NXT TAKEOVER – WAR GAMES II [Preview]: Dreams & Nightmares.
It’s that time of the year again. Time to stuff the turkey, bake some pie, open a few cans of cranberry sauce, and get the fam together for WAR GAMES!!!
NXT is bringing us their second edition this weekend with TakeOver: War Games 2018. This will be the smallest TakeOver card to date with only four matches (of course you’ll be able to see the prelim/preshow matches next week on NXT TV), but with the 2 out of 3 fall Women’s Championship match and the War Games main event, this one is sure to give you your fill and unlike, Thanksgiving dinner, won’t put you to sleep.
The Sean & Shawn Show is tackling WWE’s Survivor Series this time around so we got a few of the other Apostles together to set the table, so let’s get to it!
I can’t stand Aleister, and I’ll never pick him in a rivalry. He’s fine in the ring, but his shtick belongs in the attitude era with Gangrel and the Brood. I tolerate the spooky man crap with Undertaker because of… I dunno, tradition of whatever, but Black just comes off as the edgy kid from high school that would come out of nowhere and say “Hey! God isn’t real” with a stupid anime smile on his mug. To make matters “worse”, he’s going up against one of my favorite wrestlers : Johnny Gargano. Darkness4Ever666 (as he’s known on Xbox live and PSN) will have the power advantage, but not by much (Gargano is in much better shape) and will be outmatched in speed. At most he’ll have a slight striking advantage (yes, yes, I’m aware his finisher is a kick, but Gargano can match him in striking arsenal).
PREDICTION: The match will be hard hitting and fast. As great as the Velveteen experience will be, don’t be surprised if this steals the show. I think Gargano wins it. Bottom line is, he needs it more. I hate to admit it, but the Johnny Failure moniker is not inaccurate considering his ppv record. And BlackVeilofDark can lose and still have his drones that won’t fail to get excited by his discount candles, generic metal, and hydraulics-assisted Dracula entrance.
The Submission Magician took back her title at Evolution with the help of Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, and I can honestly see this bout going either way. If Baszler loses—a travesty, really, as she’s the most developed and believable heel in NXT—she’ll start working towards a Horsewomen vs. Horsewomen angle and Sane will probably start a feud with Bianca Belair (since she’s still undefeated on NXT TV). If Baszler retains—again with the help of her friends—they’ll continue attacking Sane after the match until Mia Yim and Io Shirai come to her aid (they’ve been playing with this idea at live shows).
PREDICTION: Either way, the second-best heel in WWE gets shoved into multi-woman tag matches for a bit, but I much prefer the version where she keeps the belt. Much like the Miz and his Intercontinental title, Baszler having the belt gives it an air of importance because she’s willing to do anything to keep it. I like Kairi Sane (‘cause ya girl loves a pirate), but I kept forgetting she even had the title.
I am baffled by this title match. Essentially, one of two people should be in this match against the champ, either Aleister Black or Johnny Gargano. No offense to the Dream as his time will come soon enough. His character and promos are out of this world. But his ring work isn’t quite there yet. Also, this feud was hastily thrown together, which seems more like Raw or SmackDown than NXT. Ciampa will drop the belt soon, but it just doesn’t feel like now is the time. Anyone who has watched wrestling longer than a week knows how this one will end.
PREDICTION: Your winner, AND STILL…. Tomasso Ciampa
One of the best wrestling shows of the year will be NXT TakeOver: War Games II and chiefly due, much in thanks to the confidence carried over from the North American Ladder Classic, to this match. It takes place this Sunday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and yours truly Moody won’t be able to attend in fearing me of being late to work. Yeah, LA traffic ain’t nuthin’ to fuck with. But seeing the sequel to last year’s highly successful War Games reboot (not to be confused with MLW’s own version of the famed WCW match, which only exists because McMahon let the rights on that one slip) would be worth getting fired, me thinks.
As for the match-up itself, WG2 is essentially a PWG All-Star 4-on-4 in a cage with everyone — even Pete Dunne (who wrestled Mark Andrews at BOLA 2016) — having competed in Reseda’s famed Legion Post #308. In short, the Undisputed Era v War Raiders/Ricochet/Dunne is gonna be lit, fam!
PREDICTION: Spots, spots, spots. My guess is since Ricochet has been put over properly like he should (so long as the world class high-flyer is off the dead-brand of the WWE’s 205 Live, he should be fine), I expect “The One and Only” North American champ to survive on top. Literally. Dunne has more worries going on in NXT UK, and the Raiders will continue their clash with the U.E. for the straps at the next TakeOver. But Cole has a chance if a FIFTH member of U.E. arrives and destroys Ric with the No DQ stip, bay bay!