NXT TakeOver: Portland

Sunday, February 16 NXT presents TakeOver: Portland from the wrong side of the country.  All the WR writers – Queen, Sam, Mat, Oscar, Mitch, and Dre – got together to give you our thoughts and predictions on what will happen in the NXT ring.  Read what we have to say and leave your thoughts in the comments below, as we always want to know what you think.

 

Rhea Ripley (c) vs Bianca Belair (NXT Championship)

Queen

This is the match I’m most excited about on this card.  I know I might say I’m extremely excited about others, but this is the one I’m MOST excited about.  I’ve said this before, but I fell in love with Rhea when I first saw her in the Mae Young Classic and she’s only gotten better since then.  I’m in love with Bianca as well, but she’s truly getting the short end of the stick right now.  Not only did she never have the chance to beat Shayna for the NXT Championship, but Rhea swooped in and took that top slot from Bianca without batting an eye.  I truly believe that if it wasn’t for Rhea that Bianca would be the top heel in NXT, but Rhea is so over that Bianca hasn’t had a chance.  Any chance Bianca might have had to win this one was taken away when Rhea got up in Charlotte’s face on SD.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for Charlotte challenging Rhea at WM and give some real validity to Rhea and NXT in the eyes of the casual WWE fans, but that leaves Bianca still trying to find her spot within such a talented roster.  Other than being on a different show from her husband, which she already is so it’s no major change, I’d love to see her show up at WM and take out Naomi after Naomi beats Bayley for the SD Championship.  It’s a pipedream but makes more sense to me than seeing Bayley and Sasha fight it out again for no reason.  We need more than Horsewomen at the top of the rosters!

Queen’s Predicted Winner: Rhea Ripley

 

Sam

This is probably the one match on the card that I feel is the most predictable of the bunch. We all know the rumblings that Charlotte Flair is set to face Rhea at Wrestlemania and it does kind of take the wind out of this match. The match will still most likely be a fun one, but something is taken from it if you can predict the outcome rather easily. Rhea is someone who is going to be a major star and you can already see that with the way she carries herself. Every time she has been on Raw, she looks like she belongs and not someone from the third brand. Bianca had a bit of a coming out party to the masses at the Rumble with her impressive showing and she is someone who can be a huge star as well. She is a natural at this and gifted in the ring. Actually, both women are very similar in that they are just naturally good at this and both can bring it. In the end, this match should play out the way many of us think it will.

Sam’s Predicted Winner and STILL NXT Women’s Champion: Rhea Ripley

 

Mat

Rhea Ripley is ready, no question there…but is Bianca? Her last title match really showed that as athletic and capable Bianca can be, at that particular time, she just wasn’t ready for a big-time main event level match. Perhaps that has changed, perhaps NXT is getting ready to crown only its SECOND African American women’s champ….I don’t think so…yet.

Mat’s Predicted Winner: Rhea Ripley

 

Oscar

Where do we even start with this match? WWE has done dishonor to Bianca by trying to build this Ripley vs. Flair match at WrestleMania. We all know that this match is a stepping stool for Ripley to build her more as a great champion going into WrestleMania. Respect to Belair for allowing this, and taking it like a true professional.

Belair is a great athlete and has shown it every time she’s in the ring. I will be honest I’m not the biggest Belair fan, but I find this disrespectful. I understand that it is WrestleMania season, and matches have to begin to be built now to have that much of a meaning. I feel like this could have been done differently, and allowed Ripley to win the match against Belair first. Then coming off a big win against Belair let her challenge Flair. Ripley is a great athlete and dethroned Baszler to the shock of most fans. Bianca destroyed Santana Garrett last night and didn’t even break a sweat. Ripley came out to confront Belair after the match. Belair called out Ripley for putting too much attention on Flair. Belair then attacked Ripley and came out looking strong after hitting Ripley with a big move. Leaving Ripley in the middle of the ring, and standing strong over her. Maybe WWE shocks us all, and Belair wins. Then we get a Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania. Crazier things have happened, and this is not might not be that crazy of an idea.

