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Kingzak Presents: NXT Takeover: Stand and Deliver Predictions

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  • Kingzak Presents: NXT Takeover: Stand and Deliver Predictions


    What’s up guys, Kingzak is back in action with another column. It’s that time of the year once again, WrestleMania is here and this year WWE have made a conscious effort to try and kill me by putting four PPV’s so close together. Between the two Takeovers, and two WrestleMania’s we are in for a busy week. Even more so when you remember that the new wrestling schedule comes into effect the week after with Raw Mondays, NXT Tuesdays, AEW Wednesday’s, Impact Thursday and SmackDown Friday. I do not envy the people that review the weeks, that is a hell of a run.

    But I’m not here to talk about that, it’s time to dive in to the predictions, for those of you curious, this is what the plan is at the moment.

    Tuesday 6th: Takeover Night 1 Predictions
    Wednesday 7th: Takeover Night 2 Predictions
    Thursday 8th: Takeover Night 1 Review
    Friday 9th: Takeover Night 2 Review

    Friday 9th: WrestleMania Night 1 Predictions
    Saturday 10th: WrestleMania Night 2 Predictions
    Sunday 11th: WrestleMania Night 1 Review
    Monday 12th: WrestleMania Night 2 Review

    I’m a bit iffy on the Friday, but the rest of it seems to be set in stone for me. So without further ado, let’s dive in.

    Takeover: Stand and Deliver Night 1

    Pete Dunne vs. Kushida

    Fun fact: for those that remember the LOP Draft, I had Kushida and Ilja Dragunov eliminated from a battle royal in the exact same way as here, double elimination, and my original plan was for a series of PPV’s with Kushida and Dragunov facing off at the next PPV based on this. Now NXT steals my ideas, WWE keep doing this to me.

    There is no build to this one, but who the fuck cares. This is going to be a fucking banger if they get the time to work with. The two are both incredible wrestlers and this is kinda a dream match that you’d not really think of, it’s Japan’s best wrestler vs England’s best wrestler. This is just a match to turn your brain off and watch and enjoy.

    However with no direct story and no real reasoning, this makes it one of the hardest matches to predict for the whole week. Both are coming off of big losses from the previous Takeover, and I could see either one being used heavily in the coming months, realistically they both are no matter who wins and losses. I think the big question is which one is going to be pushed more following the show, I’m gonna go with Kushida to win since he’s still fairly new to NXT while Dunne’s been around a while so I think he needs it a bit more, but this really could go either way.

    Zak: Kushida
    Brother: Pete Dunne
    Dad: Phil Oakley (Pete Dunne)
    Dog: Kushida (and quickly)

    MSK (Wes Lee and Nash Carter) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson) vs. Legado Del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde)
    NXT Tag Team Championship

    A shame that Burch and Lorcan had to vacate, but they were doing nothing with the belts, everything they did from joining team Pat McAfee till now could have easily been done without the tag team titles. There was literally no purpose in the tag title win aside from McAfee using it to get them on his side, honestly it would have been better had they kept the belts on Breezango, they were at least using them and then this would have ended up a fatal four way, which would have been fun.

    However with that said, this is still going to be a lot fun, Legado and MSK both have a big high flying arsenal and GYV’s brawler style works well with anything, this could be a big fun messy match. I am not sure who the winner should be for this one, I know Legado probably won’t be, but much like at Vengeance Day I can see either MSK or GYV winning, I guess based on Vengeance Day MSK should win, but that plays perfectly into the twist with GYV winning, I’m gonna stick with the Grizzled Young Veterans to win here.

    Zak: Grizzled Young Veterans
    Brother: The Phantom guys
    Dad: Legado Del Fantasma
    Dog: Legado Del Fantasma

    Leon Ruff vs. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott vs. Bronson Reed vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Dexter Lumis vs. LA Knight
    Gauntlet Eliminator match
    #1 contendership for the NXT North American Championship

    I like the match type, any match that feature elimination is usually a good one in my books, leaves no question in the winner and does let some unique dynamics take place. I liked the battle royal to decide placement. The only thing that bothers me is the Johnny Gargano has spent the last month or so feuding with Dexter Lumis, so why they couldn’t just announce that for Takeover is beyond me.

    So who wins this one, well firstly, WWE love to have a superstar survive the gauntlet, so that does give a chance for Leon Ruff. And given Ruff’s underdog status everything just lines up here for him, also the history with Gargano does add to it. meanwhile I’m gonna say Swerve and Bronson aren’t gonna make it through, Swerve will likely fall to Ruff as part of their feud while everyone else teams up on Bronson because, gotta deal with the big man.

    Another easy elimination is going to be LA Knight, he’s just too new for a shot at the title, and also he is a heel as is Gargano, so a match is less likely. I think ultimately this comes down to Grimes, Lumis and Ruff, with Grimes eliminating Ruff only to promptly get caught by Lumis and put to sleep once again. That is our most likely outcome, if Lumis doesn’t win but continues to feud with Gargano, I’m gonna genuinely worry he may win the belt.

    Zak: Dexter Lumis
    Brother: Dexter Lumis
    Dad: The Alt Right looking bloke (Dexter Lumis)

    Walter vs. Tommaso Ciampa
    NXT UK Championship

    Fucking hell, this is gonna be something. Walter’s always got that big fight feel to him and Ciampa is fantastic at wrestling those big matches. This is going to be a brutal match and it is gonna be so damn good. The introduction (Re-introduction?) of Imperium to NXT has been built slowly, with Wolfe first trying to get old friend Killian Dain on side, before the rest of them went for Thatcher who I’m to understand there is history between. Those two have since disappeared from NXT TV, leading to some understandably angry tag partners. Ciampa’s got this unique ability to be anywhere on the card and it feels like it makes sense, if you’d said he’d be challenging for the UK title a few months ago I’d have thought you were mad, but he just works into these spots.

    Like I said earlier, this is going to be a hell of a match, I’m honestly picking it to be my match of the night for night one, however some of the rating depends on what I’m suspecting is the finish. I’m expecting interference galore for this one, you’ve got the rest of Imperium waiting in the wings, and then the added factors of Dain and Thatcher also waiting to be added. Even if Walter does keep Imperium in the back that’s still two more potential interferers, so a messy finish is somewhat expected here.

