This weekend, the night before SummerSlam, the NXT roster is invading the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to once again show the main roster how it's done. You'll recall that last year's TakeOver: Brooklyn was a fantastic show with an astounding double main event, the first half of which wrote a new chapter in the annals of women's wrestling.
This year's lineup looks just as strong. We have a new women's star debuting, a former TNA Champion making his televised in-ring debut, a potential tag team classic, a TakeOver: Dallas Women's Title rematch, and a dazzling first-ever dream match for the NXT Championship. This is gonna be a big deal.
Let's get to the predictions. I'm currently 9 for 10 since I started picking NXT winners. Mr. Landon Wayne will also give his picks.
Ember Moon vs. Billie Kay
The former Athena (of Shimmer fame) is making her NXT debut this Saturday, against NXT enhancement talent Billie Kay. This is a showcase match for Ember, so obviously she's winning.
Justin's pick: Ember Moon
Landon's pick: Ember Moon
Austin Aries vs. No Way Jose
It's the comedy wrestler vs. the no-nonsense grappler. Should be an interesting clash of styles and it'll be fun to see how frustrated Aries gets trying to work around Jose's shenanigans. In the end though I have to think Aries shuts him down.
Justin's pick: Austin Aries
Landon's pick: Austin Aries
Bobby Roode vs. Andrade Almas
This should be a really fun match. Andrade has an exciting, explosive style and Bobby Roode is a helluva mechanic. This being Roode's first televised NXT match, I can't see him losing.
Justin's pick: Bobby Roode
Landon's pick: Bobby Roode
NXT Tag Team Championship: The Revival vs. Tomasso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano
I'm excited for this one. Ciampa and Gargano had a pretty fantastic Cruiserweight Classic match a couple weeks ago and their flashy technical style should provide a nice counterpoint to Dash & Dawson's no-frills, smash-mouth approach (Seems to be a running theme on this show). I'm hoping these two teams get a nice long rivalry.
Justin's pick: I think The Revival narrowly retains here, leaving room for a rematch
Landon's pick: Revival
NXT Women's Championship: Asuka vs. Bayley
These two had an excellent showing in Dallas, full of crisp grappling and counterwrestling. I'm excited to see them try to outdo themselves here. Bayley's main roster call-up is soon forthcoming, so there's little suspense over whether Asuka retains or not, but this will be a stupendous match and likely a nice sendoff for the beloved Bayley.
Justin's pick: Asuka
Landon's pick: Asuka
NXT Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Oh man. This match.....this is my kinda match. Ever since Samoa Joe's TNA contract expired I've been salivating at the prospect of seeing Joe vs. Nakamura. I figured it would be much more likely to happen in New Japan, as in the spring of 2015 I had no idea Nakamura would be jumping to WWE. But the stars aligned, and this Saturday we'll finally get to see this dream match. It's an exciting time to be a wrestling fan, for reasons like this. Expect a hard-hitting, drama-filled bout with all kinds of oneupmanship. There's no reason this can't be a Match of the Year candidate. I literally don't care who wins this, I just wanna watch some fireworks.
Justin's pick: Nakamura wins the NXT Title as Joe prepares for his main roster call-up (Don't worry, I expect Nak will follow him in fairly short order)
Landon's pick: Samoa Joe
The NXT brand keeps setting the bar higher and higher with nearly every TakeOver special, and this one is no exception. Their Dallas show was a near-perfect event, and Brooklyn II just might match that one in quality. The main roster will once again have their work seriously cut out for them to follow a show like this (Fortunately this year's SummerSlam lineup looks pretty great - more on that tomorrow).
That's it for now. Just sit back and enjoy TakeOver. And be glad you're a wrestling fan in 2016.....