Wednesday, 11 February 2015

WWE NXT Takeover: Rival Preview

NXT Takeover's are steadily becoming the most anticipated event for a certain group of fans, so it's only natural that ATPW will be not only offering reviews of the show, but also Previews and Predictions as we do for WWE PPV's. Grab yourself a digestive (other biscuits are available), put the kettle on and settle in...The Future is Now!

Singles Match for the NXT Championship Match
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn (C)




Zayn and Owens came face to face for a Contract Signing on 28th January
Head to Head Record - Sami Zayn - 10 wins, Kevin Owens - 8 wins

      As soon as the then Kevin Steen was revealed as WWE's newest aquistion on 12th August last year, it was the one match that fans clamoured for. Steen vs. Generico on a grand scale. The pair have had 18 singles match around the world on the independent circuit, in Canada, USA, England and Italy. Their first came in November 2003 for International Wrestling Syndicate at "Payback's A Bitch" in Laval, Quebec, Canada and it's been almost two and half years since their last, a Ladder War for Ring of Honor at "Final Battle" in New York City.

Anyone who's seen the two tangle on the Indies knows that these two can more than deliver in the main event, and after a compelling and entertaining two month build up, we could be in for some special come bell time at the Full Sail Arena. Part of me think we won't see Sami Zayn drop the title only two months and one succesful title defence after winning the belt and can't see the title being given to Owens in only his third televised match in NXT, but the other part thinks it's much more entertaining to see Zayn chasing the title and would add more spice to their feud if Owens were able to win through some underhanded tactic. That's what makes this bout so intriguing.

Prediction - Sami Zayn retains.



Fatal Four-way Match for the NXT Women's Championship
Bayley vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte (C) vs. Sasha Banks



Bayley and Charlotte stare down on last week's NXT.


Head to Head Record (involving any combination of the four) - 

Bayley - 17 wins, Becky - 5 wins, Charlotte - 12 wins, Sasha - 11 wins

There's a lot of back-story going into this Fatal Fourway, isn't there? Becky and Bayley used to be pal, Charlotte and Sasha used to be pals, Becky and Sasha are pals, but there's been tension for a while, Charlotte and Bayley built up a mutual respect, after feuding for a bit and now seem to have dropped their friendship in favour of the NXT Women's Championship. It's great to see the women's division treated like it's important and each of these four women have grabbed the opportunities given to them by NXT with both hands, putting on a series of exciting matches that have stood out from the rest of the show. This could very well be another one of those matches. I think it's time for a title change in the division, and this Fatal Fourway should provide the opportunity for fan favourite Bayley to pick up the title.

Prediction - Bayley wins her first NXT Women's Championship. 


Tag Team Match for the NXT Tag Team Championship
Buddy Murphy & Wesley Blake (C) vs. The Lucha Dragons




Blake & Murphy surprised the Lucha Dragons on 28th January NXT.

Head to Head Record - Murphy & Blake - 1 win, Lucha Dragons - 2 times

It was a great moment when Murphy and Blake won the NXT Tag Team Championship because it came completely out of nowhere, but it was impossible to say they weren't deserving of the titles after beating The Vaudevillains and the Lucha Dragons in consecutive weeks. Tonights match has the simple story of the new champions attempting to prove the win wasn't a fluke, whilst the previous champions attempt to win back their gold. I've made it known in previous weeks that I've been less than enamoured with Sin Cara's performances recently, so I'm hoping we see more of Kalisto in this one! I'm excited to get more of a look at Blake and Murphy who have shown potential in their recent performances, but are yet to have a break-out performance in the ring.

Prediction - Murphy & Blake retain.

Singles Match to Determine the Number One Contender to the NXT Championship
Adrian Neville vs. Finn Balor



Neville & Balor shake hands at the close of last week's NXT.

Head to Head Record - Adrian Neville - 1 win, Finn Balor - 0 wins.

For only the second time in history and the first time on WWE television, Adrian Neville and Finn Balor will square off and this time the winner will get a shot at the NXT Championship. I'm a big mark for tournaments and have enjoyed this tournaments that's played out on NXT for the last four weeks. It's kept Neville looking strong following two losses to Sami Zayn, whilst Finn Balor has been elevated due to his performances against Hideo Itami and Curtis Axel. Neville and Balor are free of any real storyline and backstory, which allows them put on a different kind of match to what I expect we'll see from Owens and Zayn in the main event, this is going to be two similarly matched competitors going back and forth to prove who deserve a shot at the title. I see it being Balor who pulls out the victory, as Neville has not long come off a run in the title picture, it may be time for Neville to make the step up following WrestleMania 31.

Prediction - Balor wins to become Number One Contender to the NXT Championship.

No Disqualification Match
Baron Corbin vs. Bull Dempsey



Corbin was on the losing end against Adrian Neville on last week's NXT.

Head to Head Record - Corbin - 5 wins, Dempsey - 0 wins

The one match on the card that I couldn't give a shit about. Corbin defeated Dempsey on 14th January, before picking up another win two weeks later in the Quarter Final of the NXT Championship Number One contenders tournament, before Dempsey cost Corbin his Semi-Final match with Adrian Neville, the week after. On paper, that doesn't sound so bad, but when you consider neither of Corbin and Dempsey's televised matches have gone longer than two minutes, it's a little difficult to understand exactly why I'm supposed to be interested in this match.

Prediction - Corbin wins.

Singles Match
Hideo Itami vs. Tyler Breeze



Itami lost his Semi-Final to Finn Balor last week.

Head to Head Record - Itami - 7 wins, Breeze - 0 wins.

Also coming out of the NXT Championship Number One Contender's Tournament is this match. Itami defeated Breeze in the Quarter Finals, however was unable to pull out the win against Finn Balor in the Semis, leading to Breeze attacking Itami during a WWE.com "Exclusive" interview. It's hardly the fiercest of rivalries, however, Itami and Breeze managed to put together a decent bout first time out and have faced each other numerous times on NXT live events over the past three months, so I'd expect the pair to put in a similar effort, if not top their original contest. Breeze would benefit more from a victory here.

Prediction - Tyler Breeze pulls out the surprise win.

Finally...



This show has the potential to be the strongest outing for NXT yet. Owens vs. Zayn, Balor vs. Neville and Itami vs. Breeze all stand out as intriguing singles bouts, whilst the Women's Fatal Fourway will offer a welcome change of pace on the show. If we could just find a way to get rid of Corbin vs. Dempsey...

See you tomorrow for the review!

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