    One thing that is clear to me is that Ciampa is not taking the UK title to NXT US, unless Ciampa is moving over this side of the Atlantic for a few months then I doubt he’s winning, then you have the rumours swirling of Imperium moving to the US, and honestly that both excites me and worries me. If Imperium are moving then a title change is imminent, and he does have a title defence on NXT UK during WrestleMania week. So I’ve got a cover all answer, I’m gonna say that Walter wins this one and the UK Title will be kept in the UK whether that’s with Walter or Rampage Brown.

    Zak: Walter
    Brother: Tommaso Ciampa
    Dad: Tommaso Ciampa
    Dog: Walter

    Io Shirai vs. Raquel González
    NXT Women's Championship

    As soon as Storm vs Shirai was announced for a weekly episode, I knew this was coming. Shirai has had a fantastic run with the women’s championship, I’d honestly say that it’s the most prestigious title in the company right now, based on quality of champions and their reigns. I’m sad to say that Shirai’s time with the belt is at its end here. We all saw the writing on the wall when Raquel pinned her at WarGames, the inevitable was coming and Shirai’s days were numbered, she’s on her way to the first circle of hell, the main roster.

    I am sad that Shirai is losing the belt, however Raquel is definitely a worthy successor, the division is not in peril, I’m just being wistful. I am curious to see how Raquel does with the belt, she’s got the size for a dominant run, but between Shirai and Shayna Baszler’s lengthy runs with the belt, we’ve had a lot of that lately. She’s also not had much chance in standard wrestling matches, all her big matches have been either tag or some sort of stipulation. I guess we wait and see, I’m curious to see how it goes, but with all the talent in the division right now, it is in good hands.

    Zak: Raquel Gonzalez
    Brother: Io Shirai
    Dad: Io Shirai
    Dog: Io Shirai

    Dog Predictions

    Firstly, we are doing both Takeovers at the same time to save on ink and paper, because efficiency and if I do this four times in a week, he’s going to spend the next month expecting me to do it again and I can’t be bothered with the dog badgering me for that long.

    A ferocious and quick pick for Kushida, possibly a squash match
    Walter and his paper, quick but decisive choice
    Instantaneous pick for Shirai, I felt his teeth on my hand, very certain on this.
    Ran up and picked Legado immediately and stuck with it as he struggled to lap it up.

    And that is night one of Takeover, I honestly don’t know which I prefer of the two, this one is going to be a lot more of the pure wrestling side of things between Walter/Ciampa and Kushida/Dunne, while I think night two is looking more of a spectacle considering the two main events, either way they are both must watch events. And on that note, it is time I bid you a brief farewell, I’ll be back tomorrow for the second set of Takeover Predictions, but until then I hope you have enjoyed today’s column and I will see you next time.

    The worst PPV ever is coming soon.
    Send in your top 10 to help us find out what the worst PPV ever is.

  • #2
    Feedback time



    Moving on


    What’s up guys, Kingzak is back in action with another column, Takeover Stand and Deliver begins in a short while and I am hyped as fuck, but before we get into night one, I’ve gotta wrap up the predictions for night two, so without further ado, let’s dive in.

    Takeover: Stand and Deliver Night 2

    Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart vs. The Way (Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell)
    NXT Women's Tag Team Championship

    You have a ready-made WrestleMania feud for Dakota/Raquel against Shayna and Nia and somehow they fucked it completely. I know we are getting Shirai/Gonzalez instead but honestly I‘d have taken the Women’s tag titles to NXT, give them more of a fighting feel instead of just being thrown in on any random feud. Instead we end up with more women’s tag titles … … WWE really is the land of the participation award these days.

    Maybe they can get these tag titles right and then merge them together later on, though based on the fact there are still only three teams in NXT and ones about to add the world title, it can be argued that these are the only two actual tag teams in NXT. Sure there is Kacy and Kaden also the Robert Stone Brand, but so far those two teams have done nothing but job out so it’s hard to consider them a threat.

    I’m glad these four are getting a chance to compete on the big stage, but I just don’t care, WWE struggle with tag team booking so making a smaller tag division is a great idea. I can’t see them changing just yet, but realistically that should say I hope they don’t change them yet; I can absolutely see the title going to everyone. So fuck it, Shotzi and Ember are my pick but I can see either outcome

    Zak: Shotzi and Ember
    Brother: Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart
    Dad: The Way are a stain on the American Education system so I’m going with the other ones.
    Dog: Ember and Shotzi

    Johnny Gargano vs. Winner of Gauntlet Eliminator match from Night 1
    NXT North American Championship

    Like I said yesterday, I don’t get the need for the battle royal unless they are going to switch up the route they are taking, since they’ve been building Johnny vs Lumis for much of the year, or more accurately Lumis has been “tormenting” Austin Theory, which lead to this. Honestly I can’t really see the title changing here, it would still leave Johnny with quite a short reign and they made a big deal of that in the beginning, so I’m thinking the next Takeover (or maybe special episode if that’s next) after this one is the first chance for a real loss. So whatever way this goes, I am still expecting a Gargano win.

    Zak: Johnny Gargano
    Brother: Dexter Lumis
    Dad: Dexter Lumis
    Dog: Gauntlet Winner

    Jordan Devlin vs. Santos Escobar
    Ladder match
    NXT Cruiserweight Championship

    This is gonna be good, one on one ladder matches are a rarity in WWE these days so any chance to see something rare is exciting. This has been an inevitability since Lockdown began, Devlin was always going to return and target the champion. What wasn’t expected was such a good run from Escobar, he has done fantastic going beyond the role of filler champion into something more, at this point Devlin I’d say Devlin is the fake champion here. Escobar has had one of the better cruiserweight title reigns and he’s definitely getting the chance to showcase that this year.

    I’m actually really torn on which way this is going to go, on the one hand it has been long enough that I can see Santos losing the belt, but he’s built up such a momentum to him that I wouldn’t want to ruin it when there are other up and comers who could, Devlin I’m kinda iffy on, between the #SpeakingOut allegations and him basically being a less talented Finn Balor there isn’t much to hope for. I’m gonna hope for a win for Escobar, but honestly I can see it going either way.

