Reviews

The John Report: WWE NXT WarGames 2021 Review

wwe nxt wargames 2021 review

Welcome to the WWE NXT WarGames 2021 Review featuring Men’s and Women’s WarGames matches along with two title matches.

The Takeover name has been dropped since WWE relaunched NXT as NXT 2.0 back in September and now it’s simply an NXT pay-per-view event. However, the format remains the same with five advertised matches just like most Takeover events had.

There was a Kickoff Show where they did a rundown of the matches with commentators and video packages. I didn’t watch that. Let’s get to the show with the Women’s WarGames match up first.

WWE NXT WarGames
From WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida
December 5, 2021

There was an opening video package showing the highlights that have led to the Men’s and Women’s WarGames matches. Good video package as usual.

The commentary team of Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett and Beth Phoenix were at ringside to welcome us to the show. It is Beth’s last night on NXT since she announced she is leaving commentary, but she said she’s always going to have NXT in her heart.

Here are the WarGames match rules.

The babyface team of Io Shirai, Raquel Gonzalez, Cora Jade and Kay Lee Ray were up first. Kay Lee Ray went into the ring with a baseball bat, so she’s starting the match for the team.

The Toxic Attraction trio of NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose along with NXT Tag Team Champions Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne were up for the heel side. Mandy looks tremendous as usual. The others do too, but I may be biased towards Mandy. Dakota Kai was up last for the team. Kai started the match for her team. Kai brought in multiple kendo sticks.

Women’s NXT WarGames Match: Io Shirai, Raquel Gonzalez, Cora Jade & Kay Lee Ray vs. Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin, Jacy Jayne & Dakota Kai

The women that were not in at the start of the match were in cages that were in the upper part of the building. Ray worked over Kai with kicks and hard chops to the chest. Ray wanted a DDT, Kai fought it off and then Ray managed to connect with a DDT. Kai whipped Ray back first into the cage. Kai slammed Ray into the cage and Kai hit Ray with a kendo stick. Kai placed three kendo sticks on the bottom ropes between the two cages. Ray with a jumping kick on Kai, but Kai knocked her down. Ray came back with a leap off the top rope onto Kai. Ray hit Kai with a kendo stick to the back. Ray did a front suplex that sent Kai stomach-first onto the three kendo sticks that were there. The five minutes were up.

Cora Jade was next up at 20 years of age, so she’s the youngest woman in the match and in WWE’s WarGames history. Jade brought in her skateboard. Jade with a jumping kick to the head of Kai, then a running knee of Kai and Jade helped Ray back up to her feet. Ray and Jade hit a double suplex on Kai, the fans chanted “one more time” so Ray and Jade did another double suplex on Kai. When there was another double suplex attempt, Kai hit a DDT to counter. The three minutes were up in this portion of the match.

Gigi Dolan was up for the Toxic Attraction team with Gigi bringing in a garbage can along with a bag of weapons. Dolin threw the garbage can at Jade and hit a pump kick. Dolin with an STO trip on Ray, then a suplex and Kai hit a superkick on Ray. Dolin with a snapmare on Jade followed by kicks to the back. Jade and Ray got some momentum back leading to Jade hitting a dropkick into the trash can that was on Dolin’s head. Ray gave Kai the KLR Bomb on Kai onto Dolin, who was in the trash can. Three minutes were up again.

Io Shirai was next for her team and she brought steel chairs and garbage cans into the ring. Kai greeted Shirai with a jumping kick to the head and a whip that sent Shirai into the cage. Kai and Dolin worked over Shirai against the cage. Dolin hit Jade with a forearm to the head. Ray went for a trash can attack, but Dolin came back with a kick. Ray with a front suplex on Dolin. Jade gave Kai a hurricanrana while between the two rings. Dolin kicked Jade into the cage and hit a forearm to the head. Three minutes were up to bring in the next competitor.

