The Destruction of SD! (Survivor Series 2020 Review)

WWE presented Survivor Series from the Thunderdome in Orlando, FL.  They didn’t invade each show so that cross-exposure didn’t happen going into the PPV, but then they threw a whole lot of them in a Battle Royal!  Earlier in the day there was a large backstage discussion about how blah the card looked going into this show – compared to other PPVS this year and previous episodes of Survivor Series.  Going into the show my hopes for it sunk lower and lower.  Then the Kick Off started and the show felt strong from the start, and only got better from there.  Much better show than I thought it would be, by leaps and bounds.

 

 

Egg Man Celebration!

 

I cannot get over Taker’s story about thinking he was going to have to shave his head and become Egg Man in his debut.  Luckily he was given The Undertaker and poor Hector Guererro was stuck dancing in the Gobbledy Gooker costume dancing in the ring with Mean Gene!  Truth bringing Gooker in for this segment meant he’d be winning the 24/7/I95 Championship.  I think it was Gulak in the costume as it sounded like him after he won the strap and tried to flee losing one of his feet in the process.  Honestly, they did a great job of restoring or remaking the costume.  After 30 years in storage, there’s no way it looked that good.  However the costume was handled, this segment was fantastic, mostly because R-Truth is a national treasure.

Botch:  Gobbeldy Gooker for HOF…and R-Truth should induct him.  There it is.  That’s the comment.

 

 

Miz Pulled An Edge

 

Shorty G won my love at the end of this match.  He worked that ring better than anyone but Dominik, the youngest and newest in WWE!  Not saying Dominik was better, but he’s so new to this that holding his own in a match like that impresses me more than almost anything else.  Anyway, watching Shorty hit those three suplexes had me marking out.  Part of it is his sniglet (it’s a word that doesn’t work for me, it will always be sniglet from me – I can’t even pronounce it correctly, just like I sound like a Brit when I say aluminum), but also how crisp he is in the ring, I see so much Angle in him – which makes me laugh that it was his partner that was Angle’s storyline son.

Anyway, I wasn’t excited for this match, especially in the middle of another massive COVID-19 wave, but once the ring was mostly cleared out we got to see some solid work from two of the young guys on the roster, and they blew me away.  It’s the short wrestling match we saw after the ring was mostly clear that I graded this on because most Battle Royals are similar until things start getting fun.  Speaking of fun, when Miz rolled under the ropes enough to not be eliminated, I knew he was going to pull an Edge and win it.

 

Last Team Standing!

 

The lead-in to this match felt forever.  Ten entrances for this match had me twiddling my fingers and yawning.  I know it’s something they feel they need to do, but it really felt like they were filling time more than anything.  They have introduced the teams as a unit in the past, but not this year and I have to wonder why.

Then, the greatness started.  The ringwork was really great from the start, setting up for the many twists and turns to come.  I was confused by Rollins on his knees at first, but it is a great way to write him off so he can go be with Becky through the rest of the pregnancy and be there for the birth of his first child.  I’m so excited for them and am fine with Rollins being away for a while to be with his beautiful wife.

Corbin looked solid in the ring, but it was Riddle who really stepped up as a team player in this one.  Between willingly tagging in and out, and working so well with his mates, I was really impressed.  I know he’s good, but not all good wrestlers deal with being in teams.  Riddle made it look effortless.  The more I see of him the more impressed I become.  It helped that most of Team Raw worked well together, but Riddle was the shining light on his team, for me.

Team SD was a mess all the way around, though Otis really did a great job of working the ring and sticking with his team, even though they were not really there for him.  I was shocked to see Jey as the last man standing on his team as I really thought he might walk out on his team before even stepping into the ring.  He’s not much of a team player right now as he’s more focused on the vicious side of his family life.  But he hung in there and really went at it.  He lost at the end when Lee caught him so beautifully coming off the corner.  I picked Lee to be the last man standing in this one, but I didn’t expect him to get the pinfall with his whole team still standing!  Nothing like making SD look like a group of pathetic losers.  Thanks Vince!  The grade is for the work done, not for the crap way SD was made to look.

