WWE Survivor Series, which took place last night (Sun., Nov. 20, 2011) from Madison Square Garden in New York, is officially in the books. And that means it's time to get to all the reactions from the show.
It's been one hell of a weekend for yours truly, so these will be slightly abbreviated. Let's get to it, though.
- The Rock is back and he looked just as good inside the ring as he ever did before. He somehow managed to stay away from wrestling for seven years and still look incredible upon his return. That beats any long-winded promo any day of the week.
- The sequence at the end of the main event will naturally lead many to wonder if the John Cena heel turn is finally starting to come around a bit. He got in Rock's face while seemingly acknowledging that Rock was getting a better reaction then him. "You won the match, the crowd loves you, whatever, just let me roll on out of here." Soon as he turned around, he got hit with a Rock Bottom ... and the crowd ate it up. I don't think they'll go through with turning him but if they wanted to, the path has been paved.
- Did anyone else get the feeling The Rock was legitimately angry with the way Cena no-sold the Rock Bottom? Seriously, taking the move and then holding your lower back while walking away at a fast pace is not how to sell that. It's "The Great One's" finishers for fug's sake.
- It's pretty amazing how drastically different an event can feel when it has a live crowd that actually bothers to mark out when something great happens. And if it's a smart crowd, that's just a cherry on top. The folks at the Garden last night gave us both and the show was much better for it. Now if we could just get audiences like that at every show.
- Zack Ryder has to feel like a million bucks today, huh?
- John Morrison has to feel like complete garbage today, huh?
- It's basically a given at this point but I feel like something should be said about the WWE Production team. They were on point last night with the promo videos leading into the pay-per-view and the major matches on the card. I keep waiting for the UFC to start doing similar videos before its major fights and if they ever decide to, they should watch what WWE did tonight and use it as a template. Amazing work.
- I harp on the Diva's an awful lot but I also try to give credit where it's due. Well, it's due here. Despite being a match we've seen far too many times, Beth Phoenix and Eve put together a short but fun display that ended with what was the spot of the night -- a Glam Slam off the top rope. Eve sold like a god for it, too, enhancing it all the more. The Lumberjill stipulation was dumb because of how utterly unnecessary it was but whatever. Good stuff from the Diva's.
More thoughts on the rest of the card after the jump.
- How great was Howard Finkel? And how bad did you want to junk punch Michael Cole for making fun of him? The Fink gets a legitimate pop from the crowd and he can't help but get caught up in the emotion and Cole starts bagging on him. What could have been an awesomely touching moment was ruined by the douche bag loud mouth on commentary. By the way, is there anything worse than a play-by-play commentator who has an annoying voice? I would honestly rather listen to nails run across a chalkboard than hear Michael Cole speak for an extended period of time. It's that bad.
- The traditional Survivor Series match was solid if not spectacular. It was mostly enjoyable for the unpredictable nature of the finish. I mean, come on. Once it got down to Randy Orton against three guys, how many of you thought Orton would go Super-Cena and win the match heroically? All of you? Yeah, me too. So it was nice to see Wade Barrett pick up the win for his team with Cody Rhodes surviving, as well.
- Speaking of Rhodes, he got a nice reaction. Heels getting strong babyface reactions from the crowd at the Garden means they're doing something right, despite getting the opposite reaction of what they want. Mark Henry got a similar treatment later in the night. Rhodes without his mask is far more credible and he actually wore kneepads last night.
- Henry and Big Show had a hard time getting through their match and keeping it interesting all throughout. The problem with giving two big men an extended program with multiple matches is they run out of ways to gimmick their way through it to keep it artificially interesting. There are only so many ways to cover up the physical limitations of both guys. The crashing through the barricade spot worked but the crowd was basically done with the match at that point. I don't know what Show taking Henry's ankle out to finish the match means for the future of the feud but the sooner this one wraps up the better.
- Daniel Bryan wasn't even on the card and he was getting chants. The hardcores, which is what this crowd undoubtedly was, don't speak for everyone but I hope Vince McMahon was paying more attention than usual to the reactions everyone was getting (or not getting).
Overall, it didn't matter if the undercard was crap, this show was getting an A grade from me just for the return of The Rock as an active wrestler. And when he delivered inside the ring, it pushed it over the top. But the card underneath it was actually good, too. Very pleasantly surprised with how good this show turned out, especially considering it was promoted around one match alone.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off with all your thoughts on Survivor Series.