It's time for the annual November tradition, Survivor Series. If you've followed my live Raw coverage, you'll know I'm not high on tonight's card, but as always WWE might find a way to surprise me and make me feel like this is worth the investment. Tonight's card shakes down like this:
Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz
Big E. Langston (c) vs. Curtis Axel; WWE Intercontinental Championship
Natalya, The Bella Twins, Cameron and Naomi, Eva Marie, and JoJo vs. AJ, Tamina, Kaitlyn, Aksana, Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, and Summer Rae; Ladies Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
Cody Rhodes, Goldust, The Uso Brothers, and Rey Mysterio vs. The Shield and The Real Americans (w/Zeb Colter); Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan of The Wyatt Family (w/Bray Wyatt)
John Cena (c) vs. Alberto Del Rio; World Heavyweight Championship
Randy Orton (c) vs. Big Show; WWE Championship
Pre-Show Open - Live from the TD Garden in Boston, MA
Josh Matthews welcomes us by telling us this is the second longest running pay per view series as they show fans entering the Garden. He checks in with the rest of the panel, which is Mick Foley, Booker T, and Bret Hart.
Mathews recounts Bret Hart's history at Survivor Series, and asks what he's looking forward to. Bret says he is looking forward to the Orton/Big Show match. Foley says he isn't sure that John Cena can beat Del Rio again with a bad arm. Booker T is excited for the traditional five on five Survivor Series match featuring The Shield, the Real Americans, The Usos, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, and Rey Mysterio.
They start to talk about the pre-show match. Booker says that Kofi will heat things up, but Foley disagrees and says that Miz has gotten his edge back. Booker turns around and admits that Miz does know how to win.
Mathews sends it to Renee Young in the Social Media lounge. She shills interaction for fans to name their own dream team at Survivor Series using the hashtag #dreamteam.
Back at the announce position, they talk about the World Heavyweight Championship match. Mathews recounts Cena winning the title at Hell in a Cell then feeds it to a recap of Cena and Del Rio's interaction on Monday night on Raw. Mathews asks if Cena is alright, or if his arm will prove to be an issue.
Bret puts Cena over and says he is the only one who knows how bad the arm is. Booker T says that Cena is on a fast track but if he makes one mistake Del Rio could snap the arm. Foley says that Cena might be emotionally vulnerable and being booed in his hometown that might be an issue.
They show The Usos putting on face paint and Goldust, Cody and Rey join them. They hype themselves up. Rey says that the fathers of the two tag teams will be proud. Cody says they will go out there as a team that needs to survive and they all bump fists together. Mathews hypes the match between "Team Codydust" and The Shield and Real Americans as the first match for the show tonight. The panel discusses the strategy of a Survivor Series match.
Renee Young interviews CM Punk and Daniel Bryan and asks for their thoughts on the match. Bryan puts over Harper and Rowan as tough competitors but forces of nature. He says they're the biggest challenge since they came to WWE but they like challenges. Punk has a new shirt hyping his title reign. Pretty cool.
Punk says they're not afraid of the dark or sheep masks. He says the Wyatts have bitten off more than they can chew. He hypes up and says to get ready because they are. The kickoff panel discusses the match.
Mathews sends it to the announcers and they briefly comment on the Wyatts vs. Punk and Bryan. JBL asks if their egos can coexist and things will get krunk later.
Match #1 - Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz
As Miz makes his entrance, Cole sends it to a replay of the situation on Raw that set this match up between Kofi and Miz. Kofi and Miz jaw at each other then Miz offers a handshake as the match gets underway. After some rope running Miz tries a roll-up and gets two, then Kofi rolls it through. We get a sequence of near-falls to start that gets some applause from the live crowd.
Miz tries the monkey flip but Kingston lands on his feet (although he tumbles to the corner). Miz hits an atomic drop then tries the Figure Four but Kofi kicks him away. Kofi tries some offense off the ropes to take control. They air a hype video for Orton vs. Big Show and Cena vs. Del Rio as a commercial.
Kingston hits a cross body then a series of punches. Miz hits a wicked kick that knocks Kofi down for a near fall. Miz takes control of the action. After an exchange by the ropes Kofi hits a stomp. He goes on a run of chops and clotheslines then hits the Boom Drop. Kofi calls for Trouble in Paradise but Miz ducks.
Miz tries for a backbreaker but Kofi shoves him off and sets up the SOS. He gets a near fall out of it. Kofi goes up top but Miz counters and tries the Figure Four. Kofi rolls him up in a small package for two. Kofi goes up for a cross body and hits it for a near fall.
