1/28 Powell’s NXT Takeover: San Antonio Pre-Show Report, Corey Graves announces his departure from the NXT broadcast team

Logo_NXT_dn_crop600By Jason Powell

NXT Takeover: San Antonio Pre-Show
Aired on WWE Network
San Antonio, Texas at Freeman Coliseum

Charly Caruso introduced the show as a shot aired of fans lined up outside the building. Caruso was joined by Corey Graves at a desk that was set up on the floor of the Freeman Coliseum. Graves announced that he is stepping away from his position as NXT color commentator. Graves said he is leaving NXT in good hands. Graves introduced Nigel McGuinness as his replacement on color commentary. The new broadcast team will be Tom Phillips, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson…

Powell’s POV: The company realizes they have Steve Corino employed at the WWE Performance Center, right?

Shinsuke Nakamura was shown arriving at the building earlier, then Caruso, Graves, and McGuinness spoke about the NXT Title match between Nakamura and Bobby Roode…

Kayla Braxton checked in from the nearly empty stands (fans are just getting into the building)… A video package focussed on the NXT Tag Title match between DIY and the Authors of Pain. The hosts discussed the tag title match. Nigel picked DIY to retain, and Graves went with AOP…

Caruso set up the announcement of the NXT Breakout Star of the Year based on fan vote. The nominees were No Way Jose, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, Ember Moon, Andrade Almas, and Sanity. The giddy winners were Kay and Royce. Nigel presented them with a golden ring bell and hammer award. They also spoke briefly about their four-way title match and made it seem like they would both become champion together…

Caruso set up the announcement of the NXT Match of the Year. There were a lot of nominees so they didn’t mention all of them. Rather, they went to a video that showed highlights of DIY vs. The Revival at NXT Takeover: Toronto, which won the fan vote. McGuinness said he’s watched the match three times on the network and it gets better every time…

Backstage, The Revival responded to their match being named match of the year. Dash Wilder asked where their plaque and interview was (um, they were getting their interview before DIY) and then they were handed a plaque. Graves informed them that they were also named NXT Tag Team of the Year, and Scott Dawson was handed the award. Dawson said they would be watching the tag title match closely…

Caruso hyped the remainder of the show before going to break… [C]

Powell’s POV: Here’s hoping The Revival are called up to Smackdown soon to relaunch their feud with American Alpha.

Backstage, Mike Rome asked Bobby Roode how he felt going into the biggest match of his career. Roode said he has the look and is the main attraction and the only thing missing is the NXT Title around his waist. Roode recalled Shinsuke Nakamura telling him that he was going to kick his head off. Roode said he’d love to see him try. Roode said he was leaving NXT as the new NXT Champion “and it will be… you know”…

Kayla Braxton was in the crowd where a group of fans were chanting NXT and 10 behind her… A video package focussed on the women’s four-way title match…

Ember Moon joined the broadcast team to break down the women’s title match. McGuinness said taking on three different challengers could be the biggest mistake of Asuka’s championship career. Ember defended it, and McGuinness stood his ground. Ember said Nikki Cross is insane and no one can predict what she will do. Graves asked Ember which woman she would like to face and why. Ember said she wants Asuka to win because she wants to be the one finally beats her. She said that the person she thinks will win the four-way is a different story. She said she thinks any of the four can win. McGuinness asked what Ember has that makes her believe she’ll be the next champion. Ember said if you watch her then you’ll find out for yourself…

Powell’s POV: Good work by Nigel here, as he comes off like a guy who isn’t afraid to put the talent on the spot with tough questions. By the way, even though I think Steve Corino would be perfect for the NXT color commentator spot, I am really happy for McGuinness, who deserved a big break given the way his career was cut short.

Backstage, Mike Rome interviewed Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. They delivered a brief promo about not underestimating the champions. The hosts spoke briefly and they cut to break… [C]

Caruso set up the announcement of the NXT Female of the Year award. The nominees were Bayley, Nia Jax, and Asuka. Nigel announced the winner by fan vote was Asuka. Royce and Kay showed up and took Asuka’s award, and said they would also be taking the NXT Women’s Championship later tonight…

Powell’s POV: I like the way Royce and Kay are all over the show and playing up their heel personas.

Caruso set up the announcement of the NXT Male of the Year award. The nominees were Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Bobby Roode. The winner by fan vote was Nakamura. Caruso sent them to another break… [C]

Graves recalled the Freeman Coliseum playing host to the Tuesday in Texas pay-per-view back int eh day. They showed highlights from the 1991 event, which was main evented by Hulk Hogan vs. Undertaker… The hosts pimped WWE Network, the Royal Rumble, NXT Takeover, the Elimination Chamber on February 12, and more…

Kayla Braxton checked in from the floor of the venue where fans were chanting NXT and 10 behind her. She set up the announcement of the NXT Competitor of the Year award. They showed a highlight video of Nakamura and Asuka. The winner of the award was Nakamura. Nigel accepted the award on behalf of Nakamura…

Powell’s POV: This is a victory for men everywhere. Or something.

The hosts set up a video package on Nakamura vs. Roode for the NXT Championship. Afterward, the hosts discussed the match. Nigel spoke about Nakamura’s big match history, noting that he’s been in the ring in the Tokyo Dome and against opponents such as Finn Balor and Brock Lesnar. Graves predicted a Roode title win, and Nigel went with Nakamura. The hosts ran through the lineup once more to close the show…

This concludes our pre-show coverage. Visit the main page for our coverage of NXT Takeover: San Antonio…


The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Colt Cabana on his role in ROH, the state of the independent wrestling scene, the future of his podcast, the ROH Global Wars tour, the new ROH television format, Starrcast III, and much more...


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