By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT Takeover: WarGames
Aired December 6, 2020 on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE PC)
Sam Roberts and Wade Barrett were at the Capitol Wrestling Center where they served as the pre-show hosts. Barrett and Roberts gave their initial thoughts on the upcoming WarGames show. The hosts ran through the advertised matches on the show. The show cut to McKenzie Mitchell backstage who talked about how she talked to members of both teams of the men’s WarGames matches, both who gave confident thoughts on their potential wins. McKenzie Mitchell then noted that the Women’s War Games match will open the show. They cut to a vido package to hype up the women’s WarGames match.
After the break, the pre-show hosts talked about how the NXT Women’s division is the best women’s division in all of wrestling. The panel then hyped up Tommaso Ciampa vs. Timothy Thatcher. Roberts noted that Ariel Hiwani will appear after the next break to analyze the men’s WarGames match. After a goofy video of wrestlers imitating William Regal’s “WARGAMES!!!” announcements, they cut to hype for Leon Ruff vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Damian Priest. After the video, they cut to Triple H giving some generic hype for Ruff vs. Gargano vs. Priest. The hosts from WWE’s The Bump show then gave their WarGames predictions.
A hype video aired for Dexter Lumis vs. Cameron Grimes. McKenzie Mitchell then tried to interview Cameron Grimes, who ended up yelling at McKenzie. Grimes was pacing and acting very nervous. Grimes then tried to project his fear on Lumis and then tried to hype up his match. Grimes said that Lumis will screm about Grimes going to the moon. A hype video aired for the men’s WarGames match. Roberts and Barrett introduced Ariel Helwani to the show. Roberts and Helwani traded friendly jabs at each other. Helwani then gave his thoughts on WarGames. The pre-show closed with the WarGames structure descending…
The WarGames show opened up with the Black Sabbath War Pigs song playing in the background of the opening montage…
Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary. Alicia Taylor handled the formal in ring introductions and instructions for the WarGames match. The instructions were accompanied by a rule graphic. Team LeRae chose Dakota Kai as their first participant. Team Blackheart chose Ember Moon as their first participant. During Shotzi Blackheart’s entrance, she drove out in a new toy tank. This new tank had a skull as a hood ornament. The babyfaces posed for a picture on the tank. Shotzi ended up shooting a nerf missile in Kai’s direction…
1. Shotzi Blackheart, Rhea Ripley, Io Shirai, and Ember Moon vs. Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Raquel Gonzalez, and Toni Storm in the WarGames Match. Kai and Moon traded early clubbing blows. Moon escaped a sleeper with a judo roll. Moon hit Kai with a nice corkscrew huracanrana. Moon dominated Kai with a flurry of offense. Kai got Moon grounded after a Scorpion Kick and ground and pound punches. Kai went for an early Go To Kick, but Moon reversed it into a superkick. Kai hid between the two rings and hit Moon with a series of kick. Kai hit Moon with her signature Code Red Backbreaker. Shotzi Blackheart was the next woman in the match. Blackheart brought a toolbox and crowbar into the cage.
Blackheart draped Kai on the second rope and hit her with a imploding senton. Blackheart then hit Kai with a wrecking ball kick. Kai slowed down the face team’s momentum by tossing them into the cage. That said, the babyface team still had the numbers advantage. Blackheart gave Kai a dropkick while on Moon’s shoulders. Raquel Gonzalez was the next woman in the match. Moon and Blackheart tried to do a pincer attack on Gonzalez, but Gonzalez fought them off and hit them with lariats.
Gonzalez hit Moon with a whirlwind slam. Gonzalez power bombed Blackheart against the cage. Kai and Gonzalez dominated Moon and Blackheart for a stretch. Rhea Ripley was the next woman in the match. Ripley and Gonzalez jawed at each other to start their encounter. Kai tried to distract Ripley, but Ripley ended up dominating due to Blackheart and Moon being able to distract Gonzalez. Ripley hit Kai with a flapjack. Moon hit Gonzalez with a Magnum. Blackheart hit Gonzalez with Code Red.
Ripley hit Kai in the gut a few times with a hammer. Ripley then handcuffed Kai with a belt, and then ragdolled her into the steel cage. Kai and Gonzalez then brawled right before the next woman entered the match. Toni Storm was the next woman in the ring. Storm brought Kendo Sticks into the ring. Storm hit Ripley with a German Suplex. Storm pummeled Ripley with kendo stick shots. Storm made sure to unbuckle a few turnbuckle pads.
