NXT TakeOver: Chicago Review

Roderick Strong vs Eric Young

Every time I hear Sanity's entrance theme I am amazed that Primus haven't had a word with WWE's legal department as it's basically the same song as 'My Name Is Mud'. The crowd was hot for Roddy, as would be expected from an ROH stronghold like Chicago. Roddy starts strong (sorry) by taking out the other members of Sanity before the match even starts. He gains the advantage early on, chopping the life out of Young. Young regains the advantage after Killian Dain absolutely flattens Strong on the outside. From there we get a prolonged heat segment by Young which allows the crowd to rally behind Strong. Young hits the wheelbarrow neckbreaker on the floor for a good 2 count. Strong makes his comeback, fighting off Wolfe and Dain and hitting a massive knee that sends Young off the top rope on to the other Sanity members. Strong follows this up with another big knee and the End of Heartache for the win. This was a really good way to kick off the show and Young was the right opponent for Strong to continue his character development against. ***1/2

Tyler Bate vs Pete Dunne (WWE UK Title)

Jim Ross is on commentary for this one and he picked a hell of a match. Going in to this match I thought it could steal the show and it most certainly did that. Dunne attacked at the bell, grounding Bate. They had a bit of back and forth before they went to the floor where Dunne attacked the hand of Bate and hit an x-plex on the apron. Dunne continues to work the arm before Bate fights out and hits a running shooting star press and a German suplex for 2. Bate tries to hit another running shooting star but gets caught in a triangle choke. Bate summons the strength to break the hold with a powerbomb. Bate follows this up with a spectacularly fast airplane spin. At this point the crowd is just about losing their minds, and rightfully so. They have another back and forth before trading blows in a great looking sequence that ends with Bate hitting Bop & Bang. They then continue to beat the ever loving shit out of each other and Bate hits a fantastic looking diving rebound lariat. Bate goes for the Tyler Driver but Dunne slips out and attempts the Bitter End only to have that reversed into a DDT. That was a fantastic sequence. Bate hits a moonsault to the floor, rolls Bate back in and hits a spiral tap for another tremendous near fall. Dunne rolls to the floor and Bate attempts a tope but Dunne hits an uppercut as he's diving. He rolls Bate back in and hits the Bitter End to become the new champion. That was spectacularly good. You could tell from their previous encounter at the UK Title Tournament that they had the potential to blow everyone away and they did not disappoint here. The crowd was fantastic throughout too, fully embracing the spectacle that was unfolding around them. I hope WWE appreciates what they have in these guys, Bate just turned 20 and Dunne is 23 and they are already two of the best wrestlers on the planet. This is one of the best matches to ever take place in an NXT ring and is a perfect example of why I absolutely adore wrestling. *****

Asuka vs Nikki Cross vs Ruby Riot (NXT Women's Title)

I feel sorry for these three as following that would be near impossible. They give it a good effort but this was the weakest match on the card. The match suffered from the triple threat stipulation as there were prolonged periods where one of them was incapacitated on the floor while the other two went at it. It's difficult to get the balance right. They work some good back and forth segments and a few nice pinfall break ups though. Riot hits a really nice suicide dive followed by a senton for a pin that was broken up by Asuka with a German suplex. Cross hit an inverted DDT on Riot on the apron. Asuka then tries for a baseball slide but Cross traps her in the ring skirt and beats her down. She drags Asuka back in and hits an assisted neckbreaker with Riot breaking up the pin. The finish comes as Asuka breaks up a pinfall on Cross by destroying Riot with a sliding kick. Asuka then pinned both of them. As I said earlier it was a good match but the stipulation and occasional sloppiness meant that it didn't get above that. ***

Bobby Roode vs Hideo Itami (NXT Title)

