November 24, 2014 by Joey Keogh
Following a really shitty build-up over the past few weeks, and the subsequent confirmation of a card with a paltry five matches on it, Survivor Series rolled into Missouri with as much fanfare as one could hope for, at this stage in the game. If you read my predictions, you’ll know I was way off. Mark fared slightly better but suffice to say nobody could realistically have predicted this PPV going the way it did – at least, not the ending, anyway. But more of that later. To start with, we had the hour-long pre-show which is, by all accounts, thirty minutes too long. But hey, Bad News Barrett was on it so all is forgiven.
The so-called experts panel returned, with Paul Heyman, Booker T and Renee Young in fine form while the insufferable Alex Riley – now being billed as “the analyst” for some unknown reason – caused the two legends to raise their eyebrows and shake their heads, often in unison. Work experience Tom urges us to Tweet him, as he’s so incredibly lonely hanging out all by himself in what is being referred to as the “social media lounge” but is clearly one of the darkest, and most far flung, corners of the backstage area. Booker and Heyman are noticeably respectful of one another, but their predictions are fairly safe.
Fandango makes his triumphant return alongside Rosa Mendes, who is such a terrible dancer she makes Eva Marie look talented in comparison. He beats Justin Gabriel, whom you may remember as the man who humped Adam Rose‘s leg on Raw last week, before Cesaro shows up to wax lyrical about WWII and is interrupted by The Real Americans. He goes on to suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of Jack Swagger, but sadly their match is one of the more interesting moments of the night.
The show kicks off proper with Mr. Mc Mahon himself pulling up in a limousine, apparently just moments before the curtain was due to drop because that seems plausible for the head of one of the biggest companies in the world, on one of the biggest nights of the year. He introduces Steph as his beautiful daughter, and then Trips, whose beauty he fails to comment on, before getting embarrassed by the deafening cheers for him. Steph, who is being booed out of it as usual, thanks the crowd for their love. We can tell we’re in MO though, because the fans erupt into rapturous applause at the mention of Cena’s name.
Steph cuts a smug promo about how, no matter what happens tonight, The Authority will still manage to be in power one way or another, but is cut off by her Da who sheepishly tells her no, this is it for them. But hey don’t worry because you’ll still have desk jobs – can you imagine Trips sitting behind a desk? Yeah, me neither. The whole family is spending Christmas together, so if Steph and Triple H lose tonight it’s probably going to be a very quiet dinner. Apparently, the only person who can bring them back to power if they lose later is – wait for it – John Cena! Just when we thought this stipulation couldn’t get any dumber, right? Oh, and don’t forget, if Team Cena loses tonight, everyone but him gets fired. So really it’s win/win for Cena, no matter what happens.
Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos -v- Goldust & Stardust -v- The Miz & Damien Mizdow -v- Los Matadores
How helpful of the WWE to put every single fucking tag team in the one match tonight – now we can just hate them all simultaneously! Someone noted on Twitter that nobody in this match is over, but actually the clear standout from the outset was Mizdow and he kills it in the ring, even though he doesn’t quite get the tag he deserves. Stardust starts off on the top rope, leaning on his brother’s head for support before a matador (Fernando?) is tagged in, only to stay in the match forever, echoing what happened last week on Raw. In fact, this whole bout gave me déjà vu from Raw because it was basically the same succession of tags and spots again, only for a longer period of time and with a louder crowd so it seemed more interesting than it actually was. A funny thing happens during this match though, because when Miz raises his arms, the crowd boos, but when Mizdow copies him, they cheer. It’s something that is utilised really well at the end, but it serves to brighten the match significantly regardless. Mizdow is tagged in after much teasing, but is immediately sent back out as Goldy tags himself in instead, rolling through on the matador for a near fall. Stardust is stranded in the corner immediately upon being tagged in himself, but his brother takes over again and lays into his opponent with some furious boots to the face. The commentators manage to shill Grumpy Cat somehow, as opposed to Larry The Cable Guy, who we can look forward to seeing Monday night on Raw. Woo hoo. An Uso is tagged in, alongside Goldy, and he hits a Samoan Drop as he simultaneously knocks Miz off the apron. He and his brother double team Goldust before going for the double Splash, but a matador intervenes, leading to a quick ensigury. They manage the double Splash moments later, tackling everyone on the outside at once. Stardust follows suit, with El Torito in quick succession. The other matador aims from the top but Stardust stops him, leading his teammate to get under the two of them as the three fall into a sort of Tower Of Death with two backdrops thrown in for good measure. Mizdow takes his shot to tag in and roll up Goldust to win after an Uso splashes again from the top. Miz is so shocked at the win that he doesn’t even give his teammate a belt, prancing around with both hanging off his shoulders as the crowd take turns booing him and cheering Mizdow.
