This Saturday’s Takeover show may not be in Brooklyn, but that isn’t stopping NXT’s pre-Summerslam show from having as stacked a card as usual. Fun fact: the first NXT show I ever watched was Takeover Brooklyn II, so the summer show has a very special place in my heart. Saturday has some pretty sweet looking matchups, and I’m here to prepare you for them.
Candice LeRae vs Io Shirai
Io Shirai is widely considered one of the best wrestlers working today. She had a fabulous career in Japan, but has consistently fallen short of winning the big prizes in NXT. She lost in the finals of the second Mae Young Classic and failed to capture the NXT Women’s Championship from Shayna Baszler on multiple occasions. Candice LeRae, in spite of signing to NXT as a pretty big name back in the beginning of 2018, has been stuck in supportive friend roles and (ugh) as an accessory in Johnny Gargano storylines. This is her first match on a Takeover.
The most recent performer Candice played supportive friend to was Io Shirai, who turned heel on her after losing a cage match to Shayna Baszler. LeRae is pissed. Shirai is over all friendship. It’s perfect. There hasn’t been a non-title women’s match on a Takeover card since Ember Moon debuted and faced Billie Kaye in 2016.
We’ve seen a lot of steel chairs and kendo sticks from these two, so don’t be surprised if they start pulling out weapons. I am more excited for this match than I am for anything else this weekend.
Prediction: I would love to see this end in a countout or disqualification. These two are perfect opponents and if anyone on the NXT roster is cut out for a cool stipulation grudge rematch against Io Shirai, it’s Candice.
NXT Tag Team Championship: Street Profits (c) vs Undisputed Era
I’m going to do a lot of complaining later in this preview about Takeovers being repetitive. But you know what? Sometimes repetition is great. Yes I’ve seen these teams before, but I have no complaints about seeing them again. When I say that this match is going to be a delight, I say it with the same confidence that I have when I order tikka masala from my favorite Indian restaurant or bake my favorite cookie recipe. I know what I’m getting and I know it’s going to be good, because it’s always good. This match is going to be exciting and entertaining, with a great balance of endearingly funny and mindblowingly awesome. We are all going to have a great time.
Prediction: It could go either way, but I think the Street Profits are retaining. Kyle O’Reilly becomes prime minister of Canada though for sure since they’re actually in Canada this time.
North American Championship Triple Threat: Velveteen Dream (c) vs Pete Dunne vs Roderick Strong
Way back in 2018, Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne were a team in NXT’s tag team tournament. In the finals, Strong turned on Dunne and joined the Undisputed Era. When Pete Dunne returned to NXT two weeks ago, it was clear he hasn’t forgotten about that betrayal. I’m interested to see if Strong will be able to keep his dickhead charisma up in the ring against such magnetic, unconventional babyfaces as Dream and Dunne. Either way, this will be well-wrestled.
Prediction: Pete Dunne. If they’re making him part of the NXT roster, it just makes sense to stick a title on him. He’s a great defending champion.
NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler (c) vs Mia Yim
After beating up all of Shayna Baszler’s friends, Mia Yim is getting her first shot at the NXT Women’s Championship. There isn’t a ton of history between these two on NXT, but (sorry @ kayfabe) they are good friends and former roommates, so the chemistry should be fun.
Prediction: Sorry Mia, I think Shayna Baszler is holding onto this one.
NXT Championship 2-out-of-3 Falls Opponents Each Get to Pick a Fall Stipulation: Adam Cole (c) vs Johnny Gargano
Adam Cole beat Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship in June, after unsuccessfully challenging him for it in April in a 2-out-of-3 falls match, so now they’re going to have another 2-out-of-3 falls match. This time, there’s a stipulation for each fall. Johnny Gargano chose “street fight” for his. Adam Cole chose “regular wrestling match” for his. If there’s a third fall, NXT General Manager William Regal will pick it.
Sometimes I get scared that I’m going to slip into a coma and I’ll wake up in 20 years and ask “what year is it?” and the doctor will tell me that it’s 2039 and Johnny Gargano is in the main event of the next NXT Takeover. I’ve said my piece and I don’t need to say it again. With the amount of talent WWE has signed and aren’t using, this is just absurd:
NXT Takeover Shows Since Summer 2016
|Gargano Singles Match||Gargano Main Event||Gargano Title Match||Gargano > 30 mins||Gargano vs Ciampa||Gargano vs Cole|
Prediction: The third fall is a triple threat match against Tommaso Ciampa, who wins. But then no one has won 2 out of 3, so they need to add on a bunch more falls. The match finally ends 48 hours later at Summerslam when Johnny Gargano wins after Shawn Michaels begs him to swallow him whole, thus merging their powers.