They start with a spot of back and forth wrestling as would be expected. Itami hits a few stiff PK style kicks. Roode counters a DDT attempt in to blockbuster for a 2 count. This leads to Roode taking control and grounding Itami. Itami fights back with a series of strikes and a top rope clthesline for a near fall. Itami goes for the GTS but Roode fights it off only to run shoulder first into the ring post. Itami works over the shoulder with kicks, puts him in an armbar then hits a falcon arrow for a 2 count. He goes back to the shoulder bur Roode retaliates with a spinebuster. Roode attempts his finisher but his arm is giving him too much trouble to pull it off. They end up on the floor where Itami runs Roode into the steps and then misses a dropkick and ends up kicking the steps, which causes him to favour his ankle. Back in the ring they trade strikes before Itami goes for the GTS, only for his ankle to give out on him. Roode takes advantage and hits the Glorious DDT but Itami kicks out. Itami eventually hits the GTS but it sends Roode to the floor meaning that Itami has to roll him back in before the pin. This gives Roode enough recovery time to kick out. Itami then slaps the piss out of him. He goes for another GTS but Roode counters it into a Glorious DDT, rolls through it and hits a third one. That's all she wrote for Itami. This was like many of Roode's matches, it was good but it failed to reach a level where it will be remembered as anything other than another title match. ***1/2

Authors of Pain vs #DIY (NXT Tag Titles, Ladder Match)

This was always likely to be a fun match as all of the matches between these teams have been so far. DIY attack from the off and quickly go for the ladders. They brawl at ringside with Gargano hitting a cannonball off the apron. DIY go and fetch the HUGE ladder and bring it to ringside. Ciampa gets attacked at ringside and Gargano saves him with a suicide dive through the set up ladder, which looked great. DIY attack with ladders but AoP put a stop to that nonsense. AoP try to climb the ladder but are incredibly trepidatious about it allowing DIY to cut them off. Ciampa tries to climb a ladder that one of the AoP are holding (I don't know which is which) in an innovative spot. The AoP take control and work DIY over with ladders. They set up two ladders between the apron and the barricade and attempt powerbombs. DIY fight out and superkick AoP onto the ladders. They then climb the HUGE ladder and both hit splashes, which looked like it was painful for all involved. Back in the ring they have two ladders set up and everyone positions themselves on them. Everyone but Gargano ends up down and Gargano climbs the ladder only to be stopped by Paul Ellering. Ellering gets Gargano's boot in his mouth for his troubles. The interference gave AoP enough time to get back in and destroy Gargano and Ciampa. AoP try to take out Ciampa with a ladder but Gargano pushes Ciampa out of the way and takes the nasty looking hit himself. The AoP try to climb once again but Ciampa cuts them off and hits a German suplex from the ladder through another ladder that is leaning in the corner. That ladder fucking explodes at the impact. It looked fantastic. One of the members of AoP (again, I'm not sure) ends up with the ladder draped round his neck and DIY hit the knee strike/superkick on him. DIY set up a ladder but as they get to the top AoP kick the ladder out from under them, leaving them dangling from the rigging. AoP grab them and hit a couple of powerbombs, and the Super Collider, before climbing the ladder and grabbing the titles. Following the match the crowd gives DIY a hero's reception which they soak in at the top of the ramp. Then BOOM! Ciampa rams Gargano into the stage set and beats the shit out of him. Gargano takes the knee pad down and murders Gargano with a tremendous looking running knee. Ciampa isn't done though and he follows that up with an air raid crash off the announce table through a platform/multiple tables set up below. This was a tremendous way to finish the show. The match was a brilliant blow off to the AoP vs DIY feud, with a ton of great looking spots, and the heel turn that followed was perfect, the second perfect heel turn this year. It created an absolute bastard of a heel and an incredibly likeable, sympathetic face for people to get behind. Simple but incredibly effective. ****1/2

Overall Grade - A+

Going in to this show there were a few rumblings that maybe this wouldn't be that great of a show but we needn't have worried. The build up to this show may not have been that great, and a lot of talent missed the cut for it, but when it came down to it the show performed way beyond expectations. There isn't a bad match on the card and two of them are very special. The main event is a wonderful spectacle with a truly memorable heel turn and the Pete Dunne vs Tyler Bate match is a true MOTY contender. I can't recommend this show enough, it's one of the best this year.


  1. No comment required except agree, if you don't watch another NXT show (and you really should) just watch this one

    1. I've watched parts of it again. It's fantastic.


Post a Comment