Fun, fierce wrestling match surpasses audience expectations



My girlfriend and I attended my first WWE pay-per-view and my first NXT event in San Antonio, Texas. The first event was NXT TakeOver: San Antonio on Saturday in the Freeman Coliseum.

NXT is WWE’s developmental brand that’s located in Florida but travels throughout the country doing their own shows as well. NXT superstars get their own network specials four times a year titled NXT TakeOver that takes place a day before one of the WWE’s “big four” pay-per-views (Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, Summerslam, Survivor Series).

There were five matches on the official card, along with some pre-show matches for the audience to enjoy. The opening match between Eric Young and Tye Dillinger was the perfect way to get the crowd energized and draw them into the event, even though the crowd favorite, Dillinger, lost due to consistent interference.

Match two between Roderick Strong Strong and Andrade “Cien” Alamas was solid. There were some interesting spots and was all-round good wrestling as Strong picked up the win. The NXT Tag Team Championship match between #DIY and the Authors of Pain was much better than expected. In fact the match was pretty good. #DIY does a good job selling the against other tag teams and they truly feel like they are going to come back and win their matches. The Authors of Pain were just too dominating and defeated the defending champions.

The Fatal 4-way NXT Women’s Championship match between Nikki Cross, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce and the defending champion Asuka was disappointing. The spots were good, and I was genuinely interested in seeing Asuka and Nikki Cross fight for much longer, but the match ended too abruptly. At 9:55, this was the shortest match on the card and the match would have been great if it went on another five minutes. Regardless, we were happy with Asuka retaining.

The main event between NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Roode was glorious. The storytelling was excellent, the entrances were exactly what we wanted and the match felt like a true main event. There was only one other match over the entire weekend that matches up to it and that happened during the Royal Rumble. Overall, NXT TakeOver: San Antonio was fun. There was a nice wave of emotion due to the intimate crowd size and was probably the better show during the weekend.

On night two, Sunday, January 30th, I witnessed the WWE Royal Rumble. There were five main card matches and three pre-show matches. The first four main card matches were all title matches with one title match on the pre-show. The event looked and felt like a big deal compared to NXT the previous night. There were over 52,000 people in the Alamodome compared to roughly 14,000 in the Freeman Coliseum.

The pre-show matches were solid with the tag match being the highlight. The Club finally captured the RAW Tag Team Championships from Cesaro and Sheamus.

The first official match was the RAW Women’s Championship match between Bayley and the Champion Charlotte. It was a solid opener that got the crowd going, even though Charlotte retained. Next was WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens defending against Roman Reigns in a No Disqualification match with Chris Jericho suspending above the ring in a shark cage.

This was easily the third best match of the weekend that and was a thrill to watch due to the number of spots they had. KO picked up the win. Neville won the Cruiserweight Championship from Rich Swann in a somewhat dominant fashion, but the crowd wasn’t into it.

The WWE Championship match between John Cena and champion AJ Styles was easily the match of the night. With the momentum of the match swinging back and forth for nearly twenty five minutes, John Cena picked up his 16th WWE Championship victory after a crazy double Attitude Adjustment.

Finally, the match we were all waiting for, the Royal Rumble match. Rules are simple: 30 men are in the match with one entering every two minutes. You are eliminated if you are thrown over the top rope and both your feet land on the floor and the last man in the ring wins. Sounds like an entertaining match right? Not this year.

This was the match we wanted to watch all weekend and was easily the most disappointing Royal Rumble in the last ten years. No surprise entrants, besides Tye Dillinger, everyone was just laying around for too long, and we didn’t get to see Brock Lesnar, Goldberg or The Undertaker until the end and they were all thrown out pretty quickly. Boo. That match brought down the overall rating of the show without a doubt, but it was still a fun night.