For the first time since its NXT 2.0 rebrand, NXT is set to present a streaming special.
NXT WarGames takes place tonight and will be headlined by two WarGames matches. In the men's match, it will be old school vs. new school. Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Pete Dunne & LA Knight will face Bron Breakker, Carmelo Hayes, Tony D'Angelo & Grayson Waller.
The women's WarGames match will see Io Shirai, Raquel Gonzalez, Cora Jade & Kay Lee Ray take on Toxic Attraction (Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne) & Dakota Kai.
Breakker and KLR have won the entrance order advantage for their respective teams.
Two title matches are also set for the show. Imperium will put their NXT Tag Team titles on the line against Kyle O'Reilly & Von Wagner, while Joe Gacy will attempt to make the NXT Cruiserweight Championship more inclusive as he challenges Roderick Strong.
Plus, Cameron Grimes and Duke Hudson will face off in a hair vs. hair match.
Tonight's main card begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time. There will also be a 30-minute pre-show before the event begins.
Sam Roberts and McKenzie Mitchell were the pre-show hosts.
Backstage, the NXT originals were apprehensive about tonight's WarGames, but LA Knight showed up to give them a pep talk. Meanwhile, the fresh faces were confident. Andre Chase walked up to try and give some advice, but Bron Breakker and Tony D'Angelo scared him away.
The rest of the pre-show involved video packages and promos setting up the rest of the card.
NXT WarGames report --
Y'all know the rules for WarGames, right?
WarGames:Kay Lee Ray, Raquel Gonzalez, Io Shirai, & Cora Jade defeated Dakota Kai & Toxic Attraction (Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin, & Jacy Jayne) [31:19]
This was a decently laid out WarGames match with some cool moments, but a lack of crisp action and awfully odd psychology made this difficult to get into. The finish came completely out of nowhere. Pretty clearly the weakest WarGames match in NXT history. Out of everyone, I thought Jade and Gonzalez showed the most.
Rose is the NXT Women's Champion and Dolin & Jayne are the tag champs. Ray and Kai are the team leaders, and they started off for their respective teams as the others were locked in their cages.
Ray brought out a baseball bat and Kai used kendo sticks to equalize. Ray got the advantage with a DDT, but Kai whipped her into the steel cage multiple times. About a minute before the first entry, Ray made a quick comeback with a senton as Kai went for the baseball bat. She smacked Kai with a kendo stick and dropped her over a kendo bridge.
The first entry was Cora Jade, who brought in a skateboard. Kai avoided some shots but took an enziguiri and a running knee. Bizarrely, the babyface team maintained the two-on-one advantage, which goes against standard WarGames psychology, but whatever. Ray and Jade worked together to beat down Kai.
First in for Kai's team was Gigi Dolin, who brought in a trash can and a duffel bag. She tossed the can at Jade and took her down with a pump kick before hitting an STO and a German suplex on Ray. The heel team maintained control until they paired off, with Jade getting the better of Dolin and placing the trash can over her head. She then landed a dropkick on Dolin through the can before Ray hit a noshigami on Kai through the can.
Next for Ray's team was Io Shirai, who brought in chairs. The babyfaces took too long messing with the plunder, allowing Kay and Dolin to regain control. The action really wasn't good here -- very aimless and a long beatdown until Jade kind of hit a hurricanrana in between the two rings.
Jacy Jayne was the second entry for Kai's team, evening the numbers. She brought in a table. Ray was pump kicked through two chairs, but miscommunication led to Jayne kicking her Toxic Attraction partner. Shirai hit corner knees through the trash can lid. Ray's team isolated Jayne and propped her up on a table, leading to Jade climbing all the way to the top of the structure and diving through Jayne with a pretty spectacular senton bomb. An odd moment ensued where Jade called for medical attention to check on her shoulder, but Shirai wouldn't let her leave, instead popping it into place.
