Match Ratings For NXT Takeover: Chicago, Podcast Notes From Sean Ross Sapp

Pre-Show

  • I'm stoked that Pat McAfee is back. He's wearing jorts, a jacket, and Yeezys. 
  • EC3 cuts a promo at the table and pop McAfee, who calls him "Mr. 3." EC3 says he doesn't have to determine his future in the ring, he can on the mic. 
  • McAfee tells Adam Cole as a resident of North America that he would expect his title to be defend.
  • Throughout the night, EC3, Kairi Sane and Keith Lee are shown in the crowd. 
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NXT Tag Team Championship
Undisputed Era (c) (w/ Adam Cole) defeated Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
8.25/10

  • So many spray tans. They live in Florida.
  • Undisputed Era get a great reaction. Lorcan and Burch don't. Chicago is a heel town, and the latter don't have a character.
  • Kyle O'Reilly doing that butt scooting is gonna end in a cartwheel pass to a headlock for his opponent one day. Mark it down.
  •  Really hard hitting action, including a suicide dropkick from Strong.
  • I like Burch knowing how to counter the leg lock with his own. 
  • The two teams should have maybe varied the gear up a little bit.
  • O'Reilly has a fantastic sell of a Burch headbutt.
  • Lorcan goes over the top with a tope con hilo, and takes charge in the ring on the heels. 
  • Lorcan and Burch hit a wheelbarrow DDT. Holy shit balls in space, Lorcan took a flip bump off the top rope to the apron. 
  • UE are really working over Burch in the ring, but after several minutes Lorcan tags back in and gets a double Blockbuster outside. Such a cool spot. 
  • Lorcan & Burch hit their finish (the Doomsday Uppercut), but Adam Cole pulls O'Reilly out. 
  • Lorcan powerbombs Strong and puts him in a half crab. O'Reilly tries to guillotine, but gets put in a crossface by Burch. It all breaks down, but UE get out of the holds. The crowd has gone crazy.
  • Total Elimination wins it for Undisputed Era.
  • This was excellent.
  • NXT hasn't done great at establishing characters for Lorcan and Burch, but that match went a long way in making me like them.

Ricochet defeated The Velveteen Dream
8.75/10

  • Velveteen Dream is dressed like Hulk Hogan and acting like him, and it's fantastic. 
  • Main event of the weekend for me coming up. Velveteen Dream vs. Ricochet.
  • Velveteen Dream wearing Prince Puma pants is NEXT LEVEL.
  • They trade impressive holds, then Ricochet flips out and impresses Dream.
  • Dream knocks Ricochet off the top rope, and busts out an Air Jordan of his own. 
  • Ricochet does a 619 and a huge Fosbury Flop dive over the top before a springboard European uppercut for two. He makes it all look so easy. The standing star press gets two as well.
  • Dream hits a second rope Attitude Adjustment! Dream wearing Hulk Hogan's gear and doing super Attitude Adjustments. This guy.
  • Dream's finish should legit be whatever his opponent's finish is.
  • A superplex to the outside! Brothers and sisters, that hurts. A carthweel Death Valley Driver gets two.
  • Ricochet's back gives out after a Northern Lights suplex and he ends up trading superkicks. Dream gets the spinning DDT for two. 
  • Dream starts to slap Ricochet, but the latter hits a cartwheel DVD of his own. He does the Dream pose, but can't get the win after an elbow drop. Dream gets the knees up on the Shooting Star attempt.
  • Velveteen Dream goes for the Purple Rainmaker all the way across the ring and misses. 630 to Dream's back and Ricochet wins. 
  • I really loved the story of Dream constantly trying to emulate and one up Ricochet in the match, because he thinks Ricochet doesn't deserve to be at this level. The insecurity of the character even shines through.
  • I can't wait for the inevitable Velveteen Dream vs. Jericho match where they show Jericho telling him his journey isn't over after being eliminated from Tough Enough, and he tells Jericho that Dream is now his NIGHTMARE MWHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA.

NXT Women's Championship
Shayna Baszler (c) defeated Nikki Cross
7/10

  • I'll say this as often as I need to, Sanity's entrance in person is awesome, and among the most underrated in wrestling history. I hope Nikki is a part of theirs on the main roster soon.
  • Nikki plays mind games with Baszler, and clotheslines her shins on the apron before beating her up in the ring skirt. 
  • Baszler Bam Bam's Nikki into the ramp. She then cracks Nikki with a big knee and ground and pound.
  • Cross is smiling, she's just missing a tooth in her nose. 
  • Cross flies off the top rope with a body press. 
  • Howling at Nigel calling the reverse DDT the Slop Drop. That was Henry Godwinn's name for the move.
  • Cross also does the Au Revoir from the corner. 
  • The rear naked choke is locked in on Nikki Cross, and she's fighting it. It's the first concern on her face, then she smiles and goes out. 
  • Is there any more perfect way for Nikki Cross to go out than smiling as she's choked out? That was great all around from both. 

NXT Championship
Aleister Black (c) defeated Lars Sullivan
6/10

 

  • Sullivan catches Black Mass again, and he runs into Black a lot.
  • Sullivan also catches Black's moonsault and slams him. There are also several more slams. A pop-up powerslam to be particular. Black has had no offense. 
  • Black kicks Sullivan and gets one knee up on a splash attempt, but boy, Sullivan crushed it. 
  • Black unleashes a series of kicks, but gets slammed by his own foot.
  • Lars does a chop block and a Stretch Muffler.
  • Black whiffs on Black Mass, it's a botch. He doesn't miss after the reset. Lars Sullivan gets up, bleeding and eats another. Pin.

Street Fight
Tommaso Ciampa defeated Johnny Gargano 
7.25/10

  • Backstage, Candice gives Johnny a crutch and tells him to kick Ciampa's ass.
  • Gargano does a cannonball off the apron! He beats up Ciampa with a stop sign and hits a body press into the crowd. 
  • Ciampa places a chair round Gargano's neck and pummels away before running the chair into the stairs.
  • Gargano is catapulted into the bottom buckle, but Ciampa can't handcuff him and eats a slingshot spear.
  • Johnny whips Ciampa to "you deserve it" chants and punches him with the belt. There's also a nice trash can super kick. 
  • A powerbomb lungblower and trash can lid knee strike get Ciampa back in things. He eats some knees, but gets White Noise on the stairs outside for two. 
  • Tommaso finds bolt cutters and exposes the wood in the ring. Gargano goes for another Air Raid Crash, but gets package superkicked instead.
  • A strike trade leads to both knocking each other out and Gargano almost pins Ciampa.
  • Gargano tries to slingshot outside, but gets caught in the head by a trash can lid. Ciampa can't capitalize, and runs his knee into the stairs. Gargano jumps all over it and takes to it with a chair. 
  • Gargano is sent into a trash can, and Ciampa applies the Gargano Escape! Ciampa takes a crutch to Gargano's neck, but can't put him away. 
  • Ciampa drags Gargano to the stage and re-enacts the turn from last year, but says it's not enough. Gargano gains control and hits Air Raid Crash through tables off of production boxes!
  • The referee calls for help. After several minutes, Ciampa is pulled off, but Gargano goes after him. Ciampa is screaming for help. Gargano Escape applied and Ciampa taps. 
  • Gargano beats up officials, superkicks Ciampa while handcuffed several times and applies the Escape again. 
  • Officials come get him again. He breaks loose to huge cheers. He beats up more officials. Corino can't take a punch like he used to.
  • Ciampa DDTs Gargano on the wood and wins.Considering all the tapping in the ring and no real excuse to not have a ref, I wasn't much on that finish. 
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