Winners: The Miz and Damien Mizdow (new champs)
Divas Elimination Match: Emma, Natalya, Naomi & Alicia Fox -v- Paige, Cameron, Layla & Summer Rae
Hey, remember when Paige had actual matches? Wasn’t that a simpler time? Well, she’s a Total Diva now so no more of that. She kicks off the match by yelling at Summer for being too enthusiastic, before catching Nattie with a scissor kick, which she pays for later when she is Superplexed by Emma. Cameron is dressed as a sexy military employee, which, as usual, does nothing to hide the fact she can’t fucking wrestle. Her feud with Naomi is apparently still going, and the two duke it out for a bit before Naomi turns her attention to Summer, who screams as she is lined up for a boot she eventually eats, in spite of her protestations. Paige yells “come on!” as one by one her teammates get eliminated. Bless her, it must be frustrating to be the only one with any talent. Summer makes a big song and dance (geddit?) about tagging in Layla to suffer Alicia Fox‘s wrath, and Paige tells Nattie she’s an idiot for flying into the turnbuckle. Eventually, in a shocking turn of events, Paige is the only one left in the match opposite the other four, but instead of having her emerge victorious, she is buried as, after yelling at Emma to get off her foot, and dropkicking Nattie, she loses when Naomi hits the Rear View. And yes, that finisher is a reference to her butt.
Winners: The Total Divas Faces
Dean Ambrose -v- Bray Wyatt
Why this match is so early on is anyone’s guess, but considering the entire show was booked like shit, I suppose they have to fill the time somehow. Ambrose is still so fucking over, but Wyatt is gaining traction too, thanks in large part to his gut-punching entrance, which gets better with each week that passes. The match kicks off with a succession of uppercuts, setting the tone for tonight’s bout as rough, ready and weirdly old school – as noted by many fans, this is Attitude Era stuff. Wyatt grabs Ambrose in a full nelson early on, and it looks like he’s torturing him for real, but he gets his own back later on as he hangs backwards off the ropes and sticks his tongue out, mimicking one of his opponent’s most noteworthy moves. Wyatt goes for the Sister Abigail, but Ambrose counters, leading to a near fall. There’s a sign which reads simply “Bray Wyatt is my mother”, leading to all sorts of questions about whoever is holding it. There’s a brutal clothesline by Wyatt as Ambrose lays into him, before eating the steps as the action moves outside the ring. Wyatt looks as though he’s crying at one point, pausing to grab the mic and cut a promo about how he really loves Ambrose and when this is all over the two of them should get an apartment together. However, he then hits him with the mic, following up with a knockout punch, thereby continuing their weird, BDSM relationship (you’re welcome, Tumblr). Grabbing a chair from under the ring, Wyatt seems en route to getting himself DQed but Ambrose grabs it before he can use it and toys for several minutes with the idea of doing so himself before finally succumbing and decking him. So, is he still considered a face or..? Ambrose hits the Dirty Deeds into the chair, before grabbing a table from underneath the ring and chucking Wyatt through that too. He then beats him with the chair and gets more chairs, which he piles on top of Wyatt’s dead body, recalling a certain infamous ECW moment and also setting up an angle for a little PPV that is just three weeks away – if you haven’t guessed what it is yet, you will soon, trust me. Ambrose stands and basks in the glory of his work for a bit before grabbing a ladder, assembling it, climbing to the top and vamping for a bit. He’s such a tease, because obviously he isn’t going to jump (yet), but he topples the ladder over on top of Wyatt so that’s pretty cool. It’ll do for now at least.
Backstage, The Authority are giving a pep talk to their team, with Steph seemingly auditioning for a role on Keeping Up With The Kardashians as she melodramatically yells “we can’t loooooose” in much the same manner as Kim does when she can’t locate her favourite mascara. Trips takes a different tactic, threatening them all with the promise that, if they lose, he will ensure their lives are made a living hell – so much so that they’ll wish they were fired. Sure, it sounds scary now, but will it be so threatening when he’s talking to them from behind a desk?
