Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Survivor Series 2019
Date: November 24, 2019
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Vic Joseph, Jerry Lawler, Nigel McGuinness, Beth Phoenix
We have finally arrived. After several weeks of Raw, Smackdown and NXT invading each others’ shows, it is time to see which show is best and that could be interesting. Raw has won the competition three years in a row, though this is NXT’s first time being included. The card looks good, albeit huge. Let’s get to it.
I was in the arena for this show, sitting in the upper deck end zone, looking straight at the Titantron.
Kickoff Show: Tag Team Battle Royal
Raw: OC, Street Profits, Zack Ryder/Curt Hawkins
Smackdown: Revival, Dolph Ziggler/Robert Roode, Lucha House Party, Heavy Machinery
NXT: Forgotten Sons, Breezango, Imperium
When one member is out, both of them are out and that’s quite the advantage for Smackdown. Vic on Hawkins and Ryder: “Here are two guys who are just happy they’re still here.” Lince Dorado/Gran Metalik for the House Party and Fabian Aichner/Marcel Barthel for Imperium, with Walter on the outside. It’s a big brawl to start with Ziggler wearing a Smackdown hat (he finds new ways to look stupid every day) and it’s the Sons being out in a hurry.
The House Party quickly follow them with Hawkins and Ryder going as well to really start clearing the ring out. We get the standard Ziggler save because he does these things in every battle royal but never wins the things. Aichner and Ziggler slug it out on the apron with Roode knocking Aichner out for the elimination. Otis gives Ziggler the spinning slam and takes off the shirt to set up the Caterpillar, only to get tossed by the OC and the Revival.
Fandango gets sent through the ropes so he’s able to catch Breeze as he’s thrown out, only to have the Revival get rid of them anyway. That’s it for NXT and the Profits dropkick Revival out to get us down to the OC, the Profits and Ziggler/Roode. Ziggler breaks up the Magic Killer to Roode and superkicks Gallows out and we’re down to two. Roode gets knocked through the ropes and it’s the spinebuster to Ziggler but Roode knocks Ford off the top. Ford is right back up with a frog splash to Ziggler, only to have Roode throw him out for the win at 8:21.
Rating: D. What a great way to start the show: eliminate all of the popular teams and go with the least interesting team from Smackdown instead of the popular Heavy Machinery. It’s not like it matters one way or another in the grand scheme of things, but that’s what we get anyway because WWE loves itself some Roode and Ziggler. The match was your usual battle royal and that’s not exactly interesting.
Smackdown – 1
Raw – 0
NXT – 0
Kickoff Show: Cruiserweight Title: Kalisto (Smackdown) vs. Akira Tozawa (Raw) vs. Lio Rush (NXT)
Rush is defending and we’ve got armbands for the brands. It really is amazing how much effort they put into trying to get this Brand Supremacy thing over but it’s better than the stupid shirts. Tozawa and Kalisto knock him to the floor to start so Tozawa can roll Kalisto up for two, setting off the issues in a hurry. Rush comes back in and starts the dodging but gets pulled to the floor. Kalisto’s kick to the head cuts off Tozawa’s dive and everyone gets back in.
It’s Rush dodging Kalisto’s shots to the head and hitting a double handspring elbow to put both of them down. A left hand to the face puts Rush down and Tozawa plants him with a fireman’s carry faceplant. Everyone heads to the same corner and it’s Rush with a super double armdrag so all three can be down at once again. The three way slugout goes to Rush until Tozawa snaps off a German suplex for two.
Kalisto dives in to roll Rush up for two more and they’re down for the fourth time. There’s the Salida Del Sol to Rush with Tozawa breaking it up with a Shining Wizard. The top rope backsplash gets the same as Kalisto gets to make a save this time. Kalisto and Tozawa slug it out for a bit until it’s another Salida Del Sol to plant Tozawa. Rush dives in with the Final Hour to Kalisto to retain at 8:28.
Rating: C+. This was exactly what it needed to be: three talented guys going out there and doing a bunch of fast paced offense for a few minutes. The crowd was into it too, which makes me feel a little bit better for these guys. The cruiserweights have been treated terribly on 205 Live and it’s nice to see them getting a chance to actually shine on the big stage for once.
