WWE NXT will be putting on their latest live special this weekend. For their 36th TakeOver event, the black-and-gold brand is keeping it simple when it comes to names - TakeOver 36 comes our way on Sun., Aug. 22 at 8PM Eastern from the Capital Wrestling Center. The show will stream domestically on Peacock, and internationally on WWE Network.
If you’re new or someone who only checks out NXT for the live specials, we’ve got a full preview coming up for you a little later. Right now, we’ve assembled a motley crew of NXT-following Cagesiders to give us their thoughts & predictions on all the matches.
Let’s get to it.
WWE NXT TAKEOVER 36 PREDICTIONS
Karrion Kross (c) vs. Samoa Joe for the NXT championship
Geno Mrosko: We’re all going to expect a Joe win here, considering Kross has been moved to the main roster and Joe is sticking around in NXT. There’s at least some room for going the other direction but I just can’t convince myself they will. Pick: Samoa Joe
Sean Rueter: Joe as champ in 2021 is gonna be weird with NXT getting back to its developmental roots. Who’s his first feud? The Breakout Tournament winner? Guess we’ll find out, because it looks like Joe is gonna be champ in 2021. Pick: Samoa Joe
Kyle Decker: With Kross a main roster guy now, there’s no reason for him to hold onto the title. They’ve already teased a couple matches for Joe against Cole (if he sticks around) and Pete Dunne. May as well make them for the title. Pick: Samoan Joseph
Claire Elizabeth: Dear Kevin
“Killer” “Karrion” Kross— the difference between you and Joe, Kevin, is that Samoa Joe has an aura and a mystique that survived ten years of TNA whereas yours hasn’t made it past ten months of NXT. You are going to lose. Pick: Samoa Joe
Stella Cheeks: Insane to bring Samoa Joe back only to have him be defeated by Karrion Kross; a man already racking up Ls on the main roster. NXT needs Samoa Joe. No one needs Karrion Kross. Pick: Samoa Joe
Marcus Benjamin: It’s tough talking about this match without thinking about NXT’s future. It’s the Vince McMahon-sized elephant in the room I have to work twice as hard to ignore, while focusing on what makes sense and the story in front of me. Karrion Kross looks solidified for redder pastures on Monday nights, while Samoa Joe, strangely, has more a future on the black and gold brand. Plus, not for nothing, Joe is a killer—the crowd tells me all the time!— and Kross’ mojo ain’t the same without Scarlett by his side. Pick: Samoa Joe
Dakota Kai vs. Raquel González (c) for the NXT Women’s championship
Geno Mrosko: Kai has worked plenty of dark matches on main roster shows, and may be in line for a call up soon. Can’t say the same about the current champion. Pick: Raquel González
Sean Rueter: Just gonna go with what I want to see happen here, because I’ve been steadily losing interest in NXT’s Women’s division since Stand & Deliver. Pick: Dakota Kai
Kyle Decker: I could convince myself of a title change with the argument that Raquel González will be another NXT star poached to go to the main roster. But if they want this transition from current NXT to the new vision to not be extremely bumpy, they should keep the focus on the women. It’s always been their strength anyway. Pick: Raquel González
Claire Elizabeth: I’ve only been back watching weekly TV for a couple weeks but I am thoroughly underwhelmed by this “I was going to use you and you stole the title that was supposed to be mine!” / “Ha ha, I always knew you were just going to use me!” build here and both women just kind of come off limp and lacking motivation. Love me some Dakota Kai, but let’s not do a change until we’ve got a fire burning. Pick: Raquel Gonzalez
Stella Cheeks: I’m torn here. I don’t think Raquel is anything to write home about as a champion, but it also feels like it’s too soon to dethrone her. The problem though is if Dakota loses, what are they going to do with her? Still. Dakota has a better chance of adapting after a loss than Raquel. She needs it more. Pick: Raquel Gonzalez
Marcus Benjamin: This beef is slightly undercooked. Like any undercooked meat, buyer beware because you may not like the results. Raquel González’s reign doesn’t feel like it ends here and there’s still a lot to do with her as champion. Not really sure where that leaves Dakota Kai, who does have the more compelling story of the two. And just like that, I talked myself into reversing my pick because a Dakota Kai reign interests me a lot more and Raquel chasing the belt might be dope. Pick: Dakota Kai
WALTER (c) & Ilja Dragunov for the NXT United Kingdom championship
Geno Mrosko: The reign has to end sometime, and they had one hell of a battle last time, but I genuinely hope WALTER goes on a Bruno Sammartino level run. Pick: WALTER
