WWE NXT TakeOver: In Your House will be live in the WWE Performance Center on Sunday June 7th at 7pm ET with the pre-show beginning at 6:30pm ET on the WWE Network. There are six matches scheduled and special appearances by Todd Pettengill in addition to retro production and set elements that will be worked into the show for fun and in honor of the 25th anniversary of the first ever WWF In Your House PPV (May 14, 1995). Below is a preview of each match on the card with predictions based upon recent booking. In the comments below, share your predictions and favorite memories of the In Your House Pay Per Views. My favorite past In Your House events are: “Mind Games”, “Good Friends, Better Enemies”, & “Canadian Stampede”.
BACKLOT BRAWL (NXT CHAMPIONSHIP)
Adam Cole (c) vs. The Velveteen Dream
If Velveteen Dream loses, Dream can no longer challenge for the title if Cole is champion.
Velveteen Dream and The Undisputed Era had their feud paused in September after Dream injured his back. When Dream returned in February, he got right back to feuding with The Undisputed Era. During the steel cage match to end Dream’s feud with Roderick Strong, UE interfered in the match resulting in Adam Cole getting pulled into the cage by Velveteen Dream. Dream decided that getting Cole in the cage with him meant more than defeating Roderick Strong. Dream kicked Strong out of the cage, giving Strong the win, and locked himself in the cage with Adam Cole. Dream unleashed a beating on Cole and raised the NXT Championship declaring his intent to challenge for the title. Dream got his title shot in a fantastic match on the May 6th episode of NXT that ended with interference from The Undisputed Era and the creepy Dexter Lumis coming to Dream’s aid. Cole was able to get the win over Dream after a ref bump. Dream demanded a rematch leading to William Regal making the match a Backlot Brawl.
Cinematic matches have become so popular in the COVID era that there is now one on each major event. The last Backlot Brawl was shot like an action film since it had the advantage of having an actual action movie star, Rowdy Roddy Piper, wrestle Goldust, who was obsessed with Hollywood movies. The match started in the backlot then moved to a car chase which led to the finish in the ring in front of the audience at WrestleMania XII. The preview shot of this Backlot Brawl set showed a wrestling ring in a parking lot, surrounded by cars with their headlights on to illuminate the ring. This suggests that the match will be shot much more like Final Deletion than the original Hollywood Backlot Brawl.
Adam Cole works great with every person he’s paired with and we know that Velveteen Dream can wrestle, so this match doesn’t need to showcase their wrestling ability. This match needs to showcase their star power. Cole’s contract is up in August and he’s been NXT Champion for over a year now, he’s got a victory over Daniel Bryan on TV and he had an excellent match with Seth Rollins when given the opportunity as well: this match is Cole’s chance to showcase his star power and charisma. Cole needs to raise his brand’s stock as much as possible during this negotiation period. It’s well-known that Cole is shorter than Vince likes his champions to be, so Cole needs to prove that he has enough charisma and star power to make McMahon ignore his height. On the other side of the match, Velveteen Dream is working to regain his momentum after sustaining a horrible back injury in September. At only 24 years old, the injury might be Dream’s body telling him to change up his wrestling style but after seeing their match on May 6th, Dream made it clear that he’s not changing his wrestling style at all. Velveteen Dream and WWE are looking for more opportunities in the film and television world for him and a cinematic match is an excellent opportunity to showcase Dream’s talents. There will likely be interference from UE but it appears Dexter Lumis, who will also benefit from the cinematic style, will be an equalizer for Velveteen Dream allowing Dream to pick up his first televised win over Adam Cole and become NXT Champion for the first time.
Velveteen Dream via pinfall
NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Charlotte (c) vs. Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley
Rhea Ripley looked like a surefire star going into WrestleMania 36 against Charlotte Flair. Flair pulled Ripley’s star back down to Earth at WrestleMania. Flair & Shirai are widely considered two of the best women wrestling today. If Rhea Ripley loses this match, this doesn’t mean that she’s lost all momentum. Io Shirai has consistently been one of the greatest performers in NXT and after her match against Candice LeRae last summer at TakeOver: Toronto 2019, she could’ve taken the top heel spot from Shayna Baszler at any point.
This match will establish Io Shirai as the new top heel in NXT’s Women’s Division while Rhea Ripley will continue in her role as the top babyface. Ripley skyrocketed to fame by pinning Charlotte in a triple threat match while Charlotte had Sasha Banks in the Figure-8 Leg Lock; look for this spot to be repeated but have a new twist. Rhea Ripley should not win this match. There’s money to be made in a future singles rematch between Charlotte and Ripley, and the best way to divert Ripley’s focus from Flair is to have Io Shirai steal the match from Ripley right before she can get the win over Flair.
