NXT rolls into Chicago on Saturday night as the development roster of WWE present perhaps the most anticipated show of the weekend. Whilst the card right now boasts just four matches, all four have benefitted from a great amount of buildup ahead of this weekend’s show in The Windy City.
NXT is obviously presented the day before SmackDown Live takes centre stage at the Allstate Arena for Backlash on Sunday night, but many of the WWE Universe feel that NXT could well steal all of the headlines this weekend.
Ahead of the show as ever The Brass Ring’s team are here to share their predictions and they include Jake Waring, Andy Arthurs, Andrew Parker, Steven Dimelow, Philipa Hopwood, Chris Rossington and Victoria Hopwood.
Phillipa, Vickie, Jake, Andy, Chris, Steven, Andrew – Authors Of Pain
Thoughts by Andy – This is a rare treat for long time NXT Viewers. The developmental show tends to steer clear of gimmick matches. They like to focus on the wrestling. But some feuds deserve some glitz. DIY vs AOP. Battle of the three letter abbreviations. The tag titles have been passed along team to team, with DIY taking the titles many months back in easily the MOTY vs The Revival. Then lost to AOP. NXT’S resident big chunks. They have been on a tear, looking like there is no man to possibly pin them in a ring. See. This is the downfall. The Gargantuans have to climb a ladder. Both teams do. A ladder that benefits DIY greatly. For me? I’m going to choose AOP. Mainly because of the King Kong imagery when they scale a ladder. Also. The end of DIY? made you wonder now…. you’re welcome.
Phillipa, Vickie, Jake, Andy, Andrew, Steven – Asuka
Chris – Nikki Cross
Thoughts by Phillipa – Ember Moon was ruled out of this match a while ago with a shoulder injury which has left Triple H with a little bit of a headache when it comes to the Women’s title picture. Asuka is still undefeated and has recently surpassed the legendary record held by Goldberg, whilst Nikki and Ruby have unfinished business with each other and no business really being in the title picture, especially since Ruby has had minimal matches in NXT since her recent arrival. It’s highly unlikely that Ruby or Nikki will be the ones to finally end Asuka’s stranglehold over the NXT Women’s Division so I think Asuka will retain, but take nothing away from these women, this will be a great match and another great advert for how far Women’s Wrestling has been able to come.
Phillipa, Vickie, Andrew, Jake, Andy – Roderick Strong
Chris, Steven – Young
Thoughts by Andrew – As much as Sanity, as a whole, are being pushed, I can’t see Strong losing this. After his promo package a few weeks ago, it’s clear that they want us to be emotionally invested in him and that they see a great future in the WWE for him. I don’t expect him to dominate Young – in fact, I see a quick roll-up counter as a way to protect Young and Sanity – but I foresee him getting the win. There seems to be the potential for a lot of the heels to go over on this show, so I would further expect Strong to go over to give the crowd something to hold on to.
Philipa, Vickie, Jake, Andy, Steven, Andrew – Pete Dunne
Chris – Tyler Bate
Thoughts by Jake – A year ago I was watching these two guys in Camden in front of 700 fans at Progress. This weekend they will be going at it in front of 18,000 fans in Chicago. I am so excited for this. Tyler has been a good inaugural UK champion and the NXT fans will be familiar with him by now. WWE launched the UK Championship over two fantastic nights of wrestling in Blackpool back in January. They put some decent storyline behind Pete Dunne and his heelish ways there, and it seemed telegraphed that he would win the tournament. This wasn’t the case, and it has worked out perfectly. A nod and a wink from HHH five months ago sewed the seeds for the Bruiserweight to take the title when the UK Championship steals the show at Takeover this weekend. I’m going to be so proud. Go on boys!
Phillipa, Jake, Vickie, Andy, Chris, Steven, Andrew – Bobby Roode
Thoughts by Steven – This match has show-stealing potential as both of these stars have the ability to continue as Champion on the NXT brand. The feud started a few weeks ago when Itami made his return and confronted the current Champion after he basically said that NXT was his show. Hideo would easily have already have been NXT Champion if his career with WWE hadn’t been plagued with injuries, he then stepped up to the challenge and managed to defeat Roderick Strong to become the number one contender. Hideo deserves this shot and against someone of Bobby Roode’s calibre, the real winner here is the NXT Universe but you have to feel that after his reign so far, it will be Bobby having his hand raised in the end.