Survivor Series used to be kind of a big deal. The 1997 edition was one of the most noteworthy WWE pay-per-views of all time thanks to the infamous “Montreal Screwjob.” The very next year in St. Louis, the Deadly Game tournament took center stage, unfolding in a masterful example of Attitude Era booking.
Except for the fact that The Authority is basically The Corporation 2.0, the event that took place Sunday in Boston had little in common with those past classics. Titles were defended and traditional Survivor Series matches were presented, but everything flowed along in extremely predictable fashion, giving little reason to consider it anything but just another run of the mill monthly show.
The main event saw WWE Champion Randy Orton defend his title against the Big Show, and while it was a logical conclusion to the story involving Show’s mistreatment at the hands of The Authority, it wasn’t exactly a match that fans were clamoring to see. Orton got an immediate taste of his large challenger’s power, and he didn’t like it.
Show got a near fall and delivered big open hand chops in the corner. Orton hit a dropkick and kept Show grounded with a series of boots to the face. Show emphatically kicked out at two and powered out of a chinlock.
Orton pivoted into a sleeper on Big Show’s back. A huge “boring” chant rang out, which must have made the WWE brass cringe. The fans wanted Daniel Bryan, not this.
Orton sought safety on the floor, but that got him hurled into the steps and then back into the ring. For some reason, Show tried going up top, a notion that Orton squashed with a DDT. The challenger recovered to hit a choke slam, but Orton beat the count.
Referee Charles Robinson took a bump before the fight went over the wall and into the crowd. Show hit the KO punch, but the combatants were far from the ring and the ref was just limping back to his feet.
The Authority came out to the stage, giving Orton an opening to hit an RKO. He followed with his trademark punt to the head, retaining his WWE Championship.
That wasn’t quite the end, however, as John Cena, who had retained his World Heavyweight Championship earlier in the show with a victory over Alberto Del Rio, made his way out. The hometown boy paused briefly in-between Triple H and Stephanie McMahon before climbing into the ring. The two champs took turns holding their title belts aloft and staring each other down, perhaps teasing a champion versus champion feud. Or maybe not. Is it time for the Royal Rumble yet?
The next WWE pay-per-view is TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 15.
Adhering to a tradition that began many, many moons ago, Dale’s comments will appear in italics while Nick’s are presented in plain type. #NoGimmicksNick
The Authority, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, open the show by telling the Boston crowd that they are guaranteeing that there will be no physical interference in any match… which means there will be nonsense tonight.
Rey Mysterio, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Goldust, Cody Rhodes vs. Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose – Traditional Survivor Series Match
As the Real Americans walk down the ramp, Zeb Colter runs down the Boston crowd; taking a shot at David Ortiz does not endear himself to the fans. Early in the match, Dean Ambrose starts running his mouth and gets rolled up by Rhodes. Ambrose can’t kick out and gets eliminated. All heck breaks loose after the pin, and everyone hits the ring. Rollins and Reigns get knocked to the floor, and the Usos fly over the ropes to take the Shield.
Jack Swagger gets pinned by Jey Uso after a 619 from Mysterio, getting superkicked by Jimmy Uso and then Jey finishing him off with a splash from the top turnbuckle. Cesaro takes Jey and then Jimmy for the Big Spin, but can’t get the pin. Cody makes the tag and surprise Cesaro with a sunset flip to get the pin.
Reigns picks up the first elimination for his team by spearing Jimmy Uso. Reigns also gets the second elimination by spearing Cody after making a blind tag.
Rollins eliminates Jey Uso after stomping his face into the mat, and we now have a two-on-two match.
Mysterio pins Rollins after fighting out of a power bomb and sliding down his back to roll him up for the pin. Rollins and Reigns then jump Rey and beat him into the corner until the ref can restore order.
Reigns pins Goldust after catching him with a spear coming off the ropes. Mysterio leaps to action and looks for the 619, but Reigns recovers and spears Mysterio. Reigns covers and gets the win for his team after eliminating four Superstars.
Winner and Survivor … Roman Reigns at 23 minutes and 40 seconds
Match Rating: 6/10
Is this the start of a singles push for Roman Reigns? Photo by Bruno Silveira
The Authority and Kane get a visit from Randy Orton, who wants to know if they’re all still on the same page. Triple H is confused: is he asking for no interference, or for help? The Game gives him a pep talk, but he glares the champ down as he leaves. Call me nuts (like you don’t already!), but this insecure, paranoid Orton is actually kind of… interesting.
Big E Langston(champion) vs. Curtis Axel (challenger) – Intercontinental Title Match
Langston controls the early portion of the match, but Axel gets in some offense when the champ tries to come back in from the floor. He hits a Perfect Plex for two, but when he tries to press on, he gets caught and planted with the Big Ending. For some reason, Langston gets a post-match interview from Renee Young. He shows he’s already mastered the Mick Foley-esque cheap pop.
Winner … and still Intercontinental Champion … Big E Langston at 5 minutes and 56 seconds
Match Rating: 4/10
AJ Lee tries to inspire her Diva teammates but just ends up insulting them. Kaitlyn tells her that they have no reason to trust her. AJ says this is about how the Total Divas don’t want them and they need to be taken down.
By the way, when we were planning out who was going to recap which match, Dale and I agreed we’d just alternate. I was taunting him that he’d end up with the Divas match. Guess what?
The cast of Total Divas acted like, well, divas on their way to the ring. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea
Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Natalya, Naomi, Cameron, Eva Marie and JoJo vs. AJ Lee, Summer Rae, Alicia Fox, Aksana, Rosa Mendes, Kaitlyn and Tamina – Traditional Survivor Series Match
The Total Divas are maybe the worst seven women in the world, but since they have a TV show we should cheer them. And this match is sucking the life out of the Boston crowd. Anyway, AJ tapped out to a Sharp Shooter from Natalya.
Winner and Survivor … Natalya at 11 minutes and 29 seconds
Match Rating: 0/10
Randy Orton runs into ref Charles Robinson backstage. Orton wants Robinson to call the match down the middle. Robinson says he’ll do what The Authority tells him.
You forgot the wink, wink, nudge, nudge that Orton was implying when he asked Robinson to call it right down the middle.
Ryback calls out Foley, Bret Hart and Booker T and then issues an open challenge. And Mark Henry answers the call.
He’s looking like the World’s Smoothest Man now since he’s bald on top. Still rocking a pretty sweet beard though.
Ryback vs. Mark Henry
The announcers are right: Henry now kind of looks like Rick Ross. Ryback gets an especially loud “Goldberg” chant tonight. I find that deliciously ironic since you know the Boston fans didn’t like Goldberg. Wait, maybe that means it isn’t ironic. This is making my head hurt. Anyway, Henry wins it with a World’s Strongest Slam.
Winner … Mark Henry at 4 minutes and 47 seconds.
Match Rating: 3/10
John Cena and Alberto Del Rio prepare to dance for the World title. Photo by Bruno Silveira
John Cena (champion) vs. Alberto Del Rio (challenger) – World Heavyweight Title Match
There is no way Cena is losing this match, unless Cena needs to take more time off because of his injured elbow. Del Rio locks in the Cross Armbreaker after rolling through a cross body, but Cena, injured arm and all, is able to lift Del Rio up and slam him to the mat. Del Rio charges Cena, who gets him up for the AA. Cena slams Del Rio to mat and covers him for the pin.
Winner … and still World Heavyweight Champion … John Cena at 18 minutes and 47 seconds
Match Rating: 3/10
Santino Marella and R-Truth play with some action figures. Los Matadores, El Torito, Fandango, and John Laurinaitis drop by as well. People power!
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan vs. Erick Rowan and Luke Harper w/ Bray Wyatt – Triple Threat WWE Title Match
All four men get in on the action quickly, and Punk and Daniel show great teamwork taking it to Rowan. The announcers get fixated on Rowan’s tendency to talk to his sheep mask. Or is it a lamb? The fans try to rally Punk, and he manages to hit a tornado DDT on Rowan. Bryan also tags in, mystifying Harper with his quickness and smashing him into the retaining wall. Bryan’s top rope dropkick forces a kick out, but he’s caught up on the top rope and power bombed, needing Punk to bail him out. He eventually makes the hot tag to Punk, who looks for the big elbow but turns and leaps to the outside instead, landing on Harper and Bray Wyatt. Punk heads to the opposite corner and drops the elbow on Harper, but he kicks out at two. Bryan takes out Rowan with the running knee, and Punk pins Harper with the Go To Sleep.
Winners … CM Punk and Daniel Bryan at 16 minutes and 15 seconds
Match Rating: 7/10
This Christmas Bounty TV flick with The Miz is a joke, right? If so, ha, that’s a good one. If not… oh boy.
The Authority finds out Cena is essentially okay, and he leaves them so they can talk to Orton. Randy asks what Cena is doing there, to which HHH calls him paranoid.
Randy Orton (Champion) vs. The Big Show (challenger) – WWE Title Match
Winner … and still WWE Champion … Randy Orton at 11 minute and 8 seconds.
Match Rating: 3/10
Total Event Time: 2 hours and 43 minutes
Event Rating: 2/10