NXT TakeOver: R Evolution predictions
The Superstars and Divas of tomorrow are ready to invade WWE Network once again! NXT TakeOver: R Evolution is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. The stakes have never been higher, with Sami Zayn saying he will leave NXT if he can’t capture the NXT Championship from Adrian Neville.
The action-packed card also includes bouts for the NXT Women’s and Tag Team Championships, as well as a tag team match that promises to be an all-out brawl. To get the best insight on TakeOver: R Evolution, WWE.com went to those who work with the NXT roster every day, the coaches of the WWE Performance Center, to get their predictions for this Thursday’s WWE Network spectacular.
Hideo Itami & Finn Bálor vs. The Ascension
Jason Albert: I am absolutely, 100 percent taking Itami & Bálor here. I know them well. I think, with all due respect to The Ascension, desperate times call for desperate measures, which is a recipe for making a mistake. WINNERS:Finn Bálor & Hideo Itami
Sara Amato: I’ll go with Hideo & Finn, because they’re both guys I’ve been watching for a very long time. I know what they’re capable of. I wouldn’t want to be The Ascension. They’ve just been needling them, like two tigers in a cage. That’s not a team I’d want to mess with. WINNERS:Finn Bálor & Hideo Itami
Norman Smiley: Up until a couple of months ago, I thought The Ascension was the big dog on the block. However, with them losing the titles to The Lucha Dragons, I see a crack in their armor. I’m going to have to give the nod to Hideo & Finn. WINNERS:Finn Bálor & Hideo Itami
Finn Bálor & Hideo Itami: 3, The Ascension: 0
NXT Tag Team Champions The Lucha Dragons vs. The Vaudevillains
Jason Albert: The Lucha Dragons are at an all-time high right now. The Vaudevillains may have bitten off more than they can chew, making fun of them with the little people. I’m going with the The Lucha Dragons. WINNERS:The Lucha Dragons
Sara Amato: Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve been working with The Vaudevillains for the past few months. I’ve seen a more vicious side of them. I think they’re going to pull it out. Gotch & Aiden have, in the short time they’ve tagged together, developed a very good chemistry, with a chip on their shoulder. They’re going to be a hard team to beat. WINNERS:The Vaudevillains
Norman Smiley: The Lucha Dragons are so creative, they can come at you from so many different angles. Kalisto is one of the most explosive, impressive performers that we have. At this point in time, I really don’t see them losing the titles. The Vaudevillains, however, are two characters that have meshed well. Simon Gotch is good on the mat, but I’m going with the champions. WINNERS:The Lucha Dragons
The Lucha Dragons: 2, The Vaudevillains: 1
NXT Women's Champion Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks
Jason Albert: That’s a tough one for me. Sasha claims that she taught Charlotte everything Charlotte knows. But has she taught her everything Sasha knows? I have doubted Sasha in the past, but then you see her with someone like Becky Lynch, and what she’s done for her, and you start to think maybe she did create Charlotte. I’m going to go with Sasha Banks. WINNER:Sasha Banks
Sara Amato: Sasha has a real mean streak, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she takes it, but of all the girls I’ve ever been in the ring with, Charlotte has a focus, determination and dedication that true champions have. I’m going with Charlotte. WINNER:Charlotte
Norman Smiley: I have the pleasure, at times, of working with the Divas, and in my opinion, Charlotte is one of the best athletes that we have in NXT, so I’m going to have to give the edge, physically and strength-wise, to her. However, Sasha is The Boss. She’s going to do whatever she can do, however, wherever, whenever, to pounce and become the NXT Women’s Champion. If I had to pick one, I’m going with the champion, Charlotte. WINNER:Charlotte
Charlotte: 2, Sasha Banks: 1
NXT Champion Adrian Neville vs. Sami Zayn
Jason Albert: I was anti-Zayn for a while. I didn’t think he could win the big one. But when I think about what he’s done the past few weeks, I’ve changed my mind. Against a man as big as Titus O’Neil, did I think he could get it done? No, but he got it done. Then you have someone like Tyson Kidd. Zayn beat him. Then came his Achilles’ heel, Tyler Breeze. I did not think he could beat him, but he did. I think we’re seeing a new Sami Zayn, and I’m predicting that he’ll walk away the new NXT Champion. WINNER:Sami Zayn
Sara Amato: They’re both fighting for so much more than the championship. They have such a long history together and a lot at stake. I think it’s do-or-die time for Sami. He’s been in this predicament before; I know he has it in him to pull it out. WINNER:Sami Zayn
Norman Smiley: It’s going to be very interesting, because they’re two men that have had classic bouts in the past. Their style is what we do here at NXT, it’s very creative. However, I’m going to have to give the nod to the champion, because he just works with so much passion and focus that it’s very hard to see him not continue with the momentum he presently has. WINNER:Adrian Neville
Sami Zayn: 2, Adrian Neville: 1
NXT TakeOver: R Evolution coverage begins Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT with a live Pre-Show, featuring a special announcement from Corey Graves on his future in NXT. The live special begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, only on WWE Network. You can get WWE Network for only $9.99 per month by clicking here.