By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT Takeover: WarGames
Aired live on WWE Network
Chicago, Illinois at Allstate Arena
The opening hype video for the NXT WarGames show aired…
Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Beth Phoenix checked in on commentary. Mauro noted that this was the first time we’re getting two WarGames matches on NXT. Mauro talked about how Dakota Kai has replaced Mia Yim in WarGames after Yim was attacked backstage by a mystery person. Nigel sent things over to the Spanish announce team to do their usual intro spot…
The WarGames cage descended. Mauro noted that the Women’s WarGames match was happening now. Alisha Taylor handled the reading of the rules for the match as the home viewers were treated with a graphic laying out all the rules. Shark Cages were set up at the top of the ramp. Team Ripley and Team Baszler all got full and staggered entrances for their insertion into the Shark Cages (small personal side note, it’s missing lyrics but it’s Tegan Nox’s pop punk entrance theme that’s winning me over with her. That said, nothing beats Io Shirai’s best wrestling entrance today)…
1. Shayna Baszler, Bianca Belair, Io Shirai, and Kay Lee Ray vs. Rhea Ripley, Tegan Nox, Candice LeRae, and Dakota Kai in a WarGames Match. Dakota Kai was wearing all black. Does that mean there’s a heel turn happening. I kid, but she also looks straight out of the 80s for some reason. Shirai and LeRae were chosen by their respective teams to start the match. Shirai started out the match with a slap and LeRae returned the favor with a flurry of punches. Shirai regained control. LeRae blocked being slammed into the cage. Shirai used a handstand to block a huracanrana. The time clock was at the bottom right corner of the screen.
LeRae hit Shirai with a arm trap driver. LeRae tried to Tope to the other ring where Shirai was, but Shirai ended up staggering LeRae and hitting her with two TIger Feint Kicks. Shirai tightroped both sets of ring ropes to hit LeRae with a shotgun missile dropkick. Shirai hit LeRae with a hesitation dropkick in the corner. Shirai gave LeRae a drop toehold on the metal bridge between the rings. Shirai then grated LeRae’s face on the cage. LeRae ended Shirai’s momentum a bit with a jawbreaker. Shirai came back with a light STO followed by a snap suplex.
The crowd counted down with the clock, and Bianca Belair was the next woman in the ring. Mauro noted that Belair had problems with both women, but it putting her problems aside for the team. Belair hit LeRae with a Glam Slam. LeRae fought off Belair with a huracanrana and went at Shirai with punches. LeRae threw Belair at Shirai and gave both women punches. Belair escaped and clocked LeRae with a forearm. Belair then hit LeRae with an impressive show of strength, a triple power bomb. The third bomb being into the cage. This got the crowd chanting “EST” a bit.
Belair trapped LeRae in the camel clutch while Shirai was building up momentum by running at the ropes like ten times. This led to a nice dropkick. The clock ticked down and Team Captain Ripley decided to be the next person in the ring. Ripley brought a trash can in the ring first and used the door to slam in the face of Belair. Ripley rought more trash can, Kendo Sticks, and steel chairs. The crowd booed a bit because there was no tables. Ripley reverse power slammed Belair into a trash can. Mauro noted that Belair’s sports career was ended by a chronic rib injury and that might be coming into play now from that slam.
LeRae and Ripley tried to suplex Belair on some set up chairs. Shirai saved Belair. The clock started ticking again (was that 5 minutes?). Kay Lee Ray was the next person in for WarGames. Ray brought more chairs in the ring. THe crowd saw tables and were super hyped up. Ray teased bringing a table into play but instead pulled the rug form under the fans. Good and simple heel stuff. Ray hit LeRae with the chair a few times (that’s a mouthful, Ray and LeRae). Ray gave Ripley a tornado ddt. The women somehow found themselves in the corner, setting up a Tower of Doom.
Ray drew more boos for taking down the set up chairs. Ripley was the one at the bottom of the Tower as she threw most of the women on the pile of chairs. Bianca Belair was out of the tower. Belair (barely hit) a 450 on Ripley. Belair got the front bump hands up, but even that was barely. Hopefully she’s okay.
Dakota Kai was next. She turned on Tegan Nox by giving her a face wash kick. Then Kai went on to intiate a brutal attack on Tegan’s Nox’s surgically repaired knee. She used the bars as fulcrum. In the best and most evil move, she slamed the cage door 30 times or so into the knee, mafia style. Regal tried to come out and stop this, but Kai wouldn’t relent, even shoving Regal. Kai was sent to the back, but she came out of more cheap shots. Kai even yelled out what may have been curse words. They eventually got Kai to the back.
