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Cook’s WWE NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Gambling Picks



WWE NXT Takeover Stand And Deliver

It’s WrestleMania Week, which means we got some NXT TakeOver action for ya! Just like WrestleMania, TakeOver needs two nights to get all its business done this year. One on USA, the other on Peacock/PPV.

You know I got all the lines for you via BetOnline, though I must remind you…it’s for entertainment purposes only.

Night One (“Stand”?)

Gauntlet Elimination Match
Dexter Lumis (-200) vs. LA Knight (+250) vs. Bronson Reed (+500) vs. Cameron Grimes (+1000) vs. Isaiah Scott (+4000) vs. Leon Ruff (+4000)

The winner here will face Johnny Gargano on the next night for the NXT North American Championship. Lumis has been feuding with Gargano for some time, and did score a victory over Johnny the last time they met, so he does seem like the smart choice here.

Who would I pick to make some money? Honestly, I’d stay away from Scott & Ruff, neither has much momentum at the moment. Cameron Grimes has an awesome character but I don’t think it’s time to turn him for the title shot. LA Knight’s an interesting character, but I don’t think he makes sense here. I see Bronson Reed there at +500 and that looks like a pretty good value to me. He was on quite the winning streak before losing to Grimes, and has yet to face Gargano in a singles match. I think I’d like to see that, certainly much more than creepy Dexter Lumis.

NXT Tag Team Championship Match
MSK (-175) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (+125) vs. Legado del Fantasma (+800)

MSK has been on quite the hot streak here. They have yet to lose a match since arriving in NXT, which tells me that now is the time for that to happen. Out of the other two teams, I think you have to go with Legado del Fantasma if you want to make some money. As it turns out, Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza are on a pretty good winning streak, winning four out of their last five matches. Nothing wrong with that.

Pete Dunne (-150) vs. Kushida (+110)

Gotta feel for Pete Dunne a bit. He was a King of NXT with his boys Oney Lorcan, Danny Burch & Pat McAfee. They were running things. He was going to beat Finn Balor for the NXT Championship. He lost to Balor, and he’s also lost his running buddies.

The one bright side? He gets to beat Kushida to try & re-establish himself as a contender.

NXT United Kingdom Championship Match
WALTER (-600) vs. Tommaso Ciampa (+350)

Unless Ciampa plans on moving to Europe, this one seems pretty easy to call. I guess you could switch the title here if you really wanted to, but why would you waste WALTER’s big loss here? Dude has held the title just over two years now, the loss needs to go to somebody that can be made by it. Like that Ilja Dragunov kid or somebody like him. Ciampa winning or losing here makes no difference towards his status in the NXT Universe.

Walter wins, and people get hit really hard. Easy predictions here.

NXT Women’s Championship Match
Io Shirai (+150) vs. Raquel Gonzalez (-200)

Raquel being favored is easy to understand. The last couple of big NXT shows have seen her score big victories, like the Last Woman Standing match against Rhea Ripley, or the Dusty Rhodes Women’s Tag Team Classic alongside Dakota Kai. Or even War Games, where she scored the winning pinfall over Io Shirai for her team. When the lights are on bright, Raquel delivers.

Io has been champion for over three hundred days now. She’s had some very good matches and is one of the best in-ring women in the company, but it feels like time for a change here. She’s run through everybody. NXT’s women’s division could use a refresh, and Raquel Gonzalez could be the right person to do that with.

Night 2 (“Deliver”?)

NXT North American Championship Match
Johnny Gargano vs. Gauntlet Eliminator Winner

Shawn Michaels is one of the chief mentors of the NXT kids. Gargano is one of the people that has patterned himself after Michaels, and considers himself to be to TakeOver what Michaels was to WrestleMania. Indeed, Johnny TakeOver has had an incredible series of matches at the event, much like HBK did at Mania. However, much like HBK at Mania, Johnny’s TakeOver win-loss record leaves something to be desired. Gargano is 6-15 at TakeOver, among the wrestlers with the most wins, but the wrestler with the most losses by a wide margin.

This is me telling you that the Gauntlet Eliminator Winner, whoever it may be, is the smart pick here.

