Show: NXT TakeOver: WarGames
Location: Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois
Date: Saturday November 23, 2019
FIRST-EVER WOMEN’S WARGAMES MATCH: TEAM BASZLER (SHAYNA BASZLER, IO SHIRAI, BIANCA BeLAIR & KAY LEE RAY) VS. TEAM RIPLEY (RHEA RIPLEY, CANDICE LeRAE, DAKOTA KAI & TEGAN NOX) – Rhea Ripley got a big reaction. My favourite wrestler Io Shirai got the biggest reaction as he felt like a mega superstars as the fans chanted “IO.” There was a funny spot as Shirai blew off her team huddle and headed down to the ring to start the match as the fans cheered. LeRae and Shirai had a hockey fight as the match began. LeRae delivered a head scissors but Shirai landed on her feet as the fans chanted “IO.” Shirai delivered a pair of Tiger Feint Kicks and followed with a running double knees in-between the two rings. There was a great spot as Shirai walked the ropes and delivered a missile dropkick to LeRae for a big reaction. Shirai nailed LeRae with a running dropkick into the corner and followed with a slingshot double knees. BeLair came out next as she planted LeRae with a gourdbuster and followed with a running Shooting Star Press. There was a cool spot as BeLair delivered a double Powerbomb to LeRae, maintained control and then Powerbombed her into the cage as the fans chanted “EST.” There was another cool spot as Shirai charged back-and-forth and nailed LeRae with a basement dropkick. Ripley came out next as she pulled weapons from underneath the ring as the fans popped. Ripley slammed the door into BeLair’s face. Ripley delivered a reverse face buster sending BeLair onto a trash can. Kay Lee Ray came out next as she brought out a stack of chairs. Ray teased bringing out a table but placed it back as the fans booed. Ray delivered a Tornado DDT spiking Ripley onto a chair. There was a crazy Tower of Doom spot as Ripley delivered a double Powerbomb sending LeRae, Ray and Shirai onto a stack of chairs as the fans chanted “NXT.” BeLair followed with an awesome 450 Splash to Ripley onto a stack of chairs. Kai came out next as she started to walk down the entrance ramp but stopped. Kai turned around and delivered a Helluva Kick to Nox into the cage as the fans chanted “Holy S—.” Kai slammed the cage into Nox’s leg as NXT General Manager William Regal came out. Kai shoved Regal and then placed Nox in a knee bar. Regal had to pull Kai off Nox. Mauro Ranallo’s call off Kai’s heel turn was awesome as he made it feel like a real big deal.
[WarGames Begins] Baszler’s facial reaction was awesome as she smiled and slowly walked down to the ring. Baszler and Ripley had a hockey fight. LeRae delivered a double DDT to Ray and Shirai. Baszler went to handcuff Ripley’s hand but LeRae stopped her. LeRae whacked Ray with a trash can lid. Ripley blocked a Tornado DDT and she suplex Ray into the cage. There was a great spot as Ripley placed Shirai in an Inverted Texas Cloverleaf against the ropes as Baszler placed LeRae again the in the Kirifuda Clutch on the opposite side. Ray made the save as she delivered a PK to Ripley. LeRae delivered a Lionsault but BeLair broke the count by whacking her with a trash can. BeLair press slammed LeRae onto Ripley. Ray planted LeRae with a Gory Bomb as Shirai followed by delivering her beautiful Shirai Moonsault. Ripley broke the count by rammed Ray into Shirai. BeLair whipped Ripley with her ponytail. LeRae responded by whacking BeLair with a Kendo Stick. Shirai planted LeRae with a Butterfly Backbreaker. Shirai smiled and then started to climb the cage as the fans erupted. LeRae went to follow Shirai but Ray stopped her. There was a Crazy spot as LeRae planted Ray with an Avalanche Poison Hurricanrana but BeLair made the save. The fans chanted “IO“ as she was on top of the cage. The most AMAZING spot of the match came when my favourite wrestler Io Shirai stood on top of cage and delivered the most beautiful Shirai Moonsault onto BeLair and LeRae which got a thunderous reaction as the fans chanted “NXT“ and “Mama Mia.” Ripley whacked Baszler with a chair as the fans chanted “This is Awesome.” Ray leaped off the turnbuckle but Ripley threw a trash can into her face. Ripley placed two chairs against each other. Baszler placed Ripley in the Kirifuda Clutch. Ripley broke free by as she handcuffed her arm to Baszler’s arm for a big reaction. Ripley planted Baszler with a RipTide in-between two chairs for the win which got a big reaction.
