NXT Takeover: Chicago and WWE Backlash 2017 Crash Course

It was one of those weeks where I felt like WWE was my full time job with all the content they produced for my “entertainment”. That being said, NXT Takeover: Chicago was one of my favorite Takeovers in recent memory. Every match fired on all cylinders and some matches I would say have to be an early contender for match of the year. Backlash was fine too, had its ups and downs, but it was far inferior to NXT Takeover: Chicago. With that, lets get to the crash course.

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  • Shinske Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler

This was a highly anticipated match as it was Nakamura’s in-ring debut on the main roster. The match opened the show which was an interesting move, but I understand the concept of getting the crowd electric early. However, this match seemed to fall somewhat flat. There was very little chemistry between Nakamura and Ziggler, plus the obvious finish didn’t help elevate this match. Nakamura pinned Dolph Ziggler after the KING SHASAAAAAA.

  • The Usos (c) vs. Breezango for the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships

This match was way better than it had any right to be. Tyler Breeze disguised himself as a janitor (as seen on Smackdown Live last week) and then an old grandma. The match had comedy spots along with some good in-ring wrestling. The Usos retained their titles after Fandango was superkicked pff the top rope by Uso #1 and pinned.

  • Naomi, Charlotte,  and Becky Lynch vs. The Welcoming Committee (Natalya, Carmella, and Tamina)

This was another match that seemed to fall short. If you have been reading my column weekly you would know that I enjoyed the story leading up to this match. However, it just seemed kind of there and the crowd didn’t seem to care either. Becky Lynch tapped to the Sharpshooter allowing the Welcoming Committee (formerly The Mean Girls + Ellesworth) to pick up a win. When was the last time Becky won a match?

  • Kevin Owens (c) vs. AJ Styles for the WWE United States Championship

This match was a little slow at first, but really picked up toward the end. A lot of people disliked the finish, but I thought it served a purpose. I hate count out finishes as much as the next person, but when done right they can be passable. In this case, Owens trapped Styles leg in the announce table and Owens slid back in the ring. Styles almost wiggled free, but his foot was wrapped in all the cords that are underneath those desks. As a result, Styles was unable to return to the ring before the referee reached the 10 count. Although according to the crowd he didn’t make the count of 10 even when the referee was at 1. This finish keeps the title on Owens, but also doesn’t weaken Styles by having him get pinned clean.

  • Luke Harper vs. Erik Rowan

Yawn. Harper won I think?

  • Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship

I wish I was a betting man for this one. On last weeks crash course column, I went with the unfavorable pick that Jindy would walk out of Backlash with the WWE Championship. Low and behold, THE MAHARAJA MODERN DAY MAHARAJA became the NEW WWE Champion after Orton decided to kill both the Singh Brothers on the announce table. Jinder hit his full nelson slam for the 1, 2, 3. It took 3 seconds for all of us to enter THE ERA OF JINDY.

 

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I know I already raved about this show, but again this show was FANTASTIC. If you have not checked it out yet I highly suggest doing so.

  • Rodrick Strong vs. Eric Young (w/ SaNity)

This match was a great opener and really set the course for the night. Rodrick Strong played the underdog role the whole match by being outnumbered by SaNity. Rodrick overcame the odds by taking out SaNity one by one and getting a pinfall on Eric Young.

  • Tyler Bates (c) vs. Pete Dunn for the United Kingdom Championship

This match was so damn good. This was my favorite match of the weekend. These two guys pulled out all the stops. Not to mention the crowd was behind this match 100%. I cannot do justice to this match through writing, you need to check this one out. Pete Dunn won the championship after hitting the Bitter End on Tyler Bates. FANTASTIC

  • Asuka (c) vs. Ruby Riot vs. Nikki Cross for the NXT Women’s Championship

There were times in this match where the three women seemed to have lost direction, but for the most part it was a good match. Asuka wins after hitting a shining wizard on both women and getting the pinfall. It made me wonder if the finish would have been different had Ember Moon been in the match? I believe Ember Moon will be the one to dethrone Asuka possibly at the Takeover before Summerslam.

  • Bobby Roode (c) vs. Hideo Itami for the NXT Championship

It surprised me at first that this match was not the main event of the show, however, that made more sense later in the show. This was a good match between the two and it was nice to see Hideo Itami back in the ring. Not to mention, Bobby Roode’s entrance is always awesome in and of itself. Roode hit two glorious DDTs on Hideo to score the pinfall and retain his title.

  • The Authors of Pain (c) vs. #DIY for the NXT Tag Team Championships (Ladder Match)

I went back and forth in my head on which match was better this match or the UK Championship. As far as in-ring technical wrestling goes, the UK championship takes the cake, but this match had some incredible spots. There was a double splash through ladders, a german suplex from the top of a ladder through another ladder, and a damn near decapitation with a ladder. These two teams pulled off some incredible spots, but in the end The Authors of Pain retained the NXT Tag Team Championships. The match was not done there as Ciampa shockingly turned on Gargano and beat him within an inch of his life. Going as far as to give him a Celtic Cross off the announce table through three tables. NXT Takeover: Chicago went off the air with an angry crowd chanting, in unison, ASSHOLE to Tommaso Ciampa.