WWE Survivor Series 2016 Review

survivor series 2016 wwe lesnar goldberg

The 30th edition of WWE’s Survivor Series featured a series of Raw vs. Smackdown matches along with a huge main event between Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg in a rematch that was 12 years in the making.

The reason it was Raw vs. Smackdown again is because Smackdown moved to Tuesday nights in July 2016 to become Smackdown Live. That led to separate rosters for Raw and Smackdown, so it was another brand extension.

Survivor Series 2016 was in Toronto, which is two hours from me, so I went to it along with the NXT Takeover event one night earlier. I liked NXT Takeover more, but both shows were fun to attend live. I wrote this review a few days later. (I added updated thoughts in blue font in 2021 as well.)

Here’s a view from my seats in section 102 about 25 rows up.

Good seats. Not great, but I got them pretty late. I could see everything really well.

Here’s the DVD for the show.

WWE Survivor Series
Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario
October 31, 2016

The opening video package hyped up the “Fantasy Warfare” main event as well as the Raw vs. Smackdown Live matches.

Bayley made her entrance to start the show. The announce team for the match is Mauro Ranallo, John Bradshaw Layfield, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.

The other members of the Raw women’s team made their entrance as Alicia Fox got no reaction, Nia Jax got a bit of a reaction, Sasha Banks got a big ovation and Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte was booed with her buddy Dana Brooke at her side.

The Smackdown team entered led by their Women’s Champion Becky Lynch, Naomi, Alexa Bliss, Carmella and then it was supposed to be team captain Nikki Bella. There was no sign of Nikki. A camera showed her backstage looking down saying that she was attacked. Smackdown GM Daniel Bryan and a doctor was there to say he can’t clear Nikki. Natalya, the coach of the team, volunteered herself as a replacement. Natalya received a huge ovation from the Canadian crowd since she’s from Calgary.

Analysis: The story will likely be that Natalya attacked Nikki in order to replace her.

(It led to a feud between Natalya and Nikki.)

Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw (Charlotte, Alicia Fox, Nia Jax, Sasha Banks & Bayley w/Dana Brooke) vs. Team Smackdown Live (Becky Lynch, Carmella, Alexa Bliss, Naomi & Natalya)

Carmella started with Fox and hit a nice bronco buster in the corner. Lynch tagged in, so did Bayley, then Charlotte tagged herself in and then Banks tagged herself in. The Raw girls argued with eachother, so all ten women went in the ring to brawl with Jax shoving everybody down. When it settled down, Lynch hit arm drags. Lynch went for the armbar, but Charlotte got to the ropes. Jax tagged in, SD team people tagged in and Jax knocked them all down easily in succession. Fox tagged in, Carmella missed a bronco buster and Fox hit an axe kick to eliminate her. That kick didn’t look good. It seemed off.

Carmella eliminated by Alicia Fox

Bliss sent Fox into the ring post to knock her down. Bliss went up top hit the Twisted Bliss splash to eliminate her. She performs that move very well.

Alicia Fox eliminated by Alexa Bliss

Naomi was in there with Jax, sent her to the floor and hit a cross body block off the top onto Jax on the floor. The crowd was chanting “ten” while Jax was on the floor because we loved Tye Dillinger, a Canadian wrestler, at NXT Takeover one night earlier. Jax sent Naomi into the ring post and slammed her onto the floor outside the ring, so Naomi was counted out.

Naomi eliminated by countout

The SD girls worked on Banks, but Banks fought out of the corner with a knee to the face of Natalya. Banks hit her double knee in the corner move. Flying knee attack by Banks off the apron onto Natalya on the floor. Bliss got back in the picture, Banks nailed her with a forearm and Natalya did a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! to eliminate Banks.

Sasha Banks eliminated by Natalya

Analysis: Of course the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! had to make an appearance during this show.

Charlotte with some chops, but Natalya came back with a clothesline and German Suplex. Fans chanted “suplex city” for it. Charlotte went up top, but Natalya caught her with a sitout Powerbomb as Jax made the save. Natalya with a Sharpshooter and Charlotte crawled to the ropes. No sell by Charlotte as she hit a running boot to the face to eliminate Natalya.

Natalya eliminated by Charlotte

Lynch was in the ring, so Bliss tagged herself in. They shoved eachother. They went for a double suplex no Jax, but Jax came back with a double suplex on them. That was impressive. Jax had Bliss in her arms, so Lynch hit a missile dropkick. Lynch and Bliss went for a double DDT on Jax that didn’t look good at all. Lynch put the Disarmer submission on Jax and Jax tapped out.

