Before the biggest party of the summer on Sunday, NXT will hold their third consecutive TakeOver from Brooklyn Saturday night. The show is headlined by Bobby Roode defending his NXT title against Drew McIntyre. Asuka will defend her Women’s title & the AOP will defend their tag titles, while Aleister Black vs. Hideo Itami & Andrade Almas vs. Johnny Gargano round out the card. Let’s get to the preview!
Average Nobodies note: make sure to follow us on Twitter – @averagenobodies and like us on Facebook – Facebook.com/AverageNobodies. We love talking pro wrestling, so you can comment on this post or reach out to us on social media if you want to join the discussion. You can also find all of our wrestling content by clicking the ‘wrestling’ tab under the banner on our home page.
Andrade Almas vs. Johnny Gargano
Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa, formerly known as #DIY (RIP) would have been a magical main event in Brooklyn in an alternate universe . They were the ultimate baby face tag team, and unlike most heel turns, Ciampa turning on Gargano felt organic and painful. Unfortunately Ciampa suffered a pretty serious injury, so Gargano is forced to move on without the closure of finishing a feud with his former partner.
That brings us to Almas vs. Gargano at TakeOver, and this match has all the makings of the beginning of an underdog story. Almas’s character is finally getting rehabilitated thanks to the addition of Selena Vega, and it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to start his new journey off with a loss at TakeOver. It would make sense to position Gargano similar to how Sami Zayn & Tye Dillinger were booked in the past, especially since he already has the built in crowd love from his time in #DIY.
Prediction: Andrade Almas
Hideo Itami vs. Aleister Black
As awesome as Black has been so far, he still doesn’t really have a character in NXT. We know he enjoys the dark arts and can kick your head off in an instant, but the motivations behind his character still aren’t clear. It’s very similar to Hideo Itami’s frustrating run in NXT (minus the injuries), but Itami has finally been given some semblance of a character. He’s been great in his role as an paranoid performer who craves respect, which was amplified a couple weeks ago when Aleister knocked him out cold with a Black Mass. Itami still seems caught in the middle as far as where NXT wants to position him, and after losing to Bobby Roode, I’m not sure how much longer he should stay there. Black, on the other hand, is on an upward trajectory and should have a title shot in the near future.
Prediction: Aleister Black
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: The Authors of Pain vs. Sanity
I wasn’t a huge fan of this pairing when it first started, but after the opening segment last week, I’m all in. The Authors of Pain are still undefeated and have been dominating the tag team division since their debut, but for the first time ever they were outsmarted and overpowered last week. Sanity finally looked like a legitimate threat to the AOP, and the reemergence of Eric Young put the numbers game firmly in their favor.
While Killian Dane and Alexander Wolfe might not be able to overpower AOP as a team, they can use their over aggression against them. That’s what they did last week, as Akam charged the ring ahead of Rezar, allowing Eric Young to take out Rezar and zip tie him to the guard rail. As powerful as Akam is, he’s not going to win a 2 or 3 on 1 attack against Sanity. The AOP will definitely be coming in guns blazing Saturday night, but Sanity has the upper hand and EY back in their corner. We haven’t had a title change (not counting the UK title) on a TakeOver since Bobby Roode won the NXT title in January, but I’m going with the upset.
NXT Women’s Championship Match: Asuka (C) vs. Ember Moon
“No one is ready for Asuka”. Have truer words ever been spoken? It’s almost silly to call Asuka dominant at this point, because she’s so much more than that. She’s the longest reigning, most overpowering champion in NXT history, and she will roll into TakeOver still undefeated, with a 16 month & 2+ week title reign. Ember Moon has been her most worthy adversary, and a case could be made that Asuka might’ve lost her title at TakeOver Orlando if she didn’t shove the referee into Ember when she setting up for the Total Eclipse. One thing we know for certain is that if Ember does hit the Total Eclipse, Asuka’s undefeated streak and title reign are over. That’s a big IF though, because Asuka has proven flawless at avoiding big time moves that would cause maximum damage. Will we have two title changes in one night? I think so.
Prediction: Ember Moon
NXT Title Match: Bobby Roode (C) vs. Drew McIntyre
As of now (Thursday afternoon) this is still a one on one match for Roode’s NXT title, but after he interfered in McIntyre & Strong’s match on Wednesday, I wouldn’t be shocked if it turned into a triple threat. I’m going to preview it as if it were a one on one match, and McIntyre will be one of Roode’s toughest tests to date. That’s saying something when you remember he’s already faced guys like Nakamura, Itami & Strong, but this new version of Drew McIntyre is a perfect blend of experience, size & strength.
What separates Roode from most guys, and what has allowed him to win and retain his title, is his ability to outsmart his opponents. Take his feud with Drew McIntyre. He baited both GM Regal and McIntyre into taking a match against Roderick Strong, someone Roode knows is a tough competitor who will wear down Drew before their match TakeOver. His arrogance and cockiness gets under his opponents skin, which alters their game plan and Roode is a good enough wrestler to capitalize on it.
As impressive as McIntyre has been since his arrival in NXT, I think he’ll be next in a long line of victories for the GLORIOUS Bobby Roode.
Prediction: Bobby Roode