It’s taken us a long time to get here after a great start to the NXT Invasion and then things slowing down a lot due to the UK trip. Things have picked back up though and I’m excited to see the show. As usual, it’s all about Brand Supremacy, though there are several Survivor Series matches thrown in for a bonus. I’m going to be in the arena for the show so it’s an even bigger night than usual. Let’s get to it.

Viking Raiders (Raw) vs. New Day (SmackDown) vs. Undisputed Era (NXT)

It’s the first battle of the three Tag Team Champions here and we’ll start off with an interesting one. You have three pretty distinct styles here with a bunch of talented people, so if everything can mesh together well, we could be in for a heck of a match. This is the kind of match that should be all action and that is the kind of thing that these people could excel at, so I’m rather pleased with the idea.

They might be a little banged up:

I’ll go with the Undisputed Era winning here, as there is a chance that NXT is only going to win one match. This would seem to be a good place for them to pick up a win, as New Day can take a fall without blinking an eye. The Raiders should not be involved in the fall (save for AOP running in to take them out), as this isn’t some nothing show like Crown Jewel where most of the results don’t matter. Undisputed Era wins, just to get them on the board.

WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Rey Mysterio

This is a match that very well could headline the show but that could be the case with several matches so we’ll put it here. The match is No Holds Barred to give Mysterio a fighting chance and I can more than go with that. They have done a nice job of making Mysterio look like a threat and his anger at Lesnar over Dominick should be good for a few hope spots.

This started it all:

That being said, Lesnar retains here as I just can’t picture Mysterio, as great as he is, going over Lesnar. There would be a great feel good moment there, but WWE is saving Lesnar’s loss for the big WrestleMania moment (because that’s just what Lesnar does). Mysterio goes down on his sword here and it’s a heck of a try, but just not enough.

NXT Title: Adam Cole (c) vs. Pete Dunne

This was added last night at Takeover: WarGames when Dunne won a triple threat over Killian Dain and Damian Priest. Dunne is one of those guys who is going to get a huge reaction no matter what he does so it makes a lot of sense to put him in there. That being said, Cole is going to get the hardcore fan reaction of the night so the crowd could certainly be interesting here.

I’d say Dunne is ready:

I’ll take Dunne to win the title though, as there is not much of a way to validate Cole retaining after a ladder match and WarGames in the previous five days. Dunne is too successful and too dominant of an opponent to lose to someone that banged up and outside of the Undisputed Era (or someone else) costing Dunne the title, I really can’t picture a way for Dunne to not leave as champion.

AJ Styles (Monday Night Raw) vs. Roderick Strong (NXT) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (SmackDown)

Midcard title showcase here and a match that should be awesome but doesn’t really have a ton of build. Styles has ranted about NXT and various other people more than his opponents here, which gives me a bit of a lack of interest in the match itself. That being said, if Nakamura is trying in the slightest (which is no guarantee), we should be in for a rather entertaining match.

Two out of three isn’t bad:

I’m going with Nakamura here, as the wins need to be balanced over the rosters and NXT isn’t going to be winning two matches. SmackDown can pick up a win here and get on the board without really damaging anything. Strong is already banged up after last night so a loss here isn’t going to hurt him all that much. Styles is a possibility as well, but I think the Monday Night Raw wins come elsewhere.

Universal Title: Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan

How nice is it to not have that say Wyatt vs. Seth Rollins? Anyway this was set up a few weeks ago when Wyatt attacked Bryan out of nowhere, leaving Bryan to consider restarting the YES Movement to fight the Fiend. That hasn’t happened yet though, and Wyatt took Bryan out again on this week’s SmackDown. That doesn’t bode well for Bryan here, and I think you know where this is going.

I’d say he’s interested:

Much like in the other World Title match, this is going to be Bryan fighting as hard as he can and coming close but ultimately losing to the champ. Wyatt seems like he could be holding the title for a very, very long time to come and Bryan is the first victim. Bryan has often brought out the best in Wyatt so we should be in for a good match, but it ends with the Mandible Claw and Bryan coming up short.

Monday Night Raw Men vs. SmackDown Men vs. NXT Men

This is one where I barely know what to say because we don’t know the five men from NXT. It really could be any combination of the team and that makes for an interesting match. If nothing else, I’m not sure if Kevin Owens is still on the Monday Night Raw side as he returned to NXT last night. They usually shuffle these things up a lot though and that could be the case again here.

They’re here:

I’ll take the Monday Night Raw men to win here, as the lineup is stacked enough that I can’t really imagine them losing. Of course that seems to be the case almost every year in these things and the great lineup has a tendency to lose a lot. It’s hard to say who we’ll be getting from NXT, but I’ll say Owens, Finn Balor, Matt Riddle, Dominick Dijakovic and Keith Lee, with Rusev taking Owen’s place on Monday Night Raw.

Becky Lynch (Monday Night Raw) vs. Bayley (SmackDown) vs. Shayna Baszler (NXT)

Here’s where the numbers get interesting as you could go with any of the three under normal circumstances. Baszler has come out of this thing looking like the biggest star NXT’s women have had since Asuka and there is a slight chance that she could even break Asuka’s record because she has been that great. That being said, I have to go with the winner who is going to set up the desired ending, and that makes things a little different than they would usually go.

Baszler has looked like a star:

That’s why I’m going with Bayley here to give SmackDown a lead, despite being the least impressive of the three (which isn’t meant to be a knock on Bayley but she is up against some stacked competition). Bayley winning is hardly the biggest shock as she is getting a hard push, but having her go over both of these two would be a stretch. That’s why it’s what we’ll be seeing here, because a lot of logic goes out the window on these shows.

Monday Night Raw Women vs. SmackDown Women vs. NXT Women

This is your big deciding match of the show as you have to have someone win the whole thing (assuming WWE doesn’t do something stupid like saying that both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown are better than NXT). You might not be able to follow logic here and that could shake things up a lot. At the end of the day, it depends on who you think is going to win the whole thing, meaning the logic and common sense for something like this goes flying out the window. Someone has to win though and unfortunately I think I know where that is going.

The captains were out in full on Friday:

I’ll take the SmackDown women here to give them the win for the night, even though their lineup is arguably the weakest of the three. NXT’s women are mostly decimated after last night’s WarGames so you should be able to write them off. That leaves Monday Night Raw with Charlotte around, but for the sake of one show actually winning the night, I’ll go with SmackDown here in the upset of the show, giving us a final score of SmackDown 3, Monday Night Raw 2 and NXT 1.

Overall Thoughts

The build for this has been hot and cold, but the hot parts have been outstanding and have made me want to see what happens here. NXT has looked like stars in the whole thing and hopefully don’t get treated as cannon fodder on the big stage. Couple that with anyone other that Monday Night Raw winning (three years in a row coming into the show) and we could be in for a heck of a night. Now let’s see how WWE screws this up again.

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. His latest book is KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews.

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