Rasslin’ Roundtable for NXT:Takeover London

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NXT Championship
Finn Bálor (c) vs. Samoa Joe

JT – this should be a cracker of a match, with both men working their asses off. For many fans this is a face vs face match, but expect Joe to heel it up as he uses his strength to wear Finn down. I’d be a little surprised if Joe picks up the victory, only because Balor hasn’t really held it for that long, but it’s a good thing that in NXT almost anything can happen…
Winner; Finn Balor

Sam P – Is it time for Balor’s reign to end? One of the greatest things about NXT in comparison to the main roster, is the genuine feeling of unpredictability. Looking through the entire card, I can’t definitively forecast any of the results. At both Survivor Series and TLC, I picked 3/4 of the winners without even a second thought. Balor and Joe will undoubtedly put on a clinic, and I’ve been clamouring for this match since they started teaming together, especially since I knew I’d be sitting there, live on the 6th row, cheering my face off. It’s almost the flip of a coin for me. So heads or tails? Heads is Balor, Tails is Joe… It was Heads.
Winner: Finn Balor

Pat Metalhead – The match everybody wanted ever since Joe appeared in NXT. After a alliance born out of necessity during the Dusty Rhodes tag team Classic Tournament, Joe turned heel on Balor in rather spectacular fashion, leading us to this match. I doubt any of you will be surprised if I say I have high expectations for this one. If handled correctly this might even be a late entry for match of the year candidates. And I’m sure both Joe and Balor are well aware of the high expectations so they will go all out to meet them. But this does lead us to perhaps the most unpredictable match on the card as i really believe this could go both ways. A heel Champion in the form of Joe would completely change the dynamics of the NXT main event scene, so that’s a point for him. Then again Balor has been displaying signs of becoming more cocky character-wise, so perhaps him keeping the title is the best way to develop that. Furthermore there are the possible challengers to consider. If Crews wins against Balor then Joe vs Crews seems more likely. Then again Balor’s expression when Crews told him they had unfinished business might be another indication towards the aforementioned character change. There is also the impending returns to consider. Sami Zayn is already part of the UK tour and Hideo Itami will follow shortly, that’s two more very viable candidates for the Title and, let’s be honest, any combination involving these five names will make wrestling fans salivate in advance. So who? I’m gonna base my prediction on the fact all the other names I’ve cited are faces (for now) and go with Samoa Joe making the biggest impact he possibly can by destroying Finn Balor and becoming NXT champion. Whatever happens, this should be great.
Winner: Samoa Joe

Widro – They should move Finn to the main roster and move the title onto Joe.
Winner: Samoa Joe

NXT Tag Team Championship
Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson (c) vs. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady (with Carmella)

JT – Big Cass has been getting a lot of attention on Breaking Ground recently, and the attitude change for he and Enzo bodes well for their chances in this match. On the other hand, Dash & Dawson are growing into a solid old-school heel team, and they’re probably more effective as champs than chasing the belts. Either way, the winner is just keeping the belts warm for Jordan & Gable.
Winners: Enzo & Cass

Sam P – I love the concept of Dash & Dawson, but I think the execution is just a bit boring. No-one highlights this more than Enzo and Big Cass. They are entertainment personified and I’d love for them to lose here, just so I can see them every week on Raw. If they move up and feud with New Day, I think they could very well shatter our notion of what we previously thought entertainment to be. However, they’re a long serving team and it seems likely they’ll be given a deserved title run. When the ref’s hand hits the canvas for the third time, I’ll pop so hard I fear for anyone in my vicinity.
Winner: The Bonafide Stud and The 7 Foot Tall Big Cass

Pat Metalhead – Rather intriguing situation here as Enzo and Cass were the Number 1 Contenders for the Tag team Titles, before being “injured” by Dash and Dawson who would then go on to defeat The Vaudevillains for the titles. Dash and Dawson have been rather effective in their role of “old school” type heels while Enzo and Cass’ popularity is undiminished so the London crowd should be hot for this match. As for the winner, while many would like Enzo and Cass to have a run as NXT tag team champions, I simply don’t see it happening here. Enzo and Cass might very well become the Tyler Breeze’s of the tag division, being moved to the main roster without having won the titles they were after. The reason for that is NXT’s most improbable success story of 2015, Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. They have been defeating ex-champions left and right so they are obviously next in line for a shot at the titles. While they could have an awesome match against both team, Gable’s popularity is best exploited against pure heels. And that’s Dash and Dawson.
Winner: Dash and Dawson

Widro – Should be a very interesting match, not sure on the winner.
Winner: Dash & Dawson

NXT Women’s Championship
Bayley (c) vs. Nia Jax (with Eva Marie)

JT – this is Nia Jax’s first real challenge, but I’m confident that she will rise to the occasion. Bayley will bump like a maniac and get everyone in the crowd behind her, as Jax tosses her around like a rag doll. I can only hope that Eva Marie’s interference is minimal, but based on the inexplicable love that she gets from the WWE writers she will probably be the cause of a title change.
Winner: Nia Jax

Sam P – Jaxx’s rise has been as speedy as a 14 year old seeing their hot teacher’s cleavage. She’s a welcome addition to the female roster, adding a physique we’ve not seen in the division for years. It should be a fascinating pairing and I expect a lot of psychology to be employed. It’s time for Bayley to move on up, but other than Asuka, there’d be no established female face left. Time for one of the newer girls to step up…
Winner – Nia Jax

