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DON “THE PREDICTOR” MURPHY PICKS THE WINNERS & LOSERS AT NXT “TAKEOVER XXX”

Posted August 21st, 2020 by Bill Apter

THE PREDICTOR PREDICTS: NXT TAKEOVER XXX

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

It’s amazing to think that ten years ago, NXT was presented as a bad reality show, featuring “rookies” paired with “mentors”, faced with a series of hokey challenges that they had to overcome to earn a WWE contract. An overhaul to the product in 2012 planted the seeds to the brand we’ve come to know and love today, with an impressive 29 Takeover specials to-date. Today’s it’s WWE’s best and hottest brand and I’d be hard-pressed to name a bad Takeover special, since they started in 2015. Now, here we are at the 30th Takeover and while the COVID-19 pandemic has taken away the live crowd, this show, on paper, is still positioned to deliver like the 29 editions before it. Let’s run down the card!

Keith Lee retains the NXT Championship over Karrion Kross: This one is tricky and admittedly I’m not sure how they’re going to get to the finish where Lee still has the title. For me, I think it’s too premature to take the title off of him, but at the same time, Kross has a tremendous upside, so the finish has to be done in a way where he’s protected. To further complicate matters, NXT typically doesn’t like to do too many non-finishes, especially in the main event, so I think we’ll see a scenario, where perhaps Kross or even Scarlett takes a fireball receipt to cover the loss. Then, he can always get his heat back on Lee on next week’s TV show.

Io Shirai retains the NXT Women’s Championship over Dakota Kai: Kai has improved so much over the last year and her heel run has been well done. I was actually considering picking her to win the title, but the fact that they had her cohort Raquel Gonzalez return on this past Wednesday’s TV show, rather than a surprise return at Takeover, tells me that she may have a role in the finish, but not one that will cost Shirai the match. If anything, we may see a miscue by Gonzalez that leads to the finish. I don’t think this will break up the pair just yet, but will likely lead to Gonzalez as Shirai’s next challenger.

Cameron Grimes wins the NXT North American Championship over Velveteen Dream, Bronson Reed, Damian Priest and Johnny Gargano in a Ladder Match: Like most of these multi-person matches, they are really tough to predict. I based this one by thinking about who would benefit most from a title run. I eliminated Gargano and Dream because they’ve already had runs and I think they’re both at the stage where they don’t need a title to be top acts. You can really make a case for either Reed, Priest or Grimes, but I ultimately went with Grimes because I think he has the talent to come off as a credible champion, while being vulnerable to defeat to where fans will anticipate the time where someone catches him and beats him.

Pat McAfee defeats Adam Cole: Yes, you read this right. On paper, it looks like such a mismatch, that I think they’ll creatively find a way for McAfee to steal a win. He plays a good arrogant heel role, so they can get some good mileage out of his gloating promos that ultimately leads to a rematch where he finally gets his comeuppance. Though we’ve heard that he’s been in intense training, the question is if Cole, who is arguably the best performer in wrestling today, can carry McAfee’s inexperience to a passable match.

Timothy Thatcher defeats Finn Balor: I’m not confident in this pick, but similar to Cameron Grimes, Thatcher has a great upside, and needs that big win to move him up the card, especially given the attention given to his weekly vignettes on NXT TV. On the flip side, Balor can easily absorb a loss here and still come out looking credible.

Pre-Show: Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch defeat Breezango (Fandango/Tyler Breeze) and Legado del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde/Raul Mendoza) to become the #1 Contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championship: I’m surprised that they didn’t have the winners of this match face Imperium on the actual Takeover show, but six seems to be the number of matches they’ve capped on lately, so I guess we’ll have to wait for weekly TV. In any case, I believe Breezango recently had a title shot and I can’t see them going with heels vs. heels for the Championship. We know that Burch and Lorcan will always give a good performance and a title match with Imperium would be no exception.

Category: Wrestling.

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