So there you have it, WWE Survivor Series 2015 is in the bank. I hope you all maybe enjoyed it on some level. Let’s jump straight into the matches and what happened and figure it out from there.
The pre-show was a traditional survivor series match of Miz, Bo Dallas, Stardust and The Ascension versus Neville, Titus O’Neil, Goldust and The Dudley Boyz. The only facts of note were that Goldust made his return on a PPV pre-show as apparently that 3 hours of Raw is all filled up this week. Titus O’Neil, Goldust and The Dudley Boyz were left winning the match for their team. So yes Neville of all people was the only one eliminated on that side just so we’re aware of his standing. On that note onto the main show!
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semi-Final: Roman Reigns Vs Alberto Del Rio
This was an odd choice of match to open things with and it immediately became a bad choice when the crowd were not into it from the start. The issue being Del Rio is pretty flat at this point and Reigns got a surprisingly negative reaction on his entrance which carried on in the ring. It surprises me a little that it’s still going on so long after Wrestlemania. To both guys credit they worked hard to get the crowd into it which they pretty much did by the end. Del Rio broke out some cool spots and Reigns did really strong things including picking Del Rio off the ground from an arm bar to turn it into a single arm powerbomb. Triple H was shown watching the match backstage which feels like a hint to a turn or Authority shenanigans later in the night. To finish Reigns won with a spear. It seems a bit damaging that Del Rio as U.S Champ loses clean again and so soon after his return but with injuries piling up there wasn’t a lot of options for a tournament.
There was a backstage segment of Ambrose congratulating Reigns on his win, with Reigns telling Ambrose he needed to do his job and beat Owens so they can be friends fighting for the title. Seems like a hint of Ambrose turning but then again they’ve been doing these kinds of segments for months. Owens then turned up to mock them both and how Reigns keeps getting so close. Good for Owens referencing what happened in the last year, something that rarely happens in WWE.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semi-Final: Dean Ambrose Vs Kevin Owens
As opposed to the previous match the crowd were hyped for this from the start with a good reception for both guys. They worked a good back and forth match with Owens being a dick and mocking Ambrose and the crowd throughout, which I love, and Ambrose doing his wild and crazy offence. My only issue, and it’s a minor one, is that some of the things Ambrose does to fit his style seem impractical in a match. A prime example being when they were both up top on the turnbuckle struggling with one another Ambrose took the time to wind up his punch. It seemed a bit goofy but then this is the industry where not too long ago the Worm was a finisher so what do I know? After a bunch of counters, Ambrose hit the dirty deeds for the win. This was a good match, it flowed well and had a plan of how the match progressed with the crowd into it the whole way.
Traditional Survivor Series Match: Ryback, Lucha Dragons and The USOs Vs New Day, Wade Barrett and Sheamus.
We didn’t know who we were going to get when they came out and I’ll be honest my initial reaction was disappointment. Now knowing Cesaro is out injured now along with several others starts to explain things a bit but looking at the match from the pre-show a bit of mix and match might’ve made things a bit more interesting. Xavier Wood’s has new hair and from that New Day, continue to be all out entertainment and I’ve got a suspicion Barrett and Sheamus asked to have their entrance judging by how much fun they seemed to be having on that walk to the ring. The match itself was also pretty fun, I continue to be more of a fan of the Lucha Dragons every time I see them in one of these big matches. Sin Cara pulled off the single arm powerbomb nearly exactly like Roman Reigns did earlier in the night which suddenly made it seem less impressive. The big spot where the Luchas and Usos went flying out of the ring was awesome and Ryback then taking the jump to the outside was surprising and cool. The ending kicked in with Barrett already out and Big E getting eliminated. Kingston and Woods decided Big E was hurt, took him to the back and never returned leaving Sheamus with Ryback, Kalisto and Jey Uso. It was an amusing twist to the match but Sheamus carried on fighting and did okay but got triple teamed to finish with the Shell Shock from Ryback. The issue there was that Sheamus started to feel like the face in that situation, fighting against the odds but they wrapped it up quickly enough to kill that feeling.
WWE Divas Championship Match: Paige Vs Charlotte
Regardless of anything else Paige does a good entrance, particularly as a heel, she’s just full of attitude. The match started with grappling, Charlotte trying to use her power to throw Paige around and Paige making the ropes constantly. Usually I’d be happy to see so much actual wrestling in a Divas match but when during the build they’ve made this match so personal and bitter starting with holds and throws doesn’t seem to fit the bill. But that’s a recurring problem I have with big WWE matches a lot. Also as a side note there was nothing of the mentions of Reid Flair in the hype video before the match indicating a possible change of approach at the last minute. Early on and into the mid point there was a lot of rest holds, and then whenever any momentum would build it would either go back to another hold or Paige would go to the outside and Charlotte might follow. It broke things up horribly, it felt long and a “we want Sasha” chant started indicating the crowd felt the same. After a weirdly out of place spear off the barricade they went back into the ring and Charlotte won with a figure eight. Maybe I’m being too optimistic but I’d like to see another match between these two because I believe they can do so much better.
Dolph Ziggler Vs Tyler Breeze
Ziggler comes out looking like an overeager Motley Crue fan. I like it that he keeps debuting new gear it would just help if it looked any good. Ziggler started off strong but they went to the outside and Breeze employed the old heel tactic of using Summer as a shield, they then went back in the ring where Breeze took control. Ziggler sold the knee injury when he remembered which he did for the finish which led to Breeze hitting the unprettier for the win. Well, it’s a positive that Breeze wins clean as it helps him so much more than a Summer Rae distraction win would have. This feud will continue, though.
