Posted January 27th, 2017 by 1Wrestling News Team

By Don Murphy

It’s been a while since we’ve been together, as we’ve gotten a bit of a break from the deluge of major wrestling events that we’ve seen over the past several months. That ends this weekend, as the WWE presents two shows to whet our sports entertainment appetite: the annual Royal Rumble, which we’ll talk about in a day or so; and the show we’re going to preview now – NXT Takeover: San Antonio, coming to you from the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas. Heading into this show, NXT is in a spot that it really hasn’t been in for some time. A year ago, it was THE brand, often more anticipated than its main roster counterparts. However, as Raw and Smackdown have absorbed some of NXT’s top talent, the brand has found itself in “rebuild” mode. They have some great workers, but arguably not of the same caliber of those that have recently moved on. Nonetheless, the upcoming Takeover should be entertaining and begin to create anticipation for their Orlando show during WrestleMania weekend. Let’s run down the card….

Main Event: Shinsuke Nakamura defends the NXT Championship against Bobby Roode

Analysis: The biggest question I have, as we head into this match is: Will the match live up to the ring entrances? Both will likely get the grand display when they head to the ring; however, what happens when the bell rings? I won’t give away any TV spoilers, but it’s with 99.5% certainty that I predict Nakamura to retain the title; however, what kind of match will we see? I’ll sheepishly admit that while I’ve listened to all the hype around Nakamura and have seen some of his New Japan work, he hasn’t sold me as being the next big breakout star, if I am judging him based on his NXT run. With Bobby Roode, I’m in the same boat. For years, I watched him in TNA, heard about he was being wasted, and how a move to the WWE would show the world what a true star he is. I’m not there yet. I think it will be a solid match, but I don’t think that this will be the five-star match that most fans are hoping for. Plus, there’s been very little in the way of storytelling here. Roode won a Number One Contender’s match to earn the title match and the promos during the contract signing were decent. I am hoping that I am proven wrong and that my low expectations are unfounded with a classic encounter.

Murphy Predicts: Shinsuke Nakamura retains the NXT Championship

NXT Women’s Championship: Asuka defends the NXT Women’s Championship against Billie Kay, Peyton Royce and Nikki Cross in a Fatal-Four-Way Match

Analysis: I’m not usually a fan of involving multiple people in championship matches, but with a depleted women’s roster, this makes sense. On their own, Kay and Royce are still very green, but together, they play the “mean girl” act very well. And, I am a fan of Cross’ work. They still need to do a bit with her and her male counterparts in Sanity to make it look less like a ripoff on TNA’s “Decay,” but so far, she definitely brings something different to the division that’s been lacking. I do like the story they told here, as Asuka finally showed some emotion in challenging all three to the match, as opposed to the creepy promos we usually get. Down the line, I see Cross with the title, but I don’t think we are quite there yet, until we get a Asuka/Ember Moon title program, likely during WrestleMania weekend.

Murphy Predicts: Asuka retains the NXT Women’s Championship

NXT Tag Team Championship Match: Team DIY (Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano) defend the NXT Tag Team Championship against The Authors of Pain (Rezar and Akam)

Analysis: I’ve heard a lot of fans complain about the Authors’ in-ring work – they’re too green, they’re too stiff, they’re not crisp. I, for one, who grew up in the 80s, during the era of the dominant big man teams, enjoy their style and with Paul Ellering mentoring them, it can only get better. Gargano and Ciampa will carry them to a solid match and I see the Authors winning the belts. For one, after the Authors, there are no heel teams for DIY to face, unless they debut some teams soon. With the Authors’ winning, this moves them into matches against TM-61 (once Shane Thorne returns from injury) and The Revival (possibly as a turned babyface team). For DIY, this puts into motion the team’s eventual breakup, with Ciampa likely turning heel after the mandatory rematch, setting up the one-on-one classic fans have been waiting for.

Murphy Predicts: The Authors of Pain win the NXT Tag Team Championship

Singles Match: Tye Dillinger meets Eric Young

Analysis: I think this could be the sleeper match of the night. I’m a fan of Sanity, as I mentioned above, and Dillinger is definitely a crowd favorite. In fact, I know a lot of fans are hoping that he’ll be moving to the main roster soon, potentially appearing as a Royal Rumble entrant, in the #10 spot. Don’t get me wrong, I like Dillinger, but I feel that they are just starting to scratch the surface of his character’s potential. Moving him now might be premature. The question I’d have is – is Dillinger, the character, over? Or, do the fans just like chanting “10”? I hear them chanting it a lot now, even during other matches, so if that’s the case, I’d hold him back until his popularity outweighs the popularity of his chant. In this case, I see Dillinger getting the better of Young, but ultimately denied victory, due to interference from the other Sanity members. He’ll win the match, but the war will rage on….

Murphy Predicts: Tye Dillinger defeats Eric Young via disqualification

Singles Match: Roderick Strong meets Andrade “Cien” Almas

Analysis: Almas’ babyface character didn’t resonate well and I still think he has a way to go to be a credible heel. However, I’m seeing small hints of improvement. With Strong, I’ve seen a lot of his ROH work, so I know the potential that’s there. We just haven’t seen much since his debut. I am hoping that changes in San Antonio and beyond. A series of sit down interviews to introduce him to the fans would be a logical first step to supplement the in-ring work.

Murphy Predicts: Roderick Strong defeats Andrade “Cien” Almas

Follow me on Twitter: @don424

Category: Wrestling.

Tags: , .

Comments are closed.