Survivor Series [Review]

Well, Survivor Series wasn’t a disaster. It was however a bit of a mess but that’s mainly down to traditional elimination matches, they’ve always been a mess. Over crowded, over booked and under booked at the same time. The Tag Team match was awful.

…and then the main event happened. Good. Lord. What a surprise! Shocking in every sense of the word.

The worst part of Survivor Series, apart from how ultimately pointless most of it was (see Intercontinental and Cruiserweight stipulations for proof of this). Is that because we had so many cross brand promotional matches the commentary teams got mixed up. However, for the most part they chose the worst parts of each team to work together. JBL, Saxton, Otunga and Cole is not a dream team by anyone’s imagination. Why couldn’t we have just had Mauro and Corey Graves do the entire show?!

Also side note: I really enjoy the crowd chanting 10 for every number of a referees count. It’s incredibly stupid, but a lovely reference to Tye Dillinger.

Women’s 5-5 Elimination Match

Before the match Nikki Bella is attacked back stage and ignoring her simply awful acting for a second, who do you think the culprit was? My suspicions lie upon Natayla. After all she had the most to gain from Nikki’s absence. Anyway, Daniel Brian agrees that she has to replace her at the last second.

There’s a legitimately cool moment towards the start of the match in  which Bayley, Charlotte and then Sasha all tag themselves in to face off against Becky Lynch. I;m starting to get the impression that these ladies can’t get on. Maybe if the commentary team hammered that point home for another few weeks I’d grasp the concept properly though.

 

The match is given a decent amount of time and isn’t anywhere near as much of a disaster as I thought it would be. I still don’t buy that anyone from either show really cares all that much about brand supremacy though.

077_sur_11202016ej_1548-54e38188dc80c2be5ea0f59e223ea06dAnnoyingly Sasha Banks is eliminated via a roll up (the most deadly of all finishing moves) really quite early. Meanwhile Nia Jax tapping out to the Dis-Arm-Her was a surprise, thought she’d be protected more.

Having Bayley save Charlotte from elimination was a nice dynamic of the face saving the heel. Not enough team mates try to save each other in these matches. Bayley picking up the win was great too, but not as great as Charlotte immediately attacking her once their hands are raised after the match for ‘stealing her spotlight’.

Most importantly was that this relatively pointless match has resulted in at least one new feud between Charlotte and Bayley. There’s also the possibility of a feud between Natayla and Nikki Bella was we find out who attacked her before the match. Excellent stuff.

A pointless match results in setting up at least one new feud (two once we find out who attacked Nikki). Excellent stuff.

Intercontinental Title: The Miz (c) vs. Sami Zayn

100_sur_11202016ej_1769-c54b33d3e45fb8ac6155d79d915d1429I’m not sure if any of you picked up on this but Michael Cole really wanted us to know that Sami Zayn is from Canada. In honesty, I’m not sure why. It’s not as if his place of birth is going to make me cheer him any less or any more. Also, did you know that Ric Flair gave his figure four leg lock to The Miz? I only just found out that too!

I’ve got a question for you, has Sami Zayn’s Blue Thunder Bomb ever won a match in WWE? Can it even count as a false finish if everyone kicks out of it?

Anyway, The Miz is at the top of his game right now but rushed matches with no story line in place do not help him. This match was made on Tuesday night, after The Miz beat Dolph Ziggler for the title, and you could tell. The match was lacking in intensity. Compare this to the great story told by Ziggler and Miz for No Mercy, the whole crowd were invested and it was a great viewing experience. Speaking of Ziggler though, he didn’t even make it onto the PPV. What gives?

The finish of the match is yet another tired reference to the Montreal Screw job. It wasn’t a bad match, an Maryse ringing the time keepers bell to save her husband works well for the heels. It was ‘clever’ yet disappointing.

Still, it keeps the title on The Miz which is a good thing. Hopefully Sami Zayn can find his way over to Smackdown to have a proper feud.

 

Tag Team 10-10 Elimination Match

Before the match Enzo and Cass come out and cut their usual promo. The main highlight was Cass telling the crowd “Aint no one gonna drain us of our energy” but he said it in the most boring voice I’ve ever heard. Draining me of any energy I actually had. The rest of the Raw teams come out with The New Day last cutting their own promo.

