Ah, a show that feels as huge as, well, what WrestleMania is supposed to be. This is how you book a show. Six matches and five of them seem like main events. The card for this broke two months ago and I’ve been hyped for it ever since.
Apollo Crews vs. Elias Samson
This is the only match that’s not really main event caliber, and it’s one of few puzzling decisions on the show. Crews really hasn’t done much since Takeover London – most significantly, he lost a non-title match to Balor. On the other hand, this is Samson’s first Takeover match, so I’m not sure who you want to go over here. I was for Corbin going over Crews at London, but I’m not sure here. Samson isn’t undefeated, but it’s not like he has a significant victory either. So I think Samson has to win but probably not clean – and Crews will probably face him again later. Also note, Elias Samson’s theme is great. And people who think Samson is bad because he doesn’t come from the indies, go home.
Prediction: Elias Samson
Austin Aries vs. Baron Corbin
This match has been the one that’s been puzzling me most since I’ve heard it was going to happen. I am so pumped that Austin Aries is here in NXT and I love Baron Corbin so this will no doubt be great. The thing that puzzles me is that this is Aries’ NXT in-ring debut, so you want him to win. But Corbin should rightly be in the title picture – what more does he need to do at this point? Sure, the story makes sense. But do you want Aries to go over on someone who should also be moving up the card? I have to assume that that’s going to happen.
Prediction: Austin Aries
NXT World Tag Team Championship
(c) The Revival (c) vs. American Alpha
Revival and SAWFT had some great matches, but I’ve got a feeling that Revival and American Alpha can top those matches. It is a little depressing that SAWFT can never seem to have their day in the sun, but at least we get this match out of it, which is something I’ve wanted since London. And while I think there’s only one title that’s guaranteed to change hands on this show, I could easily see this one changing hands too. All of them could, actually, but this is the second most likely. And I want at least two titles to change hands tonight – maybe all three – because I’m ready for a shake up. This is the title I’m most ok with staying put, though. And I could see that happening, too – they seem confident sticking with Revival as champs, and I’m ok with that.
Prediction: American Alpha
Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
The names in this match sell itself. Zayn. Nakamura. Takeover Dallas. What more needs to be said? Granted, I think I’ve only watched one Nakamura match in the brief time ROH was on Destination America last year, so I haven’t seen much of him – but that’s not say word of his greatness has passed me by. And Sami gets to face Nakamura and then be in the IC title match at Mania, so it’s Sami Zayn weekend.
Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura
NXT Women’s Championship
Bayley (c) vs. Asuka
Another match where the names sell the match on its own. The two biggest names in the NXT women’s division – can’t go wrong. While this wasn’t exactly where I thought we were headed before London, I can’t complain. A face vs. face match and the crowd’s going to be split. And, as much as I love Bayley, the only logical winner here is Asuka. This is the only title that I will guarantee changes hands. I won’t say NXT would be massively screwing up if Bayley won because Bayley is great – it’s not like the title wouldn’t be in good hands – but I think it would be a mistake for Asuka to lose. Bayley’s had her run – she’s had a longer run than I expected. She’s faced pretty much everyone and won. And who better to drop the title to than Asuka? No shame in that. And as much as I want Bayley to move up to the main roster, I would like a little more reinforcing of the women’s division in NXT before she goes. Asuka and Emma are great, Alexa, Carmella, Peyton, and Billie are really good, and Nia and Dana can be serviceable heels, but I think we could use a little more before we rip the bandaid off and take Bayley away.
NXT World Heavyweight Championship
Finn Balor (c) vs. Samoa Joe
Not much to say outside of what was said before their London match. It pretty much still applies. Kind of wish there was a stipulation, kind of wish Joe was the champion. Like I said, Balor’s my #1 guy but I’m ready for a shake up, and I was ok with him losing to Joe at London and I still am here. But I feel like Balor will retain because Balor Club.
Prediction: Finn Balor
Can’t wait for this on Friday. It’s going to blow WrestleMania out of the water.
#LaterMarks #ButImNotWrong #LunaticFringe #StraightEdgeMeansImBetterThanYou #FollowTheBuzzards #IAmTheEaterOfWorlds #WalkWithTheReapers #AJIsTheBestDivaInTheWorld #PaigeIsTheBloodyDivasChampion #InZayn #BalorClub #SashasTheBoss #FightOwensFight #BecauseHesAFatherDamnit #WelcomeToTheWasteland #SAWFT #BayleysGonnaHugYou #JoeIsGonnaKillYou #ReadyWillingAndGable #BAMF #BlissedOff #SAVE_US #JerichoInventedEverything #NewDayWillFightYourChildren #CeroMiedo #SamoaJoeHasAn8AndaThirdPercentChance #ReyIsLifeReyIsLove #BaddestBitchInTheBuilding #CesaroSection #JohnnyRudo #SuicidalAngel #ImNotAManImAMachine