NXT Takeover: Chicago Report Card

There were three title matches and a street fight at Saturday’s NXT Takeover: Chicago and the WWE Network exclusive as a whole was great. Here’s a report on each match from Takeover: Chicago’s main card, with a grade attached. Don’t agree with a grade, then feel free to score the show.

NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler Vs. Nikki Cross

There were lots of highs at Takeover Chicago, but that does not go for the NXT Women’s Championship. At times, the match was amusing as Nikki Cross showed how craziness can overtop toughness. Even the crowd did not seem to care and they were exhausted from the opening two matches grabbing all the attention. I have seen the storyline before where someone in a submission does not mind going to sleep. Shayna Baszler’s best moment from the match was the final spot and the emotion displayed on her face. Easily, this was biggest failure of the night and a rare mistake made by NXT booking. Grade: B- 

Image Credit: Provided via WWE.com

NXT Championship: Aleister Black Vs. Lars Sullivan

Since coming to NXT, Aleister Black and Lars Sullivan have been basically unbeatable. Something had to give last night and it was Sullivan. We saw that Sullivan still has work to be done, but he seems open to learning. We saw Sullivan mostly dominate Black, showing lots of raw power. The ending delivered as three black masses were needed to finally keep Sullivan down for a three count. Not the best first outing for Black as champion, but he was working with someone who has less of a background in entertainment and sports. In the end, both made it work. Grade: B

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Ricochet Vs. Velveteen Dream

In six months, these two might be wrestling each other again; only with the NXT Championship being on the line. Ricochet is known as a highlight reel and he continues to prove that each week. Not to be outdone, Velveteen Dream came out dressed in Hulk Hogan themed attire and kept his own pace. The match did show how Ricochet is the veteran as some of Velveteen Dream’s spots looked a little shaky against an expert of their craft. The shooting star press across the ring was executed perfectly and then Velveteen Dream went too far by going for an elbow drop from coast to coast. That’s a Shane McMahon only type of move. Grade: A-

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Chicago Street Fight: Johnny Gargano Vs. Tommaso Ciampa

Dating back to the Cruiserweight Classic, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa always deliver. They know how to tell a story using wrestling moves and/or just their facial reactions. The feud seemed over several months back after an amazing contest. Yet, they went out there and delivered with another story that kept everyones attention from start to finish. The way they wrestle shows how well they know each other and the former NXT Tag Team Champions will meet once more before this bloody angle comes to an end. Look for a stretcher or ambulance match in the future. I liked everything about the match and look forward to the conclusion. Grade: A

NXT Tag Team Championships: Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong) Vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch

When the match started, I was nervous because the crowd was all into the heels and showing no interest for the challengers. Soon enough, fans saw that Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch had more in common than similar black trunks; they could wrestle well together. Adam Cole, who is so over wherever he goes, is the reason Undisputed Era kept their titles. All four men have a certain level of talent which will produce quality matches. I hope these two teams meet again. Maybe, Lorcan & Burch find someone else and book a six person tag team match. Grade: A

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