Team Smackdown come out and line up in an adorable formation before going down to the ring. No promo time for any of them, not even Heath Slater. Absolute rubbish. Once all the teams get into the ring you cant tell what is happening. It’s a mess.

Fandango starts in the ring and gives everyone fashion violations, its pretty funny especially when he give Xaiver Woods about 15 tickets. He’s quickly eliminated by Kofi, who in turn in quickly eliminated by Jimmy/Jay Uso. 2 teams down, 30 seconds in. Great start. I hate Survivor Series matches, suddenly one move is enough to put people away yet at Wrestlemania 16 finishers aren’t enough to pick up the victory.

142_sur_11202016jg_2188-2772178589240cb9d2a1e5dbc2080686You know that feeling you have when you just do not care about what you’re watching? That was me during this match. Cutting to the chase the final two teams are somewhat surprisingly Cesaro and Sheamus against The Usos. Which means no big moment for American Alpha again, which is a shame.

Finally we get a little bit of back and forth and an actually wrestling match. We just had to get rid of 16 wrestlers to get their first. Shockingly Cesaro and Sheamus pick up the victory and Raw will overall on the night with 2 wins to nothing!

On the plus side, when Cesaro won via the sharp shooter it wasn’t the normal WWE pandering towards the Canadian crowd as he actually does that move on a regular basis in tribute to Tyson Kidd. So that’s nice.

Cruiserweight Title: The Brian Kendrick (c) vs. Kalisto

20161108_match_survivorseries_kendrickkalisto-447966199a59ca705651d17b3f7757f5Not only was the title on the line, so was the entire division. If Kalisto won the entire cruiserweight division would move to Smackdown. Just in time for 205 Live, it looked like WWE had telegraphed to ending to this match. We’ll get to that.

The main problem I had with this match is that it was another rushed Cruiserweight story. In a struggling division, WWE needed to focus on telling compelling stories about their characters. Not having pointless stipulations. Plus, the idea of Kendrick the only man in the division showing an ounce of personality losing to Kalisto, a walking botch, was repulsive.

However, it was all for nothing. As Baron Corbin interfered and got Kalisto disqualified. Kendrick wins, the Cruiserweights stay on Raw. Nothing changes. Most importantly, the Cruiserweights didn’t benefit from anything about this. A non Cruiserweight interfered and beat one of them up. Thus getting more story and promotion than anything else put into the match.

Before Baron Corbin got involved, it wasn’t a bad match. It’s just that once again the crowd didn’t really care for anything they were watching and well, neither did I if I’m honest.

The whole thing was pointless.

Men’s 5-5 Elimination Match

I loved that Bray Wyatt wasn’t wearing a Smackdown t-shirt again. He should never have had one in the first place! Rollins wearing a half Raw and half his own shirt was a little weird but even weirder still was him wrestling in it.

It was brilliant from Chris Jericho to tag himself into the match so he can confront Dean Ambrose about owing him $15,000 for destroying his jacket in a previous feud. Only Jericho really references his old feuds, its one of many reasons hes so good.

I have a massive problem with being asked to believe that Shane O’Mac can out wrestle Chris Jericho or Seth Rollins. Its too much to ask. Also, now that The Undertaker is back why didn’t he or Brian just ask him to represent Smackdown?

This is the first match in which 1 move isn’t enough to eliminate someone. Its actually given a lot time to develop, breathe and form. It’s treated as if its a real match and not just a throw away mess like the tag team match. Despite having both teams filled with both heels and faces the only person who gets a truly negative response from the crowd was Roman Reigns.

Styles and Ambrose start to argue, which results in Ambrose getting eliminated. This is some how Styles’ fault despite Dean starting the fight. Dean was actually my pick to be the soul survivor!

 

There’s a pretty cool moment between Bray and Strowman, but it felt a little rushed. Later Shane elbow drops Strowman through the announce table and James Ellsworth of all people stops Strowman getting back into the ring and is counted out. Braun puts him through a table for revenge.

