It’s the go-home show for NXT TakeOver WarGames and Survivor Series. On Monday night RAW Triple H left an open invite for anyone to come to NXT this week. The Revival took him up on the offer and have a match against Undisputed ERA’s Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly. Adam Cole and Dominik Dijakovic go one on one for the WarGames advantage, and they’re going to have to go some to top Mia Yim and Io Shirai’s advantage match last week. And that’s it from the official WWE preview, we’ll just see what unfolds.
Becky Lynch vs Rhea Ripley – No Contest
Matt Riddle def. Ricochet
Undisputed ERA def. The Revival
Kay Lee Ray def. Dakota Kai
The Viking Raiders def. Forgotten Sons
Adam Cole def. Dominik Dijakovic
NXT opened with Becky Lynch being welcomed by William Regal and making her way to the ring. Of all the post-NXT evolutions, surely hers has been the biggest. The first thing she said was, ‘it’s been a while’, and reminisced for a moment. Triple H sent out an open invitation, but she was coming anyway because the only thing she can think of is champ versus champ versus champ. First she verbally eviscerated Bayley and outright said Sasha Banks is holding her back… as well as some less complimentary things. Then she called out Shayna Baszler, asking what she was going to do about her being in Baszler’s ring.
She got Rhea Ripley instead. Ripley got straight to the point and said, ‘So you’re The Man. Let’s see if you have a set of balls.’
Becky Lynch vs Rhea Ripley
Well, fuck. This was great. Hard-hitting, fast-paced, and massively entertaining. Neither of them could really afford a loss going into this weekend, but that wasn’t going to be a problem, because it was never going to finish clean. We got a full match, with Ripley getting out of the Dis-Arm-Her and laying Lynch and herself out coming off the top turnbuckle. At that point, Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir attacked. Lynch and Ripley turned from opponents to allies and fought the three off to clear the ring.
Kona Reeves got attacked on his way to the ring, by Ricochet. Reeves was due to face Matt Riddle, so Ricochet took his place.
Ricochet vs Matt Riddle
Fun and chaos are going to be the buzzwords for tonight’s NXT I think. This was great too, but it didn’t get the chance to play out to the end. Riddle got the win, but Cesaro and Nakamura had already attacked by then and made it messy. All they did during the match was jump up on the apron and get knocked back down by Riddle and Ricochet, but Riddle recovered quicker from the distraction and pinned Ricochet.
Cesaro and Nakamura invaded the ring after the bell. Riddle knocked Cesaro off the apron and through the barricades with a knee, the Ricochet took Cesaro out by flying off the top rope over the barricade. Roderick Strong took out Nakamura while he was setting up to give Riddle a Kinshasa, and Finn Balor attacked Matt Riddle. A nice little preview of their TakeOver match, in which Riddle came out on top.
Undisputed ERA vs The Revival
I’m so pleased that this match was allowed to play out uninterrupted by invasions. It was excellent, of course, and made me wonder if The Revival miss NXT. Matches like this have been few and far between on their main roster run to date.
I love tag team wrestling done well, so I could have watched this all night, but it got long enough to question the sense of a match like this so close to Survivor Series weekend. Dash Wilder had been down on the outside for a very long time by the finish. Having been thrown into a ringpost and sent into the timekeeper’s desk with flying knees from O’Reilly. I hope he’s ok. Scott Dawson’s resilience was impressive, but he succumbed to the high low double team.
The cameras cut away to The Viking Raiders and Forgotten Sons trying to brawl in the parking lot and a wall of security getting squished between them trying to stop them.
Kay Lee Ray vs Dakota Kai
Dakota Kai is not happy at all about being left out of the WarGames teams, and she is going all out to prove she wouldn’t have been a wasted pick. She went in all guns blazing at the start of the match, but couldn’t make anything of it and Kay Lee Ray made her pay. The problem for both Dakota Kai and Tegan Nox is that they now have very obvious vulnerabilities to aim for. As commentary keep pointing out, the knee braces only help so much and there is still the psychological wariness of punishment being delivered to a joint that was so badly injured. Kay Lee Ray took full advantage of that.
Kai made a great comeback and nearly pinned the NXT UK champ, but she got caught with a superkick and the Gory Bomb finished her off.
SmackDown’s Carmella, Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose, and Dana Brooke attacked after the match. The NXT locker room ran down to help, then RAW arrived in the form of Natalya, Kairi Sane, and Sarah Logan. Kairi Sane appeared to be dressed as a Bella twin. She locked eyes with Io Shirai, but Sarah Logan kicked Shirai to break the contact.
