In my "Notes" posts, these are random observations, written in real time, as I'm watching the event. These posts are not meant to be traditional blog style articles, they are just random lists of observations. I hope you enjoy them and thanks for taking the time to view my website. Any comments can be sent to @NVSportscards on Twitter.
Live from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, it's the 2016 Survivor Series! The pre-show panel is led by Renee Young and consists of Booker T, Lita and Jerry Lawler. Your announce crew for the night will be a mix of Mauro Ranalo, JBL, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, David Otunga and Michael Cole.
There will be 3 traditional Survivor Series matchups (all Raw vs Smackdown) as well as an Intercontinental Title defense, a Cruiserweight Championship match and a "Fantasy Warfare" match, which before tonight, was only possible on WWE's newest 2K17 video game. Let's get started.
Honestly, I'm not looking forward to this match at all. Though I do appreciate how well Charlotte has gotten herself over, I'm completely over the 4 Horsewomen feuding with each other, just as I'm over The Shield constantly feuding amongst themselves. I wish all parties would move on and do something else.
During the introductions, Nikki Bella's music is heard but she is nowhere to be found. A backstage cameraman starts running and soon we see Nikki sitting on the ground, being attended to by a WWE doctor, as well as Daniel Bryan and Natalya. Nikki was hit from behind and the doctor won't clear her for the match. Natalya insists on taking her place and Bryan tells her to "Go on. Get out there". We can all see where this story is headed, so I won't even insult you with a suggestion. *cough* Natalya did it *cough*.
Alicia Fox is very athletic and at times, can be very good, but she's going nowhere. I really wish WWE would send her back to NXT for a complete gimmick overhaul. She has the tools to be something far better than she currently is, but she'll never get passed the hurdle of playing backup to The Bellas or Charlotte or whoever the Queen Bee happens to be at the time. That said, I had her pegged as the first to be eliminated, but surprisingly, she eliminated Carmella first overall! Good for her.
Speaking of which, poor Carmella. She isn't over, at all. Heel. Face. It doesn't matter. She was the fourth member of Team Smackdown to be introduced and the crowd went completely silent during her entrance, only to perk back up when Nikki Bella's music hit. She was literally the only member of Team Smackdown that the crowd didn't pop for. I'll say it again. She should team with Eva Marie, whenever Eva comes back. It would generate nuclear heat for Carmella and be to her great benefit when they eventually split and have their own feud. She could even go back to Enzo and Cass, once she flips face.
Before we get ahead of selves, let's not bury the lead. Ty Dillinger must already be thinking about how he's going to spend his millions, being that his "10" catchphrase is so over that it crossed brands and made it's way into the main roster at a Big 4 PPV event. If you're not familiar, Ty Dillinger is a member of the NXT roster and he calls himself "The Perfect 10". Admitidely, he's not the best performer, but he's latched on to an organic gimmick that is going to skyrocket him to stardom, in the very near future. WWE tried to push past the "10" chants or not acknowledge them, but they will eventually. Congratulations young man, you are the new Daniel Bryan.
Move wise, this match wasn't that spectacular. The highlight was Nia Jax performing a double-suplex to Alexa Bliss and Becky Lnych. It really was incredible. Catch it on Youtube, if you can.
One other note, before I get into the order of eliminations, there was an ever so slight Bayley heel tease. It has already been mentioned around the internet that Bayley shouldn't have participated in the Raw beatdown so willingly. Her character is a squeaky clean babyface and she would never do such things. In this match, Bayley saved Charlotte from being pinned and the crowd's immediate reaction was to boo her. I couldn't believe it at first, so I rewound 10 seconds and watched it again. Yes, the crowd did indeed boo Bayley. Is this actually going anywhere? I doubt it, but it was interesting, regardless of the outcome.
Carmella, pinned By Alicia Fox.
Alicia Fox, pinned by Alexa Bliss.
Naomi, counted out due to Nia Jax.
