Posted January 11th, 2020 by 1Wrestling News Team

By Don “The Predictor” Murphy (Twitter: @DonThePredictor)

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and have hit the ground running in 2020. Professional wrestling has certainly hit the ground running and we have our first busy weekend of the year. This coming Sunday, we have two big events, including NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool II event, as well as Impact Wrestling’s “Hard to Kill” show. Both have solid lineups on paper and this is a great opportunity to set the bar for what we can expect from both brands in the coming year. Here’s a “quick pick” previews of both cards!

NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool II

Walter defeats Joe Coffey to retain the NXT UK Championship: I’m not sold on Coffey in the main event spot, but hopefully this match surprises me. Quality wise, I think it will be passable – not great, but passable. And, I don’t have any indication that they’re looking to make a title switch at this time.

Imperium (Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel) win the NXT UK Tag Team Championship in a Fatal 4-Way Ladder Match over Gallus (Mark Coffey and Wolfgang), Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson and James Drake) and Mark Andrews/Flash Morgan Webster: This promises to be the match of the night and I’m thinking that they’ll want to put all of titles on Imperium headed into WrestleMania season. It’s the hottest act on the brand right now and I don’t see any reason why the company wouldn’t continue building momentum for the faction.

Kay Lee Ray retains the NXT UK Championship over Toni Storm and Piper Niven: I’m particularly looking forward to this one, given the build. Going into this match, it almost looked like they were experimenting with a Toni Storm heel turn, but if the plan is to give her more U.S. exposure as a babyface, it was likely a one-time thing to generate heat between her and Niven for the purposes of this match. I see these issues allowing Ray to steal the win here.

Eddie Dennis defeats Trent Seven: He’s a bit green, but Dennis has the look and the build that the company likes, while Seven can easily absorb a loss and still be relevant in the upper mid-card mix.

Tyler Bate defeats Jordan Devlin: I’d love for them to start giving Devlin some wins as he’s a great talker and very talented. However, they like to keep Bate (also a very talented performer) in the mix, so I see him getting the win here. Devlin’s the type that can go away for a couple of weeks post-loss, come back and easily get his heat back, so I’m not overly concerned.

Impact Wrestling: “Hard to Kill”

Tessa Blanchard defeats Sami Callihan to win the Impact World Championship: This is the moment they’ve been building to all of last year. It will be interesting to see where they go with Blanchard as champion moving forward. Truthfully, as good as she is as the babyface, she’s much better as a heel and I would love to see her in the role of arrogant champion. For Sami, it looks like a babyface turn might be coming, which concerns me slightly. He’s so good as a heel and I’m hoping he doesn’t get lost in the pack.

Ace Austin defeats Trey Miguel to retain the Impact X Division Championship: This should be a sensational match and don’t be surprised to see an official turn by Trey’s “mom” to align with Austin.

Taya Valkyrie retains the Impact Knockouts Championship over Jordynne Grace and ODB: It’s nice to see ODB getting opportunities to perform on these shows in order to raise funds to restore her food truck business. I struggled with this one. On the one hand, I can’t see Grace or ODB in the title slot; however, with a Valkyrie win, I don’t see anyone else on the roster who would make sense to be next in line for a shot, unless they go back to Rosemary or Su Yung. They could always make Tessa Blanchard a double champion (taking a page out of the Becky Lynch playbook), but I don’t see that happening.

The North (Ethan Page and Josh Alexander) retain the Impact World Tag Team Championship over Rich Swann and Willie Mack: I like this match a lot, particularly the build. Last year at this time, Page was lost in the shuffle, but he’s really found his stride in this team with Alexander. I like the psychology of getting in Mack’s head and causing a rift that will eventually lead to either he or Swann turning heel. I don’t think we get the turn here, but this will further that story along.

Eddie Edwards retains the “Call Your Shot” trophy over Michael Elgin: Elgin’s already picked up two wins over Elgin, so I think Edwards gets his win back here. Elgin can easily get his heat back through another high-profile win or attack.

Rob Van Dam defeats Brian Cage: I think they want to keep the heat on Van Dam, so he’ll likely go over here with some help from Katie Forbes. This will protect Cage in the loss.

Moose defeats Rhino: Rhino’s role is that of the legend to make the current the stars look good, so I think that will be the case here. Moose has come along in the last little bit, so I see this as a showcase win.

Madman Fulton defeats Ken Shamrock: Similar to Rhino, this is Shamrock’s role as well. If the plan is to turn Callihan face, he’d likely face Fulton initially so a win here makes sense.

Category: Wrestling.

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