WarGames In A Nutshell: Who Will Survive To Fight Sunday?

It’s time yet again for another NXT TakeOver, and this one promises us the most brutal match of the year-WarGames!

Tonight, we get history, as the women of NXT have gotten themselves their own dangerous WarGames match as well. Careful what you wish for, ladies! And speaking of careful, this year, WarGames is a bit unique. In years past, whoever was in the WarGames match could ice up, rest up and recover while watching Survivor Series somewhere comfortable on Sunday. This year, with the three WWE brands going head to head to head on Sunday, some Superstars who endured WarGames will find themselves working hard again in less than 24 hours. So who will survive to fight on Sunday?

Let’s crack open this Nutshell and find out!!

Best Match of the night:

Do I really have to choose?


I don’t think I should have to choose…but…give me either of the WarGames matches. Seriously, that might seem to be such a lame answer…but the show is called WarGames, and tonight we had two…and they were both exceptional.

If you don’t believe me, just ask Twitter:


Worst match of the night:

It’s NXT…so this one doesn’t matter.

Star of the Night

While the return of Kevin Owens was big, I’d argue that tonight belonged to Rhea Ripley.

Ripley finished off NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler in the first women’s WarGames match, securing victory for herself and Candice LeRae.

The women were short-handed, but more on that later.

This match was like a coming out party for Ripley, and it seems a safe bet that Shayna’s days with the women’s title could be numbered.

Spot of the Night:

Ugh, this one is hard, so many good spots especially in both WarGames matches.

My two favorites would probably be Cole giving Owens Tequila Sunrise on the metal between the rings, with my favorite really being the finisher-Ciampa driving Cole through two tables, off the top of the cage.


Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

Two easy ones.

First, I honestly didn’t see a Dakota Kai heel turn coming. Kai, rather than enter the WarGames match, destroyed her friend Tegan Nox, taking both women out of WarGames and leaving Rhea Ripley and Candice LeRae to go at it short-handed.


Second, due to the card being shuffled, Team Ciampa needed a fourth. The easy call, if healthy, would have been Johnny Gargano, with a honorable mention of Velveteen Dream (though they could still be in play for Survivor Series, in theory). Instead of those men, we got….KEVIN OWENS.

Using Owens as a surprise on TakeOver tells me (or at least, makes me think) they have an even bigger surprise for Survivor Series. Triple H was hinting at an “epic surprise” for the event, and unless Owens on Saturday night was specifically what he meant, there has to be something to top that (and, for what it’s worth, I believe Hunter specifically meant Sunday’s show for the surprise).

Noteworthy Moment:

Pete Dunne won a triple threat match to earn an NXT Title match. The match will be part of the Survivor Series card.

Overall lowlights:

I have nothing to complain about. Seriously strong show from top to bottom.

Overall highlights:

WarGames for the women.

WarGames for the men.

Strong lead ins for Survivor Series, with intrigue about who will represent NXT. Plus, we have Dunne-Cole for NXT gold on the show.

After the final bell:

Wow…seriously excellent show. TakeOvers generally do not disappoint, and this one was no different. I think about the only way I could have been happier with the fourth member of Team Ciampa would have been either Johnny Gargano or CM Punk…and I am thrilled with the Owens move, so all is good.