As ever, NXT TakeOver made fans believe in the inimitable power of pro wrestling on Saturday night.
An atypically ugly Chicago crowd atoned for their rude reaction to Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan by the time they lost an emotive all-action war to the Undisputed Era. Burch wrestled like a warrior; Lorcan wrestled like a madman. It was heart-in-mouth greatness that made a mockery of Vince McMahon's mockery of tag team wrestling.
The Velveteen Dream and Ricochet wrestled a very good match that only reached greatness at the finish - but what a finish it was. Punctuating the thread of Ricochet's unreal athleticism and Dream's hubristic attempt to equal it, the distance Ricochet travelled - only to meet the cruel knee of fate - was jaw-dropping, as was the arrogant character work that undid Dream in the end. But not before Ricochet, in another key thread of Dream's journey to immortality, had to acknowledge it by stealing his repertoire. Nikki Cross literally found the euphoria in defeat, crucial in maintaining her bond with the audience. Aleister Black did well with Lars Sullivan in a match better than it had any right to be. The main event between Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano was more raw, more violent and even more powerful than their New Orleans classic. Ciampa spat on Gargano's wedding ring. Heels are heels again.
Wrestling is amazing.
Sports entertainment...not so much.
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