On Thursday May 29th, the NXT Takeover PPV airs at at 8pm EST. By the time the “Special Event” is concluded, I’m predicting a major title change will take place: the Tag Team Championship.
Only two championships are being defended: the NXT Championship and the Tag Team belts; the NXT Women’s Championship belt is vacant. That means there are really only two matches with upset potential, so it’s an easy prediction to make.
The match in question is the Tag Team Champions The Ascension vs Kalisto and El Local. I must admit that I’m a massive Ascension fan and cannot wait for them to make their main roster debut, but I’m excited for this new duo.
Kalisto and El Local made their tag team TV debut on May 8th to a raucous crowd and fans have been clamoring for more; because of this, WWE made sure to pit them against the unstoppable champions at Takeover.
The main WWE roster does not feature teams like it once did, which is why so many duos are being formed and used in NXT. It’s believed that Triple H has been wanting to get the company back to the glory days of tag team excellence, making sure to bring more of them into developmental. With teams like The Ascension and the Lucha duo soon being added to Raw and Smackdown, the tag division is looking stronger than it has in over a decade.
The other thing the higher ups want to see more of is Luchadores. The mystique created by these masked men and women, the excitement cultivated by their high flying daredevil style, is what keeps a good portion of fans coming back for more. Currently on the main roster, they really only have Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio. The original Sin Cara left and his replacement, Hunico, isn’t maintaining the interest that the original once had. Rey Mysterio on the other hand is always a fan favorite and a good draw when he’s healthy; the problem is, Rey is rarely healthy.
With their two major Lucha Libre wrestlers not able to be in the ring or not maintaining interest while there, WWE is looking for replacements to captivate the younger fans and those pleading for more excitement in the product. The biggest benefit in them having new and thrilling Luchadores on TV is merchandise sales. When you bring in these masked characters, you’re able to put their identities on the shelves of toy stores. What kid hasn’t wanted to be Rey Mysterio or Sin Cara? Well now you can go to your local Walmart or Toys “R” Us, pick up a mask, jump around the house or yard, imitate their moves and effectively become your idol.
It’s a smart move to build up this new team, put the belts on them and let them show off their talents more often. With them holding gold, they can be featured in a way that doesn’t feel so manufactured; after all, champions have to defend their titles, right?
The flip side to this finish is that The Ascension have no more bindings holding them to NXT. Losing the belts enables them to pursue greater heights: the WWE Tag Team Championship. I’m sure they’ll claim the Luchadores won on a fluke, challenging them to a rematch for the belts; I just think that The Ascension have run roughshod on all the available competition and have nothing to gain staying in developmental.
The Ascension have been the longest reigning Tag Champions in NXT history, laying waste to any and all challengers. On May 29th that all changes. I guarantee that the Lucha-Movement takes over (pun unintended) and gives NXT and WWE new characters for fans to get behind, buy merch from (I may be nearing my thirties, but I’ll be one of the first in line for a Kalisto mask), and idolize.
While it will be a shame to see The Ascension lose, it will allow the now former champions to live up to their credo: Rise.