Date: February 1, 2017
Location: Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, Texas
Commentators: Corey Graves, Percy Watson, Tom Phillips
We’re on the road to Wrestlemania, which means we’re heading back to Orlando on the way to….well Orlando actually, but at least we should have some good action on the way there. The big story at the moment is Bobby Roode becoming the new NXT Champion by defeating Shinsuke Nakamura in a very solid match. Let’s get to it.
We open with a Takeover package, as you would probably expect.
Ember Moon vs. Aliyah
Moon doesn’t waste time and grabs something like an abdominal stretch to start. A middle rope moonsault gets two on Aliyah but she gets in a headscissors for two. Ember shoves her away though and hits a quick Eclipse for the pin at 3:20.
Rating: D+. It’s hard to imagine anyone other getting the shot against Asuka at the next Takeover. No one else has been build up in the slightest, save for maybe Nikki Cross who has already gotten his shot. I could go for Moon freaking Asuka out with the gimmick and then the Eclipse and it’s not like there’s a better option out there.
We look back at Eric Young beating Tye Dillinger.
Eric says Tye made the wrong choice.
Dillinger can’t believe he was in the Royal Rumble.
Video on the four way Women’s Title match.
Asuka says that was tough and calls Ember a fool for calling her out. If Ember wants the next shot though, ok then.
Ember wants to dethrone the Empress and then Asuka will know who she is.
Tyler Bate vs. Oney Lorcan
Non-title. It’s a test of strength to start until Bate dropkicks him down with a bit more force than you would expect. Lorcan rolls him into the corner for a bump on the head and it’s time to hammer away. A few elbows to the head have Bate in trouble but he grabs the airplane spin to a VERY strong reaction, only made even better when he rallies through the dizziness. That’s a simple spot and he knows how to work the crowd well with it. Bate elbows him again and the Tyler Driver 97 wraps Lorcan up at 5:11.
Rating: C. Bate is someone very wise beyond his years as he’s always surprising me in the ring. The guy goes out there and does his thing every time, which is all he’s supposed to do. For a nineteen year old he wrestles like he’s been doing this for ten years and that’s amazingly impressive.
Roderick Strong wants the NXT Title and his win on Saturday was step #1.
Package on the Tag Team Title change.
Paul Ellering and the Authors of Pain say they’re the new law in the tag division.
Video on Roode winning the NXT Title. HHH checked on Nakamura after the loss and Kassius Ohno told him it was a good job.
Roode says his era has begun. His celebration is next week.
This is Corey Graves’ last show, meaning he gets a highlight package as a sendoff.
No Way Jose vs. Elias Samson
Elias gives Graves a sarcastic wave goodbye in a nice touch. Jose cuts off Samson’s song and Graves is suddenly a huge Jose fan. Samson dropkicks him at the bell but Jose gets in a slam and starts to get fired up. A baseball slide sets up an ax handle off the apron and it’s off to a break. Back with Jose getting crotched on the top and pounded down in the corner. We hit a chinlock with Samson getting pulled around by the hair, only to throw him into the corner. Jose hammers away and hits the Pop-Up right hand for the pin at 9:47.
Rating: C-. Nothing to see here but at least Samson won and Graves’ happiness anytime Samson got hurt was great. I get why he can’t stand Samson and it makes Graves more of a tweener who leans heel (ala Jesse Ventura) instead of a full on Bobby Heenan style heel. Hopefully Jose moves on to a better story from here.
Overall Rating: C-. This was your usual breather show with almost all highlights from Takeover and almost nothing interesting otherwise. There’s not much you can do without the start of a fresh taping cycle and with less than two months before Takeover, they need to speed things up as soon as next week starts. Thankfully NXT is more than capable of pulling that off so I don’t have a lot of worry.
Ember Moon b. Aliyah – Eclipse
Tyler Bate b. Oney Lorcan – Tiger Driver 97
No Way Jose b. Elias Samson – Pop Up right hand
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