It was an interesting night at Survivor Series in Toronto to say the least. A shock of a main event overshadowed everything else that took place over Survivor Series weekend which might not be a bad thing considering that overall, last night's PPV card was fairly underwhelming. In all honesty while it was promoted like a big deal over the past two months it felt more like a B show than one of the big four WWE were trying to make it back into. But anyway lets get straight into what you're actually here for.
Traditional 5 vs 5 Survivor Series Match (Womens)
Carmella was eliminated by Alicia Fox first who swiftly followed suit after being nailed by Alexa Bliss' Splash. Naomi was then eliminated after failing to beat the 10 count back into the ring (we will talk more about this later) and then quite possibly the most surprising elimination of the match was when Natalya rolled up Sasha Banks for the three count. Sasha Banks barely part of the match at all. Becky Lynch then forced Nia Jax to tap out before Charlotte eliminated Alexa Bliss. Bayley proceeded to eliminate Becky Lynch via Bayley-to-Belly resulting in a win for Team RAW with Charlotte and Bayley as the sole survivors. Charlotte then proceeded to attack Bayley after the match.
Overall this was a fairly entertaining way to open the show. It wasn't anything spectacular but all the women got some spots in and everyone looked good. Obviously the ending was done to advance the story line on RAW for the coming months but WWE missed a trick by not having the final four be the four horsewomen. Interesting that Natalya replaced Nikki Bella here, likely because it was in Toronto, but why not just put her in the match in the first place?
Match Grade: B-
Sami Zayn vs The Miz (Intercontinental Championship)
Zayn got a massive pop to start this match but the Miz was the one with the offense to begin with. Miz mainly targeted the leg of Zayn to weaken it for the Figure Four. Eventually Sami Zayn reverses it and the bell sounds, but not because the match is over, Maryse rang the bell to distract Zayn. Miz takes advantage and rolls up Sami Zayn for the win and the Intercontinental Championship stays with SmackDown Live.
In terms of quality this match was probably the best on the card and it wasn't even that incredible. I liked the finish as it wasn't just a recycled one that we were seeing during Charlotte's title reign with her dad at her side. Miz and Maryse constantly switch up their cheating ways which makes them so much better. Zayn put in a strong showing as usual and Miz's stock in WWE continues to rise. A good match to fill out the show. The result also leaves lots of possibilities, will Zayn be punished or even fired by Stephanie for not bringing gold back to RAW? Will Bryan take issues with Miz again?
Match Grade: B
Traditional (sort of) 10 vs 10 Survivor Series Match (Tag teams)
Enzo and Cass come out first and Enzo does his usual thing on the microphone. Personally I had no idea what he was saying, something about Drake? Anyway, all the teams make their way out and surprise surprise, BreeZango are the first team eliminated in quick fashion, but then one of The Usos hits Kofi with a Superkick and New Day are out! Gallows and Anderson then proceeded to eliminate the Hype Bros, likely to the relief of 90% of the internet. Chad Gable then gets some time to shine, notably with an excellent O'Connor Roll German Suplex on Cesaro followed by an excellent assisted Tope Con Hilo by tag partner Jason Jordan. Unfortunately this results in an elimination for them by Gallows and Anderson, their second of the night but Gallows and Anderson were swiftly eliminated by a Gore from Rhyno. A few eliminations later and we're left with The Usos and Sheamus and Cesaro. In the end The Usos tap via Sharpshooter. Team RAW wins match number two with Sheamus and Cesaro as the sole surviving team.
I actually quite enjoyed this match, especially the part about eliminating New Day early in the match. With no New Day there it allowed everyone else to shine more in the match. Gallows and Anderson eliminated two teams which was good for them, but with the Revival dropping the NXT Tag Team titles on Saturday there's a chance that The Club could be relegated even further down the card. The Usos looked good as well so they'll be a likely bet to take the SmackDown Live Tag Titles off Heath Slater and Rhyno. Chad Gable also impressed when in the ring as expected.
Match Grade: B
Kalisto vs The Brian Kendrick (Cruiserweight Championship)
The crowd really wasn't into this. There were some high points during the match, most notably when Kalisto hit a Spanish Fly from the ring apron to the floor. In the end this match ended in a DQ win for Kendrick after Baron Corbin got involved and attacked him and Kalisto. It was a lacklustre way to end a fairly decent match.
With an entire division on the line it would've been if we got a decisive finish in this one but that wasn't the case. The crowd really wasn't into this match. It was completely quite almost all the way through. It's sad to see the state the Cruiserweights are in right now after the Cruiserweight Classic but hopefully 205Live will provide a better platform for them.