NXT Cruiserweight Championship Ladder Match
Jordan Devlin (-120) vs. Santos Escobar (-120)

It’s been a few weeks since NXT had a ladder match, so something like this was bound to happen. Devlin has been the official NXT Cruiserweight Champion since the Worlds Collide show back in January 2020. At the time, the fact that Devlin was based in NXT UK didn’t seem like such a big deal. The pandemic obviously changed that, and NXT needed an interim champion. Santos Escobar ended up winning that, so once Devlin was able to come to America, the title could be properly decided. It’ll be nice to get that taken care of.

It’s a tossup, as the line indicates. I tend to lean towards Santos Escobar. Don’t really have a reason why, other than I liked him in Lucha Underground. These men’s NXT work is basically even to me.

NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship Match
Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon (-200)  vs. Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell (+150)

The saga of the Women’s Tag Team Championship in WWE has been one of those “Be careful what you wish for” things. Many of us wanted this thing to happen. Unfortunately, the only time the title was interesting & relevant was when Bayley & Sasha Banks held it with the Raw & SmackDown individual championships. Before & since, the division has been clogged with acts with nothing else to do.

It’s such a logjam that NXT made a Women’s Tag Team Championship of their own, which was necessitated by the fact that the one time the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions defended in NXT, WWE official Adam Pearce inserted himself in the proceedings to make sure that the champions kept their titles. William Regal didn’t like this, and made his own title. The only problem? He decided to award it to Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez, who promptly lost the championship later in the evening. Talk about a convincing way to start a championship.

Fortunately, Shotzi Blackheart is one of the champions. So that at least has me interested in this. Can’t pick against the Blackheart/Moon team.

Unsanctioned Match
Kyle O’Reilly (-150) vs. Adam Cole (+110)

O’Reilly has a built in out for losing this match, as he’s not medically cleared in storyline, and only getting a shot at Cole here because WWE & NXT have washed their hands of the matter & aren’t sanctioning it. Losing to Adam Cole here would certainly be nothing to be ashamed of. However, defeating Adam Cole would be a big deal to his career, and set him on a higher track in NXT.

I say they don’t pull the trigger. I just got a bad feeling for Kyle here, as Adam Cole tends to get things done at big moments like this one. Plus, you throw the rules out the window and that boy won’t hold back.

NXT Championship Match
Finn Balor (+110) vs. Karrion Kross (-150)

We talked about Johnny Gargano’s less than stellar TakeOver record earlier…Balor’s record is quite the opposite. 14-1 at TakeOver events. That alone is enough to tell you that he has a chance, even if he’s an underdog. Gotta tell you though, I think that 14-1 goes to 14-2 on Thursday night.

Kross has only had one defeat since arriving in NXT, and that was as Balor’s tag team partner against Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan. He never lost the NXT Championship, and now seems like the perfect time to get it back & take care of the business he didn’t get to start. A new champion for a new era of NXT. Karrion Kross is the pick here.

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King: Plotting The Return Of Randy Orton To WWE

Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.



Randy Orton 4

Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.

I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to a superstar that’s being overshadowed right now, ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton. After RKBRO lost the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Uso’s, Orton vanished from the company. There was speculation about his serious back injury and, it wasn’t until The Viper’s wife herself posted a candid picture of Orton after successful surgery.

While the focus in WWE right now is either on The Bloodline, Bray Wyatt and Uncle Howdy, or the returning Cody Rhodes, I felt this was a good time to start plotting The Viper’s return to WWE.

Randy Orton’s Return to WWE

On the Raw-After-Mania ‘The American Nightmare’ opens the show after a tough battle over Roman Reigns to win the WWE Championship. Rhodes with tears in his eyes is giving an emotional promo about his family’s legacy, and how much this title means to him. The WWE Universe is chanting “You Deserve It,” and out comes Finn Balor flanked by The Judgement Day.

‘The Prince’ starts by congratulating the new champion for dethroning ‘The Tribal Chief’ but, now he wants his title shot. Rhodes being the resilient hero accepts Balor’s challenge for the main event. The American Nightmare and The Prince are putting on a clinic of a match, delivering multiple finishers but unable to put the other away. Judgement Day starts to interfere when Orton’s music blares throughout the arena. Orton takes out the heels and helps his former protege. Rhodes capitalizes and hits Crossroads for the 1.2.3.

The former Legacy members are celebrating and embracing with a hug as Rhodes goes to raise his newly-won title. In the blink of an eye, The Viper strikes and takes out Rhodes with an RKO Outta Nowhere! The champion is knocked out as Orton hoists the title above his head while trash-talking his now rival. Orton violently throws Rhodes out of the ring and delivers a nasty-looking draping DDT onto the floor.

