A unique but welcomed situation came on Friday Night SmackDown as all the performers at Thursday’s Sweet Saudi… errr… Crown Jewel event were stuck in Saudi Arabia all day and were not able to make it back for SmackDown. This led to Triple H and Shawn Michaels running the show and bringing their army along from NXT, leading to the best episode of SmackDown in months, maybe years. On the announce team was former lead announcer Tom Phillips, teamed with Aiden English and Renee Young. Later in the night, English was replaced by NXT panel host and former NFL Pro Bowler, Pat McAfee. McAfee said all night long, “November 1st, 2019. The day remembered as the best SmackDown ever.” While that may be lofty, it was certainly something. Let’s dig into the highlight-filled show!
Brock Lesnar Quits SmackDown
— WWE (@WWE) November 2, 2019
SmackDown was off to a thunderous start as the only star back from Crown Jewel was the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Champion of the world, Brock Lesnar and his advocate Paul Heyman. Both men were angry from the start as they made it clear it should have been a time for celebration following Brock’s two-minute win over Cain Velasquez, but all he could think about was the beating he took by Rey Mysterio following the match. The solution was to demand Vince McMahon that Brock got a match with the “Master of the 619” and Vince made it clear that Raw superstars are exclusive to USA Network and SmackDown is exclusive to FOX. This led to one answer, which happened to be Brock Lesnar quitting SmackDown, bringing the WWE Championship with him to go after Mysterio on Raw this coming Monday. Truly shocking and we now know why the championships are switching shows. A hot beginning. As he walked out, Triple H and Shawn Michaels would appear.
Shayna Baszler Makes The First NXT Strike
Oh boy this was just the beginning. Bayley defended her SmackDown Women’s Championship against Nikki Cross with Sasha Banks in her corner. It took Banks getting involved to help Bayley successfully defend the championship, as Bayley debuted a new finisher that mirrored the original Dirty Deeds done by Dean Ambrose in his early days of The Shield. Following the win, out from the crowd came Shayna Baszler, pushing Banks into the LED ring post, then getting into the ring and brutally beating down Bayley. It would take two knees to leave her laying. This was the first of many statements made by NXT, and it was nowhere close to being over yet. Having NXT join Survivor Series may have been the most dangerous idea to Raw and SmackDown yet.
Matt Riddle & Keith Lee Step Up To Sami Zayn
— WWE (@WWE) November 2, 2019
Sami Zayn had a backstage interview discussing how any NXT person to get in his way will have to deal with him. Of course, Matt Riddle and Keith Lee walked up right behind him and this instantly had Zayn trying to get back on the good side of the NXT roster. He would “walk” to his car but instead take off running. By the time we knew it, all three men were in the ring and Zayn had nowhere to go. A Bro Derek from Matt Riddle into a picture-perfect second rope moonsault from Keith Lee would leave Zayn down and out, resulting in yet another NXT beatdown.
Tommaso Ciampa Crashes Miz TV And Pins The Miz
The NXT TakeOver of SmackDown only continued. A Miz TV that was originally supposed to include Bray Wyatt was no more and The Miz held his own Miz TV to discuss the “elephant in the room” which was NXT’s inclusion on the show. This would soon lead to Tommaso Ciampa making his appearance felt by letting The Miz know that he was everything wrong with Raw and SmackDown while NXT has clearly been the A show and Ciampa has been the main attraction. Miz got in his face, proceedingly demanding a match by Ciampa right there on the spot and it was official.
Tommaso Ciampa vs The Miz
A match we did not expect but loved. The former world champion worked over Ciampa’s leg at one point in the match to get the Figure Four Leglock locked in and he eventually got there. Ciampa turned and twisted his way out of the hold. Ultimately, Ciampa had more than Miz, proving that “The Greatest Sports Entertainer Of All-Time” can live up to that name, planting him with the Fairytale Ending and winning the match. Another win for NXT on the night.
Rhea Ripley, Tegan Nox, and Bianca Belair bring the BRUTALITY
— WWE (@WWE) November 2, 2019
Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville were out to take on Carmella and Dana Brooke. Carmella’s music hit and they awaited but instead the cameras cut to the back to see Bianca Belair taking out both of them. Belair tossed Carmella behind a bunch of boxes and the two women in the ring were left confused. Then the music of Rhea Ripley would hit as she and Tegan Nox walked out, challenging Rose and Deville to a match, It would be rather quick, as “Lady Kane” hit the Shiniest Wizard and Ripley locked in the reverse lifted cloverleaf on Rose to get the win, moving NXT to 2-0 on the night and the TakeOver almost being complete.
SmackDown MVP: NXT Champion Adam Cole (BAY BAY)
Daniel Bryan walked up to Triple H and Shawn Michaels to ask why they were there and that he wanted a fight. After teasing both men would take on the protector of SmackDown, Triple H called over his top guy, the NXT Champion Adam Cole. Cole stepped up, but Bryan demanded more. That more was an NXT Championship match in the main event of the show and that is exactly what he got.
NXT Championship Match: Adam Cole (c) vs Daniel Bryan
These two men were given a near 30 minutes to go out and put on a show and that is exactly what they did. Back and forth the match went with Triple H and HBK on the outside. You could see the fear at times in Triple H as his guy came close to losing time after time but the resilient Adam Cole survived. The closest Cole came to losing was when Bryan locked in a heel hook in the middle of the ring, but somehow he managed to get out of it. Then again, the Lebell Lock was locked in and all signs pointed to a new, shocking NXT Champion. Again however, the champion survived. Bryan, frustrated, got into the corner of the ring and attempted the running knee, but instead was met with a superkick. The champion was on the rush, hitting the Panama City Sunrise and finally the Last Shot to pin Daniel Bryan clean in the middle of the ring, retaining his championship and completing a perfect night for NXT.
Following the match, Triple H explained with his NXT roster behind him why this happened. He brought up the Survivor Series involvement, saying he took it as a threat and he answered it with the first shot of this war. The army was behind him and reminded everyone that his family is NXT, and We Are NXT.
Now all that matters is what comes next in this war. A perfect night of SmackDown. This is the action FOX paid for, and this is what the fans wanted. With the roster back in the saddle on Monday, it will sure be interesting to see who takes the next shot.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. And while you’re at it check out our NXT primers to learn more about some of the men and women we saw tonight.