NXT: Takeover War Games Review and Match Ratings

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Lars Sullivan def. Kassius Ohno

Fun little sprint to get things going.

I just realized how much Ohno has really let himself go. I watched his match against Seth Rollins back in 2012 in the early NXT days, and my, oh, my is all I have to say. I don’t follow NXT much so I can’t say I know the back story behind whatever beef these two had, but I knew that Ohno was probably losing simply because I haven’t seen this Sullivan fellow and just assumed it would be the new guy going over against a veteran of the sport. I also thought, by comparison with the rest of the card, this was merely a warm-up match, and I think it achieved its purpose. It was a physical outing that saw both men hit their signature moves and I thought Ohno did a good job of putting over Sullivan’s aggressiveness and dominance in the match. I also loved his facial reaction when he saw that some of his signature moves only ended with a 1-count. Can’t say I think this Sullivan guy will go places, but I thought this was a solid outing from him here. An okay, opening match to start the night. **1/2

 

Aliester Black def. Velveteen Dream


If you’re looking for sports entertainment in a match, look no further.

It only took around 13 minutes, but this Velveteen Dream fellow made a believer out of me tonight after only one match. I haven’t seen him before, but he passed the eye test with me. Someone mentioned this in the comments section and it’s that not every body is built to be Lou Thesz, and what WWE needs are true sports entertainers. Velveteen showed that he was more than up for that. I mean, look at the facial mannerisms and interactions that Velveteen made throughout the match. He’s a unique character and he played an absolutely perfect foil to Aliester Black, who has a unique look and design of his own. What makes this even better is that he is a stud in the ring. He has freakish athleticism, a great feel for how certain spots should be formed, that DDT towards the end, man. I haven’t seen anything like that before. I liked that they consistently kept taunting each other in what seemed to be a never-ending psychological warfare, and they played it up all the way until the end and I absolutely loved every minute of it. It reminded me of when Brock Lesnar and Undertaker were laughing at each other at Summerslam a couple of years ago. This match was all loads of fun and awesome, and dare I say a match of the year contender? This is probably the firs time I have ever been fully invested in a talent after only one showing. And he’s only 21. Velveteen may have lost the match, but he has a future as a sports entertainer. Kudos. ****1/2


 

Ember Moon def. Kari Sane, Peyton Royce and Nikki Cross – NXT Women’s Championship

More non-stop action.

Well, it’s about damn time. I had Ember winning from the moment this match was announced simply because it only made the most sense that the woman that gave Asuka the biggest run for her money would be the one succeed her as NXT Women’s Champion. I loved the non-stop pace of the match, as there were little dead spots, the action just kept going and there were a plethora of great near-falls to boot. I think Kari was carrying the majority of the middle portion of the match while Nikki sort of layer outside for extended periods on end and was only there for brief sprints and energy moments, which worked well with both of their strengths. Ember was also her same usual, awesome, athletic self and brought a different dynamic to the match and Royce played the role of the sneaky heel greatly as she consistently tried to steal pinball victories. Ember winning was the right move, and while the match ended a bit more abruptly than I would have liked, from what I saw, it was definitely a fun little sprint. ***1/2


 


Andrade Cien Almas def. Drew McyIntyre (C) – NXT Championship

An upset? Count me in!

I was afraid I was going to get something to the tune of Drew’s match with Roode at Takeover: Brooklyn, being an extended 20 minute match that doesn’t have me out of my seat. I was wrong here. Celmas added such a fresh energy to the match that I certainly appreciated. The moonsault onto the outside and that wicked DDT to end the match are mere examples of how he was able to bring the crowd into the match. At one point, we were getting chants of “3MB”, suggesting that they weren’t fully into the match and were expecting Drew to retain. With the amount of NXT Title changes that have seemingly been taking place more often at NXT’s takeover events, I have to say I was very surprised that Celmas got the win here. It was a true upset, but hey, upsets are always fun. In addition, does this mean that Drew is on his way to the main roster? I haven’t followed Drew’s run in NXT that much, so I can’t say whether or not I would look forward to a potential call-up, but he’s a rock solid, physical athlete with a distinct style unique to him. In addition, Celmas winning paves the way for new feuds and it’s safe to say that he has the best manager in the business. Vega is invaluable to Celmas’ character, and she earned her stripes here. Took a while to get going, but once it did, it was awesome. ****

The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly) def. SaNity (Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, Killian Dain) and Roderick Young/The Authors of Pain – War Games Match

WAR.

I mean, there aren’t enough words in the English language to describe what I just saw. What started out as a simple triple threat match between each team’s most featured star ended up with shattered bodies, blood, broken weapons and carnage that truly likened a war scene. There were so many spots in the match that made this an incredible spectacle I dare not even think to recap all of them. The German suplex from the tope rope through two tables. Strong super-plexing Cole from the top of the cage onto the other seven participants. Wolfe going coast to coast, and so much more. I was fearful that the match would just be a long-played, dragged out brawl that would end up being sloppy in hindsight, but boy was I ever wrong. All nine competitors made their mark here, and The Undisputed Era was the right choice to go over here. I also can’t help but wonder why SaNity were the only team to think of getting weapons into the match to begin with, because that’s when things really started to pick up. I thought the first 10-15 minutes or so was okay, but that they were just going through the motions due to everyone not being there, but once everyone did come in, all hell broke loose like a War Games match should. I have really nothing else to say here. If Dusty were still here, he’d be proud. Aside from the opening portion, this was everything I wanted it to be and more. Bravo! ****3/4

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