Editor's note: Ratings for each match are on a sliding scale worth up to five points. Criteria for ratings are based on storytelling, in-ring execution, match psychology, timing and innovation -- worth one point each.
(c) -- indicates defending champion(s)
NXT championship: Bobby Roode (c) def. Hideo Itami
Rating: 3.0 (Storytelling: 1.00, In-Ring Execution: 0.50, Match Psychology: 1.00, Timing: 0.50, Innovation: 0.50)
After an injury-plagued first couple of years on the NXT roster, this was Hideo Itami's opportunity to make an impact in the company that celebrated his contract signing in 2014. The match lived up to the hype, as Itami's determination to put on a show after being out of the picture for so long was evident.
Itami immediately attempted to hit Roode with the Go To Sleep, a move the Chicago crowd knows very well, but Roode escaped the predicament and slowed the bout to the normal, methodical pace we've come to expect from the glorious one. Despite a series of strikes from Itami, Roode took advantage, grounding Itami with some strikes of his own and one of his perfectly executed neck-breakers.
The comeback for Itami began with a variety of kicks, a release fisherman's suplex and a clothesline from the top rope. A failed blockbuster attempt from the middle rope by Roode resulted in Itami's ability to execute a falcon arrow suplex, but after an unsuccessful pinfall attempt, Roode hit a spinebuster to seize the advantage.
Roode tried to hit his Glorious DDT, but his weakened shoulder prevented him from lifting Itami in the air, and that opened the door for the challenger. Itami then hurt his leg while missing a dropkick, which prevented him from hitting another Go To Sleep.
The finisher carousel then followed, as Roode hit the Glorious DDT, but Itami kicked out. Itami hit another Go To Sleep, but Roode rolled outside of the ring to prevent an immediate pinfall attempt. Roode recovered and performed two more glorious DDTs for the win, maintaining his perfect record at TakeOver events.
NXT women's championship: Asuka (c) def. Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot
Rating: 3.0 (Storytelling: 0.50, In-Ring Execution: 0.50, Match Psychology: 0.50, Timing: 0.75, Innovation: 0.75)
The seemingly unstoppable NXT women's champion, Asuka, faced a new challenge as she was put right in the middle of the sizzling rivalry that has developed between Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot.
Cross and Riot have created one of the more intense feuds going, and the additions of Asuka and the NXT Women's Championship added a whole new dimension to the program.
Chaos ensued as soon as the bell rang. Each woman got some early offense in, as both Cross and Riot attempted to try their luck against the champion. However, Asuka proved to be superior throughout the match, busting out innovative moves such as a combination missile dropkick from the top rope to Cross and a splash onto Riot in the same motion.
The action, which was fast-paced from start to finish, allowed each of the competitors to showcase her skills and trade near falls. One of the closer calls saw Riot attempt a senton splash from the top rope, only to be caught by Asuka into the Asuka Lock. Cross broke up the potential tap out just in time.
The finish saw Riot nail Cross with a Pele kick, but as she attempted the cover, Asuka nailed her with a running knee and pinned both Cross and Riot at the same time, a true illustration of her dominance.
With the win, Asuka has passed Finn Balor as the sole leader of overall TakeOver victories, with nine.
NXT tag team championships: The Authors of Pain (c) def. #DIY in a ladder match
Rating: 4.25 (Storytelling: 0.75, In-Ring Execution: 0.75, Match Psychology: 1.00, Timing: 0.75, Innovation: 1.00)
Coming off an unsuccessful attempt to capture the NXT tag team championships for the second time at TakeOver: Orlando, #DIY had another shot in Chicago, this time with the added stipulation of a ladder match.
However, the match almost didn't happen. On Thursday, Tommaso Ciampa had a scare at a live event in Kentucky, where it appeared that he suffered a leg injury. Lucky for #DIY, it wasn't serious enough to put this championship match in jeopardy. That's lucky for us too because tonight's effort was simply fantastic.
The energy oozed from the match right from the start with a quick introduction of the ladders. After some aerial assaults, Johnny Gargano and Ciampa brought a giant ladder to ringside, which led to a Gargano suicide dive through the ladder onto both members of AOP.
We were treated to some vicious ladder spots, but none was better than the death-defying stunt that saw #DIY set the Authors of Pain up on ladders held up between the ring and the barricade and simultaneously leap off the giant ladder splashing onto Akam and Rezar.
It looked like #DIY was set to unhook the championships when Gargano was all alone atop a ladder, but the mastermind behind the Authors of Pain, Paul Ellering, entered the ring and pulled him down. He was rewarded with a Gargano super kick but provided a long enough delay that AOP was able to prevent #DIY from reaching the top again.
The moment of the match came after Gargano pushed his partner aside to take a ladder to the face, and just when it appeared that was the final blow and the Authors of Pain were about to snag the championships, Ciampa executed a variation of a German suplex on Rezar off the ladder onto another ladder, busting it into multiple pieces.
#DIY then made their way up the ladder and had the unhooked championships in hand when the Authors of Pain pulled the ladder from underneath them and performed double super collider power bombs on Gargano and Ciampa before grabbing and retaining their titles.
