Let The WarGames Begin! A Look Back At The Previous Women’s WarGames
With a WarGames match involving both the men and women on the roster, NXT has incorporated WarGames into its yearly lineup of TakeOver events. It goes without saying that WarGames is a match that started in the NWA and later became a WCW tradition in the 1980s and 1990s. Over time, the regulations have undergone some changes. The WarGames were first held inside of a double-ring cage with a roof. Once every competitor had entered the ring, the match was only decided by submission after one man from each team entered at timed intervals. Even though pinfalls now count and there is no roof, the match is one of the most brutal in wrestling history.
WWE Survivor Series Premium Live Event will debut WarGames matches on the main roster. Some competitors have already used the format in two Saturday bouts.
For the event, the RAW women’s division had the first match announced. Alexa Bliss, Asuka, Mia Yim, and Becky Lynch will team up with Bianca Belair to face Bayley, IYO SKY, Dakota Kai, Rhea Ripley, and Nikki Cross. However, four of the nine participants have already taken part in a WarGames match.
TAKEOVER: WARGAMES 2021 – Team Raquel vs. Team Toxic Attraction
The 2021 women’s WarGames match showed that NXT 2.0 wouldn’t water down WarGames’ brutality.
Cora Jade’s senton off the top of the cage during the WarGames match was a genuinely shocking moment, especially considering that she was the youngest competitor in the match’s history. Toxic Attraction was the only true faction entering the event, which may indicate that they will participate in more WarGames matches in the future. The game, however, was disjointed, it ended too soon, and there are many things that could be done better going forward.
Since then, three participants—Dakota Kai, the renamed IYO SKY, and Raquel Rodriguez—have advanced to the main roster. The Women’s Tag Titles were won a few months back by Kai and SKY over Rodriguez and her teammate Aliyah.
TAKEOVER: WARGAMES 2020 – Team Shotzi vs. Team Candice
Another impressive performance, but like everything else in the pandemic, the lack of audiences from a few wrestlers and backstage staff—dims its impact and legacy. Candice LeRae and Shotzi Blackheart led their respective teams in this match.
Wrestling fans will never forget Io Shirai throwing a trash can over her head and jumping off the cage onto everyone. It outperformed the men’s match due to its exciting action, compelling character development, and references to earlier matches.
Ripley’s intensity after a wild year, Dakota Kai’s unpredictable lunacy, and Moon and Shotzi’s stellar performances make this match a delight to watch. It was always going to be difficult to hold WarGames matches without any spectators, but these women succeeded.
TAKEOVER: WARGAMES 2019 – Team Ripley vs. Team Baszler
One of the greatest WarGames matches ever featured the NXT women in 2019. There were some powerful women on both teams, and the match itself included a heel turn that changed the outcome. Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae, Tegan Nox, and Dakota Kai squared off against Shayna Baszler, Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, and Kay Lee Ray in the match.
Looking back on it now, it was one of the best iterations of the match ever. Amazingly, the narrative in the best matches never even occurs during the match. Instead, it runs throughout the entire event. Dakota Kai snapped, injuring Tegan Nox prior to the match’s start, and Ripley and LeRae engaged in a 4 on 2 struggle for the duration of the match.
Rhea Ripley gave a truly breakout performance in the match, catapulting herself into the main roster title picture not long after. Io Shirai demonstrated that she is the unpredictable competitor who fans can depend on whenever she is in the match, and that the Baszler was a lethal opponent particularly in comparison to what she is now. A real-life illustration of how, given the chance, women can perform tasks more effectively than men.