Friday, August 21, 2015

Who will main event NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn?

There is no doubt that NXT will present the biggest event in their history when the stars of WWE's developmental brand play in front of a sold out 13,000 person arena. But on a packed card, it remains to be seen if the powers behind the brand will play it safe on Saturday night or if they will continue to push the Divas Revolution forward with a bold move. 

The show has been advertised repeatedly as having a double main event: Finn Balor and Kevin Owens in a Ladder Match for the NXT Title and Sasha Banks vs. Bayley in a NXT Women's Title match. Both matches promise to wow fans, but only one could create an incredible marketing and news coverage push for an already intriguing brand. 

Image credit: WWE.
But I don't think this will be the day that happens sadly. While Sasha Banks and Bayley could put on a hell of a main event, the poster above makes it seem clear what match gets top billing. And while it is a shame, it is not surprising from a company that always seems to take the simpler way out. If WWE is ever to succeed as a true entertainment brand, risks will have to be part of their operations. This could have been a great chance to take such a risk.

Now don't get me wrong, Balor vs. Owens will be a great match especially with two men that know what they're doing in a ladder match. But their feud feels like the end of a great battle between two great competitors while Bayley vs. Sasha Banks feels like a crowning of a new era for the NXT Women's title. Both matches should blow the roof off the Barclay's Center, one way or another. 

The rest of the Takeover: Brooklyn card is also incredibly solid. The Vaudevillains versus Blake & Murphy is probably the weakest match on the card, but interference by Alexa Bliss will sharpen things up, as will the mysterious ally that Gotch and English will bring to the show. (Leva "Blue Pants" Bates is most people's guess. I'm going for a longshot and picking English's real life fiance Shaul Guerrero.) 

Samoa Joe should take Baron Corbin through one of his best matches ever. Corbin desperately needs to move into longer matches with stronger competitors as his dominating Lone Wolf gimmick is tiresome. Joe should put him through a heck of a match and I suspect, give him his first clean loss. 

The former Uhaa Nation, Apollo Crews, will make his television debut against Tye Dillinger in what will be a bad sign for "The Perfect 10". Dillinger seems to have moved into CJ Parker's spot as jobber to the stars. If he's lucky he can build a short feud with Crews out of this, but I expect Apollo will get a sharp push towards the top of the card. 

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Despite two great main events, my pick for match of the night is Tyler Breeze versus the debuting Jushin "Thunder" Liger. Even thirty years into his career, Liger can still bring tons of action to the wrestling ring. Breeze is on the top of his game in the last couple months. Breeze may be the NXT stalwart now, but he's proven time and again that he's every bit as good as the top NXT talent despite his lack of indie credentials. 

Overall, the two hour Takeover: Brooklyn looks like a stronger card than SummerSlam the next night. Even the Divas four-way, the eight-man tag and the re-debut of Bull Dempsey recorded for next Wednesday looks phenomenal. NXT is now firing on all cylinders and whether Sasha & Bayley main event or not, they will make a true mark on the wrestling world come Saturday night. 

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