NXT TakeOver: Dallas Card, Featuring the Debut of Shinsuke Nakamura

NXT_Takeover_DallasNXT TakeOver: Dallas airs live tonight on the WWE Network.┬áProgramming starts with a kickoff show at 9:30pm ET, which will also air free on YouTube, WWE.com, Facebook, and WWE’s other social media partner platforms. Mauro Ranallo has announced that he will be a part of the TakeOver kickoff panel.

The TakeOver event begins at 10pm ET and features a hefty card that rivals WrestleMania and includes the debut of Shinsuke Nakamura:

  • NXT Championship Match: Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor
  • NXT Women’s Championship Match: Asuka vs. Bayley
  • NXT Tag Team Championship Match: American Alpha vs. The Revival
  • Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn
  • Baron Corbin vs. Austin Aries
  • Apollo Crews vs. Elias Sampson

Predictions for tonight’s event?

WrestleMania Week Revs Up on the WWE Network

wmlogoWe’re already more than halfway through WWE’s WrestleMania Week and though the company already rolled out some great programming on its WWE Network, including a new WWE 24 covering Daniel Bryan’s retirement announcement and a new Legends with JBL featuring Michael Hayes, there is even more great programming coming up.

Tonight at 10pm ET, the Network will air a live Stone Cold Podcast with Mick Foley. The Hardcore Legend has never been shy about his feelings on WWE’s creative process and booking decisions, although he’s become more tame lately now that his son is working for the company and he’s looking to get his daughter work at Titan Towers as well. It will be interesting to see how the chat goes, since Stone Cold is never one to pull punches.

Tomorrow night is, of course, NXT TakeOver: Dallas. For many, this is the highlight of WrestleMania Week.

Programming starts with a kickoff show at 9:30pm ET, which will also air free on YouTube, WWE.com, Facebook, and WWE’s other social media partner platforms. Mauro Ranallo has announced that he will be a part of the TakeOver kickoff panel and will also call the matches on the WrestleMania kickoff show, which is very exciting for fans who feel WWE’s main commentary team is awful.

The TakeOver event begins at 10pm ET and features a hefty card that rivals WrestleMania and includes the debut of Shinsuke Nakamura:

  • NXT Championship Match: Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor
  • NXT Women’s Championship Match: Asuka vs. Bayley
  • NXT Tag Team Championship Match: American Alpha vs. The Revival
  • Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn
  • Baron Corbin vs. Austin Aries
  • Apollo Crews vs. Elias Sampson

Saturday night is Hall of Fame night, beginning with the Red Carpet Special airing at 7pm ET, hosted by Maria Menounos. The ceremony itself begins at 8pm and is slotted until 11:30pm. This year’s inductees are:

  • Sting (inducted by Ric Flair)
  • The Godfather (inducted by JBL and Ron Simmons)
  • The Fabulous Freebirds (inducted by Xavier Woods, Big E, and Kofi Kingston)
  • Big Boss Man (inducted by Slick)
  • Jacqueline (inducted by Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley)
  • Stan Hansen (inducted by Vader)
  • Snoop Dogg (no announcement has been made but likely inducted by Sasha Banks)

Then, on Sunday it’s time for the main course. WrestleMania 32 (or “star”) kicks off at 5pm ET with a two hour pre-show available on WWE Network and the company’s social media partner platforms. The 6pm ET hour will also air on USA Network. Rumored matches for the pre-show include:

  • The Total Divas (Natalya, Paige, Brie Bella, Alicia Fox, and Eva Marie) vs. B.A.D. & Blonde (Naomi, Tamina, Lana, Emma, and Summer Rae)
  • The Usos vs. The Dudley Boyz
  • US Championship Match: Ryback vs. Kalisto

WrestleMania proper begins at 7pm ET on the Network and pay-per-view. Below is the full card, with the Andre Battle Royal still up in the air for the main show or the kickoff. It could easily be switched with the US Championship match, according to reports.

  • WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Roman Reigns vs. Triple H
  • Hell in a Cell: Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker
    • If Shane wins, he gets control of Raw and WWE. If Undertaker loses, this is his last WrestleMania.
  • No Holds Barred Street Fight: Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar
  • Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Zack Ryder vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz vs. Sin Cara vs. Stardust vs. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
  • Divas Championship Triple Threat Match: Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte
  • AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho
  • Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
    • Participants announced include: Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, Adam Rose, Bo Dallas, Big Show, Kane, Tyler Breeze, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, Fandango, Damien Sandow, Darren Young, Konnor, Viktor, Goldust, R-Truth
  • The New Day vs. The League of Nations

The build has once again not been great for this year’s WrestleMania but WWE has a way of making the show a hit. In Dallas, with a record crowd and a huge atmosphere, WrestleMania 32 should be no different.

