Due to some unforeseen unfortunate circumstances, the original main event for WWE NXT TakeOver: New York between Johnny Gargano and NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa has been cancelled.
Instead, the WWE NXT Championship was vacated and as many of us learned at the last NXT TV tapings (SPOILERS AHEAD IN 3 … 2 … 1 …), Adam Cole will replace Ciampa. Cole and Gargano will tussle in New York for the vacant title and many expect it to be the main event.
Quite frankly, it shouldn’t.
This isn’t a discredit to either Adam Cole or Johnny Gargano. Both men are tremendous athletes and we should expect them to tear the house down. However, there just isn’t much intrigue to a match that was thrown together at the last second two weeks before the big show. On another night with better build, Gargano vs. Cole would have made for an excellent headliner, but NXT TakeOver: New York just isn’t that night.
A more fitting main event for the show would be the NXT Women’s Championship match.
The match in question will see NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler defend her title in a Fatal Four Way match against Io Shirai, Bianca Belair and Kairi Sane. The match paints a beautiful portrait of what the NXT Women’s Championship picture has looked like for the past year. Ever since last year’s Mania weekend TakeOver in New Orleans, Baszler has been the focal point and the face of the division while the other three women have either claimed a stake for a title opportunity or directly challenged the champion.
With TakeOver: New York falling on Mania weekend and with Mania itself signaling a season finale of sorts for the past calendar year, these women have earned the right to main event TakeOver on that basis alone. In addition, in comparison to the night’s NXT Championship match, this is just the more unpredictable and intriguing match. Matches with the most intrigue hype should main event shows and this match exemplifies such things.
With a pinfall victory over Baszler in tag team competition, Shirai has all the momentum in the world to take the title. In the same respects, Belair has made the most of her recent push and already secured a visual pinfall over Baszler at the last TakeOver when the ref got knocked down.
While it wasn’t enough to get her the win, it makes us think she has a chance to get the title this time. On the flip side, Kairi Sane could easily shock the world by becoming the second two-time WWE NXT Women’s Champion. Or, even with the odds stacked against her, Baszler could stun everyone by retaining her title against the odds.
There are so many ways this match could turn out. It has the perfect unpredictability factor to justify main eventing the show.
Beyond just the pure significance of the match, the women should main event because it’s about time women main evented a TakeOver again. The last time that women main evented a TakeOver show also happened to be the first time. The year was 2015, the stage was TakeOver: Respect and the match was Bayley vs. Sasha Banks in an Iron Man match. The match itself was incredible. Some would say that it’s even better than the groundbreaking Brooklyn bout that came before, but review the year one more time: 2015.
It is 2019 and almost four years later, we have yet to call a match “the second women’s TakeOver main event.” That just ain’t right.
Meanwhile, women have been main eventing every other pay-per-view show in the last year or so on the main roster. It’s usually rare that the main roster excels over NXT in any aspect, but in this aspect at least, this is a major oversight on behalf of NXT.
NXT loves to tout itself as the building blocks of where the Women’s Revolution of WWE came to fruition and there is some truth to that statement. After all, it’s the house that Paige made her own just to tear the roof off of it, where the Four Horsewomen were born and led a stable of athletes to follow in their footsteps. However, if NXT is really where the Women’s Revolution started, then the home of the Women’s Revolution is going backwards if it fails to acknowledge its women in a headlining capacity at their biggest shows of the year; where the NXT product gets the most eyes on it at once.
It’s not fair to a division that have been excelling every step of the way and it is counter-productive to everything that the Women’s Revolution stands for. The yellow brand must rectify this sooner rather than later and there is no better time than their next TakeOver show.