Match Grade: C+
Traditional 5 vs 5 Survivor Series Match (Mens)
This was long. REALLY long. Everyone made their way to the ring with AJ Styles, Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho in particular getting very positive reactions while Roman Reigns was his usual people pleasing self. Dean Ambrose was the first man eliminated by Braun Strowman after AJ Styles refused to intervene on Dean's behalf. Orton then comes in with a trademark RKO outta nowhere to Strowman on the announce table. Shane then sends Strowman through the announce table with a flying elbow. Braun fails to make the 10 count back to the ring, thanks to James Ellsworth holding on to his leg under the ring. Unfortunately Strowman then proceeds to destroy the poor chinless wonder. Back to the match and AJ Styles, being his dastardly self, gets a cheeky blow in on Kevin Owens who isn't the legal man in the match. KO then attacks AJ with the List of Jericho, resulting in a disqualification. Jericho, understandably distraught at the now broken list was distracted and Orton hit him with an RKO. RAW now down to two with SmackDown Live still on four. This is where it gets weird. Shane McMahon goes for Coast to Coast on Roman Reigns who catches him with a Spear mid-air, but Shane looks like he's be legitimately knocked out cold. Shane's taken out of the match despite not being officially eliminated. Dean being the terrible team player he is comes out and attacks SmackDown captain AJ which results in Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose (didn't they use to be a team or something?) putting AJ through a table. Rollins pins Styles and it's now two vs two. Rollins looks to attempt a frog splash on Bray Wyatt but Orton hits him with an awesome RKO and Rollins is out. Reigns gains the upper hand but as he goes for a Spear on Wyatt Orton takes the blow and Wyatt nails Reigns with Sister Abigail for the win. Team SmackDown live wins the final match with Wyatt and Orton as the sole survivors.
Where do I start with this? Well, first of all WWE need to hire some new officials. Rollins, Reigns and Styles were all outside the ring for a good 5 minutes yet the referee decided not to begin a count despite the fact that Braun Strowman was counted out about 10 minutes earlier. As well as this, Kevin Owens was disqualified for utilising the List of Jericho as weapon which is understandable, but why was Shane not disqualified for utilising the announce table as a weapon? Very strange logic here. This match was more of a spot fest than it was an actual wrestling match. Combine that with the fact that it went on for 53 whole minutes and this ones pretty divisive. I personally fall on the side that didn't like it. It felt like it dragged on to fill time on a four hour PPV when it didn't need to go on any longer than 30 minutes. It was good, but not great.
Match Grade: B+
Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg
Honestly I can sum this up quickly. Goldberg Spears Lesnar once. Spears him again. Goldberg then hits Lesnar with a Jackhammer and pins him for the victory. Just WOW.
Some of Braun Strowman's recent squash matches on RAW have been longer than that. If the last match was divisive then this one was like Moses parting the Red Sea. Again, I fall on the side of "what the hell were WWE thinking with this?" WWE have had problems creating new stars and this match is the defining example of that. In Brock Lesnar they had a chance to create a star out of nothing. You could take any wrestler in the world, make them the first person to beat Lesnar in this dominant phase and they instantly become a huge star. Instead, WWE have given the honour to a man who is 49 years old and likely won't be around this time next year. It was an incredible thing to witness in the short term but long term this benefits nobody. You can try to rebuild Brock Lesnar's aura but being the second person to beat the 1 in 21-1 doesn't exactly have the same ring to it. This kind of blew logic out the window as well. I know wrestling is a scripted form of entertainment but is there really anyone who buys into the idea that a 49 year old man who hasn't wrestled in 12 years can beat a 39 year old MMA fighter? Yes, this was a big moment, but that's all it was. Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg was a moment, compare that with DIY vs Revival who created a lasting memory at NXT Takeover.
Match Grade: D
Overall PPV Grade: B-
- Kane beat Luke Harper on the pre-show. Apparently Kane winning in 2016 is a big thing.
- When Shane was legitimately hurt during the match, Twitter noticed that Orton took the time to reassure Shane's son at ringside that he was OK. What a great man.
- There are silhouettes of Heath Slater's kids on his Titantron ribbon. It's wonderful.
- So many creative ways to wear the team strip, but the winner is clearly Seth Rollins for his half and half shirt. Always have to rep the merchandise.
- If you haven't seen Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho in the Social Lounge on the pre-show I urge you to do so immediately.
- Jericho's continuation of his beef with Ambrose, claiming that Dean still "owes his $15,000" is yet another example of why Jericho is one of the greatest of all time.