Survivor Series 2015: Rise and Fall

Survivor Series 2015
Date: November 22, 2015
Location: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

This is a special show for two reasons. First of all, tonight is twenty five years to the day that the Undertaker debuted. It’s rare to see someone last ten years and Undertaker is still having good matches twenty five years later. That’s one of those statistics that isn’t going to be broken and is really remarkable when you think about it. Other than that, we have the finals of the WWE World Title tournament for the title vacated after Seth Rollins’ knee injury. Let’s get to it.

Pre-Show: Team Miz vs. Team Neville

Miz, Bo Dallas, Stardust, Ascension

Neville, Dudley Boyz, Titus O’Neil, Goldust

Survivor Series match and you have to believe they’re doing another one on the show because there are only six other matches. This is Goldust’s return after a long absence due to a shoulder injury. Goldust and Stardust start and a few right hands send Stardust over for a tag to Viktor….who is put out off a Goldust powerslam at 30 seconds. That sounds like an injury elimination.

Off to Konnor vs. Titus with O’Neil chopping away in the corner and slamming Konnor down. What’s Up sends Konnor to the floor and the Dudleyz deposit his partners next to him, setting up Neville’s big dive. Back from a break with Bubba Rock Bottoming Konnor for the elimination at 5:34.

Stardust comes in to take D-Von into the corner as we hear about the Gobbledy Gooker debuting 25 years ago today. Off to Miz who keeps up the beating, only to walk into a spinebuster. Neville comes in to clean house with his variety of kicks and a snap German suplex. A surprise Bodog and the Skull Crushing Finale take Neville out at 8:52, only to have Goldust roll Miz up for the pin at 9:03.

We’re down to Dallas/Stardust vs. Titus/Goldust/Bubba/D-Von. Back from another break with Dallas putting Goldust in a chinlock and Stardust telling the fans that there will NOT be any tables. It’s off to Stardust for a chinlock of his own, followed by another from Dallas. Goldust finally fights up and hits a clothesline, allowing for the hot tag to Titus. Everything breaks down and it’s a quick Clash of the Titus to put Dallas away at 17:13. Stardust tries to walk away but walks into 3D for the final pin at 18:03.

Rating: C-. Totally fine way to kill the pre-show time and give the fans something to watch. Goldust returning is cool and it seems to set up the idea for the show. The wrestling wasn’t anything great but for a match thrown together, it’s hard to really complain about the quality. Good enough here.

We open with Lillian Garcia singing the National Anthem as the middle finger to the ISIS threats.

The opening video focuses on both major stories with Undertaker’s anniversary and match with the Wyatts, followed by a tournament recap. There’s a great line of history being written by the survivors.

WWE World Title Tournament Semifinals: Alberto Del Rio vs. Roman Reigns

Non-title of course and the fans boo Reigns out of the building as soon as his music hits. They slug it out to start with Del Rio scoring with some kicks in the corner. Outside now with Reigns going into the barricade before Del Rio starts in on the arm, which Cesaro worked over Monday. A tilt-a-whirl slam gets a quick two for Roman as he’s hearing the dueling chants.

The bad arm goes into the steps as we see HHH watching in the back. A top rope shot to the head gets two for Alberto and we hit the chinlock. They’re moving here. The bad shoulder is sent into the post but Reigns pops right back up and nails a quick apron boot. The arm is hanging though as Reigns fires off the corner clotheslines. A Superman Punch is countered into the Backstabber for two.

The low superkick (hey he still uses that) is countered into a Samoan drop for the same. Roman tries to go aerial with a superplex but gets caught in the double stomp position (one of the only realistic ways for that to be set up). Of course it misses here though and Reigns nails the Superman Punch. Del Rio takes a long time getting up after landing on his knee but it’s all goldbricking with the spear charging into a superkick for a really close two.

For the first time since he’s been back, Del Rio tries the armbreaker but gets rolled up for another near fall. The armbreaker goes on a few seconds later and the announcers are freaking out. I have no idea why as it’s not the arm Del Rio had been working on. Reigns makes the rope and Alberto goes up for no apparent reason, only to miss some nondescript move, allowing Reigns to spear him down for the pin at 14:22.