In the end, Miz tries a full nelson move, but Kofi rolls it through for two. Miz ends up rolling it back through for the win. Afterward, Miz offers a handshake but Kofi slaps him across the face and leaves. Miz looks shocked.
A decent match. The two guys worked hard and the fans responded at times to some of the offensive moves. With Kingston slapping Miz, who is turning here?
Cole sends it to Renee Young and she reveals some of the popular dream teams from fans that had been tweeted throughout the pre-show. Renee sends it back up to the pre-show panel. Mathews feeds it into a discussion of the WWE Championship match. Bret says it's hard to tell if Orton can do it on his own. Foley says that Orton needs to step up and be a champion rather than a petulant child. Mathews closes by saying the panel will be on the show all night and hypes up the opening match as the pre-show closes.
WWE Survivor Series Pay Per View
Triple H and Stephanie make their entrance first. Stephanie welcomes us to the 27th edition of Survivor Series. Triple H talks about the rule of no physical interference in the Orton/Big Show main event. He ensures that there will be no physical interference in any match tonight. He does the DX "are you ready?" bit and he and Stephanie exit.
Did I miss a face turn by this pair? And the whole "no physical interference" thing really needed to be hyped up on television this week, which it wasn't, and on the free kickoff show as well too, which it wasn't.
They show a video hype package for the show. We're right into entrances for the first match as the announcers welcome us to the show.
Match #1 - Cody Rhodes, Goldust, The Uso Brothers and Rey Mysterio vs. The Shield (Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose) and The Real Americans (w/Zeb Colter)
The faces make their entrances first. Colter cuts a promo criticizing Bostonians for not knowing if the revolution were happening today because they'd be too busy tweeting to someone halfway across the country. He says they'd rather cheer David Ortiz than real Americans like Swagger and Cesaro. That draws heat. Rhodes interrupts and says no one wants to hear him talk or twerk.
Ambrose starts off with Cody. Cole says this is the first anniversary of the Shield's arrival. JBL says the Shield has made a bigger impact than any other faction. After some back and forth, Ambrose ends up arguing with the official. That costs him as Rhodes rolls him up.
Dean Ambrose is eliminated
A neat spot happens at about seven minutes in when Goldust hits a sunset flip into a powerbomb on Cesaro. Goldy gets the tag to Rey and he hits some signature spots to a nice reaction. Rey tags in one of the Usos and he hits a top rope splash on Swagger to eliminate him from the match
Jack Swagger is eliminated
Cesaro hits the big swing on Jey to a big reaction. Sounds like the guys in the audience are counting along. Jimmy Uso checks in and gets the swing also. Cody gets the tag and almost immediately rolls up Cesaro and pins him.
Antonio Cesaro is eliminated
The faces now have a 5-2 advantage. It's Rollins and Reigns remaining. They work on Jey. Jimmy gets a hot tag and hits a nice Samoan Drop on Reigns. He goes up top and gets met there by Reigns. They try for a superplex, but Jimmy fights him off then tries a top rope splash. Reigns gets the knees up then hits a spear.
Jimmy Uso is eliminated
Cody checks in, and after some offense he sets up Cross Rhodes on Rollins. Reigns makes a blind tag and hits Cody with a spear to eliminate him.
Cody Rhodes is eliminated.
The faces still have a 3-2 advantage, but it doesn't last too long. Rollins hits Jey Uso with the curb stomp and sends him to the showers.
Jey Uso is eliminated
It's down to Reigns and Rollins vs. Goldust and Rey. Rey and Rollins work briefly, then Reigns gets the tag and throws Mysterio under the rope to the floor. It drew a reaction from the fans. Mysterio just beats the ten count. Reigns tries a spear but Mysterio moves and Reigns eats ringpost. Reigns tags to Rollins and he hits a wild looking drop kick on Goldust. Mysterio comes back with a roll-up to send Rollins to the showers.
Seth Rollins is eliminated.
Rollins doesn't go quietly, as he puts the boots to Mysterio for a bit before leaving his Shield mate Reigns alone to face Mysterio and Goldust. Reigns taunts Mysterio and asks him if he came all the way back to be jobbed out. Interesting. Mysterio tags out to Goldust who hits his ten corner punches and a good looking power slam for two.
Goldust is frustrated he couldn't put Reigns away and asks for the fans to fire up, which they do. Reigns hits Goldust with a spear moments later to eliminate him.
Goldust is eliminated
It's down to Rey and Reigns. Mysterio tries to set him up for the 619, but Reigns counters by hitting a spear and picking up the win.
Roman Reigns is the sole survivor.
