3 Reasons Why NXT Appearing on SmackDown Worked This Week
NXT completed a clean sweep over Smackdown Superstars on the night. Former NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa defeated The Miz, plus Rhea Ripley made Mandy Rose submit to her vicious Modified Standing Cloverleaf. After Bianca Belair took out Rose and Sonya Deville's original opponents Carmella and Dana Brooke. NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler took out Sasha Banks and Smackdown Women's Champion Bayley. Although this was after Bayley had already had a title defense against Nikki Cross. Sami Zayn also felt the wrath of Matt Riddle and Keith Lee, after trying to escape them backstage.
In the main event, Adam Cole successfully defended his NXT title against former WWE Champion Daniel Bryan with Triple H and Shawn Michaels at ringside. With Adam Cole's successful title defense, NXT defeated and destroyed their Smackdown opponents clean in the ring, looking incredibly strong throughout the episode. The menace of NXT was felt throughout the episode, aside from the opening Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman segment.
With the upcoming Survivor Series event being booked as Raw versus Smackdown versus NXT, the first shot in the upcoming 'war' has indeed been fired by the Black and Gold brand. We will just have to wait and see as to what Smackdown and Raw has in store for revenge.
# 3 NXT looked strong
Up until recently, NXT has constantly been referred to as the "developmental" brand. The place where former independent wrestlers would hone their craft before being brought up to the main roster. WWE had placed NXT as its third brand, behind Raw and Smackdown and made it exclusive to the WWE Network. It was seen as the stepping stone on the way to something bigger. First prove yourself on the Independent scene, then in NXT before you can finally make it to WWE and play amongst the best wrestlers in the World.
However, with NXT moving from the WWE network onto the USA Network, the brand is starting to get more and more mainstream recognition. It was time for NXT to be brought closer to Raw and Smackdown and be seen as a genuine comparable 'roster' on its own. To do that, NXT needed to make a statement. The Superstars certainly did that in a clean sweep victory over Smackdown this week and the brutal assault it placed on certain members of the Smackdown roster.