Survivor Series 2016
Date: November 20, 2016
Location: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Mauro Ranallo, John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole, David Otunga
For the first time ever, Survivor Series is a four hour show with a two hour pre-show. Now some might think this is too….oh wait I’m not a real fan if I complain about shows being too long unless it’s Raw when it’s unquestionably too long. Pay per views can be as long as they want you see. Tonight is all about Raw vs. Smackdown and Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg so let’s get to it.
Pre-Show: Ariya Daivari/Drew Gulak/Tony Nese vs. TJ Perkins/Rich Swann/Noam Dar
Swann gets out of a suplex to start and dropkicks Nese in the jaw before handing it off to TJ. More flipping ensues and we can hear Renee Young talking to her producer and saying “nine minutes”. The kneebar has Gulak in trouble but everything breaks down to send us to a break.
Back with Dar getting crotched on the middle rope and superkicked for two. A delayed vertical suplex gets two for Nese and it’s back to Gulak for a leg lock. Some kicks finally get Dar out of trouble and it’s off to Swann for the house cleaning. We hit the dives on the bad guys and it’s Swann’s standing 450 for the pin on Daivari at 11:50, or 8:57 after Renee said “nine minutes”.
Rating: C. Standard six man tag though the pace seemed a bit faster here. Maybe giving them their own show is the solution because they still feel out of place on the main roster. They’re more than talented enough but the lack of charisma and personalities are killing them. Someone like Gulak or Nese for instance are great examples of this as there’s no reason to care about anything they’re doing and it shows more every week they’re out there. Not a bad match but it was in one ear and out the other.
Pre-Show: Kane vs. Luke Harper
Feeling out process to start with both guys going after the arm. That’s not the most interesting thing in the world though so it’s Kane being sent outside for the suicide dive. Back in and a Falcon’s Arrow gets two for Harper as we take a break. We come back with Kane in a chinlock until a belly to back suplex drops Luke on his head. As JBL makes a Walking Dead reference, Kane walks into a superkick for two. A big boot to the shoulder and the running DDT give Kane his own near fall. Harper comes back with the discus lariat but Kane grabs the chokeslam for the pin at 10:08.
Rating: C-. This was every match you’ve ever seen these two have, meaning it wasn’t half bad. Harper has been a little overshadowed so it’s nice to see him have a match on his own for a change. Kane winning is fine, albeit a bit unnecessary as he just pops in and out of Smackdown at will.
The opening video is pretty standard and focuses on the three elimination tags plus Goldberg vs. Lesnar.
Survivor Series Women’s Tag Team Match: Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown
Raw: Bayley, Alicia Fox, Nia Jax, Charlotte, Sasha Banks
Smackdown: Nikki Bella, Natalya, Carmella, Naomi, Becky Lynch
Actually hang on a sec as there’s no Nikki. We cut to the back where someone has attacked Nikki, meaning Natalya will be taking her place. Alicia and Carmella start things off but it’s quickly off to Bayley vs. Becky. Unfortunately that doesn’t get to happen as Charlotte tags herself in, leading to a big ten woman staredown with Nia breaking everything up on her own.
It settles down to Becky trying the Disarm-Her on Charlotte but Nia comes in and runs through the Smackdown women one by one. Some double teaming finally puts her back on the apron and it’s Alicia hitting an ax kick to eliminate Carmella at 6:26. Bliss pulls Alicia right back down though and Twisted Bliss ties us up at 6:47.
Everything breaks down and Naomi dives onto Jax, who sends Naomi head first into the post. That’s enough for a countout at 8:46 and it’s 4-3 Raw. Alexa takes Sasha into the wrong corner but Banks comes right back with the double knees without missing a beat. Alexa saves Natalya from the Bank Statement and it’s a rollup from Natalya to get rid of Sasha at 10:26.
Charlotte takes Natalya down but the moonsault is countered into a sitout powerbomb. The Sharpshooter doesn’t last long as Charlotte makes the ropes, allowing her to kick Natalya in the face for the elimination. So it’s Becky/Alexa vs. Nia/Bayley/Charlotte but the Smackdown women get in an argument. Nia suplexes them both at the same time before falling to a horribly botched double DDT. The Disarm-Her (looks really bad as Becky can’t lock it in) makes Nia tap at 13:26, leaving the match at 2-2.
Actually never mind as Charlotte boots Alexa in the face for the pin at 14:15. Becky is in trouble but comes back with clotheslines and forearms, followed by the Bex Plex. It’s off to Bayley who takes a Bex Plex of her own but blocks the Disarm-Her. A quick Bayley to Belly gives Bayley the surprise winning pin at 17:49.
