Survivor Series Count-Up – 2012: DUN DUN DUN!

Survivor Series 2012
Date: November 18, 2012
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 8,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, John Bradshaw Layfield

While the main event is easy enough to explain, the other big match on the card is one of the more confusing in recent memory. Originally, the Survivor Series match was scheduled to be Team Mick Foley vs. Team CM Punk. However, Punk was put in the title match instead so Team Punk became Team Ziggler. A series of injuries and storyline changes resulted in the match being completely different than originally announced. It also didn’t help that Ziggler and Foley had almost no interaction on television and no real reason to be angry at each other. Let’s get to it.

Pre-Show: 3MB vs. Zack Ryder/Santino Marella

It’s Slater and Mahal (Jinder Mahal, who never did much) here. Ryder starts with Mahal as Matt Striker rips Ryder on commentary. Mahal takes him down with a shoulder block but gets caught in an armdrag. Off to Santino who works on a headlock before it’s off to Slater for another armdrag. Ryder comes back in as the announcers talk about Halloween a good three weeks since it’s been over. McIntyre holds Slater’s belt from the floor to avoids Santino’s dropkick. Tag off to Mahal who gets two off a knee drop.

Back to Slater for some shots in the corner but he gives up the hot tag to Santino for all his usual antics. Heath punches him down and brings Jinder in again for some knee drops off the ropes. Santino misses a double clothesline which gives Slater another near fall. The Band stays on Marella but he backdrops Mahal down, allowing for the lukewarm tag off to Ryder. The Broski Boot connects and everything breaks down. A Rough Ryder connects on Slater but the legal Mahal sneaks in with a full nelson slam for the pin on Zack.

Rating: D+. This wasn’t much to see. It isn’t a bad match or anything but how good can a match be when 3MB is getting a clean pin? That’s not exactly a match that’s going to light the world on fire. Also, you’re trying to get a crowd going for a show, you have Santino Marella, and he doesn’t get the hot tag?

The opening video talks about the history that has taken place at this show, ranging from Undertaker and Rock debuting, Montreal, and Rock and Cena teaming up for the first time ever. We then shift over to the main event hype videos you would expect, focusing on the World Title matches and….nothing else. Seriously Foley vs. Ziggler isn’t mentioned here at all. There is a nice idea of Punk surviving as champion at various amounts of days into his reign.

Team Clay vs. Team Tensai

Brodus Clay, Justin Gabriel, Tyson Kidd, Sin Cara, Rey Mysterio

Tensai, Primo, Epico, Prime Time Players

This is a bonus match to fill out the card. Clay is a big man who likes to dance, Tensai is formerly known as Albert/A-Train, Epico and Primo are cousins from Puerto Rico, Kidd is a high flier from Canada and the Prime Time Players are Titus O’Neil and Darren Young, a team who used to fight each other on NXT. This was also back when Tensai was all evil but was a total joke by this point, just as he had been all along.

Kidd works on Epico’s arm to start before taking him down into a headlock. Epico is sent to the floor but manages to send Kidd face first into the apron to take over but it’s quickly off to Gabriel. A sunset flip gets two for Justin and he cranks on Epico’s arm as well. Back to Kidd for a headscissors before putting on another armbar. That doesn’t last long as Mysterio comes in with a low dropkick for two.

Young gets the tag and is almost immediately sent face first into the middle buckle, allowing for a tag off to Sin Cara. The masked men hit a combination wheelbarrow slam/X-Factor for two on Young, sending him over to the corner for a tag off to Primo. Cara hits a quick cross body for two and a sunset flip gets the same as this is a very fast paced match. Tensai gets the tag and runs over Cara with a few slams as JBL lists off Tensai’s Japanese accomplishments.

Off to Titus as Sin Cara is in a lot of trouble. Another slam puts Sin down and it’s off to Primo for a camel clutch. Tensai comes back in to work over the downed Cara but goes after the rest of the team instead of covering. Sin Cara gets up for an enziguri, allowing the hot tag to Clay. Brodus cleans house and the Players, Epico and Primo are sent to the floor. Kidd and Gabriel hit stereo dives to take out the cousins followed by Asai moonsaults from Cara and Mysterio to take out the Players.

