Takeover: San Antonio
Date: January 28, 2017
Location: Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, Texas
Commentators: Percy Watson, Tom Phillips, Corey Graves
For the first time that I can remember, NXT actually has its work cut out to make one of these shows work. The card just isn’t all that strong this time around and it shows badly. The main event here is Shinsuke Nakamura defending the NXT Title against Bobby Roode, which really could go either way. Let’s get to it.
The opening video looks at all five matches tonight with a theme of change.
Tye Dillinger vs. Eric Young
During Sanity’s entrance, the camera starts on Alexander Wolfe and pans over to the other members but goes one to far and pans over to air. Young gives Dillinger one last chance to join the team but gets left hands to the jaw for his efforts. A trip to the floor goes nowhere and Dillinger chops away again before whipping Eric outside one more time.
Eric finally sends him outside so Killian Dane (Big Damo) can get in a crossbody to really take over. Back in and Eric’s top rope elbow hits Tye in the back before sending him outside again. A neckbreaker gets two on Tye but he dropkicks Young out of the air to put both guys down.
Back up and Tye grabs him by the beard to really start his comeback. Young runs up to the top so Tye charges up into a belly to belly superplex for two, which means crowd reaction shots have come to NXT. Cue Wolfe to the apron so Tye gives him a Tyebreaker, followed by a superkick to Dane. Another Tyebreaker hits Young but Wolfe puts his foot on the ropes. Tye goes after Sanity once too often and gets caught in the wheelbarrow neckbreaker for the pin at 10:56.
Rating: B-. Good match here but the crowd is going to go INSANE when Tye finally wins a big match. He keeps getting closer and there’s enough interference here to warrant a rematch or another big match of some sort. If they don’t have him get that big win in Orlando over Wrestlemania weekend, I have no idea what to tell them.
Samoa Joe is here.
Andrade Cien Almas vs. Roderick Strong
Strong eliminated Almas in a four way for the #1 contendership so it’s time for payback. Almas does his pose in the ropes to start before kicking at the arms. A cross armbreaker has Strong in trouble and a running kick to the head makes it even worse. This has been ALL Almas so far but he misses a moonsault and gets caught in an Angle Slam. Back up and they slowly chop it out before switching over to elbows, followed by a hard kick to send Strong into the corner.
Strong kicks him in the face again but gets pulled down into something like Rings of Saturn, sending Roderick’s foot onto the ropes for a break. Almas gets caught on top and Strong drops him onto the turnbuckle with a backbreaker for two. Andrade gets in the double knees in the corner, only to have Strong get out of the hammerlock DDT. Another knee to the face sets up the Sick Kick for the pin on Almas at 11:44.
Rating: C+. Again, not bad here and it’s one of Almas’ better matches. I’m starting to get more into him but he came in so flat that it’s really hard to care about him no matter what he does. The heel character is working far better though and having good matches will get him noticed faster than anything else. Strong getting the win is a good idea as he hasn’t really established himself too well yet.
Video on Shawn Michaels winning the 1995 Royal Rumble.
Michael P.S. Hayes is here.
We recap DIY vs. the Authors of Pain. Akam and Razar, managed by Paul Ellering, won the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic to become #1 contenders and now it’s DIY trying to fight off the monsters to retain their newly won titles.
Tag Team Titles: DIY vs. Authors of Pain
Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa are defending and unfortunately the Authors take off their jackets, meaning the name tags go away. Razar takes Ciampa into the corner and shouts at him a lot, drawing a PSYCHO KILLER chant from the crowd. Gargano tries the spear through the ropes and is casually swatted away. Everything breaks down and the champs just can’t do anything with rights and lefts.
Some running knees work a bit better though and the monsters are knocked to the floor for a suicide dive and running knee from the apron. Back in and Akam casually slams Gargano over the top and the beating is on. It’s off to an over the shoulder backbreaker until Johnny slips down into an enziguri…..which has no effect whatsoever.
Gargano finally slips away and makes the hot tag off to Ciampa so house can be cleaned as well as possible. Some German suplexes take the Authors down and Paul Ellering is losing it on the floor. The referee tells Ciampa “six minutes left” as he chops away at Akam, who takes Ciampa’s head off for two. The champs get two of their own off a double spear but Johnny gets knocked to the floor again, leaving Ciampa to get caught in a powerbomb/neckbreaker combination for two.
Johnny is back in to break up the Last Chapter and it’s off to the double arm submission. Akam powers out of Johnny’s crossface though and slams Gargano onto Tommaso to break the other hold. That’s a really effective spot as the champs took their best shot and couldn’t stop the raw power. They slug it out from their knees but the double strike is countered into the Authors’ double powerbomb. The Last Chapter on Ciampa give us new champions at 14:27.
Rating: B. I’m kind of surprised here but at the same time not exactly. Coming in I didn’t think this would happen but now that it has, it makes the most sense. That being said, I was very, very pleasantly surprised here as I was expecting a big drop off and got the best match the Authors have ever had. It’s a good match though and that’s all you could ask for out of these guys.
