Welcome to another edition of WWE Heat Index, wherein we discuss the interest level for the various feuds heading into the pay-per-view events. This time around, we’re focusing on NXT TakeOver: Toronto coming this Saturday night.
The way this works is a pretty simple three-way breakdown of Hot, Lukewarm and Cold. If you like something and you’re very interested in how WWE is setting up the program, it’s Hot (aka Good). If you’re a bit on the fence about it and see some problems, but it’s not awful, then it’s just Okay or Lukewarm. The ones that are the most problematic that you have no interest in are Cold (aka Bad).
Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section to let everyone know what your thermometer reads for each feud as I tell you what my thoughts are below!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
NXT Championship 2-out-of-3 Falls Match: Adam Cole (c) vs. Johnny Gargano = Hot
To be honest, I was leaning more towards Lukewarm on this than Hot until the whole gimmick of it was announced, because it felt like it was just “that thing we did, and then did again, but for the third time, cause you liked it before and that’s easy. Let’s call that a work day and log off.”
But this idea that Gargano and Cole will each pick a stipulation for one of the falls and William Regal will pick the third and final fall’s stipulation makes it so much more intriguing. This is basically Three Stages of Hell, and I can’t remember the last time that happened.
They’re going to have a good/great match, because they’re Cole and Gargano. This could be a Match of the Year candidate.
Prediction: Adam Cole wins.
NXT Women’s Championship Match: Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Mia Yim = Hot
Baszler is at her best when she’s able to just go out and wrestle with someone, with no interference from having to book around Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir on the outside and some other people trying to fend them off.
That could still happen, but I think Yim is going to bring out that “let’s fight” tempo from Baszler, and the two will have a rather hard-fought match—perhaps the most straight-up rough fight that Baszler has been in so far in NXT.
I’m a fan of both, so I’m 100% down for this.
Prediction: Shayna Baszler wins.
NXT North American Championship Triple Threat Match: Velveteen Dream (c) vs. Roderick Strong vs. Pete Dunne = Hot
I’m very curious why WWE decided to add Pete Dunne to this match. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great performer and all, but that just came out of nowhere, and I’d love to know how they reached that thought process.
I like all three guys. Velveteen Dream is so good for his age and is always dependable for a great performance. Roderick Strong is as solid of a hand as you can possibly get in the ring. Dunne’s an easy pick for “best possible wrestler on the card” most of the time, too. There’s no reason for me to not be into this match, so it gets another Hot from me.
As far as my prediction goes, I think this will follow suit in The Undisputed ERA’s quest to gain all the gold.
Prediction: Roderick Strong wins.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: The Street Profits (c) vs. The Undisputed ERA (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly) = Hot
Like I said, I’m anticipating all of the members of The Undisputed ERA to walk away from this event as champions, which means it’s unfortunately already time for The Street Profits to drop those belts.
The writing was especially on the wall when Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins started showing up on Monday Night Raw, as they can’t really be holding those NXT Tag Team Championship belts for too long without it seeming strange that they are hanging out on the red brand with nothing to do.
Then again, WWE has done plenty of ridiculous, illogical things this past year by abandoning their own ideas pretty much as soon as doing them, bringing The Viking Raiders up to the main roster and forgetting about them, and so on, so maybe I’m wrong about that.
I anticipate this to be a good match from start to finish, even if it isn’t the absolute best match of the night, but I think everything will be good on this card, so this gets a big thumbs up, anyway.
Prediction: Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly win.
NXT Breakout Tournament Final: Jordan Myles vs. Cameron Grimes = Hot
This is not actually be on the card, despite how it was advertised multiple times as the final taking place at TakeOver. But it’s worth talking about anyway.
If I were on the writing team, this wouldn’t have been my finals. After watching the different rounds that led to this point, I think I would have given Angel Garza the heel spot instead of Cameron Grimes.
With that being said, this is still a fresh match with two people I’m just getting familiar with and haven’t disliked the performances of. I have to assume they’re going to do their absolute best to really show off their skills and impress everyone, because they know this is a big platform to be making a name for themselves.
At the very least, I’m giving this a Hot for trying something a little different and building the future.
Prediction: Jordan Myles wins.
Candice LeRae vs. Io Shirai = Lukewarm
Out of all the options to add a sixth match to this card, I’m glad this was the one chosen, rather than Matt Riddle against Killian Dain, because it’s nice to see a secondary women’s match at a TakeOver that could potentially catapult LeRae into the title scene.
A win over Shirai here will make it clear LeRae should challenge Baszler next (assuming Yim comes up short) and it will mean so much more than if it were to have happened at the next NXT tapings.
I’m not as thrilled about this as the other matches, when it comes to my expectations of the quality, but that’s less a knock on LeRae/Shirai and more of a testament to just how awesome everyone is, and how this is Lukewarm in comparison, but still something I’m interested in seeing. Thumbs up, all around, but just not a two-thumbs up type response from me.
Prediction: Candice LeRae wins.
Those are my thoughts, but how do you feel about these particular feuds? What’s hot and what’s cold in your mind? Fill us in on your point of view in the comments below!