2022 WWE Survivor Series WarGames results, recap, grades: Sami Zayn turns on Kevin Owens, aids The Bloodline

Sami Zayn may not be blood, but he is very much part of The Bloodline. Zayn chose family over friendship at WWE Survivor Series WarGames, playing a pivotal role in his team’s victory over Kevin Owens and company at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on Saturday night.

A heated WarGames match between Team Bloodline (Roman Reigns, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, Solo Sikoa and Zayn) and Team Brawling Brutes (Owens, Sheamus, Drew McIntyre, Butch and Ridge Holland) emphatically closed out Survivor Series. Zayn’s allegiance to The Bloodline was in question, particularly due to his long-standing friendship with Owens. Zayn ultimately saved the match for The Bloodline by turning his back on Owens. The act earned Reigns’ approval and the respect of his biggest detractor, Jey Uso.

Survivor Series also featured another WarGames match. Raw women’s champion Bianca Belair led a team comprised of Alexa Bliss, Asuka, Becky Lynch and Mia YIm against Team Damage CTRL: Bayley, Dakota Kai, Iyo Sky, Nikki Cross and Rhea Ripley.

CBS Sports was with you live throughout Survivor Series WarGames with match results, grades and highlights as the action went down.

2022 WWE Survivor Series WarGames results, grades

Team Belair (Bianca Belair, Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, Asuka and Mia Yim) vs. Team Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai, Iyo Sky, Nikki Cross and Rhea Ripley) (WarGames match): The match kicked off with Belair taking on Kai before Sky joined the fray after Team Damage CTRL won an advantage on Raw to have one of its competitors begin the cycle of participants entering the match. Sky showed off incredible acrobatics with backflips, a springboard drop kick and top rope head scissors, but had awkward slips while trying to land double knees in the corner. Asuka was the second member of Team Belair to enter the match and she immediately found herself exchanging strikes and holds with Sky, a longtime friend and rival from their days in Japan. Belair exhibited her absurd strength, carrying Kai across the ring with a military press and tossing her into the fence.

The anarchist Cross was the third member of Team Damage CTRL to exit the holding cell. Cross immediately hit the ring apron, retrieving several kendo sticks and trash can lids and bringing them into the ring. She hit Belair with a Tornado DDT and planted Asuka with a Cradle Shock. Alexa Bliss evened the playing field once the clock struck. Belair snatched a kendo stick from Cross and twisted it like a pretzel. Bayley entered as the fourth member of Damage CTRL. She tossed a ladder and table into the ring. The trio of Damage CTRL slid a table between the two rings and rammed it into Belair, trapping the Raw women’s champion between the fence, table and two sets of ring ropes.

Powerful bruiser Ripley was the last member of Team Damage CTRL to enter the match. A calculated beatdown of Team Belair was briefly halted when Yim took out Ripley, but Sky made Yim pay with repeated trash lid shots to the head. The arrival of Lynch earned a loud ovation from the live crowd. Lynch fought off all five members of the rival team before facing off with Bayley. Asuka spat poison mist in Ripley’s face, allowing Lynch to capitalize with a DDT. The participants teased a Tower of Doom spot, but Cross killed the crowd’s enthusiasm with a kendo stick to Belair’s ribs. Sky landed a stunning moonsault off the top of the cage, eliciting loud chants from the Boston crowd. Cross attempted to handcuff Bliss to the cage but ended up getting handcuffed to Bliss and driven through a chair. Rivals Yim and Ripley exchanged a series of holds ending with Ripley driving both women through a ladder propped in the corner.

In the closing moment of the match, Belair and Lynch struck game-winning chemistry. Belair laid out Bayley with a KOD into the fence while Lynch climbed it. Lynch left off the top of the cage and drove Kai and Sky through a table with a massive leg drop. Lynch covered Kai for the three-count.

The match had a lot of great highlights and some interesting combinations of superstars. The participants tried to accomplish a lot with the time they were given and while much of it worked, there were a handful of jarring moments and downtime that dragged it. Team Belair def. Team Damage CTRL via pinfall – Grade: A-

AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor: Styles took the early advantage, isolating Balor’s leg with a variety of strikes. Balor tried to reason with Styles that they are friends, but The OC boss wasn’t having it. Momentum swung back and forth, but Styles generally had more success as Balor continued to struggle with his compromised leg. Styles remained in control until being distracted by Dominik Mysterio and Damian Priest sparking a ringside melee between them and The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows). The familiarity between Styles and Balor shone through as they continued to counter one another.

Balor rolled through a Calf Crusher and landed a double stop on Styles. Another series of counters was punctuated with dueling Pele kicks that laid out both men. Balor missed a Coup de Grace near the final stretch, landing awkwardly on his injured leg. Styles capitalized with a Calf Crusher, but Balor escaped by slamming Styles’ head against the mat. A final series of counters by the ring apron allowed Styles to launch off the ropes with a Phenomenal Forearm for the victory. A good show of crisp wrestling from two premier performers. The finish felt a touch anticlimactic but props to both gentlemen for the welts they wore. styles def. Balor via pinfall – Grade: B+

SmackDown women’s championship – Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Shots: The underdog Shotzi tried to take the fight to the champion early but almost immediately found herself in trouble. The challenger whiffed on an enziguri and found herself in an ankle lock. Shotzi managed to trip Rousey in the corner, landed a cannonball and then took out Shayna Bazler ringside with a dive. She tossed Rousey into the corner steps and then tried for a top rope splash that Rousey awkwardly countered. The champion regained control for the majority of the match, taunting Shotzi and the crowd while applying submission holds.

