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!
The WarGames Kick-Off Show begins with a panel consisting of Charly Caruso, Sam Roberts and Booker T. We see the dual cages hanging above two rings below.
After some banter and pushing of the WWE Network from the panel, we cut backstage to see Andrade Cien Almas arriving at the arena earlier today, along with Zelina Vega. We also see the Champion, Drew McIntyre arriving, both men look very confident.
We get a lengthy video package that chronicles McIntyre’s quick rise to the top of NXT, mirrored with Almas’ slow burn of a journey from the bottom to the top. The panel discuss the match and who they think will win.
We see Billie Kay and Peyton Royce backstage for an interview but Billie tells the interviewer to leave and she conducts the interview herself. Here it is:
The panel run-down the entire card and pitch us on the WWE Network. They go into some discussions about the upcoming matches, as well as talk a little about Survivor Series tomorrow night. Booker T says tonight’s card will be a game-changer for NXT because we will see who the big players are going to be going forward.
We get another video package, then the panel talk about the WarGames match and question what a modern-day WarGames will look like. Sam Roberts in particular is excited to see how the current NXT talent can modernise the insane structure. They talk a bit about the history of the match before making their predictions about who will win, The Undisputed Era are the favourites!
That’s it for the WarGames Kick-Off Show, we’re about to jump over to the main card, enjoy!
NXT WarGames opens with a cool video package highlighting the history of the match, along with a look at tonight’s three-way.
Out first is Kassius Ohno to a good reception. His opponent, Lars Sullivan is out next and he’s definitely popular with the NXT fans.
Sullivan starts the match like a wrecking ball, knocking Ohno into the corner before throwing him out of the ring. Sullivan jumps off of the apron and onto Ohno before screaming and posing for the WWE Universe.
Back inside, Ohno catches Sullivan with a big boot and then a kick to the head. Sullivan immediately fires back with a quick clothesline. Ohno catches Sullivan with another boot, but Sullivan catches Ohno with a pop up powerslam for a two count. Sullivan attempts a diving headbutt off the top turnbuckle, but Ohno avoids it. Ohno with a big boot, elbow, boot and more elbows. Ohno catches Sullivan with a big elbow to the back of the head. Ohno with a cyclone kick that drops Sullivan but the big man kicks out. That’s the first time Sullivan has ever been knocked off of his feet.
Ohno keeps throwing boots. Sullivan is unfazed. Ohno with a splash and Sullivan is once again back up throwing rights. Ohno lands a discus elbow, attempts a second but Sullivan picks up Ohno in a deadlift and slams him down for the win!
Tyler Bate, Trent Seven, Mark Andrews and Wolfgang are shown at ringside. Backstage, we see The Undisputed Era talking when William Regal walks in, we don’t hear what they say.
A video package airs for Aleister Black and The Velveteen Dream, in which Black still has yet to utter Dream’s name. Both men make their entrance and Black is a huge favourite, although Dream got a great reaction for his tights which show his face, as well as Blacks.
The bell rings and the fans are chanting for Dream! The two lock-up but split apart when they don’t get anywhere. Dream slaps Black but gets caught with a quick arm drag. Black tries to ground Dream with a hammerlock. Black continues to keep Dream grounded, despite several escape attempts from Dream.
Eventually Dream forces Black to the ropes, where the referee forces them to separate. Black hits the ropes and leaps onto Dream with an incredible modified octopus stretch, which leads into a pin attempt to no avail. The two exchange blows and then Black throws Dream from the ring. Black hits the ropes and feigns a suicide dive; as Dream slides back in, Black springboards off of the ropes and sits down. The two stare at each other, then Dream stands and dances before sitting cross-legged, like Black, as the fans chant “say his name”. Black responds by crawling forward and staring at Dream, the way he usually does. It’s weird and awesome.
Dream is winning over the entire crowd in this match. Back on their feet, Dream catches Black with a quick superkick for a two count. Dream follows with a reverse neckbreaker on Black. Dream ties Black up in the ropes and asks Black what his name is. He looks to attack but Black kicks Dream in the face and breaks free. Black with a series of boots off the ropes, splashes Dream in the corner and then connects with a springboard moonsault into an inverted DDT. Absolutely perfect timing from Dream on that.
