Alright, that concludes the first round of the New Japan Cup and I think to think it was an enjoyable first round with some great matches and some surprises that some of us didn’t expect. I wanted to cover just the first round matches instead of just doing the four shows with the same tag matches, but I will add some highlights on days that had them, so let’s get to it.
Yujiro Takahashi vs. Juice Robinson
Review: I wish Yujiro used his solo theme more, it just fits him when he’s not used for eating the pinfalls in tag matches. Juice is still growing and proving to be one of the most improved guys on the New Japan roster and how far he’s come. From NXT, being a Young Lion, and to where he is now, just exemplifies hard work.
The match itself was a enjoyable for what it was, both getting some nice offense in their arsenal, some close calls, and had a good finishing sequence. Juice was able to pull a victory after taking a beating from Yujiro near the end and Juice made it clear who he looks to challenge after the match. In a press conference before the cup, he said he would fight Jay White for the United States Heavyweight Championship, but it looks like the belt wasn’t added on what the winner could fight since they still mentioned the other three instead. Juice made it clear that he wants to fight Goto for the NEVER Openweight Championship after having a great bout for it last year, let’s see if Juice can win the cup and get another chance.
Recommended: I like to think it was a great way to start the cup with two underutilized guys on the roster.
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Michael Elgin
Review: This is the one that has surprised me, and I will get to that near the end.Michael Elgin has had no luck lately with not getting as many opportunities as when he first joined NJPW. So being placed on the back burner of the roster, so he needed to prove himself, and the cup is a way to do it if he plans to win. Ishii is another work horse that has been putting on quality matches all year round just to make the fans happy. With his match quality and being CHAOS’ gatekeeper to prove if their worthy of fighting Okada, or if they have what it takes to be in New Japan.
The match was hard hitting and exciting despite some stuff being slow and a couple of sloppy moments. Both would put each other to their limit and even Ishii took a nasty Powerbomb spot and I don’t know how he was still standing after that. However, Michael Elgin would pull the surprise win with a Burning Hammer and move on to fight Juice Robinson in the Quarter Final Round. If I had one complaint it would be that the ending did seem to drag on a bit too long; with some overkill spots and an anti-climatic ending despite the move he used, just the crowd seemed burnt out and not care about the fact Elgin won. What title would Elgin go for if he wins? He could go for either of the three, depends on what he does and has to win.
Recommended: Definitely worth a watch despite some of the cons of the match. If you’re into hard hitting action, then definitely give it a look.
Bad Luck Fale vs. Lance Archer
Review: This was how I expected it to go between the two, not great, but nothing special about it either. It just felt like a standard match too which is a shame this is one of the places that Fale normally shines when it comes to singles action. Lance Archer really didn’t impress me all that much in this match except for randomly punching a Young Lion when they were outside. Had some decent moments, but not a lot to really talk about except that Bad Luck Fale won the match.
Recommended: Not really, I would just skip this one.
Taichi vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Review: I could just watch Miho Abe all day. Anyway, Taichi has been enjoyable to watch lately ever since he announced that he would be moving up to the heavyweight division after fighting Tetsuya Naito at TakaTaichiMania. Maybe this is what he needed to refresh his career a little bit and open up to more possibilities as to where his career can go, I wish him luck on his new adventure.
Hiroshi Tanahashi looked like he hasn’t missed a beat, but I am worried about his health since he does need to take a long and deserved break to heal his injuries. I thought the match itself was great and the two meshed well together and gave us a fun quality type of match. Taichi looked strong in the match, giving Tanahashi a little bit of a run for his money, even doing some moves reminiscent of his trainer, Kawada, and there were a few times where I thought he would actually pull off the upset. But in the end, Tanahashi, broken and all, found a way to overcome him and move on to fight Bad Luck Fale next. Right now Tanahashi is still my pick to win the New Japan Cup, but what belt he would go for is still a mystery and probably will be until he wins the cup before decided to either get revenge on Suzuki or try to keep his record and fight Okada once again.
Recommended: Absolutely, great fight and my favorite first round match thus far.
Kota Ibushi vs. YOSHI-HASHI
Review: First off, HASHI, you’re not the ‘Viper’ so shame on you. Second, I am confused by how he is booked since he’ll have his moments to show he actually can shine, but then it just disappears until the next tournament. So that’s a huge gap where he doesn’t do a whole lot outside of that and kinda hard to take him too serious.
These two do work surprisingly well together, showing that when they worked at G1 Climax last year and again it in this match right here. There were a couple of sloppy moments, but not enough to take away from the match at all, since they still made everything they wanted to do exciting. I didn’t like that the Canadian Destroyer was used because I’m one of the few that think it’s a move that you shouldn’t kick out of instead of just using it as a spot much like the Burning Hammer. Kota picked up the win in a nice back and forth match, and was expected to do so. But can he win the whole thing? While it is possible, I wouldn’t see him win the title unless he gets rid of his fear of commitment.
Recommended: I would definitely give it a watch.
Zack Sabre Jr vs. Tetsuya Naito
Review: Before I start I do wanna say that I am not the biggest fan of Zack Sabre Jr. I will give him credit that I love his submission holds and his technical ability is amazing, but when it comes to everything else, it’s pretty bland. However, I do like that he actually shows personality when he goes to Japan and being involved with Suzuki Gun. This match though was just great, the story behind it, the atmosphere of the crowd, and just the chemistry between these two.
I really enjoyed how Zack was working various spots on his body just so he can use any part to make him tap out for any situation in the match. Zack picked up the surprise him making him tap out in a very nice submission while TAKA hypes him up like how Gedo does to Okada. I kinda figured Naito would lose here and it’s not really a punishment either, as quite a few top guys like Tanahashi and Okada have both gone through losing the first round of the cup and built themselves back up again. Naito is definitely going to get another chance against Okada, but it’s good that they hold it off for a while, as Zack looks to avenge his G1 losses to both Naito and next, Ibushi. If he keeps this up then there might be a good chance that he can actually make it to the finals or even win the thing depending on who he fights.
Recommended: You should very much so watch this match, just a great bout.
Toru Yano vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr
Review: This isn’t the best match, but this is the more entertaining out of the first round. Toru is pretty much how you would expect him to be in this type of match, with his comedy and dirty tactics to try and win it as quick as possible. But, Smith made sure that wouldn’t happen here as we actually get a match out of it instead of just a quickie.
