The 33rd edition of WWE’s Survivor Series was the first time three brands competed against eachother with NXT joining Raw and Smackdown on the show.
Since the NXT brand became a USA Network television show in September 2019 (to counter the debuting AEW Dynamite in October 2019) after being on WWE Network for the previous five years, WWE felt like they had to try to pump up the NXT brand by including them in Survivor Series. Instead of just Raw vs. Smackdown matches like the previous three years, there were some Raw vs. Smackdown vs. NXT matches on this show. This was also two months into Smackdown being on Fox, which was a big deal at the time and still is.
What I liked about the show’s format is they also had three title matches with Brock Lesnar defending the WWE Championship against Rey Mysterio, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt defending the Universal Championship against Daniel Bryan and Adam Cole putting the NXT Championship on the line against Pete Dunne.
This review was written the day after the show took place.
Here are the Kickoff Show matches:
This was a tag team battle royal match to get more people on the show. The crowd was still filing in at this point. The announcers for this match were Vic Joseph, Corey Graves and Nigel McGuinness.
Tag Team Battle Royal: The OC (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) vs. Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake w/Jackson Ryker) vs. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) vs. Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder vs. Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango) vs. Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik) vs. Imperium (Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel w/Walter) vs. Heavy Machinery (Tucker and Otis)
There was a lot of standing around the ring and throwing punches. Cutler was eliminated, so was the Forgotten Sons team. Dawkins tossed Dorado out, so LHP were out. Imagine flying to this show, being told that you are in this match and you’re gone in like ten seconds? Fun. Ryder was eliminated with a back body drop by Barthel, so Ryder and Hawkins are out. There were plenty of guys standing by the ropes doing nothing. Ziggler was nearly tossed out, but he held on. Roode eliminated Aichner, so Imperium were out and Roode saved Ziggler from elimination. Otis with a body slam and he took off his shirt leading to the Caterpillar elbow attempt, but The OC and Revival teamed up to get rid of Otis, so Heavy Machinery were out. The Revival eliminated Breezango. The Street Profits hit double dropkicks on The Revival to send Dawson and Wilder over the top to the floor. There were three teams left: The OC, Street Profits and Ziggler/Roode. Double team slam by The OC on Roode. Ziggler with a Zig Zag on Anderson. Roode sent Gallows to the apron and Ziggler with a superkick on Gallows to eliminate The OC. That meant it was Ziggler/Roode vs. Street Profits. Roode with a spinebuster on Dawkins. Ziggler accidentally superkicked Roode out of the ring, but Roode went under the top rope. Dawkins with a Sky High on Ziggler. Roode punched Ford while he was on the top rope. Ziggler countered Dawkins with a DDT. Ford hit a Frog Splash off the top where he turned in the air. That was sweet. Roode grabbed Ford and eliminated him at 8:19 to win the match.
Winners: Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
Analysis: *3/4 It was just decent for a battle royal. Ziggler and Roode winning isn’t that interesting, but they get a decent push on Smackdown most of the time. The fans didn’t care about this except a few spots with The Street Profits and Heavy Machinery. I thought Heavy Machinery should win to give the victory to a babyface team.
That means Smackdown won the first match of the night.
The cruiserweights were next with Byron Saxton and Chicago’s Aiden English on commentary for this match.
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Lio Rush (NXT) vs. Kalisto (Smackdown) vs. Akira Tozawa (Raw)
Rush was tossed out of the ring, so Tozawa and Kalisto got into slugfest. Rush got back in, he kicked Kalisto out of the ring, Kalisto tripped up Rush and Kalisto with a kick to the head while Tozawa was about to try to a dive to the floor. Kalisto an armdrag, Rush punched Tozawa and Rush avoided a double team leading to a handspring into a back elbow to knock down both guys. Tozawa slammed Rush off the shoulders followed by a running kick for a two count. Kalisto with a jumping kick on Rush, then all three guys were on the top rope and Kalisto/Tozawa did a double Spanish Fly onto Rush, so all three guys went crashing to the mat. The three guys exchanged strikes with Tozawa getting a German Suplex for a two count and then Kalisto went for a pin leading to a two count. Kalisto hit the Salida del Sole on Rush for a two count, but Tozawa broke up with the pin with a Shining Wizard running knee attack. Tozawa went up top and hit the Senton splash for two because Kalisto broke up the pin, which led to a shocked reaction from Tozawa. Kalisto and Tozawa battled with Kalisto kicking him in the face, Kalisto countered a German Suplex by landing on his feet and Kalisto hit the Salida del Sol on Tozawa. Rush up top where he hit the Final Hour (Frog Splash) for the pinfall win at 8:22.
Winner by: Lio Rush
Analysis: **3/4 A good match with a lot of action by three guys that move at a fast pace. They did some high-flying moves, but they certainly could have done more to get the crowd into it. Rush took the finishing moves of both guys, yet the other guy was there to save and shortly after that, Rush came back to win.
That means it was 1 win for Smackdown, 1 win for NXT and nothing for Raw yet.
The matchup between Tag Team Champions was bumped to the Kickoff Show. The announcers for this match were Vic Joseph, Corey Graves and Jerry Lawler. The Smackdown Tag Team Champions The New Day were up first followed by NXT Tag Team Champions Undisputed Era and Raw’s Tag Team Champions known as the Viking Raiders.
The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) vs. The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish)
There were three guys in the ring while their partners were on the apron. Big E and Ivar were in control of Undisputed Era early by knocking them out of the ring. Big E tried a slam on Ivar, but Ivar got out of it, leapfrog by Big E and a running shoulder tackle by Big E on Ivar. O’Reilly tossed E over the top to the floor. Erik tagged in leading to knee strikes from Erik and Ivar on O’Reilly. Erik with a body slam on Ivar on Fish. Kingston with a dropkick on Erik. Kingston with a running kick to the chest of O’Reilly. Kingston with a leapfrog over Big E leading to a splash onto O’Reilly for two. Kingston tossed O’Reilly out of the ring. New Day had a showdown with Viking Raiders, Erik tossed E out of the ring, Kingston with boots to the face of Ivar, who went to the floor and Kingston with a springboard dropkick on O’Reilly. Fish wrenched Kingston’s leg against the middle ropes. O’Reilly jumped off the top with a knee drop followed by a kneebar submission. Ivar broke that up with a splash on Fish. Big E with a belly to belly slam on Ivar and Erik tossed E out of the ring. Kingston battled O’Reilly on the apron, Big E charged at O’Reilly, who moved, so Big E went crashing to the floor. Kingston kicked O’Reilly down and Fish kicked Kingston. Erik picked up Ivar on the apron and gave him a body slam onto the four guys on the floor. That was a cool spot.
