Inside Pulse 12

Rasslin’ Roundtable for NXT Takeover: Dallas (Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe, Bayley vs. Asuka, Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn)

NXT Takeover: Dallas is TONIGHT, April 1, 2016. Here is the Pulse Wrestling team’s previews and predictions.

Samoa Joe challenges NXT Champion Finn Bálor at TakeOver: Dallas

The heated rivalry between Samoa Joe and Finn Bálor comes to a head in Dallas when Bálor puts his NXT Title on the line against his monstrous challenger.

NXT Championship Match
Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe

CB: This is Joe’s time to win so that Balor can move up to the main roster. If Joe does lose, I sense a call up and debut in the Andre Battle Royal.
Winner: Samoa Joe

Pat Metalhead: For a complete preview of NXT Takeover check out my full Metalhead preview for NXT Takeover:Dallas
As for the short version, Biggest challenge for those two is to try and take match of the night honors despite some very heavy competition elsewhere on the card. It is possible we witness the bird of the Balor Club after this match, but I don’t think so. In my opinion, for that to happen, the Demon must first be vanquished and that is exactly what Joe will do this Friday.
Winner: Samoa Joe

JT: On any other show, this would be a near-certainty for match of the night, but at Takeover Dallas it might struggle to make the top 3. We haven’t seen a lot of Finn Balor since he won the title, while Joe has been going on a rampage destroying enhancement talent like Bull Dempsey, so the buildup to this match has felt a little off to me. Taking this into account, Joe and Balor are two excellent wrestlers with the potential to tear the house down, so I’m not writing this match off yet…
Winner: Samoa Joe

Brittney Soban – An ongoing battle lately it seems that this is perhaps the example the main roster should use for storylines and match schedules. A loved face in Balor defending his title against his one time friend could go any number of ways. Balor has held the title for some time now and, while I personally would love to see him remain champion there is much to be said about the ability of Samoa Joe. The two have had great battles in the past and this one won’t disappoint, I just wonder if Balor’s luck will run out or if he can hold the title a bit longer. With AJ Styles, a former NJPW stable mate of Balor’s, in WWE as well they may be leaning towards a storyline with Styles and any other Bullet Club members that may be signed. This begs the question if Balor needs to be the champion in that scenario or if he’ll pass the title on to focus on building/battling with his former stable. Only time will tell.
Winner: Finn Balor

Paltrowitz – Samoa Joe is great and all, but I see him as the guy working with the top guy, not the top guy.
Winner: Finn Balor

Kate: Oh geez. I don’t know. This is tough. I mean, there’s talk about Finn Balor debuting on the main roster at some point, but with the rumors about Enzo, Big Cass, and Bayley moving on, will NXT want to drop Balor too? Or will they keep him, only to have Samoa Joe (who is very deserving of a title run right now) earn the title and Balor being stuck without too much more of a future in NXT at this point? He’s so over with the fans but what else can he do besides continuing his title run and Joe losing this match? My head hurts. But I don’t think that outcome would be necessarily awful (if Joe wins and Balor stays, anyway). Yet I do feel like the main roster is calling Balor’s name. Regardless, as much as I like Balor, I want to see Joe get the Championship. I like Joe as well, and as I said, he deserves a run right now.
Winner: Samoa Joe

James Wright: I’m surprised there is not a stipulation for this rematch and that makes me think that somehow Balor might retain as you’d think if he is losing here to go to the main roster they might want to do it without him tapping or eating a pin. However it’s not enough to have me go against the general sense that NXT is doing a general reboot of their champions heading into the post-Wrestlemania season. It really is time for Balor to come up to the main roster and Wrestlemania/the Raw after makes a lot of sense, just not with the NXT title.
Winner: Samoa Joe (New Champion)

Sam P – I feel there’s more to come from these two. We know the Bullet Club have arrived, and this feud has more legs in it if Joe intensifies his aggression for Balor even further in the coming weeks so that the Irishman needs his buddies to help him out. The future aside, this will be a gruelling battle between two dudes at the top of their game.
Winner: Finn Balor

