With WWE NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2019 concluded, it’s time to look back on what happened and assess the damage, praise the positives and talk about what went down.
Per usual, at the end of this post, you’ll see my regular Smack Talk Pay-Per-Viewpoint post-show podcast, which reviews the event in more detail, but for those who want a more condensed version of my thoughts, I present to you my “quicker than a hiccup” reaction to the different parts of the evening:
Angel Garza def. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
No complaints here. This was good enough for a kickoff match featuring two talented guys who just had to whet everyone’s appetite for the rest of the evening. I’m a fan of both.
Women’s WarGames Match: Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae, Tegan Nox and
Mia Yim Dakota Kai def. Shayna Baszler, Bianca Belair, Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray
Fantastic from the very beginning all the way until the end. This was one of the best matches WWE has put on in a while in terms of overall value, especially with the storyline booking. I gush about it a lot on the podcast as this is one of my Match of the Year candidates.
Rhea Ripley looked like a STAR in this. Everyone played their parts super well. I feel bad for Mia Yim, but I can’t say enough good things about this match.
Triple Threat No. 1 Contender’s Match: Pete Dunne def. Killian Dain and Damian Priest
Damian Priest was surprising to me. He did some stuff I didn’t quite think he could/would do. Pete Dunne was the glue that held this together. Killian Dain, unfortunately, dropped the ball, in my mind. He stood out to me as a guy without a role to fill and that hindered this match.
Finn Balor def. Matt Riddle
I didn’t like this. If this is how Finn Balor as a heel is going to wrestle, I’m going to have to tune out during his matches, as it took nearly 3/4 of the match for it to become interesting. He seemed like he was bored or going through the motions, rather than trying to put on an engaging match to keep the crowd captivated. Very, very disappointed in this.
Men’s WarGames Match: Tommaso Ciampa, Dominik Dijakovic, Keith Lee and Kevin Owens def. The Undisputed ERA
To be honest, I was disappointed that Kevin Owens was the big surprise. He’s one of my absolute favorites on the roster and has been for years, but I was hoping for something more than just a Raw guy who had been attacked by The Undisputed ERA wanting some revenge. I applaud them for being logical, but it felt underwhelming.
The match itself was good, but it didn’t come close to the fun I had with the women’s match. Unfortunately, that does create a bias of comparison that makes me not feel as thrilled about this. Had this been the first match on the night, I probably would have liked it more than just thinking it was good.
For more opinions on the show as a whole, check out the latest edition of the Smark Out Moment wrestling podcast SMACK TALK as the panel reviews NXT TakeOver: WarGames with our immediate reactions following the event before the dust has fully settled.
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