By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Aired December 5, 2021 on Peacock and WWE Network
Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Pre Show Notes
Sam Roberts and McKenzie Mitchell checked in as the hosts of the pre-show from the entrance ramp. The hosts hyped the Peacock Network as well as the card of War Games…
The first hype video hyped up the ” Team Black and Gold” vs. “Team 2.0” War Games match. Sam and McKenzie ended up giving their predictions. Sam went into heel mode in picking Team 2.0 while McKenzie picked the babyfaces. They then aired the YouTube video where Team Black and Gold were reflecting on things after Gargano lost the advantage match. LA Knight cut a passionate promo hyping up Team Black and Gold’s accolades and how they will not fade away. Tommasso Ciampa talked about DIY reuniting and how Black and Gold’s motto is “We are NXT”…
The show cut to Carmelo Hayes, Grayson Waller, Trick Williams, and Tony D’Angelo talking strategy backstage. Andre Chase showed up to volunteer to cheerlead at ringside. Bron Breakker showed up to make fun of Chase. D’Angelo threatened Chase and told him to walk off. After reiterating their predictions, McKenzie and Sam sent the show to commercial…[c]
Sam sent the show to the Cameron Grimes vs. Duke Hudson hype package. The show cut back to McKenzie and Sam in the ring with a barber’s chair. They gave their thoughts on the Hudson vs. Grimes match. McKenzie said becoming bald can be embarrassing, and then apologized to Sam Roberts who is bald these days. As expected, Sam picked the heel while McKenzie picked the babyface…
Joe Gacy and Harland were shown heading to the PC. They then cut to Diamond Mine walking through the parking lot. The show cut to the Roderick Strong vs. Joe Gacy hype package…
John’s Thoughts: Hmmmm… No limits? So are they rechristening the Cruiserweight Title the X Division title?
McKenzie Mitchell compared Joe Gacy to Sam Roberts because Roberts can be controversial sometimes on his radio show. The hosts gave their predictions. Matt Camp and Ryan Pappolla, the hosts of WWE’s Bump show, gave their PPV predictions too…
The video package aired to hype the Women’s War Games match. The hosts discussed the Women’s War Games match with wrestling media personality Denise Salcedo…
The hosts sent the show to the main show with the War Games cage coming down after the sirens rang…
The NXT War Games PPV intro video aired…
Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary. Alicia Taylor was the ring announcer. Vic, Wade, and Beth checked in from ringside. Vic noted that it was Beth’s last night on the NXT commentary team. Alicia Taylor handled the formal rules introduction for War Games, complete with a rule graphic…
Entrances for the Women’s War Games match took place. Dakota Kai and Kay Lee Ray started out the match. It looked like Dakota Kai might be possibly sporting a look in honor of the late Hana Kimura (her current character is very similar to Hana’s too). The rest of the teams were locked in barred cages in the crowd area…
1. Io Shirai, Cora Jade, Kay Lee Ray, and Raquel Gonzalez vs. Dakota Kai, NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolan, and Jacy Jayne in a War Games Match. Ray dominated the early chain wrestling followed by her nailing Kai with a Spike DDT. Kai recovered and then tossed Ray several times into the steel cage. At one point Kai went for Ray’s baseball bat, but Ray grounded Kai with a cannonball senton. Ray set up a bridge in the between the two rings made with kendo sticks. Ray gave Kai a front suplex on the kendo sticks. Cora Jade was the first woman sent into the cage to join her team.
Jade attacked Kai with her skateboard. Jade nailed Kai with a enzuigiri and high knee. Kai was dominated for a few minutes due to the numbers disadvantage. Jade and Ray managed to hit consecutive double team suplexes on Kai. Kai actually gained the advantage after nailing Jade and Ray with a DDT reversal. That was right in time for Gigi Dolan to even up the numbers. Dolan looking like she was cosplaying as “The Man” Becky Lynch. Dolan chucked a trash can at Cora Jade.