Jacy Jayne was the third woman for the Toxic Attraction team. Jayne grabbed a table from under the ring so fans chanted “we want tables” for that. Jayne kicked a trash can into Ray, who bumped on some chairs. Dolin with a headscissors on Jade and then Jayne with a knee to the face. Shirai made a comeback by avoiding Jayne, then Shirai with a palm strike to Kai and Shirai with a running knee attack on all three women. Shirai delivered two boots to a trash can that was against Kai. Shirai with a 619 kick on Jayne. The far ring saw Jayne isolated against Shirai, Ray and Jade while Jayne’s teammates were down in the other ring. Jade climbed to the top of the cage and jade hit a Senton Bomb off the top to put Jayne through the table. That led to a “holy shit” chant that she absolutely earned. Jade was grabbing her left shoulder after hitting that move. They showed some trainers that wanted to check on Jade, but Shirai closed the cage door. Shirai put her foot on the side of Jade and pulled it to pop the shoulder back into place. It feels like it was over three minutes, but it was time for another entrant.

Raquel Gonzalez was up next as the last woman on the babyface team. Raquel put some weapons into the ring, then Kai tried to stop Raquel from going in, so Raquel got a fire extinguisher and sprayed Kai in the face. Raquel had Kai on her shoulders and put Kai in a trash can. Raquel spun the trash can around and knocked down Dolin with it. Raquel checked on Jade’s left shoulder. Shirai went up top with a trash can, but Kai went after her. They did a Tower of Doom spot with Gonzalez slamming three women. Gonzalez gave Kai a spinebuster. Gonzalez put the trash can on Kai and Shirai hit the moonsault onto Kai, who was in the trash can. Raquel checked on Jade again.

Mandy Rose was the last entrant meaning all eight women were in the match. The referees went into the ring because now the match can end. Rose used a steel chair to knock down some people in her path including Raquel. Rose went after Jade, she pulled on the left arm and Shirai saved Rose by kicking her repeatedly. The faces were in the far ring while the heels were in the near ring as the sides faced off.

Ray looked like she might attack Jade, but then Ray used a kendo stick to hit Dolin I think and then Kai slammed Ray onto some chairs for two. Shirai with a German Suplex on Rose for a two count with Jayne making the save. Jayne with a spinebuster on Shirai on the chair. Gonzalez got a hold of Jade and sent her into the cage. Gonzalez has two women on her shoulders, but Rose made the save with kendo stick shots to Raquel. Dolin with a headscissors into the steel chair and Jayne with a dropkick into a chair in Raquel’s face. Jade used a kendo stick to save Raquel from being pinned. The four heels went after Jade in the far ring. Jade used the kendo stick while favoring her injured left arm and Rose hit a running knee on Jade for a two count with Jade kicking out. Rose wrenched on the left arm, but Shirai was there with a kendo stick. Jayne with a chair to the back of Shirai. Dolin with a running kick on Ray. Gonzalez with a Chingona Bomb (Raquel’s version of a Powerbomb) on Jayne and then Raquel/Dolin kicked eachother at the same time. Jade realized Jayne was down, so Jade covered Jayne to get the pinfall win at 31:22.

Winners by pinfall: Io Shirai, Raquel Gonzalez, Cora Jade & Kay Lee Ray

Analysis: **** It was a very good match with an ongoing story about Cora Jade hurting her arm after the high spot where she did the dive off the cage. I thought the finish was a bit weak, but I get what they were going for since Jade looked like a vulnerable member of her team and then she ended up winning because she was in the right place at the right time after Raquel hit a big move. I thought the heel team should have applied armbars or did more moves to the arm of Jade to try to put over the arm injury and try to win the match that way. Cora sold the arm well, but it’s not like they did a lot of arm submission moves on her. Io Shirai really stood out in the match, so did Kai/Ray because they were in the match the longest. I would have liked to see more interaction between Rose and Gonzalez since they had a rivalry in the past. I’m not surprised that the Toxic Attraction side lost because when champions are in a match like that, a lot of the time they are vulnerable to lose to try to build up their future challengers.

A video aired about Tiffany Stratton coming to NXT.

There was a video about Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen about how they like to fight. That’s why they’re a tag team.

There was a Boa video about his weird face painting that changes the person he is sometimes.

They showed videos about the tag team MSK searching for the Shaman, which has been going on for many weeks now. Find out who “The Shaman” is this Tuesday on NXT.

Team Black & Gold with Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Pete Dunne & LA Knight were talking about this WarGames match. Johnny said it’s his first and maybe his last. Knight talked about how they have the experience. Dunne didn’t say anything as usual. He’s a quiet guy. Ciampa told Gargano tonight isn’t just “our moment” it is Johnny’s moment.

