Survivor Series

Who Survived? An In-Depth Look At Survivor Series 2016

http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2016/gallery/goldberg-brock-lesnar-photos#fid-40065583 Source: WWE.com

WWE has tried hard to restore the luster of Survivor Series when compared to the rest of the ‘Big Four’ PPVs. The truth of the matter is that Survivor Series hasn’t been an important show in years, and almost got removed from the PPV calendar entirely at one point, before a last-minute save. But this year, Survivor Series was a weekend-long event, with an NXT TakeOver the night before, a massive four-hour show (well, it was scheduled for four hours, anyway), the first Goldberg match in twelve years, and a battle for brand supremacy! So, who came out on top? Join us, as we take a closer look at the events of Survivor Series weekend.

If you just want the match results for the weekend, you can go here for NXT and here for Survivor Series.

We’ll start with NXT TakeOver, which took place the night before Survivor Series.

Gloriously Perfect

We can’t even begin to imagine what a great moment the match between Bobby Roode and Tye Dillinger was for both men, returning to their hometown (well, close enough) in front of a massive crowd that was more than willing to cheer (or in one case, sing) for both of them. And good on those in charge of NXT for letting them go out and have a good long match for the hot crowd, which ate it up and asked for more. It’s too bad that Tye couldn’t get a big win, but Roode is probably at worst headed directly to the NXT Title picture, if not the main roster, and Tye did manage to get a standing ovation after the match…plus a Toronto crowd that continued to shout “10” anytime any counting happened for the rest of the weekend (in case you only saw Survivor Series and were wondering what that was about).

http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt/nxt-takeover-toronto-2016-11-19/gallery/nxt-takeover-toronto-photos#fid-40065129 Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt/nxt-takeover-toronto-2016-11-19/gallery/nxt-takeover-toronto-photos#fid-40065129 Source: WWE.com

The Revival Of Tag Team Wrestling

That’s one of the many catchphrases of Dash and Dawson, the two-time NXT Tag Team Champions who saw their second reign come to an end this weekend, but it applies to NXT in general as well. If you’re a fan of the glory days of tag team wrestling, when the teams weren’t built to be broken up and the matches were a featured part of the show instead of five minute formulaic affairs, then NXT has been providing it for years at this point. In fact, most of the main roster tag teams are graduates of that system, and if there’s any justice, The Revival will soon follow suit. At TakeOver, The Revival and #DIY (Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano) wrestled a 2/3 Falls Match that should be considered one of the best matches of 2016, and one of the best tag team matches we’ve seen in years. You owe it to yourself to find a way to watch this match and see tag team wrestling the way it’s supposed to be.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt/nxt-takeover-toronto-2016-11-19/gallery/nxt-takeover-toronto-photos#fid-40065163 Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt/nxt-takeover-toronto-2016-11-19/gallery/nxt-takeover-toronto-photos#fid-40065163 Source: WWE.com

One More Match

WWE continues to delay the ascension of Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura to the main roster for whatever reason, and as we’ve been saying for a while now, it’s unlikely either will make the jump while they’re still involved in the NXT Title picture with no other immediate contenders. Joe’s title win at TakeOver might seem like a signal that Nakamura will be graduating, but then you remember that NXT is headed to Japan in a couple of weeks, and it’s very likely that he’ll be getting his rematch in front of his hometown crowd, and probably get the title back, too. In the meantime, it’s not like we’re going to say “No” to Joe and Nakamura continuing to try and murder each other, as they did in Toronto.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt/nxt-takeover-toronto-2016-11-19/gallery/nxt-takeover-toronto-photos#fid-40065192 Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt/nxt-takeover-toronto-2016-11-19/gallery/nxt-takeover-toronto-photos#fid-40065192 Source: WWE.com

NXT! NXT! NXT!

As good as the product may be, the fact of the matter is that the NXT audience is a fraction of any of the main roster shows. Even if every subscriber to the WWE Network watched the weekly show (and they should), they would still make up just about a third of the regular Raw viewership. Those who do watch, however, seem to become truly invested in the brand and its wrestlers. And when you put the NXT audience in a large arena for a TakeOver event, as happened in Toronto, you get an atmosphere that we have not experienced since the Attitude Era. The atmosphere we felt at TakeOver (yes, we were there) was electric, the feeling of roughly fifteen thousand people totally dedicated to enjoying the show they were watching, and a group of wrestlers repaid them in kind. If you have the chance, you owe it to yourself to attend an NXT show, so you can experience the joy for yourself.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt/nxt-takeover-toronto-2016-11-19/gallery/nxt-takeover-toronto-photos#fid-40065198 Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt/nxt-takeover-toronto-2016-11-19/gallery/nxt-takeover-toronto-photos#fid-40065198 Source: WWE.com

Now, on to Survivor Series itself!

Who Ran Over Nikki Bella?

