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WWE NXT Takeover: Respect Preview

Kurt: Welcome one and all to a special edition of the NXT Spotlight as I’ve brought special guest Webb Anderson, our ROH reviwer, to come and help me breakdown all the big matches coming up this Wednesday at the latest Takeover event from Full Sail University. This show is built all around the NXT Women’s Title main event and the conclusion to the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. News came out over the weekend that this show will be an extended two and half hours, which is good to see so that all the other matches get proper time. With that said, let’s get to the card!

Apollo Crews vs. Tyler Breeze

Webb: Apollo Crews is going to be the next male babyface star in NXT once Finn Balor is called up. It’s that simple. He has all the tools, looks like a star, and is the kind of guy you can build a title scene around. I have never been on the Breeze train, he’s a solid hand but his gimmick, look, mannerisms, and move set doesn’t appeal to me at all. Breeze has become an upper mid card heel gatekeeper in NXT and Apollo Crews is going to be the latest star to bypass Prince Pretty.

Prediction: Apollo Crews

Kurt: I agree with you on Apollo “Don’t call me Terry Creed” Crews. I don’t agree with you on Tyler Breeze. I think Tyler is destined for so much more in NXT, but they almost take him for granted. That being said, I know Breeze is just another step in the showcase of Apollo Crews to help him become a top star. I really think that Breeze is going to win this match though, because Crews isn’t going to be a title contender anytime soon and you can use a really strong storyline with Breeze to make him look better when the time is right. This match came out of nowhere and I think they need more time after this to have a good angle.

Prediction: Tyler Breeze

Asuka vs. Dana Brooke (w/Emma)

Webb: Now that Dana Brooke has stopped awkwardly rubbing herself all the time and has begun to develop a great heel character, I finally see why she was brought in and given such a prominent spot on NXT. Dana is a tremendous athlete and is picking things up pretty quickly. Her dance partner here is still a fresh commodity in WWE but has the experience to carry the still-green Dana to an exceptional contest. I have a feeling Dana is being groomed as Bayley’s next big heel challenger and a win here over Asuka will be the beginning of that. With Emma around, it doesn’t have to be a clean loss and gives Asuka a rebound opponent to start her own inevitable ascent up the ladder.

Prediction: Dana Brooke

Kurt: Your first comment would have to be changed if you were with me at NXT Austin because that’s all Dana seemingly did during her match with Bayley. Shout out to the two guys in front of me who were legit getting angry at Dana for constantly doing that. I like the pairing of Emma and Dana, but I think Emma should be Bayley’s next contender. They could go back to the storyline of Emma breaking Bayley’s hand and Emma feeling she’s been looked over ever since her match with Paige for the NXT Women’s Title. As for this match, I agree with you. I feel this will be a showcase for Asuka but they will do something with the heel duo to keep this angle going.

Prediction: Dana Brooke

Semi Final Match: Jason Jordan and Chad Gable vs. Rhyno and Baron Corbin

Webb: Clearly, management has big plans for Baron Corbin. His heel turn and subsequent character development really has me invested in the character, but I don’t think this tournament is about him, and I don’t think a developmental territory needs Rhyno in a major in 2015. I think this tournament is about starting a Balor/Joe feud and elevating a long term tag team, and I think that tag team is the combination of Chad Gable and Jason Jordan. These two are absolutely phenomenal and should be a cornerstone of WWE tag team wrestling for the foreseeable future.

Prediction: Chad Gable and Jason Jordan

Kurt: I couldn’t agree with you more about Gable and Jordan. They are very quickly becoming one of my favorite acts in NXT now. Rhyno and Corbin don’t make much sense as a team to begin with and them getting to the finals really does nothing for the brand. With such a difference of styles in this match, this could either be a real surprise or a cluster. I hope it’s not the latter, but either way Gable and Jordan have to win this match.

