WWE Survivor Series 2019 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2019

WWE Survivor Series 2019 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    For over three decades, WWE Survivor Series has provided fans with unforgettable, controversial and company-altering moments, and Sunday night in Chicago, with the battle for brand supremacy expanding to include NXT, there was certainly potential for more.

    A main event for the WWE Championship pitting the consummate underdog, Rey Mysterio, against the dominant beast, Brock Lesnar, and a Universal Championship bout featuring "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt defending against Daniel Bryan headlined a show that also featured inter-brand wars between the best of Raw, SmackDown and NXT.

    Which brand emerged victorious, did any championships change hands, and what did the outcomes mean for the WWE product as it prepares to close out the decade?

    Find out with this recap of the 2019 Survivor Series extravaganza.

Cross-Branded Tag Team Battle Royal

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, The Street Profits, and Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins represented Raw. The Revival, Heavy Machinery, Lucha House Party, and Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode represented SmackDown. Breezango, The Forgotten Sons, and Imperium's Marcel Barthel represented NXT.

    A Battle Royal pitting teams from Raw, SmackDown and NXT kicked off the night's inter-promotional action. The rules were simple: Once a Superstar was eliminated over the top rope, the entire team was sent packing.

    Typical battle royal chaos ensued early. The Forgotten Sons, Lucha House Party and Ryder and Hawkins were early eliminations but did little to clear up the numbers in the squared circle.

    Ziggler and Roode eliminated Imperium while The Revival and The O.C. teamed up to dump Otis, sending Heavy Machinery to the back. The Revival also eliminated Breezango, leaving NXT with no entrants left in the match.

    Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder's run of dominance ended with The Street Profits sending them packing. That left the Profits and The O.C. representing Raw and Ziggler and Roode from SmackDown. That is, until The Showoff sent Gallows to the floor with a superkick.

    The Street Profits were poised to win following a beautiful frog splash from Ford, but an alert Roode sent him over the top rope to give SmackDown its first win of the night.



    Ziggler and Roode won






    With no real story to speak of and no build whatsoever, this was mostly just a bunch of guys throwing punches and kicks with nothing substantial in between.

    Ford's frog splash was outstanding and The Street Profits are a team of the future, but Ziggler and Roode are in a position to serve a higher-profile purpose on SmackDown as associates of King Corbin so it made sense that they earned the win here. 

    A little more forethought into the match and this might have meant more and, maybe, even have been a better experience all around.

NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match: Akira Tozawa vs. Lio Rush vs. Kalisto

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    Credit: WWE.com

    More cross-branded action dominated the Survivor Series Kickoff Show as Lio Rush defended the NXT Cruiserweight Championship against SmackDown's Kalisto and Raw's Akira Tozawa in a Triple Threat match.

    The action was fast and furious early, with none of the three competitors establishing dominance. The champion thwarted a concentrated effort by the challengers to dethrone him, dropping them with a double handspring elbow.

    He followed it up moments later by fending off an attack by Tozawa to deliver a double arm drag from the top rope, driving the air from his challengers in the first real high spot of the match.

    A series of near-falls ensued and Kalisto nearly picked up the win and title. The former United States champion did manage to deliver Salida del Sol, but a Shining Wizard from Tozawa broke up the pin.

    The Japanese scaled the ropes and came off with a senton but had his own pinfall attempt broken up by Kalisto in a bit of turnabout is fair play. 

    The action broke down, and Kalisto dropped Tozawa with another Salida del Sol and Rush followed with The Final Hour. He pinned the masked Superstar, scored the pinfall victory and retained his title.



    Rush defeated Tozawa and Kalisto






    This was a fine example of what happens when three guys, no matter how talented, are thrown out in front of a half-empty arena with no backstory and no reason for being in the ring together.

    The effort was there and there were a few fun spots, but the fans did not care and it hurt the effectiveness of what Rush, Kalisto and Tozawa were trying to accomplish.