    Zak: Santos Escobar
    Brother: Santos Escobar
    Dad: Pablo Escobar’s cousin
    Dog: Santos Escobar

    Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly
    Unsanctioned match

    I can’t believe that The Undisputed Era is done; I honestly was expecting them to run roughshod over the main roster before the break up. I guess Vince hates tag teams so much that he won’t even let them be called up as a team anymore. This feud has been tugging the heart strings since it began and I am loving it. Both the characters have their reasoning for their choices, O’Reilly wanting the Undisputed Era to be more than just thugs while Cole looking at it as they were on top when they were thugs, and honestly the past few months the team has been languishing to a degree, leading to Cole going full supervillain and cutting off his team because he doesn’t need them anymore.

    A small part of me is disappointed that they went with an Unsanctioned match here, because honestly it just seems like they want to top AEW’s from a couple weeks back and that isn’t why you should be doing this. At least the feud does fit and with the recent injuries to O’Reilly the stipulation can almost fit in here. This is going to be a great match but we definitely need to temper expectations here, if we go in expecting Gargano/Ciampa levels from this one then we are setting up to fail. This will be good but probably not 5 stars good, I’d say somewhere around 4.5/4.75 sort of area is the expectation.

    As for the winner, I think realistically speaking Adam Cole is ready for the main roster. He’s done everything there is to do in NXT and I can see this being a send-off for him. I dread to see what the main roster creative do with him but ultimately that time comes for everyone. O’Reilly in NXT still has longevity as a singles wrestler, so that is why I’m going with Kyle for the winner here.

    Zak: Kyle O’Reilly
    Brother: Adam Cole
    Dad: The Irish sounding one (O’Reilly)
    Dog: Kyle O’Reilly

    Finn Bálor vs. Karrion Kross
    NXT Championship

    Been waiting for this one, Kross vs Balor was the inevitable outcome as soon as Balor won the title, especially when Kross came back quite a bit earlier than expected. I like that they took a little to get here, it gave Kross the chance to have some good matches and show himself as more than just another monster character, not much more but still it’s a bit of development and that’s all good. Balor meanwhile had to untangle himself from the Undisputed Era and Team McAfee feud that he’d ended up wrapped up in, so that was a necessary evil.

    This should be an interesting match, Finn’s always able to pull out a great match come Takeover so this should be no exception, however Kross is different to Finn’s usual Takeover opponent, since his return to NXT it’s been mostly similarly sized and more athletic types, he had Priest but that’s something of an anomaly given Priests surprise athleticism, so this could end up being quite a bit different than what we expect.

    As far as the winner goes this is actually a real coin toss, Karrion winning makes sense as the simple fact is that he never got his reign with the belt, and ultimately his run at the top is probably going to help get a new face over big when they can conquer the unconquerable. However Finn winning isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem, there have been plenty of rumours of people thinking Kross is “ready” for the main roster (I think what that means is he has a dope entrance that fans will love) so there is a possibility that we see Kross lose and be brought to the main roster. I’m gonna say that Kross wins but I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Zak: Karrion Kross
    Brother: Finn Balor
    Dad: Karrion Kross
    Dog: Karrion Kross

    Dog Predictions

    Tried for Devlin but missed and knocked the meat and paper back, this deterred him and he went for Escobar instead, took the paper but I retrieved it as a moist clump.
    Pushed Ember and Shotzi’s paper and ham off my hand to the carpet below, he collected the chicken and left the paper in good condition.
    Choose the Gauntlet winner and took their paper too.
    Grabbed O’Reilly, threw him on the floor and spent a good ten seconds eating the meat and paper, the meat for reference is probably as big as your thumbs nail and about as thick. What I’m saying is why the fuck did he need ten seconds for that.
    Karrion instantly, the paper fluttered to the floor gently.

    This is definitely the more spectacular of the two nights, a ladder match, the unsanctioned match and world title definitely all add to this. I feel a bit less hyped for it but that is probably because my hype is split between the two, I can’t imagine what the card would look like as a one night show, I wonder what would make the card. But that’s something for another day, as for now it is time I bid you a fond farewell, Takeover starts soon, go get yourself ready, I hope you have enjoyed today’s column and I will see you next time.

    The worst PPV ever is coming soon.
    Send in your top 10 to help us find out what the worst PPV ever is.


    • #3
      I'm really looking forward to both nights of TakeOver but this has got to be the toughest show when it comes to predictions in a while. Other than WALTER/Ciampa, Shirai/Gonzalez and Balor/Kross the matches could go either way, whereas if Ciampa or Shirai or Balor come out as champions that'd be a real shock. Having said that the only match I'd predict differently is the NA Title Match as unfortunately I see Lumis winning the Gauntlet and then the title.

      I also thought Undisputed Era would go to the main roster before splitting but something I thought of the other day was Cole debuting on Raw the night after 'Mania but with a new version of Undisputed Era, possibly still with Bobby Fish and then one or two others. If Cole loses to O'Reilly, which I think he will, then there is nothing left for him in NXT and I can see him facing a similar struggle to Balor on the main roster unless he's got the big act of UE with him.

      Also have to agree that night two is clearly the more anticipatory night.


      • #4
        Feedback time

        @TheCook: I think as a whole the week is looking somewhat unpredictable, you can't really tell without knowing which way WWE is planning on going.

        I agree about Cole heading to the main roster if he loses, however I hadn't considered him making a new stable, that'd be an interesting development.

        Thanks to everyone for reading, time for the Royal Recap, now in the form of a running diary.


        What’s up guys, Kingzak is back in action with another column. I am really excited for this one, for the first time ever, timing has lined up and I can give a go at a running diary. I’ve read and enjoyed running diaries from so many columnist in the past, zzzorf, Hustle, Ris Laiman, Mizfan (I’m pretty sure Mizfan’s done them before), so I’m eager to give a try to the format and merge in with my own. I’ve yet to see the results so I’m staying clear of Twitter. Without further ado, let’s dive in

        Takeover: Stand and Deliver Night 1 Royal Runnning Diary

        0:01 WWE not letting their audience of superstars kneel for the national anthem, that’s about right given the companies political ties.