Dolan caught Jade with a pump kick and took down Ray with a legsweep. Dolan and Kai had the advantage with tandem moves. Kai and Dolan hit their opponents with two consecutive stereo corner Yakuza Kicks. Jade recovered and hit Dolan with a shotgun dropkick. Ray hit Kai with a shortarm superkick. Jade dropkicked a trash can that was on Dolan. Ray gave Kai a Gory Bomb on the trash can that was wrapped around Dolan. Io Shirai joined the match and Vic Joseph noted that Shirai was the most decorated woman in the match.
Kai nailed Shirai with a Pump Kick when she entered the ring. A lot of the women took each other out on the island in the center of the two rings. Dolan was the last one standing tall after crushing Jade into the cage. Jacy Jayne was the next woman in the match. Vic Joseph noted that Toxic Attraction might have an advantage because Dolan and Jayne are an actual tag team. Jayne dragged in a table to the ring, which pleased the crowd.
Jayne chucked a trash can into Ray. The heels dominated for a stretch. Jayne ended up accidentally kicking Dolan. Kai accidentally kicked Jayne. Shirai hit Kai, Dolan, and Jayne with corner meteoras. Then Shirai gave all the women meteoras on a trash can lid. Shirai slingshot stomped a can lid into Kai. The face team dragged Jayne to the empty ring and put Jayne on a table. Cora Jade climbed the cage to give Jayne a senton bomb from the top through the table. A Holy Shit chant ensued.
Wade Barrett noted that Jade was the youngest wrestler in War Games history at 20 years old. Jade sold an injured shoulder for a few minutes. The medical team tried to enter the ring to escort Jade out with a dislocated shoulder. Io Shirai locked the cage and then (kayfabe) popped Cora Jade’s “dislocated” shoulder into place. Raquel Gonzalez was the next woman to join the match. Dolan and Kai held the cage door in place to prevent Gonzalez from entering. Gonzalez used a fire extinguisher to shoo Kai and Dolan away from the door.
Gonzalez shoved Kai in a trash can and gave her a not-so Giant Swing. Beth was impressed that Kai’s whole body fit in the trash can. Shirai dragged a trash can to the top of the cage which Beth noted was a repeat of last years match. The heels recovered and dragged the trash can down. Gonzalez ended up powerbombing everyone sans Shirai with a Tower of Doom bomb. Cora Jade was resting in a far away corner, selling the dislocated shoulder.
Mandy Rose was finally able to join the match, meaning pinfall and submission victories were now active. Rose went after Jade’s injured arm. Shirai dragged Rose and tossed the heels to one side of the ring. Gonzalez, Shirai, and Ray formed a barrier to prevent the heels from getting to Jade. They all had kendo sticks. Kay Lee Ray left the barrier and teased hitting Cora Jade. Ray instead gave Jade a kendo stick. Ray swatted a flying Kai out of the air with a stick shot.
Gonzalez blocked Dolan’s DDT and shoved her into the cage. Gonzalez lifted Dolan and Jayne into power bomb position, but Rose hit Gonzalez with a kendo stick to save her teammates. Dolan gave Gonzalez a DDT. Jayne dropkicked a chair into Gonzalez. Jade broke up the pin with a kendo stick and one arm. Jade tried to fend off the heels with the stick, but the numbers advantage got upper hand. Rose hit Jade with a running knee to the shoulder. Jade kicked out of the pin.
The match time hit 30 minutes. Jayne and Dolan dominated the face team with methodical offense. Gonzalez hit Jayne with a Chingona Bomb. Dolan and Gonzalez took each other out with pump kicks. Cora Jade was the only person not knocked out at the moment. She pinned Jacy Jayne to pick up the win for her team.
Cora Jade, Io Shirai, Raquel Gonzalez, and Kay Lee Ray defeated Toxic Attraction and Dakota Kai via pinfall in 31:22 to win the War Games match.