It looks like they wanted to showcase Reigns there and did so. This was a good opening match to the event and Reigns looked strong hitting all those spears. It will make for an impressive video package sometime down the road. Worth pointing out is that the fans were cheering when Reigns would let out his primal yell.
Triple H, Kane, and Stephanie are having a conversation when Randy Orton walks in. Trips stresses that Orton is the Viper, the WWE Champion and the face of WWE. Stephanie tells him "Now go and prove it."
Match #2 - Big E. Langston (c) vs. Curtis Axel; WWE Intercontinental Championship
Late in this one, Langston avoids Axel's neckbreaker. Langston picks him pu and hits the Big Ending to grab the clean win and retain his title. Afterward, Renee Young conducts an in-ring interview. Langston says he doesn't want to pander to Boston fans, but his winning was like when the Red Sox won the World Series.
Winner - Big E. Langston to retain the Intercontinental Championship
At one point the fans chanted "you can't wrestle" at Axel. He's not charismatic, but he certainly can work. This was an expected result. The post-match interview wasn't very good, but it did get a reaction.
AJ gets bossy with the ladies on her team. Tamina stands by her side. Kaitlyn asks why any would trust AJ and that she has made more enemies than anyone on the team. AJ says that Total Divas didn't want them because "they think you don't deserve to be." She tells her team to prove them wrong.
Match #3 - Natalya, The Bella Twins, Cameron and Naomi, Eva Marie and JoJo vs. AJ, Tamina, Kaitlyn, Aksana, Summer Rae, Rosa Mendes and Alicia Fox; Survivor Series Elimination Match
Summer Rae is in Bronco colors, which gets cheap heat since that's who the Patriots are playing tonight apparently. Cole points out the sold out attendance for tonight's show.
Naomi hits Alicia with a split-leg moonsault and pins her. Rosa Mendes ends up eliminating Cameron a bit later. Nikki Bella hits her facebuster to eliminate Rosa shortly after. JBL talks about Summer Rae wearing Florida Gator colors and says something about Titus O'Neil to tie it together. Okay....
Summer does some dancing, then she gets eliminated by Nikki. Kaitlyn is able to pin Eva Marie, then hits a nice gutbuster drop to pin Naomi shortly after. Brie checks in and hits a missile drop kick to eliminate Kaitlyn. AJ takes a cheap shot on Brie then Aksana eliminates her. Nikki checks in and hits a back breaker to eliminate Aksana.
JoJo tries to roll Tamina up and only gets two, but gets hit with a Samoan drop for her troubles. AJ checks in, skips around, then pins JoJo. Cole says the match is down to Tamina and AJ vs. Natalya, but Nikki is still in this.
Natty dodges a top rope splash, then locks Tamina in the Sharpshooter for the submission. AJ is left, and she tries to attack Natalya, but Natty gets the better of her. She locks AJ in the Sharpshooter too and picks up the win for the Total Divas team.
Winners - Team Total Divas
The rapid eliminations were mind numbing, seriously. There weren't a lot of big reactions except when Eva Marie tagged in and to the Sharpshooter submissions. That was abysmal.
Orton comes across Charles Robinson, and talks to him about having been friends a long time. He says that he has had Orton's back and Orton has had his. He tells Robinson that he needs him to be the official he knows Robinson can be. He asks Robinson if he knows what he's saying. Robinson tells Orton that he's going to do what the Authority tells him to.
Cole says that Orton is trying to ensure he leaves with the title tonight. He talks about the pre-show match between Miz and Kingston, then throws it to the panel. Josh Mathews introduces the panel members and goes to talk but Ryback interrupts.
He says that he remembers shutting up the men on the panel. He says they aren't going to do anything because they're cowards just like anyone in "this second class arena." He says he can intimidate anyone in WWE and he is not a bully. He says the name on the marquee is Ryback and he is issuing an open challenge to anyone who wants to make a name for themselves. "So come on out here and make my night." Mark Henry's music hits.
Match #4 - Mark Henry vs. Ryback
Cole points out that Henry is coming back from a torn hamstring. Henry shoves Ryback down early, and Ryback smiles. He gets knocked down with a shoulder block, but Ryback clips the knee and goes on offense. He hits a suplex and gets Goldberg chants.
Ryback misses a spear and tumbles out of the ring. Henry hits a JYD headbutt, then a powerslam for two. He tries to get the World's Strongest Slam, but Ryback counters and hits a spinebuster. Ryback tries for the Meathook but Henry meets him with a rough cross body block. Henry follows it up with the World's Strongest Slam to get the win.
Winner - Mark Henry
The live crowd ate up that Henry has returned, but the match these two had at Wrestlemania 29 was better than this one was.
