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WWE NXT TakeOver: London predictions: Finn Bálor vs. Samoa Joe, Bayley vs. Nia Jax & more

NXT, WWE's Developmental flagship-turned-competing brand, will be putting on their latest live special tomorrow (Wednesday, December 16, 2015) in London, England's SSE Arena. The two hour TakeOver: London airs at 3PM Eastern exclusively on WWE Network

Set for the card:  NXT champ Finn Bálor defends against his former tag partner Samoa Joe, while Bayley's in her first TakeOver match as champ against someone other than Sasha Banks and will battle Nia Jax. And the newest tag champs Dash & Dawson will be the latest to give Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady at shot at the top honors in the pairs division.

Plus, two big matches with championship implications and a whole lot of bad blood behind them. Apollo Crews goes one-on-one with Baron Corbin, and Emma finally gets in the ring with Asuka.

If you're new or just getting back in to what many feel is the best wrestling show WWE produces week-in and week-out, we've got a preview that breaks down each of the matches on the card coming up for you tomorrow morning. And, we've assembled a motley crew of Cagesiders who watch & love NXT to give us their thoughts & predictions on each.

Let's get to it.



Samoa Joe vs. Finn Bálor

Sean Rueter: This show is full of matches where what them to do is different from what I think they will do, so I'm torn on most of these. On a Sean-booked show, Joe wins to set up a feud with Sami Zayn and eventual loss to Hideo Itami, who Bálor then feuds with as a heel. But I think NXT is all in on Finn, and is only using a win over an indy legend like the Samoan Submission Machine to build the Irishman's legacy. So... Prediction: Finn Bálor

Kyle Decker: Despite winning the title in July, this will be only Finn's third challenger for the NXT title, and that includes the Apollo Crews one to set up this match. Because of that, Finn's reign as champ has felt underwhelming. He's likely not getting called up right before WrestleMania season, so there's no reason to take the title off of him this soon. Instead, I see Joe serving as his toughest task to face, a task that he will overcome. Pick: Finn Balor

ReverendKain: End of the line, Finn. Joe's gonna exorcise the Demon right out of you and go on to hold the NXT title for longer than he held the ROH title. Well, okay, maybe not, but I still think Joe's going over in a real classic. Prediction: Samoa Joe

TMadeBurner: I've really enjoyed what's become of Joe on NXT and (and I feel almost silly saying this at this point, because it's "developmental" and because 3/4 others may say the same thing...) I'm just not feeling Finn all that much when he's not wrestling in the ring but... I still don't think we're getting a Joe title reign. Finn wins, moves on the Corbin/Crews. Joe loses, moves on to Sami.

Bayley vs. Nia Jax

Sean Rueter: Actually, I lied. This is one exception...there's no way they're taking the belt off Bayles yet. The only question is if they try to keep Jax's undefeated streak alive with a schmoz, but I really doubt they go to that well after the way they had to structure the win over Eva Marie. Plus, I'm always in favor of getting the "undefeated streak" gimmick off the table. Prediction: Bayley

Kyle Decker: This one is posing some prediction issues for me. While conventional thinking is that Bayley will survive at least one more tough challenge, if there's a call up in the future for her to face a heel Charlotte, she'd likely drop it here. Because I don't think Nia is ready to be the champ just yet, and I'm skeptical Bayley is getting a call up real soon, I think the Hugger will retain here. Pick: Bayley

ReverendKain: Whatcha gonna do, Nia Jax, when the Bayster and all of her Hugamaniacs run wild on you? Classic babyface vs. monster heel action in all the best ways. That said, I do expect a twist here, because Bayley doesn't have many obvious contenders in the wings just yet. I'm assuming that will be Eva getting involved and causing a DQ at some point, leading to either a gimmicked rematch or some kind of multi-woman title match next. Prediction: Bayley by DQ

TMadeBurner: If they wanna bring Bayley up, it makes sense for her to drop the title here. It'd get Jax over HUGE as a heel but... I haven't seen a wrestler who is ready for that particular role as of yet. Bayley retains via DQ and all red shenanigans.

