Here, ye, hear, ye. The Royals of Wrestle Royalty are at it again – this time pontificating on, elaborating on, and predicting the outcomes of the “NXT TakeOver: New York”! Read along with what we have to say…and predict along with us! Vote in the polls following each match!
NXT Championship (2 out of 3 falls)
Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole (Bay Bay)
Queen KB: I’m really struggling with this one. I love Gargano, but it seems strange to strap him with Goldy right after Ciampa had surgery. Then there’s Cole who bugs the heck out of me and I cannot put my finger on why he bothers me so much, he just does. I really wish I could put my finger on my issue with Cole, but it’s just sitting there festering. Something about Cole is why I have to go with that cute little Gargano. Be nice to see what he could do as NXT Champion.
Queen’s Predicted Winner – Johnny Gargano
Baron Botch: It’s apparent that Tommaso Ciampa’s injury has done collateral damage. Gargano hasn’t been seen on the main roster since Ciampa’s injury and it’s likely he’ll be pushed back to NXT. I’ve always viewed Ciampa/Gargano as the feud that should never end. Think Ric Flair/Dusty Rhodes. They should always be at odds. Seeing them as a tag team on the main roster – both completely stripped of their NXT personalities and edge – made zero sense to me. He makes more sense among the NXT faithful and he’ll flourish down there. Adam Cole (Bay Bay) flourishes down there too. The question is who wins? The answer? We do! This match should be amazing and I’m really looking forward to seeing it. I know, I know…pick a winner, Botch! Okay, I’m looking at who could benefit most from carrying it. I honestly believe if Adam Cole never won a title, he’d still be over. He really doesn’t need it. Gargano needs some direction now that he’s been moved back to NXT so…
THE WINNAH! and NEWWWWWWW! – Johnny Gargano
Sovereign S.A.M.: Here we have what will most likely be the match of the night, if not the match of the weekend. Last year was the year of NXT and they have continued that into 2019. It is a shame that this match is happening because Ciampa has injured his neck and we all hope he is able to come back better than ever. Gargano is the top face in NXT and with Ciampa being injured, Cole has moved into the role as being the top heel. The character work in this match should match the in-ring work which should be off the chain. 2/3 falls gives this the opportunity to have all the time in the world and we should be in for something special here. My mouth is already salivating at what we may see in this match and I honestly do not want to pick a winner, but I shall.
The Winner AND NEW NXT Champion: Adam Cole Bay Bay!!!
Sir Mitch: This one is the only match on Takeover that I really had to think about who would go over. On the one hand, Johnny Wrestling has been on such a journey the last 18 months with his on again, off again feud with Ciampa that ended with double turns and a few other placeholder feuds in-between. On the other hand, the Undisputed Era stable that Cole leads has since lost much of its momentum since losing the Tag and North American titles and could use a BIG boost to make them feel like a threat again.
It’s a hard one, but I’m siding with Cole here as Gargano is probably still better off chasing the Title then holding it right now.
Winner – Adam Cole…BAY BAY
Duke Dre: This one is going to epic. I’ve thought about this one long and hard and it just feels like it’s finally Gargano’s time. With Ciampa’s untimely injury we won’t get to see the payoff of the most well built storyline in wrestling the last couple years. It also means that his spot on the main roster is up in limbo. Having Gargano go over here allows him to stay on NXT and prevents him from getting lost in the shuffle on the main roster. It feels like a real possibly that Cole and the rest of Undisputed get called up on Monday. I have Gargano winning in a epic battle.
Winner – Johnny Gargano
Magnate Mat: Due to an unfortunate injury, one of the best villains in WWE, Tomasso Ciampa, had to vacate the NXT Championship and has recently had neck surgery. We all wish Tomasso well in his recovery. When these things happen, it is an opportunity. Johnny Gargano has landed himself ANOTHER NXT Championship match and facing him is easily the next big megastar in WWE in Adam Cole (BAY BAY). This might be the best match across both Takeover and Wrestlemania. Two amazing performers in their prime in one of the best NXT venues in the Barclays Center, and 2 out of 3 falls to make sure the winner is definitive.
