So just over six weeks after the previous Takeover, we’re up to the next edition and now they’re just counting the shows instead of coming up with a unique name. As has been the case more than once lately, this show felt like something that has the potential to be the first bad one in history, but then they announced the main event and I was left saying ooo. Hopefully that’s enough this time around so let’s get to it.

Kushida vs. Velveteen Dream

Indeed, it does seem like Dream is just back with little reason to suggest that he’s ever going to be punished for what he allegedly did. It’s a risky play as he was accused of some serious stuff, but that’s where we are at the moment. Kushida has looked a lot more aggressive as of late and as my favorite New Japan guy, I’m certainly not complaining about what we’re getting out of him.

It’s the angry Kushida:

I’ll take Dream here, though I can’t shake the feeling that they might pull the trigger on Kushida. NXT has shown that they want to push the heck out of Dream though and that means giving him chance after chance. He has lost more momentum than almost anyone else over the course of the summer, so a win here would help get it back. I would prefer Kushida winning and he might, but this seems to be Dream’s to win.

Women’s Title: Io Shirai(c) vs. Candice LeRae

Now we get to one of the bigger ideas on this show as LeRae and her husband Johnny Gargano are trying to become the first husband and wife to be stereo champions. The result of this match is going to tie into the result of the other match and I’m not sure how well that is going to go. I could see this going either way and that’s a nice feeling to have.

They’ve done this before:

I think I’m going to take Shirai to retain here on a pure hunch. LeRae is someone who will likely be champion one day until the next big thing is ready to take the title, but I just don’t know if I can picture Shirai being the person to drop it to her just yet. The Gargano Way will likely be used, but I’m thinking this might set up a rematch on NXT where LeRae wins the title. Odds are I’m wrong as I tend to be when I play a hunch, but I don’t think LeRae gets the title just yet.

Cruiserweight Title: Santos Escobar(c) vs. Isaiah Scott

For once 205 Live actually served a really good purpose as this week’s show was all about this match, including a history between the two and the sitdown interview between them from this week’s NXT. I’m not sure what that is going to mean as far as a title match goes, but they have had good matches before so hopefully they can continue the trend here. The title has turned into rather nice supplemental feature in NXT so it might as well be on here as well.

Talk to me:

It’s another one where I’m not sure what to expect but I’ll go with Scott winning the title here. The sitdown interview made it feel like a big moment, but at the same time Escobar has spent his entire reign feuding with Scott so far. The title is kind of an afterthought, though I like Scott a lot so may be me just hoping for something I want to see. Escobar winning wouldn’t shock me, but I’ll take Scott in a surprise.

North American Title: Damian Priest(c) vs. Johnny Gargano

I like Priest. I like him a lot, as he feels completely different than so many people on NXT. He’s a big guy with some great athleticism (though I’d still switch his finisher) and his promos feel different than most. The face turn has been a major upgrade for him and I could see him going this way for a very long time. That being said, there’s something about Gargano that is hard to turn down in a match like this.

The four person version:

Again I’m going to go with the hope but I’ll take Priest to retain. He feels like he could be something special and there might not be anyone in NXT as established as Gargano. A win over him would be a big deal for Priest, who only won the title a few weeks ago. I know there’s a good chance that Gargano and LeRae walk out with both titles, but it really isn’t something I need to see. Priest needs this more than Gargano and I’ll go with the hope spot of NXT doing what they should do rather than what traditional booking would have them do.

NXT Title: Finn Balor(c) vs. Kyle O’Reilly

And here’s where they have me. I’m really not sure what to expect in this one but dang I want to see it. O’Reilly is someone who seems to always be in a group or on a team but when he gets a chance to shine on his own, he can pull it off like few others. Keep in mind that he is a former Ring of Honor World Champion so he has had a successful singles run before. That being said, it’s Balor, and as he said on Wednesday, if this was anyone else, O’Reilly would be a near lock to win the title.

Now with less Michaels:

I’m going to take….Balor here, which is the answer I came up with after having to stop and think for a few minutes. They have done a great job here of making this into a match which could go either way and that’s an impressive thing given the amount of time that they have. O’Reilly winning the title in an upset is absolutely a possibility, but I think it’s more the “he would win on any other day” and Balor escapes as champion than anything else.

Overall Thoughts

This is a weird one as there not a single match on the show that I’m sure about, but at the same time, I’m not entirely locked into wanting to see all of them either. That’s a really strange feeling to have and the mystery man (I’m going with Bo Dallas or a surprise Karrion Kross) isn’t exactly enough to have me drooling over the show like I usually am. They haven’t have the time to set things up and then the outbreak made it even worse. I’m sure it’s going to be a good show (it’s Takeover) but the fire isn’t there, and a lot of that is due to how fast they put this together. Takeover is a special, and that’s not how this feels for a change.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!


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