Last in for Ray's team was Raquel Gonzalez, who brought in more weapons. However, when she went back for more, Kai and Dolin shut the door. Gonzalez made it back in by spraying them with a fire extinguisher. She laid waste to everyone, dropping Kay in a trash can and swinging her around in it. Lots of wrestlers began to climb the cage; Gonzalez gook out two opponents with a double spinebuster, then did the same with Kai and put her in the trash can again. Shirai crushed Kai with a moonsault through the trash can.
Mandy Rose was the final entrant, meaning pinfalls and submissions were now possible. The two teams ended up on either side of the structure. Ray inexplicably cornered the injured Jade, her teammate, before it was a ruse to take out Kai. The eight competitors brawled.
Eventually the focus turned to Gonzalez, who tried to hit a double powerbomb on Jayne and Dolin, but was cut off by a kendo stick shot from Rose. Toxic Attraction took out Gonzalez with chair shots and covered, but it was broken up by Jade, still selling her shoulder. Jade fought valiantly with a kendo stick but was overwhelmed by the numbers advantage. Rose hit a running knee for a near fall.
We got a parade of big moves, leading to everyone down. Jade suddenly covered Jayne for the win out of nowhere.
They aired promos for Tiffany Stratton and Boa as well as a video advertising the appearance of MSK's "Shaman" this Tuesday.
Team Black and Gold were backstage. Ciampa said tonight wasn't just their moment as a team, it was Gargano's moment individually.
NXT Tag Team Championships: Imperium (Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) (c) defeated Kyle O'Reilly & Von Wagner [14:53]
This was great. Everyone was impressive, but Fabian Aichner in particular showed off multiple unbelievable athletic moments. Wagner held his own against the veterans. The turn afterwards was extremely bizarre, though.
Barthel and O'Reilly started off, with Aichner quickly tagging in and taking down his opponent with an arm drag. Wagner entered the match and hit a back suplex and a diving headbutt. O'Reilly tagged back in and was isolated by Imperium. The two powerhouses, Wagner and Aichner, faced off. Aichner caught Wagner on his shoulders and hit a great rolling senton in a nice show of strength.
O'Reilly gained control with a flurry of strikes on Barthel. Aichner, the illegal man, cut him off with a kick, allowing Barthel to take him down with a lariat. Wagner got a tag and ran wild on Imperium with big-time throws and suplexes. He dropped Barthel with a back suplex on the apron as O'Reilly landed a diving knee on Aichner. Another back suplex from Wagner got two.
Imperium used their numbers advantage to take out Wagner, then set him up to hit a double dropkick for two. They went for the Imperial Bomb, but Wagner fought out and chokeslammed Aichner onto Barthel. O'Reilly tagged in and locked on the heel hook, but Aichner broke it up with a cool double springboard moonsault.
Wagner took out Barthel as O'Reilly locked on the guillotine on Aichner. Aichner powered out, but O'Reilly turned it into a cradle. Barthel modified the cradle for a good near fall. O'Reilly went for his rebound lariat, but Aichner met him with one of his own for the double down.
In came Wagner and Barthel, who traded right hands in the center of the ring. Aichner knocked down Wagner with a chop block, but O'Reilly and Wagner then hit the High Low on Barthel for a good near fall. The referee was slow on the count as he had been distracted by Aichner.
Barthel baited Wagner to the floor and tagged in Aichner, who hit a sick step-up dive on Wagner out on the outside. Back in the ring, O'Reilly caught Aichner with a brainbuster for a near fall. He locked on a cross armbreaker and then transitioned into a triangle. After a long fight, Aichner powered O'Reilly up and Imperium hit the Imperial Bomb for the win.
– After the match, Wagner turned on O'Reilly but was immediately taken down with a forearm smash. O'Reilly was fired up and threw up the Undisputed Era hand signs on the way out.
Santos Escobar was interviewed backstage about Xyon Quinn.
Hair vs. Hair: Cameron Grimes defeated Duke Hudson [10:35]
This was solid. It wasn't exactly TakeOver-level, but these two completely did their job and accomplished what they were going for.
