A look at the Three Stars Of The Night for WWE NXT Takeover: Chicago!
WWE paraded into Chicago for what they are unofficially calling Money In The Bank Weekend, and the yellow-and-black brand got to kick things off with NXT Takeover: Chicago II. This is the brand’s second straight year doing Takeover in Chicago, with last year featuring the infamous Tommaso Ciampa heel turn heard ’round the world, attacking Johnny Gargano and ending their DIY partnership. Of course, the two would meet in the final match of the evening.
But now–the Three Stars Of The Night!
The Third Star:
Nikki Cross might be the best female performer in all of WWE. Her commitment to her character is second-to-none…seriously, it’s Velveteen Dream level stuff we’re talking about here.
She didn’t win, but pulled an entertaining match out of Shayna Baszler (not the easiest thing to do), and provided a moment that shouldn’t be forgotten–like, ever. Baszler had the Kurfida Clutch locked in, and Cross couldn’t escape. Cross practically begged Baszler to lock it in early in the match, too. Right before passing out, Cross smiled. When she woke, she was still smiling.
Seriously, she might have the best character in NXT, and with this feud potentially done I hope she gets back with SANITY on the main roster.
The Second Star:
Velveteen Dream and Ricochet (tie)
Ricochet is regarded as one of the world’s best, but many can’t get into him like they got into his Lucha Underground alter-ego, Prince Puma. Velveteen Dream changed that for many tonight, delivering the most psychologically sound Ricochet match many have seen in quite a long time.
The Hogan-esque tights, that were also a not-so-low-key nod to the aforementioned Prince Muma, were damn fine. Velveteen is a star.
Others given consideration:
The Undisputed Era, Danny Burch, Oney Lorcan, Johnny Gargano
And now…a distinction usually reserved for the top performer of the night…the first star!
The First Star:
It was a match Tommaso Ciampa had to win–otherwise doing another match didn’t make sense. Now we’re likely in for more between these two, and I am confident they’ll find a way to keep it interesting. That doesn’t seem to involve a Candice LaRae heel turn, unless they are saving that for when Johnny insists on another match with Ciampa.
The Sicilian Psychopath lived up to his name, exposing the wood of the ring and eventually using that exposed wood to hit Johnny Gargano with a surprise DDT for the win.
Johnny Gargano is the most over face in the company not named Daniel Bryan, and the one thing a great babyface needs is a heel to work off of. He can’t ask for a better counterpart than the best heel in all of wrestling, Tommaso Ciampa.
In hockey, a game’s “three stars” represent the top three performers of the night. For more clarification, I defer to this Pittsburgh Gazette explanation:
“The tradition dates to the 1936-37 season, when Imperial Oil became the principal sponsor of Hockey Night in Canada radio broadcasts and was seeking a way to promote one of its products, Three Star gasoline. The idea of doing so by selecting the top three performers in a particular game purportedly came from a Canadian advertising agency.
Many clubs do recognize the player with the most three-star selections with an award or trophy, usually in conjunction with a corporate sponsorship, at the end of the season (or sometimes, each month). All six Canadian franchises, for example, have an affiliation with a well-known brewery.
The NHL keeps track of its own three-stars-of-the-night selections, but that is done on a league-wide basis. The league employs a system that awards 30 points to a first star, 20 to a second star and 10 to a third – a running total can be found on the league’s website – but it does not present an award based on them.”
In hockey tradition, the first star represents the best of the three, but all three are considered to be receiving a high honor.