Pro Wrestling

NXT Takeover: War Games II Recap

On Saturday night, NXT put on their second annual War Games event emanating from Los Angeles. The event would be entitled after the namesake match involving two four-man teams which take place in two rings surrounded by a cage. So let’s get into the heart of the event and recap all the action.

Matt Riddle vs. Kassius Ohno

Laracuente Ledger Rating: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

This bout wasn’t supposed to take place until next week’s weekly episode of NXT. But after a verbal exchange on the NXT Takeover War Games II kickoff show. Matt Riddle would call out Kassius Ohno. And as quickly as the challenge was made the match was over. Riddle would deliver a bicycle kick strike for a knockout blow. And a one…two…three victory. The best part would be the after the match theatrics of Kassius Ohno. Ohno would show why he is such a showman in this business.

NXT Women’s Championship; 2 of 3 Falls Match: Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler

Laracuente Ledger Rating: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

These two ladies have put on some absolute classics. And with this match upset for a two-fall finish it did not disappoint. Kairi would start off quickly with the attacks. But quickly the tides would turn as Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke would get involved leading to a Kirifuda Clutch by Baszler for the first fall.

At the start of the second fall, Shayna would start it out with a running knee strike and would lock in the Kirifuda Clutch once again. Sane would get to the ropes and try to fight back. The size difference between these amazing competitors as well as the style differences would help tell an incredible story. The in-ring transitions of Baszler are second to none and are representative of her near seamless transition from the world of MMA to NXT. Kairi would have an incredible counter to an apron suplex attempt. The Pirate Princess Kairi Sane would come off the top turnbuckle to drop the Insane Elbow twice (once to the inside and outside the ring) to pick up the second fall.

The third fall would begin much like the first when Sane would start off quickly. But both women would continue to battle. Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir would once again make their presence felt by interfering. But they would be quickly combated by “Captain of Team Kick” Dakota Kai. Kai would find herself quickly outnumbered and on the receiving end of an attack by 2 of the 4 Horsewomen of MMA. This would then cause the 2018 Mae Young Classic runner-up Io Shirai to come out as well. And the “Genius of the Sky” Io Shirai would live up to the moniker taking out the ringside contingent. Back in the ring Kairi Sane would attempt another Insane Elbow but would find it countered by Baszler. Baszler would roll up Sane for the third and final fall.

Just on a Side Note:

Mauro Ranallo is absolutely incredible. His ability to capture the emotions of the moment is a breath of fresh air in WWE. Now this isn’t a knock on Michael Cole because when he is allowed to call the action, he does a great job (as was seen on the inaugural UK tournament alongside Nigel McGuiness.) But the emotions that come out during Mauro’s broadcast are what the fans are actually feeling.

Johnny Gargano vs. Aleister Black

Laracuente Ledger Rating: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

The build for this match was absolutely astounding. Every twist and turn in the Summer long saga of “Who attacked Aleister Black?” was masterfully done. Including the heel turn of Johnny Gargano. Gargano would enter the ring first and could be seen mouthing the words “I did nothing wrong” and it would be these words that would be the crutch on which this match was birthed. The in-ring psychology of both of these men would be put on full display.

The action in this matchup would tell a beautiful story for both men. For Aleister Black a story of seeking retribution on the man that would cost him the NXT Championship and months of his career. And for Johnny Gargano a story of trying to stay one step ahead of the man who got in his way on his path to Tommaso Ciampa. The exchanges in this match are some of the best I have seen all year. This was one of the best matches I have seen all year across any promotion.

NXT Championship: Velveteen Dream vs. Tommaso Ciampa

Laracuente Ledger Rating: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

The NXT Championship match would be an intriguing one as the Velveteen Dream beloved by the NXT Universe would take on the man who caused the mental breakdown in Johnny Gargano. Velveteen is known for his eccentric attire designs for his Takeover appearance and this was no different. As Dream would get “Hollywood” (as in Hogan) for this Takeover special in Los Angeles.

The two men would find themselves struggling to gain the upper hand over one another. The two men would exchange the upper hand for a few minutes but it would be the attempt to elicit a pop from the fans that would have the Velveteen Dream seeing stars. Tommasso Ciampa would deliver some hard-hitting shots to the Dream. All shots would be punctuated by a plethora of aggressive Knee Strikes. Velveteen Dream and Tommaso Ciampa would exchange signature moves and kickouts. The two men would deliver in this Championship bout.

War Games: Undisputed Era vs. War Raiders, Pete Dunne, & Ricochet

Laracuente Ledger Rating: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Adam Cole would begin for the Undisputed Era and it would be Ricochet for his side. For those that don’t understand the unique and tumultuous nature of the War Games match up. While two men begin and others are introduced periodically the match does not officially begin until all eight men have entered the contest. So with every added competitor the match becomes increasing more a battle of attrition than a wrestling match. Not to mention the unique aspect of duel rings surrounded by a cage. Mauro would make mention that both sides would have the man with the greatest stamina starting for their side. If you had the pleasure to be a witness to last year’s Takeover War Games you understand the phenomenal site that it is to watch this type of matchup. And having the eight NXT Superstars that were apart of this years match made it even better.

War Games Match

Kyle O’Reilly would be the next man into the match. And the Undisputed Era would have an advantage. Hanson would be the second man to enter for his side. And as the odds technically evened up Ricochet would benefit from having a chance to recover a bit. Roderick Strong would be the third member for Undisputed Era giving them the advantage once again. Undisputed Era would work extremely well as a unit. Allow me to just say no words that I could say could even begin to encapsulate the unbelievable action that was witnessed in this War Games match.

Bobby Fish the final member of Undisputed Era would be release and would steal the lock from the referee and chain the cage that was still housing Pete Dunne up. Fish would also throw the key into the crowd. And once Bobby made his way to ringside he would proceed to grab weapons and put them in the ring. Carnage and amazing brutality that was witnessed during Takeover War Games II and it was incredible to watch.

NXT Takeover War Games II Overall Rating: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 1/4

As is the case with every NXT Takeover Special the action was incredible, sensational, phenomenal. Honestly, whatever other superlatives you care to add to it, they all represent the action witnessed during NXT Takeover War Games II.

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