5 things we learned from NXT TakeOver: WarGames
- 5 matches and 5 talking points from WarGames
NXT TakeOver: WarGames lived up to expectations once again in Los Angeles. The final NXT Takeover of 2018 was right up there with the best, in what was another night of high drama and intensity. Just one night shy of Survivor Series the event proved why WWE's unofficial third brand is capable of rivalling anything WWE's two main brands can deliver.
The event proved that less is more with just 5 matches on the card, one of which lasted just 7 seconds. The other 4 were all contenders for match of the night. Shayna Baszler's match against Kairi Sane in a 2 out of 3 falls match for the NXT women's title was short but still good whilst Johnny Gargano and Aleister Black put on a barnstormer of a match which told a compelling story.
The NXT title match between Tommaso Ciampa and Velveteen Dream was for many fans the match of the night. It was a high stakes match which for the most part looked like we would see a new champion but ultimately it was Ciampa retaining. The WarGames match that closed the show was typically clustered, as any multi man match normally is, but there were some incredible spots and tag team wrestling that excited and enthralled the crowd.
NXT Takeover's continue to be some of the most compelling and consistent wrestling anywhere in the world right now. The basic formula that the shows follow of small cards with longer matches allow the superstars to both tell interesting stories while providing first class action in the ring.
NXT has provided a good basis for the future of the WWE's main roster. The likes of Matt Riddle, Shayna Baszler, Johnny Gargano, Aleister Black, Velveteen Dream, Tommaso Ciampa and Ricochet just to name a few, are certainly capable of making that step up to WWE's main roster and they proved why at WarGames.
#1 Matt Riddle has the charisma to succeed
The first match of the night was Matt Riddle's 7 second victory over Kassius Ohno.
On the pre-show to WarGames Riddle and Ohno confronted each other across the kick off panel. What was certainly evident here is that Riddle posses the mic skills and the charisma to get over with WWE's audience.
Riddle challenged Ohno to a match and beat him easily knocking him out and pinning Ohno in just 7 seconds.
Although the match was forgettable due to how short it was, what is clear about Riddle so far in NXT is that he is over with the crowd. Whether his character will get over with the mainstream WWE audience in the same way that it does with NXT's niche crowd is not known, but Riddle's persona can translate well as a heel or as a face.