WINNERS: RHEA RIPLEY & CANDICE LeRAE (*****)
(Amin’s Analysis: This was fantastic as they told a terrific story from Kai’s much needed heel turn which got a great reaction to the amazing spots climaxing with my favourite wrestler Io Shirai delivering the most beautiful moonsault from top of the cage. Shirai received the biggest reaction even though she’s playing a heel. I’ve been saying it for a while now it will be interesting to see how long they can keep Shirai as heel because she’s so great and being showcased as the biggest star in the division if not the whole show. They also did a great job building up Ripley as the next challenger for NXT Women’s Title by having her pin Baszler. Overall, this was excellent and my favourite match of the night.)
–They aired a commercial announcing the next NXT TakeOver: Special which take place on Sunday February 16, 2020 from Portland.
–Imperium (WWE United Kingdom Champion WALTER, Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel) were shown at ringside as the fans sang for WALTER.
TRIPLE-THREAT NUMBER 1 CONTENDER’S MATCH: DAMIAN PRIEST VS. KILLIAN DAIN VS. PETE DUNNE – Dunne came out a superstar’s reaction. There were so many big spots as Dain delivered a Michinoku Driver to Dunne onto Priest for a two count. Dain grabbed both Dunne and Priest as he delivered Fallaway Slam on the floor. There was a great strike exchange between everyone as Dunne stomped on Dain and Priest’s hands. Priest delivered the Broken Arrow to Dunne onto Dain. Priest planted Dunne with a Spinebuster Bomb for a two count. Priest delivered a running Razor’s Edge sending Dunne crashing onto the announcers table. Dain delivered a tope and followed with a running Cannonball as Priest went crashing through the guardrail as the fans chanted “Holy S—.” Priest delivered a Razor’s Edge to Dain but Dunne made the save. Priest delivered a plancha to Dain. Dunne delivered a moonsault to Dain and Priest on the floor. Priest went for a Chokeslam but Dunne countered into a flying armbar but Dain broke the hold with a Vader Bomb. Dain delivered the One Winged Angel but Priest kicked out. Dain crushed Priest with a Vader Bomb but Dunne made the save with a moonsault. Dunne struggled but delivered the Bitter End to Dain but Priest made the save. Priest delivered a Super Frankenstiner to Dunne who delivered a Cannonball to Dain. Priest planted Dunne with The Reckoning but Dain broke the count. Dunne snapped Priest fingers and followed with the Bitter End but Dain made the save. Dunne placed Dain in a Rear-Naked Choke as he delivered a back senton to Priest. Dunne kicked Dain to the floor and then pinned Priest for the win.
WINNER: PETE DUNNE (***1/2)
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a non-stop action packed match filled with some great near falls leading to finish as everyone worked extremely hard. Dain was great here playing the unstoppable force. I was really impressed with Priest as this was a breakout star performance as he showed how versatile of a talented wrestler he is. Dunne was tremendous here as he works a great style and is really fun to match. A great match setting up Dunne to challenge Adam Cole for the NXT Title at Survivor Series.)
FINN BALOR VS. MATT RIDDLE – Balor and Riddle both came out to great reactions. The fans were split as they chanted “Let’s go BRO” and “Let’s go Balor.” Balor applied a side headlock as the fans chanted “Too Sweet Woot Woot.” Riddle went for a triple gut-wrench suplex but Balor countered into a double stomp. Balor delivered a delayed dropkick to Riddle into the corner for a two count. Balor nailed Riddle with a sliding kick and then posed to a mixed heel reaction. Riddle made a comeback as he sent Balor flying with an Exploder Suplex, nailed him with a PK and followed with a BroTon for a two count. Balor went for a Pele Kick but Riddle countered into an ankle lock but Balor grabbed the ropes. Riddle charged but Balor caught him with a dropkick. Balor delivered a German suplex but Riddle no-sold it and nailed him with a Final Flash Knee. Riddle followed with a bridging German suplex for a two count. Balor delivered a Slingblade, went for a Woo Dropkick but Riddle intercepted him with a spear and followed with a Jackhammer for a two count. Riddle went for BroDerek but Balor counted into a Final Cut and followed with a reverse Bloody Sunday for a two count as the fans chanted “Two Sweet Woot Woot.” Riddle countered the 1916 DDT into the Bro To Sleep as the fans chanted “CM Punk.” Riddle went for the Floating Bro but Balor got his knees up. Balor delivered a Woo Dropkick sending Riddle into the turnbuckle. Riddle avoided the Coup De Grace and applied the BroMission but Balor broke free. The finish came as Balor got the better of a great counter exchange and delivered an elevated 1916/Bloody Sunday DDT for the win.
