NXT WARGAMES REPORT 12/5: Wells’s live results and match analysis for men and women’s WarGames, Cameron Grimes vs. Duke Hudson, Kyle O’Reilly & Von Wagner vs. Imperium, Joe Gacy vs. Roderick Strong

by Kelly Wells, PWTorch Contributor

PHOTO CREDIT: NXT

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

WELLS’S NXT WARGAMES REPORT
DECEMBER 5, 2021
LIVE IN ORLANDO, FLA. AT CAPITOL WRESTLING CENTER
STREAMING LIVE ON PEACOCK 
REPORT BY KELLY WELLS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Announcers: Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, Beth Phoenix


-After the show, Tom Stoup, Nate Lindberg and I take over Wrestling Night in America to talk about this show.

-Tonight, Beth Phoenix says goodbye to NXT after the show to focus on family life.

(1) RAQUEL GONZALEZ & IO SHIRAI & CORA JADE & KAY LEE RAY vs. TOXIC ATTRACTION (Mandy Rose & Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne) & DAKOTA KAI – Women’s WarGames match

Alicia Taylor announced the rules of WarGames ahead of the match. The babyfaces were introduced first, with Io Shirai getting full entrance to open and get the crowd going, followed by Cora Jade, Raquel Gonzalez and finally Kay Lee Ray, who was entering the match first. The three belt-carrying members of Toxic Attraction were also announced ahead of Dakota Kai, who was no surprise to open for her side.

Ray carried a bat to the ring and Kai equalized by bringing a kendo stick. The weapons fell from their hands early and the two settled into some opening chops and strikes. Rope run and a dropkick by Ray. Into the corner and a palm strike by Ray. Sliced bread #2, blocked, and a DDT instead by Ray. Kai tossed Ray through the ropes and into the cage to take control, then sent her again headfirst. Kai grabbed a trio of kendo sticks and laid them across the bottom ropes of where the two rings meet, then trapped Ray underneath for a planned monkey flip, but Ray slithered out of trouble. Action went into the ring near the ramp and we got our first good looks at the cages housing the two teams as they wait to enter. Kai went and grabbed Ray’s bat, but Ray flew over the two sets of ropes (and the cameraperson) and into Kai. Ray took Kai between the rings and planted her through the kendo sticks. They broke, but the much more painful bit was certainly the steel holding the rings together.

Cora Jade entered next for an early showcase. Ray sold off in a corner while Jade got in some quick shots on Kai, including a rising knee. Jade revived Ray and the faces teamed up on Kai for a series of kicks. We got a look at Toxic Attraction “sweating bullets,” per Beth, but they looked kind of disinterested and as if they didn’t expect the camera at that moment. Ray and Jade did a tandem suplex on Kai, and another. Some vocal males booed, as they will throughout the match.

Gigi entered next. She was wearing a few bottles worth of eye makeup. She grabbed a trash can and entered, then blocked a shot by Jade and dropkicked her. Gigi paired off with Jade and Kai resumed hostilities with Ray. Things slowed down as the heels hit some basic offense with a lot of time to go in the match. Gigi and Kai ran station-to-station (across one another) to hit kicks to the face on the babyfaces, then did it again, but the faces took control shortly after again and Jade dropkicked Gigi with a trash can on her. With Dolin still in the can, Ray hit a KLR Bomb on Kai on top of it. Dolin had a loud response and grabbed her face after; seemed like perhaps the can hit her hard in the mouth.

Shirai was next and she brought another trash can, given it’s her signature item in WarGames. She ran into trouble early as the heels double-teamed her while the other faces sold on the mat. It’s not ideal that the heels are dominating when the faces are up a person. Ray was able to plant Dolin out of relative nowhere and Jade hit a rana on Kai between the rings, but it was labored, as there isn’t much room to play with there. Dolin flew in to take out Jade, though, and the camera gave her a superstar pose for the hard cam. The crowd, of note, is chanting specifically for Gigi a lot (and was before she entered).

Jayne was next and she brought a table. She pump-kicked Ray while Ray held a trash can and Ray (kind of) fell through chairs set up next to one another. “Let’s go Toxic”/”Toxic sucks” dueling chant. Shirai finally got into it with some offense, hitting double knees through trash lids on Dolin & Jayne stacked in one corner, and then Kai in the opposite on. Jayne got trapped in the far ring with all three faces, who set her up on a table and booted Dolin to keep her at bay. Jade went all the way to the top of the cage and hit a rolling senton through Jayne and the table and they got a “holy sh*t” chant. Jade sold a bad landing on her shoulder that seemed kayfabe and likely sets her up to tap later…? Jade tried to help her team but couldn’t lift a trash can. Beth Phoenix said she didn’t understand how Jade could continue. Officials attempted to check on Jade, and Shirai closed the cage door and said “I’ve got this.” She did some amateur chiropractics and snapped Jade’s arm back into place.

