The time has come for yet another round of Sports Obsessive predictions. We all know that NXT TakeOver: WarGames is going down tomorrow night, December 6th, 2020 and the way things are going, this is looking like it’s going to rank in the top three wrestling shows of 2020. That’s a massive standalone statement considering what we saw at AEW’s Winter Is Coming. I guess we’re lucky.
Today, Sports Obsessive writers, James Corcoran, Andrew Stewart and Jon Shartzer run through their predictions for NXT TakeOver: WarGames!
Tomasso Ciampa vs Timothy Thatcher
James: Ciampa’s been gunning for this match for quite some time and now he finally got it. We all know how Thatcher has been conducting his ‘Thatch-as-Thatch-Can’ demonstrations and the manner in which he has been treating his students. Needless, to say, Ciampa has heavily involved himself here but I don’t see the former NXT Champion going over in this one. I see Thatcher getting the win by any means necessary, be it an interference or otherwise.
Andrew: It seems like these two would make a much better team than opponents. Thatcher is almost completely cooked in terms of his aura based on the number of losses he has taken since his debut.. Ciampa’s identity seems to be in flux as well, beating up Jake Atlas one week and beating Thatcher the next for bullying a student. Nothing makes sense, but this should be entertaining. Thatcher will impress Ciampa with his tenacity which will lead to the formation of a tag team. Thatcher Wins.
Jon: This is another match that almost feels a bit rushed. Ciampa has been taking exception to the way that Thatcher has been treating his students over the last few weeks. Initially, the catch wrestler insisted that he had no problem with the former NXT Champion, but that changed this past Wednesday when he attacked Ciampa and choked him out. The match was then made official for TakeOver. ‘The Blackheart’ has been on a bit of a TakeOver losing streak lately. I expect that to change on Sunday night.
James’ Pick: Timothy Thatcher
Andrew’s Pick: Timothy Thatcher
Jon’s Pick: Tomasso Ciampa
Johnny Gargano vs Damian Priest vs Leon Ruff for the NXT North American Championship
James: Many dislike Leon Ruff as Champion and make a mockery of the creative decision. I’m not one of those people, I think it’s great. While it’s highly likely that Gargano will be the victor in this match, I’m pulling for the underdog. Why not.
Andrew: I have kind of fallen in love with Johnny Gargano in the last month, or fallen back in love, I should say. He is an asshole to the point of farce, and that is the type of heel work he excels in apparently. While Priest isn’t the most interesting character, I do expect him to attempt the murder of Leon Ruff in several moments. While I don’t believe Priest will be the focus of the match, I see him being the glue that binds everything into a cohesive three way. I am a big fan of Ruff’s in ring work up to this point, and I think he is an excellent addition to the roster, but heel champions are always more interesting in the long term. Gargano gets his belt back by pinning Ruff after a Priest power move. Damien does the work, Johnny gets the belt.
Jon: The North American title has been passed around like a hot potato recently. As much as I like Ruff, he feels like nothing more than a placeholder and somebody that’s been placed in this match to take the fall. As far as who actually wins this one, I have to go against my heart here. I would love for Johnny Wrestling to regain the title. However, my gut says that Priest will become a two-time North American Champion.
James’ Pick: Leon Ruff
Andrew’s Pick: Johnny Gargano
Jon’s Pick: Damian Priest
Dexter Lumis vs Cameron Grimes
James: It’s Dexter Lumis. End of story. Nothing against Grimes, I think he’d be a great fit for SmackDown. I don’t feel that he fits the NXT mold like Triple H would’ve wanted.
Andrew: Lumis is easily the worst character through the entirety of a Wednesday. This should have ended ages ago. Grimes is trying his hardest to get everything over, but none of this works.. especially in a place like NXT. What even is Dexter Lumis? A serial killer? A boardwalk artist? Just an eye guy? I want Grimes to win so Lumis can go disappear on Raw, but that’s not happening. Lumis gets the win.
