ROSEMONT, Ill. — At Saturday’s WWE NXT Takeover: WarGames show from the Allstate Arena, the main event featured Team Ciampa which featured Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Donovan Dijakovic and Kevin Owens defeated The Undisputed Era (NXT heavyweight champion Adam Cole, North American champ Roderick Strong and the Tag Team Champions of Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly).
The end of the match had Ciampa and Cole at the top corner of the first cage fighting for position. The former NXT champion gained the advantage and executed the Air Raid with him and Cole crashing through the table to obtain the pinfall victory.
The ending was one of the most dangerous spots in the WWE in quite some time. You see two guys at the top of a cage about 15-20 feet in the air, and all you hope for is that whatever happens, both guys are going to be OK. Ciampa and Cole ended up being OK, but the moment wasn’t lost on the founder and senior producer of NXT and the WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative, Paul “Triple H” Levesque, as he watched his top acts putting it all on the line.
“Those are the moments where I’m just holding my breath,” Levesque told Sporting News during a media session following the event. “The truth is in this business, I’ve seen more people get injured, including myself, on dumb little things. The stuff, the big giant spectacle spots that you really put so much care and thought into — Yes, they are extremely dangerous, yes, they are extremely impactful.
“It’s funny, more often than not, it’s the guy running across the ring and just turns his ankle and he’s out six months.”
Even though Ciampa and Cole safely made it through the execution of the maneuver, there are some who will question why such a move would be needed in an already physical affair with the eight participants inside two steel cages with tables at their disposal.
Levesque admits he approved the ending, but that doesn’t mean he was going to allow his talent to do everything under the sun.
“You know they are coming,” Levesque said. “You know what’s happening and especially in big ones like that because that is stuff I absolutely know and I absolutely sign off on it. There’s certain things where I believe they can do safely and I believe the risk to reward ratio is reasonable.
“But there are also things that were brought up tonight where I was like, ‘Absolutely not (laughs). No, you’re not doing that guys. As much as I love you guys and want you to tear it up like you were going to tear it up with all the other stuff. You don’t need that.’
“But that’s when you hold your breath and you just wait for the landing and you’re just waiting for the referee to tell you that everybody is OK.”