Your Average ‘NXT Takeover: Rival’ Preview & Predictions
NXT’s next live special, Takeover: Rival is tonight at 8pm on the WWE Network. It is also FREE, so there isn’t an excuse in the world for you to miss this show. The last NXT special was one of the best top to bottom wrestling shows in the past few years, and tonight’s show should be just as good, if not better. Let’s get to the match card and the predictions!
Hideo Itami vs. Tyler Breeze
Following Itami’s #1 contender tournament match with Finn Balor last week, he was attacked in the NXT locker room by Tyler Breeze. Guys like Breeze have a natural born rivalry with guys like Itami, Balor and Owens: Breeze has been in NXT much longer and now the new blood are coming in trying to take his spot at the top of the roster. Even though Breeze hasn’t been winning (or consistently on TV lately) he was a recent #1 contender to Adrian Neville’s NXT title, and he was a solid character for most of 2014. WWE most likely has big plans for Itami, and involving him in a long feud with one of its already established NXT stars not only puts him on the map but accelerates his tutorial on wrestling the WWE way.
Prediction: Tyler Breeze, via some kind of underhanded tactic. They could do a double count-out/double DQ, but NXT is the anti WWE in that they usually give us definitive finishes. I think Breeze wins the battle, with Itami winning the war down the road.
No Disqualification Match: Baron Corbin vs. Bull Dempsey
When Baron Corbin and Bull Dempsey broke into NXT, they were both portrayed as unstoppable monsters. Corbin was more physically intimidating, but both won all their matches, and both won them very quickly. They would eventually bump heads, twice in fact, and that above GIF pretty much sums up both matches. Corbin dominated Dempsey twice in the ring and emasculated him backstage when Dempsey tried to confront him. Dempsey’s sneak attack last week cost Corbin a shot at the #1 contender spot for the NXT title, and that bring us to tonight, where Corbin and Dempsey will fight in a no DQ match. Corbin has dominated this feud so badly that I see this going one of two ways: Dempsey wins with the help of a weapon or Corbin beats Dempsey so bad Dempsey is forced to go back to the drawing board and find a new character. Corbin isn’t great in the ring, but he’s a good character that has caught on with the NXT crowd.
Prediction: Corbin in a brutal squash. Bull Dempsey will cease to exist.
NXT Tag Team Championship: Wesley Blake & Buddy Murphy (C) vs. The Lucha Dragons
I’m torn on this match and it’s not because of the teams. I really think this title change should have been done at the previous live special when The Lucha Dragons defended against The Vaudevillians. The Villains are the most complete tag team in NXT now that The Ascension has moved up, and they were really coming into their own as cocky, talented heels. For some reason they didn’t win the straps at the last special, but Blake & Murphy did a few weeks ago on a random NXT. While I love the move to change titles on random episodes and not just live specials, I still feel this match should include The Vaudevillians as reigning tag champs. In the interest of getting over it and giving a preview for this match, I think Blake & Murphy retain. They beat The Lucha Dragons by outsmarting them, as the Dragons have won and retained their titles for the most part by letting Sin Cara work most of the match and then have Kalisto come in fresh and secure the victory. This almost worked against Blake & Murphy, but they scouted Kalisto’s finisher and grabbed his legs for a surprise victory. I think they retain here with a more decisive victory, and perhaps become the new baby face tag champs while Kalisto’s long rumored “promotion” happens sooner rather than later.
Prediction: Blake & Murphy, and we get another semi homo-erotic victory interview backstage.
NXT Women’s Championship: Charlotte (C) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Becky Lynch
THE BOSS. That’s a link to Sasha Banks new t-shirt, and that’s also a link to the t-shirt of the next NXT Women’s champion. Charlotte is the next big thing (for lack of a better term) in the WWE Women’s/Divas division, but it’s Sasha Bank’s time right now. What Charlotte may have in physical strength and wrestling pedigree Sasha makes up for in attitude and wrestling psychology. AND she’s a stud in the ring. I’d be perfectly happy with the Charlotte/Sasha feud lasting until the end of time, because their matches have been THAT good, but I think it’s time for a title change and for Sasha to be rewarded with a title around her waist. While Becky Lynch is just thrown in there because of her association with Sasha, I think Bayley could be the wildcard in this match. I love the mean streak she’s been displaying lately, and I think that mean streak gets kicked up another gear in this match. While I don’t think Bayley wins, I could see her new found “ruthless aggression” taking out Charlotte, which would allow THE BOSS to pin either Bayley or Becky.
Prediction: THE BOSS. Bow down, because we are not worthy.
#1 Contender For The NXT Title: Finn Balor vs. Adrian Neville
Hopefully this match is positioned towards the beginning of the card, because the audience is going to need a cool down match or two between this and the main event. Finn Balor is the next Randy Orton/John Cena, and he will be the one to lead the next generation for the WWE. I have never been so sure of something in my whole life. He’s the most polished wrestler to ever come into NXT, and he’s already the total package. He’s got the best entrance of anyone in NXT or the main roster, and he’s able to fight so many different styles of matches with different opponents. I fully expect this match to steal the show and exhaust the audience, which is why I hope it goes on early so the crowd has a chance to catch it’s breath before the main event. Neville is one of those guys that you’d think you’d be sick of once you’ve seen a handful of his matches, but he continues to get better and better in the ring, and he is a selling machine. Balor, as I stated above, is the total package. He’s dominated this tournament so far, and I fully expect him to be the #1 contender after this match.
Prediction: Finn Balor. Fingers crossed for a body paint entrance tonight.
NXT Championship: Sami Zayn (C) vs. Kevin Owens
And now, you’re main event. Zayn/Owens is probably the most personal. legitimate backstory to a feud the WWE has had in a long time. These guys are real life best friends who have been in ring rivals for over a decade. They’ve wrestled each other a hundred times before, except this time its in an NXT ring, for the biggest title either of them could possibly have. Owens and Zayn are a natural fit for each other, and it was perfect timing bringing Owens in when Zayn was at his absolute peak. I expect this match to be given a good amount of time, and don’t be surprised if there are more post match shenanigans. I truly expect Zayn to win here, but I don’t expect him to walk out of the building. Owens is too strong and too crazy, and I think that no matter what the outcome of the match is, he’s going to try to really hurt Sami Zayn. This match won’t be the end of the rivalry, not by a long shot.
Prediction: Sami Zayn. But Kevin Owens will be the one standing tall by the end of the show.
Make sure to follow us @averagenobodies as we’ll be tweeting along with the show! Enjoy wrestling’s finest program everybody.
– The Average Nobodies