The WrestleMania Card is Nearly Complete

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WWE has filled out the WrestleMania card in recent days on Raw, WWE.com, and Smackdown, adding a United States Championship match, a tag team contest, and the Andre battle royal to this year’s event. All that’s left is an Intercontinental Championship match and something with Chris Jericho and AJ Styles, although those two elements may be combined.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Roman Reigns vs. Triple H

Hell in a Cell Match
Shane McMahon vs. the Undertaker
(If Shane McMahon wins, he gets control of Raw)

No Holds Barred Street Fight
Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar

United States Championship Match
Ryback vs. Kalisto

Tag Team Championship Match
League of Nations vs. New Day

Divas Championship Triple Threat Match
Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte

The Usos vs. The Dudley Boyz

3rd Annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Examining the WrestleMania Card: Official Matches and Rumors

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With less than a month to go and only one “Roadblock” in the way, the WrestleMania card has taken shape. Barring a wrench being thrown into the booking machine from an unlikely Dean Ambrose WWE World Heavyweight Championship win this Saturday in Toronto, the main elements of the grandest show of all are clear.

Triple H (again, pending the outcome of the Roadblock main event) will defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against two-time former champion Roman Reigns, hopefully settling their long and drawn-out grudge. Shane McMahon will challenge the Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match with the goal of wrestling control of Monday Night Raw – and, by extension, all of WWE – away from his sister Stephanie and brother-in-law Triple H. Charlotte will defend the Divas Championship against two of her Four Horsewomen compadres, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch. Finally, Dean Ambrose will battle Brock Lesnar in a no holds barred street fight.

Those are the announced matches, but last night’s episode of Raw gave us a glimpse at what’s to come for the rest of the card.

Chris Jericho and AJ Styles seem to be destined for a one-on-one match to settle the score after Y2J delivered three Codebreakers to the Phenomenal One after their Tag Team Championship match loss to the New Day. One would guess this match will have a stipulation of some sort attached, perhaps two-out-of-three falls, since the pair has faced off on several occasions already.

Sami Zayn returned to Raw to help Neville avoid a post-match beatdown at the hands of Kevin Owens. The common theory is Owens will defend his Intercontinental Championship in a multi-man match at AT&T Stadium, but here’s hoping we get a one-on-one contest between former best friends turned bitter enemies Owens and Zayn. I have no desire to see Dolph Ziggler, Miz, or Tyler Breeze shoehorned into a meaningful match and storyline just to get them on the card.

That, after all, is what the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal is for. While WWE hasn’t confirmed we’re getting the battle royal, it’s a safe bet considering the company likes to get everyone on the show.

It’s still unclear what’s in store for the Tag Team Champions, although a matchup against the League of Nations has been rumored. The New Day is working triple threat tag team matches with the Usos and the Dudleys on house shows leading up to ‘Mania, so perhaps we’ll get a multiple team match.

Lastly, there’s United States Champion Kalisto, who has been somewhat lost in the shuffle since Sin Cara returned. We got a little tease of a Ryback-Kalisto program during last night’s Raw but we’ll have to wait another week to see where that goes. If WWE insists on doing a multi-man match for one of the mid-card titles, I’d rather it be Kalisto’s US Title, since Owens and Zayn makes too much sense as a singles match.

Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match Added to Royal Rumble Kickoff with Winners Entering Rumble

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WWE just announced that a Fatal 4-Way tag team match will take place on the Royal Rumble kickoff show, with the winning tag team earning entry into the Rumble match. The 4-Way features The Ascension vs. The Dudleys vs. Mark Henry & Jack Swagger vs. Darren Young & Damien Sandow. Apparently Darren Young and Titus O’Neil very quietly broke up, but I missed that one.

The odd thing here is this match implies that six of these men will not enter the Rumble. WWE’s roster is already razor thin thanks to a multitude of injuries, so we’re either getting some NXT call-ups, a Bullet Club appearance, a bunch of nostalgia returns, or a combination of the those.

With the announcement of this match, here is your updated Rumble card:

Royal Rumble WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match

Intercontinental Championship Last Man Standing Match
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose

United States Championship Match
Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio

Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos vs. The New Day

Divas Championship Match
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte

Kickoff Show Fatal 4-Way, Winning Team Gets Entry into Rumble
The Ascension vs. The Dudleys vs. Mark Henry & Jack Swagger vs. Darren Young & Damien Sandow

Here is Your Updated Royal Rumble Card

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With less than a week to go, WWE finally got around to adding some matches to the Royal Rumble card during last night’s episode of Raw. We already knew that Roman Reigns would defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the 30-man Rumble match and we now also know that he will be entrant number one in the contest. Every championship will now be defended on the show, which airs live on the WWE Network (and pay-per-view, if you’re a big dumb idiot who can’t do math) at 8pm ET.

Here is the complete Royal Rumble card, as of Tuesday, the 19th.

Royal Rumble WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match

Intercontinental Championship Last Man Standing Match
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose

United States Championship Match
Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio

Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos vs. The New Day

Divas Championship Match
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte

[Image via wrestlingnews.co]

Predicting the Survivor Series Card

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With less than three weeks to go until the 29th annual Survivor Series pay-per-view, the official card is beginning to slowly take shape. Roman Reigns will challenge Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on November 22nd after the Authority announced as much on Monday’s episode of Raw. The show also gave us a women’s fatal fourway to determine the number one contender to Charlotte’s Divas Championship, which was conveniently won by Paige since she turned heel on Charlotte last week.

