NXT WarGames (2021)
|Date||December 5, 2021|
|Venue||WWE Performance Center|
|WWE Network event chronology|
|NXT WarGames chronology|
The 2021 NXT WarGames was the fifth annual and final NXT WarGames professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) and livestreaming event produced by WWE. It was held exclusively for wrestlers from the promotion's NXT brand division, which reverted to being WWE's developmental territory in September. The event took place on December 5, 2021, at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, and was the first WarGames to air on the livestreaming service Peacock. It was also the last WWE PPV and livestreaming event to carry the term "pay-per-view" as WWE began to use the term "premium live event" for these major events beginning with Day 1 the following month.
This was NXT's first WarGames event to not carry the NXT TakeOver name, as the events from 2017 to 2020 were held as a subseries of TakeOvers titled "TakeOver: WarGames". It was subsequently NXT's first PPV and livestreaming event following the discontinuation of the TakeOver series, and subsequently NXT's first event to not be promoted under the TakeOver name since Halftime Heat in February 2019. It was also the brand's first PPV and livestreaming event held following its restructuring as NXT 2.0, which reverted the brand to its original function as WWE's developmental territory. This was also NXT's last major event to air on traditional PPV, as WWE shifted to only broadcasting NXT's major events on the livestreaming platforms. In 2022, the WarGames concept was moved to the main roster as part of Survivor Series with the NXT WarGames event being replaced by NXT Deadline.
Five matches were contested at the event, including two WarGames matches. In the main event, Team 2.0 (Bron Breakker, NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes, Grayson Waller, and Tony D'Angelo) defeated Team Black & Gold (Johnny Gargano, LA Knight, Pete Dunne, and NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa) in the men's WarGames match, while in the opening bout, Cora Jade, Io Shirai, Kay Lee Ray, and Raquel Gonzalez defeated Dakota Kai and Toxic Attraction (NXT Women's Champion Mandy Rose and NXT Women's Tag Team Champions Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne) in the women's WarGames match.
|Spanish commentators||Carlos Cabrera|
|Ring announcer||Alicia Taylor|
|Pre-show panel||Sam Roberts|
From 2017 to 2020, WWE's NXT brand held an annual subseries of events under the TakeOver series titled WarGames, based around the WarGames match. Starting with the September 14, 2021 edition of NXT, the NXT brand went through a restructuring, being rebranded as NXT 2.0, reverting to, in part, a developmental territory for WWE. In October, it was speculated that the company may end the TakeOver series as another TakeOver event was not scheduled for 2021 after TakeOver 36 in August.
On November 9, 2021, NXT's fifth WarGames event was announced to be held on December 5, 2021, at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. The announcement confirmed that the event would not be a TakeOver event, thus marking NXT's first event to air on pay-per-view (PPV) and via livestreaming following TakeOver's discontinuation, as well as the first non-TakeOver to air on any of these broadcast outlets since Halftime Heat in February 2019, as well as the brand's first PPV event held following its rebranding as NXT 2.0. It was also the first WarGames to livestream on Peacock after the American version of the WWE Network merged under Peacock in March; other countries maintained the WWE Network service. On the day of the event's announcement, WWE had originally made a post on Twitter that had the event titled as "TakeOver: WarGames"; however, the tweet was quickly deleted and WWE reposted the announcement with the "TakeOver" title removed.
The card included five matches. The matches resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results were predetermined by WWE's writers on the NXT brand, while storylines were produced on the weekly television program, NXT 2.0.
At NXT: Halloween Havoc on October 26, Cameron Grimes was invited to Duke Hudson's Poker Room on the following week's episode, where he beat him with a full house of 2's against his Aces. On the November 16 episode of NXT, Hudson challenged Grimes to a poker showdown where he lost again due to his bluff, and power bombed him through the poker table before trimming his beard and ponytail. The following week, a short-haired Grimes challenged Hudson to a hair vs. hair match at NXT WarGames, which he accepted.
