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By Dave Scherer, Mike Johnson & Richard Trionfo on 2017-05-20 18:00:00

NXT Takeover: Chicago takes place on Saturday night.  Here are our thoughts on what will happen at the show.

NXT Champion Bobby Roode vs. Hideo Itami

Dave: It's no secret that this is a HUGE match for Itami.  On TV he has finally seemed like the guy that WWE thought he would be when they signed him.  With that said, he now has to go out and prove it.  Roode has been great thus far in NXT and give the fact that he has been so good and Itami has to deliver, there is no way I would change the Title here.  HHH said on the conference call that he believes in Itami, and I trust his judgement.  So I see this one being extremely close and Roode using chicanery at the end to retain his Title and continue the feud. This should be a great match.

Mike: This is make or break for Itami.  I don't foresee a title change here but Itami NEEDS to have a great match here and really break out and finally have that defining moment for himself in WWE.  Roode has been on fire as a talent and is the right guy to cement the brand right now but Itami needs to be the challenger that comes thisclose to winning and even in defeat, becomes a stronger name for the company.  I've always liked Itami

Richard:  They have done a good job since the last Takeover Special to make Hideo Itami seem like a major star who can potentially win the title from Bobby Roode instead of the guy who seemed to get injured at the worst possible times and then get hurt again before he could show people how good he is in the ring.  Itami has had the upper hand over the last few weeks when dealing with Roode and that would normally mean that Roode will retain on Saturday night.  I do think Roode retains, but at least we have a long line of people who can jump in to be his next opponent.  I can see Roode try to give Itami a GTS to pay him back for what Itami has done to him only to fall short.  Maybe Itami hits the GTS but the impact sends Roode to the floor so Itami cannot get the pin. 

NXT Women’s Champion Asuka vs. Ruby Riot vs Nikki Cross

Dave: Ember Moon is the odd woman out here, unfortunately.  Asuka has been great.  First she was dominant, then she has evolved into also being opportunistic.  I see that trend continuing here as she takes advantage of Cross and Riot's issues with each other to come out here with her Title.  I expect another good bout here.

Mike:  This should be about what they accomplished at the last Takeover, getting the Riot and Cross more established with the audience.  I expect this will be very good, but don't forsee a title change.  The money is in Ember vs. Asuka and they can't get there until Moon is back in the ring.

Richard:   This is my pick for the match of the night.  They have done a great job to make us care about all three of these women.  We have the same dynamic as the tag title match in Orlando where you have a face under all situations (Ruby), a heel or face depending on who she is in the ring with (Asuka), and a heel under all situations (Nikki).  I want to see Asuka realize that she could be in the middle of things between Nikki and Ruby and then just go to the floor and watch them tear each other down while taking someone's popcorn.  The undefeated streak should continue but all three will look strong coming out of this match. 

NXT Tag Team Champions The Authors of Pain vs. #DIY  (Ladder Match)

Dave: The question here is can Ciampa go due to the ankle sprain.  I think he will gut it out if at all possible.  HHH said that this could be the end of their feud.  Unless that means an AOP call up, which is not a great idea, I see the champs retaining and moving on to Heavy Machinery.  AOP will be on the main roster one day though, don't misunderstand me.  I think DIY could be heading to the main roster, which could be a blessing and a curse for them.  They are more than good enough, obviously, but how they will be booked scares me, see Alpha, American for reference. I am going to stop saying this should be really good because everything on this show should be.

Mike: I don't see a title change here.  AOP are going to look like absolute monsters with ladders in their hands as weapons.     I feel like DIY has had its run and this will be it for the team here.  Whether that means they get split into singles or not, I don't know, but I feel like AOP are going to be the center of the tag division for some time.  AOP have really excelled of late and I hope this continues that trend.

Richard:  The ladder is the wild card in this match because you normally don't see a team like the Authors of Pain in a ladder match.  I hope they find Big Show's super ladder for this match.  Please don't go for the ladders right away.  If they want to try to tease a quick match, I hope they have DIY work over the Authors and incapacitate them before they go for the ladders.  Has anyone seen John Cena's duct tape?  The champs should throw around the challengers and that will be the thing that people will remember.  Will this be the final exam for DIY before they graduate to the main roster?  The Authors should retain.

WWE UK Champion Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne

Dave: I like both of these guys a lot.  I think what makes the most sense is for Dunne to be the villain he is and use underhanded tactics to gain the gold.  That will give them a great issue to start the UK show with.

Mike: I disagree completely with Dave.  WWE are still rolling out the UK brand and this is just another way to establish the talents there.  I think it's way too soon to do a title change - they don't even have a TV show yet!  I say Bate retains and I expect this to be excellent.

Richard: WWE finally added new footage from Tyler and Pete into the videos to hype this match.  This should be another good match on this card.  On the preview audio, Andrew and I both think there will be a title change.  Tyler is a little like the TJ Perkins of the UK brand because he will have to lose the title at some point.  Dunne and Bate have had some good matches and now they can push Pete getting revenge for losing the finals.

Roderick Strong vs. Eric Young

Dave: I am really happy for EY.  Leaving Impact was great for him and he has been outstanding in his role in NXT.  The way that they have developed Strong for the audience has been great.  His loss to Itami didn't hurt him at all.  But, a loss to EY here probably would.  So I book it closely and have Strong go over.  I expect some Sanity interference and some of the troops to even the sides.

Mike: EY has done great here but man, those vignettes have done a world of good for Roderick Strong.  I expect this to be a hell of a match.  I am with Dave in that I expect Strong to win, although I expect to see No Way Jose and some others doing run-ins.

Richard:   With the momentum from the video features and his match against Hideo Itami, I would think that Strong wins this match.  It appears that Roderick is taking over Tye Dillinger's spot as Sanity's opponent.  Some might think that Strong should lose so he can go through the members of Sanity, but I think Strong wins and then he gets attacked by Dain and Wolfe to set up further matches.  Maybe we get No Way Jose and Kassius Ohno to come out and help Strong to set up the next six man tag matches.

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