It’s the event that has become as anticipated as WrestleMania itself every year and what a line up it is. Always in front of a rabid crowd, Takeover has become such a staple in the wrestling calendar that many fans look forward to this more than Mania itself. With so much on the line in terms of what the next year will be for NXT, lets now take a look at what’s in store and what the ramifications could be. This writer is very excited for Takeover New York and with good reason!
WWE UK Title Match:
Pete Dunne vs Walter
Let’s face it, the title reign of Pete Dunne has been incredible and has featured several matches of the year candidates during the champs historic run. One could say though that for the first time the title could in fact change hands here. Walter arrived to terrific fanfare and has looked amazing since his arrival. The future of the NXT UK brand will be shaped here for the next 12 months and this could very easily steal the show no matter where on the card it is placed. If ever there was a person to take the brand to the next level, it most certainly is the challenger. Saying that, even with several title defences under his belt, the champion is more than capable of continuing his reign and keeping the titles prestige.
Prediction: It could very well go either way but we are going with Walter becoming the new champion, thus paving the way for new and old challengers emerging and Dunne moving onto NXT full time or even maybe an appearance on the main roster post Mania.
NXT North American Title match:
Velveteen Dream vs Matt Riddle
Always perceived as a future NXT dream match has already become a reality here as two of the brands hottest stars take the stage in what has the makings of being a true, all-time classic Takeover match. Both champion and challenger are immensely popular and the crowd will no doubt be 50/50 split during this one. Even though Dream is still very early into his reign, a victory for Riddle here does not seem so unlikely. This is one to keep a close eye on as this could once again go either way.
Prediction: Dream to retain. Riddle would not lose any momentum if defeated here as the feud could very well continue going into the next Takeover event in June. A long and eventful reign for Dream could be a true blessing for the North American title and with his charisma and raw talent, Dream to the title could very be what Rob Van Dam was to the ECW TV title back in the late 90s.
NXT Tag Team Title match:
War Raiders vs Aleister Black and Ricochet
This one has slipped under the radar slightly due to the recent main roster inclusion of the challengers which could work in favour of the match as this could be the sleeper encounter of the night. War Raiders have looked incredible since coming to NXT and have brought a new element to the tag division. Black and Ricochet came together to win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Classic and looked damn fine throughout. One has to believe that this will be the final NXT appearance for the challengers as they move up to the main roster exclusively.
Prediction: The result does not seem to be in any doubt here as we feel the titles will stay with the Raiders. Do not let that take away from what will no doubt be a tremendous tag team tussle!
NXT Women’s Title match:
Shayna Baszler vs Io Shirai vs Bianca Belair vs Kairi Sane
The title reigns for Baszler has been built on legitimacy and grittiness and will go down as maybe the best reign in the title’s history so far. With talks of the champ heading up to the main roster sooner than later, the time could be right here for a new kingpin, or queenpin, to emerge. Who will take the spot though is an intriguing one. If the title does change hands, it will offer a fresh view on the division and keep it strong going forward.
Prediction: Belair wins the title. Bianca has become a very entertaining and well-rounded competitor over the last year and now could very well be her time to shine.
NXT Title 2 out of 3 falls match:
Johnny Gargano vs Adam Cole
The original main event featuring Gargano against then champ Tomasso Ciampa would have been another incredible entry into their epic series of matches. The unfortunate end to the brilliant reign of Ciampa due to an injury has now presented a fresh and unquestionably mouth-watering main event here. As has been the theme of the show from our point of view, this once again could really go either way. Both men would easily carry on the unmatched prestige of the NXT Title and this will be a classic battle there is no denying that. Ah Takeover, how we do love your events!
Prediction: New champion Bay Bay! Yes, we are going with Cole becoming the first NXT Triple Crown champion 2 falls to 1 in one of the true classic NXT Title matches. 2019 could go down as the year of Cole before he eventually makes his way onto the main roster, hopefully with all of the Undisputed Era alongside him.
Takeover New York will be epic. There is no other way really to truly describe it as the bar will be set even higher and will leave the main roster wondering how they will top it 24 hours later! We will be back next week with the recap of the show and look out for a future feature on NXT as we will take a look at classic matches and moments from the history of the most talked about brand in wrestling today.