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

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Credit: WWE

Ladder Match for the NXT Tag Team Championship
The Authors of Pain (c) vs. DIY

Result: The Authors of Pain defeats DIY to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

A somewhat surprising choice for the main event, unless you factor in the ladder stipulation. The Authors of Pain and DIY have also feuded for the past four months, so things were seemingly coming to an end here.

The match looked even for a while, until Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa teamed together to take down these two behemoths. This worked for a while, until the size and power of the champions took over.

A somewhat humorous moment came when Akam tried climbing the ladder. Since a WWE ladder isn’t the most sturdy piece of hardware, especially to support someone as massive as Akam, Rezar had to hold the ladder to keep it from falling.

On Thursday, Ciampa suffered a legitimate ankle injury at a live event. It didn’t come into play until midway through when he was being played up to being hurt and mauled by AoP. We’ll have to see how long WWE keeps him out of the ring after this match.

Your usual big spot of the match came when Akam and Rezar were laying on the ladders. Another ladder stood tall, which Gargano and Ciampa dove from the top of and took them out. An awe-inspiring spot, which almost looked like Gargano landed on his head. It didn’t keep the Author’s on the ground for long, though.

Gargano looked like he had the titles in hand at the top of the ladder, until Paul Ellering came in and pushed him off. So what happens? You get a superkick for your actions, WWE Hall of Famer. It’s the first time Ellering has received a physical attack since becoming the team’s manager.

In an act of heroism, Gargano saved Ciampa from a big attack. It looked like AoP were about to take Ciampa’s head off with a ladder, until Gargano pushed him out of the way and took the hit. This left him down and out, which got Ciampa up to suplex Rezar through a ladder, snapping it in half! Absolutely unbelievable, even as Gargano pulled Akam’s leg to stop him from climbing.

It constantly looked like DIY’s final stand, as they pulled literally everything out of their arsenal to attempt to get the job done. They were the ultimate underdogs and had the crowd on its feet, reminiscent to TakeOver: San Antonio and Toronto. It’s amazing how much heart these two have shown as a tag team.

As they climbed the ladder and looked to win, AoP pushed the ladder down and hit a massive Super Collider Powerbomb. They easily climbed the ladder to win, just like that.

What a physical war of a match to close the night, something well-deserving of main eventing NXT TakeOver: Chicago. It displayed the heart and soul of NXT that is DIY, who did everything possible to win the titles. However, it just wasn’t enough.

The Authors of Pain continue to improve and gain heat as these massive individuals who haven’t proven to be beatable. It’s incredible what we’ve seen out of them since last June, and they’re quickly becoming one of the best teams in NXT history. We’ll see how far they can go as we head into the summer.

Well, after the match, Ciampa turned to Gargano and attacked him at the very end of the stage. Ciampa threw Gargano into the stage and hit a knee strike. Just like that, we lost maybe the most exciting tag team in NXT history.

Ciampa continued his assault onto the announce table. He picked Gargano up and slammed him off the stage and through equipment, sitting on the table to close the show with shock.