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WWE NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II predictions: Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Asuka vs. Bayley, more!

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NXT, WWE's Developmental flagship-turned-competing brand, will be putting on their latest live special tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016). And for the second year in a row, they’re bringing us a pre-SummerSlam show from New York’s Barclays Center, which is why they called it TakeOver: Brooklyn II. The event airs at 8PM Eastern exclusively on WWE Network.

Set for the card: Samoa Joe defends his NXT title against Shinsuke Nakamura, Bayley tries to become the first woman to beat Asuka one-on-one... and the first two-time Women's champ, The Revival put their tag belts on the line against up-and-comers Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano, No Way Jose gets serious about ending his issues with Austin Aries, Andrade "Cien" Almas tries to get some momentum against the debuting Bobby Roode and Ember Moon arrives to battle the Femme Fatale, Billie Kay!

If you're new or someone who only checks out NXT for the live specials, we've got previews of the matches coming up for you between now and belltime. Right now, we've assembled a motley crew of Cagesiders who watch & love NXT (welcome SmackDown reviewer/podcaster Andrew Swift and, as part of Not Your Demographic’s awesome birthday week celebration, Stunning Stella Cheeks & “The Enigma” Erin Cline to the gang!) to give us their thoughts & predictions on each.

Let's get to it.



Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Samoa Joe

Sean Rueter: Using historical precedent, NXT features long title reigns and usually a rematch or two for the major programs. Even if a call-up prohibits the latter, I think our current champ is the guy who’s gonna lead the brand for the rest of 2016. Pick: Samoa Joe

Kyle Decker: Nakamura feels like the obvious choice, but I'm really feeling Joe here. I think Shinsuke is going to be headed up to the main roster sooner than later and Samoan Joseph will continue to hold down the fort in the developmental brand. Pick: Samoa Joe

ReverendKain: Two guys who have been in developmental far longer than they ever needed to be, right here. At least for Nakamura they had the excuse that he needed to learn some aspects of how to wrestle for WWE production, but Joe's been wrestling on cable TV for longer than WWE's been willing to sign guys like him! Anyway, picking a winner, picking a winner... I kinda think Joe's in it for a longer title reign than four months, so... Prediction: Samoa Joe

TMadeBurner: Heart over head here, Joe retains. Don't anger The Emperor of NXT. Nakamura is on to the main roster. I just think there's a lot of legs to the character Joe is developing for himself and I'm not sure a feud with Regal works all that well if he's not the champ.

Tonya Rodgers: Hmm . . . I’m just gonna go with my heart. Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Andrew Swift: Can we just have a time-limit draw, call both up, and make a tournament for the NXT Men's Championship? Could easily go with either choice here.

Stella Cheeks: Joe honestly feels like a filler champ. The feud with Finn and Joe was good and definitely had a good pay off. Nakamura is undefeated and the biggest draw at NXT. It makes sense to put the belt on Nakamura, have Joe throw a fit and leave for the main roster. Then the reign of Nakamura begins. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura

Erin Cline: I'm going with my heart on this one. Nakamura takes it. Joe is a great heel, but he has been an ineffective NXT champion. There is nothing left for him to do in NXT, he should be included in the September call-ups. There is no reason to stall Nakamura's push especially while he is a top merch seller and they are expanding the Asian market. Nakamura could eventually go up to the main roster, but Joe is a better fit up there right now and Brooklyn needs something spectacular. Joe already had a spectacular moment when he won in a house show, this could be a major moment for Nakamura, and could give this match the pop it is going to need if Bayley loses.

Asuka vs. Bayley

Sean Rueter: Oh, man, I can’t even... I know all the reasons why she supposedly “can’t” be booked to win here and how it would be “bad” for her and NXT and the future of wrestling or whatever. And I can think of a couple ways she could lose but still look like the winner at the end of the night. But I don’t care about any of them. I’M A HUGGER, DAMNIT! Pick: Bayley

Kyle Decker: I feel this is finally going to be it for Bayley. What better place to call it an NXT career than in the same building she had the epic win against Sasha last year? Without a big name woman for her to feud with after (like Balor did Nakamura), this will be it. She'll take another loss to Asuka, who may continue to turn heel in this match. Pick: Asuka

ReverendKain: Much like with the tag title situation, Bayley's got obvious work to do on the big stage opposite Sasha Banks, and Asuka's heel turn has revitalized her to a stunning degree. Asuka's gonna dismantle Bayley, and Ember Moon's gonna be right there to be the next babyface holding the women's division on her shoulders. Prediction: Asuka

TMadeBurner: This one hasn't tickled my fancy like many of Bayley's other feuds. It's OK, sometimes that'll happen. What we've been given has still been good stuff. I think Asuka retains her title, as I have no idea what else there is for Bayley to do on NXT.