Smith was able to showcase more of his talent in here and I wish he would do more single work to see how he could really do here, but just tournaments is the best we’re gonna get out of him. Toru would eventually get the win after about ten minutes with a countout and was expected how he would win instead of a pinfall. Normally expect Yano to win the first round of the cup and then loses the next round, so expect the same thing to happen here.
Recommended: I think it’s worth a viewing if you like to have a couple of laughs or if you just like Yano.
Chuckie T. vs. SANADA
Review: Chuckie to me just felt so odd and out of place in this tournament and did question why. But I guess due to both Trent and Makabe being injured, they needed someone and it’s a good chance to see how he can do for a solo match in New Japan. SANADA I believe is going to have an impactful year in 2018 and his match with Okada last month was only the beginning of his progression.
Chuckie didn’t do too bad in this match, but nothing to praise and I’m sure he’ll have more opportunity in the upcoming future. The match itself went pretty well and had a couple of awkward spots to hold it back a little to make it better, but it still wasn’t bad and SANADA was able to pick up the needed win over Chuckie with a Moonsault after applying the Skull End. I have a sinking feeling that the Moonsault might bite him in the ass during the tournament, but we will see.
Recommended: I would give this one a watch, good wrestling and nice to see SANADA coming out of his shell more with each match.
Now that the first round matches are out of the way, let’s take a look at the quarter final matches and see who will make it to the semi-final.
Juice Robinson vs. Michael Elgin
Bad Luck Fale vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Toru Yano vs. SANADA
And here’s what I think what it might look like when it’s over.
Juice Robinson vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Zack Sabre Jr vs. SANADA
Favorite Match: Zack Sabre Jr vs. Tetsuya Naito
Least Favorite Match: Lance Archer vs. Bad Luck Fale
I hope you all enjoyed reading about the first round and I’ll see you all at the quarter finals next.
Mitchell’s WWE Survivor Series Results & Report! (11/18/18)
WWE brand warfare returns! Will Daniel Bryan be able to conquer The Beast, Brock Lesnar? Will Charlotte Flair be ready for Rowdy Ronda Rousey?
- Kickoff Show – 10v10 Tag Team Division Elimination Match: wins, ??? surviving.
- Raw Tag Team Champions VS SmackDown Tag Team Champions: The Authors of Pain w/ Drake Maverick VS The Bar w/ The Big Show; win(s).
- WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy VS Mustafa Ali; wins and
- WWE Intercontinental Champion VS WWE United States Champion: Seth Rollins VS Shinsuke Nakamura; wins.
- Men’s 5v5 Elimination Tag Match: Team Raw VS Team SmackDown; wins, ??? surviving.
- Women’s 5v5 Elimination Tag Match: Team Raw VS Team SmackDown; wins, ??? surviving.
- Ronda Rousey VS Charlotte Flair; wins.
- WWE Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar VS WWE Champion, Daniel Bryan; wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
It’s time for the WWE Survivor Series Kickoff Show!
Mitchell’s NXT TakeOver: WarGames II Results & Report! (11/17/18)
NXT takes over Los Angeles with WARGAMES! Can The Undisputed Era #ShockTheSystem with back-to-back victories? Will Tommaso Ciampa feel The Experience?
- Matt Riddle VS Kassius Ohno; Riddle wins.
- NXT Women’s Championship 2 out of 3 Falls: Shayna Baszler VS Kairi Sane; Shayna wins and retains the NXT Women’s Championship.
- Aleister Black VS Johnny Gargano; Black wins.
- NXT Championship: Tommaso Ciampa VS Velveteen Dream; Ciampa wins and retains the NXT Championship.
- WarGames: The Undisputed Era VS Ricochet, Pete Dunne & The War Raiders; Ricochet, Dunne & The War Raiders win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Nina Strauss joins the NXT TakeOver preshow panel!
The rocking guitarist behind one of WarGames’ themes, Mariana Trench, joins Charli, Sam and Pat. It’s been an amazing week as her album Controlled Chaos debuted at number seven. And that’s on top of joining forces with Lzzy Hale at WWE Evolution for an amazing performance. From rock ‘n’ roll to wrestling, the Women’s Evolution is inspiring everyone, but especially young girls.
Evolution was also where Shayna Baszler recaptured the NXT Women’s Championship. But now Kairi Sane comes back for another rematch, in best 2 out of 3 falls. Nina is in the #FightForeverClub, she wants them to keep going. But this match tonight will be the most amazing one yet. What is it that makes this feud so compelling? The story, the tension, the build and the tied record. How does Nina feel about badass Baszler? Yeah she definitely doesn’t want to run into her in a dark alley. But Kairi is tough herself, so it could be either woman’s match. Who will be THE Women’s Champion after no less than two falls?
Matt Riddle joins the panel!
The King of Bros feels great to be here, “bro.” He and Pat have a bro-down and fans join in. But the NXT Universe of course loves Riddle, but here comes Kassius Ohno. Ohno mocks the bro-ness, it makes him physically ill. Ohno is sick of the bro, and is sick of Riddle. He sees through Riddle’s act! Everyone loves Riddle, but Ohno sees the mirage. Ohno says he’ll only need one second to expose Riddle. Riddle used to think Ohno was cool. But now Ohno’s just bitter. And maybe instead of being bitter, try being better. These two will face off next week on NXT, who will be better, bro?
The War has Returned Again.
For the second year in a row, “battle lines have been drawn.” Two teams, two rings, one cage. Two falls, two women, one champion. And two forces of nature, two sides to a story, one winner. “Opportunity still reigns.” Scores will be settled, let the WarGames begin!
Matt Riddle heads to the ring!
The King of Bros is here, but he’s not on the card. Riddle grabs a mic and greets LA with a “Bro…!” He wasn’t going to have a match tonight on TakeOver, a shame. But if you saw the kickoff, a certain someone interrupted him. Now Riddle and Ohno are meant to fight next Wednesday on NXT, but… If they’re chilling in LA, with two rings, maybe Riddle will KO KO in both of them! Riddle has called Ohno out, so here Ohno comes! Ohno says Riddle is “too stupid to know you’re not supposed to be out here right now”, or that he’s not ready for a TakeOver. But there’s a ref, so ring the bell! And hopefully Riddle enjoys his moment, because he won’t remember it after getting knocked out, “bro”! Is it happening? IT IS!
Matt Riddle VS Kassius Ohno!
The bell rings, and Ohno rushes Riddle! Riddle is ready, with a BIG knee! Cover, RIDDLE WINS!!
Winner: Matt Riddle, by pinfall
WHOA, BRO!! Riddle just beat Kassius in the fastest match in TakeOver history!! Who wasn’t ready for this? Will this instant victory skyrocket Riddle to a title?
