It’s the go home show for NXT TakeOver WarGames tonight, so expect build-up, recaps, and shenanigans. Advertised ahead of the show is Ember Moon versus Mercedes Martinez, and Street Profits versus Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss. Also, NXT Champion Drew McIntyre is set to meet face to face with his TakeOver opponent Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas, presumably with Zelina Vega, after Almas attacked him from behind at their contract signing.
Street Profits def Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss
Lars Sullivan def Raul Mendoza
Ember Moon def Mercedes Martinez
After the usual housekeeping, the show kicked off with tag team action.
Street Profits vs Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss
Another good opening match. I seem to say that a lot. Street Profits might be all about the fun and games, but as soon as they get in the ring, they bring it. Both teams are extremely athletic, with Street Profits maybe just having the edge on speed.
The match was supposed to be an end to the problems between these teams, but I think that would be a mistake. They’ve got good chemistry, and the match was entertaining. The tag division is growing again in NXT, and a few more matches like this could strengthen both teams.
Street Profits won with a pin on Tino Sabbatelli.
Hype video next, for Aleister Black versus Velveteen Dream. Great video, and I’m looking forward to this match. But, if Velveteen Dream wins I will sulk. This was followed by a promo package for the whole TakeOver event.
Lars Sullivan vs Raul Mendoza
A nice little warm up for Sullivan ahead of his TakeOver match with Kassius Ohno. Raul Mendoza has been around NXT on and off for a while. I’m guessing this wasn’t his best day at the office.
Mendoza did manage to get a few kicks in at the start. Then Lars Sullivan headbutted him out of the air, and that was the end of his offence.
After that, it was just a matter of time. Sullivan threw him around until he felt like pinning him.
The beating was about to continue after the final bell, as is Sullivan’s way, but Kassius Ohno ran down to the ring to stop it. They had a stare down and Sullivan laughed as he left the ring. And that’s the build up to their TakeOver match, a stare down and a chuckle.
Johnny Gargano, in William Regal’s office, was telling Regal he still feels he belongs in NXT. Regal agreed and said Pete Dunne had thrown out an open challenge to anyone in NXT for a UK title shot, and Regal wanted Gargano to take it. Unsurprisingly, Johnny Gargano agreed. Even less surprising considering it’s been advertised as the TakeOver dark match for over a week, and it’s been all over social media. The match will be shown next week.
Another promo package. This one was for the WarGames match, focusing initially on the Undisputed Era, then widening out to look at the build to the announcement of the match. Extremely well put together video, as ever. This match is going to be complete chaos. Official rules for the match can be found here.
Mercedes Martinez vs Ember Moon
Tough match for Ember Moon before TakeOver. Mercedes Martinez has a lot of experience, and she was one of the stronger competitors in the Mae Young Classic.
Nice mix of technical stuff and power. The delayed vertical suplex from Martinez was particularly impressive. As was the huge suicide dive from Moon, which drove Martinez into the ramp. It was a good opportunity for Moon to remind everyone she can hold her own regardless of the match style.
The match got a good amount of time for an NXT tv match, but it was always unlikely that one of the four-way competitors was going to lose on the go home show. Ember Moon hit the Eclipse to take the win, and some momentum into TakeOver.
Nikki Cross appeared after the match and just stood ringside. Peyton Royce wandered halfway down the ramp, and Kairi Sane came out as far as the stage. They all just looked at each other.
Announcements for next week’s matches – Ruby Riot versus Sonya Deville, and Johnny Gargano versus Pete Dunne. Both will be fantastic. Gargano versus Dunne should be spectacular.
The final segment was Drew McIntyre going face to face with Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas. McIntyre was out first, with a microphone. He said that Zelina Vega’s plan to get Almas a championship match at TakeOver had worked, but it is once you get the opportunity that you prove what kind of man you are. Then he called Almas to come and face him like a man, unless Vega wouldn’t let him off the leash for a night.
Almas’ music hit, and Zelina Vega appeared on the stage. Eventually Almas joined her, and they strode to the ring with him shedding his suit jacket and rolling up his sleeves.
They flew at each other and brawled for a bit, then Vega launched herself off the top turnbuckle at McIntyre. He caught her, and set her down on her feet. But that was enough of a distraction for Almas to take McIntyre’s leg out from underneath him and follow up with a beat down and a hammerlock DDT.
The final shot was Zelina Vega holding the belt up and talking to Almas, before draping it over Drew McIntyre and leaving the ring.
As usual, the TakeOver card is stacked. The WarGames match will be interesting, chaotic, and hopefully also good. I’m not even sure which match I’m looking forward to most. It’s really good to see both Aleister Black and Kassius Ohno on the card though.
It’s excellent to hear that Pete Dunne versus Johnny Gargano will be on NXT tv. It was announced initially as a dark match, so I’m just happy to be able to see it. But that’s for after TakeOver.
The NXT TakeOver WarGames card is;
SAnitY vs Undisputed Era vs Authors of Pain and Roderick Strong – WarGames match
Drew McIntyre (C) vs Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas – NXT Championship match
Kairi Sane vs Ember Moon vs Peyton Royce vs Nikki Cross – Fatal four-way match for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship
Aleister Black vs Velveteen Dream
Kassius Ohno vs Lars Sullivan
Check back on Rear View Review tomorrow for the full preview, and Sunday for the review of NXT TakeOver WarGames.