Hey, y’all! TakeOver: Brooklyn is on Saturday and so it’s time for me to do some quick predictions! My sister, Casriath, is going to be predicting with me. She’s not a wrestling fan, but she is long-suffering, so she’s been watching NXT with me for the past few weeks. Heads up: she’s a legitimate attorney, so she’s being the devil’s advocate today.
I’m not really sure what order the matches will be in, so I’m going in the opposite order of how they’ve been listed on all of the press releases.
Match: Ember Moon vs. Billie Kay
Survive: I’m going Ember. It’s her debut and they’ve been playing all of those promos. You don’t do that if you don’t have confidence in the wrestler. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas also had all of those short videos and he won his debut match. I also think that’s why Billie Kay’s on her winning streak – it’s one thing to beat a jobber. It’s another to beat someone who’s actually a threat.
Casriath: I’m devil’s-advocating for Billie Kay. She’s on a winning streak; is some newbie really going to take down an experienced wrestler at the top of her game? I’m also thinking about the dark mystical aura of the promos… it may be a good thing to set up Ember Moon with a revenge plotline early where she can flex some of that eerie magical muscle.
MATCH: No Way Jose vs. Austin Aries
Survive: I’m going to go No Way Jose. This is his first PPV, after all. Also, he’s basically scared Austin shitless over the last few weeks. Bonus points: Samoa Joe “identified […] Cien Almas and even No Way Jose” as potential contenders to his throne in a Forbes article, published on August 16th, 2016, which tells me that even Joe – outside of kayfabe – feels like Jose’s a good performer. Jose forced Aries to jump the barrier during his ambush – and this showed that No Way Jose can be every bit as crafty and vicious as Austin Aries.
Casriath: I’m not especially familiar with either of these fellows, but I’ll argue for the other guy. Aries is a heel, and heels have more in their arsenal than faces. Cheating, for instance. Nice guys finish last, especially at TakeOver: Brooklyn.
MATCH: Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas vs. Bobby Roode
Survive: Okay, as I’ve stated in the past: Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas is my boy. My first recap was his debut and I’ve recapped his entire NXT career so far. I’m going Cien. I know this counters my opinions with Ember Moon and Billie Kay, but Cien is on a winning streak. He’s undefeated so far in NXT. If he does lose – which will make me pissed, no joke – I won’t take anything less than Bobby Roode cheating. It’s not like Roode doesn’t have a history of buying his way to victory.
Casriath: I’m arguing for Roode to gloriously cheat his way to victory. Roode is too full of himself to be willing to go down fairly. Why not put some of that wealth he brags about to use? It doesn’t hurt that he reminds me a bit of Triple H. Not a bad thing to remind your boss (a guy who presumably has some influence with the refs) of a younger version of himself.
MATCH: The Revival vs. Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa – NXT Tag Team Championship
Survive: I’m going Gargano and Ciampa. The Revival have had two runs as tag champions – and as Dash Wilder said on this week’s NXT episode, they have nothing to prove. While it could be nice to see a long program with Gargano and Ciampa and The Revival, I really just want Gargano and Ciampa to have their big win at Brooklyn. They’ve beaten The Revival twice. The Revival even gave TM61 a match to get out of giving Gargano and Ciampa a match a few weeks ago.
Casriath: I’ll argue for the Revival. These guys look like old timey circus strongmen, what more is there to say? It doesn’t hurt that Gargano and Ciampa are still coming down from a seriously tough fight in the Cruiserweight Classic. Between potentially injuries which might weaken their performance, there’s also the relationship-battering aftermath of that kind of showdown. The Revival can use that weakness to strongarm their way to a victory.
MATCH: Asuka vs. Bayley – NXT Women’s Championship
Survive: I’m going for Asuka. Bayley has to debut at some point, damnit. Yes, NXT champions have debuted with the belt but – aside from Paige, I think – they’ve all debuted as heels. Also, Asuka’s brutal in the ring. She’s on a vicious undefeated streak and I think Bayley’s pissed her off. You don’t want to piss Asuka off. Asuka wins, Bayley loses, and she debuts either at SummerSlam or on one of the shows afterwards.
Casriath: It can’t all be gloom and doom at Takeover Brooklyn. Let’s argue for Bayley. Yes, she lost the belt to Asuka, but this just means she knows what Asuka’s able to do. She’s been looking for a rematch for a while. She must think she has a solid chance. Bayley has nothing to lose and everything to win, and Asuka is the only thing in the way of her dream. Asuka can’t win forever.
MATCH: Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – NXT Championship
Survive: This one is hard. This one is really hard. I’m honestly not sure. It entirely depends on what WWE wants. But I’m going with Shinsuke for this one. It’s his first challenge, but he’s been doing really well at pissing off Samoa Joe – and people don’t think right when they’re screaming “I’M THE CHAMP!” like a two year old who missed his nap. With all of the talk of defeating Finn Balor – NXT’s icon – I feel like they’re setting up for Shinsuke to be NXT’s new icon. And if Shinsuke’s the new icon, why not stick the belt on him?
Casriath: It’s a tough one to call, but I’m going with Samoa Joe. He got to be the champ for a reason. He may or may not have fought Shinsuke before, but he’s run in the same circles and he’s had a chance to see him fight. Even with Shinsuke annoying him at every opportunity, he’s had a chance to get ready for this match and a grudge with Regal to boot. Joe is a heel, and heels cheat to win. Letting Shinsuke just steamroll his way to a championship match and take the belt seems anticlimactic. On the other hand, a vicious defeat or a cheating champ is dramatic. Joe to win.