Survivor Series weekend for 2019 has arrived, and once again, the NXT TakeOver: WarGames event will be shining under the bright lights one night prior to the annual Survivor Series event capping off the festivities. NXT TakeOver: WarGames has become a must-see event over the course of the past few years since the match's return, and it gets even bigger this year as the women will make history by competing in their own version of the brutal bout.
In addition to the two action-packed WarGames matches, we're also set to witness Finn Balor return to the NXT TakeOver spotlight and a triple threat match will go down to determine who will make history the very next night at Survivor Series by challenging Adam Cole for the NXT championship on a WWE pay-per-view.
NXT TakeOver: WarGames 3 is set to begin on Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET with the kickoff show leading us in beginning at 6 p.m. Let's now have a look at who the CBS Sports experts envision coming out on top in each match set to go down on the NXT TakeOver: WarGames card.
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2019 NXT TakeOver: WarGames predictions
Pete Dunne vs. Damian Priest vs. Killian Dain (NXT Championship No. 1 Contendership)
The victor of this No. 1 contender's triple threat bout on Saturday won't have to wait long to cash in on that opportunity, as they'll immediately challenge Adam Cole for the NXT championship Sunday night under the bright lights of Survivor Series. All due respect to both Priest and Dain who are fantastic talents, but that spotlight should be awarded to Dunne. The former long-reigning WWE UK champion has been positioned as one of the future cornerstones of the company for the past few years, and he's more than earned the opportunity to be one of the two key pieces featured in the first NXT title match to take place on a major WWE PPV card. Pick: Pete Dunne wins -- Jack Crosby (also Brian Campbell, Brent Brookhouse, Adam Silverstein)
Finn Balor vs. Matt Riddle
Balor can't execute an epic heel turn, be the big surprise return to the NXT brand and drop his first TakeOver match. Riddle will almost certainly look great in a loss, though, and won't lose any shine losing to the first-ever WWE universal champ. Balor needs to continue heading toward his impending in-ring meeting with Johnny Gargano, and the program would suffer in the event of a Balor loss here. Unless, that is .. Gargano has a hand in Balor losing. Pick: Finn Balor wins -- Brookhouse (also Campbell, Silverstein, Crosby)
Men's WarGames -- Undisputed Era vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic & TBA
NXT deserves credit for how strong it has built up and protected Undisputed Era as a prime heel faction, going to the length of outfitting all members with title belts. It has built the perfect foundation for this card where the bad guys can suffer a loss within the storyline without taking a larger hit. Be on the lookout for a large reveal from the final member of Ciampa's team, which even NXT patriarch Paul Levesque himself has teased will be a big one, giving even more reason for the faces to have their conquering moment. Pick: Team Ciampa wins -- Campbell (also Crosby)
With the entirety of Undisputed Era set to compete on Survivor Series the following night -- Adam Cole in a title match, the others in champion vs. champion matches -- it would not make much sense to me for the lone real "faction" in all of WWE to take a loss in this match. My guess is that some disaster happens with Lee and/or Dijakovic with their size wiping out everyone in the match and Cole falling on top of someone for the 1-2-3 -- akin to how he beat Johnny Gargano in their trilogy match a couple of months ago. Pick: Undisputed Era wins -- Silverstein (also Brookhouse)
Women's WarGames -- Shayna Baszler, Kay Lee Ray, Io Shirai & Bianca Belair vs. Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae, Mia Yim & Tegan Nox
If you want to build to Baszler's next big title challenger, you have Ripley get the win for her team here. She doesn't have to get the pin or submission on Baszler, but she needs to get the win to push toward the eventual championship showdown. It's WarGames, so there's no "cheap" way for Baszler's team to come out on top, which means the only way to "protect" Ripley as a title challenger is to have another member of her team eat the loss. But the best thing for the long-term is Ripley to secure the victory in her back pocket as issues with Baszler ramp up to a big title match showdown. Pick: Team Ripley wins -- Brookhouse (also Silverstein, Crosby)
If the recent ladder match on NXT television between Io Shirai and Mia Yim is any teaser, expect this inaugural women's match to be a wild and spectacular affair of high spots and danger. One can also look for the heels to get a key push in a move that likely does more for Shayna Baszler, the reigning NXT women's champion, than anyone else considering her longterm main roster future. Baszler will also be getting a close-up of sorts at Survivor Series on Sunday, and could use the strong presentation as a way to establish herself and her Four Horsewomen teammates as legitimate. Pick: Team Baszler wins -- Campbell