NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV Preview And Predictions - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV Preview And Predictions - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Robert DeFelice Thursday, August 9, 2018
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Robert DeFelice, Jordan Chaffiotte, and Callum Wiggins will be giving their thoughts on what may happen at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV!

It’s the biggest night of the year for NXT. This year, everybody seems more driven than ever by the allure of championship gold, but just who will be walking out with the gold? Let’s discuss…

Question 1: Adam Cole and Ricochet will clash in the first ever one-on-one NXT North American Championship match to be held at a TakeOver. Who do you think walk out of Brooklyn with the gold?

CHAFIOTTE: One and only. I don't deny that Adam Cole has done a stellar job as NXT North American Champion, or that Undisputed Era is the greatest thing in NXT. I just think it's time to pass it on, and Ricochet is clearly the best man for the job. Mustache Mountain may be able to neutralize Roderick Strong and Kyle O'Reilly, and in that case, Ricochet will prove to be the better man. He's got a lot of momentum behind him that he would be smart to capitalize on. Meanwhile, I do think Undisputed Era can eat a loss. As I've said before if you want the impact of them eventually holding all the gold, the North American, the NXT Championship, and the Tag Team Championships, you have to have them come in with nothing. That means between now and Bobby Fish's return, Cole will have to drop it anyway. We can push the Mustache Mountain feud while we're at it and have a huge triumphant moment for Ricochet.

WIGGINS: I'm highly looking forward to this match. The Undisputed Era is the best thing going in NXT right now (which considering the caliber of the roster is saying a lot), with Adam Cole performing like an updated version of Ric Flair leading his own Four Horsemen. Cole, who due to his incredible charisma in and outside the ring more often than not is quite safe in his style, which makes Ricochet a perfect contrast due to his high-flying, risk-taking, show-stealing performances.

I'd say it would feel a little premature to take the NXT North American Championship away from Adam Cole right now. This match with Ricochet represents his first real challenger since winning the title in that epic ladder match, so losing it in Brooklyn feels too soon. Ricochet will remain hugely popular even in defeat due to his name and ability, especially if this defense is due to underhanded means, so I feel Cole and his compadres Roderick Strong and Kyle O'Reilly should hold onto their gold for a little while longer.

DEFELICE: This is my pick for show-stealing match of the evening. Everything that Undisputed ERA touches turns to gold. I mean that, of course, in a figurative sense even though they have two out of the three championships available to men on NXT. Adam Cole is the closest thing we have to a modern-day Shawn Michaels or Chris Jericho with the amount of charisma he exudes in every interaction that we see him have. Ricochet, as I’ve mentioned before, is Dwayne Johnson with the build of a cruiserweight. So enjoy this one, guys because it’s the closest thing I’ll ever see to The Rock and Shawn Michaels going one-on-one.

My gut instinct is to say that Ricochet walks away as the winner here, but I have Undisputed ERA going into War Games with all of the championships in their camp, so I think I’m going to go with Adam Cole (Bay Bay!) to retain his championship by some nefarious means in an absolute barnburner of a match. I’m so scared of The moment when either of these men gets called up to the main roster because they’re so good and they could easily get misused and mishandled and I just like seeing them both, especially Adam, in a prominent role

Question 2: Kairi Sane will challenge Shayna Baszler for her NXT Women’s Championship. Will there be a repeat of last year‘s Mae Young Classic or will Shayna claim yet another victim?

DeFELICE: This, to me, is a stepping stone to WWE Evolution. I think Shayna Baszler is walking into that event with the NXT Championship intact. However, in order to do that, the adorable pirate princess has to fall. This match for me is very paint-by-numbers. Unfortunately, Shayna’s whole run has felt like that. That is the one downfall of presenting a dominant character. For a large part of the journey, it’s got to be a little boring. I can’t wait to see what the NXT women will be bringing to Evolution and this match will be a good tell for just that.

WIGGINS: Another match I'm very much looking forward to. While Shayna Baszler is still inexperienced and undoubtedly has limitations in the ring, I've thoroughly enjoyed her reign as NXT Women's Champion. She comes across as she should - a legitimate badass that seeks to intimidate and bully any potential challenger. She ranks high for me among the best holders of that title ever, and her reign will likely continue beyond the challenge of Kairi Sane.