Dream catches Black with his cartwheel Death Valley Driver for a two count. Black catches Dream with a kick in the corner sending him back down to the mat. Black with his running high knee on Dream. Dream kicks out. Dream with a crazy DDT on Black. Black kicks out. Dream goes back up top, shakes his hips and eats a boot from Black. Dream gets himself caught up in the ropes. Black with a big boot and the referee tells Black to get back. Dream breaks free and hits a superkick but Black immediately responds with a big knee. Dream is on the ropes and runs forward right into a Black Mass that scores Black the win.
After the match we see replays, then Black is sitting in the ring with Dream lying beside him. The crowd are erupting with “say his name” chants. Black grabs a microphone and says, “enjoy infamy, Velveteen Dream”. Black leaves while Dream holds his jaw in the ring.
We see Sanity backstage, warming-up in their own special way, when William Regal walks in and talks to them but we can’t hear.
Finn Balor, Asuka and Funaki are shown at ringside, ready to watch this all-important match coming up next. We see a video package, highlighting all four women in the upcoming title match. William Regal is in the ring with the vacant Women’s Championship and out comes Nikki Cross first. Kairi Sane is second, followed by Peyton Royce and Ember Moon.
The bell rings and for a minute no woman wants to make a move. The four pair off and fight in the corners, then Ember and Nikki get whipped at each other and Moon hits a jump kick! Peyton attacks Kairi, backing her into the corner and soon enough Cross is on Moon’s back trying to choke the life out of her until Royce hits a kick. Sane breaks the cover up and charges at Ember, who diverts her to the apron and wipes Cross out with a pescado!
Kairi and Peyton are on the outside, fighting on the floor but Moon wipes both out with a suicide dive! Fighting with Nikki, trading forearms and Ember plants her with a powerbomb on the floor! Crazy spot. Sane picks up on Moon and puts her back into the ring, double axehandles connecting, chops in the corner follow, Ember trying to block but Kairi is persistent and knocks her seated.
Royce sidesteps a spear Cross and gets a double wrist-clutch half Lotus Lock in the ropes! Moon breaks it up with a basement superkick! Trading forearms, Sane gets a rollup for two and Ember cracks a forearm across her face for her trouble. Kairi off the ropes, she ducks a lariat and spears Royce. Backfist hits Moon and Sane climbs only for Ember to cut her off. Climbing to join her, clubbing blows, Kairi throwing hands, Ember gets a superplex set up and Royce comes over with the German suplex to complete the Tower of Doom! Peyton making covers but she’s not winning just yet. Nikki Cross reappears on the top rope and catches all three women with a diving crossbody. The fans are loving this action.
After attacking Moon in the corner like, Nikki heads over to Sane next, hanging her in the Tree of Woe for boots to the midsection. Royce goes to pull her off and takes a bunch of forearms and clothesline that sends her to the floor for her trouble. Cross hits the fisherman’s neckbreaker… MOON MAKES THE SAVE! Bicycle kick follows and Ember heads to the apron to try and climb, but Nikki is right on her with forearms and gets her hung up on the top rope for a dragon screw neck whip!
Moon escapes, Royce is right there, bridging fisherman’s suplex but Sane makes the save! Kairi Alabama Slams Peyton onto Cross, then goes up top, and hits the InSane Elbow but Ember breaks the pin! Payon gets Cross set up, Ember’s up top and catches Royce with The Eclipse to win!
William Regal comes to the ring with the NXT Women’s Championship but Asuka comes in and asks to present it to Ember, which Regal allows. The current champion and previous champion then hug and Regal and Asuka raise Ember’s hands before leaving her to celebrate.
Backstage, Paul Ellering is giving Roderick Strong a pep talk while the Authors of Pain pace in the background as William Regal walks up, again we can’t hear him but he’s probably giving the same speech he gave the other two teams.