John’s Thoughts: Yo! That was some great stuff! Especially the cage door slams.
All the while, Baszler was trolling in laughter in the other cage. This attack led to Baszler being the next person in the match. Baszler continued to troll at Tegan Nox while the doctors were checking on her. Baszler entered the cage. Mauro noted that Nox was too injured to continue so WarGames was officially starting now.
The heels had a four on two advantage. LeRae was given a suplex. LeRae prevented Baszler from putting Ripley in handcuffs. LeRae and Ripley were surrounded in around the metal bridge. They managed to use their weapons to get the advantage initially, but the heels got the numbers advantage. Mauro noted that Ripley and LeRae need to start employing some Sun Tzu Techniques. Ripley managed to recover and knock out all four of her opponents. She Suplexed Ray into the cage. Ripley locked her sweet looking Reverse Texas Cloverleaf on Shirai on the top rope.
LeRae escaped and Belair and Ray used their numbers to help Shirai escape. LeRae went for a pin on Baszler, but Belair used a chair to break the pinfall. Belair tossed LeRae with a military press into Ripley. Shirai hit LeRae with a Shirai Stomp. Ripley threw Ray into Shirai to break the pinfall. Belair beat up Ripley with her hair whip. LeRae beat up Belair with a kendo stick. Shirai hit LeRae with a shoulder breaker. Shirai scaled to the top of the cage, but took too much time so LeRae recovered. LeRae and Ray climbed up there. LeRae caught Ray with a poison rana. Belair scrambled for yet another great nearfall save.
LeRae escaped Belair’s Burning Hammer. Shirai caught Belair and LeRae off guard with a top of the cage moonsault to cause Mauro to say “Mama F’n Mia”. Ripley was up and started hitting Baszler with a steel chair. Ripley pu ta can on two chairs. Ray flew and Ripley hit her with a trash can like the can was a baseball bat. Baszler caught Ripley off guard with the Kirafuda Clutch. Ripley got the handcuff and used it to pull Baszler’s hand away. Both women were handcuffed. Ripley hit Baszler with shortarm kicks followed by the Rip Tide to pick up the win.
Rhea Ripley and Candice LeRae beat Team Baszler via pinfall in 27:24 to win the WarGames Match.
A replay aired of Dakota Kai’s vicious attack on Tegan Nox’s surgically repaired knee… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Woah, that was pretty damn good. You can’t go wrong with Takeovers, you just can’t. I’m not sure if it’s recency bias, so I’ll let things soak a bit, but this may be my favorite NXT WarGames match ever, and it didn’t need blood and guts. Mixed thoughts on the two on one handicap win, but It’s positive in my opinion at the moment because LeRae essentially playing decoy in the other ring allowed Ripley to even things up in her half of the ring. They really want to put Ripley over strong and I’m not going to complain at that one, she’s shined in every spot they elevate her to and good for Shayna for doing the job. Man, and we’re going to get an amazing Nox and Kai feud out of this too! Damn NXT, they always come through…
Different camera shots were shown of Matt Riddle and Finn Balor preparing for their match. They cut to a video package for the upcoming number one contender’s triple threat…
The Imperium team of Big Daddy WALTER, Marcel Barthel, and Fabien Aichner were shown in the NXT guest section. I’m glad we’re going to get more from Walter and crew in NXT in the horizon…
2. Damien Priest vs. Killian Dain vs. Pete Dunne in a Triple Threat to become number one contender to the NXT Championship. Mauro noted that Priest’s attire is a tribute to Razor Ramon Scott Hall. Mauro also noted that Pete Dunne became the WWE UK Champion in Chicago two years ago by beating Tyler Bate. Nigel continued to compare Dunne’s title run to Hulk Hogan’s dominance in WWE. Dunne went right at Dain’s fingers when Dain tried to punk out Dunne. Priest took down both men with kick combinations. Dunne recovered leading to an agility sequence from Dunne and Dain. Dunne hit Dain with the elbow stomp. Priest came at Dunne with a simple right hand.
