By Joe Smeltzer
Elimination Match: Raw (Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Nia Jax and Alica Fox vs. SmackDown (Carmella, Becky Lynch, Alexia Bliss, Naomi, and Natalya)
This was a solid opener. The growth that we have seen in the women’s division over the past few years has been impressive, and every worker in here got a least some time to shine.
Nia Jax had some spurts of dominance but did not take away from others in the match who, frankly, are more interesting. Charlotte and Sasha Banks both did what we have come to expect of them, and Charlotte did a fantastic job of playing the heel, which is somewhat of a lost art in pro wrestling today.
Bayley was able to be one of the two remaining survivors in the match, and even Alicia Fox had some moments of impressive athleticism. As for SmackDown, Natalya was a late substitute, as Niki Bella was attacked backstage before the match, and she was fantastic. Although Charlotte eliminated her, she did pin Sasha Banks and looked pretty good throughout the match.
The tension on team Raw was evident, as Bayley, Sasha and Charlotte were all at each other’s throats. On SmackDown, things weren’t quite as impressive. However, the thought that Natalya might pick up the win in her home country was intriguing, but it was to be cut short by Becky Lynch. Overall, the match had some interesting storytelling elements to go along with the in-ring work.
I was pleasantly surprised that Bayley was booked to pick up the winning pin. Did Charlotte’s post- match assault take away from Bayley’s moment? A little bit, but nonetheless, Charlotte was made to look like a great heel, so the purpose was served well. I thought the finish was the best part of the match and could build up Bayley for a run at the Women’s title.
Not much more you could ask. The women gave it their all and put on a solid elimination match. Hopefully, this builds for some compelling television over the next several weeks on both shows.
IC Title Match: The Miz (C) vs. Sami Zayn
It was a decent match in-ring wise. My only complaint is that it felt like the Miz was dominating a little too much, and Zayn wasn’t on the offensive as much as he should have been. But Sami did have some good moments, and the match was entertaining throughout. Nothing reminiscent of Flair-Steamboat, but still a solid IC title match that maybe could have been a little better if given more time/more offense from Sami Zayn.
There wasn’t a whole lot of “story” going into this match, other than the possibility of the IC title switching brands. I understand that not every wrestling match can be fit for a Hollywood screen, and this was one of those matches that did not fit into that category, a stark contrast from that excellent Miz-Dolph Ziggler match at “No Mercy.”
By far the worst part of this contest, and maybe of the whole night, was the finish. Zayn locked the Miz, and Maryse rings the bell before the Miz submits. This distracts Zayn, as he thinks the match is over. The Miz takes advantage, and rolls up Zayn for the win, thus “screwing” Sami Zayn.
From an in-ring standpoint, this match was decent at worst. But the redundant and unnecessary finish dragged down the whole match in my view. I’m not upset about Zayn not winning, but I am upset with how the whole thing ended. If WWE could do a show in Montreal without so many references to Survivor Series 1997, then that would be great.
Elimination Match: Raw Tag Teams (The New Day, Sheamus and Cesaro, Enzo and Cass, the Shining Stars, Gallows and Anderson vs. Smackdown Tag Teams (Heath Slater and Rhyno, The Hype Bros, American Alpha, Brezango and the Usos
At first, I found it obnoxious how clustered the match was with 20 men total involved, but once things got going, it was not too shabby. Some might say that decision to eliminate the New Day about a minute in was wrong, but I see it as a bit of a changing of the guard for the Raw tag team division.
I did not feel that the Usos should have been one of the last two teams standing, as I felt American Alpha or Slater and Rhyno would have been better suited for that situation. Nonetheless, I agreed with Sheamus and Cesaro being the last survivors for raw, as hopefully, this signals that they are ready to dethrone the New Day as Tag Team Champs.
As I said earlier, I agreed with the decision to have Sheamus and Cesaro pick up the W for Raw. I feel that they have a lot of potential as a tag team, and should be the ones to take down the New Day as champs. Hopefully, this is the path that the WWE decides to travel.
Overall match grade: B
Kalisto vs. Brian Kendrick
It is sad to me what the WWE has done with the cruiserweights. The crowd was dead for this contest, there was no storytelling to build it up and Baron Corbin comes in to interfere with the finish because why not? This is not to disrespect either competitor in this match, as both men did the best they could with what they had. The cruiserweight division is now dull, and that is sad.
Overall Match Grade: C-
Team SmackDown (AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Shane McMahon, Randy Orton vs. Team Raw (Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman)
The finish was pretty good, and I’m happy to see The Wyatt family get the win in a big match. In the past, they have been marginalized too much in these types of events so them coming up big was nice.
I loved the ending to this match more than anything else. For so long, Bray Wyatt has been either;
- Losing matches
- Winning them in a cheap manner
Here, he does neither. Wyatt hit Roman Reigns with a “Sister Abigail,” and he and Randy Orton were the last men standing for Team SmackDown.
The rest of this match, I thought, was very solid. It was a long one (52:55), but it was worth my time as a fan. The biggest problem that I saw with the length of the match is that Kevin Owens got eliminated far too early, and a man of his caliber, in my opinion, should have been in it for the long hull.
One of my favorite moments of the whole match was all three members of the “Shield” (Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns) teamed together to take out A.J. Styles. Although this probably won’t lead to anything long-term, it was still a cool thing to see.
Overall, while this match may have lagged on a little longer than it needed to, it was still a fun contest with lots going into it, and the right team won. This was SmackDown’s only victory in the three elimination matches, and it was the one that mattered most.
Goldberg squashed Lesnar, and everybody has an opinion. I’ve wrestled with what my mind should be, and finally, I have come to a conclusion that squashing Brock Lesnar was the right move.
Is it realistic for Lesnar, who has been built up as a monster for the past 15 years, to get pummeled by a 49-year-old man who hadn’t laced up a pair of wrestling boots in 12 years? No. But did said pummeling get everybody talking, and could it draw a lot of money should there be a potential rematch? Oh yeah.
To me, wrestling does not always have to make sense. But it does need to draw money. And Bill Goldberg is better at bringing money than Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, etc. Those are the facts.
Survivor Series was a good show. It didn’t have anything particularly great, but it didn’t have anything awful either. Every match had positive qualities, and I think the word “solid” is the best way to describe this Big 4 pay-per-view.
Overall Show Grade: B-