WINNER: FINN BALOR (****1/4)
(Amin’s Analysis: This was superb as there were some awesome counters and sequences throughout the match leading to the finish. Riddle was tremendous as I really enjoy his style as he bring his MMA background into his matches. Balor was superb as the heel as this was a strong first win since returning to NXT as it was nice to see him positioned as a top star. A great match.)
MEN’S WARGAMES MATCH: UNDISPUTED ERA (ADAM COLE, RODERICK STRONG, BOBBY FISH & KYLE O’REILLY) VS. TEAM CIAMPA (TOMMASO CIAMPA, DOMINIK DIJAKOVIC, KEITH LEE & KEVIN OWENS) – The mystery partner didn’t come out as the beginning of the match. Ciampa and Strong had a hockey fight. Ciampa nailed Strong with a running knee. O’Reilly came out next and delivered some ground and pound to Ciampa. O’Reilly held Ciampa as Strong followed with combinations running forearm strikes. Strong planted Ciampa with a uranage backbreaker as O’Reilly followed with a King Kong Knee. Dijakovic came out next as he nailed Strong with a Cyclone Kick. O’Reilly applied a guillotine but Dijakovic broke free and rammed him into the cage. Fish came out next as he delivered quick kicks to Ciampa. Fish and O’Reilly delivered Total Elimination to Dijakovic. Fish and O’Reilly nailed Ciampa with Chasing the Dragon as the fans chanted for the UE. The fans sang “Bask in his Glory as Lee came out and delivered a slingshot crossbody to Fish and O’Reilly. UE jumped Lee as Strong nailed him with a sliding Buaizuke Knee. Cole came out last as he brought out six tables as the crowd popped. Cole placed a table against the barricade. Ciampa shoved Cole as he went crashing through a table. The crowd popped as a hockey fight broke out. UE had the advantage as the clock counted down.
[WarGames Begins] The fans went ballistic as Owens came out in his classic NXT shirt and TitanTron as they chanted “Holy S—.” Owen planted Fish with a Popup Powerbomb. Owens nailed O’Reilly with a shoulder breaker and sent Strong flying with a Sleeper Suplex. Owens grabbed Fish and Powerbombed him onto O’Reilly. Cole and Owens had a great confrontation as the fans chanted “Welcome Back.” Cole did the UE pose but Owens responded with a DX Chop and then gave him a Stone Cole Stunner. Ciampa spiked O’Reilly with a Draping DDT. Lee delivered a flying crossbody onto all of UE and Dijakovic. O’Reilly delivered a flying knee drop and then placed Lee in a Knee Bar. Dijakovic made the save with a springboard moonsault. Fish hit a moonsault onto Dijakovic. Ciampa delivered the Fairytale Ending to O’Reilly as Owens followed with a Swanton Bomb. Ciampa went for the cover but Cole drilled him with a Superkick. Strong delivered an Avalanche Olympic Slam to Lee. There was a crazy spot as Cole blocked a Package Piledriver and planted Owens with a Panama Sunrise in-between the two rings as the fans chanted “Mama Mia.” Ciampa planted O’Reilly with Project Ciampa. Ciampa charged as he drilled Cole with running knee strikes. They battled on the turnbuckle as Cole made his way onto the top of the cage. Ciampa followed him up. Dijakovic delivered a Chokeslam as Strong went crashing through a table. Dijakovic went for a Chokeslam but O’Reily countered into a guillotine. Owens made the save as he delivered a Frog Splash sending O’Reilly crashing through a table. Lee delivered a Super Powerbomb as Fish went crashing through a table. The finish was INSANE as Tommaso Ciampa delivered an Avalanche Air Raid Crash from the top of the cage as Cole went crashing through two tables for the win.
WINNERS: TOMMASO CIAMPA, DOMINIK DIJAKOVIC, KEITH LEE & KEVIN OWENS (****3/4)
–The camera cut as they showed Brit Baker looking on in shock at the finish.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was an incredible spectacle which was filled with so many amazing spots as everyone worked extremely hard. It was great to see Owens as he was treated as major superstar. Would be great to see Owens return to NXT as it can refreshen his character just like how Balor has been showcased. Overall, just a tremendous match.)
[Overall Thoughts] This was another excellent TakeOver show filled with terrific matches from start to finish. A must see show for fans of not only NXT but Pro Wrestling. As someone who watches WWE, AEW and NJPW. I will make the argument that nothing in Pro Wrestling compares to TakeOver shows.