Nia Jax eliminated by Beck Lynch

Analysis: That was a sloppy sequence. Blame it on Jax not selling well and also some of the moves the other women tried just didn’t look effective. I also thought it was dumb to have Jax tap out. She’s booked like a monster. If she loses have it be by disqualification or countout, not a submission or pin.

Jax tripped up Lynch and tossed her into the barricade. She rolled her back into the ring. Bliss tagged herself in. Charlotte hit a boot to the face of Bliss to eliminate her.

Alexa Bliss eliminated by Charlotte

It’s Charlotte and Bayley in a 2 on 1 scenario against Lynch. Lynch was on fire with her forearm and the Bexplex suplex. Lynch hit the Dublin Jam leg drop off the top rope for two as Bayley barely made the save. She was almost late with that. Bayley faced off with her friend Lynch. They exchanged forearms and Lynch hit an overhead Bexplex suplex for two. Bayley came back with a suplex. Lynch went for the Disarmer, Bayley grabbed the ropes and came back with the Bayley to Belly suplex to pin Lynch at 17:30.

Becky Lynch eliminated by Bayley

Survivors: Team Raw – Charlotte & Bayley

Analysis: **1/2 It was an okay match. Raw’s women won because they want to book Bayley strong and Charlotte never loses during PPV matches. I guess I should have remembered that when I picked Bayley and Jax to be the survivors in this match. A lot of times these matches are booked in a way where champions don’t look very strong, but Charlotte was put over huge here with her big boot causing multiple eliminations. Bayley got the decisive fall to give her more momentum.

After their hands were raised, Charlotte attacked Bayley with punches and ramming her head into the mat. Charlotte dumped her out of the ring and tossed her back first into the barricade. Charlotte sent Bayley into another barricade. Charlotte hit a big boot to put down Bayley again. Charlotte walked away with her title.

Analysis: Message sent by the champion. Charlotte vs. Bayley is the obvious next Women’s Championship feud although I get the feeling that Bayley won’t win the title until WrestleMania. I’m not sure if they can build it up and wait that long, but that’s what they should do.

(It was a solid match, but not that special. Charlotte attacking Bayley set that rivalry in motion although it really wasn’t a great feud.)

A commercial aired for the WWE 2K17 video game. A commercial aired for the WWE Story Time show coming to WWE Network.

James Ellsworth, the Smackdown team mascot, was shown walking backstage. Raw’s Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson walked up to him with both of them making chin jokes. Gallows told him to keep his chin up while Anderson noted that he can’t. Raw GM Mick Foley showed up with Anderson saying they’ll leave the “Chintensity” for the ring. Ellsworth marked out for Foley telling him about watching him over the years with stories of Foley getting hurt. Foley said Ellsworth proved that dreams come true and Ellsworth marked out about meeting him even though he was on Raw before. Braun Strowman walked up to him: “Don’t I know you?” Ellsworth ran away to end the segment.

Analysis: The last line by Strowman was funny because he beat Ellsworth in a squash match on Raw, which led to the unlikely popularity that Ellsworth has experienced since then.

(This was funny. Made me laugh at least.)

It’s IC Title match time with Cole, JBL, Otunga and Saxton calling the match. They are rotating different announcers for every match.

Intercontinental Championship: The Miz (w/Maryse) vs. Sami Zayn

If Zayn wins then the IC Title goes to Raw. He was cheered heavily by the Canadian crowd. Maryse is also Canadian, but was booed along with her husband The Miz.

Zayn was in control early on. Miz slowed things down by leaving the ring. They were outside the ring with Zayn hitting a moonsault off the barricade. Maryse yelled at Zayn, so Miz clipped the knee. Miz worked on the knee of Zayn as the announcers went over the credentials of Miz. Hard chops from Zayn. With Zayn punching him by the turnbuckle, Miz kicked the leg to knock Zayn down. Zayn with a boot to the face and then he sent Miz to the floor. Miz tripped him up and slammed Zayn’s left leg into the ring post two times. Miz kept working on the left knee and Zayn came back with a huge clothesline. Zayn clothesline sent Miz over the top to the floor followed by Zayn hitting a flip dive over the top to take out Miz. Back in the ring, Zayn hit a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Miz went for the Figure Four Leglock, Zayn got a cradle for two, Miz hit a DDT and that got him a two count. Miz hit three running dropkicks in the corner as a way to taunt Daniel Bryan and then he hit his corner clothesline. Zayn came back with a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. I like that move better than his finisher, but he only gets two counts with it. Zayn got a rollup for two. Exploder Suplex by Zayn into the turnbuckle. Zayn missed a Helluva Kick and Miz applied the Figure Four Leglock. Good drama here as Zayn turned it over and then they went to the ropes. Miz did some Daniel Bryan-yes like kicks. Zayn tripped him up and applied the Figure Four Leglock. Miz tried to fight it and then the ring bell started ringing. It was Maryse that did it as a distraction. Zayn let go because he thought he won, but the referee said it wasn’t over. Miz did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! and of course it was good enough to win the match at 14:05.

