The past couple years have seen a meteoric rise for NXT. Spearheaded by Triple H (in his real life position as Head Of Talent Development), WWE’s developmental territory has taken on a life of its own. Showcasing young talent and now a destination for independent and international talent to get a taste of the WWE.
In 2014, NXT took the next step into showcasing live events on the WWE Network. A huge success, the specials have become a quarterly event and have given a platform to some of the best matches fans have seen in some time. The next live special will take place on April 1, the Friday night before Wrestlemania on Sunday and the “developmental” arm of the WWE has put together a card that could steal the weekend.
Asuka vs. Bayley – NXT Women’s Championship
The women’s division has defined a new standard in NXT and this match will be no different. Bayley has been champion since August, winning it from Sasha Banks and has been a fighting champion ever since. Asuka debuted in NXT last year, and has cut a swath through the roster, either knocking or choking her opponents out. This will be Bayley’s toughest challenge since her matches against The Boss last year.
American Alpha (Jason Jordan & Chad Gable) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) –
NXT Tag Team Championship
Current champs Dawson and Wilder are the epitome of the term “throwback”. Reminiscent of teams like the Brainbusters and the Minnesota Wrecking Crew, their motto is “no flips, just fists”. They show up, beat opponents in the face, and leave. Their upcoming opponents are a pair of finely tuned athletes hitting their stride at the right time. Despite having been together for only a short time, Jason Jordan and Chad Gable gelled instantly, have never had a bad match, and are a big hit with the crowd. Their match at the Takeover: London event sent a clear message that they want, and are ready, for a shot at the tag titles in a highly competitive division.
Austin Aries vs. Baron Corbin
A multi-time chanpion in TNA and Ring Of Honor, the self proclaimed “Greatest Man That Ever Lived” will be making his NXT debut against NXT’s resident malcontent, Baron Corbin. Corbin is big, powerful, and ticked off. If you’ve watched Breaking Ground on the WWE Network, Corbin has been vocal about how he should be on the main roster and how he has beaten everyone in NXT, which he has, but no gold to show for it. Aries is one of the hottest free agents who have landed with the WWE, having had success in every other promotion he has competed in. This is going to be fast, hard hitting, and probably one of the most physical matches of the night.
Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Yet another free agent in the world of professional wrestling lands at NXT. Shinsuke Nakamura, the King Of Strong Style, easily in the top 3 of performers on the planet right now will have his first match against a former NXT Champion in Sami Zayn. Both men had massive success, Zayn in Ring Of Honor and Nakamura in New Japan Pro Wrestling, and now will show the world what they are capable of in a WWE ring. Zayn needs to keep an eye out for Nakamura’s finisher, the Bomaye Knee, which he can hit from ANYHWERE in the building.
Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor – NXT Championship
Claiming the title in July of 2015, Finn Balor has carried the banner in NXT ever since and faces a stiff opponent in the Samoan Submission Machine. Samoa Joe, having spent well over a decade in TNA before leaving the promotion early in 2015, would make his NXT debut later in the year and has led the current wave of independent and international superstars making their way. This match is also a rematch of the main event at the London Takeover event in which Balor came out victorious. Both men wrestle a highly physical style, Balor will fight for his title and Joe will not waste his second chance at gold.
NXT Takover: Dallas will air Friday, April 1 exclusively on the WWE Network