NXT suddenly feels loaded with talent again. After going through a few months following the Draft where there seemed to be a major lack of depth, NXT has flipped things around and feels like a must-see program again. Between indie darlings (Aleister Black, Roderick Strong) and major returns (Kassius Ohno, Drew McIntyre), the roster is filled with more talent than the brand likely knows what to do with. This is likely why they have planned an NXT Takeover so soon after WrestleMania. With a pretty stacked card and excellent talent all around, let’s take a look at my predictions for NXT Takeover: Chicago.
(Reminder: Title match predictions are based on who walks out with the belt rather than the technical winner.)
Roderick Strong v. Eric Young
A carry over from the Tye Dillinger/Sanity feud, Roderick Strong has been endearing himself to the NXT fans lately. Anyone who knew his work in ROH knows how talented he is, but with the recent video packages that displayed the backstory of Strong, the man looks like a future star that everyone wants to root for. Facing off against one of the biggest heels in NXT in Eric Young will only improve his stock as a major player moving forward.
Prediction: Roderick Strong
It feels strange giving Strong the victory here since Eric Young has a full stable at his back. However, Strong is doing very well with the crowd and should be in a position to challenge for the NXT Title soon. Receiving a loss here would likely hurt that stock. There is a simple way to deal with the numbers game too. Simply utilize the babyfaces that are not currently featured on the card (i.e. No Way Jose or Kassius Ohno). Allowing Strong to overcome the veteran Young will be best for the development of a future star.
Tyler Bate (c) v. Pete Dunne
United Kingdom Championship Match
This is where we meet our potential show-stealer. The UK Championship has been in a strange flux where it really is not defended on any show with the random exceptions on NXT. There is little build for the matches and the stars of the UK Championship Tournament have yet to have a chance to shine to this point. While there is rumor that the UK stars will be getting there own show on the WWE Network soon, the time it has taken to get to this show seems to have taken a great deal of momentum away from the stars. Tyler Bate is an excellent up-and-comer and Pete Dunne is as ruthless as they come, and if their previous bout is any indication, we are in for a real treat.
Prediction: Pete Dunne
The fact that they are having a rematch between these two before the show comes around is a testament that WWE wants to re-engage the fans. The best way to do this is to have the title change hands. Pete Dunne proved to many that he is more than capable of carrying the UK division on his back, with many people saying he should have been the original winner of the title. Whether you think this is true or not, the match will be high impact and will lead to a greater star in Pete Dunne.