WINNER AND NEW NXT Champion – ADAM COLE (BAY BAY)
NXT Women’s Championship
Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Kairi Sane vs. Io Shirai vs. Bianca Belair
Queen KB: There are so many questions swirling around Ronda Rousey, whether she’s staying around or heading off to try to have babies. I know a lot of people (specifically McMahon) have to be freaking out about this, but I think it’s fine if she leaves for a year or more because it’s more than time for Baszler to be brought up to the main roster. Baszler is one scary young woman and I cannot wait to see her on the main roster. That being said, she needs to drop the strap to be brought up. I see this match being two sided with Io and Sane on one side, Baszler and Belair on the other, until something happens and Baszler gets pissed and it’s all over. Belair doesn’t have a chance in this one – she’s just not ready. Sane is adorable but she’s so tiny and I struggle with her believability against Baszler. I think Sane will be great on the main roster, but I don’t see her being believable against the bigger superstars.
Queen’s Predicted Winner – Io Shirai
Baron Botch: Oh, this is going to be delicious! The acrobatics of Kairi & Io vs. the athleticism of Bianca and the stomp-your-face-in madness of Shayna. I’m looking at this lot and seeing only Shayna surviving on the main roster. Bianca’s thing, while I love it, is really just a variation on what Naomi’s already been doing and we see how well that’s been working out lately. Smackdown has been messing up Asuka since she debuted so Kairi and Io haven’t got a chance. In my mind, that kinda plays into who might take this. I think it’s long since time for Shayna to be called up to have some new people to play with. She’s kinda exhausted all the possibilities in NXT. So who takes it? I’m going with what I want to see happen based on both athleticism and mic ability.
THE WINNAH! and NEWWWWWWW! – Bianca Belair
Sovereign S.A.M.: These are the top four women right now in NXT and this should be a good showcase for them. Shayna has been main roster ready for some time now and she is one of the best heels in all of WWE, not just NXT. Sane has been a fantastic face with a rather unusual gimmick, although they have toned down the pirate aspect a bit and has had a great rivalry with Shayna Baszler. Bianca is someone to look out for and she has a ton of upside to be a big deal in WWE. Shirai has been booked like a star since coming to NXT and she has earned every bit of it. With all that in mind, it makes it hard to choose a winner here. Shayna doesn’t need to be in NXT anymore but her fellow horsewomen that are in NXT do need her.
The Winner AND NEW NXT Women’s Champion: Bianca Belair!!
Sir Mitch: This is another match where I expect main roster call ups will affect the result. Shayna has done all she can on the yellow brand in my opinion and is more than ready to be called up to the main roster where I’m sure the first seeds of the long-rumored 4 Horsewomen vs. 4 Horsewomen match will be planted.
As for picking a winner in this one, I’m going with my heart and picking the former ace of Stardom Io!
Winner – Io Shirai
Duke Dre: This seems like somewhat of a forgone conclusion that Baszler loses the title here. I think her time in NXT is coming to a close and a main roster call seems likely. Sane seems like the logical choice here since she’s been chasing Baszler for awhile and seems to come closer and closer to winning that title every time she locks up with Baszler. In an interesting twist, I think Io Shirai steals the win and in the process creates a lot of tension between herself and her Sky Pirate buddy going forward in what should be some compelling TV.
Winner – Io Shirai
Magnate Mat: Shayna Baszler is easily the best NXT Women’s Champion in years, YEARS. She’s dominant, she’s physical, she’s a great character as an unrepentant bully and there really isn’t a competitor(s) in that division that seems a credible threat…..or is there? Kairi Sane pinned Baszler at NXT Takeover Brooklyn last summer in a hellacious contest. Io Shirai has gone fist to fist with the Queen Of Spades, and Bianca Belair has physically matched up with Shayna on more than one occasion. Fatal 4 ways are always tough to call because of all the variables, but Baszler is probably headed to the main roster so the NXT Women’s Championship will most likely be going home in someone else’s bag.
WINNER AND NEW NXT Women’s Champion – Bianca Belair
NXT North American Championship
Velveteen Dream (c) vs. Matt Riddle
Queen KB: I love Velveteen Dream! He is downright amazing and I worry about him on the main roster as McMahon truly doesn’t get it, but for now he’s in the perfect place for his character and ring work. That man is the epitome of working his character to his tippy-tippies and he leaves me in awe in everything he does. Nothing against Riddle, but he just isn’t Velveteen Dream! I cannot wait to see what Dream wears to the ring!
