For the first few years, Survivor Series was held on the night of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. This year’s version wasn’t, but it was certainly stuffed like a turkey. Not only with a third brand in both of the traditional elimination matches. But also in terms of timing – with the pre-show, the event lasted nearly a full five hours. Fortunately, for the most part, the meal tasted pretty good.

The women’s elimination match started off the main show, and it was a great first course, with plenty of bursts of action to keep the match from ever lagging. There was too much to call in this lengthy affair, but there were a few highlights. An early move saw Sarah Logan drop Nikki Cross with an Electric Chair, dropping Sarah right onto Toni Storm. A funny moment saw Carmella ignored when former friends Io Shirai and Kairi Sane square off – after demanding attention from them, they both hit her, and she went scrambling for a tag. A neat sequence saw the girls hit a series of big moves like a long parade. At the end of this, Candace and Io appeared to be injured, as they rolled to the floor and the rest of their team looked concerned. They were taken to the back by the trainers, leaving the NXT team two women down.

The women in their traditional Survivor Series match. Photos by Ricky Havlik,

Nikki went into berzerker mode, but the NXT girls took advantage of her frenzied mind and were able to roll her up for a pin. Bianca was able to withstand Sarah, and put her away after a 540 splash. Carmella tried to pin either opponent after hitting a top rope hurancarana on Charlotte that saw the queen land right on Bianca, but couldn’t get a fall. As she kept trying, Flair ended her night after Natural Selection. As Sane was trying to pin Toni, Sasha nailed her with a Meteora and got the pin. Asuka then fired up and quickly took out Dana Brooke. Charlotte blind-tagged herself in, and Asuka took offense to that, leading to the teammates to start fighting. The fight ended with Asuka misting Charlotte and leaving the match. With Charlotte blind, she was easy pickings for a Woman’s Right by Lacey and got eliminated. Natalya got revenge for her brand, pinning Evans.

Rhea Ripley has Sasha Banks wrapped up.

At this point, NXT had three members left against Nattie from RAW and Sasha from Smackdown. Those two then joined forces, and took out Storm with double submissions. They then hit a Hart Attack on Bianca to eliminate her, leaving only Rhea. But the alliance was only temporary, and Sasha backstabbed Nattie and pinned her, leaving her and Ripley to fight it out. Sasha took control early, but Rhea surprised her by kicking out of the Meteora. She went for another, but got caught with a big boot. Rhea tried for a standing submission, but Sasha reversed it and locked on the Banks Statement. With Rhea in trouble, Io Sirai and Candace LeRae – having never been officially eliminated – returned to the match for the save. Sasha tried, but the numbers game got the best of her, and she was pinned after a Riptide.

The men’s elimination match that took place later on was a quicker affair, but also entertaining in its own right.

Braun drew first blood in this one, hitting an impressive dropkick on both Ciampa and Rollins at the same time. They tagged out, leading to WALTER making his entrance where there was some fun between he, Braun, and Drew. His participation was short-lived, though, as his brawl with Braun left him exposed to a Claymore Kick by McIntyre and he was pinned, to the disbelief and dislike of the crowd. Ricochet and Shorty G put on a clinic, and then Riddle and Shorty G did the same. But Shorty G had a short-y night, when he fell prey to a Stunner by Owens and got pinned.

Owens was a house of fire, nailing Reigns and Corbin while they argued over who was the true blue captain. But Owens took his eye off of team NXT and got hit with a ninja DDT by Ciampa and pinned. The quick action then stopped with the boring entrance of Randy Orton. He hit Priest with an RKO and pinned him, but then got rolled up by Matt Riddle when he tried for another and got pinned. A sore loser, he hit an RKBro on Riddle, and Corbin pinned Riddle, leaving NXT with only Lee and Ciampa. An anticipated showdown between Braun and Lee was broken up by Drew, but only temporarily. After going around the world on the outside, taking out everyone in his path, Strowman tried for another circuit. This time, though, the freight train hit Keith Lee and was derailed. A Claymore Kick for good measure, and Strowman couldn’t beat the ten count and got eliminated. Ricochet dazzled with some speedy moves, but met the End of Days by Corbin and was pinned.

