Roundtable – NXT TakeOver: In Your House 2021 Preview

NXT TakeOver: In Your House 2021 is here and the Hooked On Wrestling team have come together for a bumper show preview.

Adam Cole Johnny Gargano Karrion Kross Kyle O'Reilly Pete Dunne

Credit: WWE

NXT TakeOver: In Your House 2021 takes place this weekend and although we planned to create a custom Angelfire website to get into the retro theme, we soon decide this was too much effort so why not get stuck in to our review column right here as a number of our Hooked On Wrestling regulars give their thoughts on the show.

If you want to make your voice heard on the goings on for the show, why not enter our In Your House Predictions Contest for the chance to win yourself a tee from WWE Euroshop.

Before you delve into our thoughts on the matches, you can also check out our handy In Your House explainer guide if you want to read all you need to know about NXT TakeOver: In Your House 2021.


NXT Championship: Karrion Kross (c) vs. Finn Balor vs. Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Pete Dunne

Adam Cole Johnny Gargano Karrion Kross Kyle O'Reilly Pete Dunne
Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: I’ll be honest right off the bat. This TakeOver card doesn’t excite me much at all. I don’t think I’ve ever said that before but this card feels subpar almost across the board. If that is because they are going to massively lean into the retro 90s theme and the matches are just there to facilitate that then I am all for it. If not though, this card is far off the standard NXT TakeOvers set themselves. This match is symbolic of that. Great talent involved without question but all thrown together in the absence of a well told storyline. I’m sure the action will be top notch but multi-man matches of this type don’t really float my boat. Who will win? Karrion Kross. No question. Let’s just hope the match is used as a springboard for a proper title feud and maybe another rivalry amongst two of the combatants beyond that.

Winner: Karrion Kross

Danny Steele: Like the AEW World Championship Triple Threat at Double or Nothing – I don’t buy the possibility of a title change at all, yet I’m excited for the prospect of an action packed multi-man battle. The NXT Champion has been on the losing end of verbal and physical altercations at the hands of his challengers on recent editions of NXT. Rarely have we seen Karrion Kross so vulnerable. Therefore, I believe he’ll win convincingly here in order to reinforce his position at the top of the NXT food chain.

Winner: Karrion Kross

James Dee: This match is going to be amazing, Five guys working at peak pro-wrestling at this moment and literally any one of these guys could win this and I think it would make sense. Personally I’m rooting for Pete Dunne because Pete Dunne needs to be every champion in every promotion, but I think this match is going to go to Karrion Kross. O’Reilly and Cole still have so much hate between them and that’s what is going to stop the only obvious babyface in the match from dethroning Kross… for now. Kyle O’Reilly’s time to dethrone Kross will come but I think it’ll be in a one-on-one match further down the line. In any case look forward to the unmitigated and wonderful chaos that this match will bring.

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Winner: Karrion Kross

Cameron Bennett: Despite my desperation for Pete Dunne to be NXT Champion I can’t go anywhere but Kross, the big man’s first reign was short due to injury so it’s only right he gets a good run this time around. 

Winner: Karrion Kross


NXT Women’s Championship: Raquel Gonzalez (c) vs. Ember Moon

NXT TakeOver: In Your House - Raquel Gonzalez vs Ember Moon
Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: Whilst this doesn’t set the pulses racing, this is exactly the right match for Gonzalez’s first TakeOver defense. It will be a comfortable victory over a highly credible former champion that will help build and establish her title reign. Good stuff but probably worthy of a weekly show main event rather than a TakeOver show. The next real high point for Gonzalez will surely be a face turn and feud with Dakota Kai and we could see the first baby steps towards that on Sunday.

Winner: Raquel Gonzalez

Danny Steele: As is the case in all of Sunday’s championship matches, only recently has the champion won the gold, which reduces the potential for a title change. This is particularly applicable for a main event scene newcomer like Raquel Gonzalez, who still needs establishing at this level. Having steadily built Gonzalez for over a year, this would be an unusual time for NXT to undermine her momentum. This rivalry feels like a placeholder before a Women’s Championship feud with more jeopardy. A rematch against the recently returned Io Shirai, or even a rivalry with tag team partner Dakota Kai, could be next on the cards for the champion.

Winner: Raquel Gonzalez

James Dee: Raquel Gonzalez is winning this without a doubt. Ember Moon even at her peak feels like an “also ran” of the NXT Women’s Champions and I don’t think she’s been built up enough to dethrone Gonzalez as of yet. I don’t mean to say that Moon can’t work, she is an unbelievable talent and she will help Gonzalez bring her A game to the table and it should be a great match.

Winner: Raquel Gonzalez

Cameron Bennett: You’re gonna see a running thread here, all the champions are relatively new and I can’t see any of them dropping the title. Big Mami Cool keeps hold of the gold. 

Winner: Raquel Gonzalez


Winner Takes All Match: MSK (c) & Bronson Reed (c) vs. Santos Escobar & Legado del Fantasma

Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: This one feels thrown together, honestly. The babyfaces are in the early stages of their title reigns and neither has had the opportunity yet to establish a TakeOver-worthy rivalry so we get a situation where they are just lob them all in one match. I’ll give them this…It does feel very In Your House so can we call Reed & MSK the Three Dudes With Attitude? No? OK….Anyway, babyfaces to win here I think.