202_sur_11202016ej_5020-f365d0c0cccd2b2de02dce0533c58c51After being provoked Kevin Owens hits AJ Styles with the list of Jericho and he’s disqualified. Jericho is distraught at seeing his list going everywhere. Distracted he is hit with an RKO and is gone too. The crowd chant bullshit. A disappointing waste of Owens, which pretty much sums up his title reign. Despite how entertaining he and Jericho are together.

Shane is booked to be the strongest man in the match, which is rather annoying. However as he goes for a coast to coast he gets hit by Roman Reigns with a spear. It’s mistimed and Shane is clearly hurt. Most likely he got a concussion from being caught very high and he actually kicks out, probably unintentionally. The referee only counts to two, but after a quick conversation with both Reigns and Shane he declares him eliminated anyway. The fans are confused, worried and angry as something has obviously gone wrong.

Ambrose comes back to attack Styles, for some reason which results in a reformation of The Shield, at least temporarily. It’s far too soon for The Shield to get back together in my opinion after how personal their break up and rivalries were.

The final moments see Randy Orton take a spear to save Bray Wyatt who in turn hits Reigns with the Sister Abigail for the Smackdown win!

221_sur_11202016rf_3551-0686f35fa0a8a10695345e4926699e44This was by far the best of the 3 traditional Survivor Series matches but considering that Raw had already won on the night it meant very little. I’m glad it was given so much time but there weren’t that many really cool moments if I’m honest.

Tomorrow night it will be back to normal though as everyone will forget this ‘brand superiority nonsense. What’s next for Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho? Were does Seth Rollins go next? He desperately needs a proper feud he can sink his teeth into and as we all know his next big one is with Triple H, they just need to pull the trigger now. The longer they wait, the more damage it does to Seth.

 

 

Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar

Well that was something!

Goldberg destroys Lesnar in under two minutes!

pratt.gifOh my God. I’m speechless, I’m stunned. I literally, even after sleeping on it, do not know how to react or what to think. No one saw this coming. You might have thought Goldberg would beat Lesnar on the night, but no way did anyone think we were going to get an old school WCW Goldberg squash match as the main event of Survivor Series!

2 spears. 1 Jackhammer and the match is over.

Right, let’s try to look at the positives and negatives. Firstly, the amount of buzz this match just created for WWE is off the scale, everyone is talking about it. In under two minutes Goldberg has recaptured his essence that made him a megastar perfectly. It was truly a sight to see, it was undoubtedly amazing!

But what happened to Lesnar? The build, the hype, the beating of The Undertakers streak. That was all going to lead to him putting over the next big thing right? Instead it led to being beaten by Goldberg? Someone even older, someone even more part-time?! That doesn’t make any sense! Or maybe Lesnar’s job was to get Reigns over but like everyone else he failed so they just didn’t know what to do with him. It makes sense, his booking the past year has been really lazy.

I thought to myself last night, that maybe they’d been booked into a corner. Maybe Goldberg was actually ready to go. He looks in great shape, but you never know about ring conditioning etc. Maybe that was all he could do and they booked it the best possible way to hide the weakness? Well, apparently he’s back at the Royal Rumble so I guess that’s not going to be the case. Was this always the plan? Who is he fighting next? Surely there has to be more to this? If not, then I’ll say it right now it’s shit. There has to be more though.

242_sur_11202016rf_3939-cadb82df2f6b4f5d5d2a8c305c1625aeTo the people feeling cheated by the length of the match. Saying that the hype packages and entrances were longer. Yes they were, that’s the point! But you got to see something incredibly special. You saw something massive, something monumental. Something that has just changed the wrestling world forever. For better or for worse.

There is of course the old argument that will arise saying that WWE still can’t build new stars to create these moments. They are still replying on 50-year-old legends from the attitude era coming back and creating magic. And in honesty, that’s true…

But what a moment! I haven’t seen anything this shocking in wrestling since Brock Lesnar himself snapped The Undertakers undefeated streak.

I love it. I flat-out hate it. Yet most importantly, I want to watch Monday Night Raw for the first time in ages. No, I have to watch it. I need to know what is going on. I need to know what the consequences will be for this. I want to see Lesnar kill everyone and everything. I want to see Goldberg confirm he’s back (at least for a little while).

I want to see what’s next and most importantly, who’s next!?

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