Erik and O’Reilly were the first two back into the ring. Fish with a chop block to the back of the leg of Erik while Erik was holding O’Reilly. Fish went after Erik with a hard knee to the face. It looked like they checked on Erik to see if he was okay. O’Reilly with a running knee drop on Erik. O’Reilly twisted the knee of Erik followed by Fish hitting a suplex. Erik suplexed Fish into O’Reilly. Ivar with a back body drop, then a splash on O’Reilly. Erik with corner clotheslines on Fish and O’Reilly, who then kicked Fish by accident. Big E into the ring and Ivar decked him with a spin kick. Ivar with forearms for the UE guys, Ivar missed a top rope attack and Erik with a dropkick on Fish. O’Reilly saved Fish from a corner attack. Kingston jumped off the top, Erik caught him and then Kingston followed with two feet to the chest. Big E with belly to belly suplexes on both UE guys. Kingston kicked fish. Erik with a dropkick that sent Big E into the turnbuckle. Kingston with a kick to Erik. Big E held Erik and Kingston jumped off the top with a double foot attack on Erik for two as Ivar made the save. Kingston sent Ivar out of the ring. Big E launched Kingston over the top onto Ivar and the two UE guys. Big E with a Spear on Erik while on the apron, which put them both down and that drew cheers. Big E picked up Erik, Fish pulled Kingston off the top, Erik with a knee to Big E and Ivar hit a springboard clothesline into a German Suplex on Big E. Kingston missed Trouble in Paradise on O’Reilly on the floor and hit the ring post, which led to UE hitting the High/Low double kick. O’Reilly with a kick to Erik and Fish with an overhead suplex on Erik. UE hit double kicks on Ivar, who got back up and did a cartwheel to avoid the kicks. Ivar with a handspring back elbow on both UE guys. Erik launched Fish into the ring and Ivar hit the Viking Experience powerslam Fish onto O’Reilly with Ivar pinning Fish for the win at 14:35.
Winners by pinfall: The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar)
Analysis: ***1/4 This was an entertaining tag team match with a lot of quick tags and plenty of interesting moments. It was cool seeing the big man showdown with Big E/Ivar, I thought Kingston worked really well with the Undisputed Era guys and Viking Raiders continued their dominance as a team. There was so much action with six guys in there and it’s not like a regular tag team match where they are going to grab a chinlock or other rest hold to build up to the hot tag. This was more about hitting big moves all match long.
The Viking Raiders win meant it was one win each for Raw, Smackdown and NXT.
That was it for the Kickoff Show matches.
WWE Survivor Series
From Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois
November 24, 2019
The opening video focused on the theme of the show this year with Raw vs. Smackdown vs. NXT and the idea that the landscape has changed. They showed clips of the key wrestlers on the show.
The pyro went off in the arena and the crowd in Chicago made a lot of noise.
The introductions took place for the women’s 5 on 5 on 5 elimination match. Team Smackdown’s women made their entrance to the SD theme song with Sasha Banks, Lacey Evans, Dana Brooke, Carmella and Nikki Cross. The announce team for this match is SD’s Michael Cole, Raw’s Jerry Lawler and NXT’s Beth Phoenix.
Team Raw was next entering to their theme song. They were led by Charlotte Flair along with Asuka, Kairi Sane, Natalya and Sarah Logan. The Spanish and German announce teams were shown at ringside too. The good thing is they aren’t wrestling in the t-shirts of their shows. They had on armbands representing the show they are on.
The NXT team was led by captain Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm, Bianca Belair, Io Shirai and Candice LeRae. The 15 women all got in the ring for some trash talking.
5 on 5 on 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Smackdown (Sasha Banks, Lacey Evans, Dana Brooke, Carmella and Nikki Cross) vs. Team Raw (Charlotte Flair, Asuka, Kairi Sane, Natalya and Sarah Logan) vs. Team NXT (Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm, Bianca Belair, Io Shirai and Candice LeRae)
Three women start the match, the others are on the apron and have to be tagged in or go in when there’s an elimination.
Lacey Evans was dumped out of the ring. Cross tagged in, Storm hit her with a clothesline and Logan hit an overhead suplex on Storm. Logan with a knee drop on Storm. Cross jumped on Logan’s back, so Logan dropped Cross onto Storm. They did a spot where Storm hit a German Suplex while Logan was holding Cross so all three women were down. Carmella entered against Sane and Shirai, who are best friends. The fans popped for Shirai. Carmella tagged in Brooke as Shirai and Sane showed what they can do with Sane hitting a headscissors, but Shirai kicked her. Shirai with a basement dropkick on Sane. Shirai slammed Sane for two. Brooke tried a rollup for two. Brooke hit a cartwheel into a corner elbow on both women. Brooke went up and hit a Senton Bomb on both women for a two count on Sane. Evans tagged in with a double team arm drag. LeRae tagged in with a rollup on Evans for two. Asuka tagged in with a hip attack on Evans and LeRae splashed the back of Asuka. LeRae hit a slam on Evans for two. Ripley tagged in and got a good pop as she hit a dropkick on Evans. Asuka put an armbar on Evans, Belair went into the ring and saved Ripley. Natalya hit a clothesline on Belair, Cross with a neckbreaker on Natalya, Shirai dropkick on Cross and Flair with a Spear on Shirai. LeRae with a dropkick on Flair, Carmella with a superkick on LeRae and the spots continued from there with nearly everybody hitting a move. You get the point. Banks hit a backstabber on Logan leaving Banks alone in the ring. Flair tagged Asuka’s back to make her legal in the match. They had referees and WWE medical staff, who are really indy wrestlers, checking on LeRae and Shirai on the floor. They took LeRae and Shirai to the back with the idea that they were hurting from WarGames. The captains faced off with Ripley, Banks and Flair, but Ripley brought in Belair while Cross and Logan also tagged in. Cross with a neckbreaker on Logan, then a cross body block on Ripley on the floor and Cross worked over Storm with forearms. Belair got a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Cross with her feet on the ropes and Ripley held Belair’s feet for leverage.
Nikki Cross eliminated by Bianca Belair
Carmella was in for Smackdown’s team and Belair slammed her with the KOD off the shoulders. Logan with a headbutt to the face of Belair, she tossed Belair out of the ring and Logan hit a double knee attack on Storm and Ripley. Belair brought Logan back in the ring with a hiptoss. Belair with a moonsault on Logan for two and Logan hit a knee strike on Belair for two. Ripley with a forearm to the face of Logan. Belair went up top and hit a 450 Splash on Logan for the pinfall. That looked great.
Sarah Logan eliminated by Bianca Belair
Flair told Logan to kiss her ass and Flair hit a clothesline while Carmella got a rollup on Flair. Carmella with a kick to the face of Flair, then Carmella was on the apron and Flair kicked her down. Belair with a rollup on Flair for two, but Flair came back with a backbreaker and a boot to the face. Flair did a slow climb to the top, Carmella grabbed the foot, Flair blocked a hurricanrana attempt and Carmella gave Flair a hurricanrana off the ropes onto Belair for a two count on both women. Good spot that drew a big reaction. Carmella kicked Belair for a two count. Flair followed up with a Natural Selection neckbreaker on Carmella to pin her.
