NXT, WWE's Developmental flagship-turned-competing brand, will be putting on the latest of their quarterly live shows tonight (Wednesday, May 20, 2015) at Full Sail Live in Winter Park, Florida. The two-hour TakeOver: Unstoppable airs at 8PM Eastern exclusively on WWE Network
Set for the card: Kevin Owens defends his NXT title against former friend (and champ) Sami Zayn, Sasha Banks puts hers on the line against former tag partner Becky Lynch, and much, much more!
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 rundown of what lead to each of the six matches on the card for you right HERE. 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.
WWE NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable PREDICTIONS
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Sean Rueter: As the great Selina Gomez sang, the heart wants what it wants. And even in the face of injury, a call-up and the fact that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to take the belt off of KO right now, I'm sitting here racking my brain trying to justify a way to pick The Likeable One. Alas, I can not, but I still feel a great deal of anticipation for tonight's main event. Either because they have to write him out for treatment/rehab or just to not make him look like a chump before he gets called up, Triple H, William Regal and company will need to tell a story with these two tonight. It's a tough task, but given the way they present the main event players on NXT, I seriously doubt it will disappoint. In fact, with an Elimination Chamber match looming, I'm wondering if it won't include a certain Face that Runs the Place... Pick: Kevin Owens
KDidz: Before Raw, Owens was my clear pick. And despite having a PPV match in two weeks against John Cena, my pick remains. The Elimination Chamber match does not feel as much as a main call up for Kevin as it does a big WWE Network push. Then there's Zayn's injury of unknown severity and the fact Zayn is a better chasing a title than holding it. Plus, I think Sami will be seeing the main roster full times sooner than later. Owens is superb as NXT champion and there are plenty of stories left to tell with him. Pick: Kevin Owens
Tonya Rodgers: Sami Zayn is injured. Kevin Owens just dropped John Cena on RAW this past Monday. Yeah . . . I think Owens will be NXT Champion when he faces the United States Champion at Elimination Chamber. Hopefully, we see a great ending to this stage of the Owens/Zayn saga. Pick: Kevin Owens
Eddie Mac: Sami Zayn gets a DQ win over Kevin Owens due to a John Cena run-in. God, do I feel dirty writing that. But it does two things: fuel the impending match between Cena and Owens at Elimination Chamber, and continue the Zayn-Owens feud because they must fight to the death.
ReverendKain: Been a real rollercoaster to get to this one, huh? Tempting as it is to assume they're getting the title off Owens so he can swap to the United States Championship at Elimination Chamber, Sami's hurt, and it still makes more sense to keep the belt on Owens as a result. I'd rather see these guys pick up round four of their career-long meta feud on the main roster over said United States Championship, but if Zayn must win the NXT Championship back, I bet dollars to donuts it'll be at NXT TakeOver VII: Final Battle in a Fight Without Honor. Pick: Kevin Owens
TMadeBurner: I'm a Sami guy. Have been since he debuted but dude... you should have kept his son's name out yo mouth! This one isn't going to be about the match, it's going to be about the beating Owens is going to administer. Kevin Owens by complete and total destruction of Sami Zayn, save for one bout of fighting spirit. Pick: Kevin Owens
Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch
Sean Rueter: I actively try to watch wrestling with a fan/mark's eyes, but no show gets me as regularly as NXT. Even factoring in my love, love, love for The Boss, however, I'm not seeing what folks who see this as "could go either way" or time for a title change are seeing. Banks is getting better in the ring and at playing her character - she's delivered as much as Owens has, she just hasn't received as big of a spotlight. Bex's time will come, but that time ain't now. Pick: Sasha Banks
KDidz: This is probably the toughest call because I could see either taking this. However, Sasha is still super over and when she loses the title, it will be after a more epic build up. This feels like just the beginning for these two, especially because the other women are already occupied with their own foods. Sasha retains the first leg of this feud and fully sends Becky face. This is also my pick for match of the night. Pick: Sasha Banks
Tonya Rodgers: I don't think Sasha's reign as NXT Women's champion is done just yet but Becky makes just as much sense with the title. Sasha losing could add another dimension to her character but I think Bayley will be the one to knock the BOSS down. So my prediction is these two women will put on the match of the night and Sasha Banks will leave as NXT Women's Champion. Pick: Sasha Banks
Eddie Mac: the nBEXt Revolution begins when Becky Lynch submits Sasha Banks to win the NXT Women's Championship.
