NXT Takeover hits Portland on February 16 with three title matches on the line. This is the 28th Takeover event that NXT has staged and they keep getting bigger and bigger.
NXT champion Adam Cole puts his belt on the line against former champion Tommaso Ciampa, while the women’s title is up for grabs when Bianca Belair – fresh off her fine performance at the Royal Rumble – challenges Rhea Ripley.
In the tag team division, NXT UK stars the Broserweights Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne are rewarded with a championship match after they won the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. They will take on Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish of The Undisputed Era in what should be a classic match.
Rhea Ripley vs Bianca Belair – NXT Women’s Championship Match
Australian Rhea Ripley won the NXT’s Women’s Championship on December 18 when her feud with Shayna Baszler came to a temporary end.
Ripley will be looking for a lengthy reign as champion as she is the first woman to be crowned both NXT Women’s Champion and NXT UK Women’s Champion.
She comes up against Bianca Belair in Portland after the 30-year-old earned her opportunity by winning a Battle Royal to become the number one contender.
Ripley is a no-nonsense brawler who will not back down from a fight, while Belair impressed in the recent Royal Rumble when she entered at number two and lasted over 33 minutes before being eliminated by the eventual winner Charlotte Flair.
Belair holds the record with Baszler for the most eliminations in one Rumble as they both threw out eight opponents each in Texas.
Ripley has a lot of momentum at the moment and as good as Belair is, we cannot see the title coming from around the Australian’s waist just yet.
Finn Balor vs Johnny Gargano
Finn Balor has reinvented himself since returning to NXT and becoming a heel. The Irishman has always been a fans favourite with a smile on his face.
Those days are a thing of the past. The former NXT Champion got a massive push on the main WWE roster when he became the first ever WWE Universal Champion. That reign didn’t last long as he injured his shoulder in the win over Seth Rollins, he was out for months and had to relinquish the title.
Despite having two reigns as Intercontinental Champion, Balor never hit the heights he was at before his injury. This has now seen him return to NXT and he shocked everyone by turning on Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa.
This started a feud with Gargano and they will lock horns at NXT Takeover Portland. Gargano is also a former NXT Champion and NXT North American Champion. He lost the NXT championship to Adam Cole at NXT Takeover XXV.
This will be a thrilling contest with both men putting their bodies on the line. We think Balor has the edge in this one. This has the potential to be the match of the evening and victory for Balor will put him in the title mix once again.
The Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs The BroserWeights (Matt Riddle & Pete Dunne) – NXT Tag Team Championship Match
We can see new NXT Tag Team champions in Portland when the Broserweights challenge The Undisputed Era for the gold.
The Undisputed Era of Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly have held the tag team titles since they defeated the Street Profits on NXT in Florida back in August. This is the second time O’Reilly and Fish have held the titles and the third time The Undisputed Era stable have had them in their possession.
The Broserweights are firm fans favourites in NXT at the moment. Riddle and Dunne are challenging The Undisputed Era for their belts after they were victorious in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. During the Dusty Rhodes Classic, they defeated the team of Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster, Imperium and the Grizzled Young Veterans to have a shot at the gold.
The Broserweights are on a massive role at the minute, it would make sense to put the belts on them for a while because it won’t be too long until The Undisputed Era are running riot over at RAW.
So, expect new tag team champions at NXT Takeover Portland.
Adam Cole vs Tommaso Ciampa – NXT Championship Match
ADAM COLE BAY BAY! Sorry I just couldn’t resist it. Cole become champion in June 2019 when he beat Johnny Gargano at NXT Takeover XXV. Gargano only became champion when the title was vacated by Ciampa as he underwent surgery on his injured neck.
The vacated belt was on the line in a two out of three falls match with Gargano beating Cole at NXT Takeover Brooklyn in April. Ciampa is now back from injury and he is adamant he should still be champion as he was never actually beaten for the belt.
He will now take on The Undisputed Era’s leader for the gold in Portland, Ciampa made his feelings about Cole very public as he powerbombed the champion through a table on NXT and he continues to taunt Cole with the words “Goldie is coming home to Daddy”. This is in reference to the gold NXT title belt.
The build up surrounding Ciampa’s return and his fight for the gold once again makes me think that he will win the match, but for one reason or another Cole will retain his title. Expect some interference from The Undisputed Era in this one, if Fish and O’Reilly lose their titles earlier in the night then they could interfere to make sure one of them keeps their belt.