The heel team dominated the next stretch of match. The six women in the match did stereo Tower of Doom variations to leave all six women lying. Io Shirai was out next, where she brought a ladder into the match. Interesting enough, all of these weapons were pulled out of the same area of the ring. Raquel Gonzalez kicked Shirai off the steps to prevent her from entering. Shirai tried to bring more ladders in the ring, but that allowed Gonzalez to shove the ladder into Shirai and continue to keep her out of the cage. Instead of entering the match, Shirai kept throwing in more weapons for Gonzalez to use. Shirai hit Gonzalez with a wrecking ball kick.
Toni Storm used a belt to lock up the cage. Barrett noted that Gonzalez and Storm managed to stall out Blackheart’s Team advantage. Candice LeRae was the next in the match. Shirai tried to confront LeRae, but she was punched in the back with a chain by Indi Hartwell. Hartwell then locked the cage with a padlock and chain after LeRae enterted the cage. Hartwell put the key in her shirt and walked away. After a few minutes of the heels dominating, LeRae tried to get a pinfall on Blackheart, but the referee wouldn’t start the match into all the women were in the cage.
Shirai climbed to the top of the cage and put a trash can over her head. Shirai then dove on the pile of women in the ring. The face team then cleaned house. Ripley and Moon tossed Shirai into Gonzalez. Shirai hit Gonzalez with a moonsault. Gonzalez’s teammates broke up Shirai’s subsequent pin. When Moon got distracted by Storm, LeRae locked her in a GargaNo Escape. Blackheart locked Storm in a Cattle Mutilation. LeRae broke up her own hold to break up Blackheart’s hold. Blackheart managed to dominate LeRae and Storm with stick shots.
Shirai took down Kai with a missile dropkick. Dakota Kai then got a trash can on the head of Shirai. Kai gave the trash can a double stomp, which actually trapped Shirai’s upper half in the trash can due to the can warping. Moon recovered and hit Kai in the back with a chair shot. Moon draped Kai over two chairs. Moon then hit Kai with a scary looking Eclipse over the two chairs. Storm broke up the pin attempt. Toni Storm hit Moon with a Storm Zero on a chair.
Shirai broke up the pin. Ripley locked Storm in a Prism Lock with Shirai dropkicking Storm. Storm kicked out at two. LeRae hit Shirai with a trash lid. LeRae then superkicked the lid into Ripley’s face. Blackheart got LeRae to the mat. Blackheart hit LeRae with a diving Senton, but Blackheart took some of the pain due to diving into a chair that Candice used as a shield. Shirai hit Kai with a moonsault. Storm speared Ripley into Shirai to break the pin. Shirai and Gonzalez brawled to the top rope. Gonzalez gave Shirai a top rope Uranage into a ladder bridge in between the ring. Gonzalez picked up the win for her team.
Team Candice LeRae defeated Team Shotzi Blackheart via pinfall in 35:22 to win the WarGames match.
Indi Hartwell joined Candice LeRae’s team in the ring to pose in victory…
John’s Thoughts: A fun hardcore opening match. The beginning of the match was a bit contrived, mostly because they tried to write their way out of the babyfaces having woman advantage coming into the match (it was so contrived, that it made Shirai look a bit goofy for not entering the match when she should have. The rest of the action was solid. I’m surprised at the ending a bit too. Not because the heels won, but moreso that the heels won in pretty clean fashion, all things considered. I can’t complain. Because this wasn’t necessarily the “greatest” WarGames match or anything, allows the main event to have an easier chance to shine.
They cut to Finn Balor who talked about WarGames. Balor said once the cage rises, team sports is over. Balor said on Wednesday, the time goes back to The Prince…
Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett checked in on commentary. Wade Barrett noted that Gonzalez pinned the Women’s Champion and how that might set up Shirai’s next challenger. The cameras showed Undisputed Era and Team Pat McAfee entering the WWE Performance Center from earlier today. They then cut to entrances for the Tommaso Ciampa vs. Timothy Thatcher match…
2. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Timothy Thatcher. Thatcher fought his way out of the opening chain wrestling sequence. Thatcher dominated the next stretch of chain wrestling with wristlocks. Ciampa turned the momentum over and slammed Thatcher’s leg into the mat. Thatcher tossed Ciampa’s throat into the bottom rope, and Ciampa sold an injury due to the neck. Thatcher then worked on Ciampa with cravates and submissions. Thatcher worked on Ciampa with methodical offense, focusing on Ciampa’s neck. Ciampa escaped a cravate with a jawbreaker.
