The longest feud in NXT championship history is set to come to an end Wednesday night in a match that could have major implications on WWE’s main roster. Samoa Joe defends his NXT Championship for the first time as he faces Finn Balor in a steel cage match at NXT Takeover: The End.
It’s a feud that started last fall when Joe turned on Balor, leading to multiple title matches between the two wrestlers. Balor first faced Joe at NXT TakeOver: London in December, and the longest-reigning champ in NXT history beat Joe again at NXT TakeOver: Dallas, two nights before WrestleMania 32. But Joe surprisingly beat Balor for the title at an NXT live event in April, and the title of Wednesday’s special event indicates that the upcoming match between Balor and Joe will be their last.
Ever since they fought in Dallas, there’s been speculation that either Joe or Balor would be called up to the main roster and become a fixture on “Monday Night Raw” or “SmackDown.” The loser of Wednesday’s match could find himself on WWE’s top shows by SummerSlam 2016, if not much sooner.
Four other matches are on the card, and all three belts will be defended. NXT Takeover: The End will start at 8 p.m. ET only on WWE Network. Subscribers pay $9.99 a month for the network, though new subscribers can watch Wednesday’s online stream atno cost, since they’ll receive their first month free of charge.
NXT Champion Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor (Steel Cage Match)
Balor’s time in NXT might not be coming to an immediate end following Wednesday’s match, but his days of wrestling at Full Sail University are numbered. Having already held the title for 292 days, with the potential to be one of WWE’s top stars at the next level, he’ll likely lose and allow Samoa Joe to dominate the NXT title picture for a few more months.
Prediction: Samoa Joe
NXT Women’s Champion Asuka vs. Nia Jax
Nia Jax has looked like a formidable competitor for the title after beating Bayley clean and standing tall over Asuka last week, but it’s not yet her time to hold the belt. Asuka still hasn’t lost in NXT, and she’ll likely remain unbeaten for a while, taking Bayley’s place as NXT’s top female wrestler.
NXT Tag Team Champions American Alpha vs. the Revival
American Alpha has yet to put their belts on the line, and they aren’t likely to lose their first title defense. Jason Jordan and Chad Gable continue to increase in popularity, and the Revival have become such good heels that they don’t need to be champions to make an impact.
Prediction: American Alpha
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Austin Aries
Aries is on his way to becoming a heel, and his turn could be complete when this match comes to an end. Aries could cheat and get the victory, but Nakamura is likely to remain undefeated for the time being, possibly until he gets a title shot.
Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura
Andrade 'Cien' Almas vs. Tye Dillinger
Almas hasn’t even appeared on NXT yet, and he won’t lose his first match. Wednesday’s match feels reminiscent of Apollo Crews’ NXT debut, as he defeated Dillinger when he appeared at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn last summer.
Prediction: Andrande “Cien” Almas