Roderick Strong defeated Eric Young
NXT Takeover Chicago began with a brilliantly built up Rodrick Strong defeating Sanity’s Eric Young. Notably Strong got a massive pop, demonstrating that these vignettes they have been playing about, him being a husband and a father have worked properly. Who would figure that if you actually develop a character the audience will relate and react to them, novel concept am I right? But the massive pop also drew my attention to the theme itself, and I have never noticed just how awesome it is. There’s something about the piano that gets me, I don’t know why. The match itself did what it needed to do, and the constant interference kept the audience engaged in moments where the match could have died in the middle. I’m pretty sure going forward we might have Roderick Strong as our NXT Champion and I think this was the first step in achieving that goal.
Pete Dunne defeated Tyler Bate to win the United Kingdome Championship
This match since Takeover, has become horribly overrated, don’t get me wrong it was a fun match but I didn’t think it was a stand-out classic or anything. This could be because this was the only United Kingdome match I have watched that wasn’t a throw-away match on NXT TV, so I don’t have very much attachment to these characters. That being said towards the end of the match Tyler Bate did have me on his side, I was emotionally invested by the end and that’s more than I can say for a majority of main roster matches this company spits out. I do think this was a good match but I don’t think it was revolutionary, there’s no real significance to this match going forward. I also think there we too many near falls towards the end and the title changing hands before the title even means anything, isn’t the best. That being said I am excited to see were these guys and the entire division go from here.
Asuka defeated Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot to retain the NXT Women’s Championship (6)
This match overall was decent, but Nikki Cross especially stood out to me in this match as well as in the build up to the match on NXT TV in the previous weeks. Her character work established through her promos in recent week has been great, her creepily calling for ‘Ruby’ is awesome and hopefully they have a street fight or something at the next Takeover to blow off there feud. But this match was half ruined for me by the finish. Not only was the finish itself sort of botched and looked sloppy but the referees actions afterwards were incredibly wired and at some points I seriously thought they were going to do some sort of wired finish were Nikki Cross’s arm was covering Ruby and she won. But sadly the ref was just acting like an idiot for no reason, seriously go back and watch him after he counts the 3. Hopefully now that Asuka has broken Goldberg’s fake record with her fake record they can finally put the belt on Ember Moon after she’s recovered from her fake injury.
Bobby Roode defeated Hideo Itami to retain the NXT Championship
The reason this match is as highly rated as both other standout matches on this card, is because this match had me emotionally invested and manipulated. This is evident because I am one of the biggest Bobby Roode fan on this planet, but the story and the match itself had me entirely behind Hideo Itami and I was legitimately pissed off when he lost. The finish was surprisingly awesome with the double DDT spot and I was slightly surprised that Roode won clean also. Going forward it seems Hideo is turning absolutely heel or maybe going down the tweener route. Personally I believe they should just throw him in the Cruiserweight division to try and inject life into that division, somehow. As mentioned previous the Roode/Strong pathway is the one I would like us all to walk down.
The Authors of Pain defeated DIY in a Ladder Match to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships
The Tommaso Ciampa heel turn is something I have been anticipating for around a year now, and boy was it worth the wait. This was the right path to travel down in every possible scenario. This makes NXT TV more interesting going forward and hopefully the feud is eventually for the belt, seeing that they are both injured for the foreseeable future. Whichever one returns first should win the championship for whomever may have it. This feud needs to be the centre of attention on NXT, whenever the blood-feud kicks-off. The match itself was fine but honestly the match doesn’t matter, the only thing looking back on this show that people will remember is a good United Kingdome Championship contest and this turn at the conclusion of the show. The only possible fault I can think of about this was that if the Tag Titles were going to main event I would have felt much more important if they had built this up like they did when the woman main evented.
Overall this Takeover was superior to the other Takeovers of this year and it gets a 7. Hopefully NXT can get back into the swing of things with the next Takeover show, with a seemingly obvious Cross vs Riot gimmick match and a women’s title change.