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NXT Takeover: WarGames – Recap & Review

NXT Takeover: WarGames

Original Air Date: November 18, 2017
Event Date: November 18, 2017 (aired live)

City: Houston, TX
Venue: Toyota Center

Commentary: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson
Ring Announcer: Mike Rome

Theme Songs: “Executioner’s Tax (A Swing of the Axe)” by Power Trip, “Play” by Marmozets


In war, what do you fight for?


Match 1
Kassius Ohno vs Lars Sullivan
(referee: Tom Castor)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Lars Sullivan wins via pinfall after a Freak Accident
Time: 5:15

Match Thoughts
This was an okay match, but I didn’t care for it much personally. Ohno looked pretty good. He used many strikes that looked really solid and hard. I liked that. Unfortunately, they’re building Sullivan as an unstoppable monster, so there was a lot of no-selling and yelling from him. I fell like Ohno did as much as he could, but I wasn’t entertained much by this. I’m not really a fan of generic monsters who yell and flex when they’re hit but don’t do much else.


Ring Area
Tyler Bate, Trent Seven, Mark Andrews, and Wolfgang are in the front row.

The Undisputed Era discusses strategy when William Regal walks up. We can’t hear anything they’re saying though.

Buildup for Velveteen Dream versus Aleister Black.


Match 2
Aleister Black vs Velveteen Dream
(referee: Drake Wuertz)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Aleister Black wins via pinfall after Black Mass
Time: 14:40

Match Thoughts
Great match! Velveteen Dream really surprised me in this one, and Aleister Black continues to show more of what he can do. I didn’t expect Dream to get as much offense as he did in this, and most of this match really was fought at an even level. Either man could have won this, and there were a few moments for each of them where I would have believed and been satisfied by their victory. The action was great with lots of strikes and unique moves, and the personality clash between these two was a lot of fun to watch. I’ll definitely watch this match again.


Ring Area
With Velveteen Dream still recovering on the mat, Aleister Black, sitting down next to Dream, tells his opponent to enjoy infamy. He also calls Velveteen Dream by his full name. Black slowly walks away as Dream smiles slightly.

SAnitY is approached by William Regal in their locker room. Nikki Cross runs away as they speak.

Ring Area
Asuka, Funaki, and Finn Balor are in the crowd.

Buildup for the NXT Women’s Title Match.

Ring Area
William Regal hands the NXT Women’s Title belt to referee Eddie Orengo prior to the next match. The four women competing for the title come out, but Billie Kay chooses to let Peyton Royce head to the ring by herself.


Match 3
Fatal Four Way NXT Women’s Title Match
Nikki Cross vs Kairi Sane vs Peyton Royce vs Ember Moon
(referee: Eddie Orengo)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Ember Moon pins Nikki Cross after an Eclipse and becomes the new NXT Women’s Champ
Time: 9:52

Match Thoughts
Great match! All four women looked great here, but Moon felt like the heavy favorite here not just because of the crowd, but because of the way the match went. Most of the action in the match seemed to revolve around Moon, and she seemed to be on the offensive more than any other woman (and Nikki Cross seemed to take most of the beatings). That’s not to say the other women didn’t have great moments though. Everyone had nice moments and there were some pretty decent false finishes, though I never really felt like the match was going to end until it actually did. This was a good way to crown a new champ.


Ring Area
After the match, William Regal enters the ring to hand the NXT Women’s Title to the new champ. Asuka runs into the ring and asks to hand the belt over, which Regal allows.

William Regal approaches AoP, Roderick Strong, and Paul Ellering.

Ring Area
Kevin Owens (wearing an Undisputed Era shirt) is in the crowd. Samoa Joe is as well. They’re not sitting together.

Buildup for the NXT Title Match.


Match 4
NXT Title Match
Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega vs Drew McIntyre (NXT Champ)
(referee: Darryl Sharma)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Andrade Almas wins via pinfall after a hanging piledriving DDT and becomes the new NXT Champ
Time: 14:54

Match Thoughts
Fantastic match! This match was constructed extremely well. It had a great buildup from beginning to end, so it progressed nicely from some early back-and-forth to a very hard-hitting and exciting finale. It even had a lot of logic in Vega’s shenanigans throughout the match. She picked her spots, and when one didn’t work, she figured out how to do it better later on in the match. Both guys were very impressive here. McIntyre showed incredible strength and agility. Every move he did looked like he put his entire body into it. Almas showed great ring awareness and agility. He put together some big moments to combat McIntyre’s superior strength. A great match-up and a great match.


Buildup for the War Games match.

Ring Area
Dustin Rhodes and Arn Anderson are in the crowd to watch the main event.


Match 5
War Games Match
SAnitY (NXT Tag Champs) vs Undisputed Era vs Roderick Strong & Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering
(referees: Drake Wuertz, Eddie Orengo; stage referees: Tom Castor, Darryl Sharma)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Undisputed Era wins when Adam Cole pins Eric Young after a running knee strike through a chair
Starting Competitors: Eric Young, Adam Cole, Roderick Strong
5 Minute Entrants: Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly
8 Minute Entrants: Authors of Pain
11 Minute Entrants: Killian Dain, Alexander Wolfe
Time: 36:32

Match Thoughts
Great match. This was mostly about chaos and violence, and it delivered a lot of both. The first third of the match was all about the anticipation of which team would enter the cage next, and it worked well as a warmup for what was to come. Once all three teams got into the cage, everything broke loose. There were people flying everywhere, and numerous weapons were used. Every member of SAnitY bled, tabled were broken, and gigantic multiple-man moves punctuated the chaos. The match did slow down somewhat towards the end when someone climbed the cage and spent a considerable amount of time at the top, but the payoff worked. I liked how the match ended. It came down to what was essentially a one on one, which was a great way to infuse this crazy match with a bit of story that will drive the feuds going forward.


Show Impressions
This was another great NXT Takeover. The opening match felt like it could have been a pre-show match (if Takeover ever had a match on their pre-shows), but everything else was highly entertaining. War Games was the main draw here, and it was deserving of its hype, but the singles matches before it did not disappoint at all. NXT continues to push against the main roster for pure excitement in the ring.

Match of the Night
NXT Title Match
As much fun as the War Games match was, McIntyre versus Almas was a better match in my opinion. The big moments felt more exciting, and the stakes were higher in my opinion since the NXT Title was on the line. I don’t really have anything negative to say about this match. I loved every minute of it.



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