In a short period of time, the Authors of Pain have cemented themselves as one of the greatest tag teams in NXT history. They have already accumulated more tag team wins at TakeOver events than any tag team in history, with four.
But that isn't the story here.
As #DIY made their way up the ramp to a standing ovation for what looked like a final farewell to the NXT crowd, Ciampa slammed his partner into the set. The heel turn was in full effect, as he delivered punches and knees to Gargano before slamming him off the announcers' table through a few other tables.
It was a serious and surprising beatdown. One would have thought that #DIY could have made an impact in the tag team division on either RAW or SmackDown Live, but it was not to be.
The turn was one of the most memorable endings to a TakeOver event in history.
U.K. Championship: Pete Dunne def. Tyler Bate (c)
Rating: 5.0 (Storytelling: 1.00, In-Ring Execution: 1.00, Match Psychology: 1.00, Timing: 1.00, Innovation: 1.00)
It took a little time for the U.K. division to get the spotlight on the NXT TakeOver stage, but it was worth the wait. Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne did everything in their power to build upon their excellent U.K. tournament finals match from January.
Dunne's trademark throughout his brief stint in the WWE has been to attack his opponents prior to the scheduled bout, targeting a specific body part, which then becomes his focal point when the bell rings. He utilized those tactics twice during the aforementioned U.K. tournament, including softening up Bate's shoulder prior to their championship match and, more recently, damaging Trent Seven's elbow before they faced off on the U.K. special program that aired this past Friday. His focus on the specific area of an opponent is a major piece to who Dunne is in the ring.
In a backstage segment at the U.K. tournament in January, Triple H approached Dunne and told him to "make a name for himself."
Dunne's Triple H-like cerebral approach has helped him do just that. His quest to solidify his name and climb atop the mountain that is the WWE U.K. division continued against Bate.
The early sequences of the match featured quite a bit of mat wrestling, something we've seen frequently out of the U.K. competitors. Dunne then began to target the right hand and wrist area of Bate. Bate continually tried to counter the Dunne assault, but it came to a screeching halt when Dunne hit one of his X-Plex maneuvers on Bate from the outside of the ring onto the ring apron area.
Even at 23, Dunne has proven to be psychologically masterful, and he showed it when he continually went back to the right wrist area of Bate. Bate had a lot of fight left, though.
Following an exploder suplex, Bate took control, highlighted by a standing shooting star press to the back of Dunne. He went to the well one time too many, though, when he attempted the same move, only to be caught in a triangle choke by Dunne. Perhaps more impressive than that was the display of strength by Bate, who deadlifted Dunne in the air, breaking the hold with a power bomb.
An airplane spin by Bate turned into a close near fall, but Dunne turned a sit down X-Plex into a close near fall of his own.
The two visibly exhausted combatants then traded stiff shots at each other as the crowd chanted "Fight Forever."
Bate reversed Dunne's Bitter End finisher into a tornado DDT and followed it with a springboard moonsault to the outside and a corkscrew splash on the inside of the ring.
An ill-timed dive over the top rope to the outside by Bate was the opening Dunne needed. After thwarting his opponent's high-risk maneuver mid-air, he picked up and tossed Bate back in the ring. He then hit his Bitter End finisher, scored the pinfall victory and became the new WWE U.K. Champion.
Words cannot do this match justice. It is the match of 2017.
Roderick Strong def. Eric Young via pinfall
Rating: 4.0 (Storytelling: 0.75, In-Ring Execution: 0.75, Match Psychology: 1.00, Timing: 0.75, Innovation: 0.75)
In a match put together just this week, Roderick Strong was attempting to seek retribution on SAnitY leader Eric Young after a post-match ambush that occurred a couple weeks back, following Strong's number one contenders match with Hideo Itami. The conflict between the two parties dates back to when Strong aligned himself with Tye Dillinger and continually faced an uphill battle, as the numbers game was in SAnitY's favor.
That is exactly how the battle in Chicago began -- but not the way you'd expect. Before the match, Strong made his way to the ring through the crowd and attacked Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe, attempting to even the odds. Strong gained the early advantage with a back body drop and a beautiful dropkick, and from there, a strike fest developed until Young turned the tides with a belly-to-back suplex.
Strong continually picked up the pace, really illustrating his determination to overcome the SAnitY puzzle, but the numbers game reared its ugly head again after Dain nailed a running cross body block on the outside of the ring while the referee was distracted. From that point and for a bulk of the remainder of the match, Young and SAnitY had complete control, as Wolfe got a shot in on Strong as well without the referee noticing.
However, a middle rope dropkick attempt by Young turned into a counter dropkick by Strong and changed the tide of the match completely.
Dain and Wolfe again attempted to get involved, but Strong fought them off and delivered a very stiff knee strike while Young was on the top rope, causing Young to fall to the outside of the ring and land on his SAnitY mates.
That proved to be the turning point, as Strong wasted no time nailing a suplex-turned-backbreaker on Young in the ring while Dain and Wolfe were motionless on the outside. 1-2-3, Strong wins.