Smackdown – 1
NXT – 1
Raw – 0
Kickoff Show: Viking Raiders (Raw) vs. New Day (Smackdown) vs. Undisputed Era (NXT)
Non-title Battle of the Tag Team Champions. Big E., Ivar and O’Reilly start things off and the early beating sends O’Reilly over for the tag to Fish. The fans are behind the Era to start so Big E. and Ivar run both of them over, leaving us with the big power showdown. Big E. can’t slam him but he can shoulder the heck out of him instead, only to have O’Reilly come back in for some knees to Big E.’s ribs.
Everything breaks down for a bit and it’s Ivar slamming Erik onto Fish. Kofi comes in to hammer on Erik before jumping over Big E. for a backsplash to O’Reilly. The Era is sent to the floor so it’s New Day slugging it out with the Vikings. That doesn’t last long as Erik and Big E. head to the floor, allowing the Era to come back in and double team Kofi. The knee gets taken out with O’Reilly hitting the top rope knee to said knee, setting up a kneebar.
Ivar comes back in to break that up with a splash as everything breaks down again. The knee is fine enough to kick away at O’Reilly on the apron as Big E. misses the spear to the floor. With everyone else on the floor, Erik slams Ivar from the apron onto the pile for the big crash. Back in and Fish kicks Erik in the face before O’Reilly starts in on the knee at the slower pace.
That’s broken up and it’s back to Ivar to clean house. O’Reilly kicks Fish in the face by mistake and it’s Jeff Cobb’s Tour of the Islands to Kyle. It’s back Erik, who gets caught by Kofi’s double stomp out of the corner. That’s not it though as it’s a powerbomb/top rope double stomp for two with Ivar making the save. Big E. hits the spear on Erik this time and everyone is down on the floor at once.
Back in and the knee to Big E.’s face sets up the springboard clothesline/German suplex combination. Kofi misses Trouble in Paradise on the floor and takes the High/Low, leaving the Era vs. the Vikings. Ivar shrugs off the kicks and cartwheels away from High/Low to take both of them down. The Viking Experience sends O’Reilly into Fish for the pin at 14:42.
Rating: B. This took some time to get going but once they hit their stride, this was a pretty crazy set of spots with a bunch of different styles on display. It was a lot of fun and Raw gets on the board, which wasn’t exactly a surprise. However, they did enough of a job of making you believe that any team could win to get around thing. None of the teams looked bad here either so they even protected the champions. Really fun match that had just the right amount of time too.
Raw – 1
Smackdown – 1
NXT – 1
The opening video is your big recap of the NXT Invasion, which goes exactly as you would have guessed. They’re doing a good job of making NXT look like an equal here and that is what matters most out of the whole thing. All of the individual matches get some attention as well.
Raw Women vs. Smackdown Women vs. NXT Women
Raw: Charlotte, Natalya, Asuka, Kairi Sane, Sarah Logan
Smackdown: Sasha Banks, Carmella, Dana Brooke, Lacey Evans, Nikki Cross
NXT: Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm, Candice LeRae, Io Shirai, Bianca Belair
For the sake of sanity, they do team entrances instead of having fifteen individual entrances. Everyone but Toni on Team NXT was in WarGames last night so they’re a bit banged up. There will be three in at once but you can only tag your own partners so it won’t be completely insane. Lacey, Logan and Toni start things off with Logan getting knocked down early on.
Cross comes in to clean house until Toni takes her down as well, leaving Logan to hit some cartwheel knees to the back. Logan drops Cross onto Toni for two on each but Storm is up with a double German suplex. It’s off to Shirai vs. Sane vs. Carmella with Carmella just kind of being annoying as they have their staredown. Brooke comes in and lets them fight in the smarter move. Sane rolls her up for two so Brooke steals her own rollup to Sane for two more.
Brooke’s Swanton gets two on Sane and it’s off to Lacey for a kick to the face and her own two. Lacey talks trash to Candice and gets beaten up in the corner with Asuka getting dropped as well. A middle rope Downward Spiral gets two on Lacey and it’s Rhea coming in to dropkick Lacey to the floor. Everyone starts coming in for the parade of secondary finishers until Sasha is left alone in the ring. Hold on though as Candice and Shirai are both down on the floor and the match just kind of stops. They’re taken out and we’ll call that a double elimination at about 7:30.
