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NXT Takeover Chicago Delivers Another Great Event

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NXT Takeover: Chicago delivered another knockout last night from the Allstate Arena. Takeovers have been a way to kick off the weekend of WWE pay per views and Takeover: Chicago was another stellar show for the brand.

Here are the quick results from last night’s show:

  • Roderick Strong and Kylie O’Reilly returned the NXT Tag Team Championship against Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch.
  • Ricochet defeated Velveteen Dream in a stellar match
  • Shayna Baszler retained the NXT Women’s Championship after she forced Nikki Cross to pass out in the middle of the ring.
  • Aleister Black defeated Lars Sullivan to retain the NXT Championship
  • Tomasso Ciampa avenged his loss to Johnny Gargano after he won their Street Fight.

From top to bottom, the card had quality matches that told great stories with a different narrative that stemmed from a question.

  • Can Lorcan and Burch, who have been a tag team for the last several months, win the “big one” and capture the NXT Tag Team titles?
  • Can Velveteen Dream back up his claim of “anything you can do, I can do better?” in his match against Ricochet?
  • How will Baszler, who has used intimidation and bullying, stop Cross who is one of the only women not to show fear in her presence?
  • Can Black lay out the big man with the Black Mass?
  • And finally, what lengths will Gargano and Ciampa go to destroy each other?

All of those questions were answered during the matches. Not every spot was perfect – there was even a moment during Black-Sullivan that resulted in a “you f***** up” chant. Messed up spots and botches are a part of wrestling and Black and Sullivan didn’t let the chant stop them from working the match. 

I want to point out Gargano-Ciampa. This was their second Takeover main event. While their match at Takeover: New Orleans was a five-star classic – pun intended – their Chicago match was beautiful in a brutal sense. Fans watched as Gargano went to dark places when he started to pick apart Ciampa.

The camera crew did a great job of showing the expressions on both Gargano and Ciampa throughout the match.

It wasn’t just the narrative that made NXT Takeover: Chicago great, but it was also the little details. Ciampa ripping up the ring and then later utilize it for the finish. Dream, wearing Prince Puma-inspired tights as a way to intimidate Ricochet, who was Prince Puma in Lucha Underground. It’s little details that wrestling fans, both longtime and casual, can appreciate.

Even wrestlers who weren’t competing made their presence felt. EC3 helped energize the crowd, Adam Cole attempted to interfere with the tag title match and Candice LeRae gave Gargano inspiration to destroy Ciampa.

NXT fans also saw Kairi Sane in the crowd, as well as the arrival of NXT’s newest acquisition, Keith Lee.

There’s just something special about being an NXT fan – and that’s because NXT is a different wrestling program. It’s more accessible to audiences than NJPW in that fans don’t have to sacrifice sleep and funds to watch events. It also doesn’t drag on like current WWE pay per views.

Fans and their families can gather around to watch Takeover for a couple of hours and have the rest of the night to themselves. They don’t feel like they lost the entire evening.

The next NXT Takeover event is scheduled for August in Brooklyn during SummerSlam weekend. The Takeover: Brooklyn shows are regarded as the brand’s biggest shows. Chicago didn’t leave fans with many questions regarding potential matches for the Brooklyn show. There’s a good chance the NXT Universe will see Gargano-Ciampa III, but it would have to be a big stakes match – possibly a Hell in a Cell.

New Japan Pro Wrestling

WWE Reportedly Interested In KUSHIDA

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IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA is reportedly drawing interest from WWE, according to a report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

KUSHIDA, 35, has been the cornerstone of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s light heavyweight division and one of their most recognized stars, globally.

The report indicates that NXT is the destination if WWE were to lure KUSHIDA from New Japan.

With NXT globalizing, an NXT Japan seems like a natural progression for the brand and KUSHIDA could be in those potential plans moving forward.

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Matt Riddle Talks About Joining WWE/NXT

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NXT superstar Matt Riddle has been gaining popularity since his landmark signing earlier this year, and during a recent interview with ESPN for their story on the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, Riddle says that he should have been with WWE long before his 2018 signing.

“I moved my family down here, I’ve got three kids and a wife, so it’s nice,” Riddle said.

“I just wrestle in Florida every weekend. We occasionally do tours or TakeOvers, but for the most part, now I get to spend more time with my family. I’m more local, and it’s great. The training here is top-notch,” he continued. “Where I was, I was lucky to even train three times a week, because my schedule was so insane — and I didn’t have the coaches or amenities to do [much more than that].”

“I just feel like I belong here. I felt like I belonged here three-and-a-half years ago when I had my first try out.”

 

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NXT UK Premiers on WWE Network October 17

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WWE has officially announced the premier of NXT UK on the WWE Network, in a Twitter post that appeared on Wednesday morning.

Per the announcement, the UK division of the NXT brand will debut on October 17th at 8pm BST and will air weekly, featuring male and female wrestlers in the UK.

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