If TakeOver: Brooklyn is NXT’s WrestleMania, then WarGames is the yellow brand’s answer to the Royal Rumble. A massive stipulation in the main event that features a who’s who of top names. As of right now, only four matches are confirmed for the card and it looks like that might be final. Rumour has it that Triple H wants every match to get the necessary amount of time that it needs, so expect some true wars to come out of this.
We have the aforementioned WarGames structure, two scintillating title matches, and the culmination to a story that has dominated NXT since the Summer. He are our predictions for NXT TakeOver: WarGames.
Aleister Black Vs. Johnny Gargano
Before the last TakeOver event, Aleister Black had to be removed from what would have been a triple threat against Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. This was due to a groin injury, but onscreen, he was attacked by an unknown assailant. Well, we now have our answer. Johnny Gargano did the unthinkable and turned heel, confirming he was the one who put Black out of commission. Gargano has gone from being the people’s hero to their ultimate scourge. He has sunk to depths we didn’t know he could. This emotionally charged match has so much riding on it and could be a classic.
Prediction: This could easily go one of two ways. Gargano could win to solidify his new dark side. Or Black could win to gain his vengeance. The crowd feel betrayed by Johnny and will no doubt want to see him get his head kicked off. I’m going to say that Johnny Gargano joins his former partner, Tommaso Ciampa, in being the only people to defeat Black in singles competition.
Two-Out-of-Three Falls Match for the NXT Women’s Championship
Shayna Baszler (C) Vs. Kairi Sane
Shayna Baszler reclaiming the NXT Women’s Championship at Evolution was an amazing, historic moment that established Shayna as the queen of her world. “The Queen of Spades” is now flanked by Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, her MMA running buddies. Kairi’s back is against the wall and she has to beat Baszler not once, but twice to get the gold back.
Prediction: With just four matches on the card and this almost definitely seeing all three falls, expect an epic. These two women have faced off four times in WWE and are locked up at 2-2. Another tough one to call. Logic says Shayna retains now that she has a stable to dominate with, but you could argue that she only won the belt at Evolution so that the show had a title change. I don’t think Baszler is main roster-bound just yet, as I don’t believe NXT has somebody who’s ready to take her spot as the top heel (though Bianca Belair is well on her way). With that in mind, I’m predicting Shayna Baszler to take it two falls to one.
NXT Championship Match
TOMMASO CIAMPA (C) VS. VELVETEEN DREAM
One year on from his incredible coming out party against Aleister Black at WarGames 2017, the Velveteen Dream is now challenging for NXT’s top prize against the brand’s most notorious bastard. Dream’s rise has been a joy to behold, and everyone from John Cena to Kurt Angle have pegged him as a future main event star. But he is going to have to get past a man who has been the brand’s MVP for 2018. Ciampa has headlined the last three TakeOver shows and cut Aleister Black’s floundering title reign short to become the man. I don’t know what I’m more excited for, the match or Velveteen Dream’s outfit.
Prediction: A Dream victory would be amazing, but Ciampa’s just got so much more he can do. His time as champion needs to be defined outside of his blood feud with Johnny Gargano, a man who I can see factoring into this. Ciampa has been doing an awful lot of tweeting recently of how he’s proud of Johnny. He’s stated that he never hated his former best friend, he just wanted to bring out what he knew was always inside of him. Could he be alluding to a potential heel #DIY reunion? Could Johnny Gargano interfere in the match to gift a win to his supposed mortal enemy? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Either way, Tommaso Ciampa gets my vote.
The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong) Vs. Pete Dunne, Ricochet & War Raiders (Hanson & Rowe)
Jesus, there’s a lot going on here. My only reservation is that the tag champs, the North American champ, and the UK Champ are all in this match rather than defending their titles. But you know what? I can forgive that if it delivers the carnage promised. Undisputed Era emerged victorious from WarGames last year, though the match’s structure was slightly different. We’re getting a more traditional Team vs. Team set up this year, as opposed to the triple threat tag team format of 2017.
We’ve got so much happening here, with the mismatch of Dunne, Ricochet and War Raiders all united behind vanquishing TUE. All four men have beefs with NXT’s resident bad boys. My boy Bobby Fish is back from injury and is being placed in a damn double cage for his welcome party, ouch. Expect massive spots, weapons, and all other sorts of shenanigans in an effort to top last year.
Prediction: I really want to say Undisputed Era win yet again, making this their match and their NXT. They’re gonna be sticking around for some time – I don’t see them showing up on main until after WrestleMania at the very earliest. However, looking back on these predictions, every winner I’ve picked is a heel. I might be overthinking things, but maybe we’ll be seeing the babyface team win to send the crowd home happy.
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