Rasslin’ Roundtable for NXT:Takeover: Respect (Bayley vs. Sasha Banks, Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals)

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30-minute Iron Man match for the NXT Women’s Championship
Bayley (c) vs. Sasha Banks

CB: Sasha and Bayley already had match of the year, now they are trying to have match of the decade. They probably will.
Winner: Bayley

JT: This has the potential to be a five star match. Sasha Banks has been struggling to make an impact in the Divas SNAFU that is Raw, and to date she has done her best work in an NXT ring. Bayley has only been champion for a little while but she has more than earned her seat at the table, and will likely retain for the feel-good win of the night.
Winner: Bayley

Pat Metalhead: The question here is not really who will win, but rather how good this match will be. The expectations are sky-high after that amazing match at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn and literally everybody expects them to at least equal or even better that performance. Easier said than done. But I have no doubt Sasha and Bayley will go all-out to achieve just that. As for the winner, well that seems pretty straightforward. Sasha Banks has been moved up to the main roster and will, at some point, hopefully, be added to the Diva Championship picture. While she has been under-utilized until now, once this is over, she should be pushed on RAW. Probably. Hopefully. Bayley logically retains and moves on to her next challenger.
Winner: Bayley

Kevin C – Again the question here isn’t who wins. The question is if it tops the Match of the Year these two had at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. Both of these ladies are incredibly talented and grew up together in NXT. To see how far they’ve come, especially to the point they are Main Eventing a PPV and “going Broadway”, is amazing. This should be absolutely sensational. Bayley will logically win this match, but there are absolutely no losers in this one. None. Sasha Banks is being criminally underutilized on Raw. Hopefully this match will spur them to finally push her in the Divas division on the Main Roster instead of this “Team Bad” nonsense. It really is a matter of time. Sasha Banks will rule the world on Raw at some point. Until Bayley joins her friend/rival on the “Big Show”, she’s going to be the Queen of NXT. We are all better for it. This is Women’s Wrestling. At its finest.
Winner and still champion: Bayley

Sam P – This match is exactly where it deserves to be. Their contest at Takeover Brooklyn was a Match Of The Year contender, and the expectations for this rematch to exceed the incredibly high bar they’ve set for themselves will be enormous. I’m sure it’ll be everything we hope it will be. More importantly, WWE really do need to transfer this sort of quality and interest to the main roster with more fluidity.
Winner: Women’s wrestling. But also Bayley.

Penny – It’s a foregone conclusion that Bayley retains since Sasha’s been called up, but that doesn’t mean this won’t be a gruelling, epic, utterly show-stealing MOTY candidate. We all know these two will go all out to put on a clinic that makes whatever happens on a main roster ppv look like gangly teenagers throwing each other around on their mom’s azaleas.
Winner; Each and every single one of us.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament semi-final
Finn Bálor and Samoa Joe vs. The Mechanics (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder)

CB: Dash and Dawson win here, setting up Joe vs. Balor as the next big NXT title feud.
Winners: Dash and Dawson

JT: The Mechanics? Was ‘The Rednecks’ taken? Dawson and Wilder are filling in the numbers here as Finn and Joe head towards the final.
Winners: Finn & Joe

Pat Metalhead: Everybody can see where the Joe/Balor story is going, and I’m fine with that. While I would prefer that the focus of a tag team tournament would be on, you know, tag teams, instead of the eventual break-up of their two top faces, The Mechanics will be fine whatever happens. Because, if tournament logic is respected, their previous win over the tag team champions will allow them a championship match pretty soon. So Joe and Balor will move on to whatever happens in the final.
Winner Samoa Joe and Finn Balor

Kevin C- Yeah. This one is telegraphed. Everyone knows that Joe and Balor are going to end up breaking up, but they’ll get the duke here in order to build up the drama. The Mechanics have been one of the better teams in the promotion and have looked better and better with each showing. They’ll get their shot eventually, but it won’t be here.
Winner: Samoa Joe & Finn Balor

Sam P – Who knew the nations of Ireland and Samoa were such natural bedfellows? Bálor and Joe’s styles have blended excellently, and it seems they’ll reach the final. I’d like to see a little more of Dawson and Wilder as I feel I don’t know much about them. For example, until I read it in the title above, I had no idea they were technically called The Mechanics.
Winners: Finn Bálor and Samoa Joe

Penny – It’s kinda weird to have the NXT champion not defending, but he and Joe will bust their asses for this show and do Dusty proud.
Winners; Irish Eyes and Samoan Thighs are smiling.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament semi-final
Jason Jordan and Chad Gable vs. Baron Corbin and Rhyno