    The cruiserweight title and division as a whole have been treated as afterthoughts, and until that changes, it is impossible to expect fans to invest in characterless, heatless matches no matter how good those involved may be.

    That this was a battle between three babyfaces, with no one slowing things down to build heat, only further hurt its ability to get over with the fans.

The Viking Raiders vs. Undisputed Era vs. The New Day

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Less than 24 hours after a brutal and unforgiving WarGames match, NXT tag team champions Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish battled SmackDown tag team champions The New Day and Raw titleholders The Viking Raiders in the final Kickoff Show match.

    The heels found themselves on the receiving end of a beating at the hands of Erik, Ivar, Kofi Kingston and Big E early, with their bodies still racked with pain. But a face-to-face showdown between The New Day and The Viking Raiders allowed Fish and O'Reilly a momentary reprieve.

    The NXT duo capitalized on that, with O'Reilly nearly tapping Kingston out to a kneebar. Erik and Ivar exploded back into the match, though, overpowering the competition. Former WWE champion Kingston withstood it and fought Erik and O'Reilly off.

    The Raw champs rolled as Erik slammed Ivar off the apron and onto the opposition. A nasty kick by Fish, though, stunned the smaller Raider and opened him up to a buzzsaw-like assault by the NXT titleholders.

    The action broke down late with hot tags to Ivar and Big E creating red-hot babyface comebacks. Late, Kingston launched himself off the top rope and wiped out O'Reilly, Fish and Ivar while Big E blasted Erik with a nasty spear through the ropes.

    Kingston tried for Trouble in Paradise on the floor but caught the ring post, leaving The Viking Raiders and Undisputed Era to renew their rivalry. 

    Ivar dodged the high-low from the heels and the Raw tandem picked up the win with the Viking Experience.



    The Viking Raiders defeated The New Day and Undisputed Era






    This was a fun, energetic and fast-paced tag team match that never really got bogged down. The high spots were great, the big men threw their bodies around as if they were cruiserweights and Undisputed Era bumped all over for the opposition.

    Kingston starred, though his presence in the match instead of the higher-profile PPV matches made his WWE Championship reign feel like an even more distant memory.

    Unlike the two matches before it, this felt like a pay-per-view-worthy bout that set the tone for the rest of the night's action. If everything that followed was even comparable in quality, this would be a phenomenal night of professional wrestling.

Women's Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Team SmackDown: Sasha Banks, Dana Brooke, Carmella, Nikki Cross and Lacey Evans; Team Raw: Charlotte Flair, Asuka, Kairi Sane, Natalya and Sarah Logan; Team NXT: Rhea Ripley, Bianca Belair, Io Shirai, Candice LeRae and Toni Storm


    Toni Storm, Lacey Evans and Sarah Logan kicked off the action for their respective teams. The Sassy Southern Belle found herself on the defensive early until a tag to Cross. Logan severed her momentary alliance with Storm with a big Northern Lights suplex.

    Io Shirai, Dana Brooke and Kairi Sane entered the match, providing a new trio of competitors. Sane and Shirai paired off, showcasing some of their skills early, while Brooke waited for her opening. She did, rolling Sane up for a two-count. A handspring back elbow downed both opponents and a Swanton Bomb to The Pirate Princess by the underutilized SmackDown competitor earned a near-fall.

    Evans, Candice LeRae and Asuka then tagged in. The NXT star unloaded on Evans and delivered a step-up senton across the back of The Empress of Tomorrow. Candice Wrestling continued her roll before tagging Rhea Ripley in to a big pop. The Aussie quickly found herself in a choke by Asuka. Belair broke up the pin for NXT and the action broke down. 

    With NXT recovering at ringside, referees and trainers arrived, checking on the visibly shaken Shirai and LeRae. They escorted the competitors to the back, leaving NXT at a numbers disadvantage similar to the one faced by Ripley at WarGames. 

