NXT only has a couple months between TakeOver live events at this point in their schedule, so even though they’ll film another batch of episodes before their Sat., Jan. 26 show in Phoenix on the eve of Royal Rumble, they went ahead and started building the card during their taping held at Full Sail Wednesday night (Nov. 28).
Here’s the card for next year in Talking Stick Resort Arena, as it stands based on Wednesday night’s spoilers (get them in full here):
– Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Bianca Belair for the NXT Women’s championship
Who knows if this was the plan before Kairi Sane came down with a viral infection (she was one of several big names who did not appear this week), but as it stands right now, Triple H & team are going heel vs. heel atop their women’s division.
Perhaps one of the reasons they booked this so early in the cycle is so they can give The EST the Velveteen Dream treatment and lean in to the cheers she usually gets. We’ll see. For now, she won a 4Way which also featured Io Shirai, Lacey Evans, and Mia Yim to earn the right to face the Queen of Spades in the desert.
That was the only officially booked bout, but another match seemed to be set up before it quickly… wasn’t:
– Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Aleister Black and/or Johnny Gargano? for the NXT championship
Early on in the evening, Aleister interrupted the champ and called his shot for a rematch in Phoenix. Having beaten Johnny Gargano at the last TakeOver, he seemed to have a good argument. But “Johnny Badass”, as Ciampa calls him, showed up and said he wasn’t finished with Black, and that booking was set aside.
By the end of the night, Gargano had evened his record against Aleister by picking up a win in a steel cage match thanks to a #DIY reunion which featured Johnny & Tommaso hitting their old Meet In The Middle finisher on Black AND NO ONE KNOWS WHAT TO BELIEVE ANY MORE!?!?
As mentioned above, a lot of people weren’t used on Wednesday at Full Sail – Sane, Keith Lee, Velveteen Dream, War Raiders, Nikki Cross – so there’s plenty of intrigue left for the four matches which likely be added to the Women’s title showdown on the card for Jan. 26.
Let us know what you think – about what little we know and what’s still unanswered – below.