Takeover: Chicago Preview

When I heard about “Takeover: Chicago” taking place only about six weeks after “Takeover: Orlando”, I wasn’t all that thrilled with the concept. These shows work best when they have time to be built up instead of rushing things together like this. Then again, the idea of Takeover in Chicago is too much to pass up. It also helps that the show has been well built up in such a short amount of time and I’m actually looking forward to a lot of the card. Let’s get to it.

United Kingdom Title: Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne

We’ll start with a match that feels a bit tacked on for the sake of filling in a spot on the card. Bate defeated Dunne to become the inaugural champion back in January and has held the title ever since. Dunne became #1 contender on the recent “UK Championship Special” and the match was set for here. These two have been circling each other for a good while now and it makes sense for them to have a major rematch.

I see no reason for Dunne not to walk away with the title here. Bate was the feel good story of the tournament but Dunne seems to be the much more well rounded performer. Let him take Bate more seriously this time and give him a few Bitter Endings to wrap up the champ’s unbeaten streak. This should be a lot of fun and I have a feeling the Chicago crowd will eat it up, but the ending really shouldn’t be in any sort of doubt.

Tag Team Titles: Authors of Pain vs. DIY

Now this one took an interesting (and disappointing) turn over the last few days as Tommaso Ciampa injured his leg/ankle at a house show in Highland Heights, Kentucky. That’s normally something that can be worked around but it’s a bigger issue here with the ladder match stipulation. Either way, these teams have feuded for months and there’s an interesting potential to this match that you almost always feel around the tag division.

That being said, I think the Authors of Pain retain the titles here. The situation seems too perfect for DIY to get the titles back and that often means that there’s going to be a bit of a swerve. NXT did it in Orlando as the odds were stacked against the Authors and it might be the case again here. I’ll take the Authors to retain and the more I think about it, the more confident I feel in it.

Roderick Strong vs. Eric Young

This is the only non-title match on the card and it feels like one of the more important ones. There’s been a wave of new talent in NXT as of late and these two, along with Aleister Black and Drew McIntyre, have been some of the main players. I was worried that all four of them would miss the show but two out of four are better than none. Young and his Sanity group have been feuding with Strong and a variety of partners for months now and with Tye Dillinger up on the main roster, Strong is a logical target.

I can’t imagine Young goes over here as Strong has been pushed as a big player and it doesn’t make sense to have him lose in his first big Takeover singles match. Strong could easily become a contender to the NXT Title in the very near future and it would do him a lot of good to have him win here. The match should be fun too as both guys know how to go at a fast pace and put on an entertaining performance, but there’s no real reason to have Young get the win.

Women’s Title: Asuka vs. Nikki Cross vs. Ruby Riot

I actually got to see this match at the aforementioned Highland Heights house show on Thursday night and it was certainly entertaining. While it’s clear that the injury to Ember Moon has completely changed things around, it’s not out of the question that the title could change hands here. Riot and Cross are both just crazy enough to give Asuka a real challenge. Asuka doesn’t seem to know what to do when things get crazy, but she does always have the option of kicking someone in the head.

That’s what I see happening here, likely with a big kick to Cross’ head. Asuka seems destined to drop the title to Moon and with her not here, there’s no reason to have Asuka lose and then get the title back so she can lost to Moon all over again. Just let Asuka win here and then build up to the second showdown with Moon. Asuka has been working well in her new heel role and having her cheat to retain here would further that new stance even more. So yeah, the champ retains.

NXT Title: Bobby Roode vs. Hideo Itami

This one is interesting as well with the champ not really having a top challenger and Itami filling in the role due to necessity rather than being the best possible candidate. If nothing else, and it’s kind of sad to have to say this, it almost has to be now for Itami because there’s no way of telling when he’ll suffer another horrible injury that will put him on the shelf for several months.

I’ll go with Roode winning here, but the place is going to lose it when Itami hits the GTS. As annoying as it’s going to be, they’re going to chant for CM Punk because they don’t care that Itami invented the move. No, instead let’s focus on someone who won’t be there instead of what you paid to see because he’s the one thing that would make them happy, at least until five minutes had passed and they were sick to death of him too and started chanting for JBL or something.

Overall, this show feels like it has a steep hill to climb but it’s capable of doing so. The matches are interesting though I really do wish they had gotten Black and McIntyre on there, even in a quick squash each. The UK Title match should be fun but it doesn’t quite fit on the card, especially with what feels like more important talent that could use the spotlight. All that being said, this show should be fun and that’s really what matters most with these things.


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