Winner by pinfall: The Miz

Analysis: *** A cheap win for the heel champion. Maryse has been a factor in a lot of Miz wins and she was a major factor again. Good job by Zayn selling the knee for much of the match. Miz was crafty with his offense. It’s not always easy to do a match with no story going into it, but I see why they chose Miz to defend against Zayn because of the heel finish.

(It was weird watching Sami as a face again because he has been a heel for so long now as I sit here in 2021. Sami was a great face, though. Anyway, just a cheap finish to have the Miz get the win here.)

As a side note, I’m glad the IC Title is still on Smackdown. I would have liked a Zayn win, but it’s better to keep the title on Smackdown while Raw has the US Title.

There was a backstage segment with AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose bickering about things. The grey-haired Smackdown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon showed up to tell them to focus. Ambrose left.

The entrances took place for the twenty guys in the Tag Team elimination match. I hit fast forward about ten minutes and got to the match.

The announcers for this match are Ranallo, Saxton, Graves and Otunga.

Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw (The New Day’s Big E and Kofi Kingston w/Xavier Woods), Sheamus and Cesaro, Enzo Amore and Big Cass, The Shining Stars (Primo and Epico), and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) vs. Team Smackdown (Heath Slater and Rhyno, The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley), American Alpha (Jason Jordan and Chad Gable), Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango), and The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso)

The rules are that if one member of the team is eliminated then his partner is eliminated as well.

Fandango was throwing out his tickets for fashion violations. He threw a bunch of them at Woods. Big E picked up Fandango and Kingston jumped off the top for the double team Big Ending to eliminate Fandango.

Fandango & Tyler Breeze eliminated by Kofi Kingston

New Day celebrated that elimination. Kofi turned around and Jimmy Uso crushed him with a huge superkick to eliminate them.

Kofi Kingston & Big E eliminated by Jimmy Uso

Analysis: That was a fast way to start the match. I was stunned by New Day being eliminated so early.

Ryder hit a flapjack on Epico. Rawley yelled duck to his team and did a bell clap slap to the head of Epico. Rawley hit a shoulder tackle to the knee of Epico. Shining Stars worked together on Rawley as the crowd chanted for Slater. Rawley nailed a cross body block on Anderson and tagged in Ryder. Knees to the face by Ryder followed by a missile dropkick on Anderson. Gallows saved Anderson from a Broski Boot so Ryder booted both guys on the floor. When going back in the ring, Anderson hit Ryder with a knee to the head, tag to Gallows and Magic Killer finished off Ryder.

Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley eliminated by Luke Gallows

The Raw guys worked on Gable for a bit as Primo nailed a splash to the back of Gable and Epico nailed a slingshot elbow drop for two. The crowd chanted for Slater again. At the show, he turned to the crowd and thanked them although it wasn’t shown on the broadcast. Epico hit three suplexes in a row on Gable. Primo missed a corner charge and Gable dumped Epico out of the ring. Jordan tagged in and Gable jumped off the top with an Avalanche Bulldog to eliminate Primo.

Primo & Epico eliminated by Jason Jordan

The final three teams on each side faced off. Slater & Rhyno battled with Enzo & Cass in the ring. Cass tossed Enzo over the top onto the guys outside the ring. Cass hit a running boot to Rhyno to send them both over the top. Slater went up top and hit a stage dive onto everybody on the floor. Sheamus knocked down Gable and Jordan hit a belly to belly suplex on Sheamus. Gable with an O’Connor roll into a German Suplex on Cesaro that was very impressive. Wow that was great. Jordan launched Gable over the top onto the other guys on the floor. Jordan ran the ropes, Gallows knocked him down, Anderson tagged in and G&A pinned Jordan with the Magic Killer.