NXT Women’s Championship 2 out of 3 Falls: Shayna Baszler VS Kairi Sane!
The Queen of Spades and the Pirate Princess have gone back and forth four times, and they’re all tied up. Of course, Shayna had her friends help her the last time, not that she’s bothered by it. There must be a true winner here tonight, who will be THE NXT Women’s Champion by the end of this epic fifth chapter?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin the first fall. Kairi runs and dropkicks Shayna in the corner! She rams her shoulder in but Shayna shoves her. Kairi gets her with a sweep then furious palm strikes. Shayana shoves Kairi away but gets the blockbuster! Then another! Kairi is all fired up and so is LA. Kairi chops Shayna at the ropes with both hands, then furiously with her right. She marches the plank and hits Shayna with a Sliding D! Shayna bails out but Kairi is on the apron, Flying Kabuki elbow! Kairi catches her breath but keeps going on Shayna. LA rallies up behind her as she puts Shayna in. Shayna fakes injury, but that’s so Jessamyn and Marina can attack! They throw Kairi into a post, then the apron!
Marina feeds Kairi to Shayna, Shayna wraps on the Kirafuda! Kairi moves around but Shayna stays on her! Shayna drags Kairi in deep, and Kairi taps! Shayna takes the fall!
Kairi: 0; Shayna 1
The Horsewomen help Shayna win again. Fans call “Bullsh*t!” but the second fall begins. Shayna hits Kairi with a step-up knee! Cover, TWO!! Kairi avoids a screw job sweep, but Shayna goes for the clutch again. Kairi resists and backs Shayna in the corner. Fans are on her side without question, even as Shayna sinks in the body scissors! Kairi gets loose and rolls around, ropebreak with a foot! Shayna lets Kairi go at 3, but she goes at Kairi. Kairi throws forearms and body shots. Kairi kicks but gets caught into a Half Crab! Shayna stands on Kairi’s head for good measure! Kairi endures, but Shayna stomps! Fans boo but Shayna just soaks it up.
Shayna looms over Kairi, and clubs her back. Shayna kicks Kairi down, then brings the legs around for a figure four while wrenching the neck. Kairi endures the various twists and stretching as fans rally up. Kairi gets a cover, TWO! Shayna suplexes Kairi but Kairi rolls her up, TWO! Shayna goes for the Kirafuda again! Kairi makes it a cover, TWO! Kairi CHOPS Shayna, then baits her to a corner. She throws big palm stirkes but Shayna kicks back. They brawl fast and furious with wild strikes! Fans love the aggression, even as Shayna clobbers Kairi! The Horsewomen applaud as Shayna stands first. Kairi stands and Shayna runs in, but is dumped to the apron. Kairi runs in but misses, and Shayna drags her out. Shayna suplexes, but Kairi DDT’s her on the apron!!
The Horsewomen panic and go to Shayna’s side while fans lose their minds. Kairi gets away to the ring while the ref checks on her. Fans chant “Mamma Mia!” Jessamyn and Marina go after Kairi but she sends them into the steps! Kairi then climbs up top, and LEAPS at Shayna for an INSANE ELBOW! She wipes all three Horsewomen out!! Fans are thunderous as Kairi puts Shayna in the ring. Kairi hurries up top again, she wants this on the mat! INSANE ELBOW #2! Cover, Kairi gets a fall!
Kairi: 1; Shayna: 1
We’re all tied up going into the third and final fall! Shayna manages to stand, and we begin again. Kairi SPEARS! And then SPEARS! Two interceptors in a row, here’s the hat trick! Kairi drags Shayna up, big back hands rock her! Kairi climbs once again, but Shayna is up quick. Shayna stops her with a right hand, then climbs up to join Kairi. They brawl up top, and fans are of course on Kairi’s side. Shayna rocks Kairi, but Kairi rocks her back. Shayna throws many forearms, and clubbing fists. She drags Kairi up for a gut wrench, but Kairi sunset flips for a powerbomb! Cover, TWO!! Kairi was so close, but she still has more to give! She drags Shayna up, Alabama Slam! Then she climbs up again, but Jessamyn distracts. Marina shoves Kairi down.
Here comes Dakota! She clobbers Marina then boots Jessamyn in the face! But she ends up 2v1 against them, until IO SHIRAI appears! Shirai climbs high, for her ASAI!! She wipes the Horsewomen AND Dakota out! Kairi climbs up again, INSANE ELBOW #3! INTO A COVER! Shayna wins!!!
Winner: Shayna Baszler, by pinfall; still NXT Women’s Champion
The Queen keeps her throne, but only thanks to highway robbery! Her friends helped her get the first fall, and then she survives by the skin of her teeth in the last fall! With back-up like this, will there ever be an end to Shayna’s reign of terror?
Aleister Black VS Johnny Gargano!
The Embodiment of the End wants revenge on the man who took him out before TakeOver: Brooklyn. Of course, Mr. “Why, Johnny Why?” doesn’t even see what he did as something wrong. It was just business. Will it be business when Aleister makes Gargano #FadeToBlack forever?
The referee keeps the two apart before the bell. It rings, and Aleister stares daggers into Gargano as fans duel. Gargano and Aleister approach, Gargano talks to Aleister then SLAPS him. Aleister boots Gargano! Then fires off furious body shots. Gargano throws Aleister out the slingshots, but Aleister dodges to roundhouse Gargano off his feet! Aleister throws more hands, but Gargano runs into the ring. Aleister follows but msises in the corner. Gargano CHOPS, then dodges the kicks to throw jabs. Gargano taunts Aleister as he dodges and ducks. Aleister kicks but Gargano gets clear. Gargano grins as he copies the cross-leg sitting. Aleister kicks but Gargano roll shim up for a school boy kick! Gargano runs in and chops Aleister, but Aleister goes after him. Gargano dodges again and throws left hands. Fans are thunderous as Aleister goes to another corner.
Gargano keeps on him, then whips. Aleister rolls off Gargano’s back to then throw more hands. He fakes Gargano out to hit a knee lift. Aliester blocks a punch to give knees, kicks, elbows, and one more knee! Gargano bails out, Aleister runs, but he fakes Gargano out. But Gargano knew it, and boots Aleister! Gargano stmops a mudhole into Aleister, then backs off at 3. He soaks up the heat, and the few cheers there are. Gargano goes back to Aleister for more kicks. He drags Aleister up, suplex but Aleister counters. Gargano slips out and rolls Aleister up, TWO, so he rolls Aleister into the seated surfboard! Aleister endures as Gargano pulls back on his arms. Fans rally up, and Aleister pries an arm out. Gargano shifts, but Aleister counters his Mahistrol, TWO! Aleister gets caught into an elbow DDT! Cover, ONE!
