The first TakeOver special takes place this Saturday night when the stars of NXT take to Dallas to deliver an incredible evening of wrestling, one night before WrestleMania 32.
There’s already a lot of pressure to kick off WrestleMania weekend in great fashion, allowing fans to continue the excitement heading into the Hall of Fame, WrestleMania as well as the post-WrestleMania episode of Monday Night Raw.
If there’s a bunch of talent who can step up to the mark on a massive occasion like this, it’s the guys and girls on NXT who have created something special, here is what I think will go down this Saturday at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
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AUSTIN ARIES VS. BARON CORBIN
This is a great first feud for Austin Aries on NXT, going up against somebody who has been in development for quite a while and is one of the most experienced talents on NXT. Despite being a far superior wrestler than the Lone Wolf, Aries will be seen as the newcomer, underdog in this situation much like AJ Styles is on the main roster.
The build-up to this match hasn’t been the greatest but there’s enough chemistry between the two to make the fans want to tune in. Corbin has improved a lot in the ring and Aries is a very consistent performer, I do expect this match to be a good one which the fans will be invested in and I can see Aries picking up his first TakeOver win.
THE REVIVAL © VS. AMERICAN ALPHA – NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
This is a match which could genuinely go either way; the same could also be said for the other two championship matches because anyone could walk away with the titles based on the way the feuds have been booked.
Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder have been fantastic heel champions so far, and there’s still a lot they could do with them. NXT have made a habit of having teams drop the gold too early in their title runs, and it’s backfired. The Vaudevillians are the latest example and I don’t want the Revival to be in the same situation.
At the same time, it would be huge for Jason Jordan and Chad Gable to win the championships. They’re one of the most over teams in the WWE, and it’s only a matter of time before they win some gold. Unfortunately, I don’t think Saturday will be their night. I believe the Revival will retain.
ELIAS SAMSON VS. APOLLO CREWS
This is a big feud for Elias Samson to kick start his NXT career with, Crews has moved on from opponent to opponent and he’ll be looking to bring his best in this feud.
Both men have a point to prove, Crews’ arrival was met with great excitement and there was so much potential as well, he still has what it takes to be the top guy, but he’s still missing something to take him to that level.
Despite not being the top star on the brand, a win over Crews would be huge for Samson and would elevate him to that next level and not leave him hanging at the bottom doing next to nothing. I also don’t think a loss would hurt Crews, but it could hurt The Drifter, so I do think Samson wins this match.
SAMI ZAYN VS. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
This is one match the NXT fans are most looking forward to, some can’t even believe that the WWE have signed Shinsuke Nakamura to a full-time contract, and his first match on NXT will be against Sami Zayn, it’s still surreal.
The match is garnering plenty of attention which is exactly what they would have hoped for and it’s a genuine match of the night contender. It’ll be interesting to see how Zayn can adapt to the strong style Nakamura brings to the table but he’s the best option to go with based on his wrestling experience.
This is expected to be Zayn’s final match on NXT as he’s done his best to carry the brand since it was reformed so he does deserve to go out with a huge win, but at the same time, you don’t want Nakamura arriving to a loss. I think Nakamura wins the match but expect Zayn to have a huge moment the following night.
BAYLEY © VS. ASUKA – NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Again, this is a championship match which could go either way. Bayley has been a fantastic champion and her losing could backfire in the long run, and if she does lose she could be a huge loss to NXT if she moves up to the main roster the following night.
On the other hand, Asuka hasn’t lost a match on NXT and is still unbeaten. Do they want her to lose her first match in a match of this magnitude? She’s the perfect option to dethrone Bayley, especially if she’s not expected to move up to the main roster yet.
It’s a tough match to call, but I expect to see Bayley on Raw two night later, for me Asuka walks out the new champion.
FINN BALOR © VS. SAMOA JOE – NXT CHAMPIONSHIP
This match has a lot at stake; it’s not just the NXT Championship up for grabs, but it’s widely expected that the loser in this match won’t stick on NXT for too long and will move to the main roster two night later.
At this moment in time, it could be either of them. Balor is a successful champion and could still achieve a lot on NXT while he’s long overdue a jump to the main roster. There are so much more possibilities on Raw and SmackDown for him, as long as he is booked correctly and there’s a genuine excitement surrounding it.
Samoa Joe has been doing fantastic work, some of the best work he’s done in a long time and he too deserves a run as the NXT Champion. You could also say he’s almost too good to spend more time on NXT considering how experienced he is and he too deserves a run on the main roster against some of the biggest names.
The other big question mark here is whether Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson will make their eagerly-anticipated appearance. There is so much to look forward to, and it’s extremely difficult to pick a winner, in this situation I’m saying Balor retains his NXT Championship.
NXT FANS – WHAT ARE YOUR PREDICTIONS FOR TAKEOVER? LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW.