Oh hell yes! It’s that time every wrestling fan looks forward too. It’s another NXT Takeover! Now While NXT has undoubtedly lost a lot of steam in the last year, almost completely due to the fact that its big stars have received main roster call ups, the Takeover specials remain…well, special.
There’s a number of reasons why I enjoy them so much and it starts with the limited number of matches on the main card, normally around 5 or 6. Unlike its main roster counterparts which always feel too long or bloated NXT allows a select few the time to breathe, tell a great story and put on a great match. It results in compelling wrestling and a brilliant viewing experience.
Takeover Toronto features the rematch for the NXT Title between Nakamura and Samoa Joe, the finals to the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, Asuka verses Mickie James for the NXT Women’s Title, Bobby Roode against Tye Dillinger and a potential match of the year candidate for the NXT Tag Team Titles between The Rival and DIY. It should be fantastic!
Bobby Roode vs. Tye Dillinger
When Bobby Roode and Tye Dillinger were announced as a tag team for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, it just stank of something far too good to actually be true. It would have been perfect, or glourious. Perfectly glourious.
I think I would have been happy with the idea of these two being a tag team for a little while. The comedic chemistry was there and it could have been something awesome to have in the tag team division. Instead they lost their first match when Roode had second thoughts about getting in the ring against SAnitY and have started to feud instead.
I’m a little torn for this one. Bobby Roode is one of my favourites but Dillinger is so good and so over. Honestly, he should be on the main roster by now but in a way I’m delighted that he isn’t. I would love to see a title run for him on NXT, which is why I was so excited about the idea of this tag team.
I think Roode will win this one as Dillinger does seem to be a ‘jobber to the stars’ but at the same time it would be fantastic for him to pick up the victory. Either way, I think we’re in for a very entertaining match.
Winner: Bobby Roode
The Authors of Pain vs. TM-61
The finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. The Authors of Pain verses TM-61 or as they’re better known The Mighty Don’t Kneel. I think the biggest talking point about this match is that it will feature Authors of Pain manager Paul Ellering suspended above the ring inside a shark cage. How ridiculously old school is that?! It’s classic Dusty Rhodes era gimmick booking.
Now immediately I’m reluctant to accept this booking. It’s so bloody daft. However, it hasn’t been done in ages, making it almost fresh and exciting. Plus, NXT is the home of some more ‘old school’ ideas and they tend to pull them off well. So I’ll allow it, but it is odd in my opinion that they would make the final so gimmicky.
It’s a completely different feel to the finals of last years tournament, which was the focus around the entire Takeover: Respect event. This year, it’s a little bit of an after thought. The hype around the teams hasn’t been as high (No Finn/Joe or American Alpha in the brackets) but it’s still been an interesting experience. Even if multiple teams were hindered by injuries.
I can’t look past the Authors of Pain for this one, partially due to who I think they would be feuding with next (more on that in the NXT Tag Title match). Plus a loss for them this soon would sort of ruin their mystique. However you’ve got to expect shenanigans involving Paul Ellering and that shark cage.
Prediction: The referee gets knocked down. The cage lowers and Ellering has his own key for the door. The Authors of Pain put one of TM-61 in the cage and it rises again to see out the match as a 2 on 1.
Winners: The Authors of Pain
NXT Women’s Title: Asuka (c) vs. Mickie James
Asuka is great, of that there is no question. However doesn’t it alarm you that because the NXT women’s division has been completed stripped of its star power that they have to bring in someone from outside to put into the title picture?
Mickie James of course is actually the replacement for Trish Stratus, who is now with child so obviously can not compete. That would have created an amazing atmosphere in Toronto it has to be said, but Mickie James is a suitable replacement.
Looking at the positives though, Mickie verses Asuka could be a great match. After all they are both very talented. It also gives the rest of the women in the NXT roster more time to develop while not having the spot light thrust upon them.
I think we’re all expecting an Asuka win but could you imagine if James won and went on a little run in NXT? I wouldn’t put it past NXT to do something like that it would be incredibly unexpected, but so was Joe beating Balor at a house show. Also, it would add a little more star power to NXT’s touring brand as well.
NXT Tag Team Titles: The Revival (c) vs. DIY
Match of the night right here. Maybe even a match of the year candidate. If you saw their last match at Takeover: Brooklyn then you know why I’m saying that. These teams have chemistry and can put on a real show.
The Revival are so good and yet seemingly underrated and classed as ‘bland ‘. I don’t get it. How can a team who play smarmy heels so well and consistently put on fantastic matches be classed as anything other than amazing? Team DIY with Gargano and Ciampa are also incredibly good and having come so close previously I think this is their time.
I love a good 2 out of 3 falls match and I’m assuming that these guys will be given all the time in the world to tell a great story as well. I think Dash and Dawson will pick up the first fall, allowing for the comeback story of Gargano and Ciampa.
The Revival have been great champions, deservedly the first 2 time champions in NXT history but I think Smackdown’s tag team division could do with strengthening right now and these two are perfect for it.
I also think that with the Authors of Pain winning in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic it sets up a continuation of that story arc from the semi-finals. After all, DIY only lost due to distractions and interference. Plus, it’s the classic heel verses face battle so it’s perfect.
However, you’ve also got the possiblity of a Ciampa heel turn after another loss. Which we all thought was coming last time. That’s a story that can start at any moment and you never know when it’s going to come.
NXT Title: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Samoa Joe
It’s got to be said. I am really enjoying Samoa Joe in NXT. Since debuting hes been fantastic, he brings an authenticity and intensity that very few wrestlers can these days. He’s completely rejuvenated since his final years in TNA.
Nakamura is great too, but his talents lie very much with his in ring abilities and charisma rather than during promo pieces for example. He’s still learning the language so it’s understandable and one of the main reasons he’s setting the world of NXT on fire and not the main shows just yet.
I have a feeling this might be the end of Joe on NXT, which is a way would be a huge shame because he’s been fantastic. The reality is though that at some point he’s going to be called up to the main roster (probably Smackdown) and it might be sooner rather than later. Personally I’d like to see him say on NXT till after Wrestlemania. Simply because he can do so much more for that brand right now.
Either way though. If he’s staying or going. This is Nakamura’s time with the title and I don’t see him losing it. Though again, I really wouldn’t be surprised if NXT did a swerve on us and put the title back on Joe. It’s one of the reasons I like NXT, it does feel far more unpredictable that Raw or Smackdown.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura