WWE NXT
NXT TakeOver: Respect
October 7, 2015
Full Sail University
Watch for Free: WWE Network

NXT Takeover: Respect returns NXT to its roots – the Full Sail University TV Arena in Winter Park, Florida. With Full Sail fans having been humbled by the loss of the last Takeover to Brooklyn, will the faithful come out even louder this Wednesday in support of the brand that they call their own? I have no doubt that the answer is yes. Not only is NXT Takeover: Respect featuring an all female main event, the first in the Takeover series’ history, but that all female main event is the first ever Ironman match in NXT history. It’s the first Ironman match in WWE since 2009, even, when Randy Orton took on John Cena at WWE Bragging Rights. To be succinct, this match is a pretty big deal. You better believe the 400 people watching live inside the Full Sail arena know how big a deal it is, especially since they’ve been a huge part of why this NXT Women’s Division has taken off to such great heights. That audience will make sure that the world sees how great Sasha Banks vs Bayley truly is, and we’re all lucky to be watching it from home.

Joining us on our NXT panel this week are Rob McCarron, Alex Wendland, Joey O’Doherty, and Jeff Hawkins.

  • Rob McCarron is an editor at Voices of Wrestling, host of the WWE & NXT centric podcast Shake Them Ropes, and former Independent Wrestling referee.
  • Alex Wendland is an editor at Voices of Wrestling, serving as the weekly NXT TV reviewer here on the website.
  • Joey O’Doherty is a columnist here at Voices of Wrestling, and you can check out his look at the future of Bayley here.
  • Jeff Hawkins is an improv comedian and co-host of the podcast Shake Them Ropes, which has a huge following in Idaho.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic (Semi-Final)
Finn Bálor & Samoa Joe vs. Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder

Rob McCarron (@ShakeThemRopes): Jeff Hawkins and I spoke at length about this show on this week’s episode of Shake Them Ropes, which you can check out here. The two Semi-Final matches in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic probably won’t go too long, as the Final match is really the story and focus. Dawson & Wilder have put their names back on the NXT map with this tournament, so expect to be seeing more of them as we close out 2015.

Prediction: Finn Bálor & Samoa Joe

Joey O’Doherty (@AwesomeOJoe):  I expect a strong win for Bálor and Joe here, with perhaps some tension teased at some point. I’m a fan of their opponents, but this match is all about setting up the final and the subtle progression of whatever angle they have planned.

Prediction: Finn Bálor & Samoa Joe

Alex Wendland (@AlexWendland): The Mechanics will have long feuds and great matches with Jason Jordan & Chad Gable in NXT. They’re clearly the future of the division and both teams are a ton of fun. I’m especially partial to The Mechanics windbreakers they borrowed from The Brainbusters. That said, those classics won’t start tonight. I’m enjoying the slow turn from Everyone’s Pal Finn Bálor to Vicious Finn Bálor, and I think Bálor and Joe will work a little stronger than we’ve seen them do in NXT, get the win and head to the final.

Prediction: Finn Bálor & Samoa Joe

Jeff Hawkins (@CrapGame13): I love tag teams, I love tournaments. This is the classic “two top faces” vs. “blue collar grizzled veteran” tag team match you tend to get in these things. I’ve loved the ascent of the Team Formerly Known as The Mechanics. The satin jackets, the Southern tough talk, the double team moves, and the working on a body part… What’s not to love? I think the only thing they’re missing is an 80’s manager like Jim Cornette off of which to play. Scott Dawson loved the idea. I think while we got a tease of Dash and Dawson facing Gable and Jordan, that’s for later.  What we get here is the veteran team beating down one of the babyfaces pretty bad, Finn continuing the heelish hints we saw against Cass and Enzo, and a little more dissension between Joe and Bálor. May the spirit of the Andersons smile on Dash and Dawson.

Prediction: Finn Bálor & Samoa Joe

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic (Semi-Final)
Jason Jordan & Chad Cable vs. Baron Corbin & Rhyno

Rob McCarron: From the beginning, Corbin and Rhyno appeared to be the likely favorites to match up with Joe and Bálor in the Finals. I haven’t seen anything to sway me from that belief, even though a Jordan and Gable matchup in the Finals may be the better in-ring match. Corbin and Rhyno are the big, evil, bad guys perfectly fit to go up against Joe and Bálor… or maybe just Joe.

Prediction: Baron Corbin & Rhyno

Joey O’Doherty: Corbin’s stock seems to be in decline and it’s hard not to see him being lost in the shuffle. He and his veteran tag partner Rhyno will most likely come to blows, and I predict Corbin walking out on the the former ECW star enabling Gable and Jordan to advance.

Prediction: Jason Jordan & Chad Gable

Alex Wendland: This is a lot like the other semi-final match, except that Baron Corbin & Rhyno aren’t nearly as important to the future of NXT as Finn Bálor and Samoa Joe are. Chad Gable has “GIANT STAR” written all over him and this tournament is going to be a great stepping stone for the whole team.

