WWE's third brand proves why they are actually number one
NXT really knows how to put on an entertaining event. When it comes to big weekend PPV events from the WWE, I always look forward to seeing the superstars from NXT. This past Saturday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, we got yet another great show from the WWE's third brand.
Ever since the WWE bought WCW in 2001, I have been waiting for them to use the popular WCW gimmick match, WarGames. It took a long time but now we've seen it twice with the NXT brand, and it has not disappointed.
NXT Takeover: WarGames II featured 5 matches and all of them were worthy of a "this is awesome" chant. Here is my review of the exciting event in L.A.
Matt Riddle defeated Kassius Ohno. One of the newest signees in NXT, Riddle came out and made an impromptu challenge to Ohno. Kassius accepted and in about seven seconds the match was over. This was just a way to squeeze Riddle on the event without taking any time away from the rest of the matches. Ohno is stuck as NXT's gatekeeper for younger and newer talent, but that might not be such a bad gig. I'm sure a rematch will come soon and it will be a good one.
NXT Women's champion Shayna Baszler defeated Kairi Sane. These two women have had a series of great matches leading up to this 2 out of 3 falls match for the title. The fifth time for these two superstars would not prove to be too many as they put on a wonderful showing. Shayna, in my opinion, has tremendous upside and will be a top star on the main roster (if used properly). Kairi Sane also has a bright future in the WWE. She proves the pirate gimmick works for her as she tears it up in the ring. There was some outside interference on this one from the other two members of the MMA Four Horsewomen. Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir would help Baszler get the win, but this rivalry is not over yet.
Aleister Black defeated Johnny Gargano. A surprising heel turn for Gargano set this one up as a show stealer. Black and Gargano told a story of a former champion looking for revenge and a jealous competitor who just keeps coming up short. A tremendous match between the two, but I kinda wanted to see Gargano get the win so this one would continue with purpose. Not sure where both superstars will go after this. I don't expect either to be called up anytime soon. Black most likely chases the NXT title next. Gargano could probably work a program with Velveteen Dream.
NXT champion Tommaso Ciampa defeated Velveteen Dream. This one was entertaining from start to finish. The Dream came out with his Hollywood Hogan inspired attire and has cemented himself as arguably the most popular star on NXT. Ciampa continues to get real heat from the crowds which is a nice thing to see in today's wrestling. A back and forth bout as Dream almost stunned everyone with a win on more than one occasion. Ciampa came out on top, but Velveteen Dream also won with his incredible performance. Why not have Ciampa, Dream, Black, and Gargano in a four-way for the title? Let's hope that happens.
Ricochet, Pete Dunne, and The War Raiders defeated The Undisputed Era. In the main event, the two massive cages covered the two rings and it was now time for WarGames. The original four on four format was used for this after they modified it last year. All of these guys tore the house down and delivered some high spots that made my jaw drop. Ricochet almost gave me a heart attack with that backflip off the cage. It was carnage galore in this one and it was a wonderful tribute to the classic WarGames match created by the late Dusty Rhodes. All of these superstars will square off again I'm sure. Who knows how long before the Undisputed Era gets called up but I hope they stay in NXT where they can properly shine.
NXT Takeover: WarGames II was another reason to add to the argument that NXT is the better brand in all of WWE. Only five matches that weren't dragged out and didn't burn out the crowd in the arena or the audience watching at home. A five-star event for sure that has me already looking forward to WarGames III.