NXT TakeOver: WarGames II Review! Undisputed ERA vs. Ricochet, Pete Dunne & War Raiders
- Show: NXT TakeOver: WarGames II
- Location: Staples Center in Los Angeles, California
- Date: Saturday November 17, 2018
- Review by: Amin Ajani
Matt Riddle def. Kassius Ohno
- Rating: ⭐️
Riddle immediately won after delivering a knee strike to Ohno.
(Amin’s Analysis: This match wasn’t announced but this was done really well as Riddle looked awesome and felt like a huge mega star.)
Shayna Baszler def. Kairi Sane in a Two-out-of-Three-Falls Match to retain the NXT Women’s Championship
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 2/4
First Fall: Sane delivered shoulder tackles in the corner and followed up back-to-back running blockbuster. Sane delivered rapid fire chops to Baszler against the ropes. Sane marched across the ring and delivered the Sliding D to Baszler. Snae delivered a Kabuki Elbow to Baszler from the ring apron and placed her back inside the ring. Baszler had the referee’s attention as Jessamyn Duke ran down and yanked Sane on the ring apron and then rammed Sane into the ring post. Marina Shafir appeared and tossed Sane back inside the ring. Off the assist, Baszler applied the Kirifuda Clutch as Sane tapped out.
Second Fall: Baszler delivered a running knee for a near fall. Baszler reapplied the Kirifuda Clutch as Sane refused to quit and placed her foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Baszler stomped on the face of Sane. Sane countered a suplex into an inside cradle for a near fall. Baszler and Sane exchanged strikes. Baszler delivered a running clothesline to Sane. There was a crazy spot as Baszler went for a suplex on the ring apron but Sane countered by delivering a spike DDT on the ring apron. This was insane as the crowd chanted “Holy S**t.” Sane delivered a beautiful looking InSane Diving Elbow from the top rope to Baszler, Duke and Shafir on the floor which got a huge reaction. Sane placed Baszler back inside the ring and followed up by delivering another beautiful InSane Diving Elbow to win the second fall.
Third Fall: Sane delivered three straight Interceptors to Baszler. Sane delivered back-to-back spinning back fists to Baszler. Baszler and Sane exchanged strikes on the turnbuckle. Baszler went for a super gut wrench suplex but Sane countered by delivering a powerbomb for a near fall. Sane delivered an Alabama Slam and then went to climb the turnbuckle. Duke distracted the referee as Shafir yanked Sane off the turnbuckle. Dakota Kai ran down and delivered a Yakuza Kick to Duke. Shafir returned and attacked Kai. My favourite wrestler Io Shirai came out and delivered an amazing reverse moonsault from the top rope to Duke and Shafir on the floor. Finish came when Kairi went for the InSane Elbow but on landing Baszler caught her and applied an inside cradle and got the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a really fun match as both Baszler and Sane worked really hard. Kairi Sane was the star of the match as she was so awesome and plays such a great babyface. The outside interference of Duke, Kai and Shafir added to the match. I like the appearance of Io Shirai as she felt like a huge superstar. This should lead to tag team matches between the six women.)
Aleister Black def. Johnny Gargano
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 2/4
Gargano slapped Black as the match began. Black responded by delivering a big boot and followed up with rapid fire strikes. Black avoided a plancha and delivered a trust kick to Gargano. There was a great spot as Johnny used his quickness to avoid Black’s strikes and then sat crosslegged and mocked Aleister’s pose. Gargano delivered a rolling kick to black and followed up with a running chop in the corner. The crowd was mixed as they chanted “Johnny Wrestling” and “Johnny Sucks.” Black delivered rapid fire strikes to and then sat cross-legged inside the ring. Gargano returned delivered a running boot and followed up with strikes in the corner. Gargano delivered the Final Cut for a near fall. Black delivered a big boot and followed up with a nice looking flip dive to the floor. Black delivered a leg sweep, a low knee and followed up with a quebrada for a near fall. Black went for a middle rope reverse moonsault but Gargano moved. Gargano returned back into the ring, ran and delivered a tope into a tornado DDT to Black on the floor which looked great. Gargano followed up by delivering a slingshot DDT for a close near fall. There was a great sequence as Black delivered a spinning back fist, but Gargano delivered a step-up ensuigiri. Black delivered a big boot as Gargano delivered a superkick. Gargano avoided the Black Mass and delivered a reverse hurricanrana. Black then caught Gargano coming off the ropes and delivered a flying knee as the crowd chanted “NXT.” Black and Gargano exchanged strikes in-between the two rings. Gargano went for a dive in-between the ropes but Black got him with his knee and then delivered a springboard double knees. Black delivered a roundhouse kick and followed up with a German suplex but Gargano kicked out. Gargano applied the Gargano Escape but Black countered with a cradle for a near fall. Gargano long darted Black into the middle turnbuckle. There was a cool spot as Gargano posed for the DIY superkick but Black stopped him and sat crosslegged in the ring. Gargano exposed his knee pad, delivered a superkick and followed up with a running knee for a great near fall. Black and Gargano had a great strike exchange. Gargano went for a tope but Black countered by delivering a knee strike as the crowd chanted “Mama Mia.” Black countered the Black Mass with an inside cradle for a close near fall. Gargano then applied the Gargano Escape but Black escaped. Black delivered a spinning back knee strike. Finish came when Aleister delivered back-to-back Black Mass for the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: This match was just unbelievable and the storytelling was just fantastic as both Black and Gargano exchanged move for move. Was great to see Black in action as he has a great style of wrestling and his character is awesome. Was interesting to see Gargano play heel in the match as his facial reactions were great and is a fantastic wrestler.)
