Welcome back to not quite Takeover and we have an especially big card. Rather than having the usual five match card, this one already has seven, plus some mixed tag thing that doesn’t seem to be an official match. NXT is starting to get somewhere in recent weeks and now they need to translate that to a big show. Granted that might be easier said than done but you never can tell around here. Let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Women’s Tag Team Titles: Toxic Attraction(c) vs. Dakota Kai/Raquel Gonzalez
This was added to the show on Tuesday as Kai and Gonzalez reunited in a moment that might not have been as emotional as WWE was hoping it to be. That being said, they are a team with some history and that is more than almost anyone else in the division (assuming there is one) at this point. It isn’t like there are any other challengers so maybe this will work out.
I’ll go with new champions here, as Toxic Attraction aren’t exactly awash in challengers and it would be weird to do the big reunion and then have the new faces just lose in their first match back together. The match probably won’t be much, but new champions is always a good way to get the crowd going. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the champs retain, but it makes more sense to do the switch given how they set it up.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Tony D’Angelo
I’m not sure what to make of Ciampa at this point but I don’t think that’s what they’re going for here. Either way, it seems like Ciampa is done with NXT after this match (barring a big surprise) and that could mean he’s going up to WWE or just heading elsewhere. I’d like to believe it’s to the main roster, but you never can tell around here. D’Angelo is an interesting choice for a final opponent and that could go either way.
As much as I don’t want to, I’ll go with D’Angelo winning here, as Ciampa seems like the kind of guy who would put someone over on his way out of the territory. Ciampa has done it all in NXT and has nothing left to prove, so they might as well let him make someone on his way out. The match should be good enough as Ciampa can carry the majority and D’Angelo is decent, but this is going to be the big NXT farewell for one of its legends.
LA Knight vs. Gunther
While it isn’t official, it would not surprise me at all to see this be Knight’s NXT farewell. He was ready for the main roster the day he arrived and there is no reason for him to not move up to the main roster. Granted that has been the case for a lot of NXT stars who have either not shown up yet or have been complete misfires up there (often not their fault), but it might be the case again here.
That being said, Gunther seems ready for the NXT Title picture almost immediately and there is almost no way Knight has a chance here. I could see Knight getting in some good shots and maybe even the BFT, but Gunther isn’t and shouldn’t be losing in NXT for a LONG time to come. Knight is a good meal for him at this point, because Gunther should be devouring him after breaking a bit of a sweat.
Tag Team Titles: Imperium(c) vs. MSK vs. Creed Brothers
The tag team division is trying to fight back after it went into a coma for so long but it isn’t quite there yet. Imperium are great heels but you need something to spice the division up a bit. I’m not sure if the Creeds winning is that spark, but it isn’t like MSK was lighting the world on fire as champions either. There are a few ways this can go and somehow that has made this match a lot more interesting than I would have expected.
I’ll go with the Creeds winning here, with the attackers showing up next week to be their first challengers. There is always the chance that the attackers show up here, but ultimately I think this is about the Creeds winning the titles, as there is no real reason not to have Imperium keep the belts. That leaves MSK to get the belts back and…yeah I think we’ve all been through enough of that for a long time. Creeds win, I think.
North American Title: Carmelo Hayes(c) vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Santos Escobar vs. Solo Sikoa vs. Grayson Waller
Naturally it’s a ladder match because that’s how things go in WWE/NXT/AEW/pretty much everyone these days. I’ve never been a fan of these big multiman ladder matches as a new champion didn’t pin the old champion and it’s so many of the same things that has been done time after time. There are multiple possible winners here though and it should be exciting, but it’s a little hard to get invested in this happening again.
Since he has found a pretty good story in recent weeks, I’ll go with Grimes to take the title here. Grimes has been a fan favorite for a long time now and needs a win that actually matters (the Million Dollar Title barely counted). I really don’t want them to take the title off of Hayes, who has been outstanding, but I don’t see how they can keep having Grimes lose, especially after some of his recent promos. I’d like Hayes to win and I’d be happy if he did, but Grimes REALLY needs this or he might never break through.
Women’s Title: Mandy Rose(c) vs. Cora Jade vs. Io Shirai vs. Kay Lee Ray
This is a tough one as you have Rose as the star NXT clearly wants to push as the big thing, but you also have Shirai and Ray who are two of the best around and Jade as the sentimental favorite. That makes things a bit complicated, not to mention that this is the THIRD multi-challenger title match on a seven match card. That’s not the best structured card, but I’m not sure if Rose can handle a big time singles title match.
As much as I’d like it to be Ray, I think they keep it on Rose here. Shirai and Ray cross each other off and Grimes/Jade both winning on the same show (plus a certain other likely title change) seems to be a bit too many good feelings. Rose retains here and drops the title to one of them in a few weeks, which isn’t the worst thing in the world as she is really starting to get a feeling for what she is doing.
NXT Title: Dolph Ziggler(c) vs. Bron Breakker
I think we can cut to the point with this one, as this is the biggest layup on the show by a few miles. Breakker is obviously the next big thing and close to a prodigy at this point and NXT wants to give him the win on the big stage, though it might have been more interesting to have this be his first win. They could have held the title on Ciampa for a little while longer and then done the same setup for this one and Breakker gets the really big moment.
That being said, there is no logical reason to not put the title back on Breakker here so of course we’ll go with him winning. The good thing is that Ziggler is the kind of a guy who can walk Breakker through a match and make him look better than anyone else ever could. That’s why Ziggler is in NXT and like him or not, this has been a great idea for both NXT and Ziggler himself.
I’m not sure when it happened but NXT has become a rather entertaining show. This card actually looks pretty good, though it could use a match or two taken off. They’ll probably have to rush through a lot to get everything in on time. It’s no Takeover, but what we have here should be an entertaining show with the hope for some very cool/emotional moments if they pull the right strings.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books
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