Gargano keeps his cool, and stomps Aleister’s hand. Gargano scrapes Aleister’s face, then puts him in a corner. Johnny Wrestling becomes Johnny Boxing as he throws hands. He chops Gargano, but then turns around into Aleister’s counter punches. Gargano kicks and whips but Aleister reverses. Gargano goes up and over, school boy kick misses. Aleister misses his knee and gets a forearm, but then he sweeps the legs! Gargano rolls out, but Aleister builds speed. Gargano expected a fake, so he gets a boot. Then Aleister FLIES! Direct hit! Fans fire up with the Dutch Destroyer as Aleister puts him in the ring. Aleister stalks Gargano to a corner, and fires off kicks and boots. Aleister whips Gargano to ropes, then sweeps the legs again, to hit double knees! He keeps going, Quebrada! Cover, TWO!
Gargano survives but Aleister keeps his cool. Gargano gets to another corner, but Aleister goes over. He elbows Gargano, then breaks free. Gargano stops Aleister up top, then brings him out. Aleister slips out but Gargano blocks the German. He gets a roundhouse, and bails out again. Aleister runs, triangle jump! But Gargano gets out of the way, and DIVES for a tornado DDT! Gargano puts Aleister in, then slingshots for another DDT! Cover, TWO!! Gargano almost had Aleister there! Fans rally up as Gargano wipes the sweat from his brow. Gargano stands on wobbly legs, but he still trash talks Aleister. Gargano chops and kicks Aleister. “You’re not the chosen one, I am!” Gargano kicks, but Aleister blocks it to hit a back elbow!
Aleister runs, but into an enziguri. Gargano runs, but into Aleister’s boot. Aleister runs, but into a SUPERKICK! They both hit each other with clotheslines, but then Aleister fires off elbows. Aleister kicks and kicks but Gargano dodges them. Gargano POISON-RANA! But he runs into a BIG knee! Both men are down but the fans give a standing ovation! Both men stir, and Gargano gets to ropes. Gargano is in No Man’s Land between the rings, and he brawls with Aleister. Aleister throws more forearms but so does Gargano. Aleister boots Gargano, and counters the slingshot spear! Then springboard meteora! Roundhouse to bridging German! TWO!! Fans love this, “This is Awesome!” but it’s far from over.
Aleister stands first but Gargano slowly follows. Aleister runs in, but misses the knee. Gargano blocks a kick, and spins Aleister for a discus clothesline! Gargano runs, tilt-o-whirl takedown! And he gets the GargaNO Escape! But Aleister rolls it up, TWO! Aleister sweeps, Gargano leaps, buzzsaw! Gargano scoops Aleister, for the lawn dart! Aleister hits buckles as Gargano grins. Gargano stands up, and he copies the foot lift. He wants Aleister to see this, as he builds up the energy. Aleister says stop? Aleister sits cross-leg. And then dares Gargano to do it! Gargano takes the knee pad down, to take Ciampa’s Psycho Knee! Aleister dodges and rolls up, but Gargano rolls through to SUPERKICK! Then the Psycho Knee! Cover, TWO!! Aleister survives and shocks Gargano! LA hopes they “Fight Forever!” but there must be a winner.
Gargano goes over to Aleister and drags him up by his hair. He keeps insisting he’s the hero, as he gives Aleister heavy forearms. Aleister still sits up, so Gargano brings him up for more. Aleister fires back, and now we brawl! Gargano hits, Aleister hits, and repeat. Then they hit at the same time! Aleister gets the edge with furious hands from all sides. Gargano gives forearms from all sides, but Aleister counters with a knee! Aleister springboards but Gargano shoves him out! Gargano builds speed, and DIVES, into a knee!! Both men are down on the outside as fans lose their minds! Aleister sits up first as the ring count climbs. He hobbles over to Gargano and puts him in. Aleister follows, but Gargano wants mercy? There will be no mercy, even as Gargano grovels at his feet. So Gargano wants Aleister to end him.
Aleister lifts him with the foot, and swings, but Gargano makes it a roll up! TWO!! GargaNO Escape!! Aleister is stuck in the hold, and he scrambles for ropes! Gargano rolls him away! Aleister pries at the hold, but rolls again! ONE, big spinning knee! Gargano is rocked, and Aleister takes the knee pad down. Aleister hits Gargano with bare knee! Then he holds Gargano up again, for the BLACK MASS! But he holds Gargano up on his feet as fans are thunderous. Because he gives Gargano a SECOND Black Mass!! Cover, Aleister wins!!
Winner: Aleister Black, by pinfall
No mercy for “Johnny Takeover”, the Embodiment of the End ends him tonight. Aleister settles one score, but is he on his way to settle another, with the title on the line? Who will be holding it when Black comes back for the gold?
NXT Championship: Tommaso Ciampa VS Velveteen Dream!
The Psycho Killer benefitted the most from Johnny Wrestling’s turn to the dark side, and now he hogs the spotlight by any means necessary. However, a shining star has come along and says the spotlight belongs to him. Ciampa claims to be the killer of fairy tales, but the Patrick Clark Experience makes dreams come true. Will the Dream be over tonight? Or will it just be over for the Dream?
The introductions are made for Ciampa and “Hollywood Dream.” Ciampa clutches to his precious a moment, gives it a kiss good luck, and “Goldy” is raised. The bell rings and we begin!
Fans are on Dream’s side and he soaks it in. Ciampa chuckles, it amuses him. The two circle and tie up. They go around, and Dream almost shoves Ciampa out of the ring! Dream backs off at the ref’s count to strike his pose. Ciampa and Dream circle again, then tie up again. They go around and Ciampa gets a waistlock. Ciampa brings Dream down, then shifts to a facelock. Dream pops out and rear mounts, and even Supermans on Ciampa. Dream slaps Ciampa in the head as he backs away. Fans are on Dream’s side as he and Ciampa tie up again. Dream puts Ciampa in the corner, but Ciampa messes Dream’s hair! So Dream SLAPS Ciampa in the front of the face! Ciampa runs into the fireman’s carry but escapes. Ciampa kicks low, underhooks, but Dream sprawls and escapes.