Analysis: It is well known by most internet wrestling fans that Johnny Gargano’s contract is expiring soon. He may stay in WWE as part of the main roster or even more time in NXT, but he may move on. That’s up to Johnny.

NXT Tag Team Championships: Imperium (Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) vs. Kyle O’Reilly & Von Wagner

They were wrestling the far ring aka the one further from the entrance. Kyle started for his team with some exchanges with Barthel and then Barthel delivered an armdrag. Barthel worked over Kyle with hard chops to the chest. Kyle with a kick to the chest. Wagner tagged in with a leaping attack on Aichner’s back followed by a belly to back suplex. Wagner with a jumping headbutt to the chest. Kyle back in, he applied an armbar, Barthel with a distraction and Aichner hit a snap suplex. Barthel with a running elbow, jumping kick, suplex and a leap off the ropes failed because Kyle hit a knee. Barthel with a running kick. Wagner tagged in, Barthel fought out of the corner, Aichner tagged in and caught Wagner on his shoulders. Barthel with a rolling senton on Wagner in an impressive display of power. Wagner caught Barthel, who was legal and Wagner hit a clothesline. Kyle back in with a knee to the ribs. Kyle with kicks to the chest followed by a sweep kick, then a forearm to the face and Kyle with more forearms. When Kyle bounced off the ropes, Aichner hit a knee to the back and Barthel hit a clothesline. Barthel with a running uppercut on Kyle. Aichner worked over Kyle with punches. Kyle managed to fight back to knock both opponents out of the ring. Wagner wanted a tag, Kyle with a back body drop on Aichner and Wanger got the tag. Wagner hit a powerslam on Barthel and a gutwrench suplex on Aichner. Wagner with a double clothesline to knock both champs out of the ring. Wagner with clotheslines on both guys and a belly to back slam on Barthel on the apron. Kyle with a running knee on Aichner. Wagner hit an Olympic Slam like move for two. Barthel went for a suplex, Wagner got out of that and hit a headbutt to the shoulder. Barthel and Aichner hit running dropkicks on Wagner against the ropes. Wagner fought off a double team move, back body drop on Aichner and a slam. Kyle tagged in with a knee drop off the top on Barthel. Kyle with a heel hook submission on Barthel, but Aichner broke it up with a double springboard moonsault splash on Kyle! That was so great. Aichner back in, Kyle managed to apply the Guillotine Choke on Aichner and Wagner clotheslined Barthel out of the ring. Kyle got an inside cradle for two, Aichner got his own for a two count. They each did kicks to the head and each did clotheslines, so Kyle and Aichner collapsed to the mat. That led to “NXT” chants. Wagner and Barthel exchanged punches, Aichner got in cheap shot chop block to the knee, Barthel slammed Kyle and Wagner/Kyle hit the high/low clothesline/sweep kick combo for a two count. The fans chanted “that was three” and “two” to respond to that. Kyle tagged in, Barthel sent Wagner to the floor and Aichner jumped up top where he hit a cross body block on Wagner on the floor. Kyle hit a brainbuster on Aichner for a two count. Kyle with a cross armbreaker, then into a triangle choke and Aichner got out of it with a lift. Barthel tagged in with a forearm after leaping off the ropes leading to a Powerbomb from Aichner for the Imperial Bomb on Kyle and Barthel pinned Kyle to win the match by pinfall. This went 14:52.

Winners by pinfall: Imperium (Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner)

Analysis: **** This was a great tag team match. Imperium are so technically sound and they found a way to mix in some impressive athletic spots by Aichner as well. I’ve always known Aichner was capable of moves like that, but he was able to show more of it. The champions retaining the titles was the right move because they’re a long term team while Kyle/Wagner is just something they have done for a few months. Some of Wagner’s spots in the match weren’t as good as the other guys, but the other three did such a great job and Wagner was able to hold his own in the match. I thought the drama near the end was terrific with Kyle nearly winning a few times, but then Aichner fought back and it was the Imperial Bomb that ended the match.

After the match, the fans were chanting “Thank You Kyle” and that led to Wagner trying to attack Kyle, but Kyle was ready, so Kyle punched and kicked Wagner to knock him on his ass. Kyle did the “UE” hand gesture for Undisputed Era and I think even a DX crotch chop too. Kyle left the ring when Wagner managed to get back up. The fans were chanting Kyle’s name.

