NXT Champion Bobby Roode def. Hideo Itami
If you weren’t convinced already, WWE NXT Champion Bobby Roode had to have won you over at NXT TakeOver: Chicago. His victory against Hideo Itami was, in a word, glorious.
Itami, whose WWE NXT career has been halted by numerous unfortunate setbacks, had so much to prove in this bout. That’s why it didn’t come as a shock when Itami went for the Go to Sleep not long after the opening bell.
Roode avoided that strike, but the champion’s body will wear the black and blue marks of the nearly uncountable amount of strikes Itami landed during the match. Ever the cagey veteran, Roode continually found ways to put the challenger on the mat. Yet, somehow still, Itami always kicked his way right back into title contention.
The title seemed to be within Itami’s reach after Roode went shoulder-first between the turnbuckles and into the ring post. Roode stayed in the fight, but looked to be in agony when Itami sent that same shoulder into the steel ring steps. Itami looked to finish him right there with a hesitation dropkick, but missed and badly damaged his left leg.
That injury stopped Itami from connecting with a GTS. When he finally landed the maneuver moments later, Roode fell to the outside of the ring. By the time Itami got him back into the squared circle, the champion had regained enough composure to kick out. Itami kept the pressure on, brutalizing Roode with palm strikes, but when he went for another GTS, The Glorious One countered and hit not one, but two consecutive Glorious DDTs.
Not only did Roode spoil Itami’s promise of taking his title, but he cemented the fact that NXT belongs to him. Act accordingly.