NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia Predictions and Speculation

Before I get into this post, can we take a minute to appreciate how bad ass the artwork for this show is?  Very well done, whomever is responsible.

It looks like The Game has put together one hell of a card for this event, with all three belts on the line, an extreme rules clash and one hell of an interesting standard match up.  So time to get into the fun part, DEBATE!!!!

NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia

Kassius Ohno vs Velveteen Dream

Matt:  I’m outrageously excited to see this match.  The build to Dream-Black going into Houston in November really gave Dream a chance to shine, and he’s taken advantage of every moment they’ve given him.  Ohno may be the trusty veteran, but that match with Gargano proved he still brings it with the best of them, and Velveteen Dream is coming off great matches with Aliester Black and one of his own against Johnny Wrestling this past week.  I don’t want to pick, but if I had to guess, I would say this is Ohno putting over another rising star.  And by rising star, I mean you best have kept your eclipse glasses, because there’s a rocket strapped to Velveteen’s back and he’s flying straight into the sun.  Purple Rainmaker Elbow Drop as Velveteen picks up the win here.

Jeremy:  I hate seeing NXT’s KO lose all the time but I think he kind of has too.  Velveteen Dream has a lot of momentum and it really doesn’t make sense for him to take a loss here.  There’s also no point for Ohno to come in and be a glorified Ellsworth.  I’m going with momentum here.  Velveteen wins with the Elbow Drop.

NXT Tag Team Championship: The Undisputed Era (C) vs the Authors of Pain

Matt:  Unless they’ve got an arrangement with Paul Ellering where he doesn’t want to travel, which makes sense, I don’t know why in the hell the Authors of Pain are still in NXT.  These guys are monsters and they could run wild through either tag division.  Then again, all three tag divisions are flush with talent, so they’re sort of in the only position for them right now where they don’t run the risk of getting lost like The Ascension did.  Actually, with Adam Cole undoubtedly losing to the undefeated Black later in the night, if Fish and O’Reilly drop the belts here, I could actually see the trio making waves on the main roster before the WWE leaves the birthplace of the revolution.  I’m kind of on board with that idea.  I’m going to predict Authors of Pain are the new NXT Tag Team Champions.

Jeremy:  I think the Undisputed Era are going to take this and fully prove why they should be there.  They’ve been impressive, sure.  I just don’t think they’ve matched the hype of their Summerslam debut.  I think tonight is where we get it.  I think the Authors of Pain aren’t long for this NXT and they’re going out on their backs.  The Undisputed Era retain.

NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon (C) vs Shayna Bazler

Matt:  It’s obnoxious that she walked in the door and already gets this match.  Asuka still hasn’t had a Raw women’s championship opportunity and she debuted months ago, and remains undefeated.  It’s ridiculous and not just for the fact it feels like she was gifted it as part of this whole “yay, we need the Four Horsewomen of NXT vs the Four Horsewomen of MMA thing to go down.”  There are a lot of great athletes in the NXT women’s division right now that have been there for a while.  And yes, I’m a mark for Nikki Cross and I may be a little extra butt hurt for her sake, but it still feels shitty.  In any event, they’re insane if they pull this belt off Ember already.  Eclipse, Ember Moon retains.

Jeremy:  I’ll be honest. I don’t watch NXT nearly as often as I should, despite the fact that their roster contains almost all of my favorite people employed by the WWE.  I had no idea this match was happening.  That might speak a little to how this was built (I.e. not well).  I can’t imagine Shayna winning at this point but I do hope she has a strong showing here.  But yeah, Ember Moon retains.

Extreme Rules Match: Aleister Black vs Adam Cole

Matt:  This should be one hell of a match, but it is really hard to believe that they’re going to cut the Black undefeated streak at this point.  If they were going to do that, the build to his match with Velveteen Dream was actually worthy of giving Patrick Clark a bump by having him go over.  It didn’t happen then, and while Cole is going to be in control for a lot of this match, it’s going to be like most of Black’s matches, and a quick Black Mass as Aleister Black remains undefeated.

Jeremy:  Adam Cole has proven himself more than his two stable mates.  That War Games match was killer.  He’s not taking down Black though.  It’s going to be a tough match.  I imagine both Black and Cole are going to attempt to steal the show, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.  The main event is going to tear the house down.  Aleister Black hits a Black Mass for the win.

NXT Championship: Andrade “Cien” Almas (C) vs Johnny Gargano

Matt:  This match is going to be great for a lot of reasons.  First, I have a sneaking suspicion that Johnny Gargano is going to win the NXT Championship, and #YouDeserveIt.  Second, these two work really well together and Vega adds an awesome dynamic to any of Almas’s matches.  Third, and most importantly, Ciampa should be back any day now.  I’m anticipating that he makes his move during Johnny’s celebration.  He could pull something and cost Gargano the win, but he likes to attack after the match is over, so I think he sticks with the formula.  Johnny Gargano is your new NXT Champion, and we’re on the road to Gargano-Ciampa at TakeOver: New Orleans.

Jeremy:  I don’t think there’s any way that this is not going to end with Johnny Gargano as your new NXT champion.  The only way is doesn’t if Ciampa isn’t healthy or they really just want to go with a grudge match with no title on the line.  NXT New Orleans just seems like the logical end for Gargano and Ciampa’s story.  That being said, I’m trying not to get my hopes up.  And let’s not take anything away from Andrade “Cien” Almas.  He’s finally found his character and has one hell of a manager.  He’s not too bad in the ring either.  I think he loses solely because there’s more momentum around Gargano right now.  Ciampa Vs. Gargano is money.

Final Thoughts

Matt:  This could be one of the greatest total cards that NXT has put together, even if I’m not thrilled about Moon’s opponent.  I don’t see too much surprise coming on Sunday night, so per usual I’m going to go ahead and predict that NXT owns another “Big 4 Weekend”.

Jeremy:  I think the biggest surprise is which ones of WWE’s recent signings will be sitting in the front row.  I wouldn’t even be surprised if War Machine made their presence known somewhere on this card.  It should be a damn good night.