Following yesterday’s article on the superstars missing from NXT TakeOver: Respect, the other side of the spectrum is to evaluate which stars who are on the card will end up shining the brightest.
Obviously, not everybody is the top priority, as some people will be booked strong and others have to take a loss in order for that to happen. Everyone in NXT will benefit from having a good show and even in their loss, some of those people may steal a lot of the spotlight for themselves, but who will end up with the most buzz leaving the show?
Bayley and Sasha Banks
Let’s just get the most obvious one out of the way that everybody knows will be on this list. Unless something crazy happens and these two women put on a terrible match, the biggest story of the night will definitely be the Iron Man match for the NXT Women’s Championship. Considering their previous track records, I highly doubt this will be anything short of great.
There’s no getting around these two being at the pinnacle of the pecking order here as the odds are stacked in their favor. This is the rematch of one of the best women’s matches in years as well as the first Iron Man match that happens to also be the main event—it’s historic before it’s even happened.
The slight edge if we were ranking this list goes to Bayley, since I’m confident she will retain the championship, but Sasha Banks won’t look like a slouch in the process. Both women will be given ample time to show off just how good they are and the crowd is going to eat it up. This could very well end up being a contender for match of the year in not just NXT, but WWE and the professional wrestling business outside these walls.
Absolutely nothing will have as big of an impact when it comes to this card as this title match will, as it will either fulfill expectations and be amazing or it will fail to live up to the hype and disappoint everyone, leaving a huge stain on the WWE Universe’s perception of the show as a whole.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament Winners
Our secondary main event is going to be the finals for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament. At the moment, we don’t know which two teams are competing in that match, so it’s difficult to predict which two wrestlers will be awarded the trophy at the end of the night.
That being said, we can rule out The Mechanics, right? I know I’m being harsh on them lately, but I would be utterly shocked if they made it to the finals, especially if they were victorious twice on this show, no matter what shenanigans could happen.
My guess for who wins—at least at the time I’m writing this post—is Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. The Vaudevillains along with Enzo Amore and Big Cass were left off the card for a reason and I think that was partially to protect them on the way to building up these two for an upset. Corbin and Rhyno are much bigger than they are, so it’s easy to assume they will be trampled before they would even get a chance to lose to the much bigger names of Balor and Joe, but all it takes is some luck and crafty maneuvering to pull off a surprise win.
Dustin and Cody Rhodes are said to be presenting the winners with a trophy and I can’t imagine Corbin and Rhyno standing there celebrating, but I can picture Finn Balor and Samoa Joe or Jason Jordan and Chad Gable in that spot. Between those two teams, which one stands out as the duo that would be over the top and benefit the most out of being booked as the winners? Also, if Bayley defeats Sasha Banks later on in the night, it just feels too bland to have the main eventer babyfaces win here, too. Isn’t it too easy to see the NXT champion also winning a tag team tournament? What if something got in the way of that happening and their opponents were ready, willing, and Gable to capitalize?
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament TURN
Following my previous point, I’m going to guess the tournament doesn’t end with a simple match where one team bests the other. Instead, I’m expecting a turn of some sort where one duo splits while the other is triumphant in victory as a solid, uniform team.
There are two different things that could happen with this:
Option A: Baron Corbin and Rhyno get into some kind of an argument and go back to feuding with each other. Of the two, I would assume Rhyno would be the babyface with Corbin continuing his heel run, so after Corbin beats Rhyno a few times, he’s set up properly to feud with Finn Balor for the NXT Championship.
Option B: Samoa Joe turns on Finn Balor. Of the two, Joe is the more likely option for a heel turn by far, and I don’t think the pairing of these two together was an accident or a coincidence. There’s not much that joins them together other than being important people on the brand. Perhaps I’m looking to much into things and there is no conspiracy afoot, but I’m skeptical, and I think we could very well see Samoa Joe facing Finn Balor for the NXT Championship in the future.
Last but not least, the debut of Asuka is something that should turn some heads. I’m not too familiar with her background, so I can’t point out specifics of what she’ll show off or what everyone is in store for, but there’s no doubt in my mind that she will be portrayed in a positive light with her first match.
Noticeably absent from this list is Apollo Crews, who I think will defeat Tyler Breeze, but nobody will really care all that much. Crews was the new guy at the last TakeOver event and he’s still very fresh to the roster, but Asuka takes that edge away from him. I would assume the two tag team matches happen first on the card, followed by Asuka’s match and Apollo’s match as breathers before going into the finals of the tournament. As such, one of those two takes priority over the other, since one will be the designated “bathroom break” spot. People who don’t like women’s wrestling will rather sit through Crews vs Breeze, but as far as booking is concerned, Asuka’s match is more important, so she has a much higher chance to be viewed as a focal point.