Was Itami the right opponent for Bobby Roode?

Bobby Roode once again successfully defended his NXT Championship Saturday at NXT Takeover: Chicago.

Hideo Itami proved to be a worthy opponent, but I don’t think he was the right one.

The match was fine. It started off very slow but had its moments. However, it never felt like the crowd was into it.

Itami started off the match mocking Roode. Very heel like. And that kicked things off on the wrong foot. As the match built, Itami was never able to get the crowd behind him. The Chicago crowd is a smart one, but this match had people scratching their heads.

My pick for Roode at Chicago would’ve been Roderick Strong.

We got a number of short documentaries featuring Strong in the weeks leading up to his number one contender match with Itami. The story being told was excellent. Strong is a family guy who has been working his whole life for this moment. And then he lost. Again, putting Itami in more of a heel position then face.

Strong kicked off Takeover against Eric Young of Sanity and got a huge pop and the crowd was behind him the entire way. The match over delivered.

While I think Strong and Roode would  have been the better match, I think we are still going to get that.

There are some great potential matchups for Roode with Drew McIntyre, Aleister Black, Kassius Ohno and Tommaso Ciampa out there now. But after the story they have been telling with Strong, and his big win over Sanity, NXT Takeover: Brooklyn should be Strong’s opportunity and I think he takes the crown there.

If Itami demands a rematch which he should, a triple threat would be a great main event for Brooklyn. But Still, the NXT Championship should be Strong’s next.

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