WWE has been running NXT Takeover events the night before major events for the last four years. And it seems each year, the developmental program outclasses the main roster with a better show.
There could be several factors to that. It could be that Triple H, whose creative skills are often admired by fans, is running the show. It could be that the talent is hungry. It could also be the specialness of those Takeover events while we’re given five hours of live main roster content to one hour of taped developmental content each week.
This weekend could be no different. With the stacked card NXT has on Saturday, I wouldn’t be shocked if they outclass the main roster again. But SummerSlam on Sunday will be no slouch, and I have a feeling we will be walking away from this weekend talking more about that show.
Lets look at what NXT is giving us right off the bat at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 4.
Velveteen Dream will face EC3 in a singles match. Dream has been wildly entertaining these last several months, and his matches have been spectacular. We know how good EC3 is and I expect this to be a great match.
The next four matches are all for titles, starting with the North American Championship. Adam Cole will defend his title against Ricochet in what could be the show-stealer. The rest of The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong) will face Moustache Mountain for the Tag Team Championships titles. In the women’s division, Shayna Baszler will defend her Women’s Championship against Kairi Sane.
That leaves us with the main event: a last man standing match for the NXT Championship. Tommaso Ciampa will defend against Johnny Gargano in what should be the end-all to this incredible story that’s been told. Aleister Black was originally supposed to be in this triple threat match, but he was written off with a storyline injury while he deals with a real injury.
Will Gargano put an end to Ciampa’s madness and leave him unable to walk out of Brooklyn with the title? What disgusting things can Ciampa do to retain? Either way, this match won’t end cleanly.
There’s a lot to anticipate on the card, right? It’s five great matches, but I think the main roster will give us even more great matches the following night.
An 8-year rivalry between The Miz and Daniel Bryan will finally boil over Sunday. Samoa Joe will look to take A.J. Styles’ WWE Championship. Can Roman Reigns finally slay the beast? Ronda Rousey is in the biggest match of her young career while a triple threat for the SmackDown Women’s Championship could be long talked about. Kevin Owens and Braun Strowman have more than just pride on the line, and the Intercontinental and United States Championship scenes just got a whole lot more interesting. That’s not to mention New Day hoping to become five-time tag team champions.
So here’s a look at the SummerSlam card with my predictions. Weekly power rankings will return next week.
Mixed rag match: Rusev and Lana vs. Andrade Almas and Zelina Vega
The perfect type of match for the preshow, this feud feels more like an enhancement on a Rusev story than anything else.
Prediction: Almas and Vega are the best, Almas and Vega number one.
Raw Tag Team Championship match: The B-Team (c) vs. The Revival
This match, surprisingly, came off of a clean win for B-Team this past Monday on Raw to retain their titles in a triple threat tag title match. It’s pre show filler, and I wouldn’t be shocked if we see some interference from the Deleter of Worlds.
Prediction: This is how The Revival is crowned, and I fully expect them to run with the “disrespect” of being on the pre show angle going forward.
Cruiserweight Championship match: Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Drew Gulak
I haven’t watched any 205 Live, but knowing the two stars, this match should be a lot of fun.
Prediction: Is Gulak still doing powerpoint presentations? I sure hope so. He wins.
Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin
This feud is still a thing, I guess.
Prediction: Balor wins.
Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens: Money in the Bank briefcase on the line
Strowman finally pushed KO’s buttons after weeks of abuse that culminated at Extreme Rules. And you know what? Serves him right. Owens was able to get a huge stipulation for this match where if Strowman loses in any way, Owens gets the briefcase. It’s the subplot to the Universal Championship match.
Prediction: I honestly don’t know, and that’s great. But I think Strowman retains his briefcase.
Intercontinental Championship match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Drew McIntyre will be in Ziggler’s corner while the returning Dean Ambrose will be in Seth’s. I fully expect that to play a factor in the outcome.
Prediction: I’m calling a no contest. A double turn by Ambrose and McIntyre on their respective buddies to set up a fatal four way for the title going forward will be fantastic.
Raw Women’s Championship match: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Ronda Rousey
Bliss cost Rousey her shot at winning the women’s championship not too long ago, and now, Rousey has a one-on-one shot to win her first title in WWE.
Prediction: Rousey wins.
Universal Championship match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns
This match will go on last, as it should. Let’s be honest, it’s the biggest match on the card featuring the two most polarizing superstars in WWE. How often is the match of the night the main event? That’s not a problem. It’s all about moments, and I feel this match will deliver with the moments.
Prediction: Reigns finally slays The Beas…. BRAAAAAAAAAAUNNNNNNNN!!!!
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz
Eight years of build has gotten us to this point. This is the match I’m most excited for and I know it will deliver.
Prediction: I’m ignoring contract stuff because I believe Bryan has signed. Miz is going to win, and he’s going to be a piece of crap about it.
United States Championship match: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Jeff Hardy
I’m kinda surprised this wasn’t a triple threat match. Doesn’t mean Randy Orton won’t show up.
Prediction: Orton costs Hardy the match and then attacks Nakamura after.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship match: The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. The New Day
New Day won a fantastic four-team tournament to earn the right to get bludgeoned. This match is going to be boat loads of fun.
Prediction: This could go either way but I don’t think the Bludgeon Brothers are ready to drop the titles yet.
SmackDown Women’s Championship match: Carmella (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair
Always the bridesmaid but never the champion. It was a great line Carmella used on Becky Lynch. As true as that may be over the last 18 months, Lynch is at her absolute best right now and has a real opportunity to win the title, even with Flair in this match. And Flair said it best: Carmella is just a diva in a women’s world now.
Prediction: Lynch wins the title, and she and Flair set up a face-vs.-face title match at Evolution in October.
WWE Championship match: A.J. Styles vs. Samoa Joe
Joe is great, especially when he’s in the title picture. Styles is just a great champion. The build has been strong and the match will be aces. I can’t wait.
Prediction: Styles retains.
If that's the case, what's next for Styles? Let's hope, that if Miz does infact beat Bryan, our next challenger will be simply awesome.