Next week all eyes will be on NXT once more as the second TakeOver special of the year airs on the WWE Network, headlined by the NXT Championship match between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable had the fans waiting in anticipation ever since the special was announced by General Manager, William Regal but recent injury scares to two of NXT’s top stars have left fans wondering how the event will play out.
Sami Zayn tweaked his shoulder during his entrance on Monday Night Raw when he unsuccessfully challenged John Cena for the United States Championship, but he is still scheduled to compete in his match against Kevin Owens.
Hideo Itami has also suffered a shoulder injury but his injury is more serious that Sami’s, and it will see him miss around 6-8 months of in-ring action and although the WWE is still listing him a participant in his triple threat match with Finn Balor and Tyler Breeze, the likelihood is it will now be a singles match or if they pull a surprise out of the bag, we could have a replacement.
BARON CORBIN VS. RHYNO
This will be Rhyno’s first TakeOver event since his arrival on NXT and he will finally get his hands on an opponent who will give him a run for his money, the Gore vs. the End of Days; it is set to be a cracker, on paper anyway.
The problem fans will have with this match is the length, Baron Corbin has done well to dominate every single opponent but that has quickly grown stale, he needs a longer match and a convincing win in a hard fought battle and to do it against a similar superstars who rips through opponents as quick as him in Rhyno will certainly be a big statement.
Rhyno is here to help the up and coming stars but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will lose, I believe he will come the closest to defeating him but in the end I believe it will a longer match for Corbin and that’s something he needs. Right now a longer match for Corbin and losing would be better than another short match and winning because Rhyno also has the fans support and we’ve seen the fans slowly turning on him, to avoid that it needs to be a long match. I still believe that Baron Corbin will defeat Rhyno.
CHARLOTTE & BAYLEY VS. EMMA & DANA BROOKE
This match was announced on NXT this week when Charlotte and Bayley laid down the challenge which Emma and Dana Brooke later accepted. This could potentially be the final TakeOver for Charlotte before moving to the main roster, unless the WWE decide to keep her on NXT for a little longer and move her up later in the year.
I think it’s good that they have decided to include two feuds into one match, Dana Brooke has quickly been thrown into a TakeOver match and she will know what the fans expect from her as the divas always step up so having her work with some of the best is a good way to ease her in.
It would certainly be a big victory for Dana Brooke if she can pin the former NXT Women’s Champion whilst Bayley will also be looking to move into title contention, but this match, win or less doesn’t really do much for Emma. She’s been impressive so far, and I think she will impress again by picking up the win for her team, I’m picking Dana Brooke & Emma to win.
FINN BÁLOR VS. HIDEO ITAMI VS. TYLER BREEZE - #1 CONTENDER FOR THE NXT CHAMPIONSHIP
On paper it still says Hideo Itami is involved, if he wasn’t injured and was able to compete in this match then my pick would have been Hideo Itami who would have gone on to challenge the champion, but the fact that he is injured just means the WWE didn’t have time to edit the taped NXT episode to confirm his injury.
This means we could be seeing a singles match between Finn Balor and Hideo Itami, with the winner going on to face the NXT Champion. Finn Bálor has already had his chance at becoming champion and failed against Kevin Owens, whilst a win for Tyler Breeze would make no sense if Kevin Owens retains, which is probably what will happen at TakeOver.
Unless they decide to throw in a third superstar not involved on the show such as Solomon Crowe or even Uhaa Nation, then we can expect to see the singles match go ahead and if it does then for me Finn Bálor will take over.
NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP – BLAKE & MURPHY © VS. ENZO AMORE & COLIN CASSADY
This feud has had a good, long build-up which is exactly what Enzo and Big Cass needed, they are highly entertaining and two of the most charismatic superstars in the WWE, although they can sell any match on the microphone they have needed a good feud to showcase their verbal skills and they have done that brilliantly.
Blake and Murphy have been good champions so far, they haven’t really had the opportunities previous champions and this will be the biggest test yet because the crowd will be behind Enzo and Big Cass. Carmella will play a big role in this match which is a shame as it’s taking all of the attention off of the championships.
For me, Enzo and Big Cass don’t need the titles to stay over, sure it would be a huge asset but they are still the hottest tag team around, whereas Blake and Murphy probably need the titles to stay relevant for a while longer as they continue to build themselves up as the best team around, and for that reason I believe Blake & Murphy will retain this time.
NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP – SASHA BANKS © VS. BECKY LYNCH
The potential match of the night contender and both women have stepped up big time to make this a must-watch encounter. Sasha Banks is proving to be a worthy champion and certainly looked like on during the contract signing segment whilst Becky Lynch is doing a good job of making fans believe that she can dethrone the champion.
It would certainly be a surprise to see Sasha Banks drop the gold so soon after winning it and even though WWE wants her on the main roster, I believe she will stick around NXT for a while longer. I’m rooting for Becky Lynch in this one, and pull out the most surprising victory of the evening but I predict a long, entertaining match which we will applaud and in the end it will be Sasha Banks who retains.
NXT CHAMPIONSHIP – KEVIN OWENS © VS. SAMI ZAYN
A rematch from NXT TakeOver: Rival where Kevin Owens ended Sami Zayn’s short reign as NXT Champion, but don’t expect Sami to exact similar revenge against Owens. It has been reported that he’s set for a lengthy run as NXT Champion and he’s proving to be one of the most entertaining and dominant champions to date, steamrolling past everyone and managing to gain so much heat every week but still hold on to his loyal fan base.
Sami Zayn surprised the world with his impressive outing against John Cena, and rumours suggest that WWE officials were so pleased with the reaction and his performance that they want him on the main roster as soon as possible and I believe there is only one way to do that.
Kevin Owens is a great champion, hated by many whilst Sami Zayn is loved by the fans, the best way for Kevin Owens to go down as one of the most dominant champions in NXT history, he needs to end Sami Zayn’s career at TakeOver, allowing Sami Zayn to recuperate before moving to the main roster, I think Kevin Owens retains at TakeOver.