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NXT TakeOver: San Antonio & Dominant Wrestling fan feedback

NXT TakeOver: San Antonio --

Thumbs Up

  • Best Match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bobby Roode
  • Worst Match: Eric Young vs. Tye Dillinger

Not as good as some of the best previous NXT Takeover shows, but a solid event nonetheless. No nonsense as usual, which I liked. DIY carrying the Authors of Pain to a strong match speaks volumes about DIY's ability.

I'm glad they didn't do one of those stupid title changes in the women's four-way where the champion isn't involved in the fall. If/when Asuka loses the NXT Women's Championship, it needs to mean something. Asuka losing should be a big deal.

Aside for the stuff from Japan, I haven't watched much NXT weekly TV as of late. With the wrestlers being capped at doing WWE TV-style matches and forced to do those terrible scripted promos, it's just not of interest.

But they deliver the goods on these Takeover shows, and they did so again tonight despite a lineup that looked rather underwhelming on paper.

- Lou Pickney


Hey Dave, watched the show up to the women's match last night, got up this morning and rewatched the tag and the remainder of the show. Thought that through the women's match, this was a down ballot show of the year. Main event was a match that did not hold my attention. The injury angle at the end completely jumped the shark. I want Shinsuke on the main roster so 1) he can have a carrot dangled in front of him and 2) he can face new, better competition.

Shinsuke's situation reminds me of former top Yankees prospect Jesus Montero's plight in 2011. Jesus had destroyed AAA in 2010, was kept down for the entirety of the minor league season in 2011 because he was blocked by Yankee staple Jorge Posada. Jesus had a good season, but did not improve upon his 2010. Scouts at the time theorized that he was bored with the level and not being challenged, which is common with prospects who have clearly surpassed the level of competition in the minors.

Show: Thumbs up

  • Best Match: DIY vs. Authors of Pain ****
  • Worst Match: Nakamura vs. Roode

 Other notes: I've only heard people talk about Roddy Strong before and I was very impressed. I'm very excited for his title program. Dillinger vs. Young was as good an opening match as you can put on. Told a story, highlighted both wrestler's strength, but didn't steal anyone's thunder.

That tag match had no business being that good. AOP could be something with time if they expand upon their characters and style, as their big man style won't carry them on the main roster in the land of the giants. The Seth/HHH segment was awesome. I was caught by tremendous surprise and thought it got Seth over huge. Perfect angle.

- Brady Childs


EY/Dillinger was a pretty solid opener, some good back & forth action between the two (**1/2), Almas/Roddy was really good, just as expected (***1/2), DIY vs. AOP was GREAT & my pick for the best match of the night (****), Asuka/Billie/Cross/Peyton was messy at parts, but Asuka & Cross were really great in it (**1/2), I didn't have high expectations for Roode/Nakamura, so I can't say that I was disappointed, Roode was a total bore in it (*1/2).

Overall a pretty solid show, the main event being bad dragged it down a bit, but the tag title match was great & Roddy/Almas was very good.

Nakamura v. Roode review: The entrances were awesome, Roode going all '89 Flair was glorious. The actual match though...not so glorious. The first 10 minutes or so were meh, and once it transitioned into Roode working on top, it became straight up boring.

Nakamura's comeback w/ his usual signature moves wasn't interesting, but I did like the moment where he was signaling for Kinshasa & Roode wouldn't get up. That was good. Then some more Roode work on top. Ughhh. And once again, Nakamura's hope spots & comeback weren't any interesting.

I did like Shinsuke not being able to pin Roode after he had delivered Kinshasa, that was real good. The finish was pretty damn good with Nakamura trying everything he can to survive -- that Triangle before getting destroyed was good. Overall though? Easily the worst match of the night & the worst of Nakamura's major matches in NXT so far, in my eyes. *1/2

- Robbie Grill


From my point of view the show started off well with Tye Dillinger vs Eric Young, the crowd was really amped up yet they kind of fell off a little towards the end of the match. Since I feel like this may be the perfect 10's last match at NXT I feel like he came off looking a little weak. An entrance at the Royal Rumble at number 10 could be the best boost for his career at this point.