Rating: B. Well duh. This was the biggest layup all night long but at least we had a hot match instead of the boring stuff Del Rio has been doing. It’s amazing what happens when he actually tries the logical moves instead of whatever co-operative nonsense he has to do to get the double stomps. Reigns’ arm could come into play later too.

Reigns wishes Ambrose luck and says they’ll fight next. Owens comes in and lists off Reigns being close before but always missing in the end. Tonight Owens is adding his name to the list of people who stop Reigns at the last second. Reigns still picks Dean. I know it’s not likely, but they’ve got me thinking it could be Owens.

WWE World Title Tournament Semifinals: Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens

Non-title again. Dean starts with some headlocks and armdrags (straight out of an old Aiden English song) but Owens crotches him on top. The Cannonball is only good for one but the backsplash gets two. We hit the chinlock (Owens: “CHINLOCK CITY BABY!”) and HHH is shown watching again. Dean suplexes him down and they slowly get up with Owens getting the better of it.

A moonsault (you don’t see him try that one too often) misses Ambrose and the top rope elbow gets two more. They fight over a superplex with Dean running the corner to try it again, only to get caught in the swinging fisherman’s superplex (I love that move) for the nearest fall so far. The rebound lariat staggers Owens but he sends Dean outside for a drop onto the table. Back in and two straight superkicks knock Dean even sillier but he counters the Pop Up Powerbomb and grabs Dirty Deeds for the spot in the finals at 11:20.

Rating: B-. Owens continues to look like a star but that’s the second champion to lose in a row because they didn’t think this thing through that well. Either that or they don’t think anything of the title. Either way, this was the good brawl you would expect from these two with the guys beating each other up for as long as they were allowed, which is the best thing you can ask for. Neither match was great but they were a really good way to spend forty five minutes.

We look back at Undertaker’s debut and the length of his career, mainly comprised of clips of Legends With JBL.

Team Ryback vs. Team New Day

Ryback, Lucha Dragons, Usos

New Day, King Barrett, Sheamus

The hometown boy Xavier Woods has a new haircut (like a pompadour) and Big E. wants us all to cheer for it. New Day rips on the Dragons for being small, the Usos for being injured and Ryback for being bald. Sheamus wants to get jiggy on these posers and you can feel the air go out of the place in a funny bit. Kofi: “I think what he meant to say was NEW DAY ROCKS!”

Woods and Jimmy get things going with the hair being completely off limits. Jimmy of course drags him across the ring by the hair and it’s off to Jey for some chops. Cara comes in to chop Kofi as we hear about the mini Kings back in 1994. Sheamus misses a charge and falls to the floor with his partners joining him. Everyone not named Ryback dives at the same time, leaving Ryback to dive onto all nine of them. Back in and Barrett crotches Jey on top to give Sheamus two.

The Unicorn Stampede means it’s time for some tromboning to start a dance party. Kofi puts on a chinlock but an enziguri allows the tag off to Jimmy. Woods gets thrown into the corner so Barrett comes in and slugs Jimmy in the face. Jimmy superkicks him right back and a swanton from Cara gets rid of Barrett at 7:46. It’s off to Kalisto for the monkey flip splash to Kofi for two before Jimmy comes back in pretty soon after tagging out. That would be too soon as Kofi grabs a backbreaker and Woods adds a top rope knee for the pin at 9:24.

Big E. spears Cara through the ropes but comes up holding his arm, leaving Sheamus to Brogue Kick him for the pin at 10:46. Sheamus and Big E. argue over the blind tag so Sheamus lets him come back in, only to have Ryback run him over. Jey adds a Superfly Splash to get rid of Big E. at 11:38. So we’re down to Jey/Ryback/Kalisto vs. Woods/Kingston/Sheamus. Kofi and Woods walk out with Big E. at 12:30 so it’s 3-1. Sheamus starts pounding on Kalisto until it’s off to Jey for a high cross body.

