As has become a tradition, NXT Takeover: Chicago set the tone for a fantastic weekend of WWE action. For the first time in NXT history, the tag team division main evented the show, Asuka continued her winning streak and Hideo Itami proved to the world that he was back and ready for the championship match, but what were the best 5 of all of the incredible moments from the Windy City
5. Double Glorious DDT
A strong showing from both Roode and Itami ends with the defending NXT Champion hitting two of the three Glorious DDT in succession. Not only was this moment exciting, putting the live crowd into a frenzy, but also kept Hideo Itami strong and credible, despite the loss. Roode had to throw everything at Itami to defeat him, perhaps only falling because of ring-rust or lack of NXT Championship match experience. We’ll see these two battle again.
4. Roddy’s strategy outsmarts SAnitY
The opening match of Takeover: Chicago saw Roderick Strong doing what no other NXT Superstar has been able to do alone: defeat Eric Young despite interference from SAnitY. Strong set the tone for this by putting in the first strikes against Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dane. At the conclusion of an excellent one-on-one match, Roddy capitalized on his strategy of removing SAnitY with perfectly timed strikes and defeating the crazed stable’s leader with an expertly executed backbreaker.
3. Johnny Gargano takes a ladder shot for his partner
In the weeks building to this Tag Team Championship Ladder Match, the NXT commentary team made a point of highlighting that ladders in the hands of the Authors of Pain may not be the blessing that DIY thought it would be. No moment highlighted this better than when Johnny Wrestling shoved his tag team partner out of the way of a shot to the head with a ladder only to receive the brutal headshot himself. This emotionally charged self sacrifice also foreshadowed the shocking moment still to come.
2. Tommaso Ciampa turns on Johnny Gargano
As the Tag Team Championship match ended, you’d be forgiven if you thought that this was the end of DIY on NXT, that their next match would be on either RAW or SmackDown Live after being promoted to the main roster. Instead, it was literally the end of DIY as the Psycho Killer in Tommaso Ciampa surfaced, launching Gargano into the LED board with authority. The moment of this beatdown, to me, came in the moments immediately following the impact with the LED board, where Johnny Gargano presented us with a look of despair and betrayal, begging Ciampa with his eyes not to break up their partnership. We’re going to see a great number of incredible moments from the matches that these two Superstars are going to give us.
1. Tyler Bate kicks out of the X-Plex Powerbomb
As a Brit, I may be a little biased in saying that the UK Championship match stole the show but I think you can objectively agree that this match had the lion’s share of the top moments from Takeover. It was incredibly important that the English pair put on a good match and draw in an audience that would otherwise not choose to watch the UK Championship programmes and these two did so in what could go down as the match of the year. The pivotal moment of this match was the nearfall that resulted from Pete Dunne’s combination of the X-Plex Suplex turned into a Sitout Powerbomb. Tyler Bate’s kickout in this moment turned the crowd reactions up to 10 and sent them into a frenzy. Each and every move and manouver from this point on was met with raucous ovation as they watched the Bruiserweight defeat the inaugural champion with the Bitter End.
What were your thoughts on NXT Takeover: Chicago? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below or on Twitter @thejezshow.