Ciampa used punches to fend off Thatcher. Thatcher got Ciampa to his knee with a stiff chest slap. Ciampa used a backdrop to reverse a double underhook. Thatcher and Ciampa traded shortarm elbows. Ciampa and Thatcher took each other out with headbutts. Ciampa rallied atainst Thatcher with a series of clotheslines. Ciampa dragged Thatcher to the top rope and hit him with a Superplex. Thatcher kicked out at two. Thatcher recovered and locked Ciampa in a Guillotine Choke. Joseph noted that this was how Ciampa passed out on Wednesday.
Ciampa escaped the hold by tackling Thatcher to ringside. Thatcher and Ciampa beat the ten count. Ciampa took down Thatcher and put Thatcher in a crossface. Thatcher got to his feet and against the ropes for the break. Thatcher quickly planted Ciampa with a German Suplex. The replayed showed that Timothy Thatcher busted his ear after a Ciampa kick. A bloody Thatcher hit Ciampa with a German Suplex. Thatcher yanked Ciampa’s neck into the top rope.
Thatcher rolled to the ropes to break a Ciampa backslide pin. Ciampa trapped Thatcher in the ropes and hit Thatcher with a series of chops. Ciampa hit Thatcher with the Willow’s Bell DDT.
Tommaso Ciampa defeated Timothy Thatcher via pinfall in 16:46.
Thatcher was seething and glaring at the ring while Ciampa gave a calm glare right back…
John’s Thoughts: A rough and gritty match. In that sense the match was solid. At the same time, they’ve never made it seem like at any point during this short feud that Thatcher had any chance of getting one over on Tommaso Ciampa. The booking of Timothy Thatcher in NXT continues to be very baffling. It’s not like I expected him to be a big deal if he ever came to WWE, but NXT gives the guy a ton of TV time and a huge push out of the gate, yet the guy loses all his meaningful matches. I was kinda hoping that Thatcher would pick up a dirty win at least, but yet again, he takes another loss. At least they heat up Ciampa a bit.
Beth Phoenix thanked the band Ghostmane for providing the song “Hydrochloride” as one of the themes for Takeover WarGames…
Damian Priest, Johnny Gargano, and Leon Ruff were shown psyching themselves up backstage. A highlight video aired of the Dexter Lumis and Timothy Thatcher feud…
Entrances for the Lumis vs. Grimes match took place. The camera showed that the “Zombie Referee” was the referee of the match…
3. Dexter Lumis vs. Cameron Grimes in a strap match. The referee tried to get Grimes to wear the WWE-provided strap, but Grimes insisted that they’d use his own strap. Lumis didn’t protest, so the referee was about to tie Grimes’s strap to Lumis’s wrist. Before the two wrestlers could get strapped, Grimes preemptedly attacked Lumis before the bell. Lumis turned the tides in the attack by dodging a strap shot and hitting Grimes with a throat punch. Lumis then managed to strap Grimes in the strap. Lumis chased Grimes to ringside.
Grimes came back with fingers to the eyes of Lumis. Grimes then tried to climb over the plexiglass, but Lumis yanked Grimes down and hit him with a throat punch. Lumis tossed Grimes into the plexiglass several times. Grimes suplexed Lumis over the barricade to give himself a moment of respite. Grimes then looked freaked out as Lumis did a slow rise from behind the barricade. Grimes then yanked Lumis back to ringside to continue his onslaught. Grimes emptied the bag with the other strap so he could blindfold the face of Lumis. Grimes then whipped around Lumis with the second strap.
Lumis reversed Grimes by hitting Grimes with a spinebuster. Grimes turned the tide back to his favor by yanking Lumis into the War Games cage scaffolding. Grimes hit Lumis with a few PKs from the apron. Lumis blocked a PK and then yanked Grimes to the floor. Lumis had a bit of an offensive flurry, but Grimes pulled at Lumis’s pants and then hit Lumis with a German Suplex into the bottom buckle. Grimes then hit Lumis with a chair and then rested on the chair. Grimes’s showboating allowed Lumis to recover and hit Grimes with an Exploder Suplex.