Michael McMonigle – I want to say Joe will take this match, but I can’t. Balor and Joe will try to cap off the night right, but will have so many great performances preceding them, I am worried they may try a little too hard. If they can relax and not try to do too much, I think they can put on a classic. I think Balor and Joe go 30 minutes at least and Balor finishes with Bloody Sunday, or whatever they are calling it now. Balor remains the champion and the “face” of NXT for a while, having a long run with the belt. There is no shortage of challengers. And I think they can actually transition Joe from this – let him become obsessed with proving he is the best (and better than Balor) by jumping to the main roster to “prove” himself.
Winner: Finn Balor

Sam Keola – I’m going to say Joe since Balor hopefully will be debuting on the main roster soon.
Winner: Joe

Penny; Despite his vocal interest in remaining in NXT, rumour is that Tripsy wants to call Finn up, so I’m going to call this one for Joe.
Winner; Joe’s Gonna Kill It.

Widro – This should be a great in-ring match. I think Joe gets the title.
Winner: Samoa Joe

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NXT Womens Championship Match
Bayley vs. Asuka

CB: Asuka will definitely win, because it’s Bayley’s time (like Balor) to get called up to the new WOMEN’S division (which is scheduled to be rebranded on the Raw after WrestleMania).
Winner: Asuka

Pat Metalhead: Match made in heaven for all wrestling fans although Asuka might very well take Bayley to her own personal hell here. While Asuka vs Bayley doesn’t have the benefit of the emotional storyline that came with the Bayley vs Sasha matches, they still have all the tools to blow away everything that happened before in NXT’s Women’s division. Might also be the first time Asuka is really allowed to go all out. As for the result, the Empress of Tomorrow will start her reign this Friday. Can’t wait.
Winner: Asuka

JT: This is one of those rare face vs face matches that looks awesome on paper and should play out even better in real life. Bayley is as the top of her game as a never-give-up underdog while Asuka has a genuine air of danger about her, so the clash between the two should be spectacular.
Winner: Asuka

Brittney Soban – Again this match could go either way. Bayley and Asuka are both huge fan favorites. Bayley as the long standing champion who has battled a wide range of challengers for her title has always come out on top. Past challengers include Nia Jax, Sasha Banks and Eva Marie. Now she’s taking on Asuka which means she is going against an entirely new opponent. Asuka is unlike any of the other women Bayley has faced but Bayley’s heart always helps her come out victorious. I wonder how Friday will play out and again we have to keep in mind that this time of the year brings a lot of change in rosters. Bayley could be called up, which would be a shame to have her and her talent lost in the shuffle like the other recent NXT call-ups. Asuka could win, she certainly has the skill set. This one will be a huge question mark until the end.
Winner: Bayley

Paltrowitz – Similar description as with Samoa Joe. Asuka is a top-notch worker, of course.
Winner: Bayley

Kate: Sooo, it’s basically been confirmed that WWE is trashing the “Divas” division and bringing back the Women’s division (thank goodness). And, there’s been a lot of speculation about when Bayley will be called up to the main roster. If the plan is that she’s called up and making a surprise debut maybe at WrestleMania after the Diva’s Champion match or shortly thereafter, then obviously Asuka would earn the NXT Women’s title. It is Asuka’s time, but on the other hand, Bayley has mentioned how much she’s enjoying not just her title reign, but also just being in NXT. This one is tough for me to predict, but if Bayley will be heading into the main roster once the Women’s division is in full effect, then that makes me feel a gazillion times better for her. And the Empress of Tomorrow gets the title. It’s a win-win. Hugs for everyone.
Winner and the new NXT Women’s Champ: Asuka

James Wright: Without hesitation I will say that I am looking forward to this match more than any other on the card, and this is a damned stacked card! Bayley has been a great character since her debut and her title win and retention was some of the most emotion-packed wrestling in recent memory. Asuka has an aura about her that is Lesnar-like in that there is excitement as soon as she appears and the anticipation of some sick violence about to go down. I’m really glad the two got to go against each other before Bayley finally departs for the main roster, which I assume will be shortly, although I would have possibly liked to have seen more of a build. Still this thing hasn’t exactly been thrown together and while it might not have the emotional impact of Bayley vs. Banks, it certainly has the promise to be wrestling gold in its own right. Working under the assumption that Bayley will be coming to the main roster I’m making the call for Asuka to win here, but the real winners are all the fans.
Winner: Asuka (New Champion)

