As I mentioned yesterday, my WWE watching has still fallen off the last couple of months, and not even NXT getting involved witih Survivor Series has done much to hook me back in, but still, I like a good SS elimination match, and the card certainly has a chance to deliver, though if you hate three ways, then this event is probably a nightmare for you. Anyway, it’s a battle for brand supremacy as for the first time ever it’s Smackdown versus Raw versus NXT. Let’s see how it goes.
There was a battle royale first which i couldn’t be bothered with and seemed very standard anyway.
Kick-off match 2 – Cruiserweight Title Match: Akira Tozawa vs. Kalisto vs. Lio Rush (c)
Fun little three way, essentially just a string of spots that flowed pretty well and was enjoyable. At the end, Kalisto hits Solida del Sol on Tozawa but Rush then hits a frogsplash on Kaisto right after, and pins him to successfully retain.
Winner: Lio Rush (via Frosplash) ***
Kick-off match 3 – Viking Raiders vs. New Day vs. Undisputed Era
Really solid match. Couple of occasions where team would take control, but they had some good three way action on the go, and in particular, Ivar had quite a few times to shrine though with his big man athleticism.
By the end New Day get taken out on the outside leaving it between UE and the Raiders, which leads to Raiders hitting O’Reilly with the Viking Experience directly onto Bobby Fish to get the victory. This mean all the brands have one point each leading into the main show.
Winner: Viking Raiders (via Viking Experience) ***1/2
Match 1 – Team Smackdown (Sasha Banks/Dana Brooke/Nikki Cross/Carmella/Lacey Evans) vs. Team Raw(Charlotte Flair/Sarah Logan/Asuka/Kairi Sane/Natalya) vs. Team NXT (Rhea Ripley/Toni Storm/Io Shirai/Bianca Belair/Candice LaRae)
This was…okay? The problem with doing a multi person three way match, is things are probably gonna get messy. And it sure did her. There was just stuff happening willy nilly in a very cluttered fashion and even the crowd weren’t sure how to react most of the time. At one point they do a typical someone gets taken out>next person comes in and take them out>repeat spot, and after that Shirai and Candice are suddenly on the ground outside, injured and aken to the back, making it seem like the effects from last night’s WarGames match are still there, which i like the idea of, but was pulled off in a bit of confusing manner. And then at the end, the final two are Rhea and Sasha, which is where the match is at its best, but then Candace and Io come back out and help Rhea get the win, making the whole injured thing a ruse, which I’m not really a fan off, ’cause it just comes off as lame, and would’ve been better to just have Rhea go over cleanly.
The other key point in the match is Asuka and Charlotte starting to argue leading Asuka blasting Charlotte with green mist and walking out on her team, which causes Charlotte to be eliminated. That part worked, since it’s a nice feud starter and it’s better when these brand teams have trouble working together.
I wanted to enjoy the rest of this match more, but it just lacked cohesion and even alot of the action itself wasn’t all that good.
There was still some fun bits,. but overall, this didn’t work a whole lot for me.
Winners: Team NXT (via Riptide) **
-Backstage segment where Seth Rollins questions Kevin Owen’s loyalty to team Raw.
Match 2 – Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles vs. Roderick Strong
This was good a triple threat. Couple of fun spots, but they didn’t try anything too fancy or go to frantically, but the action they had going on was solid. Most of it was the three guys constantly in it, but at the end Strong is taken out, so it comes to just being between Nakamura and Styles for a bit until Styles finally hits the Phenomenal Forearm. but as soon as he does, Strong comes back and throws Styles outside before pinning Nakamure to steal the victory.
Winner: Strong (via victory steal) ***1/2
Match 3 – NXT Title Match: Pete Dunne vs. Adam Cole (c)
Really good match. They keep it competitive, and both guys have injuries from the night before which have some minor effects here which I liked even though they aren’t huge factors in the match. Crowd throughout most of it, didn’t seem to care much, but really woke up towards the end with a couple of the big spots which included a Panama Sunrise on the apron. Finish was nice too, as Cole counters the Bitter End into a destroyer, then hits the Last Shot to successfully defend. So yeah apart from the atmosphere not really being there the most part, they worked this well and didn’t go too epic whilst still getting a couple nice nearfalls in there. I think it was difficult to seeing Dunne get the win, but this was still very enjoyable.