Sasha Banks, pinned by Natalya.
Nia Jax, taps out to Becky Lynch.
Alexa Bliss, pinned by Charlotte.
Becky Lynch, pinned by Bayley.
After the match, Charlotte beats down Bayley for "stealing her spotlight". Charlotte really is great. She is easily the best heel in WWE, since the Fabulous Moolah or Sherri Martel and possibly even Stephanie McMahon. I can see why Raw drafted her 3rd overall. They obviously had very big plans for her. It's only a matter of time until the fans cheer her dominance and make her a face. I would guess by Wrestlemania 2018.
I had high hopes for this match. Repeat, HAD. This match was kind of a snoozefest. It was decent, I was just expecting more considering Zayn's past matches and The Miz doing the best work of his career, right now. To echo Daniel Bryan, The Miz is a safe, predictable wrestler. His matches never go to the extreme, but he does always put on a solid wrestling match.
To start things off, Miz covers the basics. He works Sami Zayn's leg to soften him up for the Figure Four and to neutralize Zayn's high intensity moveset. Nothing great, but solid and predictable.
Zayn squeezes in a few of his signature spots, including a Tope Con Hilo, a Blue Thunder Bomb and an Exploder into the corner ropes, but really, that's all we get from him. He misses a Helluva kick but ultimately tries to submit Miz with his own Figure Four. Maryse causes a distraction by ringing the timekeeper's bell, making Zayn let go of the hold. Miz then rolls up Zayn for the pin.
As great as they are, I think Miz and Maryse should seperate soon. Miz doesn't need her to maintain his heel gimmick and she is starting to become increasingly involved in the finishes of his matches. Everyone loves the weasely heel gimmick, but eventually he has to start winning (or at least cheating) on his own.
Decent match, though. Not great, just decent.
This match had the ability to be a real cluster, given that there were 20 men in the ring, but it actually turned out very good, mostly due to the ending.
Right off the bat, we get one elimination as The New Day hits Fandango with their finisher, the Midnight Hour. Tyler Breeze hadn't even taken off his cop hat yet (Breezango are the fashion police, in case it wasn't clear why they were dressed like that) before Breezango is gone from the match. Poor Tyler Breeze. Another PPV where he just stands there like a dummy. Then in the blink of an eye, one of The Usos hits Kofi Kingston with a flying body press and pins him. 2 teams eliminated in under 90 seconds. With that, let me vent a little frustration with this match. Why 10 teams? Why not 12 teams? Or 16? Or even 20? What was the point of including so many teams, only to have 2 eliminations in under 90 seconds? Makes no sense to me.
The Shining Stars had a good showing in this match. Very solid effort from them. They definitely don't deserve to be the whipping boys of Raw, but due to garbage booking, they will be.
As soon as things calm down a little bit, the crowd starts right in with a "We Want Slater" chant. Heath Slater was over with this crowd and would have been the most over in the match, if it weren't for Enzo and Cass and their millions of catchphrases and local pandering. I'm still surprised that Heath Slater and Rhyno are holding the belts, and I can see that The Usos are clearly the #1 contenders, given that they were the last Smackdown team standing, they pinned the Raw champs and eliminated the most Raw teams (2, New Day and Enzo and Cass). Also on the subject of Slater and Rhyno, Rhyno looks terrible. I know he's put on loads of weight, but shaving off the facial hair was a terrible mistake. His face looks bloated and by comparison it makes his gut look larger than it already is. There is no way that you can look at this guy and think that he's the champion of anything.