Prediction: Chad Gable and Jason Jordan

Semi Final Match: Finn Balor and Samoa Joe vs. The Mechanics

Webb: This one is really tough to predict. At some point Joe and Balor have to split, someone has to go heel, and we get to see what could be one of the better feuds in recent memory. I don’t think it will be this round, however, but I do expect the Mechanics (one of my favorite tag teams today) to take the dream team to the limit in what could be one of the best matches on the card.

Prediction: Finn Balor and Samoa Joe

Kurt: For reasons I’ll explain in my finals prediction, I unfortunately can’t pick The Mechanics to win this match although they absolutely deserve to. I think they’ll be ok though because they eliminated The Vaudevillians and they can use that to get them a Tag Title Match down the road. I agree with you that this could and really should be one of the best matches on the card. I think Finn and Joe continue to work well together and pull out a hard fought win.

Prediction: Finn Balor and Samoa Joe

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals

Webb: So I am predicting Balor/Joe vs. Gable/Jordan for this one. The Dream Team taking on a legit tag team made up of collegiate wrestling machines. This will be something to see if it all pans out like I think it will. I expect the tension between Balor and Joe to boil over at some point here and cost them the match. Joe is going to need to do something despicable to Balor to make the heel turn work, and I’ll be curious to see how they pull this off. You don’t want to do anything to cheapen a Gable/Jordan victory, which should catapult them into Tag title contention, but you have to have enough ammo to start a war between the NXT champion and the Samoan Submission Machine.

Prediction: Chad Gable and Jason Jordan win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic

Kurt: So from everything I’ve heard, Cody Rhodes is going to step out of the Stardust persona for one night only and he along with his brother Dustin will be presenting the winners a trophy for this event. So with that information, I think you have to have a happy ending to this tournament for the fans to be really able to celebrate it. Finn and Joe have shown zero issues as of yet, so I think to have something come out of nowhere during this would be a grave injustice to a storyline that really should be a slow burn that culminates at WrestleMania weekend. I think Finn and Joe should win this tournament and then maybe continue teaming up for a bit, even get a Tag Title match, and then you start building issues between them. This tournament is all about celebrating the legacy of Dusty Rhodes and shouldn’t be used to catapult a storyline.

Prediction: Finn Balor and Samoa Joe win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic

30 Minute Ironman Match for the NXT Women’s Title: Bayley (c) vs. Sasha Banks

Webb: To say I’m excited for this would be an understatement. If someone told me a year ago that this match would be taking place with such high placement on the card and with such anticipation, I simply wouldn’t have believed it. But here we are, with the best true babyface in the company defending against arguably the best total package on either roster in a high stakes, never before seen, main event. I don’t expect anyone to work harder than these two all night. The promos have delivered, and the match will deliver. I think Sasha will be the Diva’s champion sometime before Wrestlemania but this will be Bayley’s night to shine once again. This match will also need more than 30 minutes. The more, the better.

Prediction: Bayley wins 4 falls to 3 in Overtime

Kurt: The overtime prediction is an interesting one. It would be quite fitting if this match needed more than 30 minutes to conclude. While I also agree this will be be Bayley’s night to shine, I think Sasha Banks will actually be the one who gets made (as if she could be more made) after this match. The beauty of this match is that everyone knows that Bayley is going to retain. Sasha winning makes no sense. But a predictable storyline is perfectly find as long as we enjoy the ride to get there. And we’ve ALL enjoyed the ride. Sasha will have to come up with something special to get us to believe she actually has a chance to win this match and I know she’s going to pull out all the stops. As I said on Wednesday after the Final Countdown video package, this match will redefine women’s wrestling and put the “revolution” to shame. We will all be bowing down to this two women when this is all set and done.

Prediction: Bayley wins 2 to 1

Kurt: So there it is, predictions for all six big matches. I think this match will have the wrestling community buzzing like possibly never before after this is over. I’ll be doing a live recap for the show here on the site and John Canton will actually be there live. Make sure you tell him on Facebook or Twitter how jealous you are. Thanks again to Webb Anderson for all his help here today and make sure you check out his work on Ring of Honor here on the site. Until next time, wine and dine with Kings and Queens or sleep in alleys and eat pork and beans.

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