I’m not going to go into a long narrative here because it would be better to get right into Survivor Series. (And then I realized that I totally missed two Kick-Off matches and had to go back and watch them before posting!)
Elias Defeats Matt Hardy
I know that Jeff is injured, but it seems as though they’ve completely dropped the ball with Matt when he really could go all Broken and give us so much greatness on the too-long Raw each week. Instead, he and Elias end up working the ring in an almost empty arena. I know people were coming in, but it’s still too early for a match to happen. It’s ridiculous for the superstars to have to work the ring in front of so few people and so little reaction. I know TNA wrestlers are used to it at this point, but Matt is no longer in TNA and has proven he deserves more respect than this. And then there’s Elias who keeps getting shuffled around and hasn’t worked with anyone in a specific feud that made any sense. And, since I’m going off, if it wasn’t bad enough that they were stuck working under those conditions, they put a really long commercial in the middle of their match. There’s plenty of time to put commercials during the Kick Off, but they had to do it in the middle of this match and further hinder Matt and Elias.
Zo Defeats/Retains Over Kalisto
I’d heard that Kalisto screwed up his entrance to the ring, but dang! I will say that after he got his bearings he covered well and made up for it. It has to be hard as every arena is slightly different, so every approach to the ring is different for him. Of course, he’s going to botch that at some point. Heck, remember when Reigns couldn’t get over the barricade when with Shield and fell on his face? No matter how good someone is, mistakes happen. Just sucks when it happens at a big four PPV. Starting the match with an issue like that could be something that gets stuck in a wrestler’s head, but it didn’t seem to happen to Kalisto here. I won’t say that this was a good match, but it wasn’t horrific. It just wasn’t up to par for what it should have been. I can’t point a finger in any specific direction, it just didn’t work.
Sami & KO defeat Breezango
I have to say that while the ring work was strong, as always from these four, the premise just wasn’t there. Further, putting KO and Sami on the Kick Off to Survivor Series feels like a kick in the slats to two of the best (and who I tune in to see each week) on the SD roster. That being said, they were sent home from the UK for disregarding script and going into business for themselves. Because of that, I have to think that this was their punishment, and hopefully the only punishment they will be receiving because they truly are two of the best in the WWE today.
Video Package of Doom!
That video package was almost fifteen minutes long. To step back and use a favorite line of one of my least favorite wrestlers, “What’s up with that?” It’s just WAY too much. Most people watching Survivor Series knows how this all came about. Five minutes would have been more than enough.
Then there’s the announce team! Five people on announce? That’s downright gluttonous, and I blame McMahon. Honestly, the last thing we need is four hours of Booker T! I, for one, am not at all impressed with ANY of the first fifteen minutes of this Survivor Series.
The Shield Defeats New Day
We all knew that New Day and The Shield were going to try to steal the show, so why not do so off the blocks? For PPVs like this, I don’t see the first match as a bad placement on the card at all. In fact, it sets the tone for the entire show in a way that the Kick-Off matches cannot do.
I have to say that Kofi was on fire when he tagged in and started working with Ambrose. He looked younger and sprier than normal, which shouldn’t surprise me in such a huge match, but it does, a bit. I’ll also say that New Day did a great job of working as a team off the blocks, and looked much stronger than The Shield. As I said, we all knew these six would be pulling out all the stops to try to steal Survivor Series and give us a MOTY candidate, but there’s a big difference between knowing it will happen and watching it actually come to fruition in the ring.
So many dangling participles in this match! Not that I didn’t expect some of their best work in this match, but wow, the really took it to another level. Botch likes to remind me of how great New Day was at HIAC, and how they more than proved themselves, but I think they stepped it up even further in this match.
There were many beautiful moments in this match, and it was a great match, and even though I talked about all the greatness, I still expected more. It was an excellent match, but it wasn’t a five crown match.
Women In Red!
Between Foxy’s floral hat, Asuka’s coat, Steph’s red dress, and Nia’ beautiful braids, these women look amazing! Further, as always when Steph is on, she’s amazing, and she was just that here. I loved her pep talk!
Women’s Team Raw Defeat Women’s Team SD
I have to say that Nattie’s ring gear was horrible in this match! I love seeing her back in the traditional Hart pink and black, but that her widest part (not shaming her size at all, she has the most amazing body) had the brightest color and it made her look out of proportion. I honestly don’t understand why some of the women in the WWE wear some of the worst ring gear for their body type. Most of us agree that Nia’s ring gear is a mess, and that’s what I’m saying about Nattie’s ring gear here.
Many people were shocked that Becky was the first eliminated. She was last woman standing last year, and this year she’s first out. I know it had to be someone, it just felt odd that it was Becky after last year.