Jason Jordan & Chad Gable eliminated by Karl Anderson

Analysis: That elimination upset me just because I picked American Alpha to win this match and thought they should have lasted much longer.

Slater was on offense against G&A, but Anderson stopped his momentum with a spinebuster. Fans chanted “He’s Got Kids” for Slater, which the announcers didn’t even acknowledge. The Raw guys worked on Slater for a bit until Gallows accidentally knocked Enzo off the apron. Rhyno tagged in, Gallows turned around and Rhyno hit a Gore to a thunderous ovation to eliminate Gallows.

Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson eliminated by Rhyno

Cass hit the big boot on Rhyno and Slater. Tag to Enzo, who went up top for the Boom Shaka Laka splash off the top to eliminate Rhyno.

Rhyno & Heath Slater eliminated by Enzo Amore

The Usos were the only team left for Smackdown Live against Enzo/Cass and Sheamus/Cesaro. Enzo nailed a punch on Jimmy, but Jimmy came back with a superkick. Jey tagged in and hit a Samoan Splash to eliminate Enzo.

Enzo Amore & Big Cass eliminated by Jey Uso

Sheamus hit the forearm shots on Jey as the crowd chanted “ten” for all of them while the announcers didn’t acknowledge it at all. Rolling senton by Sheamus on Jey. Enziguri kick by Jey to Sheamus, Jimmy tagged in and the Usos each hit a superkick on Cesaro after he pushed Sheamus out of the way. Sheamus with a Brogue Kick on Jimmy, but Jey made the save. Damn good action right there. Sheamus hit White Noise off the ropes for two. Jey hit a Samoan Splash off the top for two as Cesaro made the save. Cesaro got the hot tag with several uppercuts that connected on Jey. Dropkick by Cesaro on Jimmy sent him out of the ring followed by a 619 on Jey. Cesaro hit a cross body block off the top rope for a two count. The crowd really came alive for this. Cesaro did the Swing on Jey Uso while the crowd chanted “ten” for all of it. Jimmy hit a kick to the back of Cesaro’s leg and a dive took out Sheamus on the floor. Jey applied the Tequila Sunrise submission on Cesaro. Cesaro fought out of it, applied the Sharpshooter, which is always big in Canada and Jey tried to fight out of it. Cesaro pulled him back to the middle of the ring. Jimmy went for a superkick, but Sheamus knocked him out of the ring with a Brogue Kick. Sheamus saved Cesaro for the win. The match went 18:55.

Jimmy & Jey Uso eliminated by Cesaro

Survivors: Team Raw – Cesaro & Sheamus

Post match, Sheamus wanted a handshake from Cesaro. Sheamus walked away without shaking his hand. Both of them celebrated the win with the crowd fully behind Cesaro. After replays aired, Cesaro celebrated with some Hitman shades from a fan at ringside.

Analysis: ***3/4 That was a very good match at a fast pace, there were a bunch of quick eliminations and the last two teams really put on an entertaining finish. The New Day being out of the match early was a big surprise when it happened and it still is just because of their status as a top tag team. I know that you don’t have to protect champions in a match like this, but I figured they would do better than that. I enjoyed some of other quick elimination spots as well as the diving sequence on the floor. The crowd came alive for a lot of it, but were really into the bit with Cesaro & Sheamus against The Usos at the end.

(A really good match to showcase the tag team division at the time. The story worked with Cesaro & Sheamus as the unlikely team that ended up teaming together for a few years as The Bar.)

Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and GM Mick Foley were backstage celebrating their success so far. She said that Cesaro & Sheamus should get a Tag Team Title shot against New Day and Foley said the match will take place on Raw. Foley said it could be the worst night in history for one McMahon (Shane) and the best night for another (Stephanie). Foley said they are looking good.

A commercial aired for The Rock’s new Disney movie Moana.

Mauro Ranallo and Corey Graves were on the call for the Cruiserweight Title match since they are the 205 Live announcers for the new cruiserweight show.

A video package aired with Brian Kendrick, the Cruiserweight Champion, talking about how he’s smarter than others.