Tag Team Match: The Bunny & Adam Rose -v- Slater Gator
So, earlier we were worried there weren’t enough matches on the card for tonight, but have no fear because the Bunny/Rose feud lives on and here it is in all its glory. To be fair, this match only lasts about five seconds but it’s five seconds too fucking long, especially considering these two showed up earlier to shill some toys. The Bunny wins by pinning Slater, and Rose is proper pissed about it. Twitter speculates that maybe he’s Sting, or Punk. This match makes me want to die, but it’s not the most insulting of the night. That one comes next.
Winners: The Bunny & Adam Rose
Up next, Roman Reigns is here, in a pre-taped interview purporting to be live via satellite, clad in his old buddy Ambrose’s favourite hoodie and leather jacket combo. He delivers a cheap pop for the city, before promising that, if he were there, he’d “make it rain in that bitch”. We know Reigns has been getting acting lessons and all, but he is aware that Magic Mike XXL has already been cast and is currently in production, right? JBL taunts him about being “on vacation”, enquiring as to how he feels about Rollins, and Reigns is all “that’s a STOOPID question, good day sir!” and that’s it. Backstage, Team Cena are psyching up for their match while Rowan busies himself with a Rubik’s Cube. Cena is wearing that stupidly dated “Keep Calm” tee, Ziggler promises to fight until his dying breath, Ryback is hungry as per usual, and when Rowan finally gets to his feet – dwarfing his teammates in the process – he says just one simple word, “win”. And presumably he is not referring to the Cube, which he still has yet to solve.
Divas Championship Match: Nikki Bella -v- AJ Lee
There have been rumours circulating lately that AJ is on her way out, and on the evidence of this match, that may indeed be the case as, rather frustratingly, she loses to Nikki in a matter of seconds – the latest count was fourteen, which is just pathetic – after she administers the Rack Attack, following a kiss from her sister that seems to rob AJ of all her wrestling skills in one, fatal moment. What is this, 2001? Since when is girls making out still a thing? Following the win, Brie joins her sister in celebration because she is that bad of an actress that she can’t quite remember whose side she’s on. Suffice to say, this is a new low for the already troubled Divas division, and as much as I don’t want AJ to leave, who could blame her if she did at this stage?
Winner: Nikki Bella (new champ)
Main Event: Elimination Match: Team Cena (John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Big Show, Ryback & Erick Rowan) -v- Team Authority (Seth Rollins, Kane, Mark Henry, Rusev & Luke Harper)
A one-hour Main Event follows, the first half of which sucks so much nobody would judge you if you loaded up half an episode of NXT to watch during it. Rollins pumps everyone up before it kicks off, his teammates responding with barely-concealed derision. Ziggler is still ridiculously over. Cole casually mentions Orton, getting our hopes up that this could go a totally different way than it does. The first five minutes are painfully slow, as they are spent glaring – it’s like somebody hit somebody already! However, when the first hit does come, it’s courtesy of Show, who eliminates Henry immediately with his stupid fucking KO punch. Snore. Is Henry leaving the WWE too? Maybe he and AJ could share a cab back to the nearest bar. Cole is way too into Trips taking his tie off, which is weird considering we all know when he takes his coat off, is when he means business. Maybe someone could tag Steph in, seeing as she’s hanging out on the apron? That might at least liven this piece of shit match up a bit. It’s so unbelievably dull, with Ryback going for the shellshock right off the bat, so Rusev counters and Ryback eats a boot from Kane as a result before being curbstomped by Rollins. Rusev then knocks Ryback out, negating the weeks of buildup during which he was lobbied by both teams as their “star player”. Steph does a “yes” chant over his mangled corpse while Lana mimics her from behind. Show and Harper eye each other up in the ring, before a hot tag to Ziggler sends the crowd wild until he almost gets eliminated right off the bat by Harper. Rusev soon takes over, leading to another near fall, and a sidewalk slam, which almost ends it for Ziggler once more. Cena is dying for the tag as usual but he doesn’t get it because everybody hates him. Rollins jumps in, chucking Ziggler into the turnbuckle, leading to another near fall before Rusev takes over again and gets planted as a result. Cena hits the AA on Harper before Rusev grabs Ziggler and chucks him clean out to tackle all of their opponents at once. He then takes apart the announce table, grabs Ziggler by the hair and drags him over. But, when the time comes to finish him off, Ziggler ducks out of the way at the last second, saving Rusev‘s team from a DQ. Lana yells “Get up!” as her client writhes in pain, subsequently getting counted out while Ziggler makes it back into the ring just in time. Rollins curbstomps Cena, before Rowan and Harper size each other up, with Harper eating a roundhouse kick, and getting knocked out