Team LeRae defeated Team Shotzi
Shotzi has a new tank, and Ember Moon & Dakota Kai start out. The rare WarGames with a babyface advantage.Raquel using Jeff Cobb's Tour of the Islands. I have that one in the can for an upcoming Making a Finisher feature on Fightful. Heck yeah. Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai should be women's tag team champions right now. SIRLOIN BEEF SUNSABITCHES BATTLE!!! RHEA! RAQUEL! The face offs here are great. Shotzi brought in a bunch of weapons, but Toni really one ups her with them. There is such a ridiculous amount of talent in this match. Io Shirai is kept outside for a while because Raquel hits her with the door. Lots of weapons in this one, and it really adds to an already fun match. Indi Hartwell attacks Io Shirai as Candice shows up. Production completely missed whatever spot happened with Hartwell and the key. Shirai puts a trash can over her head and jumps on the pile. Fun spot, but why would anyone stand down there? That spot was ridiculous and I dunno why people would group together and wait for a trash can to jump on then, but it was hilarious and amazing and I loved it.
This women's WarGames match goes on and on, one-upping itself with fantastic and innovative violence. Io ends up taking the pin after a powerbomb through a ladder between the rings. Raquel has to be next in line for a title shot. I'm all for Raquel competing for and winning the NXT Title. In the mean time HAVE RHEA RIPLEY WIN MATCHES -- A LOT OF THEM. An undeniable amount, and let them slug it out for the title after.
Tommaso Ciampa defeated Timothy Thatcher
This is what fools would have called a bathroom break spot years ago. It's not. They beat the tar out of each other. Thatcher has evolved so much as a wrestler, and has transitioned really well to the WWE NXT style. Thatcher's ear gets busted up BIG TIME, and Ciampa wails away at it. I really like the old school cheesing for the camera that Thatcher does. Everything in this match is stiff as hell. Ciampa wins a really brutal match with a Willow's Bell. They followed the previous match's violence rather well. They stare at each other from opposite sides of the apron. The end of Ciampa and Thatcher was so cool. I sat there wanting them to shake hands or beat each other's ass, but even though neither of those happened, I'm wondering what happens when they do get face-to-face again.
Dexter Lumis defeated Cameron Grimes
This match just wasn't for me. There was plenty of great offense, and the match was great in execution, I just couldn't be arsed to care about it based on the build. Both of these guys are incredibly talented, but it had one of the lamer set-ups. Lumis was victorious. This was good in the ring, but they deserved better creatively.
After the match, a Karrion Kross return teaser airs.
NXT North American Title
Johnny Gargano defeated Leon Ruff (c) and Damian Priest to become champion
Leon Ruff gets Border Tossed into the barricade and wall to start. Insane spot. There is a really exceptional flow to this match. Ruff's offense is believable, and Gargano plays a really good in between of the underdog and the veteran. Priest is tied up in the ropes, but escapes to break up a submission attempt. Damian Priest does a great South Of Heaven outside-in, before getting attacked by a bunch of jobber ghost faces. Another shows up and knocks out Damian with a PIPE. Gargano wins the title with One Final Beat. There were some really good spots in this match, but too much smoke and mirrors. Priest doing dives is always impressive. Austin Theory revealed himself as one of the ghost faces.
Undisputed Era defeated Kings Of NXT
This is much slower paced than the opening match, not that's a bad thing. The entire McAfee team is in, and only Adam Cole remains. Kyle O'Reilly re-emerges to distract McAfee. As good as Undisputed Era are, their trash talk never seems organic. It seems like they think people won't actually hear it. This match has one too many "uh oh, it's them vs. the world" spots for me. There are some cool table spots, including McAfee taking a gravity-defying bump. McAfee Swantons off the top, and this is a really good match, but also a good indication of why there should probably only be one WarGames match on a show like this. We saw a lot of the same set-ups.
The offense in this match is truly amazing. Great competitors, great work, just no real stakes, and that's not on them. We've seen a similar setup four straight years. A team is put together to take on Undisputed Era, and the match is fantastic. No different here, I just thought it could have been maximized with one WarGames match. Kyle O'Reilly got the win.
10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor
Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5. The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.
These are opinions, and incredibly inconsistent ones that may change upon a second viewing, or sitting on the match for a period of time. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own!