Tonya Rodgers: Hello, heart, I need you again. Winner: Bayley

Andrew Swift: Yes, I know. What a surprise that Bayles' biographer picks The Hugger to become the first-ever two time NXT Women's Champion. But there's enough weirdness about all this to cast doubt on the obvious result. Presumably they'd want to give Bayley a send-off after the match, but how would they manage it? Asuka can't beat Bayley again and stay face—it kills her forever among people, like myself, that can't stand to see Bayley lose. And The Empress of Today has already started turning, victimizing poor Aliyah and then mocking Bayley during their contract signing. In that case, expect a brutalization of The Hugger to fully implement Asuka's heel turn—but then how does Bayley miraculously recover and no-sell the savage beating, in order to receive her ovation? What's more, a very green NXT Women's Division could continue to benefit from The Hugger's backstage influence and coaching, and it could work the Marks into a near-Daniel Bryan desire to see her called up. (This is the very definition of working yourself into a shoot, folks.) If there's one thing that could put Bayley over as the absolute megastar among WWE's female competitors, having her shock the world and take back what is rightfully hers would do the trick. Basically, I just can't pick Bayley to lose. Sorry not sorry. (Also everyone else is going to pick Asuka, so.) I'm giving a wedding speech Saturday night in Dubuque, Iowa, and based on the schedule, it'll probably be delivered simultaneously with this bout. And yes, my last written line is to tell the guests to "Turn it up" and have some fun.

Stella Cheeks: Going with my heart here. I want Bayley to win. I want her to have another run with the belt. At this point I would rather the Raw and Smackdown rosters get a little more stable and established before Bayley comes up. No matter who takes the belt, I think it will be a killer fight. Pick: Bayley

Erin Cline: Okay, here's the thing, I don't think that both belts are going to switch. But I also don't think that NXT would have both of their belts on Asian Superstars (which is bullshit ... but... it's WWE). And if Joe retains and Bayley wins it's a pretty big middle finger to their Asian market which they are trying to tap into heavily right now after expanding the network into Japan and China. So, the top two are a crapshoot. I am going to predict that Asuka keeps it, because I think it makes more sense to keep it on her - there is not anything left for Bayley to do other than to symbolically win it and solidify herself as the first 2 time women's champion in NXT, but what then? I feel like if Bayley loses and then moves up it puts her in more of the underdog position again, which is really essential for her character (as she herself has said, too). By giving her circumstances to work against as she moves up, as opposed to showing up as the only 2 time women's champion, makes more sense for her character.

Ciampa & Gargano vs. The Revival

Sean Rueter: Run on back to your bingo halls (which are actually probably 15,000 seat venues where you’ll work Raw as part of their cruiserweight division), J & T, this is Top Guy business. Pick: The Revival

Kyle Decker: I find myself using potential feuds to try to guess who will win this. Looking at this alone, I think the Revival is the easy choice to continue as tag champs. They probably shouldn't lose until a call up. However, if the Authors of Pain are eventually going to be champs, then they'll likely beat a face team. Then again, that may be a ways off since we still don't even know their names. For now, I'm going to go with Fists over Flips here. Pick: The Revival

ReverendKain: 2016, baby! With Gargano and Ciampa soon under exclusive deals, and SmackDown both hurting for tag teams AND featuring long-time Revival nemeses American Alpha, I don't see any reason why they shouldn't win the tag titles here. And then, you know, Johnny Gargano shows up with the belt around his waist for his September farewell shows, Evolve 68 and 69. Prediction: Gargano & Ciampa

TMadeBurner: My personal favorite match on the card. The Revival are probably the best tag team in the world of pro graps right now and given the couple of weeks Ciampa and Gargano have had, I'm really struggling to decide who wins here. Would almost feel like it's too short of a second reign for The Revival to drop the title, but The Revival should also probably be called up soon to bolster SD's tag division and The Author's of Pain won't be winning the titles off heels. Plus there's a nice break up story already simmering with Gargano/Ciampa. AND THE NEW.... Pick is Gargano and Ciampa.

Tonya Rodgers: So, I like watching the Revival in the ring but I really hate those guys and always want them to win, which is a good thing. It means they’re working for me. Also, as someone who absolutely LOVES Tomasso Ciampa and all that he stands for, I would love to see him leave Brooklyn with gold. Winner(s): Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa

Andrew Swift: There's a Cruiserweight Division coming to Raw next month. It's not a bad idea to bring in two very well-known wrestlers (among the people most excited for the new division) in Ciampa and Gargano and have a program between the two establish a high level of quality in storytelling and ring work. I don't exactly want to see the Psycho Killer turn on Johnny Wrestling, but... One champion retained their title last year in Brooklyn, and one champion will retain here as well. There's no obvious place for The Revival, as American Alpha are still being established as the top stars on the blue brand.

Stella Cheeks: The Revival retains by cheating. I think this is a feud they can really build. They don’t have tons of tag teams right now, so building a boss feud would be a good idea.

Erin Cline: ...I really want Johnny and Tomato to win, and now that they have full time contracts it seems like it could be more likely. Though I honestly think that they would both be better off in the Cruiserweight Division on RAW, so it would make more sense to keep the belts on The Revival. So I'm going with Revival, but will 100% cry tears of joy if Gargano and Ciampa win it.