Tommaso Ciampa def. The Velveteen Dream to retain the NXT Championship
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/4
Velveteen Dream came out dressing like “Hollywood Hulk Hogan” and doing Hogan’s poses which was very cool to watch. The match started with some chain wrestling. Dream delivered a scoop slam, a standing dropkick and followed up with a flying axe handle smash. Dream delivered a big boot, went for the Hogan leg drop but Ciampa rolled to the floor as the crowd booed. Dream delivered flying double axe handle smash to Ciampa on the floor. Dream went to climb the turnbuckle but Ciampa clotheslined him to the floor and followed up with a neck breaker. Ciampa delivered strikes and followed up with a running knee strike into the turnbuckle. Ciampa delivered a hangman neck breaker to Dream and then applaud his work. Ciampa placed Dream on the announcers table and followed with another running knee strike. Ciampa went for a neck breaker but Dream countered with a backslide for a near fall. Dream delivered a neck breaker. Dream delivered strikes, a big boot and followed up with three straight Hulk Hogan leg drops which got a big reaction. Dream delivered a spine buster for a close near fall. Dream delivered a plancha to Ciampa on the floor. Dream applied a Figure-4-Leg Lock against the ring apron. Dream applied the Figure-4-Leg Lock but Ciampa reversed the hold and then grabbed the ropes to break the hold. There was a crazy spot as Dream suplex Ciampa to the floor. Ciampa and Dream had a great strike exchange. Ciampa applied an inside cradle as he grabbed a handful of tights but the referee stopped him. Dream delivered a rolling DVD for a really close near fall. Dream jumped off the turnbuckle but Ciampa delivered a knee strike for a near fall. Ciampa delivered Project Ciampa but Dream kicked out for a close near fall. Ciampa brought the NXT Championship into ring. Dream delivered a twisting DDT to Ciampa onto the NXT Title for an awesome near fall. Dream went for the Purple Rainmaker but Ciampa got his boot up. Ciampa delivered a draping DDT but Dream kicked out for another really close near fall. Ciampa exposed the ring mat. Ciampa went for a draping DDT on the floor but Dream tackled him over the announcers table. Mauro called Ciampa a “sick SOB” so Ciampa yelled at Mauro. Dream recovered and delivered a rolling DVD on the exposed floor. Dream followed up by delivering the Purple Rainmaker but Ciampa kicked out for another Awesome near fall. Ciampa was laying against the ring apron. Dream went for the Purple Rainmaker but missed and when crashing to the floor. Ciampa delivered a draping DDT in-between the two ring and retained the NXT Title.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was another fantastic match as there were so many awesome spots. Ciampa is such a great wrestler and plays such an awesome heel. This was the Velveteen Dream’s best performance at NXT TakeOver as he felt like a huge star and the crowd really wanted him to win. This has been an awesome show so far and the main event is still to come.)
NXT North American Champion Ricochet, WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne & The War Raiders (Hanson & Raymond Rowe) def. The Undisputed ERA (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, & NXT Tag Team Champions Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong) in WarGames Match.
