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Our 3 Cents - NXT Takeover 31

Welcome back to another edition of Our 3 Cents where myself, Jesse, and Lonnie give you our predictions on what's going to go down. It seems quick to do another Takeover so soon but here we are. Without further to do, here's our current standings:

John: 40-12-1 (75%)

Jesse: 35-17-1 (66%)

Lonnie: 33-19-1 (62%)

Let's take a look at the card:

Kushida vs. Velveteen Dream

Jesse: I don’t have many words for this match because I feel Dream shouldn’t be on the roster. Kushida in a quick match.

W: Kushida

Lonnie: Starting about a month ago, you can tell NXT was determined to give Kushida a nice push. In the first 3 weeks of his push he delivered 2 squashes and a nice attack on the Dream.  But as is life, all good things come to an end. And with that, Dream cost Kushida in the gauntlet match.  When I view this match, I think “Who should be set up to get the next championship match.” Whether it is North American or NXT, I think Kushida is next in line for a shot. I feel like Velveteen has been stuck spinning his wheels without a live audience and I still feel they are reluctant to make him a champion due to his personal issues. I think this all leads to Kushida being given the chance to move onto something bigger.

W: Kushida

John: I love the new aggressive side of Kushida in recent weeks and Dream has recently returned to NXT. Kushida attacked Dream so in return, Dream cost Kushida his NXT Championship opportunity in the gauntlet eliminator match. Whether right or wrong, I'm still weary of Dream and not sure I would book him in anything big for the near future until the extracurricular activities die down a little bit. I'm picking Kushida to pick up the win here and turn his attention to the winner of Priest/Gargano.

W: Kushida

NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match

Isaiah "Swerve" Scott vs. Santos Escobar (champ)

Jesse: I am glad that NXT is giving the Cruiserweight division a shot. I remember when I was growing up the Cruiserweights were my favorite part of WCW. Watching Lonnie’s hero Rey Mysterio fly off the ropes, or Psicosis and his crazy masks, and even the forgotten Guerrero, Juventud….they always put on a show and amazed me. This match has the potential to be sneaky good and Swerve deserves a title reign soon, but I would like for Escobar to hold the title a little longer to have a feud with the rightful champ Jordan Devlin.

W: Santos Escobar

Lonnie: I think WWE realized they only have a four match card on Wednesday morning and decided to add this match to fill some time. That being said, they should be given plenty of time to have a good match. If Swerve was going to win, I think their would have been more build going into the match. Escobar retains here.

W: Santos Escobar

John: These two of had a good feud going. Although it's been a little off and on, I like the direction the feud is going. Swerve has looked good in his matches against Escobar but Escobar always pulls a win when it matters most. I'm hoping for no interference from Legado del Fantasma. I could really see this match going either way. I think Escobar pulls out a win via nefarious means and Swerve continues to chase the gold.

W: Santos Escobar

NXT North American Championship Match

Johnny Gargano vs. Damian Priest (champ)

Jesse: I have really enjoyed the Heel Gargano’s and everything they have done. That being said, it’s time for something new for Johnny. He has done everything there is to do in NXT, and he is my favorite wrestler, but sadly he’s getting a little stale. He is bigger than the NA Championship, so this is a step down for him, but I think he is going to make Priest look great and enable him to continue his run.

W: Damian Priest

Lonnie: Gargano is an NXT mainstay and has proven time and again that he will deliver at Takeover. I think the chance for him and Candice to hold championships at the same time would make a good story line. But my main issue is that it would require Priest to lose. Gargano can lose here, and it absolutely will not hurt him at all. Priest has beaten Thatcher, but I feel him beating a top tier talent such as Gargano would really help him especially this early in his reign. I’m going with Priest as they need to keep building new top-level talent.

W: Damian Priest

John: I like what Priest is doing with the NXT North American title at the moment and I think it's too soon to take the title away from it. Gargano is sure to get a good match out of him and make Priest look good in the process. I don't think a Gargano loss will hurt him in this match but a Gargano loss will do wonders for Priest. Here's to hoping Priest picks up a nice win to continue his rise.

W: Damian Priest

NXT Women's Championship Match

Candice LeRae vs. Io Shirai (champ)

Jesse: Heel Candice is great and all, but I wish she was a babyface. As probably the best all around female wrestler on the roster I think it’s time to put a title on her. Io has been doing a great job as champ, but I feel like her time has come to get called up to the main roster to feud with the likes of Asuka or whatever Carmella has been repackaged as. Candice wins in what I hope is a long back and forth match.

W: Candice LeRae

Lonnie: Based on the fact that I am having Johnny lose, I should just pick Candice to lose as well. If they both aren’t champs, why should one of them be? However, when I think about the women’s division on NXT, if Candice doesn’t beat Io who can? Many of the NXT women have gone to the main roster in recent years and I feel we are at the point where it has finally caught up to NXT and the division is thin. I just feel a heel champion in Candice would make things more interesting and it may allow Rhea to reenter the championship picture like she deserves.

W: Candice LeRae

John: Since I don't think Gargano will beat Priest, I see no reason for Io to lose to Candice. If Gargano does in fact beat Priest, then I'd worry that Candice will beat Io. I feel it's all or nothing for the Gargano household. I'd like to see Io continue her run. It's a shame she can't face Tegan Nox now due to Nox's ACL tear. I believe Io still has a one-on-one match with Rhea Ripley in the future and maybe a title match against an up and coming Shotzi Blackheart. It's too soon for Io to lose the gold in my opinion but I would worry if Gargano beats Priest.

W: Io Shirai

NXT Championship Match

Kyle O'Reilly vs. Finn Balor (champ)

Jesse: I am absolutely thrilled that they are mixing the NXT Championship landscape up and allowing KOR to have a shot. My heart is saying he will win so we can have an Evolution type celebration for the Undisputed Era, but my head says Finn isn’t dropping the title this quick. If you get bored sometime go back and watch some of KOR’s old PWG matches, he can bring it in a match so hopefully Finn can keep up. This won’t be the best match of the night, but it will have the best storytelling. Finn survives and moves on.

W: Finn Balor

Lonnie: First off, Kyle O’Reilly is amazing. I feel this man has been a star on NXT the last several years and has not gotten the credit he deserves. He is absolutely excellent in the ring. Once, again he displayed this when he started the gauntlet match and went on to win it. I feel like O’Reilly is going to get his moment and be a star…. Just not now. With only a two week build I do not see a title change coming. I see Kyle coming up just short and hopefully warranting a rematch. Finn is clearly in a league of his own and I see that continuing. I think a future O’Reilly title run is inevitable, but the time just isn’t right.

W: Finn Balor

John: There was probably no one happier than me to see Balor win the NXT Championship. That made his return to NXT worth it. While I'll admit that I was surprised that Kyle O'Reilly won the gauntlet eliminator match, I'm definitely happy about it. I've known all along that O'Reilly can go in the ring and I have high expectations for this match. O'Reilly is a future NXT champion no doubt but it's just not his time. I hope we don't see the rest of the Undisputed Era get involved and Balor wins a clean awesome match.

W: Finn Balor

That does it for this edition of Our 3 Cents!! Be sure to follow along Sunday for LIVE COVERAGE and check back to see how we did. Join us later this month for Hell in a Cell!

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