By Alex Howells @AJHowler
I love Bobby Roode in NXT, and I really loved Kenta’s work in Japan…however I’m luke warm at best on Hideo Itami in NXT. There is nothing special about him. To WWE fans the biggest pop comes when he teases, or uses what fans perceive to be CM Punk’s finish, they’re almost popping more for the Punk reference than the move itself. I don’t see the Glorious one losing his title anytime soon as he is leading that touring brand through 2017 and no one else on the roster currently is over sufficiently to take that role. I think we see a decent match, nothing special with Roode emerging victorious.
By Luke Dorsch @Luke_Dorsch
Aside from the UK Championship match the NXT Championship match could be the most interesting match on the card, I say this because at the last two Takeover events Bobby Roode took on the great Shinsuke Nakamura who has sense moved on to Smackdown Live and is currently working with Dolph Ziggler, and both those contests were structured in the proper way, to make Bobby Roode look like a champion, he was always one step ahead of Nakamura, and exploited his “bad” knee in both contests which led to his victory. Hideo Itami or KENTA that was, is as established as anyone on the entire WWE roster. Unfortunately, for he and the fans alike for the better part of his NXT career he has been sidelined with injuries and I can only assume he is frustrated as he has not had the ability to really show the “WWE/NXT Universe” exactly what he is capable of. Longtime fans of PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING know exactly what Itami can do, as he has had some serious classic encounters with Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan) El Generico (Sammy Zayne), Roderick Strong, and Samoa Joe just to name of a few. Hideo Itami much like Shinsuke Nakamura employs the “Japanese Strong Style” that has become a term we hear a lot these days but it is the best way to describe it. Itami hits hard, works hard and has plethora of maneuvers that put him at the top of a lot people’s lists as one of the best in the industry. Bobby Roode, spent the majority of his career in TNA/Impact reaching the pinnacle of success there and truly earing his spot as a great worker and with the overall success of the “Glorious” gimmick it wasn’t surprising that he would be the heir apparent to Nakamura’s NXT Championship. There are a lot of potential good matches for Roode in NXT but I feel that this one with Hideo Itami has the potential to tell a great story, and cement both men as “top guys” in the industry. I personally don’t think Roode’s time as NXT champion is over as it appears he’s going to hold the strap a bit longer, I feel the next heir apparent is Drew McIntyre but until we get to that potential match, let us enjoy the greatness of Hideo Itami and Bobby Roode.
By The Real DC (@TheNotFakeDC)
So I’m going on the assumption that this match actually takes place, and Itami doesn’t injure himself on the way to the ring. It’s been a long road to Takeover for Itami since his 2014 debut and he’ll be looking to prove he not only belongs in the upper crust of the NXT but that he’s healthy enough to stay there. After defeating Roderick Strong for the no. 1 contender spot, Hideo has managed to hit a Go-To-Sleep on the Glorious One, which would likely delight CM Punk’s hometown crowd. Roode meanwhile looks to keep his grip on the NXT title he has held for most of 2017 and further entrench himself as the top guy in “his” NXT.
Andrew Sparling @onlymarcspector
Since Itami has been back in the NXT the WWE universe have been excited to see him get a shot at the NXT Championship, and in Chicago he gets his chance. With a win over Roderick Strong, Itami earned that chance and he looks ready to take the top spot, but not if Roode has anything to say about it. Since Roode’s arrival at NXT he has dominated, taking control of the Championship very quickly and flaunting it in everyone’s face. Both me are gonna give the fight of their life because they both have to. Itami just a bit more and he knows it but Roode will walk away still our NXT Champion.