Here, ye, hear, ye. The Royals of Wrestle Royalty are at it again – this time pontificating, elaborating on, and predicting what promises to be an amazing NXT TakeOver 25 PPV! Read along with what we have to say…and predict along with us! Vote in the polls following each match!
NXT Championship Match
Johnny Gargano (c) vs. Adam Cole (Bay Bay)
Queen KB: I’m a HUGE Johnny Gargano fan. I have nothing against Cole, he’s a strong wrestler, so good on mic, and just oozes charisma, but he’s no Johnny Impact, Wrestling, Gargano. That being said, this match will be epic, as any match with these two involved always are. I’d love to say it will be the match of the night, but this is NXT TakeOver XXV, and like any and all TakeOvers, this will be the best of WWE PPVs and all the matches will leave us in drooling heaps on the floor. Back to my favorite rant, but if Vince McMahon could get over his ego and really learn from Trip, who understands the fans, WWE PPVs would be clamored after the same way as TakeOvers are. Anyway, this will be the perfect end to a downright amazing PPV, and anyone who thought Trip rode on the coattails of his wife really needs to go away.
Queen’s Predicted Winner – Johnny Gargano
Baron Botch: Oh, this is going to be delicious. Johnny and Adam’s feud has been really nuanced. Adam can, of course, talk anyone into anything and Gargano has been right there with him. Of course, woven into this, we’ve also gotten the discord between Cole & Roderick Strong. Things now appear to be okay between Cole & Strong but that might just be appearance. It’ll be interesting to see if this plays a part in the match in any way. There’s been a lot going on here and the whole thing should come together nicely in this match. It goes without saying that we’ll get a great match from them as they can both work their faces off. If we get a definitive winner, it’ll be Adam Cole (Bay Bay) as it’s time for him to take it. However, I’m not sure that’ll happen. I am so “on the fence” right now. Okay, I’m going dirty. Roderick and Adam have been at it a bit lately and while seemingly forgotten about, I think we just might see it explode here.
GOING OVAH and STILL!!! – Johnny Gargano by DQ
Duke Dre: Not sure if they’ll be able to top that legendary match they had the night before WrestleMania but I’m positive they will give it one hell of an attempt and I’m here for it. Watching Gargano finally win the big one was one of the feel-good moments of the year. It’s just unfortunate that we didn’t get to see him get that big win to conclude what would have been an epic finish to the amazing feud he had with Ciampa.
With all that said, I don’t see Gargano overcoming the odds like he did last go around. I feel like this would be the perfect time to finally strap Adam Cole. So I’m picking Cole to get the win here. I’m curious to see if a Cole win would ultimately lead to the Undisputed Era imploding, Cole/Strong anyone?
The Winner – Adam Cole
Sovereign S.A.M: The first match between these two was an instant classic and had my jaw on the floor at the end of it. It is hard to imagine they can come anywhere near that but if there is one thing we have come to learn from NXT, it is that they tend to outdo themselves. My mouth waters at the thought of this match and I totally expect another classic that will leave us exhausted at the end of it. Gargano was finally able to capture the NXT Championship in his first match with Adam Cole, so it is hard to see him drop the belt so soon after. Adam Cole has made it his mission to capture the NXT Championship from Gargano and NXT does love to pay off heels that have that drive so it makes choosing a winner here that more difficult. This really is a coinflip for me and I think I will just have to go with the result I think will be the best story wise.
The Winner and NEW NXT Champion: Adam Cole Bay-Bay!
Sir Mitch: As incredibly heartwarming as it was to see Johnny Gargano win the NXT Title, I think we all know it wasn’t meant to last!
Johnny has proven with his matches with Ciampa and Black that he is FAR better suited to being the chaser than being the chased and I am actually shocked it’s taken this long for Adam Cole to be inserted into the Title picture.
I know a lot has been made about the storyline issues within the Undisputed Era, but I don’t have any doubt Adam Cole will come out ahead here despite all of that.
Winner: ADAM COLE BAY BAY!!!
