About Us  |   Contact

NXT TakeOver WarGames live results: Two WarGames matches

The third annual NXT TakeOver: WarGames event takes place tonight as part of Survivor Series weekend.

There will be two WarGames matches on tonight's show. In the first-ever women's WarGames match, Team Ripley (Rhea Ripley, Tegan Nox, Candice LeRae & Mia Yim) will take on Team Baszler (Shayna Baszler, Io Shirai, Bianca Belair & Kay Lee Ray)

The men's WarGames match will see Team Ciampa (Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic, and a partner) face The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish). The final member of Team Ciampa is being kept as a surprise heading into tonight.

Both heel teams will have the WarGames advantage after Shirai and Cole's respective ladder match wins over Yim and Dijakovic.

Matt Riddle was originally announced for Team Ciampa but will face Finn Balor tonight instead. Balor was supposed to wrestle Johnny Gargano, who is out with an injury. There will also be a triple threat match with Survivor Series implications. Pete Dunne, Damian Priest, and Killian Dain will face off, with the winner challenging for Cole's NXT Championship on Sunday.

Isaiah "Swerve" Scott vs. Angel Garza is set for tonight's pre-show. The pre-show begins at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, with the main card starting a half hour later.

**********

Pre-show:

Charly Caruso, Pat McAfee (in shorts) and Sam Roberts opened and discussed the show on the ramp. They showed a clip of Mia Yim in Bull Nakano-inspired makeup and sitting on the floor. She’d been attacked by someone backstage. Rhea Ripley and Candace LeRae were upset by the attack. McAfee accidentally called Ripley “Rhea Shipley” so some fans started booing him.

Angel Garza defeated Isaiah Scott

Scott did a handstand somersault onto the apron to the floor, then landed a frankensteiner on Garza onto the floor early on. Scott dominated much of this until Garza reversed a crossbody attempt from "Swerve." This was flubbed a bit but they recovered. Garza lifted Taichi's "whp off my pants to reveal short trunks" spot and then superkicked Scott. The crowd reacted to it but I'm not sure if they were all cheering for that, necessarily. The referee here yelled "Stay down!" and mumbled something about a replay, because on TV they then showed a replay of the Taichi spot. Later, Garza used a cool reverse slingshot suplex. 

When Scott locked on a half-nelson onto Garza the referee shouted "hard cam!" Garza got a nearfall after a modified slingshot Liger Bomb, like if Bandido's 21 Plex was reversed, sort of. "Stay down!" shouted the ref. Scott planted Garza hard onto the apron with a Death Valley Bomb, then a diving stomp off the apron while Garza was on the floor. Scott landed a close nearfall after a low angle jumpkick. The crowd finally started getting it into here. Scott blocked a low blow attempt from Garza, who then Garza landed one of the most nonsensical moves I've seen this year, a double-armed jumping ... thing. He just jumped up in the air and did a sitout while lifting Swerve up with him. This had a flat finish, with the win going to Garza, the weaker looking wrestler of the two, oddly enough. Scott did what he could. The referee sounded like he was directing the match based on how many times we heard him during this one.

Next up more from Pat McAfee, Sam Roberts and Charly Caruso. They had Roberts act like he seriously doubted Matt Riddle in his match against Finn Balor later tonight. McAfee disagreed in kayfabe and snuck in a plug for WWE's new podcast with Corey Graves. 

They cut back to an injured Mia Yim heading into an ambulance. Rhea Ripley then convinced a dubious Dakota Kai to replace Yim in the War Games match. Sam Roberts called this a "bottom of the barrell pick." McAfee defended while Caruso mediated. 

**********

As Pat McAfee ran through the crowd during the show introduction, he explained that they audience themselves might steal the show tonight and prove that NXT is the best brand, exactly what wrestling fans have been clamoring for.

Rhea Ripley, Candace LeRae, Dakota Kai, & Tegan Knox defeated Bianca Belair, Kay Lee Ray, Io Shirai, & Shayna Baszler in a WarGames match

Dakota Kai was sold on commentary as the breakout star before the match, this being her big chance to redeem herself against her past losses against Baszler, but the crowd had made up their choice on who the star of this match really was: Io Shirai, who got the biggest reaction of everyone during the pre-match entrances.