It seems clear they're building a feud between Baszler and Candice LeRae for the future, so Sane is a stepping stone. But, I was a fan of their Mae Young Classic finals match, and Baszler has only improved as both a wrestler and a character in that time. Sane is already spectacular in the ring, which will more than counteract any flaws Baszler presents and look awesome in defeat.

CHAFFIOTTE: Like my counterparts I expect Shayna Baszler to have the title come Evolution and lose it there. I have my fingers crossed for Candice LeRae to step out of her husband's shadow and have a huge moment there. That does mean, though, that Kairi Sane will have to take the loss. That worries me a bit. It's been a year since she won the inaugural MYC and to be frank they haven't really moved on her much. She's had some great matches but hasn't gotten above number one contender. I think their match will be spectacular. Shayna has come a long way and Sane has always been fantastic. But I do think it will be predictable. Sane will miss the Insane Elbow, Baszler will get her in the Rear Naked Choke and that'll be that. One interesting wrinkle is that now the two will be 1-1 in major event matches, which means there's a third around the corner.

Question 3: The final bout on the card is a Triple Threat between Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano, and Tommaso Ciampa for the NXT Championship. This match feels like a colliding of universes. Three powerful forces being driven to madness by the ecstasy of gold. Who comes away from the inevitable carnage with the richest prize on NXT in their possession?

WIGGINS: There is so much nuance, depth, and intrigue in this rivalry between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, something the main roster should be taking notes from in all honesty. The fact Gargano felt he had removed this evil influence from his life, but now is having to sink to new lows in his desperation to remove Ciampa forever. Gargano now isn't the clean-cut babyface fans have grown to love, which has added so many more layers to this story than what would have been a perfectly fine but predictable good guy vs bad guy story.

I was a big fan of the NXT Championship change - Aleister Black was a fine champion, but changing the title to Ciampa on TV not only makes weekly NXT more must-see but will only add to Gargano's frustrations and make he and Black enemies in this equation too. I believe this match will headline and steal the show for the championship, with Ciampa retaining in the build towards a one-on-one match with Gargano, which could either result in his redemption or push him off the deep end.

CHAFFIOTTE: My mind is having a hard time wrapping around this. The story of Gargano and Ciampa is so rich and well done, but it's been ballooning bigger and bigger since Ciampa came back. At what point do we hit critical mass? Having this triple threat feels a little bit like maybe it's gotten too big. Or it'll be incredible. One or the other.

Here's what I see going down: Gargano wins the belt, Black gets called up, and Ciampa creepily slinks away into the night (and probably gets called up too). The way that happens is what's most important, we need to have Gargano once again turn to the dark side. He needs to use some sort of heel-ish tactic to win, a desperate last-stitch effort to get the gold. Gargano is so very talented at telling a story through his body language and his facial expressions. I want to see that internal conflict. I want the golden boy of NXT to recognize that Ciampa isn't his only demon. Some of them live with him. I want him to be relieved, yet ashamed when he pins Ciampa.after disposing of Black. Candice can come out to the stage, clapping but unable to hide her concern. That's the story they can see through WrestleMania before bringing him up, we've gotten Johnny Wrestling back, but did we lose Johnny Gargano along the way?

DeFELICE: We’ve been predicting this match since WrestleMania weekend, and now that it’s here, I feel a little sad. The only reason I wanted to see a triple threat is so that Aleister Black, as champion, could be in the main event. seeing as they put the title on Ciampa already, I would rather see a finale of the best feud in NXT history, Gargano vs. Ciampa. With that little personal caveat aside, I’m actually quite impressed at how they have placed these three pieces of the puzzle together in such a beautiful and chaotic manner. My money is still on Tommaso losing the title to Johnny in proper one-on-one fashion, so I’m going with Tommaso to retain by pinning Black and I think Black is on his way up to SmackDown Live.

This makes Johnny Gargano the odd man out. I think he and Ciampa will continue their own personal blood feud until the next TakeOver, at which point Johnny will finally defeat his greatest rival in an I Quit Match. That being said, I will not be sad at all if this turns out to be Johnny’s moment. He more than deserves it I just think it should be one-on-one when he finally wins.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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Robert DeFelice is a journalist and marketing student. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram as well as his apparel website Time Killer Apparel and his pro wrestling blog PandemoniuMania.


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