This year’s Survivor Series was something I was looking forward to for a long time. I love the entire RAW vs. Smackdown thing the WWE does during Survivor Series but this year was special as they really went all out with the brand wars. Every match has someone from the RAW show facing off against someone from the Smackdown brand to see who has the better show, I guess? No matter the reason, this Survivor Series had a lot of matches I was looking forward to. So, let’s get to watching!
Match #1: The SHIELD vs The New Day
Out of all the RAW vs. Smackdown matches, this was the one I was looking to the most. The SHIELD had probably the most riveting debuts and were probably one of the most successful factions ever as each one of them have become WWE World/Universal Champions. The New Day were the longest reigning Tag Team Champions of all time and are highly favored by fans thanks to their funny antics and great promos. And I love both teams!
The match was extremely good with both teams apparently giving it their all. The SHIELD did seem to lose a little bit of their old magic as there was a lack of fluidity with their tags and double/triple teaming moves. They made up for this deficit by relying on their great singles moves. The New Day, however, were in their prime as they performed all of their team maneuvers really well. They used their ability to work as a better cohesive unit to dominate the stronger individual SHIELD team members once in a while, leading to a great seesaw match.
The finish came after an all out brawl erupted in the ring with The SHIELD getting the upper hand. Kofi got nailed by a Reigns’ Spear and the SHIELD added the exclamation point by performing their patented triple powerbomb from the second turnbuckle for the pinfall victory and giving RAW their first win of the night.
You know it was a great match when fans were actually cheering for Reigns, one of the most despised wrestlers in the WWE today. There was just a lot to enjoy here and everyone got their chance to shine. It was only fitting that the newly reunited SHIELD got the win but the New Day definitely had a good showing and they didn’t look weak at all. Great way to start off Survivor Series this year!
Rating: 8.5 of 10.0 cheers for Reigns?
Match #2: Traditional Survivor Series Match: Team RAW (Team Captain Alicia Fox, Nia Jax, Sasha Banks, Bayley and Asuka) vs. Team Smackdown (Team Captain Becky Lynch, Natalya, Carmella, Naomi and Tamina w/ Lana)
Honestly, this would’ve been better if it was just a four-on-four Survivor Series match. As good as the WWE Womens roster has gotten, it just feels like it’s still lacking. Not dissing on Alicia Fox but she hasn’t really done anything of late to set the wrestling world on fire. And, frankly, Camella just seems rather green and her moves aren’t as crisp as they should be nor is her mic work all that phenomenal. Trimming out those people would make the match more tight.
The match itself seemed to prove my point as there was just lack of intensity to the overall proceedings. Some of the lowlights include the rather weird series where Naomi eliminated Alicia Fox via pinfall or her strange headlock submission then Sasha Banks eliminates Naomi without a proper announcement. There was also Alicia Fox getting upset with Nia Jax elimination only after she entered the ring and the quick elimination of Becky “why is the WWE treating her like garbage” Lynch. There were some highlights, though. Tamina got an extremely good run and did a believable job of taking out Nia Jax (with the help of Lana and Naomi) and Asuka’s performance was great throughout. However, it felt like the lowlights balanced out the highlights.
The finish came with Asuka remaining on the RAW side taking on Smackdown’s Natalya and Tamina. Asuka dodges a Superfly Splash by Tamina and locks an armbar, leading to a submission. Natalya tries to lock in a Sharpshooter but Asuka reverses it into a kneebar. Natalya gets out but runs into the Asuka Lock by the Empress of Tomorrow. Asuka gets the submission, making her the sole survivor for Team RAW.
This was just an average match as it flowed really awkwardly. It felt overproduced and only a few of the women actually got to do anything spectacular. Making Asuka the sole survivor makes sense but also felt weird as she is the newcomer to the main roster. Like I said, if they just trimmed out the fan (ex. Carmella and Alicia Fox), this would have probably gone better.
Rating: 5.5 of 10.0 head scratching Naomi eliminations
Match #3: The Miz (with Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas) vs. Baron Corbin
Wait… it The Miz the good guy here? I mean, Corbin’s antics of harassing Miz’s wife, Maryse, makes it seem like he’s defending her honor, right?
