WWE NXT WAR GAMES 2020

All the action of War Games and my thoughts

WWE NXT WAR GAMES 2020

It's time, this is your WAR GAMES review! Nice vignette with William Regal and his signature shout and a package showing what is coming. This should be interesting, at Real Rasslin I think it's safe to say we all struggled to predict this, if you haven't already do check that video out, it is mine and Kyle's debut on the podcasts.

WWE NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2020 Results, Viewing Party & More

Image courtesy of Wrestling News

Womens War Games Match Team Shotzi vs Team Candice
So we kick this off with the womens war games match. Dakota Kai is chosen to start. This was a great choice in my opinion. As was said on NXT "Resilience" is up first. Shotzi arrives in a new tank, looks epic and a nerf gun is a top it which she fires at Dakota Kai, who sells it like a soldier. Ember Moon to start the match, after Shotzi seemed set to go. Dakota baits Ember to come over to her side and a sleeper is locked in. Ember manages to roll and throw her off. Kai takes the momentum back and presses Ember into the cage. Ember later suplexes Kai into the cage then a crossbody to squash her to it. Great back and forth between these two as we wait for Shotzi's advantage.


As Shotzi enters she grabs some "tools" including a crowbar and is met by Kai who takes a fair bit of a punishment. Definitely can see Dakota Kai's plucky attitude here. A nice snap suplex into the turnbuckle, a nice double team follows by Shotzi and Ember. Cue Raquel Gonzalez entering the match, smart move by Team Candice. Gonzalez is double teamed but it proves ineffective as Gonzalez dominates the two which gives Kai time to recover. I feel like this was the turning point in the match. A great spot as Kai is assisted to dive from the top rope, springboard clothesline to both.
Then Rhea Ripley joins the fray and Gonzalez is saying "I've been waiting for this" Rhea dominates Kai while Ember and Shotzi double team Gonzalez, some nice moves. Rhea pulls out a sledgehammer. This was a sore point for me as I always feel this is meant to be an ending move not a middle of the match thing for me. Finally we get the face off between the two big powerhouses.


It's Toni Time as Toni Storm runs to the ring, picking up kendo sticks on her way in. she helps Gonzalez double team Rhea and keeps trying to reveal the steel on a turnbuckle. Rhea unfortunately ends up feeling the brunt of that. Team Candice are in full control of the match at this point, everyone is in the middle. Two big double team moves from the top into each ring.


Io is next in and our final member of team Shotzi, she looks to add a ladder first of all. Gonzalez closes the door though and I did wonder why Io put a kendo stick through for her to cause damage to Io, 2nd attempt for Io to get in, results in a ladder thrusting Io out into the barricade. Io bringing more weapons in still. Gonzalez takes a break from punishing the others to block Io, this is great, but equally annoying for me as I want Io to get in. Io tries to climb the cage instead, the countdown begins for Candice to enter the match, interesting way to go with this match.


Indi Hartwell turns up and attacks Io as Candice enters the fray. Indi locks the cage, hiding the key down her top. I think I felt this was the point Candice's team had this in the bag. I was watching with our quizmaster in chat and he was of the opposite opinion. Then it is revealed why. Candice tries to pin Shotzi but the referee refuses to count. Cue Io Shirai, genius of the sky, with a trash can, putting it on her head and diving in to the action, this was pardon the pun, genius! Io uses the sledgehammer, again not a fan of the amount this is used as it's unrealistic in my opinion. Team Shotzi team up on Gonzalez, this was brilliant, definitely needed and adds to the ebb and flow of the match. Some great back and forth follows, double submissions which Candice has to break up, Shotzi going off with a kendo stick and Dakota Kai double stomping Shirai through the trashcan. Ember gets two chairs set up, which she hits the eclipse onto Dakota Kai, this was brutal, I commented that Kai better sell that as Indi received one and ended up in a neck brace. Stormzero was hit on a trashcan to Ember but Io breaks up the pinfall. Candice kicks a trashcan lid into Rhea Ripley then sees Shotzi stirring so goes to meet her. Candice gets a chair in the way, didn't think this was supposed to go like this but commentary seem to save it somewhat, it looked a bit sloppy. Io is climbing but Gonzalez gets hold of her stopping the hurricanrana attempt dumping her through the ladder and pinning her for the win! 