Queen’s Predicted Winner – Velveteen Dream
Baron Botch: This will be fun too. Like Queen, I love Velveteen Dream too. I always have. Even when he was working the indies as Patrick Clark, he had “it”. It was beyond obvious. There has always been something there that I just had to pay attention to. He just needed to find his niche. He’s found it and he has such ignition that it’s hard to pay attention to anyone else who’s in the ring with him. I used to dog Riddle in the dearly-departed NXT blog but by the last one, I’d stopped doing that. His special on the WWE Network showed me another side to him. Add to that the fact that he’s getting a little better on the mic when I was sure he wouldn’t and I’m firmly in his corner now. As for who wins, there is the fact that Velveteen Dream’s reign has just begun. There is also the fact that he’s been angling for a call-up since the Great Depression. While the idea of a Velveteen Dream call-up scares me (remember how well Tyler Breeze’s call-up went?), it’s likely about that time. That said…
THE WINNAH! and NEWWWWWWW! – Matt Riddle…bro.
Sovereign S.A.M.: This is a very interesting match as we have to superstars whose characters couldn’t be more on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Riddle is the laid back “Original Bro” and Dream is well, he is the Velveteen Dream in all his glory. It is hard to know what to expect from this match because Riddle tends to be more ground-based and striking because of his MMA background but Dream has the ability to morph into his opponents’ style – regardless of who it is. This match could be a good mix of character work as well as in-ring ability. It is hard to pick a winner here because both could use the win.
The Winner AND STILL NXT North American Champion: The Velveteen Dream!!
Sir Mitch: As much as Triple H wants to keep Dream on NXT for a bit, I’m pretty sure Vince wants him called up NOW! As such I expect him to be dropping the title to Riddle and to make his debut on either the Raw or Smackdown after Mania.
Winner: Matt Riddle…Bro!
Duke Dre: This is the match that I’m looking forward to the most on this card. I honestly have no idea how to call it. Dream just won the North American title recently but Riddle has been brought in as a pretty big deal right out of the gate and it’s clear that Triple H has big things for Riddle. My mind is telling me Riddle but my heart is saying Dream. I’m gonna go with my heart on this one and pick Dream. I’m not confident in that pick though.
Winner – Velveteen Dream
Magnate Mat: This feud was thrown together kind of quickly but it works for me. The showman Velveteen vs Mr Laid Back King of Bros Matt Riddle. Both men are physical specimens and it is going to be an amazing contest but the most important question here is WHAT WILL DREAM BE WEARING?
WINNER – AND STILL NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPION – Velveteen Dream
NXT Tag Team Championship
War Raiders [Rowe & Hanson] (c) vs. Ricochet & Aleister Black
Queen KB: I have fallen in love with Black and Ricochet as a tag team, which shocks me as I have been gung-ho for each of them as singles competitors. Normally I get tweaky when singles competitors I love get stuck together and form a team that might last, but I understand why these two are together, and hope to see Ciampa back in the ring sooner than later – though his prognosis is grim. While Black and Ricochet are a great team, I want to see them win gold on Raw or SD, therefore I am going with the War Raiders to retain after an amazing match.
Queen’s Predicted Winner – War Raiders
Baron Botch: I’m so contrarian. Since Aleister Black has been brought up to the main roster, he’s been almost completely stripped of his personality. He’s just a guy in the ring who can really go. I don’t hate that but I do miss the character that he once was on NXT. The only thing that’s been kept is his ring entrance raising device (don’t know what to call it). Frankly, so little of his character remains that they should probably dispense with it. It adds nothing anymore without the character to go with it. Since this is NXT, maybe we’ll see his actual character on this night. I certainly hope so. Anyway, I digress.
I want to care about the War Raiders. I really do…but I don’t. They’re just big, angry guys. How many times have we seen that device. Worse yet, when they talk, even that mystique is undone. They try to put on these gruff voices but that’s really all it is. Takes me right out of it. Oh well.
Okay, the match. All of them can go – no question about that. The contrasting styles should make this a fun one. Ricochet alone is worth the price of admission. I’m not sure anyone flies around better than he does at this point. He has supreme control over his body and that fact makes for amazing matches. The man is practically rubber!
Who wins? I hate to keep being all “mark” but I gotta. Black & Ricochet are on the main roster with bigger fish to fry, IMHO. I can’t see them bouncing around between all three shows. Further, War Raiders’ title run has been meh so far and I think it needs more time.
