Roderick Strong vs Eric Young
Tyler Bate (C) vs Pete Dunne WWE UK Championship match
Authors of Pain (C) vs #DIY – NXT Tag Team Championship ladder match
Asuka (C) vs Nikki Cross vs Ruby Riot – NXT Women’s Championship match
Bobby Roode (C) vs Hideo Itami – NXT Championship match
Roderick Strong vs Eric Young
The issues between these two have been going on since Strong was one of those who sided with Tye Dillinger during his feud with SAnitY. The battle was reignited after SAnitY attacked Roderick Strong at the end of his losing effort in the number one contender’s match with Hideo Itami. This match was set, at Strong’s request, immediately after the attack.
Eric Young will almost certainly be accompanied to the match by the rest of SAnitY, and there is little doubt that they will look for any opportunity to get involved. Roderick Strong has not announced that he will have any back-up, which leaves his at a distinct disadvantage. In a fair fight Strong would have a good shot to beat Young, but it won’t be a fair fight. His best bet may well be a victory by disqualification as hollow as that would be. There’s always a chance that reinforcements will appear to aid Strong, and if that happens then we could see Roderick Strong pick up a win. That would be a popular move, especially since the crowd got a look inside his life recently courtesy of the video NXT put together. I’d like to see TakeOver start on a high note but, unless some help shows up (Kassius Ohno or Aleister Black maybe), I can’t see it happening.
Prediction: Eric Young
Tyler Bate vs Pete Dunne – UK Championship match
It’s great to see the UK lads on a TakeOver card. At this stage, the more exposure they get the better. So far the crowds seem to have warmed to them, and repeated exposure will help keep it that way. It should be a fantastic match, these two know each other extremely well, with Dunne having had a hand in Bate’s training and their regular teaming (along with Trent Seven) at shows all over the UK.
Tyler Bate has been a good first champion for the crowds to get behind. Pete Dunne is the obvious choice for a challenger, having established his bad boy credentials on day one of the UK Championship tournament. His ongoing interactions with William Regal have ensured that Dunne has received the lion’s share of the attention on the UK roster.
I think it’s time for a change of champion now. The weekly show hasn’t materialised yet, but is apparently coming. I believe a title change will help sustain the interest while that’s being sorted out, and Dunne is the perfect champion for everyone to hate.
Prediction: Pete Dunne
Authors of Pain vs #DIY – NXT Tag Team Championship ladder match
This will be Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa’s first one on one (two on two I guess) rematch since losing the titles to Authors of Pain at NXT TakeOver San Antonio.
There are rumours flying around that #DIY will be separated very soon. While they have been a truly great tag team, Gargano and Ciampa are both singles competitors and #DIY has always had a slightly temporary feel to it. A loss here could be used to trigger the break up.
Authors of Pain, with their manager/handler Paul Ellering, have a distinct size and strength advantage over Gargano and Ciampa. But they’ve been shown to be susceptible to the superior speed and agility of the talented duo before. William Regal made the match a ladder match this week on NXT. There was no reason given for this, but it could be perceived as an attempt to tip the odds in ‘DIY’s favour.
I’d love to see #DIY become champions again, and I don’t think the NXT tag division is ready to lost them just yet. Established tag teams are a bit thin on the ground over there at the moment. However, even with the stipulation favouring them, I still can’t see #DIY winning this match. Ellering may be the deciding factor, or the sheer power of AOP might just be too much. I hope I’m wrong.
Prediction: Authors of Pain
NOTE: At the time of writing unconfirmed reports were starting to circulate that Tommaso Ciampa picked up an injury at an NXT live event. Initial reports seem to suggest that the injury is minor, but that further assessments will need to be made to see if he’s fit for the match.
Asuka vs Nikki Cross vs Ruby Riot – NXT Women’s Championship match
This could, potentially, be match of the night for me. Asuka’s title reign has reached record breaking length now, and her arrogance has grown in line with her unbeaten streak. She’s already survived one four-way challenge, from Nikki Cross Peyton Royce and Billie Kay, at TakeOver San Antonio. This should also have been a four-way match, but due to an injury to Ember Moon, during the number one contender’s battle royal, it was changed to a triple threat. The injury was caused by Asuka attacking the final three participants of the battle royal, throwing Moon from the ring into a barricade. William Regal had said she would face all three before the severity of Moons shoulder problem became apparent.
I’ve long thought it was time to move the NXT women’s championship to someone else. I have thought since her debut that that someone would be Ember Moon. Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot are both worthy challengers, but since Riot’s arrival they have been obsessed with fighting each other. I think that will be the difference maker here. Asuka has shown she’s willing to exploit any weakness her opponents show, and I think her opponents hatred of each other will provide the distraction she needs.
Bobby Roode vs Hideo Itami – NXT Championship match
There’s not much in the way of reason or build for this. Itami has hit Roode with the GTS a couple of times, most recently on this week’s NXT in response to Roode’s arrogant monologue about how he’s going to beat Itami at TakeOver.
Hideo Itami has a lot to prove. His NXT career since coming in as a major signing has been plagued by serious injury. Now, finally, fit again Itami wants to re-establish his credentials as a serious contender. He beat Roderick Strong for the number one contendership, but that has been his only big recent televised match.
Bobby Roode as champion hasn’t really done much. He mainly seems to talk about how good he is, and how his mere presence elevates the brand. The most entertaining thing about Roode, in my humble opinion, is his music, and even that is starting to get old. That said, there is value in a champion who people genuinely want to see get beaten, so he’s clearly doing his job well.
I want to be able to predict a win for Hideo Itami here, but I just can’t see it. Roode hasn’t had the title for long, and I’m not convinced that WWE are completely convinced that Itami will stay fit and healthy. There are a lot of potential contenders coming up for the NXT title, Kassius Ohno, Drew McIntyre and Aleister Black to give just a few examples, and I can’t see Roode dropping it to the first challenger on the list.
Prediction: Bobby Roode
That’s the predictions done. Anyone inclined to a bet could do worse than putting their money on the opposite results, my track record for predictions is woeful. Whatever the results, check back on Rear View Reviews shortly after the event for my full review of NXT TakeOver Chicago.