But Ciampa has the headband! Ciampa winds up to hear the fans. Dream slides out of the ring, and laughs it off. Why? Because Dream picks up “Goldy”! Dream gets away from Ciampa, and then goes to give Ciampa a draping DDT! Ciampa escapes, and both men are rather amused by the other. Ciampa swings but Dream counter punches. Dream whips but Ciampa reverses. Dream slides to come back with more haymakers. Big scoop slam from Dream, then he swivels the hips before hitting a big dropkick! Then a running hotshot! Dream climbs up, big ax handles! Dream gets his headband back and puts it on. Fans applaud as Dream hears them out. Dream goes back to Ciampa, whips and boots, brother! Dream calls for it, hears the fans, and runs. But Ciampa bails out.
So Dream climbs up and LEAPS! Double ax handles hit, and Dream puts Ciampa in. Dream climbs again, but avoids the counter attack. He then slingshots, but Ciampa shoves him down! Dream loses his headband in the crash, but then Ciampa hits him with a swinging neckbreaker on the outside! Ciampa gets up and asks if Dream thinks this is a game. Ciampa clubs Dream then puts him back in. He keeps on Dream with a mudhole in the corner. Then he runs side to side, BIG knee wash! That knee brace adds to the impact, Dream might be knocked out! Ciampa doesn’t cover, he just mocks Dream with the sliding crawl. Fans call Ciampa names but Ciampa just grins as he drags Dream up. Ciampa clubs Dream in the ropes, and Dream slumps over. Dream gets up, but Ciampa elbows him down again.
Ciampa drags Dream up, neckbreaker hotshot! Dream falls and Ciampa gives himself a pat on the back, because “I’m the man! I’m the main event!” Ciampa drags Dream up and onto the announce desk, for another big knee! Dream flounders and flails from that impact, but Ciampa puts him back in the ring. Ciampa stomps Dream, then wraps on a chinlock. Dream scrambles up but Ciampa snapmares him back down. Ciampa keeps on Dream with the hold, but fans rally up. Ciampa wrenches back and Dream sputters in the hold. Dream’s drool hangs out, so Ciampa makes Dream eat it! Ciampa says “Night-night!” but Dream keeps fighting. Dream flails around as fans rally up.
Dream fights back but Ciampa knees low. Ciampa drags Dream up again, but gets a backslide! ONE, and Dream throws a haymaker. Then another, then another! Dream gets Ciampa around, and gives him a neckbreaker! Both men stir, Ciampa gets up first. Ciampa brings Dream up but Dream fights again. Draem whips but Ciampa reverses, only for Dream to hit forearms! And a kip-up! Dream keeps going, big haymakers and clotheslines. Another whip but Ciampa gives another knee. But Dream points his finger at Ciampa! CIampa runs into the sidewinder but slips out. Dream bucks Ciampa off, blocks and gives haymakers. Dream whips and boots Ciampa! Then the LEG DROP! And another! And a third! Ciampa gets up as Dream hulks up!
Dream brings Ciampa up but Ciampa slides out and shoves. But he runs into Dream’s spinebuster! Cover, TWO! Dream feels he’s close, and so do the fans as they chant. Dream stands and goes over to Ciampa. He throws more haymakers, then another whip. Ciampa grabs the ropes but is sent out. Dream slingshots for a big plancha! Dream puts Ciampa back in, then climbs up fast. Ciampa rolls away, so Dream hops down. Ciampa yanks Dream out, but Dream is up quick. Dream avoids the DDT to throw the knee into the apron! Ciampa clutches the brace, but Dream keeps on him through the ropes. Dream takes the legs and brings Ciampa over to a post. Hanging Figure Four on the post!! Ciampa tapped but the ref was busy reprimanding Dream!!
Fans try to point that out, but Ciampa gets Dream with a package! TWO, and Ciampa gives a big forearm. Waistlock, but victory roll, to Figure Four! Dream has Ciampa in the legendary leg lock, and “WOO~” echoes through LA. Ciampa drags himself towards ropes but Dream drags him back. Dream puts as much pressure as he can on Ciampa, and fans are thunderous. But Ciampa rolls it over quick! Bug then Dream rolls it back! Ciampa rolls, Dream rolls, and now Dream throws haymakers. Dream kicks Ciampa to a cover, TWO! Ropebreak! Dream lets Ciampa go, but fans applaud this amazing exchange. Dream goes for the legs again, but Ciampa shoves Dream into barriers!
Ciampa catches Dream on the return, but no draping DDT this time. Ciampa and Dream fight, and Dream resists the suplex. Dream then suplexes Ciampa and himself out of the ring! Fans lose their minds as both men crash and burn! Ciampa undoes his boot laces, his leg is really hurting now. A ring count begins now as both men stir. Dream stands and realizes he needs to get Ciampa in. The count is at 8 when Dream puts Ciampa in. Fans applaud as Dream and Ciampa stand, and they brawl with haymakers! Dream gets an edge, but Ciampa kicks low. Ciampa double underhooks but Dream slips out. Ciampa dodges the superkick and it almost hits the ref! Roll up, with tights! But the ref notices! The ref stops the count and reprimands Ciampa! SUPERKICK, then Dream Valley Driver! High stack cover, TWO!? Ciampa survives and fans can’t believe it!
Dream himself is shocked, but he turns around into Ciampa’s fist. Dream jackknifes to a fireman’s carry, but Ciampa slides out. Ciampa rocks Dream with an elbow, but Dream gives Ciampa one back. Dream springboards, into a knee! Cover, TWO! Ciampa brings Dream up, Project Ciampa! Cover, TWO?! Dream survives and Ciampa is at wit’s end. Fans are thunderous for Dream as Ciampa undoes more of his boot. Ciampa bails out, and hobbles over to his belt. Ciampa wants to take Goldy into the ring but the ref stops him. Dream rolls Ciampa, TWO! SIDEWINDER ON THE BELT! Not on purpose, so no DQ! Cover, TWO!? Ciampa survives, but Dream won’t stop.
Dream climbs, leaps, but stops Ciampa’s counter boot! Dream wants the Figure Four again, but Ciampa shove shim out of the ring! Then DRAPING DDT! Cover, TWO!?! HOW?! Ciampa can’t believe it, but the fans love it. Maybe these two will “Fight Forever” because “This is Awesome!” But Ciampa goes to an old trick, as he pulls off padding from the floor. He exposes concrete, and then goes after Dream at the apron. Ciampa positions Dream as he drags him out, but Dream pushes through to barrel Ciampa over the announce desk! Both men are down and fans shout “Mamma Mia!” for Mauro’s sake. Dream and Ciampa stir back to life and head for the ring. The ref hasn’t even started counting yet.
