Hey, kids. It’s the Botching one with another look into the “Illustrious Future” of NXT. This TakeOver: Chicago, while missing a few names, it shaping up to be as epic as all the others…and maybe even more so. Let’s look at the show itself, shall we?
In-ring segment – Shayna Baszler & Nikki Cross
The level of confidence she shows on the mic is pretty startling. I don’t love the screeching and she got a little jerkier on the mic when Nikki got in there with her but she was still quite good. Nikki is amazing too. I like this story they’re telling her. Shayna is so completely intimidating…and Nikki thrives on it. Her repeated “do it!” chants were hilarious. Really fun segment.
Historically, the fact that Nikki got the best of her means Nikki won’t be successful at TakeOver.
TM61 (Shane Thorne & Nick Miller) vs. Mike Hughely & Robbie Grand
So they’re heel now. Good to know. The match was a jobber thing. I gets a couple of indie guys time on WWE and that’s cool for them. They even got some “let’s go, jobbers” chants that were as loud as the ones for TM61. As I’ve said before, TM61 has given me zero reason to care about them so all I can say for this one is that it was over quickly. The promo at the end was boring too. I just can’t care.
Danny Burch vs. Roderick Strong
Roderick is very fortunate to have hooked up with the Undisputed Era. He was completely boring on his own. The Undisputed Era have improved his status to kinda boring now. Danny Burch is yet another that I don’t care about yet. Still, this wasn’t half bad, really. Go with me on this.
I loved the chain wrestling at the beginning. No matter what Roderick did, he ended up in the hammerlock. Burch is just lightning quick in there! Roderick’s ring work as a heel is better too. He’s more vicious and almost twisted now. The chops to Burch’s chest were just unhinged. The interference from the rest of Undisputed Era and then the clean up from Dunne & Lorcan was a nice touch too. This will undoubtedly set up a match between all of them sooner than later.
Backstage segment – Kassius Ohno & EC3
This was awkward and bad. No chemistry and nothing to say.
This is beginning to feel a bit like “205 Live” I digress. Moving on…
Vignette – Aleister Black
Short but very effective. This match between Lars and him should be a lot of fun.
Cinéma de Feud-ism – Ricochet & Velveteen Dream
Ricochet has been at this forever and is great on the mic. Velveteen Dream is just freakishly good at everything and it makes no sense. John Cena has picked him and I don’t blame him for doing it.
Lacey Evans vs. Kairi Sane
Lacey has a thing…and I want to like it. In time, I likely will but we aren’t there yet. Kairi is really cute (even though I hate her gimmick). She actually did pushups when she was covering Kairi and I loved that. I really sells her heel-ness. Kairi is a beast in there and she showed it here big time. Neither of them have a thing to be ashamed of.
In-ring segment – Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano
I love the way Ciampa just basks in the hate. Few do it better. He did battle with the audience throughout and it was so much fun. They wouldn’t stop chanting and he ate it up like a boss. He wasn’t rattled in the least bit.
He went on for a bit masterfully as he does and Gargano came out to exact some revenge. He just kept coming no matter what anyone did. Even his own submission used against him wasn’t enough to stop him. Gargano was completely unhinged and it was great. This will be another one of those “can’t miss” matches.
This “TakeOver: Chicago” is likely to kill me. Really. Velveteen Dream & Ricochet are going to tear the house down and if there’s anything left, Ciampa & Gargano will scorch it along with the earth the building once sat on. I cannot wait. See you next week for another look into “The Illustrious Future”.