I’m glad you could join me. Let’s get this crackin’, shall we?
(0:00) Say what you will about The Undertaker, but holy shit, to have made it to his 30th anniversary is absolutely mind blowing.
(0:00) I don’t quite know what I’m expecting with tonight’s show. If you look at things on paper, it’s a really good card, full of matches that could/should be entertaining. On the other hand, there aren’t any REAL stakes on the line, other than the made up “brand supremacy” bullshit that WWE wants to peddle about people who have only been on that particular brand for less than two months. Good matches that, ultimately, don’t mean much of anything. That’s WWE for you, I guess.
(0:05) We’re getting things started tonight with the traditional men’s five-on-five elimination match. AJ Styles, Sheamus, Keith Lee, Riddle, and Braun Strowman are representing Raw. Kevin Owens, Jey Uso, Seth Rollins, Otis, and King Corbin are representing Smackdown.
(0:08) It’s a little touch, but it appears that the brand t-shirts also feature the logo of the station that show airs on. Raw’s shirts have the USA Network logo on the back. I would assume Smackdown’s shirts have the Fox logo on them. If that has been seen in the build to the match, I missed it. Either way, it’s cool. It adds a little more to the match, with the teams representing their shows AND the networks they air on.
(0:14) To the surprise of nobody, ten entrances takes a long time to get through.
(0:15) There’s the bell, and we’re off. Looks like AJ Styles and Jey Uso are starting it off.
(0:18) Random opinion, but with the news that WWE will be taking their Thunderdome from the Amway Center in Orlando to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, this is a good time to point out that Tropicana Field is an absolute dump. It looks boring from the outside, but once you step inside the building, it has all the razzle dazzle of a prison. No, you won’t see much of that whatsoever in WWE’s television presentation. I just wanted to share.
(0:21) Seth Rollins tags into the match and… sacrifices himself to Sheamus? He drops to a knee, tells Sheamus to do his part, and then takes a Brogue Kick for the first elimination of the match. That was… something. How about that “brand supremacy” now, WWE? Looks like it doesn’t mean anything to Rollins.
(0:23) A stare down between Keith Lee and Otis is the stare down that none of us knew we needed.
(0:27) A Phenomenal Forearm gets the pin on Kevin Owens, and Raw is up 5-2. There has been a lot of nothing going on so far.
(0:28) As I’m typing that, Riddle gets the pin on King Corbin. Raw is up, 5-2. Jey Uso and Otis are the only ones left on Team Smackdown. Interesting choices.
(0:29) I really do miss the days of Survivor Series having matches with “random” pairings. Hulk Hogan, Big Boss Man, Tito Santana, and Tugboat taking on Earthquake, The Barbarian, Dino Bravo, and Haku? Sure, why not? The “brand split” really affects this event every year.
(0:31) Well, Otis has been eliminated by Braun Strowman. Jey Uso is now facing Team Raw all by himself. I’m not sure what is going on with the booking decision here.
(0:34) What the fuck is even happening? Keith Lee pins Jey with a Spirit Bomb, and Raw wins in a clean sweep. What a dumb idea. I have no problems with Team Raw winning. They were CLEARLY the better team when you looked at their rosters. The clean sweep is what’s really making me scratch my head. There’s just no reason for that. There wasn’t a ton to the match itself, so I can’t really give it a high grade. Let’s call it 2.5 stars and move on.
(0:37) New Day vs Street Profits is up next, and all three members of New Day are heading to the ring in full Gears Of War… gear. Cool crossover collaboration there. It’s one thing to see them in the video game. It’s another thing to see the video game coming to life here.
(0:39) New Day gets an entrance that would fit perfectly on the WrestleMania stage. The Street Profits, on the other hand, get a pre-match promo where they talk about… The Undertaker. At least they brought it all back around, talking about Taker’s legacy and then saying tonight is when they start building their legacy. I’m really, really looking forward to this one. This has all the potential to be great if they’re given enough time to work with.
(0:44) Kofi Kingston and Montez Ford both tag into the match. Two of the best pure athletes that WWE has ever seen right here.
(0:46) Adidas is being represented very well in this match. Kofi, Ford, and Dawkins are all wearing Adidas on their feet. Woods has kick pads over his shoes, so I can’t see what he’s wearing. Sorry, folks… I’m a sneakerhead. I notice things like this.
(0:49) A little while ago, Woods was talking trash to the commentary team about the beating they were giving the Profits. Now, Kofi is mocking Ford with one of the Solo cups. As I type that, Kofi goes and almost ignores a rope break to keep hitting Ford. New Day is actually close to working heel tonight. I… I like it.