This match was so good. back and forth was great, main criticism was the use of a sledgehammer, though I remember commenting that Gonzalez did appear to sell it somewhat. Going to be hard to top this match, sets up nicely for a title shot for Gonzalez maybe? Though I'm not keen on the idea of Gonzalez vs Io in fairness.


Winners Team Candice


Video with Finn Balor, saying enjoy War Games, this Wednesday all eyes go back on The Prince. 
Undsiputed Era and Pat McAfee's team shown arriving earlier today. 


Tommaso Ciampa vs Timothy Thatcher
Tommaso debuts a new look, kind of reminds me of Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. Good grappling in the early going with them feeling each other out. Thatcher takes control, but Ciampa escapes and this becomes somewhat a pattern early on, commentary stating Ciampa might not want to get into this mat grappling scenario and I have to say I agree. Ciampa is heavy hitting and Thatcher appears to be countering it with technical prowess. Referee checks on Ciampa and Thatcher is straight back in, near fall after a suplex. Submission on Ciampa is broken by him grabbing the ropes with his feet but Thatcher manages to keep on the offense, looking strong. Thatcher covers Ciampa but has his foot in the ropes, not sure about this call, but Thatcher seems non-plussed and continues the punishment. Ciampa starts to battle back but it doesn't last. Ciampa does a lovely counter using his strength to drop Thatcher with the full weight of his body, great selling by Thatcher here. They trade blows while holding hands, keeping each other up I guess. Ciampa gets back in control, with a series of clotheslines, then hits a superplex off the top, near fall. Thatchers ends up locking in the gromit but Ciampa throws the two of them to the outside, great escape. Ciampa just breaks the count and joins Thatcher in the ring. Big knee from Ciampa and then he grounds Ciampa squeezing the air out of him, we notice Thatcher is bleeding from his ear. Thatcher reminding me of Foley with his sadistic smile at this point. Thatcher follows Ciampa to the ring apron and attempts to grab him, the two battle, I'm pretty sure I am calling for Widows Bell at this point, but the two continue back in to the ring, Thatcher reverses it. Ciampa does a backslide but too near the ropes, lots of chops follow next, a sleeper next but when the ref starts to count for a break Widows Bell! called it. Ciampa gets the win.

 
Really didn't see this win coming but glad it did, great back and forth, expect this might continue a little longer this feud, but who knows. The stare down could mean respect is forming or the opposite. They went to war and Ciampa came out on top.


Winner Tommaso Ciampa


Build for what's coming up later, Priest, Gargano and Leon Ruff are shown backstage warming up for their title match later.

A package is shown of the feud between Cameron Grimes and Dexter Lumis, very nicely put together. Loved this feud and all the build.


Cameron Grimes vs Dexter Lumis
While Dexter Lumis is heading to the ring Barrett comments on Grimes being a high flyer, what? Bit of a strange comment for me that. Grimes comes down to the ring with his own strap and wants to make sure that is the one that is used. Grimes pulls the strap away when the referee goes to strap Lumis in. Then he attacks Lumis after apologising for his theatrics. Genius from Grimes here, the match won't start til they are both strapped in but he can punish Lumis for a bit first. They have a short spell outside the ring and then return to the ring where Lumis eventually fights back, a thesz press and then straps himself in. Grimes tries to escape but Lumis mantains control of the match. Grimes then lures Lumis outside and tries to climb the barricade, Lumis pulls him back in, thrust to the throat. Lumis uses the strap to hurl Grimes into the barricades. Grimes manages to dump Lumis over the barricade to allow him to recuperate. Then we see Lumis' hands come over the barricade, Grimes however manages to stay in control. Grimes keeps putting the strap over the eyes, he finds the other strap and uses the bag it's in and puts it over Lumis to blind him. Great callback to their Blindfold match on NXT and the build surrounding Grimes fear of Lumis. He beats Lumis down with the 2nd strap but Lumis manages to spinebuster him, great turning point. Lumis ties Grimes up using the strap round the turnbuckle, really innovative stuff but feel like it was too short lived to matter. Grimes is looking really good against Lumis in this match with commentary highlighting this as Lumis pulls him to the outside. Lumis then beats him with the strap inside the ring. Grimes hits a great german suplex into the turnbuckle. Following this Grimes grabs a chair and beats Lumis, who appears to be playing possum as he hits a fallaway slam and looks to take control of the match Grimes manages to use the strap to twist it back in his favour and hits his spanish fly looking powerslam, even our quizmaster P-Nut was impressed with this. Near fall and Grimes returns to the strap beating Lumis down, Lumis reverses and ends up tying Grimes in the strap at the legs. He then locks in his Anaconda Vice for the win.


Great match, but a bit disappointed Grimes didn't win, but I guess Lumis might benefit more from the win here. I thought Grimes still looked good and Lumis could be due a push for a title soon.

Winner Dexter Lumis

Mens War Games competitors shown backstage warming up, both teams look to be getting hyped. 
The lights start to flicker and a vulture and a clock are pictured, my guess is Karrion Kross is cleared to return to action, will we see him tonight or wednesday? Who knows.
Video package showing what has happened leading up to tonights North American title match. Including Ruff's win and his defense vs Gargano with Priest's interference. I highly recommend the Kevin Owens show from this run too, great segment.


North American Title - Leon Ruff(c) vs Johnny Gargano vs Damien Priest 
Priest moves Leon Ruff out of the way and walks into a superkick by Gargano who tries to make quick work of Leon Ruff, but Ruff isn't going to go down so easy, he uses his speed to his advantage, then he stomps Gargano in the corner before Priest comes over and throws him aside, Ruff returns to the ring and Priest isn't happy, they have a back on forth with some evasive action but Priest ends up catching Ruff and is in control as Gargano also gets caught but Gargano manages to turn the tables and calls for Ruff to help him.  They put Priest to the outside, Gargano then baits Ruff in by holding Priest for an attack. He then dives in and cuts Ruff off with a great spear through the ropes. Personally I think this was genius. Priest beats down Gargano but Ruff ends up jumping at Priest who catches him and tells him to get out of his way, Leon saying he's not a joke and then a Razor's Edge through the barricade puts Ruff out for the time being. Great way of giving Gargano and Priest a bit of time to themselves. Gargano hits a DDT, swinging using the stage. The action returns to the ring and Priest is too strong and avoids the final beat. Priest tries to hit the double claps but Gargano evades them and hits a slicebread(vic josephs call) near fall fails to keep Priest down and the back and forth that follows is nice, a clubbing clothesline takes Gargano down. Priest is on all fours as we see Ruff running down hitting a springboard dive into Gargano off of Priest. I feel for Leon Ruff, his style and underdog status here is lost in our current "Quiet Era" of the wrestling. He then hits an amazing cutter and only gets a near fall, this would have popped so hard with a live crowd. This is where I would've ended it, such a great move. Gargano then takes control, but Ruff bounces off the ropes with a clothesline, he ascends to the top but Priest is stood in the ring, he jumps and lands with a roll through but eventually Priest catches them both and hits a two for one flatline special. They head to opposite corners and Priest takes it in turns to splash them, throwing Ruff into Gargano afterwards. Gargano then escapes the Razor's Edge and with Priest down in the corner he lawn darts Leon Ruff into him. Creative offense here. He then traps Priest in the ropes and works on Ruff, who manages  to get a near fall but the momentum shifts back to Johnny who locks on the Gargano Escape to Ruff, Priest manages to break free and break the hold. Priest looking in control with Gargano falling to the outside. Ruff looks to fight back but his clothesline has no effect. Gargano drops Ruff with a superkick, then as Priest looks to take control Ghostfaces hit the ring distracting then attacking Priest. He dispatches most of them and when he throws Gargano back into the ring Ruff sneaks a splash but only gets a near fall as Priest breaks it up. Ruff trying to fight Priest but it is not happening and he is dispatched quickly. Gargano gets taken down then Priest goes for The Reckoning but a ghostface hits Priest with a pipe. Then Ruff tries a roll up but Gargano escapes. He hits a superkick and one final beat for the win.


