- Presented LIVE on the WWE Network on November 18th, 2017, from the Toyota Center in Houston, TX. Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and the spirit of Percy Watson are calling the action, unless otherwise noted. I know I shouldn't complain, but I'm a little peeved that Pete Dunne vs. Johnny Gargano is being taped for TV instead of featured live, but at least we'll get to see that match later this week. Oh, one last thing... THERE ARE TWO RINGS! YES!
- The Undisputed Era are backstage discussing strategy or talking about the old Konami code, take your pick.
- Sanity is backstage comparing notes on defeating Calamity Ganon.
- Roderick Strong is getting some last-minute advice at proper Tetris game-play while the Authors of Pain argue over how worthless an X-Box One X is when you already own an X-Box One.
[Note: At this point, my WWE Network stream decides to completely give up. I love the only option on-screen is to "check your internet connection." Um... pretty sure it's solid, maybe your network needs to not bug out every other gosh darn event! So with that out of the way, yeah, I'm delayed recapping the show, and have lost my train of thought.]
Almas with a spectacular moonsault from the top rope to the floor for a near fall. Back to the top rope, Almas traps McIntyre in a tree of woe, hits the double stomp, and charges in with the double knees for another two-count. McIntyre escapes the hammer-lock DDT and plants him with a sit-out Powerbomb for two. Almas with a surprise victory roll for two. McIntyre with the Future Shock DDT for two. McIntyre fireman carries Almas to the top, but Almas slips free, sweeps McIntyre off his feet, and hits the double knees to the back of the head for two. Almas lures the referee out of the ring, allowing Vega to sneak in the ring to hit McIntyre with a spike-rana. Almas rushes back in and hits the hammer-lock DDT for two. McIntyre from out of nowhere with the Claymore, but Vega puts Almas' foot on the ropes to save him from defeat. McIntyre gears up again, but ends up straddling himself across the top rope. Almas spikes McIntyre with a DDT... FOR THREE AT 14:43! WE HAVE A NEW NXT CHAMPION! I didn't see that one coming. Possible audible, or did McIntyre work hurt? Even without the luster of a strong feud, they delivered a great match and a surprise result. That heel-turn sure did wonders for Almas, didn't it? ****1/4
Eric Young, Roderick Strong, and Adam Cole start, which seems like the best option since that means the remaining members are more of the "teams" suitable for the situation. Strong is decked out in AOP gear to show UNITY, making them the second team in WarGames history to wear camouflage. Cole backs off to start, with Strong and Young in pursuit. They do a clunky little exchange to start, with both men wanting a piece of Cole. Strong with a back breaker on Young, opening the door to trade forearms with Cole. Strong counters a dropkick with a slingshot, but Cole grabs the cage and climbs. He gets double teamed, but ends up straddling Young and Strong. Cole with the Ushigoroshi on Young, followed by a pair of hangman's neck breakers. Strong comes back with chops and a diving clotheslines, followed by a flurry of running chops and high knees in opposite corners of the ring.
O'Reilly and Fish enter, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise. They quickly target Strong before joining Cole in putting the boots to Young. Young gets sandwiched between the ropes and cage for a trio of diving forearms. O'Reilly and Fish with a vicious wheel barrow suplex on Strong, and now it's his turn to get stuck between the ropes and cage. The clock is just a tad slow, running about 3 ½ minutes, but that might be for the lightshow to reveal the next entrants. Akem and Rezar enter, slamming the door into the head of O'Reilly. O'Reilly and Cole get thrown across the ropes into the other ring. Young tries his luck and takes a somersault bump clean across both set of ropes. AOP use Strong as a missile, launching him onto the field of competition. Young and O'Reilly get trapped in the tree of woe while the AOP drop Cole and Fish onto them with running Death Valley Drivers. Wolfe and Dain enter last, kicking off THE MATCH BEYOND!
Akem and Rezar stand in Wolfe's path, only to find out he has a police baton in hand as an equalizer. Meanwhile, Dain pulls out a bunch of weapons to bring in with him, including chairs, garbage cans, kendo sticks, a chain, and even the fan requested tables! He chains the door shut after entering and even acts out swallowing the key. That's going to be a fun adventure. Wolfe and Young attack everything that moves with the chairs. O'Reilly whiffs with the chair, smacking the ropes for the comedy spot, and Wolfe takes him over with a German suplex. Fish gets dropped across a garbage can. Dain crushes both AOP in a corner with an avalanche and hits a combo shotgun dropkick and senton. Dain to the top rope for a super-sized body press onto a the pile of bodies. Cole finds a safe place with the kendo stick, but Dain quickly disarms and punishes him, as well as Fish. He sits down on a sunset flip while planting Cole with a Michinoku Driver for a pair of two counts. Dain continues to dominate, hitting O'Reilly and Strong with a combo Samoan drop and Fallaway slam.
Dain and Rezar eyeball each other and trade blows between the two rings. Rezar with a big boot and Dain responds with a bicycle kick. Rezar connects with a power-slam, but O'Reilly saves. He springs off the cage to take Rezar down with a Tornado DDT. The Undisputed Era hit Chasing the Dragon on Strong, but don't cover. Dain folds Cole in half with a crushing clothesline. O'Reilly wraps the chain all over Wolfe's body and hooks a cross arm breaker, but Young saves with a flying elbow. The AOP hit a super collider from separate rings, catching Dain in the crossfire, but Young breaks the pin attempt. Young avoids certain disaster, slamming Rezar across Akem with a Death Valley Driver. Strong runs wild with back breakers to anyone that gets in his way. Jumping knee strike and Olympic Slam on Dain for a near fall.
Cole, Young, and Strong climb the ropes for a mid-ring striking contest. Here comes the rest of their gangs for the largest synchronized Tower of Doom spot in WWE HISTORY, leaving Cole (mostly) unscathed. The AOP recover first, straddling Cole across the top rope. They fetch the tables, but Wolfe inadvertently saves, driving Rezar through the tables with a super-German Suplex, and ripping his head open like a melon in the process. OUCH. Young hits Akem with a leaping neck breaker. Dain no-sells some strikes from O'Reilly and levels him with a clothesline. He traps O'Reilly in the corner with a trash can and manages to connect with the Coast-to-Coast! Cole has somehow made it to the top of the cage, but Strong climbs up too to bring him down with a Super-Plex onto all the participants (sans Wolfe, who is still gushing blood and being attended). Dain and Akem trade strikes while the crowd rallies behind Wolfe. AOP with the Last Chapter on Dain between the rings! Wolfe and Young with the tandem back breaker/neck breaker on O'Reilly. Strong and Cole find each other back in battle in the middle of the ring. Young from behind to wheel barrow suplex Strong into the cage. Cole with a kendo stick to Young. Young grabs a chair, but Cole hits him with the unassisted chair shining wizard to finally finish at 35:56. That seemed out of nowhere, but with everyone playing dead, it's a better finish than a cheap arm-bar. Rough start but things kicked into high gear quickly and turned into a colossal train wreck (the good kind). It was just non-stop carnage, that's all you could ask for in hardcore WWE matches. ****1/2
Final Thoughts: Even though the show didn't promise a blow-away event on paper, most everything met or exceeded expectations, capped off by an incredible (WWE version of) WarGames that I'm sure will get unjustified hate because it didn't follow the same exact formula as a WCW match. Velveteen Dream has really stepped up since his "debut" and Andrade Almas has been on fire for several months. The only disappointment was the Women, but it was still a technically fine match. Once again, it looks like NXT is going to blow the WWE event out of the water based on quality performances and booking decisions.