing on it’s own, which shows just how far the brand has come in a relatively short time. Six matches on the card and so far none are scheduled for the half hour pre show.
Rhea Ripley (NXT Women’s champion) vs. Bianca Belair.
Rhea is arguably the biggest star currently in NXT. Belair will hold that title, and many women’s titles, eventually. But Rhea is also in the middle of a feud against women’s Royal Rumble winner Charlotte Flair. The NXT Women’s title is about to be defended at WrestleMania, possibly the first time an NXT title is defended on that event. And Rhea is the bigger star to hold that honor and carry that title in, especially against the Queen. Yet, a triple threat match could also work at ‘Mania. In fact, after last year’s iconic triple threat women’s main event there could be a long term story of Charlotte getting screwed over in triple threat matches. Always losing despite not being the one to be pinned. Charlotte interfering here tonight and affecting the end of the match is another possibility. But NXT doesn’t usually go the outside interference screwing ending that Raw or Smackdown relishes. There’s a bit more honor to victories in NXT. My current guess is Charlotte is at ringside and her presence distracts Belair enough to lose the match. Charlotte wont actually do anything to cause the loss, instead Bianca’s intensity and even rookie type enthusiasm will seal her own fate. Belair will be mad at herself for being so foolish, but take it out on Charlotte.
Winner and still champion: Rhea Ripley.
Finn Bálor vs. Johnny Gargano.
I’m not sure where either man is going in their careers making this a tough match to call. Finn is in NXT as a veteran that can be put in any spot as needed. Heel, face, there to elevate any talent he’s paired with. Randy Orton in a way but with less attitude. Yet Gargano doesn’t really need anyone to help him. He needs to be on Raw or Smackdown to showcase what he can do. Finn is an innovator in a way for NXT. No one of his level has gone back to NXT, so any paths his career takes is breaking new ground. Predicting how this match turns out is also predicting how all of NXT progresses. For that reason..
Winner: Finn Balor.
The Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly) (NXT tag team champions) vs. The BroserWeights (Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne).
Earlier this week I thought the Bros would lose, most likely with Dunne turning on Riddle. But they just got a new t-shirt released and that series of videos showing them making their way to Portland was inspired. Plus in my 2020 NXT predictions this entire night sets the course. Dunne as an anchor for Riddle makes sense. An eventual feud will be money, but not yet. However, the implosion of Undisputed Era is nigh. Roderick Strong already lost the North American title. Time for the other members to lose their belts.
Winners and new champions: The BroserWeights.
Adam Cole (NXT Champion) vs. Tommaso Ciampa.
It continues here. Ciampa wins. Balor takes his victory over Gargano and rolls it into challenging Tommaso for the title. Cole blames the other members of Undisputed Era for not being there for him. UE breaks in half and then in four all the way through to the Takeover before WrestleMania. Then a reunited Undisputed Era sneaks new World champion, Drew McIntyre, on the Raw after ‘Mania.
Winner and new champion: Tommaso Ciampa.
Dakota Kai vs. Tegan Nox.
This one is confusing. Since turning heel in dramatic fashion, Kai has looked amazing. She has shined more than the shiniest. That’s nothing against Nox by any means. But I don’t feel sympathy for the beaten down babyface of Nox, I feel interest in the new bad ass that is Kai. I think Dakota needs to beat Tegan down just a bit more so her retribution is that much stronger.
Winner: Dakota Kai.
Keith Lee (NXT North American champion) vs. Dominik Dijakovic.
Keith Lee of course. Limitless. Infinite. A star in the making. Great showing over the last half year. And I don’t even think he’s reached what he knows he can do, much less what someone of a higher level could bring out of him. A loss here would honestly hurt Lee and his story is still being written.
Winner: Keith Lee.
Who are you predicting? Leave guesses and explanations in the comments!