Great match, think this was the smart move, outside of keeping the title on Leon Ruff, Gargano was genius throughout and it builds this Gargano way stable we might be getting. I feel for Priest but hopefully he is moving up from this title picture not being shelved. Austin Theory was then revealed to be behind the ghost mask. Not sure how I feel about this. Austin Theory has been in so many groups and hes not really getting anywhere wherever he goes for me, but i'm intrigued.

Winner Johnny Gargano

Image courtesy of Wrestlezone


NXT New Year's Evil is announced, not on New Years Eve though which feels like a missed trick especially with the world in crisis. Great name for it though don't ya think?
More hype for the Mens War Games match plays out.


Mens War Games Match Team Pat McAfee vs Undisputed Era
Before we get started can I just ask why Undisputed Era is wearing red? It doesn't suit them for me. Is it some weird decision based on them potentially turning face? 
Kyle O'Reilly and Pete Dunne to start, great choices, might have picked Strong for Undisputed Era but yeah makes sense. The two lock up and put on a great display in the early going, they clearly know each other well. Barrett commenting it's like a chess match and I have to agree, two technical wizards in the ring here. Dunne hits his signature double stomp followed by a kick to the head. O'Reilly trying to put Dunne to sleep but the two continue to battle it out. Oney Lorcan is next to head to the ring. Pat looked to want to get inolved but then Oney backed him up. Oney gets his offense in even with him on his usual fast paced schtick was able to avoid a counter from O'Reilly and then him and Dunne keep the pressure on. O'Reilly manages to dragon screw both guys in the middle of the rings, makes a move to climb out of the way but has to fend off Dunne before he can hit a knee to Lorcan, Dunne then pinpoints the leg with a beautiful dropkick to take control back. Lorcan and Dunne both get a submission on O'Reilly and we count down to Undisputed Era getting reinforcements.

Bobby Fish heads straight to the ring. He seems to explode into action, more than he usually does. A bit of double team action on Lorcan then when Dunne gets involved they manage to do the same to him. Undisputed Era in control as commentary reminds us who gets the next man, they need to make it count. O'Reilly has Lorcan in a submission and Fish is struggling with Dunne having him pinned to the cage. Burch enters the ring throwing a bag in which turns out to be cricket bats. Barrett exclaiming and commenting on how heavy it is in comparison to a baseball bat. Pete Dunne rescues Burch as he is in a knee submission hold by O'Reilly. Dunne uses the cricket bat to add extra pressure to a hold on O'Reilly, Fish tries to help out but is beaten down. Cue Roderick Strong entering the fray. He is immediately bulldozed upon entry but eventually he rallies. With his opponents all set up in a line in the middle of the ring he runs a gauntlet beating them all as he goes. This made me chuckle. The numbers then catch up with Strong and I feel Undisputed Era are lacking in intelligence here, as we know they could easily turn this match around but are getting dominated here, seemingly with ease. Pat is walking down to the ring and heads under the ring and grabs a table labelled for Fish with the Undisputed Era logo on it, followed by others for the other members. This was a nice touch and I expect someone is going to put a member of Pat McAfee's team through their table. Now Pat just sits and watches as his team take care of business. Pat then hits a moonsault on Strong through his table, one down three to go? We see Pat tapping his own back, a trademark of Ciampa, he doesn't look as good doing it either.

