Tonight, WWE will present NXT Takeover: The End, an event that will feature the first ever steel cage match in the history of NXT as the main event when Finn Balor takes on Samoa Joe. The event will be on WWE Network starting with a pre-show at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Many people in the IWC (internet wrestling community) have been wondering what “The End” means. If you read groups on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else online, people think that “The End” meant that the end of NXT Takeover specials. This is far from the truth because during the week, WWE COO & one of the main producers of NXT – Triple H – confirmed that NXT Takeover: Brooklyn will be taking place during Summerslam weekend in August.
We feel as though NXT saying “The End” is meaning two things: the end of the Balor/Joe feud & the end of this crop of NXT talent. While the entire roster won’t be moving up to Raw & Smackdown, with the brand extension coming in July, there will no doubt be some NXT superstars brought up to the main WWE level. Balor is one of those guys who has been rumored to be coming up. Many thought he would be a part of “The Club,” which features former Bullet Club members Karl Anderson, Luke (Doc) Gallows, & AJ Styles. While that would remind many fans of the Bullet Club, knowing WWE as well as we do, they will have Balor doing something completely different for a while, hopefully something that won’t diminish his character & momentum that he has formed in NXT.
All of that said, here is the DraftKingsMaster preview for NXT Takeover: The End:
Shinsuke Nakamura Is About To Become The New Face of NXT
The match at NXT Takeover: Dallas during Wrestlemania 32 weekend that Nakamura had with Sami Zayn was one of the best matches in the history of the WWE & will surely be a contender for match of the year – no matter what show. Nakamura is hands-down the most charismatic & dynamic superstar in all of NXT & WWE. He commands attention from the minute his music hits, to his knee-bend when he walks through the ropes, all the way to his finishing moves in the ring.
We expect the “King of Strong Style” to have an epic encounter with Austin Aries, who is absolutely one of the best wrestlers in the world, but will be in NXT as a franchise staple of the brand for a bit & frankly because Vince McMahon has shown in the past that he is not a fan of the smaller wrestler, but Triple H is. Aries & Nakamura are going to have a phenomenal match, especially because Aries needs a five-star match at this point in his NXT career. Most hardcore wrestling fans know about his work in ROH & TNA, but he needs to have a technical masterpiece with a guy, such as Nakamura, that he can have a great dance with.
Aries had his brief feud with Baron Corbin, which was the match & mini feud that sent Corbin off to the WWE. We would have liked to see a bit more of what they could do with that feud, but it is what it is. We see Nakamura going over here because WWE is clearly building him up to be the Japanese face of the WWE, at least until Hideo Itami (the former KENTA) comes back, which should be very soon if the recent reports are correct about him almost being 100% ready to compete again. With the WWE Network about to make major waves in the Asian markets, it will be important to see Nakamura be booked strong for a while.
Aries is going to have his time to build up & there could be room for a series of matches with Shinsuke, however, it will be up to WWE to make sure to build it up a bit. We have a feeling that Nakamura could be pushed up to the main roster quickly, which is probably somehow included in his deal, but he will get more of a chance to shine in NXT than we will at Raw or Smackdown, depending on what the rosters will look like when the brand extension takes place. There are some matches taking place in Hawaii this summer where Nakamura is scheduled to take on John Cena. That could be because Hawaii has a strong Asian base or a trial run to see how Nakamura’s chemistry with one of the WWE’s top stars comes across to the crowd.
Finn Balor & Samoa Joe Will Have a Physical, Brutal Cage Match
The Finn Balor-Samoa Joe series has been a strong, very well build-up storyline throughout the winter & into the summer. Their match at NXT Takeover: London was an outstanding match & a great preview of things to come. In Dallas, they turned a match that could have been great, came off awkward because blood, into an instant classic because they just didn’t stop & they fought a physical style despite probably having to cut out some parts of the match due to Samoa Joe’s blood & time lost dealing with it.
This cage match is going to be one of the better cage matches that we will see for a while for a variety of reasons. First off, the creative team at NXT, along with Triple H, have done a tremendous job with building up the importance of the match, which already gives it a different feel & expectation than most cage matches we have seen in the last few years. Second, these two are two of the greatest technical wrestlers in the world, but can wrestle a physical, more intense style that a cage match calls for. Im expecting the level of this match to match the Bret Hart/Owen Hart cage match at Summerslam 1994.