Analysis: It should lead to a match between them with Wagner possibly as a heel since the fans like O’Reilly a lot more. Kyle’s contract is also expiring soon, so we have no idea how long he might be in NXT.

A commercial aired for the Day 1 PPV on January 1.

They showed an Ikemen Jiro video showing off his unique jackets.

A video aired about the Legado Del Fantasma group. I should point out that all of these videos that have aired between the matches have been on NXT TV in the past. It’s just a way to have a break between matches.

A commercial aired about the Ruthless Aggression documentary series that’s on WWE Network now.

Santos Escobar and Legado del Fantasma were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell. Santos talked trash about Xyon Quinn, who he faces on NXT. Elektra Lopez told Mitchell that what she does in her own time is none of McKenzie’s business.

A video aired about the Cameron Grimes feud with Duke Hudson leading to their poker feud that set up the Hair vs. Hair Match.

Hair vs. Hair Match: Cameron Grimes vs. Duke Hudson

There was a barber’s chair in the far ring.

They did a spot early on where Grimes took a bump onto the steel steps. Grimes hit a dive on Hudson, but then Hudson sent Grimes into the apron. Back in the ring, Grimes with a running attack and Hudson hit a uranage slam. Grimes with punches, Hudson with a hair pull and Grimes with strikes to the body. Grimes with a standing moonsault off the middle rope onto a standing Hudson for two. Grimes with repeated kicks, so Hudson bailed to the floor. Hudson got a hold of Grimes on the floor and Hudson hit a belly to belly suplex on the floor. Grimes got back the ring before the ten count. Hudson with a running elbow. Hudson with an abdominal stretch, Grimes broke free and another hair pull by Hudson. Grimes went for a suplex, but Grimes countered into a nearfall. Hudson with a back elbow followed by knees to the back. Hudson whipped Grimes into the turnbuckle. Hudson applied a submission across the knee. Grimes with a headscissors into the ropes, then an enziguri kick to the head and Grimes hit a running crossbody block with a flip into a pin for two. Hudson went for a power move, Grimes got out of it and Grimes hit a DDT for two. Hudson to the floor, Grimes sent him back in and Grimes covered by sitting on top with a rope grab for two. The referee saw it. Grimes with a sunset flip for two. Grimes with kicks to the head followed by the Poison Rana, jumping kick and then a cross body block off the top got a two count. Grimes charged right into a Bossman Slam by Hudson. When Hudson went for a Razor’s Edge, Grimes sent Hudson into the turnbuckle and Grimes hit a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! with tights for the pinfall win at 10:24.

Winner by pinfall: Cameron Grimes

Analysis: **3/4 This was okay. Hudson isn’t a great worker or anything like that, but he worked hard and is hated as a heel. I just think some of Hudson’s offense slowed things down so much so that it hurt the match a bit. Hudson had a few brief moments where it looked like he might win, but I think Grimes winning was always the right way to end this.

Post match, they went into the ring with the barber’s chair and Hudson hit a clothesline. Grimes kicked Hudson followed by the Cave In double knee attack.

Grimes put Hudson on the barber’s chair, Grimes got the clippers and shaved Hudson’s head. After Grimes cut about half of the top of the head, Grimes went running to the back. They didn’t cut that much hair here. They showed Hudson looking sad in the aisle while Grimes was happy in the barber’s chair.

Analysis: They should have done more with the haircut. Is Hudson bald now or just a shaved head with some hair? All they really did was give the guy a shorter haircut while Hudson already had short hair to begin with. I guess we’ll find out Hudson’s new look on NXT.

A Grizzled Young Veterans video was shown of their heelish schemes in dealing with people.

They showed the team of Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro having fun while going to music festivals.

There was a video about NXT newcomer Draco Anthony was shown. It was the same video from Tuesday.

A video aired about an NXT New Year’s Evil special on Tuesday, January 4 with Mandy Rose shown in a crowd of people among other things. That’s their first episode of 2022.

They showed Team 2.0 getting ready to enter the WarGames match.

A video package aired for the Roderick Strong match vs. Joey Gacy for Roddy’s Cruiserweight Title.

NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Roderick Strong (w/Diamond Mine) vs. Joe Gacy (w/Harland)

The story is that this is for the Cruiserweight Title even though Gacy weighs more than cruiserweight. Gacy wants it to be an All-Inclusive Title.

