Let The (War) Games Begin

Chris Surrency

Tonight is the night, the return of an old favorite to the WWE Universe, when NXT Takes over Houston we’ll finally see the rebirth of War Games. As usual, fan expectations are high for this event. NXT can usually be counted on to deliver an amazing show the night before any of the Big 4 WWE events for the year. Tonight promises to live up to those lofty expectations, aside from the return of War Games tonight will see the crowning of a new Women’s Champion, Drew McIntyre defending his NXT Championship, and Pete Dunne defending his WWE UK Championship against Johnny Gargano. The NXT fanbase always delivers, making a great event into an amazing spectacle, the combination of fan reaction and the work put forward in the ring makes any NXT Takeover special an absolute must see event. Title matches will impress, but there is typically at least one non-title match that tears the house down, the question tonight who steps up to take the reigns?

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In the non-title category there are two matches that could possibly challenge for match of the night honors. First up is my current favorite on the NXT Roster, Aleister Black taking on the Velveteen Dream. The clashing styles involved here should make for a very interesting match, pitting the bastard child of Prince, Lenny Kravitz, and Jimi Hendrix up against an ass-kicker who seems to have been summoned straight from Hell. I have no doubt this match will impress, but there is another one that has me very intrigued, Kassius Ohno vs Lars Sullivan. Some people may look at this and say they’re not interested in seeing a walking muscle take on a “fat guy.” The problem with that thought is that Kassius Ohno may not be chiseled out of stone, but the man can flat out go in the ring. This will be a test for Sullivan, to see if he can keep up with one of the best in ring talents to not grace the WWE roster yet. After this showdown I want to see another match between Ohno and Black, this time a Last Man Standing match. I truly believe that match could carry an entire show itself. Anyone who has followed Ohno’s career knows the man has nearly inhuman stamina, so the question now is if Sullivan is a five minute blow up guy, or if he can hang with the master.

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The easy money option for match of the night is the UK Championship matchup between Pete Dunne and Johnny Gargano. Dunne has impressed from day one of the UK Championship tournament on the WWE Network, drawing comparisons to William Regal and Fit Finlay, The Bruiserweight is a wonder to watch in the ring. Johnny Gargano is known to some as Johnny Wrestling, and indie star who can flat out go between the ropes. As amazing as the Dunne vs Bate matches were, I expected this one to be even more impressive. Dunne and Bate have a long history so their chemistry was obvious and made for an awesome encounter, meanwhile Dunne and Gargano are just two of the best workers on the planet and make for an excellent pairing. I think back to the debut of Shinsuke Nakamura against Sami Zayn, also a Takeover match, and the way the crowd was enthralled with every second of the match. I expect similar results from these two men. You can look down the card and see there are plenty of opportunities for people to break out and put on the match of their lives, but it’ll take just a bit more than that to top what I suspect we’ll see out of Dunne and Gargano. I could be wrong, of course, but I highly doubt it.

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What would a WWE event be if there weren’t at least a little controversy, right? From accounts online it would seem that the cage for tonight’s War Games could be the primary focus of said controversy. The news has broken that the cage will not have a roof like the original War Games cages. Apparently Triple H fought tooth and nail to get the proper setup but Vince would hear none of it, he wanted an open top cage and that’s exactly what has been delivered. Honestly, from the nostalgia standpoint the lack of a roof is a bit of a bummer, but overall I think the action inside the rings will be enough to make people forget about the roof. The teams involved are great, so I see no issue there, the only real awkward part of no roof is that there’s nothing preventing either extra team members from entering when they aren’t supposed to, or eliminated team members returning. One suggested reason for taking the roof off, from a few fans, was the potential to add more high spots in the match. That may very well have been the intention, but we’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out tonight. Sanity, The Undisputed Era, the Authors of Pain, and Roderick Strong are going to pull out all the stops tonight, but can they outpace Dunne and Gargano? I know I’ll be watching, it looks to be a fantastic night.

Chris Surrency

Chris Surrency is an aspiring author and article writer with opinions on many different topics. He fell in love with writing as a child in elementary school and has taken any occasion possible to let the words that roll around in his head come out whether it be in a notebook or on a computer. Chris got his first opportunity to write online at, a subsidiary site for Wrestling News World, posting opinion pieces. He later joined the Yahoo Contributor's Network, covering many topics from science to video games and back to sports, and almost all points in between, he posted well over one hundred articles up until the moment Yahoo dismantled the network. Since that time he's provided content to different sites online, written his first novel, and eventually made his way to MCXV where he's finally capturing the enjoyment he once found while writing at Yahoo once again.