By John Moore
NXT TV on the WWE Network
Taped October 4, 2017 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
The intro teaser was a highlight package of last week’s Authors of Pain vs. Sanity match were the Authors were on the verge of winning until Adam Cole interfered to cause the disqualification. The teaser ended with William Regal’s rebranding of NXT Takeover: Houston to NXT Takeover: WarGames with the announcement of the War Games match…
The NXT intro theme played. Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson, and Nigel McGuinness were the commentators. Tucker Knight and Otis Dozovic, Heavy Machinery, made their entrance. Their enhancement opponents were already in the ring and got no intro. Nigel called Heavy Machinery “a Vegan nightmare” and “banned from every KBBQ the greater Orlando area”…
1. Tucker Knight and Otis Dozovic vs. Sean Maluta and Chris Pain. Pain started off the match against Dozovic. Dozovic ran though Pain. He also took down Maluta. Maluta competed in the WWE CWC and is also one of the many Samoans related to the Rock or Rikishi. Dozovic hyped up the crowd by slapping his body. Then he did an Ode to Scotty To Hotty in doing “The Worm”, except his worm actually looked like it hurt because it led to a flying elbow drop instead of just a ground slap.
Knight and Dozovic took down Maluta from the three-point stance. They then sandwiched the head of Pain with a stomach tackle. Knight said “choo choo” as he did a corner splash to Pain. Pain fell down, knocked out. Dozovic and Knight slapped each other to hype up. Dozovic said something that sounded like “oh yes sa!”. Knight hit an impressive springboard elbow drop. Dozovic used Pain as a battering ram to knock down Maluta. HM then hit The Compactor finisher on both men and it looked painful since both opponents were sandwiched under the big dudes.
Heavy Machinery defeated Sean Maluta and Chris Pain via pinfall in 2:21.
Nigel talked about this being a fun match as they showed the high flying moves that Heavy Machinery performed…
John’s Thoughts: Interesting fact, according to WWE’s Breaking Ground series, Otis Dozovic, real name Nico Boco Yevic, got his WWE job because Regal and Albert/Matt Bloom were impressed by his confidence when he performed “The Worm”. Heavy Machinery continue to be fun to watch and I’m still intrigued as to why WWE is building so many tag teams with enhancement matches. Maybe a Dusty Classic on the horizon?
Christy St. Cloud interviewed Ember Moon about her response to Mercedes Martinez’s comments from last week. Moon said if that’s what Mercedes feels she can meet her next week to find out why Ember Moon is the biggest threat in the NXT Women’s division. Nigel then hyped the main event of this episode which was Adam Cole vs. Roderick Strong. Kairi Sane was shown walking backstage saluting to people before her upcoming match against Billie Kay…
Mauro Ranallo’s voiceover talked about the song “Play” being one of the two themes for NXT Takeover: WarGames. Kairi Sane made her entrance in full sail to her Pirate music and wearing her pirate gear…
2. Kairi Sane vs. Billie Kay (w/ Peyton Royce). Kay snapped her fingers in front of Sane. Sane did a “come at me bro” pose and then did a bow. Sane held up ten fingers and stared a hole into Kay. Kay took down sane with a shoulder block. Sane took down Kay with a huracanrana and dropkick. Sane gave Kay’s hand an axe kick when she tried to reach for Royce. Kay gave Sane a strong elbow when Sane was distracted by Royce. Kay mounted the ground and pound offense.
Kay then locked Sane in a Torture Rack. Kay threw Sane into the corner. Kay got a two count and then yelled at the ref for counting slow. Sane recovered and hit her mean Spear into the gut of Kay. Sane chopped Kay into the corner. Sane then chopped Kay many times to set up her Walk the lariat. Mauro pointed out how that lariat was given to Sane by Masato Tanaka which Mauro used as a plug for ECW on the WWE Network. Kay tried another rollup after another Royce distraction. Sane took down Kay and then hit her InSane Elbow on Kay for the win.
Kairi Sane defeated Billie Kay via pinfall in 3:52.
John’s Thoughts: An enhancement match through and through. That’s what Kay is there for. I do hope we’ve seen the last of Peyton Royce in these type of matches since I feel that she should ascend to main event status. A reason I put Royce over Kay in that pecking order is because Royce has developed into a good in-ring storyteller and would be a great candidate to bring back those strong Takeover women’s main events from a heel side.
