NXT TakeOver In A Nutshell: Windy City Stunner

Good evening folks! It’s time for the latest edition of NXT TakeOver, with this one coming at us live from Chicago. We’ve got not one, not two, but three exciting championship matches, and one of them is the tantalizing ladder match between DIY and Authors of Pain. Are you ready for this one? I sure am. Let’s get this party started!

Best Match of the night:

Wow, this one is absolutely tough. I thought it would have been easy after the UK Championship match, but then we had the ladder match, and that just complicated things even more. Don’t get me wrong, the NXT title match was good too. But it wasn’t close to these two matches.

I can’t decide, so in the end we are going with co-matches of the evening.

Worst match of the night:

None of these deserves a knock on it. The least exciting? Can’t even go there.

Crowd Chants of the Night:



CM Punk


Johnny Wrestling

We want tables

Psycho killer


This is awesome

F you Ciampa


Star of the Night

One good, one bad.

The good? That’s Pete Dunne. Yes, a heel, but he earns the star here for one heck of a title match. Bate looked good in the loss, too, but this was Dunne’s night and he deserves the praise.

Spot of the Night:

Holy cow, does Itami strike hard.

And, don’t sleep on his G2S

Roode with the successive DDTs. Didn’t even let go of Itami.

Gargano, diving through the ropes AND the ladder for a suicide dive

Nice near grab of the belts, with Ciampa running up a ladder, folded and held by one of the AoP.

Holy cow, that ladder shot on Gargano, after he shoved Ciampa out of the way…damn near took his head off.

Jobber of the Night:

AoP, for absorbing that ladder spot (and, for going with it at all. Always love those spots where the guy just writhes in pain on top of a ladder for like, thirty or forty seconds, allowing the opponent to get in position for the high risk move.

And, the ladders, for mostly breaking when intended.

Upset of the Night:

Not a match, but Gargano (and DIY fans), at Paul Ellering. Gargano had the match won, dead to rights, with both Authors down and out. Ellering came in and prevented Johnny from pulling the belts down. Gargano retaliated by super kicking Ellering.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

Ciampa and Gargano. Off the top of a very tall ladder. Putting both members of AoP through two separate ladders. One broke, one bent. The guys didn’t hit everything (likely by design), as the splashes had each man hit the AoP with their legs more than anything…but wow, what a spot.

But, to top that off….in a heel turn that, frankly, always seemed inevitable to me….Ciampa snapped post match, as DIY walked to the back. Soaking in the crowd cheers for the duo, Ciampa viciously attacked Gargano, heaving him into the stage, pummeling him with punches and delivering a brutal knee strike. He followed it up with by driving Gargano down through two tables, leaping off the announce table to do it.

It was one of those stunning heel turns. Like, really stunning. They panned the crowd, and some people had a stunned look on their faces that I don’t think I’ve seen since Brock ended The Undertaker’s streak a few years back. And, you want to hear heat on someone? Watch that final segment, watch Ciampa’s turn, and just listen to the boos and jeers the crowd rained down on him. In a span of about five minutes, Tommaso Ciampa just became the most hated man in NXT.

Botch of the night:

Closest thing to it? Gargano nearly fell off the ramp carrying down the big ladder, and then he and Ciampa damn near had it tip over on them when walking it down.

Commentary of the night:

Are you guys sold? Is he not the greatest NXT Champion of all time?

LOL Moment of the night:

Nothing happening here tonight.

Noteworthy Moment:

OK, it’s NXT….why is Kassius Ohno not backstage? I mean, OK, fine, maybe he worked a dark match before the main show…but why would WWE want him in a crowd shot (after KO and Brewer Eric Thames, he was there with Sami Zayn and Pat Patterson). I mean, I wouldn’t expect them to show like, Kevin Owens in the crowd tomorrow night, at all. Just seemed odd to me.

Not sure what WWE plans to do with Asuka. At this point, there’s no woman on the roster that she’s not beaten cleanly (that is an established star). And, considering she should have moved up to the main roster already, it’s curious. Unless WWE plans on having Asuka show up on either RAW or SmackDown, NXT title in hand, like Kevin Owens did when he debuted on RAW? I mean, that could work…but who on the roster is going to finally dethrone her?

Overall lowlights:

Hard to complain about the show, as is the case with most NXT specials. My only gripe would be the one above, about how they’ve booked Asuka and, more specifically, how they’ve booked the rest of the women on the roster.

Overall highlights:

Each match was good.

The UK title match was extra special.

The ladder match wrote itself into the WWE history books, in my opinion. Seriously one of the best ladder matches WWE has put on.

THAT, right there, is how you turn someone heel. I might not have said it, but I’ve had this lingering feeling for like a year, that eventually this duo would split and it wouldn’t be an amicable one. I honestly think it was one of the nastiest double crosses ever. I mean, it was worse than when HBK turned on Marty, putting him through the Barbershop glass. Think about it…Ciampa, not 20 minutes earlier, shoved Tommaso out of the way of a brutal-looking ladder shot, taking that for his teammate. And then, after a grueling match, after they soaked in the fan adulation and had walked most of the way to the back, Ciampa explodes and absolutely annihilates his now former tag team partner. Brutal, but awesome, heel turn.

After the final bell:

Folks, that was a good show. Great matches, great stories being told, a heel turn for the memory banks. I have not much more to say than what I’ve already said….so I will leave you with this thought: How in the world does SmackDown top this effort on Sunday when Backlash rolls around? I already didn’t think they could. Now I really don’t think they could.


Roderick Strong defeats Eric Young.

Pete Dunne pins Tyler Bate, becoming the new UK Champion.

Asuka defeats Ruby Riot and Nikki Cross, retaining the NXT Women’s title.

Bobby Roode defeats Hideo Itami, remaining NXT Champion.

AoP defeat DIY to retain. Following the match, Tommaso Ciamp obliterates his now former partner.

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