Magnate Mat: The title match at NXT Takeover New York was a 2 out of 3 falls match and one of the best matches of the weekend. Both Gargano and Cole are amazing competitors, Gargano with the title is probably a bit earlier than was planned buuuut with the injury to Tomasso Ciampa, things change. Adam Cole is the future of NXT and probably the WWE, he is good at EVERYTHING. He can talk, he can wrestle – everything he has done since coming into NXT has worked. It is long past time that Adam Cole became NXT Champion,but he’s gonna have to work for it to wrest it from Johnny Champion.
Winner AND NEW NXT Champion – Adam Cole (BAY BAY)
NXT Women’s Championship
Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Io Shirai
Queen KB: So much greatness in this match. These two women leave me in awe, and trying to pick a winner between them is so hard. Shayna has dominated in a way that even the top monsters haven’t been able to, and while I want to see her drop the strap and come up to the main roster, I worry that her no-so-very-much bikini model look will land her buried on the main roster by McMahon. He is the man who is pushing Mandy Rose over Sonya Deville, even though Mandy is dangerous in the ring. I love Shayna and truly think it’s time she’s brought up to the main roster to do the things that Ronda was supposed to do and fell truly short on. It’s Io’s time to shine in NXT, so why not now?
Queen’s Predicted Winner – Io Shirai
Baron Botch: Shayna has had a stranglehold on this belt. I believe she first won it during her match with Velvet McIntyre in 1984 at the Omni in Atlanta, GA. Seriously, she’s had it for ages. The woman has been dominant in hold it too and she’s quickly running out of believable challengers. To be frank, Io is nearly it. I thought they had one in Bianca Belair but they didn’t give her the nod for reasons only they know. Io is incredibly athletic and fun to watch so the contrast in styles will be fun as Shayna is just a bruiser. She comes to disembowel. This will surely make it a fun match. As for who wins, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve picked Shayna to lose. I’m just not sure what happens if she wins. Does Bianca get another shot? Where do they go?
GOING OVAH and STILL!!! – Shayna Baszler
Duke Dre: This almost feels like the women’s version of Gargano/Cole. Shirai finds herself in a scenario where the deck is seemingly stacked against her with Baszler having the UFC Horsewomen by her side.
I feel like a broken record saying this because I’ve predicted it a few times in here (and bless my heart, I’m going to do it again lol) my gut is telling me that Baszler is on her way up to the main roster very soon so her dropping the title here makes a lot sense. Besides, this NXT Takeover needs a huge feel-good moment and I think we get it here.
The Winner – Io Shirai
Sovereign S.A.M: Shayna Baszler might be one of the best female heel wrestlers I have ever seen. She is such a natural at it and she fully embraces the heel life. She has had a great run as Women’s champion and has turned away all challengers, so it is hard to imagine who will dethrone her. Io Shirai had a shot at Shayna during a fatal 4-way match and came up short, but this will be her first shot at Shayna in a one-on-one setting. This definitely has all the potential to be a great match and I really do expect that here. Shayna’s matches do tend to lean more towards the physical side because that is where she excels so it will be interesting to see how Io does in this type of match if that’s what we get. It is so hard to choose a winner here because it makes sense for either woman to win but I must go with my gut here.
The Winner and NEW NXT Women’s Champion: Io Shirai
Sir Mitch: With the Sky Pirates no more, Io Shairi is back in the NXT Women’s Title hunt…and I LOVE IT!!!
I honestly believe the main roster debut for Shayna is LONG overdue, and I think this will be the last time we see the Ace Of Spades as the NXT Women’s Champion.
Winner: Io Shirai
Magnate Mat: Every time I pick Baszler to lose, I’m wrong. Baszler is easily the most dominant NXT Womens Champion in the titles albeit short history. She’s physically dominant, technically dominant, really not a lot she can’t do or wrestle her way out of. Io Shirai might represent the last best chance to get the title away from Baszler by coming at her from a million different directions, provided Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir don’t interject themselves. This will be an ultimate clash of stlyes – ground and pound vs high flying – Im going to break from form and pick Baszler to win….like I should have been doing from the beginning.
