This Week In The WWE: 12/6-12/12

Holy WarGames Batman!

You can never say that you don’t get your money’s worth when it comes to a NXT:TakeOver PPV and WarGames was no exception!

Whether it be Io Shirai flying off the top of the cage with a garbage can over her head or Pat McAfee doing a swanton bomb from the heavens, this one was another classic from NXT. Plus, Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher put together one brutal war for themselves too. Johnny Gargano became the first 3-time North American Champion, uncovering his new Scream partner in Austin Theory. You know it’s a really good PPV when an above average strap match between Dexter Lumis and Cameron Grimes is probably the low man on the totem pole. Grimes continues to get better each and every week with his versatility and strange personality. He reminds me of a bigger Buzz Sawyer.

Injuries? Sure, got them too! Candice LeRae’s broken wrist and Gargano’s split mouth complete with stitches top the charts.

At the end of the day, Raquel Gonzalez gets elevated into the NXT Women’s Championship picture by pinning Shirai. The Undisputed Era remain kings of the WarGames cage. McAfee proves he’s one tough SOB too!

In the end, WarGames is your Star of the Week!


  • NXT: TakeOver WarGames
  • WarGames: The Undisputed Era defeated The Kings of NXT
  • WarGames: Candice LeRae, Toni Storm, Raquel Gonzalez, Dakota Kai defeated Ember Moon, Shotzi Blackheart, Rhea Ripley & Io Shirai
  • NXT North American Championship Triple Threat Match: Johnny Gargano defeated Damian Priest & Leon Ruff to win the title
  • Strap Match: Dexter Lumis defeated Cameron Grimes
  • Tommaso Ciampa defeated Dexter Lumis

RAW

RESULTS

  • RAW Women’s Non-Title Championship Match: Asuka defeated Shayna Baszler
  • Ricochet & Dana Brooke defeated SLAPJACK & RECKONING
  • Kofi Kingston defeated Shelton Benjamin
  • Cedric Alexander defeated Kofi Kingston
  • 3-on-2 Handicap Match: AJ Styles, The Miz & John Morrison defeated Drew McIntyre & Sheamus
  • United State Non-Title Championship Match: Bobby Lashley defeated Jeff Hardy
  • Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton ends in no-contest

Some quick hits for RAW this week:

It’s only a matter of time before we get two-straps Asuka!

The Hardy Bros? Hilarious! Riddle’s growing on me. His in-ring work is unquestioned. His antics outside it are becoming funnier each week.

The only RECKONING in RETRIBUTION should be taking the masks off and clearing them of the silly names. It’s Mia Yim. It’s Mia Yim. It’s Mia Yim already!

Cedric Alexander is playing The Hurt Business perfectly. He’s a main event player and is proving it each and every week with back-to-back singles victories over The New Day. How long is it before he says I want a shot at Bobby Lashley’s US Title too?

Is it me or are we headed for a screwjob by The Miz and Morrison on AJ Styles in his upcoming WWE Championship match with Drew McIntyre? Just a gut feeling here.

Having Drew McIntyre and Sheamus fight it out in the back after an inadvertent brogue kick to the WWE Champion led to a loss in the ring was beautiful. Fight each other. Beat up an unsuspecting bystander. Go get a pint.

Really missed Alexa Bliss this week. Sure, Bray Wyatt, it’s for her own safety. But it’s definitely not as much fun without Miss Bliss.

Didn’t love the no-contest ending with Wyatt and Randy Orton. We get it, The Fiend is different but the ending just fell flat for me.


NXT

RESULTS

  • Jake Atlas defeated Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
  • Triple Threat Match: Grizzled Young Veterans defeated Imperium & Ever-Rise
  • Tommaso Ciampa defeated Cameron Grimes
  • Pete Dunne defeated Killian Dain
  • Raquel Gonzalez defeated Ember Moon

It’s a week of returns for NXT. And that’s bad news (sorry Wade Barrett) for the men’s roster as Karrion Kross leads the list of returning superstars. I give credit to Damian Priest for stepping up to the challenge, but that’s a challenge with Kross and Scarlett that he’s going to lose. Kross and his NXT Championship that he gave up due to injury will meet again soon I’m sure.

Back too is Drake Maverick, Malcolm Bivens with Tyler Rust, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Austin Theory and the NXT Champion Finn Balor. It remains to be seen who will face Balor at New Year’s Evil on January 6th, but it seems everyone from Pete Dunne to Kross to Priest to a whole host of others are in the mix.

