It is high time that NXT is referred to as the third brand of WWE, rather than the developmental brand, with the addition of a new TV deal, much larger roster and participation in the yearly brand warfare at Survivor Series.
However, just twenty-four hours before their first-ever Survivor Series matchup, the superstars of NXT will compete in their own PPV, the third installment of the massively popular and iconic War Games.
After two years of Men’s War Games Matches, this year will feature the first-ever Women’s War Games encounter, featuring the Women’s Division of NXT, which has been hailed by many as the best female roster in professional wrestling currently.
Almost every superstar involved in the Takeover event will feature the very next night on the Survivor Series show. It won’t be a surprise to see certain RAW and SmackDown superstars make their presence felt at the show on Saturday.
We look at the NXT Takeover WarGames match card so far and deliver our thoughts on how the event will go down.
Event: NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2019
Date: November 23, 2019
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago
Pre-Show Time: 6 PM EST
Main Show Time: 7 PM EST
Where to Watch?: WWE Network
Pete Dunne vs. Killian Dain vs. Damian Priest
The mid-carders of the roster and the guys who couldn’t find a place on the War Games team will feature in an intense triple threat matchup. The tension between these three guys has been building for weeks, and it will all come to a head at Takeover: War Games.
This match was originally scheduled to take place on NXT this week but was later added to the WarGames card. The match comes with added stipulations, as the winner of this match will get to make their debut at Survivor Series, challenging Adam Cole for the NXT Championship.
We have already witnessed several singles matches featuring these three individuals, and they have excelled in the ring so far. Adam Cole is currently a heel and Dunne is the only babyface involved in this matchup and should be an easy pick for the victory
Prediction: Pete Dunne wins
Finn Balor vs. Matt Riddle
The former NXT and Universal Champion made a shocking return to NXT last month and has taken over the third brand ever since. Balor turned heel a few weeks ago, after he attacked Johnny Gargano, and seemingly set up a match for Takeover.
However, an injury to Gargano forced him to miss the event, and Matt Riddle took over his place, leaving Team Ciampa for the War Games match. The story leading to this match has been that Balor hates the current version of NXT, and wants it to return to its glory days.
Matt Riddle will wrestle yet another singles match on a Takeover event, while Balor returns to NXT Takeover after a period of more than three years.
It is difficult to predict the winner in this match, but Balor gets the edge due to his recent heel turn and ambitions for the NXT Championship.
Prediction: Finn Balor wins
Women’s War Games Match: Team Baszler (Shayna Baszler, Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, Kay Lee Ray) vs. Team Ripley (Rhea Ripley, Mia Yim, Candice LeRae, Tegan Nox)
The first-ever Women’s WarGames matchup will feature the who’s who of NXT Women’s Division and is absolutely stacked with extremely talented wrestlers. NXT and NXT UK’s Women Champions join the heel team, while the babyfaces are led by former NXT UK Women’s Champ Rhea Ripley.
The story leading to this matchup has been absolutely fantastic and has involved a whole lot of drama and intrigue, along with exceptional wrestling. Rhea Ripley, Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, and Candice LeRae initially started out as challengers for Baszler’s championship, but eventually, it evolved into a bigger rivalry, leading to William Regal shouting War Games!
Io Shirai defeated Mia Yim in a brilliant ladder match last week, which means the heels start out with an advantage in the gruesome matchup. Rhea Ripley is the best bet to dethrone the long-standing champion and should lead her team to victory.
Prediction: Team Ripley wins
Men’s War Games Match: The Undisputed Era vs. Team Ciampa (Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic and TBA)
The Undisputed Era will main-event the War Games match for the third year in a row and are currently 1-1. Tommaso Ciampa returned to NXT programming recently, and immediately set his sights on the NXT Championship, and recruited Johnny Gargano, Keith Lee and Matt Riddle to even the odds.
Gargano turned his sights to Finn Balor, but later, an injury to Gargano forced Riddle to leave the team. Riddle was eventually replaced by Dominik Dijakovic, who has had issues with Keith Lee in the past. The babyfaces still need one more member in their lineup, and we should find out the fourth member quite soon (Kushida?).
The Undisputed Era has been on a roll in recent weeks and should continue their momentum with a win in this matchup.
Prediction: The Undisputed Era wins