Last night, the WWE held its annual Survivor Series event at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. This was the 29th annual event and it marked the 25th anniversary of the debut of my all time favorite wrestler The Undertaker. Before I get into my recap I want to address one thing.
On the day before the event the FBI announced that they were investigating an alleged threat by ISIS against the arena. They released a statement that read, “The FBI is aware of reports of an alleged threat that includes an Atlanta, Georgia venue and event. While we take all threats seriously, we do not have specific or credible information of an attack at this time. We have, however, made the proper notifications as we continue to work closely with our law enforcement and private sector partners to keep our community safe.” The event, thankfully, went off as planned and without incident. In the words of John Oliver – “Fuck these assholes.”
With that out of the way, let’s get on with the show.
The week after Hell in a Cell, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins blew out his knee (torn ACL, MCL & meniscus). Since then, the WWE has been holding a tournament to crown a new champion. Survivor Series would have the semi finals and finals of that tournament on the card as well as several other mathces. Mark and our buddy Jordan came over to watch the show (with the boys joining us for the first match or so as well).
The pre show (which we didn’t watch) offered up a traditional Survivor Series five on five match where Goldust, The Dudley Boyz, Neville, and Titus O’Neil defeated The Cosmic Wasteland (Stardust and The Ascension), The Miz, and Bo Dallas. From all accounts it was a good match and it’s one that simply based on the participants I’ll go back and watch. At just over 18 minutes long it was the match that received the MOST time in the ring all night… and that’s a big problem.
Roman Reigns Defeated Alberto Del Rio – Tournament Semifinals
Not shocked at all to see this match kick off the show as the winner will have to wrestle later on in the evening. Del Rio looks great after coming back and last night he and Reigns put on a great match here to open up the show. The crowd was sort of dead throughout the show but I can’t really blame them with the ISIS threat. At one point you could really tell the crowd noise was being pumped in as they cut to the crowd and they were sitting on their hands. No surprise to see Reigns get the pin here but he continues to prove that he’s a great worker and in my mind deserving of a title. Just over 14 minutes here seemed just right. I would have hoped to have seen the Reigns shoulder injury come into play later in the night but sadly it was dropped. shrugs
Dean Ambrose Defeated Kevin Owens – Tournament Semifinals
Another solid match. Sadly this is really the last good match of the night. Kevin Owens is pure gold on the mic and outstanding in the ring as well. Ambrose on the other hand is my current fav in the company and is entertaining damn near every time he gets into the ring. If Owens wasn’t the current Intercontinental champion this would have been a toss up as to who went to the finals. As it stood I didn’t see Owens having much of a chance. This one clocked in at just over 11 minutes which seemed too short for the importance of the match. Regardless both guys worked hard and Ambrose countered the pop up powerbomb into his version of the DDT for the win. Another great match there setting up a rather predictable but satisfying Reigns vs Ambrose for the title later in the night.
Ryback, The Usos, and The Lucha Dragons Defeated The New Day, Sheamus, and King Barrett – Survivor Series Match
This one was thrown together in the interest of having a traditional Survivor Series match on the card and it showed. It totally reminded me of the 4-Way tag match at WrestleMania 31 where they’re just putting matches together to get guys onto the card. At least there we had a title on the line. This was just a whole bunch of “meh” covered with boring. Just about the only saving grace here was Big E’s work in the ring and Xavier Woods’ hair. And as entertaining as The New Day are, they’re really running the risk of undermining their heel run. They’re too entertaining to be true bad guys. While I hate to say it, they need to drop some of their entertaining schtick. Either that or go baby face and continue with the comedy. Sadly if they go that route they’ll be Santino Marella. One final note on this match… could Kalisto look more like Rey Mysterio?
Charlotte Defeated Paige To Retain The Divas Championship
For months we’ve been hearing about the Divas Revolution. We’ve been hearing about how awesome these gals are in the ring. We’ve been hearing about the amazing matches the ladies are putting on down in NXT. (They are awesome by the way). Sunday night, Charlotte and Paige got more time on the card than any other non Survivor Series match. They got a huge build up in by ending the go home RAW show with an Attitude Era worthy storyline that referenced the real life death of Charlotte’s brother Reid. And then they went out and shit the bed. We got a couple of nice spots, specifically one where Charlotte had Paige in a figure four while hanging out of the ring, but for all the build up I expected more. At least it wasn’t a 3 way Divas match that we’ve been getting since the beginning of the Revolution.