(0:54) The pace, as you would expect with who is in the match, has been pretty fast and furious.
(0:55) The level of beauty is Montez Ford’s Frog Splash is off the charts. He gets a stupid amount of air. I remember when I could jump that high.
(0:57) A tandem Blockbuster from the top picks up the win for Ford and Dawkins. I don’t know if I should be surprised at the outcome, but if I’m being honest, it was the right move. New Day don’t really get hurt by losses, but the Profits really needed a big win like this. That was a very good match. I’ll give it 3.5 stars, but say that it could’ve been higher if they were given a little more time to work with. Kudos to all four men here.
(1:01) Our next match is Sami Zayn vs Bobby Lashley. Another match that could/should be good, but another match that has zero on the line. I don’t need a title unification or anything, but what’s the purpose here? What does one man truly gain by winning? What does the other man truly lose by… losing?
(1:05) Sami Zayn is one of the better in-ring performers on the WWE roster. He is world traveled, and has found great success everywhere he has been. With that said, I simply can’t take him seriously as a threat to Lashley. They just don’t present Sami in a way that would have me take him seriously, and that’s a shame.
(1:09) Sami is trying to find a way out of the match. First, he fakes a bout of vertigo, and then he gets physical with the other members of The Hurt Business, hoping that they would hit him back and get Lashley disqualified. This goes back to what I was saying about taking Sami seriously. He is the chickenshit heel of all chickenshit heels right now, going up against a monster.
(1:12) MVP throws Sami into the ring behind the referee’s back, and Lashley takes advantage of the confusion to pick up the submission victory. I’m not even going to rate that. Sami spent more time running away than actually being in the match. Pass.
(1:14) In a backstage segment, Roman Reigns is upset with Jey Uso for losing in the opening match. Roman says that Jey lost because he can’t control his team, and that it all boils down to the members of Team Smackdown not respecting Jey, and therefore, not respecting Roman and the entire family. Roman says his cousin is a “loser” and kicks him out of the building, moments after kicking Jimmy Uso out, too. The Mafia Boss is not having it tonight.
(1:16) Asuka vs Sasha Banks is up next. I have no doubt that they’ll have a good match like they always do, but what difference does it make?
(1:20) Sasha has always carried herself like a star, but it seems like she’s really turned that swagger up since becoming the Smackdown Women’s Champion. This is going to sound weird, but it’s almost like she has an aura or a glow surrounding her these days. She’s money.
(1:24) Sasha’s hair is so fucking bright. The pink part of Asuka’s hair is really fucking bright, too. Another random thought on my part, but it’s something I always seem to notice when I watch either of these women wrestle.
(1:29) As is always the case with Asuka and Sasha, they’re beating the hell out of each other. It’s the type of thing that really stands out when it comes to women’s matches in WWE. I really appreciate their efforts.
(1:31) All that physicality, only for the match to end on a roll-up, like seemingly all women’s matches in WWE do. Sasha gets the win, and it is noted that it is her first pinfall victory over Asuka in a one-on-one match. Good match. Not as good as some of their other matches, but good nonetheless. I’ll say 3 stars, but I’d be okay if you wanted to be nice and go 3.25 stars.
(1:36) More stuff backstage with the 24/7 Title that I will give absolutely no fucks about. I hate that shit with a passion.
(1:36) Time for the women’s five-on-five elimination match. Team Raw features Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Peyton Royce, Lacey Evans, and Lana. Team Smackdown is Bayley, Natalya, Bianca Belair, Ruby Riott, and Liv Morgan. I couldn’t even tell you how many predictions I’ve seen that have Lana winning this match for Raw as the sole survivor. It makes sense with the way the company has been building this match, and especially with Lana having her own episode of Chronicle on the WWE Network where she talks about how much she has been doubted in her career.
(1:44) Another ten entrances. Two matches with ten entrances each, plus something involving The Undertaker tonight? My God… this show is going to have an hour set aside just for entrances.
(1:47) I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… there’s going to come a day when Bianca Belair and Montez Ford end a WrestleMania as World Champions. It won’t be next year, not with Ford still being involved in the Raw Tag Team Champions, but it’s coming at some point.
(1:50) Nobody was supposed to tag Lana in, per orders from Nia Jax, so Lana tagged herself in. Then, Lana tried to tag out after a bit, and nobody wanted to tag back in. Oooh, Mean Girls. It’s pretty much the only type of storyline that WWE knows how to write for their women. Now Lana isn’t even allowed to stand on the apron with her teammates, being bullied to stand by herself on the ring steps behind everyone.
