We are officially on the Road to WrestleMania. With RAW and SmackDown on their way to the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, NXT’s next stop is this Sunday, February 14th, as they present NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day. Three titles are on the line, with both the Men’s and Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournaments coming to an end as well, with both finals set to take place at the event.
Triple Threat Match for the NXT Women’s Championship
Io Shirai (c) vs. Toni Storm vs. Mercedes Martinez
In what could very well be her toughest challenge to date, Io Shirai is set to defend her NXT Women’s Championship in a triple threat match against both Toni Storm and Mercedes Martinez. With Toni and Mercedes at odds due to their unsuccessful pairing in the Women’s Dusty Cup, losing out to Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro in a first-round upset, albeit due to Io Shirai interfering in the match and taking out Mercedes. Putting Toni and Mercedes in the ring with defending champion Io Shirai, it’ll only be a matter of time before things break down in the match, with all three women dead-set on leaving Vengeance Day with the NXT Women’s Championship.
Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Final
Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart vs. Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai
With a tournament spanning just over a month, the first-ever Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic has been incredible to witness. With history being made as a first-round match saw the first-ever women’s match take place on 205 Live which saw The Way (Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell) defeat the debuting Gigi Dolin (FKA Priscilla Kelly) and Cora Jade (FKA Elayna Black).
It all comes down to just one match. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez (who defeated Aliyah and Jessi Kamea, and then Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter to reach the final) will face the newly formed team of Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart (who defeated Marina Shafir and Zoey Stark, and then The Way members Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell) to reach the final. Who will etch their name in the history books as the first-ever Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic winners and earn a shot at the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships, currently held by Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax?
Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Final
MSK (Wes Lee and Nash Carter) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson)
With an absolutely stacked tournament, there was no predicting who would end up reaching the final in the sixth annual Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. It has all come to down to just the final two teams as the recently debuted MSK (Wes Lee and Nash Carter) (who many people may know better as Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz, collectively known as The Rascalz) take on former NXTUK Tag Team Champions James Drake and Zack Gibson, who are collectively known as the Grizzled Young Veterans, who are in their second consecutive Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic final.
MSK has come into NXT with a lot of fanfare, defeating Jake Atlas and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott in the first round, Drake Maverick and Killian Dain in the Quarter-Finals before advancing past Legado Del Fantasma to book themselves a place in the final, MSK has really shown just how great of a team they are to reach the final of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic on their first try.
MSK are really up against it in the final though, as this isn’t the Grizzled Young Veterans first attempt. This is their second consecutive Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic final, with them losing out in the final of the 2020 tournament to Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle. Can MSK shock the world by winning the Dusty Cup? Or will the Grizzled Young Veterans make up for their loss in the 2020 final by taking the tournament this year and earning themselves an NXT Tag Team Championship opportunity in the process?
Singles match for the NXT North American Championship
Johnny Gargano (c) vs. KUSHIDA
Gargano and KUSHIDA’s rivalry has become incredibly personal over the past few months ever since KUSHIDA set his sights on the NXT North American Championship. With Gargano regaining the title with a victory over Leon Ruff and Damian Priest back at NXT TakeOver WarGames in November, Gargano has since formed a stable, alongside wife Candice LeRae, Indi Hartwell, and Austin Theory.
KUSHIDA formed a partnership with Leon Ruff and the pair were entered into the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, with them defeating Gargano and Theory in the first round before being eliminated by eventual finalists Grizzled Young Veterans in the quarter-finals. Not long after being eliminated from the tournament, it was announced that KUSHIDA would challenge Johnny Gargano for the NXT North American title at Vengeance Day.
On the February 10th episode of NXT, Gargano attempted to get out of the title defense at Vengeance Day by feigning a broken arm that, for some reason, required a wheelchair but NXT General Manager William Regal soon revealed that the NXT medical team had cleared Gargano for action the day before, letting the champion know that the title match was still on. Will Gargano keep hold of the NXT North American title? Or can KUSHIDA finally put his rivalry with Gargano behind him, taking the NXT North American title in the process?
Singles match for the NXT Championship
Finn Balor (c) vs. Pete Dunne
Finn and Pete have been having a war of words over the past few weeks, with Dunne demanding a title shot on the February 3rd episode of NXT, with Balor soon granting it, saying it would happen at NXT TakeOver Vengeance Day. Balor and Dunne have to be on high alert though, as the 2021 Royal Rumble winner Edge stated that, regardless of who wins, the match between Dunne and Balor could convince Edge to make his decision on who he would challenge at WrestleMania 37.
NXT TakeOver Vengeance Day comes to you live on the WWE Network on Saturday, February 14th, 2021. On the road to WrestleMania, who will make Valentine’s Day their Vengeance Day?