Oscar’s Predicted Winner… and the new NXT Champion Bianca Belair

 

Mitch

It’s hard to get invested in this one as it’s become nothing more than a placeholder program before Rhea faces off against Vince’s favourite female wrestler Charlotte Flair. The only worker on earth more over-pushed than Roman Reigns and Kazuchika Okada combined. I honestly dread their eventual match. Not because it won’t be good (because it will be) but because yet another super talented woman has to take a back seat to Vince’s golden girl.

This match should be good, too don’t get me wrong, but it’s hard to get invested in something we all know is meaningless in the end, which isn’t fair on either Rhea or Bianca quite frankly.

Mitch’s Predicted Winner: Rhea Ripley

 

Dre

I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed their first encounter several months back. It was hard-hitting and physical. They wrestled like grown-ass men, it was unlike anything you’d normally see from women’s wrestling in the WWE and it left me wanting more. Thankfully my prayers have finally been answered. This time the stakes are raised even higher with the NXT’s Women’s Title on the line with an even bigger opportunity coming at WrestleMania for the winner against Charlotte Flair who will just happen to be ringside this Sunday to see Rhea and Bianca lock up.

I know WWE has teased the possibility of a triple threat match at WrestleMania and even the teased the possibility of Bianca beating Ripley but I think deep down we all what the end game is here. It’s Rhea vs Charlotte which is unfortunate for my girl Bianca but I’m more than okay with Ripley going over as long as these two ladies put on the classic which I think they’re more than capable of doing.

Dre’s Predicted Winner: RHEA RIPLEY

 

 

Finn Bálor vs Johnny Gargano

Queen

I love both Balor and Gargano and this type of match is exactly what makes NXT so great.  They will kill it in the ring, hopefully without any injuries.  As much as I love Gargano, he has had a few injuries, one caused by Balor.  Beyond that, these are two of the best in the WWE and this match will leave us on the edge of our seats from bell to bell, hitting moves we’ve never seen before, leaving us in awe of everything they do.  I could go on and on about this match, but words can’t describe the wonders we are going to see, so I’m just going to say that I’m going with Gargano as I feel he needs the win going forward more than Balor does, even though neither really need this win as they are top WWE superstars in my book and will continue to be until they retire.

Queen’s Predicted Winner: Johnny Wrestling

 

Sam

Out of all the matches for Takeover Portland, this is the one that I have been going back and forth with. A case can really be made for either man picking up the win here and that makes it difficult to choose. Balor has come into his own since turning heel and I have really enjoyed his run. Gargano is the heart and soul of NXT and really embodies what the brand has become. I feel like this will probably be Finn’s best match since coming to WWE and that is saying a lot to who he is facing. Gargano has a tendency to get the absolute best out of his opponents and I think that will be the case here. I honestly have no clue who will win but I will just have to go with my gut on this one.

Sam’s Predicted Winner: Johnny Gargano

 

Mat

Since his return to NXT, Balor has made it known he’s out to destroy the heroes of NXT, and Johnny Gargano is definitely one of those. Gargano hasn’t been burning up NXT since his short sabbatical and maybe this feud with Balor is what both men need to spin the turbines back up. The build-up has been a bit underwhelming, in my opinion, but maybe the match can turn that around.

Mat’s Predicted Winner: Finn Balor

 

Oscar

I’m counting the days when Finn gets a shot at The NXT Championship. That will mean Adam Cole loses the title to Tommaso Ciampa, and I don’t know if I’m ready for that. Balor’s heel turn came at the expense of Gargano. To me, one of the better, and most shocking promos was the Pele kick to the face of Gargano by Balor. Balor needs this win if he expects his return to NXT to end in gold. To me, Balor has more to lose. If his return to NXT was to help him become a top star then this is the first step. Gargano has proved he is a top star in NXT, and I believe his call to either Raw or Smackdown is coming.

I hope Balor lets loose in this match, and showcase what a great in-ring talent he is. His great heel work, and a big win over Gargano can put him at the top of NXT. Gargano always brings that emotional factor to a match. He will bring the crowds emotion into it, and feed off them. I wouldn’t be surprised if the crowd is 50/50 in this match due to Balor’s popularity. Gargano has some momentum going into this Sunday coming off a hard-fought win last night. Balor needs this match more than Gargano to remind us all who he has always been. A bad injury took him out of what could have been a great Universal Championship reign, and he hasn’t been the same since.

