WWE Survivor Series WarGames 2022 Results and Live Updates
The Man is back in town. After a surprise appearance on Friday's SmackDown, Becky Lynch will make her in-ring return on Saturday's Survivor Series WarGames, four months after injuring her shoulder at SummerSlam. Lynch will team with Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss, Asuka and Mia Yim in one of Survivor Series' two WarGames matches.
The other will see The Bloodline, led by Roman Reigns, take on the team of Sheamus, Kevin Owens, Drew McIntyre and The Brawling Brutes. How the match shakes out will likely determine who will be challenging for Roman Reigns' WWE Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble in January.
The SmackDown Women's Championship is on the line, with Shotzi challenging for Ronda Rousey's gold. The highlight of the night could be the clash between AJ Styles and Finn Balor, two of the best wrestlers on the roster, who will both be backed by their respective O.C. and Judgement Day factions.
Come back to this page as the main show kicks off at 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET), as I'll be updating with results and analysis.
The triple threat match for the United States Championship is up next.
Surprising no one, Ronda Rousey is still SmackDown Women's Champion. She defeated Shotzi with a Judo throw from the top rope, followed by an Armbar submission that made Shotzi tap out.
Coming into the match, Shotzi was built as an outclassed challenger in need of a lucky break. But the bout was very much built around making Shotzi look good. She outwitted and outmanoeuvred Rousey for much of their showdown, and Rousey at numerous points had to use Shayna Baszler, who came to the ring with Rousey, as a distraction.
Ronda Rousey lacks polish, but she's great. She has such a natural heel magnetism: The crowd hates her. Whenever she'd lock Shotzi in a submission, Rousey would get showered with boos. The issue is that she was working with someone the audience isn't invested in. They'd boo Rousey, but didn't care enough about Shotzi to cheer her comebacks.
The match wasn't anything special. Rousey would lock Shotzi down with one submission or another, only for Shotzi to make a plucky comeback -- wash, rinse and repeat. There was a nice spot where Shotzi attempted a Cross Body from the top rope, which Rousey managed to counter into a Belly-to-Belly Suplex. There was also very ugly botched DDT on the apron: I'm not sure whose fault it was, but the two just kind of fell down. Moments later, Shotzi took out Baszler and Rousey with a dive into the crowd, hitting a bunch of what I hope were audience plants in the process.
Rating: 2 stars. Rousey is still a special performer, but needs better competition to shine.
AJ Styles got his first pay-per-view win in forever by pinning Finn Balor at Survivor Series WarGames.
AJ Styles is sliding up there in age, now a chipper 45, but he's still so incredibly smooth. Basic moves like a sliding forearm strike just look so incredible when performed by The Phenomenal One. Much of the early match saw Styles work over Balor's leg, with the announcers highlighting the idea that Styles is weakening the leg to apply his Calf Crusher finisher.
After hitting a slick backbreaker, Styles setup for a Phenomenal Forearm. The Judgement Day ran interference, with Damian Priest distracting the referree while Dominik Mysterio pulled Styles off the apron. That sparked a brawl between the two factions, with the O.C. and the Judgement Day beginning a brawl that spilled out into the crowd.
Balor is over as a heel. After he planted Styles with a Slingblade, Balor slowly assumed the position in the corner for a Shotgun Dropkick, and the crowd showered him with boos. They're not perfunctory jeers either: They really do dislike Balor. It's great.
The match hit third gear after the gangs left ringside, with great back-and-forth action. Balor sold the leg that Styles had worked over earlier in the match, hitting an intense double footstomp before grabbing his knee in agony. Styles barraged Balor with a Kenta Rush, but Balor ducked the Clothesline and attempted a Styles Clash, which Styles countered into a Calf Crusher that Balor managed to fight out of. They clocked each other with Pele Kicks -- 'tis the season -- laying both out, getting an ovation from the crowd.
Styles did manage to lock in the Calf Crusher, after avoiding a Coup De Grace that stunned Balor thanks to his hurt knee. Balor did an excellent job selling the hold, but fought out by smashing Styles head into the mat over and over again -- the same way Brock Lesnar fought out of the Calf Crusher way back at Survivor Series 2017.
They exchange strikes, which gets the dueling "yeah!" "boo" chants from the crowd. Styles skips over the top rope to the apron, lands a Phenomenal Forearm for the win.
Rating: 4 stars. Great stuff, though not as good as their 2017 match at TLC. However, I question Styles getting the win. Styles has been underutilized for the past couple of years, its true, but Balor and The Judgement Day have been hot since Balor's I Quit match win over Edge. That momentum should have been continued -- though if Styles' win means we get a rematch, I'm all for that.
Survivor Series 2022 kicked off with the women's WarGames match. It pit the five-woman team of Bianca Belair, Becky Lynch, Asuka, Alexa Bliss and Mia Yim against Bayley, Dakota Kai, Iyo Sky, Rhea Ripley and Nikki Cross. Lynch, the returning hero, won WarGames for her team, pinning Kai after a spectacular Senton from the top of the cage through a table.
The rules of WarGames are as follows. WarGames matches see one contender from each team begin. After five minutes, a second woman from Team Bayley would joined. (Team Bayley won the advantage after Ripley beat Asuka on Raw.) After that, women from the alternating teams join the rings every three minutes, until all 10 women were in the rings. At that point, the bell rings and the first team to secure a pinfall or a submission wins.
WarGames is a hard match to work. Structurally, it's like an Iron (Wo)Man match, where it's often only the last 10% of the match that really matters. WarGames only actually "starts" when all ten participants are in the rings, but that takes 26 minutes to happen. It feels low-stakes until then.
There were some notable spots in the meantime, like Nikki Cross' Cross Body dive from the top of the cage on the five women waiting below. But the first 26 minutes are mostly spent waiting.
Becky Lynch was the last woman to enter the cages, kicking off WarGames proper. By that time, Team Bayley was firmy in control. All four women of Team Bianca were down and out, while Lynch entered.
Lynch ran wild, obliterating Kai and Cross with a trash can, before running into Rhea Ripley. Thanks to a shot from behind by Bayley, Ripley was able to land a Riptide powerslam on Lynch for a nearfall, but it was broken up by Asuka. Moments later, Bayley hit a gnarly Rose Plant on the steel connecting the two rings for a false finish, broken up again by Asuka.
All the women fought on the turnbuckle, leading to Iyo Sky scaling the top of the cage and landing a Moonsault on Yim and Belair. That got a light "holy shit!" chant, followed by a more resolute "this is awesome!" Moments later, Yim locked a Sleeper Hold on Ripley, who fell into a ladder setup in a ringside corner, snapping the ladder in two and getting another faint "holy shit!" chant.
With much of the field down, Lynch and Belair had a facedown with Kai, Bayley and Sky. Lynch got a Manhandle Slam on Kai, and Belair took out Sky with a KOD. Lynch stacked Kai and Sky on the table -- getting a huge pop from the Boston crowd -- then landed a brutal senton from the top of the cage, pinning Kai for the win.
Rating: 3.5 stars. This was a flawed match. It was all over the place, with there often being three or four brawls going on at the same time. That made it hard to focus attention on any one thing, which led to a mostly quiet crowd. But the match built to a few notable and memorable spots, including a happy ending for the returning Becky Lynch.
While having Lynch secure the victory makes sense, it also deprives Bianca Belair of a new challenger for her Raw Women's Championship. Team Bianca's win also makes Bayley's Damage CTRL faction feel more toothless than ever, having not won any significant matches against Bianca since returning in August. Where they go next, and who challenges Bianca next, is unclear.