WWE NXT’s annual two-rings-one-cage live special isn’t happening on Survivor Series weekend this year. But that doesn’t make us any less excited for TakeOver: WarGames tomorrow (Sun., Dec. 6, 2020), coming our way at 7PM Eastern from the Capital Wrestling Center and exclusively on WWE Network.
And we’ve got good reason to be excited. Even beyond The Matches Beyond, this year’s looks to be the usual high quality we’ve come to expect from the black-and-gold brand.
If you’re new or someone who only checks out NXT for the live specials, we’ve got a full preview of the matches coming up for you between now and belltime. Right now, we’ve assembled a motley crew of NXT-following Cagesiders to give us their thoughts & predictions on each.
Let’s get to it.
WWE NXT TAKEOVER WARGAMES PREDICTIONS
Undisputed ERA vs. Pat McAfee, Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
Sean Rueter: Would not be surprised to see this turn out either way. This is essentially a tiebreaker since Cole beat McAfee and Pete beat Kyle. Pat is very good at justifying losses, but the ERA have proven they know how to brush off a WarGames setback over the years, too. Enough hedging my bets. Let’s take a step toward a McAfee-managed Dunne feuding with NXT champ Finn Bálor, shall we? Pick: Pat McAfee, Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
Kyle Decker: I think the more interesting story would be Pat’s crew picking up a W and seeing how Undisputed ERA copes with their struggles. But I don’t know how they’d book at it. For all intents and purposes, despite how impressive McAfee has been, this is a 4 on 3 match. And those four are long standing stable. Pick: Undisputed ERA
Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Undisputed ERA have been in every NXT WarGames match and they’ve only ever won the one where that was a three-way before Roderick Strong joined the faction. Pick: Danny Burch, Oney Lorcan, Pat McAfee, & Pete Dunne
Stella Cheeks: If McAfee and Crew win then not only will they drive the final stake into Undisputed ERA’s heart, but it means that this feud will be over and, frankly, it doesn’t feel like they want this to end so soon. Also, personally, I want to see McAfee’s smug face when he loses. Pick: Undisputed ERA
Henry T. Casey: There is only one reason for Pat’s Lads to win: Pete Dunne getting momentum to be the next NXT champion. So? Yes, sorry ERA (except for you Bobby, you know what you did). Pick: Pat’s Lads
Candice LeRae, Toni Storm, Dakota Kai & Raquel González vs. Shotzi Blackheart, Io Shirai, Ember Moon & Rhea Ripley
Sean Rueter: Mostly, this is gonna rule. Take a second and appreciate how much freaking talent and star power is in this match. Wow. As for the winners, Candice needs to pay for what she did to that tank. Pick: Shotzi Blackheart, Io Shirai, Ember Moon & Rhea Ripley
Kyle Decker: Ultimately, I think this will be used to set up the next women’s title feud, with someone picking up an elusive pin on Io Shirai to become the de facto #1 contender. I think that person will be Toni Storm. Pick: Team Candice
Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Not following NXT week-to-week always hamstrings me in these and I am torn— on one hand, Toni Storm is clearly in line for a monster push and feels like the most likely woman to beat Io Shirai for the title right now, but on the other, I picked a heel win in the men’s match and I’m not sure Mr. H’s goes in for a straight heel ticket on top of WarGames. Indeed, last year was a split heel-men/babyface-women set of victories, and hell, they love Shotzi so let’s go with Toni neutralizes Io before the Ballsy Badass picks up the win for her team. Pick: Ember Moon, Io Shirai, Rhea Ripley, & Shotzi Blackheart
Stella Cheeks: The endgame looks like it’s going to be Io Shirai vs. Toni Storm, but I just can’t bring myself to vote against Team Shotzi! Just look at that line up!! Ember Moon. Io Shirai. Rhea Ripley. Shotzi Blackheart. Now THAT is a team of badasses! I can’t even think cogently right now to write anything worth reading because I AM SO HYPE. **wolf howl** Pick: Team Blackheart
Henry T. Casey: Io’s got a dream team, and I don’t think they should lose. They’re like the Raw Men’s team from Survivor Series. But this is WarGames where there is so much shenanigans that nobody’s especially hurt by a loss. And since Io Shirai is in this match, then the ostensible reason for that is to have someone beat her and get a title shot. And it seems Toni Storm’s got the rockets, so? Pick: Team Candice