Carmella eliminated by Charlotte Flair
Sane tagged in for her team against Banks and Storm with Storm kicking Banks to knock her down. Sane with a spinning back fist on Storm. Sane went up top and hit the Insane Elbow on Storm to pin her. Banks hit a double knee attack on Sane to pin her.
Kairi Sane eliminated by Sasha Banks
Asuka went into the ring and was attacking everybody including a bulldog/clothesline combo on Banks and Storm. Brooke tagged in and Asuka hit a spin kick to the face to eliminate her.
Dana Brooke eliminated by Asuka
Flair tagged Asuka, which Asuka didn’t like because that turned into a shoving match. Flair told Asuka to get out of her ring and then she slammed Asuka down by the back of the head. Evans went after Flair, who unleashed on her with chops leading to the “woo” chants. Flair with an overhead suplex on Evans into the corner. Asuka went into the ring and she spit the DREADED GREEN MIST~! in the face of Flair. That was great and also fits the storyline that they don’t get along. Flair was screaming about it while the green mist was all over her face and chest leading to “Asuka” chants. Asuka walked up the ramp to leave the match. Evans with a Woman’s Right punch to Flair and that was enough to pin Flair.
Asuka eliminated due to walking out on the match
Charlotte Flair eliminated by Lacey Evans
Natalya was the only woman left for Raw as she got a rollup on Evans. Storm with a dropkick on Evans and Natalya with a clothesline on Storm. Natalya got the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Evans to eliminate her. Natalya: “Bye bitch.”
Lacey Evans eliminated by Natalya
Sasha Banks was the last woman left for Smackdown while NXT had three women in the match. Natalya slapped on a Sharpshooter on Storm while Banks added the Bank Statement submission to it and Storm tapped out. The fans booed that because they were rooting for NXT.
Toni Storm eliminated by Natalya and Sasha Banks
Bianca Belair went in the ring, Natalya picked her up and Banks ran the ropes for the Hart Attack double team clothesline! Love that. Banks covered Belair to eliminate her.
Bianca Belair eliminated by Sasha Banks
The match was down to Natalya vs. Banks vs. Ripley with Banks suggesting to Natalya that they work together. However, Banks turned on Natalya with a punch to the face and that led to Banks pinning Natalya. Really? Just a punch to the face? That was a weak elimination.
Natalya eliminated by Sasha Banks
That left Banks and Ripley as the final two women. They did some trash talk leading to Ripley connecting with a dropkick. Banks tried for a DDT like move, but Ripley held on and then Banks turned it into a sleeper hold. Ripley drove Banks back first into the turnbuckle. Banks with a drop toe hold that sent Ripley into the turnbuckle and Banks hit double knees on Ripley against the turnbuckle. The fans were chanting for both women. Banks jumped off the middle ropes with the Meteora double knees on Ripley for a two count as fans chanted “NXT” for Ripley. Banks went up top, she jumped off with nothing and Ripley kicked her leading to a two count. Banks went for a submission move grabbing the legs of Banks, but Banks fought out of it and Banks slapped on the Bank Statement submission. That led to Candice LeRae and Io Shirai to run down to ringside to support Ripley and they pulled Ripley out of the ring. Banks with a kick on LeRae and Shirai. Ripley drove Banks into the barricade and the side of the ring apron. Banks with a knee strike to the face. Shirai grabbed Banks’ hair, LeRae distracted the referee and Shirai hit a missile dropkick. Ripley hit her Riptide slam for the pinfall win at 28:02. The fans popped big for the NXT win.
Sasha Banks eliminated by Rhea Ripley
Winners: Team NXT (Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae and Io Shirai)
The NXT women celebrated while Lawler said he questioned their tactics because they cheated due to Shirai and LeRae faking the injuries.
Analysis: *** A good match for the most part with a strong finish because Ripley and Banks worked well together. It had some good moments, but also times where it dragged, and I think some of the eliminations were weak. I know Asuka’s a heel, but just having her walk away is lame. I liked Asuka turning on Flair because it fits their storyline. The injury angle spot took out two women and it wasn’t done in an interesting. They just stopped wrestling. I don’t think the injury angle spot was needed either. While it’s important to have people sell injuries from the night before, they could have done it in a better way. Plus, it just led to them going back into the ring 20 minutes later. In my preview, I picked the NXT women because I figured this was a good spot for them to get a big win and it’s a great group of talent. Ripley stood out with her performance at Takeover as well as here while Belair had some impressive moments as well. Ripley is only 23 years old and I think it’s fair to say management is very high on her. She’s a woman that has as bright of a future as any woman in the company.
Team NXT’s women were celebrating on the stage. The standings at this point were NXT 2, Raw 1 and Smackdown 1. Ripley posed with her teammates.
There was a commercial for WWEShop and John Cena part of some Audible show called the 64th Man.
A clip aired from NXT Takeover WarGames as Kevin Owens made his surprising appearance on Team Ciampa to help them win. Owens had an impressive showing as Ciampa put Adam Cole through two tables after jumping off the cage.
Kevin Owens was shown in the locker room looking at a Raw armband. Seth Rollins walked up to him and the fans booed. Owens said is Seth going to stare at him or does he have something to say. Rollins said the world saw what Owens did last night and he said it was a big moment for him and NXT. Rollins said based on KO’s history, where does his loyalty lie – Raw or NXT. Owens said that what happened last night was getting even with Undisputed Era for what they did to him on Raw. Owens said that NXT doesn’t need me, but Monday Night Raw desperately needs Owens. Owens said tonight he is Team Raw. Owens took offense to Rollins questioning Owens’ loyalty while mentioning KO’s history and Owens asked: “Do I have to remind you of your history?” Owens put his fist out in a Shield-like pose and left.
Analysis: That segment was needed after what happened at WarGames and I like how Owens explained that Raw needs him, which is a shot at Rollins failing as a top face on Raw. The ending was a reference to Rollins turning on The Shield in 2014. It’s been over five years, but the reference works.
Shinsuke Nakamura entered with the new Intercontinental Championship along with his buddy Sami Zayn by his side. They had Nigel McGuinness joining Cole and Lawler on commentary for this match. Roderick Strong made his entrance with the NXT North American Title. When Strong was ready to do the “Boom” pose for the entrance, AJ Styles’ music hit. The fans were mad about missing out on the “Boom” part of the song. AJ Styles entered with the United States Title around his waist.
Analysis: This is an interesting dynamic with three heels in the same match. You don’t see that very often.
The international row of announcers were shown: Portuguese, Russian, Japanese (hey Funaki), Hindi, French and Mandarin. No Graves on commentary now to make his usual joke about getting drunk with the announcers.
Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Sami Zayn) vs. Roderick Strong vs. AJ Styles
Nakamura was in control with knee strikes on both guys. Styles with a shoulder tackle to Nakamura and a dropkick by Styles on Strong. Styles with corner clotheslines on both guys, then Strong moved and hit a backbreaker on Styles followed by a Strong dropkick on Nakamura. Strong with a backbreaker on Nakamura. Strong with a dropkick that sent Nakamura into the barricade. Styles with a running knee on Strong while AJ was on the apron. Nakamura with knees to the ribs of Styles and a suplex by Nakamura brought Strong back into the ring. Nakamura with a running knee to the ribs of Styles sent him out of the ring. Strong with a slam off the shoulders leading to double knees to the chest for a two count. Strong stretched Nakamura across his back followed by a side backbreaker. Styles back in the ring with a sleeper hold on Strong. When Strong fought out of that, he knocked down Nakamura and hit a running clothesline on Styles followed by a knee lift. Strong with a backbreaker on Nakamura. Strong hit his running elbow combination followed by a backbreaker. Strong with a forearm to Strong, then chops to Nakamura and all three guys got into it again. Styles with an elbow to Strong, but Strong blocked a reverse DDT attempt and Strong did a monkey flip to Styles leading to a knee from Nakamura for two. Good spot there. Nakamura with a kick to the head of Strong and a sliding knee got two as Styles broke up the pin. Styles hit Nakamura with a slam off the shoulders leading to a knee to the back of the neck. The fans were not into the match that much. Styles wanted a Styles Clash on Nakamura, Strong kicked Styles in the head to stop that. Zayn saved Nakamura and it’s no disqualifications, so Zayn could interfere all he wants. Strong hit an Olympic slam followed by a Powerbomb variation for two. Strong set up Styles on the top, Styles put Strong on his shoulders and Nakamura jumped off with a side kick onto Strong with Nakamura landing on the knee of Strong. Styles broke up a Nakamura pin attempt. Nakamura with a hard kick to the head that sent Styles out of the ring. Styles grabbed Nakamura’s leg, so Zayn sent Styles face first into the ring post. Strong capitalized with a knee to the face for a two count. Nakamura put Strong on the shoulder and kneed him in a face in a move that looked like the GTS, so fans chanted “CM Punk” there. Styles back into the ring with a forearm on Nakamura. Styles with a backhand and clothesline on Strong. Nakamura with a backstabber on Styles. Nakamura suplexed Strong onto the face of Styles. Nakamura hit the Kinshasa knee strike, but Styles broke up the pin at two. Great nearfall there. Best of the match so far.
Styles and Nakamura had a face off with Nakamura doing his “come on” taunt at his old rival. Nakamura with a spinning kick to the face, so Styles came back with a Pele Kick to the head. Nakamura with a jumping knee off the middle ropes. Nakamura with a sitout slam off the shoulders for a two count. Styles stunned Nakamura with a forearm and Styles followed up with a Phenomenal Forearm off the top. Strong back in and he shoved Styles out of the ring. Strong covered Nakamura to steal the pin while Zayn crawled into the ring, but didn’t make the complete save. Why not? That was weird by Zayn. Strong got the win at 16:43.
Winner by pinfall: Roderick Strong
Analysis: ***1/2 A pretty good technical wrestling match that lacked heat at times since they were all heels, but it picked up by the end. What hurt the match is that the fans didn’t have anybody to root for. The ending was the classic triple threat finish where one guy hits another move and another guy goes in the ring to steal the pinfall. On a show with several triple threats, I figured that would happen at least once. Strong getting the win continued the theme of the night with the NXT brand getting put over strong. It hurts Styles and Nakamura since Strong was in a WarGames match for 40 minutes one night earlier, yet he still beat them. I thought Nakamura should win the match thanks to Zayn’s help to continue to strengthen that tandem, but clearly WWE wants NXT to have a big night. Good showing by all three guys.
The standings were 3 for NXT, 1 for Raw and 1 for Smackdown.
Daniel Bryan was shown warming up backstage where The Miz showed up in a suit. Miz talked about how they don’t like eachother, but much like Bryan they have kids and a family. Miz said we know there’s normal competitors and then what happens with The Fiend. Miz said The Fiend is pure evil that is demonic that cannot be stopped. Miz said for their sake, their kids’ sake, for everybody’s sake – Bryan needs to put a stop to The Fiend. Bryan: “Get out of my face.” Miz left.
Analysis: I like that they don’t get along even though they are both faces now. I mentioned that in my Smackdown review too. Just because they are faces, doesn’t mean they have to get along. Keep that story going for years to come.
There were commercials for Career Builder and WWE’s Master of the Universe action figures. That would have been huge with me 30 years ago. I feel old. A commercial aired for Total Divas finale next week.
Pete Dunne made his entrance. The announce team for this match was Michael Cole, Beth Phoenix and Nigel McGuinness. It’s Cole with the NXT team because Cole said Mauro Ranallo’s throat was sore (it “blew out” as Cole said) after Takeover on Saturday night. Ranallo will be back on Wednesday. Adam Cole entered with the NXT Title.
Analysis: There may be more to the story with Ranallo. Corey Graves tweeted some criticism during Takeover where he basically complained that Ranallo talked too much, which didn’t allow Beth Phoenix and Nigel McGuinness to talk enough on commentary. Ranallo has bipolar disorder and anxiety issues, so that may have upset him. Ranallo ended up deleting his Twitter or at least deactivating it, so perhaps Ranallo was pissed off about that and didn’t want to do commentary. It was a dumb comment by Graves, who I like, but going on Twitter to bitch about something is weak.
A replay was shown of the huge bump Cole took at Takeover when he was slammed off the cage by Tommaso Ciampa and they went crashing through two tables. Dunne earned the title shot after winning a triple threat match at Takeover on Saturday. The fans chanted “Bay Bay” for Adam Cole during the introductions.
NXT Championship: Adam Cole vs. Pete Dunne
Dunne had his left knee taped up while Cole had taped ribs to sell the big bump at Takeover. Dunne was in control early with a clothesline leading to Cole selling the ribs when he bumped to the mat. Dunne pulled back on the fingers of Cole because that’s what Dunne does and Dunne also stomped on the left elbow of Dunne. Dunne also stomped on the right elbow of Cole on the steel steps. Back in the ring, Dunne went to the middle ropes, so Cole kicked Dunne in the left leg. Cole connected with a neckbreaker followed by a kneebar submission and he kicked the leg of Dunne. Cole with a dropkick to the side of the knee. The crowd was quiet, which was different than the crowd one night earlier at Takeover. Dunne with a suplex into a slam. Dunne with a kick to the head followed by a sitout Powerbomb for a two count. Cole left the ring, so Dunne connected with a moonsault off the middle ropes onto Cole on the floor. Back in the ring, Cole tried a German Suplex, Dunne landed on his feet and kicked Cole in the head. Dunne was favoring the left knee injury a lot. Dunne went for a moonsault, but Cole got the knees up and Cole hit a Last Shot running knee to the face for two. I thought that would be it, but Dunne got the shoulder up. Cole went for Panama Sunrise, Dunne avoided it, they exchanged strikes and Dunne hit a clothesline. Cole with a suplex that drove Dunne’s shoulder into Cole’s knee for a two count. The fans made a bit of noise, but it wasn’t much. Dunne avoided a knee strike, he grabbed an armbar and Cole countered into a pin attempt for two. Dunne hit the Bitter End for two and Cole got his left shoulder up to kick out. That was Dunne’s finisher. The fans reacted to that a bit, but not that much. Dunne worked over Cole with chops, but Cole hit a jumping kick to the head. Dunne came back with an enziguri kick. Dunne went for a moonsault off the ropes, but Cole hit him with a superkick! That got a two count and the fans applauded the action, so it’s nice of the crowd to wake up for a good match. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them.