Love watching Nia and Tamina work the ring together. I’d really love to see these two in a feud at some point in the future. I know they are not on the same show, but I’m hoping they will be at some point down the line because this family feud could be amazing. Further, have their feud culminate at one of the big four with Reigns in one corner and Rocky in the other?
Nia being counted out was odd as many of us thought Asuka would be counted out to keep her record. It seemed as though most people thought Charlotte would win her match as well as Women’s Team SD winning. Obviously, a lot of us were wrong about that.
Naomi with Foxy on the corner, that was one of the best moves of the night – so far. The problem was that there were three big botches – and I don’t mean our media guru here at WR. Things were really sloppy looking there for a bit, and I blame the ref as much, if not more than the women for them. It turned into a real screwy mess there for a bit.
Team SD was down to Jims’ daughters. (Thanks to David Jr. for that one.) Asuka eliminated Tamina, then Nattie for the win. I love that Nattie was the last of her team to be eliminated. She just recently lost the SD Women’s Championship, and so it makes sense that she holds out to the end. I hope that Tamina lasting so long means there’s more greatness to come for her now that she’s back full time.
Then there’s Asuka. I really didn’t think Team Raw would win this match, but it’s obvious to have Asuka be the sole survivor. She really is the best there is right now, and Bliss better hold tight to her gold with as on the Raw roster.
Red vs Blue
I wonder if Bryan had that lovely blue linen blazer in his closet, or did they have to rush around and find him something blue to wear? Not sure his sheer shirt looks right with that jacket, but I’m in love with the jacket, and love it that much more on Bryan
Steph really gave Bryan what for, but he didn’t hold back against her either. The back and forth was solid, but they’ve worked the mic a lot together over the past number of years. I like their chemistry, and I wonder if Bryan might end up on Raw at some point.
Corbin Defeats Miz?
The IT baby is on the way. The best line of the night so far, and that’s saying something with that crack announce team. Wait, no, Corey and Cole are good, but beyond that most of announce is just annoying crap of the night.
I really thought this match would be booked in more of a sleeper spot, like right before the main event when everyone wants to go to the loo. Nothing against Miz, as he’s been carrying Raw for quite a while now (especially since KO is on SD and BL can’t/won’t carry as Universal Champion), but I’m not sure he can, or did, bring enough out of Corbin to make him look like anything more than a wet dishrag. I will give Corbin credit for telling a fan, “Shut up and sit down.” during his match, but he needs to show more personality than that one second.
Wait, what? The ending looked good but made no sense! I know SD needed to get on the board, but Corbin? I just don’t see it as at all realistic. I know Miz can handle the loss, and it’s not a biggie to him, but Corbin! Just not cool.
Bayley & Diamonds
That was a lovely proposal, and possibly the best way to be proposed to that I can think of. I know, I’m biased being a huge wrestling fan, but that really was lovely. Though I have to say that Bayley came off as really plastic, not at all the sweet girl we know she is, but the poor talker who is struggling on Raw.
Heyman is always hype in my book. He’s so great at what he does and makes most everyone else on mic look almost useless. If not for Heyman, there wouldn’t be any BL as Universal Champion, as the man cannot speak for himself these days.
Usos Defeat The Bar
I really expected a lot more from this match. Two sleepers in a row aren’t good for Survivor Series, at all. We know these four can go, but they really didn’t here. I feel bad for the four of them because this just wasn’t what it was supposed to be for them.
I didn’t need to see Jey’s tighty whities when Cesaro had him up on his shoulders. The corner spot was great but too much of the whities for my taste. Yes, I feel the same way about Cena and all his showing of undies. I’m not at all conservative about dress, and I don’t have issues with bras showing, or even Lita’s thongs, but guys showing their knickers just annoys me. I know it makes no sense, but women showing a bit of lacy can be sexy, but there’s nothing sexy about whities.
JJ Gets Edgy!
Okay, not really, but he spoke more strongly than he has in the past. I hope this is the start of his turn and he finds personality while he’s doing it.
Charlotte Defeats Bliss
A lot of the WR readers were not believing Bliss, at her size, beating up someone of Charlotte’s stature. I completely disagree. We saw Rey work the ring against men much larger than him, and because of his ring skills, it looked viable. Awesome Kong worked some of the most beautiful matched with Gail Kim and no one questioned it. I feel the same way about this. The way Bliss worked the ring, the holds she locked on, while she sometimes looked small – especially sitting in Charlotte’s lap with the front facelock on – she didn’t let that hinder her in the ring in any way. Bliss has always been tiny, so she learned how to work with it. Seeing my daughter Sam grow up I can see how much getting taller can mess with the equilibrium of your body. I know the same thing happened when I was growing up, but it’s more on my mind as I watch Sam grow up. Because of this Bliss really knows her body and how to work it in the ring.
Charlotte winning made a lot of sense, not just because of size, but of course, the Queen would take out the Goddess! It’s just what we do!
