There are many words and terms professional wrestling fans could use to describe the main event of the upcoming NXT Takeover event – but the obvious one is “glorious.”
Bobby Roode, who has been with the WWE less than a year, will challenge the “King of Strong Style” and Japan’s pride and joy, Shinsuke Nakamura, for the NXT championship at NXT Takeover: San Antonio, scheduled for Jan. 29 at the Freeman Coliseum.
Roode earned the opportunity to challenge for the title after he won a fatal four-way match on the Dec. 21, 2016 episode of NXT.
It was inevitable that Roode was going to challenge for the NXT title at some point. Since he officially signed with the WWE in April, he’s been on the fast track to the top of the organization’s developmental system.
Roode came in with an extensive, and impressive professional wrestling resume, but being on NXT has allowed him to showcase his talents to a new audience. It also doesn’t help that his theme song “Glorious Domination” has helped him win over the crowd. You can hear the audience sing every time he walks to the ring – kind of like Nakamura.
There are fans online who have voiced some displeasure about Nakamura vs. Roode at Takeover: San Antonio ranging from “they need to allow developmental guys to have the title,” as well as Nakamura’s recent less-than-stellar matches with former champion Samoa Joe.
I understand the latter. The Nakamura vs. Joe feud ran its course and their last two bouts – the rematch in Osaka where the Japanese star defeated the “Samoan Submission Machine” to win the title and the steel cage match in Melbourne – were below the standards fans came to expect from those two. That said, their matches at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II and NXT Takeover Toronto were hard-hitting and kept fans on the edge.
But fans who weren’t that thrilled by the end of Nakamura vs. Joe have something to look forward to.
Roode is a new kind of opponent for Nakamura and that could tell a really good story in the ring. While Joe’s bread-and-butter was his brute force – not to mention stiff shots and toughness – Roode relies more on his technical skills in the ring. He’ll also use more psychology against Nakamura – not to mention some dirty heel tactics on the side.
Nakamura can slow down a little bit and use a mix of technique and stiff shots to frustrate Roode and throw him off his game.
The only issue I see at the moment is the build up to this match.
Roode became the No. 1 contender on Dec. 21 and other than a backstage segment, we haven’t seen much promotion for this. I understand, the last couple of weeks of NXT were previously taped, but WWE could have used Nakamura and Roode in the studio. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we have Roode and Nakamura spar on the microphone before we see them in the ring.
The NXT Takeover main events usually deliver good matches – the last four events had 3.5-4.5 stars according to the Internet Wrestling Database. Nakamura vs. Roode has the elements to be another great match for NXT’s record books