NXT TakeOver: Phoenix card, date, matches, location, rumors, start time
The card for the TakeOver event before the Royal Rumble is beginning to take shape
Every time the NXT superstars get the stage all to themselves, they deliver seemingly like no other. This weekend should be no different, with the NXT TakeOver: Phoenix card set to take place inside the Talking Stick Resort Arena the night before the Royal Rumble. NXT TakeOver: Phoenix will begin at 7 p.m. ET with a kickoff show getting everything started at 6 p.m. on the WWE Network.
The main event for the card has already been announced, as Tommaso Ciampa will be defending his NXT championship against the man that he took it from last year, Aleister Black. Black has had a roadblock in front of him in his quest to get the title back in the former of Ciampa's former DIY teammate Johnny Gargano, but after disposing of Gargano last November at NXT TakeOver: WarGames, he can now put much of his focus on the championship that was stolen from him.
Listen to our audio preview of NXT TakeOver: Phoenix from the State of Combat with Brian Campbell podcast, and be sure to subscribe at the link in the player below.
Below you can have a look at the NXT TakeOver: Phoenix card as it continues to shape out in the coming weeks.
NXT TakeOver: Phoenix matches
NXT Championship -- Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Aleister Black: While, yes, Black did defeat Gargano 1-on-1 in November 2018, "Johnny Wrestling" has continued to be a thorn in the former champion's side as he delves deeper into this heel character. You'd assume Ciampa will get his comeuppance as Black comes for his title, but Gargano is still very much a wild card in all of this.
NXT Women's Championship -- Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Bianca Belair: Belair's incredible rise through NXT has culminated with a shot at the NXT women's title, which she earned via a victory in a Fatal 4-Way No. 1 contender match. This matchup is intriguing because NXT may not want to take the championship from Baszler just yet, but at the same time, Belair's undefeated streak has been one of the featured stories on weekly television for months. That said, the easy out here is likely Belair losing due to Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir shenanigans to protect the legitimacy of her streak.
NXT Tag Team Championship -- Undisputed Era (c) vs. War Raiders: The rivalry between these two teams has just been intensifying more and more in recent weeks, and at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix, it will all come to a head. Hanson & Rowe came close to taking the tag tiles from Kyle O'Reilly & Roderick Strong once before, but now they'll look to finish the job completely on one of the biggest stages of the entire year.
NXT North American Championship -- Ricochet (c) vs. Johnny Gargano: Gargano couldn't seem to get a hold of the NXT championship in 2018, so to get 2019 started, he'll take aim at the newest title on the brand and the current champion Ricochet. These two former independent sensations should be able to put on a classic title match in Phoenix.
Matt Riddle vs. Kassius Ohno: Yes, Riddle has defeated Ohno twice already, but this feud doesn't seem to want to die already. On a recent edition of NXT TV, Riddle earned his second win over Ohno but was brutally attacked following the victory. Ohno has continued to be a thorn in the side of Riddle, and in Phoenix the night before the Royal Rumble, these two will square off for a third time.
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