In what was expected to be a big night for your brand, no matter which you represented, it was in fact the Wednesday Night product that reigned supreme.
The Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL hosted this years spectacular on 11/2/19 and it was action packed.
Quickly recapping the pre-show, we had Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode winning a tag team battle royale, Lio Rush retaining his Cruiserweight Title against Kalisto and Akira Tozawa and The Viking Raiders besting The New Day and The Undisputed Era on the pre-show.
All three matches were entertaining, and many figured the men’s tag team bout would get a better placement on the card, but it was a stacked show.
Team NXT defeated Team Raw and Team Smackdown in the Women’s Elimination Match.
Without getting into each of the individual eliminations, you had many of the Women across the board giving an honest account of themselves. Toni Storm looked like a million bucks as did many of the others, including Nikki Cross.
Io Shirai and Candice Lerae were helped from ringside early and were tended too after their grueling War Games match the night before.
It came down to Natalya, Sasha Banks and Rhea Ripley, as even Charlotte found herself eliminated during the bout after crossing her teammate Asuka, who misted her.
Ripley was under duress, as Natalya was eliminated and Sasha Banks looked as if she was going to get the submission victory, but Shirai and Lerae returned, never having been formally eliminated. Lerae distracted the referee and Shirai hit a springboard dropkick which allowed Ripley to hit the Riptide for the victory.
Team NXT gathered atop the ramp and it was great to not only see Ripley with another well deserved victory, but Shirai and Lerae survived as well. Bianca Belair and Toni Storm were fantastic as well. This was a great opener.
Roderick Strong defeats Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles in a triple threat match.
This was far from the result I was expected, and sometimes shocking is good. Nakamura looked terrific, both in the ring and in appearance as he had a custom blue outfit to match his Smackdown representation.
The crowd was behind both he and Styles and they went to work on one another. This was the first time that Roddy Strong was truly been exposed to the mainstream audience if you will and the crowd loved his array of backbreakers.
AJ Styles hit the Phenomenal Forearm on Nakamura and Strong, who was outside the ring, tossed Styles out of dodge and snatched the pin fall himself. The opening bouts of the main show are NXT victories!
Adam Cole defeated Pete Dunne with the Last Shot to retain the NXT Title.
No stage is too big for Cole, I will use that line later as well. Adam Cole and Pete Dunne came out and stole the show. They are used too performing in front of a decent audience at Fullsail, but in front of a rabid Chicago PPV crowd, they didn’t miss a beat.
Dunne used all his usual tools of the trade including the strong style breaks and hard hitting offense.
Cole came back later in the match, keeping the pressure on with a Panama Sunrise right before he hit the Last Shot for the three count. Ater War Games, it seems that he and Ciampa are on a collision course.
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt defeated Daniel Bryan via submission with the Mandible Claw to retain the Universal Title.
Wyatt might be the most over competitor in wrestling at this point. Daniel Bryan certainly had his crowd support, especially in Chicago and while “The Fiend” ruled early, it was Bryan who fired off the comeback and kept the match honest.
Bryan had Wyatt in the corner at one point and he embraced the “Yes” movement, even fighting free of a Sister Abigail. Wyatt went for the Claw, but Bryan reverse it into an armbar using the ropes.
The ref forced the break and Bryan quickly found himself subdued by the dreaded Claw and the ref counted his shoulders to the mat as Wyatt retained.
Team Smackdown defeated Team NXT and Team Raw in the Men’s Elimination Match.
There is so much to recap in this one, I’ll simply invite you to enjoy the contest on the network, but the stars of this match were Roman Reigns and Keith Lee, who were the final two competitors in the match. You read that right.
Lee actually eliminated Seth Rollins and he came close to doing the same to Reigns. “The Big Dog”, who has stayed out of the title picture since his celebrated return, certainly seems to be inching closer to an encounter with “The Fiend”, and after he secured a needed victory for Smackdowm, he and Keith Lee showed great respect for one another.
Tommaso Ciampa looked terrific in this one. Matt Riddle, Randy Orton, and many others did as well. Braun Strowman had his spots, Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens, WALTER and many others. This was a fun match and a great opportunity for fans to get their eyes on talents they usually wouldn’t see if they didn’t enjoy all three programs.
Brock Lesnar defeated Rey Mysterio via pin fall with an F5 to retain the WWE Title.
Mysterio was battered from pillar to post for a good portion of the match by Lesnar, who was not only in terrific shape, but really over in Chicago.
Rey fired off the comeback after his son Dominic made his way down to the ring and found himself in Lesnar’s clutches. Mysterio utilized a low blow and then Dominic did the same before they hit stereo 619’s and frogsplashes.
For a fleeting moment, it looked as if Rey would win, but Lesnar kicked out, hit a german suplex on Dominic and caught Mysterio with the F5 for the victory. Who challenges Lesnar next is an interesting question as it might be time to look at a Kevin Owens, Drew McIntyre, Ricochet or a fresh face or they could go back to Seth Rollins or look at a returning Samoa Joe. There are no lack of options.
Shayna Baszler defeated Bayley and Becky Lynch a triple threat match via submission of Bayley.
NXT reigns supreme at the end of the night as the least likely of the three women involved in the match to win it does in fact do so.
Baszler is incredible, but everyone expected Lynch to win this I would assume. Becky was laid out, crumbled in a heap opposite the announce table after a big spot ad Bayley was having her way with everyone, but shockingly found herself trapped in the Kirafuda Clutch, where she tapped out.
This wasn’t a one sided showing at all, each lady involved had a unique opportunity to showcase their amazing gifts and talent as they really got to shine bright in the main event spotlight.
Bayley was methodical and calculating as a heel.
Lynch was reckless and full of energy as she often is.
Baszler was cool, calm and collected, and certainly in control.
This was not only a fine main event, but a fine show and hopefully when they roll around to next year, we see all three brands again. This worked and it worked well. We now have fresh stories moving forward and many people who hadn’t taken notice of NXT before this will certainly be looking forward to watching the product now.
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