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NXT TakeOver: Chicago II preview and what you need to know

NXT looks to set the wrestling world on fire again with another TakeOver tonight. The yellow and black brand returns to Chicago, with a few highly anticipated matches and a few that aren’t exactly expected to be show stealers.

While NXT Champion Aleister Black will defend his title against the Freak known as Lars Sullivan, the main story tonight revolves around Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. Ciampa and Gargano took the main event spot back in New Orleans, and more than likely will be in the same spot on the card tonight.

Gargano and Ciampa’s story is possibly the most interesting and personal feud we’ve seen in the WWE in a decade. The hearts of the WWE Universe were shattered when the Psycho Killer turned on his partner at last year’s TakeOver: Chicago. While he would be out of action for close to ten months, Gargano was haunted by his ghost throughout 2017, failing to win the big matches.

Now, a year later, Gargano and Ciampa look to put an end to their feud in a street fight. Odds are, however, we won’t be done with these two until the following TakeOver.

Another match that has the potential to steal the show, and the weekend, is Velveteen Dream vs Ricochet. Just like every rivalry the Vainglorious One has been a part of, this is about proving that he is better than everyone in NXT. This is about recognition and the respect he feels he deserves.

Just like his award-winning feud with Aleister Black back in 2017, Velveteen Dream has taken an interest in NXT’s newest acquisition, Ricochet, and has spent the past few months playing mind games with the One and Only. However, Ricochet’s unmatched athleticism has left Dream with his jaw on the floor quite a few times since they met in a 6-man ladder match back in New Orleans. Can Ricochet continue to soar in NXT, or will Velveteen Dream’s presence be too much to bear?

While these two matches have the potential to take the weekend, the rest of the event looks to fall below the bar of a TakeOver event. Not that any of these matches will be terrible. Shayna Baszler and Nikki Cross should be a very intriguing match that will probably send Cross up to the main roster. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan will put up a great effort against Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly, and Aleister Black’s uphill battle against Lars Sullivan will be full of carnage and mayhem.

However, tonight’s event feels predictable. This will probably be a TakeOver with no title changes and no surprises.

Also, without the NXT North American Champion Adam Cole or WWE UK Champion Pete Dunne being involved in some kind of matchup tonight, it feels like there’s something missing. Considering that those two have been heavily involved in one of the bigger stories in NXT over the past few months, tonight’s event feels incomplete.

Add in the absence of EC3, and this seems like a TakeOver that’s just there to fill time between now and Brooklyn.

Do you have any predictions for NXT TakeOver: Chicago II? What match are you excited for?