Highlights from the match aired. Vic Joseph noted that this was the biggest win in Cora Jade’s career…
John’s Thoughts: Yo! Great stuff. Yes, there was a bit of (possibly Shawn Michaels inspired) melodrama, complete with an arm popping into place spot, but I thought it made for a good multi act story of a match. The match had a lot of great spots, there was minimal to none botches from what I saw, and the match told a multi-part dramatic story throughout. There were a lot of setpieces to remember from the match which I liked. Stuff like Jade’s senton, the shoulder pop spot, and Jade kicking out of Rose’s finisher. I’ve been saying this for a while, but I think Cora Jade has the potential to become the future of WWE’s women’s division. I’ve been saying that ever since she adopted the punk rock sk8ter girl gimmick. I think there’s a really good plucky underdog story WWE can make with her at a future WrestleMania. Funny thing, is they can take their time. She’s only 20 years old! And she doesn’t seem like it. This is similar to when NXT pushed Pete Dunne to the moon when he was around 20.
Boa as shown, currently possessed by the soul and power of Mei Ying…
An ad aired for WWE Shop’s Black Friday sales…
The show cut to a recap of MSK’s search for the shaman saga. The graphic said that “The Shaman” will debut this upcoming Tuesday…
Team Black and Gold were hyping each other up in the locker room. Johnny Gargano did thrown in a reference that this might be Johnny Gargano’s last War Games. Tommasso Ciampa doubled down in the speculation by saying that this is not anyone else’s moment other than Johnny Gargano’s tonight. The camera showed that Gargano was choked up at that encouragement…
Kyle O’Reilly and Von Wagner made their entrance next. Imperium came out next…
John’s Thoughts: Very odd, Johnny Gargano is getting the red carpet and decoration potentially heading out of the door (They are keeping the door open though for him to possibly stay and may be using the speculation for drama). Meanwhile, Kyle O’Reilly is the lamest of lame ducks and they are just doing nothing with the guy with him most likely heading out of the door (and if I were Kyle, I’d run the hell away! Heck! O’Reilly can be the huge martial arts style wrestler that AEW needs). This is made even more odd due to O’Reilly seemingly getting the biggest babyface push right before NXT made the shift to 2.0.
2. “Imperium” Marcel Barthel and Fabien Aichner vs. Kyle O’Reilly and Von Wagner for the NXT Tag Team Championships. O’Reilly went for a Juji Gatame on Barthel, but Barthel escaped and tagged in Aichner. Aichner worked on O’Reilly with an armbar. Wade Barrett said he’s not sold on Von Wagner (neither am I and I don’t think anyone is). Wagner tagged in and slammed Aichner to the mat and hit him with a running splash. O’Reilly tagged in and worked on Aichner with roundhouse kicks. Aichner reversed a suplex into a snap suplex. Barthel tagged in and went for a dive, but he went right into O’Reilly’s knee.
Barthel dragged O’Reilly to the mat and hit him with a PK. Barthel let out a loud “nein”. Wagner tagged in and hit a shoulder tackle and body slam on Barthel. Barthel shoved away Wagner and tagged in Aichner. Aichner impressively lifted the giant Von Wagner into a Fireman Carry and hit him with a Death Valley Driver. Wagner tagged in O’Reilly who worked on Barthel with Muay Thai clinch strikes. O’Reilly dominated Barthel with kickboxing moves. Aichner blindsided O’Reilly with a knee so Barthel could hit him with a clothesline.
Aichner worked on O’Reilly with methodical offense. Imperium cut the ring in half on O’Reilly. O’Reilly booted Barthel to ringside and gave Aichner a knee. Aichner tried to cut O’Reilly off at the pass, but he got backdropped. Wagner got the hot tag and cleaned house. Wagner hit Barthel with a power slam. He hit Aichner with a Gutwrench suplex. Wagner dumped Imperium to ringside and followed up with lariats to both opponents. Wagner hit Barthel with a back suplex on the apron. O’Reilly hit Aichner with a diving knee. Wagner hit Barthel with an Angle Slam for a two count.