in the process. Show then delivers a KO punch to Cena, and Rollins seizes the opportunity to eliminate him. Steph starts another “Yes” chant as Show shakes hands with Trips, before strolling off to deafening boos. Steph then stands over Cena and jeers him as the rest of her team celebrate their assumed victory. Ziggler barely moves, as they lay into him. He sells like a champ, but it’s too quiet in the arena, it’s too easy a win for them, and we know it ain’t over till it’s over. Rollins raises Ziggler’s arm to wave at his lack of teammates, Cena having deserted him to go cry backstage. Suddenly, Ziggler rises from the dead as he fights back against Kane with a crossbody and a Zig Zag, eliminating him. Next, he turns his attention to Harper, who superkicks him but also gets knocked out in the process. Finally, the match gets interesting as twenty minutes of hardcore back and forth begins with both Rollins and Ziggler absolutely killing it as they fight to eliminate each other and win it for their team – if this is the future of the WWE, holy shit. Trips reacts very well from the sidelines, the camera catching him grunting and his jaw dropping in shock. Rollins tries for a curbstomp from the top rope, but Ziggler counters with the Fame Asser, leading to a near fall. Security tries to run interference but Ziggler dispenses with both of them easily. He hits a Zig Zag to win, but Trips intervenes, dragging the ref out mid-count and pummeling his ass for good measure. The security try to double team Ziggler, but he knocks them out again, and into Steph in the process. He hits the Zig Zag again, but Trips stops the count for a second time, removing his jacket so we know he means business. He hits the Pedigree on Ziggler, and drags Rollins over to make him pin him. The crowd are going absolutely nuts as it looks like it’s all over as the infamous Scott Armstrong turns up to call it, but then suddenly, the internet cums in its collective pants as none other than the artist formerly known as Sting strides out ever so slowly, to a rapturous reception, and sets his sights on the COO. He stares at him for a bit before botching a move on him, which thankfully Trips sells like a pro, and dragging Ziggler over to pin Rollins finally for a three count. Cena turns up to steal the spotlight once more because it ain’t called Team Ziggler, motherfuckers. Following their loss, Steph and Trips cry and whine and scream in the ring while the crowd sing that one song at them, not at all in time with each other, and everyone at home struggles to pick their jaws up off the floor.
Winners: Team Cena
And with that, Survivor Series is over for another year. To say this was a disappointing PPV would be as massive an understatement as suggesting that maybe Sting shouldn’t hold on to so much of his hair, or that he shouldn’t stand quite so close to Triple H for fear of looking slightly old in comparison. There was so, so, so much wrong with this show that it almost seems counter-productive to discuss it further. The Wyatt/Ambrose bout was the match of the night by a long-shot, and even if it didn’t quite have the desired effect, particularly as it seemed to exist solely to sell us on another PPV entirely.
The Divas division is in absolute shit right now, and poor AJ was robbed. Hopefully this is the end of the Brie/Nikki angle, but something tells me it’s only just beginning because they are the stars of Total Divas, after all, and that seems to have far more caché in the WWE than being a talented wrestler. The tag teams were all thrown together in a title match, in a bid to make all of them seem more interesting. As expected, only those who were already over – Miz and Mizdow – had any kind of effect and thankfully, they walked away with the belt.
The Main Event itself was a simple case of bad writing that started off as total garbage before turning itself around in the second half with a brutal battle of strength and will, between two young bucks who are ferociously hungry for it, only to drop the ball again in its final moments with a shock reveal that shocked absolutely nobody because it had already been spoiled via every channel imaginable. The internet had suggested a Sting appearance for months, but tonight he really wasn’t wanted or needed. Everybody marked out about it afterwards, and for good reason, but this isn’t the eighties and the dude has about as much relevance now as Jerry fucking Springer.
The question remains, why were Ziggler and Rollins robbed of their chances for a proper feud? Why were they not given the opportunity to end their match properly, after a goddamn hour of hugely competitive fighting? Why wasn’t Orton drafted in, to cause some trouble for either, or even both, sides? If this is indeed leading up to a Triple H/Sting match-up at Wrestlemania then god help us all because, if tonight is anything to go by, Sting can’t even land one move let alone sustain an entire match. The shock factor simply isn’t enough anymore, we need actual developments to drive the narrative forward and to hold our attention on a weekly, monthly, yearly basis. Why do we keep looking to the past when the future is so bright?
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