WWE NXT isn’t the same as in years past, but viewers should hope that coming out of NXT TakeOver War Games new stars will rise to the top.
NXT TakeOver WarGames occurred on Sunday and there is a lot to talk about coming out of that event. One of the more intriguing conversations is that while the show had great matches across the card, it is hard to get excited about the NXT product. The reasoning behind this is that NXT is lacking star power. However, NXT TakeOver War Games took some steps to establish some “newer” names across the card that could be important focal points in the future.
The two War Games matches were the two biggest matches of the evening. Candice LeRae’s team and the Undisputed Era earned hard-fought victories. Even though LeRae and Adam Cole were the captains of their respective teams, it was Raquel Gonzalez and Kyle O’Reilly that picked up the pinfalls to close out the matches. Those wins should mean something to help establish both individuals further than their current level, hopefully leading to main event level angles.
For Gonzalez, pinning Io Shirai will be enough of a claim to slot her in as the next contender for the title. Gonzalez is an imposing figure, and she could serve as a monster heel champion to dominate the women’s division for an extended period. Plus, that dominance can help rid the NXT women’s division of both Rhea Ripley and Shirai with Gonzalez defeating them, justifying their “call up” to either SmackDown or Monday Night Raw. The NXT women’s division is the deepest division in women’s wrestling, but it needs some “freshening” up at the top. Raquel Gonzalez can bring about much of that change as the new women’s champion coming off the win from NXT TakeOver War Games.
Then there’s O’Reilly. KOR is in a different position. He and Finn Balor put on one of the better matches of the year at NXT TakeOver 31. He lost that match and many are opining for him to remain in the main event picture. Instead, he has been slotted back into the UE storylines. It does not need to end there, however.
The Undisputed Era has put on a long-tenured run in NXT. Perhaps it is time to break up the group to give them something fresh to do. If that occurred, O’Reilly would easily be the babyface of the situation. Forcing him to go through his former stablemates, leading to a bout against Adam Cole is enough of a reason to keep him in the upper-card for a second title shot. Again, this hinges on the next steps of creative development by those leading for the black and yellow brand.
Cameron Grimes and Dexter Lumis are two others who are primed to find themselves the subject of pushes higher up the card. Lumis should be the next man in line for Johnny Gargano, who walked out of the PPV with the NXT North American title. He is, just like Tommaso Ciampa, are long-established – they do not need any more stints of prolonged success. After their victories on Sunday viewers should be hopeful that their next steps include angles and defeats at the hands of rising names on the roster.
NXT does not have the same level of star power as it did a few years back. Yes, that lack is impacting the overall allure of the content, but WWE seems to be taking steps to hopefully correct that course. Can WWE be trusted with building new stars? Their track record as of late has not been the best, but that does not mean the promotion should stop trying. The biggest victories coming out of NXT TakeOver War Games point toward the growth of new stars.