Anyway, they really took their time to get into the groove of things. The Miz and Corbin didn’t really have a physical match. They did do a lot of their “bad guy” antics but everything just felt… off. It just that their styles didn’t gel together, leading to a rather lackluster looking match. I actually lost interest around the halfway point since nothing exciting was happening. The only thing that recaptured my attention was when Axel and Dallas made their presence felt and tried to interfere.
The finish came soon after the Axel and Dallas distraction. The Miz got the upper hand and did his “patented” Yes Kicks. Corbin avoided the last one but got knocked into the corner. The A-Lister then tried to dropkick Corbin but The Lone Wolf recovered and nailed the End of Days for the pinfall victory and to give Smackdown their first victory for this year’s Survivor Series.
While there was nothing really bad or good about this match, it was ultimately forgettable. It just felt bland for the most part. They tried to make it exciting during the final moments but, by that time, it was just a case of too little, too late.
Rating: 4.0 of 10.0 pregnant Maryses?
Match #4: The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro) vs. The Usos
Can I just say that “The Bar” is a silly tag team name? I’m glad the Usos pointed it out for me. Anyway, this was another match I was excited for. Despite having a name as silly as Sheamus’ hairstyle, The Bar have really performed well with every team they’ve competed against. The “new” Uso attitude has worked out for them and have been stellar in the ring ever since. These are currently the best tag teams in RAW and Smackdown so I was expecting a lot from them. They didn’t disappoint.
The action was great all throughout the match. Sheamus and Cesaro have certainly gone a long way since debuting as former rivals who were forced to team up. They were great individual wrestlers but have become a whole lot better as a tag team, overwhelming their opponents like they did here. The Usos were no slouches as they generally could match The Bar’s strength with their general speed and agility. This led to some incredibly fun spots and high paced action, especially during the final minutes of the match. There were maybe one or two botched moves here and there but, thankfully, both teams recovered from them really quickly and didn’t disrupt the flow all that much.
The finish came after The Usos tried a double superkick on Sheamus but Cesaro took the hit for his team mate. The Usos then targeted Sheamus with a superkick party, stunning The Celtic Warrior. One of The Usos took out Cesaro with a suicide dive while tagging his brother in mid-air so that the other Uso could nail a splash on Sheamus for the pinfall victory, tying everything 2 to 20 for both RAW and Smackdown.
This was a highly competitive match, filled with adrenaline pumping action. The Bar and The Usos worked great together and things never really let up. As mentioned, there were a few awkward looking moves but they didn’t distract from how great it was overall.
Rating: 7.5 of 10 awful tag team names
Match #5: Alexa Bliss vs Charlotte
This was a rather “classic” Alexa Bliss match. What I mean by that is, Alexa Bliss would manage to weasel out of her opponent’s offense and then dominate for a moment. Then her opponent would get the upper hand eventually. The only real change would be if Little Miss Bliss would manage to weasel her way into a victory or not. And, honestly, I was kept guessing for the most part.
It was a perfectly fine match and there were some incredible spots, but it never really hit on all cylinders. The biggest problem of the match is, in my opinion, Alexa Bliss. As much as I like her, it always seems like her matches are slowed down because she only has a limited repertoire of ring moves. And even then, those list of moves aren’t executed incredibly well. This made it look like Charlotte’s offense was hobbled by this as she really couldn’t get in a groove. Despite that, I still liked the match as it was a good seesaw battle with enough good spots, like that sitdown powerbomb by Charlotte, to move things along. Bliss’ heel antic also helped a lot.
The finish came after Charlotte misses a moonsault. Bliss nails a DDT but Charlotte drapes her foot over the bottom rope, breaking the count. Bliss throws a tantrum, giving Charlotte enough time to recover and nail a spear but couldn’t get the pin. The 5-Feet of Fury kicked Charlotte to the mat and then tried to connect with her Twisted Bliss splash but Charlotte got the knees up in time. The Queen struck Bliss with a big boot (which seemingly didn’t connect) and combo’ed it into the Figure Eight, leading to a submission victory and Smackdown leading 3-2.
This was an okay match. My expectations were tempered by Bliss’ rather lack of in-ring skills but her antics and ability to reverse moves to her advantage still made it good. Charlotte seemed to work rather gingerly throughout but that may be Bliss’ fault as well. It took it’s sweet time to get good but this match does get a passing mark in the end.
