**Contains Spoilers For The Mae Young Classic Finalists**
Fresh off NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III, our next special event for WWE’s developmental brand will be the night before Survivor Series with NXT TakeOver: Houston on November 18, 2017 at the Amway Center in Houston, Texas.
As we’re a few months away from the event, there’s plenty of time to add new people to the roster, adjust feuds, for injuries to get in the way and for plans to change on a whim, but at the end of an event, I always like to try to give my extended projections for which matches I think will be showing up on the next card, what makes the most sense to look forward to, what missteps WWE may take and so forth.
I invite you all to do the same in the comments below so we can come back closer to the event to see how right or how wrong we were.
With that being said, what do I see in my crystal ball for NXT TakeOver: Houston?
The previous two tournaments took place in October’s NXT TakeOver: Respect and last year’s November 19th NXT TakeOver: Toronto, so it can be assumed that we’ll be getting the tournament again at this point in the year.
However, that’s not a certainty. WWE might not want to follow up the Mae Young Classic with the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic as that would be two tournaments in a row.
If it does happen, we don’t know if that will be something wherein just the finals will take place here or if the semifinals will as well, nor do we know if the NXT Tag Team Championship will be defended or if the champions will be involved in the tournament field.
Pairings for this tournament are always at least somewhat random to bulk out the field along with folks like Heavy Machinery, The Ealy Brothers, Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli and so on.
Who knows, maybe Lars Sullivan actually finds a teammate who doesn’t cost him a victory. Perhaps Dan Matha or Fabian Aichner?
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: SAnitY vs. reDRagon
While there’s plenty of time for Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish to get a title opportunity on the regular episodes of NXT programming well before Houston comes to pass, the easy call right now is to assume this is the title match we’ll be seeing.
Again, the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will play a huge factor in determining whether or not the titles are even on the line, so this could happen and the titles may not be a factor at all, as these two teams could be the in the finals of the tournament instead.
I would assume that won’t happen, though.
If SAnitY faces reDRAGon (or whatever they’re called in NXT) sometime in August, September or October, then come November, I expect another team to be the No. 1 contenders to the titles with SAnitY retaining in the process.
Time to cross my fingers for a good couple of months for The Street Profits!
NXT Women’s Championship Match: Asuka (c) vs. ???
If Ember Moon wasn’t able to defeat Asuka at Brooklyn III, I can’t imagine anybody on the current roster being able to realistically fill that spot, nor would I go for another rematch between Moon and Asuka.
Ask yourself if Aliyah, Billie Kay, Liv Morgan, Nikki Cross, Peyton Royce, Ruby Riot or Sonya Deville really seems like she would be the one to defeat the undefeated Empress of Tomorrow. I don’t think so.
The same can be applied (at least in my perspective) to nearly all of the women waiting in the wings like Bianca BelAir, Vanessa Borne and Lacey Evans.
However, there are two women that may very well be in the running: the finalists of the Mae Young Classic, Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane.
Whichever woman comes out on top of that tournament would be in a prime position to have the momentum to challenge for the title and could be considered important enough of a priority where WWE would want to keep the ball rolling with her defeating Asuka.
That is, of course, if Asuka is even still the champion! There’s always a chance she comes up to the main roster and relinquishes her title, forcing some kind of Fatal 4-Way, a tournament, or a battle royal to determine who is next to hold the NXT Women’s Championship.
If that happens, take your pick between any of the women in NXT. If it doesn’t and we have Asuka heading into the event with the belt around her waist, I’d imagine Baszler or Sane will be the challenger.
NXT Championship Match: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Adam Cole
Similar to the situation with the tag titles, just because there’s a clear and obvious person gunning for the title does not mean they will be stretched out long enough to wrestle for the belt at NXT TakeOver: Houston, as they may get their opportunity earlier.
That being said, there’s a clear and obvious person gunning for the title and his name is Adam Cole.
Too much buzz surrounded him for me to think WWE will go with someone else, particularly as Cole seems to be a heel and with McIntyre at the top of the food chain, it pretty much needs to be a heel who challenges him. A rematch with Roode can happen, but it would be on a regular NXT episode and not several months from now, nor do I think Hideo Itami would take the spot away from Cole.
Other Potential Matches
If the feud between Johnny Gargano and Andrade “Cien” Almas continues, we could see a special mixed tag team match where Almas and Zelina Vega go up against Gargano and his wife, Candice LeRae, who was featured in the Mae Young Classic and by this point, will have made her debut weeks upon weeks earlier. I would say Tommaso Ciampa against Gargano could happen, but I think it’s doubtful Ciampa will be cleared to return to in-ring action by this point in time. Instead, I’d look out for that before the Royal Rumble or WrestleMania at the earliest.
Another possibility is to feature Aleister Black, as WWE seems to really want to get behind him. However, who would he face, and why do I get a sneaking suspicion he’ll be on the main roster as part of 205 Live rather than still in NXT at this point in time? If he does have a match here, I could see it being The Velveteen Dream or someone moving down from the main roster, as that has been a rumor flying around the suspicions of the possible Superstar Shake-Up. As far as main roster talent that could face Black, your guess is as good as mine.
My Theorized Card:
NXT Championship Match: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Adam Cole
NXT Women’s Championship Match: Asuka (c) vs. Kairi Sane
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: SAnitY (c) vs. reDRagon
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals
Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega
What matches do you think will happen at NXT TakeOver: Houston? Test your predictive powers by tossing out your guesses as soon as possible in the comments section below!