November 21, 2016
The Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario is the center of the WWE Universe this week. The arena held the NXT TakeOver special on Saturday night, Survivor Series on Sunday night and is set to host Raw on Monday night.
It was all about bragging rights, however, on Sunday night during the Survivor Series pay-per-view. Five Raw vs. SmackDown matches occurred with three elimination matches, an Intercontinental Championship match and a Cruiserweight Championship match. Let’s hit it!
TJ Perkins/Rich Swann/Noam Dar vs. Tony Nese/Drew Gulak/Ariya Daivari
Should anyone be surprised the Kickoff Preshow began with a six-man Cruiserweight division match? It seems like that’s all they do nowadays since the division was introduced. At this point, the talent didn’t know whether they’d be on Raw or SmackDown this week due to the upcoming match between Brian Kendrick and Kalisto.
These matches are always good, but they ultimately mean nothing. That’s a shame, because these talents deserve to put on a match that means something. Perkins is forgotten as the Cruiserweight Champion and the other guys haven’t been given the time and ability to connect with the crowds week in and week out. It’s annoying and needs to be fixed. Perhaps a switch to SmackDown would do that?
In all, the match wasn’t bad. Swann got the win for his team after kicking Daivari’s head and then hitting a standing 450 splash for the win.
Your winners: Perkins/Swann/Dar
Kane vs. Luke Harper
I can’t imagine anyone sitting at home watching the Survivor Series Kickoff Preshow and caring about this match at all. Especially when it has no meaning. It’s just there because the preshow was two hours for some reason. Kane pinned Harper after a chokeslam.
Your winner: Kane
Team Raw: Charlotte (c)/Sasha Banks/Bayley/Nia Jax/Alicia Fox vs.
Team SmackDown: Nikki Bella/Becky Lynch (c)/Alexa Bliss/Carmella/Naomi w/ Natalya
Before the match began, Team SmackDown’s captain, Nikki Bella, never came out for her entrance. Cameras backstage captured her down on the ground holding her neck. The WWE doctor said she couldn’t compete as Natalya and Daniel Bryan came to her aid. Bryan had no choice but to put Natalya in the match in Bella’s place.
So, was Bella attacked by Natalya? Maybe Carmella?
The match began with Natalya joining Team SmackDown. Several tense moments for Team Raw occurred when Charlotte tagged herself in when Bayley was just tagged, and then Sasha Banks tagging herself in once Charlotte got in the ring. This made for a three-way shoving match before things got a little crazy with everybody getting in the ring and brawling. Nia Jax quickly calmed things down after throwing Team SmackDown backward one by one. Then the eliminations came in quick fashion.
Alicia Fox eliminated Carmella by pinfall with a scissors kick.
Alexa Bliss eliminated Fox by pinfall with Twisted Bliss.
Naomi was eliminated after being counted out of the ring thanks to Nia Jax.
Banks went for a backstabber after countering a suplex attempt, but Bliss came in and stopped it, allowing Natalya to roll her up for the elimination.
Charlotte eliminated Natalya by pinfall after a running kick to the face.
Becky Lynch eliminated Jax by submission via the Disarm-Her.
After being eliminated, Jax took out Lynch at ringside as the Raw Women’s Champion eliminated Bliss with a kick to the head. Shortly after, Bayley eliminated Lynch by pinfall via a Bayley-to-Belly suplex.
After the match, Charlotte attacked her teammate and destroyed her outside of the ring.
Your survivors: Team Raw (Bayley and Charlotte)
The Miz (c) vs. Sami Zayn
I wasn’t a big fan of putting the Intercontinental Championship back on The Miz last Tuesday, but when it came to this match, it made sense. Bad vs. good is always a bit better and easier to follow than good vs. good in professional wrestling. The Canadian crowd was behind Sami Zayn [he’s from Montreal] as I’m sure most of America was, as well.
Zayn had the better of Miz in the beginning, but once Maryse got in Zayn’s face and got him off his game, Miz was able to clip his knee and gain control. Zayn fought back a few times on his injured knee, but Miz just kept the pressure on move after move.