The Irish Curse gets two and puts Jimmy in trouble but again Sheamus lets him tag. Ryback comes in with the clotheslines and a spinebuster but a tilt-a-whirl slam stops the Meat Hook. The numbers are really getting on Sheamus’ nerves though and it’s a blind tag to bring in Kalisto for a top rope hurricanrana. Sheamus blocks it but Jey tags himself in and superkicks Sheamus, allowing Kalisto to hurricanrana Sheamus into Ryback (who tagged himself in as well) for the Shell Shock at 17:34.

Rating: C. Again this was fine with ten guys barely affiliated having a match for the sake of filling in a spot on the card. New Day walking out was the right call as you don’t want three champions losing in three matches. This was basically a bonus and another good match as we’re waiting on the big stuff.

We recap Paige vs. Charlotte without a single reference to the big issues on Monday. Basically it’s back to being fallout from PCB splitting, which isn’t great but it’s much more in WWE’s wheelhouse.

Divas Title: Paige vs. Charlotte

Charlotte is defending and starts this big rivalry match with a waistlock. Paige takes over with some brawling before taking it outside. The champion is sent ribs first into the announcers’ table, setting up an abdominal stretch back inside. Given that an abdominal stretch hasn’t won a match since about 1972, Charlotte quickly escapes and kicks Paige in the face. There’s the Figure Four (not eight) until Paige makes the rope.

Charlotte takes it outside again and drops Paige face first onto the apron. Back in and we get a figure four neck lock with some rolls to slam Paige into the mat. Charlotte tries to go too fast though and charges into the post. For some reason that means it’s time for Paige to work on the ribs with a bodyscissors.

That doesn’t last either and it’s time to slug it out, followed by Charlotte scoring with the spear. The unnamed Natural Selection sends Paige to the floor but she pops right back up. They get on the barricade for no apparent reason, allowing Charlotte to hit another big spear. Back in and the Figure Eight makes Paige tap at 14:20.

Rating: C-. The story killed this one as I’m really not sure what they were going for. I mean, I get that Paige was trying to get in her head but they don’t just insult Ric instead? It wasn’t bad or anything but some of the psychology was off and took away some of my interest. Watchable but not much more.

Reigns and Ambrose are ready to fight like brothers.

Tyler Breeze vs. Dolph Ziggler

This is trying to salvage something from the Rusev/Ziggler/Lana story. Breeze takes him down to start and lays over the top like he should be doing. A headlock puts Tyler down as well and now it’s time for Ziggler to have a rest on top too. They head outside with Breeze hiding behind Summer, allowing him to send Ziggler into the steps. Back in and Ziggler gets caught in a half crab but it’s quickly off to the ropes.

Ziggler makes his comeback with the normal stuff, including a neckbreaker and the big elbow for two. A nice pinfall reversal sequence gives us a bunch of two counts before Dolph just slams him face first into the mat. Breeze bails to avoid the superkick (like any model would do) and kicks him in the knee, setting up the Unprettier to give Tyler the clean pin at 6:45.

Rating: C-. Ziggler jobbing isn’t a story again but at least Breeze won clean in his big match debut (yeah the tournament wasn’t really a big match as everyone knew what was going to happen there). I don’t think Breeze is ever going to be more than a jobber to the stars but at least he had a good debut.

We recap the Wyatts vs. the Brothers of Destruction. Bray targeted Undertaker at the end of Hell in Cell before kidnapping Undertaker and Kane. He stole their souls (whatever that means), setting up this regular tag instead of what could have been a cool elimination tag).

Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper vs. Undertaker/Kane

Undertaker gets the big entrance for his anniversary, though I’m sure more is coming. Rowan gets chokeslammed before the bell, leaving Harper as the official partner, which hadn’t been announced yet. Kane works on Harper to start before it’s off to Undertaker to really wake the crowd up. Harper has to get out of the Tombstone and it’s off to Bray who eats the jumping clothesline.

