NXT is heading back to Brooklyn. For the second consecutive year, the developmental brand will air one of its TakeOver specials live from the Barclays Center. Last year’s event was arguably the most successful show in the developmental brand’s history.
TakeOver: Brooklyn II will feature six matches, including three for each championship. Samoa Joe will defend the NXT Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura in the show’s main event.
Here’s a look at the entire card and predictions for each match.
Ember Moon vs. Billie Kay
Ember Moon, formerly known by her real name Athena Reese, will make her first NXT television appearance on Saturday. Her debut has been teased in vignettes for several weeks.
She will face Billie Kay, who has suddenly become a weekly competitor on NXT television, likely as build up for this match. Either way, the match is being built around Moon’s debut, which means one thing…
Winner: Ember Moon
Squash Match City. The purpose of this match will be to make Moon look like a star, especially with most of the women’s division now on the main roster.
That shouldn’t be much of a task, however. Moon was one of the top female wrestlers on the independent circuit and should make an immediate impact in NXT. Let’s just hope she gets to keep her finisher.
No Way Jose vs. Austin Aries
No Way Jose is establishing himself as NXT’s top comedic babyface. His energy is infectious and his character seems to be over with the Full Sail audience.
Austin Aries provides the perfect opponent for the rising star. Aries has already established himself as one of wrestling’s best heels and has the experience to carry a match if necessary.
The feud itself has been entertaining. Aries attacked Jose after luring him in by dancing around Full Sail. The Dominican superstar has since gained a mean streak, which has helped his character develop past “smiling dancing fun guy.”
Winner: No Way Jose
It seems like NXT is high on No Way Jose. His character hasn’t yet peaked and needs to gain more credibility by picking up big wins. Aries is Jose’s toughest competition so far. There’s a chance that NXT will use this match as an opportunity for a big heel push, but the veteran will likely put over the rising, young talent.
NXT Tag Team Championship: The Revival (c) vs. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa
The Revival is the only team to hold the NXT tag team championship multiple times. The duo defeated American Alpha at TakeOver: The End in June for their second title reign.
Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa have climbed the tag team ranks during the past year. The former indie stars recently signed an exclusive deal with WWE and have since been pushed into the title picture.
However, Gargano and Ciampa could have some friction coming off their stiff Cruiserweight Classic opening round match, which heel broadcaster Corey Graves pointed out during last week’s episode. Will the duo be able to stay on the same page or will the Revival retain on Saturday?
Winner: Gargano and Ciampa
Gargano and Ciampa will announce their tag team name this week. That should at least keep them together for the time being. I mean, WWE wouldn’t give a team a name and merchandise just to split them up immediately after, right?
The Revival is due for a callup, especially with SmackDown lacking credible tag teams past American Alpha. Dawson and Dash could drop the titles and see a promotion in the near future.
Andrade Almas vs. Bobby Roode
Bobby Roode finally made his NXT debut and it was GLORIOUS! His theme song alone is enough of a reason to push him into the title picture. But his promo also established him as a potential top heel in NXT.
Andrade Almas has been built to be a potential top babyface, but hasn’t truly connected with the NXT audience yet. Despite a decorated career in Mexico, Almas has received less of a crowd reaction than most other big acquisitions.
Expect the smarky Brooklyn crowd to be heavily in favor of Roode on Saturday, regardless of whether he insults it.
Winner: Bobby Roode
Sure, this would be the perfect opportunity to get Almas over. But Roode seems destined to be the brand’s next heel champion. He’s excellent on the mic, has great in-ring ability and, most of all, is “GLORIOUS!”
NXT Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. Bayley
Asuka defeated Bayley for the Women’s Championship at TakeOver: Dallas. Since then, the former champion has made it her mission to reclaim her title.
Asuka and Bayley have the potential to put on a show-stealing match at TakeOver. The feud hasn’t had as strong of a build up compared to past Women’s Championship matches, but should still live up to expectations.
Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but Bayley is probably going to be called up after SummerSlam. The women’s divisions for both Raw and SmackDown would benefit from her addition and, much like Finn Bálor, her debut seems to be delayed for the perfect opportunity.
Asuka will continue to establish her own title reign in NXT. Her callup should be soon as well, but the brand will need her to carry the division for the time being.
NXT Championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
This is a match hardcore fans have been dreaming of. Sure, it’s taken place at several house shows already, but that won’t make it any less awesome.
Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura will have a ridiculously stiff match for the NXT Championship in TakeOver’s main event. The brand’s two biggest names should put on a stellar match that will live up to its placement on the card.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
Nakamura will be NXT Champion before his time in developmental is over. That reign will likely begin on Saturday.
The former IWGP champion is ready for the main roster, but first must continue his run as NXT’s biggest star. Joe, on the other hand, has nothing left to prove in developmental. The former ROH and TNA Champion should finally make his WWE main roster debut, especially following the brand split.