WWE NXT TAKEOVER CHICAGO RESULTS: Surviving Sanity and a Riot (May, 20th 2017)

So Takeover Chicago is in the books and while i was only anticipating for two matches to stand out, the whole card was wild, and with each matchcard comes as always an NXT Womens Championship Match. Initially Ember would make the card as one of three contenders until sidelined with a several week injury, thus it was down to Ruby Riot and Nikki Cross to chase and try and take the NXT Womens Championship from the undefeated “Empress of Tomorrow” the NXT Womens Champion, Asuka.

While the War Goddess was indeed sidelined, she’d hit Chicago with the whole NXT Crew and give herself a time slot on the Kickoff show to join Charly Caruso, Nigel McGuinness and Peter Rosenberg in weighing in on the NXT Womens Championship Match and more. Still sporting a sling as her recovery time narrows, Ember does give her thoughts on missing out on the multi woman match, but not on a somber note as she informs the Panel that her injury could have been a lot worse, fatal, career ending, or a span of six months or over considering how she heard her shoulder snap when chucked from the ring by Asuka during the ending of the womens contendership battle royal. Ember is asked by Peter that when fully ready, who the person would be that she would like to face for the NXT Womens Title, but Ember simply answers that is doesnt matter because after Takeover, whether its Asuka she faces or Nikki or Ruby Riot, they will have herself to deal with, Ember Moon. However Nigel questions this statement from the former contender, asking if a possible change in the title picture from Asuka to somebody else will affect her path, her chance to be the one to deliver defeat to Asuka. Ember promises retribution over Asuka regardless of whether she walks out with the title or not, and after that confident declaration, its Charlys turn to weigh in on another match on the card, thus concluding Embers interview.

We go to the main card, and its worth noting that there were some slight changes in the organization of the match-card as the NXT Women’s Championship Match placed 3rd on the card, following up a hellacious showdown for the UK Title featuring Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne. The NXT Championship would follow up from the ladies, concluded with the NXT Tag Team Titles being defended in a chaotic ladder match. But im here to note down the showdown that is the Women’s Triple Threat so lets get right to it.

Ohio Valley Wrestling Alumni Ruby Riot is first to enter the said Triple Threat Match, followed by the entrance of the lone Insane Championship Wrestling Alumni and ongoing rival of Ruby, Nikki Cross, then the Still Undefeated NXT Women’s Champion Asuka, whose entrance interrupts a possible scrap between Cross and Riot. Once the champ completes her entrance, the title is raised in front of the Chicago attendees, many of them chanting their support for Ruby, and the match gets underway, with the animosity relit between Cross and Ruby as Cross chucks her jacket directly at Ruby before lunging at the recent NXT Arrival. Having sent Ruby right to the floor, Nikki quickly charges over to Asuka, overcome quickly by a series of kicks from the defending champion before a whip reversal from Cross works effectively in launching Asuka into the ropes, sandwiching her in between and knocking Ruby back to the floor before she can even make it back inside. The Same hip attack that launched Ruby out is then used against Cross, who rebounds with a running crossbody. Cross proceeds to smack the back of Asuka’s head against the canvas before trying to use her body to knock off Ruby again, only to have it reversed by Asuka who sends Cross to the floor, with Ruby evading collision. After quickly kicking Cross back down, Ruby makes her way into the ring and shes face to face with Asuka.

Asuka and Rubys eyes meet and the fan support is relighted from the NXT Audience though the pro Asuka chants begin just as the two women lock up. Asuka tries to take Ruby over to the ropes then quickly switches up strategy as she instead arm drags Ruby to the other side of the ring. Reversals from the two lead to them meeting in the center amid a double shoulder block that both no sell, leading to a second. After both utilize the ropes, Ruby tries to surprise with a roll up on the NXT Women’s Champion, only enough to get a one count. Asuka reverses a whip from Ruby, sending her into a corner before attempting to splash her against the same corner, only to float to the apron per Ruby elevating her over the top rope. Before Asuka can sneak in offense from behind the ropes, Ruby knocks her to the floor and with the champ briefly out, Ruby teases joining her, going for a suicide dive only to meet with the charging Nikki Cross in the center of the ring. Cross directs Ruby over to the steel steps but Ruby helps herself up them then clotheslines Asuka off the top of the steps. Before Ruby can get upright, Nikki charges from behind and knocks down Ruby with much force. As Cross forces Ruby back into the squared circle, Ember Moon is shown watching from high above in the arena, watching the very match she could have made.