Dunne with a forearm to block a Cole attack and Dunne hit a sitout Powerbomb for two. They battled on the apron with each guy selling their injuries while they tried to do moves. Cole hit the Panama Sunrise piledriver on the ring apron. The fans chanted “holy shit” for that and I agree. It’s a crazy move and to do it there is risky, but it was done perfectly. The fans joined the referee in countering the wrestlers out of the ring and Dunne got back in at nine. Cole hit a superkick for two and the fans cheered that the match was continuing. Dunne’s mouthguard was out, Cole stepped on it and Dunne stretched the fingers of Cole again. Dunne went for a move, but Cole countered into a powerbomb-like move and Cole hit a Last Shot knee to the back of the head at 14:10.
Winner by pinfall: Adam Cole
Analysis: **** A great match from two of NXT’s best and I’m glad they got as much time as they did because I was worried they wouldn’t get more time. The fans didn’t care early on, but as the action got going and they hit big moves leading to nearfalls, the fans reacted to them. Cole is such an amazing wrestler that can do it all in the ring even when he’s selling an injury to the ribs. Dunne is great already and he’s still in his mid-20s. Dunne has as bright of a future as anybody in WWE. I expected Cole to keep the title. They did well to make it look like Dunne might win, though. Good stuff.
Cole walked up the ramp with the NXT Title and was greeted by his Undisputed Era buddies to celebrate the win.
There was a video package about WWE superstars visiting kids in the Chicago area. Some of the kids from the school were shown in the crowd.
There was a shot of men’s Team Smackdown in the backstage area with Baron Corbin trying to talk to the team, but it seemed the others weren’t listening.
The Universal Title match is up next from the Smackdown brand with “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt defending the title against Daniel Bryan.
Daniel Bryan made his entrance. The fans chanted “yes” for him although Bryan has not officially embraced the “yes movement” again.
The Firefly Fun House music played briefly, then the arena went dark and the words “LET ME IN” appeared on the Titantron. That led to “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt entering with his unique lantern and he had the blue Universal Title around his neck.
Universal Championship: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan
The stupid red light was on during the match. Bryan attacked with a dropkick, then kicks and another dropkick, but Fiend came back with a clothesline. Fiend worked over Bryan with punches. Fiend whipped Bryan into the ropes leading to a headbutt to Bryan’s body. The action spilled to the floor with Fiend whipping Bryan into the steel ring post along with a senton splash on the floor. Back in the ring, Fiend hit Bryan with a uranage slam. Wyatt picked up Bryan with a suplex into a slam across the ring. Fiend slapped on a chinlock followed by a neck snap. Bryan went to the floor again, Fiend followed and charged, but Bryan moved, so Fiend went flying over the steps onto the floor. Bryan tried a suicide dive, Fiend caught him, Bryan got out of it, he sent Fiend into the ring post and Bryan hit a knee off the apron to knock Fiend down. Bryan went up top and hit a cross body block onto Fiend on the floor. Back in the ring, Bryan hit a missile dropkick off the top rope. Fiend was back up, so Bryan hit another missile dropkick off the top. The Fiend was back up again, Bryan hit a third missile dropkick and Bryan let out a yell leading to “yes” chants from the crowd. Bryan with the Yes kicks to the chest followed by a roundhouse kick to the head. Fiend sat back up, so Bryan did more kicks and a roundhouse kick to the head again. Fiend sat up again, Bryan did more kicks including another roundhouse kick to the head. Bryan stomped way on the head of The Fiend. Bryan embraced the “YES” chants as he led the crowd with them and Bryan hit the running knee on Fiend for a two count. Bryan was stunned by that. Bryan was stunned by it. The crowd was really into it. Bryan was on the top rope, fiend put the Mandible Claw on and Bryan countered into an armbar by the turnbuckle. Bryan jumped off the top, Fiend punched and Fiend wanted Sister Abigail, but Bryan countered with a rollup. Fiend came back with the Mandible Claw to the throat, Bryan’s shoulders were down and the referee counted the pinfall to give The Fiend the win at 10:15.
Winner by pinfall: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
Analysis: ***1/4 Good match with Bryan coming close to winning and getting the fans behind him, but The Fiend kept coming back for more. It was booked like past Fiend matches where he took a beating only to come back to find a way to win the match. Bryan’s comeback got the crowd into it because Bryan’s the best worker in the company. I don’t think anybody really believes The Fiend was going to lose, though. I still find the red light to be annoying and I think it hurts the match more than it helps.
Rey Mysterio was interviewed backstage by Sarah Schreiber. Mysterio said it’s been almost 15 years since the first time he fought Brock Lesnar. Rey said time has passed, but some things never change and Lesnar never changed. Mysterio had a lead pipe and he said it’s a new Rey Mysterio, so tonight he’s going to do things that the old Rey never would have done. Mysterio said a few months ago he almost retired, but he didn’t, he evolved and he said in the past in moments like this, he would tell his son to look away, but tonight he hopes he is watching closely. Rey said he’ll swing the lead pipe at Lesnar, swing at his legs to take him out one by one and he hopes Dominik is watching up close as he massacres Lesnar and takes away his WWE Championship.
Analysis: A good promo as usual from Rey, who has been doing the best promo work of his career of late.
A commercial aired for the WWE TLC event on WWE Network on Sunday, December 15.
A commercial aired for the Steve Austin “Broken Skull Sessions” interview show. It’s Austin with The Undertaker and it debuted after Survivor Series. Check it out on demand soon. I hope to watch it on Monday if I have two free hours.
The announce team for the next match is Raw’s Vic Joseph, Smackdown’s Corey Graves and NXT’s Nigel McGuinness. The scoreboard was 3 for NXT, 1 for Raw and 1 for Smackdown.
The Raw team entered to the theme song of Raw. It’s Seth Rollins, Ricochet, Drew McIntyre, Randy Orton and Kevin Owens. Earlier in the night, Owens said he is still Team Raw and being on NXT on Saturday didn’t mean anything. There are four faces plus McIntyre as a heel. I think Orton is a face.
The Smackdown team entered to the theme song of Smackdown. It’s Roman Reigns, Mustafa Ali, Braun Strowman, Shorty G and “King” Baron Corbin. There are four faces, plus Corbin is the lone heel on the team.
The NXT team was last. They were announced earlier in the day. Their team is Tommaso Ciampa, Matt Riddle, Damian Priest, Walter and Keith Lee. They are three faces in Ciampa, Riddle and Lee while Priest and Walter are heels. There were “Walter” chants from the crowd.
