6 NXT TakeOver: Chicago Reactions Match By Match

The hottest brand in sports entertainment steps up for their new heavier schedule.

NXT TakeOver Chicago Hideo Itami Bobby Roode

On Saturday, NXT presented their latest major event, TakeOver: Chicago. Up until now, TakeOver events have been restricted to the weekend of major events from the main roster, or as the culmination of a big international tour. However, the yellow brand recently graduated to holding events on a more bi-monthly schedule, and the Windy City played host to the first of these shows.

Going into the event, several questions surrounded the show. Would the shorter build time affect the prestige of the event? Would the UK talents flounder or flourish in front of their largest audience yet? Could Hideo Itami finally - finally - fulfill the potential we've known he's had since day one in NXT? With a questionable card on Backlash, would NXT once again overshadow the offering from the main roster? Would Percy Watson add anything to the commentary? (Spoilers: the last answer is no.)

Obviously, all these questions were addressed in Chicago. Let's see what the answers were...

6. Roderick Strong Vs. Eric Young

NXT TakeOver Chicago Hideo Itami Bobby Roode

We kick off with the latest chapter of the "Sanity vs. the rest of the roster" story, as leader Eric Young took on latest target Roderick Strong. With Tye Dillinger graduating to the SmackDown Live roster following WrestleMania, Strong has taken up the mantle of leading the charge against the dominant Sanity.

NXT's signature clear, logical booking was immediately evident, as Strong used the distraction of his own entrance music to sneak in through the crowd and attack Young's stablemates Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe, because really, why wouldn't he? Strong is smart enough to know they're going to get involved at some point, so he is best served to throw the first strike.

With two guys of this caliber and experience in the ring, we knew this would be a great contest, and they didn't disappoint. An excellent blend of technical skill and big spots was on display, marred only by a particularly egregious example of Dodgy WWE Officiating (©) as the referee ignored Dain attacking Strong directly in front of him.

Strong showed some incredibly innovative moves here including a plethora of his signature backbreakers, and Young was perfect in his role as the crazy faction leader. Strong picked up the win with an incredible front suplex into a backbreaker; the show was off to a great start.


Purveyor of useless information, mostly concerning gaming, pro wrestling and British sitcoms.