That’s close even for them. This has been one of the wildest weeks for WWE in recent memory, if not all time. Between two halfway around the world trips and one mess after another with getting the wrestlers back home, there was not a single chance for everyone to just calm down and breathe. That was the case for the wrestlers back home as well, with the NXT talent being brought in to help run SmackDown with so many of the wrestlers stuck in Saudi Arabia. As it turns out, things were even closer than they seemed and it could have been a lot worse.

This week’s SmackDown was built around an NXT invasion of the show, which was used to help build towards this month’s Survivor Series. The pay per view will see Monday Night Raw vs. SmackDown vs. NXT, with the latter being included for the first time ever. Therefore, NXT wrestlers and personalities were brought in for SmackDown both to build towards the show but also to fill in for the missing SmackDown wrestlers. The decision to bring them up was a last second decision and it turns out that it was even closer than it seemed.

According to John Pollock of Post Wrestling, the NXT plane did not land at the Buffalo airport until 7:55pm for an 8pm show start. This meant that a police escort was required to get the talent to the show as fast as they did. The talent had almost no time to spare to get Shayna Baszler in place for her run in after SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley retained her title over Nikki Cross. Baszler then attacked Bayley and Sasha Banks in one of the first of many NXT attacks through the night.

From one champ to another. Check out Baszler’s attack:

Opinion: The show sound up being a blast to watch live but my goodness these things do not make WWE look good in the process. Not only did they miss their flight but they almost did not even have the NXT talent there on time to pick up the slack. What would have happened had they not gotten there on time for one reason or another? This could have been a huge disaster for WWE had they not made things work and as it was, it was only thanks to a great set of NXT performances that the whole things wasn’t a heck of a lot worse.

What did you think of this week’s show? What would have happened had NXT not shown up? Let us know in the comments below.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. His latest book is KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews.

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