The Usos, The New Day, The Colons, The Good Brothers and sAnity def. The Revival, Bobby Roode and Chad Gable, The B-Team, The Ascension and Lucha House Party
Normally, I don’t do Kickoff matches, but since this one had implications for the rest of the night, I thought I’d give it a try. This match was actually pretty impressive to me, and probably would have been better if they had just done The New Day and The Usos vs. Bobby Roode/Chad Gable and The Revival, because that sequence was just awesome work.
There was a few sloppy bits down the stretch, but I was surprisingly not bored with it. This was a rockin’ solid effort and a great way to get the crowd warmed up. Solid start. ***1/2
Nia Jax, Sasha Banks, Mickie James, Bayley and Tamina def. Asuka, Sonya Deville, Naomi, Carmella and Mandy Rose
As we can all see, the focus was put around Nia Jax, as we all know she’d get serenaded with loud boos for obvious reasons. I actually thought it was genius to capitalize off of her heat and have her win the match, even though she does suck so bad. Overall, the match was pretty solid, but nothing really special. I did like that Sonya Deville got extended time in the match and wasn’t just an afterthought.
There really wasn’t any storyline development in the match other than building up Nia Jax as Ronda Rousey’s next challenger, and I think they did a decent job of that. I think it can do Nia Jax a lot of good if she embraced being a dirt bag heel instead of switching between good and evil every other month. Solid, if not unspectacular match to begin the show. **3/4
Seth Rollins def. Shinsuke Nakamura
One of the benefits of this Survivor Series format is that we get to see matches such as this one that we would never otherwise see. I’m pretty sure everyone and their mother were expecting Dean Ambrose to interfere and give Shinsuke Nakamura the victory.
The reason why I picked Seth Rollins to win the match was because I never thought Dean Ambrose would actually come out. If Dean Ambrose was going to interfere, I would have expected him to do so in the World Cup, but he didn’t.
As for this match, while it didn’t reach the level of top notch awesomeness that they are capable of, this was still a VERY quality outing. They complimented Shinsuke Nakamura’s physical style with Seth Rollins’ highflying ability greatly. I especially liked the sequence where Rollins was going for a clothesline and it turned into a pretty looking triangle choke. Hopefully it won’t be too long before these two meet again.
Overall, while this wasn’t some of the top level stuff I was expecting, this was still a VERY good match. ***3/4
AOP def. Cesaro and Sheamus
I mean, the match ended off a “midget pisses himself” distraction and The Big Show laughing. Pretty self explanatory isn’t it?
I’m not sure what else to say other than that Sheamus and Cesaro tried to make gold out of dirt, but it wasn’t happening. It could probably pass as a Raw or SmackDown LIVE match, but this match wasn’t up to par. Not like I was expecting anything big anyway. *1/2
Buddy Murphy (C) def. Mustafa Ali – Cruiserweight Championship
I was initially scared that this match was scrapped because I thought it was a pre-show match. Kind of surprising that they put the Cruiserweight match on the main card, but not only did they leave an interbrand match on the pre-show, it’s not being included in the final tally.
Seth Rollins and Finn Bálor. Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa. Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy. Those are three pairs of superstars this year that I never get sick of watching no matter how many times I watch them.
I am so glad Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy got the chance to wrestle a 205 Live style match and not just wrestle as heavyweights. This was balls to the wall great from the get-go, and the scary thing is they have another gear in them if you watched their No DQ match. This match was about the same quality as the Shinsuke Nakamura/Seth Rollins match, and it took them nearly 10 less minutes to reach there.
I haven’t heard “205” chants on a main roster show until then. Bravo to both men for taking advantage of the platform given to them. ****
Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McyIntyre and Finn Bálor def. The Miz, Shane McMahon, Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe
I mean, even if you take it out of WWE storyline context, Team SmackDown LIVE had no chance. Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre probably weigh more than all of Team SmackDown LIVE combined. I chose SmackDown LIVE to win this match because I thought Team Raw would turn on each other. But here’s the thing. WWE never really makes sense. Team Raw managed to not only turn on themselves but still have on man eliminate four other guys.
The whole thing just seemed kind of pointless, and the thing is that the crowd was hot for the match. Even if Team Raw won, I think they were expecting a competitive match. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. I was also perplexed at just how stupid Team SmackDown LIVE was at times.
You had things such as The Miz saving Shane McMahon from getting pinned but not saving Samoa Joe, your strongest guy. Then, Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman were literally throwing hands in the middle of the ring and instead of letting them tear each other apart, they insert themselves in the middle.
The actual match itself was fine, but I’m just disappointed at how one sided it was. And I’m so fucking sick of the yearly tradition that is non-wrestler, late 40s Shane McMahon being the final survivor of his team. I just fail to see what the purpose was, and it just seems like a great waste of time. Shane McMahon won the World Cup for what? He pinned Dolph Ziggler again here for what?
Again, overall, the match was pretty solid. But pointless in the outcome. **3/4
Ronda Rousey def. Charlotte Flair by DQ
This is how you do a non-finish. Considering that this wasn’t the planned match for the evening, this is about as great a consolation as you can get. Just look at the story.
Charlotte has failed multiple times to procure the SmackDown Women’s Championship from Becky Lynch. Then, Becky Lynch picks her to fight her match for her. In this match, Charlotte Flair eventually realizes she can’t even beat Becky Lynch’s original opponent. So what does Charlotte Flair do? She snaps and loses her sanity.
The frustration of not beating Becky and being a failure as a stand-in got to her, so her only recourse was to essentially do what Becky was probably going to do.
The match was also equally awesome. Ronda is just a born natural. The two told a great story and all the chain wrestling sequences were very well done. The typical arm vs. leg psychology also helped matters as well.
The best part about the non finish was that it practically guarantees that the two will meet again on a bigger platform, and we are reportedly getting Becky/Ronda as a main event for WrestleMania. Just know I’m here for all of it. Awesome showing by the the women here. ****1/4
Brock Lesnar def. Daniel Bryan
I could have done without the opening 10 minutes or so of Brock doing his actual shtick, but the energy changed in the match once Daniel Bryan got some offense in. I just couldn’t help but notice how stupid that ref bump was. Mike Chioda was literally standing right next to Brock Lesnar at the time of the F-5 and then just flopped on his back
I appreciated the consistency in Bryan sticking with the low-blow routine to gain an advantage, but he found out that Brock Lesnar was a much different animal than AJ.
The tap out teases and near falls were also solid. I guess the biggest gaffe I had was that it was too one-sided for too long. It started out in a similar way from AJ Styles’ match with Brock Lesnar last year, but they essentially fought each other to a draw. As hot as the crowd got, there wasn’t a moment where I thought Daniel Bryan was winning. I had that moment with AJ Styles last year.
Overall, a solid main event and very well worked, but they stuck with the Brock formula for too long at the start for me. ***3/4
First and most importantly, shoutout to Enzo Amore. Next, Survivor Series to me was arguably the best main roster PPV of the year. It’s right up there with WrestleMania and Hell in a Cell. Was it better than NXT TakeOver: WarGames II? Probably not. But the margin wasn’t as big as it usually is.
The selling point behind the PPV was seeing matches we’d otherwise never see, and I think it delivered in that aspect. You got a handful of four star quality matches and intense drama. Some stuff was a waste and other things was questionable, but I definitely have more good than bad to say about this