Among the WWE’s Big Four pay-per-views, I’ve always felt kind of sorry for Survivor Series. It almost like the WWE didn’t really put that much effort in building up their matches and generally threw away what made the event so unique, the actual Survivor Series matches. This year, I’m glad they made a concerted effort in bringing it back. I guess this is a side effect of the brand split. But if it’s to give us more traditional Survivor Series matches, then I’m all for it!
However, like before, the Survivor Series match wasn’t the main event; it was the match between Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar. Totally understandable as this could be really good. But before we do jump to the main event, let’s go look at each and every other match that Survivor Series had to offer this year!
Match #1: Women’s Survivor Series Match: Team Raw (Sasha Banks, Bayley, Alicia Fox, Nia Jax and Charlotte w/ Dana Brooke) vs. Team Smackdown (Becky Lynch, Naomi, Carmella, Alexa Bliss and
Nikki Bella Natalya)
Oops! So sorry, Nikki! Looks like you can’t be in the match because someone bopped you on the head. Why? Sasha Banks competed in a goddamn Hell in a Cell match after being powerbombed through a table and almost being carried out on a stretcher! Yet you can’t get up after a run in? Well, at least Natalya makes it more interesting as we are in her home country!
Anyway, the match was actually pretty great overall. The pacing followed at a good clip. They still continued with their current storylines, like Sasha Banks and Charlotte’s animosity with each other even if they are in the same team. Everyone had something to do. Even Alicia Fox, who should’ve been a throwaway competitor, actually eliminated someone! There were even a few surprises, like Sasha Banks being eliminated very early and hometown girl Natalya being sent to the locker room instead of giving her a thrilling run at the end of the match. However, the woman that came off as the most impressive was Nia Jax, as they really tried to show that she’s a big lady with the ability to get anyone out of her way if she so desired it.
There were a few bad and clumsily executed spots. There were moments when the person in the ring tagged out for no particular reason. The double DDT on Nia Jax by Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch looked terrible. And seeing Nia Jax tap out from the Becky’s Disarm-Her did make her look weak as she didn’t even try to power out of it. However, these were minor quibbles and the match was generally good.
The end came with Bayley blocking Becky Lynch’s Disarm-Her and connecting with her finisher, the Bayley-to-Belly, for the pinfall victory for Team Raw. Afterwards, Charlotte, the other survivor came in and gave a beatdown of Bayley for… stealing her spotlight? Anyway, this was a good match with great action throughout. I think it would’ve been better if they switched out Alicia Fox with Dana Brooke though.
Rating: 7.5 of 10 “Fearless” Nikki Bellas getting bopped on the head
Match #2: Raw’s Sami Zayn vs Smackdown’s The Miz (with Maryse) for the Intercontinental Title
The stakes here are high as, if Sami Zayn wins, he’ll be bringing the Intercontinental Title to Monday Night Raw. But, you know what? That stipulation takes a lot of the surprise from the match. There’s no way the WWE would make Raw have 4 singles titles… wouldn’t they?
The match was solid throughout its roughly 13 minute run. I did find it odd that a wrestler with the caliber of Sami Zayn, a competitor who went through wars against the likes of Kevin Owens and Rusev, had difficulty with The Miz. No disrespect to the former WWE Heavyweight Champion, but The Miz isn’t someone you think that could dominate anyone at the start of the match.
The finish came with Sam Zayn locking in the Figure Four, The Miz’s other finisher. After some time, the bell rang so Sami Zayn thought he won… but it was Maryse who was ringing the bell! The Miz took advantage of the confusion and rolled up Sami for the pinfall victory.
You know what? I’m getting kind of tired from all the Maryse shenanigans now. It was fun when it was fresh and new. But now, it’s just not creative anymore. In fact, it’s getting downright annoying as it makes The Miz looks like too much of a weak champion. But, hey. I guess he’s a bad guy and, if his and his wife’s antics make me hate him even more, then he’s done his job.
The match itself was good but nothing particularly memorable. There wasn’t exactly a lot of emotional connection with the action as the stakes didn’t feel high.
Rating: 6.0 of 10.0 Maryse shenanigans
Match #3: Tag Team Survivor Series Match: Team Raw (The New Day, Enzo and Big Cass, The Club, The Shining Stars and Cesaro and Sheamus) vs Team Smackdown (Heath Slater and Rhyno, The Hype Bros, The American Alpha, Breezango and The Usos)
This match had all the markings of a hot mess. There’s just too many people in the match. Well, I’ll give credit to the WWE on how to circumvent this hot mess: eliminate people early! Now, I wasn’t shocked to see Breezango get sent to the showers early. But The New Day? Wow!
The start set the stage for the rest of the match to come as, with the New Day being eliminated quickly, it felt like anything could happen. And it did! There was a lot of great action all throughout the match. Even The Shining Stars impressed me with what they did! The Club looked incredibly strong as they eliminated both The Hype Bros and American Alpha!
In the end, it was Raw’s Cesaro and Sheamus vs Smackdown’s The Usos. This is when things got really good! Cesaro pushing Sheamus out of the way from a double superkick. Sheamus hit White Noise on Jimmy from the second turnbuckle. Cesaro even did a wimpy 619 on Jey! The ultimate finish came with Cesaro reversing a Tequila Sunrise into a Sharpshooter for the submission victory to give another Survivor Series win for Raw! This was a really good match and I didn’t even miss The New Day at all! The closing moments made it feel extra special!
