NXT TakeOver Orlando
April 1, 2017
Amway Center

Watch: WWE Network

Voices of Wrestling 2017 WrestleMania Weekend

Meet our previewers:

  • Rob McCarron: Host, Shake Them Ropes. Pioneer, Wrestling Broadcast Journalism. Twitter: @ShakeThemRopes
  • Lee Malone: OTT show reviewer. VOW’s newest recruit. Twitter: @Malone_713
  • Alex Wendland: VOW utility editor and previously NXT reviewer on this very website. Twitter: @AlexWendland

SAnitY (Eric Young, Killian Dane, Alexander Wolfe and Nikki Cross) vs. Roderick Strong, No Way Jose, Tye Dillinger and Ruby Riot

Rob McCarron: A showcase for the debuting Ruby Riot, as well as the true launching pad of No Way Jose and Roderick Strong. What’s unclear is the future of Tye Dillinger. This story has been set up around his recruitment into SAnitY by Eric Young. He has declined at every turn. Does he finally accept, begrudgingly, to avoid future beatings? Does he even end up in NXT much longer? Or could someone from his team betray the group and side with SAnitY to protect his own interests? Hopefully this turns into a more chaotic sprint than a long battle with many a rest hold built in. No one needs to see Wolfe work Jose’s chin for fifteen minutes. Prediction: Strong, Jose, Tye and Riot

Lee Malone: The epic (in length anyway) feud between Sanity and Tye continues and hopefully reaches it conclusion at Takeover. There are plenty of talented workers in the match but that may not be enough if its a more storyline driven encounter. Expect Ruby Riot to get plenty of opportunities to shine throughout. I can see Roddy scoring the winning fall as a way to begin his climb towards an NXT title shot. Prediction: Strong, Jose, Tye and Ruby

Alex Wendland: The odds are finally even following the debut of Ruby Riot. Riot’s debut explains why they would burn the 3-on-3 on the penultimate episode in the run to Takeover. Roderick Strong, No Way Jose and Tye Dillinger have to be the only faces in any brand under the WWE umbrella who are unable to overcome the #oddz, though. Tye is in that weird spot where he doesn’t have much else to do in NXT, but would have even less to do on the main roster. Still, this match is jam-packed with great talent and the build has been strong. I’d bank on Riot scoring the pin to set up a singles match with Nikki Cross. Prediction: Strong, Jose, Tye and Ruby

Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Aleister Black

Rob McCarron: It’s a shame Andrade Almas has become more like CJ Parker than Finn Balor in the year he has been around. Almas, one of the most consistent performers in NXT over the last year, is a potential star. Hell, he has already been a star on this continent. However, the lack of direction for his character early on, the lack of a top level opponent early on, and the lack of a super catchy entrance theme have all been his early downfall. Being the gatekeeper for Black doesn’t help… unless he wins and sends Tommy End back to Europe. Which won’t be likely, unfortunately. Prediction: Aleister Black

Lee Malone: With a strong Euro and hardcore fan presence expected in the NXT crowd this is the perfect place to debut Black. Im sure he will get a massive reception and if given time this match could well steal the show. Almas is unfortunate to find himself as the new gatekeeper of NXT as he is clearly able for so much more. And in time I think he will achieve a lot more but for now Cien is definitely going to Fade to Black. Prediction: Aleister Black

Alex Wendland: Aleister Black is going to be a big deal and he isn’t going to lose his debut. That said, there’s a way to do this match in which Black wins, but Andrade Almas looks as good as he has in the past couple of months on TV. Give these two 15 minutes in the ring and the rest of this show will have a lot to live up to. The outcome is obvious, but how they get there will tell a larger tale. Prediction: Aleister Black

NXT Tag Team Championship
The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) (c) (with Paul Ellering) vs. #DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder)

Rob McCarron: Authors of Pain are being set up to be part of an amazing match here, and this will help them in many ways as far as becoming more respected by the NXT audience. This has all the makings to be the true show stealer on Takeover Orlando. It also could be the Revival’s farewell. Prediction: Authors of Pain