The second match between Roderick Strong and Andrade "Cien" Almas was to me an underrated match, the crowd was really dead at that moment and both talent did really well to get the crowd fired up but it just wasn't there.

The tag team match was my least favorite, I feel like The Authors of Pain have a ways to go before they can carry the tag division on their shoulders. A better match would've been between DYI and TM-61 but injuries and booking say otherwise. 

The continuation of Asuka being put over strongly is starting to die off a little. The lack of talent on both ends is really affecting NXT right now, the women division needs more improved talents to take on Asuka or seem more challenging to her.

That brings me to the main event, the entrances were GLORIOUS!! The match was great, the selling between both superstars were great, I like the way they are booking Bobby Roode and putting him over and still make Shinsuke look strong. I can't wait to see what's next between those two.

  • Best match: main event
  • Worst match: the tag team

While many people might not have liked the segment with Seth Rollins calling out Triple H, I thought it was brilliant. Looking at the big picture it was only right to have Seth come back to the brand he helped started off yet having him call out Hunter was even greater, we all know what is coming next at Mania so why not make the buildup as fiery and realistic as possible. The whole shaking while holding the microphone was just great selling done by Seth. 

Overall, the show was good not great the lack of fire power talent is hurting NXT at the moment but Triple H has obviously noticed it so I wouldn't be surprised with a few more signings here and there.

- Mitchell Louis


Thumbs Up. Show with so little buzz going in really delivered. Was a fun and meaningful two plus hours. Did a tremendous job again with the main event, making it feel special and big time. 

I told my friends before the show that Seth should show up as it is only logical and they came through on that. Nice to see them using Triple H and storylines in a linear fashion. When done in right spots it could be a tremendous avenue for them.

  • Worst Match: Nothing bad on the show at all but I would say Dillinger/Young. 
  • Best Match: Nakamura/Roode. Really good wrestling match and the knee-angle took it to another level for me. 

 DIY may very well be one of the best tag teams in the world. They got a really good match out of Authors of Pain(Who are improved)

Almas/Strong was a great showcase for both. Almas seems to be finding himself as a heel. Strong is really good but something is missing there. I think he is still best suited as the Dean Malenko of the cruiserweight division. 

Hopefully the Rumble delivers as well.

- Mike Flynn


This was one of my favorite NXT TakeOver shows in the past 2 years. Every match felt important, every segment felt needed, and almost every win felt natural. Starting off with the show opener of "The Perfect Ten" Tye Dillinger versus Leader of Sanity Eric Young. This match was very thought out by both men. Watching this match you could really see Tye trying his hardest to overcome the numbers advantage of Sanity.

I predicted Eric Young to win this because I felt he needed the win to further solidify Sanity as a force to be reckoned with while Tye Dillinger seems to moving his way to the main roster on possibly SmackDown.

The next match of Andrade Almas versus Roderick Strong felt very fluid and deliberate. Both men put on a classic match, one of if not the best match from tonight. Almas working on Strong's arm really brought true heel heat to Almas while making Strong seem dominant in being able to come back and win the match. These two men seemed to know each other very well, and I hope we can see another classic like this in the future.

Next we got the Tag Team title match between #DIY vs Authors of Pain. Both teams played very strongly to their gimmicks and their abilities and showcase a great tag team match. I figured that Authors of Pain would stand tall at the end, but by DQ or countout because I didn't think #DIY would lose the belts so quickly. Overall both teams wrestled very well, and built up a great story between them.

The Women's Title match was next and it was pretty decent. For me, I'm not a fan of Peyton Royce or Billie Kay but they played their role very well in this match. They tried to dominate the match using the number's advantage. Taking out Nikki Cross on that table was a very good spot. Then allowing Asuka to battle back and take both women out continued to build up Asuka's reign, which will make whomever takes it off of her seem very strong.

The main event was an amazing match. Bobby Roode and Shinsuke Nakamura went out there and performed like true wrestlers and superstars. Playing to the crowd, using mind games, and then just giving each other every move they could brought out one of the best matches we are gonna see all weekend.

