The last time we did a “Funkhouser Predicts”, the week of Summerslam and NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, there was a lot more to talk about in the world of professional wrestling. The WWE was riding a high of both NXT and Brock Lesnar, while Lucha Underground capped off one of most incredible debut seasons of any wrestling program in history.
Fast forward four months and some things have changed, while others are very much the same. Lucha Underground just released its season two trailer (Holy Crap, that looks AMAZING). NXT is still a top notch program with some of the best wrestlers on television. On the other hand, WWE is currently in one of its all-time low eras in history. They’ve had terrible ratings in the past weeks, there are a number of top talent who are on the injured list, and no one is buying the main event scene with Roman Reigns and Sheamus.
That being said, NXT Takeover is making its overseas debut with NXT Takeover: London. It is being shown live on the WWE Network on Wednesday, December 16th at 3:00 PM. That’s right, 3:00 PM. Oh, did I also mention it’s from a sold out SSE Arena in Wembley? Don’t worry, I’ll be watching it live and live-tweeting it from our @KSRWrassleTalk account on Twitter, so join in on the fun. Until then, let’s take a look at the five scheduled matches and figure out who is going to walk out of London the victor. But before then, listen to the theme song for the event, which I’ve been playing non stop all day – The Struts “Could Have Been Me”:
Dash & Dawson (c) vs Enzo and Cass
Enzo Amore may be one of the most charismatic talkers in the history of the WWE, and especially NXT. A fairly shorter wrestler with not an overly exciting ring style, makes up for it in spades with the way he talks. Enzo refers to himself as the “Smack Talker Sky Walker”, and he certainly lives up to it. His partner is Colin Cassidy and he’s 7 foot tall, and you can’t teach that. Big Cass really does all the hard work for the team, even throwing Enzo around like a lawn dart at their opponents. Together, they’re “Big Stars Taking Meteor Showers“. On the other side of the ring is the duo of the “Mechanics” in Dash and Dawson. These two make you think of old school tag teams, all the way down to the matching satin jackets. Dash and Dawson also bring back the classic tag team wrestling style teams like Arn and Ole Anderson, cutting the ring in half and physically dominating one of the two opponents.
Prediction: As much as I want Enzo and Cass to win this one, they still stand alone on their own without the need of title belts. However, I don’t really know where they go creatively after this. On most of the Takeover specials, the good guys almost always win, but I think Dash and Dawson prevail.
Asuka vs Emma
The storyline that has been brewing between Dana Brooke and Emma against Asuka (Ah-Ska) has been pretty fantastic. It stems back to Asuka vs Dana Brooke at the NXT Takeover: Respect live event, where Asuka handed a hefty loss to Brooke, hitting her in the head so hard that DB thought she had won the match. Now, Dana Brooke’s partner in crime, Emma is taking her shot at Asuka, and it is presumably going to go about as well as it did for DB. Emma, who had a pretty lackluster career up on the WWE main roster is making her return to NXT Takeover, as she was in the first ever women’s match on NXT Arrival.
Prediction: Asuka… It’s not even a question. Asuka has had a streak of acting out all of her opponent’s taunts, so I hope she does the Emma dance… because that would be amazing.
Apollo Crews vs Baron Corbin
Apollo Crews (formerly Uhaa Nation) has been on fire since entering NXT at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. He has remained undefeated in singles competition, while also winning a #1 contenders battle royal to face the champion Finn Balor. Baron Corbin on the other hand had a bit of a rocky start in NXT. He was pushed as a dominant force, being given squash matches for month after month, winning all of those contests in less than 20 seconds or so. It was impressive, but it didn’t seem to be going anywhere. But in the last couple of months, Baron Corbin has become of a more interesting character, with his hatred of all people who came up on the indies (Corbin played for the Colts and Cardinals). His in ring style has finally gotten to show and he put up a great performance NXT Takeover: Respect with matches against Jordan and Gable, then the pair in the main event of Takeover: London.
Prediction: Apollo Crews. I Just don’t see Crews’ winning streak ending here, but with a great performance, Corbin doesn’t necessarily need the win either.
NXT Women’s Championship Match
Bailey (c) vs Nia Jax
Bailey has had the benefit of having two of the greatest women’s wrestling matches of all time in the past two NXT Takeover events against “The Boss” Sasha Banks. This is not going to be like that at all. Nia Jax, who is a relative of The Rock, is fairly new to the NXT scene, having debuted in the last month or so. She is aided by the fact that she has a unique size for most women in NXT and the WWE. What she has not been aided by is that she had been paired up with humongous heat magnet “All Red Everything” Eva Marie. The boos that come down upon Eva Marie are almost nuclear, and those have been passed along to Nia Jax. Jax is still a little raw in her performance, and has not shown that she as at the upper echelon of NXT Women’s standards like Bailey, Banks, Charlotte or Becky Lynch
Prediction: Bailey. She’s still got to find a worthy woman in NXT that can be a successor to the title, and it might have to be any of the women in the earlier match of the night, but it’s not Nia Jax.
NXT Championship Match
Finn Balor (c) vs Samoa Joe
Well this is going to be something special. Unlike the match at Takeover: Brooklyn, Finn Balor isn’t going to be restricted to a gimmick match like a Ladder Match. This is going to be a full on 1-on-1 wrestling exhibition, which will allow two people, who have had great notoriety wrestling matches overseas, to be able to do what they do best in a sold-out SSE Arena, outside of the famed Wembley Stadium. Balor is on top of his game right now, and has even stated that going up to the WWE main roster would be a step back for his career. He loves being in NXT and why wouldn’t he if he gets to take on Samoa Joe in London. Samoa Joe has been on fire over the last month or so once he turned on Balor. If you have the WWE Network, be sure to check out Joe vs Tommaso Ciampa from a couple weeks ago. WOW. Ciampa is a good wrestler, but if Balor and Joe get to go the way that Joe and Ciampa did, we’re in for something really special.
Predicition: Finn Balor – Joe has already given his career a huge boost with his work from the past month on NXT. I could see them having a great match this Wednesday, but then having a rematch of sorts at the next Takeover Event, if it’s soon.
Again, I’ll be live tweeting the event at @KSRWrassleTalk at 3:00 PM on Wednesday afternoon. If you’re watching it live, come tweet with me!