Sean Rueter: Wouldn’t be surprised with either outcome here. Also wouldn’t be surprised if WALTER was making plans to head back to wXw at this point. No matter the outcome, I look forward to cringing for 20 minutes while these guys do their thing. Pick: Ilja Dragunov
Kyle Decker: I don’t follow NXT UK at all. So I don’t know what title programs could be next for both guys. But at this point, I’m going with WALTER as champion until Nick Khan folds the promotion entirely. Pick: WALTER
Claire Elizabeth: CHOPS! BLOOD! VIOLENCE! THE RING IS HOLY GROUND AND THESE MEN WILL CONSECRATE IT! God I forgot how much I loved this little Russian weirdo who puts his whole body into everything he does. Put all the titles on him goddamnit! Pick: Ilja Dragunov
Stella Cheeks: WALTER has to lose at some point, right? Maybe this is that point. Pick: Ilja Dragunov
Marcus Benjamin: For what seems like forever, WALTER looked pretty unstoppable. The past two weeks though? Homie looks, dare I say, human. This might be a stupid pick for a lot of reasons, but give me Dragunov for the win. I’m sure I’ll regret this later. Pick: Ilja Dragunov
Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly in a 2-out-of-3 falls match
Geno Mrosko: If WWE is a babyface territory, I suppose I should believe O’Reilly wins here, probably on the second and third falls. I just see so much more upside with Cole, size be damned. So I’m guessing he wins the first and the third to take it. Pick: Adam Cole
Sean Rueter: Love both of these guys, loved their feud in ROH, loved most of the Ciampa/Gargano feud, and would be totally happy if I didn’t see another Hunter & Shawn-produced “epic” again until TakeOver 60. As for a prediction, Cole’s going to either Raw, SmackDown, or Dynamite soon, right? I mean, that’s the word on the sheets. Pick: Kyle O’Reilly
Kyle Decker: With the contract for the Panama City Playboy up in the air, and the fact that he’s had a long title run, Kool Kyle makes the most sense. If Adam re-signed before this match, I could see him winning to have that match with Joe. But I’d still give it to Kyle to set up another guy for a possible championship run. Pick: Kyle O’Reilly
Claire Elizabeth: There’s so much history here that it’s hard to be underwhelmed and yet here I am. It’s just hard to get excited about these theatrical NXT “Ack-ting, THANK YOU!” pseudoepics, and this will most certainly be one of those. It also doesn’t help that in a world where real deathmatch wrestling has happened on cable TV I find it hard to get excited about WWE-style hardcore matches. Anyway, because of that and because of a variety of extracurricular things, I’m going big and saying we’re not even gonna see that steel cage lower before KOR gets his hands raised... Pick: Kyle O’Reilly, 2-0
Stella Cheeks: I hate to be this guy, but holy sh*t I do not care about this anymore. This is just Ciampa/Gargano part two; a never ending feud full of animosity and false finishes. I can’t do it anymore!! I want it to be over!! Someone put me out of my misery!! Pick: Kyle O’Reilly I guess
Marcus Benjamin: It’s usually so hard to say goodbye, but I’m cool with this being the official end of the Undisputed Era. Bobby Fish went fishing, Roderick Strong is helping Malcolm Bivens’ geology business, and these two cats are writing the last chapter in what will easily be the longest match of the night.
NXT can go one of two ways here: Give Cole the win and truly cement his status as NXT’s greatest of all time. Or, they can give the W to O’Reilly with Cole supposedly on his way out. Since I can’t pick, I flipped a coin and let chance do the picking for me.
Two-Face does it all the time and it always works so well for him. Pick: Adam Cole, bay-bay
Cameron Grimes vs. L.A. Knight (c) for Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar championship
Geno Mrosko: It’s one thing to make Cameron Grimes your butler but it’s another thing to try to make The Million Dollar Man your butler. That just won’t fly. Pick: Cameron Grimes
Sean Rueter: If DiBiase has to be Knight’s butler, can he hire Virgil to do it for him? NXT needs more Meat Sauce, and unlimited breadsticks. Pick: LA Knight
Kyle Decker: There’s no way they can drag this out any longer. Pick: Cameron Grimes
Claire Elizabeth: Get LA Knight out of the way and put the tag titles on Grimes and DiBiase, cowards. Pick: Cameron Grimes
Stella Cheeks: Cameron Grimes is going to kick LA Knight’s ass straight TO THE MOON. Pick: Cameron Grimes
Marcus Benjamin: This is the easiest pick of the night for me. Cameron Grimes, finally rediscovering his mojo, defeats the big bad villain in LA Knight, saves Ted DiBiase from a life as someone’s Alfred Pennyworth, and is your new Million Dollar Champion. Perhaps it’s time for Mr. Knight to move to the main roster? Pick: Cameron Grimes goes to the moon.
That's who we've got. Who are you taking, Cagesiders?