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Monday, May 22, 2017

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Eyes On NXT: Takeover Chicago Review

By @TrueGodImmortal 

There was a big weekend of wrestling that went down in Chicago and I figured it's only fair that I talk about the better show between the two. There isn't much to speak of in terms of Backlash, as it was virtually a pointless PPV that ended beyond horribly, but the NXT show was more than enjoyable. Once again, NXT outperforms the main roster PPV and that's why I'm here today. I'm here for a brief review on the NXT Takeover Chicago show, just to give my thoughts on the match, and a rating for each match. Let's get into it.

*Roderick Strong vs Eric Young

-I liked this match and thought it was a solid opener to kick off the show. Roderick could be a big deal in NXT, with the right promotion and big enough push. The truth about Eric Young to me is that he's a solid good worker, but not able to be a true star in the WWE world. Roderick starts the match by catching Eric Young and SAnitY off guard and that sets the tone for this match.  Roderick and Eric would battle for 13 minutes, as Roderick would have to battle both Young and SAnitY to get a victory. After getting a huge backbreaker on Young, Strong picked up the victory and gets the pinfall. Surprisingly enough, Strong isn't beat down at the end by SAnitY, which was a shock.

Rating: 3 Stars Out Of 5 

*UK Championship Match 
Pete Dunne vs Tyler Bate

-The match of the night and possibly the match of the year already. I wasn't even excited about this match because I hadn't paid much attention admittedly to either of these guys, but I was 100% in the wrong here. Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate showed and proved that they are two amazing athletes and performers, and with Jim Ross on commentary, it just made the match even bigger and better. The crowd seemed firmly behind Dunne, as chants of "Bruiserweight" broke out from the Chicago crowd who managed to remain extremely locked in during the entire match. After a slightly forgotten tournament to crown the first UK Champion, this match will instantly put the world on notice and have the UK Title on watch by many. The back and forth action between Dunn and Bate during their 15 minute battle was crazy, and with every near fall, you thought the match was coming to a sure end. As Dunne set up for his Bitter End finisher, I expected the match to continue on for another 3 or 4 minutes and when the match ended, I was happy to see Dunne win, but also disappointed because I wanted to see them "fight forever". By the sound of the crowd, they wanted them to fight forever as well. A great classic.

Rating: 5 Stars Out of 5

*NXT Women's Championship Match 
Asuka vs Ruby Riot vs Nikki Cross 

-I really hated that Ember Moon missed this match, but the reality is, she might not have made this match much better. While all three women are extremely talented, I feel that Ruby and Nikki lack that special feeling that the other top tier women's wrestlers such as Asuka, Charlotte, Sasha, and others give you. With that being said, they're still growing in the WWE system and can evolve into that. However, with this match, I thought they tried to cram as much in the 10 minute run time as possible and while some of it worked, a bit of it was a tad sloppy. I'd consider this to be the worst match of the night, but it had some decent moments throughout. Asuka falling on both of her opponents and getting the victory was a bit of a weaker ending, but it makes all three look strong without losing momentum, setting up for a possible feud with either Nikki or Ruby until Ember is healthy. Truth be told, it's more than time for Ember to take the title from Asuka, and the Asuka title run is as stale as can be now. She's still great, but we need Asuka on RAW or Smackdown ASAP.

Rating: 2 Stars Out Of 5

*NXT Championship Match 
Bobby Roode vs Hideo Itami 

-The fact remains that Itami is injury prone and in this match, he seemed like he was one wrong move away from living up to that once more. However, while many didn't like the match, I enjoyed it a lot. I thought the pace was slow to begin, but it picked up near the end and really became fun to watch. Itami setting up for the GTS always gets the crowd excited and Roode and his beautiful DDT finisher is also a crowd pleasing move. After 17 minutes of action, Roode turned the GTS into his DDT finisher, then held on and hit it once more to get the clean victory. Surprise surprise: Bobby Roode is the best booked champion in the entire WWE landscape. Roode, the heel in the feud, gets a completely clean victory, looking extremely strong in the process, and Itami doesn't look weak at all in the loss. That's great wrestling booking 101.

Rating: 3.5 Stars Out Of 5

*NXT Tag Team Championship Ladder Match 
DIY vs Authors of Pain

-When I finally got around to watching this match, I knew the ending. I knew the Authors of Pain retained the titles, I knew Ciampa turned on Gargano at the end, but I couldn't help but be drawn in by this match and what it represented. It represents the end of the DIY era in NXT and the end of my favorite tag team in the WWE. Both Gargano and Ciampa are great wrestlers solo and together, but I wasn't ready for them to break up. The narrative of this match all led to the inevitable and the foreshadowing essentially was everywhere in the match. From the effort that DIY put in to try and get the titles back, to the German Suplex off the ladder through another ladder, DIY gave AOP all they could handle and still came up short. After the great Super Collider from AOP once DIY fell from holding the belts, we saw them retain the titles and then leave the ring, as what seemed like the perfect send off for the DIY team to the main roster would commence. 20 minutes of great action proved that DIY was one of the best tag teams to ever come through NXT and this was a perfect way to end the show.

Rating: 4.5 Stars Out Of 5

After the tag title match, we watched the send off for DIY, but I wasn't aware of what was to come. Well, I was, because I knew the result, but it's almost like I couldn't see it coming. When Ciampa and Gargano embraced at the top of the ramp to cheers from the crowd and the graphic to end the show plays at the bottom, it looks as if the night is over. It's not. Ciampa says to Gargano "this is my moment", and proceeds to destroy him completely. This is what made the night for me. Yes, Dunne vs Bate was match of the night. Yes, DIY vs AOP was a great Ladder Match. Yes, I enjoyed Itami vs Roode. But this night was capped off by the greatest heel turn in quite some time, as Ciampa became the Psycho Killer and destroyed his former friend Gargano, signaling the next blood feud in NXT, and the arrival of both as future singles stars on the brand. From top to bottom, NXT Takeover Chicago was executed beautifully. There are some dry spots and one dry match, but overall, it was a very solid show, and miles ahead of WWE Backlash, a testament to their consistency and greatness. Long Live NXT.



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