With such few spots on the card to perform, competing at NXT TakeOver: Chicago II will be able to only feature a handful of wrestlers who are striving to make a name for themselves.
When factoring in wins/losses and the amount of attention WWE wishes to give them, not everyone can share an equal amount of the spotlight.
Which superstars are going to be lucky enough to get that attention and steal the show the most at NXT TakeOver: Chicago 2018? Let’s take a look…
Shared Glory: Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa
It takes two to tango, and there’s no way Gargano and Ciampa come out of this match with one of them looking significantly better than the other. It is very likely they will either equal or surpass their previous encounter, where they both came out of it looking like a million bucks even though Gargano was victorious.
This time around, I think it will be Ciampa who gets the win, which evens the score, but even without that element, this is a match that depends on their synergy and getting each other over, rather than making one person in particular stand out.
Shared Glory: Ricochet and The Velveteen Dream
In a way, this is contradictory of the whole story being told about these two trying to prove which one of them is the better of the two, but I feel this is very similar to the Gargano/Ciampa situation in that both men will walk out looking like a million bucks.
When it comes to an actual winner, I’m leaning more toward Ricochet, so if necessary, he could slightly edge The Velveteen Dream out of this list on a technicality, but I don’t think TVD will look bad in any light even if he does take a loss.
In fact, I’ll go so far as to say these two might even steal the show over Gargano and Ciampa, the NXT Championship match and everything else on the card.
There’s absolutely no way Shayna Baszler drops the NXT Women’s Championship this early, and to Nikki Cross of all people, who is just a sacrificial lamb to drag out the title reign.
At the very earliest, Baszler is in danger in Brooklyn, if not Los Angeles, against people like Kairi Sane and Candice LeRae, not Cross.
Sure, Cross will get her licks in and give Baszler a fight, but by the end of this encounter, The Queen of Spades is not going to lose, nor is she even going to look like she only won by the skin of her teeth. She won’t completely dominate and embarrass Cross, but she’ll be the clear and obvious better of the two.
I can’t under any circumstances imagine a scenario where Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch are the ones to dethrone The Undisputed ERA for those tag titles, particularly when War Raiders are seem to be on a path of destruction toward the belts.
Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly would have had a tougher fight on their hands if they had been up against Moustache Mountain, and with the United Kingdom Championship tournament coming up and focusing somewhat on that feud, the tag titles are sure to be seen in the mix—not hanging out in NXT with Lorcan and Burch.
Fundamentally, I think Aleister Black is going to be on this list more so in a kayfabe variety than the fans’ perspective.
Since he’s walking into the event as the roster’s head champion and facing a monster, a win over Lars Sullivan will be a rather big deal and will cement him as the top dog, but I feel like this match is going to get lost in the shuffle, to a certain extent.
I don’t think this will be as talked about as the Gargano/Ciampa and Ricochet/Dream matches, but it will at least have more impact than Baszler/Cross or the tag title match.
Those are my picks, but who do you think will end up being the primary focal points? Drop your predictions in the comments below!