It’s Tuesday, so normally I only upload the Tuesday Top 10 today; and today’s Top 10 is going up in a few. However, the fact remains that tomorrow mars the day of the next WWE NXT live special, TakeOver: Respect. And as you probably know, I always post a FearlessRiOT Forecast on award shows and WWE live events the day before they air. This means that I have TWO things to post to the site today, so I hope you’re ready for some reading, especially if you’re a wrestling fan.
Tomorrow is a historic show as it marks the first time the women get the main event treatment on a WWE live special/pay-per-view of any kind and it’s in a match type that the women of WWE have never competed in before. Given the track record of the women of NXT in these live specials, it’s definitely a well-earned opportunity. Can they keep the streak alive with this one? And more importantly, which woman will come out on top? Oh, and what about that undercard? Let’s take a look at it and predict the winners: this is the FearlessRiOT Forecast for NXT TakeOver: Respect!
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament Semi-Final
Finn Bálor & Samoa Joe vs. Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder
The Backstory: The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic was a tournament started on-screen by NXT GM William Regal to honor the memory of the late great American Dream. Various tag teams (some already established, some thrown together to fill in the slots) entered the tournament and battled it out in a series of matches, most of which took place on non-televised houseshows. I assume this was done because only so many matches could be televised in between TakeOver: Brooklyn and TakeOver: Respect. Many teams have been defeated and only four remain and they will do battle at Respect. In this match, the NXT Champion teams up with the Samoan Submission Machine to take on Dash & Dawson, a team I often forget even exists.
Who I Want to Win: Bálor and Joe; as mentioned before, my interest in Dash and Dawson is microscopic.
Who Will Win: Joe & Bálor; they’ll win this match pretty dominantly before going to the finals, where there will likely be tension leading to them losing.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament Semi-Final
Jason Jordan & Chad Gable vs. Rhyno & Baron Corbin
The Backstory: Basically the same backstory as the other Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic match; the only difference is that instead of a team of thrown-together Indy darlings and a background team of legit technicians, we have two brash young athletes with admirable chemistry facing a duo of powerful monsters with devastating finishers. One team is ready, willing, and Gable and the other has a smash mouth style that’ll be difficult to combat.
Who I Want to Win: I won’t lie, I’d love if Jordan and Gable won.
Who Will Win: Jordan & Gable. That’s a bold prediction, but I stand by it.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament Finals
I’m not gonna touch on this match only because we don’t even know who’s gonna be in it yet. But I do get the feeling that Jordan and Gable are gonna win. We’ll have to wait and see.
Apollo Crews vs. Tyler Breeze
The Backstory: Apollo Crews debuted at TakeOver: Brooklyn and what a debut it was. For a man his size, he has uncanny athletic ability and has so far proven to be a likeable enough superstar. That said, for weeks now, he’s been given mostly squash matches on NXT programming, which he has been victorious in. So while Crews has been riding a wave of good fortunes lately, Tyler Breeze has had terrible luck; he’s lost one TakeOver event after another and in recent weeks, he lost the first round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and even though he beat Tommaso Ciampa in an good match on NXT last week, there’s still doubt on whether his fortunes will turn around completely.
Who I Want to Win: Sorry, Breeze, but I’m going with Crews; dude is on fire right now.
Who Will Win: Crews. Like I said, Breeze has been losing so much at TakeOver events lately that it’s hard to predict he’ll come out on the winning end of this one, which is a shame seeing as Tyler Breeze is a talented guy. It’s just that he’s been in developmental so long, he could be a first-ballot inducted into the Developmental Hall of Fame as he’s always been overlooked and can’t seem to break through to the next level.
Asuka vs. Dana Brooke
The Backstory: Indy fans were a bit surprised to see Kana pop up on TakeOver: Brooklyn in the crowd with Sgt. Slaughter and Ric Flair. We hadn’t heard any internet reports going in that Kana and WWE were even in contact with each other. But as it turns out they had secretly signed her and the woman who has showcased her skills in Japan and SHIMMER over the yeas was officially headed to NXT. Rechristened as Asuka, she made her debut recently in a contract signing segment which was then interrupted by Dana Brooke and Emma. The two evil blondes talked some smack to the dangerous competitor before Kana let off a single gaze that let you know they would get what was coming to them. And after last week’s segment where Dana compared Asuka to a “hi-heena” before seeing what she can do, I think she knows this match won’t be a walk in the park. Really, look at her face here; the fear is real.
Who I Want to Win: Asuka. As someone who’s seen her compete live (as well as someone who’s still not 100% sold on Dana Brooke just yet though she has her heel persona downpat) I’ve love to see her take this one. Plus, it’s her first match there. Let her get some momentum off the bat.
Who Will Win: Hopefully Asuka; I know there were reports that they wanted to push Dana for a title shot eventually, but I really don’t want that to get in the way of Kana winning her first match in NXT.
NXT Women’s Championship
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
The Backstory: You all know the backstory, you all saw the match. You probably enjoyed it just like I did: Bayley’s climb to the top of the mountain finally came to fruition as she defeated Sasha Banks for the NXT Women’s Championship on NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in an emotional moment that’ll live on in wrestling history. Pretty much every women’s match on an NXT live special has received heavy praise from the wrestling fandom, but this match in-particular had it all: the characters, the story, the fact that every move had a purpose. It was everything you could ask for and more. Because of that, this match has been praised by everyone from fans and even fellow wrestlers as one of the best of the year and maybe ever. And now the ladies have the chance to improve upon perfection with the rematch; and William Regal basically set the world ablaze when he announced that they are being given the main event slot and it is the very first women’s IronMan match in company history. Triple H and company down here doing things Vince would be too scared to do on main roster television, and that’s a good thing.
Who I Want to Win: Bayley; her reign is only beginning and this should not be the end.
Who Will Win: Bayley, for two reasons: her reign just started basically and Sasha is on the main roster and can focus on the main roster title now. But even still, the match these women put on should be something special.