Cruiserweight Championship: Brian Kendrick vs. Kalisto

Kalisto sent Kendrick out of the ring early and hit a somersault dive over the top to the floor. Kendrick with a spin kick followed by a snap belly to back suplex for two. They each fought out of finishing move attempts and went for rollups that were unsuccessful. Kalisto with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors followed by a corner dropkick. Kendrick tripped up Kalisto and sent him headfirst into the turnbuckle. Kendrick kicked Kalisto while he was up against the ring apron. Loud “ten” chants for the ref count, but Kalisto rolled back in the ring. Kendrick hit a suplex for a two count. Chinlock from Kendrick. Kendrick drove the arm of Kalisto into the top rope. They battled on the apron with Kalisto shoving him into the post. Kalisto hit the Spanish Fly off the ring apron to the floor – it’s a combo Rock Bottom-moonsault. Crazy move that earned a bit of a “Holy Shit” chant from the crowd. That was impressive and earned a two count for Kalisto when they went back into the ring. Kendrick left the ring again, so Kalisto hit a suicide dive to take him out. Kalisto went up top, Kendrick went after him and Kendrick slammed him down right into the Captain’s Hook submission. Kalisto got his momentum back with a running knee in the corner, a rolling senton and a seated senton to the back of the neck of Kendrick. Snap rana by Kalisto followed by Salida del Sol earned a two count as Kendrick got his foot on the rope. Corbin went into the ring and hit Kendrick in the back of the head with a forearm shot causing the disqualification at 12:25. Corbin hit Kalisto with the End of Days. Corbin left up the ramp.

Winner by disqualification: Brian Kendrick

Post match, Kendrick cradled the Cruiserweight Title in his arms.

Analysis: **3/4 It was a good match technically, but the crowd never got into it because there was no story going into their match and the match before it was so good. The Spanish Fly move on the floor was one of the most impressive spots on this show and the only thing in this match that drew a big reaction. The interference from Corbin made people groan and bitch because it’s something that people don’t want to see with the cruiserweights. Having a big guy beating up the little guys is boring, yet we all know WWE is going to do that angle at some point.

(A fine match with a cheap ending to get heat on Corbin and have Kendrick barely hold onto his title.)

I’m glad that the Cruiserweight Title remains on Raw because I think it would have been tough to put it on Smackdown and give the matches the proper time they deserve.

The Kickoff Panel of Renee Young, Booker T, Lita and Jerry Lawler discussed the events of the show. I hit fast forward.

The announce team for the next match is Cole, JBL, Otunga and Graves.

The video package aired to set up Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown Live in the men’s five on five elimination match.

The intros took place for Team Smackdown Live. Their mascot James Ellsworth entered first. Huge ovation for Shane McMahon, who is the Commissioner of Smackdown Live. Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt entered together to the Wyatt Family song. The WWE Champion and team captain AJ Styles was up next. Even though he’s a heel, he received one of the loudest ovations of the night. Dean Ambrose was the last man up for Smackdown’s team and the crowd loved him as well. Nobody on Smackdown’s team was really booed much. Loud “AJ Styles” chant as the crowd waited for Team Raw to enter.

Team Raw intros started with Braun Strowman to a mild reaction. Seth Freakin’ Rollins was up next and he received a great ovation. The US Champion Roman Reigns made his entrance to loud boos. By far the most boos of anybody on this show. Chris Jericho was cheered heavily because he’s a Canadian wrestling God basically. Cole noted Jericho is 3-0 in Survivor Series elimination matches. Last man up was Universal Champion Kevin Owens, who is also a Canadian that the crowd loved even though he’s a heel.

Analysis: If this was your first time watching WWE you would think Reigns is the biggest heel in the company. Instead, he’s still booked like a face that gets booed.

Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Smackdown Live (AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt & Shane McMahon w/James Ellsworth) vs. Team Raw (Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns & Braun Strowman)

Styles faced off with Owens as the crowd cheered champion vs. champion matching up. Both guys missed moves early on to show how even it was. Fans chanted “stupid idiot” to bring in Jericho to a huge ovation. Owens hugged Jericho to a huge ovation. Running shoulder tackle by Jericho on Styles and Styles came back with a dropkick. Jericho tagged in Rollins, which gave us Rollins vs. Styles – a feud I would love to see one day. Styles brought in Ambrose, who wrestled Rollins many times this summer. They each teased finishers and got out of it to show they are so even. Jericho tagged, yelled at Ambrose for destroying his jacket that was worth $15,000 and Ambrose took him down with arm drags. Jericho came back with an enziguri kick. Jericho and Ambrose exchanged some hard slaps. Shane tagged in against Jericho, both of whom are in their mid-40s. Flying back elbow by Shane. Otunga mentioned the battle of the bulge and said he’s not talking about Owens’ stomach. I saw Owens rip Otunga on Twitter, which was well deserved. A dropkick by Jericho knocked down Shane. Rollins tagged in with a suplex on Shane. Reigns tagged in to boos as he hit corner clotheslines on Shane. Rollins got the tag with a punch off the top rope onto Shane. Ambrose and Owens tagged in with Ambrose hitting a running clothesline, but Owens came back with a clothesline of his own. Ambrose crushed Owens with a clothesline and hit a suicide dive on the floor although he barely connected with it. That looked weak. Back in the ring, Owens nailed Ambrose with a kick and Ambrose fought out of a Popup Powerbomb attempt. Jericho saved Owens from an attack, Strowman tagged in and all then guys stood in the ring.

