Craig Wilson and Brian Damage
Welcome to the fourth edition of This Week in Wrestling in 2017. Today, Craig previews tonight’s ‘NXT TakeOver: San Antonio’ while Brian shares some of the most interesting pictures and videos he’s stumbled upon over the last seven days.
Tonight, the WWE will present the latest in the long line of successful and critically-acclaimed ‘NXT Takeover’ events the evening before a major PPV.
24-hours before The Royal Rumble, the event that traditionally kicks off the road to WrestleMania, the superstars, and fans, of WWE NXT will gather at the Freeman Coliseum for ‘NXT Takeover: San Antonia’ headlined by the glorious Bobby Roode challenging Shinsuke Nakamura for his NXT title.
Elsewhere, the tag titles are on the line as The Authors of Pain, the victors in the Dusty Rhodes tag team classic, challenge the team of Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampo. SAni†Y’s Eric Young will make his Takeover debut against Tye Dillinger, Young’s SAni†Y colleague Nikki Cross is one of three female performers vying for Asuka NXT women’s title – along with Billie Kay and Peyton Royce – and Andrade Almas will challenge Roderick Strong.
Traditionally, I’ve gone into the Takeovers solely expecting solid in-ring wrestling. Tonight, however, there are several questions the show will answer.
Does a Bobby Roode win signal a potential Nakamura move up to the main roster and potential Royal Rumble debut? Likewise, is the ‘Perfect Ten’ Tye Dillinger set to also make his Royal Rumble debut, presumably coming out as number 10?
Looking down the card, it displays the usual characteristics of an NXT Takeover show – featuring the best performers the brand has whilst also leaving a lot left over, something the WWE could learn from.
After competing in, what I regard, as the 2016 match of the year – their victory over The Revival – #DIY will look horns against the legendary Paul Ellering’s Authors of Pain. Fresh off their win over TM61 in the final of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, we’re left wondering if the company will continue with their push at the expense of Gargano and Ciampo but the video below suggests that the duo require much polishing.
It’s a tricky one to predict – if Authors of Pain lose then their mystique is done but if DIY should lose, what is next for them? Part of me worries that Rezar and Akam grab the gold with #DIY making their way to 205 Live. I hope to be proven wrong on this one.
The battle between Roderick Strong and Andrade Almas is the match that has received the least attention in the run up to Takeover. Too exciting in-ring prospects, this should have everything required to be an entertaining match-up with Strong likely to be the man triumphing. By these two being in the fatal 4-way match, along with Roode and Dillinger, for the NXT title, it shows that the company has high hopes for both. This match will largely serve as a vehicle for them to showcase what they can do.
In the bout I am most looking forward to, Asuka will defend her NXT women’s title against Scotland’s own Nikki Cross, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. Over the last several weeks, I’ve enjoyed the focus on this programme and the establishment of a weakness in Asuka, after going so long undefeated in the company. In my eyes, neither of her trio of opponents are quite ready to take the step up – although it would be a bold move to give Cross the nod in this one. However, I see Asuka retaining but hopefully a future programme with Cross. There’s something so, so interesting in their dynamic.
Sticking with SAni†Y, the group’s leader Eric Young will lock horns with Tye Dillinger. I don’t envisage this will be a long match, nor a classic, but will show how dominating the team of SAni†Y will be on NXT.
Finally, we get to the main event and are left wondering how NXT can top the theatrical entrances the duo have had at previous NXT Takeovers. One thing that we know for sure is that this is likely to be very good. Between them, they have more than 30 years’ experience in the ring and are two of the more experienced acts on the NXT roster. Recent months have seen Nakamura trade the title with TNA alumni Samoa Joe and I am fully expecting the former IWGP heavyweight champion to drop the title tonight against another former TNA superstar in Bobby Roode.
Overall, again NXT throw together an impressive – on paper – show, further highlighting their ability to put forward a potentially fantastic show whilst holding something back, leaving fans crying out for more. Long may they continue to follow this business model!
Sticking with Nakamura, a Year Ago Yesterday…
Four Years Ago Yesterday…
CM Punk’s record 434 day WWE title reign was ended by The Rock.
Listen and you’ll hear voices in your head…
This had to hurt!
A retro piece of wrestling merchandise.
A Verne Gagne board game!
There are rumors/reports that the WWE will do away with the old WWE Intercontinental and United States title belts.
The company apparently wants to make the belts look more uniform to every other current title in the WWE. This pic got leaked out of what the new titles will supposedly look like. What do you think?
That moment in time when the WCW pyrotechnics crew almost gave Hulk Hogan a heart attack on Nitro…
Because why not?
Wendy’s Dig the Titus Brand
Last Week on the Blog
In last week’s Sunday Sermon we discussed this year’s WrestleMania and the possible card; on Monday we had pt.3 of ‘Meanwhile, in WCW‘; on Tuesday we had part 99 of ‘Wrestling with Sin‘; Wednesday’s ‘Great Ideas That Didn’t Last‘ looked at the TNA World X Cup Tournament; Thursday’s Top Five featured guilty pleasure wrestling events and we rounded off the week by looking at the next generation of wrestlers you may not know about yet.
Next Week on the Blog
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.