The faction warfare continues this week on WWEekly. Once again, we got a week full of invasions from both sides of the roster as tensions continued to rise heading into Survivor Series. We also got new matches, new challenges and a whole lot of random matches so let’s get into it shall we?
– Becky Lynch opens the show delivering a promo about how dangerous she has become. She talks about the training she did in the UK, the people coming after her and the challenges they pose. When the promo ends, she’s joined by Charlotte Flair to take on the Kabuki Warriors. This was a tag title match so obviously Shayna Baszler was there to give us some kind of distraction. After Becky basically cleans house, Shayna and Bayley provide a distraction and Asuka wins with a Roll Up. Bayley goes on the attack after the match. I get its storyline but is it too much to ask for champions to have a strong win?
– Sin Cara gets mauled by Drew McIntyre. He puts on a relatively good show but meets his expected fate following a vicious Powerbomb on the outside and being put down with a Claymore. No one ever expects Sin Cara to win so it’s no shock he’s asked for his release.
– R Truth fights both Singh Brothers for the 24/7 Title until they run away, prompting a chase. They first run into the Women’s locker room, where Truth refuses to go then end up in a room with Erick Rowan. Rowan kills them and when Truth comes around, decides the title isn’t worth it right now, turning out the lights and leaving the Singhs to their fate.
– Seth Rollins issues an open challenge to the anyone who may be present at the UK taping. WALTER, the NXT UK champion accepts the challenge, alongside his Imperium cohorts. He introduces himself and his faction before throwing down. This was fun whilst it lasted with Rollins getting his chest caved in, but when it looked like he had the Stomp set up, Imperium swarmed forcing a DQ. The Street Profits and Kevin Owens came out to even the numbers. A tag match was made that Imperium lost… the first NXT UK talent to lose that night. I may be bitter over that but the match itself was a nice bit of chaos. I hope Montez Ford’s knees are okay after that landing.
– Andrade continues his winning streak by defeating Cedric Alexander. Decent match, not much else to say here. They still make it seem like Andrade relies too much on Zelina Vega though.
– Erick Rowan kills TNT Wrestling regular Soner Dursun. What’s more interesting is that he brings some kind of cage to the ring covered in a sack. Rowan wins with very little effort.
– We get more of the awful Lana/Lashley/Rusev storyline I want nothing to do with. Lana is apparently pregnant now. It’s Rusev’s baby. This storyline is an absolute trash fire.
– Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews have a surprise match against the Viking Raiders. They put on a decent showing but once again, NXT UK talents lose to team RAW. So much for having strong home country heroes. Also speaking of Viking Raiders, I miss Fallout as a finishing move.
– Randy Orton, Ricochet and Humberto Carrillo defeat the OC in the main event of the show. This feels like it’s more about Randy Orton trying to one up Ricochet than anything else. He looks set to RKO Ricochet but instead spins him around so he can see him RKO Styles then give the win to Carrillo. Something strange is going on with Randy Orton.
– King Corbin, Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler open the show. Corbin declares that SmackDown is no longer Roman Reigns’ yard and wants him to come out to watch Roode and Ziggler defeat Chad Gable and Mustafa Ali. Instead a guy in a mascot costume comes out in a groan worthy display of comedy. That match comes along and Gable and Ali looked strong to start but Corbin keeps distracting them so Roman comes out to even the odds leading to Ali and Gable winning with a 450 Splash. With this win it means the pair will still be going to Survivor Series.
– The first episode of Firefly Funhouse hits where Bray Wyatt performs some magic that turns the Universal Title blue. It also has Fiend side plates now. Bray uses the rest of the Funhouse to promote Miz TV and the fact Daniel Bryan will be on it.
– Drew Gulak tries to educate Braun Strowman once again. He is flanked by the B Team as he needs back up from Strowman’s temper. After joking about replacing Strowman at Survivor Series, the trio attack but Strowman destroys the B Team.
– Daniel Bryan turns down Sami Zayn’s offer to join his little group of artists. Bryan claims he doesn’t need Zayn’s help and tells him to try and convince Braun Strowman to join the group instead. Zayn goes on an outburst unaware that Strowman has heard everything he has said, prompting him to run.
– Heavy Machinery flattened two local jobbers.
– The Revival are cost a SmackDown Tag title match as the Undisputed Era interrupt. They show no favour to the Revival, attacking them all. It was a good match ruined once again by Team NXT. SmackDown stars flood the ring to scare off the Undisputed Era.
– Nikki Cross vs Bayley turns into an eight-woman tag bout as team NXT invades the title match. Bayley tries to flee but all of team NXT and Dakota Kai prevent that. It’s not long before a brawl breaks out forcing the tag match. The match itself isn’t much more controlled as the two factions keep brawling. SmackDown get the ring as Nikki Cross hits the Purge on Kai.
