Shayna Baszler defends the NXT Women’s Championship against Kairi Sane, Velveteen Dream attempts to capture the NXT Championship from Tommaso Ciampa, Aleister Black looks for revenge against Johnny Gargano, and the War Raiders team with Ricochet and Pete Dunne to battle Undisputed Era inside War Games!
The show kicks off with Matt Riddle calling out Kassius Ohno for interrupting him on the Pre-Show. Kassius answers the challenge and this unscheduled match is happening. And it’s over. As soon as the bell rang Ohno ran in but caught a knee strike that knocked him loopy. Riddle gets the three count and this one is over. This has to be a TakeOver record. Ohno can’t even stand.
Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Kairi Sane – 2 out of 3 Falls Match for the NXT Women’s Championship: Sane comes out of the gate hot hitting Shayna with blitzkrieg offense. Two minutes into the match Baszler’s henchwomen Marina Shaffir and Jessamyn Duke come down to the ring and attack Sane when the referee wasn’t looking. Sane is rolled into the ring and into the clutches of a Kirafuda Clutch. Sane has no choice but to submit the first fall. From there Baszler systematically dismantles Sane. The Pirate Princess comes back and we have an all-out slugfest. Kairi finds an opening after spiking Baszler with a DDT on the apron. Sane side steps Shaffir and Duke then takes out all three with an Insane Elbow to the outside. Kairi hits the Insane Elbow on the inside of the ring to tie things up. Kairi hits three Interceptor Spears and a backfist but is unable to put Baszler away. Both women battle in the corner ending with Sane hitting a powerbomb for two. Shaffir and Duke try and interfere once again but Dakota Kai comes running down to provide backup. Shaffir and Duke overpower Kai when suddenly Io Shirai comes down to even the odds. The Genius of the Sky Io hits the most perfect moonsault I’ve ever seen to wipe out all the women at ringside. Inside the ring, Kairi hits another Insane Elbow. This time Baszler was able to trap Kairi’s arm on impact and roll Sane up for the three count. This match went zero to sixty from the bell to the pin and it was amazing. These ladies brought it.
Johnny Gargano vs. Aleister Black: Gargano starts the match talking trash and smacking Aleister straight in the face, I don’t know how smart that was. It’s a back and forth strike battle with Gargano playing the duck and move game. Gargano mocks Black by mimicking his mannerisms. This takes Black off of his game and Johnny controls the pace from here. Black is able to send Gargano to the outside and hits him with a Tope con Hilo on the outside. Back inside the ring, Black hits Gargano with an onslaught of striking offense. The action weaves in and out of the ring where Johnny hits a sick Suicide Dive into a DDT on the outside. Johnny hits a slingshot DDT for good measure. Gargano gets cocky too long allowing things to once again go back and forth. Both men are bringing everything they have and the crowd is going wild. Black takes the upper hand with a flurry of knee strikes and kicks ending with a twisting springboard Meteora from Black for two. Gargano gets an opening and tries for the Gargano Escape but couldn’t hold it for too long. Gargano again mocks Black then sets him up for a Superkick ala DIY. Black stops Gargano dead in his tracks. He wants Gargano to hit him with all he has! Black ducks but gets hit with a Superkick. Gargano doesn’t put Black away and we’re back to a striking battle. The action goes to the outside. Gargano goes for another Suicide Dive but Black catches Gargano with a jumping knee strike right on the button. Back inside the ring, it looks like Black wants to put things away. Gargano almost looks like he is asking for mercy by putting himself in position for the Black Mass kick. Black takes the bait and gets locked in the Gargano Escape. Black gets to the ropes breaking the hold. Black hits Gargano with a jumping spinning knee strike. Aleister hits a Black Mass kick on target but he is not done. Black lines Gargano up for a second Black Mass kick but beforehand Aleister absolves Johnny of all his sins. Aleister Black hits a second Black Mass kick with evil viciousness and picks up the win. What a fight.
Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Velveteen Dream for the NXT Championship: Velveteen comes out in complete Hollywood Hogan getup. Early on Dream was able to get in the head of Ciampa taking him off his game early. Ciampa gets ahold of Velveteen’s Hollywood headband playing mind games as well. Dream goes for the NXT Championship and it is safe to say you can’t play mind games with Velveteen Dream. We almost get a callback to the Hulkster thanks to a leg drop but Ciampa bails from the ring. Velveteen hits Ciampa with a double ax handle off the top. Dream rolls Ciampa in the ring and this small window allows Ciampa to take control of the match. From here Ciampa is slow and methodically taking apart Velveteen Dream. Ciampa hits a running knee strike across the side of Dream’s head as he laid across the announce table. Back in the ring, Ciampa keeps things on the ground. Both men back to a vertical base and we have a back and forth strike battle. Velveteen quickens the pace and keeps the momentum on his side. Velveteen gets the crowd on his side with a trio of Hogan style leg drops. Ciampa is reeling. Action to the outside after a Pescato dive from Dream. Briefly, we go back in the ring but from the outside Velveteen begins to attack the leg of Ciampa. Dream locked in a Figure Four around the ring post. The hold is broken and Ciampa tries fighting back but Dream halts it by slapping on a Figure Four in the ring. Ciampa gets to the ropes. A suplex battle happens in the ring with Velveteen getting the upper hand and suplexes himself and Ciampa to the outside of the ring. Ciampa may have hurt his ankle as he untied and loosened his boot. Slugfest in the ring. Ciampa with a roll up and a handful of tights that the referee spots. While Ciampa argues with the referee Dream hits a Death Valley Driver for a two count. Dream attempts a second DVD but Ciampa fights out. Dream gets dropped with a Project Ciampa but only for a two count. Ciampa brings the title belt into the ring but is stopped by the referee. Dream uses the opportunity to hit Ciampa with the twisting DDT on top of the belt but only for a two count. Dream tries to lock on a second Figure Four but is dumped to the outside with a kick. Dream takes Ciampa’s boot with him. When Dream tries getting back in the ring Ciampa hits Dream with a Hangman’s DDT. Ciampa heads to the outside and rips away at the padding. Ciampa looks to knockout Dream with a DDT from the apron to the exposed floor but Dream kicks him off and sends him over the commentary table. Ciampa takes his eyes off the ball and takes a swipe on Mauro Ranallo on commentary. This allows Dream to hit the DVD on the exposed floor. Dream rolls Ciampa and hits him with a beautiful Purple Rainmaker elbow. Ciampa kicks out at two and his momentum from the kick out sends him laying over the apron. Velveteen Dream goes for an elbow dive from the top to the apron but Ciampa moves out of the way sending Dream crashing in pain. Ciampa rolls Velveteen Dream back in the ring. Ciampa sets dream up for a Hangman’s DDT with the impact being on the steel grate. Ciampa gets the pin and the three count to retain his NXT Championship. Excellent match.