ReverendKain: Not even gonna try to hide it behind a veneer of logic and intuition and words-- I'm a Becky Lynch mark, and Sasha is leaving the ring Wednesday night with at least one less arm attached to her body. Pick: Becky Lynch
TMadeBurner: Unabashed BAWSS mark. But if I take that hat off this is, honest to God, the most excited I've ever been for a women's match. As recent as early 2014 I was completely against women's wrestling because all I'd seen was the main roster in WWE. Goodness, I couldn't have been more wrong because these WOMEN on NXT and flat go and know how to tell a cotdang story in there. This all still feels a little early for Becky as she's not exactly faced a ton of adversity and she's just becoming a fleshed out character. I expect there to be some chicanery at one point or another and we're getting The Bank Statement for the finish. Pick: Sasha Banks
Blake & Murphy vs. Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady
Sean Rueter: Worries me that I don't see any title changes on this show, but I calls 'em like I sees 'em. The Smack-talker Sky-walker and his giant friend don't need the belts to be over, whereas the Dubsteppers are just finding their groove as heel champs. The way you keep both things going is by having Pigtails and the Australian One cheat to win at Unstoppable. Pick: Blake & Murphy
KDidz: It still feels to me that Blake and Murphy are generic heels and their gimmick doesn't seem to have a lot of legs. Cass and Enzo, on the other hand, are quite possibly the most over act in NXT. Talent as over as they are should hold the titles representing the company. The Realest Guys finally get some gold tonight. Pick: Enzo Amore & Colin Cassidy
Tonya Rodgers: While the Realest Guys do not need the tag titles to remain relevant on NXT, the NXT tag titles really need some heat. Some reason for people to really care. Now, they could go the route where Enzo and Cass are Susan Lucci with the titles and they chase and chase and seem to never win. But I really think they would do wonders for the importance of those belts because the NXT fans care about the duo so much. Plus, we need a title change, right? Pick: Enzo Amore & Colin Cassidy
ReverendKain: Toss-up for me. Obviously the Port Authority are a hot act, and Dubstep Cowboys still feel like the definition of "interim champion", but I don't feel an obvious pull one way or the other. But I'm here making predictions so... Blake & Murphy retain, possibly involving Carmella/Alexa Bliss shenanigans. Pick: Blake & Murphy
TMadeBurner: (First, they're the Dubstep Cowboys. I flat out refuse to call the tag champs anything else until that is the official team name): I'm of two minds here; all the stuff with Carmella smells like an official heel turn is coming but at the same time I think that would be silly after I think she's just getting over as part of the crew. I'm tentatively taking Enzo and Cass because they'll just be the most fun with the belts. Pick: Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady
Finn Balor vs. Tyler Breeze vs.
Sean Rueter: I have no doubt that the plan here was for Hideo to go over and continue the program they teased so incredibly on Twitter. Damn you, injury gods! Perhaps because of how focused I was on that, I can't really see either of the other two men winning. Doing Balor again doesn't make sense unless he puts the paint on and wins, and I don't see anyone on the current roster who doesn't call him fans Zayniacs taking that belt from KO. And while I'd trust NXT Creative to book a fascinating heel vs. heel program for Owens & Breeze (which I still hope they try someday - after they win the tag titles together), they're very protective of keeping Kev a villain, and I can't see how they turn Prince Pretty in time for a title program. So, I'm going to glom on to Haitch's "representation" remark from yesterday's conference call and pick whoever that dude turns out to be. Pick: Samoa Joe or Sesugh Uhaa or someone else for a quick, one-off feud with the champ
KDidz: Before Hideo Itami's injury, he would have been my clear pick, leaving Balor and Breeze to feud with each other. Now that he's out, Finn Balor makes the most logical choice. He's lost to Owens, but that's because he left the demon at home. We still need to see how Owen fares against the demon. Also, while it would be fun, I don't feel they'll want to go heel vs heel this soon after Owen's feud with Sami. Barring a non-finish that sets up a triple threat for the title, Finn gets the win here leaving Prince Pretty without a clear feud. Pick: Finn Balor
Tonya Rodgers: Based off of his promo on Kevin Owens, I would have predicted Itami to win to go on to challenge for the NXT title. Since he is out and barring that nothing else changes, I would have to go with Balor. It feels like he and Owens have unfinished business. If the champion was anyone other than Owens, I might go with Breeze as I feel he deserves a one on one title match. But, alas, Prince Pretty gets passed over yet again. Pick: Finn Balor