Jon: This is one of the few matches that actually has some history behind it. I know some people are tired of seeing these two go at it, but I think this strap match is a perfect way to put and end to their feud. While logic would seem to point to this being a cakewalk for Lumis, I’m not so sure that will be the case. I feel like they use this match to demonstrate just how talented both been are, but ultimately, my gut says that Cameron Grimes will come out as the victor.
James’ Pick: Dexter Lumis
Andrew’s Pick: Dexter Lumis
Jon’s Pick: Cameron Grimes
Undisputed Era vs Team Pat McAfee (McAfee, Pete Dunne, Danny Burch, Oney Lorcan) in the Men’s WarGames match
James: Right, on one side you have this relatively new faction led by Pat McAfee, who stepped on the scene after an altercation with Adam Cole Bay Bay on his own podcast. McAfee’s journey in NXT has been damn impress and exciting to follow. On the other side, you have the Undisputed Era. A somewhat solid faction who have been the pillars of NXT for quite some time. If you look at this from the angle that Undisputed Era are all on the same page and have each others best interests at heart, then Undisputed Era have a strong shot here. The question is, will this be the final hurrah for Undisputed Era as a unit? The fan in me wants to say no, but I do believe it’s time. I see Undisputed Era winning but then I see a divide after the bell rings.
Andrew: We know exactly what to expect from the UE in a WarGames match as they have been in every NXT iteration of the stipulation. They’re quite good. Oney and Danny should be wonderfully stiff b*stards throughout with Dunne bouncing all over the place while Pat directs traffic. I’m not expecting it, but I would be surprised to see Pat pull some insane boy-popping high spot. I believe the real story is the potential split of UE. There has been a stark divide between Fish/Roddy and Kyle/Cole in terms of disposition for the last couple of months. Fish and Strong will join Team Pat and the stable grows stronger.
Jon: The build for this match has been absolutely fantastic. Pat McAfee has taken to pro wrestling like a duck to water. The man is just a natural. To make things even easier for him, he is being surrounded by some of the best workers that NXT has to offer. On the flip side, the WarGames match was essentially re-introduced to highlight the Undisputed Era, much like the original was for the Four Horsemen. As much as McAfee and his crew have been complete gold, I look for Adam Cole and Company to walk about victorious in this one.
James’ Pick: Undisputed Era
Andrew’s Pick: Team Pat McAfee
Jon’s Pick: Undisputed Era
Team Shotzi (Shotzi, Ember Moon, Ripley, Shirai) vs Team Candice (LaRae, Dakota Kai, Raquel Gonzalez, Toni Storm) in the Women’s WarGames match
James: Check it out, you’ve got Shotzi Blackheart, Ember Moon, Rhea Ripley and Io Shirai all on the same team, how can they not win? Not to excessively knock the opposing team but I don’t think they stand I chance. Shotzi is tailor made for War Games and there could not be a more suitable captain. I see Team Shotzi going over in a destructive fashion.
Andrew: In terms of pure work rate (as oxymoronic as that may sound for this stipulation) this is the match I’m most looking forward to. These women are going to pound each other into the dirt. Gonzalez is going to look like a beast, Ember Moon and Io Shirai will do something mad. Candice will probably do something mad. I honestly have no idea what is going to happen, but I’m looking forward to it. Rhea needs this win SO much more than any other woman, I am hoping Triple H sees the light. Good guys come out on top either way.
Jon: The lead up to this match hasn’t quite been up to the same level as the men’s version. Nonetheless, this is sure to be an exciting encounter. All of these women have shown to be more than capable of putting on a show. In particular, Shotzi Blackheart Has been a breakout star for the black and gold brand. Look for her to really shine here and lead her team to victory.
James’ Pick: Team Shotzi
Andrew’s Pick: Team Shotzi
Jon’s Pick: Team Shotzi
Well, there you have it. There’s a lot to look forward to this weekend at NXT TakeOver: WarGames. Do you think Leon Ruff will retain the NXT North American Championship or will will see a new Champion crowned? Do you think the the drift that has been forming within the Undisputed Era will result in a separation? Will Shotzi Blackheart lead her team to victory is the Women’s WarGames match or will Team Candice shock the world? Do you agree with our picks? Let us know! Drop us a message in our comments section below and keep the conversation going!