Zayn went for the Helluva Kick and missed, and Miz locked in the Figure Four leglock. Zayn reversed it and put the pressure on Miz, but he was able to get out of the hold. Miz began doing Daniel Bryan’s signature kicks to Zayn’s chest, but Zayn was able to counter into his own Figure Four on the champion. As Miz was about to tap out, Maryse rang the bell signaling the end of the match, despite the referee never saying Miz quit. Maryse threw down the ringer and blamed the timekeeper. Miz rolled up Zayn during the confusion and got the pin, retaining his Intercontinental Championship.
Your winner and STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion: The Miz
Team Raw: New Day (c)/Sheamus & Cesaro/Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson/Enzo & Cass/Shining Stars vs.
Team SmackDown: Heath Slater and Rhyno (c)/The Usos/American Alpha/Hype Bros./Breezango
This tag team elimination match featured five tag teams on each side, with 10 total people in all. The rules for this match were if a tag team partner gets eliminated, so does his partner. And they didn’t waste any time getting rid of some guys.
The New Day eliminated Breezango by pinfall after he and Big E hit the Double Big Ending from the top rope on Fandango.
The Usos eliminated New Day by pinfall after nailing Kingston with a superkick shortly after.
Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson eliminated the Hype Bros. by pinfall after hitting the Magic Killer on Zack Ryder.
American Alpha eliminated the Shining Stars by pinfall after a double bulldog.
Anderson eliminated American Alpha by pinfall after hitting the Magic Killer with Gallows.
Rhyno eliminated Gallows and Anderson by pinfall after hitting him with The Gore after Gallows began arguing with Enzo and Cass.
Enzo eliminated Rhyno by pinfall after hitting the BadaBoom Shakalaka.
The Usos eliminated Enzo and Cass after hitting a superkick and Samoan Splash from the top rope.
Sheamus saved his partner with a Brogue Kick as Cesaro eliminated The Usos by submission via The Sharpshooter.
Your survivors: Team Raw [Cesaro and Sheamus]
Brian Kendrick (c) vs. Kalisto
Kalisto was trying to bring the entire Cruiserweight division to SmackDown as he looked to dethrone Brian Kendrick as WWE Cruiserweight Champion Sunday night. It would make sense if the entire division moved to Tuesday nights due to WWE Network airing the new show centered on the Cruiserweights, 205 Live, airing after SmackDown on the USA Network and before Talking Smack on the WWE Network.
This was a very good match with good action inside and outside the ring. It’s exactly what a Cruiserweight match should have. There were some near falls and near taps, as Kendrick locked in the Captain’s Hook to Kalisto, who was able to reach the ropes. Later on, Kalisto hit the Salida del Sol, but before the count of three, Kendrick reached the ropes with his foot.
Unfortunately, this match wouldn’t see a clean ending. Baron Corbin appeared and took out Kendrick and then hit Kalisto with the End of Days right in front of the referee, causing the disqualification.
Your winner by disqualification and STILL WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Brian Kendrick
After the match, the SmackDown general manager confronted Corbin backstage and said he’d deal with him Tuesday on SmackDown.
Team Raw: Kevin Owens (c)/Chris Jericho/Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns (c-US)/Braun Strowman vs.
Team SmackDown: AJ Styles (c)/Dean Ambrose/Bray Wyatt/Randy Orton/Shane McMahon
This match began rather early, so I had a feeling it would go very long. And it did. But it was a great match with a lot of action packed into it and everything made sense. It was one of the best traditional Survivor Series elimination matches I’ve seen in a long time.
Surprisingly, James Ellsworth being Team SmackDown’s mascot didn’t come into play as much as I thought it would. Dean Ambrose was eliminated early - the first elimination in the match, actually – by a running powerslam from Braun Strowman. Ambrose and Styles were arguing, which led to the elimination. Later on, Randy Orton hit Strowman with the RKO on the announce table. He and Bray Wyatt placed Strowman on another announce table as McMahon climbed the ropes and dove onto Strowman with his vintage elbow drop.