Tyler Breeze Defeated Dolph Ziggler
Remember back at SummerSlam 1994 when The Undertaker faced The Undertaker? This is essentially the same thing. Ziggler is Breeze. Breeze is Ziggler. If you didn’t know what color tights each guy was wearing you wouldn’t know who was winning. There are rumors flying that Ziggler wants to quit wrestling after his contract is up this year to pursue his stand up comedy career. With the way he’s been booked over his career I can’t say I blame him. He’s one of the best workers in the business and continually finds himself on the losing ends of feuds like this. Last year he was the stand out star at Survivor Series. This year he’s jobbing to the new guy. Oh what a difference a year makes. Right before the bell, Jordan put the over under on this match at 6 minutes and we all immediately jumped at the under. We were all wrong as it went over, but just barely at 6:40. This Breeze character reminds me of yet another failed character in the making such as Fandango or Adam Rose. Time will tell.
The Undertaker and Kane defeated The Wyatt Family
Here it is. The match this event has been booked around. The Undertaker returns to where it all started a quarter of a century ago. The announce team did a decent job trying to play up the fact that the Brothers of Destruction didn’t know which members of the Wyatt Family they’d be facing but in the end it really didn’t matter. This was a standard Undertaker match from the moment he ended his simply awesome entrance. I haven’t gone back and timed it, but the entrance might have lasted longer than the match. I’ll appreciate this for what it was – a tribute to The Undertaker. He’s my all time favorite wrestler and I’ll be sad when he finally hangs up the boots but as a match on this card it didn’t do much. Are we going to get a continuation of this feud? God I hope not. But here’s the problem… Where does the Undertaker go from here? For quite a while now I’ve been betting on Sting to be his opponent come WrestleMania but if Sting isn’t healthy enough to compete I’d say all roads lead to John Cena.
Roman Reigns Defeated Dean Ambrose For The World Heavyweight Championship
At least for me, it was a foregone conclusion that we were going to see this be the finals. The only question in my book was how things would play out. Would they do a straight up face vs. face match? Would one of them turn heel and join the Authority? Would Sheamus cash in at the end? I’m happy to say that neither of them turned. Reigns and Ambrose put on a good little match here that was way too short in my opinion. I know these guys must have been tired from wrestling earlier in the night but you HAVE to have your title match last more than nine minutes. You just have to. Reigns hits Ambrose with a spear and pins him clean for his first ever world title. It was a great moment for Reigns complete with confetti in the arena. Sadly, the show was WAY short at this point so you knew something was coming.
Sheamus Defeated Roman Reigns The World Heavyweight Championship
Out comes HHH to congratulate Reigns who speared him proving that he’s not going to be an Authority guy. Here comes Sheamus hitting a Brogue Kick which Reigns kicked out of. I got really excited for a moment thinking that Reigns was going to end up holding on to the title but those hopes were short lived as Sheamus hit another kick to pick up the title ending Reigns’ reign (see what I did there) at about 5 minutes. I can’t see him holding onto it for very long but your new World Heavyweight Champion is none other than the Celtic Warrior Sheamus.
Survivor Series is considered one of the “Big Four” WWE events of the year along side SummerSlam, Royal Rumble and of course WrestleMania. It’s never been one of my favorite shows as I don’t care for the traditional Survivor Series elimination match. Even with the addition of the championship tournament this one didn’t feel special at all. I simply can’t see WWE building towards a Reigns vs Sheamus WrestleMania match for a variety of reasons. Would WWE dare give Reigns another Royal Rumble win after what happened last year? If I had to guess I’d say Brock Lesnar reinserts himself into the WWE and takes the title from Sheamus but you never can tell. I’ve been saying for quite some time now that Roman Reigns is going to get his moment at this year’s WrestleMania. I still believe that after last night’s show. The fans weren’t ready for him last year. This time will be different. He’s been so close on a couple of occasions and he’s got another uphill climb in front of him. By the time he captures the title it’s going to be magic.
Did you watch Survivor Series? What did you think?