Welcome to Ringside News’ coverage of NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, where the crowd will be raucous and the action frantic.
Tonight’s TakeOver is all about taking what you’ve earned, and that couldn’t be more true in the case of Johnny Gargano. This time last year, Johnny Gargano was part of NXT’s most beloved tag team and enjoying a run in the main event scene against the likes of The Revival and A.O.P. By March however, Gargano’s partner, Tommaso Ciampa, turned on him in one of wrestling’s all-time great swerves, and beat the living crap out of Johnny Wrestling. Fast forward to now and Gargano has had a Daniel Bryan-esque couple of months that saw him rise from opening a TakeOver and losing, to getting a shot at the NXT Championship – ironically against the same man that he lost to. Tonight Gargano has the opportunity of a lifetime and an arena full of fans who are ready to see him do what many would have said was impossible, and become the figurehead of NXT. However, don’t be surprised if a certain figure from Johnny’s past shows-up and stops that from happening.
Also on the bill tonight, is the Women’s NXT Championship match, between the Champ Ember Moon, and the challenger Shayna Baszler. Rarely has a woman in NXT looked as intimidating and dominant as Shayna Baszler, who has choked out everyone she has run into and smirked while doing it. This is a massive test for Moon and it’s difficult to see how she walks out with the title after tonight. I for one would love to see Baszler stride to a straightforward win and begin a Lesnar-esque run of carnage and domination. One thing is for sure, this will be an awesome, hard-hitting affair that takes place 24 hours before the first ever women’s Royal Rumble match!
Elsewhere on tonight’s TakeOver show, you can see Aleister Black face Adam Cole in an Extreme Rules match. These two have had some bad blood for a while now and tonight will see them finally air their grievances and put it behind them. It’s difficult to see who wins tonight because I imagine NXT want to keep both men looking strong but my money would be on Black. Adam Cole’s buddies, The Undisputed Era’s Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly, will be putting their NXT Tag Team Championship’s on the line tonight against the Author’s Of Pain. These two teams have amazing chemistry, as showcased at TakeOver: WarGames, so I expect a knock-down, drag-out brawl tonight. And then we have our final match of the evening, which is likely to open the show: Velveteen Dream Vs. Kassius Ohno. These two guys are both awesome in their own rights but I think WWE will keep pushing Dream at the expense of Ohno, who is clearly just an enhancement talent for NXT at this point.
So that’s our preview for tonight’s show. Let us know your thoughts and opinions via the Ringside News app and enjoy the show!