For the second consecutive TakeOver, the best brand in WWE has been forced to contend with the parent company's worst habits.
Such is life for NXT since its move to USA Network in September 2019. A decision made to dilute and re-contextualise AEW's existence before their own show even launched might have worked to a degree (more than 1.5m people watch wrestling on Wednesdays but that's a number divided between both brands), but the black-and-gold brand has been put in something of a pickle ever since.
TakeOver: WarGames was an unfathomable triumph considering the Survivor Series lead-up that went on at exactly the time featuring feuding characters having to work together. The post-Christmas build to this very show was parked by a need to fill a Royal Rumble weekend Worlds Collide card with matches against NXT UK stars that actually had to mean something.
It all just about worked too - this brand is f*cking awesome and don't let anybody tell you otherwise - but as the company rationalised a civil war, it continued to lose a Wednesday Night one. AEW's ratings dominance in 2020 has added a rather unique pressure to Portland as the third brand prepares for its own Road To WrestleMania after the fact.
How will the largest ever TakeOver card perform under strange new circumstances?
We Need To Talk About Kevin (Nash).
Michael can be found in articles or on podcasts extolling the virtues of New Generation WWF, New Japan Pro Wrestling or the new WWE angle they definitely definitely won’t ruin this time.