NXT TakeOver WarGames was a triumph. The WarGames match itself was chaotic, brutal, and a lot of fun. New Women’s and NXT champions were crowned, two big men battered each other, and Aleister Black and Velveteen Dream had a match of the year candidate of a match. If you missed anything, catch up with what happened in my review, here.
The preview for tonight tells us we have Pete Dunne giving Johnny Gargano a shot at the UK title, and Sonya Deville settling her issues with Ruby Riot in the ring. Both matches were filmed on Saturday prior to TakeOver The rest of the show is likely to deal with the fallout from TakeOver.
Ruby Riot def Sonya Deville
Pete Dunne def Johnny Gargano
Apparently, this week’s show is called Aftermath. Women’s division action started things off after the NXT TakeOver WarGames montage.
Sonya Deville vs Ruby Riot
Anyone hoping, like me, that this was the start of a non-title feud for the women, is going to be disappointed. We may still get more matches between the two, but they will be some way down the line as Sonya Deville joined RAW this week alongside Paige and Mandy Rose, and Ruby Riot went to SmackDown with Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan. Commentary mentioned this during the entrances, and showed footage of the debuts.
As mentioned, tonight’s matches were filmed before TakeOver, so the double ring was visible in wide shots. Good match. Presumably both women knew they were being moved to the main roster by the time this match happened, so knew it was their NXT swansong. They were also in front of the TakeOver crowd, and tasked with warming them up. Unfortunately, the loudest noise was the ‘sweet’ after two counts, except for a couple of brief bursts.
Sonya Deville’s problem with Riot is because she feels that Riot should have tapped during their qualifier for the four-way. Riot ended up with an ankle injury during that match, so it was only a matter of time before Deville chose to focus on that. Riot started strong, but Deville looked good throughout. She may even have had the slight majority of the offence. Unsurprising I suppose, considering she needed the build more than Riot.
She targeted Ruby Riot’s ankle for her best chances of the match, keeping her in an ankle lock for ages and forcing Riot to drag herself to the ropes.
Ruby Riot won with her overhead kick, slightly out of the blue.
Recap of Aleister Black versus Velveteen Dream. If you only watch one match from the whole of Survivor Series weekend, make it this one.
Lars Sullivan interview following the recap of his TakeOver match with Kassius Ohno. He said he felt pretty good considering he’d been kicked in the face about fifty time, but he took it like a man. He told everyone in NXT he was going to be the man to step through, and if anyone wants to get in his way, they too will be destroyed.
The recap of the women’s fatal four-way match led into an interview with Ember Moon. She said it was a dream come true, all her years of hard work have led her to being able to call herself the NXT women’s champion. Now she’s got it it’s going to be hard to take it off her.
Next recap, Drew McIntyre versus Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas, followed by an interview with Drew McIntyre, who is now injured. He said he felt something go in his bicep and elbow area, and it didn’t feel good. He’ll be back to claim his NXT championship though. No details have yet been released about the severity of McIntyre’s injury. Triple H, in his Facebook live interview after TakeOver, said he thought it looked like a torn bicep, which would indicate surgery may be required.
Street Profits celebration outside Full Sail last week (apparently involving dancing on a car) was interrupted by Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli. Moss and Sabbatelli said they got lucky in their match. Street Profit and the amassed crowd saw them off. They have another match next week.
Also next week, Kairi Sane versus Peyton Royce.
Final recap of the night, the ultra-chaotic WarGames match. SAnitY were shown helping each other walk away from the end of the match. The Undisputed Era said, it’s their era, they run this place.
Pete Dunne (C) vs Johnny Gargano – UK Championship match
I love the idea of this match, but it saddens me that they felt the need to make it for the title. It made it feel like a bit of a forgone conclusion. I just couldn’t see the UK belt going to an American, with no storyline or build or anything, just an open challenge. If they’d had a normal match between the two, Gargano had won and demanded a shot at the belt off the back of a win, I might have been able to buy into it more. But, whatever, Pete Dunne and Johnny Gargano are both great, so the match should be amazing.
Duelling, ‘Johnny Wrestling/Bruiserweight’, chants to start the match was lovely to hear. The NXT crowds have completely taken to Pete Dunne. As they should, he’s really very good.
This was a brilliant main event, and sounds like it served as a great warm-up for TakeOver. The crowd were certainly into it.
I think they took each other’s entire moveset, give or take. Johnny Gargano locked in the Gargano escape, but Pete Dunne took out his mouth guard, and bit him until he let go. He was reprimanded by the ref, but it was effective. Gargano picked up the mouth guard (yuck) and looked at it for a while, then kicked Dunne in the face, but only got two. It’s strange that the storyline has Gargano looking like the underdog in this match, he really shouldn’t be but he does play the role well.
Pete Dunne punched Gargano out of the air as he went for the slingshot spear, and hit The Bitter End for the win. Excellent title defence from Dunne, and another addition to the, break him down to build him up, storyline they seem to be running with Gargano (they better build him back up, he’s too good to stay down). It’s going to be a long road for Gargano waiting for the Ciampa to be fit for their inevitable feud.
Show closed out with a despondent looking Gargano sat beside the ring, and Pete Dunne celebrating inside it.
Four female call ups to the main roster (Mandy Rose hasn’t been on tv enough to count) in a week is a big deal. Luckily, the performance centre is overflowing with female talent at the moment, with options for WWE to sign many more after the Mae Young Classic. It will be interesting to see who gets incorporated into the NXT women’s roster proper.
Just the two matches this week, but they were both excellent, and the week after TakeOver is always like this. Pete Dunne versus Johnny Gargano was great, I don’t think it was quite as good as Dunne vs Bate, but maybe that’s because there is no intertwined storyline. It could easily have sat on the TakeOver main card though.
All the recaps are done now, and I’m sure normal service will resume next week. It will be interesting to see if we get any more call ups in the coming week, as the only movement in the men’s roster has been the impending transfer of Hideo Itami to 205 Live.