Back to the physicality, and Nikki begins to make work of Ruby, unleashing a forearm and rabid shoulder block shot into the corner and into Ruby, then roughing her up a bit with her forearm before sending her to the mat. As Nikki enjoys decimating Ruby with the follow up neckbreaker, eyes are off Asuka who ascends to the top turnbuckle, planting the heel contender once she turns against the canvas with a missile dropkick. Asuka delivers her array of lethal knees to Cross though Cross eventually evades one and elbows the champ directly in the midsection. Cross also hits a neckbreaker to Asuka, getting the heel the first near fall of the match on Asuka in the follow up pin attempt. Asuka responds once on her feet with a back kick and codebreaker before missing a clothesline attempt on the returning Ruby Riot, who delivers her own load of kicks to Asuka, the third being blocked as Asuka counters into a powerbomb. Asuka doesn’t even let up, as once released of Ruby, she has her back in her clutches again, rolling into an Ankle Lock, shades of WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle. Nikki darts back into the ring, scratching the back of Asuka, though not managing to loosen her grip on the fellow contender. Asuka releases Ruby from her clutches to deal with Cross, courtesy of a running back elbow as both hit the ropes. Before she can deliver more offense to Nikki, Ruby rolls Asuka into another roll up, and after getting a near fall on that attempt, the impact of being freed from Asuka leads to Ruby running right into Nikki Cross and her elbow strike from behind the ropes. Nikki keeps the momentum going as she yanks at the ropes, leading to Asuka falling through them as she charges toward the contender.

Asuka’s tumble to the floor leaves Nikki, who looks on in glee at the action achieved, with Ruby Riot. Nikki stalks Ruby and shoves at her a number of times before Ruby starts firing back, delaying each attack given by Nikki with a hard chop to the chest. Back on her feet, Ruby then ducks an attempted clothesline from Nikki and delivers one of her own, followed with a back elbow. Ruby also delivers a dropkick before being interrupted by the presence of Asuka, who tries to plant her in a nearby corner. Ruby places her foot against the middle turnbuckle to block and to prevent meeting in the corner, furthermore knocking back Asuka slightly with a back elbow. Ruby brings herself to the middle rope and connects with a hurricanrana on Asuka, then charging at Nikki. Nikki evades contact with Ruby, instead hooking onto her as she holds the turnbuckle, but Ruby counters this by using her knees to drive Nikki face first into the middle turnbuckle. Ruby doesn’t get to capitalize on this though as Asuka then leaps to the apron and plants Ruby’s head against a turnbuckle in the same corner, then trying to clothesline Nikki to no avail. Nikki tackles Asuka off the apron and sends her to the ringside floor, going for another attack off the apron but being stalled by a big upper knee from Asuka. However before Asuka can celebrate her switch in momentum, she meets with Ruby Riot, who takes her down with the suicide dive she attempted some time back had Nikki not run in.