Shotzi took a big risk with a variation of a springboard DDT on the apron, but the application was clunky. What followed was a splash by the ring barricade that took out Rousey, Bazler and planted fans in the front row. Rousey landed a top rope judo throw, Piper’s Pit and an armbar to retain her title. That was a touch rough. Shotzi got way too much offense considering her recent booking and both superstars had disjointed moments. The crowd even broke into chants of “We Want Sasha [Banks]” at one point. Rousey def. Shotzi via submission to retain the title. Grade: D

United States championship – Seth Rollins (c) vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Austin Theory (Triple Threat match): Lashley showed his strength advantage early. He chucked Theory and Rollins around the ring, delivered corner spears to both men and used Theory as a battering ram on Rollins. Rollins finally neutralized Lashley with a running knee off the apron. Theory interjected in the battle, using steel steps to lay out both opponents. Theory was firmly in control but allowed his ego to get the better of him. Theory’s taunting and shouting revved up Rollins, allowing the champ to take over with strikes and a sling blade.

Rollins took flight, landing multiple dives on his opponents and a springboard flip. Rollins looked to close the match by lining up Theory for a Curb Stomp. Lashley yanked Theory out of the way and snatched the Hurt Lock on Rollins. Theory intervened, hopping on Lashley’s back and applying a sleeper hold. Lashley recovered from a rolling blockbuster by Theory and snatched another Hurt Lock. Theory nearly stole the title by rolling up Lashley mid-submission, but the pin was interrupted by Rollins’ frog splash. An amusing spot saw the gargantuan Lashely snatch a Hurt Lock on both opponents simultaneously. In the final stretch, Rollins launched off Theory’s back to hit a Curb Stomp. Lashley nailed Rollins with a spear while Rollins was in the middle of planting Theory with a Falcon Arrow. A limp Theory fell on top of Rollins and scored the three-count.

Fantastic stuff all around. All three men were given the opportunity to showcase their particular skills: Lashley’s strength, Theory’s athleticism and Rollins’ speed. The spots were creative and well-executed. The finish subverted expectations and renewed WWE’s commitment to Theory without undermining Rollins. Theory def. Rollins and Lashley to win the title – Grade: A

Team Bloodline (Roman Reigns, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, Sami Zayn and Solo Sikoa) vs. Team Brawling Brutes (Sheamus, Butch, Ridge Holland, Drew McIntyre and Kevin Owens) (WarGames match): Butch started the match for Team Brawling Brutes opposite Jey Uso. Butch targeted Jey Uso’s previously injured arm early with various finger and wrist contortions. Jey Uso found himself at a disadvantage as Holland entered the cage to assist his Brawling Brutes collaborator. Jimmy Uso was ready to join the match, but Reigns held him back. Reigns instead directed Zayn to rescue Jey Uso amid the continued in-fighting between the pair. Jey Uso immediately bickered with Zayn, allowing Butch to knock down both men. The contentious alliance between Zayn and Jey Uso was temporarily mended after Zayn pulled Jey Uso away from danger.

McIntyre entered the ring and bullied Jey Uso and Zayn despite their newfound cohesion. Zayn rescued Jey Uso from a superplex if only momentarily. Jimmy Uso joined the chaos next and introduced three tables into the match. A shoving match broke out between Jey Uso and Sami Zayn as Jimmy Uso played peacekeeper. Reigns watched on in disgust. The trio managed to reorganize and put a whooping on their opponents. Owens was the penultimate member of his team to enter the match. He tossed three steel chairs into the ring and proceeded to beat down The Usos with furniture. What followed was a staredown between Owens and Zayn, two close friends on opposite teams. Holland snatched Zayn and beat him down before a conflict could break out between the friends. Owens ate a chair shot from Jey Uso but bounced back and tossed Jimmy Uso through a table. The Bloodline’s enforcer Sikoa was sent out fourth and cleared the field. Owens put up an admirable fight but was also laid out by Sikoa.

Sheamus entered as the final member of his team. The brawling specialist put a beating on The Bloodline. Sheamus carried Sikoa’s heavy frame to the middle rope and hit White Noise. Undisputed world champion Reigns emerged as the bout’s final entrant. The warring teams stared down each other from opposite rings. A melee ensued before Reigns laid out each opponent with a heavy strike. Team Brawling Brutes bound all five opponents between the ropes and delivered Sheamus’ trademark chest blows in unison. Jey Uso accidentally hit Zayn with a superkick but showed little concern for his teammate. A quick succession of big moves ensued: The Usos hit a 1-D off the top rope on Butch, Reigns speared Holland through a table, Sikoa planted McIntyre through a separate table and Owens nearly wrapped with a stunner on Sikoa.

Owens and Reigns slugged it out in the match’s climax. Owens struck Reigns with a stunner that would have secured the win had Zayn not stopped the referee’s hand from counting three. Zayn proved his allegiance to The Bloodline by hitting Owens below the belt, landing the Helluva Kick and setting up Jey Uso for a match-ending splash. Reigns and Jey Uso hugged Zayn post-match.

Nothing beats good storytelling. These matches often fall into a trap of overemphasizing weapons and spots. Questions about Zayn’s loyalty, Jey’s temperament and the friendship between Zayn and Owens permeated through the match. A conflicted Zayn proved himself worthy by turning on Owens and allowing Jey to pick up the win. Sheamus and Kevin Owens also looked strong ahead of future world title matches against Reigns. Great action paired with an even better story. Team Bloodline def. Team Brawling Brutes via pinfall. Grade: A+

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