Oscar’s Predicted Winner- Finn Balor

 

Mitch

As much as I was disappointed at the fact we will probably never see the “Demon” take his revenge on the “Fiend” (although I still live in hope), I thought Finn being moved to NXT would be the best thing for his career given the fact Vince (for reasons I still don’t understand) just doesn’t see money in him. But for some reason, Finn just hasn’t been able to recapture that magic that he had in his original NXT run. I can’t quite put my finger on it…but he’s just not clicking. It’s not the heel turn though, as he is putting everything he has into that.

Maybe this match with Mr. NXT himself Johnny Wrestling will help get him back on track?

Mitch’s Predicted Winner: Finn Balor

 

Dre

Gargano vs Finn is to NXT TakeOver Portland what Rock vs Hogan was to WrestleMania X8. It has that type of Old Guard vs New/Current Guard that Hogan/Rock had. It’s The old heart and soul of NXT vs the guy who currently holds that title. That’s really what this boils down to in the end and to be honest, that’s really all you need to sell me on Gargano vs Balor. I feel like this won’t be the last we see of this matchup, so with that in mind, my pick is Balor. I feel like this feud will have more legs to it with Balor drawing first blood.

Dre’s Predicted Winner: FINN BALOR

 

 

The Undisputed Era (c) vs. BroserWeights (NXT Tag Team Championship)

Queen

I’m a huge fan of Pete Dunne, and like Rhea, I fell in love with him when I first saw him on WWE TV, and he’s only gotten better since then.  He reminds me a lot of my ex-husband, but I don’t hold that against Dunne.  Personally I’ve not been a fan of Riddle, but I can appreciate his ring skills and character work, though I’m determined he’s going to lose a toe working barefoot the way he does.  They are the oddest of teams, but it really works better than I thought, and better than I think it should work.  They have IT separately, but together they’re unstoppable.  It looks as though UE has reached its pinnacle and needs to start evolving or disintegrating.  I think they’re going to fall apart moving forward and this is a big step in that.  I think that they’re going to start losing gold in a big way starting with the NXT Tag Team Championship.  Riddle and Dunne are going to outmatch Fish and O’Reilly, and even with the help of Strong and the use of dirty dealings, they’re going to lose these straps.  I almost wonder if Strong is going to accidentally cost them the straps while trying to help them.  That would add more fuel to the fire moving forward.  Either way, I see Riddle and Dunne winning the straps here quite handily.

Queen’s Predicted Winners & New NXT Tag Team Champions: BruiserWeights

 

Sam

Tag matches at Takeovers are always special because they tend to open the show and set the tone for what is to come. I fully expect this match to be the opening match and it will be a banger of a match. Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne have come together as a tag team so quickly that it is scary in the best way possible. Both men are among the best in the company and I shouldn’t be surprised that they know how to work together but I am. Fish and O’Reilly have teamed together for years so their chemistry is undeniable. This will be such a fun match to watch and I cannot wait to see how it unfolds.

Sam’s Predicted Winners and NEW NXT Tag Team Champions: The Broserweights

 

Mat

The UE have ruled the roost of the NXT tag division for the better part of a year……that could very well change with the most unlikely of tag teams in Matt Riddle and former NXT UK Champ Pete Dunne. Riddle and Dunne came together for the Dusty Cup and have torn a swath through the tag team tournament and seem to have decided to remain a team for the time being. It works and works well, their styles mesh surprisingly well and the NXT fans seem to love it. It’s been fun to watch but I don’t think it is enough to surpass the chemistry and unity of Fish and O’Reilly, who’ve been working as a tag team for over a decade, even prior to their signing with NXT.

Mat’s Predicted Winners: The Undisputed Era

 

Oscar

If the loss of the North American Championship foreshadows the end of an era. Well then, this match should be a prophecy of that. Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle got the opportunity to challenge for The NXT Tag Team Championship by winning the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. They are two completely different superstars and somehow they make it work. As single competitors, Dunne and Riddle are at top of the NXT roster. When you combine that much talent together it has to work. Across the ring from them are Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly. They are a well-oiled machine, and this is their second reign as champions. The road-trip promos last night were great, and give The BroserWeights that much of a fun factor to them.

