NXT TakeOver WarGames PREVIEW

NXT TakeOver WarGames PREVIEW

On Saturday November 18, NXT TakeOver WarGames comes from Houston. It’s another stacked card, culminating in the WarGames match the show has been named for.  Two titles are on the line, and we’ll finally get a new women’s champion when someone claims the currently vacant title. As seems to be the pattern for NXT TakeOver events, there isn’t a weak looking match on the entire card.



Sanity vs Undisputed Era vs Authors of Pain and Roderick Strong -WarGames match

Kairi Sane vs Peyton Royce vs Ember Moon vs Nikki Cross – Fatal four-way for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship

Drew McIntyre (C) vs Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas – NXT Championship match

Aleister Black vs Velveteen Dream

Kassius Ohno vs Lars Sullivan



photo credits: wwe.com

Kassius Ohno vs Lars Sullivan

Pretty much no build for this one, just a stare down at the end of Sullivan’s match on the NXT go home show. It’s going to be a great match, if two hard-hitting big lads battering each other and throwing each other around is your idea of fun. It is mine, so I’m glad it was added to the card.

As for who wins, no idea. Trouble is, it’s not really a good time for either of them to take a loss. Sullivan has been on a path of complete destruction, making the post-match beatdown something of a signature. Taking a loss to Kassius Ohno at TakeOver would be terrible for his momentum. Ohno, on the other hand, has not had the meteoric rise through NXT many have predicted for him. He’s been great, but the results have been underwhelming. I would have expected him to be in the title picture by now.

On balance, much as I would like to see this as the start of Ohno’s rise to the top, it looks like it’s Sullivan who is being built as the unstoppable monster. There would be no point in all the build, only to have him lose now. I don’t want to see Kassius Ohno take a TakeOver loss, but I think I’m going to.

Prediction: Lars Sullivan


Aleister Black vs Velveteen Dream

Slightly odd premise for this feud. Velveteen Dream just seems to want Aleister Black to say his name. It’s a weird combination of petulant child and jilted lover, but it’s intriguing if nothing else. And, with a spate of attacks, interruptions and promo’s, Velveteen Dream has Aleister Black’s attention.

Velveteen Dream is an impressive rising star. Extremely athletic, and equally aggressive. But Aleister Black is undefeated, and needs to stay that way. I’m all for Velveteen Dream getting a push, I think he’s got the potential to climb the ranks at NXT, just not at Black’s expense.

I can’t entertain the possibility of the massive, long-term, build of Aleister Black being destined to end at the hands of Velveteen Dream. I refuse to contemplate it.

Prediction: Aleister Black


Kairi Sane vs Peyton Royce vs Ember Moon vs Nikki Cross – Fatal four-way for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship

This match ensures that we get at least one new champion at TakeOver, as the NXT Women’s Championship has been vacant since Asuka relinquished it to move up to the main roster undefeated.

There is an argument to be made for every one of these women winning the belt on Saturday night. Nikki Cross is my personal favourite. Especially after the last woman standing match she had with Asuka, she has proved herself to be a more than credible prospect. I also think she has one of the most original and consistent character on NXT at the moment.

Ember Moon has had a couple of chances at the title, and has come up short. But she’s running through a redemption storyline following both defeat and injury. A championship reign is the natural conclusion to such a trajectory. NXT is also short of female heels, so a turn for Moon either to win the belt, or as a result of not winning it, could make a lot of sense.

Peyton Royce has flourished over the last year. But, most importantly, she has Billie Kay who, to the best of my knowledge, has not been banned from ringside. The four-way format doesn’t allow for disqualification, which could be important as it give Kay the opportunity to intervene on behalf of her friend. Although, Royce is more than capable on her own.

Kairi Sane earned her spot by winning the Mae Young Classic. It seems like a logical progression for her to take the NXT Women’s Championship as well. In fact, almost any other result would feel like an anti-climax on her story.

So, take your pick. My preference would be Nikki Cross, but I don’t see it happening. Failing that, I would rather see Ember Moon get the culmination of her storyline. I don’t see it as Peyton Royce’s time. The logical timing to give her the belt would be just before they want to split her and Billie Kay up, and they are currently the two top heels in NXT’s women’s division, so that doesn’t make sense. Kairi Sane almost seems too obvious a choice, but that’s the one I’m making.

Prediction: Kairi Sane


Drew McIntyre (C) vs Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas, with Zelina Vega – NXT Championship match

Drew McIntyre has said he will give anyone who asks an NXT Championship shot. Almas preferred to allow Zelina Vega to take care of business for him. McIntyre didn’t want to hand out the shot to a business manager, but eventually agreed to meet Almas in the ring so he could ask. William Regal said that would be the contract signing for this match. Andrade Almas attacked Drew McIntyre from behind on the way to the signing,

Vega has proved that she’s happy to get physically involved in her client’s matches if needs be. But considering McIntyre caught her in mid-air when she tried it on the go home show, maybe she’ll think twice about doing that again, but maybe she’ll just be sneakier. She’s significantly improved things for Almas since she arrived. And the crowd at least react to her, even if they are still lukewarm on him.

McIntyre has only had the belt since TakeOver Brooklyn III and, unless they are planning to pass it back and forth between them, I think it’s too quick for him to lose it. Almas still has trouble getting much of a reaction from the crowd as well. It’s better since he turned heel, and better still since Vega arrived, but it’s still not much. There’s no reason to think the crowds would even get behind booing him as champ. He has been on the up recently, but I can’t see him as the top guy yet, if ever.

Prediction: Drew McIntyre


Sanity vs Undisputed Era vs Authors of Pain and Roderick Strong -WarGames match

The full official rules for the match can be found here, but let’s go through them quickly.

Two rings, with a cage around them – no roof. The lack of roof has apparently been a point of controversy, but I can’t say I’m bothered, there will be more than enough chaos as it is.

–        Three teams in separate shark cages by the entrance. One member of each team starts

–        Five minutes after the bell the rest of one team is released

–        Three minutes later the rest of the second team is let out

–        Three more minutes and the rest of the final team enter the rings.

–        Once everyone is in, the match must be won by pinfall or submission.

That’s essentially it. But with the double ring and the cage round the outside, it’s going to be madness.

Predicting a match like this is pure guesswork. The tag titles are not on the line, so that’s not a factor, although I’m sure if anyone other than SAnitY win, there is a title shot in it for them. The build-up, which began with Fish, and O’Reilly attacking SAnitY at TakeOver Brooklyn III, hasn’t given any one team a clear advantage. And the fact we don’t know which order the teams will be released, means we don’t know who has the advantage on the night.

Authors of Pain have been tipped for a main roster move by many for a while now. If that’s the case, they could use this to send them out on a high, or to make another team look good. They also have Roderick Strong with them, which could be a positive, as he has a score to settle with Undisputed Era, or a negative in that he’s not a regular part of the team. SAnitY are the tag champions. A loss here doesn’t damage them, but a win could further establish them as the dominant force they claim to be. Undisputed Era are, for NXT at least, the new boys. This would be a huge win for them, but no-one is damaged by a loss in a match like this.

I think Authors of Pain are the least likely to come out with a win. But it’s a coin toss between the other teams (watch AoP win it now I’ve said that). It all depends who is set for the biggest push in the NXT tag division. I’m actually behind SAnitY, I’ve loved what they’ve done as a stable since they arrived. But, on this occasion, I think the new guys on the block have the most to gain from a win, so I’m going with them.

Prediction: Undisputed Era.


Whatever the result, NXT TakeOver WarGames is going to be fantastic. Check back here, on Rear View Reviews, shortly after the finish for a full review.

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