Aleister Black, Auska, Bianca Belair, Johnny Gargano, Kassius Ohno, Kyle O'Reilly, Matt Riddle, NXT Championship, NXT North American Championship, NXT TakeOver: Phoenix, NXT Women's Championship, Ricochet, Road To Wrestlemania, Roderick Strong, Royal Rumble, Shayna Baszler, The Undisputed Era, Tommaso Ciampa, Velveteen Dream, War Raiders, WWE, WWE Network, WWE NXT, WWE NXT Championship, WWE Royal Rumble
This weekend is one of the coolest weekends in professional wrestling besides WrestleMania weekend because not only is it Royal Rumble weekend, it also marks the start of the Road to WrestleMania. This is the most important time of the year because all of the storylines throughout the year have been building up to this point (or so we hope it does). Tonight at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, the WWE presents NXT TakeOver: Phoenix which features some of the most power packed matches which are a true testament to what they have been building all year long. NXT is the superior brand right now and that is a testament to all the amazing indy talent they pick up all the time as well. Usually with a PPV, there are a couple of matches that I am looking forward to, but that is not the same with NXT which is all killer and no filler. Every match on the card has the potential to be a show stealer and as a wrestling fan that is all I can really ask for. One match that I am interested to see where they will go with it is the NXT Women’s Championship match that sees Shayna Baszler put her title on the line against the undefeated Bianca Belair. Is Shayna going to end her run or is Bianca going to be challenging Auska’s record run in NXT? The other question is what kind of a factor are the rest of the Horsewoman going to play and if Shayna loses, do we see her in the Royal Rumble?
Tommaso Ciampa is the best heel in the business as we speak and I am so thankful that he went in this direction because he has mastered the arts of the dark side. The only problem is his way is Aleister Black, a man that many feel Tommaso cannot beat because of the interference that occurred thanks to Gargano. However, one cannot contest that Tommaso is not a serious threat as he has been NXT champion for 190+ days. That is no easy feet as the man has run through competition like Gargano and the Velveteen Dream to name a few. Will Tommaso pay for his sins or will he succeed in defeating Aleister Black and ending that notion once and for all? Another match that I am looking forward to it the NXT Tag Team Championship match that pins NXT Tag Champions The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong) against the behemoths known as the War Raiders (Hanson And Rowe). The WWE really needs to build their tag team division and what they don’t realize is that it’s thriving in NXT. This is going to be one unbelievable match due to the contrast of styles and I can’t wait to watch.
I definitely saved the best for last because NXT North American Champion Ricochet is going to be putting his belt on the line against the underachiever Johnny Gargano. Gargano is going to be under a lot of pressure in this match because he has to prove that he can win under pressure and when it counts in a championship match. I truly believe for his legacy in NXT, Gargano really needs this win more than you think he does because if he loses then what’s next? This match in my opinion is going to be the match of the night as we witness some magic that is going to be on display as Johnny Wrestling clashes with a man that defies the laws of gravity in Ricochet. The other match on the card features indy wrestling darling Kassius Ohno who is looking for some revenge over the embarrassing loss to the “King of Bros” Matt Riddle who defeated Ohno in six seconds at NXT TakeOver: War Games II. Something tells me that we are actually going to get more of a wrestling match out of this one, but I expect the same outcome when it is all said and done. I hope all of you wrestling fans are going to check this one out because it’s going to be phenomenal. Check out my predictions below:
Tomasso Ciampa over Aleister Black
Ricochet over Gargano
Shayna Baszler over Belair
War Raiders over Undisputed Era
Matt Riddle over Kassius Ohno