NXT tonight (Jan. 27) ended with a nod of respect between NXT champion Finn Bálor and Kyle O’Reilly as they held the ring with O’Reilly Undisputed ERA mates after a battle with Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch.
O’Reilly secured a win for his team-up with Bálor against Tag champs Burch & Lorcan when he got the British half of the Brit-Am Brawlers to tap out.
The entire match was a set-up so Dunne could attack Finn, though. By snapping off the NXT champ’s fingers, the Bruiserweight’s ensured the Prince will continue to demand a match with him. Bálor and O’Reilly’s détente seems to indicate Undisputed ERA not only won’t stand in the way of that, but could continue to serve as Finn’s back-up.
We’re two episodes from the next TakeOver event on Feb. 14, and there’s not much officially announced for the show. The finals of both the men’s and women’s Dusty Rhodes Classics should happen there, but we don’t know who will make it to the end of the tourneys yet. Grizzled Young Veterans, MSK and Dakota Kai & Raquel González all advanced to the semi-finals tonight.
The men’s teams will, respectively, await the winners of Undisputed’s Adam Cole & Roderick Strong vs. Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa and Lucha House Party vs. Legado Del Fantasma (those last two quarterfinals are next Wednesday). The women will battle Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro for a shot at the Cup.
Women’s champion Io Shirai looks headed for a Triple Threat, while North American champion Johnny Gargano is obsessed with his recent losses to Kushida. In addition to not letting his The Way protegé Austin Theory say the Japanese Superstar’s name, Gargano led Theory in an attack on Kushida & Leon Ruff after that duo lost to GYV in the Dusty.
Dexter Lumis is looming, but I think his sights are more set on Austin then the NA champ.
It could set us up with a Valentine’s Day TakeOver card that looks like this:
- Finn Bálor (c) vs. Pete Dunne for the NXT championship
- Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai (c) vs. Mercedes Martinez for the NXT Women’s title
- Johnny Gargano (c) vs. Kushida for the North American championship
- Men’s Dusty Cup finals
- Women’s Dusty Cup finals
There are other storylines swirling, though. For instance, Cruiserweight champion Santos Escobar is supposed to (finally) face Curt Stallion next week, and he was seemingly targeted by Karrion Kross tonight.
But I feel pretty good about my educated guesses for TakeOver. Let us know if you agree, and let us know what you’d book, in the comments below.