I never thought it would happen, but WarGames has arrived in WWE, in the form of a triple team feud, which is showcased here tonght between the Undisputed Era; Sanity and The Authors of Pain/Roderick Strong. The fact WarGames was such a major announcement that it changed the name of his show should tell you everything. Other than this, we also have the NXT Title and Women’s Titles on the line, so let’s begin.
Lars Sullivan def Kassius Ohno
Pretty much a power exhibition for Sullivan here, as was to be expected against Ohno, but it was also pretty short, which is to Sullivans strength. Ohno loses nothing from this loss, although he did manage to take the monster down a couple of times to his credit, while Sullivan can move on. How far he will actually go is anyone’s guess, but a good start to his Takeover career here, making short work of Ohno. By the way, to go with his power game, Sullivan is also fairly agile, but not as much as someone else later in this show. Rating: C+
Aleister Black def Velveteen Dream
Considering this is the first time I have ever seen Dream (yes, really), this was a really good surprise for me to see a good match and great mind games to go with it. Dream had the mannerisms of Rick Rude and Shawn Michaels in one here, which is an awesome combination, right down to having a picture of himself and Black on his tights. Black was his usual awesome self here, which is no surprise, as he SCREAMS main roster to me.
Both men played mind games with each other by mimicking each other, along with Dream demanding Black saying his name and acknowledging Dream. The match itself was back and forth with Dream matching Black very well. In the end, Black Mass catches Dream to end the contest. Rating: B
After the match, Black speaks: “Enjoy infamy….. Velveteen Dream.” Interesting he would say that after his win, but does that mean Dream wins as well?
NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon def Kairi Sane, Nikki Cross and Peyton Royce
The title is vacant coming in, as Asuka vacated the belt on her way to RAW after Takeover Brooklyn III and this match is one fall to a finish. This match was unusually short, but was very chaotic throughout. All four women took turns to take each other apart, with Peyton Royce doing well to avoid the other women as much as possible. One particular moment saw Cross take a HARD powerboat to the floor from Moon, which seemed to echo through my screen.
In the end, a DOUBLE ECLIPSE by Moon saw her FINALLY capture her first Women’s Championship. Seriously, after the amount of times she has come close this year, I said “Finally” as soon as he here count happened. Rating: C+
After the match, Asuka comes into he ring to present the championship to Moon, when they both hug it out. A very classy moment to pass the torch so to speak.
We recap Drew McIntyre versus Andrade Almas, which is focused around the redemption of both men. McIntyre won he title in Brooklyn, while Almas has Zellina Vega as his manager to keep him focused in the ring. Almas attacked McIntyre to get this title opportunity a few weeks ago.
NXT Championship: Andrade Cien Almas def Drew McIntyre (c)
OK, I did not expect this result, as I thought it would be a good match with a token title win for McIntyre. Big upset for Almas here, as I can only suspect McIntyre will be called up to the main roster very soon, unless he is injured. Almas resurgence continues in a big way, but I wonder who he will face next.
Good match here as well, with Almas getting a lot of offence on the huge McIntyre (Vega next to him looks 4 foot tall by the way), it makes the victory look very decisive, especially after the Top Rope Elevated DDT. Great showing for Almas, and hopefully McIntyre is off to the main roster. Rating: B-
Almas celebrates on the announcers table, while McIntyre looks utterly rejected.
We recap the three way feud for WarGames. Oh man, the adrenalin was running for me even at his early/late hour for this match. The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish) debuted at Brooklyn III by taking out Authors of Pain and Sanity after their match. Strong got involved as he was offered a spot in the Undisputed Era after his title loss to McIntyre, but he had no interest, so he attacked the Era and joined forces with Authors of Pain to officially make this a here way feud. WarGames was announced as a result, meaning this is the first match of its kind since I believe 2000.
The rules are a bit different to WCWS version, with no roof on the cage as well for starters. One member from each team starts the match, with all remaining teams in separate shark cages. After five minutes, one team enters the match, with the remaining joining the match after three minute intervals. Painfalls and submissions only count after all members have entered the match. If a team member escapes the cage, they forfeit the match for their team.
WarGames: Undisputed Era def SANITY and Authors of Pain/Strong
WOW, what a visual this match was. It just feels weird to see the two ring setup and a double cage in WWE. Shame about the lack of roof though. This match was a WAR, especially after the Authors of Pain and SAnitY entered the match. Once the weapons were brought in, it truly looked like a war zone, which instantly lit the crowd up even more. Piece by piece and minute by minute, all of them in he cage were worn down to the point no one could get up and stay up.
The Undisputed Era winning off a chair kick to I believe Dain’s head seemed a little deflating a finish to me on first viewing, but I put that down to the fact it was hideously late at night for me. On second viewing, it was absolutely the right call, as the group look set for bigger things in the next few months, as well as how the whole match went. By the end, everyone was spent, knocked out on the ring canvas, because it was that much of a beating for everyone. Undisputed Era took a beating too, but Cole had the presence of mind to get the pin for the win. They survived WarGames. As they should have. Also, the visual of Cole and strong squaring off at times just seems to me to be a bigger match down the line. Kudos to them if that’s foreshadowing.
If you haven’t seen this match yet, go and find it and watch it. It more than lives up to the WarGames name. And apologies if this is not a good description to the match, as no words can really describe the carnage that happened on his night. Rating: A
Overall Rating: A When the shows namesake match delivers in a big way, this show could only be a success. Couple this with a surprise title change; new Women’s champion crowned; a very good technical/psychological match and a short power match which served it’s purpose, it was another great night for NXT. Of course, I don’t think many of us are surprised by this anymore and long may it continue.
The main thing is, this show sets up a few possibilities for the road to Philadelphia in January (the next Takeover show), with he Undisputed Era and Almas on top of NXT, making for a few interesting months ahead. A well done show and certainly recommended.