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Winners: Bronson Reed & MSK

Danny Steele: Let’s think all the way back to SummerSlam 2008. In mixed tag team action, Beth Phoenix pinned Mickie James to become the new Women’s Champion, meaning that Santino Marella also took the Intercontinental Championship from Kofi Kingston. WWE used the “winner takes all” stipulation to move the gold from protected babyface Kingston to comedy heel Santino. Santos Escobar is no comedy act; however could this stipulation be a way to have the crafty heel win the North American Championship from the “Colossal” Bronson Reed? It’s a possibility worth considering, however, again, this seems unlikely as Bronson Reed and MSK won their respective titles rather recently. The faces are still finding their feet as champions and their reigns should continue here.

Winners: Bronson Reed & MSK

James Dee: This match is a piece of booking gold. Santos Escobar has goaded MSK and Reed into fighting on his terms, the unproven trio team of MSK and Reed vs. the well oiled machine that is Legado del Fantasma and Escobar. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that LdF and Escobar win this. I know Reed has only just won the title but I think that Legado del Fantasma have been too good for too long to not have the titles by now and MSK and Reed have a great excuse of why they lost, also Santos Escobar just looks too good with a title for him not to have one.

Winners: Santos Escobar & Legado del Fantasma

Cameron Bennett: Santos Escobar is destined for greatness. I can see him earning every bit of gold NXT and the main roster has to offer cos he’s got all the tools to be the next big Mexican star that Vince has been looking for since Rey’s knees retired. That being said, MSK and Reed retain.

Winners: Santos Escobar & Legado del Fantasma


Million Dollar Tittle Ladder Match: Cameron Grimes vs. LA Knight

Cameron Grimes LA Knight Ted DiBiase NXT TakeOver: In Your House - Cameron Grimes vs LA Knight
Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: Genuinely the sole match on this show I am genuinely excited for. Grimes’ character has been a revelation since he came into money and Knight is a very effective foil. The involvement of Ted DiBiase has been awesome and this rivalry feels genuinely exciting and one which will bump both guys up the NXT totem pole when it is done. Great effort so far. Logic dictates the heel wins this so he can be chased by the newly beloved babyface character. Can’t wait!

Winner: LA Knight

Danny Steele: I love everything about this feud. The interactions between the Cameron Grimes, LA Knight and Ted DiBiase characters have been wildly entertaining. The pay-off promises to deliver and I am genuinely struggling to decide upon the outcome. The Million Dollar Champion is a role better suited to a heel, however there’s only room for one rich man gimmick in NXT, in my opinion.  Nonetheless, both competitors will walk away from this rivalry with their stock trending upwards.

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Winner: Cameron Grimes

James Dee: This match has my name written all over it. It’s kind ofsilly but kind of amazing, it has a long history but it’s also such a modern take on it. The Million Dollar Championship was made for moments like this and the thought of Cameron Grimes and LA Knight going after it fills me with joy and as pitch perfect as Grimes has been I think LA Knight can take this whole concept and run with it to the moon and back. The match should also be one to take to the bank, I don’t think it is even possible for NXT to have a sub-par ladder match, I can’t think of one. It’s like they have a “In Need of Great Match BREAK GLASS” and it’s just a big ‘ol container with a ladder in it. This is only trumped by the main event in my hype stakes.

Winner: LA Knight

Cameron Bennett: LA Knight wins via Million Dollar shenanigans and the title does not get taken….TO THE MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!

Winner: LA Knight


Xia Li vs. Mercedes Martinez

Xia Li Mercedes Martinez
Credit: WWE

Paul Benson: Is this the most underwhelming match to ever feature on a TakeOver? Quite possibly. Certainly since those early days when the brand was finding its feet. I don’t think it would make any ripples if it was put on midway through a weekly show and it has no place here. I don’t really know whether the match will excite but when TakeOvers are so stacked and spots on them are rightly so coveted, why is this here? I am assuming Xia Li is at the foothills of a decent push so she will likely win this one.

Winner: Xia Li

Danny Steele: In terms of all-time anticipated Takeover matches, this bout ranks somewhere between Adam Rose vs. Camacho and Enzo Amore vs. Sylvester Lefort. That’s harsh, I know, but this has an undeniable television match feel. Nevertheless, given the patient build up, well-produced vignettes and now an NXT Takeover spot, Triple H is obviously devoted to pushing Xia Li and the Tian Sha stable. It must be working, because I am intrigued to discover where this goes. As for Mercedes Martinez, this could be her NXT send-off, with rumours of a main roster partnership with Eva Marie circulating.

Winner: Xia Li

James Dee: This should be a fun opener. Xia Li is really showing us what she can do and Mercedes Martinez is great in the role of gatekeeping veteran. With that said Li should be winning this match but it’ll be hard fought and should really show what both women have got in the ring.

Winner: Xia Li

Cameron Bennett: The Right Hand of Tian Sha gets her biggest test in the form of Mercedes who will have Xia in trouble before getting dealt with. Xia wins tonight and survives punishment.

Winner: Xia Li


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