Gonzalez entered and brought a lot more plunder; she handed it to Ray through the door. Of note, a shovel was added to the mix. Dolin and Kai tried to keep Gonzalez out of the ring by holding the door closed, and Gonzalez grabbed a fire extinguisher and used it on them, clearing her way to enter. Gonzalez folded up Kai in a trash can and swung it around a number of times (taking out Dolin on one rotation) and tossed her aside. Gonzalez checked on Jade, who was still selling the effects of the fall. Soon after, Gonzalez and Shirai teamed up on Kai and destroyed her using the trash can. Gonzalez once again checked on Jade in the far ring, who was still selling a lot of pain.

Mandy Rose rounded out the match as a “We want Mandy”/”No we don’t” chant was finishing up. Rose used a chair on Gonzalez in the abdomen, then on her back. Rose booted Shirai, then zeroed in on Jade and yanked her by her bad arm while mocking her. Shirai and then the other faces protected Jade with a wall of kendo sticks. All four heels were in the near ring, not wanting to go near the sticks. Ray slowly walked toward Jade, and Jade looked up at her fearfully and starting sliding away. Ray turned and whipped Kai with the kendo stick, then rolled the stick to Jade for her own protection after an effective tease of a turn.

Primary action all went to the near ring and all three members of Toxic Attraction cut down Gonzalez with kendo shots. Dolin hit a huracanrana on her and Rose hit her with a dropkick. Two of them covered for two. Jade got into it and swung a kendo stick on Rose. All four heels stalked Jade, who swung as quickly as she could until the numbers took over. Toxic Attraction did a team move and Rose covered for two, then gave the usual ridiculous WWE shocked face that the move didn’t finish.

The other faces got back into it and action all moved to the far ring. They all exchanged shots and all eight women sold on the mat. Jayne was flattened and Jade, sensing everyone was out of it, covered Jayne for the victory for the babyfaces as the other faces held Rose and kept her from interfering. The faces celebrated to Jade’s pop-punk theme at the top of the ramp.

WINNERS: Cora Jade, Io Shirai, Raquel Gonzalez & Kay Lee Ray at 31:21.

(Wells’s Analysis: Very good match and an absolutely excellent story, as has repeatedly been the case in women’s WarGames. Jade seemed set up as the all-too-obvious fall girl for the match, but fought her way back into it with the support of all three of her teammates, and came full circle and scored the pin. A very big moment for her that might set her up for a tag team championship challenge, provided she has a partner)

-We got a quick recap of MSK’s endless road trip to meet the Shaman, and the screen promoted the fact that they’ll meet the Shaman this Tuesday.

-Team 2.0 hyped each other up in a locker room, and Johnny Gargano said this was his first WarGames, and it may be his last. Ciampa laid it on further, saying tonight was Johnny’s moment.

(2) KYLE O’REILLY & VON WAGNER vs. IMPERIUM (Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) (c) – NXT Tag Team Championship

Challengers entered first to a quiet but positive reaction, which is something of an upgrade from the lows they’ve had. A few people tried to chant along with Imperium’s music, but apparently it’s played out as it didn’t catch on (or perhaps the crowd is gassed for the moment).

Action took place in the far ring, which I feel like is a change from last year, but I wouldn’t say I’m sure. Barthel and O’Reilly opened. A “let’s go Kyle” chant eventually got a few people to answer “Kyle sucks” as he proceeded to do stuff that didn’t suck in the ring. O’Reilly got the better of an early exchange, and Aichner tagged in and hit some chops before O’Reilly threw a kick to the chest to take control. Wagner tagged in and they once again did the World’s Greatest Tag Team leapfrog spot, and again, it looked like it needs a ton of work to appear to have any impact. O’Reilly tagged in again and the faces took turns kicking Aichner. O’Reilly got “yay” while Wagner got “boo.”

O’Reilly worked a front chancery, but a small distraction from Barthel allowed Aichner to plant O’Reilly and make the tag. Corner European uppercut by Barthel, followed by a suplex. Barthel went high but ran into a kick. Barthel got right back into it and hit a running PK. O’Reilly made a tag to Wagner and this time the boos were more sustained, though he was hitting totally inoffensive (though yes, somewhat slow) power stuff. Aichner caught Wagner on a rope run and did a squat with him on his back, then floated over for a slam. Aichner is a monster.