Grimes ended the momentum of Lumis when Lumis went high risk and Grimes reversed it by yahking him down. Grimes hit Lumis with his signature Spanish Fly Power Slam for a two count. Barrett noted how he could never understand how that move works (he’s right, it’s very unique). Grimes and Lumis traded reversals with Lumis going for the Kata Gatame. Lumis then tripped Grimes up, causing him to fall on the chair. This allowed Lumis to lock in the Kata Gatame. Grime tried to pull off the strap, but Lumis tied up the face of Grimes to cause him to tap out.
Dexter Lumis defeated Cameron Grimes via submission in 12:52.
An ad aired for Keith Lee’s WWE 24 documentary…
Pat McAfee, Oney Lorcan, and Danny Burch were psyching each other up while Pete Dunne was sitting down with his usual dead glare. The Undisputed Era were shown psyching each other up in another locker room…
Vic Josheph then showcased a NXT War Games toy set. The lights then suddenly started to glitch out. The imagery focused on a vulture. The lights then went out and the words “Tick Tock” could be heard in the background. Karrion Kross is on the road to return…
A hype package aired to hype Leon Ruff vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Damian Priest…
John’s Thoughts: Not quite what I imagined for Cameron Grimes’s first Takeover Match, but at least it was a solid match and they made the best out of a match that had little potential for entertainment value. That said, it still wasn’t all that great. We get it! Grimes is a scared cartoon character and Lumis is a one-note serial killer gimmick. Here’s hoping they move on from here and take different directions with both characters. They don’t necessary need repackaging, but can we at least get both of these guys to act a bit serious as opposed to like Scooby Doo characters? Lumis’s limitations as a character really stand out, when you have Karrion Kross in the same ecosystem as the more serious version of the same killer character. Speaking of Kross, it’s awesome to have him coming back because he will definitely add a lot of star power and talent to this show.
Entrances for the North American Championship match took place. Alicia Taylor handled the formal in-ring introductions for the championship match…
4. Leon Ruff vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Damian Priest for the NXT North American Championship. Priest shoved Ruff aside early on. Gargano tossed Priest to ringside and quickly went for pins on Ruff. Gargano dropkicked Priest off the apron and went back at Ruff. Ruff did some parkour moves to avoid Gargano. Ruff then hit Gargano with a tightrope huracanrana. Priest shoved Ruff to the side to beat up Gargano. Priest yelled “just get out of my way” to Ruff, as he tossed Ruff to ringside. Ruff came back in and dove on Gargano.
Ruff hit Priest with kicks and body shots. Priest no sold Ruff’s chop and lifted him into a chokeslam. Gargano helped Ruff escape. He yelled “Leon come on!” as he and Ruff laid clubbing blows on Priest. Gargano beat up Priest at ringside. Gargano acted like he was holding Priest in place, but he ended up catching Ruff with a slingshot spear for a two count. Priest pulled Gargano to ringside and shoved Gargano into the plexiglass. Ruff continued to try to get Priest’s respect, but Priest no sold a dive and a punch from Ruff. Priest then hit Ruff with a Razor’s Edge into the barricade, knocking down the barricade and plexiglass.
The referees ran out to check on Ruff while Priest was apologetic, even saying “I’m sorry”. Gargano took advantage of the distraction by hitting Priest with a Tornado DDT. Gargano talked to the camera, continuing to call Leon Ruff a joke. Priest and Gargano reversed the One Final Beat and Reckoning from each other. Priest hit Gargano with a spinning heel kick for a two count. Gargano escaped a Razor’s Edge and hit Priest with a Sliced Bread. Priest and Gargano ducked and weaved from each other’s strikes. Gargano got Priest to a knee with a shin kick, but Priest recovered and hit Gargano with a lariat, leaving both men lying.
When Priest got to all fours at ringside, Ruff ran back out and hit Gargano with a Whisper of the Wind spear off of Priest’s back. Ruff took down Gargano and Priest at ringside with a diving cannonball. Ruff hit Gargano with a springboard corkscrew cutter for a two count. Gargano recovered and tried to toss Ruff into the ropes, but Ruff came back with a rebound lariat for a two count.
Priest then stood in front of Ruff when Ruff went high risk. Priest managed to catch Ruff with a big boot after Ruff tried to fly around Priest. Priest then hit both Gargano and Ruff with the same Flatliner. Priest hit Gargano with a Broken Arrow, sending him into Ruff. Gargano escaped a Razor’s Edge and shoved Priest into the ringpost. Gargano then lawn darted Ruff into priest. Gargano trapped Priest in the ropes, between the rings, like a crucifix. Ruff ended up surprising Gargano with a Crucifix Driver for a nice nearfall. Joseph noted that the driver is how Ruff won the title.
