It’s that time again as NXT will be taking over another Saturday night before we get to one of the Big Four pay per views. Unfortunately this show hasn’t had the best build in the world and a lot of that is due to a combination of the talent being taken up to the main roster and the two weeks spent on international shows that could have been used on the build towards the matches. Today we’re going to look at the build towards “Takeover: San Antonio” and see if it looks better on paper than it’s looked on “NXT” TV.
Eric Young vs. Tye Dillinger
This feud has served two purposes: showing that Dillinger has a reason to still be in NXT and giving Sanity’s leader his first major feud. The stable has the potential to be something special and Dillinger’s TEN gimmick is getting over like almost nothing has in a very long time. The fans just want to cheer for the guy and he’s more than made up for it in the ring. He’s no Sami Zayn or anyone near that level but he’s doing enough to make it work.
That being said, there’s no reason for Young to lose here. I could easily see Dillinger moving up to the main roster for the Royal Rumble alone while Sanity with Young at the helm could dominate NXT for a good while going forward. Young wins here as he’s the only logical option along with deserving it (that was much easier to say that it should have been).
Andrade Cien Almas vs. Roderick Strong
I always forget that Strong is even in NXT as he just hasn’t done all that much yet. Almas is in a similar place as he’s barely established himself in the promotion. His in ring stuff hasn’t done much to impress me and I’m still not sure why I’m supposed to care about him (though his heel work has been better than his face run). Strong is entertaining though and I’ve always been a fan of the guy.
I’m actually going to go with Strong in what could be considered an upset. Strong is a talented guy and can go with anyone in the ring but neither guy really has a strong personality. Both of them need something to do but I’d rather see Strong knock that smile off of Almas’ face than anything else and that’s enough to give him the nod here. I have next to no confidence in it but I’ll go with Strong.
Tag Team Titles: DIY vs. Authors of Pain
Now this is where things get a little hazy. DIY is on a roll at this point and is one of the best teams I’ve seen in a long time. However, the Authors of Pain have been treated as nearly unstoppable monsters and the logical move would be to see them steamroll the champions for the titles. At the same time though, I can’t imagine DIY losing the belts that they spent so much time winning.
I see this one going along the lines of Sting vs. Vader in 1992: the Authors of Pain destroy the champs and then get disqualified or counted out for going a bit too hard. DIY will probably drop the belts to them later on but I don’t think it happens just yet. They did too much great stuff against the Revival to lose them to a team like the Authors of Pain, at least this early on.
Women’s Title: Asuka vs. Peyton Royce vs. Billie Kay vs. Nikki Cross
This one depends on where you think the title is going after the match as we get closer to the big Wrestlemania weekend show. Asuka has been running through the division for almost a year now and the only real idea is to have the three challengers in one match instead of lining them up one at a time.
That being said, I still think Asuka runs through them all with a fall on one of the Aussies. There’s no reason to have her go over Cross yet but I could easily see the big showdown between Asuka and Ember Moon at the big show in Orlando. They could throw in a big curve ball and have the Aussies basically be the NXT version of Laycool but again, I just don’t see it happening. Asuka retains.
NXT Title: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bobby Roode
The more I think about this match, the more confused I really am about the whole thing. NXT has managed to book a match where it’s hard to imagine either of them actually losing here. Roode has been built up as the big star but Nakamura is Nakamura, as in someone who requires a small cannon to finally put down. On paper this should be a squash it’s hard to not buy into Roode’s schtick.
At the end of the day though, I think it’s going to be Nakamura retaining the title and setting up a showdown with……well I have no idea actually (Kassius Ohno maybe?) but I don’t think Roode wins here. He’s the kind of guy who could get his heat back in the span of about five minutes so Nakamura goes over here after a match which far exceeds expectations.
I think I’ve talked myself into being excited over this show. If there’s a single promotion that can make me believe they can pull off what feels like a lackluster card, NXT is the one. I’m not sure it’s going to work but I’m more than willing to give the show a chance. If they can get most of the matches right and hit the ground running heading into Orlando, everything will be fine.
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