WWE NXT Superstars impressed during the 2021 Royal Rumble event. Damian Priest was the standout performer from NXT during the Men’s Royal Rumble, while Rhea Ripley impressed fans during the Women’s Royal Rumble match.
Priest has since made his WWE RAW debut, but his former colleagues are busy building towards NXT’s next event — NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day. The event will be held this Sunday and will host some of the biggest matches from the Black and Gold brand.
Io Shirai will defend her NXT Women’s title for the first time since November 2020. She will face Mercedes Martinez and Toni Storm in a triple threat match. Finn Balor, on the other hand, will have his first NXT Championship defense in well over a month. He will face The Bruiserweight of NXT, Pete Dunne.
The finals of the Men’s and Women’s Dusty Rhodes Classic Tournaments will also be held during TakeOver: Vengeance Day. With no real favorites in sight, the matches will likely be show-stealers and give NXT fans something to look forward to.
The final episode of NXT before TakeOver also confirmed the North American Championship match between Johnny Gargano and Kushida. Who will stand tall as the North American Champion on Sunday?
Keeping in mind all the great matches that have been scheduled for TakeOver: Vengeance Day, let’s take a look at the five things WWE NXT must do on the show.
#5 The Grizzled Young Veterans must win the Men’s Dusty Rhodes Classic at WWE NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day
The Grizzled Young Veterans are arguably the top tag team from WWE NXT UK. After reaching the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Classic last year, the team of Zack Gibson and James Drake fell short as they were defeated by Riddle and Pete Dunne.
The Grizzled Young Veterans have once again impressed this year and effortlessly climbed up the ladder to reach the final round of the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Classic. Gibson and Drake will face MSK in the final match of the tournament.
MSK recently made its debut during the competition and the duo of Wes Lee and Nash Carter has impressed the NXT Universe with its performances. While the team could win the tournament, WWE must allow GYV to go over this year.
The GYV is one of the most impressive tag teams in all of WWE, and NXT needs to push them ahead this year. Gibson and Drake must be allowed to win the contest after a hard-fought match so that they can immediately get in contention for the NXT Tag Team Championships.
#4 Dakota Kai and Raquel González must win the inaugural Women’s Dusty Rhodes Classic at WWE NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day
It’s not often that we see henchmen come to the forefront in partnerships in WWE or NXT. Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre can be seen as a few big names who started as henchmen and turned into top WWE Superstars themselves.
Even fewer female Superstars come to mind when it comes to such examples. However, Raquel Gonzalez has been a prime example in this capacity. After being Dakota Kai’s bodyguard for some time, Gonzalez got into her own rivalries and managed to impress the NXT Universe.
At NXT TakeOver: WarGames, she pinned the NXT Women’s Champion to win the match for her team. Kai and Gonzalez will compete in the final match of the inaugural Women’s Dusty Rhodes Classic at the upcoming pay-per-view.
Judging by how both Superstars have developed over the years, WWE must allow the heels to pick up the victory this Sunday. Kai has been a phenomenal heel over the past year, while Gonzalez is one of the most improved performers in WWE today.
Allowing these two Superstars to win the big tournament will help them get into bigger rivalries, and they could even go on to challenge for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania 37.
#3 Io Shirai must retain her WWE NXT Women’s Championship at TakeOver: Vengeance Day
WWE RAW and SmackDown may not have the best storylines for its Women’s Championships at the moment, but NXT seems to be doing a great job in the department. NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai was away for some time and she last competed at NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2020. While it has taken NXT a long time to come up with a rivalry for the Joshi Judas, her current program seems to be a big one.
Mercedes Martinez has returned to NXT and she will be challenging Shirai for the title along with Toni Storm. Both challengers are equally dangerous, and it will be a tough challenge for Shirai at the upcoming event.
Even though Storm could win the title on Sunday and start a new reign in NXT with the title, WWE must allow Shirai to retain her title after a hard-fought match. Storm and Martinez are great competitors, but NXT should look to keep the title on Shirai until WrestleMania where she could have a big match at the event.
Shirai is one of the most unique and talented superstars in NXT, and having her defend her title at WrestleMania against someone like Ember Moon or Candice LeRae will be great for the brand.
#2 Kushida must become the new WWE NXT North American Champion at TakeOver: Vengeance Day
WWE NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano tried his best to get out of his match against Kushida for TakeOver: Vengeance Day. The Superstar faked an injury, but William Regal was able to call him out and confirm the match on Sunday.
Gargano will be looking at Austin Theory to help him out in his title defense against the Japanese Superstar. Kushida has been around in NXT for some time now, and he hasn’t won any titles yet. This is surprising as he has competed for all the singles titles in the past.
WWE must look to push Kushida this time around and allow him to defeat Johnny Wrestling. Dexter Lumis could be used for this purpose as he could show up to chase Theory away and give Kushida a clearer path to victory.
NXT needs to build some top Superstars and Kushida is someone who can benefit from a title reign to get ahead. Allowing him to take the title off Gargano would be good for the Black and Gold brand.
#1 Finn Balor and Pete Dunne must put on a stellar bout at WWE NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day
Fans have been waiting to see this dream match for some time now, and WWE managed to cook up a little storyline before booking the two NXT Superstars to face each other. WWE legend and 2021 Royal Rumble winner Edge appeared on NXT a couple of weeks ago to state that he’d be watching the match very closely en route to WrestleMania 37.
Keeping in mind all the expectations the NXT Universe has from this match, Balor and Dunne must be given at least 20 minutes on the card and a chance to put on a stellar match.
The Prince of NXT won the title in September 2020 but has had only two title defenses ever since. The matches occurred against Kyle O’Reilly, and both turned out to be outstanding contests.
Keeping the tradition alive, Balor must outperform his opponent at the upcoming pay-per-view and then stand tall with a warning to Edge ahead of WrestleMania 37. The Prince’s performance at TakeOver could push Edge to pick him as his opponent at The Show of Shows.