From the NXT Arena at Full Sail University. Your commentators are Rich Brennan, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
This week’s episode was basically just the last minute hype for Takeover along with an announcement of a special episode of NXT from Brooklyn next week, so this week we’re gonna do things a bit differently. Here I’m gonna recap the last bit of promotion each Takeover match got along with my prediction.
NXT Women’s Title: Sasha Banks (C) vs. Bayley – This week we had the contract signing for the match. Bayley thinks it’s finally her time to reign, but Sasha cuts DEEP, heeling on the crowd when they interrupt her (“There’s a reason Takeover is in Brooklyn and not here!”) and telling Bayley that she isn’t a threat and not good enough to make it to RAW like Sasha has and that she will forever be a loser, not a role model worthy of little girls dressing up like her. “Fairy tales don’t have a happy ending!” They sign (with Sasha bringing out her stamp like last time) and Bayley remembers what Sasha did to Becky Lynch the last time we had a contract signing and is quite ready to throw down right now, but Sasha doesn’t have the time and Bayley just isn’t worth it. Banks heads up the ramp while Bayley seethes in the ring before Bayley charges out and is on her like Ralphie on Scut Farkus and has to literally be dragged screaming off of her.
My Prediction: Anything other than Bayley winning will be a pretty big disappointment in my mind. Sasha has been making waves on the main roster and deserves to move on to something else while they have been slowly building up Bayley getting the big win over the last few months much like Sami Zayn’s story last year. This is definitely worthy of a main event position on the show and is probably the match I’m most emotionally invested in. Bayley becomes the new champion.
Tyler Breeze vs. Jushin “Thunder” Liger – Breeze hangs a Liger mask in the corner and talks to it before squashing a guy with “Ryzin'” on his ass. He puts the mask on the jobber afterwards and treats him like Liger, introducing himself and leveling him with the Beauty Shot and counting his own pin to show everyone what is in store at Takeover.
My Prediction: Liger isn’t above putting over people and one would think that that is the whole reason for this match. Even at 50, Liger should be able to put on a good match and the surreal image of Liger actually wrestling in a WWE ring should make for a cool atmosphere. Breeze wins and hopefully this leads to him getting SOME kind of direction.
Samoa Joe vs. Baron Corbin – Joe squashes Steve Cutler and is jumped by Corbin, who manages to hit the End of Days on him (an impressive visual in it’s own right).
My Prediction: This is probably my least anticipated match on the card only because I don’t think much of Corbin and think that Joe really deserves something bigger to do. The match should at the very least be an entertaining brawl and they’ve put so much behind Corbin that a loss to Joe wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense. Corbin wins.
NXT Tag Team Title: Blake and Murphy (C) vs. The Vaudevillains – The tag champs beat Sawyer and Fulton, though Fulton does have an impressive bit of offense before he eats turnbuckle on a charge and is finished off by the brainbuster/frog splash. The Vaudevillians appear on the ramp and are about to announce who will accompany them to the ring at Takeover, but Alexa Bliss stomps up to them (Gotch: “Madam you would be wise not to exploit your female privilege”) and slaps them. Aiden tries to speak again so Bliss just slaps them again. Bliss is best.
My Prediction: I’m still kind of surprised that this isn’t Enzo and Cass getting the titles, but the Vaudevillians are an entertaining act in their own right. I am guessing either Billie Kay (Jessie McKay) or Peyton Royce (KC Cassidy) will be in the challengers’ corner, probably the latter because the name sounds more “old-timey”. I could see this going either way with the champs once again weaseling another victory or Alexa being neutralized and new champs crowned. Seeing as we haven’t had many Tag Title changes and NXT is growing a great division, I’m gonna pick The Vaudevillians here.
NXT Title Ladder Match: Finn Balor (C) vs. Kevin Owens – Owens brings a ladder out to the ring and completely tears into the Full Sail crowd (“The John Cena of wrestling fans”) when they once again boo Brooklyn. He calls the fans out on their hypocrisy of wanting NXT to grow and then booing when they are going to a sold out 13,000 seat arena (which only sold out because Owens is in the main event) for a live special because it isn’t there. It makes him sick to his stomach to preform in front of “ungrateful, undeserving pieces of trash”. He expertly transitions into talking about destroying Finn Balor in the ladder match as he promises that what he does to Finn will make what he did to Sami Zayn nothing. He NEEDS to win the NXT title to shove it down the Full Sail crowd’s throats and says it will be Destroy Owens Destroy and Climb Owens Climb as he ascends the ladder as he vows to take back what was always his. The lights go out and Finn’s theme plays as we see Balor suddenly perched on the turnbuckle, a look of hate on his face. They brawl and Finn gets the better of it. He picks up the ladder and charges, but Owens bails up the ramp. Finn climbs the ladder and promises to kick his ass and shut his mouth, holding the title high as we fade. Amazing final segment.
My Prediction: Another match that could probably go either way. Honestly, Kevin Owens has a bunch more to offer in NXT than on the main roster since he is actually booked well in NXT and “Everyone Hates Kevin” works very well when he has the title. On the other hand, Finn is awesome in his own right and can move on to defenses against the likes of Tyler Breeze. This should absolutely be worthy of main eventing a big show like this and could be a match of the year candidate. I’m gonna say Owens wins just because Bayley’s win is the big babyface victory of the night and Owens/Joe can become the next big title program.
Other developments: We learn that next Wednesday there will be a special episode also from the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. Here, The Hype Bros and Enzo and Cass squash a four man team to set up an eight-man tag against Dash and Wilder and NXT’s Greatest Tag Team next week while a Bull Dempsey video promises a “new and improved” Bull next week and graphics announce a four woman match between Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Emma and Dana Brooke along with Carmella facing Eva Marie.
That is it until Saturday. Enjoy Takeover and watch out for This is NXT Takeover: Brooklyn on Sunday!
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