Those are the only two confirmed matches so far but last night’s Raw gave us an indication for how the rest of the card will most likely play out.

Obviously something is going to happen with the Wyatt Family v. Undertaker and Kane. Since Bray and Company took out Taker following his match with Brock Lesnar at Hell in a Cell, it’s been a foregone conclusion that we would get the payoff in the form of a traditional Survivor Series elimination match between the two factions, with Taker and Kane recruiting help. With less than 20 days to go and no mention of partners for the Brothers of Destruction, it seems like we might be getting a 4-on-2 handicap match instead. That result probably makes the most sense since the other people who have crossed paths with the Wyatt Family recently – Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Randy Orton – are either tied up in something else or injured.

Speaking of Ambrose, a program with Kevin Owens seems like the next step in the timeline of the Lunatic Fringe. The Intercontinental Champion was eliminated by Ambrose during last night’s 5-on-5 elimination tag team match on Raw and a back-and-forth with Owens is a great hurdle for Ambrose to jump over while he waits for his inevitable program with the winner of the Reigns-Rollins feud.

The Usos made their return in the aforementioned 5-on-5 elimination match, joining forces with their cousin Roman Reigns. With the Dudleys getting plenty of unsuccessful chances at the Tag Team Titles, it would make sense to slide the Usos into the challengers’ position with the New Day.

Tyler Breeze and Dolph Ziggler had some more interaction on Raw, with Breeze “costing” Ziggler the match by standing with his back to the ring which prompted Ziggler to swipe at him for some reason, which was enough of a distraction for Kevin Owens to hit a pop-up powerbomb and defeat the Show Off. Breeze then laid Ziggler out with the Beauty Shot and we’re headed for a showdown of main roster blondes.

We still don’t have a clear direction for the United States Championship but it would seem preposterous to not have the recently-returned (and already losing steam quickly) Alberto Del Rio on the card.

Also with nothing on the show so far: Cesaro, Stardust and the Ascension, Ryback, the Dudley Boyz, Sheamus, Wade Barrett, the Lucha Dragons, and Neville. A thrown-together traditional Survivor Series elimination match consisting of ten of the above wrestlers would make a lot of sense. As friend of the site Nick Gator pointed out, a Cesaro, Lucha Dragons, Ryback and Neville v. Stardust, the Ascension, Sheamus and Wade Barrett match would be really fun.

We’ll probably know a whole lot more after tonight’s Smackdown tapings but if the card shapes up as I expect it to, it should be a really fun Survivor Series.

Undertaker v. Brock Lesnar Hell in a Cell Match Highlights Upcoming PPV Card

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It was announced last night during a Brock Lesnar vignette at Night of Champions that the Beast will face The Undertaker in a rubber match of their recent feud at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view on Sunday, October 25th. The match will also be a Hell in a Cell match.

Many had speculated that a Hell in a Cell match would be a fitting end to this feud, given Taker’s history with the match and the murky circumstances under which their most recent match ended. The surprise, though, is that it’s happening this quickly and not being stretched out to a WrestleMania match. This also adds some fuel to the Taker v. Sting fire, freeing the Dead Man up for a match with “the vigilante,” pending Sting’s health.

Video: Preview Sting v. Seth Rollins with WWE 2K16


We have to wait until Sunday night to see Sting challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the first time in his career but, thanks to the WWE 2K16 dev team, we can get a simulated version of the action right now. They’ve uploaded some 2K16 gameplay to the WWE2Kdev YouTube channel, which features the “Franchise of WCW” v. the “future of the WWE.” Take a look.

SummerSlam Card Taking Shape

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We’re now less than two weeks away from SummerSlam and the card for the second-biggest show of the year is taking shape. So far, six matches have been made official, with the Rollins v. Cena match pretty much a lock and three more likely coming our way, according to my predictions. Here is a look at the scheduled bouts:

Brock Lesnar v. The Undertaker

WWE World Heavyweight Championship and United States Championship Match (Unofficial)
John Cena v. Seth Rollins

Luke Harper & Bray Wyatt v. Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose

Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat Match
Big Show v. The Miz v. Ryback

World Tag Team Championship Fatal Fourway Match
Los Matadores v. Lucha Dragons v. The New Day v. The Prime Time Players

Women’s 3-Team Elimination Match
Team Bella v. Team B.A.D. v. Team PCB

Stardust & King Barrett v. Neville & Stephen Amell

Not Announced but Likely to Happen

Randy Orton v. Sheamus

Dolph Ziggler & Lana v. Rusev & Summer Rae

Kevin Owens v. Cesaro

That is a card with 11 matches. Even though it is a four hour show, we may not get all these. The likely candidate to get scratched is a Rusev & Summer Rae v. Dolph Ziggler & Lana mixed tag team match. Lana mentioned on last night’s Raw that Ziggler won’t be back until after SummerSlam, which I thought was to set up a surprise appearance. I also don’t know how long they can stretch this feud out without having some sort of match, so we’ll see if Dolph does indeed return on next week’s go-home episode of Raw.