– Miz TV main events SmackDown. Miz tries to claim Daniel Bryan is old and broken. Bryan shuts this down by claiming he is mentally unstable. That that is the reason behind the death of the Yes movement, his heel turn and all his other recent action. He claims this makes him perfect for dealing with Bray Wyatt. As if by magic, Bray returns with the Firefly Funhouse and tries to spark a return of the Yes movement. Bryan won’t bite and just flat out challenges him to a Universal Title match at Survivor Series. Bray is elated and accepts emphatically with a yes chant.
– The show opened with the Cruiserweight Title match between Angel Garza and Lio Rush. Garza had already made his lack of respect clear by slapping Rush when he won the contenders match. Even as the match begun he was still being as cocky as he could be, trying to go for the slap again and removing his tearaway pants in front of Rush’s wife. All this did was fire up Rush, who gave Garza hell until he was able to turn a Tope into a Powerslam. From there it was a back and forth bout of extreme flippy shit and power moves. Both men kicked out of finishers and the match only ended after a Second Final Hour that shouldn’t have counted as Garza’s foot was on the rope. This isn’t over between the pair.
After the Cruiserweight match, it cuts backstage to show that Team Ripley captain, Rhea Ripley and member Tegan Nox have been laid out. Later in the show it would cut backstage to show even more NXT women had been laid out.
– Xia Li is up next against Aliyah. These two seem doomed to keep fighting as this match happened weeks ago on the USA Network debut episode. Aliyah lost again as Xia Li kicked the crap out of her again. Vanessa Borne tries to run interference but mostly gets punished for her efforts.
– Finn Balor came out to a chorus of cheers. Despite his recent actions, the crowd still love him. Balor starts by complaining about what NXT has become. He complains that NXT has become a joke as Gargano couldn’t fight him. He then chooses to lay into Matt Riddle, who at the mention of his name comes in to lay the hurt in on Balor. The pair brawl with Riddle getting the better of it and sending Balor packing. The Undisputed Era come out to attack Matt Riddle but Ciampa and Keith Lee come out to prevent that. The Undisputed Era aren’t happy and brag about their recent attacks on RAW and SmackDown. Keith Lee calls them out but the Era are having none of it. Roderick Strong challenges Lee to a fight in Adam Cole’s place. Lee happily accepts. However, before anyone can scrap ref’s break it up.
– After the break, that match becomes official. Everyone is sent to the back bar the two competitors. Lee manhandles Strong like he’s nothing. Slowly and stiffly dismantling the North American champion. Strong plays it smart and tries to chop down Lee with some knee-based attacks. Lee takes it all though, rising like a Terminator each time. My highlight from the match has to be Lee hitting Grizzly Magnum on a flying Strong, swatting him out of the air.
Overall, this was bloody amazing. I loved how hard hitting it was, how vicious both men were and I will continue to love watching Keith Lee matches. As expected, the Era tried to get involved but Lee’s teammates tried to stop them. Balor also came back for some retribution on Riddle. Keith Lee was able to avoid a distraction from Balor and beat Strong with a Jackhammer. Then for good measure we got one more brawl with a special appearance with Dominik Dijakovic. Because of his help, Dijakovic fills out the last spot on team Ciampa with him and Keith Lee putting their differences aside. It is then announced that Riddle has been removed as he will face Balor at TakeOver.
– Isiah Swerve Scott is in action next as he takes on fellow NXT Breakout Bronson Reed. This was a fun little exhibition bout with both men looking strong. It’s your typical strength v speed bout with some fun twists and Swerve coming out on top. Excellent show from both guys.
– Next up is a UK showdown as Pete Dunne battles Killian Dain. At least it would have been but Damian Priest comes out to ruin it all by attacking Dain and egging on a fight with Dunne. They all brawl Priest murdering everyone, including security. Dunne keep brawling even after Priest’s big moment.
– Last but not least one hell of a ladder match main event. The match was to decide War Games advantage between Team Shayna and Team Ripley. Io Shirai represented Team Shayna and Mia Yim represented Team Ripley. Yim was merciless with the ladder and her limbs as she took the fight to Io. It opened up and became a hell of a lot more violent as time went on. There was only one ladder but it was used to full effect. At one point I thought we had a Joey Mercury moment as Yim took a face full of ladder busting her open. Yim rebounded but found herself in another sticky situation, however Dakota Kai took the blow for Yim. After a bit more action Yim looked set for victory when something incredibly unexpected happens, NXT UK Women’s Champ Kay Lee Ray gets involved costing Yim the victory by tipping her off the ladder and through another. She then pushes Io up the ladder to secure a win for Team Baszler. Looks like we know the final member of Team Baszler, the Queen of Insanity, Kay Lee Ray. Hell, F’N Yeah. It looks like we have a big reveal finish then Bayley appears out of nowhere and smacks Shayna in the back with a steel chair. I honestly never saw that one coming…
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