 

They Got The Smoke

 

How do I write about a match between New Day and Street Profits?  We all know how great both teams are on mic and in the ring.  They always work the ring hard, elevating it to so much more at PPVs, so this was guaranteed to be a great match no matter what they did in the ring.  The fun and creativity in that ring was all I expected and so much more.  The way Ford hit running sliced bread by running up the front of Dawkins was the coolest thing I’ve seen so far in this SvS, and that’s saying something because the WWE has given us a shockingly great SvS so far.

This is one of those matches you just need to go and watch.  The friendship and support in that ring, the high-flying, hard-hitting, emotional moves from all four made this match as expected, a thing of beauty!

Botch:  This was all I hoped it’d be and the one match out of all of them I was looking forward to the most.  The build, while not as amazing as I know it could have been, was enough as I knew they’d deliver in the ring and they’d tell a compelling story in other ways.  All four of those incredible talents got in the ring and made a real show of this.  All of them brought the absolute best out of each other.  Montez’s dives are just freakishly impressive.  I love that Dawkins got the pin.  Nice period at the end of the sentence for him.  Woods and Dawkins have known each other forever and you could see how proud Woods was of Dawkins.  No one languished in developmental longer than Dawkins has and to see him really make it is incredibly cool.  Montez just has buckets full of “it” and it all came out to play tonight.  All in all, an excellent match from four of the most talented men on the roster.

 

Lashley Induced Vertigo

 

I have been very open about not wanting to see or caring about this match in any way.  We’ve seen this feud and it sucked then.  Okay, the vertigo is bloody hysterical, but that’s about it.  I find it interesting how many times I’ve written something today (Sunday) about Lashley and how bad it was because of Lashley.  That’s not a good sign.  If not for MVP, I think Lashley should have gone the way of the dodo.  MVP has helped, but not as much as most members of the WR roster thinks he’s helped.  Lashley is just so bloody boring and I have less than no interest in him for any reason.  If not for the Hurt Business, this match would have garnered a skull.  Sami was able to work off them outside the ring which meant he didn’t have to rely on only Lashley to get this match over.

 

The Tribal Chief

 

Reigns has really turned a corner in his career with his character.  He’s really found his niche and it’s a beautiful thing.  I finally see some of that Rocky spark that we’d been hoping to see in Reigns since he debuted.  Each week, he settles more and more into this character and I’m in awe.  I didn’t think Reigns had this in him and I’m thrilled I was wrong, because this Reigns can absolutely be the top man in WWE, something they’ve not had since Cena had to step back from the ring.  I’m really excited to see Reigns finally find his groove, especially since we didn’t know what the world had in store for him only a year ago.  So much greatness in that one little backstage segment.

 

I Want More!

 

This is exactly what I expected from Sasha and Asuka.  I’d hoped it would be booked in a more vicious way, sorta like the NXT Iron Woman Match, but it really didn’t need it, nor would it have worked as they’re not feuding now and the feud would feed that viciousness.  They both really worked that ring hard, leaving it all out there, showing us how great they both are.  I loved the jockeying for position in holds on the mat.  It’s something we see more from the men than the women, but these two are great on the mat together and I was never bored by any of the holds.  There is video of Andre falling asleep in a nine-minute hold, and I always worry about mat work boring me to that extent, but this match was the best of moves, holds, and passion.  This was solid all the way around, and absolutely worthy of being on a PPV.

 

Poor Hector Guererro!

 

Okay, we know that it wasn’t Hector in the Gooker suit this year, but he still deserves the props for the horrible costume thirty years ago.  I loved the very Loony Tunes way of luring in the Gooker.  Cute segment, though not Truth’s best.

 

Lana’s Not The Best…But She Is The Only One Standing!

 

The bullying of Lana should be addressed by WWE in storyline.  Someone needs to come to her aid and say it’s not right that Nia is treating her that way.  Too many kids watch WWE, and as much as I wish things were a bit grittier in the WWE at times, Nia was downright nasty to Lana making her stay on the stairs.  The way she spoke to her brought my chivalry out and I just want to slap Nia for it.  I know it’s all scripted, but kids don’t and something should happen to show kids it’s not how you treat people.  Then again maybe McMahon should remind his good friend of that.  (You know who I mean.  Trying hard to keep politics off WR, but sometimes the comment can’t not be said.)

What a coup for Peyton pinning Bayley the way she did.  I wasn’t expecting it, but it was great to see.  Peyton’s work with Nattie after that pinfall was also great to see.  Honestly Peyton looked so much better in the ring than Nattie.  Nattie messed up a couple of things while Peyton looked crisp – until she had to tap out.

