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WWE NXT TakeOver: War Games review, recap, grades: Raw superstar makes surprise appearance in main event

WWE NXT TakeOver: War Games review, recap, grades
Tommaso Ciampa and Adam Cole at NXT TakeOver: War Games. Pic credit: WWE

This is a big week for NXT. The brand appeared on Raw, SmackDown and their own show. Tonight is the NXT TakeOver: War Games PPV and tomorrow night, they will also be at Survivor Series.

Here is a look at the recap, review, and grades for NXT TakeOver: War Games.

WWE NXT Women’s War Games Match

Rhea Ripley, Candice LaRae, Tegan Nox, Dakota Kai  vs. Shayna Baszler, Bianca Belair, Kay Lee Ray, Io Shurai

This is a four-on-four match. For those who never saw a War Games match, two people start off in the ring and someone from each team joins at five-minute intervals, which means at times there is a disadvantage.

Io Sharai and Candice LeRae started off the match. Bianca Belair was the next to enter the ring for Team Baszler.

Next was Rhea Ripley and she brought three trash cans into the ring before smashing Belair in the face with the cage door. She then brought in kendo sticks and steel chairs.

This caused the next person to come in quicker and it was Kay Lee Ray, the U.K. Champion, who came out and brought in chairs of her own. The fans wanted a table and she teased it but then refused to get heel heat.

The next member of Team Ripley to come in was Dakota Kai, but she never went into the ring.

Instead, she turned around and attacked her best friend Tegan Nox. She brutalized Nox, injuring her knee severely and this means that it might end up a 4-on-2 WarGames match if Nox can’t make it in.

William Regal came out to stop her and she hit him before leaving. Kai then ran back in and attacked Nox’s leg again.

Shayna Baszler was in next and it is 4-on-2 now. Shayna is hilarious as she slowly walks down to the cages.

Baszler has handcuffs that she puts on Rhea Ripley. Candice and Ripley won’t give up.

Baszler locked in her knockout submission but Ripley was able to stop it by taking those handcuffs that Baszler put on her earlier, locking the other side onto Shayna, and then slamming her through the chairs for the three count.

This was an amazing underdog story and Rhea Ripley is a beast.

Winners: Team Rhea Ripley (**** 1/2)

Number One Contender Match

Damien Priest vs. Pete Dunne vs. Killian Dain

The winner fights Adam Cole for the NXT title tomorrow night at WWE Survivor Series.

Most of this match was average at best. The three wrestlers spent a lot of time setting up their moves and most of the problems lie at the inexperienced feet of Killian Dain.

Possibly the most impressive move of the match was when Damien Priest lifted Killian Dain onto his shoulders and walked across the ring to his the Razor’s Edge.

They can’t be discounted for not trying, though. They threw themselves all over the place. The end was interesting as Dain hit a back slam to Dunne onto Priest but that allowed Dunn to hold that spot and pin Priest.

Considering the winner gets the title shot against Adam Cole, the right man won.

Winner: Pete Dunne (** 1/2)

Matt Riddle vs. Finn Balor

This was supposed to be Johnny Gargano vs. Finn Balor, but JOhnny’s injury caused Riddle to step in to take his place.

Finn Balor is normal. No demon here, which makes sense because he is the cocky heel now.

The two put on a hard-hitting match. A highlight included Matt Riddle hitting the spear and then the Jackhammer, both of which were in response to Bill Goldberg, who Riddle has talked crap about in recent months.

Riddle hit the Bro to Sleep and the Floating Bro but missed on the high flying move and Balor came back. However, Balor missed the coup de gras and then Riddle locked in his choke, which Balor escaped from.

Balor then hit the 1960 DDT and got the win.

Winner: Finn Balor (*** 1/2)

Men’s War Games Match

The Undisputed Era vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic, ???

Heading into the match, no one knew who the fourth man on Tommaso Ciampa’s team would be.

Ciampa came out and walked straight to the ring, making it clear he was going to fight the entire match. Roddy Strong agreed to come to the ring first for Undisputed Era.

A fourth member of Team Ciampa did not come out when the match started.

The Undisputed Era has the advantage and the second man is Kyle O’Reilly. The second man to enter for Team Ciampa was Dijakovic.

Bobby Fish was in next. It is interesting that team captain Ciampa wanted to go first but team captain Adam Cole waited to the end. That made Keith Lee next, and he is just amazing.

Adam Cole then came in and brought five tables in with him. He also set up one table outside the ring and Ciampa sent him through it.

That made it a 4-on-3 advantage for The Undisputed Era, but it seemed even regardless until Fish hit Keith Lee in the nuts.

The time started ticking down and The Undispityed Era watched the entrance and then Kevin Owens’ music started and KO made his return to NXT!

These guys brought all the fight. The faces put the heels through all the tables except for the team captains, as Tommaso Ciampa and Adam Cole fought on top of the cage.

Then, Ciampa picked up Cole from the top of the cage and put Cole through two tables with the Super Air Raid Crash (Dr. Britt Baker from AEW was shown in the audience in shock — she is Cole’s girlfriend).

That final move was ridiculous.

Winners: Team Ciampa (*****)

WWE NXT airs every Wednesday night at 8/7c on USA Network.


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