We settle down to Ripley vs. Banks vs. Charlotte in the battle of the captains….but it’s Belair, Logan and Cross coming in before anything happens. Cross dives onto Ripley and then hammers on Storm for a bonus but Belair rolls Cross up for the pin at 9:39. Belair hits the KOD on Carmella, who rolls straight over to the ropes to save herself. Logan jumps Belair to the floor and dives onto Ripley and Storm on the floor. Back in and Belair punches Logan down, setting up a gorgeous 450 for the pin at 12:12.
Charlotte comes in and clotheslines Belair down but Carmella comes back in to kick Charlotte in the ribs. Carmella’s super hurricanrana sends Charlotte into Belair for a pair of twos each, plus a lot of Carmella’s screaming. Some low superkicks give Carmella two more on Belair but it’s Charlotte hitting Natural Selection on Carmella for the elimination at 15:38.
That leaves us with Charlotte/Asuka/Sane/Natalya vs. Ripley/Storm/Belair vs. Banks/Brooke/Lacey. Storm comes in and beats up Shirai and Banks until Shirai’s spinning backfist takes her down. The Insane Elbow gets two on Storm but Banks breaks it up with a Meteora to Sane for the elimination at 16:48. It’s three apiece now with Asuka coming in and kicking away to take over, including a big spinning kick to the head to get rid of Brooke at 17:22.
Charlotte and Asuka get in a fight though with Charlotte pulling her down by the hair. Lacey comes in and gets suplexed into the corner, only to take Asuka’s mist to the face. That’s it for Asuka, who walks out at about 19:00. The Woman’s Right finishes Charlotte at 19:08 and Natalya is the only one left for Raw. Natalya’s discus lariat drops Storm and a rollup gets rid of Lacey at 19:52.
NXT has a pretty commanding leave now so Natalya puts Toni in the Sharpshooter. Banks adds the Bank Statement and Storm is done at 20:42. Banks and Natalya get together for a Hart Attack and the pin on Belair at 21:17, leaving us with Ripley vs. Banks vs. Natalya. Banks and Natalya smirk at Ripley but Banks punches Natalya out for the win at 22:01.
Ripley slams Banks down for an early two and blocks a tornado DDT attempt. Banks sends her into the corner for a crash and there are the running knees in the corner. The Meteora gets two on Ripley but she’s back up in time to kick Banks out of the air for trying it again. The standing Cloverleaf comes on but Banks reverses into the Bank Statement. Cue LeRae and Shirai (never officially eliminated) to pulls Ripley to the floor so Banks takes both of them down. LeRae offers a distraction though and it’s Shirai hitting a springboard missile dropkick. Riptide finishes Banks at 27:53.
Rating: B-. Well there’s your star making performance. It might have been a little bit of a dirty finish but Ripley looked like a star of the highest order out there, which is exactly what they were going for here. The match worked rather well, but there were a few too many people in there and it got messy at times. Still though, seeing NXT pull off the huge upset and actually getting somewhere in this whole thing more than made up for it.
We look at Kevin Owens joining Team Ciampa to help defeat the Undisputed Era at WarGames.
Seth Rollins comes in to see Owens and accuses him of wanting to turn on Raw tonight. Owens says last night was about getting even with the Undisputed Era and yes he loves NXT, but he’s Raw. Rollins doesn’t seem convinced.
Shinsuke Nakamura (Smackdown) vs. AJ Styles (Raw) vs. Roderick Strong (NXT)
Non-title Battle of the midcard champions and Sami Zayn (an awesome hype man) is here with Nakamura. They go straight into the exchange of strikes to start and it’s Strong getting the better of it off the backbreakers. Nakamura gets dropped on the apron but AJ knees Strong in the face. Back in and Nakamura starts striking away, including the running knee to the ribs to knock Styles right back to the floor.
Strong’s fireman’s carry into the double knees to the chest get two on Nakamura and Strong bends him over his back. AJ is back in with a sleeper on Strong before throwing him into Nakamura for the break. He can’t follow up though and Strong hits AJ with a clothesline, followed by the running forearms to make it even worse. The belly to back faceplant gets two and Strong monkey flips AJ into a running knee from Nakamura.
