W2Mnet NXT Takeover San Antonio Preview
WWE NXT is currently at a crossroads once again. Several talents could be WWE main roster bound as early as Sunday night. The cool thing for NXT is that now gets its own Road to Wrestlemania with this NXT Takeover San Antonio show. The road to Orlando starts on this event. Tye Dillinger possibly could be one of those headed to the main roster, but before then, he takes on Sanity leader Eric Young. In what could wind up being an unofficial #1 Contenders Match for the NXT Championship, Andrade Cien Almas looks to solidify his heel turn against Roderick Strong. All three NXT championships are once again on the line. Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic winners Authors of Pain challenge DIY for the NXT Tag Team Titles. Asuka defends her NXT Women’s Championship against three other women in a Fatal 4 Way Match. Sanity member Nikki Cross, Peyton Royce and Billie Kay. Finally, Shinsuke Nakamura defends the NXT Championship against the Glorious one himself, Bobby Roode. This is the W2Mnet NXT Takeover San Antonio Preview.
An Introduction to the Article
As someone that has quite a bit of experience doing these roundtable type articles, I wanted to do this a bit differently than some others. Instead of having numerous people all give thoughts on each match, I felt it better to assign one match to each person. So, one of our staff members will make the case for each person winning said match, then give their thoughts on the match itself, and finally predict a winner. This continues until the end of the article, when everyone gathers to give their overall thoughts on the event. – Sean Garmer
Paul Leazar, Co-Host of Wrestling 2 the MAX, W2Mnet Wrestling Dept. Head
Patrick Ketza, W2Mnet Wrestling Senior Editor, Host of Wrestling Unwrapped
Angel Gonzalez, W2Mnet Wrestling, Games, Entertainment Contributor
Jeff Sugg, W2Mnet Wrestling Contributor
Aaron Patel, W2Mnet Wrestling and Games Contributor
Don’t forget, this show begins with a one hour Pre-show, although no matches have been announced yet. Special guest is Nigel McGuinness.
Leader of Sanity vs. The Perfect 10
Eric Young (Sanity) vs. Tye Dillinger
While this is perhaps a short lived feud, the potential for a decent bout remains intact. I am going to assume this shall be Dillinger’s final NXT PPV. Perhaps, even his final NXT appearance. On the other hand, Eric Young as part of Sanity has worked great. I hope to see the stable move up very soon, specifically after Wrestlemania. The match itself probably won’t be match of the night. However, both are quite capable of putting on a decent match. – Aaron Patel
Winner: Tye Dillinger
Other Staff Member Predictions: Paul: Tye Dillinger. Jeff, Angel, Patrick: Eric Young.
El Idolo vs. The Messiah of the Back Breaker
Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Roderick Strong
A match that looks so easy to pick out on paper, but is so much harder once you put a bit of thought into it. Roderick Strong has been getting pushed pretty strong, as he looks to be groomed for a spot in the main event scene very soon. Almas, on the other hand, just recently turned heel.
While it hasn’t look like the transition from Mexico to the US is going very well for him. The WWE folks seem to still be giving him a serious go. A win here could go a long way to helping boost some of his credibility he’s lost in the last few months of his face run. That being said, I actually think you give Almas the win here. He needs it, and he can win cheaply to keep the feud going for another couple of months, before letting Roddy get the return match win. – Paul Leazar
Winner: Andrade Cien Almas
Other Staff Member Predictions: Angel: Andrade Almas. Aaron, Patrick, Jeff: Roderick Strong.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match
(Champions) DIY vs. Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering (Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Winners)
The prevailing theme of NXT Takeover San Antonio feels like “a fresh start” as each contest seems like the beginning of something, as opposed to the end of anything. I guess, this would be WWE’s calling card for January events, and with Wrestlemania and Takeover Orlando just around the corner, I suspect San Antonio to get that ball rolling.
This is especially true with the Tag Title match between DIY and the Authors of Pain. Although, as strange as it seems, the injury to Shane Thorne of TM-61 might have the single most significant impact on the outcome of this bout.