With that said, we are going to go with Samoa Joe in this matchup. Balor has had a tremendous run as NXT Champion & there isn’t much else he can gain by having the belt. Would we all like to see a Balor/Nakamura match for the NXT Championship – sure. But Samoa Joe vs Nakamura can & will be a huge draw coming up. Joe & Nakamura wrestle very similar styles, yet approach the matches in a completely different style.
As far as Balor goes, we fully expect for him to be called up to Raw or Smackdown in the brand extension. The online insiders have teased it for a while & while im sure WWE has been waiting for the right time to bring him up. What better time than the extension when you have time to get him into a good program and get him ready for a prime position at Summerslam in August at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. If this match – basically a send off for Balor – isn’t a 30-40 minute match, that will be very disappointing. This is a stacked card in terms of talent but in terms of amount of matches, it is looking very light as of right now. Should be more than enough time for Balor & Joe to truly show why they are among the best in the world at their craft.
Asuka vs Nia Jax Will Be Strong, But Will Have Room To Grow Later
Asuka & Nia Jax are two of the growing NXT women’s wrestlers right now. Both of them have a distinct look, can go in the ring, but right now, we don’t have the big fire & excitement for this match. I think Nia Jax has a phenomenal look & has great athletic ability, but she needs more time in-ring before its time for a classic match against Asuka.
This should be pretty easy in the sense that Asuka should retain, with a rematch set-up for NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. Jax needs more time to build up her character & really make people believe that she can be a long-term women’s champion. She had a solid match against Bailey at NXT Takeover: London, but it showed there that she had a long way to go. She has come a long way from her initial debut & she is definitely unlike any women’s wrestler on the roster, but this is not the time to be the face of the NXT women’s division. We should learn more after the next round of tapings take place leading up to Takeover Brooklyn.
American Alpha & The Revival Have Taken Tag Team Wrestling To A New Level in NXT and WWE
The tag-team scene in NXT has been good ever since the brand first got going on WWE Network in 2014. Triple H has done a great job to put more emphasis on the tag-team dynamic & showing that the right teams & athletes together can make absolute magic. The Revival & American Alpha have done that. AA looks very much like the World’s Greatest Tag Team combination of Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas from back in 2003. Not many people probably thought much of Jason Jordan & Chad Gable individually at first, but once they came together as a team, they have been able to show their personalities & true athletic ability in big time ways.
On the other side of the ledger, Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder seem like two guys who wouldn’t be WWE superstars. They sound like enhancement guys for the most part. However, they are a hard-hitting, in-your-face team that can also tell a great story & wrestle a finesse style in the ring, that complements the American Alpha speed & intense cardio action. Both teams know how to control the pace of a match & all have strong athletic ability, and are getting much better on the microphone.
From a title standpoint, I think the Revival actually gets the titles back to set up the rubber match at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. This rivalry has room for a three-part series where the teams can have some phenomenal matches. There is word that American Alpha could go to the main roster at some point. I would like to see them stay on NXT for a bit longer as they can be a real force there for a bit & help develop some new rivalries in NXT & bring up some of the young teams on the rise. Tomaiso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano would have some great matches with both AA & Revival, and HHH has to make sure the guys aren’t going up too fast before they are ready, only to get buried in matches & in storylines where neither team will have a chance to fully show their skills.
Andrade Cien Almas vs Tye Dillinger
Poor Tye Dillinger. He was the guy that Shinsuke Nakamura went through at the taping after NXT Takeover: Dallas that helped propel him to the top of NXT, and it sounds like Andrade “Cien” Almas will be on the same road here.
Obviously, he won’t lose to Dillinger, but depending on the presentation & if he has changes the La Sombra ring style he used in CMLL & New Japan for so long, he will be built into a rising star quickly.
If you want to watch an event on Wednesday where there will be some actual action that won’t disappoint (hello NBA Finals), then give WWE Network & NXT Takeover: The End a view. No matter what or how our predictions turn out, guaranteed there won’t be any down time.