Fanboy Wrestletronic: NXT Takeover 31

Updated: Nov 21, 2020

Another week, another WWE super show. At least this week it’s an oh-so-special NXT Takeover! The much shorter and much better show that single-handedly renews faith in whatever it is WWE is doing. Also, it’s ESSENTIAL.

First, the bad news though: with this show being this weekend and the next NXT super show (currently) scheduled for December 6th, and also with *gestures wildly at everything*, we may not be getting a WarGames match this year. At the very least it won’t be paired with WWE Survivor Series. And with the draft coming next week, it’s very possible the Undisputed Era will be sent to Raw or Smackdown either as a package or separately which would also stop them from battling in the WarGames against each other as the prophecies have foretold.

The good news (beyond hopefully me being completely wrong about everything) is that we have some new match ups this Takeover. KUSHIDA vs Velveteen Dream, Damian Priest vs Johnny Gargano, and especially Finn Balor vs Kyle O’Reilly are completely fresh matches. We’ve seen Escobar/Scott and Shirai/LeRae before but Escobar and Scott will be on their first Takeover event and the last major Shirai/LeRae match was over a year ago at August 2019’s NXT Takeover: Toronto where the face/heel roles were reversed. Hooray! Let’s get to it.

Previously on Fanboy Wrestletronic…

Standings going into WWE Clash of (the) Champions 2020:

First Place: Ryan, 68% (19-9)

Second Place: Kyle, 60% (50-34)

Third Place: Tim, 51% (24-23)

Who will survive!?

WWE Payback results & scores:

WWE Smackdown Tag Team Titles Match: Lucha House Party (Kalisto & Lince Dorado) vs Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura ©

Your Winners: Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura

Kyle: Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura (1-0 / 51-34)

Ryan: forfeit (0-1 / 19-10)

Tim: Lucha House Party (0-1 / 24-24)

WWE Intercontinental Title Ladder Match: AJ Styles vs Jeff Hardy © vs Sami Zayn ©

Your Winner, and NEW (or still) WWE Intercontinental Champion: Sami Zayn

Kyle: Jeff Hardy (1-1 / 51-35)

Ryan: forfeit (0-2 / 19-11)

Tim: AJ Styles (0-2 / 24-25)

WWE Raw Women’s Title Match: Zelina Vega vs Asuka ©

Your Winner: Asuka

Kyle: Asuka (2-1 / 52-35)

Ryan: forfeit (0-3 / 19-12)

Tim: Asuka (1-2 / 25-25)

WWE United States Title Match: Apollo Crews vs Bobby Lashley ©

Your Winner: Bobby Lashley

Kyle: Bobby Lashley (3-1 / 53-35)

Ryan: forfeit (0-4 / 19-13)

Tim: Bobby Lashley (2-2 / 26-25)

WWE Raw Tag Team Titles Match: Andrade & Angel Garza vs The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) ©

Your Winner: The Street Profits

Kyle: Andrade & Angel Garza (3-2 / 53-36)

Ryan: forfeit (0-5 / 19-14)

Tim: The Street Profits (3-2 / 27-25)

WWE Smackdown Women’s Title Match: Asuka vs Bayley ©

Your Winner: Asuka (by DQ)

Kyle: Nikki Cross (n/a / 53-36)

Ryan: forfeit (n/a / 19-14)

Tim: Bayley (n/a / 27-25)

WWE World Title Ambulance Match: Randy Orton vs Drew McIntyre ©

Your Winner: Drew McIntyre

Kyle: Randy Orton (3-3 / 53-37)

Ryan: forfeit (n/a / 19-15)

Tim: Drew McIntyre (4-2 / 28-25)

WWE Universal Title Match: Jey Uso vs Roman Reigns ©

Your Winner: Roman Reigns

Kyle: Roman Reigns (4-3 / 54-37)

Ryan: forfeit (n/a / 19-16)

Tim: Jey Uso (4-3 / 28-26)

And now the conclusion…

New standings going into NXT Takeover 31:

First Place: Kyle, 59% (54-37)

Second Place: Ryan, 54% (19-16)

Third Place: Tim, 52% (28-26)

If you want to watch NXT Takeover 31 live on Sunday, you’ll want to subscribe to the WWE Network. Until then, here’s your Quixotronic preview of the show.


NXT Takeover 31

KUSHIDA vs Velveteen Dream

The Background: Velveteen Dream put KUSHIDA out while competing for a spot in the NXT North American title ladder match at XXX. KUSHIDA returned on the September 8th NXT and attacked Dream. Finally after KUSHIDA aggressively defeated Tony Nese on the September 30th NXT he was greeted by a threatening video by Velveteen Dream promising victory at Takeover 31.

Fanboy Fantasy: Midway through the match, when Dream is starting to finally gain the advantage, a second KUSHIDA carrying a 2022 Money in the Bank briefcase runs down the aisle when the ref is knocked out and beats Dream unconscious with the briefcase. The KUSHIDAs have a brief staredown before the briefcase-KUSHIDA points at his watch and runs back up the aisle. KUSHIDA pins what’s left of Dream for the win when the ref comes to and it ends with KUSHIDA staring at his watch as he realizes his time-splitting destiny.

Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:

Kyle: KUSHIDA - I wouldn’t be surprised to see Velveteen Dream get drafted to Raw or Smackdown in a week since what else does he need to do? He’s probably not winning the NXT title anytime soon and our main business looks to establish the new more-aggressive KUSHIDA.

Ryan: TBD


NXT Cruiserweight Title Match: Isaiah Scott vs Santos Escobar ©

The Background: Escobar actually defeated Isaiah Scott on the August 26th NXT after possibly using a gimmicked mask to headbutt Scott. Scott was able to get a pin victory on the champion the next week in a 6-man street fight teaming with Breezango against the full Legado del Fantasma.

