1/25 Zim’s WWE NXT TV Review: The final push 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

The opening video played… Inside the arena, the commentary team of Tom Phillips, Percy Watson, and Corey Graves checked in from the table. They briefly hyped Takeover San Antonio which is 3 days away, and then they turned to a graphic promoting a face-off later in this show between the ladies in the Fatal Four-Way match for the NXT  Women’s Championship…

Ember Moon made her entrance. Her opponent, Liv Morgan, was out next. This was the match set up last week with the winner becoming the unofficial number one contender to the winner of the four-way.

1. Ember Moon vs. Liv Morgan. The two locked up at the bell and went back-and-forth with rollup attempts in the opening minute, including a small package that went rolling around the ring two or three times. Liv got the better of Ember with a running ‘rana, but Ember came back moments later with a fallaway slam for a two-count. Ember locked in a crossface, but Liv fought out and stunned Ember with a jawbreaker and fired up with a running bulldog.

Liv sunk in a guillotine choke and held it for a while, but Ember powered up and tossed Liv to the outside. Scary spot ad she cleared the ropes and apron, and went tumbling hard to the floor. Ember retrieved Liv from ringside and connected with the Eclipse diving stunner off the top row for the win.

Ember Moon over Liv Morgan in about 4:00.

Replays aired and the commentaries noted that Ember Moon is still unbeaten. Back in the ring, Ember helped Liv back to her feet before heading backstage…

A graphic promoted Andrade ‘Cien” Almas vs. Roderick Strong for Takeover San Antonio… Backstage, Almas was standing by for an interview. He was upset about Strong blowing him off in his interview last week. He said he’s going to kick Roderick in the face. Roderick walked on set and dared him to do it. Almas walked away, but as Roderick prepared to speak, he was ambushed by Almas. Almas put the boots to him and called him a “perro” while referring to himself as “el idol.” Almas walked off, leaving Strong laying… [C]

Zim Says: Fun little match from the ladies. Ember looks good and hopefully breaks out of this holding pattern soon, while Liv stuck with the stuff she can do well and they kept it short and sweet. Scary bump to the outside, I don’t want to see someone injure a knee or ankle taking that free-fall bump to the floor. As for Almas and Strong, the build has been nothing whatsoever, but hopefully that’s a sleeper match on the San Antonio card. Lord knows it’ll need a few.

Back in the arena, the commentators threw to a video package promoting the NXT Tag Team Championship match between DIY and the Authors of Pain in San Antonio. The video began with a bright feeling, as it showed DIY capturing the tag titles. Then, it grew ominous as it showed the run of the Authors so far. Paul Ellering narrated brief chapters along with the progression of the Authors, culminating in him declaring the next chapter as the Authors winning the tag titles… A graphic promoted the match for Saturday one final time…

Back in the arena, No Way Jose made his entrance. he was announced to be in action against Kona Reeves up next. [C] Back from break, Kona Reeves made his entrance and the commentators briefly recapped Reeves feeling slighted about Jose not helping him out when Sanity attacked.

2. No Way Jose vs. Kona Reeves. Jose grinded on Reeves to escape a rear waistlock and contained to roll as the crowd sang “Jose” like “Ole.” Reeves halted Jose’s momentum with a Samoan drop and began to wear him down. Reeves stood on Jose’s back like it was a surfboard, and he kept licking his hand before delivering punches. Reeves finally settled into an abdominal stretch, which sparked Jose to fight out and begin to rally.

Jose avoided a splash and Reeves went throat-first into the top rope. Jose planted Reeves with a flapjack before winding up and connecting on a pop-up punch for the win.

No Way Jose pinned Kona Reeves in about 4:00.

Replays aired as Jose continued to dance in the ring. He was approached by the interviewer, when suddenly The Drifter walked out onto the stage playing his guitar. He introduced himself as Elias Samson before playing a douchy song at the top of the ramp.

The crowd heckled him, and before too long Jose interrupted to tell him the song sucks. Jose asked the crowd to teach him another song like “just drift away” to the beat that the crowd chants “No Way Jose.” Drifter looked like e was going to hit the ring, but he was fended off by Jose and backed up the ramp to close the segment…

The face-off between Asuka, Nikki Cross, Billie Kay, and Peyton Royce was hyped for later… Eric Young was advertised to be in action up next, three days ahead of his Takeover match against Tye Dillinger… [C]

Zim Says: A Jose vs. Drifter feud. We’ll get through this together, folks. Hang in there.

