The best show WWE produces is back with another live, 2-hour special: NXT Takeover. We’ll be watching the show and making jokes with the funniest fans on the Internet, so hang out with us, share some laughs and speak candidly about how little Natalya deserves to be contended for a championship on the developmental show.
Here’s your announced card, as it stands:
1. NXT Championship Match: Adrian Neville (c) vs. Tyson Kidd
2. NXT Women’s Championship Tournament Finals: Charlotte (with Ric Flair) vs. Natalya (with Bret Hart)
3. #1 Contender Match: Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze
4. NXT Tag Team Championship Match: The Ascension (c) vs. El Local and Kalisto
5. Adam Rose vs. Camacho
If we can get a big crowd going, I’ll include tonight’s 10 best comments in tomorrow’s Best and Worst of NXT Takeover column. Reply to a comment you like with +1 to nominate it for consideration. If we don’t get enough of them, I’ll write three paragraphs about Corey Graves, whether he’s on the show or not*.
*Don’t hold me to that.
For full thoughts and predictions, click over to page two.
NXT Championship Match: Adrian Neville (c) vs. Tyson Kidd
What Should Happen: A strong win for Neville is the only thing that makes sense, right? Kidd is someone who can go in the ring but doesn’t have a ton of personality, so he can anchor Neville’s more ridiculous tendencies — double front flip on the neck 20 minutes into the match, I’m looking in your direction — without overshadowing him. Plus, Internet scuttlebutt is that Kidd is being repackaged into a masked guy, so maybe this’ll be his official farewell to the character. The “character.”
What Will Happen: I don’t see Kidd or Natalya walking away with championships, but the fact that I don’t see it makes the scared, pessimistic part of my brain think one (or both) of them will. Tyson Kidd as NXT Champion would feel a lot like when Jerry Lynn won the ROH title, and with no disrespect meant to Kidd OR Lynn, it’d be a colossal step in the wrong direction. NXT will lose its credibility as the true “future” of WWE if it becomes the place bored midcarders go to WIN TITLES when they aren’t being used.
The veterans will put over the young kids, and we’ll all be better for it. Right?
#1 Contender Match: Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze
What Should Happen: This is my jam, you guys. I’m expecting this to be the next Sami Zayn showcase match, and for it to be the match where the WWE Universe goes “oh shit, Tyler Breeze is GOOD.” He IS good. I know he’s good, you know he’s good, but he’s never had a chance to shine beyond “good gimmick” and a freeze-up in the stream at Arrival. I think Zayn should get the win to stave off his “perennial loser” schtick and save some face, but Breeze should get a standing O. Or, you know, he acts like the world’s biggest dirtbag and stalls for 15 minutes and I love it anyway.
What Will Happen: We’re stuck with a babyface champion no matter what happens in the main, so a heel winning a #1 Contender shot makes a lot of sense. Zayn is the nicest guy in the world, so a feud with Neville might be like wheat bread beefing with white. Breeze feuding with Neville has already been fun, and could give us more wonderful backstage bits like the time they discussed “the waiting game.” I think Breeze takes it in nefarious fashion, and Zayn continues to Daniel Bryan harder than anyone’s ever Daniel Bryan’d.
(look, “women’s championship” is in pink. That’s how you know it’s for women!)
NXT Women’s Championship Tournament Finals: Natalya vs. Charlotte
What Should Happen: Charlotte decimates Nattie in two minutes, taps her out clean to a figure four and just yells WOO in her face for ten straight minutes. Her dad can join in, too.
At some point the Bayley vs. Charlotte feud became Charlotte’s Dad vs. Natalya’s Uncle, and I’ve never been okay with it. Does WWE think Jim Neidhart is dead? Are Flair and Bret gonna throw hands? Should we even care about what’s happening with the women? Regardless, Charlotte should get the win here, and Bayley should truck her as soon as possible. Or, I don’t know, they should at least MENTION Bayley.
What Will Happen: Natalya will lose and cry about it in the ring for several minutes, which builds sympathy … somehow. Bayley is never mentioned. Bret Hart tries to hold a conversation but gets confused. I have to talk to Aubrey Sitterson for 20 minutes about Emma, or whatever.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: The Ascension (c) vs. El Local and Kalisto
What Should Happen: This match only exists to show off what Kalisto can do to a larger audience. The Ascension should Fall Of Man El Local out of his boots and retain, but Kalisto should trend worldwide and be the next guy people incessantly ask about when he’ll be brought up.
What Will Happen: You’re going to be impressed by Kalisto, that’s a guarantee. You’ll also probably have to navigate a bunch of people who never watch NXT complaining about “yah” chants, but don’t listen to them. Just respond with “yah.” It’s a multipurpose response.
Part of me thinks The Ascension will lose by DQ or countout or something to keep an actual tag team feud going, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Local and Kalisto have only had one match together and they beat Sylvester LeFort. That’s not exactly winning the Royal Rumble.
Adam Rose vs. Camacho
What Should Happen: Camacho should bust Rose open, revealing that Rose is really just a psychotic Leo Kruger suffering from a multiple personality disorder. Boom, Slice, 1 2 3. After the match, Kruger clotheslines Captain Comic and starts to break his bunny Rosebud’s arm before snapping out of it and trying to convince everyone that he’s “partying.”
What Will Happen: The same thing you see on Raw and Smackdown. Camacho gets in some good-looking offense, but Rose screws around and gets the win. A party happens, and we calculate how long it took for the Funkasaurus to spoil and apply it to Rose.
Note: For a full, 90-ish minute pre-show with more of my thoughts on the history of NXT and NXT Takeover, head over to the Have A Nice Day Podcast and listen.
If you want to check out my pre-Best and Worst thoughts on the show immediately following Takeover, check me out on Aubrey’s STRAIGHT SHOOT here: