Monday, 21 November 2011

Survivor Series 2011 In Review

And we've come to the final Big 4 PPV of the year and one that originally started as a show dedicated to tag team wrestling. Well this year we do indeed have a tag team match as our main event but the rest of the card is notably low on traditional Survivor Series matches which is a shame because I do love them and they're not that hard to build towards. Survivor Series was always my favourite PPV for those matches so it's always a disappointment when the creative team don't book enough of them. As an aside, thankfully we got a new set this year and I especially liked the touch of graphics showing who was competing in the match on either side of the stage. Shall we begin?

1) Dolph Ziggler* vs John Morrison (United States Championship):
Gee, I wonder how this would end. The crowd could care less about the match itself though I do find the "we want Ryder" chants a tad disrespectful. If it was anyone other than Morrison I'd be annoyed. Dolph played off it really well and got great heat from it. He was able to make this match exciting and a bit more interesting because he and Morrison don't really mesh. All I really saw was Morrison phoning it in and hitting his usual flashy moves. They were done well but there was no real variety to them. Dolph and Vickie were able to add some colour to the match and make it somewhat watchable. The closing moments were a lot better with the back and forth moves and the near falls. Dolph retains as expected. I was against him being placed in the US title picture back in May but I'll give him credit, he's been a good champion and had a good run with the belt just like back when he was IC Champion last year. I'm excited to see where this feud with Zack Ryder is going and hopefully Ryder will eventually end up with that belt and Dolph can hop right into the main event. 6/10

2) Beth Phoenix* vs Eve Torres (Lumberjill Match; Divas' Championship):
Comparing it to their match at Vengeance, they fell short. Maybe because it wasn't as long or because it had little to no build up, it just wasn't as intense. They did put on a good show but it lacked a certain fire that Beth's matches with Kelly had because there was a proper storyline behind it. The early parts were just bland but things were much better for the last 2/3. Beth didn't get in as much offence as I would have liked and the Lumberjills really did nothing at all which is either good or bad depending on how you prefer these types of matches. Eve was very impressive with her new triangle choke and her personality, playing off Natalya at ringside pretty well. The end spot was amazing though, I didn't expect the Divas to pull off something like that. Beth gets another strong win. Good match but not great. 6.5/10

Did WWE not learn from their mistakes at WrestleMania this year? Less is more and people are going to watch The Rock anyway so there's no need for him to yap yap yap for a solid 10 minutes. There are matches that could have used that extra time while they're over exposing The Rock. Need I say anything else except: shut up and wrestle!

3) Team Barrett (Wade Barrett, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Hunico & Cody Rhodes) vs Team Orton (Randy Orton, Sheamus, Sin Cara, Kofi Kingston & Mason Ryan) (Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match):
I'm relieved a SS match actually made it to the card and they did a good job of building it up at the very least though I will say that Mason Ryan is absolutely no substitute for Evan Bourne who was definitely missed in this match. The opening interaction between Kofi and Dolph harkens back to their good work back in the Summer though I wasn't expecting him to get eliminated so soon. The elimination itself was a bit lame and too abrupt if you ask me. Watching the slow motion replay of Sin Cara's "injury" it looked like a work from the way he landed but then I found out it was legit so I don't know how the match would have turned out if he had gotten to do his stuff during it. He most likely wasn't going to be the next one eliminated anyway. Mason Ryan's elimination was done really well and gives Cody a good rub to take out someone his size. As an aside note what on earth was Michael Cole saying about Sheamus being bullied? Who the hell in Ireland would get bullied for having pale skin? The part with Sheamus in the ring plodded along at first but got more exciting with the spots on the outside and Kofi's hot tag was really good as was the elimination. I was expecting the faces to get one that time but I guess not. It was surprising to see Orton be the one who got isolated next (and it looked like Cody was trying to bite his head for some reason) but it gave Sheamus a good rub and he came out of the match looking more like a top face than he did going in. Him getting eliminated by DQ was just stupid though, especially with four guys left on the other team. Sheamus should have eliminated Swagger before getting eliminated himself. It's predictable but that can be good sometimes. I was surprised to see Hunico last so long but I expect if Sin Cara hadn't been injured he would have eliminated him, the mid-air RKO was great as always. I have to admit, I marked out when Wade hit the Wasteland on Orton and I was ecstatic when the ref counted to three. Wade and Cody got a great rub coming out of this match and it helped solidify them as big time heels. This has been a good PPV for heels anyway with Beth and Dolph getting great strong wins also earlier in the night. 8/10

