5/20 Zim’s NXT Takeover: Chicago Pre-Show Report

By Zack Zimmerman

NXT Takeover: Chicago
Aired on WWE Network
Chicago, Illinois at Allstate Arena

Charly Caruso, Nigel McGuinness, and Peter Rosenberg hosted the pre-show panel from a desk set up in the arena. The Champions: Authors of Pain, Asuka, and Bobby Roode were all shown arriving to the arena, respectively.

They threw to Kayla Braxton and Vic Joseph who were correspondents out in the crowd. They had to deal with the crowd being obnoxious and chanting for CM Punk before transitioning to a video package building up the WWE UK Championship match between Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne. It was the same video that appeared on NXT this past week.

UK Champion Tyler Bate was shown arriving to the arena. Both Rosenberg and McGuinness predicted Dunne would win… [C]

A video package hyped the ladder match for the NXT Tag Team Championships between The Authors of Pain and #DIY. The panel talked about the match a bit; Nigel predicted AOP to retain, while Rosenberg said something about being in Chicago benefiting #DIY so he’s taking them. There was no mention of Ciampa’s reported injury coming out of the NXT house show…

A video package recapped the build to the NXT Women’s Championship triple-threat, with Asuka interfering in the No. 1 contender’s battle royal, Ember Moon’s injury taking her out of the match, and the subsequent brawls between the remaining ladies involved: Asuka, Ruby Riot, and Nikki Cross. Asuka vowed to remain champion forever.

Back at the panel, Ember Moon had joined them. She said that she’s disappointed to not be involved in the match, but looking back she’s thankful her injury wasn’t worse. Ember said that whether Asuka is champion or not coming out of tonight, she will get her revenge on Asuka… [C]

A graphic advertised Roderick Strong vs. Eric Young… Backstage, Strong was standing by for an interview, which he kept very brief. He told Young that he will never mention Strong’s family again. It was very threatening and Strong walked off the set…

A video package promoted the main event of Takeover Chicago, with Bobby Roode defending the NXT Title against Hideo Itami. The video pulled together all of the clips featured throughout this past week’s episode. It showed Itami’s multiple injuries and Itami admitted that he’s been very disappointed in himself.

Roode said that Itami is the last remaining piece of the old, stale NXT, so he’s going to get rid of him once and for all. Itami was shown laying Roode out twice with the GTS in the past month… Back at the panel, they agreed that the crowd would come unglued if Itami hit the GTS in Chicago of all places. Rosenberg admitted he’s rooting for Itami but predicted Roode. McGuinness called it a pick ’em and said it’s 50/50. They wrapped up and transitioned to the start of Takeover Chicago…

Zim Says: Why didn’t Charly get to make any predictions?

The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features referee Rob Page discussing the difficulty of reffing tag matches in the modern era, making three counts if a wrestler's shoulders are down even if it wasn't the planned finish, the growth of F1rst Wrestling, and more...

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