Priest was shown struggling to escape being tied into the ropes. Gargano slammed Ruff and locked Ruff in the GargaNo Escape. Priest escaped and grabbed Ruff’s hands to prevent him from tapping out. Priest hit Gargano with a top rope spinning heel kick. Ruff avoided a Priest lariat in the corner. Priest no-sold Ruff’s lariats. Gargano hit Ruff with a superkick. Priest hit Gargano with a chokeslam. Suddenly, a Ghostface guy showed up at the ramp. Two more ghostfaces. Showed up. One was heavyset. Three more Ghostfaces showed up at the other side of the ring. Priest managed to fight off all six Ghostfaces. Ruff hit Gargano with a Frog Splash and almost stole the win, but Priest reentered the ring and broke up the pin for another great nearfall.
Ruff tried to come at Priest again with strikes, but Priest planted him to the mat with a cyclone kick. Priest ended up getting Gargano to the mat with kicks. Pries went for the Reckoning, but one of the Ghostfaces guys hit Priest with a pipe to the back. Gargano saw Ruff coming and hit Ruff with a superkick and One Final Beat DDT for the victory.
Johnny Gargano defeated Leon Ruff and Damian Priest via pinfall in 17:28 to become the new NXT North American Champion.
Ghostface stood next to Gargano on the stage and revealed, as expected, that he was Austin Theory. Theory jokingly did an homage to Vince McMahon by saying “It was me! Austin! It was me all along!” to the camera. Gargano and Theory posed on the ramp…
John’s Thoughts: Great stuff and hands down the match of the night so far. The Ruff-Gargano-Priest feud has been the highlight of NXT over the past few weeks and this match delivered on that fun storytelling. Seriously, everyone came out of this feud with a W somehow. Ruff simply gains by being associated with the stars he’s been associated. I think Damian Priest gained a whole lot from this feud, most notably a lot of affability as a babyface. Gargano gained in that he was able to show off his douchebaggery as a heel. Great stuff. I also thought they did a great job in making Priest look strong here, fighting off Austin Theory and 5 random wrestlers (I was afraid that this was dorky-ass Retribution invading or something). Looking forward to the next chapter of this feud because there are a lot of ways this can go, especially with the talented Austin Theory thrown into the mix.
An ad aired for the themed “New Years Evil” Wednesday night episode which is set for January 6, 2021…
Vic Joseph thanked Black Sabbath for providing the song War Pigs as one of the NXT Takeover WarGames themes. A hype video aired for the men’s Takeover Match…
Alicia Taylor handled the formal in-ring introductions and instructions. Undisputed Era made their entrance first, all wearing red and camo patterned gear. Kyle O’Reilly was chosen as the first representative for the UE team. Pat McAfee’s team was out next. Pete Dunne was chosen as the first representative of McAfee’s team. Beth noted that Pete Dunne is the only person on McAfee’s team with WarGames experience…
5. “Undisputed Era” Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and Roderick Strong vs. Pat McAfee, Oney Lorcan, Danny Burch, and Pete Dunne in a WarGames Match. Both men started off with methodical chain wrestling to start. Dunne managed to bait O’Reilly in the center island where he locked O’Reilly in an arm triangle. O’Reilly escaped and locked Dunne in a double wrist lock. Dunne landed on his feet during an O’Reilly German Suplex, nailing O’Reilly with a spinning roundhouse. Dunne worked on O’Reilly with Joint Manipulation. O’Reilly got to his feet, but Dunne went right back to the joint manipulation, bending O’Reilly’s fingers in the cage.
Dunne hit O’Reilly with stomps to the hands and a spin kick. O’Reilly got Dunne to a knee with a Guillotine. O’Reilly then hit Dunne with a knee. Dunne flipped O’Reilly right into a Juji Gatame. O’Reilly escaped and locked Dunne in a heel hook. The clock ticked to 00. McAfee acted like he wanted to enter, but he allowed Oney Lorcan to enter the match. O’Reilly fended off Lorcan with Muay Thai strikes. Dunne grounded O’Reilly with a lariat.
