NXT Takeover Dallas is nearly upon us and once it gets here, I don’t think NXT or WWE will be the same. What happens tonight? Here’s how I see it going down.
Sami Zayn vs Shinsuke Nakamura
This is the match I’m most excited for all weekend. It’s the match, the thought of what his music will be, and the day dreaming of how Nakamura will enter the arena. In the past, Nakamura has shown an extreme flair, one reminiscent of icons Nakamura has cited as inspiration, Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury. Knowing how classic of an entrance theme Nakamura has, combined with the outfits he’s adorned himself with at big events previously, I’m giddy with excitement. The debut of Nakamura –as evidenced by the new NXT program, the first name has been dropped,– one of, if not the last Zayn NXT match, and the perfect place for two incredibly talented guys to steal not just Takeover, but all of WrestleMania weekend. I’ve warned everyone in a couple different articles that this isn’t going to be an explosion right off the bat, these two are going to tell a story, and a good one at that. Nakamura likes a slower pace early on, building towards an orchestra of mayhem and drama, where you’re on the edge of your seat wondering what’s going to happen next, if he’ll fail to accomplish what he’s set out to do or if he’ll maintain the momentum long enough to capture the win.
Then there’s Zayn, who’s one of the ultimate come from behind baby face characters. Zayn could look like he’s got no shot in hell to overcome the odds, only to essentially Hulk Up, and find a way to nail that Helluva Kick and get the win. Zayn is also a story teller, preferring the crawl rather than the rush, because it brings fans closer to the action, it draws them in until the action is so big and bright they have to take a few steps back or else be blinded by brilliance.
In my opinion, this match features two of the greatest current wrestlers on the planet, and if they’re given the time, they’ll prove it to the entire NXT Universe and beyond. Takeover is scheduled to be two hours, while having six total matches. three of which are Title matches, and one other is another debut. It’s going to be difficult, but it’s possible to get 20 minutes out of this one, with 30 being the most ideal, albeit the most unlikely; requiring two of the other non-Title matches to be 10 or so minutes, because the Title matches are all almost guaranteed to be at least 15, if not 20 themselves. Zayn and Nakamura will find a way to make it work no matter the time they’re given, I’m just hoping NXT acknowledges how necessary it is to allow Nakamura the time to build towards greatness, even more so with this being his first match under the WWE banner.
In the end, I can’t see a world in which a Nakamura victory isn’t the first and only choice. Zayn could benefit greatly with ‘Mania on Sunday, and Zayn’s involvement in the Intercontinental Championship Ladder match, but it wouldn’t help NXT, and it wouldn’t do a thing for Nakamura. In New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), Nakamura would land his Bomaye –or Boma Ye depending– Knee finisher at least twice before winning, but that’s more due to the style of NJWP, who love the majority of matches to end with a multitude of finishers attempted and landed. In WWE, we’ve seen this done, but typically only in high profile matches; which this is –to hardcore fans,– so don’t be surprised if Nakamura about kicks Zayn’s head off, but Zayn somehow kicks out. This will be followed by a Blue Thunderbomb from Zayn to Nakamura, Nakamura will kick out, Zayn will try to compose himself, trying to think of what he can do to put away this difficult opponent, only to get knee’d again by Nakamura. For the second straight time, Zayn will kick out, Nakamura will lose his mind, striking Zayn with vicious forearms, but Zayn will feel his comeback looming, beat Nakamura to the corner, and then land the Helluva Kick, convinced he’s got the win, but Nakamura will kick out. The crowd will go wild, we haven’t witnessed this before, and when Zayn picks Nakamura back up, putting The King Of Strong Style back in the corner for another Helluva, Nakamura will swiftly counter the finisher attempt, kicking Zayn back, hopping up to the top turnbuckle and leaping off with a Bomaye from the top. After Zayn gets caught with a shin to the jaw, it’ll be too much, and the three count will give us a new superstar all fans can get behind, one capable of wowing us just like Zayn, but in his own eccentric way.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
- Shinsuke Nakamura (100%, 1 Votes)
- Sami Zayn (0%, 0 Votes)
- Zayn by DQ (0%, 0 Votes)
- Nakamura by DQ (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 1
Apollo Crews vs Elias “The Drifter” Samson
This was a match I had wondered if it’d get added, mainly because I felt/feel that Apollo should be featured on Takeover. Samson seriously seems like one of the oddest choices that could have been made for an opponent to go against Apollo, but Elias has been on NXT a lot recently, was on a winning streak, and only lost because of a roll up –to Johnny Gargano.– Part of me wonders if Johnny Wrestling will interfere, giving Takeover Dallas a cool thing to see –an unlikely star appearing,– while protecting Samson from two straight losses, and Apollo doesn’t lose at two Takeover’s in a row either.
If it comes down to a finisher, Apollo has to have this one in the bag. While “The Drifter” has been trying to legitimize himself as of late, Apollo has the potential to become the next guy, and having someone who could be the face of your franchise shouldn’t be losing at every major event, and certainly not at his first two. I think the only reason this match was made is because Triple H noticed the fact Apollo was left out in the cold, needed something to do, and everyone else was busy at the event, so Apollo got Samson. To me, this is an easy one to call, and while it would be great to see a shocking run-in, it would be even better to see Apollo get a decisive win on NXT’s biggest stage. I’m saying that Apollo does his Standing Moonsault, Samson kicks out, Samson hits his own finisher, Apollo becomes the first to ever kick out of that, and then Apollo hoists Samson up for Apollo’s alternate finisher, and the win.
Winner: Apollo Crews
- Apollo Crews (100%, 1 Votes)
- Elias Samson (0%, 0 Votes)
- Apollo by DQ (0%, 0 Votes)
- Samson by DQ (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 1
American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan) vs The Revival (Dash and Dawson) for the NXT Tag Team Championships
I had the pleasure of watching these two teams in a Title match at NXT Columbus, which ended with The Revival somehow finding a way to retain. If you’ve been watching NXT at all since Dash and Dawson nabbed the Titles, you know they’ve been doing exactly that for their entire run. We’ve not seen this duo have an emphatic win over legitimate contenders, because the team cheats when it’s shown that The Revival might just lose. At Takeover Dallas, that’s going to change, we’re going to see a team who out-thinks, out-powers, and finally puts down the bad guys.
American Alpha went from being Jason Jordan trying to figure things out as a singles wrestler, but nothing was really going his way, despite being talented. Then came Chad Gable, who was trying to convince Jordan to team up with him, knowing they’re both former elite level amateur wrestlers, with Jordan competing for a National Championship, and Gable going to the Olympics; but Jordan was stubborn, refusing to work with this eccentric, weird, new guy. Then Gable found a way to break down the barrier, Jordan caved, giving Gable a chance, the two hit it off, their chemistry was great, and they started winning. We’ve seen American Alpha develop naturally, they’ve connected with the fans in an unforced manner, they’re funny, entertaining, and outstanding wrestlers.
Then there’s Dash and Dawson, two throwback type guys who make one think of the Brain Busters before we think of someone like the Hardy Boyz. These two have been in NXT for a long time, but no matter when they tried to get people to pay attention, the fans sort of just yawned. That’s when Dash and Dawson targeted Team SAWFT, arguably NXT’s most popular Tag Team, and the fans were forced to take notice. Dash and Dawson captured the Titles from The Vaudevillains on a regular episode of NXT, injured Aiden English, and focused on Enzo Amore and Big Cass, until handily defeating those two each and every time.
Now, it’s time for Jordan and Gable to rise to the occasion, to hit the Grand Amplitude finisher, and seal the deal on being the true alpha’s in NXT. If American Alpha somehow lose this match, I can only imagine that it means we’ll see them get boosted up to the WWE Roster, because not having a satisfying win for a team everyone loves, on NXT’s biggest stage, would be a confusing affair.
Winners: American Alpha
- American Alpha (100%, 1 Votes)
- The Revival (0%, 0 Votes)
- The Revival by DQ (0%, 0 Votes)
- American Alpha by DQ (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 1
Austin Aries vs Baron Corbin
Aries was making his NXT debut, coming down to talk to William Regal, when Corbin came barreling in out of nowhere, blasting Aries from behind, beating up The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived, and putting a seal on it by bringing The End Of Days to Aries on the outside of the ring, before Corbin screamed, “An eye for an eye!” at Regal. Corbin was getting back at Regal for not putting Corbin back in the Title picture, so Corbin shut down Regal’s big reveal, and it didn’t matter that Aries was a huge signing for NXT, Corbin was pissed that someone else was getting the spotlight. Since then, we’ve learned that Aries would accept Corbin’s challenge, informing not just The Lone Wolf, but anyone and everyone listening, that Aries would make Corbin regret what Corbin did to Aries. This will be the first time we see Aries in-ring for NXT, but it comes against a heel with a lot of momentum, fan fair, and credibility. Aries made a name for himself in TNA, shot to the top of the free-agent list when Aries departed the company, and now is in NXT to help elevate the brand further, which means a win has to be in the cards for Aries. It’s a shame that we’ll see Corbin lose yet another big match, but Aries needs to come in looking like a threat, rather than a pushover; and if Aries loses in his first match against the guy who blindsided him during his debut, Aries would certainly look like a pushover.