After multiple, incredible performances against the likes of TM-61 and The Revival, Johnny Wrestling and the Sicilian Psychopath are one of the hottest acts in professional wrestling. So hot in fact, that the chances of transitioning the Tag Titles from Revival to the AoP seemed like a likely conclusion. While Gargano and Ciampa would be plying their trade on RAW or 205 Live in the days following Wrestlemania.
Breaking Down the Match
However, without a clear popular duo to take their mantle, DIY might end up in NXT a little longer. This should promise more excitement for the NXT tag division, which is as deep as its ever been. Their strengths as a team are also their key attributes in this title defense. Their speed, passion, precision, and technique are their biggest advantages.
The undefeated Akam and Rezar have left a trail of tears and broken bodies in their wake since their debut. This makes an eventual title reign feels like a foregone conclusion. Their size and surprising athleticism are particularly advantageous against their cruiser counterparts. Paul Ellering, Evil genius and tag team mastermind being in their corner is one of their strongest attributes. Especially, in a title match situation. The former mixed martial artists are Precious Paul’s new Legion of Doom and possess the capabilities to defeat any tag team on Earth. The only question is when is that gonna happen. – Jeff Sugg
Winners: DIY (Via DQ)
Other Staff Member Predictions: Paul & Patrick: Authors of Pain. Angel & Aaron: DIY.
NXT Women’s Championship Match
Fatal 4 Way Match: (Champion) Asuka vs. Nikki Cross (Sanity) vs. Peyton Royce vs. Billie Kay
Having a Fatal 4 way like this is interesting. In what was considered to be a throwaway feud, actually has intrigue following it now. Kay and Royce have been thorns in Asuka’s side for weeks leading into that backstage beatdown. The unpredictable Nikki Cross has only added fuel to that fire. This should be an intriguing match. Asuka may need some luck on her side. Perhaps she eliminates Kay and Royce to leave it down to her and Cross. Cross could also use this bit of luck, as getting it down to a singles match puts the odds in Cross’ favor. For the Iconic duo, they need to use teamwork and some understanding to take the belt off of Asuka. Who’s to say we don’t have co-champions? It’s happened before. – Patrick Ketza
Winner AND STILL CHAMPION: Asuka
Other Staff Member Predictions: Everyone else also picked Asuka
NXT Championship Match
(Champion) Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bobby Roode
Since June 2016, when Bobby Roode debuted in NXT, this has been the match-up I have been dying to see. I have been following Bobby Roode’s career since his days with Team Canada in TNA back in 2004. Even back then, I always felt he had main event written all over him. Other than AJ Styles, I felt Bobby Roode would have the easiest transition to the WWE main event picture. He has the look, mic skills, and mat technique the WWE loves. His Glorious gimmick is one of, if not, the most over gimmicks in NXT. He has exceeded all of my expectations. Although, this is the first televised meeting between the two, this is technically Bobby Roode’s third attempt at winning the NXT Championship from Nakamura. Booby has failed twice in house shows to gain the belt, will the third time be the charm?
Shinsuke Nakamura has been a buzzsaw through the NXT locker room since debuting at NXT Takeover Dallas in April 2016. He’s only had one televised loss in his NXT career. That loss came at the hands of Samoa Joe at NXT Takeover Toronto in November 2016. But Nakamura got his receipt by beating Joe two weeks later at a house show in Osaka, Japan to become a two time NXT Champion. In regards to this match, I wish NXT would have built it up more. I would have loved to see a couple more verbal exchanges between Nakamura and Bobby Roode. Despite this short build up, I fully expect this match to steal Royal Rumble weekend.
What if Bobby Roode wins?
This solidifies him as the top heel in NXT. According to rumors, Samoa Joe is going to appear in the Royal Rumble, thus leaving a massive hole in the roster. Currently, there are no other heels as credible or over as Bobby Roode. His win would mark the start of the Glorious Era.
What if Nakamura wins?
Nakamura continues to solidify himself as arguably one of the most dominant NXT wrestlers of all time. This also means the WWE is not quite ready to move Nakamura to the main roster. Despite his superior in ring ability, the WWE big wigs may still feel that Nakamura has a language barrier that could get in the way of delivering effective promos.
