NXT, WWE's Developmental flagship-turned-competing brand, will be putting on their latest live special tomorrow (Wednesday, June 8, 2016) at their Full Sail Live homebase in Winter Park, Florida. TakeOver: The End... airs at 8PM Eastern exclusively on WWE Network
Set for the card: Samoa Joe and Finn Bálor rematch for the NXT title on a third straight event, The Revival try to win their tag belts back from American Alpha, Nia Jax tries to crown her monster run by beating Asuka for the Women's title, Shinsuke Nakamura battles Austin Aries and Mexican sensation Andrade "Cien" Almas debuts against Tye Dillinger!
If you're new or someone who only checks out NXT for the live specials, we've got a preview of each of the matches on the card coming up for you tomorrow morning. Today, we've assembled a motley crew of Cagesiders who watch & love NXT (welcome Marc Normandin of Rudo Radio fame to the gang!) to give us their thoughts & predictions on each.
Let's get to it.
WWE NXT TakeOver: The End... PREDICTIONS
Finn Bálor vs. Samoa Joe
Sean Rueter: Conventional wisdom says this is a feud-ender, but I think these guys are just getting warmed up... Just kidding, although the troll in me would be entertained if they ran this as the main event for a solid year. With the main roster needing bodies soon, I could see both guys on Raw and SmackDown by the end of next month and they've done a great job of making both their stories interesting, so I'm really going with the brand's history of not hotshotting titles. Pick: Samoa Joe
Kyle Decker: In general, this is going to be a tougher NXT card to predict than usual given the impending brand split on the main roster. That increases the possibility of both men in this match getting called up despite the winner. However, that all being said, I think Joe is going to win this match and Finn will get to focus on being full time on the main roster. Joe may eventually get the call, but he's still the best to anchor NXT during what could be a pretty big roster turnover. Pick: Samoa Joe
ReverendKain: Finn is a terrible friend. All Joe wanted was one title match, man! One title match, and you had to duck him. Ain't even mad, just disappointed. Anyway, I've predicted Joe taking the match every other time these guys have matched up on PPV, I ain't gonna stop now just because I'm probably finally right. I mean, hey, where Joe comes from, they had a whole show of nothing BUT cage matches every year. Check and mate, Lego boy. Prediction: Samoa Joe
TMadeBurner: Struggling a bit trying to figure out if they'll have Finn become the first 2x Men's champ or if they'll keep rolling with the absolutely on fire Samoa Joe. If I had any feel for whether or not Finn would be going to the main roster this prediction would be easier, but with AJ's turn and re-aligning with The Club I'm not sure where he slots in at the moment. Anywho, Crazy Joe Samoa retains his title because I just think he's too damn good in his role right now.
Tonya Rodgers: I know the "Finn's never getting called up" jokes are fun but I think he just had unfinished business as a face before joining certain "club" around Sumerslam time. It's Joe's turn with the title. Winner: Samoa Joe
Marc Normandin: It seems unlikely that NXT would let the Demon version of Finn take the L here, at least not outright. Intentionally allowing the as-of-now undefeated Demon persona to wrestle in a cage match where anything goes, one that Balor seems destined to lose, seems like the perfect avenue for some kind of outside interference that sets up Finn and the Demon's next feud. This is the end of this feud, after all, regardless of how it concludes.
Asuka vs. Nia Jax
Sean Rueter: Having a hard time seeing them taking another step back with Nia after they spent the last six months re-building her after London, and I feel a Triple Threat coming on for Brooklyn. Asuka's first singles loss has to be part of a bigger story, too... I wonder what Eva Marie is doing this week? Pick: Nia Jax
Kyle Decker: Bayley still needs her title rematch/NXT farewell match, which I bet will be in Brooklyn. And it needs to be against Asuka, who was the woman to beat her. We've seen Bayley/Jax twice already and that's not as intriguing as another show down between the Empress of Tomorrow and the Hugger. Pick: Asuka
ReverendKain: Man, neither of these experiments have really worked out, have they? Yikes. Whoever wins here has to be losing in Brooklyn, one assumes. So I'll go ahead and pick the one that results in a smoother title lineage. Prediction: Asuka
TMadeBurner: Nia's theme tells me she's not like most girls. I disagree because most girls will lose to Asuka and Nia is no different. She's also shown a penchant for getting choked out and guess what Auska's finisher is?? (I don't care if a chicken wing isn't technically a choke. It's close enough for me.) Asuka, all day.
Tonya Rodgers: Winning against Bayley in Dallas did more to damage Asuka than a lot of us imagined. Besides, the real story here is Jax versus Bayley, isn't it? Not saying this is who I want to win, but it wouldn't be a shock. Winner: Nia Jax
Marc Normandin: Jax vs. Asuka is going to be fascinating given Nia is the first wrestler Asuka has shown even the slightest bit of hesitation toward. It's not quite Nia's time yet, though, not with Bayley vs. Asuka still a possibility down the not-so-distant road.