I’m thinking Corbin throws the toolbox at Aries, from the Deep Six signature move that’s put away a handful of opponents, followed by The End of Days, but Aries’ fury will help keep Aries in it. Corbin will lose his temper, make a mistake in underestimating Aries, thinking Corbin’s got it in the bag, which is when Aries seizes the reigns. Aries has a few finishers at his disposal, but with his Brainbuster move being basically identical to Finn Bálor‘s 1916, I don’t see Aries using that…plus, have you seen how big Corbin is? Then there’s the 450 Splash, which seems more likely, but with Aries’ age, I wonder if he’ll want to maintain that type of phyiscally demanding finisher, which leaves Aries’ submission move, which is a Bridging Arm Triangle Hold. I’m thinking Aries locks up Corbin, making the big man tap out, so Aries can embarrass Corbin like Corbin did to him; but more than that, I think it’ll take referees and talent having to come out to break the hold before Aries will let go. That image will stick to the minds of all fans watching, it’ll give a big moment for Takeover, for Aries, and Regal will have to keep in mind that when Aries makes a threat like he did with saying Corbin would regret his actions.
Winner: Austin Aries
- Austin Aries (100%, 1 Votes)
- Baron Corbin (0%, 0 Votes)
- Aries by DQ (0%, 0 Votes)
- Corbin by DQ (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 1
Asuka vs Bayley for the NXT Women’s Championship
Bayley has been Champion for nearly a year now, taking the NXT Women’s Title away from Sasha Banks at NXT Takeover Brooklyn last August. Since then, Bayley has defended her Gold against fierce competition, defeating everyone along the way in whatever manner it took, without breaking any rules. Bayley is the Hulk Hogan of this generation, a baby face to rule all baby faces, one that wins clean, wins often, and garners the adoration of nearly everyone in the building no matter the place. I’m a huge fan of Bayley’s and I was so excited for her when she defeated Sasha back in Brooklyn; but, I feel like Bayley has run her course in NXT, that Bayley is essentially a blue whale in a small pond, ready to be unleashed in the open, shark infested waters of the WWE. NXT was originally meant to be nothing more than developmental, but fans and the incredible talents have turned it into a brand; however, when you get to the point that there’s nothing left for you to accomplish, it’s difficult to not see bigger things for yourself, and Bayley is the kind of talent that could change how the WWE Universe looks at the Diva’s. We’ve never witnessed a Diva who could become more popular than almost every single male on the roster, but with Bayley I think that’s more than possible. There’s of course Sasha Banks, who I believe is the best talent in the company when it comes to the Diva’s and Women’s division of NXT; but, Bayley’s extreme popularity among little kids nearly rivals John Cena.
We watched Bayley find a way to defeat the physical monster that is Nia Jax at NXT Takeover London, forcing Jax to tap out, since Bayley wasn’t going to be able to put things away with the Bayley To Belly. The thing is, Bayley may have overcome Jax, but Bayley hasn’t come across a competitor like Asuka. Jax is big and strong, but Asuka hits harder than any other woman in the company, she’s honed her skills for over a decade, and is an assassin when it comes to the submission game. I’ve been saying for months –when the rumor that Asuka was going to end up being tabbed for the Takeover Dallas match– that while I’m a massive Bayley fan, I want to see Asuka knock Bayley’s face off and take the Title. I mean it, I want to see a tight, physical match that ends in Asuka overpowering the Champion that had always somehow found a way to eke out a win, no matter the odds. Let me make sure to note that I don’t want to see anyone actually injured in this match, I just like that Asuka hits viciously or at least makes it appear like she does, I don’t want Bayley to exit with a broken jaw or anything, but if we could see a moment where Asuka’s Spinning Palm Strike is so powerful that it causes Bayley to flip in the air as she falls down, I would be giddy.