Strong gets knocked down and Nakamura’s sliding knee to the head gets two more. AJ’s reverse DDT is good for another two and some frustration is setting in. The fireman’s carry backbreaker gives AJ two more with Strong not being able to make the save. Strong can break up the Styles Clash, but the crash means Nakamura lands on his face anyway. The Angle Slam gives Strong two on AJ as Sami is helping Nakamura with his breathing on the floor.
The coaching works though as Nakamura goes up and hits a doomsday kick to the chest for two on Strong, who grabs his knee and screams. Cole: “You’ve got to wonder if Strong is hurt.” Does Vince go out of his way to make Cole say these stupid things? Sami posts AJ as Strong hits a jumping knee for two on Nakamura. Just to egg the crowd on a bit, Nakamura hits a Go To Sleep on Strong but AJ breaks up Kinshasa. A spinning backfist staggers Strong and Nakamura suplexes him onto AJ.
There’s Kinshasa to Strong and AJ dives in for a save. That puts Strong on the floor so Nakamura tells AJ to COME ON. The striking exchange is on with Nakamura hitting a middle rope knee to the face. Nakamura’s Landslide gets two but AJ hits a forearm out of the corner. The Phenomenal Forearm connects but Strong comes in and steals the pin at 16:44.
Rating: B. Much like the previous one, this was all about action with all three guys looking like they could pull it off. Strong stealing the pin is fine enough and again, the bigger name taking the fall is protected. They were beating the fire out of each other here and we have our second good match in a row, though a little better than the first due to less chaos.
NXT – 3
Raw – 1
Smackdown – 1
Therefore, NXT can only be tied and can’t lose.
The Miz tries to give Daniel Bryan a pep talk but get glared away.
Cole explains the Mauro Ranallo is missing due to blowing his voice out. Right.
NXT Title: Pete Dunne vs. Adam Cole
Dunne is challenging after winning a triple threat match last night. They’re both very banged up after Takeover but Cole should be in far worse shape of the two. Dunne spins out of a wristlock to start and Cole’s headlock works just as badly. A shot to the ribs puts the injured Cole down but Dunne’s knee is bothering him as well. Cole’s arm gets twisted around and Dunne takes him to the floor to stomp on it again.
Back in and Cole gets smart by going after the bad knee with some cranking and a dropkick to the leg to make it worse. Dunne’s leg is good enough for the X Plex and you can see the shock of pain going through Cole as his ribs hit the mat. An enziguri in the corner lets Dunne stomp on Cole’s fingers and a sitout powerbomb gets two. Cole tries to bail to the floor so Dunne takes him out with a moonsault.
Back in and Dunne kicks him in the head but a moonsault hits raised knees. The Shining Wizard gets two as Cole was too banged up to hit it at full strength. Dunne shrugs off a pump kick to the face but can’t shrug off the brainbuster onto the knee. Back up and Dunne grabs a quick Bitter End before going for a moonsault out of the corner. Cole is right there with a superkick to the upside down Dunne (still awesome and incredible timing) for two more.
A big forearm puts Cole on the floor but he gets in a kick to the knee. They fight on the apron and Dunne’s knee gives out, allowing Dunne to hit a crazy looking Panama Sunrise onto the apron. They barely beat the count back in and Cole superkicks his head off for two more. Dunne tells him to come on and snaps the fingers but the Bitter End is countered into another Panama Sunrise. The Last Shot retains the title at 14:04.
Rating: A-. This is a case where the televised version worked a lot better than the live version as commentary and the better camera angles focused on Dunne’s knee injury that much better. You couldn’t get much out of that in the arena (or at least from the upper deck) and commentary sold the story very well. This was a heck of a back and forth match with both guys working very hard and selling their damage from the previous night.
Some wrestlers visited an elementary school.
We recap Daniel Bryan vs. the Fiend. Bray Wyatt won the title earlier in the month at Crown Jewel and started taunting Bryan to make him his first victim. Bryan has teased bringing back the YES Movement to fight Wyatt but won’t go all the way with it. Therefore, he might not be ready to face the Fiend.
Smackdown World Title: The Fiend vs. Daniel Bryan
Bryan is challenging and we get the full Fiend entrance, complete with severed head lantern. The crowd goes almost silent as the red lights come on and that’s an impressive reaction. Bryan hits a running dropkick into the corner to start but tries another and gets blasted by a clothesline. An uppercut puts Bryan on the floor and Bray plants him in the ring for a bonus.