        0:03 I’ve got no idea what the theme song for the show says, I’ve listened to it and I’ve got some definitely wrong lyrics.

        Pete Dunne vs. Kushida

        0:04 Dunne is out and this makes sense as an opener, something that will be high paced and really good to get the crowd excited.

        0:06 and we are undeway and straight into some grappling, that makes sense.

        0:07 lots of submission and grappling early on, I’d say this is chain wrestling but I’ve got no idea what that is.

        0:08 Dunne counters a back hand spring by sliding under and taking out the arms, that was cool. followed immediately with an X-Plex onto the apron and Dunne is firmly in control now.

        0:10 the action spills out and they’ve got a raised ramp, I don’t like the raised ramp whenever it is used, I prefer there to be a drop there.

        0:11 Some really nice submission wrestling as Pete gets an octopus in and Kushida almost turns it into an arm submission, I love the moves where you cling to your opponent, like the octopus or guillotine holds, those just feel effective.

        0:12: We go to picture in picture break, except we don’t get that in the UK. That is the one annoying thing about this. Advertising.

        0:13 we are back as Kushida takes control but the two are fighting hard and trading armbars and then strikes.

        0:14 the two are down and having a headbutt competition and I struggle to take this seriously because I’m pretty sure I’ve had the same battle with my dog before (in a playful way, not a fight)

        0:15 Kushida got the hoverboard lock in and Pete manages to struggle to the ropes. Kushida is in control with a lot of submissions.

        0:17 Dunne gets control with the finger snap and stomps and follows up with the bitter end for the three count.

        Good match, a lot of back and forth action here and overall a good match. Not quite the show stealer I hoped for but still plenty entertaining.

        Zak: 0-1 (Kushida)
        Brother: 1-0 (Pete Dunne)
        Dad: 1-0 (Pete Dunne)
        Dog: 0-1 (Kushida)

        Leon Ruff vs. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott vs. Bronson Reed vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Dexter Lumis vs. LA Knight
        Gauntlet Eliminator match
        #1 contendership for the NXT North American Championship

        0:23 We are back and this is already underway. I am gonna be pissed if I miss a pinfall because of adverts.

        0:23 Ruff immediately goes for a suicide dive, however he weighs as much as a paper airplane so Swerve just catches and suplexes him onto the barrier. Why does everyone suicide dive, it’s nowhere near as effective as you'd think.

        0:24 Ruff manages a comeback with a diving cutter from the announce table, I eagerly await the day someone counters that by just keeping him in the air and then suplexing the fuck out of him. I don’t dislike Leon Ruff, he’s just so little that there are so many cool and unique ways to see him beaten.

        0:26 we get a powerbomb from the top rope turned into a hurricanrana by Ruff, both men being so agile I’m pretty sure they both managed a 720 in there.

        0:26 Bronson Reed is here and with two cruiserweights only, this should be quick work for him, he probably weight more than the two combined.

        0:28 Reed sits on a Ruff’s back as he goes for a slide under. That is really effective, I’ve done that before and it works a charm. Followed by a sit to the chest, realistically he should pin them now.

        0:29 DOUBLE GERMAN SUPLEX, fucking hell Ruff just flew. Bronson just cover them and take the next few minutes for a breather, that’s what I’d do.

        0:30 Cameron Grimes is in and he nails a moonsault, I didn’t know he could do that, though given some of the other moves I shouldn’t be surprised.

        0:31 Ruff get laid out and Grimes just throws money on him. Weaponised money, I don't know why but I find that funny.

        0:32 Dexter Lumis is out and meanwhile Leon Ruff gets eliminated. And there goes my elimination order prediction. Nice slingshot release suplex from Lumis, I’ve not seen that before.

        0:35 big clothesline from Lumis to Grimes and everyone is down. LA Knight is on his way to the ring cutting a promo, and he’s insulting his opponents, so now he’s got four dudes pissed at him as they are all about to fight. It’s a bold strategy, let’s see if it pays off after the break.

        0:38 Knight is in control and he is busting out a lot of big moves. He comes face to face with Lumis and Grimes gets involved, Lumis with the silence to Grimes but Knight rolls him up and Lumis is out, wow didn’t see that coming.

        0:39 and Knight gets pummelled and eliminated by the last three competitors, it didn’t pay off. Then Lumis with the silence on the outside, it very didn’t pay off.

        0:40 I’m going with Reed to win now that Lumis is out,

        0:41 what a sequence that was. That was great.

        0:42 a series of roll-ups leads to Grimes elimination and quite frankly either one would be a great opponent for Gargano.

        0:44 A slam from the top to the apron and that looked fucking brutal.

        0:45 Swerve with a beautiful 450 for a near fall and we are in the endgame now. next fall is going to be it for this one.

        0:46 Swerve’s got a bit of an uphill battle here, his finisher involves lifting and he can’t lift Bronson. Reed is back in control and nails the Tsunami for the win.

        That was a lot of fun, my prediction for the match completely went but I am pretty happy with the outcome here.

        Zak: 0-2 (Dexter Lumis)
        Brother: 1-1 (Dexter Lumis)
        Dad: 1-1 (Dexter Lumis)

        Walter vs Ciampa is next and this is going to be fucking mental

        Walter vs. Tommaso Ciampa
        NXT UK Championship

        0:52 Ciampa is out first, and I’m disappointed with the lack of special entrances thus far. It’s Takeover you should push the boat out a little.

        0:54 Commentary arguing about family softening you in regards to Ciampa and it ends with the phrasing that Walter is in there with a papa bear. Honestly in the fight of Walter vs a Bear, I’d still pick Walter.

        0:57 Lockup and Walter takes control, this is going to be a hell of a match, subtle tease of the chop.

        0:58 Ciampa in control only to be chopped down mid run, he tries some submission on the ropes and Ciampa falls out the ring and we brawl on the outside now.

        0:59 WALTER JUST CHOPPED THE ANNOUNE DESK IN HALF, holy fuck that was something.

        1:00 Ciampa targeting the arm, smart, can’t lift, can’t chop and can’t lock in the sleeper with a dead arm. Tommaso keeps trying to lift Walter and it doesn’t work, Walter with a brutal big boot and he is back in control.

        1:02 Walter is avoiding using the arm, rest it for if things go long. Keeping control with kicks, smart and still brutal as fuck.

        1:04 Ciampa with a series of clotheslines that don’t knock Walter down as we go into adverts.

        1:06 Ciampa going for the fairy tale ending and Walter with a unique counter.

        1:07 Ciampa hits Fairy Tale ending and Walter kicks out at two.

        1:07 Walter with a sleeper and then a suplex from there. and he is right back in this,

        1:08 Ciampa still targeting the arm and he is back in control, I didn’t see this coming.

        1:10 Top rope air raid crash and Walter still kicks out, fuck I thought that was it.

        1:12 Double powerbomb by Walter and it wasn’t enough. What the hell is gonna keep one of them down.

        1:13 as I type that another suplex and chop puts it in the bag for Walter. Bit of an anti-climax.

        That was just as good as you’d expected it to be, I don’t think this was a five star match but high 4s at least. Walter surviving just works.

        1:15 Imperium meet Walter at ringside, and still no signs of Timothy Thatcher, weird.

        Zak: 1-2 (Walter)
        Brother: 1-2 (Tommaso Ciampa)
        Dad: 1-2 (Tommaso Ciampa)
        Dog: 1-1 (Walter)

        Another dog vignette for Franky Monet saying See you next Tuesday. Has anyone told WWE about the abbreviation of that?

        Ok I’m taking a quick lunch break and am about half way through the show. I’ve avoided Twitter and any spoilers for the show, but honestly I’ve really really enjoyed this. This is one of the first times I’ve watched a show without knowing who’s going to win going in, I am watching blind and this has been a lot of fun.

        MSK vs. Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Legado Del Fantasma
        NXT Tag Team Championship

        1:21 MSK and Legado are already in the ring, GYV make their way out last. Could see any team winning this.

        1:22 Legado Del Fantasma with a wishbone to Gibson, that looks real fucking painful.

        1:24 This would be the second tag title for Grizzled Young Veterans, and second one won from being vacant. That’s kinda interesting. The pace has slowed down after a quick beginning with a lot of tag team maneuverers.

        1:27 A double leap of faith dropkick to a tree of woed Nash, that can’t have felt good and we go to adverts.

        1:29 we are back and Legado are still in control, Drake and Gibson are nowhere to be seen. Nice lionsault from Mendoza and then Drake outta nowhere with a rollup for two.

        1:31 Wes Lee is in and he is a house of fire, damn that is some really crisp offence there, a lot of kicks and dives.

        1:33 Wes Lee is really impressing me here, and then GYV with attack to the recently injured hand, smart.

        1:34 Submission spot and Nash is trying to will his friend to stay in this, they are saved by Legado Del Fantasma taking out the Veterans.

        1:35 Legado with their finisher to Wes Lee but he hangs on. The rest of the match comes back and both members of Legado are taken out on the floor. It’s down to MSK and GYV.

        1:37 The brawl was short but ultimately decisive, MSK get the win with their finisher and the two genuinely look overjoyed by the win. It’s always nice to see someone genuinely happy in the wrestling ring.

        I’m not surprised by the ending or winner, I had GYV but that’s the obvious outcome. Definitely the weakest match of the night but still a lot of fun, all four matches thus far have been good, maybe even great.

        Zak: 1-3 (Grizzled Young Veterans)
        Brother: 1-3 (The Phantom guys)
        Dad: 1-3 (Legado Del Fantasma)
        Dog: 1-2 (Legado Del Fantasma)

        A quick preview for night two, but now it’s time for the main event, commercial free. It’s not going to be but fuck it, i'm still hyped.

        Io Shirai vs. Raquel González
        NXT Women's Championship

        1:46 Sarray is here, no idea who that is but I’m sure I’ll find out.

        1:46 Raquel is out first, she has come a long way since her debut just over a year ago, will it be enough to beat the best? My only hope is that Dakota doesn’t interfere, I want this decisive.

        1:48 Io’s entrance is pretty dope, I don’t say that enough but I like it.

        1:50 and this shit is underway, let’s fucking go. Io going in quick but Raquel with a big boot to even the odds.

        1:51 Io is in control with the quick dodges and strikes, Raquel catches the double knees which is mental, and the action spills out of the ring.

        1:52 Dakota gets involved and has been ejected, Gonzalez had the time to recover and Shirai with a moonsault to the floor. but it doesn’t do much as Raquel throws her into the ringpost.

        1:53 I don’t know what to call that but that looked amazing. Gonzalez in control with a lot of power moves.

        1:55 The dog has joined me to watch, Shirai is fighting back and trying to take down the big woman.

        1:56 a nice bit of submission wrestling there, Shirai taking control and hits the 619. She follows with a big sunset flip leaving both down after a two count.

        1:57 nice little sequence with Shirai rolling out the powerbomb into a crossface,

        1:58 Moonsault on the ramp and something is going to happen as Shirai's disappeared while Raquel recovers

        1:59 Shirai dives off the skull onto Raquel, and realistically we should have a countout by this point. Not complaining but just ne of those things you notice.

        2:01 Shirai nails a moonsault and only gets a two count. The action spills out again and Gonzalez with the one arm powerbomb on the outside. This could be it.

        2:02 Raquel mouths off and Io smacks her in the face, Raquel responds with a Clothesline from hell, she follows with the powerbomb and that is all she wrote.

        Rest in Peace Io Shirai, I am going to miss her being in a sensibly booked division. I am excited to see how Raquel does with the belt, she is going to be a big challenge for someone to overcome in the future.

        Zak: 2-3 (Raquel Gonzalez)
        Brother: 1-4 (Io Shirai)
        Dad: 1-4 (Io Shirai)
        Dog: 1-3 (Io Shirai)

        That was a lot of fun, both the show and doing a running diary. I’ve really enjoyed watching without knowing for that rare occasion, I’ll give it a go tomorrow too, I might as well do it if I got the chance to. This was a great show and I really enjoyed it. Let’s see what twitter thought now.

        Yeah Twitter is pretty much agreeing with me, Takeover was fantastic, Io had an amazing run with the belt and Walter/Ciampa was match of the night. Honestly there isn’t much else to say about the show other than I am fucking excited to watch the second night. And on that note, it is time I bid you all a fond farewell, as always I hope you have enjoyed today’s column and I will see you next time.