As for the highlights, there were a few. Chad Gable hit an amazing Sommersault Plancha with an assist from Jason Jordan, but I'm sure most fans forgot about it, by the time Cesaro tagged in and went on a 3 minute blitzkrieg. He demolished everyone left standing, from corner to corner, inside and outside of the ring. He went from a series of uppercuts, to a 619, to a Big Swing, to a Sharpshooter (which erupted the Canadian crowd). Cesaro was the single handed saving grace of this match and at the end, there was even a glimpse (turned out to be fake, but whatever) of respect from Sheamus. I could only imagine the heights Sheamus and Cesaro could reach, if only they could get on the same page, working as a face tag team. They could be like a modern day British Bulldogs or Strike Force or, dare I say, the Hart Foundation (the face version). A smark can dream, right?
Breezango (Tyler Breeze, Fandango) pinned by The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E).
The New Day, pinned by The Usos (Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso).
The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder, Mojo Rawley), pinned by Gallows and Anderson (Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson).
The Shining Stars (Epico, Primo) pinned by American Alpha (Jason Jordan, Chad Gable).
American Alpha, pinned by Gallows and Anderson.
Gallows and Anderson, pinned by Heath Slater and Rhyno.
Slater and Rhyno, pinned by Enzo Amore and Big Cass.
Enzo and Cass, pinned by The Usos.
The Usos, pinned by Sheamus and Ceasro.
I think I can say that whatever hopes I had for the Cruiserweights, coming out of the Cruiserweight Classic, have been dashed at this point. As amazing as thee Brian Kendrick has been in his heel run, I refuse to believe that he's the best thing to come out of the CWC. I watched each episode of the CWC on the Network, with every episode more exciting than the last, but let's face it, their main roster run has been a complete crap-fest. I'm sure I wasn't the only one hoping that the Cruiserweights would actually be moved to Smackdown, because then, maybe they'd have some time to shine.
If you've been waiting for a Crusierweight match to deliver it's share of "flippy stuff", then this match was definitely headed in the right direction. Kalisto hit a Spanish Fly on the outside ring apron that appeared to hurt him as much as it did Kendrick, but it was impressive nonetheless. There were other impressive moves in keeping with Kalisto's moveset but there was also a very rough looking takedown delivered by Kendrick from the top ropes. Kendrick ended up spiking Kalisto on the mat and rolled him into a Captain's Hook. It looked bad in the moment, but the match didn't even slow down for the ref to check on him, so I assume everything went as planned.
Baron Corbin came out and interfered in the match, giving the win to Kendrick. All in all, it's a pretty trashy way to end a match with such a large stipulation on the line, but whatever. I'm guessing that WWE is going to slowly write the Cruiserweights off of Raw, once 205 Live starts airing it's own shows.
Brace yourself if you're going to watch this match. If my timing was correct, this match was over an hour long, including the video package and the entrances. Don't get me wrong, the match was great, but holy moly, it was over an hour long.
Now I don't know if it was because this was in Canada or it's because of how truly over he is, but Chris Jericho received the loudest pop of the night, by far. He didn't even talk about his list. He just showed up and the fans lost their minds because of it. On the flipside of that, Roman Reigns was booed out of the building. Anytime he got tagged in, "Booooooooo". Reigns was teased as part of a heel alliance, towards the end of the match, hopefully WWE persues that story some more. Reigns needs to be heel, even if it means reuniting The Shield as a heel faction. I'm done watching the former members of The Shield feud with each other, so hopefully, they get back together (even if only temporarily) and face either The Wyatt Family (longshot) or The Club (more likely). There is a great story that can be told at Wrestlemania 2017 between The Shield and The Club and if my guess is correct, none of these guys are going to be in the title picture anyway, so why not?