    The unpredictable Cross wiped out Ripley and Storm but paid for it as Belair pinned the Scot to score the first real elimination of the match. Cross eliminated. Belair followed up moments later with a picture-perfect 450 splash to Logan for another pinfall. Logan eliminated.

    Charlotte Flair, Belair and Carmella squared off, with The Queen downing The EST. The Princess of Staten Island delivered a big headscissors that sent Flair crashing into the midsection of Belair, but a series of two-counts left her frustrated. Flair capitalized on it and delivered the Natural Selection to send Carmella to the locker room. Carmella eliminated.

    Sane delivered the In-Sane Elbow to Storm but a Meteora by Sasha Banks eliminated The Pirate Princess. Sane eliminated.

    Dissension between Flair and Asuka led to The Empress of Tomorrow spitting the green mist in the eyes of The Queen. Evans capitalized and dropped Flair with The Woman's Right for the pinfall. Flair eliminated, Asuka walked out.

    Natalya, the lone competitor for Raw, stacked Evans up and defeated her longtime rival. Evans eliminated.

    Once on the receiving end of a numbers disadvantage, NXT found itself with a definitive edge as Ripley, Storm and Belair remained. With desperation setting in, Banks and Natalya worked together to tap out Storm and then pin Belair. Storm and Belair eliminated.

    This left Banks, Natalya and Ripley to battle for brand supremacy. The deceitful Boss dropped The Queen of Harts and pinned her, ending their brief partnership. Natalya eliminated. The crowd came alive, with their allegiances split as The Boss and Ripley exchanged blows.

    The Boss slithered out of the powerful grasp of Ripley but found herself flung across the ring. A drop toehold gave way to a corner double-knee as Banks punished the Aussie. She trapped her rival in the Bank Statement, but LeRae and Shirai re-emerged from the locker room and made the save.

    Shirai dropped Banks with a missile dropkick and Ripley finished her off with the Riptide for the win.



    Team NXT defeated Team Raw and Team SmackDown (Survivors: Ripley, Shirai and LeRae)






    The injury angle hurt the pacing of this one, as did the fast eliminations midway through the bout. With that said, it was still a fun and energetic match that would have been even better were it not for some questionable booking in the closing moments.

    At WarGames, Ripley faced dire odds. With LeRae, she overcame a four-on-two disadvantage and defeated Shayna Baszler's team in a brutal and violent bout. Why did she need LeRae and Shiari to win this if the plan was for her to beat The Boss anyway?

    Still, Ripley looked like a star and the right brand went over.

    Kudos to WWE Creative for intertwining stories (Flair vs. Asuka) and shining a spotlight on underutilized talents (Brooke and Logan).

AJ Styles vs. Roderick Strong vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The dream match pitting United States champion AJ Styles, NXT North American champion Roderick Strong and intercontinental champion Shinsuke Nakamura against one another was up next.

    With Sami Zayn watching from the floor, the celebrated in-ring competitors waged war, although none gained a definitive upper hand early.

    Nakamura dropped Styles across the top rope to take him out of the equation but quickly fell prey to Strong’s patented backbreakers. The Phenomenal One returned to the ring, driving Strong into The Artist and applying a chinlock to the NXT wrestler.

    Later, Strong monkey-flipped Styles right into the Kinshasa by Nakamura, who scored a two-count. A running knee by the IC champion continued his sudden roll, but Styles broke up the pinfall on Strong. As fatigue set in, the Superstars struggled to break up pinfalls, bringing greater urgency to the bout.

    Zayn pulled Nakamura to safety, leaving Strong and Styles to battle. The Messiah of the Backbreaker set up for a superplex, but Nakamura reappeared. The Phenomenal One slipped out and hoisted Strong on his shoulders. Nakamura jumped off the top rope with a big kick and knocked Strong to the mat, before landing on his knee in a bit of an injury scare.

    Zayn again interfered, sending Styles face-first into the guardrail. A jumping knee by Strong nearly earned him the win, but Nakamura shot his shoulder off the mat at two. The Artist dropped the NXT man and set up for the Kinshasa, but Styles came from out of nowhere to drop his longtime rival with a big forearm.