CB: Corbin and Rhyno win, but not because their opponents aren’t ready, willing and GABLE!
Winners: Rhyno and Corbin

JT: This one could go either way, with JJ and Gable performing well in the ring recently. Corbin is clearly being built up as the Next Big Thing, but I think a miscommunication with Rhyno might cost him the match.
Winners: JJ and The Chad

Pat Metalhead: If you continue with tag team tournament logic, then there should at least be a genuine tag team in the final. That’s not Baron Corbin and Rhyno. While their association has ended up being rather amusing, whether that was intentional or not I’ll leave in the middle, their run should stop here. Only problem is, Corbin is in there and he has been pushed beyond reason already. So I don’t know, I hope the entertaining and genuine feeling tag team of Gable and Jordan will advance, but, well, Corbin is in there.
Winner: Jason Jordan and Chad Gable

Kevin C-Full disclosure, I legitimately hate when people who are feuding are thrown into a team. It’s a tired wrestling trope that needs to be retired. That said? They’ve handled this one well so far. Rhyno and Corbin won’t win, because Jordan & Gable are most likely your next Tag Team Champions. They’re fluid, work great as a team and have connected with the Full Sail audience. They’re not losing here.
Winner : Jordan & Gable

Sam P – I’m relatively surprised that Boring Corbin and the Man Beast have reached this stage of the competition. I’ve liked their little storyline, despite the fact it makes zero sense for a man nicknamed The Lone Wolf to team up with a Rhyno, but this is all about JJ and Gable. They have immeasurable potential and remind me in many ways of The World’s Greatest Tag Team. I shouldn’t think this will be the world’s greatest tag match, but I hope it begins to cement the team, who need a name I might add, as main event players on NXT because they are indeed, ready, willing and (G)able.
Winners: Jason Jordan and Chad Gable

Penny – I kinda want JJ and his toadie of the week to go over here, but it’ll probably be Rhyno and his charisma vacuum.
Winners; Dead Heat and the Rhynosaur.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament Final
Your Pick vs. Your Pick

CB: Corbin and Rhyno take it.
Winners: Rhyno and Corbin

JT: Assuming that we do end up with an actual tag team in the finals (rather than a couple of singles guys thrown together for the tournament) I think we might see a breakdown in the bromance between Finn and Joe leading to a feud between the two. Jordan and Gable have everything it takes to be the top team in NXT, so it will be interesting if HHH has faith in them or goes for the easy (but slightly pointless) Joe/Balor win.
Winners: JJ and The Chad

Pat Metalhead: If this happens, the biggest question seems to be when Joe will turn on Balor. I find that amusing since Balor turning on Joe would actually make more sense. Let me explain. Many seem to forget, or simply don’t know perhaps, that the former Prince Devitt has been very proficient as a viscous heel in the past. This is why I’m saying that a Balor heel turn makes more sense. Balor has been fine in NXT until now, but he has received critics about his character being too bland. The Demon transformation is good, but, it only happens once in a while and can quickly grow repetitive if it always happens under the same circumstance. A heel Balor would change all that and allow Finn to add some dept into his character and show a side of him American audiences haven’t necessarily seen yet. Conclusion, Balor needs the heel turn more than Joe does, because Joe, face or heel, is simply gonna kill you. That’s all the character he needs. As for the result, I don’t know if the heel turn will be fully played out here already, but a Jordan/Gable win would certainly help this along, so I’m going for them. Also because I really want a “real” tag team to win this tournament.
Winner: Jason Jordan and Chad Gable

Kevin C -As Pat said, the question isn’t if there is a turn, but rather how deep into the match it happens. A real Tag Team needs to win this tournament to give it legitimacy and Jordan/Gable are the most fluid, genuine and cohesive Tag Team that NXT has. They are your next NXT Tag Champs. That said, I’m okay with this being a vehicle to get toward a Balor/Joe feud. Is Joe going to turn on Balor? Probably. Would I like to see a heel/Bullet Club/”Real Rock ‘n’ Rolla” version of Finn Balor in WWE/NXT? You bet your ass. “The Artist Fornerly Known As Prince Devitt” was awesome in NJPW as a heel. Sadly I don’t think we’ll see that in WWE/NXT because there is too much money to be made with Balor as a face right now. We can dream though
Winner: Jordan/ Gable

Sam P – The Tag Team Classic has been great fun, and the way they’ve executed a whole plethora of storylines has been superb. It seems this final has been engineered to elevate one team while at the same time create a feud for the NXT Championship. Somehow, I think Joe will turn on Finn, be it during, or after the match. Samoa Joe versus Finn Balor at NXT Takeover: London? Yes please. I’ll be there, on the sixth row, screaming my ass off.
Winners: Jason Jordan and Chad Gable

Penny – Finn’s on a role, Joe’s gonna kill them, so expect Rhyno and his mannequin friend to take their guts and spill them.
Winners; The Number 10. (Wait for it….)

