Tonight is the third edition of NXT Takeover to be broadcast live in the Windy City of Chicago on the WWE Network. A new era of talent waves into NXT and we should expect to see what transpires in front of a raucous crowd. Despite big names missing on this card, NXT Takeover shows always deliver to expectations that will give the opportunity to those to shine on the big platform. Chicago will be no different and it’s something that you don’t want to miss. Here are my predictions on who will win tonight.
Roderick Strong vs Eric Young
I expect this match to open up the show. Also, the backstory behind Roderick Strong’s life in and out of the ring is truly recommendable for anyone looking to know more about Strong. Some might know him from the independent scene, competing in Japan, PWG, and most noticeably ROH. However, we just know him as a guy that can wrestle, but not knowing enough information the man outside of the ring that will get fans to gain interest from him. I don’t know why it took them so long for them to give Strong a backstory before he arrived to NXT. But, I digress.
This match can go either way. Strong has been going against SAnitY for awhile now without much in the way of success. A win over Eric Young would help gain some measure of revenge, but I expect Young to pick up the victory. I see this feud continuing down the road until Summerslam weekend.
WINNER: Eric Young
Pete Dunne vs Tyler Bate (c) for the WWE U.K. Championship
For those who don’t know who these two men are, they have competed on the WWE Network special that crowned the first WWE U.K. Champion. Tyler Bate, the inaugural WWE U.K. title holder, won his title by defeating Pete Dunne in a tournament final. Now, Dunne has earned another shot at the gold.
I think that Dunne should win. Something about Dunne is that he has this in-ring presence and is really easy to hate with his arrogance and villainous side about him. And if they are serious to appeal more to the UK market, then I think they should put the title on someone like Dunne, who can be this king pin that strikes down babyface after babyface and holds the title right on top.
Their rematch will hopefully be better than their first encounter. Also, with Jim Ross returning to commentate this match after WrestleMania 33 alongside Nigel McGuinness, it is a much needed boost for their match and for the title to get people to care.
WINNER: Pete Dunne
Asuka (c) vs Ruby Riot vs Nikki Cross for the NXT Women’s Championship
I am enjoying the heelish work that Asuka is bringing to the table. We’re starting to see the cracks behind the Empress of Tomorrow that is displaying her to be this arrogant, cocky, and vicious champion that we didn’t expect from her. She has beaten everyone that they’ve put in front of her, creating her own undefeated streak in the NXT Women’s division.
With that being said, she is not losing her title against Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot. Asuka was scheduled to be in a four-way involving Ember Moon, the woman that she beat in a heelish fashion at Takeover Orlando. However, Asuka interfered in the number one contender’s battle royal that involved her, Cross, and Riot as the last competitors, which cause Moon to sustain a shoulder injury. Her undefeated streak should not be broken by the hands of Riot and Cross. Nikki Cross has been impressive alongside with SAnitY that could give her a shocking victory. Ruby Riot from a character standpoint, I need to see more from her. However, the bigger picture is for Ember Moon being the one to dethrone Asuka. Honestly, it wouldn’t make sense for either Cross or Riot to win it here.
#DIY vs Authors of Pain (c) Ladder Match for the NXT Tag Team Championship
The Authors of Pain have been unstoppable since arriving to NXT. Led by WWE Hall of Famer Paul Ellering, Akam and Rezar have beaten up every foe at their disposal, including Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa of#DIY, whom they dethroned in January. Now these two teams encounter each other once again, this time involving ladders.
With the right spots and good storytelling, this could easily be the MOTN and a MOTY contender involving another classic with#DIY. This gives #DIY a chance to get some type of redemption since losing the opportunity to regain the titles at Takeover Orlando. However, I expect the Authors of Pain to retain and continue their dominance in the NXT tag team division.
And with the recent news that Ciampa suffered a sprained ankle injury at this week’s NXT live event, don’t be surprised if Ciampa gets heavily protected in this match if he gets cleared to compete.
WINNER: Authors of Pain
Bobby Roode (c) vs Hideo Itami for the NXT Championship
I’m enjoying Roode’s GLORIOUS run in NXT, singing and praising his antics as a character. But for some weird reason when he steps into the ring, he is just there. Don’t get me wrong, Roode is a good worker, but for some reason his persona is not translating into the ring that is not living up to standards that I think he can bring. Overall, Roode is the top heel in NXT for a reason and I expect for him to deliver something that will be different from his previous Takeover matches.
Hideo Itami on the other hand has quite loss some steam due to injuries, but he is slowly regaining it back. This match could be the proving point on if he could be taken seriously as a title contender. Itami has the potential to be a top guy in NXT, but he’s not there YET.
Now, this match could blow many people away with the right storytelling. I expect Itami to use the “GTS” and his repertoire of moves to make this match work. However, I expect to see Roode retaining in some fashion. This could end in a DQ that furthers their feud down to Summerslam, but don’t expect Itami to win here.
WINNER: Bobby Roode
Those are my predictions. Down below are the team’s predictions
Pete: Itami, AOP, Dunne, Strong, Asuka
Colin: Roode, AOP, Dunne, Strong, Asuka
Patrick: Itami, AOP, Dunne, Strong, Asuka
Zach: Itami (by DQ), AOP, Bate, Young, and Asuka