Survivor Series Count-Up – 2013: Building The Empire

Survivor Series 2013
Date: November 24, 2013
Location: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 13,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, John Bradshaw Layfield

While those two matches aren’t the most interesting in the world, there is one match that had people’s interest. Daniel Bryan and CM Punk have both been having issues with the bizarre cult leader Bray Wyatt and his Family. The two will pair up tonight to face the Family (Luke Harper and Erick Rowan), though the real story will pick up when Bray himself gets involved. Let’s get to it.

Pre-Show: Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz

Miz turned on Kofi in a tag match on Raw to set this up. He offers a handshake to start but Kofi is too smart for that. We get a surprisingly fast start with Kofi trying to get a grip on Miz but settling for a rollup for two. They trade about three rollups each for three in a very nice chain wrestling sequence until we reach a stalemate. Miz goes for the Figure Four but has to duck Trouble in Paradise. Kofi sends him to the floor for a nice dive and we take a break. Back with Kofi holding a chinlock before getting two off a cross body.

Kingston pounds away in the corner but Miz sneaks underneath him and scores with a big boot to the face. Kofi fights out and hits a double stomp to the chest followed by some nice dropkicks. The Boom Drop looks to set up Trouble In Paradise but Miz ducks, only to get caught in the SOS for two. Another Figure Four attempt is countered into a small package for two and Kofi’s high cross body gets the same. Two low knees to the face/chest put Miz down but he ducks the third and grabs a rollup for the pin.

Rating: B-. This was one of the better opening matches they’ve had in a long time. The reversal sequences were very fast paced and other than a few moments here and there, the action barely stopped. Kofi losing here doesn’t hurt him at all and Miz gets a win to help boost his heel turn. Everybody wins. Well except Kofi but you get the idea.

The opening video talks about how survival is a must before transitioning to your usual hype video for the World Title matches.

Rey Mysterio/Usos/Goldust/Cody Rhodes vs. Real Americans/Shield

Elimination rules of course and the Real Americans are Jack Swagger and Cesaro. The Usos are twin Samoan high fliers. Ricardo Rodriguez is on Spanish commentary. Colter (a VERY proud American who wants all non-Americans to leave the country) does his usual routine before the match before attempting to twerk because what would a wrestling show be without that?

Cody and Ambrose get things going as this is the anniversary of Shield’s debut. They trade waistlocks to start but Cody takes over with some right hands, only to have Ambrose pound away in the corner. Rhodes comes back with even more punches as Cole tells us that Friday is Lawler, Colter and JBL’s birthday. Ambrose pounds away in the corner but gets in an argument with the referee, allowing Cody to get a quick rollup for the elimination.

Everything breaks down with the Usos cleaning house and hitting dives to take out all of their opponents. We settle down with Goldust vs. Rollins but it’s quickly off to Swagger to drive Goldust into the corner. Jack takes him down and Cesaro comes in with a knee drop for two. Cole messes up his history by saying Andre the Giant was the sole survivor of the first Survivor Series match (that would be the main event of the first Survivor Series and the fourth match ever).

Goldust gets a backslide for two on Cesaro and scores with a powerslam. A jawbreaker puts both guys down but Cesaro is able to tag first. Swagger comes in but misses the Vader Bomb, allowing for the hot tag off to Mysterio. He easily takes Swagger down to set up the 619 and it’s a superkick from Jimmy followed by the Superfly Splash from Jey to eliminate Swagger.

Cesaro immediately comes in with an uppercut to Jey to set up the Cesaro Swing. The fans count along with the swings but it’s only 15 revolutions. He must be tired tonight. Jimmy comes in without a tag and gets a swing of his own 19 revolution swing. Cody gets the tag and scores with a sunset flip out of nowhere for the elimination, leaving us with Rollins/Reigns vs. all five members of the other team.

Reigns comes in to work on Cody’s arm but it’s off to Jey instead. Roman easily tags him into the Shield corner and the two remaining members take over with the alternating tags. Rollins comes in with a top rope fist to Jey’s jaw and we hit the chinlock. Jey fights up and backdrops Rollins over the top rope, allowing for the tag off to Jimmy. A Samoan Drop gets two on Reigns and the running Umaga attack in the corner keeps him in trouble. Jimmy goes up top but has to headbutt Reigns down. He jumps down but the spear is enough for a quick elimination.

Cody comes in with a missile dropkick followed by the moonsault press for two on Rollins. Cross Rhodes connects but Reigns made a blind tag, allowing him to spear Cody in half for the elimination, leaving us at 3-2. Jey comes in and takes Reigns to the floor, sending him into the barricade and post. Back in and Rollins makes a quick tag to set up the Black Out (running one foot curb stomp) to eliminate Jey, leaving us with Reigns/Rollins vs. Goldust/Mysterio.