(1:53) Ruby goes for a kick to Nia’s head, but she misses completely. It was clear as day on camera, so Corey Graves had to mention that she missed. You don’t see that very often. Usually, you get the lame “I don’t think they got all of it” line, instead of outright pointing out that the move was missed.
(1:54) Our first elimination is a big surprise, with Peyton Royce pinning Bayley. Wow.
(1:56) All that momentum for Peyton, and she follows it up with one of the worst looking Single Leg Boston Crabs you’ll ever see in your life.
(1:56) Just like that, Natalya makes Peyton submit. We’re tied up, 4-4, here.
(1:57) Here come the fast eliminations, with Lacey Evans pinning Natalya. Raw is up, 4-3. Smackdown has lost their two biggest stars.
(1:59) Watching Nia Jax move around in the ring is painful. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a wrestler move that slowly.
(2:01) Baszler pins Ruby Riott after a unique spot. Baszler had Ruby in the Kirifuda Clutch, but Ruby rolled it into a pin attempt while the referee was distracted. She had Shayna down for a three-count, but passed out in the submission. When the referee turned around, Shayna let go of the Clutch and just pinned her.
(2:03) Liv Morgan pins Lacey Evans to eliminate her, even though the announcers seemed confused over whether or not a pinfall actually took place.
(2:04) Nia pins Liv. Bianca Belair is the only woman left on Team Smackdown, going up against Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, and… Lana. One of my big pet peeves in Survivor Series elimination matches is when pins and submissions happen at a rapid pace. I just don’t like it when there’s a pin, another one 30 seconds later, a submission 30 seconds later, a pin 60 seconds later, etc.
(2:07) Shayna locks Belair in a submission, but Bianca powers out and makes her way to the ropes. Shayna refuses to let go and gets herself disqualified. I can already see where this is going.
(2:08) Sure the fuck enough, Bianca and Nia both get counted out. Lana is the sole survivor and wins the match for Team Raw. That wasn’t a good match. No rating.
(2:11) TLC is the next Network event, airing on December 20th. Can I just say that the themed events like that are causing WWE’s already lazy writing to be even lazier? TLC, Hell In A Cell, and things like that. They should be saved for special times, special moments, and special feuds. Not just “well, we have Hell In A Cell coming up in three weeks, so it’s time to put these two inside the Cell.” It takes a lot of the fun out of booking things.
(2:13) Drew McIntyre vs Roman Reigns is up next. This is a WrestleMania quality match, but… let me check my notes… it doesn’t fucking mean anything! Be honest with yourselves… these matches could’ve all taken place on television.
(2:21) After a video package and two lengthy ring entrances, both men are finally in the ring. A definite big fight feel to this one, no matter what’s on the line. Both men probably shouldn’t be losing, so you’ve gotta assume we’re getting some sort of shenaniganery here. Perhaps Jey Uso returns to do the bidding for his cousin. Maybe The Miz comes out to cash in his Money In The Bank opportunity.
(2:24) I know others have said this, but Drew McIntyre is a deceptively large person. You don’t always remember that he’s 6’5″ tall and weighs 265 pounds until you see him standing next to people like Roman Reigns and is the bigger man.
(2:28) It has been a bit of a methodical pace so far, but the physicality is there. Both men are really laying in their strikes. That helps things for me. It’s one thing to be slow and methodical because you’re having rest holds and stalling. It’s another thing to be slow and methodical because you’re both hitting each other with home run shots.
(2:34) I spoke too soon. It’s chinlock time.
(2:36) My stomach is uneasy as I watch this, simply because I’m anticipating The Miz making his presence felt. If you’ve been a reader of my work for years, you would know that I’ve never been a huge fan of Miz. I have no issues when he’s in the midcard title pictures, or when he’s in a tag team. He is an awful main event guy, though, and will be so once again if he successfully cashes his briefcase in. On top of that, a successful cash in would be the third time the WWE Title has changed hands in 28 days. No, thanks. I’ll pass. Have him cash in, have him fail to win, and let’s go back to the drawing board with picking who should be the next Money In The Bank winner.
(2:41) I can already see the varying opinions of this match. As I’ve said before, I understand these types of matches aren’t for everyone. As long as the match tells a story and makes sense, I have no issues with a slow pace. I wouldn’t want to see match after match with that type of pace, but for one big match? That’s fine. This has been fun, but I just know the calls of “boring” are coming.