The Match Winner
Honestly, I was going back and forth on this for a while. On one hand, NXT has a whole bunch of credible baby faces, but not as many heels. It would make sense to have Bobby Roode win the title and feed him a healthy amount of baby faces to feud against. However, Bobby Roode is a plug and play guy. He is ready now to make big moves on the main roster.
In the end, I settled with Nakamura retaining his championship for really one main reason. The Knock Out artist formerly known as Chris Hero now known as Kassius Ohno. This is the scenario I imagine will occur. Nakamura beats Roode at NXT Takeover San Antonio. Roode joins Samoa Joe as a surprise entrant into the Royal Rumble. Fast forward to February, where the debuting Kassius Ohno blindsides Nakamura. This starts a feud that culminates in Ohno winning the NXT Championship at Wrestlemania weekend. Then, Nakamura makes his long awaited main roster debut at the Raw after Wrestlemania. – Angel Gonzalez
Winner AND STILL CHAMPION: Shinsuke Nakamura
Other Staff Member Predictions: Everyone else also picked Shinsuke Nakamura
Overall Thoughts Part 1
There has not been a TakeOver I have not enjoyed. NXT is one of the hottest brands in professional wrestling, and it is great to see the brand begin the road to Wrestlemania. NXT TakeOver San Antonio shall be a great PPV. The entrances of Nakamura and Bobby Roode are going to be the highlights of the show for me. – Aaron Patel
I’m looking forward to TakeOver as usual. Roode and Nakamura should be amazing. I’m very interested in the Women’s Title match because the dynamics involved there could be setting the stage for Life after Asuka on NXT. The Tag Team Title match should be fine, and the other singles matches should be solid too. There’s a lot of strong stories going on all over the card, and I’m super stoked to see it all go down. – Paul Leazar
Overall Thoughts Part 2
This card, like other Takeovers before it, promises to be filled with some great wrestling. There should be hot action and tons of excitement. What’s most promising is the feeling that, like the Royal Rumble to Wrestlemania, this card is intended to begin the Road to Orlando.
Bobby Roode and Shinsuke Nakamura are certainly the most accomplished professional wrestlers in NXT, and are the most over acts on the show. The match is fresh? the feud is new, and no two competitors are more fitting to main event the Mania Takeover, much less the Rumble one. I could not be more excited about any possible NXT rivalry and I suspect an incredible match that is only the beginning of a definitive NXT feud for the ages.
Asuka is taking on four challengers in a contest that not only promises excitement, but also insures that the future of the NXT Women’s division is set up in an entertaining fashion. I do wish that the future of the division, Ember Moon, was on the card. Strong/Almas, Dillinger/Young, and the tag title match all promise to be exciting and well wrestled bouts. As well as, foretelling when it comes to the immediate future of NXT. – Jeff Sugg
Overall Thoughts Part 3
While maybe the luster of Takeovers has been taken down a little, make no mistake, this is still a good show. From the match, to their gimmicks and to their entrances, everything about Roode vs. Nak screams epic. The tag title match could be a launching point for the Authors of Pain. Not to mention, the women’s title match could be a showcase for all involved. This should still be an awesome show. – Patrick Ketza
On paper, this might be the weakest NXT Takeover card to date. Some of NXT biggest acts such as the Revival, TM-61, Austin Aries and Samoa Joe are not on the card. Not only that, but it feels like almost every feud was put together last minute. I don’t feel very strongly about most of the plot lines going into this event. That being said, I would be remiss to discount NXT. They always put on a better show than the main roster. Other than the main event, the other match I am looking forward to seeing is the Strong vs Almas match. They are both excellent workers that finally have a chance to steal the show. – Angel Gonzalez
That’s it for our NXT Takeover San Antonio Preview. Hopefully, you are as pumped for the show as we are. Also, be sure to listen to Gary Vaughan and Paul give their thoughts in more detail on the latest Wrestling 2 the MAX episode.