Welcome to another edition of WWE Heat Index, wherein we discuss the interest level for the various feuds heading into the pay-per-view events. This time around, we’re focusing on NXT TakeOver: New York coming this Friday, April 5th.
The way this works is a pretty simple three-way breakdown of Hot, Lukewarm and Cold. If you like something and you’re very interested in how WWE is setting up the program, it’s Hot (aka Good). If you’re a bit on the fence about it and see some problems, but it’s not awful, then it’s just Okay or Lukewarm. The ones that are the most problematic that you have no interest in are Cold (aka Bad).
NXT Championship 2-out-of-3 Falls Match: Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano = Hot
While I would have been happier had WWE been able to go with the original plan and finish off the feud between Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano, this is about as good of a replacement match as one could ask for.
I have no doubts Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano will be able to put on a fantastic match that could not only steal the show for this event, but the entire weekend. They’re just that talented and there’s no reason to think this will have any hiccups to it.
It’s that simple. Yay for talented wrestlers being talented!
Prediction: Johnny Gargano wins.
NXT Women’s Championship Fatal 4-Way Match: Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Bianca Belair vs. Io Shirai vs. Kairi Sane = Lukewarm
My brain is telling me this is a placeholder match to compensate for not having set up a singles opponent for Baszler that could move the needle and feel important enough, but myy gut is telling me that my original idea of Io Shirai being the next in line is wrong and this is going to be how they put the title on Bianca Belair without having Shayna Baszler actually take the loss.
Basically, Bianca Belair could beat Kairi Sane or Io Shirai and win the title, leaving room for Shayna Baszler to move up to the main roster at WrestleMania, on the Raw or SmackDown LIVE after, or during the Superstar Shake-up.
If that’s the case, I’ll be even more intrigued in retrospect. But even if that isn’t, and it’s just a Shayna Baszler retaining scenario, I’m a fan of all four of these women, so again, yay for quality performers. It just doesn’t match up to Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano to me.
Prediction: Bianca Belair wins.
NXT North American Championship Match: Velveteen Dream (c) vs. Matt Riddle = Lukewarm
I’m a bit iffy on this. I’m a huge fan of Velveteen Dream and I think Matt Riddle has proven himself entertaining so far, but for some reason, I feel like if I get my hopes up that this will be something special, I’ll be disappointed.
Their styles might clash. It might be strange for Velveteen Dream to be the heel again, since it’s definitely not going to be Matt Riddle. Maybe this will even be more of a squash than I’m hoping (as I don’t want it to be, at all). I don’t know. But while I have some reservations that it will be amazing, I do think I have to be optimistic, as I’m a fan of both guys and they certainly have the talent to be able to wow everyone.
Prediction: Matt Riddle wins.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: War Raiders (c) vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet = Hot/Lukewarm
By and large, these four guys have proven in previous matches that they’re going to put on a great show, and I have faith I’ll enjoy the hell out of this match even more than something like Matt Riddle/Velveteen Dream or Pete Dunne/WALTER.
I’d knock it down a peg to not a 100% full Hot, though, because I just can’t see Aleister Black and Ricochet winning the titles, so that somewhat spoils the ending for me a bit as I’ll be watching the match with the idea of Hanson and Rowe winning the entire time.
Still, predictable doesn’t necessarily mean bad, and I’m going to strap myself in and enjoy the ride while it lasts regardless of that.
Prediction: War Raiders win.
United Kingdom Championship Match: Pete Dunne (c) vs. WALTER = Lukewarm
I’ll admit, I’ve been slacking on my NXT UK viewings and I’m not as knowledgeable about WALTER as I should be at this point. It’s just difficult to sit and watch that much WWE television every week and NXT UK is the one that falls by the wayside for me.
He’s huge, though. That’ll be neat to see him pair up with someone so much smaller in Pete Dunne, who has proven himself to be one of the most consistently entertaining people on the roster.
Others are super hyped about this and I’m hoping there’s a reason for that, other than just what’s on paper. For now, I’ll give it a Lukewarm, but I hope this is the type of match that I need to write down in my notes for a potential Match of the Year candidate.
Prediction: WALTER wins the title.