By John Moore
Moore’s WWE NXT Takeover: The End Predictions
Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor: Samoa Joe will come out of the cage with the decisive victory. What throws a little wrench into my easy prediction depends on what “form” Finn Balor takes, and I know it’s not wrestling related and more aesthetic, but Finn Balor does not lose while in Demon form and Joe even picked up the World Title on Finn while he was in “real shooter” mode. Since NXT hasn’t run a cage match before, I actually hope we get a bloody brawl out of this one to feed into Joe’s merciless fighting style. Here’s hoping we don’t get referee Drake Younger constantly stopping the match to check on Joe’s bleeding nose. I can see Joe dropping the strap if they are thinking of moving Joe up to Smackdown or Raw, but NXT needs Joe right now. Samoa Joe needs to remain strong because NXT does not have any strong heels aside from Joe. Believe it or not, NXT is probably missing Baron Corbin and even Rhyno right now. I see Joe walking out of the cage door due to Finn Balor being beaten up so much, and maybe a post-match beatdown of Balor will commence.
Prediction: Samoa Joe defeats Finn Balor to retain the NXT Championship.
Asuka vs. Nia Jax for the NXT Women’s Championship: This match is intriguing but overall it still feels too soon for Nia Jax to be in a World Title match. I felt that Nia Jax and Eva Marie had a good thing a few months ago when they were paired up, but NXT seems to feel the need to thrust Jax up to these spotlight matches without developing her. Asuka is a great wrestler, but not the perfect dance partner for Jax given that Jax should be destroying people and Asuka dominates opponents as well. If this was Bayley vs. Nia Jax (and they ran an entire program with Bayley/Jax) and we were getting maybe Alexa Bliss vs. Asuka, I’d feel better about Jax’s positioning. Overall, this match is happening too soon. There are lots of too soons here. This is also too soon for Asuka to be facing the monster heel of Nia Jax.
Prediction: Asuka defeats Jax via pinfall to retain the NXT Women’s Championship
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Austin Aries: This match has my vote for most likely being the match of the night depending on what type of Austin Aries we get. In a way, I’m hoping that we don’t get the decisive victory in the end, but more on that shortly. Aries gets overlooked a lot of times for the complete package he offers as a wrestler. I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t get a real program between Nakamura and Aries, as they both have the personalities that can carry a program. Due to him being such a star and out of place on the “developmental” show, I see Shinsuke Nakamura picking up the win. My hope is that we find a way to get a non-finish out of this, or even a DQ win to initiate an Aries heel turn. Aries has been marginalized as a babyface and that might be on purpose. Maybe, just maybe, we get some sort of non or DQ finish with Bobby Roode inserting himself into NXT as a top heel. Maybe Aries and Roode can become the top “Dirty Heels” of the promotion. It would be strange if that happened though, because it would feel like early 2015 TNA with Joe, Aries, and Roode all being top heels on the television show. I just hope they don’t put Eric Young in all of this.
Prediction: Nakamura defeats Aries via pinfall.
American Alpha vs. The Revival: The tag division of NXT is looking solid with this rematch between Alpha and Revival. Everyone here fits. Gable is the wrestling machine. Jordan is the master of the hot tag. The Revival are good technical wrestlers, but not crowd pleasing, which is what you want from bad guys. I’m expecting the same great match we got last Takeover just without a few of the clunky spots. This might be “The End” of this feud, and maybe Alpha can move on to more tag teams like Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Chiampa.
Prediction: American Alpha defeats The Revival via pinfall to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship
Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Tye Dillinger: Since Almas is the highly touted NXT signee, this is more of a scouting report match with Almas being able to introduce the WWE NXT crowd to his moveset and character. I guess there is a numerology thing with Cien being 100 vs. the Perfect 10, but that’s probably not what they were going for. Almas is the former La Sombra from CMLL/New Japan. To compare him to current wrestlers on national TV, I like to say he is a cross between Fenix from Lucha Underground and Hunico. He can do all of the Lucha things like topes and huracanranas, but he can also do more traditional wrestling moves with some strong strikes integrated in it. I haven’t seen his work unmasked but I’m definitely looking forward to it.
Prediction: Andrade “Cien” Almas defeats Tye Dillinger.