My only concern was the ending. I'm not sure if WWE has come out with any statement on Nakamura's knee, but I do hope he is going to be okay. It was a very interesting way to cause the title change hands. It brought out a lot of heel heat when Roode attacked Nakamura's knee at the end. I'm truly excited to see where this story goes next. The best match for me was Strong vs Almas just because of the chemistry those two men showed. I think both are gonna become big stars in WWE.

The worst match was the Fatal-Four Way Women's Title match. I'm not saying it was bad, it was a good match. Just with all the other matches on the card, it got a bit out shined. Overall an amazing start to Royal Rumble Weekend. I can not wait to see how the rest of the weekend holds up. Hope you enjoyed it to! 

- Tyler Treague


Thumbs down

  • Best: Strong vs. Cien 
  • Worst: NXT Women's Title Fatal Four-way 

Going into this show I had already realized that the NXT bubble had burst and that I needed to lower the usual expectations I would have for a NXT special. That being said, by the time the horribly overbooked Nakamura injury angle was happening I realized I should have put those expectations even lower. This was the most minor league feeling NXT show since the Bo Dallas/Neville era. 

I thought the show got off to a solid start with the opener. The fact that Tye Dillinger is so over even though he has a Barry Horowitz-level win/loss record is either a testament to Dillinger's charisma and likability or just a reflection that wrestling fans really, really like chanting "10" (or perhaps a little of both.) I've been a fan of Eric Young since 2004 and this is by far the best work he's ever done both in terms of ring work and putting over his gimmick. 

The way they next showed Samoa Joe at ringside sure made it seem like he was a former NXT star and I'd be surprised if he didn't debut on the main roster ASAP. 

I thought Strong vs. Cien was the match of the night and the best match Cien has had since coming to NXT. I can only imagine how over Roderick Strong would be if he had ever had any gimmick at all. Just walking out in a jacket that boringly and basically says "Hi, I'm Roderick Strong, I'm going to wrestle now" just doesn't match his ridiculous in-ring ability. 

The tag title match was where the show started to go downhill. The Authors of Pain is a limited gimmick and much like 3 Minute Warning or Headhunters A & B I don't imagine them making a big impact in WWE. Team DIY was good but they can't work miracles. At some point in wrestling lexicon "playing Ricky Morton" has got to be replaced by "playing Johnny Gargano." 

The women's title match was really unprofessional feeling and the worst woman's TakeOver match that I can ever remember. Even though they don't really look alike I have a Dash and Dawson style problem with Peyton and Billie as I'm constantly forgetting which is which. 

The main even was also the weakest main event the WWE has put on in sometime with anyone who isn't named Kevin Owens. Nakamura and Roode just didn't click and the finish left a horrible taste in my mouth. I get that they were trying to protect Nakamura in loosing but it was so overdone that I was glad when the crowd crapped all over it. I really think Nakamura would have been less hurt losing cleanly than putting on that horrible injury performance. 

- Nick Randall


Thumbs Up

  • Best Match: Nakamura vs. Roode
  • Worst Match: Women's 4-Way

This edition of Takeover from San Antonio came as a bit of a surprise. This ended being much stronger of show than most anticipated. Good to great matches from top to bottom and a surprising angle involving Seth Rollins and Triple H.

Eric Young vs. Tye Dillinger -- Very hot opener. Great Face/Heel Dynamic. The wild and frenetic feel of this match reminded of a Memphis-influence. Dillinger gets better and better each time he is out there as well. I see an NXT Title build in his future. 3 1/2 stars

Strong vs. Almas -- This one was hard-hitting from bell-to-bell. Both men definitely had something to prove here. This match actually wasn't that long, but they made up for it in intensity. Strong performance from both guys. 4 stars

The Seth Rollins segment was something different in that it was WWE Raw storyline that bleed over onto NXT. Something tells me this will continue tomorrow night.