On the November 23 episode of NXT, Malcolm Bivens and the Diamond Mine confronted Joe Gacy in the ring for stealing the spotlight away from them last week, and want to take it back by asking him to leave the ring so that Ivy Nile can have her match. Gacy respected Nile's right to have a match but had no respect for NXT Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong, saying his name invokes "toxic masculinity" and that the Cruiserweight division divides people by promoting exclusivity and "weight shaming". Strong said he wants to embarrass Gacy, leading Bivens to setup a match between the two at NXT WarGames. The following week, Gacy (accompanied by Harland), hosted an all-inclusive invitational in response to the Cruiserweight division being a "toxic environment" that leaves out "height, weight, and gender bias." Bivens arrive to taunt Gacy and have him fight Strong, which he responded by wanting a "person to person" conversation with him. Strong attacks Gacy and forces him to retreat alongside Harland.
At NXT: Halloween Havoc, Imperium (Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel) defeated MSK (Nash Carter and Wes Lee) in a Lumber Jack-o'-Lantern Tag Team match to win the NXT Tag Team Championship for a second time. On the November 30 episode of NXT, Kyle O'Reilly and Von Wagner defeated Legado Del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza) to become number one contenders to the tag titles, setting up a match between the two teams at NXT WarGames.
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The December 7 episode of NXT 2.0 would mark the final WWE appearance for 2 superstars:
- Kyle O'Reilly lost a Steel Cage match to Von Wagner. Wagner viciously attacked O'Reilly after the match, and O'Reilly's WWE contract expired shortly afterwards. He made his All Elite Wrestling (AEW) debut at AEW Holiday Bash 15 days later.
- Johnny Gargano addressed the NXT universe. As he talked about his future, Grayson Waller viciously attacked him with a steel chair. He ended the attack after planting Gargano with a Powerbomb through the announce table. Gargano's WWE contract expired shortly afterwards, although he did make his WWE return and main roster debut on the August 22, 2022 episode of Raw.
Due to pinning NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa in the men's WarGames match to win the match for his team, Bron Breakker got his title match against Ciampa at the NXT special New Year's Evil. At the event, Breakker would win after forcing Ciampa to tap out to the Steiner Recliner to win the NXT Championship for the first time in his career.
In 2022, the WarGames concept was moved to the main roster as part of Survivor Series, with that year's event rebranded as Survivor Series WarGames. This subsequently ended the NXT WarGames event, which was replaced by NXT Deadline.
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|1D||Odyssey Jones defeated Andre Chase||Singles match||8:24|
|2||Cora Jade, Io Shirai, Kay Lee Ray, and Raquel Gonzalez defeated Dakota Kai and Toxic Attraction (Mandy Rose, Gigi Dolin, and Jacy Jayne) by pinfall||WarGames match||31:22|
|3||Imperium (Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel) (c) defeated Kyle O'Reilly and Von Wagner by pinfall||Tag team match for the NXT Tag Team Championship||14:53|
|4||Cameron Grimes defeated Duke Hudson by pinfall||Hair vs. hair match||10:24|
|5||Roderick Strong (c) (with Diamond Mine) defeated Joe Gacy (with Harland) by pinfall||Singles match for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship||8:27|
|6||Team 2.0 (Bron Breakker, Grayson Waller, Tony D'Angelo, and Carmelo Hayes) (with Trick Williams) defeated Team Black & Gold (Johnny Gargano, LA Knight, Pete Dunne, and Tommaso Ciampa) (with Dexter Lumis) by pinfall||WarGames match||38:11|
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DIY (professional wrestling)
NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4
NXT TakeOver: Phoenix
List of NXT North American Champions
NXT TakeOver: Chicago II
NXT TakeOver: Portland
Raquel González (wrestler)
NXT TakeOver: WarGames (2020)
NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day
NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver
NXT TakeOver: In Your House (2021)
NXT TakeOver 36
NXT Halloween Havoc (2021)
NXT: New Year's Evil (2022)
NXT Vengeance Day (2022)
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