As much as it pains us to say it, the Elimination match between the women of Raw and Smackdown was just a match. It was okay, but not great, and had its share of fun moments, as well as botches from some of the less experienced talent. It’s actually okay, though, because frankly, many fans have become spoiled by expecting the women to have the best match of any show, and it needs to start being all right when they have a match that is just average, before Sasha Banks tries to raise the bar and jump off the top of the video screen or something. More importantly, the new “mystery” that will probably be solved this week on Smackdown (because there’s only two weeks until the next PPV, don’t you know), is who took out Nikki Bella backstage before the match. It could have been anyone from Raw (well, maybe not Bayley), her recent nemesis Carmella, or even Natalya, who was forced into the coaching role when she lost to Nikki. It was totally Nattie, but it’s fun to speculate, isn’t it?

http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2016/gallery/team-raw-vs-team-smackdown-live-5-on-5-traditional-survivor-0#fid-40065325 Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2016/gallery/team-raw-vs-team-smackdown-live-5-on-5-traditional-survivor-0#fid-40065325 Source: WWE.com

Well, That Didn’t Matter

As always, WWE erred on the side of not changing anything, as the Intercontinental Title remains on Smackdown, and Sami Zayn continues to be this guy who should be a lot more successful than he is. The rumor is, WWE changed the title back to Miz to preserve heel/face alignments for this match, and might even switch it back to Ziggler as early as TLC. If that’s true, that’s a truly ridiculous reason, especially since obviously there were never any plans to move the title over to Raw anyway, and WWE clearly didn’t care about alignments for all the other matches on the show. Treating the title like a hot potato hurts Miz and Ziggler due to the changes working against the storyline WWE originally tried to create, and Zayn, the only guy who isn’t going to end up with a title reign out of this.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2016/gallery/the-miz-vs-sami-zayn-intercontinental-championship-match-photos#fid-40065402 Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2016/gallery/the-miz-vs-sami-zayn-intercontinental-championship-match-photos#fid-40065402 Source: WWE.com

Four-Second Eliminations In A Four-Hour Show

Okay, the show didn’t end up being four hours long for reasons we’ll get into, but what the heck was up with the tag team elimination match that saw two teams, including the Raw Tag Team Champions, literally eliminated within the first minute? The New Day may be breaking the all-time record reign in the next month (in fact, it’s virtually guaranteed at this point), but whenever the titles aren’t on the line, they’re less competent than The Shooting Stars, who have actually won non-title matches recently. Plus, American Alpha got jobbed out without getting to do enough cool things, in favor of keeping The Usos in the match until the finish? Who booked this match? The fact that this match involving 20 people had rapid fire eliminations becomes even more noticeable when we get to the final Survivor Series match. But first…

http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2016/gallery/raw-smackdown-live-10-on-10-traditional-survivor-series-match-photos#fid-40065417 Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2016/gallery/raw-smackdown-live-10-on-10-traditional-survivor-series-match-photos#fid-40065417 Source: WWE.com

Cruiserweights Aren’t Important

Moving the Cruiserweight Division to Smackdown made sense. They needed a fresh start after being horribly fumbled on Raw, and we even said in our preview that making them exclusive to both the new Live 205 show and WWE Network would probably give them a lot more freedom and direction, instead of getting stuck in meaningless six-man filler matches on Raw. Speaking of which, guess what the pre-show Cruiserweight match was? Anyway, WWE instead chose to showcase their Cruiserweights by having Baron Corbin ruin the title match by beating up both the champion and the most visible Cruiser who wasn’t in the CWC, because he’s a big guy and they’re not. Also, the Cruiserweight division stays on Raw, the wrestlers involved now have to work double duty on both brands, and Kalisto is still stuck on the brand with no other Cruisers. Nobody wins! Well, except maybe for Baron Corbin, but screw that guy.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2016/gallery/the-brian-kendrick-kalisto-cruiserweight-championship-match-photos#fid-40065491 Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2016/gallery/the-brian-kendrick-kalisto-cruiserweight-championship-match-photos#fid-40065491 Source: WWE.com

A Great Twenty Minute Match

That’s what we would have called the men’s Elimination Match if that’s how long it had been. Instead, thanks to what looks like incredibly poor planning in hindsight, WWE had two hours of PPV time left and only two matches remaining, so this match took that great twenty minute match, with impressive displays by everyone involved, a great power display by Strowman, the ultimate revenge of James Ellsworth, a mini-Shield reunion, Shane trying to kill himself, and Bray Wyatt somehow getting a win, and then stretched it out to fill roughly an hour, plus entrances. This meant that in between all those cool moments, we had long stretched where everyone wandered around, trying to kill time before moving on to the next sequence. The moments, when they happened, were great and fun and everything we’d want to see in a Survivor Series match. Unfortunately, they spent way too long trying to get to them, and all because WWE continues to think that in order to make something important, you just make it longer.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2016/gallery/team-raw-vs-team-smackdown-live-5-on-5-traditional-survivor-series#fid-40065554 Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2016/gallery/team-raw-vs-team-smackdown-live-5-on-5-traditional-survivor-series#fid-40065554 Source: WWE.com