Once Strowman got back to his feet, he was grabbed by Ellsworth from under the ring to prevent him from making the ten count to get back into the ring. Yes, Ellsworth helped eliminate Strowman by count out.
After, Ellsworth ran away from Strowman, but he caught up to him and threw him off the entrance stage onto a table. RIP, Ellsy.
Kevin Owens, the WWE Universal Champion, was eliminated after the referee disqualified him after hitting Styles in the head with the List of Jericho.
After Jericho’s attention was drawn to Owens as he couldn’t believe his best friend would ruin his list, Orton hit Jericho with the RKO out of nowhere to get the pin and eliminate Jericho.
Reigns and Rollins were the final two left to go against Orton, Wyatt, McMahon and Styles. They looked at each other and the memories of The Shield flashed before their eyes, I’m sure. After a flurry of action, McMahon went for his patented jump from one end of the ring to the other, but Reigns got up and speared him. Clearly McMahon was out of it and couldn’t even take the pin, so the referee stopped the match and McMahon was eliminated by referee’s decision. Doctors came out and took McMahon to the back, but he clearly couldn’t walk under his own power and likely suffered some sort of injury.
After McMahon’s elimination, Rollins and Reigns had to deal with Styles, Orton and Wyatt.
Reigns and Rollins were ready to put Orton through a table, but Styles prevented that from happening. Ambrose came back out and attacked Styles, however, as security tried to escort him out. Reigns and Rollins looked confused, but they began thwarting the security so Ambrose could join them. The Shield reunited for moments as they powerbombed Styles through the table.
Rollins threw him back in the ring and eliminated him by pinfall.
Moments later, Luke Harper showed up to help Orton and Wyatt, but Reigns and Rollins were up to the task. However, Rollins’ attempt at a frogsplash was countered by Orton’s incredible RKO and Wyatt pinned him for the elimination. It was down to Reigns against Orton and Wyatt.
Wyatt looked to put Reigns away, but he countered Sister Abigail and hit him with the Superman Punch and prepared for the spear, but Orton shoved Wyatt out of the way and ate a spear himself. Wyatt hit Sister Abigail on Reigns for the win.
Your survivors: Team SmackDown [Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton]
I’m surprised we haven’t seen Orton turn on the Wyatts yet, but I’m sort of digging where they’re doing with this. It’ll end, ultimately, but it’s something different and refreshing. And not Wyatt is back in the spotlight.
Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg
Goldberg is almost 50-years old and main-evented a Big Four pay-per-view against the 39-year-old Brock Lesnar. What a world we live in, huh!?
Many didn’t expect a technical masterpiece between Lesnar and Goldberg, and for good reason. I’m sure many expected to see a lot of suplexes and kicking out of each other’s finishers.
Well, everybody was in for a big surprise. Goldberg shoved Lesnar down, and while Lesnar looked a little surprised, Goldberg nailed him with a spear. He got up and nailed Lesnar with another spear and then finished him off with a Jackhammer for the convincing and unpredictable win.
This match lasted all of one minute and 27 seconds.
Your winner: Goldberg
Goldberg brought his son into the ring after the match and celebrated a bit before heading to the back, much to the delight of the Toronto crowd.
That finish was unbelievable. For one, nobody – and I mean nobody – expected a finish like that. So, why was Goldberg made to look so dominant? According to The Pro Wrestling Sheet’s Ryan Satin, Goldberg inked a deal to appear at January’s Royal Rumble from the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Now, I can buy the storyline if it’s that Lesnar was way overconfident against Goldberg and didn’t take him one bit seriously, and then came out and saw that Goldberg still had it, even at 49-years old. This should set up another match – maybe two – down the road between the two. What else do they have for Lesnar at this point?
Let’s not forget Lesnar decimated John Cena a couple of years ago at SummerSlam en route to winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Yes, that began his dominant run in WWE, with and without the championship. He’s got every right to feel overconfident, especially against a 49-year-old Goldberg, so why wouldn’t he take him lightly?
We’ll hopefully get some more information about this angle Monday night.