But then Ciampa throws something at Mauro?! That’s uncalled for! Death Valley on the ground! Dream climbs up, PURPLE RAIN MAKER!! Cover, TWO!?! Dream keeps moving, seeing Ciampa on the apron. Purple Rain Maker, MISSES! Dream hits floor, and hurts his arm! Ciampa drags Dream up and in, but then to No Man’s Land? DDT on the steel!! Ciampa drags Dream into their ring, covers, and wins!
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa, by pinfall; still NXT Champion
Dream came so close so many times but the Black Heart wins out. If not even this much can end Ciampa’s reign, what will it take? Who will be the man to accomplish such a feat?
WarGames: The Undisputed Era VS Ricochet, Pete Dunne & The War Raiders!
Ever since they debuted, Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish have been running wild on NXT. And as enemies would close in, they managed to convince Roderick Strong to join their quest to forever #ShockTheSystem. However, they can no longer run from the fight, and must again face this sinister structure of steel. With the One and Only joining forces with the WWE United Kingdom Champion and the bearded behemoths of Ray Rowe & Hanson, will Cole and crew stand a chance of surviving? Or will they shock us all again by staying undefeated and undisputed?
Pete Dunne and Ricochet show solidarity with the War Raiders by wearing their own bits of war paint. To start the preliminary stage of this match, it’s Adam Cole BAYBAY and the One and Only NXT North American Champion! Cole trash talks Ricochet already, as these two still have a score to settle over that very title. The bell rings, and we have five minutes until another man is added. Kyle O’Reilly won an Advantage match this past NXT, so it will be Undisputed Era getting a new man first. As for these two, each man dares the other to fight in their ring. Ricochet is willing to cross over, but Cole is right on him! Cole clubs away but Ricochet turns things around with big haymakers.
Ricochet throws a European Uppercut and a swift chop. He whips but Cole reverses. Ricochet goes up and over then handsprings to headscissor and dropkick! Cole rolls to the other ring, but Ricochet follows. Ricochet brings Cole up for more clubbing forearms. Ricochet chops, then puts Cole in a corner. He gives Cole EuroUppers, then whips him corner to corner. Cole reverses but runs into an elbow. Ricochet springboards, but into a backstabber! Cole stands up and rains rights down on Ricochet. He then brings Ricochet up for a neckbreaker. Cole circles Ricochet, then brings him up to throw him into steel. Ricochet stops himself and then hits Cole back. Cole scoops but Ricochet slips out. Ricochet jumps, but into the ushigoroshi! Cole tosses Ricochet to the other ring, then follows.
Ricochet crawls but Cole is on him with a knee drop. Cole drops ax handles then drives a knee into Ricochet’s back. Cole brings Ricochet over to grind his face into the steel! He lets off and Ricochet writhes in a corner. Cole comes back and throws a forearm, but Ricochet hits back. Cole kicks Ricochet then whips. Ricochet kicks Cole back, then boots Cole from a corner. Ricochet dropkicks Cole down, and Cole rolls to the other ring. Cole stirs while Ricochet takes aim from far away. Ricochet runs, triangle jump and leaping uppercut! Both men are down, but the countdown begins. The buzzer sounds and the Undisputed Era sends… Kyle! Kyle goes in and gets Ricochet down! He fires off palm strikes while the three minute countdown begins. Kyle drives his knees into Ricochet while Cole stands.
The duo once known as Future Shock works together to mug Ricochet against steel. They double whip but Ricochet holds ropes. Ricochet sends Cole to the other ring, then avoids Kyle. He jumps into No Man’s Land to fight both men off! But Kyle gets a leg for a dragon screw through the ropes! Ricochet is down, and Cole joins Kyle again. They mug Ricochet with knees and kicks, and Ricochet is rocked. Cole and Kyle stomp Ricochet around, then taunt him to get up. Ricochet crawls away but they stay on him with more stomping. Kyle drags Ricochet up and Future Shock double whip. Ricochet dodges, pushes Cole into Kyle, then hits Kyle with a forearm. Cole boots Ricochet, then Kyle fires off strikes! Cole scoops, ushigoroshi on Kyle’s knee! Kyle keeps Ricochet down and throws more palm strikes, but the countdown returns.
Ricochet gets help from… Pete– Hanson? Hanson kept Dunne back because Hanson wants payback on Kyle. The War Beard rallies on Future Shock as we start another three minute countdown! Sidewalk slam and splash to Kyle! Scooping powerslam to Cole! Hanson misses in the corner, but he gets Kyle with a seated senton! Then Hanson cartwheels to avoid Cole, and clobbers him with a clothesline! Fans fire up with Hanson as he stands tall. They chant “War! War!” for Hanson as he begins a corner clothesline train! He hits Kyle, then Cole, then back again. Hanson gets a total of 10 but doesn’t stop! He brings Kyle into Cole, and they’re stacked in a corner. Hanson goes corner to corner, for a double bronco buster! Ricochet recovers, and Hanson helps him into the same ring. They forearm bump, Hanson becomes a step stool, shooting star onto Kyle!
Hanson decides to fetch Cole in the second ring, while Ricochet keeps on Kyle in the first. Cole elbows Hanson away, but then walks into a scoop. Kyle comes over to sweep Hanson’s legs! Ricochet gets Kyle with a clothesline, then he goes after Cole. Ricochet chops Cole, then rams his shoulder in. The countdown returns, and the Undisputed Era adds… Roderick Strong! Roddy hurries to help, going after Ricochet and Hanson! He chops away on Ricochet then whips, to dropkick Ricochet down! Roderick chops Hanson, then runs to shining wizard Ricochet! He does the same to Hanson, then gives Ricochet a urenage backbreaker. And another! And then torture rack, backbreaker drop! Fans fire up with Roddy as he drags Ricochet up to throw him into Hanson! Then Roddy runs, but Hanson catches him. Cole boots Hanson, Kyle gives the Ax ‘n’ Smash! Olympic Slam from Roddy!
The 3v2 favors the Undisputed Era, and fans are loving it! Cole, Strong and Kyle take turns stomping and dropping knees on Ricochet and Hanson. They have to fill time, so Strong puts Ricochet in a corner. Strong trash talks then Kyle joins him in chopping and kicking Ricochet. Strong hits Hanson for good measure, then works with Kyle again. Gutbuster and knee drop! Cole grinds his boot into Hanson, then Strong drives in a knee. The Undisputed Era pace about, confident they have control. But the countdown brings out… Rowe! Rowe pushed past Dunne, and then he goes right at all three men of the Undisputed Era! They stand up, he knocks them down, then he throws Strong overhead! Kyle runs into a gutbuster, then a gutwrench. Cole hits Rowe, but it only gets Rowe’s attention. Shotgun knees!