The Build–And Culmination–of Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes

Orton stares giving 2009 vibes as Rhodes’ head raises, so The Viper runs and delivers a punt kick. WWE officials come out and break things up and the champion is stretchered out of the arena. The show closes with Orton grinning over the destruction he has caused to his former protege. Over the next few months, Orton and Rhodes enter into an extremely personal rivalry over the coveted prize. We finally make it to SummerSlam where both men agree to raise the stakes and do war inside HELL IN A CELL!!!!

This is how I would book The Viper’s return to WWE. If you feel like this should be written differently, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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AJ’s Phenomenal Opinion: Bray Wyatt

So everyone loves Bray’s return right? Right? Well the McDonald’s Sprite spicy opinions of AJ…may feel differently.



Well, just because my work schedule changed, doesn’t mean I’m not going to drop some opinions of mine, of which, I haven’t done too bad with. I got Three out of Five for my returns right a few months back and this is going to be about the last entry on that previous list. I knew for a fact that Bray Wyatt would return to the WWE in some way shape or form and time for some… controversy.

As my favorite ratings winner of 83 Weeks once said, Controversy Creates Cash and boy HOWDY… Do I have something to get off my chest here so sit back, order some Chairshot Merch and lets get on with Adam’s… Rants for a bit.

Initial Thoughts

Bray coming in and making a return to the WWE was an inevitability. Death, Taxes and I guess WWE Returns are always guaranteed anymore and maybe we could get some new creativity with a supernatural gimmick. Bray has always had that supernatural to him ever since he had the Wyatt Family in Erik Rowan, the late Luke Harper and in the end, Braun Strowman. The Wyatt’s had a control like no other and were beloved for a moment in the WWE.

Bray did a lot to make sure things were in motion but for some reason any massive feud he had, he failed. Following a bunch of injuries to the rest of his family and even releases later on, he seemed to at least get some traction going for him. WWE Champion, somehow got Randy Orton with him, Universal Championships and got those big match wins that eluded him in the Wyatt Family beginnings. Let me also say this as well, I actually liked the Firefly Funhouse Match with Cena as a “This is Your Life” match of sorts. I was tickled and entertained… Then much like Bray in character, something changed.

Dark and Terrible Lurk with Fiends

We had a lot to figure out during the Pandemic. Like A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT. Through it all though, WWE figured it out but the person that helped these types of ideas, soured them drastically. Lets go back to the WWE Championship run in 2017. Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble that year and he wouldn’t betray Bray, right? Well he does and Mania for the two is set, Orton against Wyatt for the WWE Championship and it was… terrible. Random images of maggots and decay (Not the IMPACT Stable) popping up into the ring as the match goes on and Randy still wins. Through head game attempts, Bray comes up short in the big match moment. That’s odd but maybe it will be a bigger pictu– and Jinder Mahal wins the Championship. Okay.

Wyatt returns as this Mister Rogers character and has a darkness inside of him with The Fiend. Now we had this amazing theory or maybe that’s what happened but the story was, anyone The Fiend fought, they revert back to their best selves. The Miz returned to be the A Lister, the guy who grabs a microphone that you love to hate. Finn Balor doesn’t have the Demon Gimmick anymore because after his loss, he’s the Prince again. The cocky guy that walks around because he is the best, he gives no care in the world. Seth Rollins, who he took the WWE Universal Championship from, went from a dorky sweetheart back to the asshole taking every opportunity that he could get because he’s that much of a weasel and when he lost… He lost to Goldberg. The one guy that has been the same since 1997. Drums, Pyro Bath, Spear, Jackhammer, “Who’s Next?” and during that time, he sucked at points. One of those Rollins matches was in a Hell In A Cell match, the red cage with the red lighting. Match ending with a Stoppage from the referee… INSIDE OF A HELL IN A CELL (I think Sean Waltman said it best… Why did the match stop? It’s supposed to be Hell?) and it’s one of the rare times that I agreed with wrestling’s favorite Uncle… That was Negative Stars for a match.

After Goldberg, he didn’t have a commanding presence. He recruited Alexa Bliss who was already over whether she was a Heel or Face and made everything so unbelievably… boring. Alexa had to carry that idiotic demon gimmick and doll, not having anything really supernatural. Just some wrestling and Brock Lesnar cleaning up everything faster than a Chop Shop in main events and segments. He tried to return and make his grand return, beating the Universal Champion Braun Strowman at Summerslam just to falter a literal week later to Roman Reigns, who proceeded to never look back from that win. Bray gets fired after and no more supernatural ideas. Undertaker isn’t around really and retires, Kane is a mayor. Paul Bearer is no longer with us and everything is just… normal.