    Nakamura dropped Strong on Styles, with his knees catching the U.S. champion’s face. The IC titleholder blasted Strong with Kinshasa, but The Phenomenal One again broke up the pin.

    Moments later, Styles delivered the Phenomenal Forearm to Nakamura and the opportunistic Strong slid into the ring, deposited Raw competitor on the floor and pinned The Artist for the win. 



    Strong defeated Nakamura and Styles






    This may not have lived up to the incredibly lofty expectations but it was still a fantastic, hard-hitting and highly competitive match between three of the best wrestlers of the last decade.

    It wan't always pretty, but it did not have to be. It felt like a competition between three guys looking to prove they were the best.

    Nakamura, in particular, looked like a world-class wrestler thriving against like-talented competitors. Zayn played his role to perfection, and as that pairing evolves, it could easily prove to be a main event attraction on Friday Night SmackDown.

    Styles was his typically excellent self and the fact Strong turned in the level of performance he did after entering hell at WarGames on Saturday was astonishing.

    This was an excellent match that would be difficult to eclipse.

NXT Championship Match: Adam Cole vs. Pete Dunne

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    Credit: WWE.com

    NXT champion Adam Cole faced the unenviable task of defending his title against Pete Dunne in the main show's third match, with both men showing the effects of their brutal battles just 24 hours earlier at TakeOver: WarGames.

    Cole's ribs were heavily taped, as was Dunne's knee as they locked up. The Bruiserweight partook in early joint manipulation but Cole, ever the alert champion, targeted the knee of his challenger to halt his momentum.

    That was until Dunne delivered an X-plex. The tenacious Brit fired off a series of jabs to Cole and caught him with a corner enzuigiri. A release German suplex and a kick to the back of the head gave way to a sit-out powerbomb that earned Dunne a near-fall. 

    A second-rope moonsault to the floor continued Dunne's momentum, but a second moonsault—this time from the top rope into the ring—saw the challenger catch the champion's knees to the midsection. Cole followed up with the Last Shot, but Dunne kicked out at two.

    Cole countered the Bitter End with a brainbuster. Dunne sought an armbar, but his rival countered into a rollup for two. Dunne finally executed the Bitter End, but Cole shot his shoulder off the mat for a dramatic near-fall.

    Dunne unloaded with a wicked flurry of chops to the chest, to which Cole responded with an enzuigiri. When the Brit fought back to his feet and tried a moonsault, the champion caught him mid-flight with a superkick for another two-count.

    The Bruiserweight looked to follow Cole out of the ring but the champion caught him with a kick to the injured knee. Both injuries from the night before reared up again, preventing them from executing their desired maneuvers.

    Throwing caution to the wind, Cole dropped Dunne with the Panama Sunrise on the ring apron, drawing a "holy s--t" chant from the crowd in Chicago.

    Dunne just barely made it back into the ring, beating the referee's 10-count. He snapped Cole's fingers and set up for the Bitter End, but the titleholder countered into a destroyer piledriver and finished him off with the Last Shot to the back of the head.



    Cole defeated Dunne






    The hits kept coming, thanks to the red-hot Cole and the always-excellent Dunne.

    This was a hellishly physical battle made even better by the guts shown by Cole, who had to be hurting after the WarGames match he competed in the night prior.

    The big bump that ended that match—the Panama Sunrise bump onto the ring apron—and everything he endured during the ladder match with Dominik Dijakovic last Wednesday must have left his body a wreck, yet he still showcased the talents that have made him one of the best in-ring performers today.

    Dunne was equally as great, with his timing and tenacity being a huge part of the contest's overall quality.

    With a hotter start or slightly more urgency earlier in the match, this would have graded even higher.

Universal Championship Match: Daniel Bryan vs. The Fiend

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Mental instability may not be the ideal emphasis for a pro wrestling match in today's age but it was the centerpiece of the rivalry between universal champion “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt and challenger Daniel Bryan. 

