After a destructive War Games, what is next for people like Johnny Gargano, Pat McAfee, and the NXT Champion Finn Balor?
We began NXT with a recap of what happened at War Games Sunday night.
Then at ringside, just as Balor told us Sunday, all eyes were on the Prince. Balor told us that he wasn’t interested in captains, factions or bragging rights. It’s Wednesday and the champion is back.
Balor said he knows that some hate him and others love him, but if they want to get to know him they better come see him in the ring. Before Balor could continue, Pete Dunne decided to “come see” the Prince.
As Dunne walked down to the ring, he didn’t take his eyes off the NXT Championship. Once Dunne got into the ring, he told Balor it was about time they stood face to face. Dunne said it was a matter of time before he put Balor back on the shelf and took the NXT Championship.
Then Undisputed Era’s music hit and Kyle O’Reilly joined the party. O’Reilly told Dunne that while he is tough, he didn’t leave War Games with his hand raised. Then O’Reilly turned his attention to Balor.
O’Reilly said there is unfinished business between the two and asked Balor to truly think about who….he didn’t get to finish his thought because Damian Priest came out. Balor is a popular person.
According to Priest, Balor versus him would be a marquee match up. Dunne got in between Balor and Priest and then asked if Priest was the guy who couldn’t even beat Leon Ruff. This began a back and forth between the three men, while Balor slipped out of the ring.
Balor told them he will be defending the championship on January 6th (NXT Evil). As for who will get that “Finn Rub”, the Prince said that is Regal’s job. Before Balor can leave, music began to play and the lights went dark. Scarlett came out and circled Balor, possibly putting Karrion Kross’ name into the hat of challengers?
Balor told Scarlett to let her boy know that when he’s ready, Finn’s ready. Before Scarlett left, Priest asked if she told Kross to stay in the car while she handled his business. Next time he wants to pick a fight, Priest said all he has to do is step to him like a man. Scarlett gave him a look and small chuckle before we went to commercial break.
Jake Atlas defeated Isaiah “Swerve” Scott via Pinfall
Atlas keeps on a winning path by beating Swerve. The two seemed pretty evenly matched, trading pinning predicaments and hard hitting moves. Swerve seemed to be a tad different then we have seen him in his return to NXT. After the first few minutes of the match, Swerve did look poised to win, but Atlas surprised him with a pin.
After the match, Atlas offered a handshake in a show of sportsmanship, but Swerve refused. Swerve walked right by the handshake with a furious look on his face.
Backstage we heard from Tommaso Ciampa in the same place we have been the past couple weeks. Ciampa said he didn’t expect Sunday to be an easy win, nothing in life worth having ever is. He picked Thatcher because he had to know. No one is safe now.
Ciampa said it is time to move forward. Then he impersonated Cameron Grimes and said it is time for Ciampa to find out if Grimes is truly confident or insecure. Then Ciampa got up from his chair and we went to another commercial break.
When we returned from commercial the Grizzled Young Veterans were making their entrance to the ring, where their opponents were waiting.
Grizzled Young Veterans defeated Ever Rise and Imperium via Pinfall (Ticket to Mayhem)
As we know with most triple threat matches, they are chaotic and this match was no exception. One member from each team was to be in the match at one time, Ever Rise were able to hide for a bit though. Ever Rise finally took an opportunity when it seemed James Drake and Marcel Barthel looked to be down and out.
The match was pretty fast paced and like I already said chaotic, but was a fun one to watch. In the end Ever Rise’s plan didn’t work and GYV was able to pin Chase Parker.
After the match, we went to another commercial break.
When we returned from break and watched a video about the “casualties of War Games.” We heard from the likes of Adam Cole, Danny Burch, and Dakota Kai in the video. Kai said that War Games was insane and carnage.
In the video we found out that Bobby Fish had surgery to reattach his tricep. Kai said that after the beating she took, she won’t be seen for a while. And of course we have already heard about Candice LeRae’s broken arm.
After the video, McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Toni Storm. Storm said she turned on Ember Moon because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She said she made the right decision because she was apart of the winning War Games team.
Then Storm said when she came to NXT she made it clear she was after the NXT Women’s Championship, but all she has heard about is Ember Moon. Storm doesn’t like that Moon stole her thunder. Before Storm could continue, Io Shirai came up. Shirai said with War Games in the rear view her only problem is the NXT Women’s Championship. While Shirai may not have a problem with Storm, she just doesn’t like her. Then a brawl broke out.
The women fought from the backstage area and out to the ring. Storm was able to roll out of the ring and avoid a moonsault from Shirai, but she could not avoid Ember Moon! Moon threw Storm back into the ring so that Shirai could hit her with the moonsault.
