Your Average NXT Takeover R Evolution Preview & Predictions
The latest NXT live special, NXT Takeover R Evolution, is tonight at 8pm on the WWE Network. It’s no longer free, so if you enjoy great wrestling, do yourself a favor and fork over the $10 to watch this show. Picture a place where everything you want to happen on Raw happens, except the wrestling’s better and the storylines are more personal. Takeover R Evolution is headlined by a title vs. career match, plus the much anticipated debut of a future star. Let’s get to the preview!
Kevin Owens Debuts
I wanted to give Owen’s debut it’s own spot because this a big deal. I’ve blogged his vignettes that NXT has been airing for the last three weeks leading up to tonight, and I’ll say it again: no one has a better back story before their debut than Kevin Owens. All his peers have made it to the big time while he had to keep fighting for recognition, and now is his chance to prove to everyone that he’s right where he belongs.
Prediction: I’m not sure what part of the show Owen’s will debut in, but if I had to guess, it’d be during the Zayn vs. Neville title match. There’s no one better to pair Owen’s up with than Zayn, as they have a built in chemistry from their days on the independent circuits. The stipulation for the title match if that if Zayn loses, he quits, so it’s more of a self imposed stipulation rather than one that forces NXT to let him go if he loses. I can easily see Owens debuting to cost Zayn the title, and Zayn sticking around to get revenge and finally obtain that killer instinct that has alluded him for his NXT run thus far.
Hideo Itami & Finn Balor vs. The Ascension
This is going to be a showcase match for Balor & Itami, and I can’t wait for it. The one thing I hope WWE is careful with is bringing in these already established stars and changing them up too much. WWE has it in their head that the “WWE way of wrestling” is the best way and that’s not always the case. They needed guys like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk to come in and make the grappling look more realistic, and that’s exactly what Balor and Itami can do as well. I’m torn between whether this will be a squash match or if The Ascension will be booked strong as well, but either way, the result will be the same.
Prediction: Balor and Itami get a strong win over established guys, and The Ascension are now that much closer to debuting on the main roster, hopefully revitalizing the still stagnant tag team division. If you’ve never seen Balor or Itami fight before, prepare for a great, stiff match, with a lot of kicks and a lot of action. Also, Finn Balor has promised something new and different for The Ascension tonight. Please let it be the body paint.
NXT Women’s Title Match: Charlotte (C) vs. Sasha Banks
Up until Raw, I was 100% confident that Sasha Banks would win this match, and that Charlotte would be debuting on the main roster soon thereafter. Then the atrocity that was the Charlotte vs. Natalya match happened on Raw, and it looks like they’re going in a different direction. People who blog about wrestling on the internet tend to be incredibly negative, and I try to stay away from that, but what was the point of having Charlotte lose like that on Raw? I’m assuming they put their NXT Women’s Champion on Raw three days before the live special so people who don’t normally watch NXT could watch her and be enticed to watch her again on Thursday. Why the hell would anyone want to watch Charlotte fight on NXT after seeing her get rolled up in 2 minutes on Raw? It’s not like she lost to the Divas champ, either. She lost to Natalya, the same Diva she’s already beaten in NXT. It’s mind blowing WWE would mess that up that badly, and it looks like they’re going to keep Charlotte down in NXT longer, since the vibe she has now is that she can’t hang in the big leagues yet.
Prediction: Charlotte wins, and looks strong as I think Becky Lynch will play some kind of role in this match. Bayley has the “leg injury”, but she could also come into play as well. If I’m writing NXT, I want my Women’s Champion to look as strong as possible after what happened on Raw. If she’s not coming up to the main roster soon, Charlotte should win this one.
NXT Tag Team Title Match: The Lucha Dragons (C) vs. The Vaudevillians
The Vaudevillians have all the momentum going into this match, thanks to the short film they aired on NXT that depicted the mini Lucha Dragons dying in an atomic bomb type explosion. It’s glorious, and if you haven’t seen it yet please watch the video above or basically any promo or vignette that involves The Vaudevillians mocking The Lucha Dragons. While the general rule in wrestling is whoever has the momentum going into the match usually loses, I think The Lucha Dragons are in trouble here. They’re exciting to watch and great in the ring, but The Vaudevillians are one of the best things going right now in NXT. Everything from their entrance to promos to in ring skill is clicking, and I think it’s time to reward them.
Prediction: We have new NXT Tag Team Champions. I’m not usually a fan of continually having the title change hands, as The Lucha Dragons have only been champs a couple months, but I think it’d be foolish not to ride the wave of momentum The Vaudevillians are currently on. I enjoy The Vaudevillians entrance so much that I’m always satisfied with their matches anyway, but I’m really hoping for a title change here.
NXT Title Match: Adrian Neville (C) vs. Sami Zayn
Quick recap: Sami Zayn is on his redemption tour, including recently being named NXT superstar of the year. He’s the most well rounded superstar in NXT right now, and he was a three count away from winning the NXT title, except he let his emotions cloud his judgment and instead of finishing off his opponent (Neville), he went to check on his injury, got rolled up and lost the match. The biggest storyline this year for Zayn has been “is he willing to do what it takes to be the top guy?”. Does he have that killer instinct that all the top superstars have had that not only got them to the top, but kept them there. I think the answer is yes, but there are a lot of factors at play here. The career vs. title stipulation, Owen’s impending debut, and most importantly, WWE’s plans for both Neville and Zayn going forward. As I stated before, Zayn has said he’ll quit in he loses, but I have to imagine that if Owens debuts and costs him the title, he’ll stick around to feud with him.
Prediction: It may be the most obvious, but I think the best outcome is Kevin Owens debuting and costing Sami Zayn the title which Neville retains. It benefits all parties involved: Neville stays in NXT as their champion, as I think he gets lost in the shuffle if they bring him up to the main roster now. Owens debuts and is introduced to the NXT audience and immediately put into a storyline that he knows he can thrive in. Zayn finally snaps after losing yet another big match, and he finally gets the edge he needs through his feud with the monster Kevin Owens.
I’ll be on Twitter tonight @averagenobodies tweeting along with the show. Hopefully you check it out because NXT will absolutely deliver a killer show.