The monsters are going at it back inside and Clay botches his high collar suplex, making it into more of a lifting downward spiral. Tensai avoids a charge in the corner and shoulders Brodus down, setting up a backsplash for the elimination. Gabriel comes in with some kicks to the side but gets taken down by a big shoulder block. Off to Titus for an abdominal stretch followed by a backbreaker. Back to Tensai for two off a backsplash but he misses a second one, allowing Gabriel to get a quick rollup for the elimination.

Titus comes in to stomp on the spent Gabriel before it’s back to Epico for a chinlock. Epico misses some elbow drops, allowing Gabriel to make the tag off to Tyson. Kidd heads to the apron but gets sent to the floor where Primo gets in a cheap shot. Back inside with Primo now legal but getting forearmed in the face. Cole says Primo has been a general out there.

Back to Titus who crotches himself off a missed big boot, allowing Tyson to kick him in the side of the head, setting up a rolling cradle for the pin and an elimination. Young comes in to keep the pressure on Kidd before it’s back to Epico for some rolling belly to back suplexes. Not that they matter though as Kidd sweeps the legs and puts on the Sharpshooter to get rid of Epico. Cole of course talks about Montreal.

Primo comes in now but gets elbowed in the ribs for his efforts. He comes back with a quick belly to back suplex, only to go up top and dive into a dropkick to the ribs. The hot tag brings in Mysterio who rolls through a sunset flip and kicks Primo in the face for two. A seated senton looks to set up the 619 but Primo moves to the side, only to get caught in La Majistral for the pin. Darren Young is left all alone and it’s finishers a go-go until Rey finishes him with a top rope splash for the win.

Rating: C. The winners were never really in doubt but this was the right way to get a show going. The fast paced stuff worked very well here with all of the smaller guys hitting their dives to wake the crowd up and give them a fun match. It’s no masterpiece or anything but it did exactly what it was supposed to do. A little trivia for you: that loss makes Tensai 0-5 at Survivor Series, good for the worst record ever at the show.

Kaitlyn is on her way to the ring when someone in black attacks her. Kaitlyn fights back to reveal a blonde wig which falls off as the attacker leaves. Eve pops up and acts all shocked even though she’s evil at the moment. The attacker wound up being Aksana in a meaningless story.

Divas Title: Kaitlyn vs. Eve Torres

Eve is defending. Kaitlyn jumps her to start and pounds away in the corner before sending Eve out to the floor. The champion is sent into the barricade and apron before heading back inside for some hair pulling. Eve kicks her in the ribs and slams Kaitlyn’s head into the mat over and over for two. Off to the corner for some choking and an elbow to the back gets two on Kaitlyn.

Eve puts on a figure four choke before clotheslining Kaitlyn down for no cover. Kaitlyn pops back up to break up the moonsault, sending Eve out to the floor. Back in and Eve is tossed around by the hair followed by a fireman’s carry gutbuster for two. Eve comes right back by sweeping Kaitlyn’s legs out and finishing her with a swinging neckbreaker.

Rating: D. As is the case with the Divas around this time, there isn’t much to brag about other than the girls looked good in their outfits. Kaitlyn just wasn’t that good in the ring and didn’t get much better in the future. Eve was better but her character had hit a ceiling around this time.

Team Ziggler argues over who is the leader.

Team Foley argues over who will survive. Foley unites them in a BANG BANG chant, save for Orton. Foley: “Randy?” Orton: “I hate you.” Foley: “He’s ready.”

US Title: Antonio Cesaro vs. R-Truth

Cesaro (known as the Swiss Superman) is defending and asks why Americans are thankful. The only thing he can think of is how great of a champion he is. Truth gets a quick rollup, sunset flip and rolling cradle for two each before thrusting his hips a bit. Cesaro comes back with a headbutt and a clothesline before pounding away on Truth in the corner. Off to an armbar but a USA chant gets Truth to his feet. The champion shoulders him in the corner and puts on a body vice to keep Truth down again.

A knee to the ribs gets two as JBL lists off some facts about Cesaro’s rugby career. Cole brushes him off and starts listing off rugby facts of his own, sending JBL into a hilarious rant about Cole not listening and asking if Cole is a parrot. The gutwrench suplex gets two for Cesaro and an uppercut gets the same. Back to the body vice for a bit before Truth makes his comeback. Some clotheslines take Cesaro down and a spinning kick to the face gets two. A front suplex gets the same for Truth but the ax kick misses and Cesaro Neutralizes him to retain.

