Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another Wednesday night of NXT Live Coverage! We are two weeks away from Takeover: Wargames and the battle lines will be drawn tonight! Plus, a very special guest tonight, Kevin Owens will bring his hit segment The KO Show to NXT; his guest tonight? None other than the North American Champion, Leon Ruff. We're about 10 minutes out so keep that browser tab open and check back in for all of your NXT Coverage needs! Need more NXT? Be sure to follow on Twitter @ItzMeItzMeItDBD for all of my breakdown and reactions to all of the action and drama.
Ember Moon v. Candice LaRae
We open to a video package recapping last week's action as Candice LeRae is seen in the ring as we prepare for our opening match of the evening. Followed by LeRae is Ember Moon, walking with a purpose as she enters the ring. The match begins and LeRae is already playing mind games as she ties into the ropes to avoid contact with Ember Moon. Both women's gameplans are clear from the off as Ember Moon looks to utilize her unique striking advantage; while The Poison Pixie looks to counter Moon and follow up with her own blend of ruthless aggression.
Moon would start to gain an advantage as she tosses LeRae to the canvas with an impressive leg-snatch, overhead belly-to-belly suplex. But Moon would soon discover that she is on the losing end of a numbers game as Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez descend onto the ring. From that point on, it would be LeRae in the driver's seat.
As that numbers game would finally catch up to Moon and deliver the Wicked Stepsister for the pinfall. The wolves would circle their prey but Ember Moon would manage to slip away. Toni Storm would come to her aid and even ramp Moon up to storm the ring but it was all a ploy as Storm turned on her former ally before feeding her to those wolves and drawing her own line in the sand. What will this mean for the Women's Wargames match?
And we return to the show as Undisputed Era marches down to the ring with one single purpose, to declare war upon Pat MacAfee and his friends. However, the war does not happen for two weeks but a battle is still upon us tonight. Pete Dunne has been declared as the challenger from MacAfee's squad and Kyle O'Reilly will be the man to go for UE! It's more than an advantage match tonight, it is personal.
Timothy Thatcher v. Kushida
And we return to action with Timothy Thatcher in the ring and awaiting the arrival of his opponent, Kushida. Kushida, coming off a win last week is looking to bolster his win total but Thatcher will be no easy task. Before the bell could sound, we are joined by the recent thorn in Thatcher's side, Tomasso Ciampa has taken a seat ringside as the two competitors lock horns and the bout is underway.
Kushida would start things on the ground and show some success but Thatcher would utilize his size and leverage Kushda into a rather nice belly to belly suplex. Kushida would turn things around on the ground once again but Thatcher would find a way to counter. Kushida would turn up the heat in hopes of being too fast for the flat-footed Thatcher but Thatcher would allow Kushida to hang himself, as Thatcher would use the ropes in a modified Half Crab. The ref would exercise his count, Thatcher would release and Kushida has crumpled to the ground as we head to commercial break.
We return to the action and Kushida has battled back, once again utilizing his striking ability while Thatcher tries to counter his superior opponent.
Kushida would sink in the Hoverboard Lock but Thatcher would counter and break before locking in his own Kimura lock.
Kushida would escape but Thatcher would lock in an ankle lock but Kushida would continue to mimic his opponent with submissions of his own. Both men would continue their game of one-upmanship and spill to the outside where Kushida would inflict damage and Thatcher would be caught in the gaze of Ciampa. Both men would return to the ring and Ciampa would make his move, distracting Thatcher long enough for Kushida to lock in his Kimura and earn a gritty win against Timothy Thatcher. As Thatcher looks at his newest rival, we can see Ciampa looking into the camera as he delivers a simple message to the WWE Universe.
And we return to a very special edition of the Kevin Owens Show! Owens introduces his guest tonight and The North American Champion, Leon Ruff walks down to the ring to join KO. The two men sit and KO dives right in as he allows Ruff to tell his story. Owens provides some words of encouragement and the WWE Universe lends their voice in appreciation of Ruff's efforts over the last few weeks. Ruff would explode in exuberance as he rejoices in his title victory and defense against Johnny Gargano. KO would show his skills as a psychic as he calls out that Gargano would take the stage, followed by Damien Priest. KO would even see the unthinkable as William Regal would join the gang and declare the triple threat match at Wargames official... Playa!
Cameron Grimes v. Jake Atlas
The match opens and both men immediately are locked in battle. Both men clearly looking to utilize their grappling abilities but Grimes also has the unique striking offense to pair. Atlas would look rather impressive but still green as Grimes would hit the Cave In for three count. Grimes' victory would be short-lived as Dexter Lumis would join Grimes in the ring, carrying a black bag of some sort. Lumis would queue the crew and play a rather embarrassing video package of Grimes as Lumis would reveal what was in the bag. Lumis has officially challenged Grimes to a strap match.
We return from break only to discover that Cameron Grimes' worst fears have come true as William Regal has made the strap match official for Takeover. But now, back to the ring as Rhea Ripley looks to explain and address the rumors surrounding her since last week's loss to Io Shirai. Ripley explains that the moment shared last week was simply a show of respect and that Rhea Ripley isn't going anywhere. The moment would be cut short, however; by LaRae & Co. as they carried out victim number one in Shirai and proceeded to swarm Ripley, victim #2.
We return to NXT in hopes of seeing an Ever Rise match but we are interrupted by the Grizzled Young Veterans. But now, it is time for our main event of the evening as Kyle O'Reilly makes his way to the ring, his fellow UE members watching from above. Next in would be The Bruiserweight, Pete Dunne entering the ring but O'Reilly would waste little time in attacking his opponent as our Ladder Match is underway! Dunne would try to insert himself in offensively but O'Reilly would give no room as he keeps Dunne on the outside! We return from break and both men are still neck and neck, a ladder already in the ring. The brawl would spill to the outside and O'Reilly would gain the momentary advantage.
Things would change as the men would enter the ring and O'Reilly would attempt to climb to the top but Dunne would send him spinning and eventually crashing down to the canvas. Dunne would then target the hand and arm of O'Reilly, using the ladder for added leverage.
O'Reilly would then turn the tide as he would deliver some punishment of his own, again using the ladder but targeting the leg of Dunne. Both men would continue their assault of one and other before Dunne would hit a devastating vertical suplex, through a ladder to the outside area.
Dunne would turn on the sadistic after that and continue to focus on the hand of O'Reilly. Dunne would go to fetch a chair but that would give the crucial seconds needed to regain composure and mount his comeback. Both men would continue to decimate one and the other but neither man would bend their knee to the other. Both men would find themselves at the top of the ladder and near victory but again, neither man would concede, and that leaves both men in a heap in the middle of the ring. O'Reilly would scale the ladder again but Dunne would meet him with a chair and send O'Reilly crashing down once more. O'Reilly would have one final counter for Dunne and victory seemed all but a climb away, but unfortunately for the Undisputed Era, a masked usurper would find his way into the match, sending O'Reilly crashing to the outside and finally dispatched from the match.
Pete Dunne would climb the ladder and obtain the advantage for Wargames as the show came to a close and UE was left asking more questions.