The match turned into a fight with all ten guys going at it. Strowman caught Ambrose in his arms and Styles saved Ambrose with a forearm smash on Strowman. Owens went up top and hit a cannonball dive onto the guys on the floor. Shane went up top and he teased a dive, but Strowman shoved him down. Ambrose and Styles worked together to stun Strowman and Shane hit a clothesline to knock Strowman out of the ring. Ambrose with a clothesline on Rollins and Styles hit a Pele Kick on Reigns. Crowd chanted “AJ Styles” as he bickered with Ambrose. Ambrose took down Styles. Shane broke it up, but Styles hit Ambrose with a forearm in the back. Strowman hit a running Powerslam on Ambrose to eliminate him.

Dean Ambrose eliminated by Braun Strowman

Analysis: They went several minutes with no legal man in the ring, so if you want to bee critical you could say that they ignored the rules of the match. I don’t mind it because the action was so good.

Strowman hit a running splash on Shane in the corner. Styles went for an attack, but Strowman shoved him over the top to the floor. That was a nasty looking bump by Styles. Orton went for a RKO, but Strowman shoved him away. Bray Wyatt got in Strowman’s face. Jericho told Strowman that he’s the captain now (good movie reference). Strowman tossed down Jericho and attacked Wyatt with a running dropkick that sent him out of the ring. Strowman cleaned off the German announce table as Orton showed up with a RKO out of nowhere onto Strowman on the table, which didn’t break. Wyatt and Orton cleared off the English announce table. They put Strowman on the announce table. Shane McMahon slowly climbed the turnbuckle and jumped off the top with the flying elbow drop on Strowman through the table. It looked great and drew a huge ovation from the crowd. The replays of the spot showed how impressive of a leap it was. Loud “this is awesome” chants started up. After all of that, the ref finally started a count as Styles rolled Shane back in the ring. Strowman was legal for Raw, he was at ringside at the count of eight and nine, but he couldn’t get in the ring at ten. Strowman was counted out. It was Ellsworth holding the foot of Strowman to prevent him from going back into the ring.

Braun Strowman eliminated by countout

Strowman went after Ellsworth, who went up the ramp and did the comedic stumble. Strowman caught up to him and heaved him off the stage onto a nearby table. There were some pizza boxes there too.

Analysis: Big bump by Ellsworth. It was a way to protect Strowman by not having him get pinned or submit. He ended up looking strong because of what he did to Ellsworth.

Jericho and Owens worked on Shane with Owens hitting a running senton. Owens mocked the Shane O Mac dance leading to a two count. Jericho nailed a dropkick on Shane. They did a spot where Jericho hit a Lionsault and Shane got his knees up, but Jericho didn’t sell it. I’m not sure if it was something where they made a mistake on that spot. Jericho hit a Codebreaker on Shane, Orton went in the ring and Jericho hit a Codebreaker on him. That led to Jericho slowly going to cover Shane, who kicked out at two. Rollins tagged in, slammed Shane and Jericho missed a top rope splash on Shane, who moved. Styles got the tag with a fireman’s carry into a backbreaker on Jericho. Owens wondered if Styles can even see through that stupid hair. That was clever. Styles locked Jericho into the Calf Crusher submission, but Jericho fought out of it. Styles got a cradle for two. Styles nailed a running forearm on Owens, who was on the apron. Styles set up Jericho for the Styles Clash, but Owens ran into the ring with the List of Jericho clipboard and hit Styles in the back with it. The papers on The List were all around the ring. Owens hit a Popup Powerbomb on Styles as the referee disqualified Owens. The crowd hated that and some chanted “bullshit” for it.

Kevin Owens eliminated by disqualification

Analysis: The List is an object, so it warrants a disqualification. Crowd wanted to see more of Owens, though.

