It’s time to Takeover AllWrestling.com with the results from the latest chapter in the NXT Takeover series, this was NXT Takeover: Chicago. The event took place in the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois, and it featured some decent NXT title matches, a fine Roderick Strong match, an OUTSTANDING UK Championship match, and a surprise you won’t believe. Let’s get into it already, it’s late.
The show opened with Roderick Strong taking on the leader of SAnitY, Eric Young.
Eric Young vs. Roderick Strong –
Alexander Wolfe, Killian Dain, and Eric Young came out to start the show. They did their entrance, and Eric Young began to wait patiently in the ring. Strong’s music began to play, and Young waited and waited for his opponent to arrive. Suddenly, Dain and Wolfe were jumped from behind as they were attacked by Strong, who arrived out of the crowd. He then jumped in the ring and charged after Eric Young before the match officially started. Seems rather cowardly if I may say so myself.
Strong ran wild for a good portion of the beginning of this match. He hit Young with dropkicks and strikes before Young did eventually get some offense in. Despite this, Strong would not give up the fight. he hit some knee strikes on Young, one of which led to a near-fall. After this, Eric slid out of the ring. Strong tried to go after him, but Young gave him the Wheelbarrow Neckbreaker outside. Roddy barely beat the ten count. Once the get back into the ring, Strong prevents Young from giving him another Wheelbarrow Neckbreaker a few times before Dain and Wolfe begin to cause a distraction. Strong then actually fights off all three of the SAnitY members, but is then thumbed in the eye by Young. This allows Eric to try to set for some sort of move off of one of the posts, but Strong powers out and kicks Young down towards the ground, and he lands on top of Wolfe and Dain. Roddy immediately got Young back into the ring, hit a suplex/backbreaker combo, and finally got the win.
NXT officials apparently see big things in Strong, and he has been getting much bigger reactions at NXT shows lately. The video packages aired on NXT television recently that revealed who Roderick Strong really is have contributed greatly to Roderick’s recent success. If they want to keep the momentum going, it made sense for Strong to finally deliver some comeuppance to the SAnitY faction.
Winner: Roderick Strong
Up next, Good Ol’ JR was introduced to the Chicago crowd. He came out to call the UK Championship match, just as will be doing on the new UK series. He got a standing ovation and was beloved by the people of Chicago.
Tyler Bate vs. “The Bruiserweight” Pete Dunne for the United Kingdom Championship –
But who cares about all that? No one after you watch this match. This was easily the highlight of the evening. If you feel that the new UK series will be boring, or are unsure about even giving it a shot, then I implore you to watch this match and see what these two are capable of.
The rematch between the two UK Championship Tournament finalists started off innocently enough, you had some standard technical wrestling moves. Holds, locks, drags, the usual lot, but then it sure did pick up. We saw a bit of everything in this match actually: high-flying, technical wrestling, strong style, it had it all. After a bit of brawling and other moves, Dunne managed to lock Bate into the Triangle Choke, and he kept decking Bate in the face as he tried choking him out. Bate was able to power of of this by lifting Dunne high into the air with one arm, and then he sent him down to the mat with great force. Bate dished out a shooting star press, some dives, jumps, and the fastest Airplane Spin you have ever seen in your life. He actually made it look kind of cool.
The match had a ton of near-falls, each one had you buying into the fact that it could be the winning fall. It certainly helped that the crowd in Chicago was absolutely unglued throughout this bout, with them chanting for both Bate and Dunne, as well as for the two men to “fight forever” and for the “UK”. They got an entire country chanted, that’s how good these two were here. Anyway, as the match neared its final few minutes, Dunne kept trying to go for the Bitter End, but Bate found ways out of it by bouncing on the ropes. Bate did successfully hit a 450 Corkscrew on Dunne in the middle of the ring, but Dunne kicked out again and scurried out of the ring. Bate then took a chance and went for a dive outside the ring, but missed Dunne. “The Bruiserweight” got Tyler back into the ring, and after successfully hitting the Bitter End, he pinned Bate and won the championship.
This match was perfect as it did its job of making fans want to give the new UK Championship series a try. Bate and Dunne are both still very young, but the potential that the two of them have is really something special. Match of the year in WWE so far? I’d probably say so. I am just crazy in thinking that? Unless I’m forgetting some other match this company has had that was absolutely fantastic in every way, I don’t think that I am. Props to both men for putting on the best match of the night! Then again, perhaps I’m jumping the gun here. We still haven’t seen Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal yet, mind you.
Winner: Pete Dunne
Asuka vs. Nikki Cross vs. Ruby Riot for the NXT Women’s Championship –
I’m not sure if they’re trying to turn the fans against Asuka or not, but it certainly does seem that way. Despite that, Asuka is still a fan-favorite amongst the NXT crowds, though Ruby Riot was also embraced by the Chicago crowd. It was one of those triple threat matches where they really just each took turns fighting each other one-on-one while the other rested outside the ring. Ruby Riot was definitely emphasized more in this match than Nikki was, and apparently it worked, because I just have a feeling now that Ruby is going to really shine in that division eventually.
At one point, Riot went for a dive onto the champion from off of one of the posts, but Asuka was playing possum and locked her into the Asuka Lock, which was broken up by Cross. Nikki later tricked Asuka into coming out of the ring, but she then trapped her in the ring apron. She then pulled Asuka back into the ring and placed her on the post for a hanging neckbreaker. However, Asuka eventually hit a dropkick on her and managed to pin both Cross and Riot at the same time. The streak continues for now, but Ember Moon was watching the match from one of the luxury boxes. Is this a sign of what’s to come at Takeover: Brooklyn?