Rating: 8.0 of 10 early eliminations of The New Day
Match #4: Raw’s THE Brian Kendrick vs Smackdown’s Kalisto for the WWE Cruiserweight Title
Okay, why would anyone want to see Smackdown get the Cruiserweight division? It’s only a two-hour show while Raw is three-hours long! It just makes more sense to keep the division on the longer show!
Anyway, I know I’m sounding like a broken record by now but, yeah, this was another solid match. However, this was marred by an even more ridiculous finish than the Sami Zayn vs. The Miz match. I actually expect a lot more action from the Cruiserweight division as they pretty much have to rely on high flying antics to keep things interesting. It’s just the way it goes. While it wasn’t that extremely fast paced, both Kalisto and Kendrick played to their strengths, with Kendrick using underhanded moves and his smarts while Kalisto relied on his quickness and momentum.
The match itself was above average, but, as earlier mentioned, the finish was absolute garbage. Kalisto was climbing the top turnbuckle when Baron Corbin ran in and struck Kendrick from behind, leading to a disqualification win for Kendrick. Corbin turned his attention to Kalisto, the guy he’s been feuding with, and connected with End of Days before leaving. I can appreciate this being a continuation of a storyline but come on! This does not push the story in any way. Solid match but the disqualification finish made it seem terrible.
Rating: 6.0 of 10.0 unnecessary interference by Baron Corbin
Match #5: Men Division Survivor Series: Team Raw (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens) vs Team Smackdown (Dean Ambrose, Shane McMahon, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton and AJ Styles with mascot James Ellsworth)
Finally, a change of pace. This wasn’t a solid match; this was a phenomenal match! The level of talent involved here should’ve been a clue but I wasn’t expecting this to be this good!
This match had everything! Braun Strowman showing off his strength. Bray Wyatt trying to control former Wyatt Family member Braun Strowman and failing. James Ellsworth preventing Strowman from beating the count out. James Ellsworth paying for preventing Strowman from beating the out. Two Shane McMahon stunts. Several suicide dives to the pile of humanity outside the ring. AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose trying to work together and failing. Owens and Jericho getting eliminated because of The List. And, the cherry on top of this delightful Survivor Series match sundae, a mini SHIELD reunion!
The finish had Roman Reigns as the only one left from the Raw side against Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton as well as fellow Wyatt Family member Luke Harper. Reigns went for a spear on Bray Wyatt but Randy pushed the Eater of Worlds out of the way and took the brunt of the attack. Bray Wyatt capitalized and nailed Sister Abigail on Reigns to take the win for Smackdown.
Great match overall but there were a couple scary and just plain weird moments. I was actually concerned for Shane McMahon when he attempted his patented Coast to Coast dropkick but ate a spear from Roman Reigns instead. He really looked out of it. There was also a moment that took me out of the match. It was when Strowman caught Ambrose coming from outside the ring. After he caught him, he just lumbered around the ring and it looked really obvious that he was going to the necessary spot so that Styles can jump in with the Phenomenal Forearm.
Despite these gaffes, this was probably the best match of the night. It was almost 1-hour long and I didn’t even notice it was that long!
Rating: 8.5 of 10.0 lumbering Braun Strowmans
Match #6: Bill Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman)
Well, that was surprising!
I think a lot of people’s biggest issue with wrestling and the WWE today is how they play things safe. Sure, they can shock us like when they had Brock Lesnar break the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania Streak. But, other than that, big surprises are few and far between. Well, this year’s Survivor Series was a huge shock as the returning Bill Goldberg totally decimated Brock Lesnar!
There really isn’t much to say about the match as it ended pretty much just as it started. Brock tried to intimidate Goldberg but Goldberg shoved Lesnar to the mat, surprising everyone, including The Beast. Goldberg connected with two spears before connecting with the Jackhammer for the quick pinfall victory!
I can understand why a lot of people may hate this match. Goldberg squashing Lesnar seems like a ridiculous move but, to me, it just made really good sense! Besides it being shocking, I don’t think the loss made Lesnar look weak. In fact, this loss can actually benefit Lesnar! Since coming to the WWE, Lesnar was made to look like a monster. But he was too sure of his ability to annihilate his opponent. His quick and surprising loss to Goldberg can be some kind of a wake-up call to take his matches more seriously and just go on a rampage in the future!
Also, it makes sense to make the returning Goldberg look like a dominating force. It doesn’t help Goldberg to make him look weak during his first match back. Fans needed to be reminded what an awesome force of nature Goldberg was and destroying Lesnar in quick succession definitely accomplishes that!
Overall, I actually loved this. It wasn’t the slobberknocker people were hoping for but the reaction and the feels made this an epic match.
Rating: 8.5 of 10.0 Jackhammers to Lesnar
Overall Rating for Survivor Series (2016):
I really liked this year’s Survivor Series because, well, the Survivor Series matches! The singles bouts were good but having them both end with screwjob finishes definitely negatively affected their impact to the card. I liked the quick and shocking victory of Goldberg over Lesnar and it was one of the rare times I actually lost my mind while watching wrestling recently. Good job, WWE!
Rating: 7.5 of 10 Did Lesnar really agree to lose to Goldberg that quickly?
What did you think of this year’s Survivor Series? Let me know in the comments section below!