He then gave Dain a simple but effective right hand. Dunne punched Priest in the gut to block Priest’s step up dive. Dain slammed Priest to the ground. He then gave Dunne a Michinoku Driver. Both men kicked out at Dain’s pin attempts. Dain managed to lift both opponents and hit them with a single motion Samoan Drop Fallaway Slam. Nigel noted that Dunne is a working class hero from Birmingham. Dain dominated a bit but Dunne used his agility to run around Dain. Dunne blocked a suplex from Priest. Dunne hit Dain with a suplex and then hit a finger stomp to a kick combo on Dain. Priest blocked Dunne’s Juji Gatame. Dunne went for joint manipulation, but Dain and Priest gave Dunne a Shield Bomb.
Dain gave Priest punches and Priest came back with Muay Thai kneees. Dunne jumped in the middle and gave the two opponents lariats. A three way brawl ensued until all three men took each other out with high impact strikes. The sound went out for a second, I think it was a curse from Dain. Dain and Priest ran at Dunne with punches and took out Dunne while he hit them with a Shining Wizard to leave all three men lying. Mauro noted that Dunne is the only one of the three men to have won a single’s championship in WWE. Priest recovered and gave Dunne a Falcon Arrow on Dain. Priest hit Dunne with a move and got a nearfall.
Priest gave Dunne a Razor’s edge on the Spanish Announce Table (didn’t break). Dain gave Priest a Tope Suicida. Dain then cannonballed Priest through the barricade in front of the timekeeper. Dain got a two count in the ring on Priest. After a brawl, Priest hit Dain with Razor’s Edge. Dunne lifted Priest off Dain to break the count. Dunne gave Priest rapid stomps from the lying and standing position. Priest few over the top rope to take out Dain. Dunne took out both opponents with a Triangle Asai Moonsault. Mauro noted that Priest flew and he’s 6’7”.
Priest and Dunne were left alone in the ring. Both men took turns trading rapid fire shots. Priest clocked Dunne inside out with a lariat. Both men reversed each other’s finishers. Dunne flipped right into a Juji Gatame on Priest. Priest went for the rope break, but there’s no DQ. Dain broke things up. Killian Dain hit Priest with a One Winged Angel for a two count. Dain put Dunne in the Tree of Woe and tossed Priest on him. Dain hit both men with a cannonball. Dain hit Priest with a Vader bomb for a two count.
Dunne hit Dain with the Bitter End. Priest used a basement roundhouse to break the pinfall attempt. Priest clocked Dunne on the top rope with a cyclone roundhouse. Priest gave Dunne a Frankensteiner onto Dain. Priest cyclone kicked Dain. Priest gave Dunne The Reckoning (Cross Rhodes). Dain used the last of his strength to break the pinfall. Dunne flipped out of the corner but right into a chop block by Dain. Dain gave Priest a Shotgun Dropkick to send Priest to ringside. Dain scaled to the top rope. Dunne staggered Dain with a step up roundhouse.
The three men all brawled to the top rope. Priest went for a Choke slam but Dunne got the finger break on Priest. Dunne hit Dain with a Superplex. Dunne hit Priest with a Bitter End. Dain hit both men with a senton to break the pinfall. Dain put Dunne in backpack position and tried to Senton him on Priest. Dunne no sold the Senton, but Priest sold it and took the pinfall loss to Dunne.
Pete Dunne defeated Damien Priest and Killian Dain via pinfall in 19:56 to become number one contender to the NXT Championship.
Mauro hyped up Adam Cole vs. Pete Dunne for the NXT Championship for tomorrow on Survivor Series… [c]
John’s Thoughts: The match was good, and definitely worthy of a Takeover, but it didn’t quite feel like that. Not the wrestler’s fault. These wrestlers were just put in the unenviable position of being the come-down match from the hot War Games. That said, I didn’t expect this come-down match to go essentially 20 minutes. The ending was fine too, albeit a bit unorthadox. Again, good match, but taken down a few notches just due to the natural diminishing returns effect of following a main event level match.
Team Ciampa was shown getting ready backstage. Mauro Ranallo thanked Poppy for providing the song “I Disagree” as the theme of Takeover WarGames III…
The hype package aired for Matt Riddle vs. Finn Balor…
Matt Riddle made his entrance wearing orange themed gear. The sports team isn’t coming to mind yet. Is it Orange White Sox gear? I’m not sure. Finn Balor made his entrance, continuing to use his arm motion to shut off the lights on the fans where he transitions to his double gun fingers shooter motion. Beth Phoenix noted that Finn Balor has gone silent on Social Media other than one tweet saying “hi”…
3. Matt Riddle vs. Finn Balor. Balor and Riddle soaked up the moment for a bit. Riddle went for a single leg takedown, but Balor got to the ropes for the separation. Riddle turned a Monkey Flip into a Juji Gatame. Balor escaped. Mauro reminded that Matt Riddle once beat Jon Jones in MMA (In high school). Riddle and Balor traded submission reversals on the ground. Balor locked Riddle in a tight grip side headlock. Riddle reversed it to a headscissors resthold on Balor. Balor reversed right back to the headlock. Nigel noted that he’s a bit surprised that Balor is not keeping up the pace due to Riddle’s specialty being submission.