Rowe throws strikes all over Strong, but then Kyle climbs on for a sleeper! Rowe stays up, Cole runs in, but Cole gets an urenage! Then Rowe backs Kyle into the buckles and breaks free. Hanson returns, and now War Raiders work together. Hanson hauls Strong up while Rowe carries Kyle, and Strong is placed on Rowe’s shoulders! Powebomb-powerslam combo! Fans chant “War! War!” again as the Raiders stand tall. Hanson throws Kyle into steel, and then Rowe throws Strong! Cole realizes he’s all alone now, and Ricochet is up, too! Cole is fed to the Raiders, who then lawn dart Cole into steel! Ricochet and the Raiders stand tall, and they mug Cole in a corner. Ricochet keeps on Strong with haymakers and chops, but the countdown returns. The last one for the Undisputed Era, Bobby Fish, finally joins in!
But wait, Fish goes after Dunne? He wants to lock Dunne up, and he rams Dunne into steel bars! Fish puts his lock on, and only Fish has the key! He uses it to taunt Dunne, but then he throws it away! And then Fish goes looking under the ring! He brings in Undisputed Era branded chairs?! The Undisputed Era planned for this all along! Hanson blocks Kyle’s attack, but Fish gets his chair shot in! Then reDRagon tees off on the War Raiders and Ricochet! Cole and Strong regroup with them to take up chairs and throw them down on the others. Kyle strums his like a guitar while the others continue to SMACK their opponents. If Dunne can’t get in the ring, this match can’t officially start, which means it can’t end, either! The Undisputed Era can do this for as long as they want!
Strong and Fish throw Hanson into steel! Then they sit a chair up, and give Rowe an urenage across it! Fish taunts Rowe while Strong kicks Ricochet down. Cole and Kyle keep Hanson down on their end by going after his sore leg. Strong and Fish bring Rowe over, and they throw Rowe into steel of the cage! Rowe rebounds, though, and takes Fish out. Fish has to be careful because of his leg, but he seems fine. Kyle and Cole throw Hanson into more steel while Strong keeps on Ricochet. The countdown returns, but what does it matter if Dunne’s stuck in a cage? The ref’s use their key to unlock the first lock, but it won’t work on Fish’s lock. Dunne fights against it but there’s nothing he can do as Undisputed Era run a train on Ricochet against steel cage.
Fish and Cole keep on Rowe while Strong and Kyle keep on Hanson. They put each War Raider on a corner, then climb up to join them. Cole and Kyle help them coordinate, DOUBLE SUPERPLEX! Cole mocks Dunne, “You can’t do a darn thing!” He blows a mocking kiss, but here come bolt cutters! The ref gets the chain, and breaks it! Dunne is loose, and storms to the ring! Dunne may have one bad leg, but he’s going to find a way in. He grabs a kendo stick! Dunne smacks the hands of reDRagon off the cage door, then is ready for Cole. Dunne puts Cole’s hand on the steel steps, to SMACK it with the stick! Strong comes over but Dunne slams the door on him! Dunne brings out more things, and Ricochet crossbodies onto all of Undisputed Era!
Fans are thunderous as Dunne brings in a trash can, then another trash can, another kendo stick, and just as fans hoped, a TABLE! Rowe helps Dunne bring that table in as a brawl breaks out. Ricochet keeps reDRagon rocked as Dunne brings in a second table! Hanson helps him with that one, while Rowe sets a table up in No Man’s Land. Dunne grabs himself a stick, and this match FINALLY begins with a SMACK on Strong! SMACK for Kyle, SMACK for Strong! Dunne fires off on all four men of Undisputed Era, then hands the sticks over to Rowe and Ricochet. Hanson has a chair and Dunne has a chain, and they just beat down the Undisputed Era!
Kyle lands on the No Man’s Land steel, and Dunne tortures his arm. Dunne hammerlocks and STOMPS Kyle’s arm on that steel! Hanson hits Strong and Ricochet SMACKS Strong on the back. Fish grabs a can but Rowe stops him from using it. Dunne has Kyle’s arm and twists it. The kendo sticks fly, Strong gets over to where Kyle is, but Dunne X-plexes him onto Kyle! Cole chop blocks Dunne! Ricochet heads over but Cole tosses him into cage wall! The Era regroups in the second ring, and are ready for the Raiders. Strong kicks Rowe down, but Hanson avoids the chair shot. Kyle himself avoids the rebound accident, but then Hanson boots the chair into his face! Rowe gets back up as Hanson chops Cole. Hanson puts Cole in a can, and then puts him in a corner. Rowe picks Hanson up, senton attack on the canned Cole!
The Raiders then fire each other up, and Rowe scoops Hanson for a scoop slam senton on Kyle, across No Man’s Land! Kyle writhes while the Raiders go after Roddy. Pop up to German, springboard clothesline! Cover, but Fish breaks it in time. Rowe goes after Fish, German Suplex and springboard- TRASH CAN! Kyle hit Hanson with a flying trash can, and then he saves Fish from Rowe. Rowe fights off reDRagon, but ends up in a sleeper, and kick sandwich! Strong staggers up to help Cole in the second ring. Ricochet fights but still ends up in the gutbuster drop to backstabber! The Undisputed Era has regained control, and they surround Dunne. The Bruiserweight sees the situation he’s in, but doesn’t care! He throws hands on everyone!
Dunne blasts Cole with a forearm, then blasts with Fish with a forearm. Dunne dodges Strong, Strong hits steel cage, then staggers into Dunne’s German Suplex! Fish blocks Dunne’s kick, then ducks, so Dunne enziguris Kyle! Fish blocks a kick but gets reeled into a Kneebar! Dunne wrenches Fish’s bad leg, but Kyle saves Fish. Kyle uses that chain Dunne found, and uses it on Dunne’s bad leg! Kyle wraps it up as best he can, but then Dunne uses it to wrap up Kyle’s fingers! Dunne brings Kyle into a Kimura, the chain helping hold on. But Kyle lifts Dunne, and Fish SMACKS Dunne with a chair! Kyle uses that chain on Dunne now, for an ankle lock! Fish and Cole hold off the Raiders and Ricochet with chairs. Strong puts a chair on Dunne’s face and it’s an ankle lock with crossface.
