By Zack Zimmerman
WWE NXT on WWE Network
Taped January 28, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas at Freeman Coliseum
A recap of NXT Takeover: San Antonio aired, running through the matches and finishes… The opening video played with new video clips but the same old song… Inside the Freeman Coleseum in San Antonio, the commentators checked in. They were Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton. They spoke about Takeover in the past tense even though it had yet to occur as they were speaking.
A graphic advertised Elias Samson vs. No Way Jose later in the show. Another graphic hyped the NXT debut of WWE UK Champion Tyler Bate against Oney Lorcan…
Ember Moon made her entrance for the first match of the show. She got a good response, perhaps boosted by the fact that she’s a Texan. Her opponent, Aliyah, was out next to boos.
1. Ember Moon vs. Aliyah. The crowd chanted for Moon at the bell. She took control right away and went to work with a butterfly suplex into an impressive unique modified abdominal stretch. Aliyah managed to fight free and she dropped Moon with a neckbreaker. Aliyah fired off some uppercuts and charged in with a big bicycle kick in the corner. Aliyah hit a Northern Lights suplex for a near-fall.
Aliyah looked to follow up on the impressive string of offense, but Moon sprang off the middle ropes with a moonsault onto Aliyah. They went back-and-forth for a few more seconds before Moon leveled Aliyah with a hard clothesline. She wasted no time going to the top rope and diving off with the Eclipse stunner for the win.
Ember Moon over Aliyah in about 3:22.
Moon celebrated her win and replays aired… A graphic advertised a word with new NXT Champion Bobby Roode later in the show, and another promoted exclusive footage of the potential injury to Shinsuke Nakamura’s leg coming out of Takeover… [C]
Zim Says: Fun match from the ladies. It only went a little over three minutes, but it was fast paced and everything looked good. Aliyah is making real improvements, and Moon feels like a star waiting to break out.
The commentators highlighted Eric Young and Sanity defeating Tye Dillinger at Takeover… In a WWE.com video, Young cut a promo about choices. He said that he proved to Dillinger he made the wrong choice. Young and Killian Dain both vowed to “take…”
A roving camera caught up with Tye Dillinger backstage at the Royal Rumble. He spoke about it being a dream come true to be in the match and teared up thinking about the moment he entered number 10 existing forever because it happened. His entrance was shown and a series of still-shots recapped his time in the match. A camera caught up with him backstage afterwards and he said the business is full of ups and downs. He said the takeover loss to Eric Young was a down, but he came right back the next night with a big up. He again teared up at his name going into the history books…
A series of replays recapped the NXT Women’s Championship four-way match from Takeover… An interviewer caught up with champion Asuka backstage after successfully retaining her title. She said it was tough, but the title is hers. Asuka was asked to respond to Ember Moon’s challenge, and Asuka responded “Ember who? Does she work here?” She walked off rather dismissively…
Oney Lorcan vs. Tyler Bate was advertised up next… [C]
Backstage, Ember Moon was asked to respond to Asuka’s “Ember who?” comment. Ember said that she’s glad Asuka retained, because that’s who she wants to fight. She said it won’t take long for Asuka to find out exactly who Ember Moon is…
Back in the arena, the WWE United Kingdom Champion Tyler Bate made his entrance to a good response from the San Antonio crowd. Oney Lorcan was out next to a milder response.
2. Tyler Bate vs. Oney Lorcan. The two were slow to get into it. Shorty after the minute-mark, Bate dropped Lorcan with a straight jab and then connected with a nice dropkick moments later. Bate hooked for his finisher, but Lorcan slipped out and supplied Bate into the turnbuckles to take control. Lorcan fired off some aggressive offense of chops, forearms, and uppercuts, leaving welts across Bate’s chest.
Bate snuck in a backslide attempt for a quick two-count before he came flying off the middle turnbuckle with an uppercut. Bate began to pick up momentum with an airplane spin for another two-count. Lorcan fired back with a hard running uppercut, but Bate bounced right back off the ropes with his rolling kick. He followed right up with the Tyler Driver ’97 for the win.
Tyler Bate pinned Oney Lorcan in about 5:00.
A series of replays aired and the UK Champ celebrated his win…
A “look at the next chapter” of new NXT Tag Team Champions The Authors of Pain was advertised for later in the show, as was a word from new NXT Champion Bobby Roode… [C]
Zim Says: This show is clearly more about the Takeover recaps than the in-ring stuff, but despite that, we’re 2 for 2 in terms of short but fun matches in front of a hot, not Full Sail crowd. Also, thumbs-up on the start of this Asuka vs. Ember thing.
