Welcome one and all to another exciting NXT TakeOver show! Tonight’s event takes place in San Antonio, Texas, a mere 24 hours prior to the Royal Rumble!
Now, let’s be honest, this isn’t the most impressive card in the history of NXT TakeOver’s. It’s fair to say that since the main roster raided NXT back in July, it hasn’t completely found it’s footing since. Don’t get me wrong, Shinsuke Nakamura Vs. Samoa Joe was a fantastic feud but now it seems like Joe is about to debut on the main roster, meaning one less big star on NXT. And of course, The Revival Vs. D.I.Y produced some of the best matches of the year. However the tag division isn’t exactly littered with big teams, especially now that TM61 are on the shelf. The women’s division has floundered, with some promising talents but none really on the level of Asuka – hence why Mickie James was brought back for the last TakeOver. And Nakamura doesn’t have much bonafide competition either, especially when you look past Bobby Roode.
All that being said, this isn’t the first time NXT has lost a lot of talent. For several years now, NXT has consistently bounced back and produced a new crop of talent, and tonight could be the night for many of those talents to step-up. Let’s start with the women’s division. On tonight’s TakeOver, Asuka defends her Championship, and unbeaten streak, against Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, and Nikki Cross. This should be a fantastic match and be the coming-out party for all three challengers. All three ladies show incredible potential and should help develop the division for years to come. Asuka is likely to hold onto her title but it won’t be easy.
Shinsuke Nakamura defends his NXT Championship against the Glorious Bobby Roode. Fans are eager to see Nakamura face new competition after a lengthy feud with Samoa Joe, and Bobby Roode was the natural number one contender. Roode has leaped to the front of the pack in NXT, largely due to his entrance, but he would make for a fantastic Champion – as he did in TNA. The story behind this match is lacklustre but the in-ring action should be great and the entrances alone make it a must-see affair.
The other big match on the card is the Tag Team Championship one between D.I.Y and The Author’s of Pain. As mentioned earlier, D.I.Y have been, arguably, NXT’s best performers this year. Their matches against The Revival were stellar and their Championship win was a magical moment. The Author’s of Pain however remain undefeated in NXT and certainly prove a huge threat to D.I.Y. It’s hard to know what to expect from this match, besides long periods of AOP dominance, but the Champion’s could very well pull off the upset.
The rest of tonight’s card is made up of Andrade Cien Almas taking on Roderick Strong – a fairly throwaway match that gives both men something to do – and Eric Young against Tye Dillinger – again, hard to know how this one will go but I expect WWE to want to protect Sanity, so a Young win, however it’s achieved, seems likely. So, not the strongest TakeOver card in history but, as I’ve said many times before, NXT has literally never produced a bad, or even mediocre, TakeOver show, going all the way back to 2014. I don’t expect that to change tonight, giving us a hell of an appetiser for the Royal Rumble tomorrow night. Sit back, relax, comment, follow me on Twitter, and enjoy the show!