NXT TakeOver XXV: Card, Analysis, Predictions


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NXT Takeover XXV airs this Saturday, June 1, live on WWE Network. NXT’s 25th live special features matches for the NXT, NXT Women’s, and North American Championships, as well as a ladder match for the vacant NXT Tag Team Championship. Make sure you’re here this weekend for our full coverage, live thread, and results. Here’s the complete card.

NXT TakeOver XXV Card:

1. NXT Championship Match: Johnny Gargano (c) vs. Adam Cole
2. North American Championship Match: Velveteen Dream (c) vs. Tyler Breeze
3. NXT Women’s Championship Match: Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Io Shirai
4. Matt Riddle vs. Roderick Strong
5. Ladder Match for the Vacant NXT Tag Team Championship: Street Profits vs. Undisputed Era vs. Forgotten Sons vs. Oney Lorcn and Danny Burch

As always, we’ve got your complete rundown of the card and analysis below, featuring predictions for all five matches. Make sure to drop a comment and let us know who you think’s winning, and be here on Saturday night to see if you’re correct.

Here’s what we think will go down at NXT TakeOver 25, which they really should’ve called Takeover X-15.

Ladder Match for the Vacant NXT Tag Team Championship: Street Profits vs. Undisputed Era vs. Forgotten Sons vs. Oney Lorcn and Danny Burch

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What You Need To Know: The NXT Champions, WAR RAIDERS, got called up to the main roster and turned into a hilarious meme. Now that they’re gone forever, NXT needs new tag team champions, and the top contenders are these four teams: a duo of affable street hustlers, a dickhead tandem representing NXT’s most dickheaded quartet, the two least threatening bikers of three, and two scrappy bald guys who are friends because one of them likes the number one and the other likes the number two. They’re gonna settle it with LADDERS.

What Will Happen: The theme for my predictions this time is, “The Undisputed Era’s either winning every match they’re in, or none of them.” They’re all on the card doing something important, and as much as I want the Street Profits to win and be beloved champs finally, it makes more sense to have a heel team win and the Profits have to chase them. It’ll make their title win mean more than, “we couldn’t beat the Raiders in two tries so they just left the belts here.” I say the Era wins, which sets a dangerous precedent for the rest of my picks.

Staff Picks

Emily Pratt – Street Profits winning this feels like the best way to freshen up the NXT tag division. I forgot the Forgotten Sons were in this while typing the previous sentence, so they would probably be the worst way to freshen up the NXT tag division. I doubt this will be the best ladder match in NXT history but it should be alright.

Elle Collins – Okay, let me work through this. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch aren’t winning because as much as I love them, they’re just not. I refuse to believe the Forgotten Sons are winning because I don’t like them at all. The Undisputed Era have already had the belts. So I’m going with the Street Profits. They’ve been great for a really long time, so I’m going to optimistically assume it all comes together for them here.

Raj Prashad – This feels like a match Street Profits should win, but we’ll probably get someone like Forgotten Sons elevated to the titles.

Matt Riddle vs. Roderick Strong

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What You Need To Know: Matt Riddle is a stoned MMA guy who will be your cool best friend until it’s time to wrestle, at which point he will kick you to fuck with his bare feet and choke you to death. Roderick Strong is the croniest member of a posse of cronies looking to “make good” his previous failures by attacking Riddle on behalf of his boss.

What Will Happen: This is the hardest Undisputed Era match to say they’ll win, but Riddle’s already taken a major loss in NXT (against Velveteen Dream) and it didn’t hurt him a bit. I say Strong wins this with a handful of trunks or something to get the “win” without actually winning. Plus, if Cole wins the championship later and Riddle wants to challenge him, Cole can hit him with, “you couldn’t even beat our worst guy, what makes you think you can beat me?”

Staff Picks

Emily Pratt – Wow, the whole Undisputed Era is in matches on this card. I definitely want to see all this more than maybe a second women’s match for once. This match will probably be very good, but I don’t know what there is to care about here besides, like, appreciating athleticism presented in a PWG-esque way.

Elle Collins – I just can’t imagine Roddy Strong winning this match. Matt Riddle’s just on a higher plain than him, and this is his match.

Raj Prashad – I’ve got Riddle coming out of a decent brawl with Strong, unless we see some Undisputed Era shenanigans.

NXT Women’s Championship Match: Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Io Shirai

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What You Need To Know: Shayna Baszler rules over the NXT women’s division with an iron fist. Io Shirai was one half of a likable, fun-loving tag team, but her partner got attacked/sent to the majors. Now she’s forced to transform into her true self. Good news: her true self is probably the only person on the roster who could kick Shayna Baszler’s ass.

What Will Happen: If I’m picking an Undisputed Era sweep for the rest of the show, we need some “feel good” moments elsewhere. Io Shirai fighting off the Horsewomen and blasting Baszler with a big moonsault to win the NXT Women’s Championship is one of those moments. It’s the right time, whether they’re ever planning to “call up” Shana or not, as NXT very much needs a person who can stand up to Shayna’s games and beat reliably beat her. Nobody else is going to fill that spot better than Io by God Shirai. Let Shirai win, and let the gold slowly turn her into the monster we want her to be.