Apollo Crews vs. Tyler Breeze

CB: Breeze should win, but Crews will.
Winner: Apollo Crews

JT: Is it just me, or is Tyler Breeze turning into the NXT version of Bo Dallas? Crews showed in last week’s match against Gargano that he is capable of making his opponent look strong while still winning convincingly, so I expect a decent match with Crews coming out on top.
Winner: Apollo Crews

Pat Metalhead: Poor Tyler Breeze. Despite improving to the point of being one of the most over acts in NXT, he’s stuck in the role of putting others over. This match should be no different. Breeze will work his ass off to make Crews look like a million bucks and will end up losing to the up-and-coming star. It is rumored that Breeze should be transferred to RAW pretty soon, but I’m guessing his role on RAW will be no different than his role on NXT.
Winner: Apollo Crews

Kevin C -Although Tyler Breeze has the biggest gimmick in wrestling, and is super over, Crews is a monster. He’s big, he’s physical and he’s the type of wrestler that Vince McMahon gives a hard-on over. He’ll get the win and be pushed as a monster going forward.
Winner: Apollo Crews

Sam P – Tyler Breeze hasn’t won a Takeover match since the very first one back in May 2014. I don’t think he’ll pick up the victory here either, as Crews is the new rising star, and rightly so. Poor Tyler. He’s getting bypassed at every avenue. It will however, be great to see a longer match out of Crews and Prince Pretty will be an excellent foil.
Winner: Apollo Cruise

Penny – Welcome to the continuation of Tyler Breeze’s devolution into farm league enhancement talent.
Winner; Unfrozen Caveman Wrestler

Dana Brooke vs. Asuka

CB: I think Dana is the perfect heel for who she is. And I think Asuka dismantles her.
Winner: Asuka

JT: It is no secret that I’m not really a fan of Dana Brooke, but it should be fun to see how she copes with the in-ring debut of Asoka. I’d be surprised if the match as free from Emma interference, but Asoka should win clean, announcing her arrival and impending dominance to the WWE universe.
Winner: Asoka

Pat Metalhead: Feel free to call me a Asuka/Kana mark if you want, but this is the match I anticipate the most, aside from the main event. If NXT is smart, they will go for Dana Brooke (and Emma) getting their asses kicked all over the place here. Besides they don’t have much choice in this case. Once the Bayley/Sasha Banks feud run its course, they need a new, viable challenger for Bayley and Asuka is already the best placed to fill the role. Dana Brooke has potential but needs more time, Heel Emma is a possibility but hasn’t been positioned as a viable threat and all the rest are too green, lack the talent or haven’t been pushed in the slightest. Asuka on the other hand is experienced, can wrestle up a storm in the ring, can effortlessly play heel, face and everything in between and has a wrestling style that will put her apart from everybody else. Stand aside, major ass-kicker coming through.
Winner: Asuka

Kevin C – They didn’t bring Asuka over from Japan so that she can lose this match. They’re already pushing her to the moon and this will be nothing short of the same. Asuka wins. Dana Brooke is going to be a sensation though. Give her time, and she’ll be part of the next group of NXT girls who will steal the show.
Winner: Asuka

Sam P – I’m fascinated to see what Asuka will bring to the table. She’s a necessary edition to the roster with the core of the women’s division moving up to Raw. While Dana Brooke is still green, she is a natural heel and I find her weirdly entertaining, but this would undoubtedly be a better match if it was Emma competing. It seems though, that Asuka will kick the crap out of Dana. Not literally, that would be messy…
Winner: Asuka

Penny – There are a handful of wrestlers whom the fans has bestowed the Samoa Joe chant on. Bray Wyatt briefly earned the privilege of being told he was Gonna Kill his opponent. I will bet money and my left boob that Asuka will be bestowed that honour tonight.

Jonathan Widro is the owner and founder of Inside Pulse. Over a decade ago he burst onto the scene with a pro-WCW reporting style that earned him the nickname WCWidro. Check him out on Twitter for mostly inane non sequiturs