Nikki Cross appeared with the lid of a trash can and cleared a path to the ring, then cleared the ring with it. There is something very cool about seeing Nikki Cross and Kay Lee Ray sharing an NXT ring, albeit briefly. Cross hit her with the bin lid until she rolled out of the ring. She carried on hitting people with it until Nikki Cross stood alone in the ring with her music playing.
The Viking Raiders vs Forgotten Sons
This was all Viking Raiders until Erik got caught out by an unseen tag. Blake and Cutler couldn’t capitalise though and the Vikings were soon back in control.
Jaxson Ryker pulled Ivar off the apron to get Forgotten Sons their advantage back, courtesy of Cutler delivering a high knee off the distraction. Again, they couldn’t make it stick and Ryker had to interfere to put his teammate’s leg on the ropes. Erik took exception to that, but was flung into a ringpost by Cutler while yelling at him.
The Death Valley driver on the apron from Cutler to Erik looked grim, Erik took a glancing blow on the edge. The ref got sick of Ryker’s antics after he got up on the apron, and sent him to the back. Ivar flew through the ropes and flattened him instead. Blake’s frankensteiner to Ivar left everyone on the mat.
I have no idea why Blake and Cutler answered Ivar’s cartwheel with cartwheels of their own, but it did them no good. Ivar levelled them both and Cutler got The Viking Experience for the finish.
Adam Cole vs Dominik Dijakovic – Ladder Match for the WarGames Advantage
This was inevitably going to be compared to Mia Yim vs Io Shirai from last week, and they were going to have to go some if they wanted the comparison to be favourable. They started the climbing much too early, but Cole brought Dijakovic down with a kick to the knee.
Adam Cole worked over Dijakovic’s knee, repeatedly slamming it into the ringpost. It slowed him a little, but it didn’t stop him setting up two additional ladders in the ring with the upright one, one leaning in a corner, and one bridging between a corner and the upright one.
Cole took a chokeslam into the ladder leaning in the corner, which looked like it really hurt.
A Panama Sunrise from Cole sent Dijakovic awkwardly out of the ring. He was high enough by the time Dijakovic came back that Dijakovic’s first offence was to slap him on the ass.
Dijakovic did the slow, one-legged climb fingertips to ladder thing to let Cole sprint to the top of the other side. Cole hit him in the head with the briefcase him off to land on the bridged ladder and Cole retrieved the briefcase. Undisputed ERA will get the advantage in the WarGames match.
When the rest of Undisputed ERA came out to celebrate they were met on the ramp by SmackDown’s Revival, Cesaro and Nakamura. RAW’s Street Profits, Viking Raiders, and Zack Ryder appeared on the other side. The brawl kicked off and some of the NXT roster arrived to help.
Drew McIntyre was suddenly in the ring and delivered a Claymore to Dominik Dijakovic, then took a Spirit Bomb from Keith Lee. Keith Lee and Ivar did tandem dives onto everyone and took out all three brands.
Somehow, Adam Cole was the last man standing… until Seth Rollins superkicked him to the mat. Having put the current NXT Champion down, the first-ever NXT Champion was winding up for the Stomp when Tommaso’s Ciampa’s music hit. Ciampa walked through the aftermath of the battle, and took out Adam Cole with a knee to the head before he got in the ring.
Ciampa and Rollins looked at each other for a long time then just piled in with fists flying. They were still punching each other when the show went off air.
The Raw vs SmackDown vs NXT format of Survivor Series, with NXT TakeOver WarGames the day before it, has made for an almost excessively busy few weeks. This week was the most chaotic of shows, and also the first week NXT has beaten AEW in the ratings, which I guess has to be attributed to main roster crossover viewers. Hopefully, some of them stick around.
There’s a weird nostalgia effect as well. Most of the people attacking NXT came from NXT, and the crowds still feel them as their own. Except, apparently when they’re attacking the current batch of superstars. Mind you, some of them have only been gone for the blink of an eye. It would have been nice if there was a little more time between the draft and Survivor Series, just to make it a little easier to keep track of.
In between tonight’s matches, there were build packages for WarGames and Survivor Series.
The NXT TakeOver WarGames card is;
- Finn Balor vs Matt Riddle
- Pete Dunne vs Killian Dain vs Damian Priest – Winner to Face Adam Cole for the NXT Championship at Survivor Series
- Team Ciampa – Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic & ?TBA? vs The Undisputed ERA – Men’s WarGames match
- Team Baszler – Shayna Baszler, Bianca Belair, Io Shirai, & Kay Lee Ray vs Team Ripley – Rhea Ripley, Tegan Nox, Candice LeRae, & Mia Yim – Women’s WarGames match
It’s a four-match card instead of the usual five, but presumably that leaves time for the extra WarGames match. It still wouldn’t be a huge surprise if they added another match at the last minute though. This has the potential to be one of the most exciting weekends for WWE in a very long time.