We see former NXT Champion Kevin Owens at ringside and he gets a huge ovation from the crowd, followed by a similar reaction to Samoa Joe!
Andrade Cien Almas is out first to a decent reception, followed by the Champion, who’s wearing a kilt and looks pretty badass.
Before the bell even rings Almas shoved McIntyre in the face during the ring introductions. The match does get underway and the Champion pushes Andrade to the turnbuckles and shoves his face right back. Andrade then hits a stiff slap on McIntyre. After a quick exchange, Drew responds by tossing Almas out of the ring…only Almas stuck to the ropes like a spider and smiles…only for McIntrye to boot him out of the ring anyway.
Zelina Vega tries catching Drew with a hurricanrana outside the ring but Drew is too big for her and she climbs onto the apron. Andrade tries to use the distraction to hit a suicide dive but gets caught with a big punch. Back in the ring, Drew runs shoulder first into the ring post! Andrade starts stomping on his shoulders and then hits a levelled press on the Champion. Andrade has Drew down face first as he’s working on his shoulder. Drew overpowers Andrade by throwing him across the ring!
Drew follows-up with an overhead release suplex on Almas. Drew with a second showing of his impressive power. Drew comes off the top turnbuckle catching Almas. Drew counters Almas again and connects with a Celtic Cross for a two count. Houston is starting a “3MB” chant at Drew. Almas catches Drew in the corner with a dropkick. Almas with a tornado inverted DDT for a two count on Drew. Almas with a boot, jumps to the shoulders of Drew, tries a reverse and Drew counters with an Alabama Slam for a two count. Almas sends Drew into the ring post off a huricanrana and then quickly catches Drew with a top rope moonsault to the floor!
Almas quickly tosses Drew back in and gets a close two count. Almas catches Drew with double knees to the corner. Drew with a sitdown powerbomb for a two count on Almas. Drew catches Almas with the Future Shock DDT. Almas kicks out. Almas drops Drew in the corner over the turnbuckle. Almas with a knee charge to Drew. Drew kicks out. Almas mounts Drew and throws big rights. Almas bails and grabs the NXT Championship. Inside the ring, Vega with a spikerana on Drew. Almas with a hammerlock DDT on Drew. Drew kicks out. Almas and Vega can’t believe it. Drew catches Almas with his huge boot. Vega puts Almas’ foot on the bottom rope to break up the pinfall. Drew misses his jumping boot. Drew is getting back up on the ring apron. Almas grabs Drew, gets him in a cradle and drops him with a quick but incredible DDT and he scores the 3 count!!
We have a new Champion and the fans are very happy to see it! Almas celebrates with Vega after the match, you can tell he is genuinely ecstatic to have won the big one. They leave up the ramp but Almas stops to pose atop the announce table. Meanwhile, McIntyre is still in the ring with a doctor checking out his shoulder.
The lights go down and the cage starts to lower as we hear air-raid sirens throughout the stadium. We see a video package that chronicles the arrival of The Undisputed Era and how things have led to the WarGames match.
We see Dustin Rhodes and Arn Anderson sitting at ringside. Arn Anderson competed in 18 of the 30 WarGames matches! The rules of the match are explained but here’s a quick graphic:
We start the match with Young, Cole and Strong, with their respective teammates locked inside the shark cages on the stage. The 5 minute countdown clock begins.
Strong drops Cole with a right hand. Young with a shot to Cole. Strong with a kick to Cole. Cole with rights to Strong. Strong with chops to Cole. Young, Cole and Strong are scaling the top rope against the cage. Cole drops down and hits the ropes crotching Young and Strong over the top rope. Cole stomps away over Young and Strong. Cole with a fireman’s carry into a neckbreaker on Young. Cole works over Strong in the other ring. Strong with chops to Cole and connects with a running lariat. Strong with high knees to Cole and Young in separate corners in the final 10 seconds.