All of the above is to say that Bayley is or at least should be on her way to the WWE Roster as soon as the RAW after WrestleMania, which means Asuka should be in line for a Title reign. The only thing I could see being the deterrent is that the torch would be passed from one baby face to another, that it might be time for a heel to make a run with it; but there’s no one I can see defeating Bayley at this point other than Asuka, if only because Bayley has already disposed of every heel who’s dared to challenge her. The other thing that makes me hesitant is we’d be going from one dominant Champion to another, because really, who’s going to beat Asuka either? It would be strange to see one Champion followed by another who keeps the Gold for eight months or longer, but to be fair, that has been the history of nearly all NXT Titles.
In the end, I see Bayley hitting her finisher, Asuka kicking out, Bayley fighting out of the Asuka Lock –becoming the first person to do so in NXT,– Bayley hitting another Bayley To Belly, Asuka somehow kicking out, and Bayley sitting there completely unsure what to do because no one has ever done this before. Bayley will try to get Asuka in the submission hold that netted Bayley a win over Jax, Asuka will fight to her feet, countering the hold with another Asuka Lock, where Bayley will be forced to tap out after realizing she can’t fight out of the hold this time.
When the match is over, Asuka will put her hand out for Bayley to shake it, Bayley will pull Asuka in for a hug, and will end things by lifting Asuka’s arm in the air.
- Asuka (100%, 1 Votes)
- Bayley (0%, 0 Votes)
- Asuka by DQ (0%, 0 Votes)
- Bayley by DQ (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 1
Samoa Joe vs Finn Bálor for the NXT Championship
The first time these two faced each other at NXT Takeover London, it was clear that Bálor won not by luck, but because he’s better than Joe. I don’t say that to say Joe isn’t good, he’s one of the best WWE has to offer, but the way the match went down, Bálor more than simply escaped with a win. Seeing this all happen a second time seems so counter-productive to everything going on with two of the biggest names in NXT. Bálor gains nothing in defeating Joe again, there’s no point to it; more than that, Joe looks all the worse off by losing to Bálor a second straight time, cleanly anyhow. That’s why I think this time is different, which is why we’re seeing these two face each other a second time on the biggest stage that NXT has to offer, NXT Takeover. My gut says the first time I’ll see The Demon, face paint and all, it will be in a loss, but even with that said, I don’t know that it necessarily means Bálor will drop the Championship.
Samoa Joe taking the Title would make perfect sense, especially because it frees up Bálor to go to the WWE Roster, something I think has to be in the works by the end of 2016, if not much sooner. The WWE Roster has seen an insane amount of injuries to some of its biggest stars, leaving the WWE to struggle putting together an all-time great WrestleMania card; while simultaneously being a stark reminder that the roster doesn’t quite have the depth they may have thought they had, at least at the top of the heap. Vince McMahon could really use more main-event level superstars as soon as possible, and Vince has reportedly said he sees a lot of money in Bálor –even while rumors have run rampant that Vince supposedly doesn’t think any NXT superstars can draw big-time money.– Bálor losing means he can show up on the RAW after ‘Mania with no strings, but I’ve personally never liked it when a Champion loses their Title, and doesn’t care enough to go back after it; that says to me that the Championship doesn’t mean as much as something else, which is worse than having your NXT Champion on RAW or Smackdown, as well as appearing on NXT here and there. In fact, I would argue that Bálor retaining, then going to the RAW and Smackdown on a permanent basis, while appearing in NXT once a month or once every other month, while the other superstars in NXT vie for their shot at the Title, stepping over anyone and everyone they have to in order to get there, would make the Title mean more. Look at what happened when Brock Lesnar was the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, fans complained, sure, but when Lesnar showed up to defend the Title, it meant a thousand times more than the Championship had in years. Why couldn’t the same thing be done with the NXT Championship? Right now I would argue there’s no one ready to lead the brand into its next stage, not unless Joe is sticking around NXT for a lot longer than what is rumored; so keep the Title on Bálor until someone can fully step up. Imagine seeing Bálor hold the NXT Championship for a year or more –he won it on July 4, 2015,– becoming the longest reigning NXT Champion in history, and then Bálor wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship sometime in late 2016 or early 2017, becoming the first superstar to ever hold the NXT and WWE World Heavyweight Championships at the same time. That way when he does get beat by someone in NXT, it’s a sign that this person is someone to watch out for, not only did they defeat the NXT Champion, but they beat the face of the franchise in WWE as well. It would mean more, give Bálor an accolade no one else could ever claim –to be the first to hold both,– and it gives Bálor a build towards something, something to fight for, then something to defend.