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Adam Cole and Ricochet started the match for the respected teams. Cole and Ricochet exchanged strikes in the corner. Ricochet delivered a handstand head scissors to Cole and followed up with a standing dropkick. Ricochet leaped off the turnbuckle but Cole caught him with a back cracker. Cole delivered some ground and pound. Cole delivered a neck breaker and followed up with a Ushigorishi. Ricochet made a comeback by delivering a dropkick and followed up with a springboard European uppercut from one ring to another. Kyle O’Reilly entered the match next and delivered palm strikes to Ricochet. Ricochet delivered strikes to Cole but O’Reilly delivered a dragon screw in-between the ropes. Cole delivered a second Ushigorishi to Ricochet as Hanson entered the ring next. Hanson delivered a side slam and followed up with a crossbody to O’Reilly. Hanson delivered a series of running clotheslines to Cole and O’Reilly in the corner. Hanson delivered a double bronco buster to Cole and O’Reilly in the corner. Ricochet leaped over Hanson’s back and delivered a Shooting Star Press to O’Reilly. Roderick Strong entered the match next and delivered running knee strikes to Hanson and Ricochet in the corner. Strong delivered back-to-back uranage backbreakers to Ricochet. Strong then placed Ricochet into a torture rack position and followed up by delivering another backbreaker. O’Reilly delivered an axe kick to Hanson as Strong followed up by delivering an Olympic Slam. Strong delivered a gut buster as O’Reilly followed up with a flying knee to Ricochet. Raymond Rowe entered next and delivered an overhead suplex to Strong. Rowe delivered a flying knee to Cole. The first crazy spot of the match was when Rowe delivered a combination powerbomb/power slam to O’Reilly and Strong at the same time. War Raiders long darted Cole into the cage. Bobby Fish was suppose to enter the match but went after Dunne who was still inside the shark cage. Fish locked Dunne’s cage with his lock and threw the key. Fish ran down to ringside and grabbed chairs. Fish and O’Reilly attacked Hanson and Rowe with a chair. Undisputed ERA attacked everyone with a chair. Undisputed Era attacked Ricochet against the cage. Fish and Strong delivered double superplex to Hanson and Rowe. The referee’s used bull cutters and broke the chain as Dunne made his way to ringside. Dunne grabbed a kendo stick from underneath the ring and attacked the Undisputed ERA.
Ricochet delivered a flying crossbody to all members of the Undisputed ERA. Dunne brought in trash cans and tables into the match as the crowd cheered. Dunne attacked Fish and Strong with a kendo stick. Dunne, Ricochet and War Raiders attacked the Undisputed ERA with weapons. Dunne stomped on the hand of O’Reilly. Dunne delivered an X Plex to Strong onto O’Reilly. O’Reilly grabbed a chair but Hanson delivered a big boot. Hanson placed a trash can on Cole against the turnbuckle. Rowe rammed Hanson into Cole against the turnbuckle. Rowe scoop slammed Hanson onto O’Reilly in-between the two rings. War Raiders delivered a combination springboard clothesline/German suplex to Strong for a near fall. Fish attacked Hanson with a trash can. Strong delivered a fireman’s carry into a gut buster to Ricochet as Cole followed up with a back cracker. Dunne attacked all members of the Undisputed ERA. Dunne applied a knee bar on Fish but O’Reilly broke the hold. Dunne applied a Kimura on O’Reilly but Fish broke the hold by wacking Dunne with a chair. O’Reilly and Strong applied a double submission on Dunne but Ricochet made the save. There was a another awesome spot as Dunne delivered a top rope arm drag to Strong as Ricochet delivered a top rope head scissors to O’Reilly for a near fall. Hanson and Rowe delivered a combination popup powerslam to Cole but O’Reilly broke the count. Fish tackled Rowe through a table. Strong delivered a jumping knee as O’Reilly (who was laying on a table) applied a triangle on Ricochet. The next crazy spot of the match came when Hanson jumped from one ring to the second ring and splashed O’Reilly through a table but Strong broke the count. Cole and Ricochet exchanged strikes on top of the cage. Dunne tried to suplex Cole off the top of the cage but was stopped. There was a CRAZY tower of doom spot as the War Raiders, Cole, Dune, Fish, O’Reilly and Strong were involved in a superplex/power spot. The most CRAZIEST spot of the match came when Ricochet stood on top of the cage and delivered a DOUBLE reverse Moonsault to everyone in the match. This was just INSANE. Both teams stared at each other from opposite rings as there was a huge chant of NXT. Everyone brawled which got a huge reaction. War Raiders delivered the Fallout to Fish. O’Reilly and Strong delivered a combination High/Low to Rowe. Hanson delivered a handspring double back elbow to O’Reilly and Strong. Ricochet went for a springboard from one ring to another but Cole caught him with super kick. Dunne snapped the fingers and legs of Cole. Cole made a comeback by delivering a superkick, an Ushigorishi and followed up with the Last Shot but Dunne kicked out. Cole went for the Last Shot again but Dunne moved and delivered the Bitter End. Ricochet then delivered a 630 splash to Cole. Dunne and Ricochet pinned Cole at the same time and won the match.
- Post-Match: Dunne and Ricochet had a stare down and then posed on top of the cage with their respective championships.
(Amin’s Analysis: This match was just INSANE and beyond crazy. There were so many amazing and creative spots in the match. Everyone in the match deserves tons of credit as everyone worked really hard as this was one of the best matches I’ve seen this year.)
-Overall: NXT TakeOver: WarGames II was one of the best pro wrestling shows of the year as all the matches on the show stood out and told a great story. This was just an amazing show to watch as the talent on NXT is just incredible.
Image Credit – WWE