Tonight brings us another installment of the Wednesday Night Wars… except actually, they’re on a bit of a break right now. For most of the next month and a little of September as well, Dynamite won’t be airing in it’s usual timeslot. That leaves NXT with a golden opportunity, since it’s got the normal spot all to itself. Let’s see what they do with it. I’ll be taking a look at everything on tap for tonight and making predictions where applicable so let’s get to it!
Strangely, there’s nothing advertised for either Keith Lee or Karrion Kross here, just days away from their title match. You certainly can’t have a go-home show without them though.
Adam Cole and Pat McAfee to come face-to-face.
It’s still a little hard to believe this is actually happening at TakeOver. These two have been feuding in some way since before McAfee was even signed to NXT but it’s just, so unlike what NXT is usually all about to make this a thing. Granted, that’s part of the storyline, McAfee’s presence is meant to be an insult to the wrestling community. I don’t know that this makes it much better though.
I am certainly hopeful that they aren’t even considering having Cole lose this match. So with that in mind I doubt he’ll be getting any sort of revenge tonight. If anything, this segment may result in McAfee delivering a similar punt to one of Cole’s TUE buddies. Maybe Kyle O’Reilly for maximum sympathy, since he just came back from injury.
Finn Balor vs. Velveteen Dream: Winner Enters North American Title Ladder Match
This is certainly a big match and seems like a potential main event. It should be pretty good as well. There is a lot swirling around Dream right now though, it’s admittedly pretty awkward having him back so quickly. It even looks like they’ve chosen to turn him heel to play off the heat they expect him to get, which is… a choice.
I don’t think putting him in the big public eye right now is a great idea and leaving Finn Balor off TakeOver entirely would be pretty questionable as well. So I’m gonna say Finn Balor over.
Johnny Gargano vs. Ridge Holland: Winner Enters North American Title Ladder Match
The other of the last two qualifiers and it’s certainly an interesting one. Ridge Holland has a lot of hype behind him for sure. It’s said there’s a lot of people that look at him as a potential future ace. And it’s pretty easy to see why, he actually does remind me a lot of Brock Lesnar circa 2002.
Still… beating Johnny Wrestling in his second match in NXT and keeping him off of TakeOver? It seems a little bit unlikely. Plus, normally with matches like this, you’d want to have a decent split of big dudes to act as a base and smaller guys who can fly onto them. We already have Bronson Reed and Damian Priest as heavies, and Cameron Grimes isn’t exactly a high flier. Gargano makes sense as an entrant. Johnny Wrestling over.
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott & Breezango vs. Legado Del Fantasma
Santos Escobar has really been running roughshod over the Cruiserweight division since his dramatic unmasking. But Swerve Scott is clearly the next in-line to challenge for the gold, so it makes sense for the face team to get the win here. Swerve pins either Mendoza or Wilde to give him a boost. Hope Swerve/Escobar ends up being a TakeOver match, the Cruiserweight title still hasn’t been defended on a TakeOver yet and that really perplexes me.
Rhea Ripley & Shotzi Blackheart vs. Mercedes Martinez & Aliyah
The next stage in the Robert Stone saga… I kinda can’t see Ripley losing in a match like this and Shotzi’s also popular enough for it to seem like a bad idea. I’ll say Ripley pins Aliyah, leading to a further tease of Ripley/Martinez in a singles afterwards.
Since there’s no Dynamite tonight I’ll be watching NXT live this week and that means it gets a recap and results page! See you in a couple hours!