Strong was aggressive as he backed Gacy into the turnbuckle. Gacy teased wanting a hug, Strong didn’t want that and Gacy did a slap to the face, so Strong punched him repeatedly. Strong with two backbreakers. Gacy came back with a shoulder tackle and a clothesline to the back. Strong with chops, then he ripped off Gacy’s black dress shirt, Strong hit him with some more chops. Gacy got a pump kick while on the apron. For the rest of the match, Gacy was wrestling with a black tank top. Gacy with a couple of forearm smashes followed by a backbreaker. Gacy hit a suplex. Strong came back with a running knee attack against the turnbuckle. Strong hit a superplex off the top for two. They exchanged strikes, Strong with a knee to the ribs and Strong with a gutbuster slam onto the knees. Strong with an Olympic Slam for a two count. Strong applied a Boston Crab, Gacy nearly got to the ropes and Strong tried to re-apply it, but Gacy managed to kick Strong to get out of it. Gacy went for a Crossface submission and Strong got to the ropes. Gacy with a clothesline that sent Strong over the top on the floor. Gacy with a running dive over the top onto Strong and both Creed Brothers on the floor. Ivy Nile stared at Gacy, so Harland picked up Nile and Gacy told Harland to calm down. Back in the ring, Gacy with a knee to the ribs followed by a gutwrench Powerbomb for two. Gacy ran the ropes leading to Strong hitting a jumping knee to the head. Strong with a suplex into the double knees for the pinfall win. It went 8:27.

Winner by pinfall: Roderick Strong

Analysis: **1/2 It was an even matchup with the veteran Strong using his experience to come back after taking a Powerbomb, which led to Strong hitting a knee to the head and a suplex into the knees. I thought Gacy was going to win by cheating and then they’ll get rid of that title, but it didn’t open. This just wasn’t that interesting to me although I like Gacy as a character. I just think Gacy probably should have won this match.

This Monday on Raw: Miz TV with Edge as the guest, Becky Lynch defends the Raw Women’s Title against Liv Morgan and Big E faces Kevin Owens in a Steel Cage match.

Kyle O’Reilly was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell with Kyle saying that he could smell Wagner’s turn coming a mile away. Kyle said that this is the first time he hasn’t been in a WarGames match in five years. Kyle said on Tuesday he wants to leave the cage up because he wants to face Wagner inside the steel.

Analysis: I think it’s probably too soon for a Wagner/O’Reilly Steel Cage Match, but I guess they are going with it on Tuesday’s NXT show.

The video aired for the Men’s WarGames match featuring Team 2.0’s Carmelo Hayes, Bron Breakker, Tony D’Angelo & Grayson Waller against Team Black & Gold’s Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Pete Dunne & LA Knight. The 2.0 guys are like the heels in this match, but only two Black & Gold guys (Ciampa and Gargano) are faces, so it’s a different kind of dynamic in this match.

Team 2.0 was up first with Bron Breakker up first with Breakker having some war paint on his face. Grayson Waller looked ready to go with black war paint on his face too. Tony D’Angelo had some war paint that was the Italian flag colors. Carmelo Hayes, also with war paint, was up last for his team as the NXT North American Champion with Trick Williams joining him at ringside. Hayes was going to start for his team.

Team Black & Gold was next with the NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa with his God of War paint on his body. The crowd loved Ciampa while singing his theme song. Pete Dunne was next and even though he’s a heel normally, I think he’s on the face team this time. LA Knight was third for his team and he’s normally a heel too, but he’ll be on the face side. There was a big ovation for Johnny Gargano with the “Rebel Heart” theme song that Gargano has used in the past. The ovation for Johnny was huge and very deserving, of course. It was cool to hear that song again.

Men’s WarGames Match: Team Black & Gold (Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, LA Knight & Pete Dunne) vs. Team 2.0 (Carmelo Hayes, Bron Breakker, Tony D’Angelo & Grayson Waller)

There were “Johnny Wrestling” chants to start the match. Gargano and Hayes fought over a headlock early on leading to an armbar by Hayes. They did some spots off the ropes, Gargano missed a charging Hayes, Gargano with an armdrag and a kick to the head. Gargano charged at Hayes, who tried a springboard attack leading to Gargano hitting a kick. They battled on the middle part of the two rings, which led to Gargano hitting a slingshot Spear. Hayes kicked Gargano while standing near the ropes and then Hayes hit a jumping side kick to knock Gargano down. Hayes went up top, Gargano went up there and Gargano sent Hayes into the cage about ten times in a row. Gargano hit a Sunset Flip Powerbomb off the top rope. Five minutes were up.

