• NXT TakeOver: Rival Preview and Predictions

    Owens vs. Zayn. It’s here.

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

    nxt-owens-zayn

    Baron Corbin vs. Bull Dempsey

    Joey:

    I always confuse these two. One was trained by Tazz and replied to a tweet where I mentioned his name after vanity searching within 20 minutes but I don’t know which.

    Interest Level: 0/10
    Prediction: Bobby Dempsey and Darin Corbin invade.

    Tim:

    This is a big dud but I’m pretty excited to throw out some observational jokes about Baron Corbin’s sour demeanor with my buds online. Bull Dempsey is crap and that is my professional opinion.

    Interest Level: 1/10
    Prediction: Baron Corbin wins.

    Deathlock:

    Guys, I really miss Baron Corbin’s lariat. It was seriously amazing. He never does it now. Who do I talk to about reinstating it? His finisher is okay but it’s the only move he has now that his beautiful lariat is gone. BARON CORBIN BRING BACK YOUR LARIAT WE NEED THIS.

    Interest Level: 5/10 (10/10 if lariat)
    Prediction: Baron Corbin wins via lariat and whatever his finisher is.

    Tom:

    Another NXT show, another bewildering title! Isn’t it meant to be Arrival? AR:Rival? Jesus, I don’t know. Regardless, it’s already my most anticipated show since… well, the last NXT live thing on the WWE Network.

    Also, here’s a secret for you all – I KIND OF LIKE OLD BARON CORBIN. As a fellow big lad, I like to imagine that he is what I would be if I was a wrestler (and also better looking with tattoos, nicer hair and at least some athleticism). He’s not very good but in a charming way. Also, his nickname’s The Lone Wolf? And his entrance theme has motorcycles in it? Come on, that’s pretty adorable.

    Re: Bull Dempsey – fuck Bull Dempsey.

    Interest Level: 4/10
    Prediction: Baron Corbin wins.

    Adrian Neville vs. Finn Bálor

    Joey:

    This one should be very good. I kind of wished they went with Hideo Itami vs. Finn Bálor here but alas it happened last week. Finn Bálor is the most TV ready NXT wrestler right now by a mile. I think he’ll be called up very soon so his ascension (no pun intended) in NXT may have to start quicker than the average NXT star with winning a title shot here. Adrian Neville is good too and should be on the main roster after Wrestlemania so taking the loss here may be fitting.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Finn Bálor wins.

    Tim:

    Finn Bálor definitely has star quality and presents himself in an incredible way. Neville is superb and I never get tired of watching him wrestle. It’s amazing to see how much he’s grown since NXT started up. This match is one of the many reasons to watch this show. Although his match with Itami was good I still don’t feel like Finn Bálor has had a match that delivers what he can bring to the table in full. I think this might be the one.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Finn Bálor wins.

    Deathlock:

    My saltiness over Hideo not beating Finn to secure this contendership match aside, I’m pretty excited. Their Best of the Super Juniors match in 2012 was great, if you’re into that kind of thing, and it’ll be fun to see what these two can do in NXT. How has time and developmental changed both competitors, if at all? LET’S FIND OUT.

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Balor wins, and maybe it’s a good match. Probably no substantial lariats.

    Tom:

    Good lord, this show is really not messing around. I think Adrian Neville had an excellent 2015 and he’s really become a wrestler I consider myself a fan of, rather than just a guy I enjoy (IF THAT MAKES SENSE). Finn Bálor has a disgusting amount of potential to be something special. A little more definition to his character would be nice but he’s got such a presence and an aura and the It Factor and all that other bullshit you hear people go on about on talent shows that maybe it doesn’t matter??? Because maybe he’s just super good?????

    Interest Level: 9/10
    Prediction: Finn Bálor wins.

    Solomon Crowe debuts

    Joey:

    He’s okay but I don’t really have any interest. His gimmick seems like it will be corny so that may be something.

    Interest Level: 3/10
    Prediction: Beats CJ Parker and gets his nose broken.

    Tim:

    Never really cared for him. I’m at least expecting his gimmick to be really good in a really bad way so that’s where my interest is coming from. He’s just been low on my radar and marked in my brain as annoying ever since he did PWG commentary. “Shut the front door,” he said. Really fucking good stuff. He’s a solid wrestler so maybe he can grab my attention again in that regard.

    Interest Level: 2/10
    Prediction: He hacks into the hearts and minds of WWE’s important cyberpunk demographic.

    Deathlock:

    I haven’t seen him wrestle since he left the indies so I’ve kind of forgotten whether I care. What’s taking so long, anyway? I loved his matches with Drake Younger and it’s going to be weird for a while to see Drake reffing Solomon’s matches instead of beating the shit out of him.

    Interest Level: 2/10
    Prediction: SWERVE he actually does debut as Joey Splashwater.

    Tom:

    Give Barry back his fifty quid, Solomon, YEH BASTARD! I’M COMING FOR YOU SOLOMON I’M COMING TO GET BARRY’S FIFTY QUID BACK!

    Interest Level: 2/10
    Prediction: I WILL get Barry his fifty quid back.

