WWE Editor @jeffersonlake
NXT roster invades SmackDown
Last Updated: 02/11/19 9:04am
With the vast majority of the SmackDown roster stranded in Saudi Arabia due to travel issues, NXT chose their moment to strike.
It was announced prior to Crown Jewel that this year's Survivor Series will be a three-way battle of the brands, with Raw, SmackDown and NXT facing off in a series of matches.
Last night, NXT struck the first blow in the build-up to that event, with several of their top stars 'invading' SmackDown while several of their own male competitors were stuck in the Middle East.
The intentions of the 'yellow brand' - which has been primarily a developmental territory before moving to American network television a month ago - were initially signalled when Triple H and Shawn Michaels were shown backstage after an opening segment involving Brock Lesnar.
What followed was an episode of pure chaos as the stars of NXT interjected themselves into several situations.
Bayley successfully defended the SmackDown women's title against Nikki Cross but was attacked, along with her associate Sasha Banks, by NXT champ Shayna Baszler after the bell.
Sami Zayn then found himself on the receiving end of an in-ring beatdown from Keith Lee and Matt Riddle after a backstage tete-a-tete and Tomasso Ciampa defeated The Miz after a showdown on Miz TV between the two.
Women's division warfare was not limited to the SmackDown champion, with Bianca Belair wiping out Carmella and Dana Brooke ahead of their match against Fire & Desire.
Rhea Ripley and Tegan Nox arrived to take their place and defeated Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville in a dominant performance.
But the big moment came at the end, with Daniel Bryan challenging Adam Cole for the NXT championship.
Bryan initially offered Triple H himself a match but instead he called on his 'champ', with Cole prevailing after a Panama Sunrise and Last Shot on Bryan.
After the match, Triple H took up the microphone and said the war was well and truly declared, with responses from Raw and SmackDown now certain to follow.