We’re back to the good ones here as NXT returns with another Takeover event. This time around we have Vengeance Day, which isn’t the best name but maybe the obvious St. Valentine’s Day Massacre is a little too violent for them. Believe it or not, the card is stacked as we have three title matches plus the two Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic finals. Let’s get to it.
Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: MSK vs. Grizzled Young Veterans
We’ll start with a good one here as I’m actually not sure who is going to win this thing. MSK debuted in the start of the tournament and have made it all the way to the finals. This certainly works for me as I’ve been a fan of the team since they debuted in Impact Wrestling and now they might actually win something. At the same time, the Veterans lost in last year’s finals and it seems that they are due.
I’ll go with MSK to win in an upset though, as they would make for a more interesting matchup against Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch. This is one of those matches that could get some time with some awesome near falls at the end and that’s where NXT’s tag team division shines. The good thing is that they are building up some new teams (like these two) and the future might be a bit brighter. See how nice it is when there is a problem and the promotion actually addresses it?
Women’s Title: Io Shirai(c) vs. Toni Storm vs. Mercedes Martinez
Did you realize that Shirai has been champion for over eight months? It always seems like she is ready to lose the thing at any given time but here she is again, getting rather close to the elite level of Women’s Champions. This is quite the task though as you could see either one of these two taking the title. That’s exactly the point of something like this though and NXT has set things up well.
I’m tempted to pick Martinez here as she has gotten the least hype out of the three but I’ll take Storm to win here. This is more along the lines of a gut feeling as they have been building towards Storm taking the title. They could go multiple ways here, but I’ll go with Storm winning. It gets the title off of Shirai, though I’m not sure what is next for her either. But yeah, Storm wins here.
North American Title: Johnny Gargano(c) vs. Kushida
This has been built up for a long time now and I wasn’t sure if they were ever actually going to do it. Kushida is my favorite guy out of New Japan and while he isn’t the same as he was there, I still like seeing him out there and getting a bit of a push like this. Above all else, it’s nice to see someone new getting a shot at the title.
As nice as it is to see Kushida getting a chance like this, Gargano keeps the title. We’ve done the thing with him losing the title in a hurry far too often already so they need to have him retain here. Gargano needs the win more than Kushida here as it’s not like Kushida is going to lose anything by taking the loss here. He’s been playing with the house’s money for this entire feud so Gargano going over here is fine.
Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Dakota Kai/Raquel Gonzalez vs. Ember Moon/Shotzi Blackheart
Yes, believe it or not a team with no history together has made the finals of a Dusty Classic. That is as much of a tradition as the tournament itself because WWE really, really likes that idea. This time around we do at least have a regular team included, though I have a bad feeling that it isn’t going to matter, which tends to be the case throughout the history of the tournament.
In other words, yeah Blackheart and Moon win here because they’re a more logical team to lose to Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. I’m rather sick of seeing the thrown together teams winning here but I guess it makes for a better story or something. Granted that might not be the case when you see the same thing taking place so often but it’s likely taking place here so I’ll go with Blackheart and Moon.
NXT Title: Finn Balor(c) vs. Pete Dunne
And then we cap it off with a dream match as these two seem like they could have an absolute classic. The cool thing about NXT: it is more likely than not that they will. This is going to be a hard hitting fight and they are going to get the time that they need to make it work out as well as they could. It’s a match I would have preferred to see a year or two ago, but I’ll certainly take what I can get.
As for a winner……dang it where’s a quarter I can flip? I’ll take Balor here, but my goodness this one could go either way. I’m not sure how this one is going to end but they are going to beat the living fire out of each other and it’s going to be absolutely awesome. This feels like a Takeover main event and that’s about as good of an accolade as you can give to a match these days.
This is as stacked of a card as there has been in a long time and that’s a great thing to see. I want to see how almost everything goes and it’s nice to have the hype back for these shows. It has all of the potential in the world and it’s even better to have Takeover’s reputation behind the whole thing. Just go with what works here, and that means following Takeover’s tried and true formula.
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 kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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