Craig Wilson and Brian Damage
It’s Saturday so time for the latest instalment of ’This Week in Wrestling’. Today, in part 20, Craig previews NXT TakeOver: Chicago while Brian shares all the best viral content he’s stumbled upon this week.
It’s time for the latest instalmentof the hugely popular ‘NXT: TakeOver’, this time originating from Chicago.
As ever, the titles are all on the line. The Authors of Pain defend their gold in a ladder match against #DIY, Asuka’s undefeated streak and title is on the line against Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot in a triple threat boutique while, in the main event, Hideo Itami challenges NXT Champion Bobby Roode. In addition, Pete Dunne takes on UK Champion Tyler Bate while Roderick Strong locks up with Eric Young.
The recent Smackdown house show tour certainly piqued my interest in the UK division and there’s little doubt that Dunne and Bate are two of the brightest talents. In terms of launching the division, the babyface Bate was the right choice but going forward it would make more sense to have the gold around the waist of Dunne so expect a title change.
With Tye Dillinger taking his perfect ten act to the main roster, there was a need for SAnitY to have a new target and they duly found that in Strong. Eric Young isn’t in NXT to be winning matches and SAnitY affords himy enough protection for him not to be seen as a jobber. Throw in the babyface promo clips for Strong and theven outcome here shouldn’t be a huge surprise.
The #DIY vs. Authors of Pain boutique is interesting, not least the injury sustained by Ciampa. Will he be fit to compete? Will the injury be factored into the finish to perhaps sow seeds of discomfort between yer former champions? When the match, complete with stipulation, was announced, I thought the outcome was obvious now I have no idea how this will go. I can’t help but think the ladder stipulation allowso #DIY to retain the title whilst the champions remain unpinned.
Since debuting with NXT, Asuka’s dominated the women’s division. Countless up and coming, as well as established acts like Mickie James, have come and gone without removing the gold from around her waist. Tonight’s TakeOver will see two top female performers, in Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot, try to wrestle the gold from her. The triple threat aspect adds extra intrigue here and it isn’t too far fetched a notion to think that Asuka could drop the gold without beingon the endof the decision. Ultimately, I’m a huge fan of all three superstars here so I am very much looking forward to this one. The decision could quite literally go any way but I quite fancy Ruby Riot to leave the show with the gold.
Finally, in the snow’s main event, Bobby Roode will put his NXT title on the line against Hideo Itami. This is perhaps the least predictable match on the show. After all, the WWE haven’t done much with him as champion and he’s 100% ready to move to the main roster. But in Itami, we have a superstar that has spent the last several years mostly in the recovery room. This could also go either way. And wouldn’t it be quite the finish to have Itami hit the GTS in the home city of CM Punk. Ultimately, I’m edging towards Itami winning and Roode heading up to the main roster.
NXT TakeOver: Chicago looks mighty solid on paper with a less predictable than recent instalments card. We will see later on if it delivers but there’s plenty to be optimistic about here.
Poll Results from this Week
This week on the blog we hosted polls to get readers thoughts on WWE Raw, Smackdown 205 Live and NXT:
Average – 35.29
Bad – 23.53
Good – 17.65
Awful – 17.65
Excellent – 5.88
Average – 72.73
Excellent – 9.09
Good – 9.09
Awful – 9.09
Average – 33.33
Excellent – 16.67
Good – 16.67
Bad – 16.67
Awful – 16.66
Good – 40
Excellent – 20
Average – 20
Bad – 20
Awful – 0
The Lake of Jericho, take a swim maaaaaan!
A Jerry ‘the King’ Lawler drawing for the debut of “Kimala” in Memphis…
A very interesting tattoo of the Macho Man Randy Savage in a rather interesting place on the body.
WWF outtakes from 1986
Last Week on the Blog
Last week’s Sunday Sermon went back 20 years to look at the reformation of the Hart Foundation; asked if house of horrors was the silliest match ever; on Monday we had part 19 of ‘Meanwhile, in WCW‘; Tuesday featured a ‘Remember When‘ piece looking at when Chris Benoit won a WWF title in 1991; on Wednesday we had part 8 of ‘Styles Clash: Clash of the Champions revisited‘; Thursday’s Top Five looked at unsung stars from the Attitude Era and we rounded off the week with part 114 of ‘Wrestling with Sin‘.
Next Week on the Blog
Tomorrow we preview and predict Backlash 2017; we have the latest ‘Wrestling with Sin‘ and more
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.