Riddle got to his feet and managed to Deadlift Gutwrench Suplex Balor a few times. Balor escaped with a rollup attempt. Balor hit Riddle with a basement shotgun dropkick for a two count. Balor went back to the chinlock. Balor grinded his forearm on Riddle’s face. Balor gave Riddle a hesitation dropkick in the corner. Balor brought things back to a methodical pace on Riddle. Balor got Riddle to ringside and hit him with a single leg wrecking ball kick. Balor kicked out at two in the ring. Balor toyed with Riddle with boots.
Riddle recovered when Balor gloated a bit and hit a striking combo on Balor. Riddle hit Balor with an Exploder, PK, and Senton for a two count. Riddle popped Balor up with a Muay Thai roundhouse and then gave Balor roundhouses in the corner. Balor fought out of the corner with boots. Balor came at Riddle with a flying forearm. Riddle reversed Slingblade into a high kick. Riddle locked Balor in the Ankle Lock. Balor used boots to fought out. Riddle adjusted to the other ankle. Nigel said that Riddle should have grapevined Balor’s leg to prevent the rope break. Balor got the rope break.
Riddle deadlifted Balor to the second rope in German position, but Balor held on to the ropes to block the deadlift German. Balor used a back elbow to escaped the regular German Suplex. Riddle came at Balor with a forearm. Balor came back with an Okada-like dropkick. Riddle so sold Balor’s suplex. Riddle hit Balor with a Final Flash Knee and German Bridge for a two count. Riddle hit Balor with a V-Trigger. Balor reversed a bomb into a double stomp on the ground.
Balor hit Riddle with Sling Blade. Riddle blocked Balor’s Shotgun Dropkick with a Goldberg Spear. Riddle hit Balor with the Goldberg Jackhammer for the two count. Mauro noted that Goldberg must be cheering that Balor kicked out of Riddles version of Goldberg’s move. Balor reversed Riddle and hit Riddle with Bloody Sunday for a two count. This invoked “two sweet” chants. Balor put the boots to Riddle. Riddle then hit Balor with a Go 2 Sleep (In Chicago). Riddle crash into Balor’s knees in a corkscrew moonsault attempt. Balor hit Riddle with a Shotgun Dropkick. Riddle dodged the Coup D’ Grace.
Riddle locked Balor in the Bromission. Balor ate a few punches and got to the ropes for the escape. Balor countered the V-Trigger and then hit Riddle with Bloody Sunday for the victory.
Finn Balor defeated Matt Riddle via pinfall in 14:21.
Balor celebrated his win with shooter fingers while the crowd participated in the side arm raises. Highlights from the match aired… [c]
John’s Thoughts: A good match, but I still feel like we’re coming down from that very hot Women’s War Games match. Should they have saved Women’s War Games for the actual main event slot? Hindsight is 20 20. Anyway, a good match and Finn Balor totally should have won. I felt if given five more minutes and a few good false finishes this could have been taken up a little. That and give Riddle some more MMA in there because this was pretty tame for a Riddle performance.
Mauro thanked Denzel Curry for providing the theme song for NXT Takeover. Denzel Curry was shown in the guest section in the crowd…
Mauro provided medical updates on Mia Yim and Tegan Nox. Mauro noted that both were sent to the “local medical facility”. Mauro said Nox is getting a MRI since it’s the attack was on Nox’s surgically repaired knee. Nigel noted that Rhea Ripley will be joining Paul “Triple H” Levesque on his post-Takeover Facebook interview to reveal the Women’s Survivor Series team (so Toni Storm might not be on it as we saw on Smackdown)…
The War Games Cage started lowering. NXT aired the hype package for the men’s WarGames match…
Alisha Taylor handled the rules introduction for the WarGames match as the graphic flashed on the screen. Undisputed Era made their unified entrance to the shark cage. They all had their NXT Championships with them. Ciampa’s team got their individual entrances for the shark cages. Tommaso had a skull mask looking like he was either from Mad Max or Death Stranding (gotta get those recent references in).