5 on 5 on 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw (Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens, Randy Orton, and Ricochet) vs. Team Smackdown (Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, King Corbin, Mustafa Ali, and Shorty G) vs. Team NXT (Tommaso Ciampa, Damian Priest, Matt Riddle, Keith Lee, and Walter)
Three guys start the match with one from each team and the others stand on the apron waiting for tags. Strowman shoved Rollins and Ciampa down. Strowman came back with a dropkick to knock Rollins and Ciampa. McIntyre and Walter tagged in to face off with Strowman leading to McIntyre and Walter working together against Strowman. McIntyre and Walter exchanged hard chops, then a double shoulder tackle and Walter with a boot to the face. Strowman ran over Walter with a shoulder tackle. Walter with a German Suplex on McIntyre. Walter with a dropkick on Strowman to send him into the turnbuckle. McIntyre hit Walter with a Claymore Kick and pinned him to eliminate Walter. The fans booed that. Me too. I wanted to see more of Walter.
Walter eliminated by Drew McIntyre
Priest went after McIntyre with chops, kicks and a clothesline. Strowman tossed Priest into the corner, Priest moved and Shorty tagged in with a moonsault on Priest. Ricochet tagged in with a headsicssors and Shorty blocked a move leading to a rolling German Suplex by Shorty. Riddle tagged in leading to the “bro” chants. Shorty and Riddle had a nice exchange of mat wrestling, Riddle tried an ankle lock, then Shorty got the ankle lock and they had a stalemate. Ciampa tagged in with a boot to the face of Shorty. Ricochet with a cartwheel into the ropes leading to an attack on both guys. Owens tagged in with a Frog Splash on Shorty G to pin him to eliminate him. The story was that Owens didn’t go after Ciampa from NXT.
Shorty G eliminated by Kevin Owens
Roman Reigns went in the ring, Corbin tagged himself in and Owens hit a superkick on Reigns. Corbin left the ring, so Owens hit a superkick on Corbin and Owens with a cannonball on Reigns against the ropes. Owens hit a Stone Cold Stunner on Corbin on the floor. Ciampa capitalized on that because when Owens was on the apron, Ciampa gave him a draping DDT to pin Owens.
Kevin Owens eliminated by Tommaso Ciampa
Orton went in for Raw against Ciampa and they had a staredown. Ciampa blocked an RKO attempt leading to a clothesline that sent Orton out of the ring. Orton blocked a DDT attempt and Orton whipped Ciampa into the barricade. Orton slammed Ciampa back first onto the ring apron. Orton stomped on the limbs of Ciampa, Priest tagged in, Orton hit a RKO on Ciampa and Orton hit a RKO on Priest to counter a Priest move.
Damian Priest eliminated by Matt Riddle
Riddle went into the ring, gave Orton a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! and that eliminated Orton. The fans loved Riddle.
Randy Orton eliminated by Matt Riddle
After the pin, Orton gave Riddle a RKO. Corbin snuck back into the ring and covered Riddle to eliminate him.
Matt Riddle eliminated by Baron Corbin
Strowman had a faceoff with Lee, but Drew McIntyre tagged in to put a stop to that. Fans were chanting “bask in his glory” to Lee. There were four guys on the floor, so Strowman hit the running shoulder tackle all around the ring and the fans loved it. Strowman ran around the ring again and this time, Lee was there leading to a double cross body block. McIntyre hit a Claymore Kick on Strowman to put him down on the floor. Lee and McIntyre were back in the rig, so Strowman was counted out.
Braun Strowman eliminated by countout
Analysis: That was a questionable way to get rid of Strowman. Are countouts a thing in a triple threat elimination match? I’m not sure about that. Obviously it was done to protect Strowman, who also lost by countout to Tyson Fury last month. Clearly, WWE doesn’t want Strowman getting beat by being pinned in matches.
Ricochet with a jumping kick on Corbin, then a kick to the head and Ricochet hit a clothesline off the top. Ricochet hit a twisting dive over the top onto Reigns on the floor. Ricochet went for a 450 Splash on Lee, who moved and Corbin hit the End of Days slam on Ricochet to pin.
Ricochet eliminated by Baron Corbin
Ali tagged in with some great moves on Rollins and Ciampa including a facebuster on Ciampa. Ali hit a Tornado DDT on Rollins to send him out of the ring. Ali with a suicide dive onto Rollins and Ciampa. Ali with a superkick on Ciampa. Corbin pulled Ali out of the ring to yell at him. Corbin argued with Ali, so when Rollins went back into the ring, Rollins hit The Stomp on Ali and pinned him. The fans booed Rollins. Reigns argued with Corbin about it.
Mustafa Ali eliminated by Seth Rollins
There were two guys left for each team with Rollins and McIntyre from Raw, Reigns and Corbin from Smackdown and Ciampa and Lee from NXT. The fans were chanting “CM Punk” after Rollins got the pin. McIntyre hit a reverse Alabama Slam on Ciampa for two. McIntyre set up for a Claymore Kick, but Reigns came back in the ring with a Spear to get the pin on Drew.
Drew McIntyre eliminated by Roman Reigns
Rollins got a rollup on Reigns for two, Reigns got a punch and a Drive By kick on Rollins. Ciampa hit a draping DDT on Reigns. Reigns came back with a Superman Punch and both guys were down. Corbin knocked Lee off the apron to prevent Ciampa from tagging out. Corbin brought Reigns to his corner and Corbin tagged himself in. The fans chanted “STD” at Corbin for being a super tough dude, or something else. Reigns was tired of dealing with Corbin so Reigns hit Corbin with a Superman Punch and Spear. Ciampa covered Corbin to get rid of him.
Baron Corbin eliminated by Tommaso Ciampa
It’s down to Roman Reigns from Smackdown, Seth Rollins from Raw and NXT had Tommaso Ciampa as well as Keith Lee. Rollins and Reigns went after Ciampa, Lee got back into the ring and Reigns/Rollins punched Lee repeatedly, which led to boos from the crowd. Lee was sent out of the ring and Rollins dumped Ciampa out of the ring. Rollins cleared off the English announce table. Rollins lifted up Ciampa for Reigns as they teased a Powerbomb, but Lee ran over Reigns, Ciampa and Rollins to save his partner Ciampa. Reigns drove Lee back first into the steel steps. Ciampa with a running knee to Rollins and Ciampa hit Project Ciampa (two knees to the back) for just a two count. Rollins with a superkick, kick to the gut, Ciampa blocked a Stomp attempt and Rollins jumped off the ropes with Ciampa hitting him with a knee. Reigns with a Superman Punch on Ciampa and Rollins hit The Stomp to pin Ciampa.
Tommaso Ciampa eliminated by Seth Rollins
There are three men left with Reigns from Smackdown, Rollins from Raw and Lee from NXT. Lee tossed Rollins across the ring. Reigns sent Lee to the apron, which led to Lee hitting a slingshot attack over the top onto Reigns and Rollins. Rollins countered a slam by Lee, Rollins with two kicks and Rollins went up top with Frog Splash on Lee for just a two count. The fans booed Rollins while he was doing his moves. Rollins charged, Lee caught him on his shoulders and slammed Rollins off the shoulders with a Jackhammer Slam to beat Rollins.