    Bryan attacked at the opening bell, rocking The Fiend with a corner dropkick. It wasn't enough to stun the titleholder, though, as he dropped the challenger and hammered away with punishing rights. The champion continued to overwhelm Bryan, flattening him with a uranage as a quiet uneasiness fell over the Allstate Arena.

    The Fiend worked a cravat on Bryan, targeting the head and neck of his opponent. The action spilled to the floor and Bryan created separation. He soared through the ropes with a tope suicida, but The Fiend caught him.

    Bryan escaped Sister Abigail and delivered a knee strike off the apron. Building momentum for himself, he headed to the top rope and flattened The Fiend on the floor.

    A missile dropkick back inside the squared circle kept the challenger rolling. The champion no-sold it, only to eat another. Back to his feet for a third time, Bryan delivered another dropkick.

    With the challenger fired up, the fans greeted him with Yes! chants, and he unloaded with his trademark kicks about the chest and head of his opponent.

    The Fiend got right back up, daring his challenger to bring more. The running knee downed the champion but Bryan could only keep him pinned for two. Chants of "Daniel Bryan" filled the arena but The Fiend rose to his feet.

    The fight continued into the corner, where The Fiend applied the Mandible Claw. Bryan countered into a rope-assisted triangle. A rollup nearly won Bryan the title, but the champion applied the Mandible Claw. The ref counted the pin and The Fiend continued his nightmarish run atop WWE.



    The Fiend defeated Bryan






    This was by far The Fiend's best match to date and a not-so-casual reminder of Bryan's greatness.

    The challenger was simply phenomenal, exploding back into the match and turning the Chicago fans almost completely in his favor. He had fans believing in him and wanting him to win the title. Considering how over Wyatt has been in this role, that is a hell of a statement. 

    The Fiend was great, too. As he did against Seth Rollins and Finn Balor, he absorbed everything thrown at him and kept coming at Bryan like a 1980s horror-movie icon. The challenger was more than game, but the unstoppable force that is The Fiend ultimately successfully retained the title.

    The question now is whether SmackDown can create another believable challenger in short order for the TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view on Dec. 15 or if The Fiend and Bryan are set to dance one more time.

Team Raw vs. Team NXT vs. Team SmackDown

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Team Raw: Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Drew McIntyre, Randy Orton and Ricochet; Team SmackDown: Roman Reigns, King Corbin, Shorty G, Mustafa Ali and Braun Strowman; Team NXT: Tommaso Ciampa, Walter, Damian Priest, Matt Riddle and Keith Lee


    The question of Kevin Owens' brand loyalty hung over Team Raw from the start of the match as captain Seth Rollins openly asked whether his teammate was devoted to the flagship or NXT after he joined Team Ciampa at WarGames.

    Braun Strowman, Rollins and Tommaso Ciampa started for their respective teams, but The Architect quickly rethought things after being rocked by a dropkick at the hands of The Monster Among Men. 

    Walter and Drew McIntyre entered the match for a hoss-heavy showdown with Strowman. Walter and McIntyre unloaded on each other with a wicked exchange of chops. The NXT UK champion dropped The Scottish Psychopath with a German suplex, then uncorked a dropkick on Strowman.

    However, the Claymore Kick by McIntyre caught Walter flush in the face and led to The Ring General's departure, much to the dismay of the fans. Walter eliminated.

    Damian Priest entered the match next and unleashed a furious combo on McIntyre. A blind tag to Shorty G allowed the former Olympian to catch the NXT man off guard with a top-rope moonsault. Ricochet entered for Raw and paired off with G for a lightning-quick exchange that culminated in a rolling German suplex by the SmackDown star.

    Matt Riddle entered the match and engaged fellow former amateur wrestler Shorty G in some mat work before segueing into an ankle lock. G countered into an ankle lock of his own and their back-and-forth ended with a stalemate.

