Tonight is NXT Takeover New York! Here is the Pulse Wrestling crew’s full preview and predictions.
NXT Championship 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole
HARRAK: Anyone who knows me knows that this match is a tough one. Way back in 2012, I interviewed two of the fastest rising stars in the world within a month of each other. One was getting ready to defend his DGUSA title on WrestleMania Weekend in a trio of shows and the other was coming off of his first ever ROH PPV main event (and victory). Now, Gargano and Cole are headlining what is arguably the most anticipated show of the weekend. Gargano’s the epitome of the tenacious underdog and he’s also proven to be an extremely effective heel but he’s so good in fact, that he’s already been called up to the main roster although he’s never won the NXT title. Despite how hard he’s worked and how nice of a conclusion to his NXT story it would be, Johnny Wrestling doesn’t need the NXT title. Adam Cole does. Cole, while popular since his debut, hasn’t taken over as many believed he would. Now with Aleister Black, Ricochet, Tommaso Ciampa and Gargano exiting the black and yellow brand, the way is clear for Adam Cole to distinguish himself as the centerpiece of NXT. Tonight will be the birth of a new Era.
Winner and NEW: Adam Cole
Schuerman – This just HAS to be where Gargano wins the big one, right? I mean, his whole storyline with Ciampa was culminating to this exact moment. So it has to be his time I would hope. On the other hand, I could certainly see The ERA running in and helping Cole, which I would assume is going to happen anyway. Whether is shapes the finish of the match or not, only Trips knows. This should be a show stealer to end what should be a breezy and fantastic TakeOver!
Winner – Gargano
JT: Johnny Wrestling is a great example of someone who shines in NXT but gets lost on the main roster. He’s an amazing worker and pretty good on the mic, but he’s just too small to make an impact in Vince’s land of the giants. I must admit I’ve never really understood the appeal of Adam Cole – he’s vaguely charismatic but has the physique of a teenage boy, which I guess will have the effect of making Gargano look bigger. Should be a decent match, although probably not to the caliber of Gargano vs Ciampa.
Winner: Johnny Gargano
Widro – While it’s disappointing Ciampa is injured, this is a best case scenario replacement. This should tear the house down.
NXT Women’s Championship Fatal 4-Way Match
Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Kairi Sane vs. Io Shirai vs. Bianca Belair
HARRAK: Shayna Baszler as champion is getting stale. She’s a dangerous and believable heel but she’s too dominant. Her character needs strong babyfaces and these other three women just don’t have the crowd support yet. This would be a perfect match for Baszler to drop the belt without losing but I’d be surprised if that happened.
Winner: Shayna Baszler
Schuerman – This is a super tough call. If it wasn’t time for the call ups on the RAW after WM, I would say Baszler retains by the fact that nobody else in the match really should be champ at this point. But I really think she’s going main roster, so I’m going to give it to lo, with a small part of me thinking they may go Belair.
Winner – lo Shirai
JT: I was initially skeptical of Shayna Baszler, but she’s been getting better in the ring and seems like a legitimate physical threat, particularly against smaller workers like Kairi Sane. I’d love it if this was an elimination-style match to avoid the ‘champ losing the title without getting pinned’ scenario that happens so often, but that seems unlikely at this point.
Winner: Shayna Baszler
Widro – Shayna has been an unstoppable force in the NXT women’s division. I’d prefer to see the Sky Pirates on the main roster so I’ll say Belair wins.
WWE United Kingdom Championship Match
Pete Dunne (c) vs. WALTER
HARRAK: I don’t know of any other match on WrestleMania weekend that has the potential to be as brutal as this one does. Pete Dunne has singlehandedly made the UK Championship relevant for over 2 years and he’s done so with critical acclaim. I don’t know of a single person who’s “bored” with Dunne as champ. That being said, WALTER is a FREAK. I become scared for his opponents and I’m scared for Dunne’s title reign. I can’t see WALTER’s invincibility to be crushed by Dunne this soon.
Winner and NEW: WALTER
Schuerman – WALTER’S gonna kill you! That really should be the new chant for the NXT sheeple. This man is a sight to behold, and both can certainly bring it in the ring. Dunne has run his course as UK champ, and WALTER is the man to finally end his reigh.
WInner = WALTER
JT: Pete Dunne has really grown on me during his reign as UK champ, proving that ugly short dudes with bad teeth can be far more entertaining than pretty boys like Roman Reigns. WALTER is a complete beast, and would have a decent shot at the WWE Championship if not for his strongly stated desire not to move to America. Which I can totally understand, considering the goober in charge at the moment…
Widro – I’m not ultra familiar with WALTER but i’m excited to see these two guys on the big stage.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match
The War Raiders (c) vs. Aleister Black & Ricochet
HARRAK: These are the four men that are going to try to steal WrestleMania weekend, at least for the tag teams. Black and Ricochet have a few months tag teaming now and its beginning to show in their matches. Their chemistry together is clicking just in time for one of the best team in the business, Hanson and Rowe. I fully expect this match to receive at least 2-3 standing ovations from the Brooklyn faithful. Highly looking forward to this one, despite the winners seeming obvious.
Winners: War Raiders
Schuerman – This is what I’m looking forward to the very most. After the Raiders showed what they can do and how they can keep up against the ERA in winning the titles, I think this really could be MOTYC, even though it’s still really early. Black and Ricochet have been on a tear, but here’s hoping the Raiders come away with the victory to seal their dominance.
Winners – War Raiders
JT: Man, the War Raiders have been disappointing since their WWE debut. From the ridiculous helmets to stop-start pushes, the team formerly known as War Machine seems destined to go down in history as yet another failed WWE acquisition. Aleister Black and Ricochet, on the other hand, have both been white-hot since their NXT debut, and are both unique enough go on to be major stars on the main roster, assuming they can avoid major injuries. This should be a hard hitting match, but unless they’re about to move Black & Ricochet permanently up to Smackdown or Raw, then they should walk out with the titles.
Winners: Black & Ricochet
Widro – I’m not a huge fan of War Machine/Raiders and I also don’t really like Black and Ricochet as a team. This could be a good match.
Winner: War Raiders
NXT North American Championship Match
Velveteen Dream (c) vs. Matt Riddle
H ARRAK: This could be the sleeper match of TakeOver. Both Riddle and Dream has similar pro-wrestling histories in EVOLVE and their contrast of styles should make for a fun match. Dream is athletic enough to keep up with the former MMA fighter and I expect them to surprise us more than once with inventive pin sequences and submissions.
Winner: Velveteen Dream
Schuerman – This should open the show, and really may end Dream’s run of classic matches at these TakeOver’s. I just don’t see it with Riddle’s hype, Not yet anyway. The seeds are there, he just needs to refine them. Maybe a match with the charismatic and amazing Dream will be what puts him over the top? Either way, I like and hope the Dream is NOT over!
Winner – Dream
JT: I realize that I’m probably alone in this position, but I’m still holding out for Matt Riddle to replace Baron Corbin against Kurt Angle at Mania, particularly after the oxygen-thief managed to injure Rey Mysterio last week. Come on, Corbin, he’s an old man! Anyway… Tough Enough contestant Patrick Clark has finally found a gimmick that works, and has been putting on some great matches lately. Matt Riddle has made an impressive debut and built a fan base with the Bro movement, but I don’t think he’ll take the title just yet.
Winner: Velveteen Dream
Widro – I think Dream is headed to the main roster so Riddle, who still needs work on his persona, will take the win and stay in NXT.
Tags: NXT TakeOver New York, rasslin roundtable, Wrestlemania 35, WWE