There’s the toss suplex and Bray starts writhing around before grabbing the neck crank. With that broken up, they head outside where Bray misses a charge into the steps. He’s right back up though and Bryan has to break up Sister Abigail, meaning it’s a posting to stagger Bray again. A big dive off the top drops Fiend and he’s taking a little more time to get up.
Back in and Daniel hits the missile dropkick, followed by the YES Kicks to….just bring Bray back up. Fiend laughs at him and seems to say bring it on so Bryan hits the big kick to the head. More stomps have Fiend in trouble and the running knee (with YES chants from Bryan) gets two. Bray charges into a boot in the corner but grabs the Mandible Claw anyway. That’s reversed into an armbar over the top rope but dives into a right hand. Bryan tries the running knee again and charges straight into the Mandible Claw for the pin at 10:01.
Rating: B. They were getting somewhere with this one but it never hit that next level. It’s like Bryan needs one more gear, like the YES Movement, to get all the way over the hump. The Fiend comes off like a movie monster and it is going to take someone special to beat him. Having Bray beat a star like Bryan is a good move for him, but it’s hard not to imagine Roman Reigns getting the nod at this point. Anyway, this was a good match but it needed one more level to make it great.
Rey Mysterio says he first faced Brock Lesnar almost fifteen years ago. He’s a new man now and pulls out the pipe to prove it. Normally Rey would want his son Dominick to turn away but tonight he wants his son to watch and see what happens when Rey takes out Brock’s legs.
Raw Men vs. Smackdown Men vs. NXT Men
Raw: Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Ricochet, Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens
Smackdown: Roman Reigns, Shorty G., Mustafa Ali, King Corbin, Braun Strowman
NXT: Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Walter, Matt Riddle, Damian Priest
Same rules as the women’s match: triple threat and you can only tag your team members. Ali is rather happy to be in his hometown, as he should be. The fans are behind Walter, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Rollins and Ciampa slug away at Strowman to start so he dropkicks both of them down at the same time. McIntyre and Walter come in for the big three way hoss showdown and it’s Strowman being hammered down in the corner. Walter and McIntyre chop it out with Walter kicking him down but getting run over by Strowman.
The chop to Strowman doesn’t work so Walter dropkicks him into the corner…but walks into the Claymore to get rid of Walter at 2:58. The fans are MAD over that and I can’t say I blame them a bit as you don’t bring in a champion for a show like this and have him get pinned clean in less than three minutes. Priest comes in to kick away at McIntyre and Strowman, who misses a charge into the post. Gable comes in with a moonsault to Priest but Ricochet comes in to pick the pace way up.
A heck of a Rolling Chaos Theory hits Ricochet and it’s Riddle coming in to a big reaction. Gable gets the ankle lock on Riddle but it’s broken up in a hurry for the staredown. Another Chaos Theory doesn’t work on Riddle as Ciampa tags himself in, only to get kicked in the head by Gable. Ricochet kicks both of them down and it’s Owens going up top. He thinks about splashing Gable or Ciampa before going with the frog splash to get rid of Gable at 6:29.
Corbin comes in and bails from the threat of a Stunner so Owens follows him with the Cannonball. The Stunner connects on the floor but Ciampa catches Owens with Willow’s Bell for the pin at 7:41. Orton is behind Ciampa but Ciampa is smart enough to turn around without walking into the RKO. Ciampa hammers away and tries another Willow’s Bell but gets dropped onto the apron instead. Back in and it’s the Garvin Stomp but Ciampa gets over for the tag to Priest, only to walk into the RKO. Another RKO gets rid of Priest at 10:16 but Riddle rolls Orton up for the pin at 10:26.
Orton RKOs Riddle as well and it’s stealing the pin at 10:54 to some great heel heat. That’s how you use Corbin and it worked great here. Lee and Strowman come in so the fans are already singing. McIntyre breaks up the staredown with a forearm to Lee but gets run over by Strowman. That means the big running train around the ring, which works so well that Strowman does it again. This time though, Lee runs him over for a change and McIntyre adds a Claymore to count Strowman out at 13:17.
