Who Were the MVPs of Raw, SmackDown and NXT for Week of Oct. 20?
Last week, Bayley, Lio Rush, Braun Strowman and Tyson Fury stole the show as the biggest focal points of their respective programs. But every new episode brings about more opportunities for someone else to step up and grab the spotlight for themselves.
This week saw the conclusion of the 2019 WWE draft, which meant the rosters were looking for leaders to establish dominance.
With change in the air and more than enough talent to go around on all three shows, which Superstars managed to stand out above the rest?
Based on factors such as storyline value, quality of performance, noteworthy moments and more, here are the latest MVPs of Raw, NXT and SmackDown.
Honorable Mentions for All 3 Brands
Monday Night Raw didn't lend itself to many honorable mentions. Most of the show was dedicated to the second half of the draft, with filler matches taking up the rest of the show.
At best, Becky Lynch would be the next in line to take the top spot with her pinfall victory over Charlotte Flair to open the show. However, since the stakes were low and these two have feuded enough, another win for Lynch is easily forgettable.
It wasn't a strong week for prospective NXT MVPs, either. Most matches weren't particularly important and had obvious winners before they started, so no one had a chance to make a big impression.
An argument could be made that Damian Priest's victory over Pete Dunne was the biggest of his career and that Io Shirai has put her name back in the discussion to face Shayna Baszler by beating Kayden Carter, but neither of those is MVP-worthy.
The runner-up for SmackDown is Roman Reigns, who nearly won the Intercontinental Championship before teaming with Daniel Bryan to beat King Corbin and Shinsuke Nakamura in the main event. He was also handed the role of Team Hogan captain for Crown Jewel on Oct. 31.
Had he won the IC title, he would have taken the top spot as overall MVP.
MVPs for Raw: The Viking Raiders
On a weak episode of Raw with not many options to pick from, the easy choice for this week's MVPs was the Viking Raiders.
Erik and Ivar defeated Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode to win the Raw Tag Team Championships, which was leaps and bounds more important than any other victory on that show.
This was no surprise. Their track record of wrecking every opponent in their way made their title win a foregone conclusion. It was only a matter of time before they ascended to the top of the division, just as they did in NXT.
In so doing, they are the first team to win the IWGP, Ring of Honor, NXT and Raw tag titles.
This is just the beginning of what is sure to be a long and destructive title reign for The Viking Raiders, who had arguably their career highlight with their win Monday.
MVPs for NXT: Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic
Every time Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic square off, they steal the show. This week was their fourth match together, and they still kept things fresh.
Somehow, Lee defies gravity and moves at a speed someone his size just shouldn't be able to, while Dijakovic matches that offense with an intensity that proves he has all the tools to be a world champion.
Their record is 1-2-1, as the rubber match ended in a no-contest because of Roderick Strong's interference. Normally, it would be a disappointment to not establish the better man, but this draw came with a benefit.
Now, both of them will face Strong for the North American Championship on the next edition of NXT in a Triple Threat match—a great reward for having a quartet of entertaining battles.
It's doubtful either of them will take the title, and it will be a shame one of them will suffer a loss to keep the belt on Strong and maintain The Undisputed Era's dominance. But at least Lee and Dijakovic proved once again that they are two of the best performers in NXT.
MVP for SmackDown: Nikki Cross
When Bayley went on MizTV, she wanted to make a statement that she was in charge of her future as the top of the food chain in the women's division. Soon after, she was interrupted by Nikki Cross, who stole the moment's energy for herself.
Cross put it out there that she was gunning for the title—something five other women had in mind—and she was able to put her money where her mouth was and follow through with this threat.
After winning a Six-Pack Challenge, Cross is the No. 1 contender for the title. This will be the first time she competes for a singles title on the main roster in a one-on-one situation.
Cross and Bayley had their share of matches together earlier this year, with Cross scoring a win in June. Now that she has even more experience and confidence, Friday's win could have been the first step toward capturing the SmackDown Women's Championship.
Overall MVPs of the Week: The Viking Raiders
Winning a championship means more than becoming the next in line for a title shot.
Had Lee and Dijakovic or Cross been booked for a major event like WrestleMania for their title matches, that would have arguably been a bigger deal. But even though the Raw Tag Team Championships have never been the brand's top priority, it's still an impressive victory that gets Erik and Ivar in the record books.
Their win was the most important of the week, and it will have the biggest impact going forward. With their dominant ways, the Raw tag team division will be under their control for the coming months all because of what happened this past Monday.
This will position them as the favorites going into Crown Jewel's World Cup Tag Team Turmoil match and will most likely lead to a win at Survivor Series, with them set to represent Raw's tag team division against SmackDown tag team champions The Revival.
Capturing a title to kick off several other big wins to come is more than worthy of being called the MVPs of the week.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.