We are a few days away from the most unpredictable Royal Rumble in recent memory. However, the night before hand will see the superstars of NXT take the stage with their latest Takeover event in NXT Takeover: San Antonio. This will be the first one of 2017 and the thirteenth one to happen since they started back in 2014. [Jon]
Before I get to how I see the night playing out, I would like to mention how I figure we will probably see the official television debut of one of the recent additions in Aleister Black (Tommy End), Kilian Dain (Damo), or Kassius Ohno (Chris Hero).If I were a betting man, I’d say we have a better shot to see Damo as he had run-ins from the NXT crowd in the last several weeks and it seems that they are replacing Fulton with Damo after it was announced that Fulton will be out for the next four to six months.We may also see Tyler Bate from the WWE United Kingdom Tournament as it was reported that Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, and Trent Seven were all pulled from independent shows this weekend.
Now with the debuts out of the way, here is the match card and my predictions for how I see NXT Takeover playing out on Saturday night:
Asuka (Champion) vs. Nikki Cross vs. Billie Kay vs. Peyton Royce for the NXT woman’s title
This fatal four way was announced after Kay and Royce attacked Asuka in the parking lot. Later on in that episode, Asuka would end up attacking them in the ring and then once the beat down was going on, Nikki Cross would end up coming in for the save and then attack Asuka as well. While I am still a believer that we are getting Ember Moon vs. Asuka at the NXT Takeover on the night before Wrestlemania, this match could make that interesting.
Personally, I can’t see Peyton or Billie be the one to win the title, I could see Nikki Cross getting the title. She has only been in NXT for a short time and they are already putting her in the title picture. One possible scenario I could see playing out is Nikki winning the belt and this could possible lead to a triple threat match between Ember Moon, Asuka, and Nikki Cross. What I see happening though is Asuka winning the belt on Saturday night, but she pins either Billie Kay or Peyton Royce. By not getting pinned, Nikki Cross can still be seen as a possible threat for the belt down the road.
Winner: Asuka retains by pinning Peyton Royce or Billie Kay
Eric Young vs. Tye Dillinger
In what will more than likely be Tye Dillinger’s final NXT match as he will more than likely debut the next night at the Royal Rumble, it will be interesting to see how WWE plays this off. Depending on if Samoa Joe does get the call-up to the main roster at the Royal Rumble and if Nakamura drops the belt to Bobby Roode, then he will need someone to feud with after Wrestlemania. It could make sense to have Roode and Young feud, but they would need to define Young as a babyface. I see Eric Young getting the win and moving on to move up the NXT rankings
Winner: Eric Young
#DIY ( Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa) vs. Authors of Pain ( with Paul Ellering) for the NXT Tag Titles
When the Dusty Rhodes Classic Tournament happened, I was saying that I wanted the winning team to get a title shot. I am glad that they aren’t blowing off the Authors of Pain winning the tournament against TM-61. I see the Authors of Pain winning here as they have not lost since they debuted on NXT. Unfortunately, the problem that NXT faces is after DIY, the tag team division in NXT becomes very thin. You have the Authors of Pain, TM-61, The Revival, Sanity ( Alexander Wolfe and Damo), and Heavy Machinery. So I could see happening is there is some sort of screwy finish that leads to a rematch at the NXT takeover prior to Wrestlemania, thus giving NXT more time to develop some more teams.
Winner: Authors of Pain by DQ and #DIY are still your Tag Champions
Rodrick Strong vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
Right off the back, I fully suspect that the winner of this match will end up finding a way into the main event scene. These two were involved in the mini tournament that would end up crowning Bobby Roode as the new #1 contender for Nakamura. I see Rodrick Strong winning here and continuing his winning ways in the early goings of his WWE career. However, I see Almas also getting title opportunities down the road, but it seems that WWE is more invested in Strong right now.
Winner: Rodrick Strong
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bobby Roode for the NXT Championship
Before I get into this match, I would like to say that I called this match in my reactions piece at NXT Takeover that happened in Toronto. As far as this match goes, I see Nakamura retaining here as this won’t be a one-time match. There have been reports that Nakamura won’t be getting called up to the main roster that fast. I could see WWE easily pushing this to be the main event at the Takeover in Orlando.
Winner: Nakamura retains
Follow Jon Blayne on Twitter at @jon_blayne
Tune in on Saturday night for NXT Takeover that will be happening in San Antonio. I would also like to mention that there was a report that came out on Wednesday that the entire NXT roster will be backstage at the Royal Rumble, so might we be seeing more than Dillinger and Joe have a shot in the Royal Rumble.