It’s Rey vs. Rollins with Mysterio getting in a quick dropkick, only to go up top and get caught in the Tree of Woe. Back to Reigns who sends Mysterio out to the floor but Rey makes it back in at 9. Reigns’ spear goes into the post by mistake but Rollins knocks Goldust to the floor to prevent the hot tag. Rey grabs a rollup out of nowhere to get rid of Rollins and make it 2-1.

Rollins stomps on Mysterio a bit before leaving, giving Roman a big advantage. Rey slides through Reigns’ legs and catches him with an enziguri before sending him into the corner with a drop toehold. There’s the hot tag to Goldust who gets two off a spinebuster. He pounds down right hands to Roman in the corner before a powerslam gets two. Reigns comes right back by countering the bulldog into a spear and it’s one on one. Rey tries the 619 but gets speared in half as well, giving Reigns his star making performance with his fourth elimination for the win.

Rating: B-. Total star making performance by Reigns as he was completely unstoppable out there. Save for a meaningless fall over an Uso, Reigns literally got every elimination for his team. They’re clearly setting him up to be something special, though the results since have been very mixed.

Orton interrupts an Authority meeting and wants to make sure they’re all on the same page to start. The Authority talks down to him before telling him to go prove his worth on his own.

Intercontinental Title: Curtis Axel vs. Big E. Langston

Langston, defending here, is a powerlifter and incredibly strong. This is the rematch from when Axel lost the title on Monday before why change the title here? Axel grabs a headlock to start but Langston easily powers out. They trade leapfrogs until Langston runs him over with ease. Axel sends him to the apron and forearms Langston down to the floor for his first advantage.

The fans chant You Can’t Wrestle, presumably at Axel, though the same chant at Langston wouldn’t surprise me. Axel hits a Hennig neck snap and puts on a chinlock only to have Langston power out and suplex Axel down. There’s the Warrior Splash but Axel kicks the knee and gets two off a PerfectPlex. Not that it matters as Big E. grabs Curtis for the Big Ending to retain.

Rating: D+. Well at least it was short. This was one of the least important title matches I can think of in a long time as I don’t even think Axel believed he was taking the title here. Nothing to see here and basically it was an extended squash for Langston. That’s all it should have been too since they couldn’t do the title change here due to reasons.

Post match Langston cuts a promo that would make Mick Foley proud, mentioning Boston three times in about 20 seconds.

AJ gives a semi-maniacal speech to her teammates which they take as her saying she’s better than them. AJ says yeah she’s better because they’re just here because they’re not good enough to be on Total Divas. The promo basically buries the entire division by pointing out how worthless all of them are. Rebellion is imminent even though AJ gets a great line: “Get your own show by stealing this one.”

Team AJ vs. Total Divas

AJ Lee/Tamina Snuka/Summer Rae/Alicia Fox/Rosa Mendes/Kaitlyn/Aksana

Bella Twins/Funkadactyls/JoJo/Eva Marie/Natalya

This is the result of a reality show on the E Network called Total Divas. The show resulted in Divas Champion AJ Lee going on an incredible rant about how she was a wrestler and not a reality star, setting up a feud. The Funkadactyls (Cameron and Naomi) are Brodus Clay’s former dancers. Eva Marie and JoJo were hired only to be on Total Divas. Aksana is Lithuanian and not very good. Rosa Mendes is even worse, Summer Rae is the dance partner of a wrestler named Fandango and Kaitlyn is the anti-Diva.

The Total Divas come out in a big line to the show’s theme song because they’re SO close on that show. Naomi starts with Alicia and rolls her up for a pin in just over a minute. Rosa avoids a Rear View but gets caught in a double suplex by the Funkadactyls. Mendes comes back with a quick kick to the face to eliminate Cameron, only to be taken out by a Bella Buster from Naomi.

It’s 6-5 now and here’s Summer to dance a bit. Nikki does the Worm and we’re in a dance off. Another Bella Buster gets rid of Summer and it’s time for Eva Marie who is booed out of the building. Kaitlyn only needs the gutbuster to get rid of Eva and it’s off to Naomi again. Another gutbuster takes Naomi out as we aren’t even five minutes into the match. Brie avoids a spear from Kaitlyn and takes her out with a missile dropkick.

Aksana comes in and pins Brie after an AJ cheap shot and a spinebuster. Nikki comes in and puts Aksana in a Torture Rack backbreaker for a pin. I’m not skipping anything between these falls by the way. Tamina headbutts Nikki down a few times but the Bella comes back with an enziguri. Natalya was taken down by something the camera missed so it’s off to JoJo vs. Tamina.