        The worst PPV ever is coming soon.
        Send in your top 10 to help us find out what the worst PPV ever is.


        • #5
          Feedback time


          It's probably good I'm not getting lots of feedback at the moment, that would just take up time needed for predictions.

          What’s up guys, Kingzak is back in action with another column. Takeover Night 2 is over and it is now in the history books, and I am back with the Royal Running Diary, I really enjoyed this yesterday, so here we go again. So without further ado, let’s begin.
          Takeover: Stand and Deliver Night 2 Royal Running Diary

          0:01 Poppy is here to perform to kick things off while a video package from night one takes place in the background. I am really enjoying the song, it’s got a good vibe to it

          0:03 Wait, she went full incomprehensible screaming and I take back what I said.

          Jordan Devlin vs. Santos Escobar
          Ladder match
          NXT Cruiserweight Championship

          0:05 Escobar has donned the mask and is doing a different entrance than usual, I’m digging it. He removes the mask which is a shame.

          0:07 Devlin is out next and he and Escobar are starring down each other. Heel vs heel, I am intrigued.

          0:08 Starts with big strikes between the two, a one on one ladder match is a lot different than the usual car crash style you get. I’m curious to see how they handle it.

          0:10 Big moonsault to the outside and I think Devlin may have hit his head on the table, he seems fine but that bothers me.

          0:11 We almost get the traditional baseball slide into the ladder spot but Devlin lifts the ladder and honestly I really liked that.

          0:12 I really am hoping that the rest of Legado del Fantasma don’t get involved, It’s takeover it should be decisive. Santos with a knee sending Devlin into the barrier and that was messy.

          0:15 Escobar is definitely taking the more heel role here, considering their 2020s this definitely feels a bit of a flip.

          0:17 Bit of an aside thought, how is Escobar as a face? I know he’s got a big history in Lucha Underground, but was he a good guy at any point. I’m wondering if he could be the next big Mexican star WWE want.

          0:18 Suicide dive straight into the ladder, fuck me that must have hurt.

          0:19 Escobar get’s back dropped straight onto the ladder and I am pretty sure he swore in Spanish. Can someone who knows it better translate?

          0:20 this has been a heck of a brawl so far, a lot of brutal shots with the ladder. We get the ladder up in the corner for the dive spot that every match has. Devlin with a moonsault off the ladder, wow.

          0:22 and here’s what I feared, the rest of Legado are here to take out Devlin. Escobar sent the two back to the back after they’ve beat down Devlin and that’s a mistake for him.

          0:24 brawling atop the ladder and someone is going to eat shit. Devlin with a Spanish Fly from the ladder, so both of them ate shit. Devlin is bleeding from the arm

          0:26 the two trade blows atop the ladder with a ladder propped behind Devlin, Jordan is knocked down and the wooden ladder is broken leaving Escobar alone on top of the ladder. It’s over and Escobar wins.

          0:28 Escobar celebrates on stage with the rest of the crew and a child, it’s his according to commentary. He gives him one of the titles and that’s kinda sweet.

          The right man won, Escobar has more to offer the cruiserweight division and honestly feels like the better bad guy to conquer.

          Zak: 3-3 (Santos Escobar)
          Brother: 2-4 (Santos Escobar)
          Dad: 2-4 (Escobar)
          Dog: 2-3 (Santos Escobar)

          Interview wth MSK and they are hyped, I didn’t see the pre-show but am happy to hear that Dain and Maverick are the new contenders, I doubt they win but I enjoy the team.

          0:31 Just realised there are no adverts this time, I am even more excited

          Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart vs. The Way (Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell)
          NXT Women's Tag Team Championship

          0:32 The Way re out first and Candice is rocking a superhero-esque look, the way liked a bit of fan art and posted it a couple time I like the look.

          0:33 What in the name of almighty fuck are Ember and Shotzi dressed as.

          0:33 Shotzi’s rocking pigtail and Ember’s jacket has a tail. Also she’s dyed her hair purple now, Ember not Shotzi.

          0:35 and we begin and it’s straight into a brawl, Shotzi and Candice going at it having feuded since last October on and off.

          0:37 I cannot get over Shotzi’s pigtails, she looks like a Mad Max Harley Quinn,

          0:39 Ember has yet to get into this one, Shotzi has been beaten down for like six minutes now. this is smart strategy from The Way, but risky. If Ember ever gets in then she is basically just starting.

          0:40 and as I type that, Ember is in.

          0:41 A modified tower of doom and Ember is barely able to kick out. That was a powerbomb, german suplex and regular superplex. Candice is gone. In fairness a german from the top rope would take out anyone.

          0:43 Tags made and Shotzi and Candice are in and I think we are nearing the end for this one.

          0:43 Shotzi with a suicide dive to take out both, that completely missed in reality, she landed on the arms of the two, that would do nothing but hurt a little.

          Drinking game idea: every suicide dive, do a shot. How drunk would we be by the end of the show?

          0:44 Ember with a diving senton a and the two hit a double team manoeuvre for just shy of a three.

          0:46 Eclipse and Senton and this one is over and the champs retain. That’s about right.

          Maybe I’m not big on tag wrestling but that didn’t feel quite as big as it could. It was alright but nothing that wouldn’t be on the weekly episode.

          Zak: 4-3 (Shotzi and Ember)
          Brother: 3-4 (Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart)
          Dad: 3-4 (Not The Way)
          Dog: 3-3 (Ember and Shotzi)

          A trailer for Bianca vs Sasha, I got chills. That trailer made the build look so much better than it has been.

          Johnny Garganovs. Bronson Reed
          NXT North American Championship

          Note: I did check with everyone at the time of predicting and they both went with the gauntlet winner even if it wasn’t Lumis.

          0:50 Gable Steveson is here, no idea but he’s an amateur wrestler and he won the Danny Hodge Trophy, I don’t know who Danny Hodge is either but I remember someone mentioning him a lot on twitter.

          0:51 Bronson Reed is out and I really dig his entrance theme,

          0:52 New entrance graphic for Gargano as he makes his way down in his Iron Man armour. I mentioned it yesterday but I’m glad they’ve stepped up the special entrances this episode.

