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411’s WWE NXT Takeover 36 Preview

August 22, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
NXT Takeover 36

Hello 411 guys, gals, enbies, and everyone else! Welcome to 411’s WWE NXT Takeover 36 preview! I’m Jeremy Thomas, and we’re ready for the… show after SummerSlam. Really, I understand that this weekend was a hectic one in terms of wrestling scheduling but putting Takeover after SummerSlam is not gonna help it. That said, we have a pretty good card and I have some real hopes for some of these matches so let’s begin, shall we?

Pre-Show Match
Ridge Holland vs. Trey Baxter

Ridge Holland has not been one of my favorites upon his return to NXT. We haven’t seen much of him in matches, but the one match we did see (against Ikemin Jiro) saw Holland looking uncertain in the ring. Baxter is a smaller guy with an aerial moveset and I’m concerned that Holland will suffer the same way against him. That said, if they’re going to put Holland into a feud with guys like Thatcher (who he is set to face on this week’s NXT) and Ciampa who can lead him in the ring and help him improve, he needs to look strong and squashing an NXT Breakout Tournament semifinalist is a good way to do that. Make no bones about it, by the way; this will be a dominant win for Holland, who has a look WWE is apparently switching to for NXT talent and is in a high-profile storyline. I’d be shocked if the match goes much longer than four minutes. RIP Mr. Baxter.

WINNER: Ridge Holland

Million Dollar Championship Match
LA Knight vs. Cameron Grimes

Cameron Grimes and LA Knight’s feud has been, along with Gargano & LaRae vs. InDex angle, the most consistently entertaining storyline in NXT by far. Grimes has really been shining in the most recent leg of this feud where he’s been under Knight’s heel, and it’s further allowed Knight to develop more as a heel character on the brand. They’ve been giving us good stuff for weeks, but this is really where it has to come to a head. This is a storyline that can be played for too long, and it’s rapidly approaching that point. Ending this storyline has to see Grimes come out on top after the most recent stuff, and so while it would be fun to see DiBiase have to serve as a butler for a bit, this absolutely has to be Grimes’ to win.

WINNER: Cameron Grimes (NEW Millon Dollar Champion)

The Undisputed Finale (2/3 Falls Match)
Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly

Speaking of matches where someone absolutely has to win… a lot of the focus around this match, at least out of storyline, is fans speculating on what happens to Cole after this. Cole is currently working on a short-term deal that runs out this weekend and a lot of people are guessing as to whether he will leave WWE and go to AEW, or stay with the company. Honestly, even if he does stay I think this is a match that O’Reilly has to win. Cole and O’Reilly have been feuding since February and have been trading wins and blows back and forth. If WWE really does want O’Reilly to be the next level star he has a chance at, they have to put him over Cole here. A loss doesn’t hurt Cole much at all and benefits KOR, while a win by Cole wouldn’t help him and would send O’Reilly back to the midcard. Of course this will go all the way to the final fall which is inside the steel cage, and I have to go with O’Reilly winning to put this feud to bed.

WINNER: Kyle O’Reilly

NXT Women’s Championship Match
Raquel Gonzalez vs. Dakota Kai

Man, this is a hard one for me to pick. While she’s been NXT Women’s Champion since WrestleMania weekend, it does still feel a bit like Raquel Gonzalez is early in what could be a career-defining run for her. I would love to see her hold this title for longer. On the other hand, Dakota Kai absolutely deserves a run with the women’s belt and I don’t think you want her to lose to Raquel right now. These two have great chemistry with each other as partners, and that often (though admittedly not always) translates to good chemistry as opponents so I’m expecting a really good bout here. In the end, I think that Dakota takes the win to shock Raquel because Raquel doesn’t have a ton of other credible challengers yet and this feud is just getting started, so you need the heel to win here. Whether she gets the title could also be questionable in favor of a DQ win, but I’m leaning into yes.

WINNER: Dakota Kai (NEW NXT Women’s Champion)

NXT UK Championship Match
WALTER vs. Ilja Dragunov II

This is honestly the hardest pick on the Takeover card. WALTER has been the king of NXT UK for 869 days, which is ridiculous. Sure, part of that was due to the pandemic but even without it, it’s hard to deny that he is THE force to be reckoned with in NXT UK. He’s faced every challenger who’s come up against him and come out on top, which includes Dragunov. But Ilja has also been his toughest opponent, and didn’t take much of a ding if any with his loss to WALTER in what was a top 5 match of 2020. The rematch has every potential to be just as good if it’s given enough time, which it should be. I could absolutely see WALTER getting the win here and WWE bringing in a new name to NXT UK to challenge him, but honestly if Ilja doesn’t do it, I don’t know who does. I could easily be wrong on this one, but I think Dragunov gets the win to shock WALTER and dethrone the longest current title reign in WWE.

WINNER: Ilja Dragunov (NEW NXT UK Champion)

NXT Championship Match
Karrion Kross vs. Samoa Joe

And here we have what is for me one of the clearest pics of the show. Karrion Kross’ run as NXT Champion has been better than some people have given him credit for. Sure, he’s worked against some incredibly good names that have helped elevate his matches, but he’s also done his part and his character has developed a bit as well. That said, it seems pretty clear that Kross is headed to the Raw roster full-time, and may even be treated a little more seriously once Scarlett can be with him. On the other hand, Samoa Joe is making his return to in-ring competition with this match after a long time off. I don’t see any rational way you have Joe lose his first bout, and Kross leaving means the title needs to go somewhere. NXT has done a pretty good job building this feud and it feels like a big fight, but there’s no question of the result to me.

WINNER: Samoa Joe (NEW WWE NXT Champion)

And that’s all we have for WWE NXT Takeover 36! This is a show that on paper looks like it has the potential to really deliver if the talent can do so (and booking allows them to). Thanks once again for reading, and remember that we will have live coverage of the show courtesy of Mr. Kevin Pantoja right here on 411mania.com. I’m off, but in the meantime, I’m gonna run because I hear the fans starting to chant, and I don’t wanna die…

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NXT Takeover 36, Jeremy Thomas