Last year NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn was my show of the year so I am going in with high expectations for this year’s show. I think you have the potential for six outstanding wrestling matches with a lot of “new” superstars getting a chance to shine.
Austin Aries had kind of been floundering since his debut as he showed up at the same time as Shinsuke Nakamura. No Way Jose is an eccentric character that appeared one dimensional but Aries has lit a fire under Jose and I was impressed with Jose’s response to Aries attack. I can’t say for sure who is winning one way or the other. Although Jose is undefeated, I think an Aries loss will hurt him. I am predicting an Aries win that will hopefully catapult him into the NXT Championship picture.
WINNER: AUSTIN ARIES
GLORIOUS! Bobby Roode has arrived and is already my #2 superstar in NXT right after Nakamura. I love his theme song and his character as he carries himself like a star! His opponent, whose name I can’t even remember off the top of my head has clearly left no impression on me. I have heard he was a tremendous, masked superstar elsewhere but unmasked he appears as yet another guy on the NXT roster. I anticipate a Roode victory in his debut match and that Andrade “Cien” Almas (I looked up his name) will be re-packaged.
WINNER: BOBBY ROODE
Do not interpret my lack of opinion on this match as an indication that I have no interest in this match. I think this will be match of the night and I honestly can’t predict who will win. I’ve bet against the Revival every time they’ve defended the titles and been wrong. I’ll try my luck once more.
WINNERS: GARGANO & CIAMPA
Lately in WWE, there hasn’t been any true villains versus true heroes feuds. As a traditional fan that is my preference because it helps tell a better story. I thought Asuka was slowly turning as she was arrogantly aggressive and taunting Bayley. The next week however, Bayley denied showing any sportsmanship and lacked any respect for Asuka. Perhaps there is simply more edge to these two than they had before and they are looking to put it all on the line in this match. Asuka will be the one Bayley cannot beat, but look for Bayley to be main roster bound in the following months. As for Asuka, there aren’t many at her level ready to challenge her for that title, but Ember Moon makes her debut against Billie Kay and if she can impress she may fast track herself to being a title contender.
Nakamura is fighting; I am watching! Samoa Joe has been a tremendous champion and every time he has had a sit down interview segment for the championship match he has been tremendous. Joe conducts himself as a champion and simply feels he is entitled to respect because of the gold over his shoulder. Nakamura’s responses to Joe may appear as though he isn’t serious but I’d fear a man who looks like he isn’t all there. I think their styles will be something to witness. As a fan of Nakamura, I want to see him as champion.
WINNER: SHINSUKE NAKAMURA