Pro Wrestling

NXT Takeover: Chicago Recap

A highly anticipated show is NXT Takeover: Chicago. In my opinion, the NXT Takeover specials tend to outshine the WWE events of the same weekend. And this event was no different.

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

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The opening contest was a tremendous hard-hitting, fast-paced contest. Both teams were able to shine and keep the crowd into the match. The athleticism by the Undisputed Era was matched beautifully by the forceful assault from the challengers Burch and Lorcan. The biggest highspot in the match was Oney Lorcan’s fall from the top turnbuckle hitting the apron. Fantastic back and forths throughout the matchup lead to one of the best tag team matches on WWE/NXT TV in quite some time.

Velveteen Dream vs. Ricochet

Laracuente Leder Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

A fascinating matchup was the next contest between Velveteen Dream and Ricochet. Ricochet for those that don’t know him will be seen as a breakout star. However, for those that know of his work know that he is already a star. This matchup indeed showed off the highlights of both men. The Dream was trying to match highspots with Ricochet, and it made for a very intriguing match. The athletic ability of Ricochet is some of the most incredible ever witnessed on WWE/ NXT TV. The biggest highspot of the match was the superplex to the outside by Velveteen Dream. Incredible near falls in the matchup built up the intensity and intrigue for the crowd in Chicago. Both competitors copied some the other’s signature moves and got near falls. Ultimately Ricochet won with the 630 senton and secure his spot as NXT’s breakout star.

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

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

I love Nikki Cross, the psychology behind the character is incredible. And that type of opponent is the perfect fit to take on Baszler. This matchup for the NXT Women’s Championship was a fun watch as both women are fierce competitors and have hard-hitting styles. Baszler retained her NXT Women’s Championship by submission. But Nikki passed out as opposed to tapping out.

Keith Lee Sighting

NXT Championship: Lars Sullivan vs. Aleister Black

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2

NXT Championship match of Black vs. Sullivan was booked how one would expect the power of Sullivan vs. the speed/agility/striking of Black. Even knowing how the match would be booked the match still delivered well above expectation. Personally, I love the style of Aleister Black as it reminds me somewhat of my favorite wrestler CM Punk with the MMA style striking and submission based grappling style. And Aleister is a big man yet he seemed small in comparison to the much larger Sullivan. This contest also showed off that Sullivan isn’t just a typical big man. As he much like, Braun Strowman has astonishing quickness and real in-ring ability. The great wrestling surpassed the hard-hitting nature of the bout. And Black’s signature move known as Black Mask was needed on three occasions (one only “grazed” Sullivan) to secure the victory and retain his NXT Championship.

Chicago Street Fight: Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This grudge rematch was highly anticipated and well worth the price of admission. Gargano vs. Ciampa 2 received the highest Star count to date from the Laracuente Ledger. Gargano and Ciampa both used the environment to their advantage at every turn. Including using a Tommy Dreamer style “fan sign” with the Stop Sign underneath. A theme of the whole Takeover event was hard-hitting matchups. And this match was the hardest hitting of them all. The Sicilian Psychopath lived up to the nickname with some heinous actions. Actions like when Ciampa wrapped Gargano’s head in a chair and threw him into the steel steps. Or when with Johnny’s head pinned to the steels and he threw the trash can at his head. Ciampa received a very large “You Suck” chant and as the heel, there is not a better reaction. And the crowd was seriously behind Gargano. As when he was whipping Ciampa th crowd chanted “You Deserve it.” When Ciampa hit Gargano with the White Noise on the ring steps from the apron the crowd popped. Ciampa began to pull apart the ring to expose the hardest part of the ring. (Showing to anyone who thinks that wrestlers wrestle on some kind of soft bouncy surface that is not the case.) The high spot in which Johnny Wrestling came over the top rope he got caught a trash can lid to the face. Once he recovered and Ciampa missed a knee to the head. Gargano began assaulting the bad knee of Ciampa.

An eerily familiar site

Ciampa threw Gargano into the entrance way just like last year at NXT Takeover Chicago. Gargano drove Ciampa through tables at the electrical and sound area of the arena and that caused Ciampa to get placed on a stretcher in a neck brace. In a sight just like Gargano one year ago. As Ciampa got strapped in and wheeled out, Gargano had a menacing look on his face as he began chasing Tommaso down. Gargano rolled Ciampa back down to the ring and continued the assault. Gargano locked in the Gargano Escape on the injured Ciampa and Ciampa tapped. But as the ref was bumped the match didn’t end. Johnny then handcuffed Ciampa and continued the assault. Many “agents” and “security” personnel pulled Johnny off Tommasso but he fought them off. As Gargano went to the other side of the ring to get Ciampa, he got caught and Ciampa DDT’d Gargano onto the exposed part of the ring. As the ref made it back into the ring and reluctantly counted one…two…three. Your winner Tommaso Ciampa.

NXT Takeover: Chicago Overall Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

NXT Takeover: Chicago was an outstanding special, as nearly all the Takeover Specials have been. The night was highlighted by many memorable moments. And could very well win the WWE PPV of the Year and not just the Takeover of the Year. What an incredible event. I hands down recommend this as a must see Takeover event.

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