While the champ is down, Ruby brings Nikki back to the ring, but rather than join inside, Ruby takes herself up the turnbuckles, diving onto Cross. Ruby takes advantage of her aerial maneuver with the next pin attempt but its broken at the count of two by Asuka. Asuka lifts Ruby off the body of Nikki and connects with a German Suplex, getting a near fall herself on the contender. Asuka switches the target to Nikki as she hooks Nikki to ready the second German Suplex. Nikki throws elbows to release the champions grip, blocking a spinning back fist and taking her down. Nikki gets a near fall over Asuka. Nikki gets back to her feet moments later and brings herself onto the back of Ruby for a possible sleeper hold. Asuka lifts Nikki off of Ruby, keeping Nikki upright to take a superkick from Ruby before executing her earlier attempted German Suplex. Ruby then continues the usage of the superkick by delivering one to the face of Asuka, and with both down, and Nikki soon out of the ring, it looks like Ruby’s chance to deliver one last blow to Asuka, as she brings herself to the top turnbuckle. Ruby goes for the same move she planted on Nikki before, only this time missing the champ, who takes advantage of the position to hook her in the Asuka Lock. Ruby scrambles and is turned away from the ropes while in Asuka’s deadly submission, but there’s some saving grace in the form of her rival as Nikki crashes onto both women suddenly.

Nikki targets Ruby on the apron moments later with a DDT, then evading a baseball slide dropkick from Asuka by stepping away some inches and also pulling at the apron cloth, getting Asuka caught inside. With Asuka vulnerable, a fired up Nikki Cross unleashes a beat-down to the chest of Asuka. Nikki pulls Asuka back to the ring, freeing her from the apron cloth and sticks her close to a corner post. Nikki utilizes the ropes to perform a springboard neckbreaker, getting a near fall per Ruby’s intervening dive. This doesn’t go down well with Nikki, as the venting competitor charges at Ruby, missing the first assault before both collide with a double crossbody. Asuka is the first to get to her feet, and with both Nikki and Ruby seeing the Empress up and ready for more action, they seemingly work together, clotheslining Asuka over the ropes and back to the floor. However this said teamwork is short lived as Nikki rolls up Ruby suddenly, though getting a near fall than the desired result. Ruby matches Nikki with her own pin attempt, though ending the same way. Nikki hammers Ruby with a sudden running knee, going for her finisher only for Ruby to slip free and connect with the pele kick. Ruby’s newest pin attempt is broken by a shining wizard from Asuka, knocking out both. Asuka pins both Nikki and Ruby for the three count, retaining the NXT Women’s Championship.

(Ember Moon Kickoff Show Segment 22.16 – 24.06)

(Ruby Riot vs Nikki Cross vs Asuka; NXT Women’s Championship Match feat Ember Moon)

(Asuka Backstage Exclusive)

Thoughts On This Match:
Well What Can I Say NXT Proved Me Wrong tonight. I Came into tonight’s PPV with only excitement for the Tag Title Match and the UK Title, being so gutted at Embers Removal from what had been a four way showdown, even though i knew each competitor remaining had the ability to put on a spectacle, and they did just that. The Match worked exactly how a multi woman showdown normally would, one competitor gets removed, the remaining get time to bring their own arsenal and vice versa, and the time also spent outside the ring by Asuka allowed Ruby and Nikki the chance to bring their own feud to the ring. It was also a nice touch for Ember to be given sometime on the screen, gazing down at the would be foes from the above studio, though bringing her to the stage post match to stare down Asuka would have also been great, but i guess like the post match antics in the main event with Tommasso and Gargano (RIP DIY) Triple H just wants us to keep anticipating what is next. While the finish of a simple kick/shining wizard felt underwhelming, its no surprise it was utilized in the finish as the lethal kicks that make Asuka deadly are put over much often. Maybe a double submission making them both tap at the same time would have worked, but then again we cant guess the winner out of that but rather gather controversy instead. Maybe Ember could have run down and teased altercating with Nikki on the apron only to distract her so Asuka can take her out and stare her down as she pins her but then again maybe that wouldn’t have worked as Ember has no reasoning to let Asuka win nor cost anyone else. Either way Asuka vs Ember seems to be the awaiting match for Takeover Brooklyn and as it was Bayleys defining moment, it should be for Ember too, for her to complete her “destiny”. Now its just a matter of NXT not lagging or slacking on the interactions between Asuka and Ember once Ember is clear because there’s already a retribution storyline in waiting and one stare-down plus a contract signing wont make this feud for me. Dont let us down Creative Team!

– Catherine


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