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WWE NXT TakeOver: Orlando predictions: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bobby Roode, Tag Triple Threat, more!

NXT, WWE's Developmental flagship-turned-competing brand, will be putting on their latest live special tomorrow (Saturday, April 1, 2017). And they’re sticking with the concept of pre-”Big 4” event with a show on the eve of WrestleMania. TakeOver: Orlando comes our way from the Amway Center at 8PM Eastern, exclusively on WWE Network.

Set for the card: a battle for the future of the brand, as NXT champion Bobby Roode tries to continue the Glorious Era he began in San Antonio - he’ll have to once again defeat a healed up and pissed off Shinsuke Nakamura to do it. We’ll find out if Ember Moon is ready for undefeated Women’s titleholder Asuka, while tag champs Authors of Pain defend their belts against the two previous teams who sat atop the division, #DIY and The Revival, in an elimination Triple Threat.

In non-title action, Andrade “Cien” Almas tries to keep his recent win streak going against the debuting Aleister Black. And the long-simmering hostilities between Eric Young’s SAnitY and Tye Dillinger & friends come to a head in an 8-man tag that will also mark Ruby Riot’s first official televised match for WWE.

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 to give us their thoughts & predictions on each.

Let's get to it.



Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bobby Roode

Sean Rueter: He may be going to England with the team, but I just don’t think Nak is long for (don’t call it) developmental and people leave NXT on their backs. The crop of babyface challengers is also slightly closer to being ready-for-primetime, too. Pick: Bobby Roode

Kyle Decker: Nakamura isn’t long for NXT. It just feels like he’s in that twilight era like Finn was after losing the belt to Joe and how Joe was after losing the belt Nak. Bobby Roode should retain here and go onto his next feud. Maybe it’s finally time for that Dillinger program? Pick: Bobby Roode

ReverendKain: I mean, Bobby Roode's coming off a victory over the Greatest of All Time, Chris Hero Kassius Ohno. What makes Shinsuke Nakamura think he can win? Might as well just stay home, buddy, maybe give Ishii a call and reminisce about old times in Chaos. Pick: Bobby Roode

Stella Cheeks (of the always awesome NYD podcast): Bobby Rooode! (Said like Rupaul) It feels very much like the NXT farewell match for Nakamura – which is great. The main roster could really use him. Plus, Roode is an excellent champ and will have many great, pardon me, GLORIOUS feuds in NXT. I hope their entrances take at least 10 minutes. Each. Pick: Bobby Roode

Andrew Swift: Nakamura is almost certainly making his main roster debut Monday or Tuesday, right? Pick: Booby Roode

OurLadyJustice (aka Dea): Not the worst build ever, but it might be one of the most nonexistent ever. In my mind, there's no way Bobby Roode should've beaten Nakamura the first time outside of injury or shenanigans, and they went with injury. This time, I can't imagine Bobby Roode not winning if for no other reason than I feel like Shinsuke Nakamura is destined for slightly different pastures. Pick: Bobby Roode

Erin Cline (the more enigmatic half of Not Your Demographic): I predict GLORIOUS entrances from both men, and if Shinsuke gets a full orchestra he’s DEFINITELY losing. I’m hoping to see Nakamura again before WrestleMania week is over though…. Pick: Bobby Roode all the way

Asuka vs. Ember Moon

Sean Rueter: While WWE hasn’t made as big a deal out of it as we have, I still think there’s mileage in Asuka’s winning run - so much so I might even have her be the exception to the rule when it comes to losing on your way to Raw or SmackDown. Plus, they should get themselves out from under another undefeated streak while they can. As long as she doesn’t hit the move they’ve made this angle about, they can always say Ember doesn’t lose when she hits the Eclipse. Pick: Asuka

Kyle Decker: Tough call here. It doesn’t look like Asuka is getting called up right away, even though I’d love to see her on the main roster kicking ass and taking names up there. Also with a streak not yet hitting Goldberg’s, they may want to play that up and have it lose it afterwards. Ember has had the least character build of any challenger as I can remember and it may not be bad to serve her up a loss and rematch this down the road. Pick: Asuka