I don't really think I like putting the Bellas with Del Rio. They should use Rosa instead since the twins can wrestle and Rosa has way more charisma (not to mention being better looking). Johnny Ace's voice is like nails on a blackboard but then again even nails can have some intensity.

4) Mark Henry* vs Big Show (World Heavyweight Championship):
These two guys managed to strike gold at Money In The Bank and Vengeance but enough is enough already. I'll admit that TNA does rush feuds without taking the time to develop them but sometimes WWE can really draw them out for way too long, this being the prime example of it. Big Show/Mark Henry is a match that should only happen once or twice and now it's likely to happen a fourth time as well. A friendly tip for WWE creative team - when the last match gets called off for having the frickin ring collapse then it's not wise to end the next match with a DQ, especially when it's something as lame as a low blow. It doesn't give Henry heat at all, it just makes people roll their eyes that this getting drawn out almost as much as Orton/Christian though at least those matches were something. The opening parts were alright and the story being told was good to see as was the one spot with the barricade. Everything else though was just nothing special. Even the crowd could care less though I would have loved the "we want Ryder" chants to start during this match. The little part that came when the match was over was much better though sadly this feud will continue. 4.5/10

Good interview with Wade Barrett, us fans in England are anxiously waiting the moment when he becomes the first World Champion, we already have a Women's Champion but this would mean so much more. Is it me or does it seem like a Barrett/Miz feud could be epic? Truth is truly one of the best and most entertaining heels in the company right now and oooh he said a bad word. Several times. The parents are going to be complaining all day most likely...

Could Justin Roberts sound more fake when introducing the army troops?

5) Alberto Del Rio* vs CM Punk (WWE Championship):
I was really excited for this match and that's something that hasn't happened since Del Rio became champion. These two are good talents in the ring and they both ooze charisma as well as being a really fresh pairing in the main event, not to mention it was awesome for CM Punk to get the chants in New York of all places. Pretty technical starting off, impressive and nicely done and I never figured Punk as one for the high spots like that but whatever works for him. About around the time Del Rio hit the first arm breaker, I knew we'd be treated to a great pure wrestling match that we haven't really seen since Cody/Ted at Night of Champions, but there was that bad looking double-axe-handle from the top rope. The exchanges were all so crisp and well executed and things really got intense after the big elbow drop. I definitely marked out a bit when Del Rio locked in the arm bar and I was praying for Punk to get to the ropes, not just because I wanted him to win but I wanted the match to go on even longer. The closing moments were just crazy (in a good way) and it was such a great way to end the match. 8/10

6) Awesome Truth vs The Rock & John Cena:
Good lord did we need more hyping for this? We got plenty of that on the show itself with The Rock's pointless ten minute promo not to mention the video package at the start of the show. Other matches could have done with the extra time, people. As the huge Miz mark that I am, it was great to hear him get so many cheers though I was honestly expecting The Rock to get some boos like when he came back in 2003. The opening interactions between him and Miz were nice to see. I daresay that's another match I wouldn't mind seeing in the near future. Pretty much the usual stuff from Cena though it was done well to be fair. Awesome Truth once again demonstrated their good tag team chemistry with all their double teams and strategic isolation. The match breakdown was pretty fun as well even if it was five moves of doom from both of the faces. I actually wasn't expecting the match to end with the People's Elbow but there you go. They went with the predictable route of trying to make Rock the heel but it just won't happen, creative. The fans really hate Cena that much. 6.5/10

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