Grayson Waller was next for the 2.0 team and he wanted Gargano to face him in the first ring. Waller went for a slam, Gargano wanted a DDT, Waller blocked and hit a suplex. Gargano charged right into a kick by Waller and a forearm to the face. Gargano countered a Waller move with a hurricanrana, Hayes was in that part of the ring and Waller hit a superkick. Gargano avoided a double superkick and hit a DDT on Waller, who somehow drove Hayes into the mat as well. Trick Williams tossed a steel chair over the top to the floor, Gargano got the chair, but Hayes managed to knock Gargano down. Gargano was bleeding from a kick to the face or some other move. That was it for three minutes.

Pete Dunne went into the ring with kicks and a running knee. Dunne with a double knee to the elbow, then running knees and a forearm. Dunne suplexed Hayes onto Waller. Dunne whipped Waller into the cage, then Dunne pulled back on Waller’s finger and Waller was in pain. Gargano and Dunne each stomped on the fingers of their opponents. Gargano and Dunne each applied submissions at the same time while kicking the faces of their opponents. Hayes and Waller got back into it leading to moves where all four guys were down as the three minutes were up.

Tony D’Angelo was next up for Team 2.0 with Tony getting an assist by Williams by bringing weapons into the ring. There were several tables, trash cans, kendo sticks and other items that Williams gave to Tony in the ring. Dexter Lumis emerged from under the ring to stop Williams and Lumis did a “thumbs up” to Gargano, which drew a big pop. Tony used a steel chain to lock the cage door, so it was 3 on 2 for the 2.0 team. With the chair on the door. Tony worked over Gargano with punches while Hayes used the top of a trash can to beat up Dunne some more. Waller used a kendo stick to hit Dunne to prevent a choke submission. Three minutes were up.

LA Knight was next up as he tried to get through the door, but the chain was on the door. Knight tried to look for something to try to get into the cage, so Knight climbed to the top of the cage and punched Waller to knock him down. Knight sent Hayes into the turnbuckle and a boot to the face of D’Angelo. Knight with a neckbreaker on Hayes. Knight with a legsweep on Waller and a powerslam on D’Angelo on Waller. Knight used a kendo stick to beat up the three opponents. Knight put a trash can on Waller leading to a kendo stick/trash can attack on Waller. Dunne and Gargano each hit dropkicks on Waller. Referees showed up with bolt cutters to break the chain on the cage door. Dunne continued to work on the left hand of Waller including Dunne doing a kendo stick shot to the hand of Waller. The three minutes were up.

It was Bron Breakker as the last man for Team 2.0 with Bron trying to break the chain with bolt cutters. Breakker managed to get it done after about ten seconds. Breakker with a clothesline, overhead belly to belly suplex and Breakker hit a powerslam on Knight. Dunne with an enziguri kick on Breakker. Breakker caught Dunne and gave him a belly to belly suplex over the top to the floor. Breaker with a press slam on Gargano, who was tossed onto a bunch of heels. The four 2.0 guys were all standing while the Black & Gold guys were down.

Tommaso Ciampa was last for the Black & Gold team. Ciampa tossed Hayes and Waller into the steel cage. Ciampa sent Breakker into the cage and Tony into the cage. Ciampa with a running knee on Waller, a running knee on Breakker, a running knee on Hayes and a running knee on Tony. There were referees in the ring since they were in the final part of the match.

Hayes attacked Ciampa from behind. Gargano had a crutch that he used to hit Hayes. Fans chanted “DIY” for Johnny and Ciampa. That led to Ciampa cleaning house with the crutch, then Johnny and Ciampa did some tag team moves. Breakker got a hold of Gargano and slammed Johnny onto Ciampa. The 2.0 guys were back in control as they whipped the B&G guys into the cage. Waller beat on Knight with a trash can lid. The 2.0 guys surrounded B&G, but then B&G were in control. The fans were chanting “WarGames” as Knight whipped Waller into the cage. The fans chanted “Black & Gold” as Ciampa, Gargano, Knight and Dunne aggressively stomped on the opponents against the cage. The wrestlers were spread out between the two rings again. Gargano launched Hayes like a dart into a trash can. Tony saved Waller from a move through the table and Tony hit Ciampa with a trash can. Waller went up top, so Knight hit a belly to belly release suplex through the table across the ring. Great spot leading to a “holy shit” chant. Hayes was dealing with Gargano and Dunne on the top rope, but then Breakker and Tony got involved leading to a Tower of Doom spot. Knight with the BFT neckbreaker on Hayes, but D’Angelo broke up the pin. Everybody was down selling for about 30 seconds.

