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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Rundown Slam: NXT TakeOver Chicago 2018

06/26/2018 06:08:54 PM

Photo credits: Cultured Vultures
There's always a reason why NXT TakeOver specials are the WWE's top shows year in and year out (sorry, not even WrestleMania can top them now). They have a stack of stories that has got everyone glued to their seat. Hell, they don't even need four hours to produce a stellar show (not even five).

For just below three hours, NXT has delivered the goods that makes them live to the promise of being home to the future of WWE. Yup, from start to finish.

The current feud for the NXT tag team championship has made the British duo of Oney Lorcan and looked strong. The only problem here, though, is the crowd reaction. Hey, you were supposed to jeer the shit out of the Undisputed Era here! Nevertheless, a fun match to kickoff the program.

Certainly, the team of Kyle O'Reily, Roderick Strong plus Adam Cole has solidified themselves as jerks which comprise the top faction in NXT today and that can not be disputed.

Though with a loss, Nikki Cross has owned Shayna Blazer in their match for the NXT Women's Championship. It was defying bullies by means of mind games, something that the challenger has done so well to make this story as compelling as it sounds in the ring. Imagine Raven in one of his matches in WCW way back then.

With the bully champ being disgruntled a bit despite being victorious, who among their roster can poise themselves as not a legitimate threat to the championship?

Velveteen Dream may be young, but he is a star that molds to what has been a top sports-entertainer today. He has the in-ring psychology and chemistry that works well with opponents. His character has that flair. And his match against Ricochet has given shades of the latter's run with Lucha Underground, PWG, and shades of Hollywood Hogan-The Rock match that was held at WrestleMania a decade ago.

With Velveteen Dream channeling his inner superiority complex and challenging both himself and Ricochet to a stealing-of-moves showcase, the match has been outstanding in both athleticism and character development aspects. Thus, backing the storyline prior to this match and making it the match of the night candidate.

Sadly, the NXT Championship match between champ Allister Black and contender Lars Sullivan has been the least interesting segment we have ever seen here. But while most part of the match has been a stellar showing, an ending botch has nearly (if not totally) killed its momentum.

Still, Sullivan has skyrocketed from nobody to somebody because of this feud. Look out: this one's a budding monster who can be a title challenger again.

And if you think majority of the matches went really good, the main event is just another spectacle. The Chicago Street Fight between Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa isn't just another street fight in the windy city.

Sure, they didn't ran away unlike Luke Harper and Dean Ambrose when they had it in Extreme Rules a few years ago, and that's the most beautiful part there – a street fight that has put the old-school style of  wrestling rivalry on the map again. It was brutally beautiful that has come beyond expectations of many, and even way beyond their showmanship during TakeOver: New Orleans.

No matter how lackluster it may sound, but Ciampa's surprise stoppage en route to victory was just right. Hey, you don't need to pull a grandeur finish after all the beatdown you took.

But I won't be surprised if the story will be far from over. For sure, Johnny Wrestling will be back even if their rubber match will not be taking place at Brooklyn yet. I mean, let one of them (I prefer Ciampa) get a championship opportunity and take the NXT Title belt from Allister Black and let Johnny Wrestling chase him. I'm pretty sure Gargano has a ton of chances to be a monster-slayer in the process.

But save that for a fantasy booking. All in all, NXT TakeOver has been a weekend show-stealer for the 12641754th time.

The Verdict: 9

Author: slickmaster | © 2018 The SlickMaster's Files

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