NXT TakeOver: Chicago Results: Highlights, Analysis, and Grades

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NXT Championship Match
Bobby Roode (c) vs. Hideo Itami

Result: Bobby Roode defeats Hideo Itami via pinfall to retain the NXT Championship.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Well, here are. It’s Itami’s moment of truth since arriving to WWE in 2014. He missed most of the past two years with injuries, being passed over by just about every big name to go through NXT since. Kevin Owns, Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe, Tye Dillinger, The Revival, Austin Aries and others all moved up before Itami. If his performance passed the test at TakeOver, he could inch just one step closer to the main roster. Easier said than done, though, with the health history.

Like every Roode match, it started slowly with methodical offense. He and Itami exchanged some hard-hitting attacks, but in spurts, including the latter’s stiff slaps and kicks to send the champion reeling.

Match psychology, like others through the night, played big here. Roode’s shoulder and Itami’s leg were both hurt, hindering them from certain moves. However, they managed to each hit their finish, it’s just neither could capitalize on the first attempts.

The action picked up with multiple near-falls from finishers being hit. Roode hit his Glorious DDT, and Itami planted the GTS. Neither succeeded, until two more DDTs were hit to give the champion a successful defense.