Winner AND STILL NXT Women’s Champion: Shayna Baszler
NXT North American Championship
Velveteen Dream (c) vs. Tyler Breeze
Queen KB: Okay, this to me is easy peasy lemon squeezy! I have nothing against Breeze, and I know he’s notoriously been treated terribly on the main roster, so being back in NXT is great for him. I’m even planning on wearing my Breezango shirt to watch the show, even though I don’t think he has a chance against Dream. Dream is an enigma and while I want to see him on the main roster each week, I believe McMahon will destroy all that’s great in Dream. That being said, I see no reason for Dream to drop the strap at this point. Breeze is so great in the ring, and has so much personality, but he’s not Dream. Dream is far and away one of the best characters developed in NXT. He’s one of the best characters because he’s not afraid to be the character, something that too many wrestlers don’t get and make a hash out of. So while it’s great Breeze is getting a shot at the strap, Dream needs to keep it for now.
Queen’s Predicted Winner – Velveteen Dream
Baron Botch: If you didn’t see the promo work between them last week, you NEED to. It was riotous with Tyler picking on Velveteen for being Prince Pretty 2 and Velveteen picking on Breeze for the Breezango schtick. Breeze’s character is very slightly tweaked. He’s still vain but more aware now. He’s not quite so dim. It matches perfectly with Velveteen’s vanity. As with both of the other matches, this one will be stellar. Despite Breeze’s comedic bent, he can work brilliantly and now that he’s back in NXT, he can really show that again. Velveteen Dream has shown nothing but that since he debuted in NXT. Who wins? Hmm… Tyler just got back in NXT and I’m not sure this will be their last match. I think Velveteen will do something dirty to pull out the victory.
GOING OVAH and STILL!!! – Velveteen Dream
Duke Dre: This I one of those ultimate NXT dream feuds. Breeze in a lot of ways embodied (in his original NXT run) what Dream embodies now: both heavily character driven wrestlers who are extremely flamboyant and self-absorbed. This is wrestling’s version of Prince vs Boy George and I can’t wait. Having Breeze back in NXT is one of the better moves the WWE has done recently and this feud is a match made in heaven.
I’ve gone back and forth on this one for quite some time and as I write this I’m still not sure who to pick. But since I have to pick one I’m taking Dream. This feud is just getting started though so I expect to see them cross paths again very soon.
The Winner – Velveteen Dream
Sovereign S.A.M: This is truly a dream match of two of the best characters to have ever made their way in NXT. Tyler Breeze is amazing and has been poorly used on the main roster, so it is nice to see him back in NXT where he shined the brightest. The Velveteen Dream is so young, so talented, and I love how much he pours into his character. I think this could be a sleeper match and one that can further the Dream in NXT to levels that will have everybody clamoring for him to be the NXT Champion. The character work during this match should be amazing and I fully expect both men to bring their A game here.
The Winner and STILL NXT North American Champion: The Velveteen Dream
Sir Mitch: Tyler Breeze finally got his wish, he gets to go back to NXT where his gimmick made sense, he had the opportunity to put on great matches, and he gets to show people just how good he is.
I foresee a lot of main roster stars going back to NXT in order to keep them happy and not threaten to jump ship to AEW or NJPW. But also, I think this match may be the result of a deal struck between Triple H and Vince!
The H man wanted to fulfill Breeze’s wish to return to NXT as he too thinks he can do great things there, and Vince wants Velveteen Dream on the main roster like yesterday, but Triple H wanted Dream to stay in NXT for a few more months.
There is no doubt in my mind that this is the compromise they came to and it probably means Dream is dropping the North American Title!