Seth Rollins eliminated by Keith Lee
Reigns had a staredown with Lee as the final two men in the match and fans chanted “oh bask in his glory” for Lee. Reigns connected with two Superman Punches for a two count and it was really close, so Graves said that he thinks it was a three count. The replay showed Lee kicked out at the very last moment. Reigns charged for a Spear, Lee caught him and Lee hit a sitout Powerbomb. That was great. Lee went for a moonsault, but Reigns moved. Reigns hit a Spear and pinned Lee to win the match at 29:27.
Keith Lee eliminated by Roman Reigns
Winners: Team Smackdown (Roman Reigns is the sole survivor)
Analysis: ****1/4 This was an awesome match with Reigns coming out on top, which isn’t that much of a surprise. There was a lot to digest there. It’s hard to hit on everything that happened, but I thought they booked it very well and it was an entertaining match that’s not easy to book because there were 14 eliminations. I don’t think there was anything in the match that was that bad in terms of some of the eliminations. That’s my way of saying the eliminations were booked better than the women’s elimination match. Strowman’s elimination was the most questionable elimination. I’m so glad that Keith Lee had another night where he was booked like a huge star that can hang with the top guys. I can see having a big role on Raw or Smackdown next year. He’s a star in the making with the kind of look and size that the bosses love. It’s also very telling that Rollins was booed heavily because the fans just don’t like him anymore, so WWE needs to embrace that to make him a heel soon. Reigns winning is no surprise. I expect him to win nearly every match he has on the road to WrestleMania where he will likely get a title shot. My prediction was Orton and Ricochet as the sole survivors. That was definitely wrong. They didn’t book Ricochet strong in this match at all.
The standings were 3 for NXT, 2 for Smackdown and 1 for Raw.
After the match was over, Reigns stared at Lee, who was selling his ribs. Reigns nodded at Lee as a sign of respect. Lee nodded back at him. They walked to the center of the ring and Lee bowed down a bit as a sign of respect. Reigns extended his fist and Lee gave him a fist bump. Lee left as Reigns celebrated while his music played.
Analysis: Please don’t mess up Lee, WWE. I can see him having a major role in the Royal Rumble in two months and maybe it will lead to a WrestleMania match against somebody like Strowman or another big name on Raw or Smackdown. It’s not like Lee has to be only in NXT forever.
(It’s two years later and WWE messed up Lee so much that they released him earlier in November 2021. I don’t agree with it at all. Dumb move by WWE.)
Becky Lynch did a promo int the backstage area with the Raw Women’s Title on her shoulder. Lynch talked about the triple threat match. Lynch said that Baszler will have to destroy her completely to take away what she has worked so hard to get and there’s not a person on the planet that can keep her down. Lynch said that Bayley has been saying she’s been overlooked while Lynch said that she never came looking for Bayley even after she left her laying over and over again. Lynch said she sees herself in Bayley while adding that she didn’t want to hurt Bayley, but tonight she will.
There were commercials for WWEShop and WrestleMania tickets on sale now. The “Kickoff Show has already started” jokes have already started.
The Raw announce team of Vic Joseph and Jerry “The King” Lawler set up the video package for Brock Lesnar vs. Rey Mysterio for the WWE Title.
The video package for Lesnar vs. Mysterio was very well done as usual. Mysterio hasn’t had a match on TV in two months, yet he gets a WWE Title shot because Lesnar beat him up. The promos from Rey have been good, though.
Rey Mysterio made his entrance wearing a mask that had some white as the main color along with some green hair on it. I was getting a lot of Doink the Clown tweets on Sunday during this show and now I see why. The mask has a bit of a Doink feel to it. Mysterio got some pyro when he went into the ring.
Brock Lesnar made his entrance with the WWE Championship around his waist along with his advocate Paul Heyman by his side. Lesnar got the pyro for his entrance as well. Lesnar had a big smile on his face. Mysterio and Lesnar stood in the ring for the championship introductions with Heyman doing a great job of introducing Lesnar as usual. The fans joined in on Heyman’s speech, but then booed Lesnar.
No Holds Barred, No Disqualifications for the WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Rey Mysterio
The bell rang, Mysterio left the ring and grabbed the lead pipe from under the ring. Lesnar avoided a pipe attack and hit three clotheslines to put Mysterio down. Lesnar tossed Mysterio under the bottom rope leading to Mysterio’s bump on the floor that he takes on his chest. Lesnar tossed Mysterio over the Spanish announce table. Mysterio gave Lesnar an overhead belly to belly suplex onto the top of the announce table. Lesnar jumped onto the top of the table on Mysterio. Lesnar drove Mysterio back first into the ring post. Mysterio got some offense when he shoved Mysterio into the ring post. Mysterio went for the pipe in the ring, but Lesnar grabbed him and gave Mysterio a German Suplex onto the lead pipe. Lesnar with another German Suplex on Mysterio. Lesnar picked up Mysterio again with a German Suplex across the ring. That led to Mysterio’s son Dominick going into the ring with a white towel. Lesnar grabbed the towel and threw it out of the ring. Lesnar grabbed Dominick by the throat and Mysterio hit a low blow on Lesnar. Dominick also hit Lesnar with a low blow. Mysterio got the lead pipe, he hit Lesnar three times with it and Dominick hit Lesnar in the back with the chair. Rey and Dom hit a double 619 on Lesnar and the fans ERUPTED in cheers. They loved that. Great spot. Dominick went to the top rope and hit a splash on Lesnar. Rey went up top and hit a splash on Lesnar, Dom covered his dad as well and Lesnar kicked out at two! Holy shit, what a great nearfall that was. The fans really wanted that to be it. Heyman had a great shocked look on his face. Lesnar got back up and gave Dominick a German Suplex across the ring. Mysterio jumped off the top, Lesnar caught him on his shoulders and Lesnar hit a F5 on Mysterio to get the pinfall win at 6:58.
Winner by pinfall: Brock Lesnar
Analysis: **3/4 That was a lot of fun for a match that only got about seven minutes. The last few minutes with Dominick coming in the ring to help his dad led to the crowd exploding in cheers. Lesnar sold everything well as the unbeatable monster and the fans believed that was going to end the match. I thought it was booked perfectly. That’s because I predicted the Dominick appearance in my preview of the show where I said Rey would come close to beating Lesnar (thanks to Dominick), but fall short. In terms of a story, it was very good. As a match, it was just average. I still enjoyed the entire presentation of it all.
They had a commercial for the Broken Skull Sessions interview with Steve Austin talking to The Undertaker. It has a run time of 98 minutes and it’s on-demand on WWE Network now.
A commercial aired for TLC on December 15.
The announce team for the main event was Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Beth Phoenix.
The video package aired for Becky Lynch vs. Bayley vs. Shayna Baszler. I’m not that surprised that it’s the main event. I just don’t think the storyline going into it was that interesting.
