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Csonka’s NXT Takeover WarGames 2019 Preview

November 23, 2019 | Posted by Larry Csonka
NXT Takeover: WarGames Match

WELCOME back to column time with Larry! Today, I am going to discuss and preview the NXT Takeover WarGames 2019 event. The show will feature Matt Riddle vs. Finn Balor, and two huge WarGames matches. So today I will breakdown and preview the event. Feel free to make your picks in the comment section. Thanks for reading! It’s wrestling, we love it and will disagree. The only rules are “have a take, be respectful, and don’t be a dick.”

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PRE-SHOW MATCH: Swerve Scott vs. Angel Garza: This was added to the card REALLY late on Friday, and I feel comes across as a reward match for both guys who have been impressing and getting over on NXT TV. Both guys have been delivering and it should easily be a good match to kick things off. With Garza recently losing to Rush via a disputed finish/foot on the ropes that was missed, this feels like a rebound win for him so that they can go back to Garza vs. Rush. Although I’d love to see Scott pick up the win and get a title match, you really can’t go wrong with either guy. WINNER: Angel Garza

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Finn Balor vs. Matt Riddle: In what had to be a glorious time for NXT fans, Finn Balor returned to his home and looked to be setting his sights on Adam Cole & the NXT championship. He was certainly against the Undisputed Era, and when Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano stepped up to the Undisputed Era, Balor arrived to join them. But in the words of a wise man named General Akbar, it was a trap. Balor only teased the alliance and made his real target known, Johnny Wrestling. Balor beat him down, laid him out and stood tall, and all signs pointed towards a Takeover clash at this show, and that was the plan. But WWE reported that Gargano was injured in Balor’s attack (in truth, it’s a mix of Gargano accumulating injuries [he’s worked a very reduced in 2019, only 30 matches or so with long breaks] and also WWE not wanting to rush the match). So on the 11.13.19 episode of NXT TV, they officially transitioned the feud to Balor vs. Riddle, which is a hell of a replacement. The match will certainly be good, likely even great because Riddle has delivered in his big matches, and I think Balor is coming in with a lot to prove in terms of reminding people that he’s still great. The end game is still Balor vs. Gargano, and this is Balor’s NXT return match, so he should pick up the win here. I am really looking forward to this because Riddle worked well with Styles and brought out some fire in AJ that has been missing for a while, and can likely do the same for Balor. WINNER: Finn Balor

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#1 Contender’s Match: Killian Dain vs. Pete Dunne vs. Damian Priest: This was a late addition to the card, and was originally scheduled for NXT TV but shifted to this show. Pete Dunne & Damian Priest have feuded, and gone 1-1 in singles matches against each other while Dain was mixed in when Dunne busted his fingers and then they recently brawled, which was going to eventually lead to a triple threat. And we now have that triple threat, with the added prize of the winner getting a title shot at Survivor Series against Cole. The Pete Dunne vs. Damian Priest matches were really good, and they developed a good chemistry. Dain has been fun since returning to NXT and looks like he’s happy and motivated again. I expect a really good match from these three, Dunne always delivers. Priest has looked great as of late and Dain is a man with something to prove. Anyone of them will have a good to great match with Cole, but who gets the nod? Part of me feels like Dain doesn’t work for it right now, and while Priest isn’t getting any younger, I feel you can tell a better story with him later on with a face champion. Dunne feels like the safe call, but I am also concerned with hot shotting him into a title match, which largely feels like a throw away/special attraction, but he also is the guy with the most big match experience, so I will go with him. WINNER: Pete Dunne

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WarGames Match: Rhea Ripley (Captain), Tegan Nox, Mia Yim, & Candice LeRae vs. Shayna Baszler (Captain), Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, & Kay Lee Ray: Since NXT’s move to USA, I think that the top portion of the women’s division has been the most consistently booked overall best parts of the show. The funny thing about this match is that it snuck up on me in a good way. All of the early build seemed to be for the men’s WarGanes and Shayna’s next challenger… and then shit got real. The women’s WarGames movement started and the thing was it was masterfully done, because on the surface it seemed out of nowhere, but when you go all the way back to week one of NXT on USA the build was there all along, they just weren’t hitting us over the head with it. The weren’t hitting us over the head with “OH MY GOD THIS IS GOING TO LEAD TO THE FIRST EVER WOMEN’S WARGAMES MATCH THAT’S TOTALLY HISTORIC, RAH-RAH WOMEN’S REVOLUTION FOR LIFE IT’S GOOD SHIT, PAL” bullshit. They just let it unfold, it played out strongly, it worked and it makes sense. I have loved the Dakota Kai portion; her depression in losing the spot, the possible tease of a heel turn and then the realization that it was Bayley attacking people and then the reveal that NXT UK Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray as the final member of Team Shayna (which is a move I loved because it was unexpected, she’s great, she’s a champion and should be included, and can really do some excellent daredevil shit). The NXT women’s division is easily the best division in North America. They have been booked well, given opportunity and knocked it out of the park so I am looking forward to this. The talent is most certainly there, and if the booking can continue and they lay out the right match, this has the chance to be great. I will go with team Rhea here as it feels like they are heating her up for the eventual title win. WINNER: Team Ripley

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WarGames Match: Adam Cole (Captain), Roderick Strong, Bobby Fish, & Kyle O’Reilly vs. Tommaso Ciampa (Captain), Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic, & ???: While the build to the women’s WarGames match was sneaky good in its execution. The path to the men’s WarGames match has been more deliberate, with Undisputed Era running wild over the promotion and taking all of the gold, and with it the power. Ciampa, Lee, & Riddle quickly united against them, but with Johnny Gargano busy with Finn Balor, were in need of a fourth man. And then Gargano was taken out due to injury, and Balor transitioned to a feud with Riddle, taking him out of WarGames. Dominik Dijakovic came to the rescue, aligned with the faces, but they were still in need of a fourth man. That fourth man is being played as a mystery man and will be revealed the night of the show. My first thought is Velveteen Dream, as it makes the most sense as he has history and a thirst for revenge against Undisputed Era. But there are reports he’ll still be out of action due to injury for a while longer. That could all be a smokescreen for the unexpected return, but if it’s not, I can see this being the WWE return/NXT debut of John Morrison. On the surface, Undisputed Era have all the advantages. They have WarGames experience, are a unified force and have all the momentum in the world. SO in that regard, it feels like an Undisputed Era win. But I also feel like this show will be a big one where the heels get their comeuppances, and the faces winning sets up several title matches down the line, so I will go with Team Ciampa for the win. WINNER: Team Ciampa


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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 68. On the show, 411’s Larry Csonka & Jeremy Lambert break down week 8 of AEW vs. NXT, and then preview WWE Survivor Series & NXT WarGames 2019. The show is approximately 104-minutes long.

* Intro
* AEW Dynamite Review 11.20.19: 3:00
* NXT Review 11.20.19: 33:00
* The head to head comparison: 52:55
* NXT WarGames 2019 Preview: 1:00:55
* WWE Survivor Series 2019 Preview: 1:15:45

* iTunes
* Spotify
* Stitcher
* Google Play

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.