Imperium Defeats Kyle O'Reilly, Von Wagner; Retains NXT Tag Team Titles at WarGames

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 6, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com

Imperium's Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel defeated Kyle O'Reilly and Von Wagner at NXT WarGames on Sunday to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships.

O'Reilly appeared to have Aichner on the verge of passing out in a triangle choke before Aichner lifted him off the mat. Barthel made a blind tag and combined with Aichner to hit an Imperial Bomb on O'Reilly for the win.


Respect the mat.<br>Respect the match.<br>Respect IMPERIUM.<br><br>WHAT A MATCH. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AndStill?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AndStill</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NXTWarGames?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NXTWarGames</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NXTTagTitles?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NXTTagTitles</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Marcel_B_WWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Marcel_B_WWE</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/FabianAichner?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@FabianAichner</a> <a href="https://t.co/3Lm9dFlllF">pic.twitter.com/3Lm9dFlllF</a>

The relationship between O'Reilly and Wagner has been one of the main storylines in NXT 2.0, and it led to them finally earning a title opportunity at WarGames.

They first formed a bond on the debut episode of NXT 2.0 in September when Wagner saved O'Reilly from a backstage attack at the hands of Pete Dunne and Ridge Holland.

After that moment, O'Reilly and Wagner tried their hand at being a tag team. And while there were some early bumps in the road, they eventually managed to get on the same page and become threats in the division.

Aichner and Barthel beat MSK for the NXT tag team titles at Halloween Havoc in October, making them two-time titleholders.

With that, Imperium became only the third pairing in NXT history to hold the belts on multiple occasions, joining The Revival and Undisputed Era.

O'Reilly entered WarGames as the only individual to be a three-time NXT tag team champion as part of Undisputed Era, which seemingly gave him and Wagner a legitimate shot to win.

Imperium turned their noses up at O'Reilly and Wagner in the buildup to WarGames, but they proved Aichner and Barthel wrong to some degree by beating Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs and then defeating Legado del Fantasma to become the No. 1 contenders.

Sunday's bout was a true clash of styles with a long-running and established team going up against a team with little experience together.

That experience ultimately helped Imperium retain the NXT tag team titles, and it fuels speculation regarding O'Reilly's future with WWE, as rumors abound regarding his contract expiring this month.

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