The Undisputed Era (Fish and O’Reilly) are in first as the shark cage opens. They hit the ring and go after Strong right away. Once he’s down, The Undisputed Era turns their attention to Eric Young, attacking him against the cage one by one. Mauro Ranallo reminds us that this match hasn’t officially started, because the bell only rings when all three teams are in the ring. Cole is pressing the face of Young against the side of the steel cage. Wheel barrel suplex by Fish on Strong from the corner. O’Reilly has Strong down in a submission. Undisputed Era goes after Strong again, bouncing off Strong who is back first against the cage. Time expires.
The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) are in second as the shark cage opens. Akam and Rezar clean up on Cole, Young and O’Reilly. Cole is launched from one ring over the top rope to the next by the Authors of Pain. Young is then tossed in a high back body drop by the Authors of Pain from one ring to the next. Strong is launched by the Authors of Pain over the top rope into the Undisputed Era and Young in the other ring. The timer appears and it’s time for the match to properly begin.
Sanity (Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain) are released from the cage. The match will now officially begin. Wolfe has a police baton as he enters the ring, and he goes to work on the Authors of Pain. Dain is on the outside looking under the ring and brings a few steel chairs, trash cans, chains and kendo sticks inside the ring for WarGames. Young has a chair and swings away on the Authors of Pain and the Undisputed Era. Houston asks Dain for some tables, which he hears the chant and pulls two tables out from under the ring to a big reaction. Dain throws the tables into the ring and comes in himself.
Dain shuts the cage doors and wraps a chain around it. Dain appears to swallow the key as he goes after the Authors of Pain. Dain with a senton dropkick to the Authors of Pain! Dain with a diving cross body taking out a ton of people. Fish kicks away at the legs of Dain. Fish attempts a sunset flip. He hangs on, catches Cole and dumps Cole over the top of Fish! Dain with a fallaway slam/samoan drop combo. Dain is quickly becoming the highlight of this match tonight. Dain and Rezer exchange boots. Akam with a powerslam on Dain. O’Reilly uses chains to break up the pin. O’Reilly with a tornado DDT off the cage. Cole with a big kick to the head of Young. The Undisputed Era with a double superkicks on Strong.
Fish and O’Reilly with kicks to Dain. O’Reilly chokes Wolfe with a chain. Young with an elbow drop to break it up. Fish moonsaults over Young. Authors of Pain with double powerbombs and also hitting Dain before executing. Dain has blood on his face. Young takes out the Authors of Pain near the corner. Young drops Akam over Rezer with a Death Valley Driver! Strong with backbreakers and high knees. Strong with an Angle Slam on Dain. Cole superkicks Strong. Cole and Young exchange shots near the middle. Strong gets involved with Cole and Young. Cole is left alone after two Towers of Doom go down with help from the Authors of Pain. Akam and Rezer are setting up the tables side by side. Cole is trying to get away and goes up to the top of the cage. Mauro reminds us if Cole’s feet touch the ground it forfeits the match for his team. Meanwhile, Wolfe and one of the AOP are still on the ropes, and Wolfe hits a Super German Suplex through both tables!
Cole is snaking across the top of the cage, it’s pretty funny looking. Dain levels O’Reilly with a clothesline, after taking a series of great kicks. Dain then places a trash can in front of O’Reilly, who sits in the corner. Dain climbs to the top rope, near where Cole is sitting, and tells him to watch, then Dain leaps across the ring and hits a Coast To Coast on O’Reilly! Cole is still up top when Roderick Strong climbs up with him. They are both standing at the top of the cage in the corner. Strong with a superplex on Cole from the top of the cage crashing down to everyone below!
Cole gets a shoulder up when Strong covers him. O’Reilly has a sleeper on Akam. Fish finishes it off with a high knee. Young and Wolfe double team O’Reilly with a neckbreaker into a back suplex. Cole uses a kendo stick on Young. Young grabs a steel chair. He’s trying to get to his feet. Cole is backed up in the corner. Cole hits a runing shining wizard to Young with the chair to his face, and Cole gets the pinfall!
After the match we see the carnage as all 9 men are down in the ring. Eventually Adam Cole and his brethren get to their feet and pose for the fans.
That’s it for NXT TakeOver: WarGames. What a show. Let us know what you thought in the comments and I will see you back here tomorrow night for WWE Survivor Series!