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Posted in: Mr. Tito
Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE NXT Takeover: WarGames Pay Per View Review with Match Ratings and Show Grade
By Mr. Tito
Nov 18, 2017 - 10:23:29 PM

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Bookmark Mr. Tito's Column Archive to read the current and past columns.

Welcome back to the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING exclusively here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com. Tonight, we'll be reviewing NXT Takeover: Wargames Pay Per View which aired on the Saturday Night before the somewhat loaded WWE Survivor Series card. I don't quite think we'll hear that "NXT blew the doors off the WWE Pay Per View" this time around and in fact, we haven't heard that for a while now.

What kept me as a regular WWE Network subscriber since June 2015 was NXT... But then since the RAW/Smackdown brand split since the draft of 2016, the NXT roster has diminished and Triple H has mostly replenished the roster with rehashes or smaller indy wrestlers. In fact, NXT now feels like an Independent promotion instead of a bigtime #2 brand that could almost complete with the WWE as the top promotion in the world. NXT sold us on liking Women's Wrestling and it had an amazing Tag Team division at one point in addition to having a big spotlight on its main event division with Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode, and Kevin Owens. Now, we don't have much of a tag team division, a nameless Women's Division, and Drew McIntyre and Cien as your top guys... Ehhhhh....

Look around the sports world right now... It is my opinion that the sport of Football has PEAKED and is on the way down. The concussion issue is keeping talented athletes away from participating and I believe that the NFL is repeatedly shooting itself in the feet to kill their own league. Viewership is for the past 2 years and now attendance at games is dropping fast. I think that the real shocker for this year's NFL season will be the drop in viewership for the next Super Bowl. With the NFL's problems, I believe that athletes in High School will turn their attention to Baseball and Basketball particularly since both leagues will allow you to have a healthy long-term and guaranteed money exists.

HOWEVER - Not every potential football prospect is tall (above 6'6"), nor do they have the eyesight or the coordination to properly hit a fastball or a curveball.

That's where the WWE Developmental needs to deploy their scouts and CATCH all of these potential prospects and give them a lifestyle where they can still be competitive but not be so open to head injuries. In case you haven't noticed, head injuries (besides the risky Daniel Bryan) haven't been an issue since Chris Benoit's killings and death. WWE has advanced concussion protocols in place and wrestlers above the shoulders are safe. WWE has banned multiple moves, headshots, and other dangerous moves to avoid any head injury problems.

The WWE has a history of wanting to create and groom their own talent... We've seen the WWE sign indy talents for years and it doesn't seem like many are undoing their old indy habits and giving the WWE breakout superstars that they need. I believe that Vince McMahon hasn't been satisfied with the wrestlers that Triple H has been training in NXT as seen by 2016-2017 issues with many call-ups. I don't think Vince realizes how GOOD he had it with Jim Ross as VP of Talent Relations through 2004. Ross had an eye for the perfect free agents that would fit the WWE environment and knew the kinds of raw athletic talents that could be molded into superstars.

NXT, in my opinion, isn't what it once was... It's still fun and I like the oldschool booking. But the talent pool was emptied by the WWE main roster at a faster rate than it was replenished.

If you gave me the NXT roster through early 2016 or hell, mid 2015... That's a brand extension to me that would become an equal to the WWE main roster and you wouldn't need an Brand Extension during 2016. You already had one.


Mr. Tito's PHAT NXT Takeover: Wargames Pay Per View Review

The opening match was Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan. Not a bad opening match... Personally, I've always though highly of Kassius Ohno (Chris Hero)... Just seemed like he was in the wrong place at the wrong time for the bigger promotions to hit it as a star. He has size and agility as a talent and you cannot teach that. I though that Ohno in this match went out of his way to make Sullivan look good and then put him over clean. Ohno just has too mileage on his 37 year old body (soon to be 38). If you catch some of his older stuff as Chris Hero, it's crisp and polished. Reminds me a lot of Bruiser Brody and Barry Windham mixed if that makes any sense. Match just appeared like Ohno was going to put Sullivan over and didn't sell to me as if Ohno had a chance to win. [ **1/2 ]

Velveteen Dream vs. Aleister Black was next... Unique match-up, as both are entirely different types of talent. Velveteen Dream has lots of raw, untapped talent... He could be a big star in a few years. Tremendous athlete but in my opinion, the gimmick and name are just way too over-the-top. Tone it down a big and give him a better name. I cannot be the only one who thinks of "Velveeta Cheese" when I hear his name? Considering the mix of styles, both Dream and Black worked well together and had no glaring issues. Dream is just 22 freakin' years old and you can see that in some of his movements and selling... It will all come together and he'll be a major WWE superstar in the future. Black is good good as well although it just seems like WWE has a bunch of talents just like him right now. [ *** ]

Next, it was the Fatal 4 Way for NXT Women's Title: Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, Peyton Royce, and Kairi Sane. OK match. Some good spots here and there but nothing really stood out. I guess I just feel so spoiled with the level of talents that have flowed through NXT. Personally, Ember Moon hasn't impressed me... Good moves here and there and a badass finisher, but she's very short and her gimmick is just weird to me. After the match, Asuka entered the ring with William Regal to help award Ember Moon with the new NXT Women's Title... I was hoping they'd attack each other to set up another match between the two because the WWE is absolutely ruining Asuka on the main roster. I don't think Ember with her size and weird gimmick would make it either on the main roster. [ ** 1/2 ]

The NXT Title was on the line next in what was NOT the Main Event match in Andrade "Cien" Almas vs. Drew McIntyre (c). Meh. Cien had lots of hype coming into NXT and he's been underwhelming for me. McIntyre was in 3 Man Band on the WWE main roster and he deserved to be there, in my opinion. Amazing look and the ability isn't bad, but the other intangibles (personality, promo, charisma) aren't there. Cien hasn't delivered in the ring other than good spots here and there for me. Chemistry wasn't there for this match and I really didn't feel much when Cien beat McIntyre for the NXT Title. NXT has tried for a while to push Cien as a big deal and it just feels like this title win is yet another attempt at forcing that. Must have promised him something coming into the NXT promotion. Like the Women's Match, I just don't see either guy being utilized well at all on the WWE main roster. [ ** 1/2 ]

War Games match was last... Reminded me of WCW Uncensored 1996. Complete mess although it had great spots here and there and the wrestlers tried. The rules, the cages, extra rings, and the psychology between the teams was absent of what the old War Games matches had. Beating each other with weapons in a cage does not equate to a great match. NXT would have been better served putting some of these talents into regular, non-gimmick matches to help this card as the undercard was clearly underwhelming. [ *** ]

LAST WORD: Should be interesting to see what happens to NXT following this event. I'm hearing mixed reports about live attendance numbers here but hauling 2 rings plus a special cage couldn't have been cheap... And then the product at this event with 2 rings and a cage... Nothing against the wrestlers, as they're trying, but I'm just not seeing a roster full of potential star power that can draw in the WWE for years. The brand split killed NXT and sadly, many of those NXT wrestlers are rotting on the WWE Main Roster. [ C ]


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