Sunday, May 21, 2017

NXT Takeover: Chicago

Yes, somehow, Johnny Gargano is still alive.
Holy fuck, what a show. I mean, I went in with low expectations thanks to some last minute injuries and, frankly, a less than stellar build for this show, but Takeover: Chicago turned out to be the best show so far this year. Every match was outstanding. Every match had a level of effort and intensity that's all too often missing from the main roster. I'd hate to be on the Backlash card after watching this.

Eric Young vs. Roderick StronG: Sanity interferes and helps Young win

I am happy to be wrong. Strong comes out... fast and takes the fight to the rest of Sanity. They interfere at various points during a solid, energetic match, but Strong pulls off a release suplex backbreaker - almost a super Lumbar Check - to pin Young, get the win, and avoid the Tye Dillinger Trap. Chicago loves them some Roddy Strong and he was super over th

WWE UK Title Match: Champion Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne: Tyler Bate retains. I can't imagine they're going to do any UK title switches until the UK TV show starts and they're filming in the UK with a UK audience who actually gives a shit.

Or, you know, Dunne and Bate could take the crowd by the balls, hang onto them for 20 minutes, and make them give ALL THE SHITS. And Pete Dunne won, which means they probably learned a valuable lesson from 205 Live and are going to kick off the UK show with a strong heel personality. Happy to be wrong on this, too. Once this was over, I fully expected this to be the match of the night, and I was almost right (0/2)

NXT Women’s Title Match: Champion Asuka vs. Ruby Riot vs. Nikki Cross: Asuka retains.

And she did, in a solid, crisp match that really showed off what Ruby Riot and Nikki Cross are capable of. I think things may have gone differently had Ember Moon not been injured, but this was the right match and right finish under the circumstances. (1/3)

NXT Title Match: Champion Bobby Roode vs. Hideo Itami: Bobby Roode retains.

This was a little slow going in the beginning, as Roode and Itami wrestled a more traditional NXT/WWE style. Itami seems to be working more throws into his moveset, which is a nice change. The match built really nicely into an extended sequence where they traded finishers and attempts at finishers, but Roode hit a pair of GLORIOUS DDT's to keep the title and prove me right. Both guys looked great. I'm not sure where Itami goes from here, or Roode for that matter, but I'm curious to find out. (2/5)

NXT Tag Team Title Ladder Match: Champions The Authors of Pain vs. DIY: The company is higher on the Authors than they probably should be, plus, there are rumors on the wind. Authors retain.

I thought DIY should win this, but what happened was way better. First, this is one of the best ladder matches I've seen in years, full of great pacing, a few amazing spots, a few "how the fuck did they do that" spots like the one pictured above, a finish that kept the belts on DIY, and then the post-match. Oh, the post-match.

I haven't seen the kind of genuine crowd heat Ciampa got for turning on Gargano in a VERY long time. They say the best heels deliberately keep the crowd from getting what they want, and Ciampa took one of their favorite tag teams away from them. Time for the Sicilian Psychopath to run roughshod over NXT, I think. This should be fucking epic. (3/5)

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