NXT is very likely the best professional wrestling we have in The United States. That's not saying it's amazing, but it's enough to make me watch the Takeover specials. Here are my thoughts on "War Games" from Houston on 11/18/2017
Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan:
This was a "decent" match that exposed just how "green" Lars is. I understand the idea was for someone as amazing as Hero to help "lift" Lars up to the next level, but Lars isn't ready for that yet. As great as Hero is, even he struggled to make Lars look great. The match had some cool "moments" which were both men kicking out of huge power moves. Lars has a rocket strapped to his back, where the hell is Ohno going?
Aleister Black vs. Velveteen Dream:
In what many (too many imo) are calling the "match of the night" these two men did a very good job in a match that finally happened after weeks of confrontation. The build was a lot of fun, and I have to give NXT that, they are very good at the build. Bayley was one of the best "builds" that I've ever seen in my life. They know what they are doing with that. The mechanics of the match were great, both guys know how to work. What didn't do it for me was what I feel was the over working of character building in expense of wrestling. This match as an excellent sports entertainment match, but I'd simply call it a good wrestling match. I am glad to see Patrick Clark get a character/gimmick that's working though. Black "saying Dreams name" after the match was a cool moment.
Fatal 4-Way Match for the Vacant NXT Women's Championship, Ember Moon, Kairi Sane, Peyton Royce and Nikki Cross:
I hate 3,4,5, etc way matches with a passion. When they are title matches I abhor them. Royce is another example of character work being pushed over actual wrestling, as she can't wrestle anywhere as good as Patrick Clark can, so I just find her annoying and out of place here. She's a distraction from everyone else in this match that are so much better than she is. Moon was a stellar performer on the indy's as "Athena" but she's lost something in WWE for me. No, her ridiculous finishing move doesn't help with me. It's going to hurt someone real soon. The indy's get a lot of flack for guys taking unnecessary risks but this move tops them all. It felt to me like Moon won just because it was her "turn" and she did so while the best wrestler of the group, Kairi Sane laid outside the ring because that is what multi man title matches are for, to keep the best wrestlers from winning without actually losing. This match accomplished that goal.
NXT Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Andrade "Cien" Almas:
Now this ladies and gentlemen was a freaking WRESTLING mach. This had a solid baby-face (even though I prefer him as a heel personally) and a pretty good heel (wow, they've figured it out with Almas after not having a clue for months) clashing in a match that showed that they are two of the best workers in that company. No one carried anyone, no one was out of place, and there wasn't a botch to be found. This back and forth, athletic, hard hitting, wrestling is what I look for on a show. Those of you who think this style of work in every match would get "boring" annoy the piss out of me. If you want to see this kind of work all show long, you need to join me in watching Pro Wrestling Noah. This match would have fit right in there. I hate that McIntyre lost already, but Almas won me over in this match. I didn't like his little girl friend interfering, but I can get past it.
War Games (not really) Undisputed Era, vs Sanity, vs AoP and Strong:
I just couldn't get into this. This was not "War Games." The WWE owns that name now, so they can call it that, but the convoluted rules, and the cage having no roof, just took my desire to see this almost completely away. They all did a nice job for what it was, and yes Killian Dane got himself more over with his hard work, and bumping, and the right team won for me, but I just didn't enjoy it over all. Not because it was "bad," but because for me, these over the top gimmick matches do nothing for me anymore. I know many love them, especially in this Country, but I'm not one of them. It was put together decently and worked for what it was so I'm not crapping on it. Just not my style. I was also very disappointed that Roddy Strong didn't join his ROH comrades.
I'd gave the show 3.5/5 stars personally and 4/5 stars generally based on people that don't have the ridiculous tastes that I do. Black vs Dream and Almas vs McIntyre were the matches that made the show what it was. War Games was the cherry on top for car wreck wrestling fans.