Written by: Nathan Sartain
As another calendar year for WWE passes, NXT still stays strong, with the fanbase growing and growing for what was originally Triple H’s little project. It mightn’t be as strong as it was last year when it arguably peaked, but it still delivers solid match after solid match. When the stars of the developmental brand reach Orlando next week, one thing is for sure, it’ll give us all something to talk about heading into the show of shows, Wrestlemania.
SAnity vs Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong, No Way Jose & Ruby Riot
The seeds for this match were planted on last weeks NXT when Riot came to the aid of Strong after a post match beatdown. Given the confirmed card so far still has a bit of wiggle room, I expect to see this match in some capacity. SAnity are the guys with the momentum and given the pinfall victory comes against No Way Jose (who has proven he can take a loss), this match could easily be booked to keep everyone in it strong.
Kassius Ohno vs A Jobber
Let’s face it, Ohno is a draw, so to leave him out of his first NXT TakeOver event would be pretty foolish. Given he kept his place in NXT with a victory over Elias Samson (major spoiler for Wednesday), he’ll probably just beat a jobber in quick fashion, with the long term plan probably looking at him challenging Bobby Roode again in the near future.
Winner: Kassius Ohno
Andrade Almas vs Aleister Black
With Almas finally starting to resonate with fans, it is a bit of a shock that he will be taking the inevitable defeat against the debuting Aleister Black. Black of course did compete in the UK Championship tournament as Tommy End, but with a repackaged gimmick and fresh look, he could go far in NXT.
Winner: Aleister Black
Authors Of Pain (c) vs #DIY vs The Revival (Tag Team Titles)
The worst team go into the match as champions, and the worst team will most likely walk out as champions. Creative’s new pet project the Authors Of Pain are Paul Ellering’s team, and given they haven’t been pinned or submitted yet, the likelihood is that will continue next weekend, even despite the match being one with elimination rules. My prediction is a fast-paced match which will see Gargano & Ciampa go all-out to defeat Dawson & Wilder, leaving Ellering’s boys to pick up the remains and win.
Winners: Authors Of Pain
Asuka (c) vs Ember Moon (Women’s Title)
The perfect time to have these two face off was always Wrestlemania weekend, with the both undefeated women in NXT set to finally face off. While Asuka’s undefeated run is starting to quite frankly reach monumental heights, Moon’s is based off one key move, the Eclipse (a corkscrew stunner from the top rope). The match will certainly be interesting, and given both are rated very highly backstage, it is really tough to call. However, with Asuka set to get a main roster call-up soon, perhaps now is the time for her to drop the belt.
Winner: Ember Moon
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Bobby Roode(c) (NXT Title)
An inevitable rematch, Roode vs Nakamura is a rivalry that has been brewing for months now, with it finally set to come to a finish on April 1st. Shinsuke is one of NXT’s top talent and since it has been announced he is set to join up on the UK tour taking place in June, they may just decide to let him become a three time NXT champion. That being said, he could be doing a Kevin Owens balancing act of two brands, so this again is a tough one to call. For the sake of Roode’s monster push staying in tact, I’ll put my money on him retaining. This will be a great match though, as it always is when strong-style meets technical mat wrestling.
Winner: Bobby Roode