On 27th January 2018, NXT are taking over Philadelphia as they take their show live to the Wells Fargo Center (it still feels wrong to not type 'centre', darn Yanks). As NXT looks to cement its position as not just the developmental brand but more the show that the Royal Rumble has to try, and possibly struggle, to follow. If you're planning to watch live, why not jump onto the Network or YouTube at 7pm (Midnight on the 28th here in Blighty), for the pre-show and find out what the all-star panel of Renee Young, Corey Graves, Charly Caruso, Samoa Joe &, sigh, Sam Roberts think of the evening ahead. Till then, let's enjoy the sounds of our official TakeOver house band, Asking Alexandria.
Kassius Ohno vs Velveteen Dream
At once point, this match was set to be a first round match in the NXT Championship Number One Contender's tournament but Velveteen Dream was so shook by Aleister Black actually saying his name, he couldn't make it to the match. In reality, he had a minor injury but was back in time for the set of January taping. There's not much in the way of story here as it was a match made after this week's NXT went off the air but there's always something at stake as both men have recently had intense battles with current number one contender Johnny Gargano so regardless of the outcome of the main event, you can't help but feel this might have implications in their contendership status. Both of these men have a strong grounding in amateur wrestling but much like Dream's match with Aleister Black, expect this one to quickly go to blows. As to who's going to win, it's hard to call as both men could do with a win but considering Ohno's player-coach role, don't be surprised if Dream walks out with the win. Slightly more contentious prediction, considering Ohno's been losing a lot, he's also been getting more salty about it and people seem to love Dream, a double turn might not be a ridiculous outcome.
NXT Tag Team Championship: Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly) (c) vs Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar)
NXT Women's Championship: Ember Moon (c) vs Shayna Baszler
Extreme Rules Match: Aleister Black vs Adam Cole
Another match that has its beginnings in the Number One Contender's tournament as in the first round, Black defeated Cole but in the final, Cole and his cronies attacked Black, causing him to not only lose but also ending his undefeated streak. On the first NXT of this year, Black and Roderick Strong were also involved in a losing effort at obtaining the NXT Tag-Team titles after Black became too involved in trying to hunt down and murder Cole, leading him to be given the three-on-one treatment post-match with weapons and whatnot. This forced William Regal to come out and declare this rematch to happen and because it's Philidelphia so there had to be a faintly hardcore match on the card, it was made Extreme Rules. Trying to call the outcome here entirely depends on its position on the card (the order of matches in this preview is based on the order of the NXT website), if it's a pure one-on-one encounter, you have to think if Black did it once, he can do it again but if this match occurs before the tag titles, with a fresh trio of assailants and no lousy rules forcing them to not all be constantly in the ring, this might just become a handicap encounter for the former Tommy End. That said, I see Black winning this one, setting him up for a title match at TakeOver: New Orleans either against Gargano, the man that finished his streak or Almas, the man he faced in his first NXT match back at TakeOver: Orlando. Also, not hard to predict, expect a lot of kicks and probably a fair few ref bumps.