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“NXT Takeover: Rival” Preview

February 10, 2015

It’s almost here! The fifth NXT Takeover 2-hour live special captioned “Rival” will air tomorrow, February 11th, 2015, at 7pm CT on the WWE Network. Not unlike the previous four specials, this event’s card is absolutely stacked with matches that I will personally guarantee will not leave you unsatisfied. My personal favorite thing about this show is that there are no crazy, illogical predictions to make because any outcome from any match is legitimately possible to happen. I’ll give my prediction as I list the matches along with my thoughts of the progression of each story.


1) Blake & Murphy (c) vs the Lucha Dragons, for the NXT Tag Team Championship

The team formerly known as Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy were usually seen as an enhancement team, a lot like Tye Dillinger and Jason Jordan, until they got a random win over one of the more popular acts in NXT, The VaudeVillains. That match was 3 weeks ago, and two weeks ago, Blake and Murphy had a title opportunity against Kalisto and Sin Cara, and randomly won those very straps. The feeling over that decision is that Kalisto is ready to make the jump to the main roster, and Sin Cara is already working matches on the main roster anyway. This match is the old “exercising the rematch clause” that the former champs deserve, and I see the Dubstep Cowboys retaining the belts, and Kalisto should be on Raw either by or the night after WrestleMania.

2) Hideo Itami vs Tyler Breeze

These two had an opening round match a couple weeks ago, and a damn fine one at that, and Itami moved on to face Finn Bálor in the semi-final match of the #1 Contenders Tournament set up by GM William Regal. Up until last Wednesday, Itami and Breeze were locked in a funny Twitter war, but after Itami failed to advance to the final, Prince Pretty seemed rather upset. These two have amazing chemistry in the ring and have a really fun feud going, so this is one of three non-main event matches that could steal the show. I gotta believe Itami goes over as Breeze gets ready for the jump to Raw, but I’d love to see The Gorgeous One in the rumored NXT Ladder match at WrestleMania just before he graces Monday nights with his presence.

3) Baron Corbin vs Bull Dempsey, No Disqualifications match

These two dudes have been going at each other since at least November, trading squash matches one after the other, until sometime in after the R Evolution event where Corbin confronted Dempsey. Since then, they’ve faced off officially twice, both times ending with Dempsey eating the End of Days. Dempsey’s been hellbent on getting even with Corbin ever since, and ultimately cost him both his undefeated streak and a shot at the NXT Title. His actions of that match led to what I want believe is the final blow off for this feud, and it’s one that’s really been a long time coming. Corbin is a brawler, and so is Dempsey, so this match should be getting nasty as they go through it. It’s important to keep in mind that Corbin is still relatively raw, like a less experienced Roman Reigns, so I wouldn’t expect this to be all that memorable. It should still be a fun time, and I see Corbin getting the 3 match sweep, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dempsey heel his way to a win.

4) Adrian Neville vs Finn Bálor, NXT Championship #1 Contenders Tournament Final

I said Itami and Breeze was one of three non-main event matches that could steal the show. This match is option number two. If you hadn’t seen these two work together before, you can check out a match from 2012 right here. I’ll wait for you to finish that match before continuing. Done? Alright, how awesome was that? That match is more or less what I’m expecting to see. I truly believe Bálor wins, because Neville has nothing more to prove in Developmental. The Man That Gravity Forgot is ready for Monday nights. To be perfectly honest, Bálor’s ready too, but that’s another story for another time.

If you didn’t bother watching the match I linked for you, basically it’s like this: magic is gonna happen, so be prepared for that.

5) Charlotte (c) vs Sasha Banks vs Becky Lynch vs Bayley, Fatal Four Way for the NXT Women’s Championship

This is a story that’s just about ready to end, since it retroactively began last summer. Ric Flair’s daughter became champion and has been absolutely dominant. She’s already beaten Bayley, and took care of Sasha Banks not once but twice. Along the way, Becky Lynch turned on Bayley and aligned herself with Sasha Banks. All of this culminated to a third Charlotte vs Sasha Banks title match, but things got out of hand quick, and William Regal (being a man of the people) made this match. It could be called the semi-main event, but I call it the third potential show stealer of the night. Any one of these four ladies could win and be legitimate champion. The least likely outcome, I believe, is Charlotte retaining. She’s got nothing left to prove at this level. She’s essentially the female Adrian Neville: she ruled 2014 and it’s time for her to go to Raw in 2015. The most likely winner, to me, is Sasha Banks. She’s ready for the call up as well, but she deserves a title run because she really has come a long way in just one year. Bayley is my pick to win, but only because I’m a mark for her. Becky Lynch would benefit from going her own way after this match, and making a name for herself in the women’s division. All four women in this match should have an amazing 2015 regardless of how this match goes.

6) Sami Zayn (c) vs Kevin Owens, for the NXT Championship

They built this story up the way everyone always imagined but never really thought would happen. They are addressing the past these two men have shared. If you haven’t seen what these two can do, check this out. Or check this one out. Or even this one. Or if you really got time, here’s this. All of that is continuing in NXT, and one day it’ll keep going on to Monday Night Raw. This match is gonna be amazing. I really don’t know what else to say about it. Sami Zayn is ready for Monday nights, but I don’t want his title reign to last just two months after the whole “Road to Redemption” build up that paid off at R Evolution. At the same time, a heel Kevin Owens as your champ is just a brilliant idea. Either outcome is entirely possible and completely awesome. I guess Mr. Wrestling was telling the truth that night in 2012.


This show is gonna be downright nasty. So much pro wrestling is gonna happen in an age where Sports Entertainment is what’s preached. If you’re already an NXT fan like I am, this show is just another awesome card put out by Triple H. If you haven’t watched NXT before, and this is gonna be your first show, you’re mind is gonna explode. Either way, it’s gonna suck when this show ends and the next thing we have to look forward to is WWE Fast Lane.

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