This Friday, April 1st, will mark a historical night in professional wrestling. NXT TakeOver: Dallas will illustrate how truly broken down the invisible wall between WWE and the rest of the wrestling world really is. We have to remember, it wasn't very long ago that WWE wouldn't acknowledge other wrestling promotions. An independent wrestler had about a 1% chance of getting to WWE, let alone get a push. Well, it's 2016 and things are drastically different. Independent talents are getting matches on NXT television. Hell, Johnny Gargano picked up a singles win on the last NXT episode going into Friday. It's a wild time to be a fan of professional wrestling.
Let's get to some of the smaller matches on the TakeOver card. Austin Aries will be making his in-ring debut for NXT taking on Baron Corbin. Aries has proven himself everywhere he's ever gone and NXT should be no different. Corbin has been improving ever since he made his debut and running as a heel has accelerated that process drastically. Expecting a solid match from these two, solidifying both as important figures in NXT.
The Revival will be defending their tag team titles against American Alpha. Dash and Dawson are the ideal old school throwback team, making an impact during their title reign. Jordan and Gable have also established themselves as a force, though. This match could be a show stealing bout, as evident by The Revival's title defense at WWE RoadBlock with Big Cass and Enzo Amore.
Also on the card is Apollo Crews vs. Elias Samson. Maybe the least attractive match at the event, but a chance for Crews to shine nonetheless. Crews hasn't had much room to shine since debuting, so look for him to try to make an impact vs. Samson.
Time to get into the meat of this card.
Bayley (c) vs. Asuka
NXT Women's Championship Match
The women of NXT have changed everything we thought we knew about women's wrestling in WWE. Bayley has been an intricate part of it as well. Asuka fits right into the movement we've seen from these women over the past couple years. Fans of NXT know how good Bayley is. No one will ever forget her matches against Sasha Banks in late 2015. I'm not sure though, how many people truly understand how good Asuka is.
Now, I could go on and on about Asuka's career in Pro Wrestling Wave and Smash, where she wrestled under the name, Kana. The fact is, she's one of the best in the ring, man or woman, in WWE. Wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer has gone on the record saying that Asuka might be the best worker in all of WWE. If you don't know Meltzer, well, he's been around the block and he knows what he's talking about. Asuka has already become a fan favorite since debuting a short time ago. The girl knows how to get over.
Bayley vs. Asuka is going to be another huge moment in the "Divas Revolution." I'm not a fan of the term "Diva," but whatever. I can't really predict the finish of this match. That's ok though. It's good really. I can see Bayley dropping the title to move to the main roster, but for some reason it just seems too soon. She's ready, no doubt. But there's still women for her to work with and most importantly, women to learn from her. I can't wait to see this match, which is fantastic considering how women's wrestling has been billed in the past in WWE.
Finn Balor (c) vs. Samoa Joe
NXT Championship Match
The first Balor/Joe match was spectacular in London. The two have incredible chemistry and tell a fantastic story in the ring. Joe has been built up to be a monster heel while Balor has solidified himself as NXT's number one babyface. Though we've seen this match before, it's still standing up as a dream feud for wrestling fans. For so long, Joe has been known as one of the best performers in the world. We can go back a decade to Joe's series of matches with CM Punk in Ring of Honor. Believe this: Joe hasn't slowed down since that.
Finn Balor, as Prince Devitt, really broke through during his time in New Japan Pro Wrestling. There's something that people need to understand about this accomplishment. Think about this: New Japan doesn't allow just any foreign wrestler to be featured as a top act. Balor became an ultra high level babyface and heel in the promotion. He's credited with founding Bullet Club, a stable known to pretty much everyone, whether they've actually seen New Japan or not. The man has made an impact all over the world. Now he's doing it in the United States in NXT.
Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe is important for a number of reasons. Like I said earlier, there was a time when there was no chance that we'd see a non-WWE created guy featured strongly on a WWE show. Think about what we're seeing here. A guy that made his name in Japan taking on a guy that destroyed the independents and accomplished so much for TNA wrestling. They're not WWE guys and they're headlining a WWE show for NXT's biggest prize. Think about that. These guys are paving the way for future international and independent wrestlers to succeed in WWE. This match is very important and make no mistake about it, they will deliver. Oh yeah, how great would it be to see Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson pop up soon with 'ol Finn? It's an exciting time, people.
Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Continuing the theme of matches no one thought they'd ever see at a WWE associated event, we have Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn. Even though we're this close to the event and seeing this match, I still can't believe it's happening. This past January, Nakamura wrestled AJ Styles at New Japan's premier event, Wrestle Kingdom for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. If someone had asked me if four months later they'd both be wrestling for WWE, I would have said probably not. The barriers were breaking, but I still couldn't wrap my head around the future that was ahead of us. Well now they're in WWE. It's a reality that I could never imagine.
This match on paper is insane. Sami Zayn has proven himself time and time again as a major player in NXT. His transition to the main roster will be difficult considering the track record of NXT call-ups outside of Kevin Owens. He has the ability though, to make a huge splash on Raw and SmackDown. Zayn has a knack for delivering in big time situations. He has an incredible track record in Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, wrestling under the name and character of El Generico. He was a part of what is arguably the greatest NXT match of all time against Adrian Neville at TakeOver R-Evolution. What I'm saying is, Zayn is ready for this type of big-fight matchup.
Shinsuke Nakamura is not unfamiliar with pressure as well. For New Japan, Nakamura delivered outstanding performances on a regular basis. Just looking at the past two Wrestle Kingdoms, Nakamura's matches against Kota Ibushi and AJ Styles respectively both stand as match of the year level work. If you don't know who Nakamura is now, you will be absolutely blown away by him on Friday. His charisma is unmatched and his in-ring ability is elite. WWE should feel lucky to have signed him, honestly.
I'll throw out a prediction for this one. Nakamura will beat Zayn in an incredibly hard fought bout. I understand that Nakamura is a newcomer to WWE, but I think it makes sense. Zayn doesn't need the win and he's currently transitioning to the main roster. I mean I could be dead wrong on this. But I don't see WWE bringing in a guy like Shinsuke and beating him on his first night in the company. Regardless of the finish, expect and match of the year candidate from these two at TakeOver Dallas.
So that's it. Are you excited yet? Yeah, you didn't need any hype to get you stoked on NXT TakeOver: Dallas. The fact of the matter is, this show might outperform Wrestlemania 32. Sounds crazy, I know. But if you really look at it, you'll understand. The NXT crew is looking to prove a point. The point? They're the new blood. They're the evolution of wrestling and the WWE brand. They're all looking to steal the spotlight over 'Mania weekend and I can't wait to see them do it.
The Heater Wrestling