Rarely does NXT fail to deliver when it brings us a
TakeOver, and Saturday’s edition from Chicago was another stellar outing for
the black and yellow brand.
NXT gave us five matches that entertained to varying
degrees, with the contests ranging from pedestrian to tremendous. Nothing was
bad, and only one match really qualified as a true disappointment. Another was
OK, while three were action-packed bouts that easily carried TakeOver: Chicago to
a solid thumbs-up.
At the top of the list has to be Johnny Gargano versus
Tommaso Ciampa, a rivalry that has become so heated that you can feel the
hatred coming through the television. You have to remind yourself that they
were once NXT Tag Team Champions and best friends. At the other end of the
spectrum in terms of rivalries has to be Ricochet and Velveteen Dream, who engaged
in a battle of one-upmanship that wasn’t quite a respect feud, but certainly
wasn’t a blood feud like Gargano/Ciampa.
It’s also worth noting who showed up on the PPV but weren’t
in matches: EC3, Adam Cole and Kairi Sane. Throw in acts like War Raiders and
Pete Dunne, and that shows how deep the NXT roster is right now, when they can
book a 2.5-hour event and have several top stars sitting on the sideline.
With that said, let’s find out how the developmental brand
fared on Saturday.
Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.