Undisputed Era vs. Ricochet, Pete Dunne, and the War Raiders – War Games: Adam Cole and Ricochet start things off for their respective teams. Both men are in opposite rings. When they meet it’s to slug it out. Ricochet is on top after hitting Cole with a dropkick. Cole comes back after catching Ricochet with a backstabber when Ricochet was coming backward off the ropes. Cole catches Ricochet with an Ushigoroshi and begins to systematically beat down Ricochet. Cole is wearing Ricochet down. Ricochet finds an opening and sends Cole to the other ring. Ricochet takes flight bouncing to the other ring like a pinball. When the five minutes are up Kyle O’Reilly enters the ring thanks to winning the War Games Advantage. Ricochet is temporarily able to handle being outnumbered but it was brief. Cole and O’Reilly beat on Ricochet like hyenas. A straight beatdown. After the three minutes is up Hanson is the next an in the ring for his team. It looked as though Dunne wanted in but had to be held back. Hanson has taken over the match. Hanson goes corner to corner maybe thirty times in an incredible spot. Ricochet uses Hanson as a boost for a Shooting Star Press. Cole and Ricochet back to battling. After three minutes the next member to enter for UE is Roderick Strong who cleans house like a cardio freak. Amazing. UE working like a machine completely dismantling their opponents. This is a master class on team unity. Undisputed Era has things in hand when Ray Rowe is the next to enter for his team. Rowe and Dunne literally fought to get out of the cage. Rowe cleans house and gets momentum back for his team. Undisputed Era in retreat. Adam Cole used as a lawn dart crashing into the cage. The final member of Undisputed Era to enter is Bobby Fish who does something no one saw coming. He grabs the lock to his cage and uses it to lock Pete Dunne in his cage. Fish launches the key to the lock into the crowd like a centerfielder. Remember, War Games cannot begin till every man is in the ring inside the cage. Fish unveils UE has had custom steel chairs under the ring and uses them as weapons. UE has the upper hand now. When it’s time for Dunne to enter the match there are no ways to open the door. The beatdown continues for War Raiders continue in the ring. Officials rush to the cage and free Dunne with bolt cutters. Absolute genius from Dunne, he litters the ring before getting in the ring because remember, if you’re out of the cage you forfeit the match. Dunne enters and here we go. We got kendo sticks, chairs, chains, all the toys. Dunne is just breaking fingers. Dunne ex-plexes Strong onto O’Reilly but Cole chop blocks him after. War Raiders are literally killing anything in yellow. UE get the upper hand thanks to a trashcan and as Percy said, the tides have turned once again. Pete Dunne is all alone fighting Undisputed Era and he is holding his own. Dunne gets caught and UE breaks him down via his injured leg. UE block the ring from Ricochet and War Raiders from interfering until Ricochet flies through the air to save Dunne. This is madness. We finally have a pin from Ricochet after a top rope Rana on O’Reilly for a two. War Raiders setting up tables. Bobby Fish tackle Rowe through a table. O’Reilly getting pummeled on the table while Cole is trapped in a Tree of Woe. Ricochet gets caught in a triangle choke by O’Reilly on the table. Hanson breaks it up by diving through the table. The pin is broken up by a trash can shot. Ricochet and Cole battle at the top of the cage. Strong and Cole try and dump Ricochet off the cage which would cause a forfeit. No luck. A seven-man Tower of Doom Suplex. Ricochet with a reverse 630 Senton onto everyone. This. Is. Nuts. All eight warriors are standing. What. All out war between both rings! Fish and Rowe are left standing and War Raiders hit Fallout. Total Elimination from Strong and O’Reilly. Ricochet keeps bouncing off the ropes like a pinball and this time gets caught with a Superkick from Cole. Dunne begins his attack on Cole. Dunne flattens Cole with the strikes and caps it off with a Bitter End. Ricochet comes off the top with a 450 Splash for added measure. Dunne and Ricochet both cover Cole and get the three count. What an absolute war of a match. All eight men deserve and receive a standing ovation.
Another NXT TakeOver show in the books and another A+ show. Four matches, easily digestible, and all went beyond the call to deliver a great night of wrestling. Hats off to all involved.
What did you think of NXT TakeOver: War Games? Let us know in the comments below.