1/18 Zim’s WWE NXT TV Review: Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Roode contract signing for NXT Takeover: San Antonio


By Zack Zimmerman

WWE NXT on WWE Network
Taped January 5, 2017 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

A brief video hyped the contract signing which will take place later in the show… The opening video played…

Inside the Full Sail Arena, the lights cut out and the Sanity music hit, and the trio of Eric Young, Nikki Cross, and Alexander Wolfe made their way out. A replay showed Nikki Cross laying out NXT Women’s Champion Asuka with a missile dropkick on last week’s show. Cross’s opponent on this night was already waiting in the ring.

1. Nikki Cross vs. Kennedy Lewis. Cross fought with a scrappy aggressiveness that included biting and gouging before quickly putting Lewis away with a swinging fisherwoman’s neckbreaker.

Nikki Cross squashed Kennedy Lewis in about 1:30.

A replay of the finish was shown before a graphic for Takeover San Antonio was shown to promote the four-way match for the Women’s Championship between Asuka, Cross, Peyton Royce, and Billie Kay. Cross left the arena with Sanity as the show went to a break… [C]

Zim Says: Cross didn’t really get the chance to do much. Hopefully she steps up in that four-way, as she’s one of the key factors in that match being good or being just there.

Backstage, an interviewer asked No Way Jose how he plans to capitalize on his breakout 2016. He said he’s going to have fun with his friends and opponents alike. He was carrying on like a goof when he was confronted by Kona Reeves. Reeves complained about Jose helping Swann when Sanity attacked, but not helping him. He said Jose knows nothing about friendship.

Jose responded by saying “awkward” in a way that your little sister or niece might. Jose offered for Reeves to meet him in the ring for a fun or fight, “your choice,” Jose offered. Reeves stared him down before walking off…

A Tye Dillinger “what’s next” segment was promoted for later in the show… The contract signing between Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Roode was also advertised…

Backstage, The Revival were standing by with the interviewer. They said that 2016 was the greatest year for any tag team in history, and the year belong to them. They claimed 2017 would be no different. They said that they should be in the title match in San Antonio. Suddenly, TM61 walked onto the interview set.

Nick Miller said that as good as they were in 2016, The Revival can’t just order another title shot. The Revival said they’re not treated like every other team because they’re top guys. Dawson said that if they’re looking for a fight though, they can oblige. Dawson said they’re not going to pin TM61, nor submit them, but rather cripple them. “Top guys, out,” they closed…

Roderick Strong vs. Steve Cutler was advertised up next… [C]

Back in the arena, Roderick Strong made his entrance. Steve Cutler was out next. The commentators talked about how he feels passed-over about guys like Roderick Strong coming in to NXT.

2. Roderick Strong vs. Steve Cutler. Strong connected with a nice dropkick just shy of the minute-mark. He picked up some momentum, but Cutler used it against him as he dropped him across the top rope with a stun gun. The commentators noted that The Revival vs. TM61 had been made official for tonight. Cutler had Strong grounded until he fought out with an Olympic Slam. Strong began to fire up with a gordbuster, a high knee, and a big slam dunk slam. Strong finished Cutler off by running the ropes and connecting on the Sick Kick for the pinfall.

Roderick Strong over Steve Cutler in about 4:00.

After replays, Strong was joined on the ramp by the interviewer, who asked for a comment on Andrade Almas. Strong said he didn’t care about Almas. He said that he came to NXT for a reason and that’s to be champion. He left it at that and backed up the ramp…

Backstage, Ember Moon was standing by for an interview. She said that Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, and Nikki Cross pulled strings and worked their way into the match. Moon said it’s okay though, because once the dust settles after that war, she’ll be the one standing there waiting for the winner. Liv Morgan walked onto the set.

Liv said that she and Ember want the same thing, but rather than acting like Billie and Peyton to get what they want, she suggested they should compete for the next spot. They shook hands, and Moon said that she wants Liv to bring her best because once she gets Eclipsed, it’s onto the Women’s Championship for Moon… Tye Dillinger’s segment was advertised up next…. [C]

Back in the arena, Tye Dillinger made his entrance to a big reaction from the crowd, but he was subdued and didn’t do any of his usual schtick. He said that his 2016 ended with a big question mark. The crowd chanted “Royal Rumble” and “number 10,” but Dillinger deflected by asking himself what’s next for him and whether or not he belongs. He said there’s only so many times he can let everyone down. He acted like he was losing faith, but then he fired up and said he came so close in the fatal four-way.

Just then, Sanity’s music hit and the lights cut out as the arena filled with smoke. Once on the stage, Eric Young spoke. He said Dillinger doesn’t have “it,” but he could. He said Dillinger could have everything with the right guidance, choices, and friends. The Sanity trio walked to the ring with a jacket in-hand. Wolfe jumped up on the apron and extended it towards Dillinger. Dillinger hesitantly took the jacket and promptly dumped it out to the floor at ringside. Young retrieved the jacket and said sometimes the right decision feels wrong.

