This year’s edition of WWE Survivor Series was a mixed bag, to say the least. From pants pissing drama to ... well, just regular ol’ pants pissing, the show ran the gamut of quality and entertainment.
Too overwhelmed by thoughts after the extravaganza to pick just one topic, I’ve decided to hit the big takeaway from each match. This could also be due to my standard Monday morning reading of the takeaways from each top 25 team in college football, but good ideas are good ideas.
Women’s Survivor Series Elimination Match - Obviously WWE is not too concerned about Nia Jax and the injury she caused to Becky Lynch. I wasn’t of the opinion she needed to be fired or anything, but the amount of times Michael Cole said “#facebreaker” and Nia pointed to her fist while yelling at the crowd established that this is now a positive moment for the character of Nia.
And being the sole survivor cemented the fact there is no stopping their plans for Jax.
Also, Naomi deserved better than she got in this match.
Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura - This match was perfectly fine. It was good, even. If nothing else, we should all be used to the fact Nakamura is never going to be in WWE what he was in Japan, but that was obvious just from the way he talked before moving his career to America. A few years ago, we’d have expected a Match of the Year candidate from these two, but now it’s just nice to see Nakamura have a match this good.
Were this not booked as a sweep for Raw, this was a spot you’d have expected SmackDown to get a win. I’d have expected a bit of the old “distracted by his rival’s music, the man gets caught for the pin” with Dean Ambrose’s music hitting. Instead, the only Ambrose we got was the announcement he’d face Rollins at TLC.
Still, Rollins remains an exceptional performer and Nakamura has enough in the tank to step it up when the time is right.
The Bar vs. AOP - How do you get a monster tag team over against another team of hosses? Well, you have the big dudes’ manager piss his pants, obviously. I was looking forward to this match and I think it was actually decent enough to not be a black mark on the show. Then Drake Maverick did a pee and that was that.
Hopefully they have a plan for AOP to feel like threats beyond being the big guys with the pisspants manager.
Buddy Murphy vs. Mustafa Ali - The only takeaway here is that these two are off the charts talented and have ridiculous chemistry. 205 Live has plenty of good matches, but they need more great matches on big stages to get the credit they deserve.
Men’s Survivor Series Elimination Match - I can’t tell you how much I’d convinced myself Shane McMahon would be the sole survivor in the only match SmackDown would win at this point. What a perfect (and perfectly annoying) way to follow up his “best in the world” victory at Crown Jewel.
Instead, this was an absolute drubbing handed out by Raw and the clearest example of the “SmackDown can’t hang” narrative (congrats on the purchase, FOX!).
Strowman vs. McIntyre is looking a lot like the near-future for the red brand while SmackDown likely is looking at “Shane McMahon takes over” is where things are headed.
Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair - This match was so good. The physical nature of the match made it so any small issues in the work felt authentic.
The internet’s big worry after the match — and Charlotte’s near-perfect beatdown of Rousey — was that Charlotte may have taken over Becky Lynch’s spot as a potential WrestleMania main event opponent. That is possible, but WWE is clearly high on Lynch’s recent work and Charlotte’s actions move us closer to the long-rumored MMA Horsewomen vs. Wrestling Horsewomen showdown.
Before getting too stressed out, let’s focus on how great this match was and see where things go from here.
Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan - This match played into the emotions of the crowd beautifully. Lesnar’s early domination was frustrating and sucked the life out of the crowd. Without a match between the women and this, Lesnar’s attack brought the crowd down just so the Bryan comeback could build them back up.
Bryan remains exceptional in every facet of pro wrestling and he can blend heelish tactics and genuine fire like nobody else in the business.
This match was the best possible version of what we all knew it would be. Lesnar’s routine can get old, but against the right opponent, he knows how to deliver.
- Check out our recap and reactions from the event along with some video highlights.
- You also want to check out our reactions to NXT’s outstanding WarGames show.
- Survivor Series is heading to Chicago next year.
- The crowd is making for a unique dynamic in the women’s division, and it’s amazing.
- Lars Sullivan is movin’ on up to the main card.
- Marko Stunt suffered a horrible leg injury at Joey Janela’s L.A. Confidential.
- The show also featured a bizarre David Arquette vs. Nick Gage match.
Happy Monday, it’s almost Thanksgiving!