NXT’s newest brand will make history as its first ever TakeOver emanates live from the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool, England on Saturday night.
Since its TV premiere in October 2018, NXT UK has shown off the best the European wrestling scene has to offer. Rivalries have been formed, lines have been crossed, and it all culminates this weekend.
My predictions are ready to go, so let’s not waste any more time and get right into it!
No Disqualification Match – Eddie Dennis vs Dave Mastiff
Let’s kick things off with a match that might leave the Empress Ballroom in shambles when it’s all said and done.
Both men were undefeated going into their first brawl, with Mastiff walking out the victor. But this was only the beginning of their chaotic rivalry. After weeks of mind games and vicious attacks, the two faced off in a rematch. However, they were both disqualified after putting their hands on the official during the contest.
General Manager, Johnny Saint, was left with no choice, and declared that Mastiff and Dennis would battle in NXT UK’s first-ever No Disqualification match at TakeOver: Blackpool.
I honestly think this one is a toss-up. My gut feeling is leaning towards Dennis. While a No Disqualification match could favor either man, I think Dennis will do whatever it takes to pick up the win, legal or not.
Winner: Eddie Dennis
Travis Banks vs. Jordan Devlin
Up next is a match-up that kind of just showed up out of nowhere.
This felt like a “the good guy wanted to fight the bad guy, but the bad guy kept avoiding him” kind of situation. Banks had a match against Tyson T-Bone, Devlin showed up, the two brawled, and here we are.
It’s kind of disappointing to see two great competitors going against each other without any kind of meaningful storyline behind them. I’m sure they will put on a pretty good match, but it’s hard to be fully invested when it was basically thrown together at the last minute.
With that being said, I’m picking Devlin to emerge victorious. He’s been red hot and it wouldn’t really make sense to cool him down at this point.
Winner: Jordan Devlin
NXT UK Tag Team Championship Match – Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake)
Now we come to the match that will crown the first-ever NXT UK Tag Team Champions.
Seven and Bate came out during the first few episodes of NXT UK and sent the locker room a clear message: We want the titles, try and get in our way. Two men who answered the challenge were Gibson and Drake, quickly impressing many with their brutal in-ring style.
A “tournament” was held to see which two teams would compete at TakeOver for the chance to become the inaugural champions. Though I’m not really sure if two matches would be considered a tournament, but let’s just go with it. Moustache Mountain would defeat Mark Coffey & Wolfgang of Gallus to advance to the finals, while Gibson & Drake defeated Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster.
All signs point to Moustache Mountain winning the titles, and while it sometimes seems like WWE doesn’t like to go the super obvious route, I think they will here. Seven & Bate are two of the top stars in the NXT UK brand, so why wouldn’t they give them the belts?
Winners: Moustache Mountain
NXT UK Women’s Championship Match – Rhea Ripley (C) vs. Toni Storm
Next is the highly anticipated rematch for the NXT UK Women’s Championship.
Ripley defeated Storm to become the inaugural champion back in June 2018 (aired in November 2018) and hasn’t looked back since. The Mosh Pit Kid has dismantled every competitor that has stood in her way and has continued her stranglehold on the NXT UK women’s division.
Storm has rebounded since the loss and has been on an absolute tear. She defeated Io Shirai at WWE Evolution to win the 2018 Mae Young Classic, and emerged as a legitimate threat to Ripley’s title reign.
Remember how I said sometimes WWE doesn’t like to go the super obvious route? This is one of those instances.
Many expected Storm to be the inaugural champion, and those same people are probably expecting her to dethrone Ripley at TakeOver. However, I don’t see that happening here. I think it’s way too soon to take the belt off Ripley. While Storm will eventually become champion, it won’t be on Saturday night.
Winner: Rhea Ripley
NXT UK Championship Match: Pete Dunne (c.) vs. Joe Coffey
Finally, we come to what could possibly be the main event of the evening.
Dunne has been nothing short of unstoppable since winning the title almost 600 days ago. He has beaten every single challenger that has stepped in his way. Now the question on everyone’s mind is this: who will finally defeat The Bruiserweight?
Coffey looks to be that very guy. The leader of Gallus has claimed since the inception of NXT UK that the brand is their kingdom, and is willing to do whatever it takes to prove that he is the one to beat Dunne.
This rivalry has also been fueled by Gallus’ numerous attacks on Dunne’s British Strong Style comrades, Moustache Mountain. Dunne has repeatedly helped stave off these attacks, but what will happen come Saturday?
WWE might have a bit of a problem when it comes to their NXT UK Champion. They have built him up so much that it seems like absolutely no one can take the title away from him. No matter how much Coffey has tried to seem like a legitimate threat, I still think that Dunne finds a way to retain. But if he does, who else is left to challenge him?
Winner: Pete Dunne