The latest set of tapings for NXT’s next few episodes have just taken place, giving us a better indication of what the landscape of the brand will be following TakeOver: New York and where things are heading for TakeOver: San Jose.
Coming off the biggest weekend of the year, there will undoubtedly be plenty of time to relax and not go full-force right at the moment. Also, the roster will need to be reformatted after the Superstar Shake-up, which could change everything.
However, even with all those variables up in the air and no matches officially announced for the event, let’s gaze into our crystal balls and attempt to predict what we may be in store for come June 8, 2019.
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
NXT Championship Match
At least as far as May 1st, Johnny Gargano will still be holding the NXT Championship and feuding with The Undisputed ERA with the storyline being that Adam Cole blames Roderick Strong more than anyone else on his loss in New York.
During these tapings, Gargano only interacted with The Undisputed ERA, being attacked by them in one segment and wrestling Strong in another, wherein Cole accidentally kicked Strong and cost him the match. Matt Riddle came to Gargano’s aid, though, and eventually defeated Cole in a match.
We have so much time before San Joe on June 8th that the May 1st tapings can turn things in any number of directions, basically presenting us with three possible scenarios I can see happening:
a) Cole gets a rematch of sorts against Gargano and San Jose is where their feud officially ends (* the scenario I think is most likely)
b) The tension between Cole and Strong continues to build, leading to a Triple Threat match with both of them against Gargano OR possibly even a Fatal 4-Way with Matt Riddle involved
c) By the time May 1st rolls along, an entirely new contender will start to be established and Gargano will have nothing to do with The Undisputed ERA. (* the scenario I think is least likely)
Matt Riddle or Adam Cole vs. Roderick Strong
There are usually five matches on the card, and since there are only four titles (without bringing NXT UK into the mix again, which I don’t expect to happen), that means there will be some kind of grudge match.
If a new challenger is established for Gargano, or there’s a switch in that Riddle becomes the No. 1 contender, I think Cole vs. Strong will be the go-to singles feud without anything on the line, save for possibly excommunication from The Undisputed ERA.
However, I think an even more likely situation is that Cole will get his rematch against Gargano with the help of Strong and this is just a tease of a breakup. Then, to counteract Riddle’s involvement, Strong will get a singles match against him.
Maybe…maybe….Riddle gets two friends on his side and we have a six-man tag team match of Strong, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish against Riddle and two babyfaces. If that happens, my guess is those two are Keith Lee and either Kushida or maybe some outlier like Punishment Martinez, Eric Bugenhagen or Albert Hardie Jr.
NXT Women’s Championship Match
We know it’s not going to be Kairi Sane, who loses her ability to challenge any more times for the title during these tapings, then bows to the NXT audience, which indicates she’ll come up to the main roster and be on Raw or SmackDown by the time this TakeOver happens.
The other women who are in the discussion are the remainders from the last event, Bianca Belair and Io Shirai, as well as Mia Yim and possibly, but unlikely, Candice LeRae.
I’d rule out LeRae because she is still feuding with Aliyah and Vanessa Borne, having beaten them alongside Kacy Catanzaro.
I’d be tempted to rule out Mia Yim for losing to Bianca Belair, too, but The EST of NXT supposedly uses her hair for leverage in the pin and that may have been done as a means to give Yim a way out of that loss.
Baszler still went at it with Sane and Shirai, so here’s what I’m thinking this all boils down to.
Belair lost twice. Sane is out of the picture. LeRae is busy. Yim isn’t positioned at the top. I think despite coming up short in New York, they’re going to fall back on the easy option of having Shirai vs. Baszler in a one-on-one match for the title with the storyline being somewhat of a revenge tale for booting Sane out of NXT.
North American Championship Match
This is totally, 100%, Dominik Dijakovic against Velveteen Dream. Not only did Dijakovic beat two people to look strong, he cut a promo on how he has his sights set on the North American Championship. Then, Velveteen Dream responded to that promo after Dijakovic’s second match.
There isn’t much more to say about this when it’s this cut and dry.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match
Simply put, War Raiders defeated Street Profits, The Forgotten Sons put down Humberto Carrillo, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch, and the only other tag team who could be in line for a title shot would be European Union.
Given the choice between TFS and EU, I’d side more with TFS, as Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner did nothing during this set of tapings.
There’s a chance this feels too weak and WWE opts to go for a Fatal 4-Way to include both Street Profits and Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch, but even that seems like a bit of a stretch to me.
NXT Championship Match: Johnny Gargano (c) vs. Adam Cole
NXT Women’s Championship Match: Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Io Shirai
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: War Raiders (c) vs. The Forgotten Sons
NXT North American Championship Match: Velveteen Dream (c) vs. Dominik Dijakovic
Matt Riddle (possibly with Keith Lee and someone else) vs. Roderick Strong (possibly with Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish)
Those are my predictions, but what matches do YOU think will be on the card? Drop your guesses in the comments below!