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Survivor Series used to be much more hallowed grounds than it’s presented as tonight, as the commentators will remind us many times (as if the WWE network hadn’t already gotten the message across. It’s where the phenom of professional wrestling, The Undertaker, debuted 25 years ago. In that quarter of a century the “Deadman” has always been the most interesting part of the WWE, whether this be because he is indeed the greatest of all time, or because the company has nothing better going on. Unfortunately, at this year’s Survivor Series ‘Taker took the spotlight because of the latter.
Roman Reigns VS Alberto Del Rio (WWE World Heavyweight Championship Semi Final)
It was meant to be Roman Reigns fighting Seth Rollins for the championship tonight, however after a serious knee injury the champion Rollins was unable to perform (and appease WWE fan pages everywhere by beating his former teammate Roman Reigns). Instead we have the end of a tournament to fill the vacant title.
A solid match opens tonight’s pay per view with the US Champion Alberto Del Rio competing, proving that WWE really don’t care about the smaller titles right now. Reigns is a decent striker but because Del Rio is a much more well-rounded wrestler, he makes WWE’s most pushed Reigns seem like he has three moves (them being punch, spear and punch in the air). The match ends with a strong chain of reversals with Reigns turning Rio’s armbreaker into a heavy powerbomb pin.
It’s not surprising to see Roman’s arm raised at the end, but it’s good to see that the United States champ can still steal a match.
Dean Ambrose VS Kevin Owens (WWE World Heavyweight Championship Semi Final)
The match to decide who Reigns will be facing for the championship tonight is much speedier and rougher than it’s predecessor – Both Dean Ambrose and Intercontinental Champ Kevin Owens have a more rough-housing, scrappy style. Owens carries himself fairly originally with decent holds and moves but has absolutely zero character. The “Lunatic Fringe” Ambrose delivers his more daring, hard hitting and entertaining moves and after bouncing off and going through the ropes about ten times, Ambroise gets an impressive win. If this match was slightly longer and less rushed it could’ve been Fight of the Night.
Survivor Series Tag Team Ryback, Lucha Dragons, The Usos VS The New Day.
When the highlights of the Survivor Series Elimination Tag Team match are a combination of Ryback “falling like a sofa” and Wade Barrett’s dance moves, someone needs to have words with the writers. The Survivor Series match can be used so well, and the most recent example is last year in which not only was there a fuelled rivalry but they used it to give Dolph Ziggler a career defining moment. But instead of using the recently returned Dudley Boyz or God forbid surprising the audience, WWE set up an uninteresting match in which the man who would become champion later on this evening was left alone (for no real reason) and beaten up by unexciting superstars.
Paige Vs Charlotte (c) (WWE Divas Championship)
It would be understandable if you were left feeling underwhelmed by this match after seeing Charlotte beat Nikki Bella at Hell In A Cell. With all the hype surrounding Norwich’s own Paige, you would of thought this match would’ve been more of a ‘slobberknocker’, but the quiet crowd combined with the fact that Charlotte basically HAD to win as WWE made a miscalculated comment regarding her dead brother in a segment made it not. Not even a dropkick off the barrier could get the crowed pumped enough for the submission ending which felt abrupt as a result.
Tyler Breeze Vs Dolph Ziggler
This match is living proof that the pretty boy character is overdone … even Ziggler isn’t pushing that angle much anymore. Breeze doesn’t show us anything new or spectacular with the gimmick or in the ring, and after he uses the outdated female body shield move, he miraculously gets the win. JBL adds: “When Shawn Michaels debuted everyone said he was just a pretty boy”, but Shawn Michaels never had a fucking selfie stick.
The Brothers of Destruction (The Undertaker and Kane) Vs The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper)
Bray Wyatt is one of the most creative wrestlers character-wise for God knows how long but he is constantly underused. How is an intimidating persona supposed to have any intensity behind it if he never wins a pissing match? Of course, The Undertaker won on the 25th anniversary of his debut, that was inevitable, but it would’ve been great to see the Wyatt Family properly take out Kane to extend the rivalry, making it feel less forced. It’s rare for a ‘Taker match to have so few highlights but Strowman being double chokeslammed through the table and the simultaneous sit up from the brothers of destruction (and Bray Wyatt’s face subsequently) was pretty good.
Roman Reigns VS Dean Ambrose (WWE World Heavyweight Championship Semi Final)
This match made for an okay brawl and it did come across as two people putting aside a lot of mutual respect and beating the snot out of each other well enough. However, only Ambrose felt like a headliner, whilst Reigns was more like a robot programmed to beat his opponent … but he was programed to win. Whilst Ambrose would have clearly been the more interesting champ, having Roman keep the title warm until Rollins comes back and reignites the rivalry won’t be too bad, it’s better than someone as dull as Sheamus being champion. OH WAIT.
After Roman denies an offer from The Authority leader Triple H with a good old spear, Sheamus, the only wrestler with less personality than Reigns, takes the title from him … killing any chance of the next PPV being worthwhile.
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