Rating: D. Other than JBL’s rant there was nothing to pay attention to here. These kind of title defenses tend to be very dull as someone like Truth isn’t going to take the title off Cesaro. For the life of me I don’t get why Cesaro isn’t a bigger deal than he is today. The guy has everything you would need but he doesn’t get that big push.

We get a clip from Raw of voicemails from AJ (a psychotic Diva who grew obsessed with various wrestlers), saying that she wants to end her relationship with Cena, but she loses control when she sees him. AJ claims that Ziggler hacked her phone and set those up. Ziggler makes fun of Cena’s, ahem, performance issues, drawing out Cena as backup. AJ slapped Ziggler down without Cena doing a thing.

Here’s AJ with some evidence against someone for something. Over the last month Vickie has been trying to prove that AJ is having an affair with Cena (remember that they’re both single at this point) which AJ thinks means Vickie has something to hide. This brings out Vickie, ranting as always about how much power she has and how she’s being disrespected.

AJ has pictures of Vickie eating with various wrestling personalities and this is scandalous! I’ve spent a long time trying to block this storyline out of my head but now I’m remembering how dumb it was. Vickie is shown in a one piece leopard swimsuit dancing with Brodus causing her to shout a lot. Slapping is threatened but they both get fired for touching the other, so here’s Tamina Snuka to destroy AJ on Vickie’s behalf. This story would keep going for WEEKS.

Paul Heyman talks about how Punk is now #8 on the all time list for longest title reign and will be rising up the ranks even further after tonight because he’s the best in the world. Heyman is just awesome at promoting his guys.

We recap Big Show vs. Sheamus. Not much of a story here other than they had a war at Hell in a Cell with both guys kicking out of each others’ finishers in a great match. Tonight is a rematch.

World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus vs. Big Show

Big Show is defending. It’s another brawl to start with Sheamus pounding away but Big Show gets in a few shots of his own to take over. The big chop misses in the corner and Sheamus gets in some more shots to little avail. Finally Sheamus wakes up and goes after the knees before tying Show up in the ropes for the forearms to the chest. Big Show escapes to the floor but Sheamus dives off the apron to get in even more right hands to the head.

Back in and Sheamus goes up top but Big Show spears him out of the air in a cool looking crash. They head outside again with Show sending Sheamus into the steps. Sheamus is thrown back in and can barely move. Big Show steps on Sheamus’ ribs a few times as the match has slowed way down. A huge elbow drop gets two and we hit the nerve hold. Sheamus fights up quickly but walks into a side slam for two as the match stays in slow motion. Since the slams aren’t working, Show just stands on Sheamus’ head. Sheamus fights up and grabs a sleeper but Big Show throws him off.

Big Show is getting winded so Sheamus pounds away as much as he can, only to miss a charge and go shoulder first into the post. The Final Cut gets two and Show goes to the middle rope, only to be caught in an electric chair of all things for two. They slug it out from their knees and Sheamus takes over, knocking Show down with a running ax handle.

The Brogue Kick and chokeslam are countered and Sheamus gets two off White Noise. Now the fans are getting into this again. Sheamus loads up the Brogue Kick again but takes out the referee by mistake. Four people immediately come out to check on the referee as the replay shows the champion pulling him in the way. Big Show knocks out Sheamus and one of the referees counts a pin to end the match out of nowhere.

Rating: C. The match was slow for the most part and the ending hurts it even worse. This took all the good stuff out of their match at Hell in a Cell and turned it into a dull imitation. This needed to be two monsters firing bombs at each other until neither guy could get up but instead it was your usual Big Show match at about 4 miles per hour.

Post match Show is disqualified and Sheamus lays the alleged thirty one chair shots on him. I never remembered it being that many and that’s because it’s more like eighteen and a Brogue Kick. Big Show crawls to the back as WE WANT ZIGGLER (Mr. Money in the Bank) chants are ignored.

Team Ziggler vs. Team Foley

Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, David Otunga, Damien Sandow, Wade Barrett

The Miz, Kofi Kingston, HELL NO, Randy Orton

So as I said, it was supposed to be Punk vs. Foley over old school vs. new school, but Punk was put in the main event and Ziggler was picked despite having no issue with Foley. The match was originally Punk/Sandow/Miz/Del Rio/Rhodes, but Cody got hurt and Miz felt he didn’t deserve the spot, so Miz was replaced by Barrett and Cody was replaced by Otunga.