Lorcan hit O’Reilly with a few back tackles and a Half-and-half suplex. Dunne followed up with a spin roundhouse to the temple of O’Reilly. Dunne put O’Reilly in a half surfboard, while Lorcan gave O’Reilly stiff slaps to the chest. O’Reilly managed to tie up Lorcan in the ropes and trap Dunne in the ropes with a Dragon Screw. O’Reilly hit Lorcan with a diving knee. Dunne tripped up O’Reilly with a dropkick to the calf of O’Reilly.
Dunne and Lorcan tortured O’Reilly in a double-submission. Bobby Fish was the next wrestler in the match where he took down his opponents with Muay Thai strikes. Fish hit Lorcan with a nice spinebuster. Dunne fended off Fish with shortarm curbstomps. O’Reilly took down Dunne with a kick. Fish and O’Reilly hit Lorcan with Chasing the Dragon. Fish locked Dunne in a Sleeper while O’Reilly kicked him.
John’s Thoughts: O’Reilly is an amazing singles wrestlers, but the reason you forget about that is because of how great ReDRagon is. They’re showing that in this little time where they get to work as a tag team again.
Dunne locked Fish in his finger manipulation while Lorcan and O’Reilly brawled on the ground. Danny Burch was the next man out to give McAfee’s team the advantage again. Burch brought in some sort of orange bag to the ring. There was a cricket bat in it. Burch missed hitting O’Reilly with a cricket bat. Burch hit KO with a German Suplex. Burch found another cricket bat in the bag. Dunne and Burch used their cricket bats to fend off the ReDRagon team. Wade Barrett noted that Americans aren’t used to Cricket and that Cricket bats are bigger than baseball bats.
As Burch was gloating, O’Reilly locked Burch into a heel hook and made Burch tap out, but the War Games match hasn’t begun yet until all the men have entered. Dunne then hit O’Reilly with a swinging bat shot. Vic Joseph then made a Casey Jones reference, which confused the Cricket-minded Wade Barrett (Casey Jones is the ally of the Ninja Turtles, for those who don’t know). Roderick Strong was the next in, who cleaned house in hot-tag mode. Strong took down Danny Burch with an Angle Slam.
Strong hit all three opponents with his signature drive by punches. Lorcan managed to slow down Strong’s momentum with a tackle to the cage. The heels went into methodical offense on the babyface team. Pat McAfee was the last man out for his team. In the magic hammerspace from under the ring, Pat McAfee dragged out some tables that had an Undisputed Era logo on them.
John’s Thoughts: Uhm? Is Hornswoggle under the ring neatly placing all these weapons for everyone to get? Seriously, there’s some magic hammer-space going on from under there. I still get a laugh out of Io Shirai refusing to help her team while pulling random weapons out from that magic spot from under the ring.
The heels put Strong on one of the tables and McAfee hit Strong with a beautiful moonsault. Each table had a UE member’s name on it and Strong was driven through the Strong table. Adam Cole was the last man to enter the match. Adam Cole pulled a fire extinguisher from the magic spot under the ring. Cole sprayed the heels with the extinguisher and then rallied against McAfee’s team. Cole hit Burch with a Last Shot Ushigoroshi. McAfee then confronted Cole from the other ring.
Dunne got in between Cole and McAfee and prevented the confrontation. Dunne hit Cole with the shortarm curbstomps. Cole hit Dunne with a DDT. McAfee then grabbed Cole so Dunne could get the advantage. McAfee called that a big brain move. O’Reilly then hit Dunne with a chair. O’Reilly then trash talked McAfee, calling McAfee and bitch.
John’s Thoughts: That trash talk was one of the most fiery promos I’ve seen from O’Reilly ever, and he didn’t have a mic.
Both teams ended up brawling. O’Reilly hit Dunne with an axe kick into Strong’s spinning knee for a two count. Lorcan slammed O’Reilly for a pin that Fish broke up. Cole hit Lorcan and Burch with pump kicks. McAfee hit Cole with a chop block. Wade Barrett called McAfee a dirty NFL player, as a complement. McAfee then woo’d like Ric Flair and locked Cole in a Figure Four. Cole “reversed the momentum” as most people do during the Figure Four.
Dunne managed to escape the brawl in the center of the ring to help McAfee escape the submission. Lorcan and Burch were the only men up at this point. Fish, O’Reilly, Lorcan, and Burch ended out taking each other out. Dunne went for a Juji Gatame, but Cole escaped with a pin attempt. Cole reversed Dunne’s suplex into a Ushigororshi for a two count. Adam Cole ended up setting up the “Kyle O’Reilly” Table. Dunne and Cole brawled to the top rope. UE tried to power bomb Dunne and Burch through the table, but the Cole table didn’t break. Strong then hit Dunne and Burch with a Splash to finally break the Cole Table.