Wagner and Aichner traded headbutts with Aichner falling to his back. Barthel gave Wagner a drop toehold into the corner. Imperium gave Wagner a sandwich dropkick. Wagner kicked out of Aichner’s pin at two. Wagner chokeslammed Barthel into Aichner. O’Reilly tagged in and put Barthel in a heel hook after hitting him with a diving knee. Aichner hit O’Reilly with a nice Rey Fenix like tightrope moonsault. Barrett noted that Aichner is a super heavyweight who can wrestle like a Luchador.
O’Reilly reversed Barthel into a Guillotine choke. Barthel tapped out but the referee didn’t see it. Both men rolled into a series of great rollups. O’Reilly and Aichner took each other out with big boots. Wagner tagged in and traded punches with Barthel. Aichner chop blocked Wagner. O’Reilly hit Aichner with an axe and smash. O’Reilly and Wagner managed to hit Barthel with a Total Elimination out of nowhere. Barthel kicked out because it took a while for the referee to get into position. Barthel dumped Wagner to ringside and tagged in Aichner. Aichner hit Wagner with an impressive tightrope Plancha. O’Reilly hit Aichner wiht a Brainbuster for a two count.
O’Reilly made Aichner start to fade in a Kimura Lock. Aichner recovered and deadlifted O’Reilly into position for Aichner to hit him with the dive for the Imperium European Bomb. Imperium picked up the win with Barthel pinning O’Reilly.
Imperium defeated Kyle O’Reilly and Von Wagner via pinfall in 14:53 to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships.
The camera stuck in the ring after the match to tease Kyle O’Reilly leaving NXT. Kyle O’Reilly then turned on Wagner by nailing him with a kickboxing combination. O’Reilly did the Undisputed Era handsign and crotch chop. O’Reilly walked away, jawing with Wagner as he walked off…
Writer Update: Apparently it was Wagner turning O’Reilly as people are telling me. I’ll go back to watch the finish of that match when I get a chance to after my audio review.
John’s Thoughts: Great stuff! I loved that match and that was hands down the best Tag Team Match NXT has had in a long long time. O’Reilly, Aichner, and Barthel really told a great story and Wagner did his best to hang in there with so many great wrestlers. Now, the end of the match doesn’t mean O’Reilly has re-signed. In fact, I think it’s more likely that Kyle O’Reilly ends up passing the torch to Von Wagner this upcoming Tuesday heading out of the door. Hey, if O’Reilly is staying, I think that would be good for NXT, but I’m more looking forward to Undisputed Era returning in AEW. Back to this show. This a Takeover show! Hands down! I’m glad we are still getting these shows. I just wish I can attend some of these in person again when they go to big arenas. (Can they do Staples Center during the LA Wrestlemania coming up?)
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Legado Del Fantasma on their thoughts on Escobar wrestling Xyon Quinn this upcoming Tuesday. Escobar talked about how he’s going to beat Quinn. McKenzie asked about Elektra making advances towards Quinn. Escobar said it’s no problem. Lopez said she’s a grown woman and it was non of McKenzie’s business what she does…
Vic Joseph thanked Idk and offset for providing the song “Shoot My Shot” as the theme song for the War Games PPV…
The hype video aired for the Cameron Grimes vs. Duke Hudson match…
Entrances for the next match took place. Wade Barrett noted that Duke Hudson is an expert at Stud Poker (ah, so that explains why he keeps losing at Hold Em). A barber’s chair was set up in the unused ring…
3. Cameron Grimes vs. Duke Hudson in a Hair vs. Hair match. Hudson tackled Grimes to the corner. Grimes turned the tables and worked on Hudson with roundhouse kicks. Hudson recovered and tossed Grimes over the top rope. Grimes recovered and hit Hudson with a running cannonball from the apron. Grimes tried to hit Hudson with a knee in the corner but Hudson reversed it into a Uranage. Grimes used a victory roll to get a two count on Hudson.
