After NXT declared war against Friday Night SmackDown, the black-and-gold brand brought the fight to Monday Night Raw, where Seth Rollins challenged Adam Cole for the NXT Championship. The instant classic was interrupted, however, when The Undisputed ERA attacked The Architect, leading to an all-out brawl between the brands just three weeks before Survivor Series. Also on Raw, Rey Mysterio challenged Brock Lesnar to a WWE Championship Match, and Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch met NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler face-to-face.
Say what you will about Brock Lesnar, but he is a man of his word. The Beast Incarnate said he was quitting SmackDown to come to Raw and find Rey Mysterio, and in defiance of the boardroom warriors who drafted him, he did just that. Lesnar — WWE Championship around his waist and Paul Heyman at his side — opened Raw with the news that the red brand had “absorbed” his contract and that he was going “hunting” for Mysterio, who embarrassed Lesnar with a torrent of chair swings following The Beast’s submission victory over Cain Velasquez last week. As for the legal entanglements of his client's jump, Heyman dispelled with the red tape via a simple: “Brock Lesnar is entitled to do whatever the hell he wants to do.”
So, with Lesnar having set up shop in his new digs, it was time for business. “Somebody knows where Rey Mysterio is,” Heyman said, warning that The Conqueror wasn’t above putting hands on every man in the audience to force that person to reveal the whereabouts of The Ultimate Underdog. As it turned out, Mysterio found him, attacking Lesnar with a pipe after he laid waste to commentator Dio Maddin (plus some overmatched backstage employees). Mysterio even managed to leave Lesnar down by charging The Conqueror with the WWE Title itself. That was no accident, too, as Mysterio declared later in the night that he would repay Lesnar's attacks on his family by coming after that which was most important to him: The WWE Championship. All in all, Mysterio can call this night an unmitigated win, and one that carries as much symbolic weight as it does literal: Heyman loves to to insist that Lesnar is entitled to do whatever he wants; count Rey among the very few Superstars who have managed to prove otherwise.
Becky Lynch and Shayna Baszler have never met in the ring, but there’s already a history of sorts between the Raw and NXT Women’s Champions. After all, Becky’s the one who sent Shayna’s friend, Ronda Rousey, packing from WWE at WrestleMania, and the news that all three Women’s Champions will battle in a Triple Threat at Survivor Series means The Man is either about to double down on her biggest win yet or suffer retribution on an agonizing scale.
The first encounter between the two Superstars served only to build that tension. Shayna didn’t bum-rush Becky like she did the SmackDown Women’s Champion, Bayley, but she did arrive unannounced, interrupting Lynch’s sit-down interview with Charly Caruso to kick off a tense face-to-face. “I’m not Ronda Rousey,” warned The Queen of Spades, with the additional promise to pin or submit The Man at Survivor Series — while leaving Lynch the courtesy of picking the limb that would be targeted.
Lynch remained unmoved, seemingly overjoyed that Baszler had sought her out and given her the chance to sow the same doubt The Man once planted in Rousey. And while neither was looking past Bayley, it was clear by the end of the interview that a special sort of animosity was already brewing between the two champions that were (with all respect to Charly) the baddest women in the room. When all is said and done, one might be the baddest on the planet.
NXT would have won no matter who got the victory in the main event on Raw. Either Adam Cole pinned Seth Rollins to retain the NXT Title across both Raw and SmackDown in the span of four days or Seth Rollins pinned Adam Cole and returned to Full Sail to give NXT a major new player as the brand-supremacy war heats up. Nobody won the match, but NXT still won anyway.
The Undisputed ERA made their presence known for the second time in the evening, rushing Rollins to give The Beastslayer a disqualification victory. And once again, Raw answered, sending in Superstars to Rollins’ side, though the Team Red competitors were met swiftly with an even greater wave of NXT talent, including Matt Riddle, Pete Dunne, Keith Lee and Tommaso Ciampa. While Ricochet seemed to get the last word with a springboard shooting star press onto a crowd of Superstars, Raw went off the air with the final image of Lee soaring over the top rope to flatten everyone in his path. As far as metaphors go, it’s a hard one to dispute.
In other action … Charlotte Flair & Natalya def. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions The Kabuki Warriors … Buddy Murphy def. Cedric Alexander … Triple H and the NXT roster confronted Seth Rollins … Andrade & Zelina Vega def. Sin Cara & Carolina (Mixed Tag Team Match) … Rusev def. Drew McIntyre via Disqualification … The O.C. def. Humberto Carrillo & The Street Profits … and Raw Tag Team Champions The Viking Raiders def. The East Hampton Polo Boys.