NXT TakeOver Chicago is the Show You Should Be Looking Forward To

With the expansion of NXT TakeOver shows over the last year, it's not uncommon now for the WWE's developmental brand to share a PPV weekend with their main roster counterparts.

In fact, it's also become somewhat common for these TakeOver events to outshine the WWE PPV events when it comes to their in-ring product. And that's exactly how things are shaping up for WWE's big weekend in Chicago in just over two weeks.

Last year at the inaugural NXT TakeOver Chicago event, Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate had arguably the best match of the year, not only in NXT, but the WWE in general. This year, NXT returns to the same venue (the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL) with another stacked card that could easily surpass the Money In The Bank show the very next night.

On this week's edition of NXT, they confirmed two big matches that had widely been expected. NXT Champion Aleister Black will face off against Lars Sullivan and Johnny Gargano will do battle with his former teammate Tommaso Ciampa in a street fight.

While Sullivan and Black will likely have a good match, the Gargano vs. Ciampa match is one that will have wrestling fans on the edges of their seats throughout the night. The duo had a spectacular match during WrestleMania weekend at NXT TakeOver, arguably the best match in NXT history, and this sequel has the potential for the same kind of praise.

It will be interesting to see if Gargano and Ciampa are again given the main event slot, as they were in New Orleans. While most wrestling companies will put their title matches on last regardless, there are times when there is another bout on the card that needs to be placed in the main event slot because nothing on the show will be able to follow it. One only needs to look at ROH Supercard of Honor this past April to see what can happen otherwise. ROH put Cody vs. Kenny Omega on before the ROH title match between Marty Scurll vs. Dalton Castle. This lead to thousands of fans left during the main event and it was a disaster.

NXT recognized this in New Orleans with Gargano vs. Ciampa as the match that drew the house, putting them in the main event slot rather than the NXT title match between Andrade 'Cien' Almas and Aleister Black. TakeOver Chicago should prove to be no different.

Though Ciampa/Gargano will likely receive most of the hype heading into TakeOver Chicago, there's another bout down the card that wrestling purists are salivating over: Ricochet vs. Velveteen Dream.

Velveteen Dream (aka Patrick Clark of Tough Enough fame) has been skyrocketing up the ranks in NXT and is easily one of the top prospects in the company. He steps into the ring with Ricochet, a genuine phenom who made himself into a global superstar prior to signing with WWE via his spectacular performances in Lucha Underground (as Prince Puma), PWG, and New Japan Pro Wrestling.

These two have already wrestled in singles competition during weekly television, but TakeOver Chicago will provide a bigger stage with more time between the ropes to steal the show.


All in all, this will be a real opportunity for Dream to shine in a match with one of the world's best, and it's also an opportunity for Ricochet to cement his place on the big stage as a true game changing star of the future. Ricochet already turned some heads in the show opening ladder match at NXT TakeOver New Orleans, but this is his first chance to truly shine in singles competition since signing with WWE. Yes, he's competed on weekly NXT television, but the TakeOver shows always draw higher viewership, especially among the fans who typically only tune in to the main roster shows. This is where you can get the entire WWE fan base to take note.

Now, this isn't to say that Money In The Bank won't be a solid show, as it most certainly will. But the trend of NXT shows rivaling or one-upping their main roster counterparts looks to continue in Chicago with two matches in particular that should be on the radar for everyone's match of the year list later this year.