Some of the highlights from this 60 minute marathon: Kevin Owens dove from the top ropes to the outside, taking out everyone in the process. Braun Strowman came in and cleaned house. I don't want to undersell that, so I'll say it again. Braun Strowman cleaned house. He man-handled everyone, including picking up AJ Styles and throwing him completely out of the ring. When Strowman went outside the ring to collect Styles, he was met by Reigns and Seth Rollins. They incapacitated him long enough for us to see a patented Shane McMahon leap from the ring post to the announcer's table, crushing everything below him. As Braun got up to beat the 10 count, James Ellsworth (who had been hiding under the ring) grabbed his leg, which led to a countout. Ellsworth ran, only for Strowman to catch up to him and chuck him from the stage through a table, which was conveiniently waiting for him below. Cut back to the ring, where Shane and Reigns are going at it. Shane places Reigns in the corner and attempts the wickedest Coast To Coast I've ever seen. Reigns attempted to counter with a spear, but both men collided awkwardly and for a good 20 seconds it looked like Shane was out cold. Early reports says that he has a concussion and honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if Reigns had a concussion too. Though I didn't watch the collision in slow motion, it appeared that Shane's chin hit the top of Reigns' head or shoulder, then Shane hit his head on the mat and Reigns hit his own head on the mat, on the way down. This was a very dangerous move to try and pull off and I'm shocked they even attempted it. I can't imagine that move not hurting both men, even in a best case scenario.
Moving on from this, we had The Shield reunion. The crowd erupted once Rollins and Reigns fought off the security that was holding back Dean Ambrose, when they realized that they could use Ambrose to help eliminate Styles. Sure enough, The Shield powerbombed Styles through the announce table, dumped him into the ring and pinned him. This left just Rollins and Reigns, for Team Raw and Wyatt and Orton for Team Smackdown. As Wyatt and Orton circled the ring, Luke Harper appeared ringside to join in on the age-old Shield vs Wyatt Family fun. Ultimately, Harper wasn't much of an asset as he provided some light weight distraction while Seth Rollins did what Seth Rollins does. He performed an amazing Sommersault Plancha to the outside, hitting Harper and landing perfectly on his feet. Later in the match, though, he fell victim to his high risk maneuvers while attempting a Frog Splash and being hit with an RKO, outta nowhere. Rollins was pinned and not long after, Reigns was also pinned, leaving the new Wyatts, Bray and Orton.
Dean Ambrose, pinned by Braun Strowman.
Braun Strowman, counted out while Shane McMahon was in the ring. (Assited by James Ellsworth).
Kevin Owens (DQ), hit AJ Styles with The List of Jericho.
Chris Jericho, pinned by Randy Orton.
Shane McMahon, pinned by Roman Reigns.
AJ Styles, pinned by Seth Rollins.
Seth Rollins, pinned by Bray Wyatt.
Roman Reigns, pinned by Bray Wyatt.
I think it's clear to see that WWE still has plans for Bray Wyatt. I can't wait to see where this story goes from here.
For as long as the men's match was, this match made up for it. In fact, it will probably take longer to read the highlights than the match actually was. Coming in at 1 minute and 20 seconds, this has got to be the shortest PPV Main Event of all time.
There were rumors that Goldberg hurt his shoulder in the build up to this match, so maybe that had something to do with how short this main event was. Maybe WWE is sending a message to Brock Lesnar. Or maybe WWE is building to a bigger storyline, leading to a Goldberg match at Wrestlemania.
What ever the case may be, it's clear to see that this was not Goldberg's last match, as he claimed it was. There is more to this story and I, for one, can't wait to tune in to Raw and find out. My initial guess is that Goldberg becomes involved in some sort of alliance that finally sees the ousting of Stephanie McMahon as the GM of Raw. This storyline was originally meant for Sting, back in 2014, but they never went through with it. I would assume that the same story applies here, just swap in Goldberg for Sting. This would also explain why this match was rushed in the Survivor Series, instead of waiting for Wrestlemania.
Great show. Maybe the best complete show of 2016?
Probably an 8 out of 10. The ending left me surprised and satisfied, while still having enough motivation to keep tuning in to find out what's going on.
I can't believe that the Royal Rumble (and the Road to Wrestlemania) is only 2 months away. With the way things played out during the Survivor Series, it seems that a few potential Mania matches are already being set up.
Check back in a day or two and I'll start going over some potential matches for the biggest show of the year.
Thanks for reading!