25 November 2019 06:43
The added twist of NXT being presented on an even playing field as Raw and SmackDown left Sunday's Survivor Series pay-per-view with a fresh feel as one of WWE four major annual shows. If WWE accomplished one thing at the end of the day following a lengthy show with its All-Star Game format of dream matches, it told the world that the former "developmental brand" is indeed ready for prime time. Not only did NXT win the weekend thanks to Saturday's outstanding TakeOver War Games 3 card, the strong booking it received one night later was only topped by the in-ring performances produced. This was WWE going all-in on its future by putting over its beloved third brand so hard, and the result was a memorable show with no shortage of good matches from start to finish. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode (SD) win the Tag Team Battle Royal [Kickoff Show]: NXT was the first brand eliminated, leaving two teams each from Raw and SmackDown.
Kalisto (SD) via pinfall and Akira Tozawa (Raw) to retain the title [Kickoff Show]: Rush put NXT on the scoreboard with this win, which featured an expected amount of high spots and car-wreck energy despite the fact that the crowd never quite got fully invested. Undisputed Era (NXT) via pinfall and New Day (SD) [Kickoff Show]: The Viking Raiders--and in particular, the athleticism of the big man Ivar--were given the showcase treatment in this high-energy match that put Raw on the board. Sasha Banks (SD) via pinfall as NXT (Ripley, Candice LaRae, Io Shirai) survives: What was on pace to be a great piece of booking and a memorable singles duel to close the match between Banks and Ripley fell victim to a bit overcooking. The ending not only produced a bit of confusion as to whether the late-arriving NXT stars were still in the match (per WWE social media, they were not eliminated), it added a somewhat unnecessary heel turn of sorts for the NXT team after being presented all match as underdog faces. Shinsuke Nakamura (SD) via pinfall and AJ Styles (Raw): On an already loaded card, this match wasn't given enough time in the end to reach its full potential from the standpoint of a star rating.
Pete Dunne via pinfall to retain the title: Considering the damage they put themselves through just 24 hours earlier at NXT TakeOver, it's a wonder Dunne and Cole (in particular) were able to put on a match of this level. Cole defended his title in the end and continued one of the most impressive championship reigns in NXT history from the standpoint of match quality following a mini classic. But after each wrestler kicked out of each other's secondary finishing moves, Cole reversed Dunne's attempt at the Bitter End into a huge Panama Sunrise and followed with a Last Shot for the pin. Bryan ultimately succumbed to the Mandible Claw, which forced his shoulders down for the 1-2-3 to end a match that was more of the hard-hitting Brock Lesnar variety than anything else. Although it was Reigns who stood tall in the end despite the implosion of his own team, this entire match was about putting NXT over as a legitimate third brand. The early highlight of the match was Matt Riddle rolling up Randy Orton from behind for a surprising pin and Orton responding with an RKO that led to Riddle's elimination. Rey Mysterio via pinfall to retain the title (No Holds Barred): The booking powers that be may have decided against giving the Chicago crowd a massive pop by putting the big belt onto the 44-year-old Mysterio's waist, but this was nothing short of sports entertainment at its best. Bayley (SD) via submission and Becky Lynch (Raw): From a booking standpoint, this was the right call to use this virtual All-Star Game match to put over Baszler's toughness and the NXT brand as a whole as the win lifted the yellow and black to an overall brand victory. Instead, this turned out to be a rather anticlimactic match despite the creative finish of Baszler, after throwing Lynch over the announce table, reversing Bayley's elbow drop into a Kirifuda Clutch to produce the tap out. The fatigued Chicago crowd had trouble staying enthused for this one, and the post-match antics of Lynch emerging from out of nowhere to beat down a celebrating Baszler by landing a double leg drop through the announce table failed to leave much of a mark. Raw SmackDown NXT Wins 1 2 4 Winners Viking Raiders Roode & Ziggler, Men's SS Rush, Women's SS, Strong, Baszler Adam Cole defended his NXT Championship in a very good match against Pete Dunn, the men's Survivor Series elimination match was fun and the triple threat champions match between Roderick Strong, Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles was another highlight. Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens, Randy Orton, and Ricochet (Team Raw) take on Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, King Corbin, Mustafa Ali, and Shorty G (Team SmackDown) and Tommaso Ciampa, Damian Priest, Matt Riddle, Keith Lee, and Walter (Team NXT). The exchange between Lee and Reigns was the most electric thing on the show thus far, and it ended with Reigns hitting a spear and winning the match for his team. Adam Cole retained his NXT Championship in a long match with Pete Dunn. Team NXT wins women's elimination match After a preshow that had NXT, Raw and SmackDown win one match each, Survivor Series' main show kicks off with the women's elimination tag match. It's chaos: We've got Charlotte Flair, Asuka, Kairi Sane, Natalya, and Sarah Logan (Team Raw) against Sasha Banks, Carmella, Dana Brooke, Lacey Evans, and Nikki Cross (Team SmackDown) against Rhea Ripley, Bianca Belair, Candice LeRae, Io Shirai, and Toni Storm (Team NXT). Team NXT ends up getting the win after a messy match.