Lee Malone: This will be a great match. But it also feels like one Takeover match too many for both #DIY and The Revival. It seemed both teams reached their logical conclusions in NXT when losing the titles and subsequent rematches on TV. But the Authors need strong opponents so why not beat both on the same night. The Authors are improving and this match should go a long way in helping both their reputation and their own confidence. Prediction: Authors of Pain

Alex Wendland: The Revival have been NXT stalwarts for two years now and this has to be their time to move up. The team is still great in everything they do, but they’ve wrestled everyone in the division and they’ve been spinning their wheels since the end of the DIY program. When The Revival is tacked onto another program, you’ve got a writing problem. I think Dash and Dawson are the first team eliminated from the match and then DIY and AOP reset for a more traditional tag team match. The combination of the two should be the best match on the show. Prediction: Authors of Pain

NXT Women’s Championship
Asuka (c) vs. Ember Moon

Rob McCarron: Nikki Cross had a little sprint of momentum earlier this year, but it went nowhere fast. Now, Ember fills the role of challenger in a situation of bad timing. She definitely feels like a threat to Asuka, she just doesn’t feel like the current threat. Ember Moon has been a lot of fun since debuting, and a run with the title definitely freshens up the women’s division in NXT. Is it her time, though? That moreso depends on WWE’s plans for Asuka on Raw or Smackdown than it does on Ember’s readiness. In the ring, expect a really good match that will be among the best of the weekend in WWE land. Prediction: Ember Moon

Lee Malone: Ask me this three months ago and without a second’s consideration I’d have said Ember Moon. But now, it just doesn’t feel as if Asukas reign has reached its end. And Ember hasn’t quite connected as well as many people expected her to. Does any of that matter? Maybe not if the plan is for Asuka to move up post WrestleMania. Still though I don’t think Ember is going to be the woman to eclipse Asuka on NXT. Prediction: Asuka

Alex Wendland: VOW boss Rich Kraetsch and I probably spent more time on this match than any other on the Takeover card during my appearance on part two of the VOW flagship WrestleMania preview pod. We probably did so because there are more directions this can go in following Takeover than any other match on the card. Asuka could lose and debut on WrestleMania the next night. Asuka could win and continue her reign of perfect terror on NXT. Or this could be the beginning of a two or three match series between Asuka and Ember Moon. A high-level series of matches between these two would keep the shine on the NXT women’s division along with the upcoming Ruby Riot/Nikki Cross feud while the back end of the division catches up. Before you know it, the NXT women’s division could be in better shape than it was when the Four Horsewomen were still there. Prediction: Asuka

NXT Championship
Bobby Roode (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Rob McCarron: NXT took the title off of Shinsuke before, only to put it back on him in a big spotlight. Maybe NXT just feels that Shinsuke battling for the title, rather than defending it, is the better drawing card. If so, than he absolutely wins here and sends the crowd happy into the next day’s WrestleMania. Or, if rumor is to become fact, and Shinsuke is WWE main-roster bound, then Bobby retains here and we get sent into Roode-Black bland. I mean land. Bland, what a funny slip. Prediction: Bobby Roode

Lee Malone: Has there ever been a less anticipated NXT Title match? Has there ever been a less anticipated title match involving Shinsuke? Is this lack of anticipation the Roode factor? Probably. We all know Bobby will be a steady hand for NXT while the bigger names disappear to the main roster but man is this a cold build to a supposedly big rematch. And it seems fairly predictable that Shinsuke isn’t going to be hanging around on the Florida loop much longer, he is destined for much bigger things. Prediction: Bobby Roooooooooooooooooooode

Alex Wendland: Here’s the thing with Shinsuke Nakamura going to the main roster: is that schedule going to propel him to greatness? He’s 37 years old now, and he’s rightfully bored on the NXT Largo loop, but his big matches have all been disappointing! We expected the Shinsuke we got at Takeover: Dallas to be the Shinsuke who showed up to every Takeover, but that hasn’t been the case. Austin Aries, the Samoa Joe series and the first Bobby Roode match all under delivered. Is this just the Nakamura we’ve got now? There are a world of fresh matchups on the main roster, but that schedule (and main roster booking) will do the strong style savior no favors. As for Bobby Roode, he’s here, too. Prediction: Bobby Roode

Voices of Wrestling 2017 WrestleMania Weekend