• NXT TakeOver: Orlando Preview and Predictions

    NXT is still around.

    Giving their thoughts and predictions on what to expect from the PPV are members of the site @JoeyOnEarth, @TimWelcomed and @TomBlargh.

    SAniTy vs. Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong, No Way Jose and Ruby Riot

    Joey:

    What a fucking weird team! Poor Ruby Riot having to team with the forgotten bros of NXT. Somehow they are still a better squad than S@n1+Y! I’m sure it will be okay enough but who possibly cares about this match? I assume Eric Young and his wacky pals get the win since they are an actual team.

    Interest Level: 3/10
    Prediction: $An!+Y wins.

    Tim:

    I’m not a very big fan of the Sanity gimmick and I refuse to acknowledge the wacky capitalization. That being said this should be an alright 8 person tag. All of the weak links can be covered up enough in this match type as to not make it too boring for long. I’m glad Strong, Dillinger, Cross, and Riot made the card even if this isn’t my preferred use of them.

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: Sanity wins.

    Tom:

    First of all, I’d like to applaud Joey for getting the capitalization of SAniTy right in the heading for this post, which I will now fail to emulate in my predictions. (NOTE: Joey just informed me that he purposefully got the capitalization wrong to stick it to Eric Young and his group of misfits, because Joe is a sick troll.)

    What a lame duck match this is though. I don’t even watch NXT but I feel like I’ve seen the three Sanity lads go against the other three enough times to last a lifetime. Tye Dillinger still having to slog through this stuff is a shame – his match with Roode at the Toronto TakeOver was a lot of fun and he gets a huge reaction these days, so I was hoping he’d get a more prominent role on this show. However, the larger crime is Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot not getting a better showcase.

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: Sanity wins.

    Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Aleister Black

    Joey:

    I never cared much for Tommy End and Andrade “Cien” Almas never leaves an impact on me. This match clearly isn’t for me but hopefully they prove me we wrong. Kassius Ohno getting snubbed from the card is so lame considering he’d be a better option to replace either man or just get added to make it a triple threat.

    Interest Level: 4/10
    Prediction: Aleister Black (horrible name) wins.

    Tim:

    I’m not sure how this match will turn out because Almas is a wildcard. Somehow his best WWE matches, and there aren’t many of them, are usually on the NXT TV show. I like Tommy End a decent bit so I’m glad he’s here debuting. Hopefully their styles can find a way to mesh but I’m not optimistic. Either way I’m very interested in seeing how that plays out.

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: Aleister Black wins.

    Tom:

    I didn’t watch enough Tommy End on the indies to really develop much of a love for him, but he’s absolutely one of the more intimidating wrestlers I’ve ever seen in person. He has a great presence and they seem to be making an effort to match that up to a decent character, but we’ll see how that goes. Almas has quietly gotten over his rocky start to become one of the NXT guys I most look forward to seeing, so this is something I’m into.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Aleister Black wins.

    The Authors of Pain vs. DIY vs. The Revival for the NXT Tag Team Championship

    Joey:

    Here we go. Finally something that has my interest. DIY and Revival clearly have superb chemistry. DIY had that great match with Authors of Pain at the last show. You have to assume all three teams in the same match is a good thing. I’m guessing AoP retain with Revival taking the pin since they have to be main roster bound sooner or later. Hopefully DIY can keep the streak alive of stellar TakeOver matches.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Authors of Pain wins.

    Tim:

    They need to work on the tag division! Anyway, this will be good. Authors of Pain are pretty boring to watch but with two superb teams in the ring with them it should be fine. I don’t think I could get tired of DIY vs The Revival in big matches against each other but WWE probably shouldn’t test me on this. Maybe Authors of Pain will finally get that publishing deal.

    Interest Level: 9/10
    Prediction: Authors of Pain win.

    Tom:

    Hopefully this match will be good enough to finally launch The Revival into the advanced class at the Performance Center! The NXT tag scene is feeling fairly depressing right now – DIY and The Revival have been carrying it for close to a year now, to the point that both teams should probably be on the main roster now (though I don’t see DIY getting called up in the immediate future).

    I think this match will be decent, but I think it might be the last enjoyable TakeOver tag match we get for a while. Authors of Pain can have a serviceable match when they’re in the ring with a much better team, but they’re not going to prop up the division.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Authors of Pain win.

    Asuka vs. Ember Moon for the NXT Women’s Championship

    Joey:

    This is the main event of the show for me. Asuka’s dominant reign as champion is probably the best thing NXT has going despite the lack of opponents for her. Ember Moon is the first woman to challenge Asuka since Bayley left that feels like a credible adversary. I believe they will have a special match that steals the show and has everyone talking.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Asuka wins.

    Tim:

    I’ve loved Asuka’s reign. NXT isn’t as good at creating characters as they once were but we did at least have Royce and Kay emerge out of the lull for Asuka to fight with. I think within six months the NXT Women’s Division is going to be overflowing with incredible wrestlers but I keep going back and forth on who will be the champion during that time. Part of me would love Ember Moon to win. She’s the perfect one to finally defeat Asuka but if Asuka isn’t moving up there’s no reason to take the belt from her yet. The thing is Ember Moon can take the loss and get the title later once her character has developed more. Staying on the Asuka path for a little while longer could lead to some great matches once there are new women talent involved in NXT. Don’t let the streak end yet! If they would have fleshed out Moon’s Persona better I would say she should win but they’re very poor at it. I do like how they’ve hyped up how dangerous her finisher is. Either way this match will probably steal the show. I’m all in.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Asuka wins.

    Tom:

    It’s weird, as much as I’d like to see Asuka on the main roster, I’m ready for this feud with Ember Moon to stew a little bit longer. It’s been SO long since she’s had a decent singles feud that I’d be okay with being made to wait for Ember’s win. Also, the next wave of women will likely be more established by then, so there’d actually be some solid competitors waiting in the wings for Ember to feud with.

    Interest Level: 9/10
    Prediction: Asuka wins.

    Bobby Roode vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT World Championship

    Joey:

    I enjoy both guys enough but I have no interest in this. The one match they had at the last TakeOver was enough. I’m sure the match itself will be fine and the theatrics will be great, but it just doesn’t feel right. Shinsuke Nakamura is clearly too big for NXT at this point and Bobby Roode is probably in the same boat. There’s really no momentum for the match at all. This is another spot where the addition of Kassius Ohno could have freshened things up but oh well. Roode retains and Nakamura heads to the main roster.

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: Bobby Roode wins.

    Tim:

    I’ve enjoyed Bobby Roode in NXT so far. Nakamura is Nakamura for better or worse. Their last match was better than I expected it to be. If they can reach that level again or run past it I’ll be happy with this bout. Roode has consistently been involved in good Takeover matches. He’s got his character mastered. I had wished this was Ohno vs Nakamura but if you’re not going to do that or a 3 Way this is fine. They’ve failed at creating intriguing characters so this is pretty much all they have to work with. I’m interested in seeing what they do here. I believe they both have it in them to exceed their last showing.

    Interest Level: 9/10
    Prediction: Bobby Roode wins.

    Tom:

    I don’t think Roode and Nakamura are an especially fantastic pairing, but I’m curious to see if this is anymore compelling than their last match (which I think I enjoyed at the time, but I have almost zero memory of now). Honestly, even though threeways can often feel a little too messy, I think it would have been a good idea to toss Kassius Ohno into the mix since I think he’d be a decent bridge between the two styles of the other guys. Speaking of Ohno, he’s got to be on this show in some capacity, right? Surely? Maybe he can deck Shane McMahon’s kids if they get unruly again like they did last year.

    Anyway, I’m sad that the main event tier of NXT feels similar to the state of their tag scene – outside of the top two or three performers, there’s not really anyone else they’ve established as being on a level worthy of a title run. There’s some potential in the mid-card, but things seem to move at such a glacial pace that it’s hard to picture what the Summerslam TakeOver is going to look like. I hope it’s good, but there’s work to be done.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Bobby Roode wins.