    Buddy Murphy and Wesley Blake vs. The Lucha Dragons for the NXT Tag Team Championship

    Joey:

    No clue who the first team is but the Lucha Dragons are both really good and add fun to the NXT live specials.

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: Murphy and Blake win.

    Tim:

    Can Kalisto just start doing singles soon and maybe give us at least one match against Zayn? I’ve said it a million times but tag team wrestling is my favorite and WWE just sucks at it. Even NXT, which is better in most areas than the main WWE product has a bad tag division. Lucha Dragons are okay but they don’t seem to really mesh well together. Murphy and Blake haven’t stuck out to me at all. They seem very bland despite dressing like they know better. We’ll see how this goes.

    Interest Level: 4/10
    Prediction: Buddy Murphy and Wesley Blake win.

    Deathlock:

    If Murphy & Blake got repackaged as the Tekno Team 2020 I’d be all in. But right now I haven’t been paying any attention at all to the NXT tag scene.

    Interest Level: 3/10
    Prediction: Tekno Team 2020 retain!

    Tom:

    I also don’t know anything about Gunner and Murphy 2000! I’m ready for Kalisto to be a singles grappler though, so hopefully this is the last time we have the Lucha Dragons teaming up.

    Interest Level: 3/10
    Prediction: Buddy Murphy and Wesley Blake win.

    Charlotte vs. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch for the NXT Women’s Championship

    Joey:

    All the gals are great. Charlotte is excellent and on another level in the ring. Bayley’s character and getting you invested in her work is 2nd to none in NXT. Becky Lynch does a great job standing out. But this is Sasha Banks time. She’s very good in the ring, on the mic, as a character and at making you care about every segment she’s in. It’s time to put the belt on her.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Sasha Banks wins.

    Tim:

    I’ve been yelling about this match and slamming pots and pans all over my house just to create some more noise. I can not contain myself. Look at this  LOOK AT THIS. Bayley has one of the best characters around and can make you care about her so easily. Charlotte is very enjoyable to watch in the ring. Sasha Banks is everything good in this world right now AND SHE MUST WIN (although Bayley might would be better for the story but she’ll get hers eventually). Becky Lynch is solid and has loads of potential but she hasn’t really clicked with me yet on the level the others have. I am confident she will eventually once she grows and they give her more time. The build-up to this has been pretty simplistic but well-done for the most part. Have I said how excited I am about this match yet?

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Sasha Banks wins.

    Deathlock:

    OH MY GOD I am so excited you guys. Charlotte is phenomenal and Bayley is great and Sasha is great and getting better all the time and Becky Lynch is good too even if we’ve only seen her in like two minute matches. I really like the way the NXT women wrestle like women and not like diminutive copies of men. I’m a little hesitant because I’m not sure how the flow of a four-way will work with people who are still pretty new to wrestling. Some vets can’t even pull off a good four-way match. I am hopeful.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: TAKE IT TO THE BANK, BO$$ SASHA.

    Tom:

    This should be GOOD STUFF. Was this going to be a tag match and then they changed it to a four-way? I can’t remember. Anyway, all of these ladies are good as fuuuuuuck. Is Sasha the best? Probably! But I really want to see Bayley win that belt one of these days, y’know?

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Sasha Banks wins.

    Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens for the NXT Championship

    Joey:

    I’m in awe that this is happening and can’t wait to see it. These two make wrestling magic. I don’t know if this is a bold pick but I think Kevin Owens is winning the title here. Sami Zayn should be main roster ready very soon and usually when someone wins the title after a very long drawn out storyline, many times they tend to lose the belt very quickly. See Homicide in ROH. I have Owens winning the title here.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Kevin Owens wins.

    Tim:

    It is so damn surreal that this is happening. It’s been so well done so far and just everything I could have asked for. Sami Zayn is absolutely phenomenal but the best thing about these two going at it is that Owens always gets me so hyped about him beating the shit out of Zayn, a wrestler I like so much. It’s a very unique dynamic. We all know this will be great and I’m just so ready to sit back and watch them create their magic on a new stage. Take it all in because great stuff like this doesn’t happen very often, especially in WWE. These two deserve it.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Kevin Owens wins.

    Deathlock:

    This is just wonderful. Do we all agree that this is wonderful? This should be an excellent match on an excellent show and I think the crowd will also appreciate it. Personally, I can’t wait for Kevin Owens to stomp the hell out of that prettyboy ska nerd. HAHAHAHHAHA.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Maybe actual murder. Maybe Owens wins by actual murder.

    Tom:

    Just unbelievable that we’re getting this in the main event of a WWE produced show. Everything involving these two at the last NXT live show was just pitch perfect, from top to bottom. It sets expectations unbelievably high for this but man, if anyone’s going to surpass them, it’s Zayn and Owens. Hopefully them fast-tracking this feud means Sami’s going to be called up sooner rather than later, but I still see this being extended until at least whenever the next live NXT show is because there’s SO much amazing stuff you can do with this feud. Long story short, I can’t wait for this and expect it to be everything I love about wrestling.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: Kevin Owens wins by DQ.