Sorry, I’m late. I was struck by a nasty bug over the weekend and I just couldn’t concentrate on writing. I was able to pump out an article and get it ready for this week but I just wasn’t well enough until now to review this year’s Survivor Series. I did get to watch it live since I was sick so I didn’t have to go to work but I was just not up to actually getting up to write about it.
Well, better late than never, as the saying goes. I’m still not all that well but I’m hopped up on paracetamol and other pills that are making kind of loopy but just coherent enough so that I can actually give you guys and gals my thoughts on what happened during this year’s Survivor Seri… is that a pink elephant? Hi Pink Elephant!
Match #1: All Women’s Survivor Series Match: Team RAW (Mickie James, Tamina, Sasha Banks, Bayley and Nia Jax) with Alexa Bliss vs Team Smackdown (Naomi, Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose, Asuka and Carmella)
As much as everyone hates Nia Jax (including myself) for injuring Becky Lynch and ruining what should’ve been this pay-per-view’s highlight, she’s probably going to be the lynch pin that’ll secure the win for RAW.
As the first match, the women had a lot riding on them as they had to set the tone for the entire Survivor Series. I wouldn’t say that they didn’t do a good job but I just didn’t feel the fire or the intensity that I wanted. This should’ve been the time for the lesser known female performers, such as Smackdown’s Sonya Deville and RAW Tamina, to shine. We got some brief moments of greatness, which mostly revolved around Asuka, but we also got, ugh, a dance break from Carmella.
The finish came after Bayley and Sonya Deville were both counted out, leaving Asuka all alone in Smackdown’s corner against Sasha Banks and Nia Jax from RAW. The match between Asuka and Sasha Banks was incredibly exciting with the two going back and forth. Eventually, Asuka managed to take out The Boss after Nia Jax pushed her own partner off the top turnbuckle, allowing the Empress of Tomorrow to lock in the Asuka Lock for the submission. The Irresistible Force then waddles in with a flurry of legdrops. One samoan drop later and Nia Jax is the sole survivor for RAW.
Look, I get the WWE is trying to push Nia Jax as this big, evil heel after injuring Becky “The Man” Lynch. But the execution was sloppy since she hardly did anything during the match. It would’ve been much better if she dominated the Smackdown team early or something. Instead, she didn’t look like the “irresistible force” she was supposed to be and came off like someone who’s trying to be bad. It’s not terrible as there were bouts of brilliance but most of the match and the finish kinda soured it.
Rating: 4.0 of 10.0 Resistible Forces
Match #2: Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins for RAW vs United States Champion Shinusuke Nakamura for Smackdown
I really hope they give the win to Shinusuke Nakamura without Dean Ambrose interfering or anything. This is just me hoping that they actually start pushing Nakamura harder.
That’s not to say I dislike Seth Rollins. I think he’s a great performer and will pull out all the stops to deliver a slobberknocker of a match. You could see both The Architech and The King of Strong Style really trying to do that here as well. The match didn’t start out that way but there was a lot of showmanship between the two which did build up slowly as the two fought.
The finish came after Rollins kicked out of Nakamura’s Kinshasa. The King of Strong Style signaled for a second Kinshasa but Rollins stuffed it with a couple of superkicks. The Architech then tries a Curb Stomp but Nakamura dodged it. Big kick by Nakamura to Rollins’ noggin. The King of Strong Style tried another Kinshasa but the Kingslayer sidestepped it and reversed it into a Curb Stomp for the pinfall victory.
This was a good match but I’m afraid there was just something missing that’s keeping it from being an excellent match. I’m glad that Dean Ambrose didn’t rush in to interfere or anything but, at the same time, maybe that would’ve been the spice to make this delicious dish better. Essentially, it was lacking the necessary heat to make it truly great.
Rating: 7.0 of 10.0 missing Dean Ambroses
Match #3: RAW Tag Team Champions AOP (The Authors of Pain) with Drake Maverick vs Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro) with The Big Show
I’m sorry but I just don’t get the appeal of AOP. This is why I want The Bar to win here.
I do understand the AOP do have some appeal since they’re supposed to be straight up monsters in the ring and they can actually wrestle really well. This still felt like a straight up house show match with very little nuance. One side dominates the other for an extended period of time until the other team gets the hot tag to turn things around. Same thing here.
The finish, well, pissed me off, to say the least. Cesaro connected with a European uppercut to Rezar and Sheamus followed it up with a Brough Kick. Sheamus went for the pin but Drake Maverick draped the AOP member’s leg on the bottom rope, breaking the count. Drake Maverick then runs into Big Show who chokes the diminutive man… until he pees himself in fear… am I really seeing this or is this one of the side effects of the meds I’m taking?
Anyway, this distracts everyone and allows the AOP to get Sheamus into a neckbreaker and sitout powerbomb combination to get the pinfall victory.
This felt dumb. The match itself wasn’t special but the finish with the peeing thing made everything feel stupid. I didn’t like it.
Rating: 3.0 of 10.0 pissed off mes
Match #4: Mustafa Ali vs Buddy Murphy for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
I really should go watch 205 Live so I can be better informed on who to pick for the Cruiserweight championship matches for the WWE pay-per-view shows. Anyway, I guess Buddy Murphy because he’s the bigger guy.
There’s another reason why I should go watch 205 Live as well: the matches they put on during the pay-per-views are amazing! Thankfully, this match was no different! There were a lot of great sequences that flowed together really smoothy, some exciting high-flying stunts that were exciting to watch and some stiff looking strikes that really looked like they would hurt. Why am I now watching 205 Live again?
