Preview: NXT Takeover: Chicago II (6/16/18)

Photo: WWE

Chicago – There’s a place and a time for wrestlers in the WWE to bring their “A” game and one of those places is the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL which is right outside of Chicago. On the eve of Money in the Bank, the NXT superstars showcase their brand of wrestling to the Chicago crowd in a pretty balanced and well thought of match card, for NXT Takeover: Chicago II.

NXT Tag Team Championships: Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong) vs. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch

Photo: WWE

The former Ring of Honor standouts go head to head against two of the toughest and fighter savvy wrestlers to ever set foot in NXT. After a six man tag victory in a match involving both NXT North American Champion, Adam Cole representing the UE, and WWE United Kingdom Champion, Pete Dunne. It was decided that Burch and Lorcan would be challenging both Strong and O’Reilly the following week, that would change to the match being move to Chicago: II. On paper, to the average fan this seems to be a throw away match for UE to continue their reign and rightfully so. Lorcan and Burch seems like one of those teams that have been thrown away to boost the talent of others. However, this match should start the show with an excellent boost. With the Chicago crowd seemingly going to be split in the middle due to ROH being a pipeline in the state of Illinois. As for the match, this should be technically sound, hard hitting and solid paced match up between four of the most technically gifted men on the NXT Roster.

Winner: Undisputer Era via Pinfall

Velveteen Dream vs. Ricochet

Photo: WWE

What is already considered to be one of the best rivalries entering into Chicago, the flashiness, the charisma, the athleticism and the attitude as the King goes head to head against the Prince. These two first met at Takeover: New Orleans in that show-stealing ladder match which had Adam Cole winning the title at the event. On the 9th of May edition of NXT both men would compete in a solid match before #1 contender of the NXT Championship, Lars Sullivan interfering to send a message to champion Aleister Black. After Dream walked away from Ricochet during their handicap match against Sullivan, on the 30th of May edition of NXT Velveteen Dream challenges Ricochet to a match which King would accept. So many show stealers that this show has and this one could very well do the same thing similar to the way Black and Dream did at Takeover: War-games in Houston. Both of these men are incredibly talented and very young and have so much going for them moving forward. This match will be paced in the favor of Ricochet due to his speed. Dream is deceptively quick in his own right and very athletic as a whole. Both men are planning do pull the stops on this Chicago crowd and the way that this match will go, it makes the most sense in the long term booking of NXT to have Ricochet win as he tries to be a contender for either NXT or North American Championships.

Winner: Ricochet via Pinfall (630 Splash)

NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Nikki Cross

Photo: WWE

Two of the most ruthless, toughest and brightest stars in the Women’s division. Sick of the bullying of the champion, Nikki Cross on the 3rd of May episode of NXT sent a message to NXT Champion, Shayna Baszler with a Swinging Neckbreaker taking the title on top of that like she won the title. A few weeks later on the 17th of May edition of NXT Baszler and Cross would butt heads again with the match being announced later.

This match isn’t expect to turn heads. This will be a supermassive contrast of styles. Cross, the frenzied, fast paced and psychotic style versus Baszler the catch wrestling, mixed martial arts style that exposed former champion Ember Moon to the point of her passing out. With Takeover: Chicago II being only her 2nd title defense as champion, logically it wouldn’t make any sense for Baszler to lose on top of the fact that Cross’ crew of Sanity being on Smackdown, this match could be the farewell match for Nikki Cross as Baszler retains the title.

Winner: Shayna Baszler via Submission

NXT Championship Match: Aleister Black (c) vs. Lars Sullivan

Photo: WWE

On the 30th of May edition of NXT, it was announced that Aleister Black’s opponent for the NXT Championship . After that being announced, Sullivan did the unthinkable and that was block one of the most strongly booked finishers in NXT History and that was the Black Mass. Since then, Sullivan has had so many opportunities and succeeded to get the number of Black looking extremely strong.

This match like the Baszler/Cross match would be a great contrast of styles. Sullivan is a great powerhouse with solid athleticism. Black comes with a speedy, technical prowess that really sets the tone of the match. Black recently won the title at Takeover: New Orleans and this being only his 2nd title defense, it wouldn’t make any sense for Black to lose even though the way Sullivan has been built has been extremely impressive.

Winner: Aleister Black via Pinfall

Chicago Street Fight: Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa

Photo: WWE

A year ago at the first Takeover to be held in Chicago, #DIY would face off in a 1 on 1 rematch for the NXT Tag Team Championships in a ladder match that was worthy of a main event of a solid Chicago card. After the match in what seemed to be the farewell to #DIY in which that would be the opposite in which Ciampa turning heel and attacking Gargano. Since then, Ciampa would be injured and have to miss significant time before returning to face off against Gargano. As for Gargano, he would have some of the best matches of 2017, against the likes of “Cien” Almas, Kassius Ohno & Pete Dunne earning a chance to become NXT Champion reaching popularity heights that surpassed alums like Finn Balor, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens.

Fast forward to New Orleans, in what was the match of the even despite a five star ladder match, these two managed to surpass expectations after two and a half years of build up that would have Gargano win via Submission getting his job back (in which Gargano stupidly do to himself). Gargano and Ciampa would continue to destroy each other due to the mutual hatred that they have for each other and the consistent butting of heads even put Candice LeRae in harms way to the point where they have to settle this is a street fight.

If anyone could match the intensity of a prior match is these two. Gargano and Ciampa every time that they’ve faced each other, whether it was at the CWC, to Takeover: NOLA, they brought the house down and their rivalry has proven to be bigger than any championship match on this card and for good reason. As stated before, this is two years in the match. From the first Dusty Classic tournament, to Takeover: Toronto, to the break up last year in Chicago to this very moment, this is what this rivalry means to the fan base because these two have been a constant of the heart and soul of what makes Takeover events awesome to watch.

As for this match, this rivalry doesn’t seem to be over quite yet. Ciampa at this point does need a win. He hasn’t beaten Gargano on WWE soil and this could very well be the match to put him over as the winner with the rivalry being finished at Brooklyn IV.

Winner: Tommaso Ciampa


  1. I dig Oney and Burch too. Couple of no nonsense tough guys who make allies by beating them up first. I like them, but that tag match is going to have a screwy finish, so I’m saying Dream/Ricochet or Baszler/Cross


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