Grimes caught Hudson with a big boot and moonsault for a two count. Hudson dragged Grimes to ringside and hit Grimes with a Belly to Belly. Hudson worked on Grimes with methodical offense. Grimes snuck in an inside cradle for a two count. Hudson went back to the methodical offense. Wade Barrett randomly gave the comment, saying Duke Hudson has “buns of steel”. Grimes managed to turn the tide with a huracanrana. Grimes caught Hudson with an enzuigiri. Grimes hit Hudson with the Spanish Fly power slam for a two count. Both men traded suplex counters, ending with Grimes hitting Hudson with a Tornado DDT.
Hudson tried to pick up the dirty leverage pin but the referee caught it. Grimes got a two count off a rollup. Grimes hit Hudson with a reverse Frankendriver. Grimes hit Hudson with a Yakuza Kick and crossbody for a two count. Hudson caught Grimes with a Winds of Change for a two count. Grimes reversed a Razor’s Edge with a huracanrana into the buckle (and Grimes may have landed on his neck). Grimes rolled up Hudson for the win.
Cameron Grimes defeated Duke Hudson via pinfall in 10:24 to win the hair vs. hair match.
Hudson tried to run away, but Grimes tossed him back into the ring with the barber’s chair. Hudson surprised Grimes with a lariat. Hudson put Grimes in the chair and grabbed the clippers. Grimes recovered and nailed Hudson with the Cave In. Grimes held Hudson in place and shaved off the hair of Hudson. Hudson ran away after Grimes took a few lines off the top. Wade Barrett said “Lady Luck is a real Bitch!”…
John’s Thoughts: Not the in-ring classic I expected from these two, but this match was exactly what it had to be, the comedown match after the epic tag team match (and I never would have expected the Von Wagner match to be the hottest match on the show at this point, it was hot due to the other three wrestlers in the match). This was fine and Grimes will have his 20 minute epic down the road. Let’s just establish his new, more serious persona (hopefully he stays serious), first. Hudson barely looks different with a buzzcut, so he didn’t actually lose much and Grimes already got the makeover with the clean trim. The odd standout from this last match was Wade Barrett’s man crush on Duke Hudson, even going as far as complementing Hudson’s “buns of steel”. What does stand out in a good way is Hudson reminds me of a young Wade Barrett.
An ad aired for the NXT New Years Evil themed show on January 4…
The commentary team checked in from the crow’s nest. The camera cut to Team 2.0 hyping each other up backstage…
The hype video aired for the Roderick Strong vs. Joe Gacy match…
Entrances for the Cruiserweight title match took place. Alicia Taylor handled the formal in ring championship introductions for the championship match…
4. Roderick Strong (w/Malcolm Bivens, Hachiman, Ivy Nile, Julius Creed, Brutus Creed) vs. Joe Gacy (w/Harland) for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship with the 205 lb. weight limit waived. Gacy got on Strong’s nerves by trying to talk instead of fight. Gacy ended up giving Strong a slap to the face, leading to Strong coming back with a strike combo and backbreaker. Joe Gacy made a comeback after a northern lariat. Strong ripped up Gacy’s dress shirt and gave Gacy a few chops. Gacy caught Strong on the apron wtih a pump kick.
Gacy gave Strong a series of clubbing forearms. Gacy hit Strong with a backbreaker. Gacy hit Strong with a brainbuster for a one count. Strong put Gacy on the top rope and hit Gacy with a Superplex. Strong hit Gacy with a knee and gutbuster. Strong hit Gacy with the Angle Slam for a two count. Strong put Gacy in a Boston Crab. Gacy powered out and gave Strong boots. Gacy locked Strong in a Crossface, but Strong quickly got to the bottom rope. Gacy dumped Strong to ringside, in front of Diamond Mine. Gacy hit Strong and the Creed Brothers with a Tope Con Hilo.
Ivy Nile got in Gacy’s face. Harland lifted up Nile, but Gacy ordered him to put her down. Gacy recovered and hit strong with a Gutwrench Power Bomb for a two count. Strong hit Gacy with a running high knee. Strong hit Gacy with End of Heartache for the victory.