DIY vs. AOP -- Another great tag match from DIY. This was them carrying the young AOP to their best match to date. DIY sold and struck on a world class-level. 4 stars

Interested to see what they do with this division going forward with AOP as the champions. Sanity seems to be the only other team that might be able to give AOP a run for their money physically.

Asuka vs. N.Cross vs. B. Kay vs. P Royce -- Not a bad match by any stretch. Had some good spots and told a decent story. It was the weak link on the show by default. 3 1/2 stars

Nakamura vs. Roode -- The two greatest entrances in all of NXT (and possibly pro wrestling). They didn't disappoint either. Roode doing the Nature Boy-esque entrance and Nakamura riding a contraption all the way to the ring under a shower of strobe light.

The match itself was excellent as these actually have quite a bit of chemistry. Nakamura sold like a madman in this match. He portrayed a leg injury that was self-inflicted by trying to kick Roode's head off. Roode took advantage of the injury to win the NXT Title. Perfect way to keep Shinsuke strong and branch out into a new direction with a Glorious Roode Reign. 4 1/4 stars

- JC Gethicker


Thumbs Up

  • Best Match: Roode v Nakamura
  • Worst Match: Women's 4 way

Not on the same level as many of the other Takeovers but very good. The 10 stuff is fun during Tye matches but needs to be put back in the box outside of that. At same time WWE should embrace it for him. Two separate folks I know, who do not no each other, were in attendance tonight and talked about how their neighbors were buzzing about the ten spot tomorrow.

Though NXT is a hardcore crowd be ready to see some chants picking up even in the dome after 9 comes in. As you've mentioned hopefully they have sense to at least put a heel in at 10 if not Dillinger.

Asuka v Cross 1:1 may have been a better choice but though the worst match did have its moments   The Rollins stuff was certainly different for an NXT event especially considering multiple times where main roster status of Hunter is ignored or contradicted. Hell of a job in the main event to make people go with the injury. Roode's best match easily in NXT. Awesome tag match. Guess with the push they had to go Authors just think DIY had more juice to squeeze. 

- Michael O'Brien


Just left the Freeman Coliseum and I have to say....thumbs way up. I feel like this was uncharted territory as for the first time a Takeover card seemed underwhelming and absolutely delivered. 

Match of the night really to me had to be the Tag Team Championship match. What an insane surprise this was for me. The crowd was into it so much more than I assumed they would be and DIY made it seem like they had it in their grasps numerous times. Then AoP had some stupid strong spots. Seeing it in person was surreal. 

Surprise match of the night had to be Strong v Cien. Stiff match, hard hitting. They worked very well together and for lack of story I felt they worked with what they had better than most of the guys in the back could do. 

There really wasn't a match that didn't hit on the levels it was meant to. I don't really need to say much on Roode/Nakamura match as it was a magnificent display of in ring psychology. 

For my first time at an NXT event I went in not knowing what to expect and was not let down at all. 

- Jeff Fink


Thumbs Up

Thought it was a really good show. Decent opener & hoping Dillinger's is heading for an upper-midcard babyface spot on SmackDown -- as they could certainly could do with another to add the ranks. Thought Almas-Strong was a good solid match, while nothing overly ambitious. Thought it flowed well & both guys looked good.

Tag title match exceeded expectations -- thought the layout was very good, match was aided by the crowd, Gargano & Ciampa deserve great credit -- but to be fair to A.O.P they were fairly competent. Again, thought very good layout for the women's match -- smartly structured, good story & was a good match. 

Thought the main event was very, very good. Probably my favorite Nakamura performance in NXT, given the change he's undergone. Thought he looked very comfortable & his double-whammy of selling was great. Speaking of his selling, I feel he sells like an American, better than any of the Americans -- if that makes any sense to you.

Still think he's got to change-up that comeback, as it's a key part of WWE matches, & it's not the most explosive or spectacular, & is a little untidy looking. Plus his offense post-comeback could do with greater variety, as when bunched together -- as frequently happens within the structure, it comes-off a little repetitive, I feel, which can be detrimental. Also I'm concerned his athleticism, from a movement standpoint, could be problematic on the main roster -- but hopefully it's not.