Prediction: Jason Jordan & Chad Gable

Jeff Hawkins: Hoss Team vs. Sound Fundamental Team? Hose me. Cocky Heel Team vs. Monster Heel Team? I’m there. The cocky team almost inevitably gets turned face in this situation, and I think tonight is no different. Chad’s “say my name” schtick is just begging for crowd interplay and face pops, and he’s earned the Full Sail crowd’s love with his work in the ring. I really think there’s a good reason for either team to win this, but I think it’s Corbin and Rhyno through more nefarious means.

Prediction: Baron Corbin & Rhyno

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Final
Balor & Joe or Dash & Dawson vs Corbin & Rhyno or Jordan & Gable

Rob McCarron: The match will be Bálor & Joe vs Corbin & Rhyno, with Bálor & Joe getting the win. To me, the Final match can go a billion different ways. Okay, maybe just like 5 ways or something. The question isn’t only who wins the tournament, however. Another question, possibly bigger in importance, is whether or not we get the next NXT Championship program set up on this night. Does Finn Bálor go bad? Does Samoa Joe end play time? Do we, indeed, get a Bálor Club? So many questions, but let us not overthink it. It’s quite possible we just get a clear winner and that is the end of it. A celebration of Dusty Rhodes in true form could happen, or Finn Bálor could bash the trophy over Cody Rhodes back. Both are fun ideas.

Prediction: Finn Bálor & Samoa Joe

Joey O’Doherty: Les Moore of SheetSandwich.com has a fantastic theory involving a Finn Bálor heel turn and the creation of a new Bullet Club faction in NXT. The idea sees Finn attacking Joe, as Finn sides with Jason Jordon and Chad Gable forming the Bálor Club. The script couldn’t be a more fitting way of ending The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Although my gut is telling me Moore has given way too much credit to the WWE creative team with this possible ending, I’m getting on board and throwing my money on this piece of fantasy booking. Chad and Jason to win via a Balor heel turn.

Prediction: Jason Jordan & Chad Gable

Alex Wendland: I’ve predicted the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Final to be Balor & Joe vs. Jordan & Gable. This match should be faster than either semi-final match up, and a ton of fun. The match should serve two purposes: propel Jordan & Gable to the top of the tag team division to set their sights on The Vaudvillains, and to establish Bálor’s next NXT Championship feud. It’s time for the full Bálor turn, a miscommunication between the champ and Joe that leads to Bálor turning on his partner either before or after a Grand Amplitude and a major upset.

Prediction: Jason Jordan & Chad Gable

Jeff Hawkins: First Rule of Bálor Club: Don’t Talk About Bálor Club. Second Rule: WE’RE TOTES GETTING BÁLOR CLUB! At least I hope so.  While the choice of a Horsemen style group with Gable & Jordan would be nice, it’s not the WWE archetype for a faction to have a dominant team with all the members competent and powerful. There are exceptions to the rule with the Shield, for example, but overall it’s either a star they like with cannon fodder (Edgeheads, Legacy) or a charismatic veteran, a young up and comer and cannon fodder (Nation w/ the Rock). I think we’re getting the latter. Bálor, Corbin and Rhyno. Rhyno can take losses and get the boot, then we get the Diesel/HBK tension with Corbin and Balor.  They destroy Joe, destroy the Rhodes, and get run off by Gable/Jordan and maybe Itami as reinforcements. I absolutely can’t wait, and I say that thinking the team I like least is winning, or at the very least, will be established as top heels.

Prediction: Baron Corbin & Rhyno

Apollo Crews vs. Tyler Breeze

Rob McCarron: Tyler Breeze always does his best to deliver on these Takeover shows, even though he never gets the big win. Breeze has been an NXT lifer, and with this hot, new commodity coming to town, Breeze wants to show daddy that he belongs in the same limelight as the indie darlings being brought in. Breeze won’t win, but a strong showing with Crews is almost a guarantee.

Prediction: Apollo Crews

Joey O’Doherty: Apollo Crews faces his biggest challenge to date and I fully expect Tyler Breeze to make him look like a million bucks. Considering how Crews’ previous matches have been booked, I don’t expect a squash match here, but the result will be a forgone conclusion with Crews being victorious. Poor Tyler Breeze, always the bridesmaid, never the bride. He has put more people over in NXT in the last 2 years than I can remember and unfortunately I see him counting the ceiling lights once more, which is unfortunate for someone who deserves his own push since he has been in WWE development for almost 5 years now.

Prediction: Apollo Crews

Alex Wendland: This will be Apollo Crews’ best NXT match yet, and Tyler Breeze’s latest Takeover loss. I’ll probably bring this up during the match on Wednesday, but we need a name for Crews’ Gorilla-press-standing-moonsault combo. We’ll especially need that name by Wednesday – send us your best ideas @AlexWendland and @VoicesWrestling.