Hudson overpowered Grimes right away and sent him over the top rope onto the steel steps. Grimes came back with a cannonball senton. He tried to keep up the attack, but Hudson stopped him in his tracks with a uranage. Grimes came back with a nice moonsault to a standing Hudson for two, but Hudson tossed Grimes hard onto the floor.
The match was one-sided for a while with Hudson beating Grimes down. Grimes flipped out of a suplex and hit an enziguiri to start his comeback; the backflip powerslam followed for two. He fought out of a slam with a DDT for another two count. Grimes hit a soccer kick and a sunset flip, but Hudson turned it into a cradle and grabbed the ropes for leverage. The official saw Hudson's cheating and stopped the count at two.
Grimes hit a nice reverse hurricanrana and a high crossbody for yet another near fall. Hudson came back with a black hole slam for two. He went for Razor's Edge, but Grimes countered out of it with a hurricanrana and a roll-up with the tights for the win.
– Hudson didn't want his head shaved and attacked Grimes, but Grimes hit the Cave-In and propped him up in the barber's chair. Grimes shaved off the top of Hudson's hair before he came to and ran away.
Videos aired for Draco Anthony, Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter, and the Grizzled Young Veterans.
NXT New Year's Evil was announced for January 4, 2022.
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Roderick Strong (w/ Diamond Mine) (c) defeated Joe Gacy (w/ Harland) [8:07]
This was just there. No angle or anything.
Gacy did his hug and inclusivity schtick, which Strong wanted no part of. He surprised Strong with a strike, so the champion knocked him down with a backbreaker. Gacy came back with strikes including a hard lariat to the back of the head. Strong peppered his opponent with chops in the corner. They fought on the apron, where Gacy landed a bicycle kick.
Back in the ring, Gacy maintained control with a backbreaker. Strong came back with a rising knee and a superplex. He kind of whiffed on a double-knee gutbuster but then hit an Olympic slam for two. Strong went for a submission, but Gacy countered it into a crossface, forcing Strong to fight to the ropes to force a break. Gacy then landed a flip dive onto Strong and the Creed brothers at ringside.
Out on the floor, Gacy faced off with Ivy Nile, but Harland picked her up and scared her in a really odd moment. Strong hit another jumping knee followed by the End of Heartache for the win.
There was a completely baffling Ikemen Jiro video.
Kyle O'Reilly was asked about his confrontation with Von Wagner. He said he saw the turn coming a mile away, then challenged him to a cage match for this Tuesday.
WarGames: Team 2.0 (Bron Breakker, Carmelo Hayes, Grayson Waller, & Tony D'Angelo) defeated Team Black & Gold (Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Pete Dunne, & LA Knight) [38:14]
This was really enjoyable for the most part. It wasn't quite as spectacular as some of the early WarGames matches or last year's match with Pat McAfee, but outside of that standard, it was an excellent extended hardcore match. 2.0 worked as heels throughout, with Team Black & Gold coming across as super likable. Breakker's a monster, and Gargano looks like he's probably done with NXT.
Ciampa is the NXT Champion, whereas Hayes holds the North American tltle. Gargano came out to "Rebel Heart."
Gargano and Hayes started off. They performed a choreographed exchange early on until Gargano landed his seated snap kick. He cut off a springboard with a kick, but Hayes caught the a slingshot spear. They traded acrobatics over the ropes until Gargano did end up hitting the slingshot spear. Hayes climbed the cage to buy some time before hitting a diving back elbow. They each stood on the top rope using the cage to support them and traded strikes until Gargano hit a great sunset bomb.
Grayson Waller was the first entrant for Team 2.0. He took Gargano down with a suplex before catching a headscissors and hitting a backbreaker. Gargano tried to make a comeback, but Hayes recovered and the veteran was overwhelmed by the two-on-one numbers advantage. Gargano was busted open somehow. He made a brief comeback, and Trick Williams tried to stop his momentum by throwing a chair into the structure, but Gargano smacked Williams' hands with the chair as he tried to climb. The distraction was enough for Team 2.0 to regain control.
Evening the odds for Team Black & Gold was Pete Dunne, who ran wild on Hayes and Waller. He hit an ex-plex on Hayes on top of Waller before attacking the latter's fingers through the cage. Gargano and Dunne locked on simultaneous submissions on their two opponents. Hayes used his athleticism to briefly regain the advantage but was cut off with a forearm from Dunne. Waller then hit stunners on both Dunne and Gargano.
Next for Team 2.0 was Tony D'Angelo. Trick assisted him in bringing tables and other plunder into the ring, but Dexter Lumis appeared from under the ring and chased him off. He and Gargano exchanged thumbs up. With the clock running down, D'Angelo padlocked the door shut, and 2.0 continued to dominate.
LA Knight attempted to enter the match, but the door was locked shut. He climbed the side of the cage and entered the match by running wild on everyone. He powerslammed D'Angelo onto Waller and whacked his opponents with kendo sticks. Knight then stuffed Waller in a trash can and smacked him with a kendo stick before Dunne and Gargano hit simultaneous dropkicks. Dunne crushed Waller's fingers with kendo stick shots.
The final entrant for Team 2.0 was Bron Breakker. He used bolt cutters to break off the padlock, which took a bit longer than expected, but once he finally made it into the match, he destroyed everyone with suplexes and powerslams. Dunne tried to take him out with punches but was effortlessly thrown over the top rope; Breakker then tossed Gargano onto both Dunne and Knight. 2.0 maintained control with the numbers advantage.
Making the match officially underway was Tommaso Ciampa, who used a kendo stick to assist his comeback. There was plunder all over the ring, and Ciampa used a trash can lid to assist in hitting corner running knees on all four opponents. Hayes attacked with a kendo stick, but Gargano saved Ciampa with a crutch shot. Loud "#DIY" chants as Ciampa and Gargano worked together to regain control. They ran wild for a while until Breakker cut them off with a powerslam.
Team 2.0 had Black & Gold surrounded between the rings. Black & Gold exchanged looks and fired up. Waller was sent hard into the cage. With all four 2.0 wrestlers trapped between the ropes and the cage, Black & Gold all beat them down. Dunne propped a trash can between the ropes and Gargano sent Hayes into it with a lawn dart.
They set up a table and Ciampa looked to hit the air raid crash on Waller, but D'Angelo cut him off. Knight sprung to the top rope and tossed Waller through the table in a great spot. D'Angelo and Breakker worked together to powerbomb Dunne and Gargano in a Tower of Doom spot, but Knight then hit the BFT on Hayes for a good near fall.
Knight trapped Breakker in between the ropes and went for another BFT, but D'Angelo cut him off. He and Breakker tried for a double team, but Ciampa interrupted them with trash can shots. Ciampa then hit the air raid crash on Breakker through the trash can for a near fall. D'Angelo set up a table and barked at Waller to climb the cage; Waller obliged as D'Angelo propped Knight on the table. Waller then hit an elbow drop from the top of the cage, but Dunne broke up the pin in the nick of time.
D'Angelo produced a crowbar, but Dunne surprised him with kendo stick shots before turning his attention to Hayes. D'Angelo cut Dunne off and trapped him against the cage using the crowbar. He removed Dunne's mouthguard and hit a crowbar-assisted neckbreaker off the top rope.
Ciampa and Breakker slugged it own as the only two left standing. Breakker hit a snap Frankensteiner, but Gargano got involved and #DIY overwhelmed the big man. Gargano hit the One Final Beat on Breakker, then Ciampa and Gargano hit #DIY, but Hayes interrupted the cover by pulling the official out of the way. Hayes then poked Ciampa's eyes and hit Gargano with a low blow.
Hayes taunted Gargano but was stopped with a running knee from Ciampa. Ciampa went for the Fairytale Ending, but Breakker crushed him with a spear through a table set up in the corner. A powerslam out of a military press was enough for Breaker to pin Ciampa and win the match.
– Team 2.0 celebrated and stood tall to end the show.