Rating: 6.5 of 10.0 big boots that don’t really connect
Match #6: Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) vs AJ Styles
Geez, imagine that, just a few weeks ago, this was supposed to be Brock Lesnar vs. Jinder Mahal? What a joke that would’ve been! Replacing Jinder Mahal with AJ Styles made this matchup at least 165% better. Still, I didn’t have any illusions that AJ Styles would somehow best Brock Lesnar in the match. However, it was, at the very least going to be exciting to see!
As expected, Lesnar practically took apart Styles in the early goings but, somehow, Styles mounted a really believable comeback and took The Beast to the limit by going after Lesnar’s legs. Styles used his wrestling techniques and speed to manage to keep Lesnar off balance but The Beast was able to counter a lot of them with his brute strength. Most of the moves looked like they hurt but there were a few ugly looking moves, like AJ Styles doing some kind of tornado DDT, but these botched moves didn’t stop the match from looking awkward. I will give kudos to both Brock and Styles for adlibbing through these errors to make it looked like they planned it all along.
The finish was exciting, with Styles seemingly getting the upper hand after a near fall after a Phenomenal Forearm. Styles goes for the same move again but, this time, Lesnar was ready, snatching The Phenomenal One out of the air and reversing it into an F5 for the pinfall victory, tying the series 3-3. Like I said, this was a incredible competitive match. They didn’t make Styles weak as he did manage to take The Beast to the limit. At the same time, The Beast still looked unstoppable for the most part and he still came out looking like the top guy on the RAW roster. The only thing keeping it from being a stellar match were those couple of awkward looking spots.
Rating: 7.5 of 10.0 botched Tornado DDTs
Match #7: Traditional Survivor Series Match: Team RAW (Team Captain Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe and Triple H) vs. Team Smackdown (Team Captain Shane McMahon, Randy Orton, Shinusuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode and John Cena
Is it possible for something to be good and bad at the same time? Well, there’s this match…
This is a match that’s overflowing with talent, with an emphasis on “overflowing” as there’s just too many high caliber Superstars and I just knew not everyone would be able to get an equal time in the spotlight. Braun Strowman was easily the highlight of the match as he definitely looked like the Monster Among Men. Braun just took on the likes of John Cena and Randy Orton by himself and he looked believable beating every one of them! It took the entire Smackdown team, including the ones that were already eliminated to put Braun out of comission by suplexing the Monster Among Men through an announce table!
Sadly, this is where things slowed down and got confusing. Samoa Joe started arguing with Finn Balor. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn come out and attack Shane. Angle forcibly tags himself in, which upsets Triple H. None of this really made for compelling in-ring storytelling as they all felt rather out of place and had no payoff. Well, except for the last bit where Triple H gets upset with Angle for tagging himself in, as this did lead to the finish of the match. And a rather stupid finish, if you ask me.
The finish came when it was Shane McMahon all alone against Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman and Triple H. Triple H was the legal man until Kurt Angle tagged himself in, which upset The Game. Shane tries to capitalize on the argument by striking Angle repeatedly but just can’t get the pinfall. The former Olympian recovers enough to connect with an Angle Slam and he then locks in the Ankle Lock. Before Shane can tap out, Triple H comes in and nails a Pedigree on Angle before rolling Shane on top of Angle, eliminating the RAW Team Captain. The King of Kings helps Shane to his feet before giving him a Pedigree, eliminating Smackdown’s last team member, giving the victory to the RAW side.
Afterwards, Triple H tries to celebrate with a confused Monster Among Men and Braun screams at The Game to not play with him. The WWE’s COO gets upset and tries to do a Pedigree on Braun but the latter powers out of it and lays him out with a powerslam before storming off. This was good initially but just got really sloppy as the match wore on. There were just too many sidestories happening and it looks like they lost focus. The ending looked like it was hastily written in to have Triple H feud with Braun in the future, which, honestly, doesn’t do Braun any favors.
Rating: 5.5 of 10.0 confusing turns of events
Overall rating for Survivor Series (2017):
On a whole, this year’s Survivor Series was really good. Even The Miz vs. Baron Corbin has some spots that made it okay to watch. It does seem weird that the actual Survivor Series matches felt sloppy overall. However, there are just a lot of stellar matches, particularly the ones involving the tag teams, that drag this year’s Survivor Series from just being good to great.
Rating: 7.5 of 10.0 great tag team matches
What do you think of this year’s Survivor Series? Let me know in the comments section below!