NXT TakeOver: Wargames takes place tonight at the legendary Allstate Arena in the shadow of Chicago, IL in Rosemont. Allstate Arena has a capacity of 18,211 for wrestling. The broadcast for the kickoff show is scheduled to begin at 6:30pm ET on the WWE Network and the main show is scheduled at 7pm ET shortly after. There are five scheduled matches for the evening: a singles match on the kickoff show, one singles match on the main show, one triple threat, a men's WarGames match, and the first-ever Women's WarGames match. Some of the NXT stars on this event are scheduled to compete the next evening at Survivor Series. Most notably, NXT Champion Adam Cole will defend his NXT Championship at Survivor Series the next night after competing in a ladder match on Wednesday, a tag match on SmackDown, and a WarGames match Saturday. With the inter-brand warfare going on in WWE, there is a distinct possibility of RAW & SmackDown Superstars showing up at WarGames as well. Below is a preview of each match on the card and predictions based on recent booking. In the comments below, share your thoughts and predictions on NXT TakeOver: WarGames.
Isaiah "Swerve" Scott vs. Angel Garza
This is the first matchup on WWE programming between these two upstarts in NXT. Both men have competed on 205 Live and have opened eyes with their athletic ability. Scott and Garza both last competed on the November 13th episode of NXT. Scott got the upset on Bronson Reed while Garza came up short attempting to win the NXT Cruiserweight Championship from Lio Rush. This match will get the Chicago crowd hot early. Expect fast-paced action between these young stars. Scott is slightly taller than Garza and has a little bit more name recognition as the former "Killshot" in Lucha Underground. Scott will pick up the victory in a close battle that will definitely feature the charismatic heel, Garza. Garza has tons of potential to be over in Chicago, a town that is known for appreciating great heels. This match was added early this morning making it clear that NXT wants eyes on these two skilled wrestlers for the future in spite of them not having much of a story or build to the match.
Isaiah "Swerve" Scott via pinfall
First-ever Women's WarGames Match
Team Ripley (Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae, Tegan Nox & Mia Yim) vs. Team Baszler (NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler, NXT UK Women's Champion Kay Lee Ray, Io Shirai & Bianca Belair)
Shayna Baszler's dominance of NXT's women's division has been impressive, becoming the first-ever two-time NXT Women's Champion with her first reign lasting 133 days and her current reign stands at 391 days. Rhea Ripley returned to NXT on the August 28th 2019 episode after a 139 day reign as NXT UK champion to challenge Baszler. Ripley and Baszler announced their teammates on WWE's The Bump with the exception of their final members. Dakota Kai hoped to finally get her revenge for Baszler putting her out of action last year by joining Ripley's team. Unfortunately for Dakota Kai, Baszler and her friends ganged up on her until Mia Yim defended her with a kendo stick. Yim's aggressiveness caught the eye of Ripley and she got the final spot on Ripley's team over Dakota Kai. Baszler's final team member, Kay Lee Ray (NXT UK Women's Champion) shocked everyone by interfering in the ladder match between Io Shirai & Mia Yim to give team Baszler the advantage at WarGames.
NXT has one of the strongest women's rosters in wrestling and their abilities will be on full display at WarGames. Expect Bianca Belair to impress with her strength, toughness, and agility as she looks to break out. Candice LeRae and Mia Yim have shed more blood on the indies than any of these women, so look to those two to push how hardcore this match can become. Io Shirai may not top Ricochet's leap from cage to cage last year, but she will certainly provide a death-defying aerial element to the match. Tegan Nox & Kay Lee Ray's roles are a bit unclear in this match so far, but Nox will be looking to make a big splash on her first TakeOver and Kay Lee Ray will want to have a good showing to get more eyes on NXT UK. Ripley and Baszler are the main rivals in this match with both having so many similarities in spite of the 16 year age difference between the two. Ripley is the future, but Baszler's time is now.
Triple Threat Match – Winner faces NXT Champion Adam Cole at Survivor Series
Pete Dunne vs. Killian Dain vs. Damian Priest
These three have been feuding since NXT's two-hour premiere on USA at the beginning of October. It began with Damian Priest targeting Pete Dunne with Priest getting a victory with the help of a low blow. Killian Dain and Dunne started feuding when Dain got in the Bruiserweight's face and Dunne snapped Dain's fingers. In the rematch between Priest and Dunne, Dunne tapped Priest out with an armbar only to be assaulted by Dain after the victory. Priest, not liking the interruption, attacked Dain but was thrown into the steel ring steps. The three will face off for the opportunity to challenge Adam Cole at Survivor Series in the first NXT Championship match on a major WWE PPV.
