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NXT TakeOver: Chicago (5/20) Recap & Reaction

NXT Takeover Chicago logo

Roderick Strong vs Eric Young

Roderick Strong came through the crowd and attacked members of Sanity ringside. Strong then went after Young right when the match started and sent him flying into the turnbuckle. Strong then Clotheslined him out of the ring and followed him out there. Young tried to get away as Roderick beat him down outside the ring. The action returned to the ring and Strong connected with a Dropkick that knocked Young to the mat. Strong continued his attack with a couple of chops in the corner.

Eric Young fought back and took control of the match by hitting a Neckbreaker for a two count. Killian Dain and Alexander Wolf paced around the ring as Eric Young continued the beatdown. Strong knocked Young to the mat and then hit Wolf with a Dropkick under the bottom rope. Killian Dain then took out Strong with a Crossbody outside the ring as the referee was distracted.

Back in the ring, Young leaped off the second rope and connected with an elbow to the back of Strong’s head for a two count. Young once again was distracted and Wolf kicked Roderick in the head while he was on the ring apron. The crowd chanted “lets go Roddie!” as Young applied a Chin Lock in the middle of the ring. Young controlled the next few minutes of the match but Strong connected with a Dropkick while Young was in midair.

Strong hit a Backbreaker and followed it up with a knee to Young’s face. Eric Young then rolled out of the ring to try to avoid Strong. Roderick got onto the ring apron but Young grabbed him and planted him with the Wheelbarrow Neckbreaker onto the floor outside the ring. Young brought Strong back into the ring and went for the pinfall but Roderick kicked out at two.

Both Superstars got back to their feet and traded punches. Young got the upper-hand and knocked Strong to the mat. Young climbed up the turnbuckle but Strong joined him up there. Young headbutted Strong to the mat and connected with a massive Elbow Drop for a two count. Young went for the Wheelbarrow Neckbreaker again but Strong blocked it. Strong then kicked Killian Dain off the ring apron and threw Young into Wolf on the ring apron.

Young poked Strong in the eye and climbed back up the turnbuckle. Strong once again joined him there and went for the Superplex but Young clubbed him in the chest. Young went for a Superplex of his own but Strong blocked it. Strong connected with a kick to Young’s head and Young fell onto Dain and Wolfe outside the ring. Back in the ring, Strong lifted Young up for a Suplex and dropped him into a Double Knee Backbreaker for the victory.

Winner: Roderick Strong

Reaction: NXT TakeOver: Chicago started off with a great match between Strong and Young. The finish to this match was awesome and the crowd was into the match the entire time.

UK Championship Match: Tyler Bate (c) vs Pete Dunne

Jim Ross was on commentary for this one and got a great response from the Chicago crowd when he was introduced before the match.

Dunne took control of the match early and brought Bate to the mat. Bate escaped and both Superstars got back to their feet and locked up. Dunne once again got the upper-hand and locked in an Arm Bar. Bate broke the hold and hit a Dropkick and Dunne rolled out of the ring. Bate followed Dunne out of the ring but Dunne was ready and punched Bate in the face. Dunne tried to stomp on Bate’s hand on the steel steps but Tyler avoided it and punched Dunne in the face.

Dunne Suplexed Bate onto the ring apron and climbed back into the ring to break the referee’s count. Dunne then posed for the crowd and then once again locked in an Arm Bar on Bate. Dunne broke the hold on stomped on the chest of Bate. Dunne connected with a series of kicks to the back of Bate’s head. Bate powered back to his feet and connected with an Exploder Suplex.

Bate hit a couple of running uppercuts on Dunne in the corner. Bate went for a third but Dunne countered with with a kick to Bate’s head. Bate battled back and planted Dunne with a German Suplex for a two count. Bate went for a standing Moonsault but Dunne caught him and applied a Triangle submission hold in the middle of the ring. Bate showed tremendous strength and lifted Dunne off the mat and slammed him back down to break the hold.

The crowd chanted “this is awesome!” as Bate got back to his feet first. Bate lifted Dunne onto his shoulders and spun him around several times and finally dropped him to the mat. The crowd rose to their feet as Bate went for a pinfall. Dunne kicked out at two and both Superstars got back to their feet. Bate went for a German Suplex but Dunne landed on his feet. Dunne connected with a punch to Bate’s head and followed it up with a Powerbomb for a two count. The crowd once again got back on their feet and applauded the two Superstars in the ring.