Here’s Seth Rollins to take over the ring and call out HHH, who he knows is here because HHH runs NXT. HHH comes out but walks to the back, sending security out instead. Rollins is taken out and the fans aren’t happy.
We recap the Women’s Title match. Asuka is unstoppable but has been dealing with the combined forces of Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. Nikki Cross has gotten in on things too and Asuka wants to fight all of them at once.
Women’s Title: Asuka vs. Nikki Cross vs. Peyton Royce vs. Billie Kay
Asuka is defending and this is one fall to a finish. Billie and Peyton look terrified and bail out to the floor shortly after the bell. With Asuka and Cross circling each other, the Aussies come back in for little success before being tossed back out. Asuka German suplexes both of them at the same time and it’s back to Asuka vs. Cross.
Nikki ducks Asuka’s big kick and takes the champ to the floor for an elevated neckbreaker off the apron. Cross hits a big dive but the Aussies beat Nikki up the aisle while Asuka is down at ringside. Is there a reason they’re not running back to the ring so one can get a fast pin on the other?
They actually take Cross to the announcers’ area and double suplex her through a table in a rare big spot. Back to the ring with the Aussies double teaming Asuka instead of just doing something a bit less complicated, like LAYING DOWN FOR EACH OTHER. Billie kicks Asuka into a Widow’s Peak for two but the champ shrugs it off and kicks them both down to pin Peyton at 10:02.
Rating: C-. Did I fast forward the last five minutes here? It felt like the last part of the match was missing as Asuka was in the first real trouble of her title reign and then retained the title about fifteen seconds later. Asuka retaining is fine but this needed a few more minutes to really sell her being in trouble.
Nikki raises her head and smiles at Asuka as the champ leaves.
Tyler Bate is here.
We recap the NXT Title match. Shinsuke Nakamura got the title back after winning the feud against Samoa Joe. Bobby Roode won a four way elimination match to become #1 contender and wants to make the title GLORIOUS.
NXT Title: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bobby Roode
Roode is challenging and comes to the ring with eight rather attractive women in matching dresses. Nakamura rides to the ring on a platform for a rather unique entrance of his own. The fans sing Nakamura’s song after the bell for a pretty intimidating atmosphere. They hit the mat to start with Nakamura getting caught in a headlock, only to send Roode off and tell him to bring it on.
Roode switches to the basics with an elbow to the jaw followed by a wristlock. Good Vibrations is broken up so Roode blasts him in the jaw to send Bobby outside. Roode is right back though and sends him into the steps, which seems to jar the champ’s neck. Back in and Bobby goes right after the neck until Nakamura comes back with the strikes. Good Vibrations works this time as the pace picks up a bit.
Roode blocks the inverted exploder as he’s had counters for almost everything so far. The running knee in the corner hits Roode’s ribs and now the exploder works just fine. Nakamura loads up Kinshasa but Roode is out on the mat. It’s playing possum though and Bobby gets two off a rollup. A backstabber gets the same and that perfect spinebuster gives Roode yet another near fall.
Roode’s superplex is broken up and Nakamura scores with a middle rope kick to the chest. Kinshasa is blocked and Roode grabs a rollup with his feet on the ropes for two more. Nakamura starts no selling the chops and wants some more. The hard strikes come back and it’s off to a triangle choke of all things. Roode reverses into something like a powerbomb which is countered into a sunset flip for two.
A sliding knee gives Nakamura the same so he goes to the middle rope for a jumping knee but both guys crash down to the floor. The champ’s knee is banged up though and Nakamura goes down after hitting Kinshasa. Roode is out and the referee brings the trainer in to check on the knee. Nakamura says he can go and Roode is sitting up in the corner.
Back in and Roode grabs the Glorious DDT for a very, very close two. Bobby slaps on a half crab and punches at the knee for extra damage before dragging it back to the middle of the ring. Cue Matt Bloom (Albert, the head NXT Coach) as Nakamura tries to reverse into another triangle. The knee gives out though and a second Glorious DDT gives 27:09.
Rating: A-. Much, much better match than I was expecting here though I’m not entirely sure where we go from here. I don’t exactly see Roode vs. Nakamura II with Nakamura winning his third title as the best Takeover: Orlando main event but who else is there? Ohno? Dillinger? We can figure that out later though because this was a heck of a match as Roode stayed simple and was smart enough to take down the unpredictable and wild Nakamura.
Graves is THRILLED to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. And somehow, that’s probably the worst Takeover ever. The show was a completely fine two hours and twenty minutes with the Women’s Title being the worst match and still totally watchable. The talent drain has really hurt NXT and the two house shows instead of regular TV didn’t do this one any favors. Still though, it’s certainly a good show but when the bar is set that high, something like this is bound to happen.
Eric Young b. Tye Dillinger – Wheelbarrow neckbreaker
Roderick Strong b. Andrade Cien Almas – Sick Kick
Authors of Pain b. DIY – Last Chapter to Ciampa
Asuka b. Billie Kay, Peyton Royce and Nikki Cross – Kick to Royce’s head
Bobby Roode b. Shinsuke Nakamura – Glorious DDT
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