Nikki Cross def. Kennadi Lewis
Cross has quickly become a player in the NXT Women's division in the brief period of time she's been in NXT, though that might be more of a reflection on the lack of depth in the division itself. Peyton Royce and Billy Kay are coming along nicely, but Cross' mannerisms are on-point and she's super effective in her short squash matches. It's good that they're sending the message she has a shot of winning the NXT Women's Championship at TakeOver: San Antonio, especially considering she doesn't have to pin Asuka in that Fatal 4-Way in order to capture the title.
Roderick Strong def. Steve Cutler
I'm digging the new entrance theme for Strong as it's much more fitting of his current character than whatever he had before. As for this match, it was essentially a showcase for Strong. Cutler scored some offense, but not enough to get a grasp of what he could be capable of. Strong isn't known as the greatest talker, so it was wise for him to keep it short and sweet in addressing Andrade "Cien" Almas' comments from last week while also establishing his intentions to win the NXT Championship eventually.
SAnitY Attacked Tye Dillinger
There have been rumblings in regards to what's next for Dillinger, and those "Royal Rumble" chants were definitely an indicator that's what fans want to see. How could you pass up the opportunity to have him come out as the No. 10 entrant? He cut a pretty good promo about potentially losing his touch, and although I never thought for a second that he would join SAnitY, the crowd was hot for the segment. We saw Dillinger and Eric Young go one-on-one last month on NXT, but the match was a mere minute long and ended on a disqualification, so their TakeOver match should be better. It would also be a fitting farewell for Dillinger from NXT one night before the Rumble.
Tm61 def. The Revival
As well-wrestled as this match was, I felt they were holding back a bit, and that's fine if they intend to do more matches between them down the line. It was interesting they did an injury angle with Shane Thorne because I read recently he is now hurt and might be out of action for some time. If true, that's a shame because this would have been a great feud, and it still could be if Thorne is cleared to compete in the near future. However, my bigger concern is that The Revival should be main roster bound before long, and I fear TM61 sitting on the sidelines will keep them in NXT for a while.
NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Roode Signed the Contract For Their TakeOver: San Antonio Match
While Nakamura could improve his English some more, Roode carried a majority of this strong segment with his excellent mic work and you can tell the guy just gets it. He can run down the fans and his opponent while also making fun of himself and playing off the crowd. I really liked that he brought up how he was in attendance for Nakamura's NXT debut match last April in Dallas, setting the stage for their championship clash nicely. As I have said in the past, the contract signing is such a tired troupe in wrestling, yet NXT typically does them in a way where they don't predictably end in a brawl. I was already excited for their match at the event and this did a solid job of furthering their feud.
By waiting so long to promote TakeOver: San Antonio, NXT has had the tough task of building up several feuds within the matter of a month. There will certainly be those who won't have high hopes for the show because Almas vs. Strong and Dillinger vs. Young were added at the last minute, and #DIY vs. Authors of Pain has the potential to underwhelm, but has TakeOver ever disappointed us before? Exactly. Anyway, this was a standard show I thought with successful hype for TakeOver and nothing felt like filler, so it receives a thumbs up in my book.