• NXT TakeOver: Toronto Preview and Predictions

    Are we NXT?

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

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    Bobby Roode vs. Tye Dillinger

    Joey:

    The rise of Bobby Roode will make his Canada homecoming for NXT a big moment. No disrespect to Tye Dillinger, but Roode probably should have been in a better match. The dude is 40. You can’t slowly build him to the top. I’m not sure how to feel about the match but at least we’ll get a fun Roode entrance and Dillinger is always over.

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: Bobby Roode wins.

    Tim:

    As the leader of The Roode Broode I am excited to see Rippity Roberty Roode… oh god. I am so fucking sorry for that. I don’t know what came over me. I could delete it but I should leave it and deal with the repercussions. I need to own this. Anyway, yeah. Roode is great. I am kind of just ready for him and a few others from NXT to get called up because NXT has fallen into Impact and ROH territory as shows I just skim through for the stuff that interests me instead of a show I watch from beginning to end. I hate that this is a thing but there is so much wrestling and I have very little time. I have to watch as much as I can because I am a true fan.

    I wish he had a better match-up because I am just not into Dillinger. The guy is over. I’m not trying to take that away from him but he is not my cup of tea. I haven’t seen him do anything impressive yet. Maybe this will be it? Who knows. I am not a psychic. I never once claimed to be. Quit e-mailing me telling me I should know the future. You have nothing to gain from this. Leave me and my family alone. I will call the authorities.

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: Bobby Roode wins.

    Tom:

    Bobby Roode has been pretty underwhelming so far in NXT and, while I like Tye Dillinger, it’s hard to expect too much from this one. I think it’ll be decent enough though, and I’m hoping for a fun atmosphere in Toronto for two good Canadian boys coming home.

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

    The Authors of Pain vs. TM-61 in the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic

    Joey:

    I watch little to no NXT TV so I have no idea what’s up with these two teams. They had a dark match at TakeOver: Brooklyn and it was quite bland. I’m not a fan of the Authors of Pain from what I’ve seen. I think TM-61 gets the win and moves up in the tag division.

    Interest Level: 4/10
    Prediction: TM-61 wins.

    Tim:

    I like the idea of The Authors of Pain but the guys involved are a bore so far. I’ve been a fan of TM-61 for a long time but within the WWE ecosystem they do seem like another helping of white bread. I know the former TMDK (yeah, that’s right) can break out of that eventually if given the chance but until then I’m not sure I can get into them unless they are going against another interesting team such as DIY (I refuse the hashtag) or The Revival. I can see this one going either way. I think I’m leaning more towards The Authors of Pain pulling it off. Worst outcome, right?

    Interest Level: 2/10
    Prediction: The Authors of Pain win.

    Tom:

    I like the one from TM-61 with videogame tattoos and the longer hair, but the other one looks a bit like a more slender Alex Riley. That might be the extent of my opinions on them??? They seem entirely serviceable as a tag team and like they could do something cool with good opponents, but I’m not sure if the Authors of Pain qualify as good opponents. Paul Ellering being in a shark tank is a weird addition. Is it meant to appeal to the older fans who might remember that? It’s an odd thing to do in 2016 for no real reason.

    Interest Level: 3/10
    Prediction: The Authors of Pain win.

    The Revival vs. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match for the NXT Tag Team Championship

    Joey:

    The match at TakeOver: Brooklyn between these two teams was a classic. I am thrilled to watch this rematch and I’d argue it should probably main event the show. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa are such a likable tag team. The Revival come off genuinely and perfectly unlikable. They’re all talented and have great chemistry. I expect another MOTYC.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: The Revival win.

    Tim:

    This is the match I am looking forward to the most. They stole the show at TakeOver: Brooklyn in what may be one of my top three matches of the year so far. If it were a grilled cheese it would have been an amazing grilled cheese. I’m hoping they saved something for this one. I am not sure they can top the previous one but I am excited about the possibility. I love Gargano and Ciampa together and The Revival are incredible at playing their part. I would prefer DIY stay together for the main roster because it could use more good tag teams but them breaking up is still in the back of my mind. I don’t see The Revival losing until they are about to get called up.

