Favourite Five

Five Picks for Team Ripley In War Games

Shalene Hixon runs through her reasons and picks for Team Ripley at NXT Takeover War Games.

NXT TakeOver: WarGames is only a few weeks away, but we already know one history-making match that will be taking place at the Allstate Arena in Chicago.

Last week, a massive brawl broke out between members of the NXT women’s division. Dakota Kai and Tegan Nox had come up just short in a WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match, losing to the champions, Asuka & Kairi Sane.

Then NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler, along with Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir, would make their presence known and began to attack the two. Candice LeRae, Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, and Rhea Ripley all got involved as well, until William Regal came out to put a stop to the madness. He declared that there was only one solution to this problem: the first ever women’s WarGames match.

Shortly after, it was announced that Ripley and Baszler would be the team captains, and only a few have been announced so far.

However, if the past few weeks of NXT TV gives us any indication, the participants shouldn’t be hard to pick. With that in mind, I’m going to give some of my picks, and some of the reasons why these ladies will be on Team Ripley.

1. Rhea Ripley

Of course, we need to start off with the team captain herself.

Having Ripley and Baszler be the leaders of their respective teams makes perfect sense; these two have been at odds for a little while now and they would do anything to get their hands on each other once again.

Ever since moving over from NXT UK, Ripley has immediately felt like a legitimate threat to Baszler’s title reign. If I were creative, I would give these two as much time as possible to develop a feud that could quite possibly be a show-stealer for the next several months. Letting both women participate in the match instead of having them captain from the outside is the right way to go.

Let’s not forget that Ripley has had some issues with Belair and Shirai over the past few weeks as well, so she’ll surely want to get her hands on them inside WarGames.

So, this is why she is naturally my first pick for the team.

2. Dakota Kai

The next three picks seem to be sure locks, especially after the brawl last week.

Kai has had plenty of history with Baszler, starting at the beginning of 2018. During Baszler’s televised in-ring debut, she infamously stomped on Kai’s arm and injured her in the process. This forced the referee to stop the match and award the win to Baszler.

After that, Kai unsuccessfully challenged Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship on two separate occasions and had numerous confrontations with her, Duke, and Shafir.

I think the captain of Team Kick would love nothing more than to gain some retribution for everything The Four Horsewomen have put her through over the past year. This time around, things are different; Kai isn’t afraid of Baszler anymore, and will do whatever it takes to give The Queen of Spades a taste of her own medicine.

3. Tegan Nox

Up next is Kai’s best friend and partner in crime. She has been officially been announced on Team Ripley, buy here’s why she belongs here.

While Nox may not have as much history with Baszler, the champ has messed with her best friend. That’s surely enough motivation for her, as it would be for anyone. Nox & Kai also defeated Duke & Shafir two weeks ago to become the number one contenders to Asuka & Sane’s WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.

That definitely would not have sat well with The Four Horsewomen, who do not like being beaten and upstaged. We’ve all seen what happens when people cross them, and it’s not pretty.

However, Nox seems up to the challenge and will do anything to help her best friend out. Hopefully these two continue to be a tag team once the dust settles after WarGames, because they are extremely entertaining to watch and could easily be champions in the future.

4. Candice LeRae

Then we have the one woman who has had the longest-standing history with Baszler. Again, she is now confirmed; so allow me to fill you in as to why she is in.

It all started back at the inaugural Mae Young Classic, where Baszler defeated LeRae in the quarterfinals. She also sent a clear message to the rest of the locker room by holding LeRae in the Kirifuda Clutch long after the bell rang.

Candice Wrestling also has a bone to pick with another potential participant in WarGames: Io Shirai. Both women feuded with The Four Horsewomen for about a month until Shirai snapped and attacked LeRae. She would then go on to defeat LeRae twice; once at NXT TakeOver: Toronto and once last week on NXT TV.

But their rivalry is far from over, and what better place to lock them in than WarGames? These two could easily steal the show in this match and are the two participants to keep an eye on come November 23rd.

5. Mia Yim

Finally, we come to the final pick that would even the odds for Team Ripley.
Yim has had issues with basically every woman that could possibly be on Team Baszler. It all started with the champ, who defeated Yim in the second round of the inaugural Mae Young Classic.

Then came Belair, who was pinned and defeated for the first time in NXT at the hands of The Blasian Baddie. Yim then went on to feud once again with Baszler, Duke, and Shafir. She challenged Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT TakeOver: Toronto, where she came up just short. Most recently, she faced Shirai on the October 2nd episode of NXT TV and was defeated.

Having Yim in WarGames makes the most sense and is the most likely thing to happen; there really isn’t anyone else that could believably be involved. So, this is why The HBIC is my final pick for Team Ripley.

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