Another WWE PPV in the bag and is it just me or is Survivor Series regularly becoming one of the best PPVs on the WWE calendar? Between the great champion v champion matches that all delivered and the elimination tags that are always just so much fun it was a night of excellent wrestling.
After the utterly bizarre PPV that was Crown Jewel tonight was a complete return to form for me.
But you didn’t come here for a review so let’s find out who soared higher than Shane McMahon tonight and who *spoilers* wet the bed worse than Drew Maverick, with the biggest winners and losers of Survivor Series.
Brock Lesnar & Daniel Bryan
Just your annual reminder that Brock Lesnar can have exciting, competitive matches when the mix is right. While this wasn’t quite AJ v Brock from last year there is no doubt that the agility and speed of Daniel Bryan brought out the best in Brock, just as AJ did last year.
The impressive thing about Brock has always been his freaky speed as much as his size, so feeding him nothing but a cavalcade of wrestlers that compete with him primarily on strength and size has not worked to his strengths. When faces another monster Lesnar needs to go into his ‘beast mode’ of nothing but German Suplexes, F5 and no selling which has led to a string of mind numbing matches but against a smaller guy he can actually sell without losing his mystique. And as he did for Kurt Angle in his first run and AJ last year, boy did he bounce around the ring as Bryan kicked the bejesus out of him.
For Bryan, he got his WWE title reign off to a great start, coming within an inch of taking down the WWE’s final boss and gave Brock his best match in 12 months. On balance that outweighs taking the final fall so he comes out a winner.
Now if only there was someone on the red brand that combined championship pedigree with speed that could take advantage of Lesnar in a similar way…
The Architect went into the Intercontinental Champion v US Champion match with so many questions marks over his head around his lost brother Dean Ambrose but answered at least some of them with his match of the night caliber win over Shinsuke Nakamura.
In a true wrestling chess match where counter upon counter ruled the night, Rollins managed to finish a step ahead of the Japanese vet, willing his way out of Nakamura’s best offence. You have to imagine the pair of big time players saw the praise the NXT roster was receiving for their TakeOver matches last night as a direct challenge and well and truly brought their A-Games in what has to clearly be The King of Strong Style’s best main roster match by some distance.
I will maintain until it happens that Rollins should be the man to burn down Suplex City as a completion of his redemption character arc and after tonight’s effort he remains on track to do just that once he is finished with his coward brother Dean Ambrose.
Male Stars Of The Late 2000s
Last year the men’s traditional elimination tag match was dominated by stars from the early 00s. This year it was the lost generation of Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler on Raw and The Miz, Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy and Shane McMahon on Smackdown getting the job done over the stars of today likes of Samoa Joe and Finn Balor who were eliminated early or AJ Styles, Andrade Cien Almas, Elias or Russev just to name a few who rode the pine tonight.
I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if at least half of these same wrestlers made up a team back in 2008 or 2009 and ten years later they are still here. On the plus side, at least we seem to be moving forward in years and these guys are all full timers that will be at Raw tomorrow night.
Well the Lost Generation wasn’t alone as the Monster Among Men a completely dominant performance and was ultimately the difference for the Raw team, taking out Smackdown’s final three in quick succession when it came to the clutch.
With Roman Reigns gone for the foreseeable future and an anti-authoritarian storyline brewing against Baron Corbin, Strowman is set to be a major focal point on the red brand. He has passed his first test and will now just need to keep the momentum going into the new year.
It has been a crazy week for the former women’s champion but after putting Becky Lynch on the shelf, the self styled ‘Facebreaker’ is possibly the hottest heel on the roster.
Jax tends to run as hot and cold as a cheap motel shower but has her next heel run off to a strong start as the sole survivor of the women’s elimination match. Apparently she has a rematch against Ronda Rousey next and surely a match with Becky awaits, hopefully she just doesn’t start using the Knockout Punch.
WWE Costume Department
I guess there was a memo from the top “EVERYTHING MUST BE RED AND BLUE DAMMIT” because these guys came up with all sorts of ways of shoehorning the brands colours into their outfits.
There was the good of the checkerboard mix sported by Bayley and Sasha Banks or Seth Rollins now traditional half and half effort, the weird of Shinsuke Nakamura’s all blue skinsuit but as a martial arts fan, my personal favourite effort was Sonya Deville’s blue traditional Muay Thai skirt.