Io Shirai via pinfall
NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP
Keith Lee (c) vs. Johnny Gargano
Johnny Gargano has become quite the insufferable heel in 2020. His constant need for outside validation has taken over his life so much that he filmed dinner with his wife where he watched highlights of his match with Dominik Dijakovic. Throughout the segment, Gargano bashed Keith Lee for not being able to defeat Dijakovic as easily as Gargano had. The next week on NXT, Keith Lee issued a challenge to Gargano to wrestle him at TakeOver: In Your House for the North American Championship.
Any match with Johnny Gargano has potential to steal the show, but Gargano should be able to work wonders with the big man, Keith Lee. After his eye-opening performances at Survivor Series and Royal Rumble, WWE has a pretty good idea of what they have in Keith Lee. Johnny Gargano has been the final boss for everyone in NXT for the past two years. It feels like this is Keith Lee’s time. With a victory over Gargano, Lee will have successfully defended the North American Championship against some quality up-and-comers and one quality veteran. This should allow Lee to lose the North American Championship to an up-and-comer without losing momentum. Gargano can continue successfully with his whiny heel persona after this by making excuses after every loss and obnoxiously over-celebrating whenever he wins.
Keith Lee via pinfall
Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Since returning from injury in October, Tommaso Ciampa hasn’t been himself: he’s been a good guy. Ciampa has lost every major singles match he’s had since he upset The Miz on SmackDown in November. Ciampa just can’t make it back to the top without becoming the Psycho Killer top heel he was in 2018. Karrion Kross and Scarlett made an amazing entrance on their NXT debut, on Sunday they’ll solidify their introduction with a victory over former NXT Champion, Tommaso Ciampa. Kross and Scarlett look destined for greatness in WWE. After they destroy Ciampa will their next target be Johnny Gargano?
Karrion Kross via referee stoppage
Finn Bálor vs. Damian Priest
The former face of NXT, Finn Bálor defeated Matt Riddle, Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, and more since his return to NXT in November with his only two losses occurring due to outside interference. Bálor is now tasked with facing one of NXT’s hottest rising stars: Damian Priest. Priest is coming off of a loss to Keith Lee as he chased the North American Championship but the 38 year-old indie veteran is still developing more of the entertainment side of Sports Entertainment as WWE looks to where Priest fits on their roster. At 6’5″ and 249lbs, Priest has a distinct size advantage over Bálor but Bálor works excellently with wrestlers bigger than him. If Bálor gets the win definitively here, look to him as the next person to feud with Velveteen Dream but if Priest attacks Bálor after the match, there may be more for the two to do together.
Finn Bálor via pinfall
Shotzi Blackheart, Tegan Nox and Mia Yim vs. Raquel González, Dakota Kai and Candice LeRae
This match has the feel of the multi-woman matches when NXT is rebooting its roster. We have multiple feuds working through this match: Candice LeRae & Mia Yim have been entangled in a feud that includes their significant others (Johnny Gargano & Keith Lee) and has stayed hot as the #2 story in the NXT Women’s division while Dakota Kai & Tegan Nox continue their feud that began at NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2019.
Yim and LeRae are veterans and capable of wrestling anyone on any roster. This match can be used to elevate both women in their roles as Candice LeRae looks to take the #2 heel spot in the women’s division in NXT while Mia Yim is pushing to be the #2 babyface in the division. Rumors about call-ups have been swirling, but it’s unlikely that Yim or LeRae will be moved to another brand without their significant other making a move as well.
Tegan Nox picked up a nice win over Indi Hartwell on the May 13th edition of NXT. Nox needs to make a splash in this match to not get overshadowed by the hungry Mia Yim and the irrepressible Shotzi Blackheart. Dakota Kai and Nox are going to have to pull some sadistic stuff to stay hot in this match – Kai has evolved as a heel, but has farther to go. Dakota Kai and Candice LeRae both need to differentiate their heel personas so that we have more to latch onto aside from them being terrible friends. They must be able to let their personalities show so that we can invest more in what makes them so evil. González is clearly the largest of the three heels, so she’ll stick to power moves and likely work on Shotzi.
Shotzi Blackheart is well on her way to being a big star in NXT but she is going to take a beating in this match. Her punk rock army gimmick is visually stimulating and her wrestling ability seals the deal. Her irrepressible personality & energy and branding in NXT make her feel like a cross between Bayley & Ruby Riott. Shotzi took the pin in her match against Raquel González on the May 27th NXT and the post-match brawl that ensued is really what put this match together. Shotzi can take the pin here and still gain momentum by providing jaw-dropping moments like her coffin drop on González & Kai.
Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, & Raquel González via pinfall