It’s WrestleMania weekend baby! And for all my whining about feeling a disconnect this yearAnd for all my whining about feeling a disconnect this year, I can’t pretend I’m not excited. WrestleMania is still failing to generate a buzz, but nowadays WWE isn’t the only show in town. From Joey Janela’s Spring Break to Evolve, there’s more wrestling than you could shake a kendo stick at. Of course, this also extends to the E’s own developmental brand, NXT, where they will be looking to repeat last year’s feats and steal the spotlight from their older sibling. So, how do we think NXT TakeOver: Orlando will go down?
SAnitY vs. Tye Dillinger, Roddy Strong, No Way Jose and Ruby Riot
I like the individual parts of this match a lot better than the whole. Young, Dain, Cross, Dillinger and Strong and all top level talents and while I’m glad that they are on the card, you can’t help but feel they could be better used. Ignoring that, this will probably be a fun match and at the very least should descend into controlled chaos. As SAnitY are the actual team in this equation, they should be picking up the win, and if they can do it in such a way that it leads to a Strong Dillinger feud, then that would be A-okay.
Aleister Black vs. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas
This show is packed with wrestlers that I have a connection to due to their time in ICW. I wish I could still watch them that easily, but it’s great to see them do well and I will mark the fuck out when the man formerly known as Tommy End makes his WWE debut. Black – as I’ll now have to get used to calling him – is one hell of a wrestler and in there with someone like Almas, he should shine. In saying that, it’s a shame that Almas has been put in this position. It feels like he’s finally getting some momentum and yet he’ll take the fall for the debuting man.
The Authors of Pain (C) vs. #DIY vs. The Revival in an elimination match for the NXT Tag Team Titles
This is my pick for match of the show, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it steals the weekend. You could hand #DIY and The Revival a big old bag of shit, and they’d come back with a five-star match. The Authors of Pain are the weak link, but I have full faith in the more talented men working around them and turning this into another NXT tag classic. Who wins? Well, I don’t think it’s time for The Authors to lose and honestly, I want to see both #DIY and The Revival on SmackDown so sadly the least talented team has to walk out with the belts.
Asuka (C) vs. Ember Moon for the NXT Women’s Title
Asuka can make a claim for being the best wrestler in WWE right now, although AJ Styles would be sitting right by her. NXT have also begun to mention her name in connection with Goldberg’s Streak making me think she might break the record. However, if Ember Moon doesn’t beat her, who does? She’s been built so well that you just can’t see her losing to anyone and Moon is the first person who has come along that feels like a genuine threat. There’s an argument to be made that you have Asuka win, send her up to the main roster and have her relinquish the NXT Title, but that leaves a shattered division in its wake, with that in mind, I’m going to go for the upset Moon win here.
Bobby Roode (C) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT World Title
It has to be time for Nakamura to step away from NXT, right? The guy is too good to be wrestling in the developmental territory, and you have to wonder what he’s thinking about this situation. If NXT has any sense Roode goes over here and Nakamura debuts on the Raw after ‘Mania. Putting all that to one side, this should be a great match. Nakamura is Nakamura, and Bobby Roode is one of the most reliable workers in the game. That may sound like a back-handed compliment, but it’s not meant that way. He’s not flashy but he very rarely has bad matches, and I think that’s what makes him the perfect champion for NXT.
- It’s harder to make ridiculous predictions for a company that is properly booked.
- In saying that, the crowd will be annoyingly smug and the over-under on the number of shit chants is 10.
- Killian Dain murders No Way Jose or at least I bloody hope he does.
- Despite working heel the day after, Triple H will show up and act like the biggest babyface in the world.
- Stephanie McMahon will be shown at least once during the Women’s Title match with a smug grin on her face because women being given a chance to wrestle properly is all down to her.
- It will be a good show, though.