Friday, June 11, 2021

NXT TakeOver: In Your House 2021 Preview & Predictions

So they're stickin' with the retro In Your House deal?  Kinda weird.  

This Sunday is the second annual NXT TakeOver: In Your House show, where for one night we'll all reminisce about the company's least successful period, as the wrestlers emerge from an entranceway modeled after the cheeseball "front door" theme from the mid-90s.  Why did they keep the In Your House branding after the original PPV anyway?  The whole reason for that name was that the company gave away an actual house on the air.  After the inaugural edition though, the branding didn't mean anything, it was just an awkwardly named, recurring two-hour show.

Anyway the lineup here looks a little, well, underwhelming.  Not unlike an In Your House PPV I suppose.  We have a clusterfuck of a main event, a double-title six-man match, and a ladder match for the resurrected Million Dollar belt.  Is Hunter making fun of 1995 Vince or is he just fresh out of ideas?

Mercedes Martinez vs. Xia Li

Xia is, I believe, making her TakeOver debut here, which means I think she's probably winning the match.  I've only seen her as a throwaway Royal Rumble participant, so I have no idea if she's any good.  Martinez is the older veteran tasked with making the newbie look strong.

Pick: Xia Li

Ladder Match: Cameron Grimes vs. LA Knight

So yeah, why did they bring back Dibiase's belt?  That's stupid.  I was never a fan of this belt in the first place.  I got the gimmick; Dibiase couldn't win the WWF Title so he bought a diamond-studded belt instead.  But it was dumb-looking.  I never really understood why anyone else would've wanted it, except to sell it.  Anywho, neither of these guys strikes me as capable of delivering a classic ladder match (besides which the ladder match has been done to death and they JUST had one at the previous TakeOver).  My gut says the heel wins this since it's a heel gimmick belt.

Pick: LA Knight

North American/Tag Team Championship: Bronson Reed & MSK vs. Legado del Fantasma

I don't care for double championship tag matches like this, where the team that wins gets all the belts.  So Reed could lose the North American title, or MSK could lose the tag belts, without being pinned.  That's stupid.  I guess this is a throwback to that time Diesel and Shawn Michaels fought Yokozuna and Davey Boy Smith for all the belts, but that match felt like a big deal (and was ultimately pointless since Owen Hart got pinned without even being in the match, thus negating the result).  This doesn't.  

Pick: I guess the champions retain?

NXT Women's Championship: Raquel Gonzalez vs. Ember Moon

This is the one match I'm counting on to deliver; Raquel's coronation in April against Io Shirai was a pretty great little main event, and Ember can bring the goods when she wants to.  I don't foresee a title change since RG just won the belt and has really been built up as the face of the division, but this should be a fine contest.

Pick: Raquel retains

NXT Championship: Karrion Kross vs. Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Pete Dunne

Five-way matches are usually pretty forgettable.  There's just too much crap going on to assemble a great bout.  Even with the level of talent in this match I'm not particularly excited about it.  Kross is hard-pressed enough to deliver a really good singles match, let alone find his way around a five-way.  Yeah, I'm not seeing it with Kross.  He has a good look but not much else at this point.  But he's certainly not losing the title here.

Pick: Kross retains

Yeah, that's a pretty lackluster card I would say.  Two multi-man title matches, a ladder match for the thousandth time, a women's title match and a women's undercard match.  I may skip this one....

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