Knight worked over Breakker by sending him into the cage repeatedly. Tony saved Breakker from a move off the ropes. Ciampa saved Knight from a double team move with Ciampa whipping a trash can at Breakker. Ciampa had Breakker on his shoulders leading to an Air Raid Crash through a trash can for a two count. Tony hit a cradle neckbreaker on Knight. Tony told Waller to go all the way up while Tony set up a table in the ring. Knight was placed on the table, Waller jumped off the top and hit an elbow drop on Knight. D’Angelo covered Knight for a two count because Dunne made the save. There were “NXT” chants for that. Tony got a crowbar, but Dunne hit him with a kendo stick. Dunne worked over Hayes with repeated kendo stick chants. Dunne stomped on a hand of Hayes and a kick to the head. Dunne stomped on the hand that was Carmelo’s hand. D’Angelo with a crowbar shot to the ribs. Tony took out Dunne’s protective mouthguard for some reason. Tony hit a neckbreaker off the top on Dunne while holding a crowbar.

Ciampa and Breakker got into a slugfest in the near-sided ring. Breakker with a hurricanrana across the ring, but then Gargano saved Ciampa with a superkick. Ciampa with a jumping knee on Breakker. Gargano hit One Final Beat and Ciampa hit Willow’s Bell at the same time. Ciampa and Gargano hit a double knee/kick combo with Hayes breaking up the pin by pulling the referee away. Hayes hit a low blow to Gargano, so Gargano held Hayes and Ciampa hit a running knee on Hayes. Ciampa went for a Fairytale Ending on Hayes, but Breakker hit a running Spear on Ciampa through the table. Breakker hit a press powerslam on Ciampa for the pinfall win at 38:12.

Winners: Team 2.0 (Carmelo Hayes, Bron Breakker, Tony D’Angelo & Grayson Waller)

Analysis: ****1/4 Great match like most Men’s WarGames matches in NXT have been. I certainly haven’t seen a bad one. The new school NXT team beat the veterans of the brand. I think that’s the right result because Breakker is a guy that a lot of people probably expected to win and the fact that Breakker beat Ciampa to win the match means that Breakker should probably get a title shot at Ciampa again. I liked some of the double team spots by Gargano and Ciampa towards the end of the match. The way Hayes broke up the pin attempt by pulling the referee back was also a clever way of doing it instead of the typical pin breakup. I think Waller had some cool moments with his dives off the cage to show how athletic he is. Breakker didn’t do that much other than the finish. I liked that Gargano and Hayes were in the match the longest because they’re the most talented guys on their teams. Overall, I liked how the match was put together. It was fun to watch.

The four guys on Team 2.0 had their arms raised while the fans booed them. The foursome of Hayes, Waller, D’Angelo and Breakker celebrated. That was the end of the show.

This event had a runtime of 2:47:04 on WWE Network.

 

Five Stars of the Show

  1. Team 2.0
  2. Team Black & Gold
  3. Team Raquel
  4. Team Toxic Attraction
  5. Imperium and Kyle O’Reilly/Von Wagner

That’s way too many people, but I don’t know how to narrow it down.

 

Final Thoughts

It gets a 7.75 out of 10.

A very good show overall. Both WarGames matches were well put together with results that made sense. The women’s match had the drama of Cora Jade fighting through the shoulder injury and then she was the one to get the win for the team, so it showed how resilient she was. In the men’s match, the Team 2.0 guys were more heelish throughout the match. In the end, they won because they worked better together and Bron Breakker got the big win for that team. I liked the tag team title match a lot. Good action with some high spots too. The other two matches were just average.

It wasn’t at the same level as some of the best Takeover shows, but I think having three matches around four stars is pretty impressive and a testament to the talent on this brand. I enjoyed the show.

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John Canton

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