10 Thoughts on NXT Takeover: Chicago

  1. It’s Takeover time and our main event tonight is the Glorious Bobby Roode taking on Hideo Itami for the NXT Championship. After the typical preamble from the commentators Eric Young makes his entrance accompanied by Killian Dane and Alexander Wolfe. Young is facing Roderick Strong, who dreams of one day being as popular as Tye Dillinger.
  2. Strong starts out the match by taking out Dane and Wolfe on the outside, then takes it to EY in the ring. Momentum shifts back and forth for a while until Dane gets involved, taking Roddy about with a running cross body. After a technically sound but not particularly exciting match Strong picks up the win with the double knee backbreaker.
  3. Next up we’ve got the U.K. Championship as Tyler Bate takes on the bruiserweight Pete Dunne. This starts out as a standard British style match with lots of reversals and small joint manipulation, mixed with some hard hits and unusual suplexes. Bate takes a beating and doesn’t give up, earning a ‘this is awesome’ chant, which inspires the boys on to new heights, including some moves that I don’t think I’ve seen before. Bate almost breaks his neck on a dive to the outside and Dunne picks up the win with a facebuater suplex. Excellent match.
  4. Following that surprise classic is the triple threat match for the NXT Women’s Championship as Asuka takes on Ruby Riot and Nikki Cross. Before the match starts Riot and Cross get in each other’s faces, then Riot gets knocked to the outside as soon as the bell rings.
  5. Typical triple threat with one worker taking a break on the outside while the other two wrestle a standard match, with an occasional blindside and double team thrown in for good measure. Ember Moon looks on from the balcony with her arm in a sling, which is a bit of a bummer. Asuka eventually picks up the win by pinning both Rose and Cross.
  6. Now it’s time for Hideo Itami to take on Bobby Roode for the NXT Championship, which means that DIY vs the Authors of Pain is the main event. Roode has a new entrance inspired by the piano scene in the movie Big, while Itami is just sort of there.
  7. Roode uses his strength to counter Itami’s speed and frequently bails to the outside to take a break, while Hideo tries to wear the bigger man down with strikes and submission holds. Lots of finisher attempts and near falls in a decent match that still seemed to lack a certain something. Roode picks up the win with two consecutive implant DDTs.
  8. Our main event ladder match kicks off with the Authors throwing DIY around the ring while Ciampa and Gargano use their experience to stay in the game. A couple of nice spots with the ladder don’t disguise the fact that the Authors still aren’t great in the ring, but DIY work hard to keep things moving.
  9. Akem and Razar look genuinely nervous as they climb the ladder while Gargano and Ciampa bump like maniacs, and the crowd seem split between supporting DIY and getting on the road early to miss the traffic. The setup of the Authors lying on dual ladders was painfully contrived, and the dual splash off the top of the ladder from DIY just looked painful. Seriously, it looked like both Gargano and Ciampa landed on their heads, and lying on a ladder was definitely a safer place to be.
  10. Things are moving fast as all four men are up on ladders, Ellering eats a superkick, the Authors torture Gargano with a ladder, Razar gets suplexed through a ladder, DIY hit Akem with a ladder-assisted running kick, the Authors hit the super collider and climb the ladder to retain the titles. A solid end to a pretty good episode of Takeover, with the UK Championship being a surprise match of the night contender.

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