Sports Writer and long-time WWE fan, Matt McConnell reviews one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year, Survivor Series!
November marks the time of year for one of the most historic WWE pay-per-views, Survivor Series. Admittedly, WWE in recent years haven’t really treated the prestigious tradition with much respect, providing fans with lacklustre cards. Furthermore there has been little attention given to the traditional survivor series elimination matches, just look at last year’s debauchery with Randy Orton vs Big Show as its big draw. But this year strove to make up for that, not only by giving away this event (and also entire month) for free on the WWE Network, but it also featured one of the strongest cards seen on a Survivor Series since 2006. In this review, I’ll break down the highs and lows of the card and give you my insight and opinions of where WWE can go next.
At first glance, you would think that a card with only five scheduled matches would be dire, rightly so considering they had to fill time with an opening promo that’s usually found at the start of a Monday Night Raw episode. So, expectations weren’t exactly high from the get-go, even if Vince McMahon made an appearance to hype up the main event. Thankfully the majority of match quality throughout the night was enough to make almost every match a pleasure to watch. Note that I said “almost every match”.
A strong opener came in the form of a fatal 4 way Tag Team Championship match including the top (and only) relevant teams on the roster; Gold and Stardust, The Usos, Los Matadores and The Miz and Damien ‘Miz’dow. Even if it is slim pickings, this opening match was a highlight reel for why I’m a massive fan of the Tag Division, it had some incredible high-flying spots and some great technical wrestling. I’ll start this by saying that the right team won, even though I despise The Miz. Him and Mizdow are arguably the best pairing we’ve seen in a while, their gimmick is brilliant and it draws huge pop from the crowds. Fans of Sandow will be pleased to see that he has finally been pushed into the mainstream and has been given a Tag Team Title reign for his troubles. The Miz is entertaining and doing massive favours for Sandow. It will be intriguing to see how they continue to utilise Damien’s popularity and the growing tensions between the new tag champions.
As you could probably guess from my review of Hell in a Cell, I’m a huge advocate of both Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose. The match at Survivor Series between the two was everything that one could ask for from a standard match. Now admittedly the feud leading up to the match hasn’t been brilliant, the promos have seemed a little awkward and the writers having to resort to bringing up Dean’s troubled relationship with his Father was slightly distasteful. However, perhaps this is only due to personal high expectations from them.
It was very back and forth and extremely physical, It was commendable both superstars performed so true to their characters and now people eagerly wait for their upcoming rematch at TLC. The match was given the best end possible, having Bray go over via disqualification. Should either of them had lost cleanly it would have damaged their character and popularity, so congratulations to WWE for going down the route of extending the rivalry and allowing them to have more freedom to become more violent and exciting.
Looking ahead to the two traditional survivor series matches which involve two teams of five in elimination fashion, one team must fully eliminate the other in order to win. Before moving on to the main event, readers should be warned (should you choose to watch the event), to stay clear of the first 5 on 5 match, I am ashamed to say I witnessed one of (if not the) worst ppv matches of the year! The in-ring work of the 10 Divas was appalling, and what would usually be seen as a Wrestling fans ‘tea-break’ went on ten times longer than it should have, putting fans in the arena and at home to sleep. It’s a shame really that bar one or maybe two of the female wrestlers, there is very little in the way of in-ring ability and to put it into a single word it could be labelled as… embarrassing.
Thankfully though, the main event salvaged whatever hope was left in the traditional Survivor Series concept. Team Cena, comprised of Dolph Ziggler, The Big Show, Erick Rowan (for some reason), Ryback and of course Cena himself went head to head with Team Authority: Seth Rollins, Kane, Mark Henry, Luke Harper and Rusev. Personally I was so proud to see that the 5 on 5 match went on last, being the first one since 2oo5. It was the perfect main event, keeping everyone on the edge of their seats, huge moments including a heel swerve from Big Show, Dolph Ziggler’s resiliency against his 3 on 1 predicament and of course a return of an Icon, STING! You’ve read correctly, the unsung hero of the Wrestling industry finally made his anticipated WWE debut and so time stood still as he stared down the COO, Triple H. One Scorpion Death Drop later, Sting pulled Dolph over Rollins, leading to the three count which ended the reign of The Authority and saved the careers of Team Cena.
The show ended with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon coming to terms with their pending pink slip and finished an incredible Survivor Series. There are nothing but high hopes for the final month of 2014, with the return of Sting, Ziggler’s massive push and the announced return of Roman Reigns, there’s so much to be hyped about! Roll on TLC.
Verdict: 4/5 stars.