Sam P – This should be hands down the best women’s match up in NXT since Sasha Banks made the jump up, but as with the men’s title bout, I have absolutely no idea who will win. In terms of booking, NXT obliterate that of the main roster cards. It’s tough to predict outcomes because both competitors are legitimate threats. Balor and Bayley are prized assets to NXT, so it’ll be a surprise to see both drop titles simultaneously, but with call ups presumably looming, they can’t hold them forever. I’ll plump for an Asuka win so Bayley can be at the forefront of an inevitable rebranded Women’s Division on Raw.
Winner: Asuka

Michael McMonigle – This match could easily steal the show, which I know is not that surprising given NXT’s history with women’s matches. But given the quality of so many of the wrestlers on this card, it would be surprising if they could out-do everyone else. I am positive Bailey and Asuka will try to do just that. And I would not bet against them succeeding. I think Bailey puts up a good fight and almost wins, but Asuka will kick out of the Bailey-to-Belly and then win with some sort of roundhouse kick out of nowhere. This sets up Asuka as a strong champion and Bailey left questioning herself for a bit until she hunkers down, and grinds towards a rematch down the line.
Winner: Asuka

Sam Keola – Asuka!
Winner: Asuka!

Penny; Bayley on the other hand WANTS to join the other Horsewomen on the main roster, and Asuka is white hot right now, so I’m going with Asuka.
Winner; Asuka’s Gonna Kill It

Widro – I don’t think they are ready to move Bayley up to the main roster yet so I think she will retain on this big stage.
Winner: Bayley

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NXT Tag Team Championship Match
The Revival vs. American Alpha

CB: I think American Alpha win here but the feud with The Revival is just beginning.
Winners: American Alpha

Pat Metalhead: The Revival have been very solid heel champions, but, I believe it’s time for the hugely talented and highly popular American Alpha’s to claim their rightful place at the top of the tag team division. Add to that the rumored return of the Dusty Rhodes classic, and these next months should be very interesting for Gable and Jordan.
Winner: American Alpha’s

JT: Another contender for match of the night. American Alpha have been almost unstoppable lately, adding personality to their technical wrestling arsenal. The Revival have been decent old-school style heel champs, but I’d be surprised if they walked out of Dallas with the belts.
Winners: American Alpha

Brittney Soban – The Revival are doing a great job showing how to be effective heels. American Alpha are going into this match with skill and a few wins under their belt as they head to Takeover. Honestly I’m excited to see who wins this one. Either team will serve as great champions and this feud, if handled correctly after Takeover, could last a while as The Revival come across as underhanded while American Alpha have that spirit of integrity and babyface personas about them. This match could have multiple highlights and I think, no matter the outcome, both teams will perform admirably.
Winner: American Alpha

Paltrowitz – The Revival is a strong old-school heel tag team, even though they’re light on personality. Hopefully this one doesn’t have the usual screwy finish of a Revival match.
Winner: American Alpha

Kate: There’s a lot of buildup happening for Gable and Jordan, and considering that The Revival retained their titles at Roadblock, I’d love to see Gable and Jordan earn their spot.
Winners and the new NXT Tag Team Champs: American Alpha

James Wright: The NXT tag division has been a mixed bag, with teams that have a lot of potential to be great, but perhaps not enough TV time to truly build a compelling division. Despite all this there are certain tag teams that stand out and have ‘star potential’ written all over them, at the top of this list is American Alpha. This one has wrestling classic written all over it and I can’t see Jordan and Gable not taking the titles home to great applause. If they aren’t called up any time soon then I think these guys should be the team to beat the Ascension’s current record as champions since there isn’t a team that they couldn’t look good going against.
Winner: American Alpha (New Champions)

Sam P – Jordan and Gable will be riding a wave of incredible momentum and no doubt they’ll pick up the gold at some point, but without the belts, The Revival would just be flat out bland. A sneaky win to set up a bigger programme between the two teams would go down a treat.
Winner: The Revival