Rating: C. This was pretty sloppy and the eliminations felt like an excuse to get us to the final few people, which makes sense as they’re the most interesting but it also shows the problems with this kind of match. Bayley getting the pin was a good choice though I’m not sure why they got Sasha out of there so fast. All that being said: this was so far ahead of what these matches used to be that it might as well have been a different sport entirely. Things are trending in the right way and that’s a good thing.
Charlotte destroys Bayley post match to set up the next title feud.
Anderson and Gallows pick on James Ellsworth until Mick Foley comes in for the save. After talking about how much he loved seeing Foley get beaten up as a kid, Ellsworth turns down an offer to come to Raw. Braun Strowman comes up and scares Ellsworth away.
Intercontinental Title: The Miz vs. Sami Zayn
Sami is challenging and the title can change brands. The Canadian fans are way behind Sami as he starts fast with a leg lariat and sends Miz to the floor for a breather. That’s fine with Sami who moonsaults off the barricade to drop the champ again. The standard Miz distraction lets Miz take over on the leg with some kicks and a swing into the post.
Sami comes right back with a flip dive and the Michinoku Driver for two but Miz starts doing Daniel Bryan stuff again and takes over. That just means a Blue Thunder Bomb to give Sami two but the Helluva Kick only hits the buckle. The Figure Four goes on until Sami turns it over for the counter.
Miz starts in with the YES Kicks but gets pulled down into a Figure Four (which takes a bit as Sami doesn’t seem to know how to do it) and the bell rings…..as rung by Maryse. The distraction lets Miz grab a rollup (and tights according to Cole, even though his hand isn’t grabbing anything) to retain at 14:09.
Rating: C+. Not the best here as the ending felt like they needed a way out and didn’t want either guy to do a job. I’m really not sure what they’re waiting on with Sami as he’s more than over enough and ready to do something but he keeps going from one story to another (like Strowman, who didn’t even have a match against Sami) without really getting anywhere.
Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles argue over what’s going to happen at TLC when Shane McMahon comes in and tells them to cool it.
Survivor Series Tag Team Elimination Match: Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown
Raw: Enzo Amore and Big Cass, New Day, Anderson and Gallows, Shining Stars,
Smackdown: Heath Slater/Rhyno, Breezango, Usos, American Alpha, Hype Bros
When one member is eliminated, their partner is as well. Fandango and Big E. get things going but Fandango would rather give away fashion tickets. The Midnight Hour takes care of Breezango at 46 seconds but Jimmy superkicks Kofi to tie it up at 1:13. Well that’s certainly a surprise. Ryder, with the old Survivor Series logo on his trunks, flapjacks Primo before it’s off to Mojo (Graves: “Smackdown’s resident blithering idiot.”) for his bell clap in the corner. Ryder comes back in and has to deal with Anderson and Gallows, meaning it’s a Magic Killer for the pin at 5:14.
We get the big moment of the match as American Alpha comes in for multiple double dropkicks but Sheamus starts stomping Gable down in the corner. The Shining Stars actually beat on Gable for a bit until the hot tag brings Jordan back in for the house cleaning. It’s actually a Steiner Bulldog to get rid of the Shining Stars and tie things up.
Everything breaks down and it’s Enzo being launched onto the pile. Slater hits a dive of his own, leaving Jordan to get caught in the Swing. Another Magic Killer eliminates American Alpha at 10:46 and we’re down to 3-2. Slater has to fight off Anderson and Gallows but some Raw miscommunication allows a tag off to Rhyno. The Gore gets rid of Anderson and Gallows at 12:26 but the Bada Boom Shaka Lacka takes out Rhyno and Slater at 13:00.
The Usos remember they’re in the match and superkick Enzo into the Superfly Splash for the elimination at 13:30, leaving us with the Usos vs. Sheamus/Cesaro. Sheamus eats a superkick but Cesaro shoves him out of the way of the second, meaning it’s a Brogue Kick for two on Jimmy with Jey making the save. Cesaro comes in with the Uppercut Train followed by a 619. The high crossbody gets two on Jey and there’s the Swing to make it even worse. Jimmy superkicks the knee out to set up the Tequila Sunrise but Cesaro reverses into a Sharpshooter for the tap out at 18:56 as Sheamus cuts Jey off.