Winner: Tyler Breeze
Magnate Mat: Two of NXT’s greatest showmen meet for the first time. Tyler Breeze is an NXT OG, he was there when NXT began its ascendancy as the preferred brand of the WWE faithful. His outfits, the entrances at Takeovers, wrestling Jushin “Thunder” Liger at the first Takeover in Brooklyn, he can do it all but fell flat on the main roster. Velveteen Dream, for all intents and purposes IS NXT. The Experience commands attention whenver he does anything, whether it’s an interview, a promo, or just walking out on stage. Both men are severely talented so not only will we get a show, but we will get a heck of a wrestling match
Winner and STILL North American Champion: Velveteen Dream
NXT Tag Team Championship (currently vacant)
The Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs. The Forgotten Sons (Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler) vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
Queen KB: This match is going to be so much fun! All four of these teams are great, and as they are not on the main roster, they work just that much harder. Then again, working for a man like Trip who is so driven and focused on the fans, it has to be that much more fun to work for him. Bosses that inspire and love are (almost always) the best for the roster, and I think that’s a big part of what makes NXT so great. This match is going to be wonderful and scary all at the same time, hoping no one gets hurt. We saw some jaw-dropping moves from the men and women in the MITBLMs, but I’m expecting even more from these eight men. I’m giddy over this one because my beloved Oney, formerly known as the Masshole locally, is a favorite of mine. Honestly, I’d go with Undisputed Era if it wasn’t for Oney, but I have to stay true to my heart on this one.
Queen’s Predicted Winner – Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
Baron Botch: Okay, let’s look closely at this one. At this point, it seems that NXT is trying to push the forever-boring Forgotten Sons. I’m sorry but they do absolutely nothing for me. They only make me want to take a nap. The crowd doesn’t really care about them either. They have thus far done almost nothing with Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch so I’m not sure they’ll take this either. That leaves Fish & O’Reilly. They’ve already held the titles once. We also have the team I really want to see win. Were charisma equal to energy, Montez Ford has enough of it to power a small New Hampshire town. He just has such spark and ignition and he’s so much fun to watch in there. He’s also one heck of an athlete and you can see it for yourself on WWE Combine (only on the WWE Network!) Angelo’s level of charisma isn’t as high (who’s is?) but he has some in the tank for sure. He’s also pretty darned good in the ring and he’s been with the company since 2012 so he’s also got lots of experience. That certainly accounts for something. The team itself has been together for about two years now. They move forward and then back off a little, then forward, then back again. I think now’s the time to give Montez and Angelo the belts (sorry, Vince)
GOING OVAH and NEWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!! – The Street Profits!!!!
Duke Dre: The War Raiders got called up to the main roster and had their name completely butchered but atleast a lot of good is coming out of it. We are going to get one hell of a tag team ladder match and aside from Dream/Breeze this is the match I’m looking forward to the most. I’m also thrilled that we’ll finally get to see the Street Profits on a TakeOver.
With Oney and Danny, I feel like they’re to just fill out this match; The Forgotten Sons winning here is a possibility but I don’t think that would be the best move because fans seem mostly indifferent to them; which leaves me with the Undisputed Era and The Street Profits. The Profits going over here would really freshen things up in the NXT tag team division, however the Undisputed Era would seem like the safe choice so with that said I’m picking The Undisputed…aww what the hell screw it, I’m rolling with the Profits.
The Winner – The Street Profits
Sovereign S.A.M: NXT is where tag team wrestling thrives in WWE and this should be an amazing match. NXT has had some stellar ladder matches over the last couple of years and I totally expect this to be another one. A case can be made for either team to pick up the vacant NXT Tag Team titles, but I think it really comes down to two teams: the Street Profits and the Undisputed Era. I liked the Street Profits but have really come around on them the more I see them in NXT. They are so much fun, and they are darn good in the ring. O’Reilly and Fish of the Undisputed Era are two-time champions already and you wouldn’t think they could be in the running for a third reign, but they are so good in the ring and are darn entertaining. O’Reilly especially is somebody you know will do something that will draw a laugh during a match because that is what he does, and he excels at it. No matter who wins this match, we all will win because this will be amazing.
The Winners and NEW NXT Tag Team Champions: The Undisputed Era
Sir Mitch: Well, this should be a crazy spot fest of a Ladder match, shouldn’t it?
Three of the four teams in this match have really been in the background of NXT playing second fiddle to teams like the Undisputed Era, Authors Of Pain, DIY, War Raiders, etc. So I’m happy these guys are getting time to shine.