Dunne somehow endures as the rest of his team work their way through, Ricochet FLIES in! Ricochet saves Dunne but gets a chair to the ribs. Strong hits Hanson, then runs, but for a BIG back drop! He ends up in the first ring, and now everyone is down. Hanson gets up and goes after Kyle. Rowe goes after Strong, and the Raiders have the NXT Tag Team Champions on either side of the table. Cole saves Kyle, but then Ricochet hits Cole. Fish saves Strong, but Dunne goes after Fish. Ricochet and Dunne have Strong and Kyle now, for a Butterfly SUPERPLEX and SUPER STEINER! Covers, TWO!! The Undisputed Era survives, but the Raiders decide the tables need to come into play now. The Raiders bring one over to the second ring, and Hanson sets it up.
Hanson targets Cole and puts him on the wood. The legs give out so Hanson dumps Cole off to try again. Cole scrambles away but Rowe is on him. He has him in No Man’s Land, powerbomb lift but Cole fights out. So he gets Thor’s Hammer! Cover, but Kyle breaks it with a chair shot! Rowe grabs Kyle, but Fish saves Kyle with a kendo SMACK. Fish then spears Rowe through the table! Fans are loving the carnage, but it isn’t over yet. Cole and Ricochet fight and end up near the other table. Cole has Ricochet in a corner and hauls him up. He climbs up to join him, but Ricochet resists. Ricochet kicks Cole, drags him into a Tree of Woe, but Kyle saves Cole. Kyle and Ricochet fight now, and Ricochet gets Kyle on the table.
Strong comes over and gives Ricochet a leaping knee! Kyle reels Ricochet into a triangle hold! But Hanson climbs up, and as Ricochet gets free, Hanson splashes down on Kyle, through the table! Cover, but Strong uses a trash can to break it! All four men but the fans are thunderous. The referees clear the debris, and Cole is first to stand up. Cole decides to climb up, but not to escape. Ricochet follows Cole, though, and they go after each other! They brawl, but have to be careful not to fall out. If even one man hits the floor, their entire team is disqualified. Strong climbs up to go after Ricochet, and they decide to throw Ricochet out! Ricochet holds on, and manages to kick Strong down! Strong gets crotch’d on the top rope, and now Ricochet only has to worry about Cole.
Cole clubs Ricochet on the back, but here comes Dunne! Dunne grabs Cole’s fingers and pulls, and gets Cole back in. But Kyle climbs up to go after Dunne. Rowe goes after Cole, but then Strong goes after Rowe. things are getting crazy up there as Hanson and Fish scrap on their way over. Hanson grabs everyone, even with Fish on his back, for a special WarGames TOWER OF DOOM!! All seven men go down in a heap, and fans lose their minds! But wait, Ricochet is still up top, and fans spot him sitting back up. The others regroup as he stands, and Ricochet 630 MOONSAULTS! He wipes them all out!! Fans are at a fever pitch as all eight men are down and out!
The teams regroup in opposite rings, and the teammates help each other stand. Fans rally up as the two teams stand across, each man facing a counterpart on the other side. They approach each other, and fans are thunderous. They go into No Man’s Land, to brawl!! Hands just fly wildly, and then things spill out into rings. Hanson has Kyle while Fish DDT’s Rowe. Fish kicks but Rowe gets him with Ace Ten Mao! Hanson leaves Kyle behind, for FALLOUT! But Kyle grabs Rowe before the cover, Strong Elimination! Strong and Kyle double whip Hanson, but he breaks through, to handspring back elbow!
Cole SUPERKICKS Hanson, but Ricochet springboards at Cole, for another SUPERKICK! Dunne blocks the kick to tweak the ankle! And snap the fingers! And hit Bitter- DDT from Cole! Last Shot brianbuster, to shining wizard! Cover, TWO?!? Cole keeps going, but misses the second shot, for a Bitter End! 450 splash outta nowhere! Double cover, #OneAndOnlyBruiserRaiders WIN!!
Winners: The War Raiders, Pete Dunne & Ricochet, both Ricochet & Dunne pinning
TakeOver is no longer Undisputed, and the Undisputed no longer rules TakeOver! There is wreckage everywhere, but Ricochet’s team can hold their heads high. Dunne and Ricochet get their belts back, and stand tall atop the cage. They’re reminded of their own unsettled score, the Champion VS Champion match the Undisputed Era ruined. Ricochet still has to keep Cole away, but will he get another shot at proving the North American Championship is better than the United Kingdom Championship? Will the War Raiders get themselves another go at the NXT Tag Team Championships?
There is already so much to love about any TakeOver, but this may have been the best TakeOver yet! I loved the surprise of Riddle VS Ohno, and it worked perfectly in story. Ohno was acting so superior, so him losing in mere seconds was the right way to go. Then Ohno and Riddle can have a lengthier rematch on a later NXT episode to really give us something incredible. The Women’s Championship match felt really fast. Shayna has ultimate Heel heat from Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir helping her again, mostly with the first fall. The brawling of Jessamyn and Marina with Dakota Kai, then Io Shirai coming in, tells me this will be the Six Woman Tag showdown we get, which is great given Dakota’s history with Shayna and Shirai’s friendship with Kairi. And obviously, this means Shayna VS Kairi will continue.
In Aleister VS Gargano, I liked that both guys knew the other’s moves enough to counter, and there was great story elements like Gargano begging for forgiveness only to use it as a way to steal the win. I like that Aleister didn’t have to use two Black Mass kicks but chose to use two. Aleister wins to keep Gargano’s story going, because Gargano will be seeking vindication of his “I’m still the hero!” claims. Ciampa VS “Hollywood” Dream was so great, and Dream really used all his references to legendary wrestlers like Hogan, Flair and Rick Roode to great effect. I really thought Dream was winning, but that’s how good they booked the match, Ciampa wins to perhaps set up a proper Aleister VS Ciampa match now.
The WarGames match itself was incredible. It seemed odd to me that Ricochet’s team had dysfunction when it came to sending members out, but things like that tend to plague Faces more than Heels in such situations as a standard wrestling trope. The Undisputed Era’s scheme of locking out the last man while preparing their own weapons was a great touch. I almost thought Dunne was going to stay locked in and someone else (like EC3) was going to sub in for him. But I suppose it’s fine that Dunne still gets free, NXT can save EC3 VS Undisputed Era for later. I know in our Chairshot staff picks I expected the Era to still win, but it does work for Ricochet’s team to win. Now the Era will have to regroup in order to keep the tag titles while Cole looks to regain the North American title.
My Score: 9/10
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