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Making History: NXT Battleground in the UFC Apex

WWE is breaking ground in the UFC Apex with its Battleground event this Sunday for the NXT brand.

This is a historic event for more than one reason.

It is the first WWE event in the UFC Apex

When Endeavor bought the WWE and UFC, merging them under the TKO banner, we knew there would be some crossover in due time. Little did we know the WWE would take its developmental brand of NXT to Vegas to host a premium live event in the UFC Apex. This is not a large venue, as less than a thousand lucky fans will be in attendance for this event. That’s not a lack of selling seats, but it’s meant to be a more intimate feel for this show on Sunday.

The first TNA-NXT head-to-head match

TNA Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace shocked the world when she was a surprise entrant into this year’s Royal Rumble event. Five months later, she arrives still Knockouts Champion to come and challenge NXT Women’s Champion Roxanne Perez. This is promising to see TNA and WWE working together, a partnership we never saw many moons ago. It makes fans excited for the potential of Jordynne Grace becoming a full-time WWE superstar, as well as the many dream matches WWE and TNA can work together to give the fans.

So the match card is subject to change, but here are the six matches for the event.

Sol Ruca vs. Lash Legend vs. Fallon Henley vs. Jaida Parker vs. Michin vs. Kelani Jordan in a Ladder Match for the vacant NXT Women’s North American Championship

NXT is giving the women a mid-card championship to compete for, similar to when they gave the men the North American Championship back in 2018. Adam Cole was the inaugural champion by winning a 6-man ladder match, so it’s heartwarming to see the NXT repeat history for the women and give them an opportunity.

Michin will provide a veteran presence in the match, but she likely won’t win. My favorites to win are Sol Ruca and Fallon Henley. Henley has a newfound attitude and it appears she’ll be in NXT a little while longer, while Sol Ruca has all the traits to be the next big thing in WWE’s women’s division. When you look back and see Adam Cole was the first North American Champion, you want to say the same about Sol Ruca as the inaugural NXT Women’s North American Champion.

Oba Femi (c) vs. Wes Lee vs. Joe Coffey for the North American Championship

Championships typically don’t change hands in triple threats, aside from the rare occasions of WrestleMania 30 when Daniel Bryan beat Randy Orton and Batista to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Joe Coffey seems thrown into this match, but I could see a scenario Wes Lee returning from injury to win the championship back, but pinning Coffey instead of Oba Femi.

However, Oba Femi is a blue-chip prospect and I don’t see him dropping this title anytime soon. Give me Oba Femi retaining this Sunday.

Nathan Frazer and Axiom (c) vs. The O.C. (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) for the NXT Tag Team Championships

AJ Styles has made headlines by getting a rematch against Cody Rhodes at WWE’s premium live event next week Clash at the Castle. Michin is in the ladder match, and now Gallows and Anderson are in a tag team title match. While I see Gallows and Anderson getting more TV time, I don’t see them taking the NXT Tag Team Championships. Let Frazer and Axiom get a big win at the UFC Apex!

Shayna Baszler vs. Lola Vice in NXT Underground

I personally wish this was a “fight pit” match being in the UFC Apex, but NXT Underground means no ropes and you win by submission or knockout. Baszler has already established herself with her ruthless reputation, but this is time for Lola Vice to prove she can do more than shake her hips. Lola Vice shows the WWE Universe why she should be taken seriously in this new era.

Trick Williams (c) vs. Ethan Page for the NXT Championship

I am not thrilled with Ethan Page’s in-ring debut being for the NXT Championship. “All Ego” attacked Trick Williams a couple of weeks ago and immediately gets rewarded a title opportunity? WWE booked themselves in a corner, because do you let Ethan Page lose his in-ring debut, or give him the NXT Championship and halt Trick’s momentum? I think Trick Williams is the hottest commodity in NXT right now and just needs to have a really good match against Ethan Page and get a quality win.

Roxanne Perez (c) vs. Jordynne Grace for the NXT Women’s Championship

My preference is this match closes the show, over the other contests. This is the most historic match on the card, and perhaps in NXT history, so it deserves the entire spotlight. While I don’t see Jordynne Grace leaving a double champion, this will be a great opportunity to showcase what she can do and only means good things moving forward. Roxanne Perez gets a big win, but hopefully this sets up the stage for Roxanne to go to TNA and challenge for Jordynne Grace’s Knockouts Championship.

How do you feel NXT Battleground goes? Let us know in the comments below.


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