They show a KMart ad, then feed it back to the panel. They discuss Henry's return to action, then swing to the World Heavyweight Championship match, coming up next. Foley points out again that Cena may not have the support of his hometown fans tonight.
They go into a video package that sets up the World Heavyweight Championship match.
Match #5 - John Cena (c) vs. Alberto Del Rio; World Heavyweight Championship
Lilian Garcia handles the introductions. Seems like about a 60-40 split that is pro-Cena tonight. There's a sign in the crowd that says "LatinNo Heat" for Del Rio, which drew a chuckle.
The announcers play up the fact that Cena didn't wear an elbow brace tonight, with Cole saying it's psychological as much as it is physical. The crowd starts to die down while Del Rio works offense. Del Rio goes up top and tries something but takes a drop kick from Cena. The fans come to life a bit with conflicting boos and cheers for Cena as he goes on offense. Del Rio hits a DDT and gets a two count.
Del Rio tries something from the ropes but falls to the floor. He beats the official's count though to get back in the ring. Cena gets the better of him, and Del Rio comes back with a nice bridging suplex. Cena hits a tornado DDT a bit later for a near fall. Del Rio hits Cena with a kick in the corner for two. The dueling chants start off sluggish but grow.
Del Rio ties up Cena in a tree of woe spot. He charges but Cena sits up, and Del Rio eats ringpost. Cena hits the top rope leg drop for two. Del Rio tries for the Cross Arm Breaker but Cena counters to the STF. Del Rio is able to get to the ropes and break it.
Cena hits a neckbreaker for two. Del Rio gets the Cross Arm Breaker on this time and Cena sells. He then powers Del Rio up (way too early for this move) and hits a slam to the mat. Del Rio tries it again, but Cena dodges and hits the AA to get the win. Cena celebrates with family and friends at ringside afterward.
Winner - John Cena to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
It was well worked but no one bought into anything that Del Rio did to get a near fall or submission. They really didn't buy into Cena's stuff either unless it was a trademark spot. I still think they should have held off putting the title on Cena until tonight, where the atmosphere would have given a title win a bigger feel.
We're now into the problem of Cena being positioned so strongly that no opponent is viewed as a real threat to him. WWE rushes him back so fast sometimes that they leave money on the table in not telling a better story. It's a shame. And I'm not sure where Cena or Del Rio end up going from here..
We get an ad for Michael Strahan's appearance on Raw tomorrow night as the guest host.
Drew Koscelek will have your Raw coverage tomorrow night starting at 8PM EST!
R-Truth, Santino Marella are playing with action figures. You read that right. Los Matadores and El Torito show up to join them. Yes, this is true. Fandango shows up and that draws some singing from the live crowd. John Lauranaitis shows up and says "people power."
Yes, this segment sucked. Totally. Not one thing good about it.
Cole points out that Nikki Bella was indeed a survivor in the Divas match earlier. It took you that long, WWE? Not that we cared...
We get a video package for the Punk and Bryan vs. The Wyatts match.
Match #6 - CM Punk and Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan (w/Bray Wyatt)
Wyatt cuts a promo backstage saying that they are the reaper and there is no where left for Punk and Bryan to run. Wyatt takes his seat at ringside. Punk and Bryan focus on the legs of Rowan in the early going.
JBL is chattering about Cole comparing Rowan's look to that of Michael Myers. Then he tells a lame political joke. Lawler hasn't said a word and seems to be hypnotized by Wyatt or something. Cole shifts the conversation to Florida Georgia Line's performance on Raw last week. Hey guys, there's a match going on!
The Wyatts get their first long run on offense. They team up for a Hart Attack on Punk, who comes back with a tornado DDT. He gets the tag to Bryan, who goes to work on Harper. He sells for Bryan's signature spots then Bryan goes up for the missile drop kick. The announcers talk about Harper getting a leg injury and show him favoring it after the suicide dive Bryan hit.
Bryan tries a huracanrana off the ropes but Harper counters it to a powerbomb and covers but Punk breaks it up. Rowan clears Punk from the ring. The Boston fans chant that it's awesome but "pretty good" might be a better description to this point.
Harper hits a nice suplex on Bryan but takes a big kick from Punk. The fans chant "yes!" as Bryan gets the hot tag to Punk. He goes on a run hitting his signature moves. Punk goes up top but rather than hitting Harper he goes for a dive on Rowan and Wyatt out on the floor. Punk hits a neckbreaker then follows with the Macho Elbow on Harper.