That’s it for Bray so Harper takes Old School as the fans tell Undertaker that he still has it. The apron legdrop has Harper in more trouble and Kane goes after Bray, only to have Strowman throw him over the announcers’ table. That’s not a DQ though and the Wyatts take over on Kane. The running cross body takes Kane down but Bray takes too much time mocking Undertaker and gets slammed down for his efforts. It’s already hot tag time (seven minutes in) for Undertaker and house is cleaned again.

Bray and Luke clothesline him to the floor though, only to have Strowman take the double chokeslam through the table. Back in and Sister Abigail out of nowhere gets two on Undertaker and Luke clotheslines Kane. No cover of course as Bray is busy doing the Spider Walk. The Brothers do the stereo sit up and it’s a double chokeslam to the Wyatts. Harper takes the Tombstone for the pin at 10:21.

Rating: D+. At least it wasn’t Bray. This was a post show dark match aired on pay per view and that’s not what they needed to go with here. I get the idea of the big moment for Undertaker but he’s had big moments at the last few pay per views now. Harper getting pinned makes sense and it’s not the worst loss in the world, but Undertaker needs to put Bray over soon.

Nothing special for Undertaker after the match as he and Kane just do their signature pose.

WWE World Title: Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose

Ambrose has already lost his shirt and they go at it right after the big match intros. A clothesline puts Reigns on the floor and Dean follows with the suicide dive. Back in and Dean hammers away until Reigns powerbombs him out of the corner ala Undertaker. Reigns gets two more off a sitout powerbomb but Dean runs him over. The top rope elbow is blocked with a Superman Punch though and both guys are down.

Neither finisher can hit (way too early) but the rebound lariat is countered into a spear for two (shows what I know). There was almost zero hit on that near fall. A second spear hits post and Dirty Deeds gets two on a much hotter cover. Both guys sit up so they slug it out from the mat. Back up and the spear out of nowhere gives Reigns the title at 8:39.

Rating: D. Wait what? Like seriously, what? It’s 10:38 and the main event just ended in less than nine minutes. The fans didn’t react and there’s no reason to care with a win that fast. Reigns getting the belt is a good idea but that’s really the best way they can do it? That really doesn’t work and I’m guessing they’re using the time for an Undertaker celebration but this was a bad, bad move.

Dean hugs his friend and leaves as confetti falls. Cue a smiling and applauding HHH to offer a handshake but Reigns spears him instead. Sheamus comes in for a Brogue Kick and here we go.

WWE World Title: Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus

The Brogue Kick only gets two but a second gives Sheamus the title at 39 seconds. So was Ambrose off checking the Bengals score?

HHH and Sheamus leave together to end the show, but we cut back to the arena as Reigns gets up…..and leaves to add nothing else.

Overall Rating: C-. The wrestling was mostly good but I only started getting excited in the last five minutes because it was a title change. Reigns can rise up again and win the title later, but sweet goodness that match was nothing to see and Reigns is just dying to turn heel. Sheamus is clearly just a placeholder champion and that’s fine, but it was a pretty lackluster ending. The opening two matches are both good though and it was certainly a big ending so I’ll call the show passable but a letdown given what else they could have done.

Results

Roman Reigns b. Alberto Del Rio – Spear

Dean Ambrose b. Kevin Owens – Dirty Deeds

Team Ryback b. Team New Day – Shell Shock to Sheamus

Charlotte b. Paige – Figure Eight

Tyler Breeze b. Dolph Ziggler – Unprettier

Undertaker/Kane b. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper – Tombstone to Harper

Roman Reigns b. Dean Ambrose – Spear

Sheamus b. Roman Reigns – Brogue Kick

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of the History of Wrestlemania at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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29 comments

  1. Heyo says:

    Way to book Roman Reigns, guys. You want him to be the new top guy in the company, continually screw him out of the title picture for the year, and when you finally give him the title, you have one of the least over guys in the company beat him for the title, and when you try to get the sympathy vote for him, he gets booed.