Ciampa bypassed the shark cage and marched straight to the ring while Undisputed Era contemplated who would join Ciampa in the ring to start the match. Nigel wondered if the match starting would mean that there is no fourth member?
4. “Undisputed Era” Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and Roderick Strong vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, and Dominik Dijakovic. The commentators noted that Strong has the best cardio out of all the UE members. Ciampa gifted Strong with a crutch to use as a weapon, but Strong tossed it away and aid he didn’t need it. Ciampa dominated Strong to start out the match. Strong turned the momentum to his side after one of his signature backbreakers. Mauro said someone in the back needs to give him an update as to weather this is a handicap match?
John’s Thoughts: And because the commentators keep stressing it, it probably won’t be a handicap match.
Ciampa rained down punches on Strong in the corner. Strong turned the tide. Ciampa escaped and hit Strong with a Cheeky Nandos knee. Ciampa went for his signature draping DDT but Strong blocked it. Both men brawled in the center metal bridge. Strong used a wide base to block the Fairy Tale ending. Strong hit Ciampa with a gutbuster. They had Cole mic’d up for a second where he was coaching Strong from a distance. Strong dominated Ciampa for a sequence. The time started ticking down. Kyle O’Reilly struck his fighting pose and sprinted to the ring.
Strong and O’Reilly had the numbers advantage. O’Reilly gave Ciampa a flurry of kicks and knees with his educated feet and Muay Thai. UE traded off with tandem striking offense while Ciampa tried his best to fight back. O’Reilly and Strong hit Ciampa with a backbreaker and diving knee combo. Dominik Dijakovic was the next in WarGames. He gave Strong a cyclone kick and gave O’Reilly a big boot. Dijak dominated the martial exchange with KO and hit him with a Knee into a lariat. Dijakovic superkicked Strong and gave KO the Time To Fly on Strong. Strong escaped a Feast Your Eyes.
Dijak no sold Strong’s chop and then started throwing him into the cage. KO locked Dijakovic in a guillotine. Dijakovic gave O’Reilly knees and gave him a Hercules toss into the cage. Dijak used the second set of ring ropes to rebound forearm O’Reilly. Ciampa worked on Strong. Adam Cole sent in Bobby Fish as the next member in the match. Nigel noted that Fish is the “highly tenured” member of Undisputed Era.
Fish gave Ciampa roundhouse kicks to give his team the advantage from a numbers perspective. O’Reilly and Fish double teamed Dijakovic. Fish and O’Reilly gave Dijak Total Elimination. Fish and O’Reilly hit Ciampa with Chasing the Dragon. Fish yelled “we got this Cole!”. UE dominated with their three on two advantage. Strong yelled “Feast…Your… Eyes… You dork!” at Dijak (that was great!). Keith Lee was the next man for his team. Lee cleaned house like it was a hot tag on his smaller opponents. Lee did his lucha dodges and hit O’Reilly and Fish with a singular crossbody. Mauro said “Is that Keith Lee or Bruce Lee?”
O’Reilly saved Fish from a suplex. The UE went three on one on Lee. Strong took down Lee with a running knee. UE pummeled Lee, three-on-one with punches. Ciampa dragged UE off, but UE still had the advantage. Dijak body slammed O’Reilly to the other ring to tilt the scales. Strong, Fish, and O’Reilly brawled with Lee and Dijak in the east ring.
The time ticked down and Cole was the last man from UE to be let in the match. Cole brought out the table that Kay Lee Ray didn’t to hype up the crowd. Dammit Cole! Continuing to do his babyface-heel thing. Cole took his time dragging many tables in the ring. Fish and O’Reilly made sure to soften their opponents up. Cole was still bringing in tables. Ciampa recovered and shoved Adam Cole into a table set up at ringside. Ciampa then dragged Cole in the ring. Mauro continued to note that they haven’t received an update as to if this match is a handicap (which means it’s not).
UE and Team Ciampa then had a face off. The brawl then ensued. Nigel noted that Ciampa’s team had the advantage (via size) even though they have a numbers disadvantage. Fish kicked Lee in the balls to give his team the advantage. The clock ticked down and no one showed up initially. This allowed UE to let out some cocky gloats. Kevin Owen’s theme played to show that Kevin Owens was the last member of team Ciampa. Adam Cole did his usual “what the F” face.
