Lars Sullivan def. Kassius Ohno
Sullivan has had a a steady rise in recent months and has worked best against wrestlers with much more experience than him such as Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch. Ohno was the perfect opponent for him in that he's a credible competitor and made Sullivan come across like a monster while also looking great in defeat himself. It wasn't given a ton of time at only five minutes long, but I'd argue that was what made the match fun, because it was short and sweet. Ohno plays his role as a stepping stone really well and deserves credit for a nice performance here, too.
Aleister Black def. The Velveteen Dream
The build-up to this bout was nothing short of brilliant, so there was a worry that the match wouldn't come close to being as strong. Ultimately, the matchup not only met my expectations but exceeded them. It was excellent from an in-ring standpoint and Dream proved himself worthy of being on Black's level (or at least not far behind), but the storytelling was what I really enjoyed about this outing with Dream so desperately wanting Black to say his name. He finally did after he won, which Dream more than deserved. This was a star-making performance from Dream and I'm excited to see what's next for him in NXT.
Ember Moon def. Nikki Cross, Peyton Royce and Kairi Sane in a Fatal 4-Way Match to Win the NXT Women's Championship
NXT has done its fair share of multi-woman matches this year, but I thought this was probably the best of the bunch in 2017 (specifically an upgrade over the ones we saw at TakeOver: San Antonio and TakeOver: Chicago). Obviously, the ladies had the tough task of following that fantastic Black vs. Dream match, but they did a solid job and everyone shined at one point or another. Moon has failed twice before at winning the title, so I liked the "third time's the charm" story with her capturing the championship in her native Texas on his show. Asuka handing her the belt afterward after everything they went through together this year was just the icing on the cake.
Andrade "Cien" Almas def. Drew McIntyre to Win the NXT Championship
I figured this would be an above-average title match after seeing them rip it up at an NXT house show back in September, but I had no idea it would be as outstanding as it was. Both men are tremendous wrestlers, so it should really come as no surprise that this was one of the best NXT title matches all year and the crowd was engaged in the entire encounter. The nearfalls were well done and the title change totally took me off guard, but that's a huge positive. McIntyre is a fine choice as champion, but Almas has been on a roll lately and it was smart for him to go over given he's the hot act at the moment. Here's hoping McIntyre's apparent arm injury isn't too bad and he isn't out for long.
The Undisputed Era def. SAnitY and The Authors of Pain & Roderick Strong in a WarGames Match
I was afraid that this match would be a train wreck with so many rules in place and so many men involved, but "beautiful disaster" might be the best way to describe it. Was it a spotfest at times? Sure, but we don't see that often in NXT, so it was a treat here. Plus, it never felt like it dragged in the 36 minutes it went on for and the minor details, such as Adam Cole and Strong going at it, were great. The incorporation of weapons was wise as well since it spiced up the second half. Killian Dane was the MVP of the matchup in my opinion, but The Undisputed Era are new to the brand, so it was imperative that they win and they did.
What can be said about these TakeOver specials that hasn't been said before? It's been over three and a half years since the inaugural installment and none of them have been anything less than damn good. TakeOver: WarGames was no exception as this was a kickass card from start to finish. Ohno vs. Sullivan as what it needed to be, Black vs. Dream was the Match of the Night, the women's 4-Way was a blast, the NXT title match was terrific, and the WarGames main event was awesome. The two title changes made the night more newsworthy than it already was, so needless to say, the show is well-worth checking out in its entirety. Always count on NXT to deliver when the main roster isn't as reliable. The bar has been set for Survivor Series on Sunday.
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