Welcome to another edition of eWN Round Table, where we gather some of the most active writers here on eWrestlingNews and share the platform to answer some questions surrounding a centralized topic, upcoming event, etc.
This is meant to showcase the potential for both a wide range of perspectives as well as how sometimes, there can be a group consensus no matter what your viewpoint is, so we also invite all of you to join in on the discussion by answering these questions yourself in the comments section below.
For this particular volume, we’ll be focusing on NXT TakeOver XXV.
Participants for this round = Anthony Mango, Richard Staple, Ethan Absler and Robert DeFelice.
1) “After 25 pay-per-views, let’s reflect on the past. Who would you say is Mr. NXT and Ms. NXT?”
MANGO: I had a few options in mind for both, with my runner-ups being (in no particular order) The Revival, Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Tommaso Ciampa for the men and Bayley and Asuka for the women. However, when push came to shove, I think I need to pick Sasha Banks for Ms. NXT and Johnny Gargano for Mr. NXT
STAPLE: Johnny Gargano and Bayley. While it seems weird to give this title to only one superstar of each, these two performers have certainly stood out amongst their peers. I can’t remember the last time Gargano didn’t put on a performance at Takeover which wasn’t Match of the Year caliber, and Bayley was the one who helped ushered in a new era of women’s wrestling along with Sasha Banks. Two feel good stories from two awesome competitors.
ABSLER: I would say Finn Balor or Sami Zayn would be my Mr. NXT because of their historic title reigns and the way NXT caught fire while they were champions. As for the females, Sasha Banks and Bayley are an integral part, along with Charlotte and Becky, of the Women’s revolution, however, the Boss and Bayley would probably be my two Mrs. NXT candidates.
DEFELICE: I think Mr. NXT has to be Johnny Gargano. Johnny has taken part in more TakeOver events than anybody else and has worked his way up to be the first ever triple crown Champion for the black and gold rebellion. Ms. NXT is more difficult to decide. All things considered, I think I’m going to suggest that it is Asuka. She was undoubtedly an unstoppable machine in NXT and was a integral part of every event that she took part in.
2) “Which team would you prefer to walk out as the new NXT tag team champions?”
MANGO: Had WWE put any real stock in The Street Profits, I would be going with them, but I feel like that would still be underwhelming. I don’t like The Forgotten Sons and I still think it’s annoying Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch aren’t referred to by their tag team name, which bugs me. The Undisputed ERA is the only choice, in my book. The division needs them back on top again.
STAPLE: Adam Cole predicted that The Undisputed Era would all be holding titles. While I do think that may happen at some point, I’m not sure if it will happen at Takeover 25. They’ve dominated the tag team scene for the past year and a half, and my gut tells me a new team may rise from the ashes to claim the titles. My gut tells me Street Profits.
ABSLER: Id love to see either the Street Profits or Undisputed Era to walk away with the gold. While I love Burch and Lorcan, similarly to the Forgotten Sons, I don’t believe they have the credibility yet to carry the titles. If the Street Profits could pull off this huge victory, it could do wonders for their career. On the other hand, The Undisputed Era could use a title to further their credibility and get Fish and O’Reilly on the same level as their counterpart Adam Cole.
DEFELICE: I think the Undisputed era still has to make good on their promise to walk away with all of the Championships in NXT in the year 2019. Therefore, I see Kyle and Bobby winning this one.
3) “Which superstar do you feel is the biggest omission from this lineup?”
MANGO: It amazes me how Dominik Dijakovic and Keith Lee keep missing out on pushes and these events. Dijakovic is injured, so that’s not WWE’s fault, particularly as it seemed as though the plan was for him to challenge for the North American Championship. However, Lee just seems to keep getting pushed aside, and that really confuses me. I don’t now where I would put him, as there’s no time to set anything else up, but he’s the standout name in my mind.
STAPLE: Kind of difficult to say because it looks like most of the major, regular names on the roster are accounted for. I suppose Bianca Belair, just because it looked like she was being built up as the new face of the division.
ABSLER: It’s disappointing to see Keith Lee, Dominick Dijakovic, Kassius Ohno once again, and Bianca Belair all missing. I know it is hard to fit everyone on the card, but one additional match here would have done the trick to get at least a few more performers on.
DEFELICE: KUSHIDA could use a nice match to further establish himself. Also, where is Bianca Belair? I would argue that she should be NXT Women’s Champion by now.
4) “If you could add one more match to this card, what would it be?”
MANGO: Bianca Belair against Mia Yim would have been my choice, had they not already done that leading up to this. Keith Lee against Dominik Dijakovic also would have been, if DD wasn’t injured. Instead, if I was told to add another match to the card, I would go with Kushida against Riddick Moss just to highlight Kushida.
STAPLE: I wouldn’t add anything to an NXT card. A five match card with four title matches and sufficient time to build a story to each one is all that I require.
ABSLER: If I could add one more match it would be Dijakovic vs Lee. The two freak of nature athletes have been trading wins over the last few weeks and a finals on the Takeover card would be a jaw dropping match for sure.
DEFELICE: KUSHIDA vs. Lio Rush. Rush could use the restart and this would be a good match to watch.
5) “Which match are you most excited to see on this pay-per-view?”
MANGO: Oddly enough, Velveteen Dream against Tyler Breeze. It’s the match with the most obvious outcome, it’s the match that they didn’t plan on having just a few weeks ago, and it’s not the main event, yet I feel like those two are going to steal the show and tear the house down.