If you have watched even one NXT TakeOver in the past, you will know that the unmissable events are basically crammed with big moments from start to finish. That almost every match could fill a list like this all by itself. Johnny Gargano versus Tomasso Ciampa and the ladder match for the NXT North American Title proved that at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans. Well, with a rematch of Gargano versus Ciampa plus four other blockbuster matches, it was always going to be a safe bet that Saturday night would be jam-packed with massive moments.
5. Smile And Ask For More
We have known that Nikki Cross is insane for a while now, but picking a fight with Shayna Baszler may be the craziest thing she has done to date. Clearly, Cross has seen enough of Baszler picking on fellow members of the NXT Women's division. Either that or she just ran to the ring one day and the NXT Women's Champion happened to be there. Either way, that journey led her to a title match at NXT TakeOver: Chicago on Saturday night. Cross has proved that she isn't afraid of Baszler, and in their match, she demonstrated that she is also impervious to pain. Baszler performed MMA-like moves on Cross, and the Sanity member kept coming out for more. The most brutal was the knee to the face shown above, and Cross still managed to keep a smile on her face.
4. Double Black Mass
When you finally make it to the top of the pile, the last thing you want is for someone terrifying to show up right away and pose a genuine threat to the crown you have only just won. That's what has happened to Aleister Black. Prior to Saturday night, The Dutch Destroyer hadn't even defended the NXT Title yet. Enter Lars Sullivan. When someone that big and intimidating wants what you have, it's going to take an awful lot to keep them from taking it. Up until now, every opponent Black has come up against has been silenced by the Black Mass. With Sullivan, it was going to be a challenge for the champ to even connect with it. He did on Saturday though, and Sullivan started getting right back up. Lucky for Black, the second one knocked the monster down for good.
3. Bye Bye Oney Lorcan
Since NXT TakeOver events are much more few and far between than main roster WWE PPVs, you'd be forgiven for forgetting how good they almost always are. That every match on the card is absolutely can't miss. If you had forgotten that heading into NXT TakeOver: Chicago this weekend, you were quickly reminded of it with the opening match. Undisputed ERA versus Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch might not have the glitz and glamor that other matches on the card had, but all four men gave it absolutely everything. The turning point in the match came when Lorcan was unceremoniously shoved off the turnbuckle, bouncing off the ring apron spine first on his way down. It's a minor miracle that he made it back into the match at all.
2. Shots Most Definitely Fired
The whole premise of Ricochet versus Velveteen Dream was that anything the former can do, the latter very much believes that he can do better. Dream didn't wait to start trying to prove that when the two of them clashed at NXT TakeOver: Chicago. The charismatic Superstar was performing acrobatic moves akin to what Ricochet has been doing for years. In fact, late on into the incredible match Ricochet decided to do a little emulating of his own. With Dream prone on the mat below, NXT's One and Only ascended to the top rope, struck Dream's signature pose, and hit him with his very own Purple Rain Maker. That one really must have bruised Dream's ego.
1. That Had To Have Hurt
The Chicago Street Fight that closed out NXT TakeOver: Chicago between Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa was always going to steal the show. The moments in this match could have filled this article two times over, at least. There was undoubtedly one moment that stood out above all the others though, one that we still can't believe actually happened. Ciampa took Gargano on top of some stage cases, took off his opponent's wedding ring, spat on it, and threw it away. That was a bridge too far for Gargano. At that point, he grabbed Ciampa, strapped him to his back, and leaped off the cases through some tables and onto the concrete below. As you can see above, it was as brutal as it sounds, and it still wasn't the end of the match.