Ryback was originally on Team Foley but was moved to the main event and replaced by Miz in a Raw poll. As you can see, the match is a huge mess and almost no one was interested in it for the most part. HELL NO (Kane and Daniel Bryan) are the Tag Team Champions and Kofi is Intercontinental Champion of course. Sandow is an intellectual.

Kofi grabs a quick rollup for two on Otunga to start. David avoids a quick Trouble in Paradise but gets caught by a dive on the floor. Otunga’s trunks are pulled up a bit as Bryan comes in with his kicks. Off to Sandow for the Russian legsweep and the Wind-Up elbow gets two. Bryan fights out of a chinlock and fires off the kicks to the chest to send Sandow out to the floor. Damien says good luck and walks out but Kane will have none of that. Back in and Bryan’s big kick to the head sets up a chokeslam for a fast elimination.

The Tag Team Champions get in an argument for no apparent reason, allowing Ziggler to hit a quick Zig Zag on Kane for the pin. That makes the move look strong if nothing else. Orton and Miz get in a quick fight for some reason but Randy catches a sneaky Ziggler in the slingshot suplex for two. Off to Kofi for the matchup that will not die with Ziggler being launched face first into the buckle for two. Back to Bryan who gets poked in the eye, allowing Dolph to tag in Barrett.

Bryan shouts NO a lot but misses a charge into the corner, setting up Barrett’s big boot in the ropes. Otunga comes in again and the YES Lock goes on almost immediately for the submission. It’s 4-3 with Foley in the lead as Del Rio comes in with a chinlock on Bryan. Back up and Del Rio misses a charge into the corner, allowing Bryan to kick him out to the floor. Kofi gets the not very hot tag and kicks Del Rio down, setting up the Boom Drop for no cover. Instead Ziggler distracts Kofi so Trouble in Paradise misses, but Kofi runs up the corner for a cross body and two.

Wade comes right back with the Bull Hammer for a quick pin, getting us down to 3-3 (Orton/Miz/Bryan vs. Barrett/Ziggler/Del Rio). Orton comes in right away and suplexes Barrett down before cranking on the arm. Miz doesn’t seem interested in a tag but Bryan is glad to come in and work on an arm. A middle rope dropkick gets two and Bryan snaps off even more kicks. Barrett avoids a big one and tags in Del Rio but Alberto has to fight out of a quick YES Lock attempt.

Alberto tries a running enziguri in the corner but hits the arm instead, setting up the cross armbreaker for the elimination. Miz comes in for the first time and scores with some left hands before it’s back to Orton for his traditional stuff. Back to Ziggler who takes over on Randy with a big elbow followed by a chinlock. Orton fights up and launches Ziggler into the air in a nice crash.

A double tag brings in Barrett and Miz with the American connecting with the corner clothesline. The Skull Crushing Finale is countered into a pumphandle attempt (called Wasteland by Cole) but Miz escapes into the Finale for the elimination to tie us up at two. Del Rio comes in next but charges into a DDT for two. Alberto grabs a German suplex for two but gets pulled off the middle rope in a crash. Miz misses the corner clothesline and gets enziguried for an elimination.

That leaves Orton vs. Ziggler/Del Rio with Alberto starting for his pair. Orton fires off some punches but gets caught by a cheap shot, allowing Ziggler to come in and slow things down. Alberto is back in very quickly with a double stomp to the ribs but goes up top, only to dive into a dropkick. Ricardo trips up Orton, earning him Socko down the throat. Ziggler accidentally dropkicks Del Rio and gets sent into the post. A quick RKO takes out Alberto and it’s one on one now with Orton having that evil look in his eyes.

Orton immediately goes into RKO mode but Ziggler holds the ropes and hits the Zig Zag for a quick near fall. So it can beat Kane after he’s taken no damage at all but Orton kicks out at two after twenty minutes? Score one for the Viper. The Fameasser misses and Orton hits the Elevated DDT despite bleeding from the mouth a bit. Orton loads up the Punt but walks into a superkick for the pin.

Rating: C-. Here’s the problem again: the match isn’t bad but there’s no reason for these guys to be fighting each other. Yeah they’ve all feuded with each other at some point in the past, but there’s nothing going on setting up this match. It’s really just ten guys fighting each other with a minor feud here or there. There was no reason to care about this match and that’s exactly how the match felt. Decent match, but the absence of emotion held it back.

