Tonight is NXT Takeoever Phoenix, here is the Pulse Wrestling crew’s full preview with match predictions!
Matt Riddle vs. Kassius Ohno
Brad Garoon: Hard to say what happens to Ohno after this match, and to be honest I didn’t think this really needed to be stretched further after Riddle’s seven-second win over Ohno in Los Angeles. What I’m looking at most after this is what happens to Riddle, and I hope it’s a program with a more interesting NXT wrestler who has been lost in a shuffle a bit lately, Velveteen Dream.
PK: Riddle is 2-0 against Ohno going into this, and I wonder what is to gain for Ohno losing again…so I don’t thing he will.
Winner – Ohno
Jake Ziegler – What does Riddle gain from beating Ohno a third time? Is anyone ever going to buy Ohno as a top-level guy in NXT? I feel like there could’ve been better options for the fifth match on the card.
Winner – Matt Riddle
Widro – Riddle has a big upside, I don’t think he will job here but will be a longer better match.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match
The Undisputed ERA (c) vs. The War Raiders
Brad Garoon: Hanson’s injury at War Games hampered the build to this match, which has been pretty much non-existent since that Takeover special. While the Raiders’ win in War Games makes this match logical, the actual issues for the Undisputed Era of late have been against EC3 and Velveteen Dream. Here’s hoping they make up for the lame build with a characteristically wild match and that the Undisputed Era can move on to something interesting and new while the Raiders take the titles.
Winner: War Raiders
PK: The Raiders have been kept away from the title picture for the entire time theyve been in NXT, so it seems like it is there time to shine.
Winners – War Raiders
Jake Ziegler – Time to shit or get off the pot with the War Raiders. I don’t feel this gimmick at all and would rather see Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch get a run with the belts.
Winners – War Raiders
Widro – I think it’s time to get Undisputed Era on a main roster trajectory.
Winners: War Raiders
NXT Women’s Championship Match
Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Bianca Belair
Brad Garoon: Pending this match being anything but a disaster, I hope that this feud keeps going after this match. I really like the way that these two play off of each other. Belair is the perfect foil for Baszler, as she more or less has the attitude to no-sell Baszler’s bluster. And on the other side, after finally getting the rub from our lord and savior Nikki Cross, Baszler’s profile is raised even further by Baszler reluctantly admitting that the EST of NXT is a formidable opponent. Belair should take it here leading to a rematch in New York.
PK: The Belair undefeated streak ends here. Shayna continues to look strong, and I do not see an end to her title reign in sight.
Jake Ziegler – Belair may not quite be ready to hold the title going into Mania, but her in-ring work has improved leaps and bounds, and her character work is great and she’s been a perfect foil for Baszler. Their promo on NXT a few weeks ago totally sold me on this match.
Winner – Shayna Baszler
Widro – I wonder what the plans are now for Shayna with Ronda’s rumored time coming to an end.
NXT North American Championship Match
Ricochet (c) vs. Johnny Gargano
Brad Garoon: I see a lot of people predicting that Tommaso Ciampa will interfere here and cost Ricochet the title, but I can’t think of a more tired and boring outcome. Much more interesting would be Gargano losing, reacting poorly, attacking Ricochet after the match and then helping Ciampa win at the end of the night. Ciampa as the puppet-master, knowing that Gargano would either win and thank him for the idea of challenging for this title, or lose and become more desperate for a DIY reunion, works way less well if Ciampa is overtly interfering in this match. I also think the Gargano story is more interesting if he loses at Takeover again. The guy is basically bulletproof to losses, so give Ricochet the win here and have him drop the North American title to someone like Dream who certainly needs the belt more than Gargano.
PK: Gargano continues to lose his singles title matches, and he finally goes full heel reuniting with Ciampa.
Winner – Ricochet
Jake Ziegler – How great is the NXT creative team that they can just continue bringing in great talent to the Gargano/Ciampa storyline, in this case Ricochet, and making it a compelling and necessary aspect of the arc. I like the idea of Gargano and Ciampa both holding belts in NXT.
Winner – Johnny Gargano
Widro – Should be an absolutely amazing match.
NXT Championship Match
Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Aleister Black
Brad Garoon: Black has nowhere to go in NXT if he wins the title here, and the guy belongs on Raw or Smackdown at this point. There’s more to mine with evil champ Ciampa. It’s as simple as that, and as I said earlier if there is interference on this show it should happen here with Gargano somehow helping Ciampa win like he did during the first Ciampa vs. Black match.
PK: Black is at the point where either he wins the title back, or he goes to one of the main shows, and I think it is a bit too soon for the latter.
Winner – Aleister Black
Jake Ziegler – I feel like Aleister Black may be main roster bound, and while he’s been an integral part of this story, the finale is going to be Ciampa v Gargano for the title. I mean right?
Winner – Tommaso Ciampa
Widro – I think Black is main roster bound so they will not do a title change here.
Winner – Tommaso Ciampa
Tags: NXT Takeover, NXT: Takeover Phoenix, rasslin roundtable