Shirai and LeRae were in first and had a quick, fiery brawl. Pockets of the crowd were behind LeRae. Shirai used two 619s between the two rings. She later walked from one top rope to the other top rope in the other ring and did a missile dropkick. The "Let's go Io!" chants were really loud, but chants for LeRae were still there scattered among the audience. Shirai used her knee to smash LeRae's face into the mesh of the cage before the next competitor was up to join this first-ever women's WarGames match—but no one came out. The crowd started chanting "Fix the clock!" Finally, Bianca Belair made her way, somehow, into the ring. She did a standing shooting star press early on in her time in the cage. LeRae mustered up some power and fought both back with open palm strikes, but Belair brutalized her with three consectuive power bombs, the last one into the cage wall. The crowd ate that spot up. Shirai ran the ropes at full-speed about seven times before landing a basement dropkick into LeRae's face before Rhea Ripley could get into the match. The crowd lost it, then lost it some more when Ripley went under the ring before entering the match to grab "trucculent toys," as Mauro Ranallo put it. She grabbed pretty much every Wrestling Weapon except tables; or what the crowd was chanting for loudly. They chanted "Rhea's gonna kill you" after Ripley spiked Belair onto a trash can. Kay Lee Ray was in next and grabbed a couple chairs of her own from under the ring. She teased grabbing a table but opted not to, to the disappointment of the crowd. Nice heel move. 

They did a Tower of Doom spot onto chairs, which elicited "N-X-T" chants. Dakota Kai was in next. As her tag partner, Tegan Nox, cheered her on, Kai's facial expression changed and she ran at Nox, inside the cage, and blasted her with a running kenka kick. The crowd chanted "holy sh*t." Steven Regal came out and she shoved him. She started smashing Nox's injured leg into the birdcage holding her team. Kai went completely ballistic and came off great.

Baszler was cracking up in her birdcage before she was let into the ring next. She checked out Nox being looked over by officials as she strutted to the ring. "This match is over," announcer Nigel McGuiness proclaimed. This worked really well. 

Back in the ring, LeRae and Ripley were beat on for a while by the heel team but eventually made a Hail Mary comeback with trash lids. Belair press slammed LeRae out of one ring and into the other onto Ripley, then Kay Lee Ray hit her Gory Bomb finish and Shirai landed a moonsault. Ripley broke up the very close two-count. Belair started whipping Ripley with her ponytail, so LeRae saved Ripley and tok Belair out with a kendo stick. Belair's sell of this was great. Shirai went to the top of the cage and LeRae chased after her, whom Ray then chased after. LeRae landed a Super Reverse Frankensteiner off the top to Ray for two. Pretty crazy looking. This left Shirai alone atop the cage, where she then stuck a 10/10 moonsault onto both LeRae and Belair. Ranallo made one of his best calls of the year here: "MAMA F'N MIA! COME ON!" The crowd who was on board with Io Shirai even before she was in the ring tonight had just landed what'll probably be the one of the highlights of the weekend. The crowd lost it, but they chanted "N-X-T." Only a few of the girls in the match were NXT school trainees.

Later, Ray tried diving onto Ripley, hopping from one ring to the other, but Ripley caught her with a garbage can shot. Baszley saw her chance and sunk in the Kirafuda Clutch. It was pretty much there until Ripley handcuffed herself to Baszley, knee'd her in the face, then used Riptide through two unfolded chairs for the emphatic pin. Excellent match, and up there with one of the best WarGames matches in a long time. Everyone played a role and shined in it. The rest of the card has to bring their A-game after this one.

Pete Dunne defeated Damian Priest and Killian Dane in a three-way match

Dane, arguably the most impressive of this match, did a huge running cross-body block, then a Michinoku Driver II to Dunne right onto, or into, Priest's face. "The Great Dane" did a combo fall-away slam/Samoan drop to both Priest and Dunne on the floor. 

Dunne fired the crowd up midway through when he ran through a sequence that saw him take out each Dane and Priest one by one. The latter two used Dunne's attack to form a very brief alliance, and the two began teeing off on each other until Dunne came back again. The Chicago crowd was very into Pete Dunne tonight; Ranallo noted earlier that it was actually where he won the WWE NXT UK title from Tyler Bate two years ago.