Rating: D+. Yeah ok we get it: Cesaro and Sheamus are a thing and we’ll like them already. This was REALLY disappointing as they flew through the eliminations for reasons I don’t even want to try to comprehend. But hey, they got the match in and out of there as fast as they could and that’s what matters right? That’s why we added an hour: so the matches that could be interesting could be short with two eliminations in less than eighty seconds.
So in theory the final Survivor Series match, which now means even less as Raw has secured the brand supremacy thing (assuming they’re not counting the stupid singles matches), is going to run about forty five minutes.
Stephanie McMahon and Foley give Cesaro and Sheamus a Tag Team Title match tomorrow night on Raw.
We recap the Cruiserweight Title match, which is another non-existent feud because there’s no story here. Kendrick has the title and Kalisto’s job is to bring it to Smackdown.
Cruiserweight Title: Kalisto vs. Brian Kendrick
Kendrick is defending and Kalisto snaps off some hurricanranas to start. A running corner dropkick has Brian in trouble so he grabs the ropes to avoid getting pinned. That would be his craftiness you see and that makes him an interesting villain. Or so I’m told. Kendrick grabs a long cravate until Kalisto gets him to the apron for a Spanish Fly to the floor.
Back in and Kendrick gets flipped off the top but still grabs the Captain’s Hook. The rope is finally grabbed and Kalisto starts snapping off the kicks, followed by a middle rope seated senton to the back. The Salida Del Sol gets two as Kendrick puts a boot on the rope. Kalisto heads up top….and here’s Baron Corbin to hit Kendrick for the DQ at 12:19. Therefore, Raw is now 3-1, making the last Survivor Series match even less important.
Rating: C. I was digging this one until the end and it’s amazing how much more interesting this is when you have a high flier that we’ve actually gotten to know a bit over the years instead of someone who was brought in without much backstory. Oh and another reason why the division hasn’t worked so far: the champ’s finisher is a chinlock.
Corbin gives Kalisto the End of Days.
Team Raw Men vs. Team Smackdown Men
Raw: Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman
Smackdown: Shane McMahon, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles
Ellsworth is here as Smackdown’s mascot. AJ and Owens get things going to really make the smarks happy. Neither can get anywhere so the fans start a STUPID IDIOT chant (Owens: “That’s you!”). The fans get the tag to Jericho, who stops to hug Owens. Chris leaves so it’s off to Rollins vs. Ambrose with neither being able to hit a finisher. Jericho comes back in and hits an enziguri for two on Dean.
Shane gets the tag and does his weird punching before elbowing Jericho in the jaw with the fans telling him he still has it. The boss gets beaten down as the announcers argue over which show had higher ratings. Not THE MATCH IN FRONT OF THEM, but the TV ratings. Roman comes in for the corner clotheslines but it’s back to Ambrose vs. Owens. The Pop Up Powerbomb doesn’t work and we get the big showdown instead, leaving Owens to do the BIG flip dive onto everyone else.
A bunch of people go after Braun, leaving the Shield and AJ in the ring. The Smackdown guys clear the ring but get in a brawl until Shane breaks it up. A kick to Dean’s head allows Strowman to powerslam Ambrose for the elimination at 15:59. Strowman shrugs off the Smackdown attack again, including a SCARY looking toss to send AJ over the top and out to the floor.
We get the Bray vs. Braun showdown with Strowman dropkicking Bray down in a not horrible visual. Orton finally gets in the RKO onto the announcers’ table and Shane adds the top rope elbow for the huge crash. AJ gets Shane back inside and Strowman is counted out at 21:12 because Ellsworth grabbed his foot. James bails up the ramp but gets caught (How can you not outrun BRAUN STROWMAN?) and thrown off the stage.
Shane is still in the ring to take another beating and the Lionsault connects, only to have Shane reverse into a small package for two. McMahon and Orton both take Codebreakers and of course Shane kicks out. Question for discussion: would any other member of Team Smackdown be allowed to kick out of a Lionsault and Codebreaker in the span of thirty seconds? Naturally Shane gets in a shot on Jericho and makes the tag off to AJ. They trade submission attempts and AJ decks Owens, who comes in with the List of Jericho for the DQ at 29:28. Jericho is distraught and gets RKO’d for the pin at 30:21.
We’re down to Shane/Orton/Bray/AJ vs. Reigns/Rollins. It’s Seth going in first and the numbers game has him in early trouble. A superplex gets two on Seth but Orton is banged up enough to allow a tag off to Reigns. The sitout powerbomb gets two on AJ but he blocks the Superman Punch and brings in Shane. A DDT puts Reigns down and something like a spinebuster does the same to Seth.