Bayley was up first as the Smackdown Women’s Champion with a serious look on her face along with blue gear. Shayna Baszler was shown backstage with her friends Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, who stayed in the back. Baszler entered with the NXT Women’s Championship. Becky Lynch was up last with the Raw Women’s Championship along with some Raw red on her gear.
The announcers pushed the standings for the night with NXT having 3 wins, Smackdown had 2 wins and Raw had just 1 win. Poor Raw.
Becky Lynch vs. Bayley vs. Shayna Baszler
Baszler and Bayley went brawling out of the ring and Lynch hit a kick off the apron onto Bayley on the floor. Lynch with a spin kick on Bayley followed by a forearm. Lynch with a boot to the face of Bayley, who came back with a punch and a slam off the ropes. Bayley messed up some move where she was slamming Lynch into the turnbuckle, but Bayley ended up hitting the turnbuckle herself. Bayley still went for a pin, which didn’t make sense. Baszler attacked Bayley, then Baszler charged and Bayley sent Baszler into the turnbuckle. Baszler stomped on the left arm of Bayley followed by a running knee against the turnbuckle. Lynch got back in the ring with a kick on Baszler. Lynch kicked Bayley, but Baszler stopped that by slamming Lynch down and Bayley hit a clothesline on Baszler. Bayley choked Lynch across the middle ropes. I could hear a few “boring” chants although it didn’t pick up. Bayley slammed Lynch’s head into the mat repeatedly, which looked comical since you could see Lynch hitting her hands into the mat. Lynch whipped Bayley into the turnbuckle and Bayley came back with punches, which led to boos. Bayley jumped on Lynch’s back two times for a two count. Bayley hit a neckbreaker on Lynch near the ropes, Baszler grabbed Bayley’s leg and Bayley hit a neckbreaker on Baszler while Lynch got in a kick. Lynch with a Bexploder Suplex on both women followed by a DDT and reverse DDT combo move by Lynch for two. Lynch went up top with a leg drop off the top with Baszler breaking up the pin. Bayley rolled up Lynch, but Lynch came back with a Disarmher submission. Baszler with a kick to Lynch and a spinning slam. Bayley with a running knee on Baszler for two. Bayley hit the Bayley to Belly slam for two. It barely got a reaction from the crowd. Bayley sent Baszler into the middle ropes and Bayley hit a running knee on Baszler. Baszler came back with strikes to Bayley with the crowd not reacting to anything as Baszler hit a suplex for two. Baszler had Bayley on her shoulders, so Lynch came back with a missile dropkick to knock both women down. All three women were down for a few moments.
Lynch faced off with Baszler as they exchanged strikes. Bayley got back into the ring with a cross body block that knocked the two other women down, which didn’t look good, but it got the job done. Baszler set up Bayley on the top rope for a suplex that was never going to happen, Bayley knocked her down and Bayley kicked Lynch, who was on the floor. Baszler grabbed Bayley in a choke, but Lynch stopped that. Lynch gave Baszler a Powerbomb out of the corner for a two count. The crowd was so dead that I heard one of the women say “Go” before Lynch hit the Powerbomb. Baszler slapped on the Kirifuda Clutch, then Lynch shoved Baszler into Bayley and Lynch got a rollup for two. Lynch went for the Disarmher, Baszler with a nice escape and Baszler with a back body drop on Bayley over the top to the floor. Baszler sent Bayley into the ring post. Lynch with an attack off the apron that took down Bayley on the floor. Baszler whipped Lynch into the ring post and then into the steel steps two times in a row. Baszler sent Lynch into an announce table. The fans chanted that they wanted tables, so at least they cared about that. Baszler sent Lynch onto the announce table, but it didn’t break the table. Bayley with a clothesline on Baszler on the floor. Baszler slapped on the Kirifuda Clutch on Bayley, but Bayley countered with a belly to back suplex. Bayley went up top for an elbow drop, but Baszler moved and Baszler slapped on the Kirifuda Clutch submission. Bayley fought it off for a bit and then tapped out to give Baszler the win at 18:10. There was barely a reaction for the finish.
Winner by submission: Shayna Baszler
Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match that didn’t live up to the hype as a main event level match. It was disappointing because I expected a better match. The crowd wasn’t into it that much. Perhaps they were tired after seeing so many triple threat matches in one night. Lynch showed good fire as a babyface, but these fans weren’t really into what she was doing. Bayley’s heel mannerisms are fine. I just think she needs to be more of a jerk in the ring and act like a heel during the match. That’s the character, so do more heelish things. Bayley and Baszler had moments in the match where the crowd just didn’t care at all, which included the finish. It’s not a surprise that Bayley was the one that lost since Lynch is protected as the top woman in the company.
The win by Baszler means that NXT had 4 wins, Smackdown had 2 wins and Raw had 1 win.
Shayna Baszler celebrated her win with the NXT Women’s Title. The fans reacted to it a bit with cheers. Baszler looked down on Lynch, who was still down by the announce table. Lynch tripped up Baszler on the announce table.
Lynch tossed Baszler onto the German announce table. Lynch went to the barricade and jumped off the barricade onto Baszler to put her through the table. Lynch said “this is my f**king show” and it was muted on the replay broadcast that I was watching. Lynch posed with the Raw Women’s Title. They replayed Lynch putting Baszler through the table. Lynch continued to pose with the title to stand tall (as Cole and Graves each said) to end the show.
Analysis: They should have had a table bump spot in the match. It would have helped get the crowd into it more. This was just done to send the fans home happy with the babyface Lynch standing tall (a phrase WWE loves) to end the night.
This event had a run time of 3:25:06 on WWE Network. That’s fine with me. I think a runtime of 3 hours, 30 minutes for WWE PPVs should be what they usually do.
It gets a 7.25 out of 10 from me.
I thought it was a good but not great show as WWE continued the goal of trying to elevate NXT by having them win the most matches. I thought that Raw and Smackdown would do a bit better in terms of results, but it doesn’t matter that much in the long run. There were several above-average matches that made it one of the better PPVs of the year, but it’s not like it was at the level of a NXT Takeover show.
I think the wrong match went on last in terms of wanting a better match to close the show. However, I assume the decision was made that way because they wanted the NXT win to end the night even though it was Lynch that got to celebrate at the end. The men’s elimination match was my favorite of the night (followed by Cole vs. Dunne) and I think if it went on last, it would have ended the show on a more positive note.
The problem with the whole NXT vs. Raw vs. Smackdown concept is we don’t know who runs Raw or Smackdown or if they are mad that they lost. We know Triple H runs NXT, he motivated his team and they won the most matches. Are we supposed to care that Raw and Smackdown lost when there is no visual representation of their brands? If they don’t care, why should we (the fans) care? That’s my issue with the storyline, which is fine as a concept, but it could have been executed a lot better.
I am very tired of triple threat matches after this show. No more triple threats on TV this week, please.
Five Stars of the Show
1. Keith Lee
2. Roman Reigns
3. Adam Cole…BAY BAY
4. Pete Dunne
5. Rhea Ripley
That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.