Prediction: Apollo Crews

Jeff Hawkins: What more can be said about Tyler Breeze that he hasn’t shown on all of the previous NXT specials? He’s reliably entertaining, fun to watch, puts on great matches, and he makes people look like a million bucks. Apollo Crews is charismatic, high energy, and works like a small guy in a big-man package.  The matches against indy stalwarts Solomon Crowe and Johnny Gargano were great appetizers for this fresh matchup.  Tyler’s going to play the pretty boy getting roughed up to the hilt and Apollo’s going to get a nice win with the crowd behind him.  

Prediction: Apollo Crews

Dana Brooke vs. Asuka

Rob McCarron: An NXT in-ring debut, a seemingly glaring mismatch on paper, and that weird finger snapping motion Dana always does… this match has everything. Asuka will win, and may even beat up on Emma while she’s at it. This debut screams to me an immediate push to the top for Asuka, possibly culminating in her going right for the NXT Title against Bayley in December. Or at the very least, a destruction of Eva Marie in the near future.

Prediction: Asuka

Joey O’Doherty: For what it’s worth, I’m not a Dana Brooke detractor. She may be very inexperienced and far from the standard of Lynch or Banks, but she is on the right track and I hold hope that she will eventually progress into a better performer. That being said, she isn’t winning this match. Asuka will most likely destroy Brooke and her bosom buddy Emma in timely fashion. We won’t see the best of Asuka here, but we will see glimpses of what brought her to the dance and I wouldn’t be surprised if she roughs up that pretty face of Brooke with a few stiff strikes.

Prediction: Asuka

Alex Wendland: This can only have one good outcome. Any outcome that doesn’t involve Asuka destroying Dana Brooke and restoring some semblance of order to the ranks of the NXT women’s division outside of the Four Horsewomen is a bad outcome.

Prediction: Asuka

Jeff Hawkins: I expect a schmoz finish where Emma eventually gets the brunt of the destruction that’s coming as Dana and her makeup flee.  Bonus points if Emma tries to get screwy and Devin finally snaps, runs down to ringside and throws Emma to the wolves without actually making a save, thus saving people from comparing it to Itami & Bálor

Prediction: Asuka

30-Minute Iron Man Match – NXT Women’s Championship
Bayley © vs. Sasha Banks

Rob McCarron: The only title match on the show. First ever female main event on NXT Takeover. First ever Iron Man Match in NXT. First Iron Man Match in WWE since 2009. Rematch of arguably the best female match in WWE history. There is so much to this main event match that it is difficult to speak on without feeling it is all over hype. I’m hopeful of a low-fall affair, with Bayley winning 1-0 or 2-1. From a ring psycology perspective, it’d be difficult to work a 1-0 match with Bayley leading, unless that fall comes at the very end. I’d love for the NXT crew to plan a 1 fall Iron Man Match. Whatever it is, I’m looking forward to it. From this point on, I’m reclining, anticipating, and enjoying.

Prediction: Bayley

Joey O’Doherty: 30 mintues of Sasha Banks and Bayley? Yes, please. Sasha will once again show how badly she is being misused on the Main Roster by delivering a great match with her NXT rival. Bayley to win, 2 falls to 1.

Prediction: Bayley

Alex Wendland: Another Takeover, another four-star-plus NXT Women’s Championship match. Almost old hat at this point, but the matches are still spectacular. I originally thought Takeover: Brooklyn would be Sasha Banks’ sendoff to the main roster, but it makes sense that her rematch serves as the true goodbye to NXT. The prediction is obvious, but I’m really looking forward to this match.

Prediction: Bayley

Jeff Hawkins: I stand by my assertion that this could have waited, that the end of Brooklyn was such a perfect moment, we needed a cool down title match to establish Bayley as a champion (Emma being my choice for a great match to get both some credibility). Afterwards, we can then reintroduce Sasha back for “A Matter of Respect.” That said, if you can’t get excited for this, I feel bad for your soul. Rob and I earlier reviewed the Rude vs Steamboat Iron Man from WCW Beach Blast 92 (STR Episode 70) and I expect this match to go about the same way. Sasha gets up 2-0, forcing the “ultimate underdog” to win three in a row and squeak it out. Hugs, tears, standing applause and more as the closing shot focuses on Bayley. My love for the NXT 4 is well known, even if something isn’t as well rehearsed as before, I expect it to be compelling and great.

Prediction: Bayley

There you have it, the Voices of Wrestling NXT Panel preview and predictions for this Wednesday’s NXT Takeover: Respect. Do you agree or disagree with our assessments? Join the discussion on the VOW Forums! Be sure to check back on Wednesday night for your full NXT Takeover: Respect coverage, which includes a written review right after the show, as well as our first ever Shake Them Ropes live video post-show. The show will stream live here at VoicesOfWrestling.com and on our YouTube channel!