Fanboy Fantasy: Breezango accompanies Scott to neutralize Mendoza and Mondo Lucha’s former DJZ, Joaquin Wilde. With them quickly ejected from the match it sticks to just Scott and Escobar with Scott sneaking out the win and the title. In a few weeks while defending the title against Jake Atlas, Legado del Fantasma attacks and decimate both competitors including Breezango who come down to try to turn the numbers game. This leads to a winner-take-all 6-man match for the NXT Cruiserweight and Tag Team belts at Takeover 32 to be won by Legado del Fantasma giving them all the gold.

Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:

Kyle: Santos Escobar - Despite the NXT Cruiserweight title changing hands 3 times in nearly as many months when the title was first formally transferred from WWE to NXT (as well as my fantasy booking of the same thing), my guess is Escobar will have the strap for a long time.

Ryan: TBD

Tim: Santos Escobar

NXT North American Title Match: Johnny Gargano vs Damian Priest ©

The Background: Damian Priest won the vacated NXT North American title in a ladder match against Bronson Reed, Cameron Grimes, Velveteen Dream, and challenger Johnny Gargano at NXT Takeover XXX. Priest successfully defended his title against Timothy Thatcher on the September 16th NXT and then defeated Austin Theory in a non-title match on the September 23rd NXT. Gargano attacked Priest post-match securing a title shot because that’s how you earn title shots. The Garganos teamed together against champions Priest & Io Shirai on the September 30th NXT, defeating them and posing with the belts as the show closed.

Fanboy Fantasy: Before the match Johnny tells Candice that he doesn’t want her to interfere in his match - he’s been here before and he’s got this. He was main eventing Takeovers long before Priest ever dreamed of being in NXT. However it doesn’t go his way as Priest is able to dominate Gargano and put him away to retain his title. Gargano slinks away to the back as Priest celebrates.

Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:

Kyle: Damian Priest - Gargano has done it all and I don’t actually see him as a repeat champion. Yes it would be new because he’d be winning it while not under the emotional power of Tommaso Ciampa, but I think Priest will hold onto it a little longer.

Ryan: TBD

Tim: Johnny Gargano

NXT Title Match: Kyle O’Reilly vs Finn Balor ©

The Background: Finn Balor most recently gave Timothy Thatcher his first loss in NXT while Karrion Kross defeated champion Keith Lee to win the NXT title at NXT Takeover XXX. Unfortunately Kross walked out as champion with a separated shoulder and vacated the title on the August 26th NXT. NXT Commissioner William Regal announced a 4-way iron man match to crown a new winner with all former champions: Adam Cole, Finn Balor, Johnny Gargano, & Tommaso Ciampa. On the September 1st NXT, the four met and ended in a tie with Cole and Balor ending the match with two points each and Finn Balor won his second NXT title defeating Cole on the September 8th NXT. A challenger was determined via a gauntlet match on the September 23rd NXT with Kyle O’Reilly coming out on top over KUSHIDA, Bronson Reed, Timothy Thatcher, and Cameron Grimes.

Fanboy Fantasy: No story here really - Balor and O’Reilly go a solid 20 minutes and we both establish O’Reilly as a legitimate singles threat but also Balor as a hard fighting champion. Balor wins and shakes O’Reilly’s hand afterwards. No Undisputed Era interference at all - that’s for upcoming episodes of NXT.

Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:

Kyle: Finn Balor - Balor just got the belt and Kyle O’Reilly has spent the last 3 years as a tag team guy. Yes, he’s a former Ring of Honor champion, but I don’t see him shocking the world and upsetting the Prince. He has the eventual/prophesied Undisputed Era implosion to deal with.

Ryan: TBD

Tim: Finn Balor

NXT Women’s Title Match: Candice LeRae vs Io Shirai ©

The Background: Io Shirai most recently defended her title against Dakota Kai at NXT Takeover XXX. LeRae defeated her former protege Kacy Catanzaro on the September 1st NXT. A battle royal was held to determine the new #1 contender on the September 23rd NXT and LeRae won the spot last defeating Shotzi Blackheart. The Garganos teamed together against champions Shirai & Damian Priest on the September 30th NXT, defeating them and posing with the belts as the show closed.

Fanboy Fantasy: Before the match Candice tells Johnny that she doesn’t need him to interfere in her match - but she’s not against it because it didn’t work out for him earlier in the night. This tease is simply that - a tease. Gargano does not interfere or even show up from the back during the match. Candice and Io have a hard hitting fight that leaves both bloody and injured but Candice gets the win after hitting the Wicked Stepsister. Candice celebrates with the title over her bloody opponent while Johnny finally shows up to attack any referee or medical personnel that tries to help Io. This does NOT lead to any storylines involving Candice looking down on and embarrassing Johnny because he lost. Johnny fully supports Candice and they work as a team when needed but Candice goes on to successfully defend the title multiple times without Johnny. It’s like when Candice supported Johnny when he won the men’s title except they’re both evil now. Wonderfully evil.

Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:

Kyle: Candice LeRae - Balor is a tweener leaning slightly more heel (I think) while Priest is a tweener leaning slightly more face (I think). Besides Escobar (who doesn’t get the TV time he should), none of the major NXT champions are heels… until Takeover 31? Long live the Poison Pixie!

Ryan: TBD

Tim: Io Shirai


That’s it for our NXT Takeover 31 preview. We’ll be back next month with WWE Hell in a Cell 2020. Enjoy the show!

Thanks for joining us again and be sure to subscribe on Facebook and follow for more questionable content.

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