Dash & Dawson vs. The Realest Guys

Sean Rueter: NXT has booked themselves into a corner. While Enzo & Cass will always be popular, I think that another loss on a big stage damages their long-term viability...especially after they went full serious on the go home show. The tag championship has always been the one Triple H is willing to play around with, creatively, and despite my love for #NoFlipsJustFists, the Mechanics will be back. Prediction: Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady

Kyle Decker: I feel if the Realest Guys don't win the titles now, they never will. Now that' a distinct possibility, but given the fact that the tag titles change hands more than any other title in NXT, and the fact that Enzo and Cass are super over everywhere, I expect a title change in England. It'll be that big exciting title win for the UK crowd. I don't envision a long reign; however, and think Dash and Dawson will win them back soon. Pick: Enzo and Cass

ReverendKain: The time has sort of come and gone for the Realest Guys, I reckon, with Jordan and Gable champing at the bit for their own shot and New Day in desperate need of a team who can go toe-to-toe with them on the mic. Just hope my boys don't keep them out too long after they break some more legs. Prediction: Dash & Dawson

TMadeBurner: Feels a bit rushed for the Realest Guys to get the title at this particular moment, but NXT has shown a willingness to "hotshot" their tag titles, if none of the others. With the addition of NWA Saturday nights to the Network, I can't stop pretending Dash and Dawson are both long lost members of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew (or at least Dawson is...) and I love it. But Zo and Cass were the either the first or second thing I loved about NXT...

I'm going to say we keep the titles on Dash and Dawson, because they need them way more. Zo and Cass are over regardless of straps and don't really need them. I wish they'd been the ones to get the big tag W in Brooklyn instead of the VaudeVillains.

Asuka vs. Emma

Sean Rueter: If I could call in a favor for any match on this show (and I can't, because I have zero pull with anyone anywhere), it would be to get Emma's arm raised at the end of this one. With Dana involved, you can easily protect Asuka...up to and including dragging an Australian knocked out by a kick over the Japanese woman's body for a pin after shenanigans. Emma deserves, if not a title run, then at least a main event feud. But I doubt she gets it - at least not here. A loss to Asuka doesn't hurt too much, and it's not like the joshi star doesn't deserve the win herself for her phenomenal work in the short time she's been here. Prediction: Asuka

Kyle Decker: Emma is really doing some of her best work right now in NXT. Unfortunately, that's not enough to keep her from getting her head kicked off. You've poked the bear, Emma. Now Asuka's gonna kill you.. and smile while doing it. Pick: Asuka

ReverendKain: This feels like the biggest toss-up on the card. But... I feel like Asuka's running hot until she runs right into the title. Sorry, Emma, not your day. Prediction: Asuka

TMadeBurner: To hell with my head, I'm going with my heart and my heart wants an Evil Emma win (does she have ANY that matter, ever?) and I want Dana doing wonderful Dana things on the outside of the ring. So I'm going withEmma wins after interference.

Apollo Crews vs. Baron Corbin

Sean Rueter: This is a coin flip, because they're clearly high on both guys - who've been built so that a loss isn't the end of the world. I'd go Corbin as a nod to the length of his run, but they'd have beaten Apollo now if they were going to - and his scene with Finn last Wednesday indicates they still want that program to continue. Easier to do if both guys win in London. Prediction: Apollo Crews

Kyle Decker: Somewhere along the line, I can't pinpoint when, I've come to really enjoy Corbin. I think these two are going to have a really fun match at TakeOver. My guess Crews will be the major baby face that replaces Finn upon his eventual call up and because of that, I think Apollo will defeat Corbin tonight. Pick: Apollo Crews

ReverendKain: On one hand, Baron "Fuck Dragon Gate" Corbin's crusade against indie dudes is just about the greatest thing. On the other, Apollo ain't a stepping stone, he's a final boss. Cue up the Dschinghis Khan, because somebody's about to learn that Dragon Gate does in fact mean "I'm better than you." Prediction: Apollo Crews

TMadeBurner: Not REAL sure on this one. I think Corbin is as ready as he's going to be to join the main roster, so I don't think he needs to continue to collect Ws on NXT and Crews is the new hotness on the streets. I'd say smoz but I think we're already going to see one or two of those later in the card. Crews goes over, Corbin heads to the main roster shortly thereafter.


That's who we've got. Who are you taking, Cagesiders?

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