On the floor is where Priest lifted Dunne up and Razor's Edge'd him onto (note: not through) the Spanish announce table. Killian Dane followed up with a tope suicida into Priest on the floor, then dove into Priest with a rolling senton, both crashing through the NXT barricade near ringside. The crowd chanted "holy sh*t" for that.

Back in the ring, Priest lifted Dane into a walking Razor's Edge that was broken up by Dunne, who'd recovered from his own Razor's Edge. The roar Priest let out before this spot was so loud it popped the crowd. Dunne made another comeback after breaking up the pin. At one point, he whipped Priest into a corner but the billed-as 6'7" Priest did a dive over the corner onto Dane. Pete Dunne followed with an Orihara moonsault from the second rope to the floor. The crowd clapped but didn't react like they did to Io Shirai's moonsault in the match prior.

Dunne flipped himself into the cross-arm breaker, this time on Priest, who tried breaking the submission with a rope break. The ref mumbled something about "minutes" that we couldn't fully make out. The match lost a ton of air during the final stretch, and the crowd would clap and chant for Dunne every few minutes. There was another peak toward the end that saw Priest go on a tear and land two spinning roundhouse kicks to both guys. Dunne cracked both Dane's and Priest's fingers on the top rope, then he superplexed Dane. Dunne landed the Bitter End on Priest for two. When Dunne put Dane in a sleeper, Dane used a Samoan drop-type of move to shake Dunne off, but since Dane landed on Priest, Dunn shoved Dane out of the way and pinned Priest for the win. Pete Dunne gets his title shot at Survivor Series. The crowd reacted positively to the finish, but the last few minutes were a slog because of how quick the pace was at the top. Even still, it was good, but not great.

Finn Balor defeated Matt Riddle

Fans did the parody Goldberg chants, "Riiii-ddle, Riiii-ddle." They took their time at the top and went hold for hold on the mat. It felt like a much-needed breath of air after the first two matches.

Balor controlled much of the pace in the beginning of this. A few minutes in, he used a running dropkick through the ropes and blasted Riddle in the face with one foot, it looked brutal on the replay. Colt Cabana calls that the "spicy dropkick" spot. They kicked up the tempo when Riddle made a comeback, a series of signature kicks and forearms. Balor countered with a flying forearm on Riddle. They went back and forth; Riddle returned with a V-Trigger and German suplex for two. The crowd was loud behind Riddle. He used a ripcord V-Trigger and went for a power bomb that Balor reveresed with a double stomp and a picture-perfect slingblade. Riddle returned Balor's next attack with a spear, then used a Jackhammer for two. He put out Balor after the Bro 2 Sleep, but too much time passed as Riddle set Balor up for the Floating Bro; Balor got his knees up, landed a running shotgun dropkick at Riddle in the corner. Balor went for the diving double stomp from the top but Riddle rolled out of the way, then locked on the Bro-mission. Balor rolled backwards on the mat, slipping out of Riddle's 10th Planet-inspired submission, then broke out of the hold and spiked Riddle with the 1916 DDT to win this tremendous match. Balor hasn't looked better in a long time. Not the best of the night but very good stuff here. 

Dominik Dijakovic, Keith Lee, Tomasso Ciampa and Kevin Owens defeated The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish) in a WarGames match