Suplex City Defeats Pele Kick
I really didn’t want to see this match. I’ve been quite open and honest on my feelings about Brock Lesnar and his work in the ring, as well as him holding the Universal Championship, and being part-time and not giving the fans any of himself – ever. I’m not happy that he’s in the WWE, and finally, more and more fans are really seeing it my way. It’s just not what’s best for business when the big Champion on Raw is never there and has only defended his Championship three times this year. Gone is the 30-day defense clause that they pull out whenever someone is injured, making a movie, or has to be out for one reason or another. That’s wrong and a travesty!
Not that I got that tirade off my chest, onto the match. I wasn’t at all surprised that BL was all over AJ from word go, but I also wasn’t surprised that BL was blown up four minutes into the match. Drenched in sweat, bright red, but shockingly not busted open from absolutely nothing. BL also looks as though he’s getting a bit paunchy. I know it’s not easy to keep your body in that sort of shape, but for the money he’s getting to show up rarely and compete almost never, he should make it his job at home to stay in peak physical form.
I loved the end of this match, the back and forth was better than I thought it would. I’ll fully admit that BL worked well with AJ and sold for him pretty well. And, as much as I don’t like the man, I hope BL isn’t hurt. That knee looked pretty rough after the match.
Red Team Defeats Blue Team
What a match! Does it compare to War Games? I think it’s absolutely a comparable match, just different. Most of the combatants were older, and therefore work the ring in a much different way, but it was a beautiful match. I know people had issues with a few parts, namely Nakamura being eliminated first, Roode eliminated second, and how the very end went down. I’ll get to the end but will address Nakamura and Roode first. Now, someone had to be eliminated first, and while I understand that they are lower on the totem pole, but the WWE needs to be building these newer guys (because they sure are not younger). I would have had no issue with Cena and Orton going first. That would have made a lot of sense for many reasons, but the WWE is still stuck on their bigger names and will not build these guys who could be leading Raw and SD now, rather than the guys who have destroyed their bodies to entertain us on WWE TV for all these years.
I really need to mention a few of the individual matchups within this Classic Survivor Series Elimination Match. Seeing Cena and Joe work together brought a smile to my face. I am truly hoping if Cena’s body can handle it (because he looked to be in some of the worst shape of anyone in this match, including Trip and Angle), he gets a feud with Joe. Joe had a hand in training Cena early on, and that could make for some amazing storyline, hopefully with pics or video of them back when they were young and starting out. It worked really well for Sami and KO, and while Cena and Joe are not besties, they have a past, and that past could make for an interesting now.
The other matchup that made me giddy, no, actually, I marked out in a huge way. There was serious yelling and screaming from me when Trip and Roode stepped into the ring together. I’ve said for many years, specifically when I started writing about TNA on a weekly basis in 2008, that Roode is very much like Trip in more ways than I can count. The funny thing is, even though Roode was in NXT, run by Trip, I didn’t think we would actually ever see the two of them face off in the ring. When Roode went to SD, I thought that sealed the deal, but I also didn’t expect Trip to return to the ring the way he has. Yes, he comes back for WrestleMania many years now, but only for huge matches, but this is Survivor Series and it wasn’t until I saw them both in the ring that I realized I was getting a pipedream I never thought I’d see. I truly hope we get more of these two feuding.
And then there was the end of the match. A lot of people didn’t get it, but I’m watching summer 2000 where Trip and Angle fought over Steph, and I see why Trip would absolutely take out Angle. Not going saying that they are going to refer that far back (though I wish they would), but that they’ve had a tumultuous relationship and Trip turning on Angle makes so much sense. The only thing I was missing was JJ getting involved in the match, which he really needed to push his turn forward. The way he put Shane onto Angle made it look like Trip was turning on Team Raw, only to take out Shane himself. But it was Strowman’s reaction that seemed to kill the fans’ love for this match. I’ll agree that the whole thing wasn’t expected, but I thought it worked and worked well. Strowman sold every bit of his confusion and ire before taking out Trip. I loved that Strowman doesn’t care who he takes out. If they cross him in any way, you’re persona non grata, even if you’re the boss. Great way to end Survivor Series.
Lastly, if you didn’t see Trip ‘Too Sweet’ Balor as Trip entered the ring, here it is!
Raw and SD this week are going to be amazing. This could almost be up there with the Raw and SD after WrestleMania. The WWE has given us so much this past month, and this is still within the biggest lull time of the year, so I’m hoping that it doesn’t stop as we go into the holiday season. Further, I’m so glad that SD isn’t on Thursday, it always made it hard for the fans to watch.
I really thought that Survivor Series was going to out-play NXT this time around, but I was wrong. Further, I said I’d eat my words if I was wrong. Well, that will happen on our next Vid-Cast. I will be eating my own words!