ReverendKain: Before Hideo got hurt, I would have guaranteed he was winning and challenging Owens. But with him on the shelf... I dunno. Balor had a shot at Owens already, and keeping him in NXT is leaving money on the table. Breeze has the alignment clash issue, but NXT's shown willingness to have a little nuance in their alignments, and Owens is the biggest uggo in the room, proverbially, so I'm going with Prince Pretty on this one. Pick: Tyler Breeze
TMadeBurner: Out of all the matches on this card, this is the one I'm most confused about as I think you can make a good case for either healthy man coming away with the victory. That said, I'm going with my heart here and hoping for a Prince Pretty victory. I don't think anyone else, save for perhaps Tyson Kidd, has utilized NXT as effectively as Breeze has to A) Get better in ring and B) Perfect his character while tying it into his ring work. Breeze has a character I understand and love and while THEDEMONFINN is an awesome entrance, he's not a fleshed out character for me yet and I wanna see Breeze call either Sami or Owens an uggo. Prince Pretty by Supermodel kick into Glamour Shot. (Yes, I know I'm wrong but the heart wants what it wants). Pick: Tyler Breeze
Bayley & Charlotte vs. Emma & Dana Brooke
Sean Rueter: Kind of a rarity for NXT booking in that I don't think either outcome will really change anyone's position or impact their story that much. I've got a lot of heels winning in these picks and if there's someone here that would benefit the most from a live event pin it's the Hugster, so... Pick: Bayley & Charlotte
KDidz: This match is really a way to get these two feuds (well one a half feuds) represented on the show. While I think it's possible that Charlotte does the job for Dana one on one during a taping before her call up, this is a good spot to get her a farewell win on a TakeOver special. Plus the Huggable One could use a big win which seem too few and far between for her. Pick: Bayley & Charlotte
Tonya Rodgers: Charlotte does not need a win and Emma could use all the wins in the World. Bayley losing would be better for her story arc and Dana going over either one of these women only gives her more bragging rights as the Total Diva. So, totally don't be jelly when she and Emma win, okay? Pick: Emma & Dana Brooke
ReverendKain: This ain't gonna be the end of this-- running a tag match is treading water and Charlotte has to be finally shipping off soon. My pick for "match that delivers way bigger than you expected it to" for the night, though, what with Emma's newfound love for working the leg and the tag format to hide Brooke's weaknesses. Heels win, possibly because Charlotte can't hide her disdain for Bayley again and/or Emma fakes making up and Bayley goes full Sting in falling for it. Pick: Dana Brooke & Emma
TMadeBurner: Charlotte is a Flair and Bayley is dumb like Sting but I actually don't see the turn coming here (maybe I'm as dumb as Sting?). Hopefully Charlotte is on her farewell tour so I'll say Charlotte eats whatever the heck Dana's finish is called and takes the L here. Pick: Emma & Dana Brooke
Rhyno vs. Baron Corbin
Sean Rueter: Another reason to love NXT...the following is what I'm thinking about one of the matches on the card, and it's not either of the two women's bouts - Please go at least five minutes and not suck. Pick: Baron Corbin
KDidz: Make no mistake about it: Rhyno is here to put people over. Sure he gets wins over some nobodies, but when it comes to actually featured NXT talent, Rhyno's job is to make them look good. That's what he's going to aim to do against Corbin. Pick: Baron Corbin
Tonya Rodgers: I cannot bring myself to care about Baron Corbin. I don't get the love. I'm not intimidated or impressed by anything other than his finisher. I could go on but he's not really worth the criticism to me until I actually see him in a match, a real match. One that goes on for a while. Until then, I don't think I will feel any differently. Hopefully, I will get what I want against Rhyno. Pick: Baron Corbin
ReverendKain: This one seems too obvious, and the shine has been off Corbin for a while now, so something has to give. I figure Rhyno picks up a win so he's not just an old guy who loses a lot. Regardless, I just hope they make it a real hot brawl of a match and not a plodding borefest like Corbin/Dempsey was. Pick: Rhyno
TMadeBurner: OG Corbin fan here but I need to see a fun brawl for at least 5 minutes here as it's been long enough with Corbin. Pretty please? Corbin wins with End of Days countering the GORE GORE GORE! Pick: Baron Corbin
Those are our predictions. What are yours?