With WWE NXT TakeOver: WarGames concluded, it’s time for another 3-Count reaction and Smack Talk Pay-Per-Viewpoint post-show podcast review!
As always, click the video at the bottom of this post to check out the podcast breakdown of everything on the show, but before we get into that, I want to focus on three things that standout from my mind in regards to NXT TakeOver: WarGames.
For this edition, I want to focus on three small touches that made a big impact with me as some of my favorite things from the evening that might not have been necessary, but I appreciated a great deal.
Say My Name
The whole feud between Aleister Black and The Velveteen Dream seemingly spawned from the core concept of TVD wanting Black to acknowledge him and to, well, say his name.
After a spectacular match where The Velveteen Dream proved that he was in many ways Black’s equal, despite their vast differences, Black was victorious and could have easily been written in the segment to just walk off and prove that he was above TVD.
However, the short-spoken victor grabbed a mic and simply stated “Enjoy infamy, Velveteen Dream.”
PERFECT. They didn’t need to shake hands, he didn’t need to say “I respect you now”, there wasn’t a hug (or a kiss, for that matter) but the end result was a sign of mutual respect that clearly finishes the feud.
The Velveteen Dream lost, officially, but he got what he was after from the start not just from Black, but clearly from the NXT audience as well. More fans than ever now have a true taste of the athleticism Patrick Clark can bring to the future of WWE and this is going to do wonders for his career.
Awesome ending to one of my favorite matches of the entire year.
Passing the Torch
While I personally think Peyton Royce would have been the best case scenario for the victor of the Fatal 4-Way, having Ember Moon walk out with the NXT Women’s Championship is certainly not something I can complain about.
The one downside I saw as a potential for that outcome was that I worried she’d carry a stigma of only being able to reach the top of the food chain with Asuka being gone from the roster—essentially, if Asuka were still there, Moon wouldn’t be champion, meaning the champion of the division is still second-best and everyone she beats thereafter will be lower and lower down the totem pole.
Asuka presenting the title to Moon and embracing her as the next in line certainly helped offset that notion, as she gave her a ringing endorsement as her successor.
Basically, WWE got to have their cake and eat it, too. Asuka didn’t have to lose, but the next champion was Moon, who Asuka still put over to a certain extent.
Again, they could have easily just had William Regal present the title to her and it would have left me feeling like I wanted more, but Asuka’s involvement gave me enough satisfaction that I’m okay with moving forward and not perpetually thinking that the division is without a strong champion.
Wearing Your Gang’s Colors
The Undisputed Era and SAnitY went into the WarGames setup as a legitimate unit, but the pairing of The Authors of Pain with Roderick Strong seemed strange as they’re nothing alike, have never aligned in the past and had no real affiliation with each other.
To counteract that awkwardness, Strong was decked out in the same ring gear that Akam and Rezar wore, making them immediately feel like they were a unified front against their enemies.
Ring attire is a detail I feel WWE ignores more often than not. Hell, they even go out of their way to not give certain tag teams a name, and even though we get things like The Good Brothers as a moniker, the lower-third and announcers will always refer to them as Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson solo names. If two people don’t match, oh well. If they don’t have a single entrance theme, they’ll just play one or the other—or worse, the start of one and then randomly cut into the other other. Rated RKO’s theme was atrocious…
With that being the standard practice, it’s good to see more attention to detail happening with AOP and Strong, who went into battle looking like a true squad ready to fight alongside each other.
That little detail also helped keep track of everyone’s allegiances during the in-ring action as AOP and Strong stood out, The Undisputed Era had their shirts with their logos and SAnitY were just “everyone dressed like a crazy person.”
Like the others above, this was a choice that wouldn’t have made or broken the event, but they add up over time to make it all much more enjoyable overall.
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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