NXT TAKEOVER: RESPECT will be broadcast live on the WWE Network tonight. While not a “PPV” event, the live TakeOver events have always been entertaining and have helped to showcase just what the talents at NXT can do for the world.
With some interesting matches taking place, there needs to be some predictions!
I expect this match to kick off the show. Jordan and Gable have a silly gimmick and their backstory is silly, but once they’re in the ring they are anything but. I absolutely love this combination because of their in-ring chemistry and, without a doubt, the surprising in-ring ability of Gable. If he was just a little bit taller, he’d be the second coming of Kurt Angle. As it stands, he’s absolutely tremendous and he’s only getting started. I’m not sure how they get past these two behemoths, but I don’t think you’ll see a “non team” make it to the finals. It really wouldn’t do any good to Jordan & Gable and doesn’t help Corbin and Rhyno unless they plan on being a permanent team.
WINNERS: Jason Jordan & Chad Gable
SEMI FINALS OF THE DUSTY CLASSIC: Samoa Joe & Finn Balor vs. The Mechanics (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
This will be the most intriguing match on the card, in my opinion. I think Joe and Balor will put on a fantastic match and really make Dawson and Wilder look bigger than they actually are. I think a lot of people are writing off The Mechanics simply because they’re “boring”, too short, and too “old school”. In other words, they are exactly the type of team that Dusty Rhodes would have loved to see elevated in a world of sports entertainment. In addition to that rationale, I firmly believe that Samoa Joe will be turning on Balor at some point during the match. Why? They don’t have anybody lined up to be Balor’s challenger over the coming months. Having Joe and Balor feud all the way up to the next TakeOver event just makes sense, as the outcome helps put over everybody.
WINNERS: Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder
Again, this is a case where one superstar is on the fast-track to the top while the other is in a stagnant position, for some reason. Apollo Crews is the one that people can easily see will be a superstar in a couple of years. He’s got everything it takes and seems to be the perfect combination of ability, look, and charisma. Tyler Breeze, on the other hand, has been dealt a shit hand over the past year. At one point he was battling for the NXT championship, but lately he’s just being fed to put other people over. It’s not a terrible spot to be in, but Breeze is better than that. Unfortunately, that won’t change with this match.
WINNER: Apollo Crews
It doesn’t make any sense at all to have Asuka lose her debut match. Plus let’s all be completely honest here…Brooke is not ready yet. At all. I’ll be impressed if Asuka can make Brooke look credible in any way. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. On the bright side, at least Asuka isn’t being forced to “wrestle” Eva Marie.
I’ve predicted that this will be a match of The Mechanics taking on Jason Jordan & Chad Gable. While maybe not the most exciting from a personality/gimmick standpoint, I think the four men have the ability to put on one hell of a classic old-school tag team match. In the end, I think the team that beat the current NXT tag team champions makes the most sense to win the tournament.
WINNERS: Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder
After recently re-watching the incredible NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn match between these two women, and then watching the fantastic WWE Network 24: NXT Brooklyn program yesterday, I am reminded of just how awesome these two women worked together the first time around. I think it will be VERY difficult to capture lightning in a bottle twice, especially with the 30-minute stipulation in place. Having said that, however, if anybody has the ability to make this match work it’s these two. Obviously, Bayley will retain the title but that’s notgoing to be the real story. The real story will be just how awesome the match will be. Unfortunately, I think it’ll fall short of their first match, but still be far better than 99% of anything you see on RAW or Smackdown.
These are just my predictions. What are YOUR thoughts? Sound off in a comment below or via social media and let me know!
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