William Regal was on the phone with some WWE PR people making sure that the Takeover graphics were ready. Kassius Ohno walked into the room for a meeting with Regal. He was wearing a T-Shirt of his long time indy tag team partner Cesaro. Kassius talked about having ups and downs since his return. He talked about his winning streak and said he wants to get back into the NXT Championship Title picture. Ohno then requested a match against Lars Sullivan to prove himself. Regal gave an “are you serious?” type of expression. Regal then booked the match for takeover… [C]
Mauro cut to a WarGames video package. The video started off with the Regal announcement. Dustin Rhodes (a.k.a Goldust) was in the interview and a few other people who wrestled past WarGames matches. Arn Anderson talked about how angry people were inside of that match. Booker T said he left a piece of himself in the cage. Dustin talked about the team aspect of the match. Arn called it a trap. They had sound bites of Tony Schiavone, Roddy Piper, Mike Tenay, Ric Flair, and others as they showed clips of past WarGames matches.
They showed a Dusty Rhodes clip. Booker talked about WarGames being a Dusty Rhodes invention. Booker said that WarGames coming back was like seeing a piece of Dusty come back. Dustin said he Dusty was still alive he’d be happy like a kid in a candy store to see WarGames brought back. Arn did a Dusty impression to show what he thinks Dusty’s reaction would be. Arn said Dusty would say “babies, was a hell of a fight!”. Dusty said you have to be physically and mentally prepared for the match and if you survive you have a story to tell. Booker said this was a history making match. Dustin said he’s the biggest fan of WarGames and the fans are ready for it. Arn said the surprise, danger, and high risk was unlimited. Dustin said no one wins WarGames, you just survive. Arn Anderson said the exact same thing…
John’s Thoughts: Good video package with nice highlights to bring people up to speed on the WarGames concept with video of the actual past matches. It was also good to get Dustin, Arn, and Booker to bring in their experience and experience with the innovator Dusty. The video package also implicitly may have extended some Network subscriptions by advertising some of their video library.
The commentators transitioned to talking about Drew McIntyre vs. Andrade Almas for the NXT Championship. Zelina Vega and Andrade Almas were interviewed. The interviewer asked Zelina Vega for her strategy against Drew McIntyre. Vega said she wouldn’t be as successful as she is if she told everyone her plans. Vega said the only one who knows her plan is the only person who matters, Andrade Cien Almas. Vega brought up Drew questioning Almas’ manhood because he has Vega. Vega said they did exactly what Drew asked and met him face-to-face. Vega said Drew just wasn’t ready. The interviewer said the NXT Universe is wondering what kind of relationship Almas and Vega have. Almas was about to answer but Vega shut him up and said he doesn’t have to answer that question. Vega said she knew Almas for seven years and knows the real “el Idolo”. Vega said everyone knows the “Old Andrade” and a few people picked up wins on that old Andrade but it’s not possible to beat the “new Andrade”. Almas spoke in Spanish. He said he’s the Idol. He it’s his moment. Almas said the “New Andrade Cien Almas” will be the new NXT Champion in 10 days… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Good interview segment with Vega showing shades of Paul Heyman by being the manager/advocate of the silent client. Almas got to say a few words but he might as well have been Brock Lesnar talking-wise in that segment. I thought the best part of the promo was pointing out how Almas’ losses can be assigned to the “old Andrade” and that there is a “new Andrade”. That said, I still think it’s too soon and I think WWE is rushing to this for some reason. Again the problem is it is way too soon for Drew McIntyre to lose, and Almas is in the same boat as far as establishing his new heel character is concerned.
Mauro talked about “Swing of the Axe” being the second song of Takeover. Mauro then hyped up Aleister Black vs. Velveteen Dream for NXT Takeover: WarGames. This led to our next match where Velveteen Dream was in action. Jessika Carr was the referee for the match…
3. Velveteen Dream vs. Cezar Bononi. Patrick Clark had an angry scowl on his face as he stared a hole into Bononi. Dream had an early belly to back leading to uppercuts. Bononi managed to turn the tables and hit a few calculated elbows. Dream came back with a kick and lariat. Dream showed off his mean streak with elbows and boots in the corner.
Referee Carr pulled off Dream for being too agressive in the corner on Bononi. Dream went irate and drew some great heat for verbally attacking the female ref. Dream yelled “DON’T TOUCH ME!!!” to Jessika. Dream grounded Bononi with a spinebuster and was fuming from the face. Dream lifted up the larger Bononi with his signature Cartwheel Death Valley Driver for the win.
Velveteen Dream defeated Cezar Bononi via pinfall in 1:13.
Velveteen Dream grabbed a microphone and there was purple mood lighting for his promo. Dream addressed Aleister Black and said “got cha!”. He said he gave Black what he needed and he’s on Black’s mind. Dream said at Takeover:WarGames when what is dark comes to light, the velveteen dream will get what he wants when Black’s lips says Dream’s name. Mauro said “Will Aleister Black say Velveteen Dream’s name?”. He then moved to a Ruby Riot interview who was sitting on a medical table.