Backstage, Roderick Strong was interviewed after his first Takeover win. He said that he made a statement. He said it’s Roddy vs. The World and that was just a taste of what he’s bringing to NXT…
A recap video highlighted the Authors of Pain defeating DIY to win the NXT Tag Team Championships… After their win, the Authors of Pain and Paul Ellering were interviewed backstage. Ellering said the landscape of tag team wrestling has changed. He said they’re the new law and it’s natural law. He said they show no mercy and take victory at all costs…
The commentators threw to a recap of Bobby Roode winning the NXT Championship from Shinsuke Nakamura… A camera followed Shinsuke Nakamura through the curtain following his loss at Takeover. He was selling his bad knee and dejected from the loss. He was being tended to by Matt Bloom, a trainer, and of all people, Kassius Ohno, who quietly said “not that way…”
An interviewer caught up with new NXT Champion Bobby Roode, and her first question was whether the result would’ve been different if Nakamura hadn’t injured himself. Roode was offended and he scolded the interviewer. He said that he went out and did what he said he would do. He said this marks the start of change and the start of the Bobby Roode Era. He said that “his NXT” will be glorious… [C]
NXT’s return to Full Sail next week was advertised, featuring a “glorious celebration” for the new champion…
Back in the arena, Tom Phillips acknowledged that Corey Graves would be moving on from the NXT commentary team. They threw to a career retrospective for Graves, who rolled his eyes at the idea of the video. It featured clips of him wrestling in FCW and NXT prior to his concussion issues. He said that the day he found out he couldn’t wrestle any more was the worst day of his life. He said he did everything he could at the WWEPC despite not being allowed to wrestle.
Graves was shown announcing his retirement on the Takeover: R-Evolution pre-show, and joining the commentary team at the same time. Some of his calls were highlighted, before he said that he maximized his opportunity in NXT and will be taking everything he learned to Raw. He said he’ll mix NXT and he’ll always be glad to be part of that team… Back in the arena, Graves joked that he’s not going that far.
“The Drifter” Elias Samson’s music hit and Graves was in despair that his last call on NXT has to be a Drifter match. He eventually came around, acknowledging that at least he’ll never have to call a Drifter match again. Phillips mentioned Drifter getting called up to Raw and Graves shot that down in a heartbeat. Funny. In the ring, Samson introduced himself and asked San Antonio to “walk with The Drifter.” The crowd chanted “no!” Drifter prepared to play his guitar when No Way Jose’s music hit and he made his entrance.
3. Elias Samson vs. No Way Jose. Samson charged with a high-impact dropkick as soon as the bell rang. Before long though, Jose had fired back with a hard clothesline. The two managed to get lost less than one-minute into the match, so Jose just hit a bodyslam. Jose used a Finlay roll, but Samson rolled out to ringside for a break. Jose went right after with a baseball slide dropkick and was in control going into the final break. [C]
The match was re-joined right as Samson crotched Jose on the top turnbuckle. He took control from there, wearing Jose out with shots in the corner. Drifter hit a running knee strike while Jose was hanging over the edge of the ring apron. On commentary, Graves accused The Drifter of living a facade and flying to San Antonio rather than drifting. Meanwhile, Samson laid in a chinlock for a short bit.
Jose had fought free, but Samson hung onto a handful of hair and reapplied the choke. Moments later, Jose managed to escape and fire up. He hit a hip-toss into a neckbreaker and then wound up before connecting on the pop-up punch for the win.
No Way Jose beat Elias Samson in about 6:00.
A replay showed the finish and Graves was asked if he had any last words for The Drifter, “nope,” he replied. The show went off air with Jose dancing to his music in celebration.
Zim Says: Here’s hoping that’s all they wanted out of this Jose/Drifter thing. That was fine, but I really don’t need to see more of them against each other. Probably the lesser of the three matches on this show realistically. If you watched Takeover, then you can probably get through this show in about 10 minutes. The first two matches were quick and enjoyable, and the little tidbits they did to get the ball rolling on Asuka vs. Ember Moon early was enjoyable too. Everything else, as is the norm in a post-Takeover show, was all about recaps and immediate backstage fallout.
Things will begin to take shape more next week as they begin to air the shows that were taped tonight at Full Sail. If you’re interested, check the main page of the site shortly for a full spoiler report. I’ll be back next week as we get more fallout from San Antonio and the start of the programs that will run through the WrestleMania weekend Takeover. Thanks for reading.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.