We saw Tommaso Ciampa and Cameron Grimes making their way to the ring before we went to commercial break.
Tommaso Ciampa defeated Cameron Grimes via Pinfall (Willow’s Bell)
During the match Timothy Thatcher came out to watch, very similar to what Ciampa did to Thatcher a few weeks prior. Ciampa was in control for much of the match, but Grimes was able to get offense in during picture in picture. Ciampa kept a watchful eye on Thatcher, which was smart because one of Thatcher’s students tried to interfere in the match. Even with the interference, Ciampa was still able to put away Grimes.
After the match, Ciampa had a stare down with Thatcher. Ciampa didn’t like that one of Thatcher’s students got involved, even though Thatcher denied knowing anything about it.
Once Ciampa left, Grimes attempted to confront Thatcher himself. As you can imagine, it didn’t go so well for Grimes.
We then went backstage where Mckenzie Mitchell was interviewing Raquel Gonzalez. Gonzalez said War Games was the biggest night of her career. Not only did her team win, but Gonzalez was able to pin the NXT Women’s Champion. Instead of being able to keep the celebrations going, Dakota Kai is sitting at home because of Ember Moon. Gonzalez said she will make Moon regret coming back to NXT after tonight.
We then saw Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae, Indi Hartwell, and Austin Theory walking backstage. Then we went to commercial.
Returning from break we got another….update on Boa and Xia Li. This time it looked like they were being trained for battle or tortured? Honestly still unsure what is going on with this, but this video had kendo sticks, blood, and just brokenness.
Then back at ringside the Gargano crew made their entrance. Gargano said for months he had said they would show us the way, now we are looking at it. The Way was thrown around a lot…winning War Games was the way! Becoming North American Champion for the third time? The Way!
Gargano then coined LeRae and Miss War Games and said he had a present for her to commemorate the special moment. He had Hartwell grab the gift, imported from Italy apparently, and when unveiled it turned out to be a trophy with a voodoo doll, or barbie doll head like Shotzi Blackheart.
LeRae said Gargano didn’t need to get it for her and felt bad for not getting him a trophy. Damian Priest interrupted not long after. He congratulated Gargano and then told Theory he was gonna come down there and kick his ass. Before Priest could get to the ring he was attacked by Karrion Kross!
Kross powerbombed Priest into a table on the ramp and then left. Cameras followed Kross to the parking lot where a waiting Scarlett was. They drove off as we went to commercial break.
When we returned from break, McKenzie Mitchell caught up with the Thatch as Thatch Can student, Tyler Rust. She didn’t get an answer to her question because Malcom Bivens interrupted. Bivens said after his actions tonight he wanted to talk business. Rust seemed to agree and they walked off.
Pete Dunne defeated Killian Dain via Pinfall (Bitterend)
Right away Dain went at Dunne and didn’t let up one bit. The match spilled to the outside, where Dain stayed in control until the ref finally got the men back in the ring. Dunne was able to get some offense going before the match went to a commercial.
When we rejoined the match, Dain found himself slowly regaining control. Things began to get a bit crazy when Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch made their presence known. Drake Maverick was able to hold them off with the help of a chair, but when he turned around they attacked him. This led to Dain leaving the ring to help his tag team partner. When Dain re-entered the ring, Dunne caught him.
We got to hear from Leon Ruff. Ruff was asked about what he will do next week if Priest is unavailable to be in their tag team match. Before Ruff could really answer, Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory interrupted. They tried to bait Ruff into a two on one match for next week, but Kushida came up and it seems he will be Ruff’s new partner.
Then we went to commercial break.
When we returned, we got a promo video for NXT New Year’s Evil.
Raquel Gonzalez defeated Ember Moon via Pinfall
It seemed like no matter what Moon threw at her, Gonzalez had an answer for it. Gonzalez and Moon put on a hard hitting main event. Moon was finally able to get herself some room to breathe when she tripped Gonzalez into the ring buckle. After that Moon focused on trying to take Gonzalez off her feet.
The ladies took the action to the outside of the ring, where it looked like Moon was thinking of putting Gonzalez through the announcer’s table. As Moon went to climb some sort of scaffolding, Gonzalez was able to grab her and threw her into the ring post.
Moon did go for the Eclipse, but Gonzalez was able to avoid it. After a near fall from Moon, Gonzalez displayed her strength yet again and defeated Moon.
After the match, Toni Storm came out. Storm just stood staring at Moon, but when she went to pick her up…Rhea Ripley’s music hit. Ripley got Moon out of the ring and then stared Storm down.
Gonzalez, who was still in the ring, moved Storm out of the way. Ripley and Gonzalez then circled each other before Gonzalez left the ring. That’s the show folks!