The card included matches resulting from scripted storylines with results predetermined by WWE. Storylines are produced on the NXT television program. NXT TakeOver is a series of professional wrestling shows that began on May 29, 2014, as the WWE developmental league NXT held their second WWE Networkexclusive live broadcast billed as NXT TakeOver. In subsequent months, the "TakeOver" moniker became the brand used by NXT and WWE for all of their NXT live specials. NXT TakeOver: WarGames is the eighteenth overall show held under the NXT TakeOver banner, and the fifth to be held in 2017. Originally promoted as NXT TakeOver: Houston, it was changed to WarGames after an announcement by Triple H on October 4, 2017. The event's name is derived from an old match type that was originally used in the National Wrestling Alliance, and later, an annual match held by World Championship Wrestling. NXT TakeOver: WarGames featured the namesake match, and was the first time in nearly twenty years since the match last occurred.
On September 6 episode of NXT, Asuka relinquished the NXT Women's Championship due to a legitimate injury she sustained at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III; she was subsequently moved up to the main roster on the Raw brand. On September 12, Kairi Sane won the Mae Young Classic and earned herself a shot at the vacant NXT Women's Championship at NXT TakeOver: WarGames. On the September 27 episode of NXT, General Manager William Regal made the match at WarGames a fatal four-way for the vacant NXT Women's Championship, with qualifying matches held over the following weeks to determine the other three participants. On the October 11 episode, Peyton Royce defeated Nikki Cross (of Sanity) and Liv Morgan to qualify for the match by pinning Cross after she was distracted by Taynara Conti, who was escorted by The Undisputed Era. The following week, Ember Moon qualified by defeating Ruby Riot and Sonya Deville. On the next episode, Nikki Cross last eliminated Billie Kay in a battle royal to qualify for the last spot in the fatal four-way. Cross later defeated Taynara in a singles match on the November 1 episode. The following week, Sane defeated Kay in singles competition. The next week, after Moon defeated Mercedes Martinez, the other three competitors came to the ring and ringside area and stared each other down.