This is a fascination situation, folks. The script for WWE SmackDown has, impressively, been in even more disarray than a usual WWE show, because basically the whole damn roster is missing, save for the women and a few folks who opted not to make the trip to Saudi Arabia! With tons of people still either in the air or waiting to lift off as I write this, this is not gonna be your average episode of SmackDown to say the very least…
You can see my preview of SmackDown here and the coverage of what’s gone on in Saudi Arabia here and here. As for this page, I’m Jordan Huie of the Overtimer and I’ll be giving you the play-by-play as per usual. Watch this space!
Our commentary team tonight is Renee Young, Tom Phillips and Aiden English. Yep, even Cole and Corey got stuck overseas.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman out to open the show. You’ll never believe this but Heyman opens with “Ladies and gentlemen my name is Paul Heyman and I am the advocate for the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE heavyweight champion of the world, Brock Lesnar!” Heyman says to permit him to shed the light of his brilliance on the darkness of your ignorance. The only way to describe his client’s mood tonight is to educate you on the fact that Brock Lesnar is really, really pissed off. And I know what you’re thinking, how could that possibly be, after Lesnar conquered Cain Velasquez? He flashes to a video of the match.
This… might be the whole match. Yyyyyep they’re just airing the match. Could definitely be going a little easier on that injured knee. Fight looks believable enough I guess. Chant of “suplex city” I think, impressive. Cain eventually gets a roundhouse kick that drops Brock to a good reaction, mounts him, Kimura counter and a tap to a pop. Heyman says nearly after a decade after being scarred by the butcher of UFC, he got his revenge on Cain Velasquez. And then, after the most spiritually orgasmic moment of Lesnar’s career, then came your hero Rey Mysterio.
And now we see the post-match assault. God, Brock F-5’d him onto a chair that is definitely not something you do with a guy who isn’t cleared. Rey afterwards wailed on him with a chair, including what looked like a shot right to the face. Brock bailed on the fight. Heyman says Lesnar went to Vince McMahon and demanded that he serve Mysterio up to Brock Lesnar, and Vince said, “Oh, I can’t do that!” Heyman remarks that’s ridiculous, what can’t Vince McMahon do? Says the excuse is that Rey Mysterio is a Raw superstar and can’t be served up on SmackDown to Brock Lesnar. Well if Rey Mysterio can’t come down to SmackDown for Brock, then Lesnar is coming to Raw for Rey Mysterio and if anybody has a problem with that, what the hell are gonna do about it? Call the marines, the 82nd airborne? Sue them?! Paul says his people perfected litigation, he’ll sue them right back! Paul says that Brock Lesnar hereby quits Friday Night SmackDown on Fox! Paul threatens Rey in Spanish as the two make their leave.
Moments later we see Heyman and Lesnar make their way backstage. As they go off into the distance… Triple H is watching. And Shawn Michaels is there with him, with an NXT cap on!
And we go from one of our announcement segments to the only other confirmed segment… very interesting! Renee Young is the heel on this broadcast team it seems, that’s a little odd.
WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Nikki Cross
Bell rings, shot to the back from Bayley, tie-up, Bayley takes her into the corner, Nikki shoves her off a break, jackknife cover, cradles, oklahoma roll for quick kickouts. Bayley with a hair whip. Shoots her to the ropes, Nikki with a spinning headscissors takes Bayley to the floor. Baseball slide! Nikki kicks off the apron for a big Tornado DDT! Throws her into the ring to pin, kickout. Commercial break. WE come back to see Bayley holding Cross down in a side headlock. Cross escapes out of the corner, roll-up for two, Bayley with a big lariat for 2. Nikki with forearms, takes her to the floor. Baseball slide attempted again, Bayley catches her, whips her out and shoves her into the steps! Throws her into the ring, cover for 2.
Shoulder thrusts in the corner, idiot charge, Nikki avoids it to start a comeback. Throws wild hands, ducks a clothesline as she hits the ropes, running crossbody! Charging forearms commence. Charging corner clothesline into a bulldog! Nikki beats her chest as the crowd gets into it, she goes up top… crossbody for a nearfall! Nikki hooks Bayley onto the top rope for her elevated neckbreaker, Sasha onto the apron to pull Bayley off! Nikki goes for a shot, Bayley ducks, Sasha eats it, but Bayley clips Nikki with a kick taking her down! She goes up top, hits her elbow drop for a clooose nearfall!