The VELVETEEN DREAM arrives on NXT this Wednesday. I can’t wait, this gimmick has Drifter-levels of stupidity written all over it. See you soon, Dream. 🙂
Bobby Roode vs. Hideo Itami for the NXT Championship
I sincerely thought that I had somehow missed the Tag Team Championship match when this match came on. Nope, they just moved that match to the main event slot. This gave me a bad thought regarding the outcome of that match, which actually turned out to be more of a PREMONEESHUN. More on that later though. After all of the injuries and setbacks, this was Hideo Itami’s big moment… and he FAILED!
Hideo came out, then the entrance floor screen morphed into a piano. It began to play the “Glorious Domination” song with matching notes hitting the keys. Nice of the champion to provide a free piano tutorial before his match starts. After setting an Undertaker-esque record of time to get down to the ring, it was time for a showdown.
They started working each other over for the early parts of the match. Within a matter of seconds, Itami nearly hit the GTS on Roode, but he got out of it. Itami got a great deal of offense in against Roode, he hit multiple knees and a couple of kicks. Once Roode did get the upper hand, he began to target the shoulder that Itami had to have repaired for over a year. Hideo constantly tried to hit Roode with the GTS, but it was like 2014-15 all over again, and he was never able to get it. So Itami tried moves such as armbars and some submission-based moves, but this couldn’t get to Roode either.
Shortly thereafter, Itami fired up the crowd and hit a series of slaps and chops. With the crowd now behind him, he tried the GTS once again, but his leg gave out. Roode then immediately hit the Glorious DDT for a near-fall on Itami. Hideo then finally hit the Go To Sleep on Roode, which is a move that he is credited with inventing. I mention this because the GTS did prompt a few “CM Punk” chants to arise in the crowd, but about half of the arena booed them for doing so. As this was going on, Roode hid outside the ring before Itami could capitalize. He did roll Bobby back in, but only got a two count. Hideo then fired back up, slapped Roode around like he just dissed his girl or sumthin’, then attempted the GTS yet again. *Sigh*, it didn’t work. Roode managed to reverse the move into a Glorious DDT. He then picked Itami back up and hit him with a second DDT and pinned him to retain the title.
Winner: Bobby Roode
We’re shown some stars sitting in the front row for this show. All current WWE guys and no surprises this time around. Maybe next time.
#DIY vs. The Authors of Pain in a Ladder Match for the NXT Tag Team Championships –
The streak of #DIY having the best match on every Takeover helped land them a spot in the main event of this show. Unfortunately, I feel that that streak came to an end after this show. That doesn’t matter though, all that matters is the potentially great matches the two will have later on. You’ll see what I mean. To me, the outcome of this match was never in doubt. Rather than “will #DIY win or lose”, I asked myself, “Will Tommaso Ciampa turn on Johnny Gargano after they lose?” By the end, I had my answer.
The match itself was definitely still very good. #DIY immediately went for the ladders, including a giant one that had been propped up in front of where they made their entrances. The Authors set up some ladders along the ring apron and ring barriers, and eventually Gargano and Ciampa managed to lay the two giants across them. They both then climbed to the top off a ladder standing in between the resting ladders, and dove onto the AOP. After Gargano nearly won the match, Paul Ellering ran in to prevent him from doing so, causing Gargano to give Paul a superkick. This kept Ellering out for about the rest of the match. Akam and Rezar would occasionally each try to climb a ladder while the other held the ladder in place, but #DIY would always find a way to get up in time.
At one point, Gargano and Ciampa both climbed onto the ladder and grabbed onto the belts, but had the ladder taken away from them by Akam and Rezar. This left them dangling in the air until they fell down. Finally, Akam managed to have a ladder placed through his head, and he had trouble removing it from between two of the rungs. #DIY hit the double knee-strike, but were not able to put the two big men away. Instead, they both recovered, and hit the Super Collider on both of them. Both men proceeded to climb up the ladder and retrieve the belts. They both exited with an injured Paul Ellering while Gargano and Ciampa were left sitting in the middle of the ring.
Winners: The Authors of Pain
So, what’s going to happen next. I’ve been dreading the thought of breaking up these two men. They have both been true standouts for the brand over the past year or so. Both men embraced in the ring as the crowd chanted their team name. All seemed well, they both exited the ring and headed back towards the entrance stage. Gargano and Ciampa once again embraced on the stage, and the copyright logo was flashed at the bottom of the screen. The announcers were even using their typical ‘end of the show’ wrap-up speak. As much as I hate to admit it, for just a split-second, they got me.
Literally, and I mean LITERALLY one second later, it happened. Ciampa suddenly attacked his best friend and sent him crashing into the set. Ciampa would not let up on Gargano either, he beat him down for several minutes, which included being hit with a knee-strike. Ciampa then threw his best friend onto the announcer’s table, lifted him up, and put him through some tables that were on the floor. Gargano was eventually taken away by the medical staff as Ciampa watched on. The fans were booing this man, called him some very obscene names, and signified that this turn was very well done.
The breakup of #DIY isn’t exactly anything completely unexpected, fans have been speculating about when it will happen for months now. It’s a shame that they didn’t get a main roster run as a tag team, but we are in for some great future Takeover matches between the friends turned foes, and if you don’t believe me, watch them face off against each other on the Cruiserweight Classic from last summer. For now though, let’s all not lose sight of the fact that WWE lost one of the best tag teams that they have had in many years this week. Golden Truth, you will be missed.
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