Adam Cole heads to the ring and genius as he is grabs a chair with the Undisputed Era logo on it and then a fire extinguisher which he uses to blind Pat and his merry men to get in to the ring, brilliant! He dispatches everyone except Pat and looks to get his hands on him but Pete Dunne is somehow able to get between them. They slug it out in the centre, which Dunne appears to win but Cole counters the Bitter End into a DDT. As Dunne is snapping fingers on Cole, O'Reilly blasts him with a chair from behind. Next he turns to Pat and calls him out, Pat asks for him to drop the chair which Kyle does, but Cole picks it up and smashes Pat as he advances on O'Reilly. Cole then starts beating down Pat and it breaks out into a full on brawl with everyone pairing off. Dunne escapes his opponent and attacks Fish, then there is a battle with Strong and O'Reilly getting some double team action in. O'Reilly then takes a bit of double team action from the tag champs, before Cole intervenes. Cole is then chopped down by Pat McAfee, ideal move for Pat, it suits him. He sets up the figure four leg lock after a little wooooo!

Everyone else is fended off but Cole manages to reverse it and Pete Dunne is held off for a while before he manages to break it. Lorcan and Burch look to setup a table, the one marked for Adam Cole. Back and forth action between them, Fish and Strong all four go down. Cole and Dunne are in a battle, Cole gets a near fall and Beth gives Dunne props for his performance. Cole sets up the table meant for O'Reilly, kind of opposite the one for Cole, which is actually where the action ends up heading. Burch and Dunne eventually after a bit of extra oomph end up getting put through that table. Then Adam Cole throws Pat through the table, he looks to hit hard with his head. I can imagine the majority of the wrestling world will be happy about that. Undisputed Era have everyone but Pat trapped against the cage and take turns running into them. Pat shows up again and is cornered by Undisputed Era, who beat him down, they bounce him off the corners of the cage, trash talking as they go. Cole looks to hit Pat's kick but is interrupted by Pete Dunne. Double team attempt by Lorcan and Burch but O'Reilly saves Fish. Dunne and Cole battling up top on one side Dunne takes a neckbreaker from Cole after struggling to keep himself steady. Then Strong on the otherside superplexes Pat into the ring.

There is then a scrum like stand off but it is revealed that Pat is up on top of the cage and he dives into the ring onto them all. This is always going to be a memorable moment for him, don't see the point myself but I guess it is what it is. O'Reilly and Dunne are slugging it out, the two who started it all, Dunne pulling at the fingers but it's reversed into an arm breaker then Dunne hits the Bitter End but near fall, the resilience of O'Reilly showing through here. Dunne looks to finish him in the middle of the ring but O'Reilly reverses and Dunne hits hard onto the steel. O'Reilly sets up a chair and drags Dunne to it, he heads up top but Pat comes for the save with a chair, he then eyes up Adam Cole and as he looks to strike with the chair, Pat hits the low blow. Not his finest moment, Cole doesn't sell it too much and superkicks Burch into the path of Bobby Fish who puts him through the table marked for him, great stuff. Pat superkicks Cole and attempts to steal the Panama Sunrise, but is superkicked himself. Cole hits the Panama Sunrise but Pat kicks out, what?! Oney Lorcan then saves Pat from the last shot. Dunne then steps in hits the Bitter End onto the chair, brutal move. Strong is able to save it, hits Dunne with a backbreaker and Kyle O'Reilly drops his knee to Lorcan with a chair involved and there is the 1, 2, 3.
I must admit, I originally thought this wasn't as good as the Womens War Games match, but I think because the finish was so good, it definitely ties it. I appreciated it more watching it the second time round. There were some great spots, the commentary was on point and I think we can expect an Undisputed Era tag team title match coming soon. This is just the beginning for this war if you ask me!


Winners Undisputed Era


So what did you think of this PPV? I really enjoyed it but I still wish we had main title matches, I was gutted I only got one prediction right, but I can totally see why and think everyone looked strong in defeat. I am intrigued to see what happens with Finn and Karrion Kross going forward amongst others, just because the roster is stacked and I can't predict how it will pan out. Do you think Kross gets his title shot or should he have to earn it? How about the North American title, will Gargano break his curse, is this the start of a Gargano Mafia faction? Let us know in the comments and thanks for reading.