Rhea Ripley, Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, Candice LeRae and Toni Storm (NXT) def. Charlotte Flair, Asuka, Kairi Sane, Natalya and Sarah Logan (RAW) and Sasha Banks, Dana Brooke, Nikki Cross, Lacey Evans and Carmella (SmackDown)
I’ll be honest with you in saying that this match put me to sleep early on. I didn’t really like the format they were going in and the pinfalls took too long to get to. Also, some other portions of the match didn’t make any sense to me. Like, if you are on the apron and see your teammate getting pinned, why do you just stand there? I never understood that concept, but whatever.
However, the match picked up in a big way when we got the Banks and Ripley action. The two worked fabulously together and it was drama filled. The right team won in this match, and a strong ending essentially saved this match from being a clusterf*ck. The only thing I didn’t like was how Io Shirai was laughing and celebrating with Ripley and LeRae after the match.
Like, I get that you have a common enemy, but you can at least pretend to have a little contention rolling over. Anyways, I guess this ended up being solid, but it took us a while to get to the good stuff. ***1/4
Roderick Strong (NXT) def. AJ Styles (RAW) and Shinsuke Nakamura (SmackDown)
This match was everything that I hoped it would be and more. Physical, greatly paced, and no nonsense. I’m so glad that they refrained from doing the run-in parade here, because I was expecting Sami Zayn, The OC and Undisputed Era to come out and run interference and ruin a great matchup.
While I felt like the crowd was dead for a lot of it (probably because of the tag match that came before it), this was still a fantastic matchup that featured every man’s best strengths. ****
Adam Cole (C) def. Pete Dunne – NXT Championship
It took a while for the crowd to get into it (because it’s not a Takeover crowd), but goodness, what a showing here by both men.
What carried the match was the continuity that both men showed from last night. Adam Cole was involved in an absolute war last night, and Dunne had to go through two men bigger than him to earn a title opportunity.
Both men were hurting throughout the entire match, but it came down to who wanted it more and who could hit more impactful moves. I was especially into the match towards the end, as it was just bonkers. A Panama Sunrise onto the apron, and then Cole reversing the Bitter End into another one was fabulous.
I was afraid that since this was on a main roster show, they were going to dumb the NXT matches down tremendously. I’m happy to say I was wrong, as this was more or less the same quality as I’d see on a Takeover. Bravo to both men. ****1/4
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (C) def. Daniel Bryan – Universal Championship
I’m wishing so much that WWE will come to their senses and get rid of this crappy lighting. It is difficult to see certain things and it is straining my eyes. Plus, how do you expect us to see a blueberry blue Universal Championship in all red lighting?
Anyways, this match was good for what it was. Obviously, we all knew Daniel Bryan didn’t have a chance. The most important thing I was looking for was to see how they changed the formula from Wyatt’s awful matches with Rollins. Bryan did expedite the pace a bit more, and the crowd was infinitely more invested with him bringing back the YES chants, which I like (although I will always prefer evil vegan environmentalist Bryan over anything else).
I also wanted to see if Bryan would bust out the small package just to see if it work. All in all, a solid effort everything considered. ***
Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Mustafa Ali, Shorty G and King Corbin (SmackDown) def. Randy Orton, Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Ricochet and Kevin Owens (RAW) and Tomasso Ciampa, Keith Lee, WALTER, Damian Priest and Matt Riddle (NXT)
Unlike the women’s match, this match had the intensity that I was looking for, and if you ask me, this was a star-making performance for Keith Lee. Can you imagine if he pinned both Rollins AND Reigns consecutively.
I was surprised that SmackDown got the victory here, as this was the team that seemed to have the most controversy with King Corbin. I was sure it was either RAW or NXT taking it, but sometimes, you get surprises. This was certainly one for me.
There were plenty of entertaining moments sprinkled throughout, and plenty of good sports entertainment in the mix. If there was one thing I actively hated, it was the fact that WALTER looked like an amateur and was pinned like nothing. It reminded me of when Drew pinned Samoa Joe at Survivor Series last year like a complete jobber.
I also thought they should have followed up with Kevin Owens a bit more. He was the first one pinned from Team RAW, and it came at the hands of the man he helped at War Games last night.
Otherwise, there was little for me to complain about, and the match reached its proper intensity towards the end. Bravo by all men involved. ****
Brock Lesnar (C) def. Rey Mysterio – WWE Championship (No Holds Barred)
I predicted that either Brock was going to squash Mysterio or Dominick would come out to run interference to defeat him. Turns out WWE found a way to work in between. Whatever.
It was pretty pointless to have Dominick out there to run interference if you were still planning to have Lesnar retain. The entire crux of this feud was that Lesnar was targeting Mysterio’s son. So now you have a match where Mysterio and Dominick gain a two on one advantage and what happens? Lesnar still ends up defeating Mysterio and is able to attack Dominick again in the process.
So exactly what was the entire point here? I’ll admit that if Mysterio had won, it would have been a pretty rad moment to share with his son, but just like I think they missed an opportunity with Keith Lee, I think one was missed here.
Lesnar winning is whatever, but building up all that anticipation like that just to get to a finish you could have done without all the extra hooplah is kind of deflating. But for a Lesnar WWE Championship match, I’ll take what I can get. This was an okay sprint. ***
Shayna Baszler (NXT) def. Becky Lynch (RAW) and Bayley (SmackDown)
I don’t know about you guys, but this just did not work in any capacity. It largely felt lifeless, inconsequential and kind of a mess in some ways. It gave me vibes of the WrestleMania main event in a way. This wasn’t nearly as good as I thought it would be, and the three really just didn’t have any chemistry together.
I guess my biggest disappointment came in the fact that there was pretty much nod rama throughout. There was never that moment where you thought a match was going to be over bt then something crazy happened. I don’t know what it was specifically, but all I know is that it didn’t work. It was enough to elicit a “Boring” chant from the Chicago crowd, so they were doing something wrong.
It could have been far worse, I suppose, but I can’t say that I was pleased watching it. Maybe it was because there was way too much mat wrestling and not that intensity that I was looking for.
Baszler winning was fine, but it didn’t really feel like a huge victory in the grand scheme of things. Becky trying to save face and get her heat back was whatever. Guess you need to give the crowd something to cheer about before going home. Anyways, highly disappointing outing from the ladies here. Probably should have gone with the men’s SS match or Lesnar/Rey to close things out. **
Aside from the flat ending, this is probably your best main roster PPV top to bottom. Of course, it’s no surprise that the best portions of the night were the ones featuring NXT. While the overall show was pretty good, the PPV also felt largely inconsequential.
First, the scoring system was completely off. We came into the match with NXT leading 3 to 2 from SmackDown and 1 from RAW. So at the very worst, we would have had a tie if Bayley won the main event. Wouldn’t a three way tie with each brand getting two wins a piece make more sense to build up drama to the main event.
Then, there’s also the issue of what comes after. So NXT wins tonight, but what happens tomorrow on RAW? I’m betting it’s just business as usual and we are now going to build to TLC. They didn’t really follow up on the Kevin Owens drama like I thought, Ricochet and Randy didn’t really progress their beef and nothing is there.
So while I’m certainly happy for NXT, the lack of any long-term ramifications kind of makes the entire event a moot point. For what I got, Survivor Series 2019 gets a recommendation from me, but only as a one-off show. I don’t see this leading into anything else for the immediate future, aside from NXT probably waiting to take their time to gloat.