Triple H opened the door to NXT and The Man came around and walked right in.
Trash talking, sneak attacks and hostile takeovers have ruled the month during Raw, SmackDown and NXT's brand warfare on the road to Survivor Series. But Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch wasn't having any of that.
Taking Triple H up on the open invitation he extended to Raw and SmackDown Superstars this past Monday, Lynch kicked off the show by returning to where she first made a name for herself in WWE and calling out NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler — but The Man's challenge was accepted by Rhea Ripley instead.
Despite only a few days separating both competitors from massive matchups this weekend in Chicago — a Triple Threat Match with Baszler and SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley for Lynch, and for Ripley, the first-ever Women's WarGames Match — they held little back from each other.
Baszler — along with Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir — were happy to play spoiler, breaking up what had been a highly physical encounter. But suddenly finding themselves with a common enemy, Lynch and Ripley had each other's back and fought off the dastardly trio, living to perhaps do battle with each other again another day.
With Matt Riddle set to face Kona Reeves, one Raw Superstar had other ideas — but Ricochet wasn't the only hostile party to try to take NXT by force.
Flying into Full Sail like the Superhero he's billed as to deliver a dropkick during Reeve's entrance, Ricochet inserted himself opposite Riddle in NXT's second successive impromptu bout.
Two of the best athletes in all of WWE set a breakneck pace from the start, though SmackDown's Cesaro and Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura put the brakes on the bout before it could reach another gear. The presence of the blue-brand duo proved to be enough of a distraction for Riddle to catch Ricochet in a small package for a quick pinfall, but both found themselves on the receiving end of the SmackDown attack shortly thereafter.
NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong — who will face Nakamura and United States Champion AJ Styles on Sunday at Survivor Series — intercepted The King of Strong Style before he could hit Riddle with the Kinshasa.
Smelling blood in the water, Riddle's opponent for Saturday's TakeOver: WarGames, Finn Bálor, arrived looking for a pound of flesh. Though Bálor initially overwhelmed Riddle during the fast and furious scene, The Original Bro evaded an attempted 1918 DDT and dropped Bálor with a ripcord knee to take the advantage heading into Saturday's matchup.
The Undisputed ERA may have ruined last week's SmackDown Tag Team Championship rematch between The New Day and The Revival, but it was more than made up for with the WWE Universe being treated days later to a dream matchup between the only two squads to win multiple NXT Tag Team Titles.
Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly showed why they've been the preeminent duo on the black-and-gold brand, deploying clinical tag team tactics. Though they successfully isolated Dash Wilder from Scott Dawson for what seemed like eons, Wilder eventually uncorked a rare hurricanrana to create the opening he needed for a tag to Dawson, who soon set the ring ablaze with a furious rally that had Full Sail on its collective feet.
Moments after O'Reilly yanked Fish out of what seemed like certain doom following The Revival's Shatter Machine, it was The Undisputed ERA connecting with Total Elimination on Dawson to spell the end to an instant classic.
The women of NXT have not been shy in recent weeks about encroaching on enemy turf during Monday and Friday nights, but the Raw and SmackDown Women's divisions both delivered resounding counterattacks five days before Survivor Series.
Moments after NXT UK Women's Champion Kay Lee Ray's victory over Dakota Kai, SmackDown's own Carmella moonwalked her way to the ring before being joined by her Team Blue comrades Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville and Dana Brooke. The NXT Women's locker room provided backup, while Raw's Kairi Sane, Natalya and Sarah Logan were also on the scene to further stoke the flame.
The moment reached full combustion upon the arrival of Nikki Cross, who — armed with a trash can lid — doled out punishment to everyone in her way before standing tall amid the frenzy.
No matter where The Viking Raiders go, the raid continues.
That was the case Wednesday in their return to the brand they called home earlier this year, and The Forgotten Sons' attempt at resistance proved futile.
Though Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake narrowly escaped a quick and decisive defeat much earlier on — one that has befallen many a Viking Raiders' opponent on Monday nights — it only delayed the inevitable against the the Raw Tag Team Champions.
With Ivar barreling himself through Jaxson Ryker at ringside with a tope suicida moments earlier, it was The Viking Raiders winning the race to the finish and reigning victorious after connecting with The Viking Experience.
If tensions between the three brands weren't already at a boiling point, critical mass was met on Wednesday.
NXT Champion Adam Cole defeated Dominik Dijakovic in a WarGames Advantage Ladder Match in the main event, but that was merely an appetizer for the mayhem that enveloped Full Sail.
The rest of The Undisputed ERA was quick to ringside to celebrate Cole's victory, but they were met on the ramp by SmackDown's Cesaro, Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and The Revival. A number of Raw reinforcements also eagerly joined the fray, and an all-out brawl ensued.
While the melee continued at ringside, the biggest impact was made inside of the squared circle. Raw's Drew McIntyre hit the ring to floor a recovering Dikjakovic with a blistering Claymore Kick before ending up on the business end of a massive powerbomb courtesy of Keith Lee.
Lee, joined by Ivar of The Viking Raiders, launched themselves both to topple the mass of humanity that had been fighting at ringside, leaving only Cole in the ring — or at least that's what The Panama City Playboy thought.
Instead, he ate a superkick from none other than Seth Rollins moments later. With The Architect bracing to deliver a Stomp, Cole was seemingly bailed out by the arrival of Tommaso Ciampa — that was, until The Blackheart leveled Cole with a devastating knee.
With no one else to get in their way, Ciampa joined Rollins in the ring to trade furious blows, sending NXT off the air in the midst of bedlam four days before Survivor Series.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Kayden Carter defeated Vanessa Borne
- Dark Match: Mansoor & Raul Mendoza defeated The Outliers (Dorian Mak & Riddick Moss)
- Becky Lynch vs. Rhea Ripley ended in a No Contest
- Matt Riddle defeated Ricochet
- The Undisputed Era (Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish) defeated The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
- Kay Lee Ray defeated Dakota Kai
- The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) defeated The Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake) (w/ Jaxson Ryker)
- Adam Cole defeated Dominik Dijakovic in a Ladder match with the winner earning the order of entry advantage for their team in the Men's WarGames match at NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2019
Other on-screen talent