Five Thoughts On NXT Takeover Chicago w/Justin C

1. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan Had A Breakout Performance

These two were in a tough spot going into their Tag Title match. The crowd was firmly behind the Undisputed Era. They wanted to cheer for Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong. And despite the Undisputed Era’s best efforts to get the crowd to boo them, it just wasn’t working. But that didn’t stop Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan from having the performance of their NXT careers so far. This was a stiff, hard hitting match which got the crowd fully into the show in the early going. I thought Lorcan was dead when he took a back drop off the top rope onto the ring apron. Don’t these guys know that is the hardest part of the ring! By the end of the match Lorcan and Burch had earned the respect of the Chicago crowd and I hope they get another shot at the NXT Tag Titles in the near future.

2. Ricochet and Velveteen Dream Had The Match of the Night

Sorry to all the Gargano and Ciampa fans, but Ricochet and Velveteen Dream tore the house down. It is amazing that Dream is only 22 years old and he’s already where he is on the NXT roster. He obviously still has some things to learn but if he keeps progressing he is going to be a star. Ricochet looked great as well. Dream came out dressed like Hulk Hogan and mimicked his poses very well, and he also wore Prince Puma tights. Once the match started it was nonstop action. The near falls were great. Ricochet doing Dream’s elbow was a good spot, as was Dream attempting it from across the ring. The final few minutes had the crowd buying into every fall. Similar to the tag title match, I hope these two have another match down the line. I think both of these guys are going to carry the NXT brand for the next year.

3. The Women Did Fine For The Spot They Were In

For the second NXT Takeover show in a row the women were put in a tough spot on the show, following a great match. I thought Shayna Baszler and Nikki Cross did fine for the spot they were in. Baszler has something that can make her a star, but I don’t think she is fully there yet. I thought for sure Dakota Kai was going to play a role in the finish of the match. Guess I’m glad I was wrong. Nikki Cross smiling before passing out in the submission was a nice touch. I hope with Sanity not debuting yet on Smackdown that she ends up joining them. There really is nothing left for Cross to do in NXT. She can be a nice addition to the women’s division there. I don’t think there is anyone in NXT to take the Title off Baszler just yet.

4. People Hate Lars Sullivan But I Thought He Did Well Tonight

There are people who hate Lars Sullivan because they see him as the generic big man who gets pushed because he is big. I think Sullivan has something different about him that gives off a good presence. He is big but he also has the agility to pull off good moves. And while Aleister Black bumped like hell to get Lars over, Lars more than held up his end of the match. Yeah, he botched the one Black Mass kick by being out of position but he was fine the rest of the match. Black did a good job of selling his knee during the match and Sullivan worked it over. It was kept simple for the most part which is all this match needed to be. I wouldn’t put Lars in another Title match soon but he did fine for his first time in one.

5. Gargano and Ciampa Shouldn’t Fight Again Until Wrestlemania Weekend

Another outstanding match between these two men. A notch below their last match but still very entertaining. As I said above, I thought the Ricochet/Dream match was the match of the night. The ending kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Ciampa should have won but I thought they stretched it out for way too long. I know some people didn’t want this match to happen right away but I had no problem with the second match happening immediately. But now these two shouldn’t touch again until the Takeover before Wrestlemania, where Ciampa is defending the NXT Championship against Gargano in the main event. These two really can’t have another brawl or street fight match. The feud needs to be elevated to the NXT Title, the ultimate prize in NXT. Le t this simmer for awhile and get it going again. Ciampa should get a run with the NXT Title. Also, can the crowd please boo the heel for once? It was only about 10% of the crowd but I should not hear anyone cheering Ciampa with this story.

BONUS Thought: This Show Is An Example Of Why Takeover’s Always Feel Special

This match only had five matches on it and was missing some of NXT’s big stars like Adam Cole (in a wrestling match) and EC3. But every single one of these matches felt like they had a meaning. Look at Money in the Bank tomorrow. How many of those matches feel special or have a well built story? One? TakeOver’s always feel like they are built up to mean something. Three Title matches, and two grudge matches made for a very good card. Tomorrow we will have a handful of matches that go five minutes and feel pointless on the end. When you are done watching a TakeOver show, nothing feels pointless in the end.

Until Next Time,

Justin C

Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka