On the kickoff show, the Raw women’s team is already fighting themselves when Ruby Riott brings up Anvil’s sunglasses. Why did SmackDown pick Mandy Rose and not Nikki Cross?? Lame.
10 ON 10 SURVIVOR SERIES TAG MATCH: TEAM SMACKDOWN (THE NEW DAY, THE GOOD BROTHERS, THE COLÓNS, SAnitY, & THE USOS) VS. TEAM RAW (THE REVIVAL, LUCHA HOUSE PARTY, THE ASCENSION, THE B-TEAM, & BOBBY ROODE & CHAD GABLE)
Let’s get this over. Gable’s and Roode’s pre-match lines are awful. This is a pre-show match where 20 different guys all want to get their moves in. There’s almost no way this doesn’t suck shit. It feels like it’s one or two moves, elimination. Another two moves, elimination. What a pathetic looking botch by Anderson and Lince Dorado. Pretty cool elimination by the Usos with a toss into a Samoan drop.
Once it got down to two on two this is pretty cool. Except the part where Roode waited in place while Woods didn’t hold him back from breaking up the pin on Gable. There have been some really dumb-looking botches in this match. Well now it’s down to The Usos and The Revival so hopefully the screw ups are over. Good finish with The Usos taking home the win. This wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be.
Match Rating: Five Gold Medals
MAIN CARD TIME!
5 ON 5 SURVIVOR SERIES ELIMINATION MATCH: TEAM SMACKDOWN (CARMELLA w/R-TRUTH, NAOMI, MANDY ROSE, SONYA DEVILLE, & ASUKA) VS. TEAM RAW (MICKIE JAMES, TAMINA, NIA JAX, SASHA BANKS, & BAYLEY)
That escalated quickly. Thankfully Tamina is gone quickly. Everyone is pissed at Nia, but I see Tamina as much worse in the ring lately. Mandy Rose actually looks pretty good. Ah, we’re harkening back to the days when Asuka was allowed to be good. I think Sonya Deville is gonna be a star. She’s a badass, she’s athletic, she’s technically sound, she can talk, and she’s marketable.
There’s a lot of spotlight on Mandy Rose tonight, I wonder if it’s going to lead to something or if it’s like Emmalina. Banks Statement, Mandy taps. She still had a good showing tonight and was talked up a lot by the commentary team. They also keep talking about the heat on Nia. That’s a great idea, and a fresh chance of pace, as WWE usually ignores stuff like that if it wasn’t scripted. Use it to enhance Nia’s heel heat.
Asuka may be the sole survivor again. Asuka brings out the best in other wrestlers, she’s so intense and pretty stiff, and it makes her opponents step up their game. She really is bringing out the best in Sasha tonight. I don’t think I’ve seen Sasha wrestle this well in a long time. Nia sabotages Sasha so she can be the last one, I guess? Well that’s exactly what happens, as she destroys what’s left of Asuka to pick up the win for Team Raw. That’s some great use of audience heat.
Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals
SETH ROLLINS VS. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
Some good psychological warfare by Rollins, and some good kicking warfare by Nakamura. Rollins keeps landing so much harder than Nakamura does on his suicide dives. Not so much on his springboard clothesline. Nakamura definitely took the worst of that. Just like I said about Asuka bringing out the best in Sasha, I think that’s what Rollins is doing for Blueske tonight. He looks great. He also looks fucking ridiculous in that outfit. But he looks better in the ring than he has in a while.
This is a very intense back-and-forth match with a hot, split crowd. It’s also good that it matches a real face with a real heel. While I do often like heel vs. heel or face vs. face, this is, has always been, and forever will be the best tried-and-true dynamic for a wrestling match. Even if in this day and age you have a large portion of the crowd cheering for the heel, the match psychology is just better this way, and I imagine it’s probably easier to book and plan out a match that’s heel vs. face.
I love that superplex/falcon arrow combination that Rollins does. It’s one of my favorite moves right now. And god damn, Rollins actually kicked out of a Kinshasa to the back of the head. A frantic finish with counters and evasions that ends with a Stomp and a win by Rollins. Great finish, really good match.
Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals
I love that Braun motivates his team by threatening to murder them. And I’m all for using Lio Rush as a projectile.
THE BAR w/THE BIG SHOW VS. AOP w/DRAKE MAVERICK
AOP needs to go over here. It’s good that The Bar are getting their offense in and giving AOP a real fight, but I think in the end this needs to be a convincing win, as AOP is still building credibility while The Bar can take a loss and be fine. I’m even fine with Maverick saving Rezar from the pin attempt. And then pissing himself, literally. AOP still wins. That was fun.
Match Rating: Six Gold Medals
CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: MUSTAFA ALI VS. BUDDY MURPHY (c)
Murphy shows off his power, but Ali shows off his speed and athleticism. Murphy has that too, so I think this is a mismatch for Ali and he’s going to come up short. Ali got LAUNCHED backwards off the turnbuckle by Murphy. Ali’s gonna be hurting for a while.
Ali recovers much more quickly than I thought he would. And then he gets launched, again. Ali recovers again, and hits a SPIKE DDT through the ropes that looked incredible. OMG I gasped so hard when Ali just hit his face off the apron. I don’t know if he actually hit his face or not, but it looked really, really bad. I guess he’s fine and he just made it look good, but shit, that legitimately scared me.
Spanish Fly off the announce table! I’ll never not be impressed by that move. Murphy double power bombs Ali for two, then counters a splash attempt with a knockout knee to the face that looked brutal, followed by Murphy’s Law for the win. Murphy is just too damn good.
Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals
5 ON 5 SURVIVOR SERIES ELIMINATION MATCH: TEAM RAW (BOBBY LASHLEY w/LIO RUSH, FINN BÁLOR, DOLPH ZIGGLER, DREW McINTYRE, & BRAUN STROWMAN) w/BARON CORBIN VS. TEAM SMACKDOWN (THE MIZ, JEFF HARDY, SAMOA JOE, REY MYSTERIO, & SHANE MCMAHON)
Some fireworks early on. McIntyre fights with Strowman to start, Joe locks in Coquina clutch TWICE, McIntyre hits Claymore, Joe is out. God damn. People aren’t happy about that one, but I like it. I’m interested to see how far Strowman can throw Mysterio.
Strowman and McIntyre come to blows! Praise Odin, I really can’t believe that Strowman just sold the 619. That’s extremely depressing. And Shane McMahon just elbow dropped Strowman through the announce table. If they count Strowman out it’s bullshit, because McIntyre is the legal man. Now Bálor is fighting with McIntyre. Mysterio takes out Bálor to even the sides.
Lashley nearly decapitated Mysterio with a kick to the face. Shane McMahon shows he can still do the Coast to Coast and pins Ziggler just like he did at Crown Jewel, now he has Lashley to deal with. This feels like Miz is defecting to Raw and trying to sabotage Shane. And HOLY SHIT Shane gets swatted out of midair by a Strowman clothesline. Strowman then slams Hardy and it’s back to three per side. Mysterio is now in with Strowman, but not for long, as Strowman power slams him to oblivion. Raw is up 3-2.
Miz and Shane up against Strowman, Lashley, and McIntyre. Well, now just Shane. I think Shane might be fucked. That was quick. Raw is going to sweep this show. Corbin of course attacks Strowman from behind and runs like a bitch. This could have been better.
Match Rating: Six Gold Medals
Seth Rollins finds out he’ll be defending his title against Dean Ambrose at TLC.
CHARLOTTE FLAIR VS. RONDA ROUSEY
Please don’t forget that this was the WrestleMania main even people wanted before Becky Lynch’s rise. The fans got their Becky chant in at the start, now respect the wrestlers and enjoy what might be one of the best matches this division could ever ask for. Charlotte THREW Ronda on her ass, HARD. She’s not scared.
Charlotte elbowed Ronda in the face, and Ronda’s mouth is bloody as hell. Some great mat wrestling by both wrestlers. Charlotte’s boots to the face certainly don’t help Ronda’s bloody mouth. Charlotte goes for her moonsault and Ronda gives her a boot right to the jaw, then Charlotte recovers and HOLY SHIT WHAT A FUCKING SPEAR! That’s one of the best spears I’ve ever seen. Ronda withstands the Figure Eight and fights back hard.
Those big boots backed by those long legs of Charlotte are devastating. And Charlotte gets herself disqualified with a kendo stick! This smells of a Charlotte/Becky Lynch double turn. Charlotte is much better as a heel anyway. Charlotte looks crazy right now. Natural Selection onto a chair! God damn. Charlotte has really gone nuts. Now she’s beating up the refs! She stomps Rousey’s neck in a chair, and for some ungodly fucking reason, the crowd turns compete asshole and chants “thank you Charlotte”?! What the fuck is wrong with these people?
Match Rating: Ten Gold Medals
Beat Down Rating: Ten Randy Ortons
Also to the people in this LA crowd who booed Ronda for putting on that incredible match then getting her ass kicked after: fuck you, and please don’t ever come back. You are the lowest common denominator of wrestling fans, and the reason why the rest of us get embarrassed to tell other people that we are fans ourselves. Go fuck yourselves.
DANIEL BRYAN VS. BROCK LESNAR w/PAUL HEYMAN
Daniel Bryan was having fun! Until Lesnar clubbed him in the head. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be enjoyable, or sad, or entertaining, or disturbing, or what. I wouldn’t be surprised if the referee stops the match. This devalues the hell out of the WWE Championship.
I trust that there’s a reason for this, but I don’t see it at the moment. Well it’s NOT OVER! Bryan is not dead! NUT SHOT! KNEE! Two count! NOW we have a match. Well done WWE, well done. Lull us into that false sense of disgust and boredom, and then give us a real match. I’m always happy to find out I can still be worked.
These two are now beating the hell out of each other. It’s not one-sided, it’s a match. DB with another running knee for another two count. Brock’s selling tonight is really, really good. Again, what I said about needing someone to bring it out in him. That was terrific.
Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals
I have to believe a Raw sweep is going to lead to something bigger, it’s going to be part of a bigger storyline. I’m intrigued by a lot of stuff that happened tonight. I thought it was a terrific show.
Overall Show Rating: Eight Gold Medals