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WWE NXT TakeOver: XXX predictions - Lee vs. Kross, Cole vs. McAfee, more!

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WWE NXT will be putting on their latest live special, TakeOver: XXX, tomorrow (Sat., Aug. 22, 2020). Their annual SummerSlam eve show also happens to be the 30th TakeOver event... thus the name.

The card set to come our way tomorrow at 7PM Eastern, from Full Sail Live and exclusively on WWE Network, looks to be the usual high quality we’ve come to expect from the black-and-gold brand.

If you’re new or someone who only checks out NXT for the live specials, we’ve got a full preview of the matches coming up for you between now and belltime. Right now, we’ve assembled a motley crew of NXT-following Cagesiders to give us their thoughts & predictions on each.

Let’s get to it.

WWE NXT TAKEOVER: XXX PREDICTIONS

Keith Lee (c) vs. Karrion Kross for the NXT championship

Sean Rueter: This is almost solely based on the fact Trips doesn’t hotshot this title. Except when there are going to be multiple changes in a feud. Which could be the case here. This is hard. Pick: Keith Lee

Kyle Decker: I think Kross eventually wins this feud, but I think they find away not to make that happen tonight. Maybe Lee wins tonight. Maybe it’s some double countout or DQ shenanigans. Something to delay the inevitable. Pick: Keith Lee

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: The man of the hour, the king of the ring, intelligence and power. The best verse the greatest, he’ll make you famous— one Spirit Bomb and your whole life changes... Pick: Keith Lee

Stella Cheeks: This one is tough. On one hand, Keith Lee is still in his prime as NXT Champion. NXT doesn’t mess around with championship reigns and his reign should be limitless (heh). On the other hand, Kross is the new big bad wolf of NXT. He’s the apocalyptic boogie man in the dressing room. He can’t really afford a clean loss here. I think Lee picks up the win, but it’s full of Scarlett level shenanigans. Pick: Keith Lee

Henry T. Casey: Unless Raw is about to get Limitless, this is not the time. To carry on from where Claire left off, Bask in his glory, you all know the story, Lee started on the football field but wanted more. See the full contact made him react, threw anyone and everyone and that’s a known fact. And at TakeOver XXX, from the top rope Keith Lee reigns supreme. Pick: Keith Lee


Dakota Kai vs. Io Shirai (c) for the NXT Women’s title

Sean Rueter: Big Mami Cool will make it more interesting, but there’s so much more for Io to do as champ. Pick: Io Shirai

Kyle Decker: This has always felt like a one-stop feud between the two, one where Dakota looks good but Io wins. Pick: Io Shirai

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: NXT loves a long title reign, and if Dakota hasn’t gotten hers yet, I don’t think it’s happening here. Pick: Io Shirai

Stella Cheeks: This match is about making Dakota look tough, but further solidifying Io’s reign as champion with a clean win. Rhea wants her title back and will stop at nothing for a championship match and it would be a damn shame if Io dropped the title before facing Mercedes. There is no scenario in which Io drops to Dakota, there’s too much left for her to do. Pick: Io Shirai

Henry T. Casey: It ain’t gonna be Kick SZN until we get Io vs Rhea for the title and Io vs Mercedes too. Pick: Io Shirai


Cameron Grimes, Damian Priest, Bronson Reed, Johnny Gargano & Velveteen Dream in a ladder match for the NXT North American title

Sean Rueter: Didn’t understand why NXT was so high on Grimey at first, but I do now. He’s taking this belt to the moon, baby! Pick: Cameron Grimes

Kyle Decker: Been feeling like this has been Priest’s match to lose the entire time. Pick: Damian Priest

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: I haven’t been into what Johnny’s been doing for a long time now, but he’s still my boy. Pick: Johnny Gargano

Stella Cheeks: We need a goofy champion. Io is a badass. Keith is a powerhouse. Santos Escobar is intimidating. Imperium are stoic. We need some COMEDY people. Cameron Grimes, while not actually a comedy wrestler in NXT, is a fantastic talker and the more he leans into this...character based off a weird hat I guess...the more entertaining he becomes. Pick: Cameron Grimes