This will be another great match on the night. I expect the “This is awesome” chants to break out for this one. The Undisputed Era always puts on a show whenever they are in the ring. Dunne and Riddle have plenty of firepower to complement their opponents. Fish and O’Reilly have experience over The Broserweights as a tag team. If you guys know me, you know I’m Undisputed Era forever. This match worries me as an Undisputed Era fan, maybe this is the end of an era. The match will not disappoint because of everyone involved. There will be great talent and great experience in that ring on Sunday. I expect big moments throughout the match, and everyone to give it their all. All great things come to an end right.

Oscar’s Predicted Winners… and the new NXT Tag Team champions The Broserweights

 

Mitch

Sometimes, odd pairings just work. I can’t think of more polar opposite people than Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne. Riddle is your typical laid back, somewhat big-mouthed California stoner. With the only exception to that walking, talking stereotype is his work ethic and talent in the wrestling ring and formally the octagon.

Pete Dunne is the embodiment of the British/European style of pro wrestling and what that represents. Almost all of the people who work this style are/were athletes from working-class to impoverished backgrounds who are so good at playing tough, slightly sadistic brawlers who can tie you up in knots just as well as they can knock your teeth out because they are almost all capable of doing this to you in real life. And yet, as men in the wonderful vignettes that aired on NXT this week…they are wonderfully entertaining together. It almost reminds me of William Regal and Tajiri back in the day.

They won’t win the title in this match (as the Undisputed Era still has A LOT of miles left in it and they need as much gold as possible to hammer it home) but they will be triumphant sooner rather than later!

Mitch’s Predicted Winners: Undisputed Era

 

Dre

One thing that the WWE(NXT) has done really well over the years is taking two guys with completely different personas and wrestling background randomly pairing them together and making magic (Rock/Mankind, Bryan/Kane, Booker T/Goldust, Road Dogg/Billy Gunn, etc, etc). Riddle and Dunne is the latest example of this. I love Dunne playing the straight man to Riddle’s goofball personality. The BroserWeights journey to becoming #1 contenders to the NXT Tag Titles has been a fun ride and I think it ends with them dethroning Fish/O’Reilly for the belts in what should a real show-stealing match.

Dre’s Predicted Winners: THE BROSERWEIGHTS

 

 

Adam Cole (c) vs Tommaso Ciampa (NXT Championship)

Queen

I loves me some Ciampa!  I know I have been saying that about most of the wrestlers on the card, but it’s true, NXT is just that fantastic!  They know how to build superstars and continue to make them interesting.  Ciampa is so not the man he was when DIY debuted and NXT is only richer for it.  Same for Adam Cole.  He’s grown by leaps and bounds since he debuted.  That being said, there are those growing cracks in UE and I think this is going to be a bad match for Cole.  In my gut I want to see Ciampa defending the NXT Championship at WM, therefore he needs to win the NXT Championship, so when better than Portland – but would be better if it was in the correct Portland (no, this broken record will not keep skipping and playing that over and over until NXT TakeOver: Portland is closer to home [Trip’s home]).  I’m not sure how it’s going to happen, but I think it’s time for things to be shaken up within NXT, and this is the best time of the year to do it.  I worry that Ciampa doesn’t have a lot of time left in the ring and I want to see him have another amazing run with the strap and I think this is the perfect time.  It would be great for him and cause all those cracks and issues within UE.  So I’m going out on a limb believing that it’s time to strap Ciampa again.

Queen’s Predicted Winner & New NXT Champion: Ciampa

 

Sam

I had an inkling of who I had planned to pick for this match but the more I thought about it, the more I felt like the opposite would happen. I have loved the build for this match because it has been about Ciampa reclaiming Goldie because he never lost the title. Ciampa has been borderline obsessed with it and it has led to some fantastic promos from him. Cole, on the other hand, is equally obsessed with retaining the title and securing his place as the greatest NXT Champion of all-time. Both men know how to bring it, and this will most certainly be a banger of a match. I do wonder how long this match will go because we all know how long NXT main events are at Takeovers and that could lead to some interesting storytelling in this match. Either way we will all be winners with this match because this is a match that has been months in the making. The prophecy of the Undisputed Era has already begun to unravel and Cole losing would be the final nail in the coffin. I will say that I am going with my gut here because I feel like it makes sense in the long run.