Anyway, enjoyed the pace, didn't mind the slow start, really good rhythm, thought they had good chemistry, built well - really liked it. Surprised by the finish. Didn't see him losing the title again until he was close to being called-up, & didn't figure that would happen soon, given options to replace him in his spot in NXT. Interested to see what happens.     

  • Worst Match: Dillinger vs. Young ***1/4
  • Almas vs. Strong ***1/2
  • Authors Of Pain vs. DIY ***3/4
  • Royce vs. Kay vs. Cross vs. Asuka ***1/2
  • Best Match: Roode vs. Nakamura ****

- Tom Griiffiths


Dominant Wrestling on Spike TV in the UK --

The tournament set-up worked really well as a one-off show and the big names got the reaction you would expect. The last two matches were the best on the show although not particularly special. Mysterio got attacked after both his matches with Magnus and Carlito working over his knee in the quarter and semi-final eventually losing to current 5 Star champ Morrison.

The commentary team of Greg Lambert and Joe Hendry were excellent and added a lot to the show. They spoke about where each wrestler had been and built up signature moves etc and felt like they were doing a great job for casual fans checking out the show.

It was very much a small family crowd and typical of a WWE house show in the U.K. With some ICW fans chanting their promotions name during Galloway's match.

The production was quite good overall. Nice camera work and lighting but lots of empty spaces around the entrance area which looked very poor on TV.

Morrison won the tournament (when Galloway and Rey were the most over) and he closed the show with a promo announcing a 128 man competition across the UK with a grand final at the Manchester arena being shown on Spike UK this summer.

- Dean Brunton


Thumbs Down

  • Best Match: Drew Galloway vs. Chris Masters
  • Worst Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Carlito

Quite a poor show in all honesty. The arena was poorly set up with a massive gap between the stage and the ring with no fans so all you could see was the wood that had been placed down to cover the ice. There was only about 10 rows at ringside which made it look empty as the stands were full behind but weren't lit at all. The camera work was not good enough for this type of event with it mostly being handheld shot from below the ring.

Moves were constantly missed and the director didn't change to better angles when needed. The wrestlers themselves put on very toned down matches compared to the level of talent they have.

World of Sport was by far the better show even though this show had much better talent. It felt like a Saturday matinee at a holiday camp with very simple face/heel dynamics. We are talking about this golden age of UK indie wrestling and so far both British TV companies have tried and missed the point. World of Sport can do Saturday light entertainment as they did previously and that could be successful. However I feel tonight was a missed opportunity for sure.

The lineup and a two-hour live prime time TV slot gave these guys a lot of room to do something very good but it just didn't click. To top it all off they ran long and were taken off air during the announcement of a tournament this summer in Manchester. Hopefully with the announcement that there will be more shows then this will be used as a learning experience and the product will be much better come the summer.

- Paul Cargill


A thumbs up overall but I thought it was a bit of a missed opportunity for promoting British wrestling.  I thought there were too many already established guys there when maybe 2 or 3 of them could have been better.  For whatever they paid Moose, Masters and PJ Black surely they could have gotten some local talent in?  I’m not expecting UK Tournament guys or ZSJ, Ospreay or Scurll but it’s a large talent pool with a lot to showcase.

Those guys weren’t particularly impressive either so taking a punt on a young guy would have been worth a shot.

Overall it was decent Saturday night viewing. The quality left a lot to be desired but to your average casual viewer it did it’s job.  I think there’s a market here in the UK for a once monthly TV show for the Saturday 8 p.m. slot. Sports-wise they aren’t competing with anything so it’s there for the taking.  Maybe WWE can take it broadcasting on Sky 1 which is a free channel?

- Sandip Gohii


I felt like although they had a lot of star power the event felt sub par. There was no above average matches and the end result was disappointing. Other than in the final match when John Morrison's music hit early everything went smooth considering it was live, the crowd was also mainly family and children which although a good market really had a negative impact on the show in my opinion.

- Jimmy Hunt