WILW: Takeover Philly and Royal Rumble Predictions

Ladies and Gentlemen, (cue Michael Buffer voice) Leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetttttttttttttsssssssss get ready to ruuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmbbbbbbbbbblllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! (fuck that’s annoying, but come on, you would have too…) It’s that time again where the best event WWE puts on is about to grace our screens. That’s right, it’s time for an NXT Takeover! (Oh, and the Rumble too. I love the Rumble) This year the Royal Rumble is coming to you live from the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. So naturally, NXT Takeover Philly will steal the show the night before and leave all of us wondering just exactly how, and just precisely why, NXT gets it so, so right and the main roster gets it so, so wrong. (see Bayley, Nakamura, Tye Dillinger, etc.) This event promises to be pretty damn important to the overall scheme of things in NXT and could have a few big time implications for the main roster as well. Who will win and who will lose? (other than Enzo… too soon?) Well read on readers to see who I think will come out on top. And make sure to follow me on twitter and instagram, @geekadedan, to let me know how right I was or just how far off the mark I fell.

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Kassius Ohno vs Velveteen Dream

Oh look, a match with no build up featuring an up and coming superstar who needs a win against a dude who has more than earned a shot but seems forever doomed to enhancement talent status. Shit, this is a toughy… In all seriousness, Velveteen Dream has had one of the best rookie years of anyone on NXT. Here’s a guy who went from average looking dude, to Dave Chappelle’s Prince imitation Prince ripoff, to modern day Rick Rude over the span of twelve months.  Dream’s workrate and character have improved dramatically in that time. He has made himself about as “must see” as you can be. Ohno on the other hand just can’t seem to get over the hump in WWE. Everyone loves him but WWE just won’t pull the trigger on him. Lots of speculation is that it is based on his look. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Regardless of the reason, Ohno makes everyone he gets in the ring with look like a million bucks and his match against Velveteen Dream will be no different. Prediction: Velveteen Dream

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The Undisputed Era (c) vs The Authors of Pain

Now this one is a bit tougher to call. On the one hand, TUE need to hold the belts to get legitimacy in NXT. Fish and O’Reilly are amazing performers and have had five star matches all over the world and yet, they each lost to Aleister Black in their NXT TV debuts. Being superstars everywhere else only gets you so far and for a faction like theirs to work, they need to be on top. On the other hand, the AOP are giant, ass-kicking, fuck you up monsters. Akam and Razar have gone from two big hoss’s to two big hoss’s who are very, very good in the ring. In no believable reality can Fish and O’Reilly “beat” the AOP. Which is why there is going to be some form of nonsense to the finish of this match. I am pretty damn sure that AOP will be up on the main roster soon, probably the RAW or Smackdown after Wrestlemania. It would make little sense to put the belts on them now. The main reason to keep them in NXT is to put over the incoming War Machine. Expect a damn good match with a questionable finish. Prediction: TUE

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Ember Moon (c) vs Shayna Baszler

2017 was the year Ember Moon chased the NXT Women’s title and came up short, at least as long as it was Asuka as champ. Once Asuka went to RAW though it was hers for the taking. And honestly, she deserved it. She’s put in work ever since her debut and if Asuka wasn’t going to be champion, Ember was the next most worthy. Which is why it would be strange to have her drop the belt to Shayna now. I 100% expect Shayna, a legit MMA badass, to dominate this match. She may be the most believable woman on the roster. I look at her and I know she can kick ass. Over the last few weeks though we’ve seen videos and in ring stuff with Baszler snapping and “hurting” opponents; going too far if you will. And that’s what will happen here. After a decent enough match, Baszler will get Ember in some sort of hold, Ember will tap out, Baszler will refuse to break, and the referee’s decision will be reversed. This might lead to a Kairi Sane save or a possible “I Quit” match between Ember and Baszler at the next Takeover. Personally, I’m hoping for the later as we haven’t seen that in awhile and it would be a good way to send Ember off to the main roster after Wrestlemania. Prediction: Ember Moon, after some tomfoolery with Baszler

