Bobby Roode vs. Tye Dillinger
Predicted Winner: Bobby Roode
This match is a lock for loudest pop of the night. Both men are from the Southern Ontario area, and should definitely be poised to start the card and energize the crowd. Dillinger is a fun wrestler to watch, and Roode is…glorious! Both are more traditional style wrestlers, but both have enough innovative offense and charisma to put on a fantastic match. Although Dillinger may need the win more at this point, Roode will likely take the win in order to be poised as the new challenger to Nakamura.
The Revival vs. DIY (NXT Tag Team Champ)– Two-out-of-Three Falls Match
Predicted Winners: DIY
Last time we saw these teams in action, they gave us an incredible match of the year candidate (and easily the tag team match of the year). Faking an injury and costing DIY a chance at the Dusty Classic generated even more heat, and kept this match just as fresh as it was before. Giving the men a little more room to work with a 2 out of 3 falls match can only be better, as it gives more creative avenues to finish a wonderful tag feud. The only downside to this match is at one point soon, we will lose them all to the main roster. Match of the night.
The Authors of Pain vs. TM61 – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals
Predicted Winners: TM61
First of all, Paul Ellering being suspended above the ring in a cage is something out of Vince Russo’s playbook. Secondly, both of these teams have been relatively underwhelming since debuting. Whether AOP or TM61 wins, hopefully it will give either team some kind of jumpstart. This match will definitely be the low point of the otherwise stacked card. The pairing is something reminiscent of The Rockers vs. Demolition (or any other large tag team of the early 90s). While the action should be acceptable, and they are fighting over something of meaning, it just does not seem to click as much as the other matches. TM61 could really use the win in order to vault them into the front of the line for a tag team title feud. It should also be worth noting that there is a large Australia tour of NXT coming up soon, and this would help fuel their momentum in their homeland.
Asuka vs. Mickie James (NXT Women’s Championship)
Predicted Winner: Asuka
Similar to Tyler Breeze vs. Jushin Liger last year, this is a very fun and interesting match. It also serves as a perfect holdover while the other women are developing. Asuka has been the clear standout as the best woman on the roster, and having her face a standout from the late 2000s should be a great fight. Although I did not personally see Mickie wrestle much in her TNA tenure, it is likely that she is just as talented as she was a few years ago. Even if Mickie does stick around for more than one match, it is unlikely that she dethrones Asuka.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Samoa Joe (NXT Championship)
Predicted Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
Here is another feud that has been stretched since the summer, but still seems to not feel stale. It was dragging a bit, but when they used Joe to attack random people to force a title shot, it gave the feud some more life. They headlined the last Takeover event, and it was a great match. Both men are capable of putting on exciting, hard-hitting matches. Joe is more than ready to move onto the main roster, especially with Roode on deck, and the influx of Roddy, Eric Young & Tommy End. Although Nakamura losing is very unlikely, we should see them both testing the limits of “PG” in a violent grudge match.