The Undertaker and Kane Vs Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper
The brothers come out separately, and Undertaker’s entrance is pretty big but not surprising given the theme of the show. In the montage of Taker’s faces, they showed American Bad Ass, which was cool as they don’t acknowledge that now. To start the Wyatt’s tease that two it’s going to be with Rowan taking a run at the Brothers and getting destroyed for his trouble. I can’t help but feel that’s a preview of the rest of this match. It ends up being Bray and Harper with commentary selling it that Bray wants to get the job done himself, which makes some sense I guess. Taker and Kane dominated early on until Kane ended up on the outside which led to Strowman getting involved and a cool confrontation between Strowman and Taker. The Wyatt’s were then in control until a hot tag to Taker, who ran wild until Strowman distracted which resulted in a double chokeslam through the announce table. While it was a cool spot it would have helped everyone immensely if that was the first time Strowman had been floored but they threw that away on Raw. Another good spot where Taker and Kane did a double sit up while Bray was doing his crab walk that had been done before but the crowd loved it. The ending came with a double chokeslam and Harper taking the best looking Tombstone piledriver Taker has done in a while. It wasn’t a classic match, but it was Undertaker playing his greatest hits and Kane supporting which is what people wanted to see. It’s just a shame the Wyatt’s had to be on the receiving end as it’s tough to see where they go after this.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Final: Roman Reigns Vs Dean Ambrose
They started brawling immediately and then both trying to end it which fit well bearing in mind they’ve already had a match tonight. The match felt important, both were doing all they could to win, and there were little references to the friends who like to fight factor that I love as it’s different and helps their characters.
The finish came when there was a big striking exchange and Reigns hit a spear seemingly out of nowhere for the win and the title. The finish felt kind of abrupt for a match like that but overall it was good.
After a moment, Ambrose came over to hug and congratulate then left as pyro and confetti went off. So no heel turn by either guy, not surprising but the quick end to the match, the lingering celebration and twenty minutes still left of the show makes the feeling overwhelming that something else is coming. This only builds further when Triple H comes out to congratulate Reigns and shake his hand. Rather than a handshake Reigns decides to spear Triple H just as Sheamus arrives to brogue kick Reigns and cash in!
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Roman Reigns Vs Sheamus
Sheamus goes for a pin, but Reigns kicks out and is up. He runs the ropes but eats another Brogue Kick, and Sheamus wins the title.
Well, I’ll hand it to WWE I didn’t expect it earlier in the night when Sheamus was making jokes with the New Day and getting smacked around by Kalisto and an Uso. I get that it adds another chapter to Reigns getting so close and it being yanked away from him, but I’m not sure why Sheamus as champion is going to be any better than previous times that didn’t go brilliantly. And at a time when injuries and absences have taken their toll on an already thin main event scene they needed to make someone here, and it might have been better just to have Reigns go over and bite the bullet. Though I say that, but on the coverage they leave the feed on Reigns leaving the ring as he’s crying with confetti stuck to him and he’s still being booed and jeered so maybe not.
There were some good to really good matches there, nothing totally bad but nothing great either. New Day were as entertaining as always, Owens Vs Ambrose was the best match, and you have to appreciate seeing Undertaker do his thing. Unfortunately, these were the main and only real highlights of the whole show, and it seemed the crowd felt the same as they were pretty much dead for most of it which hurt things. That would make it an average to poor show but the damage done to the long term put it in the poor bracket. Rather than take the opportunity set-up to try and put someone firmly in the top tier they took the get out and gave the title to Sheamus. With Ambrose and Reigns no better off than when this started. Add that to the Wyatt Family now having no credibility what so ever and the Paige-Charlotte match and programme adding another dull note to the Divas picture and Survivor Series 2015 did nothing for anyone.
The main event for TLC 2015 was set in the first segment as Roman Reigns Vs Sheamus for the WWE World Title. I’m a big fan of getting the main matches for a PPV set early, but it’s a shame it took a twenty minute Authority talking segment to get there. It did also lead to the return of Rusev however who superkicked Reigns and got a match that night with him for it. To cut to the chase there, Wade Barrett got involved to help Rusev giving Reigns the win by DQ. It makes about as much sense as that sentence to be honest.
There was a tag match of Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose against Kevin Owens and Tyler Breeze, so it looks like the Ziggler-Breeze feud is continuing and possibly an Ambrose-Owens program has started.
Charlotte and Paige had the customary PPV rematch so I didn’t have to wait long to see it again after all. It ended with a double count out which led to Paige getting the Scorpion Cross Lock on the announce table because for some reason it hurts more on the announce table. On a side note, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch had a match that got a grand total of four minutes.
Finally, the Wyatt’s rehabilitation began with a distraction win over the Dudley Boyz followed by the Wyatt’s beating them down. It’s good it started the night after Survivor Series as there is a lot of work to do there.
In other news, Solomon Crowe asked for and was granted his release from NXT. Noteworthy because he’s a name in NXT, but I can’t say I’m entirely surprised, my first exposure to him was a beat down and humiliation by Kevin Owens and since then he’d just been there and wasn’t going anywhere being brutally honest. He made his name in EVOLVE, CZW and PWG so hopefully he can go back to success in the indies.
Cesaro is out with a shoulder injury sustained in his match with Roman Reigns on Raw. Reports are estimating he’ll be out between four to six months.
The Raw mentioned earlier hit a ratings low. The viewership was the lowest for a non-holiday Raw since 1997 with a variety of other negative facts to go with that.
Mick Foley wrote on his Facebook page about his frustrations with the current WWE product. Very worth a read as he makes some excellent points and he’s a man with an informed opinion.
As usual any thoughts on Survivor Series, Raw or anything else going on in Wrestling post them up in the comments. Otherwise, I’ll be back later in the week with more grapple goodness.