As is becoming tradition for big WWE events, NXT is putting on a Takeover special the night or so before. And as is also becoming tradition, I am fully expecting this card to steal the show. Wrestlemania weekend has always been a good time with a lot of good wrestling going on. Lots of promotions run big shows during the week leading up to and the weekend of Wrestlemania. NXT is in the unique position of being highly promoted, easily viewable, and stacked with talent. I am beyond hyped for this show. The potential for show of the year is there and the possible implications for NXT and WWE that may arise during the event are huge. Who will walk away head held high? Read on readers.
Austin Aries finally makes his WWE debut against Baron Corbin. It's an interesting situation because at 37, Aries doesn't have a ton of time left as a major, relevant star. Corbin on the other hand is young and on the rise. He will absolutely be on the main roster sooner rather than later and could be a multi-time champion when all is said and done. That is not to say that Aries is simply enhancement talent at this point, far from it. He is most likely staying in NXT until he is done and has the chance to be a champ. The upcoming lightweight tournament could also be a place for Aries to shine. Regardless of all that, their match on Friday should be amazing. The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived vs The Lone Wolf is classic little guy vs big guy. Corbin will throw Aries around quite a bit while Aries will hit some high spots and quick moves. It should be a hell of an introduction for Aries to the WWE Universe and if they play it right, could build a feud to the next Takeover show. Prediction - Austin Aries
The Revival have been awesome as NXT champs. they are about as old school as it gets which makes them stand out quite a bit in NXT. American Alpha on the other hand are about as NXT as a tag team could get. All four of these guys can go hard in the ring and this match should be, to borrow a phrase, a real slobber knocker. I'm expecting some stiff work from these four. It should be a pretty hard hitting match overall with some really solid technical wrestling. The Revival are ready for a main roster spot and could really liven up the tag team scene. Because of that, I think American Alpha takes it. Prediction - American Alpha
I honestly cannot believe this match is happening. Shinsuke Nakamura, as I've written before, is my favorite wrestler right now. The King of Strong Style is one of the most charismatic performers you will ever see. Sami Zayn may be a close second for me. The guy is all heart and emotion and just damn fun to watch. The fact that these two are having a match on WWE programming baffles the mind quite frankly. It is a puro/indy wrestling fans wet dream. What will be interesting to watch in this match is just how well Nakamura responds to the WWE style. He obviously cannot be nearly as stiff as he was in Japan. It may take him a little bit to get used to the new style similarly to Hideo Itami. Regardless of that, I expect this to be the match of the night and possibly the match of the weekend. Both guys will hit every signature spot they have. This should be Sami Zayn's swan song in NXT. He is a main roster fixture and has his first Wrestlemania match coming up. For that reason, I expect Nakamura to go over. It wouldn't surprise me to see some sort of run in, heel turn for Itami in this match either. Fuck I cannot wait. Prediction - Nakamura
This is another dream match for me. I love Bayley. She is the perfect Women's champ; someone who brings new fans to the business but is also really damn good in the ring. My kids, two girls, love her and get super excited for her entrance. She's just the best. And then there's Asuka, my favorite female wrestler. Asuka is a bad motherfucker. Her kicks are vicious and her submissions are extremely painful to watch. She is one of the best wrestlers on the planet, male or female. These two will put on an incredible match. The crowd will be split right down the middle and will probably end up cheering for both. This match is hard to predict though because there is nothing left for Bayley to do in NXT but the main roster women's scene is actually doing well. Now, Bayley could fit right in and thrive on the main roster but the bookers might not have anything for her. Asuka could have a long reign as NXT champ but could also fit right in to the main roster right now. I honestly have no idea where to go with this one. Prediction - Asuka
And in your main event of the evening, Finn Balor takes on Samoa Joe. And as hard as it is to call Bayley vs Asuka, this is even harder. There are rumors flying hot and heavy about the impending debut of the Balor/Bullet Club. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are signed and ready to go. The discussion is centered around whether or not they will make their debut in NXT with Finn turning him heel in this match or if they will debut with Finn in WWE interfering on behalf of Shane McMahon against The Undertaker keeping him face and setting up a Demon/Deadman program to carry to SummerSlam. Depending on the decision, this match could go either way. If I were booking, I would have the Balor Club help out Shane. Finn does not need any time in NXT; he is more than ready. And as much as I love Samoa Joe, I don't know that he needs to be on the main roster right now. He certainly could and should be but he might be needed to carry NXT for a little while as guys like Apollo Crews get ready to be the face of the brand. So that's what I'm going with, Joe as the face of NXT and the Balor Club debuting at Wrestlemania. Prediction - Samoa Joe
And there you have it. My predictions for NXT Takeover Dallas. Follow me on twitter and instagram, @geekadedan, and let me know what you think. And check back here tomorrow for my predictions on Wrestlemania. Until we meet again...