NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2 predictions, matches, card, start time, preview, location
Taking a closer look at every match on the NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2 card this Saturday night
The stars of NXT will occupy the Staples Center with the NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2 event highlighting the action on Saturday evening just one night before WWE's superstars convene in the same arena for Survivor Series. Two NXT singles championships will be on the line, a personal grudge match will play itself out and, of course, the main attraction of the event will see the return of the WarGames match, which resurfaced last year under the NXT banner the night before the Survivor Series show.
NXT TakeOver: WarGames begins live at 7 p.m. ET, and it should last for about three hours. The kickoff show will begin one hour earlier on WWE Network but is unlikely to contain any matches. Rather, it will preview the entire show and whet your appetite ahead of Survivor Series on Sunday. Let's take a look at our predictions and picks ahead of the big night from our CBS Sports experts.
NXT TakeOver: WarGames II predictions
Johnny Gargano vs. Aleister Black
Adam Silverstein, Brian Campbell: Gargano picking up a win over Black would put the former champion in a strange spot with a foray onto the WWE main roster as his only potential recourse. It would put Gargano back in a No. 1 contender spot for Tomasso Ciampa's NXT title, but I do not expect that match to go down until New York -- five months away. With that said, Black getting his revenge on Gargano, knocking him down a peg and forcing him to keep battling his way back to the top should be the storyline here -- the darkside does not work for him and ends up costing him even more. Gargano should need to make the transition back to white-meat babyface before he starts racking up big wins and challenges Ciampa again. Plus, there's no need for Black on the main roster at this time. Pick: Aleister Black wins
Jack Jorgensen: The story of who attacked Black in the parking lot was a well-told one, and it was a bit stunning to learn that everyone's lovable babyface in Gargano had made the move to the dark side. That move to the dark side, however, is exactly why Gargano needs to win this match. As the former NXT title challenger begins his heel journey, he would be best served to earn a mischievous victory over someone who's been booked as unstoppable as Black has since his arrival in NXT. Gargano will go on a streak of wanting to win every match by any means necessary, and that begins on Saturday. Pick: Johnny Gargano wins
NXT Women's Championship: Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Kairi Sane (2-out-of-3 falls)
JJ, BC, AS: Simply put, there's really no logical reason to rip the title from Baszler now that she has a stable behind her that helped her regain the championship at the historic Evolution event. Four Horsewomen mates Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir finally made their presence felt in that bout, and now you have to ride that wave going forward for a bit. Pick: Shayna Baszler retains the title
NXT Championship: Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Velveteen Dream
BC, AS, JJ: Gargano's recent heel actions toward Black left things somewhat cryptic regarding which direction his character is leaning at the moment. If the psychology behind his attack was to take out Black so he could continue to challenge his hated rival Ciampa, it wouldn't be ridiculous to concoct a story in which he would do the same to Dream during this title match to preserve Ciampa's title reign. Or, if Gargano is a temporary heel who has gone insane, he may want to help Ciampa in some form of a short-lived #DIY reunion for all we know. Either way, keeping the title on Ciampa means the two could finally meet in a blowoff at WrestleMania weekend with Gargano getting a Daniel Bryan-like babyface pop. Pick: Tommaso Ciampa retains the title
WarGames Match: Undisputed Era vs. War Raiders, Ricochet & Pete Dunne
BC: Certainly anything can happen in a multi-man match this wild where a loss wouldn't necessarily hurt either side moving forward. But with Bobby Fish back in the mix and their heel faction as strong as ever, it would seem like a poor time to deal the Undisputed Era a setback. The foursome has a shot to one day enter the main roster as a collective unit, almost as a heel answer to The Shield. Staying strong should be part of the directive. Pick: Undisputed Era wins
AS, JJ: This is a tough match to call considering the real reason for it should be to put over Undisputed Era. At the same time, with Ricochet and Dunne as champions, plus War Raiders clearly in line for a title match, it makes the most sense for the faces to go over. Really anyone on UE can eat the pifnall, whereas one would expect one of the War Raiders to take the 1-2-3 if the match went the other way. Should UE win the match, all that would really be gained is Adam Cole getting another shot at Ricochet, perhaps. Pick: War Raiders, Ricochet & Pete Dunne win
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