3 Ups & 2 Downs From WWE NXT (Jan 25)

A quietly good omen for Saturday.

Eric Young Some Hoss

TakeOver: San Antonio is probably the least anticipated NXT special in aeons - but this week’s episode, the best Royal Rumble weekend go-home of the week, demonstrated that the burning fire has not quite faded to its last embers.

RAW did a sterling job of creating hype for the 30 man main event - even if the three-legend squadron of Goldberg, Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker faced off in parallel with the member berries marketing campaign, hinting towards more myopic part-timer short termism. Still, that segment was powerful. All but the most jaded fans could not have enjoyed it for what it was.

SmackDown drained the "Cena isn't an indy guy but damn proud of it" well in the sort of angle which has grown tiresome. The show also all but confirmed that a member of the RAW roster is set to win the Rumble. Outside of confirming Mojo Rawley's participation - and thank God for that, I was getting worried there - hype for the Rumble match itself was curiously absent. 205 Live, meanwhile, built anticipation for the Rumble undercard Cruiserweight Title match by presenting a lengthy main event, between Neville and Cedric Alexander, which all but telegraphed the emotional beats and structure we can expect on Sunday.

NXT this week channeled the spirit of its glory days and showed the main roster how to build intrigue without giving too much away...


Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!