The spear goes into the post and Shane loads up the Coast to Coast, which is speared out of the air…..for two. He’s officially announced as eliminated a few seconds later, presumably due to injury. Shane looks really messed up and it wouldn’t surprise me if that wasn’t exactly how it was supposed to go. There’s a good chance that he didn’t mean to kick out but had no idea where he was.
Rollins gets the hot tag to clean house and hits his rolling superplex into the Falcon’s Arrow for two on AJ. Reigns has to save Seth from the Elevated DDT on the floor but AJ breaks up a DoubleBomb. Cue Ambrose to go after AJ though and we get the Shield Reunion for a TripleBomb through the table. Seth pins AJ at 46:11 and it’s down to two vs. two.
Orton and Wyatt circle the ring until Luke Harper shows up for a distraction. As usual, NONE OF THIS IS A DQ because that’s not what the script calls for. Rollins Sling Blades Wyatt and dives onto Harper to keep up the house cleaning. The superkick looks to set up the frog splash but Orton pulls him out of the air with an RKO for the elimination at 49:32.
So it’s Orton/Wyatt vs. Reigns with Roman starting fast to do what he can. Reigns is sent into the barricade but scores with the apron dropkick on Bray. Harper gets a spear and the Superman Punch drops Bray. Orton shoves Bray out of the way of the spear though and Sister Abigail finishes Reigns at 52:57. JBL: “RAW WINS! RAW WINS!” Otunga: “Smackdown got one!” JBL: “RAW WINS IS WHAT EVERYONE WANTED TO SAY BUT SMACKDOWN LIVE WINS!”
Rating: A-. This was a lot messier than it could have been but they did exactly what they needed to do here by eating up A LOT of time (longest Survivor Series match on record and longer than multiple Royal Rumbles) and being very entertaining at the same time. Bray winning is a very, very good idea as it’s now the biggest win of his career and hopefully (emphasis on that word) he can build on it. Orton taking the bullet was interesting though and that’s going to mean something going forward. I had a blast with this and it’s the big Survivor Series match I was hoping for, issues with eliminations aside.
We get the same Goldberg vs. Lesnar recap we’ve gotten for weeks now.
Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar
Lesnar drives him into the corner to start but Goldberg hits two spears in the first minute. The Jackhammer beats Lesnar in ONE MINUTE THIRTY SEVEN SECONDS!!!
SCREW YOU DEAN AMBROSE, RANDY ORTON, AND ANYONE ELSE THAT LESNAR HAS KILLED BECAUSE GOLDBERG JUST BEAT HIM IN A MINUTE AND A HALF!!!
The show goes off the air before 10:30 with nothing else happening.
Overall Rating: C-. The show ended about five minutes ago and I’m still in shock. HOW IN THE FREAKING WORLD DOES THIS HELP ANYONE OTHER THAN GOLDBERG, WHO ISN’T EVEN STICKING AROUND??? Have Orton, Reigns, Wyatt, freaking Strowman or ANYONE else do that match. You have Orton get squashed at Summerslam and Ambrose get squashed at Wrestlemania but GOLDBERG gets to do this?
So in theory, this has something to do with Goldberg coming into the show injured. If that’s the case, they knew this was going to be a short match. But they can’t even give the other two Survivor Series matches twenty minutes? This is what you extended the show for another hour? Or you can’t give anything else extra time?
I know I’m rambling here but this is one of the most astounding things I’ve ever seen. The money in Lesnar is gone for a long time, everything Lesnar has done in recent months and years feels like a total waste and Goldberg is probably gone until his Hall of Fame induction. Throw Luke Harper out there or Kane or ANYONE BUT LESNAR and it’s fine. Unless there was a major contractual issue or something big backstage, I cannot understand why this happened.
The rest of the show was up and down with the great long match helping to save it but that main event is all anyone is going to be talking about for a long time. I really could have gone for the two earlier Survivor Series matches getting more time, especially in light of what’s going on here. This is going to get a lot more talk in the upcoming days because I haven’t been this shocked since……probably Shane on Nitro.
Team Raw Women b. Team Smackdown Women – Bayley to Belly to Lynch
The Miz b. Sami Zayn – Rollup
Team Raw Tag Teams b. Team Smackdown Tag Teams – Sharpshooter to Jimmy Uso
Brian Kendrick b. Kalisto via DQ when Baron Corbin interfered
Team Smackdown Men b. Team Raw Men – Sister Abigail to Reigns
Goldberg b. Brock Lesnar – Jackhammer
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