No Way Jose vs. Austin Aries

Sean Rueter: That Dominican guy doesn’t even dance as well as A-Double, why should I think he can out-wrestle him? Also, I don’t want this feud to end here, because I want to see more unhinged Jose. Pick: Austin Aries

Kyle Decker: Unlike Bobby Roode/Andrade Almas, this is the match where the older guy should put over the young'un. In his time working with Aries, No Way Jose has been more interesting and showed more fire. This program has done exactly what it should for the young guy and I think it'll end with him picking up the win to continue to elevate the rookie. Pick: No Way Jose

ReverendKain: No matter the outcome, I don't think this one is over yet, although it may well culminate in tag action as part of the Dusty Classic, if that is indeed happening again this year. So in mind of that, the logical next step in the arc is for the bad guy to knock the good guy into the dirt, ergo... Prediction: Austin Aries

TMadeBurner: Feels like I'm going real heel heavy with my winners, but oh well. I think No Way Jose spends much of the match exacting physical revenge on Aries for his dancing shenanigans but ultimately Aries wins with some form of cheating in a match where Jose looks far FAR superior.

Tonya Rodgers: So, I realize I may just be picking my winners based on whose music I like better but, hey, what’s wrong with that? Winner: No Way Jose

Andrew Swift: Aries' run in NXT has been less than impressive, and Jose's a rising star. His promo calling out Aries for being a coward demonstrated a fire we'd not seen previously, and bodes very well for his future. Put the belt on Jose!

Stella Cheeks: As much as it breaks my heart I think No Way Jose wins. Boyfriend puts up a good fight, but Jose needs the win. I'm sure Aries hubris will be his downfall. His sexy, sexy downfall.

Erin Cline: I'm going No Way Jose. Austin will lead the match for the most part and maybe Austin gets the best of himself, setting Jose up to rage out and beat him. I've really come around on Jose, so I hope he does win. Austin Aries will always be the sexy dirtbag, so wins matter less for him.

Andrade "Cien" Almas vs. Bobby Roode

Sean Rueter: Both guys are turning in the not-too-distant future, and I think the powers-that-be know this. So, I think they just do it now, since that way it will actually help the former La Sombra. Pick: Andrade Almas

Kyle Decker: While the blue print here is for the young guy to go over the established vet, Almas' roll out has been less than stellar. Plus it'd be weird for GLORIOUS Bobby Roode to lose his first NXT match. GLORIOUS Bobby wins and they can use the loss to refocus Almas in another direction. Pick: GLORIOUS Bobby Roode

ReverendKain: This one has a tricky line to walk, in that Almas is a dude whose reactions have been kind of weak and Roode's have been super strong, but you don't want to accidentally double turn them. So I'm kind of thinking it's on Roode to play the consummate rulebreaker here, just use all of his considerable talents to force Brooklyn to get behind Almas. And I'll be totally honest, I'm rooting for a loss here just because I want Roode to jump right to a new version of his classic "You! Fluke! ARGH!" nigh-wordless promo from after Aries beat him for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship back in the day. Prediction: Almas

TMadeBurner: Cien isn't working as currently configured and Roode shouldn't be eating a loss in his debut match. Roode by somethhing glorrrrrrrious.

Tonya Rodgers: GLORIOUS! Yeah, you can’t not win your debut match with entrance music like Roode’s. He won’t give in until he’s victorious. Winner: Bobby Roode

Andrew Swift: Really wish I could be in Barclay's to sing "Glorious" with 15,000 of my smarky brothers and sisters. Almas' roll out, partially thanks to Full Sail, partially thanks to bizarre characterization (that attire? that theme? that finisher?) has been little short of disastrous. It's hard to remember any other TakeOver debutants falling so far, so fast. Only one possible result here, and it will be GLORIOUS.

Stella Cheeks: Bobby Roode and it will be GLORIOUS. I cannot wait to see his ring gear. I have VERY high expectations. I mean anything will look better Cien and those stupid suspenders. Pick: Roode

Erin Cline: I don't knoooooowwwww!!!!! How can either of them lose? Roode can't lose because it's his first match, but if Cien loses it'll kill his momentum. Though, he has already been marred by going over at the expense of Ty Dillinger. I hope Roode wins and it forces Cien to somehow never wear those suspenders again.

Ember Moon vs. Billie Kay

Rev & TMB had already submitted their picks when this match was made.

Sean Rueter: As an Athena mark from way back, I actually don’t care what happens, as long as I finally get to see her wrestle again. But there’s no way she’s losing. Pick: Ember Moon

Kyle Decker: Billie will be doing her best Tye Dillinger impression for this one. Pick: Ember Moon

Tonya Rodgers: NXT debuts always win and I am looking forward to seeing Ember Moon. My good friends in The Daily assure me that I will not be disappointed. Winner: Ember Moon

Andrew Swift: A debut win for the next big NXT female star. Hopefully the Brooklyn crowd will be familiar with her Shimmer work and give the former Athena a strong reception.

Stella Cheeks: Ember Moon for sure! I cannot wait for this match!! I am living for these teasers!! I hope this match makes me fall in love with Billie and Ember.

Erin Cline: Ember Moon has to win this one. It would make literally no sense to debut her and have her lose. I mean, c'mon. Excited to see her for the first time regardless!


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

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