It’s that time once again in which I try to guess what will happen on the night’s big wrestling event. This one is extra complicated, but in an exciting way.
Quick backstory for non wrestlers reading this. WWE created three brands for itself. Think of it as American League, National League and Minor League of baseball. Two big platforms with occasional crossover. Plus one training ground. However, the minor league attracted more and more great talent and while still a training platform it is also an equal third brand. Going into tomorrow night’s Survivor Series there are many matches which feature representatives from all three shows. The wrinkle in this plan is NXT always has their own event the night before a big WWE show, like this weekend. Thus not only do I need to think about how tonight’s results will affect the next stories on NXT. I also have to factor in tomorrow night’s Survivor Series and any continued crossovers. With that explanation out of the way, lets’ look at the card.
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Angel Garza.
Both of these men are building great buzz. All either man needs is one great match on a show like tonight to break through. I’m giving the edge to Swerve but this could go either way.
Pete Dunne vs. Killian Dain vs. Damian Priest. Winner receives an NXT title shot against Adam Cole tomorrow night at Survivor Series.
Some sort of no winner finish leading to a four man match tomorrow would be interesting. But Survivor Series is already complicated. Priest is still getting built up. Dain has been a great monster, but just isn’t there yet. Dunne meanwhile has been a champion, is a believable threat, and would be known to the larger WWE audience not just the ones that watch NXT.
Matt Riddle vs. Finn Bálor.
Balor is the first talent to leave either Raw or Smackdown and step down/over/across to NXT. Riddle is ridiculously over and both men are perceived as credible threats at any time. Balor needs the victory here more than Riddle. If only to show that his brand switch was not a mistake.
The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, and Roderick Strong) vs. Team Ciampa (Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic, and TBA). WarGames match.
In the NXT version of WarGames, one person from each team starts the match. At regular intervals a new competitor will join the match until all eight people are involved. Usually the heel team has the man advantage.
Who will be the fourth man for Ciampa’s team? While most of the wrestling universe is predicting Johnny Gargano to show up, I’m going a different way. Gargano makes a ton of sense. But it would also be interesting to have “Johnny NXT” introduced. The fans will assume it’s Gargano – nicknamed Johnny Wrestling and Johnny TakeOver. Instead it will be the returning John Morrison – who has wrestled as Johnny Nitro, Johnny Impact, and more depending on the company he currently calls home. If neither of these options hold true, I’ll throw Velveteen Dream in there.
This mystery also makes my pick easier. Adam Cole will be defending his title tomorrow, and should look strong. Lee and Dijakovic have had many recent battles. Plus how well this team works with a mystery partner. Finally, the Undisputed Era have been together for years now.
Winners: Undisputed Era.
Team Ripley (Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae, Tegan Nox, and Mia Yim) vs. Team Baszler (Shayna Baszler, Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, and Kay Lee Ray)
The fist ever women’s WarGames match. A team of heels vs a team of faces. A great way to showcase some of the women before their Team NXT match at Survivor Series. Rhea came over from NXT UK and has been built as a strong threat to Baszler’s NXT Women’s title over the last month. While she won’t pin Shayna tonight, she will look strong against her and get the pinfall for her team.
Winners: Team Ripley.