THE WINNAH! – War Raiders
Sovereign S.A.M.: Boy are Black and Ricochet going to be busy this week by pulling double duty. Tag team matches have gained a reputation as setting the stage for what Takeover will be like in recent years and I expect this one to do the same. War Raiders have been booked strong since their debut and they have done well in their time with NXT. Obviously, Black and Ricochet have been splitting their time between NXT and the main roster so that can make the match outcome feel rather predictable. I expect this to be a great match and for it to possibly open the show and get the crowd hot.
The Winners AND STILL NXT Tag Team Champions: War Raiders!!
Sir Mitch: This one should be fun, but the winners are obvious! Black and Ricochet aren’t holding the NXT Tag Titles when they’ve already been called up to the main roster by Vince to see if they will sink or swim.
Winner: War Raiders
Duke Dre: It was just announced on Smackdown Live that Black and Ricochet will be involved in a fatal 4 way tag team match for the Smackdown tag team titles at WrestleMania. So I don’t see a scenario where they walk away with their hands raised here. The War Raiders go over here.
Winner – War Raiders
Magnate Mat: Black and Ricochet have been tearing it up on all 3 platforms. RAW, SD Live AND NXT and while the War Raiders are a physically dominant team, they have yet to have a difficult title defense and this match will probably be that. This is going to be a severe clash of styles – think Demolition vs The Hart Foundation.
The War Raiders need a solid title defense before dropping those titles back to Undisputed Era at some point this year
WINNER AND STILL NXT Tag Team Champions – WAR RAIDERS
WWE UK Championship
Pete Dunne (c) vs. WALTER
Queen KB: I’ll fully admit that I had to go watch some NXT UK as I had no clue who WALTER was. I sat down and watched their tag team match against the Coffey Brothers. First off WALTER looks like a friend of mine and it’s a bit unnerving. Not only his face, but his very rectangular body as well. My friend Joe is probably old enough to be WALTER’s father, but that’s how things are. Then there’s Dunne who has confused me from day one. He’s strangely proportioned and I wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley, but he’s done an epic job for well over 600 days as NXT UK Champion. That being said, I think it’s time they shake things up and WALTER is the perfect guy to win the gold and piss off Dunne to no end. The feud that comes from this match could be epic, all I hope is that some people actually see it!
Queen’s Predicted Winner – WALTER
Sovereign S.A.M.: Pete Dunne has been the longest reigning champion in WWE and he is someone that could be a star if given the opportunity. WALTER is a huge man and has had a huge following throughout the years and it is easy to see why. This should be an interesting match up and has the ability to steal the show. Considering how stacked this card is, it is hard to believe it will, but it does have a good chance. It has seemed like Dunne would drop the title to other competitors, but he was able to retain so that makes picking this one more interesting. At the end of the day, I have to choose the outcome that makes the most sense at this time.
The Winner AND NEW United Kingdom Champion: WALTER!!
Sir Mitch: To think, people were worried that NXT: UK would destroy the thriving Indie scene in the UK. Several months into the show becoming a touring brand and they are struggling against promotions like RevPro. It’s just a shame that WWE is not content with being the biggest game in town and have to try to be the ONLY game in town. In the end, the “global localization” plan Triple H has touted will never come into fruition and the people most likely to suffer are the talents signed to NXT: UK. Pete Dunn is currently the longest reigning Champion in WWE (683 days and counting at the time of this writing), and Walter is probably the most famous worker in all of Europe.
Both are incredible workers, but I still don’t see Dunn’s title reign ending anytime soon.
Winner: Pete Dunne
Duke Dre: Dunne is having a historic reign has NXT UK champ, unfortunately he hasn’t had a huge platform to showcase what he can do, luckily that changes this Friday. But standing across from Dunne is a 6’4 300 pounder named Walter who’s made it his personal mission to end Dunne’s 2 year reign as champ and I think he’ll accomplish just that. This match should be fantastic.
Winner – WALTER
Magnate Mat: Pete Dunne has held the UK title for almost 2 years, and he’s defended it against anyone who has has stepped up, here’s the problem, WALTER is not just anyone. The imposing Austrian built a reputation on busting his opponents up, on top of the fact that he is an extremely proficient wrestler. This might start as a wrestling match but I give it about 30 seconds before it turns into a fight, and that favors both men. This might be the longest match of the night considering the physicality of how both men perform, but I expect WALTER to be victorious and end the historic reign of the Bruiserweigh.t
WINNER – AND NEW WWE UK Champion – WALTER