Roderick Strong defeated Joe Gacy via pinfall in 8:27 to retain the NXT Cruiserweight Championship.
Diamond Mine celebrated with Roderick Strong after the match…
John’s Thoughts: A good performance from both men. Not the “Takeover” level of match, but a good match to showcase Roderick Strong and the Cruiserweight title on a PPV while also giving Joe Gacy his first big match on a bigger show. I didn’t think they would go with the “All-inclusive” rebranding of the title due to it being a bit cartoony, but I do think that WWE should open up themselves to possibly rebranding the title to more of an Openweight Championship. Heck, 205 live has been a better show recently and it’s all built around Diamond Mine. Rebranding the title might even elevate Strong a bit too. As for Joe Gacy, where do they go with him? He’s done an amazing job building a very deep and intriguing act with himself and Harland. They need to get him involved in his first story because he’s entered into wheel spinning mode, similar to where Bray Wyatt always ended up after they did his character moments.
McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Kyle O’Reilly about attacking Von Wagner after the match. O’Reilly talked about not being in War Games for the first time ever since WWE started doing NXT War Games matches. O’Reilly said he needs the steel and he challenged Wagner to a steel cage match on Tuesday…
John’s Thoughts: Sooooooo, because they’re rushing to this tells me they haven’t signed O’Reilly? I hope he hasn’t signed! Let’s get Undisputed Era up and running in AEW. Please!!! I’m fine with Gargano sticking around if he does but O’Reilly needs to jump ship!
The hype video aired to hype up the men’s War Games match…
Entrances for the men’s War Games match took place at around 7:00pm PST. Johnny Gargano came out to his “Rebel Heart” theme instead of his usual “Way” theme. The camera focused on Gargano being choked up on the ramp. Johnny Gargano and Carmelo Hayes started off the match…
John’s Thoughts: Hmmmmm… Gargano has to be leaving now right? They are milking out Gargano potentially not re-signing. Johnny Gargano has to be taking the pin from Steiner too right? Might lead to a potential storyline where Ciampa seeks to avenge Gargarno for Breakker ceremonially running him out of NXT.
5. “Team Black and Gold” NXT Champion Tommasso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Pete Dunne, and LA Knight vs. “Team 2.0” NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes (w/Trick Williams), Bron Breakker, Grayson Waller, and Tony D’Angelo in a War Games Match. Gargano and Melo started off the match with quick chain wrestling. Gargano hit Melo with an armdrag and listo kick. Trick Williams loomed at ringside. Melo reversed a One Final Beat but walked right into Gargano’s slingshot spear. Melo came back with a sprinboard lariat. Melo and Gargano had a tightrope battle. Gargano slammed Melo many times into the shaking cage. Gargano hit Melo with a sunset bomb. Grayson Waller was the first man in to join Melo. Waller jawed with Gargano and taunted him from far away.
Gargano came at Waller with punches. Waller blocked a DDT into a suplex. Gargano reversed a power bomb into a huracanrana and listo kick. Melo distracted Gargano so Waller can hit him with a cross kick. Melo and Waller worked the numbers advantage on Gargano. Gargano dodged a DIY knee attempt from Melo and Waller. Gargano gave Waller a neckbreaker which forced him to DDT Melo. Trick Williams chucked a chair into the ring and almost hit Waller. Gargano got the chair and hit Trick in the hands to send him off the cage.
Johnny Gargano was bleeding at this point. Pete Dunne was released from the Shark Cage. Dunne took down Melo with a running knee and hit Waller with a Gamengiri. Dunne gave Waller a knee to the elbow. Dunne gave Melo an X Plex on Waller. Dunne bent Waller’s fingers on the cage. Dunne hit Melo with a suplex. Dunne and Gargano hit their opponents with stereo superkicks. Dunne and Gargano locked in stereo GargaNo Escapes and put the boots to their opponents while holding the submission. Gargano and Dunne dominated as the clock ticked down.