Chicago’s hometown boy Ali finally entered the match, and he, Seth, and Ciampa battled it out. Ali was getting the best of things, but Corbin again tried to bark orders at him. Ali shoved him off, but the distraction led to him getting Curb Stomped by Rollins and out of the match. Reigns confronted Corbin about costing another of their teammates, and as they argued, Rollins and McIntyre took over. Drew hit Ciampa with a Reverse Alabama Slam, but Ciampa surprisingly kicked out. He was going for another, but Reigns blasted him with a Spear to take him out, leaving Rollins as the only RAW member left in the match. After a brief skirmish between Reigns and his former SHIELD partner Rollins, Reigns then had to deal again with the ego of his partner Corbin. This time, Reigns would have none of it, and he Speared Corbin, then offered him up to Ciampa for a pin. A scrappy Ciampa tried to fight off both Reigns and Rollins, but didn’t fare too well. They went for a SHIELD Bomb on Ciampa through the announce table, but Keith Lee barrelled through both of them to save his team captain. But the save was only temporary, and after a Superman Punch, Curb Stomp combo, Ciampa was eliminated, leaving each team with one member left: Roman, Rollins, and Keith Lee.

Lee hit an impressive slingshot body press onto both of them, but couldn’t eliminate either one. That is, until he did, catching Rollins in a Superkick attempt, and flattening him with a Jackhammer, and wiping out the red brand. Lee then set his sights on Roman, but fell victim to two quick Superman punches. Roman actually got the pin, but the match continued – a replay was notably shown from an angle that didn’t show his shoulders down, so it’s clear the pin wasn’t the planned finish. That would come moments later, when, after kicking out of a Spirit Bomb, Roman would hit a Spear and pin Lee to be the sole survivor. After the match, Reigns and Lee bumped fists in a show of mutual respect.

Keith Lee was made a star and got some rub from Roman Reigns.

Survivor Series – Full Results


Pre-show Match 1: Tag Team Battle Royal


Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler won the match, that also featured: the O.C. the Revival, Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler, the Street Profits, Ryder & Hawkins, Breezango, the Lucha House Party, Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel, and Heavy Machinery. Unfortunately, technical issues prevented a full recap for this one.


Kalisto kicks Lio Rush


Pre-show Match 2: Lio Rush (c) vs. Kalisto vs. Akira Tozawa – Cruiserweight Title match


Technical issues continued, so only the ending can be recapped. Rush ended up winning after pinning Kalisto, just after Kalisto hit his finisher on Tozawa.

The Viking Raiders are triumphant.

Pre-show Match 3: The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs. The Viking Raiders vs. the Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish) – Triple Threat match


The Viking Raiders are now wearing masks during their entrance that came straight out of the Demon Kane collection. Ivar was truly impressive in this one, doing cruiserweight moves despite being a super-heavyweight. A neat moment saw Erik slammed Ivar off the apron onto all four opponents who were fighting on the floor – that looked great. At one point, the New Day hit a Doomsday Device Stomp on Erik that looked stellar. In the end, the Undisputed Era fell to the power of the big men when a Viking Experience saw O’Reilly slammed hard onto Fish to end things.

This was a good clash of styles throughout, but ultimately the juggernaut that is the Viking Raiders continued. They continue to impress with their high-impact offense, and the gimmick of Ivar who’s a super heavyweight but does moves like a cruiserweight has a long way to go before it risks getting stale.

Winners: The Viking Raiders

Match Rating: 7/10


The brands headed into the main show in a three-way tie with one win apiece.

Sarah Logan goes into her Berzerker rage.

Match 1: Team Smackdown (Sasha Banks, Carmella, Dana Brooke, Nikki Cross, and Lacey Evans) vs. Team RAW (Charlotte Flair, Kairi Sane, Asuka, Natalya, and Sarah Logan) vs. Team NXT (Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm, Bianca Belair, Candace LeRae, and Io Shirai) – Traditional Survivor Series Elimination match


Winners: Team NXT (Survivors: Rhea Ripley, Io Shirai, and Candace LeRae)

Match Rating: 8/10

They showed clips of Kevin Owens’ return to NXT at last night’s Wargames match. In the locker room, Seth Rollins confronted Owens, asking him if his loyalty was to RAW or to NXT. Owens said his motivations was to get back at the Undisputed Era. But since RAW needs him more than NXT, he’s bleeding solid red tonight. He then questioned Seth, noting his history of betraying tag team partners.

AJ Styles strongly throws Roderick Strong.

Match 2: Shinsuke Nakamura (w/ Sami Zayn) vs. AJ Styles vs. Roderick Strong


Many people thought that this was, on paper the match of the night. This was a good, aggressive fight, with all three men getting some moments to shine. Nakamura was aggressive with his striking, AJ was a workhorse as usual, and Strong impressed with his patented backbreakers, leading to an evenly-competitive match. As it looked like AJ was going to get the duke over Nakamura, Sami Zayn got involved, pulling his man out of the ring. He picked his spots to re-enter, coming in to deliver cheap shots when he could. A really ugly move saw Nakamura hit a huge suplex on Roderick, and it appeared Roderick landed right on AJ’s face – but AJ was still in the fight, leading to a great square-off between he and Nakamura in the middle of the ring. AJ and Nakamura fought for some time, and AJ got the better of the two. But, after nailing Nakamura with a Phenomenal Forearm, Strong sneaked in, threw AJ out of the ring, and got the opportunistic pin on Nakamura, giving NXT a 3-1-1 lead in the brand warfare.

This was a good match, but wasn’t mindblowing. It’s too bad this wasn’t on NXT where they seem to have more freedom to do things that could result in a classic.

Winner: Roderick Strong

Match Rating: 7/10

Backstage, The Miz went into Daniel Bryan’s dressing room. He said that while they don’t like each other, he supports Daniel Bryan’s efforts to take down Bray Wyatt tonight, since “The Fiend” apparently represents a threat to both of their families. Bryan didn’t take too kindly to Miz’ encouraging words.

Adam Cole and Pete Dunne caught in mid-air.

Match 3: Pete Dunne vs. Adam Cole – NXT World Championship


Before the match, the commentators speculated whether Cole would be 100% after his brutal match last night. This was a good match, with Dunne mixing things up with power moves and his patented joint manipulation. Cole was able to fight back, and started working Dunne’s knee, but the tough Dunne powered back and hit a sequence of moves, culminating with a powerbomb for close two-count. Dunne tried for a moonsault, but the damage to his knee slowed his ascent, and when he went for the move, Cole got his knees up. A series of moves and counters nearly saw Dunne crowned as the new champ, but Cole was able to kick out of a Dunne Stunne Gunne. A beauty move saw Dunne run up the ropes, but when he want for a moonsault, Cole timed it perfectly so that he was able to kick Dunne right in the head when Dunne was about to hit the landing. Later, the two slugged it out on the apron, where Cole hit a Panama Sunrise, that sent Dunne to the floor and he barely beat the countout. Cole hit another Panama Runrise and a Last Shot to get the win and retain his title.

This was a good match that showed off the skills of both men. But the Undisputed Era is the major force in NXT and it doesn’t look like there’s going to be a new champion any time soon.

Winner, and still NXT World Champion: Adam Cole

Match Rating: 8/10


Backstage, King Corbin tried to get his Team Smackdown teammates to listen to him for the mach. The others don’t care what Corbin has to say.

Match 4: Daniel Bryan vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt – Universal Championship match

The unfortunate red lighting was used again for this match. Wyatt started off with some hard-hitting moves, punishing Bryan both in the ring and on the floor. But Bryan was fighting for survival, and after absorbing a lot of punishment he was able to stagger the champ with kicks. The Fiend went to the floor, but Bryan climbed to the top and hit a huge flying leap onto him, and then followed that up with more aerial assaults in the ring. But the Fiend wouldn’t stay done. Even dozens of Yes Kicks couldn’t put him away. The crowd got fully behind Bryan with “Yes!” and “Daniel Bryan” chants, but the Fiend was unstoppable, kicking out after a Running Knee. Bryan tried for another, but ran into the Mandible Claw, which paralyzed him and left him laying for the three count.

Winner and still Universal Champion – “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt

Match Rating: 8/10


Backstage, Rey Mysterio warned Brock Lesnar that he wasn’t fighting the same person who was thinking about retiring a few weeks ago. This Rey Mysterio was fired up, and ready to take revenge on Brock for the assaults on Rey’s son Dominic. Rey gave a message to his son to watch the match and see what he was going to do to Brock.

WALTER knocks Braun Strowman for a loop.

Match 5: Team RAW (Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Randy Orton, Ricochet, and Kevin Owens) vs. Team Smackdown (King Corbin, Roman Reigns, Ali, Shorty G, and Braun Strowman) vs. Team NXT (Tomassa Ciampa, Matt Riddle, Keith Lee, WALTER, and Damian Priest) – Traditional Survivor Series Elimination match


Winners: Team Smackdown (Survivor: Roman Reigns)

Match Rating: 8/10


For those who care (and really, it’s only the commentators), the score is now NXT 3, Smackdown 2, and RAW 1.

Backstage, Becky Lynch said that she was going to put the hurt on both Shayna Baszler and Bayley and get revenge for their attacks over the past few weeks. Becky’s Irish accent makes her pronunciation of Chicago weird, but also kind of hot.

Rey Mysterio swings away at Brock Lesnar.

Match 6: Rey Mysterio vs. Brock Lesnar (c) (w/ Paul Heyman) – No Holds Barred match for the WWE Championship


Given that this match isn’t the main event, it would suggest that Brock will win because there’s still the main event that can send people home happy. We’ll find out. Rey came out in a Joker-inspired mask – or was it Doink? Rey immediately went under the ring to grab a lead pipe, causing Lesnar to retreat to the floor. Brock was able to flatten Rey though and wrest the pipe away from him, then flung Rey to the floor and into the Spanish announcers’ area. He bridged the announce table cover onto the table and suplexed Rey into it, and then laid the cover onto Rey and stomped on it. Ouch! Rey avoided a ring post and shoved Brock into it, but this only temporarily slowed down the Beast. Rey scrambled back into the ring, but Brock took him to Suplex City – the first one, coming close to dropping Rey’s back right onto the pipe. Some more suplexes prompted Dominic to run to the ring brandishing a towel, appparently with intent to surrender on his father’s behalf. Brock grabbed Dominic, and so he didn’t see Rey come up from behind him and hit a low blow. Dominic hit a low blow of his own, and then the father and son brutalized Brock with chairs and the lead pipe. They hit Brock with simultaneous 619s, and followed that up with sequential Frog Splashes. They covered the Beast – but no! Brock kicked out! He then suplexed the hell out of Dominic, caught Rey in a top rope attack attempt, and hit a big F-5 to get the pin and retain his championship.

Winner and still WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar

Match Rating: 8/10


Becky Lynch before the match.

Match 7: Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Bayley – Triple Threat match


Heh. When Bayley wears her title, the placement of the letters of her name on her shirt and the title read out vertically spell out AEW. Becky started off aggressively, trying to prove to the others that she was just as much a threat as they were. It looked like Bayley botched something, as she did a flying flip move on Becky that ended up sending herself crashing into the corner. But she recovered, and started hammering Shayna. Until Shayna stomped on her arm in a painful looking move. This then turned into a standard three-way, with two of them fighting in the ring while the other recovered on the floor. The crowd appeared to be tired from the long night, as they weren’t showing much love to the match. Becky hit Bayley with a top rope legdrop. Baszler did some ground and pound on Bayley. The crowd died.

Becky Lynch wants Shayna Baszler to bring it.

Shayna had Becky on her shoulders, looking for some kind of move, but Becky broke that up with a dropkick off the top. The crowd got restless. Becky and Shayna exchanged punches, and Bayley broke it up with a cross-body on both. The crowd napped. It looked like they were setting up for some kind of Tower of Doom, but it fell apart. Baszler locked a submission, but Becky escaped by pushing her off into Bayley. Then Shayna locked it on again, and Bayley broke it up, leading to a brawl on the floor, which finally woke up some of the crowd. Or maybe they were saying “Bo-ring us some more of this match.” Shayna dropped Becky onto the announce table hard, not bothering to move out the computers and TVs. Ouch! Bayley tried to capitalize, but when she tried for a flying elbow on Baszler, Shayna moved and locked on the Clutch, forcing Bayley to tap out, and giving NXT a decisive victory for the night with four match wins to Smackdown’s two and RAW’s single win.

After the match, Shayna stood on the announce table over Becky to gloat. But Becky would have none of it, tripping her and dropping her on the table, and then scaling the ringside barrier and dropping a flying legdrop onto Baszler, crashing her through it.


Winner: Shayna Baszler

Match Rating: 6/10