O’Reilly was able to tag in, as did Barthel. O’Reilly dominated with palm strikes and kicks. Running forearm smash by O’Reilly. O’Reilly ran the ropes and Aichner hit him with a knee to give Barthel control. Barthel hit an uppercut and made the tag. Aichner hit a stiff lariat and put the boots to Kyle. Ground and pound by Aichner. Aichner drove Kyle to the heel corner and tagged; O’Reilly ended up hitting knees on both to clear them from the ring and he crawled toward a tag. Barthel tried to cut him off, but he made it to Wagner, who at least this time wasn’t really booed. Big power stuff from Wagner. Gut-wrench suplex for Aichner. Wagner clotheslined both heels to the floor and some of the crowd was cheering him despite the vocal males not feeling it. Wagner went out and suplexed Barthel on the apron. O’Reilly dealt with Aichner on the outside. Gut-wrench by Wagner inside on Barthel and he covered for two.

Barthel hit a jawbreaker, but Wagner fought off his offense and hit a headbutt to lay Barthel out. Barthel clipped Wagner’s knee and made the tag, and Imperium hit their inside/outside tandem dropkick spot with Wagner hung upside down. Wagner fought off the Imperium Bomb and slammed both guys, then tagged. O’Reilly went up and hit a flying knee and slapped the heel hook on Barthel. Barthel tried to punch his way out of it, but O’Reilly held on. Barthel got near a rope and Aichner hopped up on the ropes and hit a springboard moonsault to break it up. “This is awesome” chant.

O’Reilly put a guillotine on Aichner for the near-tap. Aichner rolled up O’Reilly, who reversed. O’Reilly got two but Barthel shoved them over and Aichner was on top for two. Both guys sold and soaked in an “NXT” chant. Barthel and Wagner became legal, and Aichner hit a chop block from behind. Bonzo gonzo in the ring and the faces hit high-low on Barthel. The ref was out of position and finally got there for a two count. The faces try to set it up again, but Barthel dumped Wagner and made the tag. Aichner charged Kyle in a corner, but when Kyle moved, Aichner hopped up and splashed Wagner on the outside. My god. Back inside and O’Reilly hit a brainbuster for two. He immediately transitioned to a triangle choke. Aichner found the strength to pick up O’Reilly and, still in the hold, he made the tag. O’Reilly had essentially accidentally put himself in place to eat the Imperium Bomb for the win.

WINNERS: Imperium at 14:54.

After the match, the crowd chanted “Thank you Kyle,” as the rumors have swirled that he’s done. Wagner tried to blindside him with a clothesline, but O’Reilly ducked it, then destroyed Wagner to cheers. He did the Undisputed Era symbol(!) and followed with a few crotch chops.

(Wells’s Analysis: Genuinely one of the most enjoyable tag matches I’ve seen in a very long time, and I didn’t have the highest of hopes for it as it didn’t have much of an issue attached and seemed tacked on as a formality at the last minute. The performers had a hill to climb to get the crowd back into this, but they pulled it off. Let the Kyle talk commence, as taking the fall would seem to be a sure sign he’s done, but he was given all his heat back right afterward)

-It was brought to my attention that Barthel accidentally wore his belt upside down on the way to the ring. To him, the belts aren’t sacred?

-Recap of the poker room setup for the Grimes-Hudson feud culminating in this hair vs. hair match.

(3) CAMERON GRIMES vs. DUKE HUDSON – Hair vs. Hair match

Hudson entered first to his organically growing heel heat. Grimes got a strong reaction, perhaps again muted by a tired crowd. Grimes went hard early with kicks in the corner, and Hudson shoved him off and thew some kicks of his own. Hudson tossed Grimes into the corner and Grimes flew over the top, seemingly accidentally, and fell very hard on the steps and had extreme welts right out of the gate. Back inside and Grimes hit a flying forearm from one angle, then another. He went for a shot in the corner, but Hudson caught and slammed him. Hudson rained down some rights to boos. The garbage snap-zoom cam, used sparingly to this point tonight, was on full display in this match for some reason.