Sam’s Predicted Winner and STILL NXT Champion: Adam Cole Bay Bay!

 

Mat

If there was any threat to the Coles’ reign as champ, it’s the previous champ who never lost the title. Two of NXTs hottest stars are finally going to collide. After nearly a year on the shelf due to a neck injury, Ciampa has returned to bring “Goldy” home. Cole is easily one of the best champions the gold and yellow brand has seen, the problem is someone just a touch better is hot on his heels. MOTN unless the Lee vs Dijakovic match impresses.

Mat’s Predicted Winner: Adam Cole BAY BAY!

 

Oscar

Ciampa wants “Goldie” back, and in order to do that he has to go through Adam Cole. Ciampa never lost the title. His reign was cut short due to injury. He has worked so hard to get back and get this opportunity. Adam Cole and The Undisputed Era seem to be in full panic mode. This might be the end of The Undisputed Era in NXT. Maybe the end of The Undisputed Era as a faction. I try to picture them in either Raw or Smackdown, and I don’t know how they will translate to the main roster. A feud with The OC will be what dreams are made of, but I’m getting too ahead of myself.

The future holds so many questions for The Undisputed Era. Sunday will dictate what happens to Adam Cole’s future as the NXT Champion. Ciampa was a great champion before his injury, and he deserves the chance to a title he never lost. On paper, this match is a great main event, with two stars that bring so much to the ring. Adam Cole had a physical match last night with Kushida. He came out on top but it was a long, hard-hitting match. Ciampa came out at the end and had a staredown with Cole in the ring. I guess they will save the fighting for Sunday.

Oscar’s Predicted Winner… and the new NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa

 

Mitch

I surprised Ciampa didn’t get a shot at his “Goldie” sooner after coming back from injury, but I guess they wanted to see how strong his neck was before they pulled the trigger in this match. So as Cole has faced just about every other main event level worker in NXT in such short order I guess now was as good as time as any. These two faced off a few times in ROH and they were always great matches. I expect a classic for NXT’s greatest prize but sadly, I don’t see Cole dropping the title yet.

Mitch’s Predicted Winner: Adam Cole

 

Dre

Ciampa has made it his personal mission to slowly dismantle The Undisputed Era like he’s John Wick or Robert McCall taking down some big-time crime organization. This Sunday I think we will be witnessing the end of not only Cole’s NXT title reign but also the beginning of the end of Undisputed Era’s iron grip over NXT. Daddy returns home to reclaim the throne of NXT and the title he  never lost

Dre’s Predicted Winner: TOMMASO CIAMPA

 

 

Dakota Kai vs Tegan Nox (Street Fight)

Queen

This is going to be one ugly match, in the best possible way.  At WarGames Kai proved that she’s not just a wilting violet, she’s a really tough and scary woman.  Since then she’s done everything in her power to destroy Nox and has looked amazing doing it.  Her character work has been downright tantalizing.  She’s been that perfectly seared steak that changes how you look at Aussie beef.  No, Kai isn’t a piece of meat, but her work has been tastier than I thought she had in her, and I’m blown away.  I’m honestly a bit worried about Nox who hasn’t stepped up to the level of her bestie.  That being said, I think this is where she’s going to do just that.  Kai has been getting the upper hand more often than not and now it’s Nox’s turn.  I started writing this knowing that I was going to pick Kai to win this one because of the tasty work she’s been showing us, but these two are besties and I have the feeling that this is where Nox is going to step up and join Kai on that next level.  I feel that Nox is going to use every bit of ire at the attacks from her bestie and turn this into their version of HBK versus Triple H, and with those two besties involved, I see this bestie match being epic!  Fingers crossed, and can you imagine how much madder Kai will be after Nox beats her in a Street Fight?  That will only set up for more ugliness between them as we head down that Road To WM.  As much as I know this is going to be great, I hope they hold back a bit so that their match WM weekend will leave us drooling on the floor because they’re more than capable of giving us Five Crown matches.

Queen’s Predicted Winner: Tegan Nox

 

Sam

This match is one I have been waiting for and one I cannot wait to see. Kai and Nox were best of friends and have now become bitter enemies. It has been fun to see Dakota descend into being a full-fledged heel because she was quite the babyface. I don’t want to compare her to anyone, but she is certainly doing a better job at going from face to heel than Bayley has so far. Tegan is someone WWE has had plans for, but she has always been bitten by the injury bug sadly. I honestly think this is the sleeper match of the night and could possibly steal the show. This match certainly needed a stipulation and I think this is the perfect one for them at this time. I do think that this will not be the end of the feud though and could lead to another match between them on NXT possibly. Maybe an I Quit match or a Last Woman Standing match could happen and I hope it is actually an I Quit match because that would be fun to see. This will be a fun match and one that I feel will deliver.

Sam’s Predicted Winner: Dakota Kai

 

Mat

At NXT War Games, Dakota Kai decided to put the literal boots to her longtime friend Tegan Nox. It was sort of foreshadowed, but I don’t think many people expected NXT to pull the trigger on it. Kai has been made infinitely more interesting and it’s given Nox a way to connect to NXT after just getting back from a drastic leg injury. I expect this will be a lot more violent and visceral than we might expect. I predict broken stuff before all is said and done.

Mat’s Predicted Winner: Tegan Nox

 

Oscar

It was on November 23rd, 2019 when Dakota Kai turned on former best friend Tegan Nox. At the shock of everyone watching, Kai brutally attacked Nox. This caused Nox to be out of action for two months. She returned in January during the Battle Royal match to determine the NO. 1 contender for the NXT Women’s Championship. Kai cost her the match by eliminating her from the Battle Royal. They went one on one on an episode of NXT with so much more to be desired from the both of them. The right thing to do is, of course, put them both in a Street Fight, and let them go to war.

As a fan of both Dakota, and Tegan I’m very excited about this match. They both have great in-ring ability. It will be interesting to see what they can do with the items available at ringside as weapons. As for me, my heart is broken. I don’t know who to pick for this match. I would love for Tegan Nox to win and gain some momentum for a big push in the future. On the other hand, I feel like Dakota Kai is so underrated. She could be a great heel in NXT, and a match like this can help her showcase that crazy side. She showed that nasty side by being very aggressive last night against Candace LeRae. She gave LaRae a bloody nose and then attacked her after picking up the win. Nox came out of the crowd, and a fight broke out between the two. Security came out to try to separate them. This added little excitement for the match this Sunday. As much as I love Dakota, my heart belongs to Nox.

Oscar’s Predicted Winner- Tegan Nox

 

Mitch

These are two of the best workers in the world. I honestly didn’t think the ever cheery and energetic Dakota Kai could be such an effective heel and pull off such a shocking heel turn after coming back from injury (Bayley should be taking notes.) As far as Tegan Nox goes…I’m amazed she even came back from the injuries she suffered at the last Mae Young Classic let alone still be able to put on such incredible performances.

The feud has been fun to see play out over the last few weeks, and I’m so excited to see this match that I don’t care who wins…nor will I give a prediction!

Mitch’s Predicted Winner: ME!!!

 

Dre

This friendship ended when Rhea chose Nox over Kai to join Team Ripley at War Games and felt some type of way when her good buddy didn’t stand up for her when the rest of Team Ripley were putting her down. It’s simple yet very effective storytelling. Jealousy is a real thing and many friendships end over envy in reality so everything leading up to this match makes plenty of sense. If NXT plays their cards right this feud could be the women’s version of what the Gargano/Ciampa feud was from 2017/2018.

Conventional wisdom here says that Dakota should win to keep her momentum going as a heel but I think we get a little bit of a swerve here with Nox pulling off the victory

Dre’s Predicted Winner: TEGAN NOX

 

 

Keith Lee (c) vs Dominik Dijakovic (NXT North American Championship)

Queen

This match, like every other match on the card, has the making for greatness, but that’s NXT for you.  It seems as though the stinker matches are extremely few and far between.  Lee continues to prove himself at every turn and getting props from the biggest stars on the roster.  I still don’t completely vibe with him, but I am impressed with his ring work.  Then there’s Dij who leaves me in awe.  He’s not moved up the roster as quickly as I expected him to, but I still have the McMahon mindset that a guy who looks like Dij is going to be pushed to the top, but that’s not how NXT works.  Honestly, I’m a bit shocked that McMahon hasn’t tried to bring Dij to Raw or SD, other than being Road to WM and plans being (mostly) set moving forward.  As much as I expect big things from both of these men, I think the winner of this match is a bit too predictable.  Trip is big on NXT Champs, all of them, usually are longer running than we see on Raw or SD, where reigns have been longer lately, it’s way too early for Lee to drop this strap to anyone, even Dij.  I expect great things from both of these men, but for now, Lee will win and retain his strap.

