Pro Wrestling

PPV Preview – NXT TakeOver: Respect Source:

Just two months ago, NXT sold out the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York for their largest live event in the WWE developmental territory’s short history. It was at that point that the biggest audience to ever watch NXT saw what some of us have known for a while now: NXT is one of the best things in professional wrestling right now. This month, NXT is back in their usual home at Full Sail University, but that doesn’t mean this special is any less important. For the first time in the history of professional wrestling, a Pay Per View (essentially) will be headlined by a match between two women, as Sasha Banks and Women’s Champion Bayley look to top their incredible match from Brooklyn in a ground-breaking 30 minute Iron Man Match. Also, we’ll see the semifinals and finals of the Dusty Rhodes Memorial Tag Team Classic, and the in-ring debut of Asuka! If you want to know more about what you’ll see on tonight’s show, read on!

Apollo Crews vs Tyler Breeze

Apollo Crews has been everything he was promised to be before his debut at NXT TakeoverL Brooklyn: a powerhouse with surprising agility and a smile as wide as all outdoors. And thanks to Tyler Breeze’s continual demands for some “real” competition from General Manager William Regal, Crews is the next opponent for Prince Pretty. Once again, it seems like Breeze’s arrogance may cost him, but his veteran smarts might be enough to allow him to sneak past this NXT rookie. It will likely take a portion of, or even all of his cunning to accomplish that feat, though, as Crews looks to continue his early dominance in NXT. On paper, this seems like another in a mounting list of losses for Breeze, and one can’t help but wonder how many high-profile matches he can afford to lose before he snaps completely? And more importantly, who will the world-famous male model be wearing when he walks down the aisle tonight? Source:

Asuka vs Dana Brooke

This will be the in-ring debut of Asuka, formerly known in the independent circuit as Kana. She officially signed her NXT contract a few weeks ago on television, and was rudely interrupted by the duo of Emma and Dana Brooke, who seem to be attempting to claim a position on top of the NXT Women’s division left empty by the departures of Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks to the main roster. Seemingly cowed by the pair, Asuka appeared to leave meekly, but paused at the top of the entrance ramp to offer the scariest smile we’ve ever seen on anyone. In fact, it was so unsettling, we had to show it here for posterity. Source:

That is clearly not the face of a woman who is intimidated at the prospect of facing Dana Brooke. We did a quick introduction to Asuka just before she debuted, complete with some video of her matches before she came to NXT, so you can judge for yourself how scared she may or may not be. But if Asuka’s ominous comments on Twitter (there were too many to show them all here, but rest assured, she somehow managed to un-nerve us while using a cat emoji, and we’re not even her target) are any indication, Dana Brooke may be in for one of the most brutal beatings of her career. We’d say it might also be a short fight, but who knows how long Asuka might decide to make it last. Source:

Samoa Joe & Finn Balor vs Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson

You can tell that the Dusty Rhodes Memorial Tag Team Classic means a lot to people when the NXT Champion himself forms a team and enters. Balor and Joe have thrived in this tournament thanks to a combination of skill and power, beating long-time tag teams the Lucha Dragons and Enzo & Cass to reach the semifinals. However, there is always going to be a bit of worry in the back of Balor’s mind that Joe might ultimately be more interested in the gold around his waist than winning any trophies. That could make an opening for Dash and Dawson, who have surprised many during this tournament, including knocking off the current NXT Tag Team Champions, The Vaudevillains, in order to make it this far. Any team sleeping on this team could find themselves on the outside looking in come the finals. However, Joe and Balor have worked well together thus far, and there’s almost no reason to believe that won’t continue for the balance of the Classic. Almost. Source:

Jason Jordan & Chad Gable vs Baron Corbin & Rhyno

Corbin has been a force in NXT since his arrival, but the Lone Wolf was forced into this situation despite not particularly wanting a tag team partner. He and Rhyno have gelled well as a team, however, and are using their impressive physical strength to bulldoze their way through the competition, including popular tournament underdogs Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa. They will face another team on the rise, as super-athletes Jason “Call Me JJ” Jordan and Chad “Ready, Willing and” Gable (seriously, how has WWE not started selling that towel in their shop yet?) have translated their success as amateur wrestlers seamlessly into their pro careers, as this arrogant duo has shown that they can back up their words in the ring against any competition. If you’re looking for an upset pick to win the whole thing, the team of Jordan and Gable would be one you can feel good about. Source:

Dusty Rhodes Memorial Tag Team Classic Finals

The final match of the Classic looks to be a very solemn affair, with the winners to be presented the trophy by Dustin and (for one night only) Cody Rhodes in memory of their father. So much has been said about Dusty’s influence on NXT, both before and after his passing, and hopefully this match and the tournament that preceded it will serve as an appropriate tribute to his legacy. In an interesting fact, this week in 2013 saw Dusty Rhodes accompany his sons to ringside in a match against The Shield at the WWE Battleground Pay Per View, which saw the Rhodes Brothers capture the Tag Team Championships. It would be one of Dusty’s last televised appearances in WWE. All we can add is that, even if this whole thing is in memorial to The American Dream, hopefully this contest does not end in a dreaded Dusty Finish. Source:

Bayley vs Sasha Banks – Iron Man Match for the NXT Women’s Title

Yes, for the first time ever in professional wrestling, a women’s match will be the main event of a Pay Per View (although it’s not technically a PPV, it’s only available on the WWE Network, which we understand you can subscribe to for some small amount of money every month). It’s also the first time in WWE that an Iron Man Match will be contested between two female wrestlers, and given that their Brooklyn match was considered by many to be a practically perfect wrestling match (for any gender), the expectations will be running high for this one. Both women are opposite sides of the same coin; Bayley, the ultimate babyface, the happiest and nicest person to ever exist in professional wrestling, and Sasha Banks, the domineering Boss of NXT, who turned her back on both friends and allies in order to achieve her goal of becoming the absolute best. These two women will meet for one last time in NXT, and though the result probably isn’t in doubt (Sasha’s on Raw now, and Bayley is not…yet), if their Brooklyn match re-defined women’s wrestling, then we expect that this one will set the absolute gold standard. If you ever wanted to know what is so special about NXT, you need to watch tonight’s show, so you can see these two fantastic wrestlers in action. Source:
Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle is an avid wrestling and film fan. He's been writing about WWE, movies, and video games for Goliath since 2015.