Winner: Adam Cole (via Last Shot) ****
Match 4 – WWE Universal Title Match: The Fiend (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
I really wish they would just stop using the constant red lighting, It really adds nothing at all and is just distracting. But light aside this was still a good match. They went for a basic but effective structure, with Bryan exploding at Fiend at the start, before he gets halted and beaten up for a bit. He then comes back and finally utlises the YES chant again which gets the crowd behind him. He hits the YES Knee, but it does not keep The Fiend down and he ends up falling victim to the Mandible Claw that allows Fiend to retain. Enjoyed that, simple and effective stuff, even with the annoying red lighting.
Winner: The Fiend (via Mandible Claw) ***1/2
Match 5 – Team Raw(Seth Rollins/Randy Orton/Drew McIntyre/Kevin Owens/Richochet) vs. Team Smackdown(Roman Reigns/Mustafa Ali/King Corbin/Chad gable/Braun Strowman) vs. Team NXT(Walter/Keith Lee/Tomasso Ciampa/Matt Riddle/Damien Priest)
After how the women’s went, i was worried for this one, but it ended up being awesome. Felt much tighter and flowed really nicely with a lot of fun interactions on the go. Some of the eliminations were certainly questionable though and at times garnered a lot of boos, but they managed to never lose the crowd, which I think is a testament to the amount of talent people liked in this match. There’s some dissension that goes on in the teams too, primarily from Corbin in regard to Ali and Reigns, with Reigns even ending up taking out Corbin himself so he gets eliminated.
Of course towards the end Reigns and Rollins try to team up again, but this time the crowd hates it. Don’t think Shield stuff is ever gonna sit well with people for a long while, happens too often and with Ambrose gone there’s a struggle to care.
The final two end up being Keith Lee and Roman Reigns who have a lovely finishing sequence that ends with Reigns hitting a spear to get Team Smackdown the win. But even in losing I think Keith certainly made a great impression on a main PPV., didn’t expect him to be one of the final men, but he certainly deserved it.
Winners: Team Smackdown (via spear) ****1/4
Match 6 – WWE Title Match: Brock Lesnar (c) Vs. Rey Mysterio
This was fun. very simple match, Lesnar stops Mysterio from using the lead pipe and beats him up. Dominick comes down with a towel, Lesnar throws it away, Mysterio and Dominick end up lowblowing him and hit a 619 at the same time!, followed by a couple big splashes for a huge nearfall.
Then Lesnar takes out Dominick and ctaches Myterio with an F5 to get the pinfall and retain. The pop for the Dominick/Mysterio stuff was huge and was definitely an exciting moment, only to be dampened by Brock still winning. Ah well. Look forward to seeing how Dominick’s future unfolds, can certainly see some bright sparks here, before he’s even started.
Winner: Lesnar (via F5) ***1/4
Main Event – Becky Lynch vs, Bayley vs. Shayna Baszler
I thought this was decent-ish, but certainly a bit underwhelming. The problem is the crowd seemed pretty fatigued at this point, which hurt the atmosphere, but also they worked the structure as mostly, one taken out, two go at it, with some of the action feeling a bit fillerish, so it never managed to really get the crowd hooked back in or be the most compelling of matches. They still gave it a go, but it never really felt like a main event match. Not bad overall though.
Shayna end up getting the win making Bayley tap with the Kirifuda Clutch, so NXT wins the night as the dominant brand, which i think is a good call.
Winner: Shayna (via Kirifuda Clutch) **3/4
– After the match Shayna gloats to Becky, but Becky ends up putting her through an announce table.
This was a decent show overall, had some good matches but also some not-so-good booking, particularly on the women’s side, who’s stuff definitely should’ve been handled better, certainly don’t think it was a talent issue.
Men’s Survivor Series was definite MOTN and it was nice to see the NXT talent mix it up on the main roster.
Thanks for reading.