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NXT TakeOver: In Your House 2021 preview - Kick, Push, Coast

NXT returns on Sun., June 13 with their TakeOver: In Your House event, streaming on Peacock.

The brand’s 35th TakeOver will see five belts up for grabs - including two sets in one match, and one that’s worth a million bucks!

You can find our predictions for TakeOver: In Your House here. Now let’s get you up to speed on the five matches on tap for Thursday night, and our big question for each one.

Karrion Kross (c) vs. Adam Cole vs. Pete Dunne vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Kyle O’Reilly for the NXT championship

In a nutshell

Karrion Kross is undefeated in WWE, and just twice beat a guy (Finn Bálor) that none of the other four men could beat. Those four men all have a ton of history together, via Undisputed ERA’s feuds with various Pete Dunne factions, Adam Cole & Johnny Gargano’s title rivalry, and Cole’s split from Kyle O’Reilly that destroyed the ERA altogether.

This match is a five-way because Cole crashed the #1 contender’s Triple Threat General Manager William Regal booked to decide Kross’ next victim/challenger.

The big question

How long does the Kross era last? Everyone else in the match, with the possible exception of The Bruiserweight, seems to be an NXT lifer. While this match would let him drop it without losing, you’ve got to figure Scarlett’s man holds the belt until he gets the call to go to Raw or SmackDown — because what else are they going to do with him? Whether you think a promotion is coming soon probably dictates your pick here.

Ember Moon vs. Raquel González (c) for the NXT Women’s title

In a nutshell

Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart feuded with Raquel González & Dakota Kai in the Dusty Classic and over the NXT Women’s Tag titles the winners of that tournament were handed. Neither duo has the belts now, but in vying for position in the race to challenge The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell for the straps, we got this.

González ended Io Shirai’s Women’s championship reign at the last TakeOver. So when she & Kai took out Blackheart after losing the latest tag battle between the two teams, Moon had something to go after in her quest for revenge.

The big question

Can a win over a former NXT champ and main roster player like Ember elevate Raquel in the eyes of her skeptics? Lots of people have wondered out loud if the lack of buzz around the black-and-gold brand had to do with the decision to dethrone two popular champions at Stand & Deliver. This weekend’s show is a big chance for NXT — and González and Kross — to prove the doubters wrong.

Legado Del Fantasma vs. Bronson Reed (c) & MSK (c) for the NXT North American & Tag Team titles

In a nutshell

Santos Escobar’s henchmen Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza have been circling the Tag belts for what feels like forever. It looked like they were finally going to beat MSK for them, with an assist from the former Hijo del Fantasma, but Bronson Reed showed up to ensure that didn’t happen.

Once Bronson Reed finally captured the North American championship (and Johnny Gargano moved on to the main event scene), he needed a new challenge. Escobar already seemed to be targeting the Colossal Aussie since he lost the Cruiserweight belt to Kushida shortly after proving himself to the one, true king of that division by beating Jordan Devlin. And because, like MSK’s Wes Lee & Nash Carter, his main character trait seems to be that he’s friends with all the other babyfaces, and babyfaces don’t back down from a challenge, the newly aligned trio accepted this match.

The big question

Are they going to push the former King Cuerno as anything other than a mid-carder? An MSK loss doesn’t feel out of the question (the tag belts have been treated the same way in NXT as they are on the main roster for a while now), but since this is winner takes all, it doesn’t seem like they’d pull the plug on Reed’s NA title run so quickly. Mendoza or Wilde will almost certainly take the pin, but that still doesn’t do a whole lot to project Escobar as big star.

Cameron Grimes vs. L.A. Knight in a Ladder Match for Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar championship

In a nutshell

Cameron Grimes returned from some time-off a rich man, thanks to some smart investing (#STONKS). He decided to do what any pro wrestler would do in that situation... act like Ted DiBiase. That caught DiBiase’s attention, and the Million Dollar Man didn’t approve. Or at least, he wanted Grimes to prove himself worthy of his schtick.

Enter L.A. Knight. The former Eli Drake has been telling the NXT Universe what a big deal he is since he arrived. Ted seemed to agree, until Knight lost a match due to a Grimey distraction. Now DiBiase is hanging his prized possession above the ring, and letting the two ex-Impact guys duke it out for his affection... and the Million Dollar belt.

The big question

Who gets the last laugh? And I kind of mean that literally! Knight’s a great at playing an arrogant heel, but if he wins here, it will probably be via some kind of schmoz that leads to the tag team my buddy Kyle is predicting. So either Cameron Grimes continues on his way to the moon by thwarting the Million Dollar Man to laugh alone in victory, or he and DiBiase laugh together as Ted finally embraces a new protégé.

Xia Li vs. Mercedes Martinez

In a nutshell

This match came together pretty quickly, but there’s lots of story behind it.

Mercedes Martinez beat Xia Li in the first Mae Young Classic. Mei Ying brought Li into the Tian Sha fold by telling her she’d disgraced her family back in China. Now that Xia has been refocused by Ying’s brutal training techniques, can she avenge that years ago loss to the legendary Martinez?

The big question

We’ve got a few here... will the Tian Sha story progress, notably by having Ying do something other than breathe knockout gas at Mercedes? And is this another NXT swan song for Martinez before she heads off to another main roster EVA-lution?

Join us in our live blog and we’ll see if we get any answers to our big questions - and how blown away we are by the show. What questions do you have? What match do you think will impress the most?

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