Jericho freaked out about The List being used, picked up the papers and Styles tagged in Orton. That led to Orton turning Jericho around and he hit a RKO to eliminate Jericho.

Chris Jericho eliminated by Randy Orton

Analysis: The Raw co-captains were eliminated within one minute of eachother.

Jericho retrieved his list from a referee and left. The two Raw guys left were Reigns and Rollins against four Smackdown guys.

Analysis: While at the show, I remarked to the guys seated near me that I thought Reigns and Rollins would win even in this 2 on 4 scenario. It didn’t happen, but I thought it was possible.

Orton with a powerslam on Rollins. Can we get a Curb Stomp counter into an RKO like at WrestleMania 31? Nope. Wyatt tagged in with a running splash on Rollins in the corner. Orton worked with Rollins in the corner and seated him on the top rope. Orton with a superplex on Rollins. Reigns got the tag with punches on Styles, he knocked Wyatt off the apron and hit a Samoan Drop on Orton. Reigns with a popup Samoan Drop on Styles, who he had a great feud with earlier this year. Reigns with a seated Powerbomb called a Niagara Driver by Graves earned a two count. Styles avoided a Superman Punch with a leaping kick to the head. Shane tagged in with a DDT on Reigns. Rollins missed a leaping attack, so Shane hit a clothesline and slammed Rollins down spinebuster style. Shane sent Reigns hard into the ring post. The crowd was standing because they knew what was coming. Shane climbed the top rope and went for the Coast to Coast dropkick across the ring. He jumped, Reigns got up and crushed Shane with a Spear. Wow! That was nasty to watch again. Reigns covered and Shane lifted his right shoulder up while Cole was yelling about how Shane was eliminated. Shane looked knocked out. The ref called for the bell saying that Shane was knocked out.

Shane McMahon eliminated by Roman Reigns

Doctors checked on Shane in the ring. Orton went over to one of Shane’s sons (and I think Shane’s wife was there) to tell them he’ll be okay. Good guy Randy. Fans chanted “Shane O Mac” as doctors helped him to the back.

Analysis: When it happened live I thought Shane was legitimately hurt because he hit his head so hard. Watching it on the broadcast is even more painful to watch. They didn’t botch it, but it was just a violent crash. Shane performed very well in this match with some big moments that we won’t forget. Shane appeared on Smackdown two days later, so he was fine even though he was likely hurting from the spot.

It’s 3 on 2 for the Smackdown guys as Wyatt hit a running back splash on Reigns. Fans chanted “Roman Sucks” as Reigns hit a clothesline on Wyatt, who he had many matches with. Rollins tagged in against Styles with a blockbuster off the ropes, a kick to the head and a flying knee attack off the top rope. Rollins sent Wyatt into the barricade with a suicide dive. Forearm smash by Rollins in the corner. The crowd chanted “Roman’s sleeping” because he was laying against the barricade. The announcers didn’t mention it as Rollins hit an enziguri kick while Styles was on the top rope. A “wake up Roman” chant started up. Rollins with a superplex into a Falcon Arrow for a two count as Orton made the save. Forearm shot by Orton blocked a suicide dive attempt from Rollins. Reigns saved Rollins with a punch to Orton. Rollins cleared off the German announce table and Reigns cleared off the Spanish announce table. Styles made the save with a running kick on Reigns. Styles went back in the ring to pose and Ambrose ran back down to the ring. Ambrose hit Styles in the back of the head with a clothesline. Ambrose pounded on Styles with punches. Other referees went to the ring to stop Ambrose as fans chanted “stupid idiot.” Ambrose sent Styles into the steps at ringside. Security guys showed up, but Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns beat them all up. The crowd cheered. The three former Shield guys all looked at eachother as Ambrose and Rollins held Styles. They hoisted Styles in the air and Reigns led the three man Shield Powerbomb on Styles through the table. Rollins rolled Styles into the ring and pinned him.

AJ Styles eliminated by Seth Rollins

Analysis: Great moment. I was sitting by this guy that hated Reigns that was marking out for this as much as anybody. It’s funny how the haters hate Reigns on his own, but when he’s with The Shield guys he is loved again.

