NXT Takeover: Chicago

Eric Young vs Roderick Strong

I can't do this, y'all. Nearly 15 minutes of ERIC YOUNG to start the fucking show. And even though Strong came out of the crowd to take out Sanity before the match to make things even, they interfered repeatedly during the match, which didn't matter because Strong beat all 3 of them in the end of the match anyway.

TO THE BACK. The women get prepared for their triple threat.

Tyler Bate vs Pete Dunne WWE UK Championship

The two best, by far, from the UK crew. The only two worth a shit, imo. Jim Ross, the world renowned voice of British wrestling, calls the match with Nigel. Pete Dunne has that true Eurocunt swag to him that I can't help but like. There are very, very few dudes as cunty looking and acting as him right now. Tyler Bate has had his theme changed up to be less of a blatant rip off of Sledgehammer. It's still a rip off, but they've added a bunch to it and changed up the drums a bit. Dunne is pretty over in Chicago. Things start off with kind of standard mat exchanges, before Dunne goes into cunty hand/wrist work straight out of Destroyer's playbook, then heavy strikes. Bate being 20 gets brought up a lot, but Dunne is only 23. The talent level for their ages is absurd. There's a fucking standing ovation applause break halfway through the match, with a crowd in America chanting for a foreign country. Do you know how fucking good you have to be to get an AMERICAN CROWD chanting for another country? They're beating the shit out of each other, throwing huge bombs in every direction, absolutely tearing the house down. Bate hits a fucking SPIRAL TAP. Dunne kicks out and rolls to the floor. Bate comes out with a dive only to get blasted with an elbow and splatter on the floor. Dunne brings him back into the ring. Bitter End. New champion! These mother fuckers. God damn kids, basically. Both of these dudes were born in MID 1990s. What the fuck. 

TO THE BACK. Hideo Itami and Bobby Roode warm up in the back.

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

Asuka has already surpassed Goldberg's win streak and eclipsed EVERY title reign in NXT history by a pretty significant margin. She's at 415 days coming into this show. The longest reign of any other title in NXT history is Ascension's 344 day reign of the tag titles. Ruby and Nikki have been trying to kill each other for 2 months. Asuka was so out of challengers that Regal had to resort to a battle royal, where Asuka came out and laid out everyone that was left. Regal then put her in a four way match with Ruby, Nikki, and Ember Moon, but Ember was injured and pulled from the match. She's in the stands watching, though. Literally, as she was standing watching it. Asuka is rude as hell in this, kicking tits and at least one full on cunt punt. Asuka herself was really never in trouble, and any drama around her losing the title was around if Ruby or Nikki could pin each other. Ruby had Nikki out and pinned when Asuka hit her with a knee strike and pinned both of them. Title retained. "Who is ever going to beat Asuka?" "I'm not sure I have an answer." "I do: Nobody." And that's not really a good thing, because Asuka is so clearly leaps and bounds above all the women they have that anyone beating her is going to feel like bullshit and probably need a screwy finish.

There's a vignette for Velveteen Dream, a Prince gimmick. Because that worked out so well for WCW 17 years ago.

Hideo Itami vs Bobby Roode NXT Championship

Man, this video package before the match just showing how big of a flop Itami has been in WWE is brutal. To put his time injured into perspective, the last Takeover he was on was Rival, in February of 2015. And he looks like he needed another 2-3 months in the PC to get back into shape. After have 2 terrible clash of styles matches with a Japanese star whose offense is mostly stiff strike based, Roode's next opponent is...a Japanese star whose offense is mostly stiff strike based. And this one has had all of two matches on TV in about 9 months. If there is a bright side to this, it's that there are some brief flashes of that old KENTA swag. But the flashes are pretty few and far between, and he actually whiffs on a number of strikes. I feel bad for Percy Watson trying to get his smark cred but then saying "Kobayashi" instead of Kobashi. Roode's shoulder becomes the main focus of Itami's attacks, and Itami's leg for Roode. Itami hit the GTS in Chicago, which got a sizable chunk of the crowd chanting for CM Punk, and an even bigger chunk booing them for it. Lol. Roode rolled to the floor upon impact, so naturally he kicked out once Itami got him back into the ring. I don't even know what the point is of doing those type of finisher kickouts is at this point. Moments before, Itami kicked out of implant DDT because Roode needed a few seconds before the pin. But there's zero drama in those kick outs anymore because that's an automatic kick out. No one is shocked when those kickouts happen anymore, because they only time in 20 years where a delay on the pin didn't end in a kick out was HHH/Booker at WM 19, and people still bitch about it. You might as well just not hit a finisher if that's what you're going to do. It felt extra cheap here since it was clear they just wanted the cheap pop of hitting the GTS in Chicago, yet about 80% of the crowd was either chanting for CM Punk or booing the people chanting for CM Punk instead of reacting to the move. Itami went for it again, only for Roode to hit the DDT, hold on, roll through, and hit another like he was doing a Rainmaker chain. Title retained.