Wyatt’s Six (Reasons I Tune Out)

In 2022, Vince retires seemingly from everything and Triple H is at the helm, could he bring balance to everything? He makes a bunch of returns that people love seeing. Johnny Gargano, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumus just to name a few and of course, the big one that everyone wanted. Bray Wyatt.

Bray makes this heartfelt return and everything seems great. We get him as him, he makes this weird build to a Wyatt 6, assuming we think it’s the Firefly Funhouse and he’s just talking, building. Alright well who is going to be these six figures because they are more than just puppets this time around. A masked man named Uncle Howdy that people think is Vincent Marseglia or maybe a bearded Bo Dallas who is Bray’s real life brother and he……… pops in and out to confuse people. Okay… (1)

Alexa might return to the 6 because of all the segments and gets darker and a heel. Alright that is perfectly fine but, WHY IS VINCENT DALLAS HERE AGAIN TO JUST INTERFERE WITH RANDOM THINGS? Okay… fine. (2) Alexa has a Women’s Championship match against Bianca Belair, that will make sense of thi– it’s a clean finish… Why is it clean? No Howdy, No Wyatt just a random VHS tape like I’m watching The Ring about her being dark after the match. Okay…… (3)

Oh Wyatt finally gets a feud for his return. I almost forgot about that! Who will be this first victim? LA Knight.

…Okay…… (4)

Maybe this will be good. They are both great on the microphone, maybe Bray has new moves that he can do and I know all too well how good LA Knight is, I have been an Eli Drake/Shaun Ricker fan for years. This could be a great match that they have, they announced it for the Royal Rumble so it’s going to be big and it’s a… Pitch Black Match presented by Mountain Dew.

O…okay…… (5)

The Royal Rumble is upon us, the Men’s Rumble starts the show and we all have adrenaline in our soul for it and now is this weird Pitch Black Match and it’s not a cinematic match. It’s in the ring, No Count Outs and No Disqualifications. LA Knight comes out in his iconic Yellow Attire and Wyatt is talking… with a mask on. The lights turn off and the ropes are glowing a neon greenish-yellow… with an announce table spot that… has Nickelodeon Slime inside of it when they break it? Okay fine… I knew the match was going to be dumb and gimmicky from the Mountain Dew Sponsorship. Bray wins, yay. LA Knight comes back with a Kendo Stick and… we get invulnerable Bray again… they don’t hurt. Lets go to this crash pad and Bo Marseglia shows up from somewhere and just elbow drops him from maybe fifteen to twenty feet with pyro and the Firefly Funhouse Puppets appear at the top, to watch a fire… And there is number six…

Actual Thoughts on Current Bray Wyatt, Post Rumble

I absolutely hate it.

This was awful. You build whatever insignificant thought process of the Wyatt 6 has going for it when Uncle Howdy does the best Cap’n Shane O elbow drop for a hellfire effect. At least the pyro was better than the AEW Explosion Match I guess…

Regardless, how does LA Knight come out of all of this moving forward? He lost an idiotic gimmick match and looks presumed dead. This just makes me think that whoever in whatever interview said Bray Wyatt is a creative mastermind needs to put whatever they have down before we hear about their T.O.D. posted somewhere. This Pitch Black Match is somehow worse than that Rollins Hell in a Cell Match and that takes talent. At least a good amount of alcohol lulled that from my brain but this made me remember that and enjoy the thought of that match happening with its finish. The best way I can picture how this was pitched was Burnt Dogshit, wrapped in a Kerosine Blanket with… sorry had to look at what I wrote, not putting that on websites but… people saw a Creative Quesadilla and when we got the actual product, it gave Salmonella poisoning and E Coli at the same time.

I really don’t want to see another Bray Wyatt match… again. Whoever gave him creative, take it away immediately. As much steam as Bray Wyatt gets in promos or possible matches in the past, the only steaming he gets at the end, is steaming piles of shit. You can say, he’s getting paid millions where I’m a little troll on the internet with typing power and I really don’t care but to me, Triple H… you finally got your first failing grade with something in your leadership role in WWE.

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