Quick predictions for NXT Gold Rush Week 2: Melo beats Corbin


Thanks to World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, the first leg of NXT’s Gold Rush special brought in record viewership for the developmental brand. This is good news for a show that WWE hopes to boost as a viable third brand with television rights negotiations looming.

This week, we’ll see if the promotion retains most of those viewers with a similar “main roster wrestler in the main event” formula (though not as effective given that the main roster wrestler is Baron Corbin).

Aside from the NXT Championship match, fans will get four other bouts on the two-hour show.

But before NXT Gold Rush starts, let’s predict who will get the big wins at the event.

Gigi Dolin vs. Kiana James: It’s good to see WWE script secondary storylines for the women, even if the content leaves much to be desired. This feud between Dolin and James falls into that category, and they probably won’t make up for the storyline’s shortcomings with their workrate. This issue between the two just started, so it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see the heel get the win. Prediction: Kiana James pins Gigi Dolin

Nathan Frazer (c) vs. Dragon Lee- NXT Heritage Cup, British Rounds Match: We’re still waiting for the big Dragon Lee push. In the ring, he has dazzled audiences since debuting in NXT in April, but WWE should have more for him to do besides putting over Noam Dar. The wait will have to continue, though; Frazer just won the Heritage Cup, so it’s hard to believe he’ll lose it here. Prediction: Nathan Frazer beats Dragon Lee 2-1 and retains the NXT Heritage Cup

Gallus (Mark Coffey and Wolfgang) (c) vs. Malik Blade and Edris Enofé- NXT Tag Team Championship: Blade and Enofé are ideal television championship contenders; they have an exciting offensive repertoire and can create some fun hope spots, but most fans recognize that they aren’t serious title contenders yet. They would be more interesting champions than Gallus, but NXT has already committed to Gallus vs. Tony D’Angelo and “Stacks”, rendering this match a placeholder. Prediction: Gallus win and retain the NXT Tag Team Championship (Wolfgang pins Malik Blade)

Tiffany Stratton (c) vs. Thea Hail- NXT Women’s Championship: We know that WWE sees a lot of potential in Stratton — and rightfully so — but we will get a better idea of Hail’s ceiling in this match. Is she just a fun midcard act or does she have a future at the top of the card? Whatever the answer, it won’t result in her winning the NXT Women’s championship. Stratton seems set for a long reign and this is only her first defense. Prediction: Tiffany Stratton pins Thea Hail and retains the NXT Women’s Championship

Next. A DIY return would be massive for the WWE main roster tag division. dark

Carmelo Hayes (c) vs. Baron Corbin- NXT Championship: Having the NXT Champion lose clean on Raw in a match that doubled as an advertisement for this show really undercuts WWE’s “make NXT equal to Raw and SmackDown” strategy, as will trading offense with a man who the company has constantly treated as an interest vacuum. At least there’s no concern over WWE potentially tripling down on these missteps with a title change. Corbin will get his licks in, but Hayes will fight from underneath and win. Prediction: Carmelo Hayes pins Baron Corbin and retains the NXT Championship