          0:54 Johnny’s hip swivelling is making me uncomfortable, the pan up to Bronson just behind made me laugh.

          0:54 we are underway and this is going to be an interesting one, can Gargano outpace the big man.

          0:55 Bronson does a cartwheel and the dog starts barking at me. he wanted the garden, or he hates athletic big men, one of the two.

          0:56 Reed’s been in control for the most part so far, Gargano with the slingshot spear and it doesn’t do much. I’m not sure I can see a way of Gargano getting the win here.

          0:57 Commentary say this is Gargano’s 16th consecutive Takeover, which is completely wrong. He missed WarGames 2019 due to injury, so unless there were 16 Takeovers in 2020 he’s got a gap. 16 total is still pretty impressive though.

          0:58 Gargano’s been in control as Gargano focusses on the midsection, Garganos going to need to keep up the speed to have a chance here.

          0:59 Johnny taking it down a notch as he works some submissions and strikes to the ribs.

          1:00 Bronson with a big snap powerslam and he is back in this one,

          1:01 Really nice suplex spot into a death valley driver of sorts, that was nice. only a two though

          1:03 Gargano goes for a standing sliced bread #2 but Reed counters into a suplex, damn that was nice.

          1:05 Gargano going for the Garga-No-Escape and with the injured ribs, that’s the smart move, but Reed makes it to the ropes.

          1:06 Gargano goes to slingshot and gets caught, Reed with a razors edge back into the ring and If I’m honest the raised ring ramp is growing on me a little.

          1:06 Tsunami missed and Gargano almost gets the fall from it, we are nearing the end I reckon.

          1:08 I think the spot just went wrong, Gargano goes for a rana but slips out and Reed hits a powerbomb

          1:08 Reed rips Theory’s shirt straight off after a little interference and then throws Gargano at him. Awesome

          1:09 Suicide dive, everyone do a shot.

          1:09 another near fall following a finisher counter, we get a superkick fight and Reed with a Moonsault but it misses and Gargano with the one final beat, twice. And it’s over.

          That was great, both men did fantastic and honestly Reed could have won that and I wouldn’t have been too bothered by it, that was a great match and I am really enjoying Johnny’s title reign here. The match wasn’t one of Gargano’s best but his best are just that good, I’d gladly watch these two go at it again.

          Zak: 5-3 (Johnny Gargano)
          Brother: 4-4 (Dexter Lumis)
          Dad: 4-4 (Dexter Lumis)
          Dog: 3-4 (Gauntlet Winner)

          Trailer for Orton vs The Fiend, I got goosebumps. I think I may just be easy to give goosebumps to. Maybe it's something in the music.

          Finn Bálor vs. Karrion Kross
          NXT Championship

          1:15 Promo package time, this is gonna be a heck of a match

          1:18 Dunne and his cronies are ringside, do they get involved perhaps.

          1:20 Karrion Kross still has a fucking dope entrance for anyone still wondering.

          1:21 New entrance start for Balor, this feels pretty dope too, He’s got a cross on his chest that you can just about see.

          1:25 “Kross is gonna kill you” chant, I dig it.

          1:26 a slow start with a lot of test of strength and grappling, that was to be expected.

          1:28 some of the body pain has smeared onto Kross’ face/head, that just looks silly.

          1:29 Kross takes control but soon eats the ring post, It was a shoulder injury that took out Kross last Summer, so this is a clever strategy.

          1:32 Kross with a running knee to a tree of woe, I really lke the Tree of Woe as a move, it’s not something done often.

          1:33 Nice DDT out of the armbar for Finn, still targeting the injured arm and that is some solid psychology here.

          1:35 Balor has been surprisingly in control here, I can’t say I expected this to be how the match was going.

          1:37 Kross with a really nice bridging suplex and he is back in control, with a powerbomb for a two count.

          1:38 Balor back in control, but the shotgun dropkick seehs him eat a clothesline into a doomsday Saito.

          1:39 Balor with the Pele kick and he sends Kross into the turnbuckles hard. He goes up to and Coup De Grace and this can’t be it.

          1:40 Kross kicks out into a sleeper. Damn that was like a horror movie.

          1:41 Scarlett shouts some incomprehensible gibberish and it powers up Kross, he beats the piss out of Balor and another Doomsday Saito.

          1:42 The running forearm and it is over. Kross is now a two time champion exactly as expected from the moment he was announced injured.

          I joke but honestly that is the right way to go, someone is going to get a hell of a rub from finally beating the idominable beast that is Kross. Solid match I’d say 3.75 or so.

          Zak: 6-3 (Karrion Kross)
          Brother: 4-5 (Finn Balor)
          Dad: 5-4 (Karrion Kross)
          Dog: 4-4 (Karrion Kross)

          Vaccine promo, I got goosebumps. I’m kidding.

          Also, the fuck is a NFT?

          Santos Escobar promo, about Legado being family, and just celebrating his win.

          Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly
          Unsanctioned match

          1:48 and we have the promo package from last Wednesday, the rain effect in the ring looks kinda weird to me. I wonder what a wrestling match in the rain would looks like?

          1:52 New theme music and it belongs to O’Reilly and I’m kinda digging it. This is gonna be a hell of a match.

          1:54 Adam Cole is out next with new theme music, I wonder if these are new themes or if they are the Indy themes they used.

          1:57 The bell rings and the stare down continues. This is gonna be vicious.

          1:58 a dive to the outside and almost Armbar, Cole throws Kyle into the barrier and this is going to be most of the match.

          1:59 Someone is going to either go through the skull or off the skull in this, calling it now.

          2:01 Big tumble from O’Reilly, that looked hard. No weapon shots yet, just a lot of barrier throws. Adam Cole getting a bunch of chairs out, with an Undisputed Era logo on it.

          2:02 finally some weapon shots. I realise we are only five minutes in but that’s just the unsanctioned way.

          2:03 Just a thought, do you think we get Cole copying any of Britt Bakers move from her Unsanctioned match?

          2:06 Cole with a swear word. It’s prick but it still counts.

          2:07 The crowd wants Tables, but we get a slam on a chair instead, fair enough.

          2:08 Chair punch from O’Reilly, I don’t think that’s as effective as you’d like it to be. And then Kyle gets a chain.