American Alpha vs. The Revival
Sean Rueter: Following house show results - and last week's upset loss - I'd talked myself into Dash & Dawson's losing streak meaning they're setting us up for them winning back the belts. But unless Finn becomes the first two time NXT champ later on tonight, Gable & Jordan are the brand's biggest babyface champs right now. Here's guessing it stays that way. Pick: American Alpha
Kyle Decker: I feel there needs to be a title change on this show, partially just so it all doesn't feel so predictable. I'm going to go with the title change here. For one, the Revival have a feud with Ciampa and Gargano waiting for them if they win. Add that to the rumblings of an American Alpha call up sooner than later, and I'm going with fist not flips. Pick: The Revival
ReverendKain: This seemed a pretty cut and dry retention for Gable & Jordan for a while, but now Gargano and Ciampa are in the picture and the brand split hungers for bodies and it seems like anything might happen. So when it doubt, mark it out: my boys are takin' some more knees and becoming the first team to repeat the tag straps. Prediction: The Revival
TMadeBurner: Should be a dynamite matchup, hopefully it's just the Dallas match cleaned up a bit. I think these two have great chemistry and really do a nice job of standing as a counter point to one another. I can't kick the feeling that American Alpha (really Jason Jordan...) could be in line for a nice main roster push/run with the brand split and I'm going to go with my heart here and say The Revival retains and becomes 2 time champs.
Tonya Rodgers: Really have no clue here as NXT has spent more time building up Gargano and Ciampa as a threat in the division than focusing on the actual champs. Just a shot in the dark on this one for me. Winners: American Alpha
Marc Normandin: This is the more intriguing rematch on the card, since it hasn't been done again and again, and it still feels like there is room for these two teams to surprise. It's hard to see Gable and Jordan failing to retain, though, not unless Dash and Dawson cheat their way into the titles en route to a sooner-than-later promotion of the current champs. So, maybe it's not that hard to see American Alpha losing after all. Let's get weird.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Austin Aries
Sean Rueter: PleaseletBobbyRoodeshowup, PleaseletBobbyRoodeshowup, PleaseletBobbyRoodeshowup. Doubt they hang a loss on Swagsuke in his second meaningful match, but a Dirty Heels beatdown after he wins doesn't seem out of the question. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura
Kyle Decker: I get the impression that WWE believes Shinsuke has a higher ceiling and longer term future in WWE compared to Aries. Austin can do great things in WWE and could even find himself on a main roster due to the brand split, but I don't think the plans for him go as far as they do for Nakamura. Because of that, I think Nakamura remains undefeated a bit longer and gets closer to an NXT title feud prior to his inevitable call up. Pick: Nakamura
ReverendKain: Tight fit, this one. Nakamura, by all rights, should be headed to the main roster by the end of the year, so he doesn't really need the win, as such. But do you really want him losing his second PPV match? A dude as charismatic as he is, does it really matter? The real story here, in any case, is probably actually Aries solidifying his heel turn with some dastardly move or another. How rude, huh? Prediction: Aries
TMadeBurner: The match itself will be good, but I feel very little investment in either guy right now based on what they've done with/in WWE. Can't see any way they don't put Nakamura over here, especially since Aries is most likely going full blown heel and you can easily forgive losses when someone turns and they probably haven't invested nearly as much into AA as they have with Nakamura. Nakamura wins.
Tonya Rodgers: I cannot wait until Swagsuke knees Aries' face off. Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
Marc Normandin: Aries wants to prove that he doesn't deserve to be overshadowed by Nakamura like he has been, but there's a flaw in that theory, and Nakamura is going to kick that realization into Aries' head.
Andrade "Cien" Almas vs. Tye Dillinger
Sean Rueter: Tranquilo, Perfect Ten. This is not your moment. Pick: Almas
Kyle Decker: I dunno.... it may finally be Dillinger's time. (It's not.) Pick: Almas
ReverendKain: Gee, I wonder who will win this, the handsome man with a losing record or the INCREDIBLY handsome man who is making his debut. Hmm. Prediction: Almas
TMadeBurner: I love Tye, I really do. He's made the most out of his time away from Jason Jordan and turned into a fun character who I hope they do a little something with in the future what with the assumed NXT raid coming with a brand split. Now, I may give Tye a 10 but I'm not an idiot. Andrade (and his mouthful of a name) are being groomed to be a special guy and special guys don't lose to Tye Dillinger. Andrade wins, keeps it 100.
Tonya Rodgers: Tye has shown he is a pretty good choice for a debuting name's first match. I expect this match to be a pretty good one as my friends in the Daily Open Thread are all in on Almas and I trust their opinions. Winner: Andrade Almas
Marc Normandin: The hope here is that Dillinger is taking babysteps towards his babyface push, and that he'll come closer to winning this than any of his other high-profile bouts. “Closer,” since Almas is debuting and is more than likely getting the win here. Especially with the Cruiserweight Classic up next on the calendar.
That's who we've got. Who are you taking, Cagesiders?