Bayley forces Nikki up top, Nikki tries to counter with a Tornado DDT but Bayley tosses her away and Nikki rolls to the floor… Bayley with a Baseball Slide but Nikki catches her within the apron skirt! Pummels her, Sasha comes in only to get a shot as well! Nikki throws her inside, goes up top… but as the ref is dealing with Bayley, Sasha shoves Nikki to the canvas. Bayley with some kind of Playmaker variant and that’s that.
Immediately afterwards, Shayna Baszler emerges from the crowd, posts Sasha, dashes into the ring and hits a step-up knee lift to Bayley! Kicks Nikki out of the ring, gutwrench facebuster follows! Big running knee knocks Bayley out cold.
Now Pat McAffee is here replacing Aiden English.
Interviewer Girl #3 introduces Sami Zayn. Asked about what’s happened, Sami agrees that it’s a pretty weird night but he sees a pattern. First we see Triple H and Shawn Michaels and then Shanna Bassler as he says it, Pat McAffee here now… seems like NXT, NXT, NXT. He says that’s fine but if any of them step to him it’s gonna be pretty bad news… Keith Lee and Matt Riddle come to him backstage. Sami changes his tune and puts them over, says he’s a big fan, big fan of NXT in general. They used to actually call him the Heart and Soul of NXT, he’s been down with it since day 1! Says he has something for ’em, unzips his shirt to show a totally black shirt. Says he was wearing an NXT shirt, didn’t wanna get a stain on it but he’ll go get it! Welcomes them to SmackDown. Keith and Matt follow and Sami is clearly uncomfortable with it… eventually he bolts and they pursue!
Sami comes out onto the stage… and the chase continues! Riddle throws him into the ring, Lee enters as well… RIDDLE KICKS OFF THE FLIP-FLOPS! “NXT” chant fills the arena. Sad Shinsuke couldn’t be here for this. Sami hilariously picks up Matt’s flip-flop and offers it to him… eats a Final Flash knee and the Bro Derrick! Matt then invites Keith Lee to follow up. Lee goes to the middle rope… huge moonsault destroys Sami! Fist bump as the two men’s music hits. Awesome stuff!
The Miz is out now, seemingly to interview himself for this episode of MizTV. Miz repeatedly flashes his Buffalo Is Awesome shirt and welcomes us to MizTV. Calls this the wildest 24 hours he can recall in WWE. Talks about how his guest was supposed to be Bray Wyatt and shows us what went down in the Falls Count Anywhere match at Crown Jewel. Says that sadly the Universal Champ can’t be here today but talks about the elephant in the room, NXT. Recaps what we’ve seen from them so far and says to be honest, he kind of liked it. Can’t wait to see what happens next and that’s what WWE is all about… but before he can go any further, Tomasso Ciampa’s music hits!
Out he comes to the ring, and a big chant of “NXT” as his music fades. Ciampa says, “This is supposed to be must-see TV? And you’re supposed to be the most must-see superstar in all of WWE? Well my name is Tomasso Ciampa and I just happen to be the greatest sports entertainer of all time!” Applause for that. Ciampa says Miz acts like the entire world revolves around him, but it’s time somebody came out here and gave him a reality check. It’s time someone let him know exactly where he sits in the food chain. The fact is, Miz is everything that is wrong with Raw and SmackDown. Mixed reception. Meanwhile Ciampa’s off breaking his neck in NXT, and Miz is playing actor, talk show host. While Miz plays the part, boy, Tomasso Ciampa is the part.
Miz says he’s heard the same thing told to him time after time, berates Ciampa for talking to him like he doesn’t know who he is, puts him over as a major part of NXT. He’d always heard that people wanted to see Ciampa and the Miz battle it out on the mic – what? – and he was hoping he’d be more original. Says people have accused him of just being here to be an actor for 15 years. Tells him if he’s here to make a statement, then make a statement! Ciampa finds these to be fighting words. Miz says “You, me, right here, right now.”
They drop their mics as we fade to commercial…!
Tomasso Ciampa vs. The Miz
Come back to see the bell ring, tie-up, immediate hip toss from The Miz. Miz poses, Ciampa gives him a golf clap. Miz gets him in a side headlock, dueling chant with Ciampa’s being a bit louder. Shoulder block from Ciampa, Miz leap frogs, Ciampa with a kik and throws him to the apron, Miz slides between Ciampa’s legs and sunset flips for 2. Miz throws Ciampa to the floor! Hits the ropes, baseball slide missed, Ciampa throws him into the barriers, then the apron! Then the steps! Ciampa sits on the apron and applauds himself!
