NXT may have landed the first punches in the battle for brand supremacy ahead of Survivor Series, but The O.C. made sure that Raw fired back — and they came to the black-and-gold brand's turf to do so.
After taking out The Undisputed ERA in the parking lot before NXT even hit the air, AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson made their way to ringside at Full Sail Live, declaring that they were taking over NXT.
That didn't sit well with Tommaso Ciampa, who brought backup in the form of Keith Lee and Matt Riddle — all of whom made their presence felt over the last week on Raw and SmackDown. The Blackheart of NXT issued a challenge for a Six-Man Tag Team Match, promptly accepted by The O.C. to set up the latest inter-brand clash for the evening's main event.
Pete Dunne finally evened the score with Damian Priest — and he did it by giving The Archer of Infamy a dose of his own medicine.
The score appears to be far from settled though, and the same goes for The BruiserWeight's issue with Killian Dain.
For the last month, Priest has been more than a thorn in the side of Dunne, first attacking him in a post-match ambush, and then getting the better of him in their first singles encounter.
This time, though, Dunne scored a victory by resorting to the same tactics used by Priest in their previous battle, catching The Archer of Infamy with a low blow out of the referee's sight after countering Priest's attempt to do the same. From there, Dunne locked Priest in a rolling cross armbreaker to force a submission.
Another recent enemy of Dunne's — Dain —blindsided The BruiserWeight afterward. Priest refused to sit idly by and shoved Dain aside in a bid to take another shot at Dunne, but received a headbutt and a running cannonball against the steel steps from The Beast of Belfast for his troubles.
The bad blood between three of NXT's hardest hitters has risen to a boiling point, creating an extremely combustible situation.
The empty spots remaining on Rhea Ripley and NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler's respective WarGames teams represent a golden opportunity for the rest of the black-and-gold brand's Women's division. That includes Santana Garrett and Taynara Conti, who both looked to seize the moment in their one-on-one bout Wednesday.
Garrett brought a relentless fire to the bout, but it was Conti showcasing her increasingly vicious edge with knee strikes scattered throughout en route to victory. Finishing Garrett off with a boot to the face, Conti picked up the pinfall — and hopefully for her sake, perhaps earning her way into the Women's WarGames Match.
WarGames may be the only solution for the rising tensions within the NXT Women’s Division — and Mia Yim wants to make sure she has a part in it.
In taking on Shayna Baszler, Dakota Kai sought to prove why she belonged as the fourth member of Rhea Ripley's team for the upcoming first-ever Women's WarGames Match. Between that and Kai's well-documented issues with the NXT Women's Champion, The Captain of Team Kick had plenty of motivation going into the bout.
But Kai still couldn't quite overcome her archnemesis, falling prey to the Kirifuda Clutch.
Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir quickly pounced on what was left of Kai, but the cavalry soon showed up in the form of Ripley and her WarGames teammates Candice LeRae and Tegan Nox. That wasn't quite enough to tip the scales, however, as Team Baszler counterparts Io Shirai and Bianca Belair arrived on the scene.
Yim — and a trusty Kendo stick — were more than enough to even the odds, however. The Head Baddie in Charge sent Baszler and company scattering, but not before getting some vicious blows in.
That caught the eye of Ripley, who later in the evening selected the HBIC as the fourth and final member of her team for WarGames.
Angel Garza will try to make sure that The Man of The Hour's reign as NXT Cruiserweight Champion doesn't last much longer.
With an impressive showing in a victory over Tony Nese to earn an opportunity at Lio Rush and his title, Garza appears fully capable of making that a reality when he challenges for the championship next week.
Showcasing the same flamboyance and athleticism that has made him a favorite at Full Sail in short order, Garza captivated the crowd once again. His trademark tearaway pants even came in handy, allowing him to slip out of The Premier Athlete's attempted powerbomb from the top rope.
Garza later made another escape, barely finding the bottom rope with his boot before the count of three after Nese delivered a 450 splash.
Finishing Nese off moments later with the "Wingclipper," Garza soon found himself face-to-face with Rush on the stage. Instead of accepting a handshake, he left The Man of The Hour with a brisk slap — making it clear that he's coming to collect Rush's title next week.
Dominik Dijakovic continues to rack up the victories, and the NXT Universe continues to feast their eyes — as do The Rare Breed's opponents.
Two days removed from making his presence felt in the melee on Raw between NXT and the red brand, Dijakovic turned his focus back to Full Sail and a challenge from the promising Isaiah "Swerve" Scott. The Rare Breed showed a cockiness that nearly proved costly, at one point allowing Scott to hit a poison rana that almost won him the match.
Later recovering and stifling Scott's rally, The Rare Breed hit Scott flush with the Feast Your Eyes to secure another win.
The top Superstars of NXT are united in the war against Raw and SmackDown — but those allegiances only extend so far.
And just whose side is Finn Bálor on?
The Six-Man Tag Team Match between Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee & Matt Riddle and The O.C. devolved into complete chaos when Lee's pounce sent AJ Styles crashing into the referee. Moments later, Ciampa seemed to have the match well in hand with Styles set up for The Fairytale Ending until Bálor entered, distracting The Blackheart long enough for Styles to escape.
Bálor planted Riddle with the 1916 DDT on the outside and if their reciprocated hand gestures were any indication, they seemed to suggest an alliance — or at least a truce — with Styles.
Not to be outdone, NXT Champion Adam Cole seized the chance to avenge The O.C.'s ambush on The Undisputed ERA earlier in the evening, taking to the ring and flooring The Phenomenal One with a superkick. With the hostile threat contained, The Panama City Playboy turned his attention to Ciampa, leveling his rival with The Last Shot.
With that, Cole and Bálor were the only ones left standing, while the WWE Universe was left with more questions than answers as the road to Survivor Series and TakeOver: WarGames continues.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Pete Dunne defeated Damian Priest (10:25)
- Taynara Conti defeated Santana Garrett (4:08)
- Shayna Baszler (w/ Marina Shafir & Jessamyn Duke) defeated Dakota Kai (7:53)
- Angel Garza defeated Tony Nese to become #1 Contender for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship (9:00)
- Dominik Dijakovic defeated Isaiah Scott (7:17)
- Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee & Matt Riddle vs. The O.C. (Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson & A.J. Styles) ended in a No Contest (13:30)
Other on-screen talent