NXT TakeOver: San Antonio is in the bag, which means it’s time for another 3-count review and post-show podcast. For this edition, we’re going to keep things simple with a breakdown of the three biggest takeaways in general that I had throughout the night.
1. SAnitY’s Theme Makes Me Lose My Mind
At first, it was a little annoying. Now, I officially cannot stand it when SAnitY comes out and it’s entirely related to their entrance music.
Tonight was by far the worst when it comes to that as their theme played three times (Eric Young’s entrance, his victory, and Nikki Cross’s entrance) which made me get to the point where I muted my TV and walked into another room just to clear my head from it.
The repetitive nature of its ear-grating structure is so awful and unpleasant to listen to, but maybe that’s the point. This group has an unsettling gimmick of sorts and if they came out to Rich Swann’s theme, it would be ridiculous (although quite funny).
Is this good on WWE’s part or does it succeed so much that it reaches a point where it starts turning into “X-Pac heat” for me? I already want them to lose every match just so I don’t have to hear their theme again, but should I also not want to see them even show up at all so I can avoid it, too?
2. Seth Rollins Takes Over
After Rollins lost his spot in the Royal Rumble to Sami Zayn on Monday Night Raw, I immediately jumped to the conclusion that he would have some kind of segment during the pre-show of the Royal Rumble where he regained entry, but at a #1 entrant spot.
Seeing him show up on this event not only further cemented that theory to me, but it was also a refreshing surprise, as I never expected any elements of that story to be told at TakeOver.
Rollins was the first-ever NXT champion, so any time he shows up on the yellow brand is more than welcome, and I’m sure it was a shock to the fans in attendance who popped more for that than nearly anything else throughout the night.
This type of cross-branded storytelling does nothing but help everybody involved, as when they talk about it tomorrow night during the Royal Rumble, it might convince non-NXT watchers to check out the show. We all know if you’re watching NXT, you’re more than likely watching Raw and SmackDown, so that audience doesn’t need to be convinced to view the more popular programs, but it certainly doesn’t take anything away from Raw to have an extension of this feud with Triple H told on a different show.
I would love to see more crossovers where people from Raw and SmackDown can not only make appearances in the crowd or doing promos like this, but possibly even wrestling as well. What does Curtis Axel have to do right now? How about Jack Swagger? If the answer is “nothing” then put them down in NXT and have them work a feud with someone who could learn from it.
Obviously, I wouldn’t expect Rollins himself to be one of those people, which is fine, but just seeing him acknowledge that Triple H is backstage and that this is the best place to find him rather than to pretend that he’s still just not around is great. Too often, WWE will just hope we forget things like this or that we’ll ignore the logistics behind people questioning what he’s up to while he’s “missing” even though he pops up in an NXT ring the next week. This was simple, but effective, and I’m looking forward even more to how they address things tomorrow.
3. Taking the Bait with Tyler Bate
Whether WWE planned for this speculation or not, I’m buying into the suspicions that Tyler Bate will be appearing in the Royal Rumble now that he’s popped up in the area. If he hadn’t made any kind of appearance whatsoever, I would have assumed there was a definite shot, but that it wasn’t a guarantee.
There are only 8 spots left based off the 22 men already announced, but far more than 8 wrestlers available on the roster to fill those spots. Tyler Bate isn’t exactly a priority over some other, bigger names like Kane and Samoa Joe, so when in doubt, go with the more reasonable answers rather than the surprises.
Then again, this does make sense if he’s in the match. WWE just introduced the United Kingdom Championship and if they are trying to gauge excitement and garner interest in a UK-based show on the WWE Network, it’s a good idea to include Tyler Bate in the Royal Rumble so more casual fans get a glimpse at him. If they like what they see, they’ll be more inclined to support watching a show where he is the top dog.
Granted, he wrestled a match on the tapings beforehand which will air next week (unless WWE stretches that taping out like they’ve done in the past), which might have been the only reason he was there, but his match certainly wasn’t anything big enough to justify flying him out in my mind. I suspect he was brought into San Antonio for the Royal Rumble and they figured since he was already here, he might as well do something for NXT, too, so that audience can check him out as well.
If he is indeed in the Royal Rumble, he should get at least one elimination or do something interesting enough for us to pay attention to him, so keep an eye out for Bate tomorrow night.
For more opinions on the show as a whole, check out the latest edition of the Smark Out Moment wrestling podcast SMACK TALK as the panel reviews NXT TakeOver: San Antonio with our immediate reactions following the event before the dust has fully settled.
Hosted by Anthony Mango along with Shaun Walker
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