Last night the 26th annual Survivor Series took place. Despite a lack luster build, a changed main event, and only 5 announced matches at showtime the PPV still came off as one of the better PPVs for the ‘E this year.
To say that the card had little to no build would be an understatement. Perhaps the many PPVs a year is hurting the process of hyping a PPV, but with only 5 announced matches at show time it was hard to get pumped for the Thanksgiving Tradition.
The original main event of Team Foley vs Team Punk had me from the get go, but it was soon changed to CM Punk VS Ryback VS John Cena for the WWE title. Why the change? Apparently they felt the title had to be on the line at the PPV. It is sad to see the concept of card full of traditional 5 on 5 tag matches go by the way side. I understand that the main champioship should be defended on nearly every PPV, but Survivor Series has built its name on those tag matches. Alas, the title would be on the line due to some last minute booking.
Preshow-3MB (Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal w/ Drew McIntyre) defeated Team Cobro. Good to see 3MB going over here. I think the odd combination of these three guys is interesting. Good to see McIntyre back on the road after his mother’s passing. It’s a shame he has been regulated to sort of a manager role here as I feel he is the best worker of the three, but hopefully they all make the most of the grouping and can earn some more TV time.
Team Clay (Brodus Clay, Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel) defeated Team Tensai (Tensai, Primo, Epico, & The Prime Time Players)
I was stoked when another traditional tag match was added to the card, and was equally as stoked that some of these underutilized guys were getting PPV time. Brodus Clay was the first and only man eliminated from his team, which caught me off card, perhaps this character is on life support? Everyone was solid in this match. Tyson Kidd came out looking like gold, having eliminated both Titus O’Neil and Epico. It came down to 4 on 1, with Mysterio, Cara, Kidd and Gabriel VS Darren Young. Each man hit a high flying finish to put Young away.
Standard Divas bout. Actually got more time then expected. Kaitlyn has talent and could look to fill the void left by Beth Phoenix’s departure. I always preferred Eve in more of a back stage sort of role. Pretty much what she did when Johnny Ace was on TV.
Antonio Cesaro (c) defeated R-Truth
Cesaro has been booked strong lately which is not just a good thing, it is a great thing. The man has everything, and is a future WWE/World Champion. His U.S. title feuds have been somewhat disappointing, that seems to be more due to the lack of mid-card competition than anything the Swiss superstar has control of. Truth has gone about as far as he is gonna go with the “Little Jimmy” gimmick and perhaps needs a change of pace or scenery. A solid feud against Daniel Bryan, Drew McIntyre or even a repackaged Jack Swagger could do wonders for Cesaro and his stock at the moment. The right man went over, not looking forward to this feud continuing, seems forced.
A.J. and Vickie segment
Now that Cena is back in the title picture this story line needs to be put to rest. The repackaging of Tamina Snuka was a pleasant surprise, the Diva’s division could use the young female Super Fly.
Sheamus defeated Big Show (c) by DQ
Not nearly as good of a match as their Hell In A Cell bout, but still a solid match. Sheamus has brought out something in the Big Show that hasn’t been seen in awhile. The man has a renewed intensity and has put together a string of good matches. Sheamus deserves the title back soon down the line because of this feud with Show. The ending also opens it up to a third and final match at T.L.C.
Team Ziggler (Dolph Ziggler, Damien Sandow, David Otunga, Wade Barrett and Alberto Del Rio) defeated Team Foley (The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Daniel Bryan, Kane, and Randy Orton)
Match of the night by far. Every person knew their role in this match up and played it perfectly, minus Mr. Otunga. The loss of Cody Rhodes was a huge blow to this match as David Otunga can’t fill the son of a son of a plumbers boots. The early elimination of Damien Sandow was also questionable as the man has been a recent highlight of TV the last few months. Wade Barrett eliminating Kofi leads perfectly into another IC title reign for the Barrett Barrage. Daniel Bryan and Kane continued to display why they are the best tag team that WWE has put together in quite some time. Dolph Ziggler continued to raise his stock, and Randy Orton teased a nice return to his nefarious ways. Huge surprise with Ziggler going over Orton but it should mean it can lead to bigger and better things between the two which should revival the matches seen by Orton and Christian last year. The Miz is falling nicely into his new babyface role, which is something us fans have never seen from the Real World stand out before. ADR cemented the fact that he can have a great match on any show facing anyone. Foley out there rallying the troops was nice, although the original heat between him and Punk would have played nicely in this match up. All in all a great tag match.
CM Punk (c) defeated John Cena, and Ryback
Main event time. Again this build kind of suffered from the random booking changes but the match came off well. Punk retaining is the right thing, as they are making suck a big deal about the length of his reign that it would be pointless to stop it one day short of a year. The dynamic of Cena and Ryback getting their licks in on Punk was nicely played and the match up of the untouchables Cena and Ryback was nicely done as well. This was easily the match of Ryback’s WWE career. The thing that has the internet buzzing wasn’t the match though but the debut’s of three new superstars. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns all made an impactful presence an Indiana. Taking out Ryback and helping Punk secure a pinfall victory over Cena. Their motivations have yet to be revealed but it is nice to see new blood on the roster, especially for three guys who actually deserve it.
Some shabby last minute booking could have done this Survivor Series in but the talent involved pulled off a good PPV and a surprise ending left people talking. Well worth the money and the show can lead into some interesting things.