    If Reigns actually recovers from this, it’s a freaking miracle.

  2. james gracie says:

    Oh man how bad was Survivor Series? Man did that show drag. No energy, no emotion, no intrigue, nothing!!!! Compare that to the Deadly Games tournament and there was intrigue all night long. And the crowd was nearly asleep the whole show.

    So instead of doing something interesting like turning Reigns or Ambrose, now we get another boring run of Sheamus as champ? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. Owens, Cesaro, New Day, Ambrose all get huge pops and put on great matches week after week and the WWE went with Sheamus instead? #LOLWWE And what the fuck was that Reigns vs Ambrose match? 3 minutes in and they were already into the kicking out of each other’s finishers sequence? It’s like WWE edited out the middle of the match? There was no build to the finish. No drama at all. Holy crap that was anti climatic.

    And oh man the Divas. How bad was that? Crowd was dead and I can’t blame that. Just brutal stuff and I’m starting to think the crowd at full sail had a lot to do with giving you the impression that the Divas in NXT are good cause they are a lively crowd(aka sheeps). But man do these Divas suck on the main roster and really that’s all that counts. Just give up on this Divas Revolution already. #LOLDivasRevolution

    New Day stole the show again but let’s barely have them on the PPV. Fuck this company.

    And please let that be it for Taker. I’m so tired of him. Enough. And that has to be it for the Wyatts as far as ever being serious threats. They could have changed that with a win tonight but instead #RIPWyatts. No pun intended. What kind of match was that? Again, no build, no drama. It’s like the WWE edited out the middle of that match too! More lazy, anticlimactic bullshit.

    Awful show tonight and where the fuck is the direction this company is headed? Is Sheamus vs Reigns the plan for Mania? LOL!!!!!! It is mind boggling how bad this company is. Vince seriously needs to go….and take Stephanie with him. #VinceIsSoftAndOutOfTouch #FireStephanie #SaveUsNewDay #LOLDivasRevolution #OhManHowBadWasSurvivorSeries

  3. deanerandterry says:

    Reigns ain’t turning heel but I agree he should. I think WWE is hell bent on making Reigns their big face champion.

    larisano Reply:

    yep, and it continues to fail badly. Am a huge Reigns fan, but it is clear as day that he won’t ever get over due to the ill-fated initial push, and a heel turn would definitely do the trick and give him renewed direction. Get ready to watch more crap tomorrow night and possibly an even worse Mania 32 build-up…

  4. Your Eternal Reward says:

    Holy shit what was with that ending. Why not try something different. How about Reigns avoids that first bro kick. What if on the way to the ring Sheamus knocked of Ambrose and he made the save costing Sheamus his match.

    No lets just do the exact same thing that has happened 12 times now.

  5. Arindam says:

    I agree with the ratings, especially for the final two matches. The show was a good passtime, but I didn’t enjoy or love it. Out of eight matches, two were fought to set up the third, one was thrown together with no build-up, one just for nostalgic reasons, and finally the cash in. From the remaining three, one was the divas match with that lame build-up, the second was Breeze beating Ziggler, and the third was the ~10 min main event. Really not up to the mark, felt like a TNA pay per view.
    Btw, I liked Ambrose’s torn vest look… It reminded me of Goku and creates that “been in a fight” feel.

  6. james gracie says:

    Wait a minute. Did you just say in the opening that it’s rare to see someone last 10 years in the WWE? Are you kidding me? Cena, Orton, Miz, Ziggler, Big Show, Kane, Mark Henry, Lesnar, the Dudleys, Goldust, R-Truth. Heck Sheamus and Kingston are approaching 10 years. Even Zack Ryder has been on this fucking roster since 2008. And all of that is off the top of my head. There’s probably more. 10 years isn’t that big a deal these days. Should have said 20

    klunderbunker Reply:

    So out of the dozens of hundreds WWE has had in the last 25 years, a handful have made it ten years.