ReverendKain: This is the part where I get a bit cynical about the state of NXT and feel bad for doing so. I have every bit of faith that Ember is capable of being the next pillar of the women's division as anybody. She has the talent, she can do it, for sure. But this feels like it's too soon, that her NXT run hasn't shown enough development to take her to the title. And so, I think she's gonna win. Pick: Ember Moon

Stella Cheeks: Don’t think they’re quite ready to take it off her, and frankly I don’t think Ember is quite ready yet either. I do think this is the beginning of a long running feud - something that the NXT women’s division desperately needs. The last few weeks we’ve seen an attitude change in Asuka setting her up to be the cocky heel champ vs Moon’s upstart babyface. Regardless of what happens we need lots more Asuka laughing in everyone’s face. They deserve it. Pick: Asuka

Andrew Swift: Rev’s reasoning seems painfully accurate. Can’t help but think that this should be Nikki Cross’ victory, who NXT really should have pushed to the moon after San Antonio. Pick: Ember Moon

OurLadyJustice: Would've been salivating for this match months ago, but for some reason, I'm only mildly interested, and that kind of sucks. The build has just not really grabbed me. I think they want us to believe Ember is the woman who'll unseat Asuka as Empress, but it's just not working for me. I don't think Ember's ready for Asuka. Pick: Asuka

Erin Cline: Asuka has been champ forever and unless they are planning on moving her up soon (which seems unlikely) they need to keep doing new things with her. This heel persona she’s developed is a nice change and I hope they let her continue to do it, but I honestly don’t need her to be champ anymore. I think the division could benefit from a new champ to make it seem like someone like Billie or Peyton could eventually win the title. They’re going to beat the piss out of each other though, that much I know for certain. I’m going with my gut on this one... Pick: Ember Moon

Authors of Pain vs. #DIY vs. The Revival

Sean Rueter: Because a card needs a title change, I don’t see Akam & Rezar retaining. And while either of the other two teams winning would pop a ‘Mania weekend crowd, this show also needs a ‘feel good’ moment, and that’s what Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa (especially Gargano) are made to provide. Pick: #DIY

Kyle Decker: I’m going with a title change here in order to spice things up this show. The elimination match makes it a bit tougher to take the belts off the Authors because they need to get pinned to lose. But they can eliminate them first with a 4 on 2 team and then let DIY and the Revival work their magic. Or they can have Gargano and Ciampa overcome both teams. Either way, the change feels needed because with no teams waiting in the wings, they’ll need to extend this feud a bit longer as they build some other teams. Pick: #DIY

ReverendKain: Beef attracts beef, it's a simple law. As long as Heavy Machinery are waiting in the wings, the Authors are gonna keep their titles warm for them. It pains me to pick against WWN Icon Johnny Gargano, but here I am... Pick: Authors of Pain

Stella Cheeks: Triple Threat for the tag team championship – Why don’t I care about this? Hmmm…oh yeah AoP is involved. I frankly hope they are eliminated first and we just get another amazing #DIY vs The Revival match. What I think will happen, however, is Revival gets eliminated first, they pull shenanigans to distract #DIY from winning again, but against all odds #DIY pulls off a miraculous win against AoP. Pick: #DIY

Andrew Swift: If it guaranteed we would see both DIY and The Revival up on the main roster within the week, I’d love for Authors of Pain to win here. As it is, they’ll still probably win, but DIY will continue in developmental while they could quickly be breakout stars on the main roster. Pick: Authors of Pain

OurLadyJustice: Best story, best build for this TakeOver. This is the match I'm mostly excited about for the entire weekend of WrestleMania. It could be awesome. It could be disastrous, but with the Revival in there, it will at least be very good. As much as I want the #TopGuys to win, I'll be all right with Authors of Pain retaining. Pick: Anyone but #DIY

Erin Cline: Man, I really don’t care about this match. I just can’t get excited about AoP. Uhhhh AoP retains and Revival moves up to SmackDown. And #DIY moves up to RAW. I dunno, I don’t care. I like the wrestling style of AoP but “Paul Ellering is our coach” is not enough to get me excited about their characters and I feel about them like I felt about Revival a year ago - who are you? which one is which? why are you both this bland???? - and I’ve come around hard on Revival as they’ve grown and developed their characters though so maybe I’ll come around on AoP eventually too. Anyway... Pick: Authors of Pain

