NXT aren’t one to shy away from a 90s tradition, having brought back the iconic WarGames match from WCW lore and now the equally definitive In Your House pay-per-view for this weekend’s TakeOver event. Needless to say, I’m pumped to see the guys and girls of NXT deliver one of the most exciting In Your House specials of all time, but I’m not-so-secretly hoping to see the corny flare of the mid-90s return with the classic set pieces and cheesy vibes.
NXT have put together quite the card for the upcoming special, pitting champions against some of their toughest challengers and giving new talent some much needed exposure on a mainstream card. NXT fail to disappoint with their TakeOver specials and seeing as this is their first big show since the turn of the pandemic, this should certainly be one to watch.
As per usual, we’re going to run down the entire card, providing a little insight and of course our predictions for who walks away with the W. Make sure you jot down your own thoughts and hot takes down in the comments and get ready with the corded phones as the WWE hotlines are opening for IN YOUR HOUSE!
Adam Cole vs Velveteen Dream – NXT Championship
NXT have held off on Velveteen Dream’s crowning moment for as long as they possibly can, not only to continue to build suspense around the storyline but also allow Adam Cole to break the 365 day mark as champion and possibly to let the heat on Dream die down on top of that. Fans seem to be turning once again towards Velveteen Dream and are more than happy to see him be the one to dethrone the leader of the Undisputed Era and walk away with his first major NXT title.
Velveteen Dream has done a great job in holding down the fort as one of NXT’s top babyfaces, arguably he has become one of their greatest in history, he has to be the one to put down the last bastion of Undisputed Era’s dominance.
Adam Cole has been a great champion, as have the rest of UE during their respective title reigns, but this is his time to pass on that torch and allow he and his band of merry men to go onto bigger things. This match belongs to the Dream and considering this is his last shot at the NXT title, he has to make it count.
Winner: Velveteen Dream
Keith Lee vs Johnny Gargano – North American Championship
Finally a payoff for Johnny Gargano’s heel turn. After coming off of a pretty shoddy revival of the DIY feud, Gargano has turned his attention towards the North American champion, Keith Lee, and has made it his mission to dethrone the ‘Limitless One’ at In Your House. This should be a cracking match with not only their polarising dynamics as hero/villain but also their mismatched in-ring styles. Gargano bumping for the gigantic Keith Lee is going to be something of a marvel.
This could honestly go either way, depending on how much stock they see in Gargano as a heel champion and whether or not they want to move Keith Lee onto the NXT title picture sooner rather than later. Personally, I’m enjoying seeing Keith Lee hold things down in the mid-card scene, it’s only going to establish him further as a hot prospect for when he does move on.
I think this should definitely go Keith Lee’s way, Gargano doesn’t necessarily need a title to be a big deal in NXT so I’m sure he can afford a loss to one of their hottest stars.
Winner: Keith Lee
3. Charlotte Flair vs Rhea Ripley vs Io Shirai – NXT Women’s Championship
Did someone say instant classic? Charlotte Flair has been slowly losing her favour as NXT champ, having remained fairly prominent on the main roster despite holding onto the third brand’s title. As great as it has been to see Flair getting back in touch with her roots on NXT, there are two very capable athletes who are looking to either restart or start their respective big breaks.
On one hand, you have ‘The Nightmare’ Rhea Ripley who had her title reign cut short by Charlotte at WrestleMania. Luckily, fans still see enough in Ripley for her to warrant a second run with the title and hopefully pick up where she left off as the head of the division. Meanwhile, Io Shirai has been living up to her breakout year and quickly become everyone’s favourite to be next in line for the title.
This match could honestly go to any of the three women, hopefully WWE are happy for Flair to now relinquish the title after a few months and return to either her main roster career or to let her put a few newer stars over in NXT. As far as which one of the two challengers should walk away with the win, I think it’s time for some fresh blood to get her hands on the title and that of course being the ‘Joshi Judas’ herself.
Winner: Io Shirai
Tommaso Ciampa vs Karrion Kross
So that new guy is pretty cool, huh? Karrion Kross has made a huge statement in his debut month on NXT, igniting a feud with the ‘Blackheart’ Tommaso Ciampa and picking up a few dominant wins over local talent. This is going to be Kross’ first big test on the NXT roster and a massive statement as to how much faith they have in him and Scarlett. A big win over the former NXT champion would go a long way in setting him off on the right path.
Karrion Kross still has a lot to prove as far as his in-ring work goes and I’m sure Ciampa will bring out his very best at In Your House. Similar to The Undisputed Era, it’s about time Ciampa moves on to carve out a legacy outside of NXT, meaning this should be his swansong before heading to the main roster. As per most call-ups, the best way out is on your back and putting over Karrion Kross would ensure that NXT is left without a gaping hole left in Ciampa’s absence.
I mean, I’m really just here for the entrance to be honest.
Winner: Karrion Kross
5. Finn Balor vs Damien Priest
While Finn awaits the United Kingdom Champion to be able to fly again, Balor is in need of a new rival to help keep him occupied. Fortunately for him, he’s found that in Damien Priest. A pretty menial feud as far as NXT storylines go, Balor is looking for vengeance after Priest used him to make a name for himself. This should be a fun match, thoughL Finn has been getting back in touch with his old self and bringing out a more aggressive side to his matches and Priest should be a more than capable body for him to unleash that style against.
I still think that NXT needs Balor to be a top name on their brand so a loss here would be a step backwards as far as his status goes. Damien Priest is a star waiting to be made, but for now at least he can do the honours to the veteran Balor. Who knows, maybe we’ll even see Finn’s demonic alter-ego emerge as part of the In Your House special.
Winner: Finn Balor
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