Michael McMonigle – Honestly, I am not sure about this match. Everything tells me that they are setting this up for American Alpha to take the titles. However, the match feels kind of buried in this card. Plus, I don’t see more than one title changing hands on the night. I think The Revival come away with a cheap win, or maybe even a cop-out disqualification finish where they keep the titles. Maybe NXT will use the finish as a springboard to build a rivalry between these teams even more and switch the belts at the next PPV.
Winner: The Revival

Sam Keola – Revival. The end.
Winner: Revival

Penny; The Revival have held the tag belts for the average reign length, and NXT likes to keep things fresh. Plus Gable and his sidekick are HUGELY over and Texas is the perfect place to put over a tag team with anything ‘MURRRICA!!! in their name to go over.
Winner; American Alphas

Widro – I think we’ll see a title change here as well
Winner: American Alpha

American Alpha reveal the perfect storm which brought them together and to NXT TakeOver: Dallas

NXT Tag Team Champions The Revival face the red-hot American Alpha at NXT Takeover: Dallas, live this Friday on the award-winning WWE Network.

Austin Aries vs. Baron Corbin

CB: I think Aries will win, then Corbin will SNAP and give Austin a brutal beat-down.
Winner: Austin Aries

Pat Metalhead: As stated before, this match isn’t really for Aries’ benefit, it’s for Corbin’s benefit. So the result doesn’t really matter for The Lone Wolf, he’s in there to learn against one of the better workers the wrestling world has. Expect Aries to take Corbin to school and earn a crowd-pleasing victory in the process.
Winner: Austin Aries

JT: Damn, I hope this match doesn’t suck. Wiser people than I have pointed out that Aries has been brought in to teach Corbin how to work, so in the long term we should expect the charisma vacuum to come out on top. While that may be the case, I’m hoping that Aries can pull a decent performance out of Corbin along the way, and even pick up the ‘surprise’ win to show that he’s a legitimate threat.
Winner: Austin Aries

Paltrowitz – That’d sure make Austin Aries look week if he lost this match.
Winner: Austin Aries

Brittney Soban – When Aries debuted at the beginning of the month he was immediately attacked by Corbin who was making good on his promise to get even with William Regal who had, in Corbin’s opinion, kept him out of the title hunt. This type of grudge match usually leads to great moments and a great push for all those involved. Corbin has been working on building his character and Aries comes in, a great new talent to the NXT audience only to be attacked his first night. Aries is sympathetic but not pitiable, Corbin is brash and cruel and both look to prove something this Friday. While I have my own doubts about Corbin’s ability to connect to fans you can’t deny he has improved in the ring and is working hard. Perhaps this type of grudge match will show all of us that both men deserve our attention.
Winner: Baron Corbin

Kate: Corbin needs a win, but at the same time, I just can’t see NXT dealing out a loss for Aries’s first match. They treat talent from outside the brand very well, so I can’t imagine they’ll want to take that risk with Aries.
Winner: Austin Aries

James Wright: I’ve always been a big fan of Austin Aries and like many I haven’t really taken to Baron Corbin, so I have a clear favourite to win here. I’m hoping that this isn’t going to be just a glorified squash match since with these external hires in NXT it is hard to know if they will be around for only one or two matches, or a whole year. With Aries I am definitely hoping for the latter and that he is able to win in his debut match. If this was WWE then I would have less high hopes for him, but in NXT nothing is guaranteed, so even if Corbin is overall ‘destined for greatness’ he could still lose here, and I hope he does.
Winner: Austin Aries

Sam P – It’ll be fascinating to see what Aries gets up to in WWE. With the more expansive touring that NXT is gearing up for, he’s a decent name to have on the card down the line and can help the younger guys out a la Samoa Joe. Corbin’s recent extra intensity has made him surprisingly bearable to watch, but having Aries lose on his debut would be odd. Seems likely there’ll be a DQ or some sort of finish to make both look solid.
Winner: Austin Aries

Michael McMonigle – Aries has to be pissed that he is debuting on the same show as Nakamura and will try his best to show off his skills. However, Corbin is just not good enough to hang with Aries. Corbin will get plenty of big-guy offense, but Aries will simply outclass him in the end. It would make no sense for Aries to lose his debut match.
Winner: Austin Aries

