Now that the final episode of NXT has happened prior to TakeOver: Chicago II, it’s a sealed deal which competitors are being advertised for this pay-per-view and which ones are being left off the promotional material.
As with any “superstars missing” post, there is always a chance WWE makes some alterations to the lineup, as the card is always subject to change, injuries could take place, or there could be some extraneous appearances.
Also, when it comes to NXT, WWE typically records the next episode or two of the television show before TakeOver happens, so while certain people will be performing at the venue on that particular night, their appearances won’t be airing as part of this TakeOver event, specifically.
With all that being said, who are the men and women from the NXT roster who are not currently scheduled to compete at TakeOver: Chicago 2018? Let’s take a look…
From the NXT Men’s Singles Division
— Cezar Bononi: The Brazilian “Future Star of NXT” is still in limbo where he isn’t getting a push, but WWE clearly sees something in him to avoid making him a jobber. Slowly but surely, his credibility will rise.
— EC3: By far, EC3 is the biggest omission from this card, but I think that’s just a byproduct of there being very limited spots available. TakeOver events typically only have room for between eight to twelve men and two women, with a few exceptions, and EC3 doesn’t have a feud going on right now that could overtake a spot from anybody else. I do think he’s going to be a MAJOR focal point for the next TakeOver, though, in some fashion.
— Fabian Aichner: Unfortunately for Aichner, he seems to be stuck in a rut where he’s only utilized to put somebody over, rather than get any wins for himself. He doesn’t even seem to have a solid grasp on a heel or babyface character. Instead, he’s just the opposition who gets put down by anybody in his way. Here’s hoping that changes around sometime soon.
— Kassius Ohno: I’m convinced there’s not likely ever going to be a push for The Knockout Artist, who has been used as a jobber to the stars for the developmental brand ever since his return to the company. If he’s going to be used, he’s going to lose, and that’s only on television rather than TakeOver.
— Kona Reeves: NXT’s finest is only just starting his new push, so it will take time for him to start gaining the momentum necessary to get a spot on a TakeOver event, especially when he has competition for a heel spot with people like The Velveteen Dream, EC3 and others who are higher up on the totem pole than he is, right now.
— Pete Dunne, Trent Seven and Tyler Bate: The United Kingdom division has plenty coming up with the tournament, so despite their absence here, they’re going to have their hands full just a few days later when they fight The Undisputed Era and others.
— Raul Mendoza: It’s a bit harsh to say, but it’s true, that Raul Mendoza is just a step up above the live event crew right now. He’s a jobber in NXT and never wrestles on the television show unless he’s losing to someone, so there was no chance he was going to compete here.
— Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli: After splitting these two up, they’ve done nothing but sit out with an unfortunate injury spell. While that’s never anything to wish upon people, if there weren’t any solid plans to push either one of them following the split, it might be a blessing in disguise, as they can come back at a time where they can actually have some of the spotlight.
— Wesley Blake: I can’t even remember the last time Wesley Blake was on television, as he’s more of a live event guy right now with The Forgotten Sons. I wouldn’t be too shocked if that stable were to pop up after this event during the next set of tapings, but they haven’t made an appearance beforehand.
From the NXT Women’s Division
— Aliyah: For the most part, Aliyah is the women’s division equivalent of Raul Mendoza. If she’s got a match, she’s going to lose it, not be someone that gets a push.
— Bianca Belair: Until something happens that makes me feel otherwise, I’m remaining firm in my prediction that Bianca Belair will be the person who defeats the babyface who dethrones Shayna Baszler. That is still many months away, though, so WWE has kept her in the limelight enough by featuring her in other ways like her video package just so we don’t forget about her.
— Candice LeRae: I would be shocked if we don’t see Candice at some point during the street fight between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. Technically, she’s not confirmed for the card, which explains her addition to this list, but it would be strange if she didn’t pop up.
— Dakota Kai: The Captain of Team Kick was the sacrificial lamb for Shayna Baszler on the way to the NXT Women’s Championship match between The Queen of Spades and Nikki Cross. She served her purpose as the setup person and that was her one and only role in this TakeOver build.
— Kairi Sane and Lacey Evans: These two have been feuding on NXT TV over the past set of tapings, which kept them busy and in the spotlight. The good thing is that they seem to be priorities, but the bad thing is that there’s only one women’s match on the card and since neither are fighting for the title, their feud didn’t make the cut.
— Taynara Conti: Conti was completely missing from the last set of tapings, so it’s no surprise she has no match on this card. There isn’t much to say about her, as nothing is going on.
— Vanessa Borne: Vanessa Borne was partially used during the tapings as a supplemental part in the story of Dakota Kai and Shayna Baszler, and she served her purpose well. She has a bright future ahead of her and will get her push in due time, but it just isn’t right now.
From the NXT Tag Team Division
— Adam Cole and Bobby Fish: Technically, Cole is holding a singles title and Fish is injured, but they’re also part of The Undisputed Era, so they’re still actually in the tag team division as well. Because of that, we could see them show up in some capacity to be alongside Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly, but considering Fish’s injury, I doubt he’ll be popping up. Cole, on the other hand, does stand a bigger chance at being ringside, even though he won’t be defending his North American Championship.