We’re down to Lee/Ciampa vs. Ricochet/McIntyre/Rollins vs. Ali/Corbin/Reigns. Ricochet springboards in with a clothesline to Corbin and there’s the big running flip dive to Reigns. The 450 misses Lee though and Corbin hits the End of Days to finish Ricochet at 14:31. Ali tags himself in and starts cleaning house with some kicks to the face.
Rollins counters the rolling X Factor by launching Ali over his head, only to have Ali X Factor Ciampa instead. The tornado DDT hits Rollins and it’s Ali hitting a suicide dive onto a bunch of people. Corbin won’t let Ali get a cover though and the distraction lets Rollins hit the Stomp to get rid of Ali at 16:10.
Reigns and Corbin get into it on the floor until McIntyre and Rollins break it up. Back in and McIntyre’s reverse Alabama slam gets two on Ciampa but the spear cuts McIntyre down for the pin at 17:39. Rollins, the only member left of Team Raw, kicks Reigns to the floor but the suicide dive is blocked with a right hand. Willow’s Bell cuts Reigns off but he reverses the Fairy Tale Ending into the Superman Punch.
Corbin pulls Reigns over to the corner for the tag, only to yell at Reigns instead of going after Ciampa. Eventually Ciampa escapes the chokeslam, leaving Reigns to spear and Superman Punch Corbin to give Ciampa the pin at 19:57. It’s Reigns for Smackdown, Rollins for Raw and Ciampa/Lee for NXT. Reigns, Rollins and Ciampa slug it out with Lee coming in for a failed save attempt.
That leaves Reigns vs. Rollins because we need to get the Shield stuff in. They decide to work together again but can’t hit a DoubleBomb. Instead Ciampa catches Rollins with Project Ciampa for a VERY close two but it’s a Superman Punch to Ciampa. The Stomp gets rid of Ciampa at 24:02 and we’re down to one apiece.
Lee is ready to go and slingshots in with a double crossbody to put them both down. The Limit Breaker is countered by Rollins and a superkick sets up the frog splash for two as the fans are behind Lee. Rollins goes after Lee again but walks into the Limit Breaker for the completely clean pin at 26:32 to get rid of Raw. The roof goes off the place as Lee is instantly a legit contender to pull off the major upset.
Reigns starts fast with a Superman Punch for a very quick two and Graves is DEMANDING a replay. The spear is loaded up but Lee cuts it off with a Spirit Bomb for a very, very close two. Lee misses the moonsault though and gets speared down for the pin at 29:18 as the air doesn’t go all the way out of the place.
Rating: B+. The ending sequence was the reason I’ve always wanted to see one of these shows in person: they hit the drama out of the park and had you believing that Lee could pull off the impossible. Lee got the big pin on Rollins so he’s a made man as a result, along with Ciampa for pinning Owens and Corbin. Just like in the women’s match, the NXT men felt like they belonged here and that was the point of the whole thing. Very fun match here with a lot of people (including Gable) getting to show off for a long time. Lee got the big rub here though, and they nailed every bit of what they wanted to do with him.
NXT – 3
Smackdown – 2
Raw – 1
Post match Reigns and Lee show respect.
Becky Lynch talks about being the man seven days a week while Shayna Baszler has been training every day. Shayna is going to have to destroy her completely and no one can do that to her. Then there’s Bayley, who thinks Becky has been ducking her. Becky even broke her own rule and came looking for Bayley. Tonight, Becky is taking them out and showing that she is the Man.
We recap Rey Mysterio vs. Brock Lesnar. Brock attacked Rey and his son so Rey brought in Cain Velasquez to help him fight. Once Lesnar got rid of Cain in less than three minutes, Rey fought for himself and took out Lesnar’s knee with a steel pipe. Tonight it’s No DQ so Rey can have a chance.
Raw World Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Brock Lesnar
Lesnar is defending and anything goes. Rey is dressed as the Joker (again) and that might not be the best visual for a match that is supposed to be rather serious. Paul Heyman introduces Brock as weighing about two and a half Rey Mysterios for his funny line of the night. Rey goes straight to the floor and pulls out the pipe so Lesnar bails to the floor in a smart move.
Brock gets Rey to chase him and the big clothesline makes him drop the pipe. The beating begins as Rey is sent outside and over the announcers’ table in a crash. The announcers’ table is loaded up and Brock throws him into the cover. Rey is beaten down so badly that Brock can even stop to tie his boot. It takes so long that Rey can get in a posting but Brock won’t let him grab the pipe. A release German suplex drops Rey onto the pipe (geez) and another (no pipe) makes it even worse.
