We’ve entered the biggest week of the year for wrestling. Pretty much anyone who calls themselves a wrestler is performing this week, and WWE pulls out all the ammunition they have for their Wrestlemania weekend. The night before that, however, Triple H prepares his NXT children to show the main roster how it’s done like they have the past few years. With a roster that’s more stacked than ever, that’ll likely ring true once again tomorrow night. Here’s how I think things will play out.
NXT North American Championship Ladder match
Like I mentioned, the NXT roster is more stacked than ever, and they need to put gold on some more of these guys. Here we have 6 of the best and most important in NXT, that while they aren’t in the main event, they have a prize to fight for. Triple H showed us the new belt in a video on social media the other day, and boy is it beautiful.
Despite Ricochet being an indie darling, I don’t think he’s ready to just take a title in his first match. We haven’t even seen him do anything on NXT TV but smile and flip. So he’s out.
Same goes for EC3. Despite making a grand entrance and claiming that NXT General Manager William Regal presented the belt specifically for him, he’s too fresh to just slap it on his waist.
I can’t see Killian Dain taking it as I believe he’ll be called up along with the rest of Sanity to the main roster next week (I’m thinking RAW).
Though Lars Sullivan is a destroyer, he doesn’t feel like a champion at this time. Moreso a harbinger of chaos. Not to say he’ll never be a champion, I just don’t think he offers the prestige the title should offer a new champion.
Velveteen Dream has turned quite a few heads this past year. His feud with Aleister Black propelled him to stardom. At only 22 years of age, he’s become one of the most compelling characters to watch on NXT TV. He’s also a homegrown WWE talent, as he has no independent wrestling background. Still, though, I don’t think he’s the pick for this one, as I think there’s just one better fit.
That’s Adam Cole (BAYBAY). This belt was practically made for him. There are so many others on his level, that he has plenty of competition for future matches defending it. It’s perfect for someone like him that needs gold but isn’t in the main event right now.
Triple Threat Tag Team Match
The culmination of the Dusty Rhodes classic. Despite putting on a fantastic match on NXT this week, the Undisputed Era robbed us of a finish by interfering and attacking both teams. William Regal then made the call that the match at Takeover which would originally feature the winner of the tournament face Undisputed Era for the titles, will now feature both the Authors of Pain, and Roderick Strong with Pete Dunne taking on Undisputed Era in a triple threat tag team match.
Bobby Fish has also been confirmed to be injured recently, so with him being out of the equation, that wasn’t their best move. So that leaves Adam Cole pulling double duty this weekend as he’ll be competing in both the 6 man ladder match and filling in Bobby Fish’s shoes.
AOP look to be main roster bound from my perspective. Both Akam and Rezar have come a long way since they debuted. They’ve been a part of some of my favorite matches and have worked to become one of the best tag teams on the roster now. I think next week, Smackdown will be their new home.
With Adam Cole pulling double duty, and my belief of him winning the North American championship, I don’t think they’ll be able to keep the tag team titles. Bobby Fish getting hurt will really leave them vulnerable and prove to be quite the blow to them as a unit.
Roderick Strong has been on almost every path leading to gold these past few months. The cruiserweight tournament on 205 Live, a UK title match with his current tag partner Pete Dunne, and now the Dusty classic. I think this will culminate in him finally winning the big one. He’s fought so valiantly for a title so many times and has come up short. He’s a true underdog, which embodies what I feel the tournament should represent. Plus Pete Dunne is an unforgiving bad ass.
Johnny Gargano has been dragged through the mud this last year. His tag team partner and best friend betrayed him, cost him a match for the NXT Championship, and now cost him his job.
Normally I think the fresh guy would take the win for much-needed momentum. But even with Tommaso Ciampa only just returning from injury for his first match back, I think Johnny takes the win. He needs redemption with this losing streak he’s been on, and I don’t think he’s finished yet with NXT.
NXT Women’s Championship
Shayna Baszler has shown to be a fierce competitor in the NXT women’s division. Focusing more on hurting her competition rather than winning. She’s had quite the chip on her shoulder, winning most of her matches, only losing once to Ember Moon via roll-up.
Her viciousness will be her downfall, and Ember will win clean this time. She hasn’t had that long of a reign as champion, and she deserves it after the matches she had with Asuka. Ember will retain the title.
Almas has had a hell of a title run. He went from being dead in the water with not much promise, to one of the top performers in the brand. One of his matches with Johnny Gargano was rated 5* from Dave Meltzer, which some are calling the best WWE match of all time.
Having only been pinned in a fatal four-way match, Aleister Black is undefeated in singles competition. It’s almost poetic in how he debuted a year ago at NXT TakeOver Orlando, and this year he’ll be facing the same person who he had his first match with for the highest ranking belt in NXT. He’s been on a roll to becoming a megastar, and that’s exactly why I believe he will be becoming the new NXT champion.
I just want to shed a little light on people who love wrestling but don’t know about any promotions beyond WWE. This entire week is a celebration of this medium. There is so much wrestling happening throughout New Orleans this week. There’s Progress, Evolve, Wrestlecon, Impact Wrestling, ICW, Ring Of Honor Supercard. Hell, I’d even last weeks New Japan Pro Wrestling event: Sakura Genesis. If you love wrestling, check these guys out. There’s so much more out there and it’s never been a better time to be a fan.