NXT TakeOver: Portland Predictions - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

NXT TakeOver: Portland Predictions - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Dallas Allsopp Thursday, February 13, 2020
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, Dallas Allsopp, Bodeen Green and Ethan Neufeld will be discussing their predictions for this weekend's NXT TakeOver: Portland pay-per-view.

This Sunday marks the next NXT event as we head towards NXT TakeOver: Tampa. In order to be successful during WrestleMania 36 weekend, NXT superstars will need to lay down a marker this weekend to prove they are worthy of a championship match at NXT TakeOver: Tampa. Will Charlotte Flair make an appearance? Will Finn Balor be successful? And most importantly, will Goldy be returning to her rightful owner?

Question 1: Rhea Ripley will defend her NXT Women’s Championship against Bianca Belair, with a potential match with Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 36 on the line. Who do you think will be victorious, and will Flair get involved in this match?

ALLSOPP: I believe that Rhea Ripley will win this match, but Bianca Belair is definitely capable of pulling off a surprise victory. Belair has been on a dominant roll since the Royal Rumble, and with all the allusions she makes to being the NXT Women's Champion, there is every chance that she wins. I am a big fan of Ripley, but I would like to see Belair win in order to create a triple threat match at WrestleMania 36. Charlotte Flair could give the rub to both NXT superstars in one night, whilst perhaps putting on the best match of the night. What is certain is this Sunday's matchup will be a memorable contest for all the right reasons, with Flair coming out only to congratulate the winner.

GREEN: I am really keen for this match as NXT has arguably the greatest women's roster in the world, with both women in this match being shining examples of this. For me, this is a near guaranteed victory for Rhea Ripley. It just wouldn't make sense for her to build up a storyline with Charlotte Flair and then drop the belt straight away. As for Flair getting involved, I don't see her getting involved in the match itself, however I can see her coming out after the match to accept Ripley's challenge.

NEUFELD: Rhea Ripley should win and will win. She is red hot at the moment and crazy over with any crowd she’s in front of. She just took the title from Shayna Bazsler and she should have a few wins before ceding it to someone else. I love Bianca Belair and she is totally deserving of a title run, but not at this time. As an aside, this is evidence to me of the NXT women’s division being almost too deep. You have a half dozen women who are amazing and all deserving of a title run, so it constantly feels like they’re not being used enough. As far as Charlotte Flair is concerned, I could see her being at ringside as a spectator and doing a little golf clap for the winner. She won’t interfere in the match though, therefore I predict a post match staredown rather than a beatdown.

Question 2: Finn Balor has been on a personal crusade against Johnny Gargano since he turned heel. Has his heel run in NXT been a success? Who would benefit the most from winning this match?

GREEN: I would say it's too early to judge Finn Balor's heel turn. Whilst it did happen quite a while ago, we are still seeing new shades of grey for the heel character as time goes on, with Balor becoming more darker and aggressive with each passing week. Whilst a win for Balor would benefit him hugely and make his heel character look extremely strong, a win for Johnny Gargano would benefit him highly, mainly due to Gargano losing his last two TakeOver matches and missing out on a match at the last TakeOver.

NEUFELD: Finn Balor was treading water and slowly sinking, so any change was going to be a good one. His heel turn has been okay, but not great. He mostly seems to scowl a lot and look like he didn’t get enough sleep. Only recently has his in ring style evolved to be more heelish. The jury is still out, but Balor would benefit the most from the win. Johnny Gargano has been around long enough in NXT to have weathered multiple ups and downs. He’s held every championship and headlined multiple TakeOver events, whereas Balor needs a big victory over a mega babyface to cement himself as a top heel. I actually hope he’ll cut some corners to get there to really sink it in and get people against him. Gargano could win, but I don’t think it would benefit him nearly as much.

ALLSOPP: Finn Balor seems reinvigorated since he returned to NXT, which means I cannot consider this run a failure. He should have defeated Adam Cole for the NXT Championship, but his feud with Johnny Gargano has more than made up for this. Both men have performed well in the ring and on the microphone, which can only benefit the product. I believe Balor will win this weekend as Gargano seemingly wants to stay in NXT and therefore doesn't need the victory, but the journey to Balor's victory will be thrilling and unmissable.

Question 3: Tommaso Ciampa has been determined to reclaim Goldy since his return from injury, with The Undisputed Era proving to be a constant thorn in his side. Will he defeat Adam Cole for the NXT Championship, or will Cole prove to be too strong as the MVP of NXT?

NEUFELD: This is a very tough one to call. Tommaso Ciampa has been on a tear since coming back after never losing the NXT Championship. His build and story have been fantastic, and it’s hard to see him not coming out victorious. On the other hand, Adam Cole is Adam Cole bay bay. The Undisputed Era, and Cole in particular, are the hottest act in wrestling, and it feels like Cole needs one or two more big triumphs to solidify his legacy as NXT Champion. Since I see The Undisputed Era losing the NXT Tag Team Championship next, with Cole later losing his NXT Championship, I think Cole comes out on top here in a brutal match. But I really can see it going either way.

ALLSOPP: Goldy is unfortunately not going to be coming home this weekend. I believe this because I cannot see past the irrepressible Adam Cole, who is quite frankly the best wrestler in NXT. Not only that, he has The Undisputed Era at his disposal who are after blood following Tommaso Ciampa's repeated attacks. Ciampa will come agonisingly close to winning, only to have Cole steal the victory to set up a titanic collision with Keith Lee at NXT TakeOver: Tampa.

GREEN: When Tommaso Ciampa returned from neck surgery, I was worried how NXT would use him as a face, however to my surprise he managed to keep the aggression and passion he had as a heel. Whilst Ciampa regaining Goldy will be a sight to see, I don't see it happening this weekend. I feel as if Adam Cole still has things to do with the NXT Championship before he loses it and potentially moves up to the main roster with the rest of The Undisputed Era.

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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Dallas Allsopp is a writer with two main interests, Pokemon and wrestling. He has been writing for a few years for his own personal blogs and is now taking his passion for wrestling and putting it into his writing. You can follow him on Facebook.


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