Snuka toys with her but gets rolled up for two, only to kick JoJo in the face. There’s a Samoan drop for no cover because AJ wants and gets the pin. Natalya is driven into the corner by Tamina but the monster misses a charge and gets caught in the Sharpshooter. AJ tries a save but can’t get there in time and Tamina taps. Natalya reverses a quick AJ rollup into the Sharpshooter for the submission, leaving her and Nikki as the dual sole survivors.

Rating: D-. Other than their looks, nothing was good about this. The whole thing was a way to show us that Total Divas are AWESOME while making it clear that most of them are models who look good in little outfits but have no business EVER being in a ring. AJ continues to be exactly right about everything she says but WWE has decided that the reality “stars” are the heroes, no matter what.

Orton tries to get Charles Robinson on his side to no avail.

The expert panel looks to talk a bit but Ryback cuts them off. He says he’s the talent here and issues an open challenge to anyone on the roster. Here’s his answer.

Mark Henry vs. Ryback

Henry is shaved bald now and shoves Ryback around with ease. Ryback is thrown around again but gets taken down by a shot to the knee. Henry shoves Ryback to the floor for a six count but Ryback comes back in with a headbutt. Some JYD all fours headbutts get two for Henry but Ryback takes the knee out again. We hit the chinlock on Mark before he fights up with relative ease. The World’s Strongest Slam is countered and Ryback spinebusters him down. The Meathook is countered with something resembling a cross body and the World’s Strongest Slam gets the pin.

Rating: D. This was as stereotypical of a power match as you could have ever asked for. Henry didn’t look good here and was way too aloof out there rather than being the monster that got him over for good. Ryback is desperately in need of a change after all these losses he’s suffered in the last year.

Now the panel talks a bit.

We recap Cena vs. Del Rio. Nothing special to say here: Cena won the title last month and this is the rematch. Cena opts for no arm brace despite having to take a few months off for elbow surgery.

World Heavyweight Championship: John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio

Cena is defending. After some big match intros we’re ready to go. Cena grabs a waistlock which gets him nowhere so Del Rio puts on a headlock to take him down to the mat. Del Rio fights free and gets two off a snap suplex before going to an armbar. They head outside for a bit with Cena going shoulder first into the steps. Back in and a top rope forearm to Cena’s shoulder gets two and we hit the armbar again. This is a really slow pace so far with Del Rio talking a lot of trash and not following up on most of his offense.

Cena starts a comeback but misses a shoulder block to keep things right where they have been all match. They head outside again with Cena being sent into the steps again, allowing Del Rio to do You Can’t See Me. Back inside and we hit the armbar again as we’re somehow approaching ten minutes into this match. Cena tries a comeback with his finishing sequence but gets caught in the Backstabber for two.

Del Rio goes up top again but gets dropkicked out of the air to put both guys down again. Cena’s finishing sequence is broken up again by a thumb to the eye and Alberto gets two off a DDT. Alberto is sent to the floor and has to dive in to beat the count. Cena does the finishing sequence at triple speed but the AA is countered into a German suplex for two but the corner enziguri misses.

The STF is countered so Cena grabs a tornado DDT for another near fall. Del Rio takes him down again and stands around a lot before putting John in the Tree of Woe. That goes nowhere as Cena avoids a charge to send Del Rio into the post. The top rope Fameasser gets two but the STF is broken by a rope. Del Rio’s low superkick gets two and a neckbreaker from Cena gets the same. Del Rio grabs the armbreaker out of nowhere but Cena counters into a powerbomb to escape. Another armbreaker is countered and the AA retains Cena’s title.

Rating: D+. The lack of drama crippled this one for me. There was zero doubt for me as to who was going to win and the only question was whether it would be the AA or the STF. Del Rio just isn’t a threat to Cena at all and he never has been. Why WWE insists on going with that match time after time is beyond me. Put Alberto against Langston for a while to give Big E. a rub or whatever, but keep him away from Cena.

Santino and R-Truth play with toys. Los Matadores (Primo and Epico as bullfighters), Fandango and John Laurinitis come in for some unfunny comedy. Ok Ace was funny at least.

We recap the Wyatts vs. Punk/Bryan. Not much to this one either. The good guys are heroes and that’s not cool with Bray so he’s sent his monsters to show the world that there are no heroes.

Wyatt Family vs. CM Punk/Daniel Bryan

Before the match Bray talks about Sister Abigail telling him how tough Bryan and Punk would be. They’re the reapers though, so Punk and Bryan should run. Bray’s promos have always been strange. Bryan and Rowan get things going with Daniel firing off kicks to the leg. Rowan easily throws him down but Daniel takes him into the corner for a tag off to Punk which doesn’t get a huge reaction.

Harper comes in and charges into a boot in the corner, only to rip away at Punk’s face and chop him down. Back to Rowan for a bearhug but Punk fights out very quickly. Punk escapes a suplex and Bryan comes in to try a double suplex, only to have Rowan suplex both guys down. Bryan drives Rowan into the corner for some double kicks to the ribs to put Erick down. The crowd doesn’t seem interested in this match.

