Roderick Strong is not throwing away his shot, or so it would seem.
In a strange occurrence, one that happens less frequently than seeing February 29 on your calendar, NXT featured a contract signing for a title match at Takeover: Brooklyn III between Ember Moon and Asuka. “What’s strange about that?” you may be asking your internet device, and the answer is simple: there was no violence. None! While both of these women were obviously amped up and ready to do battle in the match I’m personally looking forward to the most, neither of them lost their cool enough to try to gain some momentum, or more importantly, give their opponent an injury before the big fight.
This is the best feud heading into Takeover, one that has a legitimate history. If Roode/McIntyre spent more time telling a story, and if Roderick Strong wasn’t hanging over the two of them like a chandelier (more on that later), I could maybe see that being the most anticipated match; they didn’t, he is, and it’s not. If Ember Moon defeats Asuka for the NXT Women’s Championship, thus ending the Streak, and it doesn’t happen in the main event of Takeover, we should all riot. (And no, I don’t mean the Ruby kind.)
Turning a Profit
I’m a big fan of the Lars Sullivan Show, and him annihilating his tag team partners after a loss is up there with Kenny McCormick getting killed in terms of guilty pleasures. While the big man’s partner, Chris Silvio, decided to get cute and cut Sullivan to get to the front of the line to be in this match (big mistake, as he later found out), it was their opponents, Street Profits, whose stock rose with a win this week. As far as I’m concerned, these guys are on the right path but have yet to beat a legitimate tag team. Since next week’s NXT will show all the matches that are going to be taped before Takeover goes live on the network, I’m hoping we get the dream match we’ve all been dreaming of for, well, about two weeks or so.
A Chance for Momentum
While the undeniable top two women in the division are battling for gold on Sunday, nobody can say there is a shortage of talent further down the ladder. Billie Kay and Ruby Riot provided proof of that during their match on NXT, and even though Kay always has the wildcard known as Peyton Royce behind her, it was Riot who pinned Billie Kay FTW. If the Women’s Division were a fantasy league, I’d draft Riot in the fourth spot, behind Asuka, Moon and naturally, Nikki Cross, the woman who has my heart. With Cross not involved in a feud of her own (I’m LOVING her tormenting of the Authors of Pain), or having not had a match in a while, it has to be Riot who is next in line for a chance at the title, no matter who it may be. (My wallet is with you, Ember!)
Strong’s Big Break
In the main event, Roderick Strong fought Drew McIntyre for a chance to fight Bobby Roode after Takeover. Whether that match would be a title match is yet to be determined, barring the results of Roode/McIntyre on Saturday night. All Strong had to do was win this match, but thanks to interference by the Glorious One himself, the match was ruled a draw. It’s unclear what this means for Strong’s chances to get his hands on Roode post-Brooklyn, but the table is still set for McIntyre. While I don’t think McIntyre will defeat Roode, I also don’t see Roderick Strong being able to keep himself out of the action in the title fight, especially with what Roode pulled this week. Regardless of the results on Saturday night, we can all agree that this Takeover card is the perfect way to kick off SummerSlam weekend.