Staff Picks

Emily Pratt – Let Shirai win this and move Baszler up to the main roster, where they could use an actual threatening woman heel! This match should bang. Also, everyone should go watch their first match from Stardom a few years ago because it’s good and also to appreciate how far Baszler’s come.

Elle Collins – I feel like I’ve predicted Shayna dropping the title a bunch of times and she never does, but you know what? I’m doing it again. Io reached a new level when she brought out that kendo stick, and with the Sky Pirates done and Kairi gone, now’s the time for Io to take this belt if she’s ever going to.

Raj Prashad – Baszler’s run through the women of NXT seems like it’ll never end, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her relinquish the title on her way up to the main roster. Sticking with Baszler to run through Shirai in a heck a match.

North American Championship Match: Velveteen Dream (c) vs. Tyler Breeze

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What You Need To Know: Back in the Hulu days, NXT’s most beautiful and magical character was “Prince Pretty” Tyler Breeze, a Canadian male model that hates Canada and can’t stop looking at himself on his phone. When he disappeared to the main roster, the new beautiful and magical character became the Velveteen Dream, a pansexual Prince character who rides around on couches, dresses up like the Statue of Liberty for fun, and can make things turn purple by raising his hands. This is the ultimate clash of original NXT characters that I’ve been dreaming of, and I’m here for it.

What Will Happen: There is nothing, nothing I want more than Tyler Breeze as a champion in NXT. It should’ve happened the first time he was around. Let him win it in a shocker and stick around NXT for a while as champion, at least until, I don’t know, a third beautiful and arrogant character shows up to rain on his parade. I don’t actually think Breeze winning will happen — my formal pick is Dream — but I’ll be cheering my ass off nonetheless.

Staff Picks

Emily Pratt – Part of me wants Breeze to win this and have a more extended run in NXT. I’m already down for the Breeze-Dream rematch and maximum on-screen interaction between these two. Also, it would be nice for Breeze to have something to do! But however this ends, this is a gift and should definitely deliver. Dream seems more likely to win this “Evil vs. Ishii but for glamorous princes” match.

Elle Collins – Give the belt to Tyler, honestly. If he’s really back in NXT to spend some time, make it feel real. Putting Breeze over in this match would help him put over up-and-coming talent in the future. Plus, it would be fun to watch Dream chase for a while. So yeah, I’m predicting Prince Pretty.

Raj Prashad – With Breeze pretty much MIA recently from WWE television, this is a really wonderful use of his talents back in NXT. I have no faith that he’ll walk away with the title, so going with Dream. But I’d love to see a longer program between the two.

NXT Championship Match: Johnny Gargano (c) vs. Adam Cole

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What You Need To Know: Johnny Gargano was supposed to have a big 2-year blowoff title match with his former tag team partner and arch-rival at NXT TakeOver New York. Unfortunately, neck surgery made that an impossibility, so he did the next best thing: have a 2-out-of-3 falls match against Adam Cole. It ruled. Now they’re wrestling one more fall to settle a score that was already technically settled, but shut up, it’s going to rule again.

What Will Happen: Adam Cole, bay bay. The title run of Sami Zayn taught me that there’s not a lot of value in a beloved babyface staying NXT Champion for very long, and what better way to lock Gargano in a new, interesting, psychological story like the one with Ciampa than by having him lose a big defense to the jerkiest jerk that ever jerked and all his jerk friends, casting NXT into “darkness” yet again? And how hype are we gonna be if this builds to a big showdown at War Games, and Ciampa returns to back Johnny up? Yeah, Adam Cole’s winning. I just talked myself into it.

Staff Picks

Emily Pratt – How can they top their previous match? I don’t think they can! It seems like both these guys have been in developmental forever, but what is there to do on the main roster? Adam Cole should probably win, baybay.

Elle Collins – This is a tough one. Johnny’s doing great as champion and it would make sense to keep his run going, but it also seems like it might finally be Adam Cole’s moment. It’s particularly interesting that the entire Undisputed Era is on this card, so it could be a blowout for them. I don’t think it will be, because of the Riddle/Strong match, but it’s possible. I think Cole may have Johnny’s number at this point, though, so I’m predicting he was, regardless of what happens with his cronies.

Raj Prashad – I said it last time, but this really feels like the time for Cole to take the title and run with it. Not sure how they’ll top their last match, but this one really feels like it’s Cole’s to take.

Other things we’d like from this show:

  • KUSHIDA wrestling somebody awesome on the pre-show. KUSHIDA vs. Tyler Bate, please!
  • “Albert Hardie Jr.” in the front row, waving at the crowd, which we’re gonna keep asking for until it happens
  • an announcement that cheating at cornhole has cost The Revival their jobs in WWE, and that they’ve suddenly been added as the fifth team in the Tag Team Championship ladder match
  • The IIconics are supposed to be able to show up on any brand to defend the Women’s Tag Team Championship. Can we run them against Vanessa Borne and Aliyah?

Those are our thoughts on TakeOver Vinticinco. Who do you think’s winning what, and why? Let us know down in the comments section, and make sure you’re here all weekend for our TakeOver weekend coverage!

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