“NXT!” chants echoed throughout the arena as both Superstars laid on the mat. Dunne and Bate traded punches in the middle of the ring. Bate raised his right hand and then punched Dunne in the face with his left hand. Dunne responded by connected with a kick to Bate’s head. Dunne launched Bate into the ropes but Tyler bounced off and connected with a massive Clothesline for a two count.

The crowd chanted “fight forever!” as both Superstars got back to their feet. Dunne lifted Bate up for the Flatliner but Bate countered it into a ridiculous Tornado DDT that sent Dunne flying out of the ring. Bate leaped onto the second turnbuckle and hit a Moonsault on Dunne outside the ring. Back in the ring, Bate hit a Corkscrew 450 Splash for a two count and Dunne once again escaped outside the ring.

Bate leaped over the top rope but Dunne moved out of the way and Bate crashed to the floor. Dunne brought Bate back in the ring and hit the Bitter End for the victory.

Winner & New UK Champion: Pete Dunne

Reaction: This match was something special and is worth watching if you missed it. The crowd added so much energy to this match and both Dunne and Bate performed very well. It is hard to believe that Tyler Bate is this excellent in the ring at just 20 years of age. Pete Dunne is also incredible in the ring and deserves to hold the UK Championship. It was also great to hear Jim Ross on commentary again. This match will be hard to top for match of the night during NXT TakeOver: Chicago.

NXT Women’s Championship Match: Asuka (c) vs Nikki Cross vs Ruby Riot

Cross whipped her jacket at Ruby Riot to start off the match and knocked her out of the ring. Riot got back up to the ring apron but was immediately knocked back to the floor outside the ring. Asuka launched Cross out of the ring and Riot got back into the ring. The crowd was behind Ruby Riot in the match. Asuka and Riot locked up. Riot knocked Asuka out of the ring and Nikki Cross attacked Ruby Riot. The action spilled outside the ring as Riot punched Asuka in the face.

The injured Ember Moon was shown watching the match from the crowd with her arm in a sling. Back in the ring, Cross connected with a Neckbreaker to Riot. Asuka climbed to the rope and hit Cross with a Dropkick. Cross planted Asuka with a Neckbreaker or a two count. Ruby Riot got back into the ring and was greeted with a Powerbomb from Asuka. Asuka then locked in the Ankle Lock on Ruby Riot but Nikki Cross broke up the hold. Asuka charged at Cross but missed and went tumbling out of the ring.

Cross laughed at Ruby in the ring. Ruby Riot responded by knocking Cross to the mat with a Clothesline. Asuka got back into the ring, but was sent back out of the ring with a Hurricanrana from Ruby Riot. Asuka got back onto the ring apron but Nikki Cross knocked her to the floor. Ruby Riot connected with a Suicide Dive through the second rope onto Asuka.

Back in the ring, Riot climbed to the top turnbuckle and leaped onto Nikki Cross. Riot went for a pinfall but Asuka broke it up and planted Ruby with a German Suplex. Ruby Riot kicked Cross in the midsection and Asuka planted Cross with a German Suplex. Riot then kicked Asuka in the face and climbed to the top rope. Riot tried to leap onto Asuka but Asuka countered it into the Asuka Lock. Nikki Cross broke up the hold and slammed Riot onto the ring apron.

Asuka went for a baseball slide onto Cross but Cross pulled up the ring apron and Asuka got hung up in it. Cross then beat the hell out of Asuka while she was trapped in the ring apron. Cross then brought Asuka back in the ring, hung her up on the top turnbuckle and slammed her to the mat with a Neckbreaker. Cross went for a pinfall but Riot got back in the ring and broke it up. Both Cross and Riot went for a Crossbody and both Superstars collided.

Cross and Riot Clotheslined Asuka out of the ring. Riot connected with a Pele Kick and went for the pinfall but Asuka broke it up. Asuka then kicked Riot in the face and pinned both Cross and Riot at the same time for the victory.

Winner & Still NXT Women’s Champion: Asuka

Reaction: The match started off clunky but picked up towards the end. The finish felt a bit random, but overall this was still an entertaining match.

NXT Championship Match: Bobby Roode (c) vs Hideo Itami

Roode posed in the ring to start off the match and Itami almost hit the GTS right away. Roode escaped out of the ring and gathered himself. Back in the ring, Roode applied a Chin Lock in the middle of the ring. Itami broke the hold and hit a vicious elbow than knocked Roode to the mat. Roode battled back and slammed Itami into the turnbuckle. Roode went for a right hand but Itami ducked and connected with a chop to Roode’s chest.

Itami knocked Roode to the mat and connected with a series of kicks to the back and chest of Bobby Roode. Itami mocked Roode’s “glorious” pose and Roode charged at him. Itami went for a DDT off the second rope but Roode knocked him to the mat. Roode then leaped off the second rope and hit a Blockbuster for a two count. Roode then continued the assault by stomping on Itami.

Roode connected with a Clothesline and followed it up with a Neckbreaker for a two count. Roode applied a Chin Lock in the middle of the ring. Itami broke the hold and went for a backslide pin but Roode kicked out at two. Roode then connected with another Clothesline and Itami fell to the mat. Itami got back to his feet and slapped Roode in the face. Itami hit a running kick to Roode’s face and both Superstars fell to the mat.

Itami hit a Clothesline and then planted Roode with a Suplex. Itami climbed to the top rope and and hit a Clothesline for a two count. Itami went for the GTS but Roode blocked it and sent Itami into the corner. Roode charged at Itami but Itami moved and Roode slammed into the ring post. Itami locked in an Arm Bar in the middle of the ring. Roode escaped it but was promptly slammed into the turnbuckle.

Both Superstars battled on the top turnbuckle. Roode knocked Itami to the mat and went for another Blockbuster but Itami avoided it. Itami hit a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Itami stayed on the attack by connecting with several kicks to the midsection of Roode. Itami charged at Roode but Roode was ready and planted him with a Spinebuster for a two count.

Roode went for the Glorious DDT but his shoulder gave out. Itami then went for the GTS but Roode escaped to the ring apron. Roode then hung up Itami’s neck on the top rope and then slammed his head into the barricade outside the ring. Itami responded by slamming Roode shoulder-first into the steel steps. Itami then went for a Dropkick but Roode got out of the way and Itami slammed into the steel steps.

The action to returned to the ring and both Superstars traded punches. Itami got the upper-hand and knocked Roode to the mat. Itami then hit a Dropkick as Roode was against the turnbuckle. Itami went for the GTS but his leg gave out. Roode then hit the Glorious DDT but Itami kicked out at two. Itami hit the GTS and Roode fell outside the ring. The “CM Punk!” chants started immediately as Itami rolled Roode back in the ring. Itami lifted Roode up for another GTS but Roode avoided it.

Itami hit a series of slaps to Roode’s face and knocked him to the mat. Itami went for the GTS and Roode countered it into a Glorious DDT. Roode then rolled through and hit another Glorious DDT for the victory.

Winner & Still NXT Champion: Bobby Roode

Reaction: Roode and Itami put on a great match. The crowd was dead for a good majority of it, but got into it towards the end. Roode’s reign as NXT Champion continues, but he is destined to join WWE’s main roster.

NXT Tag Team Championship Ladder Match: The Authors of Pain vs #DIY

Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa climbed up the ladder on the entrance ramp before making their way to the ring. Akam and Rezar paced around the ring waiting for the bell to ring as the titles were lifted above the ring. Gargano and Ciampa started out on the offensive but Akam and Rezar knocked them to the mat. Gargano and Ciampa then knocked Akam and Rezar out of the ring as the crowd cheered.

Gargano and Ciampa grabbed ladders from under the ring. Akam slammed Gargano into the barricade and Rezar did the same to Ciampa. Rezar charged at Ciampa but Ciampa tripped him up and Rezar slammed into the steel steps. Gargano then leaped onto Akam off the ring apron. Gargano and Ciampa then brought the oversized ladder that was on the entrance ramp to the ring.

The ladder was leaning against the ring ropes and Gargano hit a Suicide Dive through it onto Akam and Rezar. Gargano and Ciampa set up a ladder in the ring and climbed it. Akam got back in the ring, but was greeted with a ladder to the face. Rezar got into the ring but #DIY was ready for him and beat him down in the corner. Gargano tried to leap onto Rezar but was caught and got slammed onto Ciampa’s back.

Akam held the ladder as Rezar slowly tried to climb it. Ciampa knocked him down by hitting him with another ladder. Both Rezar and Akam were on their hands and knees and Gargano and Ciampa slammed a ladder across their backs. Ciampa tried to quickly climb the ladder but he was knocked down and got a ladder slammed into his face.

Both members of The Authors of Pain tried to climb up the ladder but were brought back down. Both Ciampa and Gargano tried to quickly climb up the ladder but the ladder was pushed over and they both fell into the top rope. Ciampa was pinned to the turnbuckle by a ladder between the second and top rope. Rezar and Akam then booted the ladder into the midsection of Ciampa several times.

Rezar and Akam then slammed a ladder into Ciampa and Gargano and knocked them out of the ring. The Authors of Pain set up two ladders from the ring apron to the barricade and brought #DIY to the ring apron. Rezar and Akam went for Powerbombs but both Gargano and Ciampa avoided them. Gargano hit Akam with a Superkick. Both Rezar and Akam were then laid out on top of the ladders.

The gigantic ladder was then set up in between both members of The Authors of Pain. Gargano and Ciampa climbed to the top of the ladder and leaped onto Rezar and Akam. Both ladders broke and everyone fell to the floor as the crowd chanted “holy sh**!”. Ciampa was the first Superstar to get back into the ring and he set up a ladder.

Akam joined Ciampa in the ring and both Superstars slowly climbed the ladder. Gargano set up another ladder next to them in the ring. Ciampa and Akam traded punches on one ladder as Gargano and Rezar climbed the other. Ciampa was knocked off the ladder and bounced off the ropes and hit the ladder with Gargano and Rezar on it. Gargano quickly leaped to the other ladder as Rezar fell to the floor. Gargano then knocked Akam to the mat and was about to grab the titles but Paul Ellering prevented it. Gargano then hit Ellering with a Superkick.

Rezar and Akam then beatdown both Ciampa and Gargano as Ellering cheered them on while laying against the barricade outside the ring. Rezar and Akam went to charge at Ciampa with the ladder but Gargano shoved him out of the way. The Authors of Pain then slammed the ladder into Gargano’s face. Rezar had his hands on the titles but Ciampa pulled him off and slammed him through a ladder in the corner of the ring.

Akam then climbed the ladder and Gargano grabbed his leg. Akam climbed down the ladder and shoved Gargano to the mat. Gargano hit Akam with a Superkick and Akam fell to his knees with a ladder wrapped around his neck. #DIY then hit Meeting in the Middle on Akam while his head was in between the rungs of the ladder. Gargano and Ciampa once gain set up a ldder and started to climb.

Rezar and Akam knocked the ladder out from under them and Gargano and Ciampa hung above the ring. The Authors of Pain then hit the Super Collider on #DIY. Rezar and Akam then climbed the ladder and grabbed their titles.

The crowd gave a standing ovation to #DIY after the match as they got back up to their feet. Ciampa then attacked Gargano at the top of the entrance ramp and hit him with a vicious knee to the face. Ciampa then lowered his knee pad and hit him with another knee to the face. Ciampa then slammed Gargano off the announcer’s table and through a couple of tables on the floor.  NXT TakeOver: Chicago went off the air with the crowd booing Ciampa as he stood on the announce table.

Winners & Still NXT Tag Team Champions: The Authors of Pain

Reaction: This match was awesome. NXT TakeOver: Chicago had something for everyone. The UK Championship match was a terrific wrestling match. The NXT Tag Team Championship match was pure chaos and incredibly fun to watch. Every match was solid and overall this event was great.

What did you think of NXT TakeOver: Chicago? Let us know in the comments below.


  • M

    Not on social media, so this was a surprise to me. Really disappointing though, all things considered.

  • CC

    Not so shocking considering the band chosen to record Gardano’s new entrance music gave it away by letting people know he was getting solo theme.
    Someone in WWE needs to explain to the musicians about spoilers.

  • M

    That’s how a heel turn is supposed to be. Shocking and upsetting. A shame though, DIY is such a great tag team, was really looking forward to seeing them in the tag division on the main roster.