The same type of mismatch as the Roode/Nak matches. I was weirdly bothered by Roode's selling of his arm, as he at one point couldn't hit the DDT because he couldn't lift Itami, but the hurt arm was the headlocking arm, when he would be lifting with the other arm. Whatever. I'm really bothered by the rigidity of finishes. It seems like the only way to win a match is by a cheap roll up or your finisher, even if the basis of the match is an injury that prevents you from hitting you finisher. It never stops guys from powering through and hitting them anyway. In this case, both guys had times where they were selling and couldn't hit their finish. Both guys then hit their finish moments later, three times in the case of Roode. 

It's an issue I have with wrestling in general, but WWE in particular, as all the move move move move kick out stuff could be alleviated if guys started winning with flash KOs or random surprise moves once in awhile. If you have a match where you get whatever worked to the point where you can't do your finisher, hit something else to win the match. You don't have to have the signature finisher for every single match. Work around it. 

Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Pat Patterson, Kassius Ohno, and Eric Thames from the Brewers are in the crowd. 

Authors of Pain vs DIY NXT Tag Team Championships Ladder Match

First off, lolololol at DIY's tron blatantly using Metal Gear Solid font. The free downloadable one you can easily find online. Paul Ellering managing his monster tag team in the main event in Chicago. In 2017. What a time. DIY are so fucking over in Chicago, god damn. They also very clearly have the advantage in the first few minutes of the match. Not quite dominating, but not far off from that. Of course, this kind of stipulation favors them more than two big burly dudes. Everyone eats shit on every big spot. It's brutal. Fucking Paul Ellering out here taking bumps. This features maybe the most violent spot I've ever seen in a WWE ring: the AOP taking a ladder and fucking battering ram it full force into Johnny's face, looking like they were straight up trying to decapitate him. Holy shit was that brutal. And that's followed by a 300 pound dude taking a German suplex from the top of a ladder through another ladder. One of those convenient wooden ladders that everyone ignores is wooden. DIY make their big comeback only to get absolutely smashed with powerbombs. AOP win. Just as the show is going off the air, Tommaso turns to Johnny at the top of the ramp and says, "This isn't out moment. This is MY moment." MY GOD. TOMMASO NO. HE'S YOUR BEST FRIEND. Johnny, already loopy from getting his fucking head knocked off a few minutes ago, has no idea why his best friend is suddenly trying to kill him. Ciampa is getting REAL heat for this. Very loud FUCK YOU CIAMPA chants going on. After a series of knees, he hits an air raid crash off the announce table set through some tables. The show officially ends with Ciampa sitting on the table, looking over his work as medical staff tends to his best friend.  

Considering this had zero hype coming into it, and started with a 15 minute Eric Young match, it ended up being one of the better Takeovers in a while. The UK match stole the show as expected. Incredible those two are so young. The women's match was fine, but Asuka being so much better than all of her opponents is becoming quite a problem. Itami/Roode was not good, but at least they had slightly more chemistry than Nak/Roode. The ladder match was better expected, with the turn at the end being excellent. The call back all the way to the CWC, Johnny's incredible glassy eyed "why are you doing this, man" selling, the real heat for Ciampa. It was pretty great.