NXT TakeOver WarGames is LIVE this Saturday night from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Like most TakeOver events the night before a main roster pay per view, the card is stacked to the gills and will most likely overshadow the show on Sunday night. There isn’t a false note on the entire card, and the show will be headlined by the WarGames match between AOP/Roddy Strong, Sanity & The Undisputed Era.
In addition to the five match card, Pete Dunne will defend his UK title against Johnny Gargano, although that’s already been announced as the dark match. If there is a God, NXT will air that match next Wednesday during the post TakeOver episode.
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Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan
Lars Sullivan has been dominating NXT for the past few months, specifically anyone unlucky enough to be his tag team partner. He’s proven to be an unstoppable force no matter the handicap, but Kassius Ohno will be his toughest foe yet. While Ohno has had some stellar one on one bouts since his re-emergence in NXT, he’s still a little bit lost in the shuffle. While guys like Roddy Strong, Aleister Black, Velveteen Dream & Andrade Almas are all involved in marque feuds, Ohno is tasked with trying to corral a young, hungry monster.
It’s not a bad spot to be in, and I have faith Ohno will deliver. He asked for this match to prove to himself (and William Regal) that he belongs in the main event picture, but that picture is already plenty crowded. Sullivan has a Braun Strowman type feel to him, and this is a good spot to give him a TakeOver win against a household name.
Prediction: Lars Sullivan
Aleister Black vs. The Velveteen Dream
Aleister Black vs. The Velveteen Dream has had the best build of any match on the card, and I’m fully expecting it to steal the show. Both guys are undefeated on NXT TV, but this match has nothing to do with winning streaks. Velveteen Dream has had an almost trancelike obsession with Black, and it’s crazy to think that the Dream is barely 22 years old. He plays his character so well, and his flamboyance is a perfect contrast to Black’s centeredness. Both guys can bring it in the ring though, and with such a heavy focus on attention and respect, this should be a very hard hitting affair. I really love the Velveteen Dream character, so I’m slightly biased here, but I’m pulling for him.
Prediction: The Velveteen Dream
NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon vs. Kairi Sane vs. Nikki Cross vs. Peyton Royce
It turns out no one was ready for Asuka, as she relinquished her NXT Women’s title still undefeated both as a champion and as a competitor overall. I really liked the setup for this Fatal Four Way match too, as Moon, Cross and Royce each earned a spot by winning matches and Kairi Sane earned her spot by winning the Mae Young Classic. The beauty of pairing these four together is that it would make sense to pull the trigger and make any one of them champion. The heart wants what it wants though, and this is Peyton Royce’s time to shine.
Royce & Kay, the Iconic Duo, have been two of the best characters in NXT for awhile. I think they’ll thrive on the main roster whenever they make the transition, but Royce deserves at least one title run before that. She’s the superior wrestler between the two and with Asuka gone, this is anyone’s division. With the stipulation being the first woman to score a pin fall/submission becoming the champ, Royce could easily steal a victory here.
I won’t be upset with any result, but if I have to pick a winner, I’m going with the Aussie wonder.
Prediction: Peyton Royce
NXT Championship: Drew McIntyre (C) vs. Andrade Almas
The resurrection of Andrade Almas thanks to Zelina Vega has been one of my favorite parts about NXT over the last few months. Almas debuted with all the promise in the world, but thanks to an awful gimmick featuring a fedora and suspenders, he never clicked with the NXT crowd. Once Vega came along, Almas toned down the silliness and amped up the cockiness/confidence and has turned into a legit title contender. McIntyre has only been NXT champ for a little over three months, but NXT likes it’s top title picture to have a little bit of madness in it. As much as I’ve loved Almas’ rebirth, it feels like there’s more story to tell with McIntyre and Fish/O’Reilly/Cole, so I think Drew retains.
Prediction: Drew McIntyre
War Games: The Authors of Pain & Roderick Strong vs. Sanity vs. The Undisputed Era
Official rules of the match per wwe.com:
- All three teams will be contained inside separate shark cages by the entranceway, with a member from each team (as chosen by his respective squad) starting the match.
- After five minutes, the remaining members from one team will be released from their shark cage and allowed to enter the match.
- When another three-minute period elapses, the remaining members from a second team are released from their shark cage and enter the match.
- Following another three-minute period, the final team’s members are released from their shark cage and enter the match.
- Once all three teams have entered the WarGames Match, a victory can be attained via pinfall or submission
Starting at TakeOver Brooklyn III, this three way feud has been all about the brawls. They brawled at TakeOver and what seems like every NXT since, so it makes sense for William Regal to put them in a match worthy of all that brawling. The WarGames matches of the late 80s were spectacularly brutal and bloody brawls, and were consistently used to settle rivalries when all other recourses failed. While this match will not turn into a bloodbath, I think a little bit of color, especially out of one of the Undisputed Era, will assist greatly in telling the story. Cole, Fish & O’Reilly have proven they can take guys out when they’re attacking from behind, but in WarGames they might not have anywhere to run to.
The match will take place between two rings, but NXT hasn’t announced if it will also be inside steel cages like the old WCW matches. Sanity already has the tag belts and the Roddy/AOP team has me feeling uneasy. If NXT is smart, this is a great way to introduce The Undisputed Era as their next great faction.
Prediction: The Undisputed Era