Believe it or not, there hasn’t been a great build up for this show. How many times have Balor and Joe interacted since Joe became the number one contender? Has Corbin continued to mention his dislike for Aries? In fact, the only promotion for Zayn-Nakamura was done through a phone camera promo. However, most of us forget that because this card is stacked beyond belief. I’ll even admit that I couldn’t care less for the reasons I just listed. All I care about is watching some great wrestling matches, which alone will tell great stories.
The Revival vs American Alpha
After seeing the Revival beat Enzo and Cass multiple times, I wouldn’t be shocked if they came out with the victory. With that being said, I think those wins only made them more credible, so that their eventual loss is a big deal. American Alpha has been pushed hard, and they’ve become the most over tag team in NXT. Consider them the new Tag Team Champions on Friday night.
Elias Samson vs Apollo Crews
This is probably the least exciting match they have on this stacked card. The bookers in NXT just needed somewhere to insert Apollo for his win. It won’t be a squash match, but expect Crews to come out as the vicotr.
Baron Corbin vs Austin Aries
I’ll mark this as my sleeper pick for match of the night. Corbin has transformed into a solid in ring competitor, so watching him wrestle a veteran such as Aries should be highly entertaining. If this were someone such as James Storm, I’d pick Corbin as the winner. However, Aries is a lot more highly touted than Storm, meaning he should go over. Plus, he didn’t need to sign with NXT, so I can’t imagine him agreeing to lose his first Takeover match. I’m sure he’ll make Corbin look like a million buck though.
Asuka vs Bayley
Yes, Bayley has defeated a monster, but Nia Jax is nothing compared to Asuka. I’ve said it before, Asuka is very much the female version of Brock Lesnar. Every match she competes in, she wins convincingly. This makes for an interesting combination, as Bayley is always the hard working underdog. The hugger may get knocked down, but she’ll always get up. One can even say she’s the female version of Daniel Bryan or John Cena. Based on how well Asuka has been pushed, I’m predicting that she’ll come out on top. Also, I’m confident Bayley is one of the next in line for a main roster call up.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Sami Zayn
It’s still hard to believe that Shinsuke Nakamura will be wrestling in a WWE ring this Friday. I always thought he would be a lifer in NJPW, simply based on how popular he is in Japan. From all the matches that I’ve seen, this man never fails to disappoint. He carries such a raw emotion that can’t be found in most pro wrestlers. To an extent, one could say the same about Sami Zayn. One way or another, Zayn has always found a way to keep his fans on the edge of their seats. While their encounter may be the match of Wrestlemania weekend, the outcome is fairly simple. Nakamura will win on his debut, and Zayn will ride off into the main roster (where he’ll probably win the IC Title ladder match).
Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe
I’m assuming this will be the main event. How could it not? Since it most likely will be, these two competitors will have a tough job following up the matches prior. They did an excellent job at Takeover:London, but they’ll need to do better in this one. I’m actually shocked that they didn’t announce a stipulation. It would have at least made the championship match stand out slightly more. With all the rumours running amuck about Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows debuting, expect them show up in the aid of their Bullet Club brethren. This will lead to a heel turn for Balor, and it would be a simple way to send Joe up to the main roster. If this is the case, I can’t picture Joe sticking around. He’s currently the top heel for the promotion, so it wouldn’t make sense for him to feud with another heel.
Feel free to leave your thoughts, and predictions!