Queen’s Predicted Winner: Lee

 

Sam

If their previous matches are an indicator, this match will be nuts in all the right ways. Both men do things that men of their size should not be able to do. Lee has been riding a wave of momentum since the build to Survivor Series and he was finally able to obtain gold in NXT. Dijakovic has done well in NXT too during his time and he is someone I think could be a big player as well. This match is the one I feel will probably be the match of the night because they have had some amazing matches in NXT to date. I do feel though that like the Rhea/Bianca match, this one may be fairly predictable. I am certain though that this will be one heck of a match and one that will leave our jaws dropped with what they will bust out in the match.

Sam’s Predicted Winner and STILL NXT North American Champion: Keith Lee

 

Mat

This rivalry was born long before NXT. In Reseda at PWG, In Worcester, MA at Beyond Wrestling, In Evolve. Very rarely can you find two performers that work together so seamlessly, so well that no matter how many times they face each other it still seems fresh, that is the rivalry of Keith Lee and Dominick Dijakovic (fka Donovan Dijak). Lee is putting the NXT North American Championship on the line and DD wants the chance to showcase his talents. Expect a MOTN candidate as only these two can put out there.

Mat’s Predicted Winner: Keith Lee

 

Oscar

Keith Lee has the brightest future in NXT. He has received a big push and is coming off a great performance in the Men’s Royal Rumble Match. The new champion didn’t get much time to celebrate his victory over Rodrick Strong. Dijakovic received the opportunity at The North American Championship after beating Killian Dain. Not much of a build last night to this match. Only a video from Mark Henry hyping big men from the past. Leaving me to think more, and more this is more of a stepping stone for Keith Lee.

I’m still salty that Rodrick Strong lost the title to Lee. No disrespect to Dijakovic, but unless Rodrick gets involved in the match there is no way Lee drops the title to him. I expect Lee to keep getting a big push, and this match will be a way to show he is a credible champion. Lee will show off his great athleticism, and hold nothing back. In the four matches between them both, they each hold one victory each. The other two matches have ended in a draw, leaving us wondering who’s the better superstar. Let’s be honest we know who is the better superstar.

Oscar’s Predicted Winner- Keith Lee

 

Mitch

This is another match that I should be pumped about, but for some reason, I’m just not feeling it!

Keith Lee is a beast who does things a man his size should not be able to do, and Dijakovic has improved leaps and bounds since he left Ring Of Honor. The match should be a lot of fun to watch…yet I’m still not feeling it. I really struggled to write up an interesting prediction for you guys, but the words simply aren’t coming. So WRC people, you will just have to accept my apology or yell at me in the Dignified Discussion of the show while this match is going on.

Anyway, as Lee only won the title a few weeks ago…I can’t see him dropping it already.

Mitch’s Predicted Winner: Keith Lee

 

Dre

These two have produced some of the best big man matchups in some quite some time so I’m always down for some Lee/Dijakovic matches. However, this one seems a bit predictable. Keith Lee is probably the most over wrestler in all of NXT at the moment so I can’t justify picking against him on Sunday.

Dre’s Predicted Winner: KEITH LEE

 

 

Join Us!

I think this card shows that they don’t need to schedule 15 matches for each PPV for it to be good, and that’s only one of the reasons that NXT PPVs are so much better than the traditional PPVs are these days.  All that being said, if you don’t join us for the NXT TakeOver: Portland (wrong one!) Dignified Discussion, you will be missing out on a great show with great friends who love you and will never attack you for your thoughts and feelings about pro wrestling, but we will poke fun, but only because we care.

Queen, Sam, Mat, Oscar, Mitch, Dre!