Welcome to NXT TakeOver: WarGames, where titles will be won and dominance will be established.
Seventeen years after the last WarGames match, NXT is bringing back the dormant structure to separate the men from the boys. The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) arrived in NXT at the last TakeOver and have steamrolled over the brand ever since. Sanity has had a mixed time in NXT but stepped to a new level when they dethroned the seemingly unstoppable Authors of Pain at TakeOver Brooklyn III. Speaking of the AOP, the two behemoths have been on a mission since losing the titles and now they have Roderick Strong by their side as they aim to avenge their loss and reestablish themselves as the very best around. All three teams have something to prove and a lot to gain from a win in tonight’s historic match, but who walks out with the bragging rights? My guess would be The Undisputed Era thanks to a Roderick Strong heel turn, after all, they’re all Ring of Honor buddies. Let us know what you think!
The NXT Women’s Championship is vacant for the first time since it was won by Paige in 2013. The long-cast shadow of Asuka has been lifted from the division and now four women step into the ring tonight to decide a new Women’s Champion. Peyton Royce, Kairi Sane, Ember Moon, and Nikki Cross will battle it out to determine a new Champion, in what is sure to be a high-octane match. Kairi Sane is the obvious choice for the winner of tonight’s match, as she looks to build on her momentum from winning The Mae Young Classic, but I could see Peyton Royce stealing a win and beginning a long run as heel Champ. What do you think?
Our other Championship match will see Drew McIntyre defend his NXT Championship for the first time on a TakeOver. McIntyre will face the ever-resilient and impressive Andrade Cien Almas, who looks to win his first gold in NXT. Almas has had a lengthy journey in NXT as he was brought in as a white-meat babyface but the fans just didn’t care about him. Since then Almas has turned his entire career around and strung together a series of truly phenomenal matches, which has led him to a match for the big one. Sadly for Almas, I think he’s just a notch in the belt of Drew McIntyre, who is sure to move on to a much bigger feud, perhaps with Adam Cole, Lars Sullivan, or Alesiter Black.
Speaking of Black, the man from Amsterdam has been a huge fan favourite since joining NXT a year ago. He’s had some great matches but never looked truly tested. A few months ago if you’d told me that his next big test would be The Velveteen Dream, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. That’s not a knock against Dream, that’s just to say that he isn’t a typical opponent for the hard-hitting, technical Black. In regards to Dream though, I’ve wanted to see Patrick Clark (Dream’s real name) achieve success in WWE ever since he appeared on the 2015, where he proved himself to be a smart young man with a humble upbringing and incredible passion for the business. I don’t expect him to toppled Black tonight but this is a huge stepping-stone on his WWE journey.
The only other match on tonight’s show is Kassius Ohno Vs. Lars Sullivan, which is a huge test for the latter. It’s great to see Ohno back on a TakeOver card, given his relative obscurity since returning to NXT, however this match is to be a showcase for the freak of nature that is Lars Sullivan. The giant man is fun to watch as he absolutely crushes his opponents but tonight he faces a man as big as himself and I think we’re in for a real great show, albeit a short one. That’s our preview for tonight’s card, which begins with the Kick-Off Show at 7:30 PM. Remember to download the Ringside Talk app and get in on the conversation. Enjoy the show!