NXT Takeover: San Antonio delivered on all accounts with a surprise appearance from a Raw star and a couple title changes!
Eric Young vs. Tye Dillinger
If you weren’t sure before that Tye Dillinger would be entering the Royal Rumble, I think his match at Takeover all but confirms it. Tye had a very hard-hitting match with Eric Young that set the pace for a good Takeover event, but Sanity proved to be too much as Young won with the wheelbarrow neckbreaker for a 3-count. Tye actually had the match won after a Tye Breaker, but Wolfe put Young’s foot on the ropes.
You may not think that this signifies that Tye will be in the Rumble, but let’s really look at things. Tye hasn’t really won a lot of matches lately. Having him win on his way out of NXT wouldn’t have really done anything. Most talent lose on their way to the main roster much like they would if they were leaving for another promotion. I think Tye is an obvious choice for a number 10 spot in the Rumble and that it would blow the roof off the Alamodome if that happens. WWE loves big moments and the 10 chant has really caught on, I fully expect them to capitalize on that.
As far as Eric Young is concerned, I could really see him getting into the title picture before long. He’s been cheating to win often, but he’s done a lot of the winning part. Sanity looks like they’re poised to take over NXT and we could be looking at them taking all the gold in NXT in short order. Who’s going to stop them right now? I really don’t see much of a threat. I’m getting a bit bored with Sanity’s whole shtick, though, so I’m really hoping to see something more out of them in the coming months. I think the eventual direction will be to have them all turn on Young, but I hope nothing like that happens until at least mid-year.
Roderick Strong vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
I think Roderick Strong is slowly finding his way in NXT. It must have been weird to be a big fish in a smaller pond in places like ROH and come in to NXT with so many established stars. Strong looked a bit out of place over the first few TV appearances in NXT, but I truly believe that he’ll be one of the top stars in NXT as we get into this new year.
Strong and Almas had an incredibly competitive match. I have to hand it to Andrade because I don’t think he’s had a single bad match since he’s been in NXT. He’s so polished and really finding his sweet spot in terms of his character right now. He’s really been able to get under the crowd’s skin and his cockiness is so easy to hate. Strong ended up getting the win after the Sick Kick, but this one could have gone either way.
I think that both of these guys are in a weird position right now. Are either one of them ready to challenge for the title? If they’re not, what do they have to do next? Is this feud actually over? There’s a million questions to ask. I still think an NXT mid-card championship would be a great thing to add. There are so many under-card guys and people don’t pay attention as much without the title involved. I believe each brand should have those 4 main titles.
NXT Tag Team Chamopionship – The Authors of Pain vs. DIY (c)
I’ll start this off by saying that this is the best match I’ve seen The Authors of Pain participate in. I think that they started to really show what they could do in Toronto, but this match was even better. I think Gargano and Ciampa were the perfect pairing to go against these two. It was the underdog team vs the undefeated team, it’s always a great story.
What made this match so great was the amount of action that was going on at every moment. It seemed like someone was always hitting a big move at the right time. Gargano and Ciampa even went for the same finish as Toronto before Gargano ended up being picked up and powerbombed onto Ciampa. Soon after that, it was a running knee and kick combination by DIY that was again blocked and turned into a Super Collider and then the Last Chapter for the win. The Authors of Pain are the new NXT Tag Team Champions!
I really half-expected The Authors to win this match even though I didn’t want them to. I think they’re the team that needs to carry those titles until a suitable opponent can come back and take them away. I do think that DIY will have a rematch, but I don’t think they’ll get the victory in that either. NXT creative seems to be fully behind those guys and with good reason. They’re a big dominant team that can move and do a lot of different things in the ring. I’ve been really impressed thus far and I’m interested in what they can do with the titles.
I don’t believe DIY will be coming up to the main roster because of this, the tag scene in NXT is pretty thin and I think they’ll be needed for the next few months, but stranger things have happened.
NXT Women’s Championship – Asuka (c) vs. Nikki Cross vs. Billie Kay vs. Peyton Royce
The women’s match went about as you would expect. Peyton and Billie ended up one the outside for most of the match pounces on opportunities when they came up. The two women ended up taking out Nikki Cross after putting her through a table next to the announce desk. This left Asuka alone with the two friends in the ring. Asuka ended up kicking out of a Widow’s Peak by Peyton after already kicking out of a running knee with both Peyton and Billie applying pressure to a pin.
Asuka ended up winning the match by pinfall after a couple devastating kicks to both Billie and Peyton while Nikki was still laid out at the announce table. Nikki did give Asuka a crazy smile when she was walking out with the title. I think those two are next to have a war over the women’s title. I think this was just a precursor to that.
If this match taught me anything, it’s that Billie and Peyton are still right in the thick of things and that they will be coming back even harder for that title the next opportunity. There’s also Ember Moon that enters this fray after tonight. It’s easy to see that there are a lot of viable candidates to compete for that title and it’s only getting better with each passing show. I thought these girls had an interesting match after all the great singles matches of the past year for the title. It was nice to see a Fatal 4 Way.
NXT Championship – Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Bobby Roode
This match was the surprise of the night for me. It really seemed like Nakamura would retain the title at all costs at this point in time. That wasn’t what happened. NXT went with an injury angle in the match and had Roode attack the knee at every juncture of the match. Nakamura fought back, but couldn’t hit a Kinshasa on the bad knee. A second Glorious DDT sealed the victory for the new NXT Champion, Bobby Roode.
What a way to end Takeover!? I almost think that NXT had to go this route because it wasn’t as much of a marquee event as Brooklyn or Toronto was. I think that Bobby is a good choice to hold the title, he’s one of the most seasoned veterans that NXT has and he is as over as anyone with the fans right now. I definitely see a rematch in the cards at an upcoming event. These two definitely have some unfinished business. As for Nakamura at the Rumble, I think the injury angle puts that to rest. Nakamura still has some stuff left to accomplish in NXT. I’d guess he will be called up after Wrestlemania.
It was a good Takeover show with new NXT Tag Team Champions and a new NXT Champion. We also saw Seth Rollins call out Triple H and get taken away by security, so we’ll see what happens with that. This show was much better than I expected it to be going in and it’s one everyone should check out.