The last time War Games graced the pay per view landscape, it was part of WCW’s Fall Brawl and had the added bonus of being dubbed “(Vince) Russo’s Revenge.” And much like that particular incarnation, Ernest The Cat Miller will once again have to defeat Kronik in order to qualify for the match!
The gimmick PPV and Dusty Rhodes brainchild (his sons, Dustin and Cody are expected to be in attendance) makes its return this Saturday. Despite the revival of the War Games name, only one match on the evening promises to make use of the format in addition to both mens and women’s titles being on the line.
Triple Threat War Games Match- SAnitY vs. The Undisputed ERA vs. The Authors of Pain & Roderick Strong
Although The Undisputed Era are the present and future in NXT, it appears that NXT brass aren’t quite ready to rush any one member into the title picture just yet. Instead, they’ve been a part of this somewhat awkward feud with the faux-heel faction, SAnitY. SAnitY’s run as Tag champs has been less than inspiring, though it promises to continue through the PPV, where one presumes they eventually lose the straps to Fish and O’Reilly. Oh yeah, and the Authors of Pain are still in NXT, so they’re in this match too. And they have Roderick Strong with them too for some reason. Strong actually might be the most intriguing piece in this matchup, as the will he/won’t he dynamic between him and The Undisputed Era has been developed nicely.
Prediction: I don’t get the sense that the Authors are supposed to be the unshakeable dominant force they were a few months ago, but rather they’re just biding their time until their big call up. I’m gonna have to assume The Undisputed Era find a way to walk out of this on top (even if its underhanded or involves a new addition to their group…they wouldn’t introduce a desperate Johnny Gargano would they?).
NXT Championship Match: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas
Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I haven’t been impressed with the Drew McIntyre title run. He comes off as very generic and hasn’t had much intrigue surrounding any of his rivalries to date. Conversely, Cien Almas has been far more engaging, especially since the addition of Zelina Vega by his side.
Prediction: Unless, they’ve soured on McIntyre I doubt they pull the plug on his run this quickly. More likely he retains here, if for no reason other than so a babyface can drop the strap to Adam Cole sometime in the near future. McIntyre holds on.
Aleister Black vs. Velveteen Dream
Aleister Black has remained undefeated since his NXT debut, picking up victories over the likes of Kassius Ohno, Hideo Itami, and Cien Almas. Keeping calm, cool, and zen-like throughout, Black has faced his stiffest challenge in the form of newcomer the Velveteen Dream. Dream’s mind games have finally revealed a kink in Black’s armor, causing Black to actually get on a mic to address his tormentor.
Prediction: This should be a great showcase for both men, but Dream’s time will come. Aleister Black is the priority and will keep his undefeated streak in tact on Saturday.
NXT Women’s Championship Fatal 4-Way Match: Kairi Sane vs. Peyton Royce vs. Ember Moon vs. Nikki Cross
With Asuka vacating the women’s title, a Fatal Four Way was declared to crown a new champ. With the lack of titleholder the last few months, I’m kind of upset NXT hasn’t gone back to referring to the title as “in abeyance”. Perhaps abeyance had such a hot run at the top, that they didn’t want to tarnish its memory with this brief foray on the “developmental brand.” Anyhow, Mae Young Classic winner Kairi Sane (who was the first to qualify by virtue of her win in the tournament) takes on Peyton Royce, Ember Moon, and Nikki Cross.
Prediction: Although Sane seems like the favorite, I don’t see NXT going with back to back Japanese champs. Not that should be an issue, but I get the sense WWE would want to mix things up. Ember Moon was positioned as the closest to dethroning Asuka, but perhaps her bouts with Asuka were her peak in NXT. Royce, who has come quite far in the last year still doesn’t quite ready. Nikki Cross seems like a fun choice to give a shot to. I’ll go Cross here, but I frankly wouldn’t be too surprised with any outcome.
Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan
Lars Sullivan has emerged as NXT’s answer to Braun Strowman, rampaging through the roster since NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III. At War Games, he goes up against someone his own size in the form of the knockout artist, Kassius Ohno.
Prediction: It appears WWE doesn’t have any major long term plans in mind for Ohno. He’s here to develop the younger talent and put over the kids. Expect that to continue tonight, as Sullivan takes this bout.
Prediction Results 3-2