McAfee did his signature jump to the top rope, but he was shoved half way across the ring into the O’Reilly Table. A “This is Awesome” chant ensued. The rest of Team McAfee was trapped between the ropes and cage, where UE took turns giving them kicks and tackles. Pat McAfee got UE’s attention and tried to climb out of the ring. UE pulled him down and gave him a mudhole beatdown. Cole tossed McAfee into the cage. The rest of UE then tossed McAfee into the cage two or three more times.
At about the 35 minute point, Cole was about to punt the chest of McAfee, but Dunne got in the way. Lorcan, Dunne, and Burch then put the boots to UE after their recovery. Fish and O’Reilly escaped a Doomsday Device attempt in the corner by Lorcan and Burch. O’Reilly then had a nasty fall. Cole and Dunne brawled to the top rope with Dunne’s legs trembling. Cole hit Dunne with a neckbreaker. Strong hit McAfee with a Superplex. Both teams sans McAfee then brawled in the center of the ring. McAfee then appeared at the top of the cage and knocked out everyone with a Swanton Bomb.
O’Reilly and Dunne traded forearms with O’Reilly getting the haymaker in to knock out Dunne. Dunne recovered and went for the wishbone fingers, but O’Reilly caught Dunne with a knee. Dunne trapped O’Reilly in the ropes and hit him with the wishbone finger snap. Pete Dunne hit O’Reilly with his Bitter End finisher. O’Reilly kicked out at two. O’Reilly reversed Dunne and hit Dunne with a Suplex on the metal plate in the center of the ring for a two count. O’Reilly set up a chair and laid down an unconscious Dunne on it.
O’Reilly was climbing to the top rope, but wacked in the back by a chair from McAfee. McAfee missed a chair shot on Cole. Cole hit a few strikes on McAfee. Cole was about to hit McAfee with a chair shot, but McAfee hit Cole with a low blow. Cole blocked the punt kick and kicked McAfee to the mat. Burch pulled Cole off the top rope. Fish recovered and tackled Burch through the table. McAfee gave Cole a superkick.
Cole blocked McAfee’s Panama Sunrise and hit McAfee with his own Panama Sunrise. Vic Joseph that Cole didn’t want to be hit by McAfee’s imitation of the move (Uhm? Isn’t Cole imitating the Canadian Destroyer from Petey Williams?). Dunne and Lorcan ended up preventing Cole from hitting a Last Shot. Dunne hit Cole with a nasty bitter end on the spine of the chair (yo! that was sick!). Undisputed Era then hit a bunch of McAfee’s team with their finisher moves (they went so fast, that it was hard to see who was getting hit). UE hit them with End of Heartache and Total Elimination. O’Reilly hit Lorcan with a knee dive with a chair on Lorcan’s face to pick up the pinfall.
Undisputed Era defeated Team Pat McAfee via pinfall in 45:01 to win the WarGames Match.
UE did their U-E pose into the camera to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: That was an amazing marathon with plenty of action from bell-to-bell. It’s too much to really recap, just skim what I typed above. It was a marathon, but it didn’t feel like a slog, it was like watching an entire movie unfold in the form of a wrestling match. Kudos to Pat McAfee, who continues to look like a fish to water in terms of being a natural pro wrestling athlete and heel. They really need to keep this guy aboard because he really enhances the WWE product with his efficient work. Hopefully he can get a win or two before he just becomes the celebrity guy that shows up and loses all the time.
I hope, and actually don’t think, that this is Undisputed Era’s last night in NXT. It didn’t come off that way. Besides, there is still the Adam Cole babyface run and the Kyle O’Reilly singles run that they can get a lot of mileage out of (Awwww, how amazing would a Kyle O’Reilly vs. Karrion Kross shoot-style match be! Maybe in a Fight Pit?). This show, believe it or not, was on the way to becoming one of the “underwhelming” Takeover shows due to the high quality curve set by past Takeovers. I think the last two matches saved this show. The women’s match was okay, but not show-stealing, especially compared to the great work Rhea Ripley, Dakota Kai, and Kay Lee Ray put in during last year’s women’s War Games. If you’re crunched for time, watch the Ruff vs. Gargano vs. Priest stuff and the UE vs. McAfee WarGames.