10 Thoughts on NXT: Takeover San Antonio – Nakamura, Roode, Dillinger!

1. It’s Takeover time and we kick off with Eric Young vs Tye Dillinger, who has an awesome new entrance outfit apparently inspired by Ming the Merciless. Sanity are here to give EY the advantage, apart from Nikki Cross who is preparing to get her ass kicked by Asuka. Wait, did someone just call Big Damo ‘Killian Dain’? Urgh. Anyway, the big man helps sell the story of Dillinger needing to stay inside the ring, taking him out with a big running cross body to give EY the advantage.

2. Strong match to start with both men working hard and Dillinger looking like a superstar. Eventually the numbers game gets the better of the Perfect 10 and Young picks up the win. If Dillinger doesn’t get a massive push after this performance there is something very wrong with the world…

3. Our next match is Cien Almas taking on Roderick Strong, which should be something, I suppose. Both are talented in-ring workers, but they also share a lack of distinct personality, which is pretty much essential in WWE unless your name rhymes with Karen Borbin. Overall this was a hard-hitting affair with some nice spots, but I can’t really see either of these guys entering the main event scene in the near future. Strong picks up the win with a Sick Kick.

4. Now it’s time for the Authors of Pain to decimate DIY as we anticipate the rumored debut of Hanson and Rowe, AKA War Machine. Despite my previous disdain for AOP (as I guess we are calling them now) this was a fun size vs experience story with the big guys playing their role well and Gargano and Ciampa bumping like madmen. After a tease of the double tap out finish the Authors pick up the win with the Super Collider into the Last Chapter. Great match.

5. With the bar set high and some good stuff to come Seth Rollins decides to crash the party and call out HHH. Clad in well-cut suit, Hunter obliges but then summons security to remove Rollins from the ring. Naturally Seth kicks their asses and goes after HHH, but more security/local workers come out to hold him back, then a bunch of refs. So Rollins is coming back to NXT? Because it totally makes sense if you want to go after HHH. Or, you know, just make an appointment and kick his ass at WWE head office…

6. Next up it’s the fatal four way for the NXT Women’s Championship, in which a pair of mean Australians and a crazy Irish girl will try and defeat the Japanese destroyer. Despite some fine work from Asuka and a nice line in crazy from Cross, this match didn’t come close to the classic NXT women’s matches of the past.

7. Much as I’ve been enjoying their recent work, Royce and Kaye were absent for most of the match, but when they were visible they looked a little lost.  The notable exception to this was a slightly scary table spot on Cross, where it looked like they might just drop her in Percy Watson’s lap. Asuka picks up the win after kicking the faces off both Aussie mean girls.

8. Now it’s time for our main event as the Glorious Bobby Roode faces the King of Strong Style Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT title. Long-ass entrances and a strangely tall ring announcer give the whole thing a “big match feel”, and I must admit I’ve been looking forward to this contest. The crowd start a ‘this is Glorious’ chant way too early, at it really takes a bit of time before the match gets going.

9. Roode uses some old school heel moves to get things moving, which transitions into a  nice chain wrestling sequence and Nakamura kicking Roode in the stomach as he is doing the Glorious taunt. Hah. Shinsuke takes a nasty bump to the outside and Roode goes to work on the neck, slowing the match down again. As the match progresses it’s clear that both men are working their asses off but something isn’t quite clicking the way Nakamura did with Samoa Joe. A (possibly legit) knee injury to Nakamura proves catastrophic and Roode picks up the pin with the Glorious DDT.

10. With two great matches and nothing objectively terrible this wasn’t a bad Takeover, but not up to the gold standard of previous events. I would have bet money against the Authors of Pain having a match of the night contender, but I’m happy to see the path being prepared to move both Tye Dillinger and Shinsuke Nakamura to the main roster.

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