Back to Harper who is taken into the hero corner as well before a double dropkick puts both guys down. Bryan fires off the kicks and plays Bret to Punk’s Neidhart in a Hart Attack. Rowan tries to come in and the distraction lets Harper kick Punk’s head off for two. Rowan cranks on Punk’s neck for a bit before getting two off a backbreaker. Back to Harper for an uppercut followed by a quickly released Gator Roll. Rowan gets caught talking to the sheep mask which Cole finds strange for some reason.

Harper gets two off a Michinoku Driver before it’s back to Erick for some more neck cranking. Punk gets a boot up in the corner to stagger Rowan and a running DDT puts both guys down. A double tag brings in Bryan to face Harper and Daniel starts up his usual sequence. Luke gets low bridged to the floor and the FLYING GOAT (suicide dive) takes Harper out, possibly injuring the monster’s knee.

A missile dropkick gets two and there are the YES Kicks. The running dropkick in the corner staggers the big man but Harper counters a top rope hurricanrana into a super sitout powerbomb for two. The fans think this is awesome as Bray yells at the Family. Rowan splashes Bryan for two and the second heat segment begins. Harper comes in with some forearms to the back but Punk kicks him in the back of the head to give Bryan a breather.

There’s the hot tag off to Punk who takes Harper down but he dives on Rowan and Bray instead of Luke. Now the Macho Elbow connects on Harper for two and everything breaks down. The running knee takes Rowan down and Punk counters the discus lariat into the GTS for the pin on Harper.

Rating: B. This was the old school tag team formula and it worked perfectly well. Punk and Bryan are good choices for matches like this and there’s nothing wrong with the Wyatts getting pinned. The money in the feud is Bray in the ring with either of them and that’s certainly coming in the future.

Bray teases getting in but stays on the floor.

Cena is talking to the Authority about something when Orton comes in to glare at them. The Viper sounds jealous.

We recap Big Show vs. Randy Orton. Orton is supposed to be the face of the WWE but the Authority isn’t very confident in him. Big Show has weaseled his way into a title match tonight due to the threat of a lawsuit which could take over the entire company because that’s what heroes do. They’ve been brawling for a few weeks and Big Show looks dominant while Orton has no backup tonight. I wonder what’s going to happen.

WWE Championship: Randy Orton vs. Big Show

Orton is defending and is on the floor about a second after the bell rings. He trips getting back inside to show how confused he is tonight and gets chopped LOUDLY by Big Show. More slow offense sets up more chops by Big Show but Orton comes back with a dropkick and some kicks to the head. A knee drop gets two for the champion and we hit a sleeper. Big Show loudly says “two clotheslines” before hitting two clotheslines and calling for the chokeslam, sending Orton running to the floor.

Back in and Big Show slams him down before going to the top rope, only to be crotched on the top rope. The Elevated DDT out of the corner puts Big Show down and Orton poses a lot. Show grabs a chokeslam out of nowhere for two and loads up the KO punch but Orton bails to the floor. The big man follows him to the floor and throws Orton at the ropes, taking out the referee in the process. Randy finds a chair but gets it slapped out of his hands before they go into the crowd.

That goes nowhere so they head back to ringside where Orton tries the Elevated DDT again, only to have Show escape and hit the KO punch. Back inside and the Authority comes out for a distraction, allowing Orton to hit a quick RKO. The annoying crowd chants for Daniel Bryan as Orton hits the Punt to retain.

Rating: D-. What the heck was that? Unfortunately, it was exactly what most people were expecting. Big Show was trying but there’s only so much you can do when Orton spends a third of an eleven minute match running, not counting the interference at the end. Horrid main event but I guess it sets up HHH vs. Big Show.

Post match here’s Cena to hold up the World Heavyweight Championship while Orton holds up the WWE Championship. That’s Wrestlemania it would seem, but it would actually be next month.

Overall Rating: D+. This show had its moments but they totally lost me around the time of the Henry match. The card was about the same as it felt like it was going to be with a few good matches but little to care about in the main event scenes. Orton vs. Big Show was as nothing of a match as it could have been and the interference was just predictable. This show just didn’t feel necessary though it wasn’t the worst effort ever.

Ratings Comparison

The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston


Redo: C

Real Americans/Shield vs. Cody Rhodes/Goldust/Rey Mysterio/Usos


Redo: C

Curtis Axel vs. Big E. Langston


Redo: D+

Total Divas vs. True Divas


Redo: F

Mark Henry vs. Ryback


Redo: D

Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena


Redo: B

Wyatt Family vs. CM Punk/Daniel Bryan


Redo: B-

Big Show vs. Randy Orton


Redo: D

Overall Rating


Redo: C-

Dang I hated Del Rio back then.

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

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