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 XXV 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 Match: Johnny Gargano (c) vs. Adam Cole = Lukewarm
Both Gargano and Cole are fantastic performers, but I was more excited to see their previous match with the 2-out-of-3 Falls stipulation than this generic rematch.
Of course, the match will be good, if not great. That’s what you get when you put two talented people together. But I’m not oozing with anticipation to see it like I would have been if this were something new or had some sort of gimmick to freshen things up.
Prediction: Johnny Gargano retains.
NXT Women’s Championship Match: Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Io Shirai = Lukewarm
I really, really hope this is more along the lines of what we normally see from Shayna Baszler, wherein she can play to her strengths as a heel and dictate the flow of a match, rather than what we got with the Fatal 4-Way that I was underwhelmed by.
Io Shirai is somewhat of a mixed bag to me. I see greatness in her and a lot of potential, yet sometimes, she doesn’t quite reach that mark. As such, I’m curious if we’ll get her on one of her better nights, or if this will be one of those unfortunate situations where she comes up short.
With that being said, I’m still anticipating this quite a bit, and I think it’ll be something I’ll enjoy.
Prediction: Shayna Baszler retains.
NXT North American Championship Match: Velveteen Dream (c) vs. Tyler Breeze = Hot
Although this isn’t the headliner, I feel like Velveteen Dream and Tyler Breeze are going to do everything in their power to convince fans it should have been, by truly giving it their all.
Supposedly, their house show matches are awesome, which means they’ve probably worked out a great system and have amazing chemistry together that has been honed over their previous matches.
That experience should lead to likely the best match they’ll have ever had, especially since the crowd will be feeding off their energy and vice versa.
Prediction: Velveteen Dream retains.
NXT Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way Ladder Match: Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan vs. The Forgotten Sons vs. The Street Profits vs. The Undisputed ERA (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) = Hot / Lukewarm
It seems as though every time I feel like I should go into a TakeOver event thinking the track record of the tag team match being amazing will end, I’m proven wrong, which is fantastic.
However, I’m still going to apply that to this match, as I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than proven correct in that assumption. Even though it’s a ladder match, which makes it much easier to be a lot of fun, the participants involved aren’t really doing much for me.
The main reason why I’m not 100% sold is The Forgotten Sons. No combination of those three will make me feel as confident in this match as I would have had The War Raiders or another, better tag team would have been in their place.
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch have it. The Street Profits have a lot of potential. The Undisputed ERA are golden. So at the very least, this has half the equation, if not 75% in the bag, and I hope it isn’t that other 1/4th that ruins it.
Prediction: The Undisputed ERA win the titles.
Matt Riddle vs. Roderick Strong = Hot / Lukewarm
There have been much better feuds and more interesting setups for TakeOver matches than this, but the name value of Riddle and Strong is enough that I don’t think this needed to be more than what it was.
This is a simple scenario of putting two of the most prolific competitors on the brand in a match together, which also makes sure one of the members of The Undisputed ERA isn’t left out in the cold, nor does Riddle get pushed aside.
On paper, this seems great. What’s there to be worried about?
Prediction: Matt Riddle wins, because I flipped a coin, as I’m 50/50 on this.
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!