Posted June 6th, 2020 by 1Wrestling News Team

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

Slowly but surely, wrestling is trying to return to its previous form. While having fans in attendance may be a way off, having trainees and production members serve as the crowd has given us back a part of the presentation that was sorely missing. That helps set the stage, as the NXT brand presents a Takeover special on Sunday night, appropriately titled “In Your House.” If you’re not familiar, the “In Your House” series of shows were a fixture in the mid-to-late 90’s and produced some memorable matches. If you have the time and the WWE Network, may I recommend the following: 1) Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel (IYH: Good Friends, Better Enemies; April 28,1996); 2) Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith (YH: Season’s Beatings; December 17, 1995); 3) The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, Owen Hart, The British Bulldog, and Brian Pillman) vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust, and The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) (IYH: Canadian Stampede; July 6, 1997); 4) Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind (IYH: Mind Games; September 22, 1996); and 5) Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker (IYH: Badd Blood; October 5, 1997). What’s more, this Sunday night’s show, on paper, looks like it has the potential to add to the list of all time great “In Your House” matches. Let’s run down the card!

1. The Velveteen Dream defeats Adam Cole to win the NXT Championship. This is billed as a “Backlot Brawl,” in which Dream must win the title, or he will be unable to challenge for the title while Cole is still the champion. I think they’ve built the story nicely, with Cole celebrating a year being NXT Champion and Dream chasing the title for months, enduring hurdle after hurdle and injury after injury. As much as I think Cole is one of the top three performers in wrestling today, it seems like the stage is set for a title change. I’m not a big fan of switching the title in a non-traditional “Backlot Brawl” setting, but WWE’s production team knows how to create a spectacle when it needs to. With Dream as champion, there are a good selection of challengers to come after the title, such as Karrion Kross, Damian Priest, Johnny Gargano and Finn Balor. And for Cole, this may be the time to move him and the entire Undisputed Era to either Raw or Smackdown.

2. Charlotte Flair retains the NXT Women’s Championship over Io Shirai and Rhea Ripley: I think the ultimate payoff here will be to have Ripley chase the title in various scenarios and finally win in a one-on-one match against Flair during SummerSlam weekend (or whatever that show ends up looking like). I expect Shirai to take the fall here to protect Ripley and continue to establish Flair’s dominance, which will serve to put the exclamation point on Ripley when she finally unseats Flair.

3. Johnny Gargano defeats Keith Lee to win the NXT North American Championship: I went back and forth on this one because Lee’s reign is still pretty young. Expect Mia Yim and Candice LeRae to play a role here and it’s possible that their involvement results in a DQ-finish. However, putting the belt on Gargano plays into the “power couple” narrative that they’re establishing with him and LeRae. So, I’m cautiously calling for a title change here.

4. Karrion Kross defeats Tommaso Ciampa: If you’ve never seen Kross’ work in Impact Wrestling, you’re in for a treat. The character has a tremendous upside and a showcase win over Ciampa will serve to strap the rocket to his back in NXT. The nice thing, Ciampa has a presence that can absorb a loss, even with losing the feud with Johnny Gargano. I also think this will not be a one-and-done-program, so there will be opportunities to add depth to the feud, which should be great.

5. Finn Balor defeats Damian Priest: I think they’re keeping Balor hot for when he eventually challenges Walter for the NXT UK Championship. My concern is here is that I think Balor can absorb a loss, while Priest needs a bit more build to establish credibility. While there could be a scenario where Imperium members cost Balor the match, they already did a similar scenario when Priest cost Balor a match against Cameron Grimes. So, I don’t think we’ll see the same thing twice and this will serve to have Balor get his win back.

6. Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai and Raquel González defeat Mia Yim, Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox: This match speaks to the evolving depth of the women’s division. Kai and Gonzalez are a fun act. LeRae is rough in the ring, but she’s coming into her own as a pest heel. Yim, Blackheart and Nox are growing as babyfaces and will be good additions to the title picture moving forward.

Category: Wrestling.

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