Waller turned the tide by hitting both opponents with quick stunners. Tony D’Angelo was next in. Williams tossed kendo sticks and a table in the ring. Trick literally spent a few minute dragging everything from under the ring and tossing it into the ring. Suddenly Dexter Lumis showed up to chase off Williams. Lumis gave his “father in law” Gargano a thumbs up and Gargano gave one back. D’Angelo padlocked the cage to prevent the Black and Gold team from evening the odds.
2.0 had the numbers advantage and worked on the veterans with weapons. LA Knight was the next out of the cage, but he couldn’t open the padlocked door. Knight tried to find a key or something. Knight instead decided to escalate the cage, which he did successfully. Knight cleaned house in the ring. Knight dominated all three opponents by himself, swinging different weapons each time. Referees unlocked the cage with bolt cutters, just in time for Bron Breakker to enter the match. Black and Gold was dominating at this point. Dunne in particular worked on Waller with methodical weapon torture with the chair and kendo stick.
The referees struggled to open the cage with the Bron Breakker. Bron Breakker tried. And kinda failed causing Dunne to shrug., but he finally got in there. Breakker fired up when he got in the ring. He hit Knight and Dunne with Suplexes. Gargano hit Breakker with a stick to give Dunne the advantage. Breakker no sold Dunne’s suplexes and gave him a Belly to Belly into the other ring. Breakker military pressed Gargano into Dunne and Knight. Team 2.0 had the advantage at this point due to the numbers. Ciampa made his entrance as the last person in the match.
The match hit the 22 minute mark at this point with Ciampa cleaning house. The crowd gave Ciampa a “Psycho Killer” chant. Ciampa managed to take down everyone and give them lid assisted knees. Ciampa sat on a chair and did his signature self back pat and cheer. Melo recovered and hit Ciampa with a kendo stick. Gargano hit Melo in the back with a crutch. A DIY chant ensued. Gargano gave Ciampa the symbolic crutch and Ciampa used the crutch to attack all his opponents. Gargano and Ciampa cleaned house with signature tag team moves.
John’s Thoughts: Random fact, LA Knight was the Impact Tag Team Champions with Breaker’s uncle Scott about two years ago.
Breakker reversed a Poetry in Motion by power bombing Gargano into Ciampa. Breakker yelled “Screw you Ciampa!”. 2.0 ended up dominating for a stretch. The crowd wanted tables. Joseph acknowledged the crowd being behind Black and Gold. Black and Gold all nodded at each other and knew it was time to rally back. Black and Gold swung the pendulum back in their favor and trapped all of 2.0 behind the ropes. They pummeled 2.0 with strikes.
Dunne held a trash can in place so Gargano could lawn dart Melo into it. Ciampa tried to Air Raid Crash waller through a table, but D’Angelo showed up to hit Ciampa with a lid. Knight came out of nowhere with the cat like pounce to hit Waller with a tope rope Super German Suplex into the table. Breakker and D’Angelo hit a handful of wrestlers with a Tower of Doom. Knight hit Melo with the Blunt Force Trauma. D’Angelo broke up the pin.
The match hit the 30 minute mark. Knight pummeled Breakker. Ciampa gave Breakker an Air Raid Crash from the top rope into a trash can for a two count. 2.0 recovered and got the upper hand. D’Angelo put Knight on a table. Waller hit Knight with an impressive top of the cage crossover elbow drop. Dunne broke up D’Angelo’s pin. D’Angelo found a random crow bar. Dunne downed Waller with a Kendo Stick. Melo tried to chuck a lid at Dunne but Dunne dodged it and went to down on Melo with stick shots. Dunne went to the top rope, but D’Angelo hit Dunne in the gut with the crowbar.