On a personal note, I HATE how tag team wrestling is dead on WWE’s main roster. Since WrestleMania, there has been next to no build, storylines or even matches featuring either Raw or Smackdown’s tag team divisions. Nor has there been anything done with The women’s tag team division. If it weren’t for NXT and other promotions outside the WWE bubble, tag team wrestling would be a completely forgotten art form.
As for picking a winner in this one, I’m going for with the Street Profits.
Winner: Street Profits
Magnate Mat: The War Raiders/Viking Experience/Viking Raiders recently vacated the NXT Tag Team Titles after months of dominant defenses. NXT is nebulous, this happens and we move forward. Three teams here have a strong case for being the next tag team champions……and then there are the Forgotten Sons…..whom no one really cares about so we’ll just pretend they aren’t in this match. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch are as smash mouth wrestling as it gets and both men can also grapple with the best of them. Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford have taken NXT by storm since forming the Street Profits. Dawkins has been in NXT since at least 2014 and Montez is a ridiculously talented athlete and they are all the swagger one needs, and a title run is, in my opinion, LONG overdue. Representing the Undisputed Era in this match are the team of Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish (previously known as ReDragon) – a tag team that’s existed for over 5 years and are probably the most cohesive team in this match. Throw in ladders and you have six men who are all viable tag team champions.
Winner and NEW NXT Tag Team Champions: The Street Profits
Matt Riddle vs. Roderick Strong
Queen KB: I cannot put my finger on my issues with Strong, but he comes off as so boring. For me he is the weak link in Undisputed Era. Just so blah. I wasn’t sure of Riddle right off the bat, but I’m really starting to like him. He’s a strong superstar all the way around, though I worry about him hurting himself by working the ring with his feet bare. I know the bare feet are a part of his character, but it’s begging for injury. Actually, Riddle’s character has been developed quite well, and goes so great with his in-ring style. He’s really quite interesting, unlike Strong who so isn’t, therefore I have to go with Riddle for the win.
Queen’s Predicted Winner – Matt Riddle
Baron Botch: Matt Riddle is all of the personality in this match. Roderick has none. Of course, this is about ring work and both do that fabulously. As such, this will be a fun match for sure. Riddle is clearly being pushed now so the outcome is easy to figure out.
GOING OVAH!!! – Matt Riddle
Duke Dre: This is a interesting match because both guys could both use a win here. Other then that though I’m not sure there’s really much to get invested in here. I think this will be a fun athletic brawl and since Riddle took the loss to Dream at his last TakeOver I think he picks up the win here.
The Winner – Matt Riddle
Sovereign S.A.M: This match is one that really intrigues me because Roderick Strong has seemed to be on the outs with the Undisputed Era at times and he is the only member not fighting for a title this Takeover. That being said, this should be an amazing match between Strong and Riddle and this will probably be the opening match. I wasn’t a Riddle fan at first, but I have become such a huge fan of his during his time in NXT. His laidback nature is just fantastic, and he is quite the talent in the ring. His mic game isn’t quite there yet but he has shown good improvement. I was having a hard time picking a winner here but the more I thought about it, the more one pick made sense in the long-term.
The Winner: Matt Riddle
Sir Mitch: Even with a card as stacked as this, I am quite confident this will be match of the night!
Strong was always my favorite part of Ring Of Honor back in the day because his matches were always technical masterpieces. He hasn’t really had the opportunity to showcase his skills in NXT in my opinion due to being a part of the Undisputed Era stable with other former ROH stars who also know how to put on technical masterpieces.
Riddle, despite his slacker/stoner image, is also someone who puts in maximum effort in every match his in and he also displays technical wizardry in the ring.
Matches like this are the type of pro wrestling I like to watch, and I really don’t care who goes over!
Magnate Mat: Roderick Strong is a darn good wrestler, his problem is that outside of the Undisputed Era, he’s a bit boring. Matt Riddle is anything but – an athletic prodigy that exudes charisma….and flip flops. This will easily be the most technically sound match of the night. Expect some chain wrestling, lots of counters, and a ton of gamesmanship. Riddle needs a big W on a Takeover to really cement him in NXT.
Winner: The Original Bro Matt Riddle