Throws Miz into the ring with an aggressive side headlock. Just, a mean one really, not even kidding. Miz fights to his feet with body shots, blocks a clothesline and sends some haymakers. Whips Ciampa to the ropes, Kitchen Sink knee! Running knee lift to the face, backbreaker-into-neckbreaker for 2! Miz gets Ciampa into the corner and sends a flurry of roundhouse kicks! Charging running knees! Ciampa with a Discus Clothesline off a charge to counter! Big running knee in the corner! Ciampa with a cover, kickout at 2. Back suplex, Miz drops out the back, chop block! Miz grabs the leg, probably wants a figure four but gets kicked away. Ciampa hooks him up for a powerbomb, Miz escapes, kicks the leg out from under him for the Snap DDT! Nearfall.
Figure four leglock is cinched in now! Ciampa struggles across the mat… sits up and screams at a frightened Miz! Struggles onto his belly to reverse the pressure! Keeps rolling and into the ropes for the break! Figure four attempt again, Ciampa counters into an inside cradle for 2! Ciampa rolls him up, Miz kicks out only to be immediately caught in a single leg boston crab! But because of the injured leg Ciampa can’t sit down with it and Miz with a cradle for 2, breaking the hold! Ciampa with a vicious chop from the knees! And a knife edge chop battle commences, Ciampa wins out, takes him into the corner, Miz evades a charge, Miz-Clothesline follows! Miz up top… flies off right into a knee lift to the face! Fairy Tale Ending follows and that is that!
Winner: Tomasso Ciampa
Pretty cool match! Obviously can get better opponents than Miz but options were limited, work was very solid and a good win!
Bryan’s on a trek backstage and comes to see Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Bryan asks what he’s doing here. Triple H says it seems like they’ve been called out. Saw the advertisement for Survivor Series, Raw vs. SmackDown vs. NXT… seems like they were being called out for battle, like they’re looking for a fight. Bryan says he’s kinda looking for a fight himself and if he’s looking for a battle… why don’t the two of them go out and fight right now? Big reaction as the two come face-to-face… Triple H backs off for big heat, saying he didn’t bring his gear, not looking for a fight. But he knows someone who is… HBK takes off his shirt, just to put on a jacket to say how cold it is. Triple H then brings out… Adam Cole! Bryan says if they’ll do it, they’ll do it right… Daniel Bryan vs. Adam Cole for the NXT Championship?! Triple H makes it official! Cole gives the little ‘boom’ gesture and stares him down.
Fire & Desire are in the ring. Carmella’s theme hits… but she’s not coming out. Bianca Belair backstage is assaulting Carmella and Dana Brooke! Bianca military presses Carmella over a casing never to be seen again! Rose and Deville are shocked in the ring… Rhea Ripley’s music hits! Ripley and… Tegan Nox are here, interesting. Mis-spelled as “Knox” on the graphic. Ripley says it looks like you don’t have any opponents tonight… well you do now!
Rhea Ripley & Tegan Nox vs. Fire & Desire
Brawl commences, Tegan thrown into the barrier outside, Rose gets a big shot in on Ripley but gets taken out with a dropkick! Nox reverses a whip and throws Deville over the broadcast table! Yells “That’s how we do it in NXT, baby!” Comes in, Shiniest Wizard to Rose, Ripley hooks in her crazy lifting Inverted Cloverleaf and Mandy eventually has no choice but to tap!
Winners: Rhea Ripley & Tegan Nox
And now the NXT title match is next!
Except nah Stephanie McMahon is out now for prerequisite back-patting over Lacey and Nattie’s historic match.
Anyway Triple H and Shawn Michaels are watching from ringside as Daniel Bryan makes his way out. Adam Cole comes out with Roderick Strong momentarily in tow, but he leaves as Cole goes down the ramp.
NXT Championship: Adam Cole (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
Bell finally rings amidst a dueling chant. Here we go! Lock-up, Bryan with a side headlock takedown, headscissor counter, the two men scramble to their feet. Cole with a side headlock now, hip toss, Bryan with a headscissor and the same result. Wrist lock, Cole rolls in and out, Bryan forces him to the corner. No clean back, double chop to the chest, Cole fights back but eats a big uppercut in the middle of the ring! Kick to the chest! Bryan gets him in the corner, big chops! Cole reverses, lays in some shots. Pulls him out, headlock takedown into a side headlock. Bryan fights his way to his feet, shoots him off, Cole with a shoulderblock. Cole hits the ropes, leap frogs from Bryan, roundhouse kick to the running Cole! Bryan turns and yells at Triple H before singling out Cole’s arm and stomps his elbow!