Henry T. Casey: Damian Priest needs his name to live in infamy sooner or later, right? This would help. I want Cam Greazy to take it too, but I feel like Priest/Reed is the feud in the cards, but Reed could stand to lose more for fans to care about him more (damn I’ve watched too much Evolve). Pick: Damian Priest


Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee

Sean Rueter: Called Kyle O’Reilly betraying his old ROH rival back when this program started, and I’m sticking to it. The battle for the soul of Undisputed ERA is gonna rule. Pick: Pat McAfee

Kyle Decker: Much like Sean, I feel this leads to an angle involving Cole getting booted from the ERA. That’s not going to happen if Cole wins dominantly. A loss probably because of KOR is likely. Pick: Pat McAfee

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Oh boy. Look, Adam Cole is one of the most decorated wrestlers of the last decade, and Pat McAfee wears stupid shorts. I ain’t buying it. Pick: Adam Cole

Stella Cheeks: He cut a pretty good promo, but one good promo does not a wrestler make. Story line wise, it makes sense for Cole to lose, but McAfee embarrassed the NXT locker room and insulted Trips. Also, the shorts. He can’t come out on top! Can he? Pick: Adam Cole

Henry T. Casey: Adam Cole lost his boys their chance at the title with his temper, giving them reason to betray him. But you call them up to the main roster someday as a unit, right? Pat McAfee is not a pro wrestler, though, and that’s what I keep telling myself about this match. And that’s why my pick goes *BOOM*, Pick: Adam Cole, Bay-Bay


Timothy Thatcher vs. Finn Bálor

Sean Rueter: Hopefully this keeps going until Fight Pit 2, and Thatch took the L in their first encounter, so... Pick: Timothy Thatcher

Kyle Decker: It all depends their plans with Finn. He doesn’t lose one on one often since his return. (I believe only a singular one on one loss.) But he hasn’t done anything really big either. That being said, I think they stick with his singles winning ways. Pick: Finn Balor

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Hell yeah my boy Timmy makes a TakeOver card! These are the kind of things that will ease my pain over him no longer being in my indie/international sphere. And listen... has Finn Balor ever set a record-length reign with the Evolve World Championship? I think not. Pick: Timothy Thatcher

Stella Cheeks: I just...don’t care. I suppose Finn fits more in NXT than he did on the main roster, but he still feels like a senior that refuses to graduate. I know people are very into Thatcher, but I don’t have the Evolve history to care. To me, he still feels like a random dude with no teeth. So, it’s alum vs. arbitrary. A big “Eh.” Pick: Finn Balor

Henry T. Casey: Me & Claire win this match by having Timbo Thatch on a TakeOver. I’ve taken busses to Boston to see him wrestle (vs Eddie Kingston at Beyond, find it), and I have faith that the slow build of the once-trashy Tim continues here. Bálor doesn’t need it. Tim does. Pick: Timothy Thatcher


Breezango vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs. Legado Del Fantasma

Sean Rueter: Santos Escobar needs a reason to start aiming hiring than the Cruiserweight title (sorry, 205 Live) and his boys holding Tag gold is one way to do it. Can I also just mention that Joaquin Wilde. Pick: Legado Del Fantasma

Kyle Decker: Breezango had a title match that ended with Indus Sher costing them a win. (Remember them? The ones who aren’t on TV because one of them spoiled the ending to a huge show?) So they deserve a legit title match with a clean finish. Pick: Breezango

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: 100% picking on who goes on to have a better title match against Imperium, and also shamelessly continuing the streak of “Claire doesn’t keep up with NXT enough to make real predictions about all the matches so she just picks all of her Evolve favorites.” Pick: Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan

Stella Cheeks: Never vote against The Dango. Pick: Breezango

Henry T. Casey: : Dango and Breeze have gotten too many spotlights, and they’re the ones who fought Imperium most recently, so it feels like any chance of a storyline is there. Pick: Breezango


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