Young carried on like he was convincing Dillinger, but then it devolved into a threat that Dillinger didn’t have any other option. “I’m not asking,” Young ordered. Dillinger dropped the jacket and flashed 10 fingers in Young’s face before firing up. Dillinger tossed Young overhead with a back body drop, but as he had Young on his shoulders for the Tye Breaker, he was cut in half by a spear from the interfering Big Damo. Damo hoisted Dillinger onto his shoulders and brought him crashing down with and electric chair driver. Young offered the jacket to Damo, who accepted with no hesitation. Damo slung the jacket over his shoulder and just like that, joined the ranks of Sanity…

A graphic hyped the contract signing for the end of the show… TM61 vs. The Revival was advertised up next… [C]

Zim Says: The Dillinger stuff was a little overly dramatic and honestly, there are serious diminishing returns on the “Tye Dillinger questions if he has “it”” promo and gimmick. That said, I’m glad Damo will be a regular on TV going forward. Hopefully he adds something that Sanity has been missing.

Tye Dillinger vs. Eric Young was announced for Takeover San Antonio…

Back in the arena, TM61 made their entrance to a solid reaction. The Revival were out next, again embraced by the Full Sail crowd seemingly out of respect for their work in the past year or two.

3. TM61 (Nick Miller and Shane Thorne) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder). Things opened with a brawl at the bell. Miller and Wilder spilled out to ringside, meanwhile Dawson clipped Thorne’s knee out from under him in the ring and The Revival began to work him over. They kept Thorne isolated and talked some trash in the process. Miller managed to blind tag into the match right as Thorne fed into the Shatter Machine. Miller came in hot, but it didn’t last long as Wilder planted him with a spinebuster. Moments later, Miller snuck in a small package out of nowhere while Thorne hooked Dawson’s ankle from ringside, and it was good for the surprise three-count.

TM61 beat The Revival in about 4:20.

Practically before the bell could even ring, The Revival were on the attack. They put a beating on Miller and laid him out with the Shatter Machine. Then they turned their attention to Shane Thorne. They hit a backbreaker/diving elbow combination before going back to his bad knee with their chair-less Pillmanizer. Thorne sold it like serious damage was done as he was tended to by Miller, the referee, and a couple of medical personnel…

A graphic hyped the contract signing for up next… [C]

Back from break, a graphic announced Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Roderick Strong for Takeover San Antonio… Another graphic advertised Ember Moon vs. Liv Morgan for next week’s episode of NXT…

Back in the arena, things were set up for an in-ring contract signing. William Regal was standing by to preside over the event as he introduced the challenger, Bobby Roode, first. Roode was out and his song got a big reaction from the crowd. The Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura, was out next. His song also got a big reaction from the crowd, who really enjoy singing. Regal tried to begin, but he was quickly interrupted by Roode.

Roode made it clear that there would be no fighting nor physicality in this segment. He said that the marquee value of the match was the biggest money match in NXT history. The crowd didn’t react. Roode said that he followed Nakamura’s career in Japan, but he never really felt like Nakamura was worth his time. The crowd reacted to that.

Roode recalled giving his ticket from Takeover Dallas to Nakamura during the interview segment last week. Roode recalled the electricity in the building for Nakamura’s debut match on that show. Roode ran through the guys who Nakamura has beaten en route to becoming a two-time NXT Champion. Roode questioned if Nakamura could really be the King of Strong Style, however, when he has no style. Roode mocked Nakamura’s hair, clothes, and movements. He asked Regal how Nakamura is allowed to compete with that haircut.

Nakamura calmly began his retort. He smiled and said that he likes Bobby Roode because Roode reminds him of a Shiba Inu (a Japanese dog breed). The crowd chanted “shiba inu.” Nakamura said Roode’s suit might be too tight if he thinks he’s going to change anything in NXT while Nakamura is champion. Roode said that Nakamura isn’t in “the land of no talent” Japan anymore, he’s in the ring with “the biggest star on god’s green Earth.” He said he’s a box office draw and Nakamura is just a joke. Roode said that he’s noting people around NXT trading in their flip-flops and and pathetic lifestyles to be more like Bobby Roode. The crowd “woo’ed” as the promo was verging on ’80s Flair themes.

Roode finally signed the contract. He prepared to close by saying that when he wins the championship, it’ll be “glorious,” but Nakamura cut him off before he could deliver the key word. Nakamura said that Roode is one of the best in the world, but at Takeover, he will not take Nakamura’s title. “In San Antonio, I’m going to kick your head off,” Nakamura warned Roode. The crowd dueled about 75-25 in favor of Nakamura before he closed things out. Nakamura set the crowd up to deliver Roode’s “glorious” line and the two competitors stared each other down.

Zim Says: Straight-forward segment to close a straight-forward show. Nothing on this show stood out one way or the other as far as being good or bad. Everything was logical and progressed things towards next week and San Antonio. I really didn’t need to editorialize much in the way of blurbs for this show, but I guess that’s just the case when a show is as cut-and-dry as this one was. I’ll say this though, I’m looking less forward to San Antonio than most other Takeovers, as this week didn’t do much of anything to kick-start that enthusiasm. I may be in the minority, but my sights are already set on the potential of the WrestleMania weekend Takeover card. I’ll have (not a ton, but some) more to say tomorrow in my All-Access audio review, which will be available to everyone reading this, so be sure to check back for that. Until then, thanks for reading and take care.

Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.


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