Back in the arena, an unfamiliar face by the name of Chris Atkins made his entrance. The commentators made a big deal about him like people should know who he is. The lights cut out next for Sanity to make their entrance. As they did, a WWE.com video showed Tye Dillinger cutting a brief promo where he invited Young to bring all of the members of Sanity so he could knock them all down. The commentators were also referring to Big Damo as “Killian Dain.”

3. Chris Atkins vs. Eric Young (w/ Nikki Cross, Alexander Wolfe, and Killian Dain). Young went right after Atkins and got the better of him. Atkins tried to fire up with a hard shoulder tackle, but Young went right back on the attack. Young mocked the “ten” chants as he fired away with punches. Young sat on the top turnbuckle as he hung Atkins with an elevated dragon sleeper. He came flying off the ropes with a diving elbow before putting Atkins away with a sloppy looking wheelbarrow neckbreaker.

Eric Youung squashed Chris Atkins in about 2:00.

After replays, Young grabbed a microphone and yelled “choices!” He said that Tye Dillinger made the wrong choice, and then Dain came running across the ring to crush Atkins with a senton and Sanity’s music hit. One more graphic was shown to promote Dillinger vs. Young at Takeover…

A video package on the NXT Championship match for Takeover was advertised as up next… [C]

Zim Says: EY needs a new finisher. That neckbreaker might work if he were working with cruiserweights, but it just looks so wacky and disjointed. Maybe he can spend Saturday figuring out a new finisher and let Dain wrestle the match against Dillinger instead! Wishful thinking?

A replay showed TM61 sneaking in the win over The Revival last week, but subsequently being attacked. They announced that the attack had done serious damage, as a video of Shane Thorne undergoing knee surgery was shown and his return timetable was set at 7-9 months…

A video package promoted NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura’s upcoming defense of the title against Bobby Roode on Saturday in San Antonio. Nakamura’s run was highlighted, followed by Bobby Roode’s arrival. It was capped off with the highlights of their promo exchanges and they promoted it as the “biggest money-match in NXT history…”

The Fatal Four-Way face-off was advertised for up next… [C]

Back in the arena, William Regal and Dasha Fuentes were standing by in the ring. Regal said that he was assured by the competitors it wouldn’t get physical, and with that, Dasha began introducing the contenders. Billie Kay and Peyton Royce were introduced first and made their way out together as always. Once in the ring, Royce snatched the microphone from Regal and shut down the crowd chants for Asuka. They took turns speaking and said that they’ve already proven they can get the better of Asuka and they owe “that psycho” Nikki Cross a beating. They vowed that they will leave San Antonio with the title.

Nikki Cross was introduced next and made her entrance Sanity-style, but without the other members. She wanted to go after Peyton and Billie but Regal seemed to be able to talk her down slightly. Asuka was introduced next, but she hit the ring and chased Billie and Peyton off before her music could even be cued. She got in Nikki’s face and the two began to pick up the intensity when they were attacked from behind by the Australian duo.

With little trouble however, Nikki and Asuka each disposed of one of them to ringside, respectively. Asuka and Nikki once again began to get in each other’s face, but security ran down to break them up. With no hesitation, Asuka began to clear house of the male security guards. She laid them out and dumped them to ringside before finding herself alone in the ring with Cross once again. This time, she didn’t waste her chance to get her receipt as she laid Cross out with a head kick.

Security once again entered the ring and finally managed to restrain a struggling Asuka. They took her out to ringside, but as they got to the bottom of the ramp, Cross had recovered enough to climb the turnbuckles and dive off, wiping out all of the security guards, Asuka, and herself on the ramp. The show wrapped up with them in a heap while Peyton Royce and Billie Kay looked on shocked but unharmed from the top of the ramp…

Zim Says: Short, simple, and effective stuff. I’ve enjoyed the build to the women’s match more than any other on this Takeover. To be fair, that’s pretty low praise still. The women’s match, like the rest of the card, have this weird dynamic where it’s not strong on paper and expectations are moderately low, but the potential is there to exceed expectations and produce a strong show. I won’t be around to cover the show live as I’ll be supporting local wrestling at a Beyond Wrestling show, but Jason Powell will have you covered in written and audio forms, and I’ll be by for members in one form or fashion this weekend to discuss the show. 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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