Aleister Black vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas

Sean Rueter: Poor “Cien”. Hang in their, bud, your time will come. Pick: Aleister Black

Kyle Decker: Weird having Almas, who it looks like they’re still high on, go up against the debuting Black. Because Black will win his debut. TakeOver debuts most often do. Pick: Aleister Black

ReverendKain: Can we just talk for a moment how cool it is that WWE is letting Tommy End do his full-on King Diamond "Hail Satan" Anti-hero gimmick as a babyface? What a world. Pick: Aleister Black

Stella Cheeks: This is the match I am most excited for. I love Tomm….Aleister Black! I have been really into his package(s) and am always on board for creepy, mystical characters. I think Almas is the perfect opponent for Black’s debut. They are both excellent wrestlers and the dynamic of an arrogant heel that no one likes against a mysterious baddie that we’re all obviously going to love is good booking. Pick: Aleister Black (because magic)

Andrew Swift: Debutants don’t lose in NXT. Pick: Aleister Black

OurLadyJustice: Colored me interested. Although I find myself in deep confusion over Almas being Black's first opponent, I'm pretty sure this'll be a fantastic match. I mean, I hope it will be. Otherwise, this'll be the worst move since having Almas face Dillinger. Regardless, I'm very excited to see Aleister Black in action. Pick: Aleister Black

Erin Cline: Literally don’t even care who wins, this match is going to be dope. This is technically the debut of Black so my gut is that he wins, but NXT has done a good job in the past of not making it inevitable that a newbie wins their debut so it’s possible they have him fight a hard match to lose to Cien’s heel shenanigans in the end. Going against my first instinct, because Cien needs a win. Pick: Andrade “Cien” Almas

SAnitY (Eric Young, Nikki Cross, Killian Dain & Alexander Wolfe) vs. Tye Dillinger, Ruby Riot, No Way Jose & Roderick Strong

Sean Rueter: EY’s crew only stated goal since the hit the scene was to recruit Tye, but it doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen - not even for a short, Daniel Bryan in cover-alls stint. Time for the Perfect Ten to win on a Saturday night, and move up to re-start his issues with the Glorious One. And, more Ruby/Nikki, please. Pick: Dillinger, Riot, Jose & Strong

Kyle Decker: Everyone in team good guy/gal could use the win here. If Tye is eventually going to find himself in the title picture (and he damn well better), picking up a win here would help go that way. Roddy and Jose could use the win. And this is Ruby’s debut match, a win would make sense. Pick: Dillinger, Riot, Jose, & Strong

ReverendKain: I mean, if you can't see the way the wind is blowing on this one, I can't help you. Pick: SAnitY

Stella Cheeks: Babyfaces all the way, it really feels like the finale of this feud. I honestly do not care what happens in this match as long we get lots of Ruby Riot and Nikki Cross action. Would also be super happy if we got some real intergender moments. If they’re going to do it, these are the women to do it with. Pick: Ruby Riot and Friends (because YAY Ruby Riot!)

OurLadyJustice: The faces gotta win this one, right? I mean, this is the end of this storyline, isn't it? Or is it? I'm just not sure of the end game here. Maybe I missed something, and if so, someone please feel free to correct my idiocy. All stupidity aside, this should be either a hot mess or and outstanding showcase. If nothing else, I hope it spawns multiple storylines for all parties involved. Pick: No Way Perfectly Strong as a Ruby

Erin Cline: This feels like the finish to Tye vs Sanity, and it’s the first time we’ll really get to see Ruby go to town, so... I think this match will be fun, and I’m hoping we get more intergender moments with Nikki and Ruby. Hopefully this leads to a longer feud between Ruby and Nikki as well. Still don’t care at all about Strong, still want to dance on the beach forever with No Way Jose. SAnitY will put out a good performance, and I’m excited to see what Dain brings to the table for his first Takeover. Pick: Team Babyface (Dillinger, Riot, Jose, & Strong)

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

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