Last year, NXT introduced its newest innovation in the WarGames match by adding the first-ever women's WarGames match. Last year, the teams came to be after a massive brawl involving the entire NXT women's roster left general manager William Regal with "no choice" but to sanction a women's WarGames match. Assuming that this started a tradition, we should see a WarGames match for the NXT women's division again this year. The question is, who should lead the teams, and subsequently, who should fill out those teams?
In the follow up to my article from last week, I will be pitching the women's teams that I think should face each other at WarGames 2020. Unlike last week's article, I will only be pitching two teams as the NXT women's roster (despite being incredible); it is not as large as the men's roster. I also suspect that they will book a Women's Championship match for this TakeOver, so I have removed the current champion, Io Shirai, and her most likely challengers, Ember Moon and Toni Storm, from contention in the WarGames match.
Here are how I believe the teams should fall for the 2020 WarGames match without further ado!
The build to last year's WarGames heavily focused on the Rhea Ripley and Shayna Baszler, who were chosen as the team captains and picked the teams. I think that this format works particularly well as there isn't a women's faction like Legado Del Fantasma or Undisputed Era that serves as a ready to go teams. So the first pick that needs to happen for the 2020 Women's WarGames Match is the team captains.
It is pretty undeniable that the biggest heel in the NXT women's roster currently is Candice LeRae. The "poison pixie" is primed to lead a team full of bad guys to the top of the women's division. LeRae is an accomplished wrestler on her own, delivering great matches regularly in addition to her fantastic character work recently. NXT creative has also used Candice's role as a locker room leader to their advantage in booking her feuds since she turned heel. Candice has feuded with many of her former friends, including Tegan Nox and Io Shirai.
Nox would be a perfect pick for her opposing team captain, but she is currently out with an ACL injury and will likely miss this year's edition of TakeOver WarGames. So, I will be going with another one of LeRae's recent rivals to lead the babyface team this year.
Shotzi Blackheart has had quite the debut year in NXT. Since her NXT TV debut in December of 2019, Blackheart has appeared in the Royal Rumble, feuded with the Robert Stone Brand, challenged Sasha Banks and Bayley for the Women's Tag Team Titles with Tegan Nox, wrote Mia Yim off of TV (so that Yim could join Retribution), and was the last competitor eliminated by Candice LeRae to determine Io Shirai's challenger at TakeOver 31. In less than 365 days, Blackheart has built up quite the NXT resume and has gotten over hard with fans even during the pandemic era.
Blackheart's punk rock attitude and tank riding aesthetic fit perfectly with the brutality of WarGames, and her already budding feud with Candice LeRae makes her an even better pick for team captain.
So now, we have our two team captains, but that still leaves 3 spots left to fill for LeRae and Blackheart. In this section, I will be alternating between each team to figure out the final 6 competitors in the women's WarGames match, starting with Team LeRae, followed by Team Blackheart and alternating back and forth.
Dakota Kai (Team LeRae)
This is a pretty clear pick, in my opinion. Other than Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai is the biggest heel in the NXT women's division at the moment. Ever since her turn at last year's WarGames, Kai has been on a tear through NXT and is almost always in the conversation about who will challenge for the NXT Women's Championship next. Kai is a fierce competitor and has already teamed with Candice LeRae on occasion throughout the summer.
I don't think that Kai will be challenging for the Women's Title at WarGames, but NXT will definitely want her involved in what is probably their biggest TakeOver of the year. So I see this as the perfect place for Dakota Kai to fit into the WarGames event.
Rhea Ripley (Team Blackheart)
Rhea Ripley was one of the captains for last year's WarGames match, and I would expect that her experience would help put on a successful match this year. The former NXT Women's Champion hasn't had all that much to do recently, especially since she lost the title to Charlotte at WrestleMania and failed to get it back in a Triple Threat match at TakeOver: In Your House. Recently Ripley has been a part of a short feud involving Robert Stone and his clients Aliyah and Mercedes Martinez and has been feuding with Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez since then.
Rhea has teamed with Shotzi in the past to take on Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez, so this pair makes sense, and it will at least give Rhea something to do as she seemingly treads water waiting for a call up to either Raw or SmackDown at the end of the year.
Raquel Gonzalez (Team LeRae)
Raquel Gonzalez goes where Dakota Kai goes. So it makes total sense that Gonzalez would join Kai on Team LeRae. Other than that, Gonzalez and Ripley have been going back and forth recently as two of the biggest and strongest women in NXT, if not WWE as a whole. There isn't much to say about this pick other than it just makes sense.
Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro (Team Blackheart)
NXT's newest and most official women's tag-team are going to be put here as one unit. Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro seem to be poised for a big push as a team going forward, but since NXT really lacks a women's tag division, they need to be involved in something. I think that that something could be helping their friend Shotzi Blackheart take on Candice LeRae's team at TakeOver WarGames.
Shotzi has teamed with Kayden and Kacy individually on a couple of occasions, so it seems like they have some chemistry and should be able to pull off a team together pretty well. The biggest question is, will these two be able to handle the brutal nature of the WarGames match? As far as I am aware, neither Kacy nor Kayden have backgrounds in hardcore wrestling or have had any kind of street fight/no DQ/no holds barred type matches during their NXT careers. A match like this could put them over or wind up as a huge disappointment. However, I think that NXT should gamble on these two and try to turn them into big stars, and therefore they belong on Team Blackheart.
Indi Hartwell (Team LeRae)
Indi Hartwell is a newcomer to the NXT women's division, serving mostly as enhancement talent on NXT TV as well as in a match on Raw back in April, but recently that has started to change. On a recent NXT episode, Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae received a new television to replace the one broken by Tegan Nox, courtesy of Hartwell. The tv also came with a clip showing that Indi Hartwell saved LeRae from being eliminated during a number one contender battle royal on NXT a few weeks earlier. The couple commented that they were starting to like Hartwell. This is clearly foreshadowing an upcoming alliance between the Garganos and Hartwell which could very well kick off right before WarGames.
Like Catanzaro and Carter, Hartwell's status in NXT could be massively changed by an appearance at WarGames, and a new alliance could help keep Johnny and Candice from becoming stale in their new heel personas. This seems like a win-win situation to me.
What do you think? Who should compete in the women's WarGames match? Is there a totally different team I didn't even think of? Let me know by tweeting at me @robbydeshazer!
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