Back in 2017, NXT shocked a lot of wrestling fans by announcing the WarGames was making its WWE debut at the November Takeover, which happened to be called Takeover: WarGames. Then they had the match….and it wasn’t exactly WarGames with a weird three way format that only kind of worked. The problem was fixed the following year with a much more traditional format, but since WWE can’t keep things the same, we are up for a different format this year with TWO WarGames, including the first women’s WarGames match. The card is shorter than the usual Takeover, but that makes sense. Let’s get to it.

Pete Dunne vs. Killian Dain vs. Damien Priest

This, which was originally announced for this week’s TV, is now taking place here with the winner moving on to Survivor Series for a shot against NXT Champion Adam Cole. That could go multiple ways, but with Cole in WarGames and having wrestled in a ladder match on Wednesday, it would be a big stretch to have him lose to anyone (barring some form of interference from the Undisputed Era, which would be pretty lame).

This kept things going:

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I’ll take Dunne to win here and go on to become NXT Champion. Yeah that sounds like the easy way to go, but at the same time, Dunne is someone that could easily become a top guy. The Undisputed Era holding all four titles is not something that can last forever and after having them exposed to the main roster with so much success, how much longer can you really keep them together down in NXT? If Cole can beat Seth Rollins and Daniel Bryan, it’s a bit much to believe that he belongs in the third brand. So yeah, Dunne wins and becomes champion in my prediction almost guaranteed to go wrong.

Matt Riddle vs. Finn Balor

Riddle is taking the place of Johnny Gargano, who was injured at Balor’s hands. That’s such a major perk of NXT: they have the kind of roster where one star is out so they can just pop another one in like it’s nothing. That kind of thing is so valuable to them and almost no one can come close to doing that. There isn’t much of a personal issue here, but it’s Balor’s first major match since his heel turn and you know what that means.

Rushed can still be awesome:

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On paper, this should be Balor’s all day, but you never know what you might get. My guess is Balor, but Riddle getting one of the biggest wins of his career isn’t out of the question either. I would go with Balor winning to establish him as something bigger though, especially with the big showdown with Gargano coming sooner or later. If you have Balor lose here, what is the point in having Gargano beat him later? Balor wins here, and likely by cheating to show how he’s fully evil now.

Women’s WarGames

So this is a first and we even have the lineups set in advance for this one (Rhea Ripley/Mia Yim/Tegan Nox/Candice LeRae vs. Shayna Baszler/Io Shirai/Bianca Belair/Kay Lee Ray). This match has been built up well enough, though I’m not sure how much sense it makes to put them inside of WarGames. It would seem more suited for something like a street fight, but I’ll take what I can get. Letting them have weapons would make sense, as Shirai can certainly swing a kendo stick. I’m curious to see how this goes, but I’m not sure how well it is going to work.

This was just brutal:

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I’ll take Team Ripley to win as Ripley seems primed to be the next person to go after Baszler. She doesn’t have to beat Baszler herself, but that swinging Cloverleaf is one of the coolest looking finishers going today. Have her slap that on Belair for the win and then move on to FINALLY (and I do mean FINALLY) take the title off of Baszler. Just let everyone get some time to shine and everything should be fine.

Men’s WarGames

This one is about who will be the final member of Team Ciampa (Tommaso Ciampa/Keith Lee/Dominik Dijakovic/???) as they face the Undisputed Era. Triple H has hyped up the final member of the team being a big deal but I don’t think it’s going to be Triple H himself. The question now is who gets the big spot, which is more intriguing to me than who wins. I’m not sure who it is going to be, but that is the more fun part.

Yeah I think this will do:

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I’ll certainly take Team Ciampa to win as there is little point in having the all champions team go over here. That brings up the big question of the mystery partner and I’ll take….let’s go with Sami Zayn. It would be a surprise, the place would be rather pleased and it would fit well. Either him or Isaiah Scott, who has been treated as a big deal. Or maybe they have a fresh name coming in, though that isn’t something NXT does very often. And no, it won’t be CM Punk, even in Chicago.

Overall Thoughts

The car has one fewer match than usual but come on. It’s TWO WARGAMES matches, which has never actually happened before in any major company. They have title implications plus the question of the mystery entrant, which really could be quite a number of people. I’m excited to see the show and the fact that I’ll be in the arena has nothing to do with that, I assure you.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. His latest book is KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews.

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