News Flash, Shane McMahon Shouldn’t Wrestle

If Shane McMahon does not have a concussion after his ludicrous dive into a Spear that took him out of the match, then they either diagnosed him incorrectly, they didn’t test him, or he’s actually one of those robots from Westworld. We’re not doctors, but we’re pretty sure that Shane had no idea where he was after taking that blow, and kicked out due to reflex, inadvertently and hilariously becoming the only person to kick out of a Spear from Roman Reigns, even if all replays of that event mysteriously stopped existing six seconds after it happened. We’re not blaming Reigns, by the way, because taking that move correctly would have been hard for actual wrestlers, and clearly impossible for a 46-year-old businessman with minimal training. And you’re telling us they had theoretical plans to have Shane fight Lesnar at WrestleMania?

http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2016/gallery/team-raw-vs-team-smackdown-live-5-on-5-traditional-survivor-series#fid-40065549 Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2016/gallery/team-raw-vs-team-smackdown-live-5-on-5-traditional-survivor-series#fid-40065549 Source: WWE.com

Why Goldberg Squashing Brock Was Great

Watching Goldberg put Brock away with less effort than it took him to walk to the ring was an incredibly shocking moment that nobody could have predicted. It was a great comeuppance for Brock, who has basically walked all over the entire roster for years, and a moment that will be replayed forever (in fact, they can basically replay the entire match as a highlight package). It was a great payoff to a match that has been built very well and showed that WWE finally, after thirteen years, figured out why Goldberg was such a big deal. People are already calling it a Match of the Year, but that’s mostly the catharsis and shock talking, and we expect cooler heads to prevail when the votes are tabulated.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2016/gallery/goldberg-brock-lesnar-photos#fid-40065583 Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2016/gallery/goldberg-brock-lesnar-photos#fid-40065583 Source: WWE.com

Why Goldberg Squashing Brock Was Bad

The match lasted less than ninety seconds because that’s almost certainly as long as that match could have actually been without becoming a complete trainwreck. And then there’s the part where you realize that Brock Lesnar, the man who ended the Streak, the one who treated John Cena like a ragdoll and held the WWE Title hostage for eight months, the Beast who has beaten most of WWE’s top stars with minimal apparent effort, was just destroyed in four moves by a 49-year-old guy who hasn’t stepped in a ring in twelve years, who isn’t physically capable of wrestling a full match, and who has basically a Rumble appearance and possibly a WrestleMania match (probably a rematch) left in the tank. The theory behind Brock’s reign of dominance was that at some point, some young Superstar with an actual future would beat him and become a huge star as a result. Instead, WWE gave that moment to Goldberg, and not only did he win, he destroyed Lesnar. What does that say about all those full-time Superstars, like Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, Seth Rollins, and yes, Roman Reigns, who not only failed to do beat Brock, but took enormous amounts of punishment as well? And not that we’re complaining that the show ended a half-hour early, but WWE spent the entire previous match stretching to fill time, then ended the main event in a minute and a half. Why couldn’t this show have just been the regular three hours?

http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2016/gallery/goldberg-brock-lesnar-photos#fid-40065596 Source: WWE.com

http://www.wwe.com/shows/survivorseries/2016/gallery/goldberg-brock-lesnar-photos#fid-40065596 Source: WWE.com

Who Won? Who Cares?

So, maybe you’re curious about which brand ended up winning this thing. It was Raw. They won two out of three Elimination Matches, they kept the Cruiserweight Division, their wrestlers were in the main event, and their Commissioner didn’t end the night eating through a straw. More importantly, they actually won well before the evening was even over, because WWE, in their infinite wisdom, decided to remove any and all tension from the supposed battle for brand supremacy by having Raw win the first two Elimination matches, making the third one essentially meaningless (so of course, Smackdown won it). Not since Sheamus vs Cesaro has a “Best of” series happened in such ridiculous and nonsensical fashion. But don’t get upset, because none of it mattered anyway! Neither the Intercontinental nor Cruiserweight titles changed brands, the winning side got nothing, and there’s no punishment for the losers! At that happened is we’re almost certain to have Stephanie McMahon and Ramblin’ Mick deliver a long, self-serving promo about how awesome they are to open Raw this week! Yay?

But hey, no time to dwell on it, TLC is in two weeks!

http://www.wwe.fr/videos/2016/11/15/raw-highlights-nov.-14-2016;jsessionid=4B442D9F28581676BEA005397C956330?r40_r1_r1:page=6 Source: WWE.fr

http://www.wwe.fr/videos/2016/11/15/raw-highlights-nov.-14-2016;jsessionid=4B442D9F28581676BEA005397C956330?r40_r1_r1:page=6 Source: WWE.fr

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