NXT TakeOver: San Antonio Predictions
Roderick Strong vs. Andrade 'Cien' Almas
This is the match I care the least about on this card. It isn't because I dislike Roddy or Cien but only because it has the least at stake, for both championships and storylines. Both Roddy and Cien are solid wrestlers and solid performers but this match just doesn't have much build to it.
My hope is that this match is a starting point for these two moving forward. They could really use a solid program together to boost their individual stocks as future top guys, which I believe they are.
I expect this match to make me care about these two going forward, which is to say I expect this match to be very good. And if I had to pick a winner, which I do because I'm writing this article, I guess I'd pick Roderick Strong.
Cien is generating heat, which he needs. Roddy is the 'do-good-I'll-try-real-hard guy', so they both would benefit from Strong winning. The issue then becomes if Roddy wins, why does the feud continue? The simple answer is that Cien loses it after the loss and beats down Strong. I don't like this though. Cien already did this with Cedric Alexander.
What I hope to see is Cien win the match clean, this is important. Then Roddy goes to Regal pleading for a rematch, really building up the 'I'm a good guy' character, and he beats Cien the next time around. That would give this storyline what I'm looking for moving forward.
I think both of these guys will end up at the top of the card by the end of the year but they need this storyline to help propel both of them there. That is why I think Cien wins this match, which kicks off a solid program between these two.
Tye Dillinger vs. Eric Young
Let me start this section off with a declaration: I am a Tye Dillinger mark. I think he's a ton of fun to watch and I root for him every time he's in the ring...and by God he has to be the 10th entrant in the Royal Rumble. But I digress.
The outcome of this match should be dependent upon the storyline going forward...duh. The question is, what is that storyline? Is Dillinger getting called up? Is this feud with Young and Sanity here to stay? I don't know, which is what makes picking this match so difficult. Let me explain my thinking.
If this is Dillinger's last match, he may lose to Young. Another close-but-no-cigar match for Tye and we all cry on the inside until he debuts the following night at the Royal Rumble and we all cry on the outside. If, however, this feud is for real, then I think that Dillinger finally wins a match at a TakeOver and defeats Young. I can't believe I just wrote that...I must be a Dillinger mark.
Dillinger has been so beaten down lately and yet is still incredibly over with the crowd. He has resilience, believability, and charisma on his side and I think NXT has abused these traits. He can lose and still be a fan favorite. It's a blessing and a cruse, right?
In spite of all of that, here is what I hope: Dillinger wins, closes his program with Young and Sanity, and then enters the Royal Rumble at 10. Young, hot off the heels of defeat, goes after Roode who left Dillinger high-and-dry in the Dusty Rhodes Classic against Sanity. This storyline accomplishes a few things: it gets Dillinger up to the main roster, gives Young and Roode something to do before Roode takes the NXT title off of Nakamura, and allows Nakamura to make his main roster debut on the Raw after Wrestlemania.
Dillinger Wins. Please.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: DIY (c) vs. Authors of Pain
This is an interesting match for a number of reasons. Authors of Pain are monsters. DIY are fan favorites. Authors of Pain are twice the size of DIY and genuinely don't seem to care if they hurt people and I'm not limiting that to Kayfabe, they genuinely don't seem to care.
On paper this is a no-brainer, Authors of Pain by a mile. This is Wrestling though, what makes sense on paper isn't always relevant. The previous few matches have shown that Authors of Pain are indeed human and if it weren't for Paul Ellering would have been beaten. The hope this stirs in all of us is that DIY will be the first team to actually beat Authors of Pain but I'm skeptical.
Don't get me wrong, I'd love for DIY to win, that would be incredible and would put them in Match of the Year candidacy in January, not bad. The problem, as stated above, is that they are facing monsters. It is hard to see Authors of Pain losing.
The only way a guaranteed rematch happens is if DIY lose the match and cash in their rematch clause, as former champions. And with TM61 out because of Thorne's busted knee, The Revival surely getting called up soon, and Sawyer Fulton's injury and subsequent replacement by Killian Dane (read Big Damo) it makes the most sense for the Tag Team Titles to focus on DIY and Authors of Pain for the near future.
It is because of that thinking and with great sadness that I predict: Authors of Pain win. For the record though, I hope I'm wrong.
NXT Women's Championship Fatal 4 Way Match: Asuka (c) vs. Peyton Royce vs. Billie Jay vs. Nikki Cross
Let's come out the front door and say it: this is the perfect time for Asuka to drop the title. You want reasons? Here you go:
- She doesn't have to be pinned to lose
- Peyton Royce could lay down for Billie Kay to give her the belt, or vice versa but I doubt that's how it would go.
- Asuka needs to get called up. She deserves top notch competition and pitting her against a developing division in NXT is actually harming the newer women. Let her move on to Charlotte (yes please) and let the NXT women build each other up.
- She hasn't lost yet, why not make her first "loss" a debatable one? Everyone loves a little controversy.
- Also, Nikki Cross is insane.
For all of these reasons I think that Asuka loses and gets called up to the main roster, for a match at Wrestlemaina against Charlotte.
If I'm going to run with this line of thinking the question then becomes, who wins the title? Nikki Cross does.
Here's why: Billie Kay winning it is too obvious and frankly her and Royce chasing the title is too good to end right now. Their egos are best served as the heel's chasing rather than the champs retaining. Sanity could use a boost from their least-likely member. I say this because look at the other members, they are either huge or savvy vets, Cross is the x-factor of that group and I think NXT has kept her out of real matches for a reason...they want to surprise us.
Nikki Cross wins.
NXT Championship Match: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Bobby Roode
I reside in the minority of people who think Bobby Roode is lame, maybe even a poor man's Ric Flair, if I'm being generous. To me there is a snowball's chance in hell that Roode wins this match. Nakamura should handle him without even breaking a sweat but I must remind myself that wrestling isn't about who would win in a real fight. Rather, it is about telling stories and entertaining the audience.
So, with that in mind, I think Nakamura still wins, because how can he lose to Bobby Roode?? Roode's finisher when he arrived in NXT was a pump-handle slam? Really?? Is it 1998? Roode seems fake. I know he is a vet and has been around for a long time but my goodness I get zero satisfaction from watching him wrestle. Compare him to Nakamura and the differences are glaring.
Nakamura is charisma personified coupled with great in-ring ability. The only way Nakamura loses, in my estimation, is because he is going to win the Royal Rumble. If he drops the belt and enters the Royal Rumble but loses I will be so incredibly upset. Plus, with Samoa Joe definitely in the Royal Rumble and Dillinger as a potential entrant, why would Nakamura enter the Rumble? Save him for Wrestlemania or the Raw after it and let him reign supreme for a few months more.
Shinsuke Nakamura wins.