Moonsault by Grimes got two. Grimes threw some kicks and Hudson bailed to boos. PK attempt by Grimes was caught, and Hudson grabbed Grimes for a belly-to-belly on the outside. Hudson went in and Kyle beat the count at eight. Hudson hit a back elbow and went into an abdominal stretch, then added a back rake (or more of a side rake) away from the sight of the ref. Grimes fought his way out but Hudson yanked Grimes down by the hair. Hudson threw some kicks, then lifted Grimes, who managed an inside cradle for two. The barber’s chair and clippers were in the next ring, and were shown periodically.

Hudson whipped Grimes hard into a corner and Grimes sold on the mat. Hudson hit a backbreaker, then stretched Grimes backward over his knee. Grimes fought back into it with rights and created some separation. He surprised Hudson with a rana, and followed with an enzuigiri. Rope run and Grimes hit his twisting cross-body for two. The two hit their feet and exchanged rights. Hudson caught Grimes and picked him up, but Grimes reversed into a DDT and a near-fall.

Hudson bailed and this time, Grimes hit the PK from the apron. Back inside, Hudson rolled up Grimes, but referee Darryl Sharma saw Hudson grab the ropes and didn’t count the three. Grimes hit a kick to the back of Hudson’s head, then hit a corner dropkick. High cross-body got two for Grimes. Grimes motioned for his finisher but Hudson hit Winds of Change, gleefully called that by Barrett, for two. Hudson tried Razor’s Edge but Grimes reversed into a rana in the corner, and Grimes rolled up Hudson and hooked the tights for the win.

WINNER: Cameron Grimes at 10:24.

Hudson attacked Grimes after the match to boos, but Grimes took control and put Hudson in the chair and quickly took the clippers to him. Barrett yelled “Oh no, he’s giving him the skullet!” Hudson revived enough to bolt out of the ring, and he seethed at the top of the ramp, holding what was left of his hair, while the audience sang along with “to the moon” in Grimes’s theme music.

(Wells’s Analysis: No real frills, but a nice enough old school match with a heel slowing down the pace to make for exciting comebacks by the babyface. Grimes wins nearly all these big matches; it feels a little disingenuous to keep him so far from the title picture at this point)

-Recap of the…uh…Cruiserweight feud battle up next.

(4) RODERICK STRONG (w/Diamond Mine) (c) vs. JOE GACY (w/Harland) – Cruiserweight Championship match

I’m on record saying that Gacy wins this to either retire the championship or rename it because Vince is terrified of the idea of weight classes each having their high-level guys. Alicia Taylor handled formal intros. You can tell this is getting Vince-ified by the passing week as Gacy is using a peace sign because he’s a heel, just as La Resistance did fifteen years ago to a collective shrug.

Gacy suckered in Strong like he wanted a hug, then threw a slap. Strong fired up and threw combo offense, and mockingly acted like he wanted a hug as well. Rope run and Gacy flattened Strong with a shot to the back, then dropped an elbow. Forearms and punches by Gacy. Strong reversed, ripped Gacy’s overshirt open and threw some chops. Gacy tried to bail but Strong hit a palm strike over the top rope. The two exchanged shots and Gacy hit a pump kick, then threw hard forearms to Strong’s chest from the outside.

Back inside for a sliding lariat by Gacy. Backbreaker by Gacy. Suplex by Gacy, who covered for a one count. Gacy threw some forearms and tried an Irish whip, which Roddy reversed. Strong hit a chop with Gacy on the top turnbuckle, then hit a superplex. Cover for two. Shot exchange ended with Strong hoisting Gacy for a gutbuster that showed significant light. Cover for two. Strong put Gacy over into the Stronghold and Gacy fought it off. Strong pulled Gacy toward the center and Gacy caught him with a brief crossface, but Strong fought his way to the bottom rope quickly. Gacy dumped Strong out on the side where Diamond Mine stood. The Creed Brothers tried to fire up Strong, but Gacy hit all of them with a plancha. Ivy Nile threatened Gacy, but Harland grabbed Nile like he was going to attack her and Gacy convinced Harland to put her down.

Back inside, Roddy hit a jumping knee and a backstabber for…three? I literally wrote two because that was clearly not the finish, but there it was.

WINNER: Roderick Strong at 8:27.

(Wells’s Analysis: Well, they didn’t manage a clean sweep tonight, but it was a bit dull rather than actively bad. At least for tonight, the Cruiserweight championship survives to see another day)

-McKenzie Mitchell talked with Kyle O’Reilly. He said if Von Wagner thought he couldn’t smell that turn coming from a mile away, he’s even dumber than he looks. He said he wants to finish this with Von on Tuesday, and they might as well leave the cage up, because he wants him in the steel. Well, if Kyle didn’t re-sign (or if he’s being promoted), there’s his big chance to put someone over.

