WAR GAMES! Join Jez and Dan for a complete review of this past weekend’s NXT War Games event on The Main Event Podcast.

Women’s War Games: Raquel González, Io Shirai, Cora Jade, and Kay Lee Ray vs. Dakota Kai and Toxic Attraction (Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin, and Jacy Jayne)

War Games opened, rather fittingly, with War Games when Raquel Gonzalez, Cora Jade, Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray took on Toxic Attraction – Mandy Rose, Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin. With Team babyface having the advantage, Dakota Kai brought a stack of Kendo Sticks to the double ring to try and counter Kay Lee Ray’s baseball bat. These kendo sticks came into play fairly early as after Kai tossed Kay into the side of the cage, she opened up on the former NXT UK Women’s Champion and set up the sticks as a kind of table between the ring ropes of the two rings. This would backfire on Kai as the first timer expired, as Kay Lee Ray dropped her sternum first through the sticks. 

Cora Jade was next to enter, bringing her skateboard with her to begin the three minute handicap of Dakota Kai. Kai did not fare well in this period but things swung quickly back her way when Gigi Dolin entered the match with a garbage can. Io Shirai entered next, with steel chairs and another garbage can, to once again skew the sides in her team’s favour. This said, Kai and Dolin did a fantastic job of double teaming members of the opposing trio in order to take them out of the match in turn. This served them through to the next entrant, Jacy Jayne who, of course, brought a bag of goodies and a table into the cage with her. 

The cockiness of Team Toxic cost them though and allowed Shirai to go on a tear through all of their team. This was followed up by Cora Jade taking flight from the top of the cage, crashing through Jayne and a table with a swanton bomb, of sorts. This came at a cost for her team because Jade dislocated her shoulder with the move and the medical staff came to ringside to offer treatment. Dr. Io Shirai wasn’t having any of this, though, and shut out the medics before re-setting the shoulder of Cora Jade herself to try and get her back into the match. 

Raquel González entered next but it took her some time to get into the cage as Dakota Kai and Gigi Dolin held the door closed. The ingenuity of González came into play here as she removed them from the door with use of a fire extinguisher. The fun and games really kicked off for González and her team here as she put Dakota Kai inside a garbage can and swung her around like a child before Shirai came crashing down on the can with Kai inside. 

The entry of NXT Women’s Champion, Mandy Rose, officially began the War Games match and an all out brawl between the women. With Cora Jade still struggling with her shoulder, Toxic Attraction and Dakota Kai took advantage of the numbers, taking down González, Shirai and Ray before turning their attention to the wounded animal, Cora Jade. With kendo stick in hand, Jade fought them all off and with the help of her team, was able to pin Jacy Jayne and send her team home with the win. 

Jez’s Pick: Dakota Kai and Toxic Attraction
Dan’s Pick: Raquel González, Io Shirai, Cora Jade, and Kay Lee Ray
Winner: Raquel González, Io Shirai, Cora Jade, and Kay Lee Ray
Jez 0 – Dan 1

NXT Tag Team Championship – Imperium (Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel) (c) vs. Kyle O’Reilly and Von Wagner

The next contest was the battle for the NXT Tag Team Championship when Imperium (Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel) defended against Kyle O’Reilly and Von Wagner. The match got underway in a hard hitting way with the two teams exchanging stiff strikes and hard slams. With each team utilising frequent tags, the match continued fairly evenly with Imperium and O’Reilly demonstrating their ring prowess and Von Wagner showing off his strength. O’Reilly went for the win, locking a knee bar on Bartell but Aichner broke it up with an athletic moonsault from the top rope. With Aichner now legal and continuing to show off his athleticism, the match continued and each man secured a tight near fall. O’Reilly locked in Hell’s Gate and almost passed out Aichner but he was able to use his strength to get up, back into the tag of Barthel and combine with his partner for an Imperium Bomb, from which he secured the 1-2-3. After the match, the crowd chanted “Thank You Reilly” on the belief that this will be his last NXT match before Kyle was almost jumped by his own partner, Von Wagner. O’Reilly fought him off, dropped an Undisputed Era sign and DX cross chopped at Wagner on his way out of the ring. 

Jez’s Pick: Kyle O’Reilly and Von Wagner
Dan’s Pick: Kyle O’Reilly and Von Wagner
Winner: Imperium
Jez 0 – Dan 1

Hair vs. Hair match – Cameron Grimes vs. Duke Hudson

Next at War Games was the Hair vs. Hair match pitting Cameron Grimes against Duke Hudson. Grimes was thrown out of the ring and crashed onto the ring steps, out of position due to the double ring set up. This put Grimes on the back foot and after some more offense from Hudson, Grimes almost found himself counted out. The scrappy Grimes continued to be beaten down but stayed in the match with excellent counters, using the size and strength of his opponent against him. Hudson, seemingly frustrated and scared of the barber’s chair that sat in the second of the two rings, tried to achieve victory by using the ropes for extra leverage but the official caught him and Grimes rolled him up into a nearfall. Hudson set up for the Razor’s Edge into the turnbuckle but Cameron Grimes slid out of it, sending Duke face first into the turnbuckle and, with a handful of tight for good measure, Grimes rolled up Hudson for the win. Duke Hudson tried to escape his fate but Cameron Grimes subdued him into the chair and began the head shaving until Hudson came to his senses and retreated. 