The back and forth in the middle felt a bit blah at times, but when Ruby got in there with Shayna and got choked out was great, but then Liv stepped up and wanted to go at Nia herself, things got that much better.  Liv doesn’t have the power behind her, but dang she has the passion and her ring work is getting better and better each week.  So many thought Liv would be the first to wash out of the Riott Squad, but she’s standing tall with Ruby while Sarah has her baby.  Sadly Ruby wasn’t given as much time in the ring, but she looked solid too.  They really need to go after Nia and Shayna after this PPV.

I called it that Lana would be last woman standing.  I really thought she’d go through announce early and then come back to win it out of the blue.  I love how the end was handled, showing Bianca’s sheer power over Nia.  I hope we see something big start for her this coming Friday because she deserves a massive push.  Bianca could easily be bigger and better than Charlotte and it needs to start on Friday so she can get ready to win the Royal Rumble in January.

 

This Is Big Boy Wrestling

 

This match felt really old school in a lot of ways.  Big men working big moves and holds back and forth between them.  They really worked hard in that ring with some slow but well-executed burn through most of it.  These two looked like legendary wrestlers showing just how great they are in that ring.  They worked so hard and all over the ringside area, through announce and a barricade, and they continued to fight.  Not sure I like how much this version of Reigns talking so much in the ring, but it works with his character.  The insane moves and bumps in this match left me in awe.

I loved their work, and this is one of those matches that I’m going to say you need to watch to get the beauty of it.  So much greatness I can’t explain, but I think Jason’s comment in the DD says it all, “This isn’t just awesome, it’s phenomenal, incredible, off the chains, and any other phrase you can think of here!  I expected a good match, but not Undertaker vs HBK at Mania level greatness!”  Dre said it was absolutely a MOTY candidate, and “Drew looked a billion bucks in this even in defeat.”  SAM said, “That was a main event.”  The title of this match came from Dre as well.

I’m not sure I could say any more about this match, it was just spectacular.

 

30 Years Of Taker

 

We all could go on and on about the Taker tribute because it was lovely and I was chopping onions, but I’m not going to.  There will be a lot said about the tribute, both on WR and the IWC.  This is one of those things you have to experience for yourself.  Also, I’m sure Botch will have something to say about this as well.

Botch:  Well, Queen won’t like this…but she invited it so here we go.  Taker has long since worked past expiration.  His last match with AJ Styles was fun but it really shouldn’t even have been a thing.  Taker is one of the unfortunate ones that couldn’t tell when his time was up…and he worked well past it.  For me, that fact dulled the impact of this and it was nothing I was looking forward to seeing.

To begin, they had a bunch of guys from the Attitude Era (Jeff Hardy included) come out to the ring and stand there for a few minutes because…reasons?  No one said anything; they literally just came out and…stood there.  This part was totally throwaway.  Then, things get good.

Having Vince introduced the Undertaker was a very nice touch.  This clearly wasn’t easy for him emotionally but he did a stellar job.  Then, cue the Undertaker theatrics – a spectacle that no other entrance in the history of professional wrestling can touch.  I loved the “8-bit”-esque interlude before his proper theme played.  That interlude coupled with the lightning strikes playing in time was a very nice touch.  It sounded harsh and abrasive – the perfect way to begin that part of the proceedings.  Once in the ring, Undertaker kept it short – essentially laying himself to rest.  It would have been more effective for me had he been able to take off his jacket/hat combo and left them in the ring but he couldn’t do that…because he’d already done it once before when he really should have said goodbye for the last time.  The Paul Bearer hologram along with sound byte was a very nice touch too.

Regardless of anything I’ve said here, Undertaker is the most successful theatrical gimmick in the history of professional wrestling.  No other gimmick comes close to being as successful.  The man behind it gave it his all and for that, we should all be grateful.  Rest in peace, Undertaker…

 

Shut Up Graves!

As I said earlier, the card for this Survivor Series didn’t look great on paper, but when they got into the ring it was greatness through most of the night.  This was an unexpected gem that has me still smiling, and I’m sure I’m going to carry this smile through the week as I’m really excited to see what will happen on Raw and SD this week!

Queen