-Recap of the men’s WarGames match.

(5) TOMMASO CIAMPA & JOHNNY GARGANO & PETE DUNNE & LA KNIGHT vs. BRON BREAKKER & CARMELO HAYES & TONY D’ANGELO & GRAYSON WALLER (w/Trick Williams) – men’s WarGames match

Breakker, D’Angelo and Waller were introduced, leaving Hayes as the ironman for the match. Ciampa, Dunne and Knight entered their cage and Gargano was yet another obvious choice to go the distance. Gargano got a huge pop ahead of his expected farewell. He came out to his old NXT music. Up in the waiting cage, Ciampa was extremely fired up, cheering harder for Gargano than anyone. Gargano wore tights that said “Johnny TakeOver,” the first mention of the TakeOver name all night, though certainly the commentators won’t be saying it aloud.

Mat wrestling to start. Quick reversals by Gargano and Hayes, who paced themselves for a lot of minutes to come. Both guys started hitting arm drags and Gargano bounced his feet off the cage to hit one with more force. To the corner and Gargano hit Hayes with some chops. Gargano took Hayes to between the rings and tried a spear, but Melo caught him and then also fought off One Final Beat, but in the far ring, Gargano hit a slingshot spear. Hayes hopped up after a rope run and came off the ropes with a back kick. He went up the buckle and Gargano revived and followed. Both walked across the ropes and and Gargano started putting Hayes’s head into the cage repeatedly. Gargano hit a powerbomb from up high.

Grayson Waller entered the ring and he wanted Gargano to come t him in the near ring. Waller tried a cheap shot but Gargano ducked it. Waller caught Gargano for a suplex, then ate a boot but caught Gargano for a backbreaker. Headscissor takedown by Gargano. Hayes reentered the near ring and the heels took over on numbers. They tried to set up the #DIY finisher but Gargano slipped underneath. Trick Williams threw a chair over the top of the cage, and it very nearly landed on the face of a grounded Waller. Gargano grabbed it, but the heels got in some shots and Waller put a heel to Gargano’s face and Gargano bled hardway.

Dunne entered and took over on offense on both heels. Dunne took Waller to the cage and put his fingers through the cage, then pulled them backward to shrieks of agony. Gargano got back into it and he and Dunne snapped on their finishers in stereo, but did it right across from each other so they could also kick the opposite trapped guy in the face. That bit of fanservice got a “This is awesome” chant. Gargano and Dunne kept up the offense until Melo surprised Dunne with a reverse into a bulldog, and Waller added a stunner shortly after. Stunner for Gargano as well.

Tony D’Angelo entered, saving Bron Breakker for last. He went through and Trick handed him two tables, which D’Angelo politely set aside for later. The legs on one table opened and they got stuck, and thankfully they cut away to some kendo stuff. Williams went underneath for more plunder, and then freaked out as Dexter Lumis came out from under the ring and ran him off, but not before a thumbs up with Johnny Gargano. D’Angelo locked up the cage, and from the top, Knight and Ciampa looked on with concern. The three heels dominated Dunne and Garganowith the now large amount of plunder in the ring, and any time one babyface got a bit of a leg up, someone cut them off.

LA Knight went to the ring, where the door was locked. The official acted like there was no solution as Knight looked under the ring. Knight walked to the far ring and knocked down an interfering Waller, then hopped into the ring and took down Hayes and D’Angelo with strikes and cutters. Russian leg sweep for Waller, and Knight followed by slamming D’Angelo onto Waller. Knight grabbed a kendo stick and used it on Hayes’s midsection, then used another on D’Angelo. He put a trash can over Waller, then slapped him with two lids. Dunne and Gargano dropkicked Waller, still with a bin on him. Dunne brutalized the can with Waller in it, then pulled off the bin and went at Waller’s digits. He set up the bin on Waller’s middle finger and leaned on it. The refs were haplessly trying to use bolt cutters on the lock. The faces brutalized the heels and slowed things down as they awaited Bron Breakker.

Breakker got to the ring and told the refs to let him use the bolt cutters. The strength spot went awry as he clearly had the power, but the angle wasn’t working or something, and the chain didn’t snap and they had to cut away. Breakker did eventually get in the ring and started throwing guys around. He no-sold some Dunne punches, then belly-to-belly suplexed him from between the rings to inside the far ring. He lifted Gargano and used him as a weapon against Knight and Dunne. All action went to the far ring and the heels took over on offense. Hayes shook his head at a “black and gold” chant.

