WWE NXT Takeover: San Antonio Preview
WWE brings the electricity of NXT to San Antonio for the first ever Takeover event to be held in the city. This is really the start of WWE doing Takeover events the night before big 4 pay-per-views since last year Royal Rumble weekend didn’t have a Takeover event. The card for Takeover: San Antonio doesn’t really have that big card feel that other Takeover events have had but that doesn’t mean we won’t get spectacular action throughout the night. Shinsuke Nakamura defends his NXT championship against the glorious Bobby Roode, The Authors of Pain look to destroy #DIY and take their NXT Tag Team titles in the process, Asuka faces one of her toughest challenges yet when she defends her NXT Women’s title against Nikki Cross, Peyton Royce and Billie Kay in a fatal 4 way match, Roderick Strong makes his Takeover debut when he takes on Andrade Cien Almas and lastly Eric Young looks to send Tye Dillinger out of NXT when the two collide. Here’s who I think will walk out the winners and how the night will go.
Roderick Strong vs Andrade Cien Almas
This was one of the last announced matches for NXT Takeover: San Antonio but it should get fans excited for the event. Roderick Strong was one of the best indie talents and when he signed with NXT fans lost it. He may not have the star power that Samoa Joe or Shinsuke Nakamura have but he is certainly one of the world’s best in ring performers. Anadrade Almas hasn’t had the amount of success people thought he would have in NXT. The fans can’t really get behind him, no one can get into his gimmick and he has been forced to be a heel. Despite all the negatives about him, Almas still is a proven star and can go with some of the best in the world. Almas challenged Strong to a match and Strong happily accepted now they go head to head in San Antonio. I expect this match to open the show and set the bar for the night. This match will be fun to watch and I think that Roderick Strong will walk away the winner. This is Strong’s first Takeover match and he needs to look, no pun intended, strong heading forward. Almas needs some more time in NXT so a loss here shouldn’t really hurt him as much.
Eric Young vs Tye Dillinger
All eyes are on Tye Dillinger this weekend but not for his match against Eric Young in San Antonio but for the fact that people (including myself) believe that he will make his main roster debut in the Royal Rumble match when he enters at number 10. Why you may ask? The answer is simple: he just has to. Dillinger has been in NXT for eons and has gotten his perfect 10 gimmick astronomically over with the fans so now is the time to bring that energy to the main roster. This will also be Eric Young’s first Takeover match and if the bookers want him to look like a dominant leader then he needs to pick up the win here. Sanity has been looking extremely dominant in NXT and it is all because of Young. He is a proven veteran who works as good on the mic as he does in the ring and in San Antonio he will be defeating Tye Dillinger. There is really nothing left for Dillinger to do in NXT so losing to Young won’t matter. I expect this match to be much like Dillinger’s match against Bobby Roode at Takeover: Toronto, nothing more than a solid contest.
Fatal 4 Way Match for the NXT Women’s championship: Asuka (c) vs Nikki Cross vs Billie Kay vs Peyton Royce
Asuka has literally ran through every single opponent NXT has thrown at her in her first year as NXT Women’s champ. Whether it was Nia Jax, Bayley or Mickie James, Asuka has seen them all and dropped them all. This is one of Asuka’s toughest challenges yet as she goes up against three women that are all gunning for her title. The dangerous duo of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay have been getting under the nerves of everyone in the NXT women’s division but now must go against each other if they either of them wants to become NXT Women’s champion. It will be interesting to see how they are booked in this match and if they turn on each other. Sanity’s Nikki Cross looks to make a huge impact in her Takeover debut by dethroning Asuka as champion. Cross is the only one in this match who, from a wrestling standpoint, compete with Asuka. Royce and Kay still need a bit more work in the ring for them to look like a real threat but Cross has all the tools needed since she has been fighting in the UK for her whole life. Despite how good Cross is, I am going with Asuka to win this match. Cross, Kay and Royce just don’t have that IT factor that Asuka has and there is no sense in taking the title off her.
NXT Tag Team championship: #DIY (c’s) vs The Authors of Pain
This is the most unpredictable match of the night for a couple of reasons. One is both teams are coming off the biggest wins of their careers at the previous Takeover event. #DIY put on the match of the year against The Revival at NXT Takeover: Toronto which also saw them capture the NXT Tag Team titles. The Authors of Pain are coming off a victory in the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic after defeating TM-61 in the finals. Both teams are riding a wave of momentum heading into San Antonio but the question is which team will lose. So if #DIY win then they will retain the Tag Team titles but the Authors of Pain will lose all of their momentum since they have been literally destroying teams week in and out so that is bad. If the Authors win then we have new tag team champs but Gargano and Ciampa’s momentum from their match of the year comes to a screeching halt. There is no real definitive winner here but I say that #DIY come out the winners via a roll-up pin or something of that nature. No team should lose cleanly here because it would hurt their momentum so the only safe way to go is to have #DIY pull out a desperate move to pick up the win.
NXT Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs Bobby Roode
Bobby Roode’s first championship match in NXT looks to be an amazing one as he faces the King of Strong Style Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT title. There are a couple of ways WWE can go with this match. They can go the root of having Roode win and Nakamura invoke his rematch clause at NXT Takeover: Orlando or Nakamura can win and then Roode gets one more shot in Orlando and finally gets the job done. I believe they rushed Bobby Roode a little but he is a proven veteran of the wrestling world so if he is to win the title then I have no problem with it. Nakamura has lost the title once before so people shouldn’t flip out if he is pinned cleanly but I expect some kind of screwy finish in which Bobby Roode walks out of San Antonio as the new NXT champ. With the title on Roode’s shoulders NXT will be looking a lot more glorious…
Here is who the rest of the wrestling staff thinks will win in San Antonio!
Jesse: Bobby Roode, #DIY, Asuka, Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong
Annabelle: Bobby Roode, #DIY, Asuka, Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong
Zach: Shinsuke Nakamura, #DIY via DQ, Asuka, Eric Young, Roderick Strong
Szabo: Bobby Roode, #DIY, Asuka, Eric Young, Roderick Strong
Patrick: Bobby Roode, #DIY, Asuka, Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong
Justin: Bobby Roode, #DIY, Asuka, Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong
Colin: Shinsuke Nakamura, #DIY, Nikki Cross, Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong
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