WrestleMania 35 is almost here, but two nights before the biggest event of the year in pro wrestling, the stars of NXT will take center stage with the NXT TakeOver: New York event set to go down inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. NXT TakeOver: New York — which will take place on Friday and not the usual Saturday prior to a WWE pay-per-view — begins at 7 p.m. ET with a Kickoff Show starting off the festivities at 6 p.m.
With Tommaso Ciampa sidelined for the foreseeable future following neck surgery, NXT TakeOver: New York will prove to be memorable because we’re guaranteed the crowning of a new NXT champion in the main event. In addition, the remaining titles on the brand will also be defended, including the War Raiders putting their newly-won tag team titles up for grabs against the winners of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
Because NXT is a taped program on the WWE Network, not all of these matches have been announced on television as part of storylines, so some bouts below are spoilers at this time.
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Below you can have a look at the NXT TakeOver: New York card as it’s still continuing.
NXT TakeOver: New York matches
NXT Championship — Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole (2-out-of-3 falls): The NXT title is in limbo following the unfortunate neck injury suffered by Ciampa, but after NXT TakeOver, it won’t be any longer. Gargano will still get his shot at the top prize on this card, as expected, only he’ll be challenging the leader of the Undisputed Era, Adam Cole (Baybay!). Cole earned his spot in the bout for the vacant title by emerging victorious in a No. 1 contender fatal five-way match that included Ricochet, Aleister Black, Velveteen Dream and Matt Riddle. To ensure we get a definitive new champion in New York, Triple H announced the match will be 2-out-of-3 falls. With Ciampa’s injury, Gargano’s permanent stay on the main roster may have to wait a bit as he finally captures the title that’s eluded him for so long. And hopefully, Cole and his buddies are headed up a short time after ‘Mania. Pick: Johnny Gargano wins the title
NXT Women’s Championship — Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Kairi Sane vs. Io Shirai vs. Bianca Belair: Reigning champion Baszler seemed to be of the impression that none of these women were worthy of a shot at her title, though general manager William Regal disagreed. That coupled with Baszler’s antics of late (aided by fellow MMA Horsewomen members Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke) led Regal to force her into competition against all of them in a fatal four-way match on the WrestleMania weekend card. It’s maybe just a bit past time that Baszler went to compete on the main roster, so the torch should be passed to Shirai here — creating quite the interesting dynamic with friend and former champion Sane. Pick: Io Shirai wins the title
NXT North American Championship — Velveteen Dream (c) vs. Matt Riddle: Here’s the match that most will be looking forward to in the coming weeks leading into TakeOver, and the bout that you could make a safe bet will steal the show. Velveteen Dream finally earned gold in WWE with his North American title win over Gargano on NXT television, but his first challenger will be the man who many see as the future of WWE in Riddle. This right here will not only serve as a spectacular contest on the biggest card of the year, but you could make the argument that this is a preview of a WrestleMania match down the road. You hate to see either man lose here, but such is the business sometimes. If there is no plan to call Riddle up soon, then you can’t stop his momentum by coming up short in his first title shot in the company. Pick: Matt Riddle wins the title
NXT Tag Team Championship — War Raiders (c) vs. Ricochet & Aleister Black: In somewhat of a surprising twist, recent main roster call-ups Ricochet & Black were the winners of the 2019 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, thus earning this title opportunity against the champs. Because of their new main roster spots, however, this challenge for the tag team championship will likely serve as the NXT swan song for the talented duo. Pick: War Raiders retain the titles
WWE UK Championship — Pete Dunne (c) vs. Walter: From the moment Walter stepped into a WWE ring back at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool, he made his intentions crystal clear: he wants that WWE UK title. He’ll get his opportunity against Dunne in New York. Dunne’s monumental reign of nearly two years has been incredible to watch, but all good things must come to an end. Walter should take the reins of the NXT UK brand, while it’s long overdue that Dunne gets the chance to shine elsewhere within the company on Raw or SmackDown Live. Pick: Walter wins the title