Ruby Riot talked to the trainer who said she’d be ready to wrestle in one or two more weeks. Sonya Deville walked in and mocked Riot. Deville said this could have all been prevented if Riot tapped out (nice touch with realism! I like!). Deville said Riot was a coward for trying to get a rope break and that mistake cost Deville a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship. Riot said that Deville should have broke her leg. Riot said Deville is blaming everyone else but herself for losing the match. Riot challenged Deville to a match which Deville accepted. Deville said to heal up so she can get a chance to break it. The interviewer asked Riot if she’s ready for the match. Riot said “oh yeah…” [C]
John’s Thoughts: While not as thought provoking as Dream’s past segments, a lot was gained from that segment and another showcase of NXT’s efficient use of time. I thought the man attacking the female referee was a great heat generator even though I would have saved that for TakeOver instead of this enhancement match. I’m a huge fan of Dream’s new dark persona with a great mean streak. As I’ve said for week’s Velveteen Dream and Aleister Black has been my favorite feud in all of professional wrestling and it’s mostly due to the ascension of Patrick Clark.
They cut to the Street Profits, Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford, who were talking about blinging people up with NXT plastic cups. They stopped a guy who was carrying a suit for Tino Sabbatelli. Ford said he was Sabbatelli and he stole the suit. Tino Sabbatelli walked in and said the suit was $5000. Riddick Moss told the Profits not to touch “our” suit. The two teams had some light bickering. The segment ended with both teams agree to a match. Nigel McGuinness also hyped up Ember Moon vs. Mercedes Martinez for next week. Mauro talked about Drew McIntyre going face-to-face with Andrade Almas next week. Roderick Strong then made his entrance for the upcoming match. Adam Cole then came out and said his Adam Cole Bay-Bay line…
John’s Thoughts: Not a huge fan of the “Undisputed Era” name because it sounds like a line from a history book. Maybe it’ll grow on me. I would have gone with something like “System Shock” or “Future Shock” since their catchphrase is “shock the system” and to play into Drew McIntyre’s finisher.
4. Roderick Strong vs. Adam Cole. The two started off even in the first lock-up. Strong got the takedown and locked in a headlock. Adam Cole countered into a hammerlock. Strong countered into a side headlock takedown. Both men made it to their feet and they traded chops and punches. Cole shoved Strong away with his foot. Strong caught Cole with a dropkick. Strong hit Cole with a flying punch. Cole pulled the referee in front of him to allow him to superkick Strong heading into commercial. [C]
Cole put the boots to Strong back from the break. Cole dominated for a sequence. The crowd rallied Strong out of a headlock. Cole came back with a running elbow. Cole locked in a headscissors triangle choke which Strong managed to turn into a pin attempt in his favor. Cole settled into a standing headlock which he turned into a sleeper. Strong turned the tide in his favor with one of his signature backbreakers. Strong gave Cole chops in the corner. Strong hit Cole with a perpendicular lariat. Cole blocked the Angle Slam but Cole followed through into a backbreaker.
Cole regained control with a standing enziguri. Cole set up Strong with a superkick and then he hit a shoulderbreaker. Cole got a nearfall and Cole’s face sold shock. Strong hit a jumping knee strike on Cole. Strong hit a scary looking flapjack backbreaker on the apron. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly ran in and pulled Strong away for the DQ.
Roderick Strong defeated Adam Cole via DQ in 8:35 of TV Time.
The Authors of Pain walked out to even up the numbers. Sanity ran in through the crowd. Madness ensued with everyone brawling. Mauro sold this as a preview for TakeOver. Alexander Wolfe moved his hands like propellers and then did a clunky looking Tope Con Hilo (which actually works for him). Strong superplexed Cole on everyone on the outside. The pile of knocked out bodies closed out the show…
John’s Thoughts: A fun match for what we got. I’m not 100 percent sold on Adam Cole in NXT yet. I know he’ll get to a good spot sometime, but he’s not there yet. He’s just the guy who says “Bay Bay” and he can’t beat anyone. His cheating always leads to a DQ. I’m also not a huge fan of Strong being inserted into this WarGames match since the story they are telling makes no sense. Cole did nothing to Strong to invoke him wanting to avenge something. Cole offered to help Strong out by having him join his stable. Strong declined; and now Strong wants Cole in a cage? That criticism aside, it gets Fish and O’Reilly in the tag team war which is fine by me as far as match quality is concerned. Back to Cole, once WarGames is done, they need to start having him win matches cleanly.
Overall, another solid episode of NXT. There was nothing too great but it was good. The unique highlight of the show was probably the Goldust, Arn Anderson, and Booker T video package about Dusty Rhodes and WarGames. Everything else on the show was productive. I’ll have more thoughts in my members exclusive audio review coming up later this morning.