I don’t know what the WWE seamstresses get paid but they earnt their paycheck at Survivor Series.
Are fans turning on Ronda Rousey? She may have technically won but she received no love from the Los Angeles crowd who cheered her beatdown and sung ‘Hey, hey, hey, goodbye” as she left.
As The Eternal Optimist Dave Fenechel said in his preview of Becky v Rousey, this was Rousey’s first match against someone who wasn’t a safe bet to get booed and the crowd winded up turning on her just as he predicted they might. As they did with Roman Reigns for so long the commentators talked up the sympathy they have for Rousey however there was no denying the response the WWE’s biggest mainstream name was getting.
WWE crowds hate nothing more than a ‘chosen’ performer they deem unworthy of their cheers and Rousey has done nothing but win since she turned up. While Rousey has a gimmie coming up against the most hated women on the roster Nia Jax, the cat is out of the bag and WWE creative will have to be very careful they don’t let booing Rousey become a ‘done thing’.
I’m very torn with where to put Charlotte tonight. She gave Ronda one of the best matches of her short career, beat the former UFC champ to a bloody pulp in a wild beatdown and had the crowd cheering every single blow, however when it comes to it Charlotte still lost.
The mere fact that Flair v Rousey was taking place at Survivor Series at all is a sign that Charlotte has potentially fallen from number 1 to number 2 lady on Smackdown. This was once a match most of us had locked in for Wrestlemania and while it could still happen, fans are now hungering to see Rousey face The Man not The Queen on the biggest stage of the year.
Long term I have no fear Charlotte will fall too far below the pinnacle of the women’s division and the brutal beatdown she put on Rousey was very well received too. However at least in the short term Charlotte is being forced to share her once privileged position at the top and comes up on the losing side tonight.
Samoa Joe & Finn Balor
It is a sad thing when a guy as awesome as Samoa Joe becomes the traditional ‘surprise early fall’. Coming over to Smackdown after Mania this year it looked like Joe would have a chance to truly fulfil his potential as ‘The Destroyer’ away from the cluttered Raw main event scene. However after a four match feud with AJ Styles where he was beaten at every point and now this Joe is fast approaching the dreaded Ryback territory.
Joe always looks good but since his debut on the main roster has never been able to finish the job. Just pray he doesn’t slide further down the ladder.
Joe of course was followed out of the match by the man he beat for the NXT Championship two years ago, Finn Balor. While Balor was able to get his licks in and had a particularly fun back and forth with Rey Mysterio, he seems to be suffering from exactly the same problem. Whether it is being the Iron Man in the Royal Rumble, fighting in the Elimination Chamber, appearing in the Wrestlemania opener or being in Survivor Series elimination match he is always around, has his moments but most importantly never, ever gets any kind of momentum.
I love me some Mustafa Ali, as far as I’m concerned he is the WWE Network wrestler of the year by a mile. He has done nothing but put on TV match of the year contenders week after week this year but the fact remains that when it comes to championship matches he is now 0-2 this year.
He absolutely should be the Cruiserweight Champion but for whatever reason he has consistently been on the losing side of the ledger at the very top level. Sorry Mustafa, I just hope they are saving your win for Mania and I hope you losing with style will help open more fans eyes to the best weekly show on the Network 205 Live.
His team won the elimination match so I guess he just won his way into a match with Braun Strowman. Great job constable, have fun with that one.
When you talk about doing anything to get your team over the line Drake Maverick has got to be to of the pile at Survivor Series. In what is either a sign he is the heir apparent to Bobby Hennan and his weasel suit or that the WWE has taken on Adam Sandler as a creative consultant, Maverick provided the ultimate distraction for AOP by peeing his pants.
This list truly wouldn’t be complete without this entry and I’m honestly divided if this makes him a loser or a winner because his team did get the win but I’m gona go against that famous Billy Madison logic and say in the WWE ‘peeing your pants is not cool’.
Over to you LOP, who did you think were the biggest winners and losers at Survivor Serier? Let me know in the comments below, on Twitter @Sir_Samuel or go more in depth on the LOP Forums (you can sign up right here).
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