Another summer is drawing to a close and with it comes the now, seemingly anyway, annual Takeover/Summer Slam from the Barclays in Brooklyn. And why not?Brooklyn has been an amazing crowd two years running and with two stacked cards, this weekend should be no different. Now, while Summer Slam is shaping up to be a pretty dope show that better end with Samoa Joe as Universal Champion, the highlight of the weekend will again be Takeover. With five big matches set for the show and one massive rumor, baybay!, Saturday night is indeed alright for fighting. Who will win and why? Read on humanoids, and follow me on twitter or instagram, @geekadedan, to continue the conversation.
Johnny Gargano vs Andrade Cien Almas
Injuries are a part of the wrestling business and unfortunately, Tomasso Ciampa suffered one during DIYs match against the Authors of Pain at Takeover Chicago. Thankfully he was still able to close the show with a brutal beat down of his now former tag team partner Johnny Wrestling. And while that match would have happened this weekend and would have been amazing, the consolation prize is pretty damn good. Cien has been much better lately with his new manager and character direction. Still cocky as hell and still immensely talented, now he seems like he’s going somewhere. That somewhere isn’t a win this weekend though, as WWE needs to keep Johnny a top face leading to Ciampa’s return and a loss here does not help that. Expect a fantastic match with a clean finish.
Prediction: Johnny Gargano
Aleister Black vs Hideo Itami
Itami is another guy who is recently hitting his stride in NXT. Turning heel on Kassius Ohno has done wonders to revitalize interest in what was a bland, boring babyface run that was derailed by injuries. Black, on the other hand, has been a fucking beast since his debut. He looks every bit the badass he is billed to be and has absolutely everything you need to be a huge star. He is also undefeated since his proper debut and that won’t be changing here. Expect a stiff match and maybe a lost tooth or five.
Prediction: Aleister Black
Authors of Pain vs SAnitY (tag team title)
With the current dearth of tag teams in NXT, we are getting the rare heel vs heel championship match. Alexandre Wolfe and Killian Dain will be representing SAnitY on Saturday against the AOP. Ellering will be in the AOPs corner but SAnitY will have both Nikki Cross and Eric Young, until the finish anyway. This match will be a decent back and forth hoss fight, big boys hitting the shit out of each other. Young and Cross will get involved and almost cost AOP the match. But right at the close when it looks like AOP are going to pull it off out will come the returning Sawyer Fulton to give SAnitY the win and their first titles as a group. Fulton was a member before Dain joined but got hurt. He’s back now though, and WWE has been waiting for the right time to reintroduce him. Him running in turns the AOP face and gives the heel SAnitY legitimacy as champions.
Asuka vs Ember Moon (women’s title)
Asuka is currently the best booked champion in any company. She is undefeated and her streak has recently passed that of Goldberg. And she will remain so come Saturday. Look, I like Ember Moon quite a bit. She’s great in the ring, has an awesome look, and her mic skills are improving. However, the woman who beats Asuka probably hasn’t even properly debuted on NXT yet. Beating Asuka should be a huge moment for a new star and I promise, the shit show that would result in Asuka losing to Moon in Brooklyn is not what WWE wants for their new women’s champion. The woman who ends up beating Asuka will do so when that match is the main event of a Takeover show. If I had to guess I’d say it will be Kairi Sane at the Takeover alongside the Royal Rumble. It will take that long to fully establish Asuka as a heel and to build up the, my prediction, winner of the Mae Young Classic.
Bobby Roode vs Drew McIntyre
The Glorious One vs The Chosen One. I’m actually pretty torn on this one. On one hand, McIntyre has been on fire since his return and looks every bit the part of a champion. Putting the belt on him would make sense and could be a nice send off for Roode as he heads to the main roster and becomes an instant top heel. On the other hand, having Roode keep the title makes a ton of sense and lends credence to the rumors that McIntyre is main roster bound. Keeping the belt on Roode also allows WWE to do a few interesting things. One, as much as people like McIntyre, the crowd is hot for Roderick Strong to be the one to take down Roode. And two, if rumors pan out, we should see Adam Cole debut on Saturday. And since Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish have already debuted and those three along with Strong are all ex ROH guys, the rumor of a ROH stable in NXT could come to fruition. If I were booking I’d have Roode win sending McIntyre to the main roster. During his celebration the Strong, Fish, and O’Reilly would jump in for the beat down. In the middle of the fight the lights would go out then flash back on to Cole, in the ring, superkicking Roode. Strong would follow that up with the End of Heartache or the Strong Hold to finish the show. It would be… glorious. Either way this should be a good match for Roode and McIntyre and a decent send off for one of them.
So there it is. Fantasy booking aside, it looks to be a damn fine show and again the best card of the weekend. Make sure to like, comment, and share and check back next week for another reason to love wrestling.