We recap the main event. Punk has been champion for a year almost to the day, Ryback got screwed over by referee Brad Maddox inside the Cell and Cena gave Ryback his spot in the Cell due to injury. The solution was a triple threat match.

WWE Championship: John Cena vs. Ryback vs. CM Punk

Punk, with Paul Heyman in his corner, bails to the floor to start and gets chased by both challengers. Ryback finally catches him in the corner but Cena wants to do it himself and pulls Ryback away, allowing Punk to get in shots on both guys. Ryback kicks him in the chest and Cena adds a bulldog before Ryback clotheslines Punk to the floor. It’s the battle of the heroes with Cena pounding away but Ryback escapes the AA and knocks Cena to the outside.

Punk is back in now and scores with a snap suplex on Ryback, but the monster pops right back up and gorilla presses the champion into a fall away slam. Cena comes back in with a belly to belly for two on Ryback before putting on a chinlock. Punk breaks it up with a top rope ax handle and Cena falls to the floor. Another ax handle attempt is caught in midair but Punk takes Ryback down with a neckbreaker. Cena sneaks in with a rollup for two but Punk DDTs him down for two more.

With Cena down, Punk channels his inner Austin Aries and puts on the Last Chancery but Ryback lifts Punk into the air for a powerslam. Cena grabs the ProtoBomb on Ryback but Ryback pops up, leading to a slugout. The shoulder blocks look to take Ryback down but Punk pulls John to the floor and sends him into the steps. Punk’s springboard clothesline gets two on Ryback and we hit the chinlock. Ryback fights up and slams Punk down followed by the Meathook. Cena breaks up the Shell Shock and puts Ryback in the STF but it’s Punk with the Macho Elbow for the save.

Everyone is down now and Punk might have hurt himself on that elbow. He’s up first but can’t hit the GTS on Cena. Punk and Cena slug it out but Ryback clotheslines both guys down to take over again. Ryback sends both guys to the floor for some reason but they double team Ryback down as a result. A double suplex puts Ryback through the table and they head inside for the real showdown.

Punk grabs a GTS out of nowhere for two and Heyman is livid. The AA gets the same result other than Heyman being relieved. Punk comes back with the running knee but the bulldog is countered into the STF. Ryback makes the save and throws Cena into the barricade to put him down. The Meathook and Shell Shock lay out Punk but Cena makes a diving save. The Shell Shock lays out Cena as well……but here are three guys in black to destroy Ryback. They pound away on Ryback and take him to the floor for a TripleBomb through the table. Punk crawls over and pins Cena to retain.

Rating: C+. It’s probably the best match of the night but that’s not saying much at this point. Punk winning was a good idea and set up more stuff down the line which is the best possible outcome. You could feel the wind blowing as Ryback fell down the card though and he wouldn’t really recover. Fairly good match but nowhere near enough to save the show though.

The three men would be revealed as Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose (DUN DUN DUN!), which Cole tells us during Punk’s celebration to end the show.

Overall Rating: D. Man alive has time been cruel to this show. Watching it live there was some drama, but looking back you have two LONG Survivor Series matches with no real story behind them and two screwjob finishes in title matches. Shield would become a bigger deal but no one knew that at this point. This was a “tune into Raw tomorrow night” show and that’s not good for the Survivor Series.

Ratings Comparison

3MB vs. Zack Ryder/Santino Marella

Original:

Redo: D+

Team Clay vs. Team Tensai

Original: B-

Redo: C

Eve Torres vs. Kaitlyn

Original: D-

Redo: D

R-Truth vs. Antonio Cesaro

Original: D

Redo: D

Sheamus vs. Big Show

Original: C-

Redo: C

Team Foley vs. Team Ziggler

Original: C-

Redo: C-

Ryback vs. John Cena vs. CM Punk

Original: B-

Redo: C+

Overall Rating

Original: D+

Redo: D

About the same down the line. It sucked back then and it sucked now. I actually watched most of this show late and while still tired from a flight the first time around but apparently it had more problems than that.

Here’s the original review if you’re interested:

http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2012/11/21/survivor-series-2012-a-filler-ppv-disguised-as-a-major-show/

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete 1997 Monday Night Raw Reviews at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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