That brings me to the rumor that if we are indeed seeing the arrival of Bálor Club, it doesn’t make sense to have Bálor fully leave NXT anyhow, whether he wins or loses at Takeover Dallas. Let’s say Bálor wins clean, on his own, Joe or whomever is Bálor’s next opponent is, will want a shot. If Bálor Club interferes though, costing Joe the match, Joe will immediately go to Regal demanding a rematch. That would mean Bálor definitely isn’t finished with NXT, and that there’s no chance Bálor is going to simply forfeit the Championship in order to go to the WWE Roster. Bálor Club interfering causes a dramatic shift in NXT though, because it would mean a heel turn for Bálor, a likely face turn for Joe, and a new faction is formed in the company that everyone needs to look out for. I can’t see a scenario where Bálor Club interferes and Finn loses clean, it would make Joe look like gold, but it would make Finn and Bálor Club look ineffective, which isn’t how you want to introduce anyone; so if Finn is going to lose, it’s got to be because the referee called for a DQ. A DQ means we see the faction succeed in some manner, but more than that, we get a twist in the story, a third match with different stakes, and perhaps something that we haven’t seen in NXT before…a Cage match. A long time ago, a Cage match was the end all be all match to conclude a feud –not including the Hair vs Hair matches, because…just no,– but that hasn’t happened in NXT yet, and it would be a huge step to take. Joe can say he wants a match against Finn, not a match against Bálor Club, choosing the one thing that’s supposed to keep any interference from happening, and Finn can hesitantly agree.
NXT has somewhat painted themselves into a corner here, because Finn has become this generations John Cena or Hulk Hogan, where the guy just doesn’t lose. We’ve already seen Finn beat Joe once, so losing to Joe would be unusual, albeit if Joe finds a way to catch Finn in the Coquina Clutch, that could make things different, because it doesn’t make Finn look weak, it just means that Finn couldn’t escape or counter Joe’s terrifying submission hold this time. All it takes is one little mistake, moving left when he should have moved right, and the submission is locked in, and Joe has made the submission hold look inescapable, so if he locks those fingers, it’s over. I’d be okay with that finish, but that’s the only way Joe can win at this point, it can’t be the Musclebuster or any other finisher type move. If Joe does win though, it can’t be over there, Finn has made it clear that the NXT Championship means too much to him; although, Zayn talked about his biggest goal being becoming the first two-time NXT Champion, and Zayn is now finished with NXT, save the match against Nakamura.
Who knows, maybe Joe will win, Finn will shake Joe’s hand in defeat, we’ll hear an unfamiliar theme play through the speakers, Doc Gallows –probably coming back to NXT/WWE as Luke Gallows— and Karl “Machine Gun“ Anderson enter the arena, Joe looks towards the stage confused, Finn takes a few steps behind Joe, Joe drops the Title to the mat as he gets ready for a fight, then as Gallows and Anderson near the ring, Finn attacks Joe from behind, leading to Gallows and Anderson coming in to help with the beat down. Gallows hitting Joe with his finisher, Anderson doing the same, then Gallows and Anderson helping Finn load Joe up for the Coup De Grace and 1916 finishers, and perhaps a tag or faction finisher. That scene ends with the three of them standing tall, Finn on Gallows’ shoulders, as Finn holds up the Title triumphantly, until finally throwing it in the face of Joe as the three of them leave.
It would be one hell of a way to end Takeover Dallas, but it also causes Joe to want another match against Finn, something that Finn might decline, going to the WWE Roster instead, because “he’s accomplished everything in NXT one can and has moved on.” The heel turn would be in full effect, fans would be pissed that Finn is too cowardly to come back and fight Joe, and when Joe gets to the WWE Roster –it’s inevitable,– Joe can immediately target Finn, and we’d have a worthwhile feud with built in history.
Winner: Samoa Joe
- Samoa Joe (100%, 1 Votes)
- Finn Bálor (0%, 0 Votes)
- Bálor by DQ (0%, 0 Votes)
- Joe by DQ (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 1
That’s The Lowedown on what I think happens at NXT Takeover Dallas, let me know what you think happens in the polls, thanks for reading, and remember to watch more wrestling!
The future is bright and full of suplexes!
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