John’s Thoughts: In all honestly, I would have preferred to see a Adam Cole and KO reunion at one point teaming up, but this is fun too! By the way, My KO references earlier in the match were in regards to Kyle O’Reilly. Dude has an apostrophe in his name so it’s harder to type.
KO cleaned house. KO gave O’Reilly an Ushigoroshi and gave Fish a Sleeper Suplex. Cole then flashed the UE hand sign at his old friend KO. KO responded with “suck it bitch!” and gave him a stunner. The pin was broken up. Lee tossed one UE member into the rest of UE. Lee gave the UE and Dijakovic a top rope Crossbody. O’Reilly wasn’t a part of that, as he gave Lee a diving knee and kneebar. Dijakovic did a springboard moonsault from one ring to the other on O’Reilly for the two count that Fish broke up. Ciampa hit Fish with a Fairy Tale Ending. Owens hit Fish with the Swanton. Cole broke up the subsequent pin.
Lee headbutted Cole’s gut. Strong prevented Lee from hitting a superplex on Cole. Strong hit lee with a Super Angle Slam. Strong and O’Reilly hit Lee with a double team Axe and Smash for the two count. Strong and O’Reilly hit Dijak with Total Elimination. Owens tossed Strong and O’Reilly into the cage. Owens trash talked UE by saying “did that hurt?”. Cole and Owens brawled on the metal bridge. Cole escaped a two Fear Factor attempts and hit Owens with a superkick. Cole hit Owens with a sick and delayed Canadian Destroyer on the metal part in between the rings. The wrestlers all took the time for a moment of respite.
Ciampa hit O’Reilly with Project Ciampa. Ciampa hit Strong and Fish with rapid fire knees. Cole hit Ciampa with a superkick. Ciampa tossed Cole into the cage and gave him the rapid fire running knees in the corner. Ciampa and Cole got to the top rope. Cole went for a Panama Sunrise through tables, but Ciampa blocked it. Cole and Ciampa brawled on the top rope. Cole used Ciampa’s beard to pull him into the cage. Cole then scaled to the top or the cage. Everyone else was brawling in the center of two rings. Dijakovic tossed Strong into a table. O’Reilly reversed a chokeslam into an armbar.
Dijak started falling asleep on the table due to the submission. This allowed KO to Frog Splash O’Reilly through a table. Keith Lee gave Fish a Spirit Bomb through the table. Meanwhile, Ciampa and Cole brawled on the top of the cage from the opposite side of the ring. Ciampa trapped Cole and then hit a nasty top of of the cage Air Raid Crash through the table. Tommaso Ciampa picked up the pinfall.
Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic, and Kevin Owens defeated Undisputed Era via pinfall in 38:30 to win the WarGames match.
A camera shot showed AEW Wrestler Dr. Britt Baker looking at the ring in worry at the move her boyfriend just took, which Mauro acknowledged. The ring was left with bodies laid out in exhaustion. Highlights from the match aired. Eventually Kieth Lee got up and pulled Ciampa to his feet for a handshake hug. KO, Ciampa, Lee, and Dijakovic stood tall in celebration. The WWE Signature flashed on the bottom of the screen with Mauro hyping up Survivor Series for tomorrow…
John’s Thoughts: Now that was a really good and brutal WarGames match. My nod still goes to the Women’s match being the stronger of the two WarGames matches, but this was pretty damn fun too. This one was spots, pops, and more spots and pops. Good stuff. Kevin Owens was a nice surprise and it was cool to see him trash talking again. Long indie wrestling fans no that Cole and Owens came up together, especially in the SoCal indie scene (via PWG and the such). In the end though, I feel like KO wasn’t the biggest name that they could have thrown in there? Maybe that’s just me. Just a lot of great stuff all across the board.
Takeovers always deliver and this was no exception. The show was carried by the two WarGames matches as it probably should have given that it’s the show’s namesake. It’s really tough evaluating the center two matches in between given that they felt like comedown matches from the WarGames matches. I talked about how putting the Women’s WarGames match in the main even slot earlier, but I also understand not having back to back WarGames matches to exhaust the crowd. Swapping the two matches wouldn’t make a difference because you’d just be left with the same layout with no real change. That said, good show and I thought the women’s war games had a better story and long term effect on storylines. We’ll be by later on tonight hopefully with an audio review of NXT War Games for Dot Net Members.