NXT TakeOver: WarGames III is only hours away and the anticipation is off the hook for one of the most thrilling events of the year. Reminiscent to every TakeOver, Saturday’s event is stacked with high-calibre matches that will blow the minds of the NXT Universe.
Over the past two years, we’ve all bared witness to some unforgettable moments such as Aleister Black proclaiming The Velveteen Dream’s name, the coronation of “The El Idolo” Andrade Cien Almas, The Undisputed Era wreaking havoc in both WarGames matches, and so much more. So, without further ado let’s take a look at the top five moments from WarGames!
5. Ember Moon Captures the NXT Women’s Championship
After nearly six months of chasing after the NXT Women’s Championship, “The Shenom” Ember Moon defeated Nikki Cross, Peyton Royce, and Kairi Sane to capture the vacated NXT Women’s Title in her home state of Texas.
— WWE (@WWE) November 19, 2017
To make the moment even more special, her archenemy the former Undefeated 510 Day Women’s Champion Asuka handed her the title in “The Empress of Tomorrow” and the new NXT Women’s Champion raised each other’s arms in a show of respect after their highly-intense feud had come full circle.
Honourable mention: Matt Riddle knocks out the Knockout Artist
On the TakeOver WarGames II Pre-Show panel both “The Original Bro” Matt Riddle and “The Knockout Artist” Kassius Ohno engaged in a heated altercation that led to both superstars to open the show. As soon as the bell rang, Riddle blasted Ohno with The Final Flash for the shocking victory in less than eight seconds.
4. Aleister Black gets is revenge
In the summer of 2018, one of the most intriguing ongoing stories was centred around who attacked Aleister Black in the parking lot prior to TakeOver: Brooklyn III. After months of GM William Regal searching for the attacker, we received our answer: Johnny Gargano. A vindictive “Johnny Wrestling” took him out because Black was in the way of him taking the NXT Title away from his long-time rival Tommaso Ciampa.
Both superstars had one hell of a match, Gargano cut his opponent off at every turn outsmarting and enraging Black throughout the match.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) November 18, 2018
“The Dutch Destroyer” unleashed fury on his attacker with thunderous strikes and a Tope Con Hilo to the outside. Despite Johnny Wrestling’s wits, Black finished his opponent off with back-to-back Black Masses.
3. Andrade Cien Almas wins the NXT Championship
“The El Idolo” Andrade Cien Almas had a rocky start in NXT, from an uninspiring babyface picking up meaningless victories over Riddick Moss and Tye Dillinger to losing a high-profile match against Bobby Roode. Andrade then turned heel and finally gained some momentum after getting paired up with Zelina Vega, who ended his playboy ways and started taking his career seriously.
At TakeOver: Philadelphia, Andrade stole the show with Johnny Gargano in a spectacular five-star match and picked up a huge victory. At WarGames, Andrade was determined to add an exclamation point on his amazing transformation by capturing the NXT Championship and dethroning Drew McIntrye.
After weeks of mind games from Andrade and Vega, “The Scottish Psychopath” brought the fight to his challenger throwing him around with fierce Suplexes. The cocky Andrade delivered a Headscissors sending the champion into the ring post followed by a stunning Moonsault for a long near-fall.
Vega proved to be the deciding factor in this match interfering at every chance she could. Andrade captured the victory after drilling the champion with a spike top rope Eammerlock DDT to become the new NXT Champion.
— Manoozz Tmg (@Ajfreakinhardy) November 19, 2017
2. The Velveteen Dream enjoys infamy in two amazing matches
It’s hard to believe that for the past two WarGames, The Velveteen Dream has been a bonafide star. At the first event, Dream came so close to defeating Aleister Black in a terrific match that told an intriguing story. Dream had been begging for weeks to be recognized by his opponent, and during their match, Black had no choice.
This match had a great amount of high-octane action and fantastic drama and mind games. Both competitors mimicked each other signature poses to a fun pop from the NXT Universe. Black finished Dream off with The Black Mass but what everyone will be talking about is Black saying Velveteen Dream’s name.
It’s astonishing to think that one year later, Dream went from the second match on the card to challenging Tomasso Ciampa for the NXT Championship but he did. Dream delivered another tremendous performance on the big stage as he has at every TakeOver.
The wily veteran proved to be too much for the young up-and-comer, pulling out all the tricks to keep Goldie. Dream hit a jaw-dropping Purple Rainmaker for a long near-fall. He went for a second on the ring apron but crashed hard. Ciampa drilled his opponent’s head with a thunderous DDT on the steel partition between both rings to retain his precious Goldie.
— WWE (@WWE) November 18, 2018
This was a hell of a showing for Dream though as he continues to improve with each match and it’s still crazy to me that he hasn’t become NXT Champion yet.
1. The insanity of both WarGames Matches
For the first time in twenty years, the two-caged monstrosity made its long-awaited return in 2017 with the sole purpose of containing the hostility and violence between The Undisputed Era, Sanity, Authors of Pain, and Roderick Strong. Here are some of the highlights of the chaotic match.
- Authors of Pain made their way into the match and threw their partner Strong into anyone that was moving.
- Dain pulled out a steel chair, two trash cans, two kendo sticks, a steel chain, and the top it off two tables.
- Akam and Rezar fought back and delivered a Super Collider.
- “The Beast of Belfast” hit an enormous Coast-to-Coast on O’Reilly that was incredible to see. Cole began scaling the cage and Strong Superplexed Cole onto all seven other competitors.
The Undisputed Era reigned supreme inside the first WarGames after Cole blasted Young with The Last Shot to a steel chair, but they weren’t so lucky the following year. This time, Strong was the newest member of The UE and they were battling the team of The War Raiders, Ricochet, and Pete Dunne. Here are some of the highlights of the match.
- Ivar (formerly known as Hanson), used his back as a launching pad for Ricochet to hit a stunning Shooting Star Press onto O’Reilly.
- Strong delivered a MASSIVE Angle Slam to Hanson.
- Fish destroyed Dunne’s arm and locked him inside the shark cage.
- “The Bruiserweight” Throwing two trash cans, two tables, and two kendo sticks into the match, he set the stage for a chaotic conclusion.
- Strong delivered a Gutbuster/Backstabber combination to Ricochet off the cage.
- A jumping knee from Strong sent Ricochet into a triangle choke from O’Reilly. Hanson, though, came off the ropes with a big splash that put O’Reilly through that table.
- There was a massive tower spot that saw Hanson essentially powerbomb everyone except “The One and Only.”
- Ricochet hit a jaw-dropping Backflip Rolling Senton from the top of the cage on all of the competitors on the floor.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) November 18, 2018
Reminiscent of last year’s event, the North American Champion blasted Dunne with The Last Shot for a long near-fall. The Bruiserweight answered back with The Bitter End followed by a thunderous splash from Ricochet to secure the victory for the babyfaces.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) November 18, 2018
Those are just a sample of the incredible action that we’ve seen at WarGames there is so much more to dive into. I must say, rewatching both chaotic Takeovers had made me more excited than I already was for Saturday. There is absolutely no telling what high spots and dramatic sequences the NXT Universe will bear witness to on Saturday, but what we know for sure is that it will simply amazing!