By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Join John Moore for his live review of NXT Takeover 36 beginning with the pre-show at 6:30CT/7:30ET followed by the main card at 7CT/8ET. Dot Net Members will have exclusive access to the Takeover audio review hosted by John and I after the show.
Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly in a best of three falls match: I assume that this match will close the show, as it could be difficult for the other matches to follow the standard match, street fight, and cage match format. In fairness, Walter and Dragunov certainly could, but I’d be surprised if the NXT UK Title match headlined the show. I hate to say it, but I’m ready for the Cole vs. O’Reilly saga to end. Their matches are terrific and I’m sure this will be no exception, but their feud just doesn’t feel like it’s completely connected. Many of us suspect that Cole is either leaving the company once his deal expires or moving to the WWE main roster. As such, I have O’Reilly going over.
Kyle O’Reilly wins two falls to one.
Karrion Kross vs. Samoa Joe for the NXT Championship: A big FU to the creative forces on the main roster who felt the need to ruin Kross’s unbeaten mystique by having him lose a couple of matches on Raw before this match. I’d really love to have someone explain why Kross couldn’t have made his Raw debut tomorrow night instead of showing up when he did and having the Raw booking madness damage him, this match, and even the NXT brand to some extent. Putting all of that aside, I am still looking forward to this match. It will be great to see Joe back in the ring following his long injury layoff, and I am anxious to see what type of match he and Kross can produce With Kross already working on Raw, it would be a big surprise if he retains the championship.
Samoa Joe wins the NXT Championship.
Walter vs. Ilja Dragunov for the NXT UK Championship: If you haven’t watched their first match, you owe it to yourself to go out of your way to watch it before tonight’s rematch. It was among the best matches of 2020 and the rematch should also be terrific. Dragunov strikes me as the most likely candidate to end Walter’s long championship reign. But I actually hope it doesn’t happen tonight in front of an American crowd. I’d much rather see the title change take place on the first show that NXT UK has back in front of a sizable live crowd with fans who are far more invested in the feud. Perhaps I’m picking more with my heart than my head as a result of that desire.
Walter retains the NXT UK Championship.
Raquel Gonzalez vs. Dakota Kai for the NXT Women’s Championship: Given her size and skill, I am surprised that Gonzalez hasn’t been working dark matches and WWE Main Event matches as a prelude to being called up to the main roster. Kai actually has been working those matches and even lost to Aliyah on a recent edition of WWE Main Event for reasons that could only make sense to the main roster creative forces. It will be interesting to see how they work around the being having such a big size advantage over the heel. I’d love to see Kai get a run with the title, as she’s done some fantastic work in NXT, but I’d also like to see Gonzalez defend against Franky Monet at some point. With Kai seemingly main roster bound, I’m sticking with the champion.
Raquel Gonzalez retains the NXT Women’s Championship.
LA Knight vs. Cameron Grimes for the Million Dollar Championship or Ted DiBiase becomes Knight’s butler: WWE doesn’t always spotlight their legends properly, but I can’t imagine The Million Dollar Man being cast as Knight’s butler. Plus, Knight has a couple of wins over Grimes and has been tormenting him. It’s time for Grimes to get his revenge.
Cameron Grimes wins.
Ridge Holland vs. Trey Baxter in the pre-show match: Holland is back in monster mode now that he’s back from surgery. It would definitely send a “don’t assume you know everything” message if the smaller Baxter got an upset win to counter all the buzz that WWE officials want to spotlight bigger talent in NXT, but seeing is believing.
Ridge Holland wins.