    Yeah that’s rare.

    james gracie Reply:

    It used to be rare. It’s not rare anymore. All the guys I mentioned are contemporaries and still with the company and that list will grow in a few years. In this era, a 10 year run really isn’t that big a deal. I mean Miz has been here 10 years…..fucking Hornswaggle is approaching 10 years for crying out loud.

    Nice thought but you need to think things through before you type them.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Wow the irony.

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    You are one to talk about thinking things through before you type them.

  7. phenol says:

    Taker should put Wyatt over Now,enough of old man,Bray should defeat taker cleanly at least Once!

  8. ted says:

    So can we all agree That this reigns babyface run is just not working?

    I have never cared less about a wrestler becoming wwe champion. Luckily for me I got to see it twice.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I don’t know if I’d say it’s not working, but it’s definitely not working like they want it to.

  9. Gunther_224 says:

    What are the odds of Sheamus being champion after the Rumble?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Highly unlikely.

  10. divya says:

    really shocking at end if the show sheamus grab the wwe championship.The undertakers steals the show what an awesome entry for undertaker-the dead man

  11. Sroxy says:

    None. At all.

    My prediction: With the big run Taker’s been on with what is presumable his retirement tour, Taker wins the title one last time at Rumble. Then Cena returns, wins the Royal Rumble, challenges Taker and BAM… we have Taker vs Cena for the Title at WM 32 with Cena going for his record breaking 16th reign. This is the single biggest money match practically possible for WWE right now, given neither Rock nor Stone Cold are available. Add the stip that if Taker loses, he might hang it up.
    Or you could also reverse the situation and have Cena be the one to stop Sheamus and then defend it against Taker at Mania with the Deadman trying to win the title one last time before going away.

    Sheamus’ seeming to be the definition of a transitional champion and its not even 24 hours since his victory. they should have probably let him have lose his cash-in attempt. This was a poor choice because let’s face it, NOTHING was ever gonna top Rollins’ cash-in in the main event of Wrestlemania and to do one in the same year (and essentially repeating the Bryan angle from Summerslam 2013, albeit 10 times poorly) was just not gonna work.

    Marky-Marc Reply:

    This is as good of an idea as any for Mania. Just not sure where that leaves Lesnar.

    I had an idea for a Lesnar/Cesaro feud heading in to Mania but that’s not happening now with Cesaro’s injury.

  12. Sroxy says:

    Also, Reigns gets HHH at Mania. Especially now that there’s no Rollins or Rock to face him..and we know Hunter’s not sitting out a Mania!
    Reign’s spear to him today was the beginning of this.

  13. ted says:

    Oh and fuck you wwe for showing Roman Reigns crying afterwards in a pathetic attempt to get sympathy where non exists. How many times must this man be torn to shreds by audience and critics alike, before this company tries something different with him?

  14. balaji says:

    undertaker the legend

  15. M.R. says:

    This reads about as bad as expected, glad I didn’t miss much.

  16. Greg says:

    Ambrose sort of looked like Colin Delany without his shirt.

  17. Jay H (the real one) says:

    I was at Survivor Series last night and thought the Show was fine. As much as I wanted either Roman or Dean to win the WWE Title I know Sheamus is not holding it that long either. Also it never gets old seeing Undertaker’s entrance especially in person.

  18. Marky-Marc says:

    I was quite bored with this show. The semi-final matches were good enough but the lack of drama didn’t do them any favors. But I did enjoy Ambrose/Owens more.

    Why did it seem like everything was being fast forwarded tonight? Breeze and Ziggler get seven minutes. The main event gets under nine and I was expecting the semi-final matches to go longer too. Not to mention the Wyatt’s match. Just seemed like for a PPV that didn’t seem to have much going in on paper, really ran short on time.

    Hoping Sheamus doesn’t hold the title for very long as i don’t see him being very interesting with it.

  19. M.R. says:

    Would Sheamus vs Brock be interesting? I’d be into that as the Rumble main event.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Only if it’s old face Sheamus. I don’t need another cowardly heel vs. Brock.

    M.R. Reply:

    The match itself would be physical as hell regardless.