          2:09 Neckbreaker on the chain by Adam Cole. That’s gotta fucking hurt.

          2:11 Figure four with the chain and I fail to see how that makes it worse than usual. Punch fight leading to it splitting. Use the chain as a whip you cowards.

          2:12 Clothesline with the chain, that’ll do . Then a backstabber for a near fall. That was brutal.

          2:14 Cole getting the steps involved, makes sense after the brain buster from a few weeks ago. O’Reilly saves himself and the dog is making his distress noise, I let him know that it isn’t real and he quiets down.

          2:17 fighting on the announce table now, who’s going through the table. apparently no one as the table didn’t break. O’Reilly’s got paper stuck to him.

          2:18 Adam Cole with a TV to the face, and then outcomes a tool box.

          2:20 Cole just tried to stab Kyle, I’ve been waiting for the day someone tries that.

          2:21 Chain assisted armbar and that is brutal. Cole almost out until he gets a big rib shot to free himself

          2:23 the two finally sit down and have a conversation, and then they start fighting. Cole ends it with a big low blow, we are nearing the end.

          2:24 Superkick for a two count, the slow mo replay shows Adam Cole clearly thigh slapping, prepare to be fined for that out of everything.

          2:25 Adam cole takes out the ref for no reason, that’s gonna come back to bite him.

          2:26 It immediately does as Cole covers and fails to get the pin, this is why you don’t hurt the ref.

          2:27 Who throws a chair, seriously that just looked silly.

          2:28 the fight is on the ramp and we get a guillotine spot and Cole spinebusters it through the ramp, That didn’t look great if you ask me.

          2:29 Adam Cole is bleeding from the hand it looks like. O’Reilly rolls straight out the ring. And Cole nails the brainbuster to the steps. O’Reilly also landed on the toolbox. And Kyle O’Reilly barely kicks out, like no energy, his shoulder just came off the mat, not enough to even move Cole.

          2:32 Cole goes for the Last Shot but Kyle is barely there, he manages to get a submission in and Cole barely breaks it with a chain punch. There was a chair right there.

          2:34 O’Reilly with a last shot of his own and Cole only just gets out of the cover.

          2:36 the chair has been set for a impaling, that could be brutal.

          2:37 O’Reilly escapes with a lowblow and a chain assisted diving knee is enough to finally put Cole away.

          O’Reilly limps away as medics tend to Cole, that was about as expected. Honestly I preferred Gargano/Ciampa as an unsanctioned match just for story but that was brilliantly brutal and honestly felt like a satisfying conclusion to the feud. I wonder what’s next.

          Zak: 7-3 (Kyle O’Reilly)
          Brother: 4-6 (Adam Cole)
          Dad: 6-4 (O’Reilly)
          Dog: 5-4 (Kyle O’Reilly)

          I think I’ve watched enough wrestling for the week, I’m glad nothing else important is happening this week. That felt every bit the Takeover that I hoped it would be and was just a lot of fun to watch without the results in mind already. I’m glad that the timing lined up for me for once. I’ll have to go back to the regular review format for WrestleMania. Let’s see what Twitter though about this one.

          Firstly, I’m not the only one that spotted Shotzi fucking up the suicide dive. Secondly, people weren’t entirely sold on the Unsantioned match, I’m not 100% why. It was pretty solid for what you’d expect, some of the stuff felt a bit silly but it was still a violent brawl and that’s what it was always going to be. I definitely enjoyed night one more, though maybe that was just because I was excited to watch new wrestling for once. Either way, it is time I bid you all a fond farewell. I’ll be back in a couple hours for WrestleMania predictions, but until then I hope you have enjoyed today’s column and I will see you next time.
          Last edited by kingzak13; 04-09-2021, 12:39 PM.
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          Send in your top 10 to help us find out what the worst PPV ever is.


          • #6
            I thought both nights were great, with night one just edging it mainly because none of the matches outstayed their welcome whereas on night two Gargano/Reed could've been a tad shorter and the main event definitely could've been 12-15 minutes shorter. I don't know what it was like for others but I didn't watch either night live which didn't affect night one at all but when the entrances for Cole/O'Reilly start and I can see there's 50 minutes of the show left it kind of takes me out of the early stages.


            • #7
              First and foremost, really appreciate you taking the time to do both the predictions and the running diary! I know a ton of work goes into those, and even if the CF is quieter right now and it's not generating a ton of feedback, the effort is really appreciated.

              I was only able to watch 7 of the 10 matches due to having in-laws in town. Hoping to be able to circle back to watch the last two matches of night 1 as well as O'Reilly-Cole.

              I've always kind of liked the elevated entrance ramp, but mostly as a change of pace to the norm. Slight deviations are often the breeding ground of innovation, so it was neat to hear that there was a spot or two with the elevated ramp that at least slightly won you over.

              Of what I saw, I definitely concur that Ciampa-Walter was match of the overall PPV. I found the psychology of Ciampa working over Walter's arm extremely effective.

              NFTs strike me as seriously dumb, so you're not missing out on much. I only have a vague understanding, and I know there are different types, but they seem to essentially be digital trading cards.

              Nice work, Zak!


              • #8
                Feedback time

                @Cook: I agree that the main event could have been shorter, but I thought Gargano/Reed was just right for length.
                I did watch it on recording, but the show was only two hours, so as a precaution I set it to record an extra hour of both shows, so I didn't have the same issue, but I too didn't feel the early stage of the match much, especially when they immediately went for weapons and brutality, I'd have put a little wrestling in to start if it were me.

                @Mavsman: Thanks, I'm glad you liked them. Hope your in-laws visit went well.

                I think the elevated ramp definitely offered a change of pace, however I'd argue it gives an advantage in tag competitions, with one side of the ring having a smaller drop than the other, I know it's doesn't matter really. I think it's more likely I prefer the normal ramp more for tradition than anything.

                I got that sort of impression from the NFT ad, seems like some sort of purchasable gif or something. I don't get it myself but if people like it then more power to them.

                Thanks to everyone for reading, hope you enjoyed the shows.
                The worst PPV ever is coming soon.
                Send in your top 10 to help us find out what the worst PPV ever is.