D’Angelo pulled out Dunne’s mouth guard and put it in his pocket. D’Angelo hit Dunne with a top rope twisting neckbreaker. Breakker and Ciampa had a slugfest in the second ring. Breakker hit Ciampa with a running Frankensteiner. Gargano came in and hit Breakker with a jump kick. CIampa caught Breakker with a high knee. DIY hit Breakker and Waller with One Final Beat and Willow’s Bell. DIY hit Breakker with the DIY knee. Melo broke up the pin at 2 and 3 quarters.
Melo hit Gargano with a low blow. Melo talked about hot he doesn’t miss. Gargano held Ciampa in place for a Knee by Ciampa, which also hit Gargano as collateral damage. Ciampa went for the Fairy Tale Ending on Melo, but Breakker speared Ciampa through a table. Breakker hit Ciampa with the Military Press Power Slam for the victory.
Team 2.0 defeated Team Black and Gold via pinfall in 38:11 to win the War Games match.
Highlights from the match aired. Team 2.0 posed to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: Great War Games match as always. I would have been happy with it being dedicated to DIY but they managed to spotlight everyone involved in the match to some extent. Dunne got to have his moments. As usual, I’d like to give LA Knight some props for really putting together a handful of fun series. Knight is vastly underrated for his in-ring work to the point where I make sure to really point out how well he does on big stages. The only one who seemed a bit out of place was Tony D’Angelo. He did nothing wrong, and he didn’t botch. Everyone else was just so much at another level in terms of experience compared to him so it’s understandable.
They did play into the potential departures of Johnny Gargano and Kyle O’Reilly a lot, which you would expect. NXT doesn’t shy away from online speculation. Based off my hunch, I think they might be still in negotiations with Gargano. O’Reilly seems out of the door based on them rushing to the cage match on Tuesday. Anyways, great show and definitely a Takeover which I’m glad they’re sticking with formula-wise for now. They obviously made sure to showcase their best in-ring guys on this show, so no B-Fab vs. Elektra Lopez matches here. I’ll be by in a bit with the Audio Review of the show. Good night!
Old Guys vs Young Guys is such a “we’re going out of business” storyline.
NXT won’t have a TV deal by this time next year.
WCW 2000 –
Millionaires Club vs New Blood
Main Event Mafia vs TNA Frontline
Team Black & Gold vs Team 2.0
Actually I think it looked like Wagner was attempting to turn on O’Reilly,but Kyle got the best of him.It looked awkward though..
I let John know, so I assume he’ll update his report once he seems my email. In his defense, I know how easy it is to miss something like that when you have a laptop in front of you.
I agree. Wagner went for a clothesline and Got his ass handed to him.
Overall, mostly everything worked and the WarGames matches delivered. The Men’s match was likely the better of the two.
Good booking with Cora. The fans were getting on her a bit early with the skateboard stuff but she certainly won them over with the move off the top of the cage. She also did a rather outstanding job of selling her injury, if indeed that was a complete sell job. Many times, we see wrestlers just seemingly ignore an injury after a few minutes. She sold her injury the entire time. I agree that WWE has a future star on their hands. If she keeps ascending, she can literally be a player for them for 15 years. Wow. While they wanted the focus on her, the rest of the women did a great job.
Good “twist” not having the obvious occur (Gargano getting pinned). The fact that he is “addressing his future” this week is an interesting hook for the show. I would say that is a sign that he is coming back, but (as you stated) NXT has no issue with letting talent have some of the spotlight even on their way out the door,
For me, NXT 2.0 only works with veterans around. If WWE felt the old Black and Gold was becoming too “veteran” friendly, that is fine. But I think they could be venturing too far in the “green” direction. You need a mix and balance. And yes, some willingness from the old guard to take some losses to help get over the new talent.
Gargano and O’Reilly leaving would take away two of their better veterans, but you can’t blame either one if they think their characters have run the course and it is time to move on. Gargano could also be leaving TV for a while due to Candice’s pregnancy regardless of his future. Anyway, since they are putting O’Reilly in the cage and not saving that for their New Year’s Evil, it appears like this is going to be an Adam Cole style sendoff,
Maybe Cora Jade is the next AJ Lee or Bayley..?