The fans chant for Randy Savage. Rowan runs in and goes for a clothesline but Punk ducks and Bryan hits a big running knee. Punk blasts Harper with the GTS to get the win for his team. Afterward, Bray sells frustration at ringside, after teasing that he would get in the ring himself. He heads to the back with his men.
Winner - CM Punk and Daniel Bryan
The fans were engaged and the match was really good. The signature spots that Punk and Bryan use are definitely over and they did a nice job of spreading them out to have the fans stay in the match. I am not really high on the finish - as I noted in my predictions I thought Wyatt would cause a DQ or something - because I think it does a bit of damage to Harper and Rowan, but it's not so bad they can't overcome it.
They show an ad for "Christmas Bounty" featuring The Miz which will air on Tuesday on ABC Family.
It's not even Thanksgiving yet?
A trainer tends to John Cena with ice and talks to Triple H, Stephanie, and Kane. The trainer says that Cena will be fine to appear on Raw tomorrow. Randy Orton walks in and there's a tense moment between the two of them before Cena says that it looks like Orton has things to discuss with the Authority and leaves. Orton demands to know what was going on with Cena and then storms off.
Let the unification talk begin. Will the Authority tell Orton that in order for him to truly be the face of the company he has to beat the existing face in John Cena? I think it's far too soon to unify the titles and right at this moment, there isn't any money in it.
They set up the main event with a video package.
Match #7 - Randy Orton (c) vs. Big Show; WWE Championship
Justin Roberts has our introductions for this one.
Orton immediately goes to ringside to stall for time in this one. Cole calls it a wise move, saying Show would be emotional after all that he has been through. Orton gets in the ring, but then tries to roll back out and gets caught on the bottom rope. Show goes after him, drags him back in the ring, and fires away on Orton.
Small "Daniel Bryan" chants going on. Orton locks on a chinlock and Cole sells it like it's a sleeper hold. The fans didn't like it and chant "boring." Show stands up then falls backward to break things up. Show goes to the ropes for some reason and Orton hits a kick. He sets up a hanging DDT but Show's legs fall off the ropes so Orton hits a regular DDT which draws boos. Orton flexes.
Show hits a chokeslam that looks like it's all business. Cole starts yelling that we have a new champion, which means it's a near fall situation. Orton kicks out in two. Show teases the WMD punch, and Orton bails to ringside. Show goes after him and Orton throws him into the ring ropes, which somehow bumps the official. Orton then throws Show into the ring post.
Orton grabs a chair but Show knocks it away and throws Orton into the aisle over the barrier. Show chases after him and slams his hand across Orton's chest. Show tosses Orton back over the barrier but Orton recovers and hits a clothesline. Show tags him with the WMD Punch.
Show looks at the crowd and climbs over the barrier. He throws Orton in the ring and the official magically gets revived. Triple H's music hits. He, Stephanie, and Kane come out to the stage as Big Show looks on. He turns around and takes the RKO from Orton. There's boos and "Daniel Bryan" chants when that happens. Orton hits the punt kick and covers for the win.
Winner - Randy Orton to retain the WWE Championship
Afterward, Hunter, Stephanie and Kane clap and come to the ring. Cole says there's something not right about this but JBL stresses there was no physical interference.
John Cena's music hits. He comes to the stage and holds up his title belt. Orton holds his up in the ring as well. Cena walks down to ringside and stands between Hunter and Stephanie and holds the belt up again. Orton seethes and holds his belt up again. Cena does likewise and smiles at Orton as the show ends.
That distraction was expected, especially when Triple H stressed "no physical interference." That was weak. This main event was forgettable too, and was just as bad as I anticipated it would be.
Are all signs pointing to title unification now? It looks that way, and possibly even within the next month at the TLC pay per view? This isn't a big money match.
That said, it's probably more marketable than anything else WWE could offer right now in terms of rematches. Orton/Show is abysmal, and Del Rio and Cena have nowhere else to really go in their story now that the one-armed Superman has won twice in a row.
My other concern is the secondary belts - if they plan a title unification, they better take the US and Intercontinental titles more seriously IN A HURRY. Those titles have been so devalued over time and they will need to be more meaningful going forward.
To wrap it up, this show was predictable and played out as such for the most part. My expectations were pretty low going in, and this show didn't really exceed them. The possibility of a unification match is the only really newsworthy item that came out of tonight's show. Bottom line, this was the most forgettable "Big Four" pay per view in years, despite some good in-ring performances.
Drew Koscelek will be bringing you all the fallout tomorrow night on Raw. I will be back on Tuesday night with Raw Afterthoughts and possibly more from tonight's pay per view. Be sure to join us then!