Raw Women's Champion Becky LYnch vs. Rhea Ripley Ended in a No Contest (Non-title)
It's crazy to think that this marked the first time Lynch has appeared in front of the Full Sail University crowd in over four years. She called out Shayna Baszler and her cronies for a fight but ended up getting Ripley instead. Hey, I'm not complaining! This is absolutely a money match that can be revisited on the main roster, so I was glad it ended in a non-finish following the interference from Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir. What we got from Lynch and Ripley was really good and I liked how Ripley was made to look like an equal to Lynch throughout.
Matt Riddle def. Ricochet
Riddle was supposed to go one-on-one with Kona Reeves, but Raw's Ricochet ambushed Reeves before the bout and ended up replacing him against Riddle. Ricochet vs. Riddle wasn't a match I knew I wanted until it happened. They weren't given a ton of time, but this was a hell of a sprint and exactly what I hoped it would be. Riddle winning ahead of his match with Finn Balor at TakeOver: WarGames III was the right call. Speaking of which, I feared their feud would get lost in all of the Survivor Series hype, but they brawled after SmackDown Superstars Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro ran in and were tossed from the ring by Riddle and Ricochet.
NXT Tag Team Champions Undisputed Era def. The Revival (Non-Title)
It was so refreshing to see Revival actually allowed to be professional wrestlers for a change and to see them do their thing with another one of the best tandems in the business right now. They were given a ton of time, and after that second commercial break, they picked up the pace and delivered a banger. This was TakeOver worthy, but sadly, I get the feeling Revival will be gone from the company before they get another chance to go at it again. Oh well, at least we got to see it once. The night's first two matches were watered down by distraction/run-in finishes, so I was happy that Undisputed Era won clean. This was stellar stuff all around.
NXT UK Women's Champion Kay Lee Ray def. Dakota Kai (Non-Title)
Ray was announced as the final member of Team Baszler in women's WarGames last week, so this was Kai's chance to score some redemption. She gave it a good effort but ultimately fell short. The match was well wrestled and fun while it lasted but nothing incredibly special. Keep an eye on Kai's continued losing streak, as I assume it will culminate in a heel turn for her eventually. Post-match, members of Raw, SmackDown and NXT's women's Survivor Series teams went to war. The crowd was hot for the angle, but I hated seeing the females from NXT align with each other (albeit briefly) despite how they'll be on opposing teams on Saturday.
Raw Tag Team Champions The Viking Raiders def. The Forgotten Sons (Non-Title)
For whatever it's worth, after doing some research, I found out that Viking Raiders and Forgotten Sons apparently never clashed while they were in NXT together. It wasn't a match I've ever clamored for, but we got it here. It was a hard-hitting affair, and while not exactly exciting, it gave Viking Raiders a win ahead of Survivor Series. The crowd also welcomed them back to Full Sail with open arms.
NXT Champion Adam Cole def. Dominik Dijakovic in a WarGames Advantage Ladder match
I honestly believe this was hindered by how we already had a Ladder match in the main event of NXT last week. This featured strong performances from Cole and Dijakovic and I enjoyed it immensely on the whole, but I couldn't help but think that some of the spots would have meant more if they weren't done just one week ago. Cole gaining the WarGames advantage for Undisputed Era only made sense. A huge brawl predictably closed out the evening with Superstars from Raw, SmackDown and NXT waging war. Seth Rollins and Tommaso Ciampa traded blows for a bit and that was when I figured the fourth member of Team Ciampa would be revealed, but no such luck. There wasn't even a mention of that. I guess we'll have to wait until the event on Saturday to find out.
There is little doubt that the road to Survivor Series has benefited big time from NXT's involvement this year, and it's been cool to see Superstars from all three shows pop up on each other's brands. Unfortunately, it's negatively affected the build to TakeOver: WarGames III. Of course, I'm looking forward to TakeOver infinitely more than I am Survivor Series, but this go-home show was trying to sell viewers on way too much at once. The brawls got old after a while and, again, it's difficult to care about the brand supremacy nonsense when we know for a fact that it won't mean anything a month from now. On the bright side, this was a blast as a one-off event with Superstars from SmackDown and Raw showing up at random. We were still treated to a handful of excellent matches to boot and NXT managed to somehow hype up everything on tap for TakeOver. That said, it's ridiculous NXT's teams for the men and women's traditional elimination matchups haven't been named yet for Survivor Series and that the fourth member of Team Ciampa remains a mystery. If they were always going to wait until Saturday to reveal who it is, they should have made that clear.
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