I love NXT TakeOver specials; what wrestling fan doesn’t? Ever since the first one, NXT TakeOver: Arrival in February 2015, these are some of the most anticipated events on the wrestling calendar, even moreso than most of WWE’s main roster offerings. NXT’s fanbase has grown so much and critical reception of it has been so widespread that NXT can now hold shows in different venues around the world. And to capitalize on that, the Superstars and Divas of Full Sail are getting their very own live special the day before WWE’s second biggest PPV SummerSlam. It’s called NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn and it looks set to begin a brand new era in NXT for reasons that will become evident during this forecast. Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s about that time. Let’s take a look at the NXT TakeOver card (both the matches taking place on the live special and the matches being filmed for next Wednesday’s NXT episode) and recall the backstory, predict who will win, and as an added bonus, I put who I’d most like to see walk away with the victory and why. This is the first of many forecasts to come; keep a lookout tomorrow for my forecast on SummerSlam and next Saturday for my forecast on the MTV Video Music Awards. But for now, let’s get started with TakeOver.
Carmella vs. Eva Marie
The Backstory: There really isn’t much of a backstory for this one at all. The closest thing resembling one has been Eva Marie’s long running mission to be taken more seriously as a wrestler and prove wrong the accusations of her doubters and locker room peers. After training with [The] Brian Kendrick for some time, she made a comeback recently on NXT defeating the woman now known as KC Cassidy a.k.a. Cassie a.k.a. Peyton Royce in a one-on-one match that most people thought was pretty bad. I personally thought was not a bad start to this new Eva Marie Era and I hope that she continues to get better. Looks like Enzo & Big Cass’s unteachably-hot-as-hell valet Carmella is her next challenge…if you wanna call it that.
Who I Want to Win: Eva Marie, I guess. I know most people are probably not invested enough in this match to care who wins, but if WWE really wants to make Eva Marie this big star, might as well portray her as a winner.
Who Will Win: Eva Marie. Carmella doesn’t really win that often anyway, does she?
Bull Dempsey vs. Elia Samson
The Backstory: Bull Dempsey is a lazy slob. I’m not being mean; that is litearllly the entire backstory of this match. An unmotivated Bull Dempsey began to go off the deep, from carrying food in his singlet to attempting to murder a vending machine. NXT GM William Regal told him that he needs to get in better shape and thus, the Bull Fit angle was born, with video packages to accompany it. And Elia Samson is…the guy he’s facing, basically.
Who I Want to Win: Um…just go to the next section…
Who Will Win: Bull Dempsey; they would not put THIS much effort into spotlighting his redemption story, so to speak, if the blowoff will be losing a match to this not-that-important guy.
Fatal 4-Way Match:
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte vs. Emma vs. Dana Brooke
The Backstory: I wanna say that this is another match that doesn’t really have a backstory, but it kinda does actually. Dana Brooke and Charlotte have been at odds as Dana believes she deserves a better spotlight than the one Charlotte currently has. Mostly due to how impressive her physique is. They previously met in a one-on-one match that’s actually my favorite Dana Brooke match to date, but clearly it’s not over between the two. And Becky and Emma come in I guess because they’re the other girls’ tag team partners and have proven that they can put on good matches as well.
Who I Want to Win: Becky Lynch, because you have NO idea how much my adoration for this girl has grown this year. After that great match with Sasha at TakeOver as well as her other in-ring performances, she’s a lock for my Top 10 favorite female wrestlers of 2015.
Who Will Win: Call me crazy, but I could kinda see a Dana Brooke win happening here. You see, even though I’d love to see Becky win, she and Charlotte are on the main roster now and don’t really need the win. Might as well put over the new guard on the way out; and though Emma is by far more experience and skilled than Dana, I have recently started seeing at least a little improvement on the Brooke’s side. A win could probably even inflate her ego and help her heel persona nicely. So yeah, Dana’s probably gonna win this one.
Eight-Man Tag Team Match:
Enzo Amore, Colin Cassidy, & The Hype Bros vs. Jason Jordan, Chad Gable, Scott Dawson, & Dash Wilder
The Backstory: These four random tag teams have nothing to do, so they’re getting tossed into a random eight-man tag. OK, maybe that’s not fair to say. I mean, it’s not like the teams have nothing to bring to the table. Enzo & Cass are very entertaining together; the Hype Bros are also entertaining…I guess. OK, I’ve never cared for Zack Ryder or Mojo Rawley, but I guess throwing their strange, unique brand of hype entertainment together works. And the other team is full of guys who aside from Jason Jordan, I’ve barely noticed existed until now. So I got nothing for them.
Who I Want to Win: The Realest Hyped Bro Guys in the Room
Who Will Win: Ba-da-boom, Realest Hyped Bro Guys in the Room. No contest.
Apollo Crews vs. Tye Dillinger
The Backstory: One of these guys has yet to debut and the other just recently re-debuted with a new gimmick. Dillinger is apparently the “Perfect 10” superstar, and in bragging about his “perfectness”, he effectively has Full Sail chanting “10”. Gee, first Big E with “five”, now this guy with “ten”; I wonder who’s gonna come with the “fifteen” chants. Anyway, Apollo Crews’ old name is Uhaa Nation; I heard good thing about him when he got signed, but since I had no idea who he was then, I had to YouTube him. And my verdict: this dude is the real deal, he can go in the ring, and therefore…
Who I Want to Win: Apollo Crews FTW.
Who Will Win: The guy who’s name is a mashup between Rocky character Apollo Creed and actor Terry Crews. It’s his big debut and they’ve given it a bunch of hype with the video packages; he is NOT losing.