Pat Metalhead – Bayley faces her biggest test to date. And I’m not talking about Nia Jax’s size here but about the fact Bayley has to make fans forget it is not Sasha Banks she’s facing but The Rock’s cousin. On the plus side, Bayley already performed a minor miracle by dragging Eva Marie towards an acceptable match a few weeks ago. Can she repeat this performance against the, admittedly, more talented but still very inexperienced Nia Jax? Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t mind that NXT has Bayley and Asuka fight against the less experienced wrestlers, that’s the best way for the Dana Brooke and Nia Jax’s of this world to learn. But Bayley and Sasha has set the bar so high that comparisons to those matches will be inevitable. So it’s up to Bayley to answer those high expectations once more. For the winer, this could go both ways, as much as some might hate this. Given the way Asuka has been pushed she can’t be far from the number 1 challenger position. Therefore a Nia Jax win might make sense. On the other hand, Jax’s inexperience plays against her. Will NXT take the risk of putting the women’s championship on the shoulders of someone as unproven as Nia Jax? Also people have been asking for an Asuka vs Bayley match ever since the former appeared on NXT so the face/heel boundaries might not really matter here. Besides, with Asuka’s experience she can easily turn heel on Bayley, all they have to do is let her go psycho on the fan favorite and you have something big going on for the Wrestlemania weekend show. Si I’m gonna go with Bayley, but I do think this match will end in confusion, giving them a reason to add Asuka to the mix.
Winner: Bayley

Widro – I don’t see Bayley losing the title here.
Winner: Bayley


Apollo Crews vs. Baron Corbin

JT – Corbin is one of the top guys in NXT, don’t you know? He’s been in developmental for years, has the height, look and attitude of a champ. Unfortunately he also has the personality of a potato, the wrestling skill of Kevin Nash, and a freaky belly button. He’s up against athletic, charismatic Apollo Crews, who will have to use all of his indie experience to carry the Lone Wolf to a decent match.
Winner: Apollo Crews

Sam P – Crews is a huge star in the making. Corbin has a belly button that terrifies me. It’s Star v Belly Button. As long as Crews doesn’t get lost in the petrifying vortex that haunts Corbin’s mid section, he should succeed here. He’s the natural successor to Finn Balor on NXT, and I genuinely believe he could be the biggest face on the main roster in the coming years. Whereas Corbin, well, blurgh. He’ll probably win, but I refuse to acknowledge it.
Winner – Apollo Crews

Pat Metalhead – While it’s still somewhat the norm to criticizes Corbin for his abysmal in-ring performances, objectively he hasn’t done THAT badly in matches against Samoa Joe and a few others. OK that might be mostly thanks to those talented opponents, but Corbin has evolved to the point where he occasionally delivers somewhat acceptable, if still very bland, matches. And yes, it’s probably still not enough to warrant the push he has been receiving but, let’s face it, such things are not THAT uncommon in wrestling. Anyway, it’s up to Apollo Crews to light a fire under Corbin’s ass and make this one better than it looks on paper. And given Crews’ energetic style and offense, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Also, in typical NXT fashion, this match isn’t there just for the sake of having the match, the rivalry between those two has been brewing for some weeks, and there is the added intrigue of the winner almost certainly becoming number 1 contender for the NXT Title. This is the main reason why I go for Crews as the winner. Apollo has been storming through the ranks ever since he debuted, much like Kevin Owens did earlier this year. To continue with the Owens comparison, KO was called up to the main roster rather quickly and I wouldn’t be surprised if Crews follows the same route. So I predict a win for Crews here, followed by a short, KO-like reign to legitimize him once he appears on RAW. Beside given who I think will win the Main Event, a Crews win makes a lot of sense.
Winner: Apollo Crews

Widro – Two of the more prominent non-indie guys in NXT, both have main roster potential. I think Corbin needs a win here.
Winner: Corbin

Asuka vs. Emma (with Dana Brooke)

JT: This one should be fun, and I hope that Emma put up a decent fight before being pummeled by Asuka. Expect Dana Brooke to get involved and possibly knocked the hell out before Emma taps to the Asuka lock.
Winner: Asuka

Sam P – They’ve built Asuka up as an impervious to pain, ass-kicking, warrior bitch. It’s fun, and Dana and Emma have played their roles well, but I feel a little sorry for Emma. She’s solid, and has been left a little behind by the likes of Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch. They’ll either progress the storyline with an Emma win via a Dana Brooke interference, or have Asuka emerge victorious and move her on to the title picture. Either way, I’m happy.
Winner – Asuka

Pat Metalhead – After a disastrous main roster run (though she wasn’t really at fault for that), Emma is slowly recovering from her ordeal. The Heel Emma character has been rather interesting to watch, displaying new aspects of her personality while warping some of her old ones, so I see her climbing up the ranks (again) in the coming months. Not here though, as she is basically in London in the role of Asuka’s punching bag. And yes there will be some Dana Brooke shenanigans, yes both Dana and Emma will do everything they can to stop ‘The Future”, but, well, the Future can’t really be stopped can it? Speaking of stops I believe this is Asuka’s last stop before starting her road towards a Championship match so I am very curious to see how this will play out here. Until now, she has been facing less experienced performers in rather short matches (invariably giving those performers the best matches of their career), but against a reinvigorated Emma this could be somewhat of a show-stealer, if given enough time. Triple H did tell us to expect big things from Asuka at Takeover London after all.
Winner: Asuka

Widro – Asuka’s reign of domination continues.
Winner: Asuka

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