Ciampa, using the Kratos paint for (at least) the second time, entered and used kendo sticks on everything that moved, then brawled with all the 2.0 guys and went at them with knees in the corners, aided (or more likely softened) by the addition of a trash can lid. Ciampa set up a trash can upside down, sat on it and did his self-clap and back pat. Hayes blindsided Ciampa, but Gargano took a crutch to Hayes’s back. He and Gargano had a chuckle over old times because of the crutch, then went back at the heels with their old #DIY offense. Action spread out across both rings with no clear focal point for a moment. The heels eventually took over, one by one, and had all the faces lying in between the rings.

The black & gold guys all took a breath and Dunne did his shrug, and they all went at it. Everything went to the near ring and the faces dominated, grounding all four 2.0 guys between the ropes and the cage. All four faces splashed the heels against the cage, then pounded them with rights and lefts. Action spilled to the far ring. Dunne set up a trash bin between ropes and Waller got darted into it. Throughout the last ten minutes, Gargano was selling a lot of pain.

Ciampa set up Waller for a suplex through a table, but D’Angelo used a lid to clear out Ciampa. Instead, Knight hopped up top out of nowhere and hit a flash belly-to-belly to destroy the table and Waller. Gargano and Dunne, elsewhere, worked on a tandem suplex on Hayes, but two 2.0 guys suplexed them in the pyramid spot. Knight flew in with his finisher on Hayes, but D’Angelo broke up the pin. A wide shot caught a ref clearing out some of the remnants of the broken table in the near ring while all action was in the far ring.

Knight set up Breakker for perhaps his finisher, aided by a rope, but D’Angelo broke it up. Ciampa and Breakker went up and corner and Ciampa hit Air Raid Crash on Breakker on top of a trash can, but Breakker kicked out at two. D’Angelo hit a snap suplex on Knight, then set up another table. He sent Waller to the very top, then set up Knight on the table. Waller hit an elbow drop from the top, and D’Angelo covered. Dunne broke it up at two.

D’Angelo went to the space between the rings and found a crowbar he’d apparently hidden there. It got tossed, and so did he. Dunne brutalized Hayes with a kendo stick and stomped his fingers, then booted his head. He dragged him to the far ring and stomped Hayes’s arm under a bin. He went up, but D’Angelo struck him with the crowbar, then pulled out Dunne’s mouth guard. He jumped off the top and slammed Dunne while using the crowbar across his neck.

Breakker and Ciampa paired off for some rights. Breakker hit a Frankensteiner, and he started to take over but Gargano flew in with a superkick. One Final Beat on Breakker was in sync with Willow’s Bell on Waller. Gargano and Ciampa did their tandem kick on Breakker, then covered him together. On two, Hayes yanked the ref away, then hit a low blow on Gargano. Ciampa set up Hayes for the Fairytale Ending, but Breakker stormed into the scene and speared Ciampa through a table leaning in the corner. Breakker finished with his slam.

WINNERS: Bron Breakker, Carmelo Hayes, Tony D’Angelo & Grayson Waller at 38:10.

(Wells’s Analysis: It’s like Lance Storm tweeted out ahead of the show: once they decided to brand this “Team 2.0” vs. “Black and Gold,” there was literally no chance the vets were going to be booked to win as most everything Triple H built in NXT continues to be erased. The match had a lot of very fun spots, but a pretty small amount of wrestling, and no mini-story to set a great hook like the kayfabe Cora Jade story in the opener. Another year, another two enjoyable WarGames matches, but again the lack of storytelling hurt the men’s side as has been a recurring theme)


FINAL THOUGHTS: Well, you can’t say anything really went wrong tonight. The WarGames matches delivered, which is really all that has to happen for the show to be watchable, and the tag championship was a stellar outing while Grimes & Hudson had a decent enough match. If one dropped into this show out of nowhere, they would have little reason to believe the weekly show has been full of hits and extreme misses at times, and is only just starting to find some (still unsteady) footing as some of the talent becomes ready for TV. I’ve written it more than a few times but I might as well add it to a PPV recap: it’s difficult at times, though, to take great pleasure at even the good things happening when so much of what they asked us to invest in over the past several years is being virtually retconned.

Tonight, check out Wrestling Night in America, where the PWT Talks NXT crew will take over to talk about this show, or stream tomorrow. Cheers.

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