    Ciampa entered for NXT and immediately paired off with G. When they took each other down, Owens tagged in for Raw and delivered a picture-perfect frog splash to the SmackDown competitor, sending him packing. Shorty G eliminated.

    King Corbin tagged himself in, much to the chagrin of Roman Reigns, and quickly found himself on the receiving end of a beatdown at the hands of Owens. KO dropped him with a stunner on the floor, rolled into the ring and was quickly downed and pinned by Ciampa. Owens eliminated.

    Randy Orton slithered into the ring but Ciampa caught him. The Blackheart tried for a draping DDT but The Viper countered. From there, he delivered a big side suplex, dropping Ciampa spine-first on the ring apron. Orton delivered his trademark stomp, working over the limbs of his opponent in search of another elimination.

    Ciampa tagged Priest but still ate an RKO. Priest looked to take advantage with The Reckoning but ate another RKO as Orton rolled. Priest eliminated. Riddle entered the match for NXT and rolled Orton up for a shocking pinfall. Orton eliminated. A vengeful Viper dropped The Original Bro with yet another RKO and Corbin took advantage for an easy elimination. Riddle eliminated.

    Strowman and Keith Lee entered for their respective teams, coming face-to-face in a showdown of hosses. McIntyre interrupted the encounter and paid for it. The Monster Among Men took off around the ring, waylaying anyone in his path with a series of shoulder blocks. A second go-round saw him eat a big crossbody from Lee.

    The referee started his count and McIntyre blasted Strowman with a Claymore. Lee made it back in, and McIntyre answered the count, but Strowman didn't. Strowman eliminated.

    Ricochet fired up, wiping Reigns out at ringside. He climbed the ropes for his 630 splash but landed on his feet when Lee rolled out of the way. Corbin seized the opening and dropped Ricochet with End of Days for the fall. Ricochet eliminated.

    Hometown hero Ali entered for the first time, squaring off with Rollins and Ciampa. He took the former NXT champion out and dropped The Beastslayer with a tornado DDT. Ali exploded through the ropes, wiping the opposition out at ringside.

    Corbin took exception to the babyface tagging himself in, halting his momentum. As Ali rolled back into the ring, he fell prey to the stomp from Rollins, who sent him to the locker room. Ali eliminated.

    McIntyre dropped Ciampa with an inverted Alabama Slam back in the ring and set up for the Claymore, but Reigns came from out of nowhere and blasted him with a spear for the fall. McIntyre eliminated.

    Rollins took the fight to Reigns to a chorus of boos from the Chicago fans, but he was rocked by a big uppercut from The Big Dog. A Drive-By continued his suffering. Back inside, Reigns delivered the Superman Punch to Ciampa. 

    Fed up with Corbin's nonsense, Reigns dropped the King of the Ring with a spear and watched as Ciampa pinned him. Corbin eliminated.

    Raw's Rollins, SmackDown's Reigns and NXT's Ciampa and Lee remained. The Blackheart fought against the united front the former Shield members presented. The Big Dog and The Architect proved too much for the NXT stars, though.

    They sent Ciampa to the floor and cleared off the announce table. They set Ciampa up for a powerbomb but Lee bowled over Reigns and Rollins for the save.

    Reigns sent Lee into the ring post while Ciampa and Rollins squared off in the ring. The NXT star delivered Project Ciampa but could not put The Beastslayer away.

    A Superman Punch by Reigns gave way to the stomp by Rollins as the longtime friends saw off Ciampa. Ciampa eliminated.

    Chants of "Oh, bask in his glory" filled the arena as Lee entered the ring to face off against The Shield's alumni. A crossbody wiped Reigns and Rollins out, much to the delight of the fans.

    Rollins uncorked two straight kicks to Lee and delivered a frog splash, but the NXT competitor fought out at two.

    Lee caught Rollins, delivered a big jackhammer and pinned the former universal champion to a thunderous ovation. Rollins eliminated.

    Two straight Superman Punches gave way to a very close two-count from referee John Cone that may have been a botch, as called out by commentator Corey Graves. Reigns set up for the spear as Lee fought to his feet. The big man caught The Big Dog mid-spear and dropped him with a spirit bomb for a near-fall.

    A top-rope moonsault missed and Reigns delivered the spear for the win.



    Team SmackDown defeated Team Raw and Team NXT






    What started as a tremendously messy match gave way to a last third that was simply fantastic. Everything from Rollins and Reigns teaming up against Ciampa and Lee onward was absolutely superb.

    From the fans' unwavering desire to see Rollins beaten to a gutsy performance by Ciampa and a breakout performance by Lee, whose star is as bright as anyone's after this weekend, the last 10 minutes or so earned this one its grade.

    It was fun to see Shorty G and Riddle spar, Ali looked like a star for a moment and Corbin was at his insufferable best. And one cannot forget about McIntyre, who looked like a beast ready to be unleashed on the flagship.

    Never before has a Reigns-Lee match been more appealing after the final exchange and the show of respect from The Big Dog. Hopefully, those two Superstars cross paths down the road because theirs is an encounter worth watching again.

    There was one enormous negative, though.

    The treatment of Walter, who has been unbeaten for the last year, was unforgivable and illogical. Any aura the leader of Imperium built for himself among WWE fans was erased with a single Claymore Kick. On a night when WWE has done just about everything right in relation to the NXT brand and its young stars, it botched its booking of The Ring General to such a degree that the Chicago audience was more than vocal in its displeasure.

    Both he and the NXT UK brand deserved better.

No Holds Barred for the WWE Championship: Rey Mysterio vs. Brock Lesnar

9 of 10

    Credit: WWE.com

    The intensely personal rivalry that began with a heinous attack on a prospective second-generation Superstar culminated Sunday night in a No Holds Barred match between WWE champion Brock Lesnar and Rey Mysterio.

    The punishing onslaught of Lesnar manifested itself in the form of a trio of clotheslines by The Beast Incarnate, who sent Mysterio soaring over the Spanish announce table.

    The champion delivered a wicked belly-to-belly overhead suplex into a piece of the announce table and proceeded to stomp on the ribs of the challenger. He followed up by driving the masked babyface into the ring post.

    Mysterio earned a brief reprieve but Lesnar drove him into a steel pipe with a German suplex. Another suplex continued The Master of the 619's agony as Vic Joseph and Jerry Lawler questioned whether the match would be the massacre predicted by Paul Heyman.

    As Lesnar grabbed the pipe, Mysterio's son, Dominick, hit the ring with a white towel and pleaded for mercy. The distraction allowed the veteran to go low, stunning Lesnar.

    Dominick added one of his own before Mysterio teed off on the champion with a series of pipe shots to the back. His son delivered a chair shot and joined his father for a double 619. 

    Dominick delivered a frog splash and Mysterio followed with one of his own, but Lesnar still kicked out.

    Lesnar delivered a release German to Dominick, planted Mysterio with the F-5 and successfully retained his title in an anticlimactic finish.



    Lesnar defeated Mysterio






    WWE easily could have gone with a predictable Dominick heel turn but instead had fans believing for a moment that the Mysterio family would have their happy ending in the same arena The Master of the 619 first won the world title.

    The double-team to Lesnar was brilliant. It popped the crowd and brought with it a glimmer of hope. And then Lesnar snuffed it out, as any dominant prizefighter would.

    He survived the onslaught, retained his title and lived to fight another day against whichever Raw star steps up next. One can only hope it is not Seth Rollins, who really cannot afford his popularity to tank any more than it already has.

    As for Mysterio, this was yet another example of how significant a part of any performance timing is. He hit everything when he had to, sold his ass off for Lesnar and had the fans eating out of the palm of his hand.

    Though he is clearly older and not quite the same performer he once was, he is still 10 times the worker most are. This was a return to main event form for a performer who earned this opportunity, even if no one really expected him to emerge with the title.

Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Bayley

10 of 10

    Credit: WWE.com

    The three top women in WWE squared off in the main event of Survivor Series, a Triple Threat match to determine brand superiority.

    Raw women's champion Becky Lynch, NXT women's champion Shayna Baszler, and SmackDown women's champion Bayley stared each other down early before a brawl erupted.

    The Man dropped her opponents with a dropkick off the apron and set her sights on Bayley. The SmackDown champ downed her and sought a pinfall, only for Baszler to break it up.

    The Queen of Spades set Lynch up for some painful joint manipulation, but Bayley cut her off and fired off some strikes in the corner.

    Baszler again looked for some joint manipulation, this time stomping on the elbow of Bayley. The SmackDown women's champion recovered and again unloaded on Lynch before dropping the NXT star to the floor in an attempt to keep things one-on-one.

    Every attempt by Lynch to fight her way back into the match resulted in Bayley firing up and punishing her with hard rights and lefts. Baszler re-entered the match, only to be sent back to the floor by The Irish Lass Kicker. Bayley rolled her up but quickly found herself on the defensive as the Raw star applied the Disarmer.

    Baszler broke it up and the match continued. The NXT champion survived a Bayley-to-Belly, kicking out at two. The Queen of Spades fired off a flurry of clubbing forearms about the back of her opponent and dropped her with a suplex for two. 

    Baszler hoisted Bayley onto her shoulders in a fireman's carry but Lynch came from out of nowhere with a missile dropkick. The Man and Baszler stared each other down and then came to blows. Bayley exploded with a crossbody, wiping the opposition out in one fell swoop.

    Baszler grabbed hold of Bayley in her trademark clutch and then climbed the ropes for added leverage. Lynch cut it off, though, and delivered a huge sit-out powerbomb for a two-count. The babyface looked for the Disarmer, but Baszler countered into the clutch. Lynch used her momentum to drive Baszler into Bayley, knocking her off the apron.

    Lynch applied the Disarmer but Baszler again applied the clutch. A charging Bayley was dropped to the floor, with her hip and left leg clearly bothering her. Baszler sent Bayley into the ring post, then did the same to Lynch as she looked to build momentum.

    Baszler sent Lynch face-first into the announce table to a chorus of boos. Bayley exploded with a clothesline, wiping Baszler out on the floor.

    Back in the ring, Baszler applied the clutch, only for Bayley to counter into a pinfall. The NXT champ kept it locked and Bayley broke it with a side suplex.

    The Submission Magician caught Bayley in mid-flight, applying the clutch and forcing the tapout for the win.

    The gloating victor posed over Lynch, only to have The Man deliver a leg-sweep, then drive her onto the announce table. Lynch delivered a leg drop through the table and stood tall with her title overhead.



    Baszler defeated Bayley and Lynch






    The effort was there but this was, unfortunately, a cluster of a match that the fans were dead for.

    The Triple Threat format hurt the flow of the match. Despite some strong work from Bayley, who was the undisputed workhorse of the bout, the heat and money was in a Lynch-Baszler match. Instead, their interactions were limited as not to give away too much so that an eventual singles bout will still draw.

    Don't believe that was the intention? Look no further than the closing moments of the show, where Baszler tried to establish dominance by standing over The Man, only for one last fight to erupt. Lynch gained the upper hand and posed to close out the show, but the unfinished business is obvious.

    Unfortunately, a disjointed and mostly ice-cold three-way match had to precede it. In retrospect, this would have worked further down the card but not in the main event. Not for what it ultimately was.

    WWE Creative did the right thing by booking NXT as dominantly as it did on the night, right up through Baszler's win.

    The black-and-gold brand needed to establish itself among the fans who only tune into Raw and SmackDown, and through some effective booking and strong performances from the likes of Baszler, Keith Lee, Roderick Strong and Rhea Ripley, it did just that.


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