Sam Keola – Corbin has had a pretty big build in NXT, but Aries has to be given his due. I’m going with an Aries win via DQ to give Corbin heat.
Winner: Aries

Penny; Despite Corbin being Tripsy’s pet project, I think Aries will go over here if only for it being his first televised NXT match.
Winner; Aries over the Talent Vacuum

Widro – It’s great to see Aries in WWE/NXT.
Winner: Aries

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Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn

CB: This could be the best match of the whole weekend. I’d like to see Nakamura win since Sami is now on the main roster. My other theory is Sami wins due to a distraction from a returning Hideo Itami. Hmmm…
Winner: Sami Zayn

Pat Metalhead: What else can I write about this one. Probably one of the most anticipated matches of WrestleMania weekend. Until now signs have pointed towards NXT allowing Nakamura to be Nakamura, we’ll now for sure when the King of Strong Style makes his entrance this Friday. Might very well become a strong candidate for match of the night/week-end/month/year. They need to push Nakamura as quickly as possible, given what he’s earning, so Nak will take it away before an adoring crowd.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

JT: Oh, hell yeah. If this were the only match on the card I would still be watching. Nakamura is a uniquely talented wrestler, and the perfect opponent for Sami Zayn to show the steroid-monkeys how it’s done. In the end it doesn’t really matter who wins, but I’m be surprised if Nakamura loses his first match in the WWE.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Brittney Soban – This is another match where both competitors have the undeniable talent and fan support needed to make a superstar great. Their styles will mesh well in the ring and I feel that there will definitely be a great match on Friday. With Zayn also part of the main roster and competing on Sunday this NXT match could set the tone for his Sunday turnout. Zayn could win Friday and go into Sunday fresh off a great win and confident which could lead to him winning on Sunday and taking the IC title off his former friend, Kevin Owens. The other option is that this will be Zayn’s last NXT match, which he will lose as a passing of the torch moment before going into Sunday. Nakamura is a huge talent and could be considered a wild card on the NXT roster. This is his (unless I’m mistaken) first match for NXT which means we don’t know how he’ll do against Zayn. We’ll just have to see.
Winner: Sami Zayn

Paltrowitz – Ditto Austin Aries comment, especially now that Sami Zayn is on the main roster.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Kate: Considering Zayn is now on WWE’s main roster and is already getting title shots and is already in WrestleMania, Nakamura is certainly the one deserving of this victory. However, I am expecting an incredible match, even though the outcome seems predictable. This is a dream match for a lot of fans. For me, this match isn’t about assigning a winner and loser – it’s about Zayn and Nakamura as wrestlers.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

James Wright: I have to admit that I don’t really watch any Japanese wrestling so I have never actually seen Shinsuke Nakamura fight, I know right, crucify me. But the buzz has got me very interested in seeing what he has to offer and Sami Zayn is a great talent to work against in what appears to be his swan song in NXT. I expect the two to put on a blinding match with Nakamura getting the win in his debut, with a good show of respect from Zayn at the end of things to officially welcome him onto the NXT roster.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Sam P – This. Will. Be. Awesome.
Winner: The audience. And also Nakamura.

Michael McMonigle – This is going to be the best match on the card, although everyone will be trying to upstage each other all night long. But the debut of Nakamura is going to usher in a new era in NXT, and the energy will be off the charts. Zayn will put up a good fight like always, but this match has to end with Nakamura coming out strongly on top.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Sam Keola – Shinsuke all the way. This will be an epic match for his debut.
Winner: Nakamura

Penny; Zayn will give Shinsuke a good partner to play off and do the “I’m gonna make the new guy look awesome before I permanently move to Raw” job.
Winner; Shinsuke

Widro – This could be THE match of the weekend. With Sami already on the main roster, Nakamura wins in his debut.
Winner: Nakamura

Elias Samson vs Apollo Crews

Pat Metalhead: Bit of the ugly duckling on this card, but both need to prove they can hold the crowd’s attention during this match or run the risk of soon being overtaken by some of the other talents NXT has waiting on the sidelines. Samson is the one getting the push right now, so he wins here.
Winner: Elias Samson

Widro – A match added at the last moment.
Winner: Crews

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