“The Way” in-ring promo just went on too long and was too forced I thought. Theory and Indie Hartwell just felt like 3rd and 4th wheels out there as they just can’t match LeRae and Gargano on the mic.

Raquel Gonzalez looks the part of a big-time player and is finding her way into the spotlight. Funny that just one year ago, we were saying the same things about Rhea Ripley and then the pandemic hit. I’m not sure if Gonzalez is ready for the NXT Women’s Title just yet, but it would be intriguing to see her as champ and how LeRae would react to it.

Anytime Toni Storm is near a ring, it’s a win for us. Whether it be taking on Io Shirai for the title or Ember Moon to continue their feud, I’m all in.

Speaking of all in, holy *$#& Xia Li and Boa! I have NO CLUE where it’s going and I don’t care that I don’t know. I am absolutely loving it! Give me more! NOW!

Suddenly, the tag team division is very competive and we haven’t seen Breezango lately. Kudos to the Grizzled Young Veterans and Imperium for stepping it up a notch.


SMACKDOWN

RESULTS

  • Dolph Ziggler defeated Montez Ford
  • Non-title Intercontinental Championship Match: Sami Zayn defeated Big E by countout
  • Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott defeated Billie Kay & Natalya
  • Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Chad Gable & Otis
  • SmackDown Championship Match: Carmella defeated Sasha Banks by DQ

Loved that the contract signing between Sasha Banks and Carmella to open the show DIDN’T take place in the ring. Something a little different was a bit refreshing having Carmella backstage. Plus, we get a main event title match out of it too! Poor Sommelier!

No surprise that we’re getting a tag team title defense for The Street Profits against Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode after Ziggler pinned Montez Ford Friday night. Good match to advance the feud and set up the title match coming up this Friday night.

Hated the countout victory by Sami Zayn over Big E in a non-title Intercontinental Championship Match. It did nothing for either guy. I like Zayn but here’s hoping this is the start of something big for Big E, pun intended. If you’re going to break him away from The New Day, there has to be a point. First, the I-C Title? Then, maybe a challenge for the Universal Championship down the road too?

Check the receipts! LOL! Well played Bianca Belair!

Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns is going to be one insane TLC match. Owens promo was one of his best. Surrounded by his “friends” chair, table and ladder, KO hit hard on his family and just how good Reigns is but that he still vows to get back his Universal Championship. Reigns is so good, just being backstage looking so smug while Jey Uso attacks Owens is priceless. Having Paul Heyman remind him that everything is done on his time instead of running into the ring to fight KO reminds us that less is more. Then, it all turns personal when Reigns finds Owens in the back, beats him down and reminds the Owens family that he’s the one that puts food on the table and that he could take it off theirs. Delicious and well placed right in the middle of the show while the ladies take the main event.

Natalya & Billie Kay. What a waste! We will, though, take a Riott Squad victory anytime we can get it.

Chad Gable is sounding more and more like Kurt Angle and I dig it! I’m hoping Otis is not the only one to join Gable’s training group. Not a bad first pairing either, even in defeat to Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura.

Carmella’s entrance – absolute smoke show! WOW! The trash talk during the match brought back a little old school feel to it. Carmella was pretty good before but she’s taking it to another level with this latest reincarnation. That was a really good match before the DQ ending. The WWE is relying too much on the DQ finish these days. The aftermath of the match – OMG! Smashing bottles over Banks while sipping champagne – very heelish! Looks like we’ll get round 2 at TLC as scheduled.

SmackDown hands down with the best show of the week!

Parting shots:

Having the WWE ThunderDome travel from Orlando to Tampa had little effect on SmackDown. Moving from the basketball arena to the spacious home of the Tampa Bay Rays, I thought the WWE would use some of that space to its advantage. There may be more screens, but maybe down the road we’ll see some additions but it’s first show in Tampa didn’t look a whole lot different than the last show in Orlando.


TLC PPV – Updated Card

  • WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. AJ Styles
  • Universal Championship TLC Match: Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Sasha Banks vs. Carmella
  • The Fiend vs. Randy Orton
  • WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler vs. Asuka & Lana
  • RAW Tag Team Championship Match: The New Day vs. Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin

Coming up this week:

RAW:
Firefly Fun House at WWE ThunderDome

NXT:
KUSHIDA & Leon Ruff vs. Johnny Gargano & Austin Theory

SMACKDOWN (on FS1):
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The Street Profits vs. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
Bianca Belair vs. Bayley


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