Baron Corbin vs. Samoa Joe
The Backstory: These are two dudes who have pretty much been doing nothing but squash matches lately. The former TNA World Champion debuted to a lot of fanfare at the last NXT live special, but immediately became the show’s resident jobber destroyer. That job, however, is also held by Baron Corbin, who hasn’t done much of note since his so-so feud with Bull Dempsey ended. Corbin has kinda become NXT’s version of 2012 Ryback; I say “kinda” because even though he has the size, the awesome finisher, and the jobber-killer cred that Ryback does, but he does NOT have the catchphrase or the fan support that Ryback has garned. Fans have booed him out of Full Sail on numerous occasions. So after getting fed up with that and demanding a challenge, Joe accepted.
Who I Want to Win: Samoa Joe; outside of his admittedly awesome finisher, I don’t care enough about Corbin at this point to want to see him win.
Who Will Win: Joe is gonna kill you! (Not literally, but Corbin is not winning this match is what I’m saying.)
NXT Tag Team Championship:
Blake & Murphy (w/ Alexa Bliss) [C] vs. The Vaudevillains
The Backstory: Blake & Murphy won the Tag Team Championships from the Lucha Dragons on a random episode of NXT, which baffled me because I couldn’t tell you a damn thing about these guys before that victory. And even after they won the titles, they weren’t exactly the essence of interesting. That was until they defended the titles against Enzo & Cass at TakeOver: Unstoppable and they aligned with former glitter queen Alexa Bliss, who immensely improved they’re act by surprising us all by being an effective villain. Yes, don’t judge a small, adorable, blonde book by it’s cover; she’s actually a pretty good villain as she has the priceless facial expressions, arrogant mannerisms, and fiery slaps to pull it off. This feud with the Vaudevillains prove that; Gotch and English have provided a nice competition to the BAMF and watching Alexa stand up to and slap them constantly has been entertaining to watch.
Who I Want to Win: BAMF; hey, who doesn’t love the sight of Alexa Bliss holding the NXT Tag Team Championships as if she’s a one-person team and is the official holder of both titles? Plus, unique as they are, I’m not a huge Vaudevillains fan. However…
Who Will Win: The Vaudevillains; if you can recall, William Regal told them to find an equalizer to remove Alexa from the equation and I believe they’ve found one. I predict it’ll be Nia Jax, who looks powerful enough to bearhug Alexa’s smaller frame the whole match to prevent interference. That’s my bold prediction of how it’ll exactly happen, and even if it doesn’t, the Vaudevillains are definitely winning.
Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Tyler Breeze
The Backstory: Tyler Breeze, a former NXT Championship #1 contender and NXT TakeOver headliner, has gotten lost in the shuffle since all these former Indy stars started popping up and he is tired of it. The man still brags about taking out Hideo Itami, but that’s not really getting him anywhere at the moment. Therefore, he has demanded William Regal give him a challenge for TakeOver. His wish has been granted as Regal has booked him against another international star in Japanese wrestling legend Jushin Thunder Liger.
Who I Want to Win: I don’t know; I’m kinda torn. Should Breeze go over a legend like Liger and gain more substantial credibility as a performer or should he lose to Liger for the feel-good moment? Ugh, this one is hard!
Who Will Win: Tyler Breeze; yup, I said it. I’m still not sure who I want to win, but the reason I’d wanna see Breeze win is the exact reason he is going to. Get Breeze that cred he’s kinda of lost by giving him a surprise victory over an icon.
NXT Women’s Championship:
Sasha Banks [C] vs. Bayley
The Backstory: Bayley’s time in NXT has been like an Oscar-nominated movie in the making. The former Davina Rose came into NXT as a “I’m just happy to be here” fangirl character who lost a lot. Eventually, though, after being burned by one to many people she thought were her friends, she began winning matches, developing her character, and becoming one of the most beloved underdog characters in NXT among both adults and children. She still hasn’t won the title after multiple shots, though, which makes her match against now-main roster member, Team B.A.D. standout, and reigning NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks that much more important. Banks has called Bayley a loser and says she has no chance, but will that be the case on Saturday?
Who I Want to Win: Bayley; I love Sasha as much as the next person, but the rise of Bayley deserves a happy ending. I’ve been wondering when Bayley would finally win the title, and now is the right time.
Who Will Win: Bayley; this metaphorical Oscar-worthy movie will have it’s happy ending for two reasons: 1) The story is too perfect and Bayley’s time to reign is officially now and 2) Sasha’s on the main roster (even though she barely ever carries her belt with her up there for some reason) and is doing great, so she doesn’t need it anymore.
Finn Balor [C] vs. Kevin Owens
The Backstory: Finn Balor won the #1 contendership for the NXT Title at the last TakeOver special; he officially got his shot at the “Beast in the East” special in Tokyo. He defeats Kevin Owens and Owens, the sore loser that he is, refuses the new champion’s handshake. His official rematch is booked for TakeOver: Brooklyn and while his main roster run has been…OK, it’s been decent; keep in mind he came out on the losing end of a feud with John Cena, usually the thing that super-glues someone to the midcard for good. But still, he has a chance to bounce back and probably doesn’t need NXT anymore; but still, he clearly wants that title back and will do whatever he can to slay the demon.
Who I Want to Win: Finn Balor; dude is amazing and could be a lock for my #1 favorite male wrestler of the year (meaning Ambrose might have to settle for second, but we’ll see.)
Who Will Win: Finn Balor; much like Sasha in the Women’s Title match, Owens is killing it on the main roster and doesn’t need the title. After Balor climbs that ladder and retains his title, I predict this may be the last we see of Owens on NXT.
Do you agree with the forecast? Who do you see winning at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn? Who are you rooting for to win? Tag me on Twitter @FearlessRiOT and let me know or leave a comment below. Then check out NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn on the WWE Network this Saturday (and the other matches on NXT next Wednesday) to see which predictions come true. Hope you all enjoy the show.