There’s a third suplex so here’s Dominick with a towel. Brock takes that away and throws it out (maybe in a shot at the ending to Cody vs. Chris Jericho at Full Gear). Brock grabs Dominick so Rey hits him low and even Dominick gets in his own shot. Some pipe shots set up a double 619 (sweet) and Dominick adds a frog splash (in a nice tribute to his dad). Rey adds his own frog splash for two and the fans know it isn’t happening. Dominick gets suplexed down and the F5 retains the title at 6:54.
Rating: C+. This was all about that one short stretch and man alive did they make it work for about a minute. There’s more to it than that though and the rest of it was Brock’s standard operating procedure. Brock can do good things when he’s motivated and that…wasn’t exactly happening here but the comeback and near fall were great so it’s more good than bad.
We recap the women’s triple threat match. Becky Lynch knows she is the best but Shayna Baszler came in and said she’d beat Becky just like the rest. Bayley has been fighting to make people think she matters in this whole thing other than to take the fall.
Bayley (Smackdown) vs. Becky Lynch (Raw) vs. Shayna Baszler (NXT)
Non-title Battle of the Women’s Champions. Ignore how Bayley’s shirt with BAY over LEY with the belt around her waist spells AEW of course. The announcers mention Ronda Rousey quite a few times during the entrances and I can’t imagine that’s a coincidence. Bayley knocks Baszler into Becky to start and the fans aren’t exactly interested early on. Baszler and Bayley hammer away at each other on the mat and fight to the floor.
Becky takes both of them down before throwing Bayley back inside. The spinning legdrop misses but Becky is right back up with a slingshot dropkick through the ropes to keep Baszler down. Bayley hits (or close to it) a sunset bomb into the corner as the silence is notable here. With Becky down, Baszler starts working on the arm but Becky cuts off a charge into the corner. Bayley stomps Becky down and slams her face into the mat a few times as the fans try to get a weak Becky chant going.
Baszler is back in to break it up but Bayley knocks her down as well. Becky gets back up this time with a DDT to Baszler and a reverse DDT to Bayley at the same time, though it isn’t enough to get the crowd going. The guillotine legdrop gets two on Bayley and Baszler has to break up the Disarm-Her. The Bayley to Belly gets two on Baszler but she’s back up with a suplex of her own. Becky comes back in with a missile dropkick to make Baszler drop Bayley.
We get the CM PUNK chants as Baszler and Becky slug it out until Bayley sends Becky outside. The charge on the apron is cut off with a Kirifuda Clutch but Becky comes back in with a sitout powerbomb for two on Baszler. Now it’s Becky getting Clutched inside until Bayley makes the save, only to get sent outside again. They all wind up on the floor with Becky being sent into various steel objects. Bayley takes Baszler back inside and has to suplex her way out of a quick Clutch attempt. The top rope elbow is countered into the Clutch though and Bayley taps at 18:05.
Rating: D+. They were trying here but the match didn’t have much of a flow and wasn’t the most thrilling. You can also see the amount of influence that the crowd can have as they weren’t interested here. However, there were some rather negative chants in the arena and they didn’t get picked up by audio here, which is a rather good thing. The match wasn’t good but it also wasn’t a nightmare and the heavily negative chants weren’t deserved. It didn’t help when the best Bayley could have done was tie the score and Becky had no chance to win anything for Raw, but there were other issues going on.
NXT – 4
Smackdown – 2
Raw – 1
Post match Shayna celebrates on the announcers’ table but Becky jumps her from behind. A legdrop off the apron lets Becky pose to end the show. That doesn’t get the best reaction either.
Overall Rating: B+. Aside from a not great main event, this was a heck of a show with one good to great match after another. They would have been better off having a tie coming into the main event but WWE hasn’t seemed interested in drama around here for the last few shows. NXT got the rub it was looking for though and that is the best thing that could happen. I’m sure it’ll be enough to fight off AEW, which is one of the major points of this whole thing so well done? In theory? Anyway what we got was borderline great though and I got what I was wanting out of the show so I’ll call it a major positive.
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 kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!