This week on Friday Night SmackDown—after the announcement that, for the first time ever, NXT will be part of WWE’s annual Survivor Series pay-per-view—the NXT roster made a definitive statement. Led by Triple H and Shawn Michaels, and taking advantage of the fact that most of the SmackDown roster wasn’t even in the arena, the NXT roster ran roughshod through those who were in Buffalo, NY tonight. (After Brock Lesnar quit SmackDown and left the arena with Paul Heyman, that is.)
First, after Bayley successfully (and deceptively) retained her SmackDown Women’s Championship in a match against Nikki Cross, NXT Women’s Championship Shayna Baszler came out on NXT’s behalf. She blindsided and took out Sasha Banks on the outside before rocking Bayley with a step-up knee and then pushing a down and out Nikki outside of the ring. Then she continued to focus on Bayley, throwing the SmackDown Women’s Champion into the corner barricade and then hitting her with a gutwrench suplex and another knee before calmly heading out through the crowd.
Later in the show, Sami Zayn got to talking about the obvious NXT occupation of SmackDown, only he started to run his mouth about how he would take on any NXT talent who tried to step to him. Enter Matt Riddle and Keith Lee, who just so happened to be any NXT talent. Sami attempted to get on their good side, bringing up his past as “The Heart and Soul of NXT,” but then attempted to make a run for it… and ended up eating a knee and taking a Bro Derek from Matt Riddle and then getting hit with a second-rope moonsault by Keith Lee.
Former NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa also showed up on SmackDown, interrupting The Miz’s self-interview on the latest edition of Miz TV, before going on to show him in one-on-one competition why he’s “The Greatest Sports Entertainer of All Time.”
NXT’s Rhea Ripley and Tegan Nox—who, alongside their two other teammates, will also face-off against Shayna Baszler and her teammates in the first-ever women’s WarGames match at NXT TakeOver: WarGames III—then made their presence known, when they challenged Fire & Desire (Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville) to an impromptu tag team match and won. Originally, Mandy and Sonya were set to take on Dana Brooke and Carmella, but one of Shayna’s WarGames teammates, Bianca Belair, took them out backstage.
Last but not least, when Daniel Bryan confronted Triple H and Shawn Michaels about the NXT invasion, he was met with a challenge by the NXT Champion Adam Cole (BAYBAY). Bryan accepted—as long as it was a match for the NXT Championship. It was, and in the main event of SmackDown on FOX, Adam Cole pinned Daniel Bryan—clean as a whistle, without any help from Undisputed Era buddy Roderick Strong, who was also in the building—to retain his NXT Championship.
After that, more members of the NXT roster came out to the ring, as Triple H—who had been watching the main event at ringside with Shawn Michaels—got on the mic (and channeled this post-WrestleMania XIV promo) to declare war on both RAW and SmackDown.