Damian Priest is a former ROH TV champion and at 6'5" he's got the size to be a star in WWE. Killian Dain had success early in his NXT career with SAnitY before being called up to SmackDown in 2018 and then was lost in the shuffle. Dain returned to NXT on May 16th and has looked strong since. Dunne returned to NXT in June after a 685 day run as NXT UK champion. The match between these three will give NXT fans a fresh match-up between three very different wrestlers. As much as WWE loves its big men, Dunne stands out amongst the giants and has the most potential to steal the show at Survivor Series with Adam Cole. Triple H has always been high on Dunne and Dunne hasn't given anyone a reason not to love him yet. Dunne will find a way to win and challenge for the NXT Championship at Survivor Series.
Pete Dunne via submission
Matt Riddle vs. Finn Bálor
Finn Bálor returned to NXT on the October 2nd episode to confront Adam Cole after his victory over Matt Riddle. Bálor shocked everyone when he aided Cole three weeks later in a beatdown of Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, setting up a match between Bálor & Gargano at WarGames. Gargano is suffering from a neck injury and was unable to be cleared for the match. Matt Riddle has stepped in to challenge Bálor in the first-ever match between the two former independent stars.
This match is one of the few dream matches booked for the weekend and it will not disappoint. Bálor is looking to make a statement with his return to NXT while he reboots his persona as a heel for the first time in WWE. Riddle has been excellent in every one of his matches on NXT programming. Riddle's selling has gotten better and his persona is rounding out a bit more on the mic. While there's still room for Riddle to grow, Bálor (the veteran of the two) is fully-realized and ready to make a run for the NXT Championship. Riddle got the upset win over Ricochet on NXT this past Wednesday and stood tall over Finn after a surprise attack. It's unclear where Matt Riddle will go next after this match, but a loss to the first-ever Universal Champion and former leader of The Bullet Club is nothing to be ashamed of.
Finn Bálor via pinfall
Men's WarGames Match
Team Ciampa (Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic & ???) vs. The Undisputed ERA (NXT Champion Adam Cole, NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong & NXT Tag Team Champions Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish)
Tommaso Ciampa wants Goldie (his name for the NXT Championship) back and his path to becoming the number one contender leads him to WarGames against Adam Cole and the Undisputed Era. This will be the third WarGames match for The Undisputed Era, who have one win and one loss in their previous WarGames. Every member of the Undisputed Era is scheduled to wrestle the next night on Survivor Series as well. On paper, The Undisputed Era (particularly Adam Cole) should be exhausted going into this match, but they also are the more experienced of the two teams. Team Ciampa has a tremendous size advantage with Keith Lee & Dominik Dijakovic on the team, but their fourth member has yet to be named.
Velveteen Dream is the most likely to be the fourth member of the team since he last feuded with Roderick Strong before taking time off to recover from a back injury he was working through. Triple H has hinted that the fourth member will be an epic surprise making some think that it could be someone not even featured on regular NXT programming such as Kevin Owens, who was attacked by Undisputed Era on RAW this past week, or NXT UK Champion WALTER, who had a great showing on RAW two weeks ago. Both WALTER, Owens, and Velveteen Dream have yet to compete in a WarGames match and while Owens is scheduled to compete at Survivor Series, the former NXT Champion would love to get his hands on Adam Cole. A wildcard could be John Morrison, who is rumored to be returning to WWE but he could be saved for something closer to the Royal Rumble.
Fourth member notwithstanding, WarGames is a blast and this match will be very different than the previous two due to the size and athleticism of Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic alone. Look to those two to break out in this match as they look to elevate themselves in the WWE. Undisputed Era lost their match last year and it's hard to imagine them winning this one. The Undisputed Era has gotten great reactions in their appearances on SmackDown and RAW, losing at WarGames won't hurt their momentum if the fourth member catches them off guard. However, their cunning will likely get them through this match and The Undisputed Era will continue to reign before a shakeup around the time of The Royal Rumble.
The Undisputed Era