Jez’s Pick: Cameron Grimes
Dan’s Pick: Cameron Grimes
Winner: Cameron Grimes
Jez 1 – Dan 2

NXT Cruiserweight Championship – Roderick Strong (c) (with The Diamond Mine) vs. Joe Gacy (with Harland)

Our penultimate contest was for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship with Roderick Strong waiving the 205lb weight limit to defend his title against Joe Gacy. With Gacy seemingly in the mind of Roderick Strong, Strong let his aggressive side get the better of him, especially after Gacy delivered a big slap to the face of the Cruiserweight Champion. Strong channelled his rage into offense and delivered a series of offensive moves on his much larger opponent. After kicking out of Strong’s Olympic Slam and escaping the Boston Crab, Gacy began a comeback, locking Strong in the crossface before sending him out of the ring and taking out Diamond Mine with a Plancha. The match began to come undone for Gacy here as he was confronted by Ivy Nile. Harland lifted Nile into the air and had to be talked down by Gacy. Back in the ring, Gacy hit a powerbomb but Strong hit a jumping knee and followed up with the Suplex Backbreaker to earn a good victory over Jo Gacy.

Jez’s Pick: Joe Gacy
Dan’s Pick: Roderick Strong
Winner: Roderick Strong
Jez 1 – Dan 3

Men’s War Games: Team Black & Gold (Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Pete Dunne, and LA Knight) vs. Team 2.0 (Bron Breakker, Carmelo Hayes, Grayson Waller, and Tony D’Angelo) (with Trick Williams)

The main event was our second War Games match with Team Black & Gold (Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Pete Dunne, and LA Knight) taking on Team 2.0 (Bron Breakker, Carmelo Hayes, Grayson Waller, and Tony D’Angelo). Bron Breakker earned the man advantage last week on NXT and volunteered the North American Champion, Carmelo Hayes to start the match against Johnny Gargano, who arrived to his old entrance music “Rebel Heart” in what is expected to be his final match in NXT. With no effort to pace themselves in the match, Gargano and Hayes got off to a fast paced start of the match, exchanging strikes and springboard manoeuvres until the odds turned against Johnny Wrestling with the introduction of Grayson Waller.

Once in the match Waller challenged, Gargano to step into the second ring and face him but it wasn’t long before he and Hayes were double teaming Gargano and mocking him with double team moves from the DIY playbook. Busted open and bloodied, Gargano soon got some help in the form of the Bruiserweight Pete Dunne. Dunne took the fight straight to Waller and Hayes and gave his partner time to recover. Dunne and Gargano continued the punishment of the young 2.0 members locking the pair in dual submissions. 

Everybody was left laying in the ring as Tony D’Angelo entered the match and was assisted by Trick Williams outside the ring in filling the cage with tables, garbage cans, crutches and kendo sticks. Trick Williams was chased away by Dexter Lumis, who was hiding in the ring but D’Angelo made sure that nobody would enter the cage by chaining and padlocking it shut. As the clock expired and L.A. Knight made his way to the ring, he was forced to watch as Gargano and Dunne were forced facefirst into the side of the cage. Knight circled the ring and climbed in from the other side, providing some valuable relief for his team. With a garbage can over the head of Waller, Team Black and Gold got back into the match and awaited the arrival of Bron Breakker as the officials tried to cut the chain away from the door. 

They needed some help from Breakker, though, and he entered the ring after butchering his way through the chain. Bron made an immediate impact for Team 2.0, powering his way through Gargano, Dunne and Knight. With the entrance of NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa, War Games was officially underway. After an initial burst of aggression from Ciampa, Team 2.0 took over once again. 2.0 surrounded Team Black and Gold as they regrouped between the two rings but this gave the veteran team time to recover and they went on their own offensive, taking full control of the match for the first time. 

This control continued as Gargano launched Hayes into the end of a garbage can like a lawn dart and Waller was launched through a table from the top turnbuckle by L.A. Knight. As Team Black and Gold looked to follow this with a huge double superplex on Carmelo Hayes, Breaker and D’Angelo stepped in and turned it into a big stack powerbomb. Momentum shifted back to 2.0 and Waller put Knight through a table with a massive elbow drop from the top of the cage. He went for the win but Dunne broke up the pin. Tony D’Angelo retrieved a crowbar from outside the cage and used it to deliver a neckbreaker from the top rope. 

Gargano and Ciampa used this distraction to continue the DIY reunion tour and delivered double knees to Breakker and would have pinned him if Carmelo Hayes hadn’t pulled the referee off his count. Ciampa went for the Fairytale Ending on Hayes but Breakker speared both men through a table, hit the Press Powerslam on Ciampa and pinned the NXT Champion to win War Games for Team 2.0.

Jez’s Pick: Team 2.0
Dan’s Pick: Team Black & Gold
Winner: Team 2.0
Jez 2 – Dan 3

Final Rating

Dan awards 4 Black and Gold NXT Logos Out of 5
Jez also awards 4 Black and Gold NXT Logos Out of 5

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