The fallout from WarGames takes place on tonight's NXT.
With their futures in question, all eyes are on Johnny Gargano and Kyle O'Reilly. Gargano spoke to the crowd after WarGames and promised that he would "tell everything" on tonight's show. Gargano's contract with WWE is set to expire on December 10.
Team Black & Gold (Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Pete Dunne & LA Knight) lost to Team NXT 2.0 (Bron Breakker, Carmelo Hayes, Tony D'Angelo & Grayson Waller) in the men's WarGames match on Sunday night. Breakker pinned Ciampa to get the win and has his sights set on another shot at Ciampa's NXT Championship.
O'Reilly's contract with WWE is also set to expire imminently. He'll face Von Wagner inside a steel cage tonight. Wagner went to turn against O'Reilly after they lost to NXT Tag Team Champions Imperium at WarGames, but O'Reilly caught Wagner and fought him off.
In Sunday's women's WarGames match, Cora Jade, Io Shirai, Raquel Gonzalez & Kay Lee Ray defeated Toxic Attraction (Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne) & Dakota Kai. Roderick Strong also retained the NXT Cruiserweight Championship against Joe Gacy, and Cameron Grimes defeated Duke Hudson in a hair vs. hair match.
Santos Escobar vs. Xyon Quinn is also set for tonight, North American Champion Hayes will face Dexter Lumis in a non-title match, and MSK will meet their shaman. Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Show opens with a great music video recapping WarGames and the happenings from this past Sunday. Kicking off the live broadcast is a steel cage grudge match, which stems from a falling out between tag team partners at WarGames.
Von Wagner defeated Kyle O'Reilly in a steel cage match
Wagner pinned O'Reilly after a low blow and a twisting double underhook suplex. Wagner in storyline injured O'Reilly after the match by slamming the cage door in his head.
If O'Reilly is being written off the show, this was certainly was one way to do it. It also gives O'Reilly a reason to return and seek revenge. So it is both a conclusion to a story, and also open-ended in a way if need be. Wagner was clearly a heel by the end either way.
Pretty good thanks to the greatness of Kyle O'Reilly. No escape the cage rules, just pinfall or submission.
O'Reilly jumped Wagner on the entrance ramp before the bell. Wagner soon cut off O'Reilly, but O'Reilly fought back to tie up Wagner on the mat. Wagner again cuts off O'Reilly, and Wagner boots him in the face with a high kick.
O'Reilly is a great technical wrestler, and he used that to counter Wagner. On the other hand, Wagner had power and strength. Wagner used that to powerbomb O'Reilly into the side of the cage. O'Reilly counters into a tornado DDT as the show cuts to a split screen commercial break.
They were trading strikes and such as the show returns from the break. O'Reilly with a beautiful flying knee strike. No escape the cage rules, but O'Reilly climbs the ropes to stomp on Wagner from above. O'Reilly locks in a guillotine, but Wagner manages to power out to give O'Reilly a suplex. Some people in the crowd chant "you still suck," and I laughed out loud.
Wagner again boots O'Reilly in the face, yet O'Reilly came back to dismantle Wagner with strikes. O'Reilly climbs to the top rope, and Wagner follows him. They fight on the top rope until takes a plunge back down to the mat. O'Reilly then drops a bombs away knee drop on Wagner for a near fall. Crowd chants that it was a three count.
O'Reilly was on fire until Wagner delivers a blatant low blow. Wagner throws O'Reilly into the cage a few times before giving him a twisting double underhook suplex. Wagner then hooks a leg to win via pinfall.
Wagner ties O'Reilly in a tree of woe after the match, and Wagner proceeds to slam the cage door on O'Reilly multiple times. This seems like a way to write O'Reilly off the show, but it also gives him a reason to return seek vengeance.
In plugging Johnny Gargano addressing the "universe" later tonight, a clip aired showing a viral video of Gargano's post-match promo after WarGames.
Joe Gacy in a pre-tape promo cut a promo about wanting to change the name of 205 Live. A noble cause indeed. Gacy also says that Harlan's in-ring debut is next week on NXT. Gacy claims they will change the world. Good luck bro.
Diamond Mine confronts Bron Breakker
Bron Breakker is in the ring for a live promo. Breakker with a fiery Steiner-style delivery, proclaims he wants another shot at Tommaso Ciampa and his NXT Championship. Breakker is interrupted by The Diamond Mine and Malcolm Bivens.
Bivens, flanked by The Creed Brothers and Ivy Nile, confronts Breakker in the ring. Bivens sings the praises of NXT Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong, and Bivens challenges Breakker to a match next week against Strong. Breakker gladly accepts the challenge, setting up a match next week between Breakker and Strong.
Highlights of MSK's journey teases the arrival of their shaman.
Brooks Jensen & Josh Briggs defeated The Creed Brothers (Brutus & Julius Creed)
NXT Tag Team Champions Imperium watch the match from a perch above the ring. Grizzled Young Veterans come out during the match to join the commentary team at the announce desk.
The babyface country boys were on fire early on until heat on Jensen. Creed Brothers work over Jensen. As they are mauling Jensen, Grizzled Young Veterans steal the tag rope from the babyface corner, because GYV are for some reason now all of sudden thieving scoundrels.
There is no tag rope, so Briggs is not legal when he makes a hot tag. The referee refuses to allow Briggs into the match because there is no tag rope. Meanwhile, Jensen counters a Creed and goes into an O'Connor Roll. Briggs is knocked off the apron by this, but no harm to a good ole country boy, especially because his partner won the match. Jensen uses a roll up the win the match via pinfall.
Von Wagner in a backstage interview says WarGames is over, and Kyle O'Reilly is over, but his WarGames has just begun. Whatever that means.
The New Duke Hudson meets Cameron Grimes
The "New" Duke Hudson marches to the ring with a blong wig covering his bald head, and also wearing amateur wrestling head gear. Hudson's head was shaved bald last Sunday after losing a hair match to Cameron Grimes. Hudson denies it happened at all.
Grimes interrupts Hudson's promo, and Grimes confronts Hudson in the ring. Great stuff as usual from Grimes, even with crappy creative material to work with in this segment.
Grimes goes on to challenge Hudson to a no holds barred match. Hudson accepts the challenge before trying to hit Grimes with a cheap shot. Grimes counters to pepper Hudson with right hands. Grimes, in street clothes no less, went for a Cave In. Hudson flees, but not before Grimes tries to take off the wig. Hudson still manages to escape. The two meet soon in a no holds barred match.
Dexter Lumis defeated NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes (with Trick Williams) via disqualification in a non-title match
Lumis won by DQ after outside interference by Williams. Long match with a crappy finish. Heck of a payoff for having to sit through it.
The match was apparently supposed to be Lumis against Trick Williams, but Williams in storyline claimed his vision was impaired. So Williams was not cleared to wrestle. Williams acted scared of Lumis throughout the match. Hayes had a bandage on his ribs in the aftermath of WarGames.
Felt like this match went on forever. The match even went through a commercial break. Lumis was fighting back on Hayes as the show returns from the break.
Hayes works a hand, exploiting an injury to Lumis. Eventually, Lumis makes a comeback that led to a near fall. Lumis applies his vice submission hold, but Hayes wiggles his way to the ropes. Williams with outside interference as he decks Lumis with a punch. That broke the submission hold, but it cost Hayes the match. The referee DQ's Hayes, giving a win to Lumis.
All that time in this long match for a crappy DQ finish. SMDH.
In a skit, MSK's shaman is revealed to be Matt Riddle. He is the "shaman bro," and Riddle invited MSK into his house. They sat on the floor cross-legged surrounded by candles. MSK tell Riddle about their accomplishments, but MSK wonders if they have peaked. Riddle dismisses this with a bro pep talk.
Riddle says they will climb the mountain again (meaning win the tag team titles), and Riddle says he will be with them every step of the way. Riddle vows to not leave them, but only on one condition. They must show Riddle what is in the mysterious bag, because "sharing is caring, bro." Riddle looks in the bag, and they all yell "whoa" while the viewers never get to see what is in the bag.
Seems like Riddle is part of the MSK act now. Cool story, bro.
Tensions arise between Indi Hartwell and Persia Pirotta in a backstage skit. Cameos by Gargano and Lumis, much to the chagrin of Pirotta.
NXT Tag Team Champions Toxic Attraction (Gigi Dolan & Jacy Jayne with NXT Women's Champion Mandy Rose) defeated Valentina Feroz & Yulisa Leon in a non-title match
This was a showcase match for Toxic Attraction, but it went much too long like another match on this show. Leon was running wild when she was cut off by Toxic Attraction. Jayne delivers a roaring spin kick, and Jayne scores a pinfall on Leon.
Mandy Rose after the match cuts a promo in the ring, declaring her trio the "baddest bitches in town" who still has all the gold after WarGames. Rose basically issues an open challenge for anyone to "bring it on" in terms of challenging their reign as champions.
Cora Jade interrupts the promo after she was name-dropped by Rose. Jade has her arm in a sling. Jade reminds Rose that she beat her in a match two weeks ago, and Cade also notes her team won their WarGames match.
There was a standoff until Raquel Gonzalez enters the scene for back up. Gonzalez was swinging a chair as she and Jade clear the ring. The heel trio flees the scene.
The Tiffany Stratton characters takes a turn in another direction with the latest vignette. Almost like it is a rib on Bryan Alvarez, the Tiffany character is now involved in gymnastics. She was also on Team USA, but her daddy says she is a solo star. So now she has set her sights on the NXT Women's Championship.
Tony D'Angelo in a backstage interview with Mckenzie Mitchell when there is a confrontation with Andre Chase. This sets up a match between the two next week on NXT.
Kay Lee Ray runs into Raquel Gonzalez and Cora Jade backstage, and KLR gives her baseball bat to Jade.
Santos Escobar (with Legado del Fantasma) defeated Xyon Quinn
Escobar pinned Quinn after outside interference.
Backstory here involves Elektra Lopez and Quinn teasing a romantic relationship, even as Lopez's stable is feuding with Quinn. Previously, Quinn declined an offer by Lopez to join the stable, and now Quinn must face a woman's scorn. She still clearly likes him. It is very Saved By the Bell, if the bell was at ringside during a wrestling match.
Decent enough match. Nothing out of this world, but not bad. They went through a commercial break. They built to a spot where Escobar gave Quinn a Super Frankensteiner off the top. They killed the momentum by taking forever to set it up.
Lopez was down on the mat selling the high spot when Lopez put brass knux on Quinn's hand, unbeknownst to Quinn. Joaquin Wilde tried to interfere, but Quinn tosses him the knux before knocking him off the apron. The distraction nevertheless allows Escobar to blindside Quinn.
Escobar delivers a Phantom Driver, and he scores a three count over Quinn for tainted victory.
Officially announced for next Tuesday on NXT is no holds barred match between Duke Hudson and Cameron Grimes.
In another match apparently official for next week, Boa in a pre-tape promo called out Edris Enofe. Boa vows to take him out next week.
Johnny Gargano addresses his future
Gargano, who is dressed in street clothes, comes to the ring looking very emotional. Gargano grabs a microphone to address the audience. The crowd in attendance chants "Johnny Wrestling" at him.
Gargano says "Heartbreak [Kid]" says he can go as long as he wants. Gargano makes a joke about running over the timeslot.
Gargano went to say this would not be an eloquent promo, because he did not want to think about what he said. Gargano wants to live in this moment with the audience. He has learned something over the past six years in NXT, and that is he should enjoy these moments more. He was always worried about being good enough, because he wanted to give the audience the best.
Gargano goes on to bring up him getting a tryout where he was told he would never make it to NXT. He was not blessed with the best genetics, but because of William Regal, Gargano was invited back for a match with Apollo Crews. The crowd at Full Sail chanted "Johnny Wrestling" so loud that WWE brought him back every single week even though Gargano was not under contract.
Gargano says the crowd helped him live his dream. Gargano says inside himself is still a shy eight year old chubby wrestling fan. Someone in the crowd at the CWC yells "I'm chubby too." Absolutely hilarious moment during a serious speech.
Gargano dealt with self-conscious issues his whole life and still deals with it, but one place he feels special in the ring in front of the crowd. Gargano says his family might be in Cleveland, and he gives shout-outs to his mom and dad, and Gargano says he also has family backstage. Gargano names a lot of backstage staff for their help.
These people are like his family, and that will never change. Change can be scary, "but sometimes it needs to happen." Gargano tells the audience he wants to leave them with one message, "You will never fail if you bet on yourself."
Gargano says his immediate future is up in the air. He "may do some things here and there." In February he starts the most important job of his life when he becomes a dad. Gargano says he will love that little guy so much.
As Gargano continues to talk, the crowd noticeably begins to gasp. Grayson Waller from behind sneaks in to hit Gargano with a chair shot to the back. Waller throws Gargano outside the ring, and Waller puts the chair on Gargano's neck. Wallers rams Gargano into the ring steps, and Waller powerbombs Gargano through the announce desk.
Gargano is laid out as Wallers proclaims this is now his house.