Damian Priest vs. Leon Ruff (c) vs. Johnny Gargano the NXT North American championship
Sean Rueter: Really enjoy the work all three of these dudes are doing right now, and kind of don’t want that to end. Having the champ retain is probably the way to go to make that happen, but if the former Punishment Martinez isn’t getting called up, he should probably get a more substantial reign. Pick: Damian Priest
Kyle Decker: Johnny has so many Ghostfaces, I don’t see how he can lose. Pick: Johnny Gargano
Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Leon Ruff’s ascent to being somebody in NXT has been one of the most pleasant “wait what did NXT do?” moments to come across my timeline while liveblogging Dynamite. He’s got the odds stacked against him, but I can’t help but pick him, especially since the Skulk are right there waiting for NXT to add the Happiest Gang in the World to the equation, even if mentor AR Fox is unlikely to come with them. Pick: Leon Ruff
Stella Cheeks: I refuse to live in a world where they keep writing Leon Ruff as a joke because he is an incredible wrestler and brings some much needed joy to the NXT roster. The current men’s roster is full of heels and hardasses. We deserve a loveable underdog with the heart of a heroes! Also, did I mention that he’s a real good wrestler?? And Priest and Gargano are dicks. Boo them! RUFF CLUB FOR LYFE! Pick: Leon Ruff
Henry T. Casey: I am making this pick with my brain and my mark heart. Damian Priest’s already had a good little run. Johnny Gargano is better without a title. And so? Pick: RUFF RUFF!
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Timothy Thatcher
Sean Rueter: It’s becoming clear that Tim’s here to put on bangers and play main event gatekeeper. While the gate is always open for Ciampa, he could use a little more shine after putting Karrion Kross over and flipping from face-to-heel-to-face this year. Pick: Tommaso Ciampa
Kyle Decker: Tommaso Ciampa is still more important to the promotion than Timothy Thatcher is. Thatcher is still more of a midcard act in NXT, albeit a talented one. Ciampa can be in the main event picture immediately if they wanted. Pick: Tommaso Ciampa
Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Well then, this is a pleasant surprise! My man Tim Thatcher has tore the house down once before against Mr. Ciampa, at a Tier 1 show back in March of 2016, and I full well expect them to recreate that magic once again on Sunday. And look, I gotta pick with my beating fangirl heart, so… Pick: Timothy Thatcher
Stella Cheeks: It feels like Tomasso Ciampa is closeish to the end of his career here in NXT. Timothy Thatcher, on the other hand, is still pretty new blood. Ciampa doesn’t need the win. He already has an impressive NXT history, but Thatcher could use a big win over someone as established as the former champion. If he’s moving out of the midcard anytime soon that Thatcher should win. Pick: Timothy Thatcher
Henry T. Casey: Timothy Thatcher, a man carved out of oak and thirst, is getting so much more play in NXT than I would have bet — even though I was begging for the WWE to sign him back at NOLA Mania. And Ciampa? Who knows? He has his mask and his anger and is best for putting people over. Pick: Timbo Slice aka Thatch Me Gently
Dexter Lumis vs. Cameron Grimes
Sean Rueter: These guys are both fun in their way, but this program’s past its prime. Let the babyface win and let’s move on. Grimey is going TOOO THEEEE MOOOOON anyway. Pick: Dexter Lumis
Kyle Decker: Grimes can lose all the matches and be fine. Lumis would suffer more if he lost this one. Pick: Dexter Lumis
Rev. Claire Elizabeth: I have no fancy logic here nor skin in the proverbial game. I’d like to see Grimes win just because I have, historically, liked his work more, so let’s go with that. Pick: Cameron Grimes
Stella Cheeks: Dexter Lumis is a creep and his character makes ZERO sense. Cameron Grimes wears a a dumb hat but is not a creep. To creep or not to creep? Pick: Cameron Grimes
Henry T. Casey: Injuries done, it’s time for Sam Shaw win and go on to make NXT as spooky as he can. Somehow this should lead to Lumis in a ladder match because we were robbed of that. Pick: Dexter Lumis
That’s who we’ve got. Who are you taking, Cagesiders?