NXT Takeover War Games 11.23.19 Recap

Team Ripley defeated Team Baszler in a War Games Match

Io Shirai got the biggest reaction. I can’t wait for Vince to not know how to use her on the main roster. Every woman got a strong reaction as they entered the cages. Io and Candice LeRae started. Io remained over throughout the match. Bianca Belair came in next and channeled her inner Sid with a succession of powerbombs on LeRae. Rhea Ripely was next and threw some chairs, garbage cans and kendo sticks into the ring. Kay Lee Ray added some more chairs next.

Mia Yim was attacked backstage on the preshow. They didn’t say who did it. But Dakota Kai replaced her. Well, Dakota Kai was next, and she turned around and jumped Tegan Nox! She went after Nox’s bad knee and slammed the door holding the competitors into it multiple times. She even shoved William Regal when he came out to stop it! Dakota finally left but then came back and added some more shots. That was a great heel turn. We all knew it was coming, but it was so well done that it worked.

Shayna Baszler came out so this match is 4-on-2. Some insane spots. Belair whipped Ripley with her hair bud Candice went right after her with a kendo stick. Io started climbing the cage but Candice and Kay Lee Ray met her up there. Candice ended up hitting a reverse ranna from the top rope on Kay Lee Ray. Bel Air and Candice fought. Meanwhile, Io hit a picture perfect moonsault off the top of the cage. Ripley and Baszler started fighting. Baszler applied the Kirifuda Clutch. But Ripley escaped by handcuffing herself to Baszler. Ripley tossed Kay Lee Ray into a garbage can setup in the corner. Ripley then hit the Rip Tide on Baszler for the win.

That was a damn good match. The Dakota Kai heel turn was great. And winning 2-on-4 worked out here with Ripley once again coming off as a bad ass in the end.

Pete Dunne Defeated Killian Dain and Damian Priest to Earn a NXT Title Shot at Survivor Series

These guys were in a tough spot following that match but they got the crowd into it after a few minutes. They kept the action going throughout the match. The crowd was clearly a pro Dunne crowd and did not want any of the other guys on offense. They fully got into after a triple kick spot. Priest hit a Razor’s Edge on Dunne throwing him onto the Spanish announce table. Dain then took Priest out with a dive and then cannon balled him through a fake barricade. Back in the ring Priest hit a Razor’s Edge on Dain while carrying him from the corner. Dain ended up on the outside at one point and Priest hit a running dive over the top. Dunne then took both guys out with a moonsault off the top. The last five minutes or so was every man getting a chance to get a pinfall and hitting their finishers. The match ended with Dunne having Dain in a sleeper. Dain dropped Dunne on Priest. Dunne kicked Dain out of the ring and pinned Priest to get the win. Every guy came out of the match looking good. A strong match after being in the tough spot of following the first War Games match.

Finn Balor defeated Matt Riddle

The match set a really slow pace early on. Balor kept things on the mat. Riddle started getting the offense going by blocking a Pele Kick and applying an ankle lock. Nice sequence where Riddle hit a Rip Cord Knee, but Balor came back with a Slingblade and Double Stomp. Finn charges at Riddle but Riddle came back with a Spear and Jackhammer for two. Balor ended up dropkicking Riddle into the corner but missed the Coup de Grace. Riddle tried for the Bro Mission but Balor escaped. Riddle hit the Bro to Sleep but Balor got his knees up on Riddle’s attempted corkscrew Swanton off the top. Balor then hit the 1960 DDT for the win. Good match. It seemed like they save a lot for a potential rematch down the line. Still a good match.

Team Ciampa defeated The Undisputed Era in a War Games Match

Ciampa and Strong started the match. Ciampa offered Strong his crutch but Strong tossed it out of the ring. O’Reilly came in next. They took their time working over Ciampa for their three minute period. Dijakovic came in and just tossed O’Reilly and Strong around like a couple of rag dolls. Next was Bobby Fish, but the crowd was just waiting for Keith Lee to come into the ring. Lee took out Fish and O’Reilly with a crossbody. He went for a powerbomb on Strong but had his legs kicked out from under him. Adam Cole came down and grabbed a bunch of tables and put them into the ring. Cole set one up on the railing, so Ciampa dropkicked him into it off the steps.

They all ended up in the ring and had a staredown and started brawling. Still no fourth man yet. The countdown finally started. No one came out initially. Then out came Kevin Owens. Massive pop for Owens as he came to the ring and cleaned house. All the tables started to get set up. Lee hit a crossbody off the top onto UE. O’Reilly hit a flying knee and applied a kneebar on Lee. Dijakovic broke it up with a springboard moonsault. Ciampa hit the Blackheart and KO a Swanton but Cole broke up the pin with a superkick. Strong hit a Strong Slam on Lee off the top. Owens and Cole fought on the steel in between the rings. Cole went for a Panama Sunrise. KO tried blocking it but Cole eventually got it over. Ciampa then went back and forth hitting running knees on Strong and Fish. He then did the same to Cole. Ciampa and Cole ended up on top of the cage. Dijakovic chokeslammed Strong through a table. Dijakovic tried doing the same to O’Reilly but he applied a triangle choke. KO hit a frog splash on O’Reilly as he had the choke applied on the table. Keith Lee then powerbombed Fish through the table. This left Cole and Ciampa on top of the cage with two tables set up in the ring. Ciampa had Cole on his back and fell right off the top through both tables and then got the pinfall win. Here it is.

That spot was insane. You could tell they were setting up for something big and that delivered. Great match. The KO surprise was great. A lot of the action looked stiff and brutal. It’ll be interesting to see if KO is a full time member of NXT now.

As for the show? It was a Takeover so it was great as usual. I mean, if I’m being honest, I thought Balor/Riddle was the weakest match on the show and it was still pretty good. Anyone who thought that NXT would be water downed with a lot of WWE involvement can shut their mouths. After this weekend NXT will be back to being on its own and there are a ton of feuds to build from off of this show.

Until Next Time,

Justin C

Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka