WWE NXT TakeOver: XXV Preview/Predictions
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
All Elite Wrestling grasped the wrestling world after their first Pay-Per-View last week, topped off with a Five-Star Rhodes Brothers match, Awesome Kong, a tag team classic between The Young Bucks and Fenix/Pentagon Jr. and of course, Jon Moxley (the former Dean Ambrose of WWE fame) at the end.
Anybody who looked to WWE for an answer was left hopeless on Raw and SmackDown, side for a surprise mention by Sami Zayn on Raw.
The only true competitor with WWE’s name is its NXT brand, spearheaded creatively by Triple H. The 25th TakeOver event celebrates all that has happened before while also giving us another five-match standout card to feast on.
The essence of TakeOver is the heart of NXT itself – it’s where the up-and-comers showcase their true potential. Who knows where we would be if we didn’t get Zayn-Shinsuke Nakamura, Bayley-Sasha Banks, Johnny Gargano-Adam Cole and The Revival-#DIY, amongst other countless memorable bouts? It’s matches like those that have elevated NXT to the bar that has been set for wrestling expectations in 2019.
TakeOver has become more than a live event. It’s a movement. Beyond that, it has happened in America, United Kingdom, Canada and other places. It has brought NXT to the conversation of actual world domination.
Triple H’s formula to build stars, sign big names, focus on wrestling and characterization is one for success. It’s hard to believe there have been 25 TakeOvers, but we don’t think anybody will disagree that NXT can make 25,000 more TakeOvers for all we care.
– Matt Riddle Vs. Roderick Strong – What looks delectable on paper should be a hell of a technical, hard-striking masterpiece, which we’re confident to say there’ll be plenty of highlights. Story-wise, the basis was that Strong was the “weak link” of Undisputed Era until he “redeemed” himself with an apparent outdoor attack on Riddle. We could’ve done without the bloody flip-flop (murder scene much?) but it did get the point across. Now, Riddle looks for revenge and since he lost to Velveteen Dream at TakeOver: New York and the way he’s presented on NXT as a big deal, we’d be surprised if he lost again. Strong’s the perfect candidate to handle Riddle’s submission-oriented Mixed Martial Arts style and then some. We vote Riddle – BRO.
Prediction: Matt Riddle
– NXT North American Championship – Velveteen Dream (Champion) Vs. Tyler Breeze – Dream overcame Riddle at TakeOver: New York in a close encounter and has garnered momentum as North American Champion. To everyone’s shock, Breeze came back to NXT for an unforgettable promo exchange with The Purple One. Can we call it a promotion these days to go from the main roster to NXT? Breeze is one of the few people who can say that, if not, the only one. Glossy video packages also helped build this feud up, as Dream has pointed to Breeze’s shortcomings in the bigger spotlight while Breeze claims he “inspired” Dream. This should be a straight-up good wrestling match as it’s been a while since we’ve seen what Breeze can do when motivated in the ring. We question the longevity of Breeze’s stay this go around. A Title win would instantly make an impact, but we just can’t see the belt leaving Dream’s possession. Will Breeze move on to someone else or is this a one-and-done? Time will tell, but let’s enjoy this in the meantime.
Prediction: Velveteen Dream
– Vacant NXT Tag Team Championship – Ladder Match – Wesley Blake/Steve Cutler Vs. Kyle O’Reilly/Bobby Fish Vs. The Street Profits Vs. Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch – The main roster threw a wrench in NXT’s tag division when the Champions Viking Raiders (previously The Viking Experience and War Raiders) were called up and instantly became afterthoughts with stupid renames. It appeared that based off their face-offs before the call-up, that The Street Profits were headed for a Title encounter with the Champs where they’d finally get their big moment. Instead, we won’t get that, but the scrambled new plan is a decent one, with Undisputed Era and The Forgotten Sons sprinkled in. The peak of the build was probably on the go-home show where UE got the chance to stand tall. A win for O’Reilly/Fish would help their quest to “drape themselves in gold,” but The Street Profits have a lot of momentum right now and can carry the load for a while as Champions with countless heel teams to face. The original plan will probably carry through. Street Profits get their big moment.
Prediction: The Street Profits
– NXT Women’s Championship – Shayna Baszler (Champion) Vs. Io Shirai – Baszler has been dominant for the longest time and has defeated all comers, Shirai included. This time around though, it’s different. This is actually a case of a call-up working out for the best since Kairi Sane is now on the main roster. Shirai can actually stand alone as the badass she previously once was known to be. Case in point – her kendo stick fury. That’s pretty much all you need. Everybody questions if this will be the time Baszler loses and goes to the main roster. We think if it’s going to happen, let it happen here. Shirai can really shine as Champion, as opposed to Baszler who has done everything possible as Champion and the main roster could actually use her about now. A character like her is missing with Ronda Rousey’s absence and a WWE Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch-Baszler match is an instant sell. This could be match of the night. We’ll go Shirai.
Prediction: Io Shirai
– NXT Championship – Johnny Gargano (Champion) Vs. Adam Cole – After their incredible encounter at TakeOver: New York, we question just what the followup can offer. Plus, just imagine, this was a feud thrown together at the last second because of Tommaso Ciampa’s injury. Now that it can actually fester, NXT has a main program for months to come. If we keep getting matches like at TakeOver: New York, let these two main event every time. This would actually be the hardest match to predict since Cole should have a run with the belt at some point to back his claims, but with Gargano still a fresh Champion, a two-month reign would be more of an asterisk that an accomplishment. Something big will happen here, maybe a debut or a surprise, but it won’t affect the match itself. At the same time, there’s nobody at Cole’s level as far as a top heel in NXT that is buyable as Gargano’s challenger. See our dilemma? We’re going to go Gargano here just to extend his reign some more, but we do think Cole will eventually get the belt to extend the feud before it runs out of gas, a la the Finn Balor-Samoa Joe feud in 2016.
Prediction: Johnny Gargano
Posted on June 1, 2019, in NXT, WWE and tagged Adam Cole, All Elite Wrestling, Awesome Kong, Bayley, Bobby Fish, Danny Burch, DIY, Fenix, Io Shirai, Johnny Gargano, Jon Moxley, Kyle O'Reilly, Matt Riddle, Oney Lorcan, Pentagon Jr., Raw, Roderick Strong, Sami Zayn, Sasha Banks, Shayna Baszler, Shinsuke Nakamura, Smackdown, Steve Cutler, The Revival, The Street Profits, The Young Bucks, Triple H, Tyler Breeze, Undisputed Era, Velveteen Dream, Wesley Blake. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.