Three advertised matches for tonight’s go home show to TakeOver, which leaves plenty of room for surprises. It sounds like NXT are breaking the five matches format for WarGames and going with just four matches. I guess that makes sense with a WarGames match and a two out of three falls, but it’s a shame considering how much talent isn’t getting anywhere near the show. Anyway, that’s Saturday. Tonight, we’ve got Mia Yim versus Bianca Belair, Lacey Evans versus an unnamed opponent, and Kyle O’Reilly versus one of the opposing WarGames team to decide who gets the advantage at TakeOver.
Bianca Belair def. Mia Yim
Lacey Evans def. Karissa Rivera
Kyle O’Reilly def. Hanson
Bianca Belair vs Mia Yim
The first of tonight’s two women’s division matches kicked off the show, and it was a big one. Mia Yim might have only just arrived in NXT but she’s been waiting a long time for this and she’s at the top of her game. Bianca Belair doesn’t have Yim’s experience, but she’s undefeated in NXT and on the fast-track to greatness.
It started as an attitude contest as much as anything but quickly evolved into a very good, back and forth, match. Belair looks more polished every single match, but she still spends too much time trash-talking and posturing, and it cost her a couple of time in this match.
Mia Yim only just kicked out after a huge dropkick, and a massive spinebuster, and she spent more time in submission holds than is completely ideal.
Yim had her chances though, she got a two count from a gut-wrench suplex, and she built some momentum towards the end of the match.
After countering Yim’s Seoul Food finished with a forearm, Bianca Belair hoisted Yim up for her torture rack into facebuster finisher. She now calls it the K.O.D, and it got her the win.
Pete Dunne, Ricochet, and War Raiders were asked who is going to face Kyle O’Reilly later in the WarGames advantage match. Ricochet made his case as the best candidate. Pete Dunne disagreed, and they argued. Rowe said ‘enough’, Hanson said, ‘I’m doing it’. No-one seemed inclined to argue with him.
The first of the go home show hype packages went to Johnny Gargano versus Aleister Black. Beautifully done, for an extremely well played out story. No additional information in it. Everything that needed to be said has been said. The match has the potential to be truly incredible.
Matt Riddle was interviewed about his experience so far. He said it’s been amazing. He won his debut and now he’s ready to take on anything. NXT is ready for the Bro. Kassius Ohno interrupted and said he’s been waiting all week to hear from William Regal’s office about Riddle challenging him to a match and there’s been nothing. When he confronted him it was a test. When Ohno came back to NXT he challenged a long list of people. He’s starting to see through Riddle’s hype and thinks the Bro-show is trash.
Riddle didn’t like that much and challenged him to a match on next week’s show. When Ohno had gone Riddle said he’s glad they talked because now they can fight. That will be a nice extra for the TakeOver crowd (matches for post TakeOver episodes are usually TakeOver dark matches). Could have been a pre-show match really, that would have worked for me.
Karissa Rivera vs Lacey Evans
Standard squash match for Evans. Rivera got three chops and a dropkick in mid-match when Evans was faffing around with a tissue. The Woman’s Right ended it in under two minutes.
Post-match, Evans said, ‘NXT is full of a bunch of classless nasties. These girls forget what it means to carry themselves with sophistication. But I will lead by example because it is my responsibility as the lady of NXT. And if they don’t adhere to my standards, I will teach every one of them a lesson in class and manners with the Woman’s Right.’
Hype package number two was for Tommaso Ciampa versus Velveteen Dream. For a title match, there hasn’t been a massive amount of build to it, but that’s not a problem. It’s going to be awesome. Velveteen Dream is yet to have a TakeOver match that is less than top quality, as is Ciampa.
Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler got the third package. This one contained interview snippets with Kairi Sane, which is good because we haven’t really heard from her since Evolution. She talked about the unfairness of Shafir and Duke getting involved and said, at TakeOver, Baszler won’t have her friends and can’t beat her twice. I don’t recall seeing anything in the stipulation specifically banning Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir from ringside, but we’ll see.
Hanson vs Kyle O’Reilly
I guess they thought this match was enough hype for the WarGames match because it didn’t get its own package. Commentary explained the rules and the set up during the entrances. What Hanson and O’Reilly were fighting for was the advantage of having their next team member be released first.
O’Reilly started strategically, trying to land blows while staying out of Hanson’s way to avoid falling victim to Hanson’s massive power advantage. Good strategy, limited success.
Hanson pounded on O’Reilly’s chest ten times and Kyle O’Reilly staggered off the apron and crumpled to the floor.
Hanson rolled him back into the ring and O’Reilly’s break came when he took Hanson’s left knee out with a dropkick and started working it hard. He kept Hanson on the mat and kept going back to that knee. He attempted a pin, but Hanson’s kick out threw O’Reilly out of the ring.
That gave Hanson chance to get back up, but damage had been done to the knee and it was a constant target for O’Reilly.
Hanson powered out of a submission by prising O’Reilly’s leg away and kicking him in the face. It was effective and Hanson started to build some momentum. He hit a suicide dive then dragged O’Reilly back into the ring. He was sat on the top turnbuckle readying himself to finish O’Reilly when Adam Cole appeared and started yelling at him. Eventually, he stopped listening and launched himself off anyway. Thanks to Adam Cole’s delay tactics, O’Reilly moved out of the way of the moonsault. O’Reilly only got a two count on the pin attempt but caught Hanson in an ankle lock before he had time to get up. Hanson got to the ropes.
Adam Cole kicked Hanson in the face, O’Reilly followed up with an axe kick and a punch in the face, but Hanson still kicked out.
I’m not sure what took Rowe so long, but he finally turned up to deal with Cole.
In the ring, Hanson and O’Reilly both ended up flat on the canvas and it was a wait to see who recovered first. Meanwhile, on the outside, Rowe hurled Adam Cole into the steps and got jumped from behind by Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish. Pete Dunne came down to join the fun and got chop-blocked while trying to snap Cole’s fingers. With the brawl in full swing, Ricochet appeared from the other side of the ring and launched himself over the top rope onto everyone.
Back in the ring, Kyle O’Reilly hit Hanson with the tag title belt while the ref wasn’t looking and got the pin.
Undisputed ERA celebrated, and Pete Dunne was left sitting in the ring holding his knee like he was in a lot of pain.
Looks like the TakeOver card is confirmed complete at four matches. They’ll all be fantastic matches, but I’m still a bit disappointed we’re not getting five or even six. There has never been a disappointing TakeOver, so I’m going to assume it will be fine. Here’s the card as it stands.
- Undisputed ERA vs War Raiders, Pete Dunne, and Ricochet – WarGames match
- Tommaso Ciampa (C) vs Velveteen Dream – NXT Championship match
- Shayna Baszler (C) vs Kairi Sane – NXT Women’s Championship – Two out of Three Falls match
- Johnny Gargano vs Aleister Black
Check out the full NXT TakeOver WarGames Preview, here at Rear View Reviews, tomorrow evening, and the full show review a few hours after the show.