WWE NXT: Looking Ahead to TakeOver: Toronto


With the fourth and final of the ‘Big Four’ WWE PPVs, Survivor Series, emanating from Toronto this year, NXT looks to kickoff the three-day festivities with a TakeOver show the night before Survivor Series. What will the card look like come November?

NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II is in the books. A highly successful event, and for the second year in a row, topping SummerSlam in all aspects. WWE has now announced that the next TakeOver special will hail from Toronto, marking the first time a TakeOver has taken place in Canada.

All three NXT championships will be defended, with two of them looking to be rematches from TakeOver: Brooklyn II. It is widely presumed that Samoa Joe will invoke his rematch clause against the current NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. NXT will have three months to continue this ongoing storyline, something they have been able to do successfully with Joe’s rivalry with Finn Balor that spanned three TakeOvers: London, Dallas, and The End. Nakamura has yet to be defeated since arriving to NXT during Wrestlemania weekend in arguably the match of the year against Sami Zayn.

The other rematch appears to be the second chapter in what was undoubtedly the match of the night in Brooklyn: The Revival vs. Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa for the NXT Tag Team Championships. This will be The Revival’s fifth title match at TakeOver, with Dash and Dawson having an impressive win-loss record since becoming the tag champs. They successfully retained the titles against Enzo & Cass at London; would lose them to American Alpha at Dallas only to regain them once again in shocking fashion at The End; and emerged with a victorious defense against Gargano and Ciampa at Brooklyn. The Revival are 3-1 at TakeOver since winning the NXT Tag Team Championships from the Vaudevillains.

In the women’s division, a clear cut competitor has yet to emerge as the number one contender to Asuka’s NXT Women’s Championship, who also has an even more impressive win-loss record: she too is undefeated since coming to NXT, much like her countrymate Shinsuke Nakamura. With Bayley, Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax, and Carmella all up on the main roster, a void has to be filled. As of this moment, the three stars with the most potential right now, especially in line for a title shot is Billie Kay, Liv Morgan, and the newly debuted Ember Moon. With as much emphasis as Ember Moon has been receiving, coupled with her backstage segment with Bayley, all signs would seem to foreshadow that Ember Moon may be the next person to challenge Asuka for the title.

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The undercard for TakeOver is shaping up to be anchored down by potentially the match-up between Austin Aries and Hideo Itami after their brief but physical encounter at Brooklyn when Itami dropped Aries with the GTS, the move that he innovated that CM Punk borrowed in homage. Both Aries and Itami are highly respected ring veterans who will no doubt put on a great match. Also, look for a possible rematch between The Authors of Pain and TM61, as the two look to make their official TakeOver debuts, having wrestled each other in a dark match pre-taping prior to the Brooklyn main card.

With TakeOver happening in TakeOver, it must only make the most sense to feature both Tye Dillinger and Bobby Roode on the card, as both are Canadian, with Roode being billed from Toronto. Both are already incredibly popular in NXT and with the two returning home, one can imagine that the two will probably be the recipients of the biggest pops of the evening. Canada has not only had an indelible impact on pro-wrestling, but in regards to NXT, some of its biggest and most-over stars have been from Canada, such as Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, and Tyler Breeze.

TakeOvers are also known for their debut matches; both Austin Aries and Bobby Roode made their debuts on NXT TV, but had their respective first matches at TakeOver, with Aries having his against Baron Corbin at Dallas and Roode having his at Brooklyn against Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas. Recently, mysterious vignettes about a superstar named ‘Sanity’ have been airing during NXT. It’s more than likely that Sanity will debut prior to TakeOver: Toronto, but won’t have their first match until the event itself.

It’s interesting to note that perhaps giving Bobby Roode a title shot at Toronto would have inadverdently put him over NXT Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura, who is wildly popular in his own right. It’s not unusual in NXT for someone to almost immediately find themselves in the title picture shortly after their debut. In fact, the perfect example of this is Kevin Owens. However, given the raucous nature of the Canadian fans, it would not be surprising if they turned on Nakamura in favor of their hometown hero in Bobby Roode. Having a rematch between Nakamura and Joe would protect Nakamura’s stock and save the seemingly inevitable Nakamura-Roode feud for another time.

Next: WWE NXT Review: Results, Analysis, and Grades for September 7

For the third time this year, NXT will precede one of the ‘Big Four’ PPVs. So far, both Dallas and Brooklyn II blew Wrestlemania 32 and SummerSlam out of the water. Survivor Series has been in somewhat of a lull in recent years, with the only memorable occasion to come from the event being Sting’s debut in the 2014 edition. With that in mind, it’s quite possibly NXT’s time to shine brighter than the main roster yet again. With the notoriously boisterous Canadian fanbase, TakeOver: Toronto looks to continue the impressive run that NXT has been on.