NXT is in an interesting place heading into TakeOver: New York on 5 April.
This is, without a word of hyperbole, the best looking card WWE's developmental brand has ever put together. It could be an all-time great bell-to-bell WWE show, much like New Orleans was this time last year. WALTER vs. Pete Dunne is a potential Match Of The Year contender and it might be the opener, for crying out loud, while Velveteen Dream vs. Matt Riddle will signpost the black-and-gold brand's future, and although losing Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa stunk, Adam Cole is an outstanding replacement.
In short: TakeOver is stacked, and the brand's track record leaves us with no doubt that this will be another awesome night of wrestling
But the brand isn't without its problems at the moment. Extreme roster bloat has left top performers like Keith Lee marginalised, and while each of NXT's top stars is talented, the main event scene is staler than month-old bread. Here's hoping New York's outcomes (and the inevitable post-WrestleMania main roster call-ups) help address these problems.
For now, let's run down a card that is as exciting as it is tough to call...
6. War Raiders (c) Vs. Aleister Black & Ricochet (NXT Tag Team Titles)
The 2019 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic was an odd tournament that peaked on its first night, with NXT's 6 March episode deliver four outright bangers highlighted by DIY's long-awaited reunion and Aleister Black and Ricochet versus Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner.
A semifinal victory over Gargano and Ciampa took Ricochet and Black to the final, where they met the unfancied Forgotten Sons, who'd already knocked Moustache Mountain and Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch off. A surprisingly successful run for Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake, though they were never heading to TakeOver.
Set in stone a week ago, this is TakeOver's newest match and a potential opener, as it has less heat than anything else on the card. That's not to say it won't deliver between the ropes, though. Ricochet and Black have been thrown-together but had a strong Dusty Classic and have looked good on Raw and SmackDown, while Hanson and Rowe have proved their mettle as exciting tag team berzerkers. Both teams rule. They'll empty the tank, pop the crowd, and beat the hell out of each other, but the challengers' main roster status likely informs the outcome.
Winners: War Raiders