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: The Revival win.

    Tom:

    So, I was genuinely not that keen on Johnny Gargano for his last year or so on the indies – he’s very talented but it just felt like everything had run its course, and it was time for him to move on. However, his team with Ciampa has been fantastic – they’ve had the benefit of having good opponents in The Revival, but the two of them have been really great and are just an easy team to root for. I’m expecting a break-up of DIY sooner rather than later (mostly because it’s not a fantastic name) but a title switch tonight would be really exciting to see live!

    Interest Level: 10/10
    Prediction: DIY win.

    Asuka vs. Mickie James for the NXT Women’s Championship

    Joey:

    Hot take: I’m not a big Mickie James fan. I rarely enjoyed her matches as much as others, but I do agree she’s talented and is a great choice here. Considering Mickie is likely wrestling with the hopes of a contract, I expect a great performance. Asuka is outstanding and the two should have a great atmosphere with the “dream match” scenario going on.

    Interest Level: 8/10
    Prediction: Asuka wins.

    Tim:

    I’ve always enjoyed Mickie James and am pretty stoked to see how this match plays out. Asuka needed a good opponent while the new batch of women on the roster getting TV time are built up a bit better to be formidable opponents. I love the story here though. Mickie James has ben resurrected after train death to try to take down the wrestling machine Asuka for the NXT Women’s Championship. What will happen next?

    Interest Level: 9/10
    Prediction: Asuka wins.

    Tom:

    I don’t know where I stand on Mickie James – it really doesn’t help that her last WWE run was when the women’s division was kind of a mess, and I can’t recall any of her TNA matches standing out too much (although her “HARDCORE COUNTRY!” theme song was something special). Asuka is fantastic and I think they could do something interesting, but the whole thing seems like it’ll be more of a forgettable showcase.

    Interest Level: 6/10
    Prediction: Asuka wins.

    Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Samoa Joe for the NXT Championship

    Joey:

    I was hoping for this feud to end in Brooklyn after that boring main event. Shinsuke Nakamura is still carrying the NXT brand with his star power. Expect him to win another lackluster match. I wish Nakamura faced off with Roode here for the crowd dynamic and interest in both men. The feud with Joe is just a mess and feels like a continuation of Joe/Balor. Just send Joe to the main roster already.

    Interest Level: 4/10
    Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura wins.

    Tim:

    I feel so conflicted about Samoa Joe. He is on another level with his character work. He brings an intensity not many can harness in the way he does. He is the main reason I even turn on NXT every week. You know there is still good matches left in him. We all know it deep down. He’s Samoa Joe. He couldn’t possibly just be boring in the ring permanently, right? …right? Oh boy.

    These two are amazing when they hit their stride. On paper a match between them should be what dreams are made of yet here we are. Their last match was a pretty big bummer. I enjoyed pieces of it but as whole it was not even close to what I thought these guys could do together. I really hope this one is better. I really hope these two wrestlers are finally able to deliver. I am ready for Joe to move on. I think his best work will be on the main roster. Well, I hope it will be because it’s not happening in NXT. Nakamura will win and will hopefully move on to a new opponent and quit resting on his charisma.

    Interest Level: 5/10
    Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura wins.

    Tom:

    I feel almost exactly the same about this match as I did about the Joe/Balor Dallas match, and even though that ended up being excellent, I’m not sure I can assume we’ll get the same result this time (unless, of course, we get a guarantee that Joe will bleed again while Shane McMahon’s disrespectful kids lead the crowd in a “fuck PG” chant).

    I would hope that the two of them are keen to top their unimpressive Brooklyn match, but I wouldn’t bank on it. We went to the New York NXT house show on Wednesday, and Nakamura really has become the Japanese Kevin Nash, in that he seems more than content to use his charisma to get away with doing the bare minimum on smaller shows. I’m not sure if this TakeOver is going to qualify as one where he’ll go out, but if he DOES, then it could be pretty great! Let’s stay somewhat optimistic!

    Interest Level: 7/10
    Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura wins.