Everything You Need to Know About the WWE NXT TakeOver: Portland Match Card

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2020

Everything You Need to Know About the WWE NXT TakeOver: Portland Match Card

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WWE's next event under the NXT banner will be TakeOver: Portland on Sunday.

    As a standalone show, rather than tacked onto the same weekend as a Raw and SmackDown pay-per-view, TakeOver: Portland has a lot to offer. It boasts an impressive card sure to deliver and should be a tight, action-packed night.

    Let's take a look at everything you need to know about NXT TakeOver: Portland.

How to Watch

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Venue: Moda Center in Portland

    Date: February 16, 2020

    Start Time: 6:30 p.m. ET (pre-show),7 p.m. ET (main show)

    How to Watch: WWE Network via the following supported devices, according to WWE.com:

    • Amazon Fire TV
    • Android TV
    • Apple TV
    • Chromecast
    • Roku
    • Smart TVs (select LG, Samsung and Sony models)
    • Sony PlayStation 4
    • Xbox One
    • Web browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari)
    • WWE App (on iOS and Android devices)
    • The pre-show will also be available on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Match Card

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The card is always subject to change, but these are the matches currently advertised to take place on this show.

    • NXT Championship: Adam Cole (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa
    • NXT Women's Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Bianca Belair
    • NXT North American Championship: Keith Lee (c) vs. Dominik Dijakovic
    • NXT Tag Team Championship: The Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly) (c) vs. The BroserWeights (Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne)
    • Street Fight: Dakota Kai vs. Tegan Nox
    • Singles Match: Finn Balor vs. Johnny Gargano

Background, Storylines and Setup

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    A friendship ended and a feud began at WarGames. Who will win the Street Fight?
    A friendship ended and a feud began at WarGames. Who will win the Street Fight?Credit: WWE.com

    Almost one full year ago, Tommaso Ciampa was forced to relinquish the NXT Championship because of injury. In that time, Adam Cole ascended to the throne.

    Ciampa is looking to regain his precious Goldie, but Cole won't give up the title easily.

    They've clashed repeatedly in recent months, and all of this will come to a head this Sunday.

    Rhea Ripley took out Shayna Baszler in December, and her first major threat as champion comes in Bianca Belair, who was one of the most dominant women in this year's Royal Rumble and won a Battle Royal to earn the title shot in the first place.

    While Belair has yet to win the belt, she's come close on several occasions and her powerhouse game won't be easy to overcome, even though Ripley has her sights more focused on Charlotte Flair and WrestleMania.

    North American champion Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic have battled numerous times, with each contest wowing the WWE Universe. They are about as evenly matched as can be and have grown to respect each other over time.

    Dakota Kai was snubbed for a spot on the WarGames team but was a last-minute replacement after Mia Yim was mysteriously attacked. It turned out that Kai was the culprit and she turned on her team, focusing mostly on her former best friend, Tegan Nox.

    Kai used Nox's history with injuries and put her on the shelf a while longer. After Nox returned ready for revenge, she beat Kai recently on television, and this Street Fight should settle the score for good.

    The oddball tag team of Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle formed The BroserWeights and managed to win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. That awarded them a tag team title shot against The Undisputed Era's Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly.

    Finn Balor used to be the heart and soul of NXT, but he's changed. In order to kill this new era and reassert his dominance, he's targeted the current flag-bearer, Johnny Gargano, who wants vengeance for Balor injuring him and causing him to miss the last TakeOver event.

Predictions

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The easiest match to predict is the NXT Women's Championship bout. With Flair vs. Ripley already in the works for WrestleMania, there is no way Belair captures the title. She'll put up a good fight, but ultimately lose.

    It makes sense for Kai to beat Nox and even the score between the two after Nox's win last week. Plus, if Ripley fights anyone on the Road to WrestleMania, Kai would be the easiest pick as a challenger. Winning the Street Fight will set her up so she can get knocked down in March, possibly at TakeOver: Tampa.

    Lee is on far too much of a roll right now to lose his title this soon, despite how good Dijakovic is. Either Lee wins or there is a non-finish of sorts like a disqualification from Roderick Strong interfering, which would prevent either man from taking a loss.

    WWE stumbled into an incredibly fun pairing with Riddle and Dunne. The BroserWeights are more entertaining than likely originally intended. Their chemistry both in and out of the ring may be grounds for a title change.

    As Strong lost the North American title, if Fish and O'Reilly dropped the tag titles, too, it would call into question the entire stable having no gold by the end of the night. That would help the mood for Cole vs. Ciampa, too.

    But whether Ciampa regains Goldie depends on several factors, including the outcome of Gargano vs. Balor. If WWE's intentions are to have Ciampa vs. Balor for the title in Tampa, Cole and Gargano must lose, but nothing has pointed in that direction, yet.

    Also, Cole does have the champion's advantage and can keep the belt in a disqualification. The safest bet is always to assume the champion will retain, by hook or by crook.

    Gargano does his best work when he's the underdog. A win for Balor puts Johnny Wrestling on the ropes and is more interesting to track than if he puts Balor in his place on their first encounter.

    It wouldn't be shocking if Balor, Gargano, Velveteen Dream, Strong or others got their hands dirty in the title match for storylines to play out on the path to TakeOver: Tampa.

                    

    Predictions:

    • Ripley retains the NXT Women's Championship.
    • Cole retains the NXT Championship.
    • The BroserWeights win the NXT Tag Team Championships.
    • Lee retains the NXT North American Championship.
    • Balor defeats Gargano.
    • Kai defeats Nox.

                    

    Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.