Survivor Series weekend kicks off in Houston, Texas tonight as the Toyota Center hosts NXT TakeOver: War Games.
Though there have been a few changes from the original concept, this will mark the first time WWE has used War Games since acquiring WCW in 2001. The Undisputed Era, SAnitY, and The Authors of Pain & Roderick Strong will take part in NXT's first version of the match.
A new NXT Women's Champion will also be crowned, with Kairi Sane, Peyton Royce, Ember Moon, and Nikki Cross vying for the title that Asuka vacated in August. In the show's other title match, Drew McIntyre will defend his NXT Championship against Andrade "Cien" Almas.
The issues between Aleister Black and Velveteen Dream will culminate as they face off in a match tonight. Plus, Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan rounds out the undercard.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
-The first thing seen as the show began was a giant banner for Kenny Omega.
Kassius Ohno vs Lars Sullivan
Sullivan ducked the Rolling Elbow and hit The Freak Accident for the win.
Ohno used an elbow strike in the first 30 seconds, which didn't phase Lars and set the story for the match. Everything that Ohno would try Lars would shake off and knock Ohno down. The fans were into this and Sullivan looked good, even hitting a Pop Up Power Slam. The most offense Ohno got in was after Sullivan missed a diving elbow. Ohno used a Cyclone Kick to finally knock Sullivan off his feet, but Lars raged up and begged for more punishment as they went to the finish.
The whole match was less than 5 minutes, but was exactly what it should have been.
-Tyler Bate, Trent Seven. Mark Andrews and Wolfgang were shown at ringside.
-Undisputed Era were shown backstage and didn't look too happy when William Regal told them something we couldn't hear.
Aleister Black vs Velveteen Dream
Black won with Black Mass, which the cameras mostly missed, in a very good match and Dream's best NXT match by far.
Velveteen Dream went all Rick Rude for this match with airbrushed tights with Black's face on them. The fans were into the Velveteen Dream, but they were just as happy when Black won.
Black snapped off one of the fastest deep armdrags you'll ever see early as he showed his superior grappling. Dream couldn't even connect with a strike early as every time he tried, Black moved out of the way. Finally Dream got tired of being stretched and got in a couple blows. A sequence saw Black end in a sitting position on the mat, so Dream did the Rick Rude hip swivel, which Black ignored until Dream sat down like Black, so Black did Dream's grinding on the mat.
Dream finally got some sustained offense, using a superkick and a Rude Awakening. Black got tied in the ropes ala their tv angle a month ago and this had the same result as Black kicked Dream and got himself out. They kicked out of each other's secondary finishers, being Dream's Rolling Death Valley Driver and Black's running knee.
After the match Aleister sat next to Dream on the mat and said "Enjoy infamy, Velveteen Dream". So Dream got his ultimate goal of the match, which was for Black to say his name.
-SAnitY was ranting and raving in the locker room. Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe were messing around in the background as Eric Young appeared to be mid-speech.
-Asuka, Funaki and Finn Balor were show ringside. Behind them were hundreds of empty seats, so remember that if they claim a sell out.
Kairi Sane vs Peyton Royce vs Ember Moon vs Nikki Cross for the vacant NXT Women's Championship
Ember Moon became the 6th NXT Women's Champion, pinning Nikki Cross after a double Eclipse on both Cross and Peyton. This was a relatively short match but chalk full of big moves that the crowd was super into and were really happy for Moon to finally win the title. The only messed up move was early when Royce went to roll up Cross and somehow got Moon tangled up, which looked like both of them covering Cross at the same time.
Ember hit a Suicide Dive to Sane and Royce and then a hard power bomb to Cross on the floor. Sane broke up a pinfall with a running Blockbuster. Royce used a Reverse Octopus Hold on Sane until Ember superkicked her in the ribs. We had a Stacked Up Superplex with Royce German Suplexing Moon, who superplexed Sane. Cross hit her Twisting Fisherman Suplex for a 2 count and then used a Draping Roll The Dice on Moon. Royce used her Fisherman Suplex on Cross, but Sane had to break it up. Sane hit the Insane Elbow on Cross and Royce, but Moon broke that up and that led to the finish.
Asuka got in the ring to present Ember with her championship.
The Queen is dead! Long live the new Queen!
We had a commercial for NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, which is the day before Royal Rumble. Tickets go on sale December 1.
-Roderick Strong, Paul Ellering and The Authors of Pain were hanging out backstage.
-Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe were shown at ringside.
Drew McIntyre vs Andrade Cien Almas for the NXT Championship
Almas shockingly won the title with a Hammerlock DDT off the top rope after McIntyre got caught up in the ropes when he missed his second Claymore Kick. You knew Drew was in for a bad night when he couldn't get his kilt off before the match.
Vega got all up in McIntyre's naval before the match, telling off the champion, which led to Almas getting the quick advantage at the bell. Almas lounged in the ropes, which came back to bite him in the ass as Drew kicked him out of the ring. Vega tried to interfere and hit a hurricarana behind the referee's back, but McIntyre caught her and set her down.
In almost the reverse of the last match, in this one they reversed and side-stepped a lot of big moves early, but they saved the big stuff for last. Drew went for a running power bomb to the post outside, but Andrade turned it into a hurricarana. Almas then hit a Moonsault over the ring post to McIntyre, who was on the floor. Almas hit his running double knees in the corner two different times for a two different 2 counts, but every time he went for his Hammerlock DDT Drew got out of it, including once hitting a sit out power bomb.
Almas kicked out of a Future Shock DDT and finally hit his Hammerlock DDT when Vega's interference finally worked as she hit a Hurricarana, but Drew kicked out of it. McIntyre finally hit the Claymore Kick but Vega put Almas' foot on the ropes.
Almas becomes the 14th NXT Champion overall and 12th different man to hold the gold. The King is dead! Long live the new King!
Undisputed Era vs SAnitY vs Roderick Strong & Authors of Pain in War Games
-One member from each team starts with the other team members locked in shark cages
-After 5 minutes the remaining two members of one team gets to enter
-Every 3 minutes after the other two members of the other teams enter.
-You can only win via pinfall of submission
-If anyone leaves the cage they forfeit the match for their team
First Period: Eric Young, Adam Cole and Roderick Strong started the match. They put a metal platform between the two rings so no one could fall between the rings. I'll update this as much as I can throughout the match.
Young seemed willing to team with Strong early, but Strong punched him in the face and it was on. Cole was about to run and leave the match, but he got stopped. That actually led to him taking over on both Strong and Young, when he crotched them on the top rope. Cole tried to keep each man in separate rings, but even when they weren't he was on the offensive. Strong finally built some momentum at the end of the period.
Second Period: They did the Elimination Chamber light show instead of a coin toss and, believe it or not, Undisputed Era was released. This was 3 full minutes of Cole, O'Reilly and Fish beating down both Young and Strong. Young got caught between the ropes and the cage and had to stand there as Undisputed Era took turns running into him. Strong was the victim of a Wheelbarrow Suplex before he got smashed into the cage repeatedly.
Third Period: Authors of Pain was next and Fish did his best to hold the door closed, but it didn't work. O'Reilly tried and got a door smashed into his head. Akam and Rezar flung all 4 men all over the cage. Akam actually hiptossed Cole from one ring into the other and then he and Rezar backdropped Young into the other ring. AOP hiptossed Strong onto all 4 men, which finally got the crowd into the match.Young and O'Reilly were tied into Trees of Woe and the Authors gave Fish and Cole a Death Valley Driver into them.
The Match Beyond: SAnitY gets released to end the match and Alexander Wolfe had a hidden Nightstick that he used to beat on all three members of the AOP team. Killian Dain found some plunder under the ring as War Games went hardcore.
Dain was about to get in the ring, but the fans were chanting for tables, so Killian did as he was told and put two tables into the cage. O'Reilly did the Kurt Angle House Show Chair spot with the chair ricocheting off the ropes into his face. This became pure chaos as Dain decided it was his job to lock the cage. He ate the padlock key before going after Authors of Pain.
Dain did a corner dropkick onto one Author and fell with a back senton onto the other and then did a flying crossbody onto pretty much everyone else in the match. Fish kicked Dain in the legs, but he got laid out and Dain did a Michinoku Driver to Cole on top of Fish, which could not have felt good.
Dain and Rezar did stereo combo Samoan Drop/Fallaway Slams to multiple opponents and then Rezar decided to test Dain. Finally Akam laid out Dain with a running power slam, which took him out for a few minutes. Undisputed Era hit a 3-man Chasing The Dragon on Strong, but couldn't make the cover. No one could get sustained offense at this point as every time they would hit a big move they'd turn around and get hit with their own. O'Reilly tied Wolfe up with a chain and locked on and armbar, but EY broke it up with a diving elbow drop. Fish broke up the ensuing pin with a Moonsault on the pile.
AOP did a Super Collider to Fish and Young, where Dain was caught in the middle of it, but Young came back with a Death Valley Driver to Akam on top of Rezar. Strong decided that 20+ minutes into the match was the time to go Backbreaker crazy, but actually finishing with an Angle Slam on Dain. Cole ended up sitting on the ringposts between the cages and it led to a double stacked up superplex with the other 8 people and Cole somehow left all alone. Cole was celebrating momentarily and then the AOP looked up and saw him sitting there. After setting up both tables their attempted double back superplex was broken up by Wolfe, who put Rezar through both tables with a German Suplex, which busted open the back of Wolfe's head. Dain woke back up and hit the World's Biggest Van Terminator as he went corner to corner with a dropkick to O'Reilly, who had a garbage can in his face.
Cole ended up on top of the cage, but he shimmied his way to the opposing corner. Cole seemed poised to dive until he saw Strong standing there and Roddy seemed to put the fear into Cole. Both men ended up on top of the cage and the fans chanted "Please don't die". Strong then hit a superplex off the top of the cage and both men landed on top of almost everyone else. AOP hit a version of The Last Chapter to Dain on the metal ramp between the rings. Everyone laid out each other until Cole and Strong were the only two left. Strong beat on Cole until Young recovered and Wheelbarrowed him into the cage. Finally Cole used a Kendo Stick to Young and pinned him after a running kick, assisted with a steel chair.
So long story short, no this wasn't WCW/NWA War Games, but it was a masterful 30-minute brawl full of twists, turns and, oh yes, plenty of chaos. Undisputed Era is your winner and that does it from Houston.
Thank you for reading and good luck to Survivor Series tomorrow night to try to top this.