The finish came after Ali rolled Murphy into the ring after a Spanish Fly off the announcer’s table. Ali set up for the 054 but Murphy stops him and kicks his foe in the face! Murphy then performs a couple of powerbombs on Ali but the latter kicks out. Murphy then tries Murphy’s Law but Ali tries to roll the champion up. Ali then tries a springboard splash but Murphy reverses it with a hellacious knee strike! Murphy seals the deal with Murphy’s Law to retain his Cruiserweight Championship.
This was an excellent match. Both men definitely put on a show and they managed to win over the crowd as well as myself. The mixture of Buddy Murphy’s weight and power against Ali’s high flying, risk taking style was great as the clash of styles was fantastic.
Rating: 8.0 of 10.0 times I should’ve been watching 205 Live
Match #5: Men’s Survivor Series match: Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley with Lio Rush and Baron Corbin for Team RAW vs Shane McMahon, The Miz, Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe and Rey Mysterio for Team Smackdown
Braun Strowman is in Team Raw? Well, I guess RAW is going to win!
I mean, let’s be honest. Is anyone on Team Smackdown as hot as Braun Strowman is right now? Also, why is Rey Mysterio in their team? Shouldn’t his slot have been given to someone they would like to push? Also, Shane McMahon? Really? Why devote a lot of time to Shane McMahon’s stunt work when you could be having a proper Survivor Series match? Sure, they’re fun to see once in a while… but not every month! I will admit that I did chuckle with The Miz egging Shane on but, come on! Space the stunts out before we get tired of them, for crissakes!
The finish had Braun Strowman recovering after that big elbow drop from Shane and swatting the Crown Jewel winner out of the air while attempting a Coast to Coast. Braun then went on a tear, powerslamming and eliminating Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy in quick succession. Braun then took out The Miz but not before The Miz tried to hide behind Shane. It’s now Shane McMahon for Smackdown vs Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre for RAW. Shane taunts Braun and The Monster Among Men obliges, mauling the Smackdown commissioner and eliminating Shane. After the match, Baron Corbin attacks Strowman from behind and leaves with McIntyre and Lashley.
There was just too much Shane McMahon tomfoolery in this Survivor Series match. They just went to the well too often in an attempt to make this match memorable with the stunts and I just didn’t feel it.
Rating: 4.5 of 10.0 Shane McMahon stunts
Match #6: RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey vs
Becky “The Man” Lynch Charlotte for Smackdown
Remember how I said that the WWE should really let Becky Lynch beat Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series before Nia Jax injured “The Man”? I can’t say the same thing for Charlotte, unfortunately.
That doesn’t mean that I expect Charlotte to just lay down against Ronda Rousey. I fully expect the two to pull off a great match and they certainly didn’t disappoint! In fact, this came off much better than I expected! It’s kind of how I pictured Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch would’ve been. Lots of great action with a little brutality mixed in for good measure.
The finish came after The Baddest Woman on the Planet connected with a swinging samoan drop, which she calls the Piper’s Pit, on the Queen. Rousey tried to lock in an armbar but Charlotte blocks it and Charlotte rolls to the floor. Rousey rolls out of the ring but Charlotte is waiting with a kendo stick, giving Rousey the disqualification victory. But Charlotte isn’t done as the Queen wails on Rousey with kendo strikes and chair shots. Basically, Charlotte just snaps, earning the cheers from the fans and giving Rousey her first taste of boos and jeers from the WWE Universe.
I kind of think this is how the match would’ve ended if it was Becky Lynch instead of Charlotte. But, honestly, it worked here. It does help that the overall match was really great and hard hitting.
Rating: 8.5 of 10.0 boos for Ronda Rousey
Match #7: WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) for RAW vs WWE Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan for Smackdown
Call me crazy… but I actually see Daniel Bryan beating Brock Lesnar. I mean, Bryan’s new heel attitude may just be up to the task of taking down The Beast!
It looked like we were going to get a standard Brock Lesnar squash match here. In fact, I think I dozed off a couple of times thanks to the medication and the boredom of watching Lesnar suplex Bryan several times. However, Bryan managed to find the opportunity to sneak in a low blow while the official was temporarily knocked out to get the upper hand and rally for a near pinfall win! Now that woke me up!
The finish came after Bryan connected with a missile dropkick. Bryan with a series of dropkicks in the corner. The Beast does block one of the dropkicks and tries an F5 but his legs give out, allowing Bryan to apply the Yes Lock. Lesnar eventually powers out and reverses it into an F5 to get the pinfall victory.
This was awesome! I can’t say the same for the starting minutes as, like I said, I started to fall asleep. But this match did something that other Brock Lesnar matches didn’t do: get me invested. I kind of forgot that Lesnar is a great seller when he needs to be and I honestly believed that he was going to tap to Daniel Bryan’s Yes Lock during the closing moments. Bryan’s run was believable as well, which only made things better.
Rating: 8.0 of 10.0 believable Daniel Bryan comebacks
Overall Rating for Survivor Series (2018):
Most of the matches weren’t all that memorable. The actual Survivor Series matches for this year’s Survivor Series pay-per-view disappointed. The one with the two brand Tag Team Champions also sucked. But the last two matches featuring Ronda Rousey vs Charlotte and Brock Lesnar vs Daniel Bryan made up for them. Buddy Murphy vs Mustafa Ali was also really good and really got me invested in the Cruiserweight division. I guess I can call this one of the more memorable Survivor Series shows despite the Survivor Series matches kinda sucking.
Now, I really gotta get some sleep so I can kick this flu.
Rating: 7.0 of 10.0 meds for getting better from a sickness
What’s your take on this year’s Survivor Series? Better yet: got any flu remedies you can recommend? Let me know in the comments section below!