Romero Special ensues slowwwwwwlly, into the Elevated Surfboard! Cole is trapped, Triple H to his feet as he sees this. Bryan transitions from there into a deep Dragon Sleeper! Cole punches him out, Bryan with a crisp knee drop to Cole’s face. Uppercut, hits the ropes, Cole nails him with a dropkick for 2. Hoists him up, hooks for a suplex, Bryan blocks it. Takes him over to the ropes, suplex to the floor, both men tumble!
Come back from commercial to see a crucifix battle. Cole slips away, jumping neckbreaker for a nearfall! Cole drops some forearms, then a knee for 2. Figure Four Headlock! Bryan rolls, foot on the ropes for a break. Cole takes Bryan into a corner, pummels him. They trade shots, Bryan takes him down with a massive uppercut! Corner whip reverses, Bryan with the flip over, ducks a clothesline as he builds up speed, big flying elbow! Rising “Yes” chants as he quivers his way up. Shoots Cole to the ropes, kick off a back body drop, Cole charges, back body dropped to the outside! Bryan to the apron, runs off for the flying knee to the face!
Throws Cole into the ring, goes up top, missile dropkick! Bryan now signalling for it… charges for the dropkick in the corner! Takes Cole up top, dangerous looking rana for a nearfall! Running big boot nails him flush from Cole, nearfall! Bryan trips Cole to the floor in front of Triple H and HBK! Bryan hits the ropes, suicide dive takes him through Cole into their seats as they have to rise! Bryan hits the ropes again, Cole with an enziguri kick right to the head as Bryan flies out for a second dive! Commercial break.
We come back to see Bryan up top, weary as Cole rises, hooks for a superplex. Bryan ducks behind him, crotches him on the top rope! Bryan pursues, Spider German Suplex, sending him flying as he stays with his legs hooked! Bryan rises, showing off his core strength! Big “Yes” chant as he goes for a diving headbutt, Cole evades it and he crashes and burns! Hasn’t gone for that in a really long time! Ushigoroshi Brainbuster – the original Last Shot – for a narrow nearfall! “This Is Awesome” chant as Cole exposes the knee, charges, Bryan reverses into a single leg crab! Cole reaches for the ropes, Bryan pulls him away, gets the grapevine on the heel hook! Cole struggling mightily, rolls to the bottom rope for the break!
Bryan pelts him with leg kicks, hoists Cole up, he escapes with almost a Zig Zag, some kind of botch but it looked devastating, nearfall and Bryan hooks directly into the LeBell Lock! Cole squirms, Bryan on his feet with the wrists hooked as he viciously stomps on the face of Cole! Transitions back into the LeBell Lock, Cole looks trapped! Cole struggles… Bryan grabs the free arm and bends it back!! Cole looks unbelievably screwed but barely manages to get a toe on the bottom rope to break the hold, wow! Bryan on his feet now as the dueling chant starts again… Yes Kicks begin! Cole sells each one big! Shot to the head misses as always, Cole with a roll-up, Bryan reverses! Cole kicks out, final Yes Kick hits, right to the head!
Bryan pounds the mat as he goes over to the corner, “Yes” chants reach a zenith, runs for the knee but Cole hits a superkick to counter!! Cole on the middle rope, Panama Sunrise! Hits the ropes, Last Shot Knee to the back of the head, and that is that!
Winner: Adam Cole
Daaaaaaaaamn. Definitely one of the best TV matches of the year for a main roster show, no question about that. Ton of NXT folk emerge to fill the ring and celebrate with Cole. Awesome stuff.
Triple H on the mic, says you wanna pick a fight with us? Raw & SmackDown vs. NXT… well if we’re gonna have a fight then I’m gonna need an army. What do you do when you want to build an army? You look to your blood, you look to your family… and you build an army for a fight. This is our army! This is our fight! This is our ring! And at Survivor Series, know what you’re getting into. We have now fired the first shot. Raw, SmackDown, let’s see what you’ve got. Just remember one thing: We are NXT.
What a dominant invasion that was. Real cool episode!
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