(2:43) Reigns slams McIntyre onto the announce table, but it doesn’t break. What’s the solution? Slam him onto the table again, of course! This time, success is achieved. It is followed up by a Spear through the ringside barricade, and all that gets a two-count for Roman.
(2:45) Business is picking up, and picking up quickly. An already fun match is getting even better.
(2:46) Roman said “shit” as he talked trash to Samoa Joe at ringside… and now, we have a ref bump. Here comes Jey Uso, who is taken out quickly by McIntyre.
(2:47) A low blow by Roman, followed by a Jey Uso superkick, and Reigns locking the Guillotine Choke in… and we finally get a new referee, who comes in just in time to see that Drew McIntyre has passed out. Reigns picks up the win. Fun, fun stuff. I don’t care what anyone says. That was 4 stars, and could’ve been more if there was something on the line on a bigger stage.
(2:51) Reigns starts his way up the ramp and sees his cousin on the stage. With all the enthusiasm of a toddler having to eat spinach before they get any dessert, Roman seemingly thanks Jey by nodding at him and giving him a hug. We go to a commercial for Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions with The Undertaker. No Miz. Dodged a bullet there.
(2:53) Looks like The Undertaker’s “Final Farewell” is in the show’s final spot.
(2:54) Shane McMahon is out to pay his respects. Big Show is out next. We’re getting a similar format to Ric Flair’s retirement speech the night after WrestleMania 24.
(2:55) JBL is out next. Jeff Hardy is the next one to come on down. Makes sense. Taker MADE Jeff a star in their Ladder Match, and his nod of approval after the match was everything.
(2:57) Mick Foley is next, followed by The Godfather. It’s always good to see The Godfather.
(2:58) Henry O. Godwin and Phineus I. Godwin are here! Savio Vega is next! Rikishi! Man, this is quite the trip down memory lane.
(3:00) Kevin Nash is here. They’re really dragging this out with all these entrances. Booker T is out next.
(3:01) Shawn Michaels is the next to make his entrance, followed by Ric Flair. We’re up to 14 men in the ring thus far.
(3:03) Triple H time. In case you’re no good at math, that’s 15 men in the ring.
(3:04) Kane is here, dressed in his ring gear. That’s 16 men.
(3:05) After alllll that, of course it’s time for a video package on The Undertaker’s career. Of course.
(3:08) John Cena is in the video package, but he couldn’t even come back for this farewell? Lame.
(3:09) After the video package, Vince McMahon is in the ring… with nobody else in sight. Did… did he fire them all?
(3:11) Vince is fighting back tears as he talks about saying goodbye to The Undertaker. Man, can you imagine if Taker himself starts to cry tonight?
(3:11) Well, after nearly 20 minutes, it’s time for The Undertaker to make his entrance.
(3:13) They “played” Taker’s entrance music on fucking TESLA COILS. That, admittedly, was pretty cool.
(3:16) This is so weird to watch, knowing what it’s being billed as, and knowing that there’s still a possibility that it’s all for an angle. Taker has been laying it on REALLY thick that he isn’t wrestling anymore, so obviously, everyone is now expecting someone like The Fiend to interrupt things and set up a match between them.
(3:19) The entrance is finally over. Taker stands alone in the ring and soaks in the “Un-der-ta-ker” chants.
(3:19) He is clearly filled with emotion, having to swallow down tears, and is giving deep exhales. We really might see him cry.
(3:22) After a brief promo, Taker says that it is finally time to let “The Undertaker” rest in peace.
(3:23) A Paul Bearer hologram, of sorts, appears on the ring apron, allowing Taker to “salute” his friend one last time.
(3:24) A bit of a ten-bell salute, using the “gongs” from his entrance music, is had while Taker is down on one knee, all while I’m still trying to figure out what the fuck happened to everyone that came to the ring at the beginning of this segment.
(3:27) Taker makes his way back up the ramp, turns to acknowledge everybody and everything once again, raises his fist in the air… and that’s it. We go off the air as he makes his way backstage. Holy shit. No Fiend. No Aleister Black. No other names that people had fantasy booked to ruin the moment. It’s really over.
All in all, this was an up-and-down show. There were a couple good matches. There were a couple bad matches. There was a very lengthy farewell to The Undertaker that could’ve been a lot shorter, especially if there wasn’t going to be any storyline added to it. You know the deal… hit me up and let me know what you thought about Survivor Series. I’ll be right back here in my usual Wednesday spot to deliver another columns for your eyeballs. Until then, be good to each other.