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Aleister Black vs Adam Cole: Extreme Rules

Well, you knew this was coming right? Can’t have a show in Philly without an Extreme Rules match because ECdub, ECdub, ECdub, amiright guys? Obvious match is obvious. Anyway, even though this is a bit on the nose, I am more hyped for this match than any other on the card. Black is probably my favorite wrestler on the planet right now with Adam Cole not that far behind. As leader of the TUE, Cole needs to start establishing himself as a potential champion and a win over Black would do just that. This being an Extreme Rules match though likely means that Black will have his win stolen by interference from Fish and O’Reilly. This in turn will cause SAnitY to come out setting up a six-man match later in a few weeks. I’m expecting this to be match of the night and probably match of the weekend. Both these guys are world class and are capable of putting on a classic. Black isn’t long for NXT and Cole is the champion in waiting so expect both men to go all out. Prediction: Adam Cole (bay bay!) with an assist from Fish and O’Reilly

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Andrade “Cien” Almas (c) vs Johnny Gargano

Fuck you Ciampa! (clap, clap, clapclapclap) Look, Tomasso Ciampa has been off TV for far too long. All rumors seem to indicate that he will be ready to go by Wrestlemania weekend and it just so happens there will be an NXT event as well. There is really no other way for this match to go then for Almas and Gargano to have an amazing match, with a lot of very close finishes, Zelina Vega to get involved on Almas’ behalf only for the newly signed Candice LeRae to go after her on behalf of her husband Johnny and set up a match between the two of them, and then right before Johnny is about to claim the ultimate prize, for that bald headed fucker Tomasso Ciampa to show up and cost Johnny the match thereby setting up the main event of Takeover New Orleans, Gargano vs Ciampa. It really is the modern day Hogan/Savage and there is no way it doesn’t get set up here. Prediction: Almas because fuck you Ciampa!  

And now for some quick hits on the main roster:

Pre-Show – 

Cruiserweight Six-man: Lucha Things

Good Brothers vs The Revival: Revival in a why the fuck is this on the preshow quicky

Bobby Roode US Title Open Challenge: Maybe Ziggler, probably, hope not…

Main Show –

Raw Tag Team Championship Match: Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan (c) vs. Sheamus and Cesaro: The Bar setting up Jordan’s heel turn

Smackdown Tag Team Championship 2-out-of-3 Falls Match: The Usos (c) vs. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin: Gable and Benjamin because that is more fun than Usos vs New Day again

WWE Championship Handicap Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn: AJ somehow, I have no idea what’s happening with this story and it seems no one else does either

WWE Universal Championship Triple Threat Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane: Should be Strowman, will be Lesnar because Roman needs to beat Lesnar at Wrestlemania

Women’s Royal Rumble Match: Ronda Rousey, yep! I actually think she’s going to be great

Men’s Royal Rumble Match: Shinsuke Nakamura because AJ vs Nakamura at Wrestlemania is the biggest worldwide, money making match WWE has right now and they like money

Surprise Entrants: EC 3, Billy Gunn, Boogeyman, Lashley, Neville

So there you go. In what should be a fun weekend of wrestling we’ve got the possibility of returns, debuts, re-debuts, and classic matches. I’m really, really hoping Roman is nowhere near the final of the Rumble but I know he will be. As long as he doesn’t win, it’s fine. He doesn’t need it and the fans will burn the arena to the ground. (it is philly afterall) Thanks for reading this and every week and if you have a second, like and share this post wherever you can. And make sure to check back next week for another reason to love wrestling. Until then…

Dan Ryan

Dan Ryan was once the most feared and respected luchador in the world until the "Great DDT Disaster of '85" where Dan unfortunately DDT'd his opponent so hard into the ground that he opened a gate to the underworld that let unholy things into this world. After that, Dan refused to wrestle anymore but he's found new life writing and talking about his favorite hobbies here at Geekade. He pens the weekly Why I Love Wrestling series, co-hosts The Stone Age Gamer Podcast, expertly pairs video games with beer, and much, much more. Dan is a personality that Geekade simply would not be the same without.

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