Tomasso Ciampa came out in some sort of Casey Jones-inspired mask, the vigilante character from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He had some war paint on especially for tonight's match. He and Roderick Stong were the first two in for their teams. Ciampa was fired up and cursed a lot, not at anyone in particular, just in amp-ment ahead of the match. The two brawled for the first five minutes. Kyle O'Reilly was in next and started using Muay Thai kicks on Ciampa. Anyone who watched ROH in 2012 were having deja vu at this point. Dijakovic was in next and cleaned house. He took Strong out with a kenka kick, then just went back and forth taking out O'Reilly and Strong until Bobby Fish came into the match. Fish and Dijakovic went at it for a while. Fish helped the Undisputed Era gain their leverage back in the match. At one point Strong mocked Dijakovic and said "Feast your eyes, dork!" on camera. Keith Lee was in next and took out Fish and O'Reilly with a leapfrog-dropdown-cross-body combination, like Don Leo Jonathan for the new age. Roderick Strong took Lee out rather quickly with a running dropkick. Ciampa rescued Lee but ended up pummeled by UE, giving Lee recoervy time. Adam Cole was last in for his team. Before he went in, he pulled some tables out under the ring, slid one inside the cage, one upright against, plunder abounded, etc. and so on. Was it Cole who got the pop, or just the table itself, the idea of table usage? The crowd loved it. Ciampa shoved Cole from the ring steps as Cole was entering the ring and Cole went through the aforementioned table. It looked violent. When everyone was back in the ring, the four UE members begged off as Ciampa, Lee and Dijakovic stalked them until all members got into a donnybrook. The crowd chanted "N-X-T." Fish landed a low blow on Lee before he could do a move. There was a countdown next but no one came out for about 20–30 seconds until Kevin Owens came out. "Holy bleep, holy bleep!" Ranallo shouted., verbatim. Having ROH circa early 2000s deja vu again over here. He spiked every member but Cole with a suplex or a power bomb of some kind. He saved a "suck it" for Cole and gave him a stunner for a two-count. Dijakovic and Lee tried throwing Strong into the second ring but they sort of dropped him, but Strong somehow landed through the ropes into the other ring anyway. Owens shook the cage because he was really, really excited. I think it's easy to tell when Owens likes or dislikes an angle, since when he likes an angle he goes full throttle, like this. Everyone set up tables in both rings. Lee did a cross-body onto everyone in the ring and for some reason I thought it felt really flat. The way the show was being shot, from atop the cage, made it more obvious to see the guys all migating to one spot together at the same time to catch him. Everyone cycled through their high spots next, aerial move after aerial move after finisher after high spot, that sort of rhythm. Roddy Strong did an Olympic Slam from the top rope to Lee which looked great. Lee and O'Reilly smashed Lee with knee strikes. Owens and Cole fought in between the two rings on that long plate of steel, and the spot finished with Cole struggling to reverse a back body drop into a Panama Sunrise on the steel plate. "Holy sh*t" chant for that one. Owens looked liked he landed on top of his head. Ciampa ran wild with running knees and blasted Redragon first, with Cole next up for some knee action from NXT's "Daddy." A few minutes later, Dijakovic put Fish through a table with a chokeslam. He tried doing the same to O'Reilly who reversed it with a triangle choke until Owens frog-splashed him through a table. Lee then power bombed Owens from the top rope and took him out of the match.

Earlier, I implied that Io Shirai's moonsault off the cage would be the highlight of the weekend clip of the weekend. That's wrong. The finish to this match saw Cole and Ciampa struggle on top of the cage until Ciampa, balancing himself with the chains holding the structure upright, wrestled Cole onto his back like a sack of potatoes and landed a Kryptonite Krunch from the heavens. It looked great. They landed flush through two tables, and Ciampa pinned Cole for the win. Production almost immediately cut to a shocked Britt Baker. The NXT members celebrated in the ring together as Ciampa's music played before the broadcast closed.

Final thoughts:

This was a good show that exploded for the first hour or so and lost momentum as it went on. It's hard to keep up on car-crash style shows like this, especially when the all of the car-crash style matches are good, even great. The women's WarGames match was the most exciting of the night. It had the most interesting and relevatory drama of the night, maybe aside from Kevin Owens return, plus it was the only match that truly had a grudge match spirit. Some could argue that the Dakota Kai heel turn was predictable, but this was the good kind, and with another wrestler this might not have possiby worked, but Kai killed it on her part. That part of the match worked really well in a variety of ways. Io Shirai sounded like the most popular wrestler in the match, and one of the most popular in the company. She shined tonight. Baszler is a superstar heel. Rhea Ripley is right in there as well. Bianca Belair and Candace LeRae, they were equally stellar. You could feel that everyone involved in the match wanted to knock it out of the park.

Almost equally as good was Finn Balor vs. Matt Riddle. This probably should have gone on second, actually. I'd argue that this was both Balor's and Riddle's best WWE match up to this point. Balor was phenomenal and Riddle needed someone with the same level of talent but with a touch more of experience to produce such a perfectly balanced match. 

Kevin Owens was a big surprise in the main event and changed the tone of the match from decent cage brawl to something a little more special, and made that way because of how hyped the crowd got for him. He, Cole and Ciampa, especially Ciampa, were the stand-outs. Everyone in the match was very good but Ciampa is on another level, but Cole, too, with all of the exposure he's gotten lately from WWE's main brand shows.