The match is down to Reigns and Rollins side by side in the ring against Orton and Wyatt on the floor. Luke Harper showed up at ringside. He must have been under the ring. That distracted Roman and Seth, so the SD guys paired off with the Raw guys. Reigns sent Orton into the post, but Harper was there to send Reigns into the ring post and nailed a superkick. Rollins was on fire with a Slingblade on Wyatt and somersault dive over the top to the floor took out Harper on the floor. Rollins nailed Wyatt with a kick in the ring. Rollins went up top with a Frog Splash, but Orton greeted him with a RKO and Wyatt pinned Rollins for the elimination.

Seth Rollins eliminated by Bray Wyatt

Analysis: Great spot with Orton helping his buddy Bray again. I kept thinking that Orton might turn face against Bray, but it didn’t happen. Rollins had an incredible performance all night long.

The fans chanted “Let’s Go Smackdown” because they don’t like Reigns. Wyatt was in there with Reigns and Reigns hit a punch on Orton. Outside the ring, Reigns sent Wyatt into the barricade at ringside. Drive By dropkick by Reigns on Wyatt on the apron. Reigns hit a Spear on Harper on the floor. Back in the ring, Wyatt teased Sister Abigail and Reigns fought out of it with a Superman Punch. Reigns went for a Spear, but Orton shoved Wyatt out of the way so Reigns hit the Spear on Orton. Wyatt capitalized with Sister Abigail on Reigns and covered for the win at 52:55.

Roman Reigns eliminated by Bray Wyatt

Survivors: Team Smackdown Live – Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton

Post match, Wyatt posed with Orton and Harper.

Analysis: ****1/2 Wow. What an awesome match. They went nearly an hour-long making it the longest WWE match of the year, told so many different stories and gave us a memorable ending as well. I tried to comment on things as they happened because if I left it all for this space it would have been difficult. There were a lot of great spots with the Shield Reunion taking place, Strowman tossing Ellsworth off the stage and that Reigns spear on Shane that looked absolutely devastating. As for the result of the match, I’m happy that Smackdown won and hope it leads to a serious push for Wyatt although I have my doubts about that. I picked Reigns and Rollins to survive because both guys are pushed strong on the Raw side, but I’m happy to be wrong about it because of how the match turned out. This is one of the best Survivor Series elimination matches ever. While I wish there was more on the line and that the win meant more, in terms of match quality this was pretty damn good.

(It’s an awesome match. Definitely one of the best elimination tag team matches ever. Is it too long? Yeah, maybe a bit, but I think it’s really fun to watch if you have nearly an hour to get through it. The ending with Wyatt/Orton winning was part of their story to show they got along well, then Randy won Royal Rumble and Wyatt won the WWE Title a few weeks later in the Elimination Chamber match, so that led to those guys turning on eachother and having a bad match at WrestleMania. At least the story before WrestleMania was good!)

The Raw announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton set up the main event.

A video package aired for Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar. “Fantasy Warfare just got real” is the phrase they said repeatedly.

Brock Lesnar made his entrance to a good reaction. Some boos, but mostly cheers.

There were loud “Goldberg” chants before his music even hit. Once the music hit, the chanting continued. Goldberg emerged from his locker room, walked to the arena led by security and the crowd chanted “Goldberg” as they awaited his arrival. The pyro went off on the stage as Goldberg emerged through the smoke ready to kick ass. It was his first WWE match in over 12 years.

Analysis: My feeling from being in the building was that people in the crowd were ready for this match. The match before it was great, but the anticipation was high for this one.

The in-ring introductions took place from Jojo the ring announcer.

Bill Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman)

They had a long staredown. Lesnar picked up Goldberg by the legs. Goldberg shoved him backwards on his ass. When Lesnar got up, Goldberg crushed him with a Spear. Goldberg set up in the corner, Lesnar staggered back up to his feet and Goldberg hit another Spear. The crowd was going wild. Goldberg set up Lesnar for the Jackhammer and he dropped him with it. The match time was 86 seconds.

Winner by pinfall: Goldberg

There were shots of stunned fans in the crowd while the announcers freaked out about the shock of Goldberg beating Lesnar so quickly. Loud “Goldberg” chants from the crowd as Goldberg posed on the turnbuckle.

Analysis: 1/2* The rating doesn’t matter that much because it was such a quick match. It was a formula that worked for Goldberg when he was built up in WCW in 1997 and 1998, but it’s not what I expected to see from the nearly 50-year-old Goldberg against an opponent that is the status of Lesnar.

Goldberg went over to his son, wife and other family members at ringside. More ‘Goldberg” chants as Heyman was stunned in the ring along with Lesnar. There were replays of the Spears as we were reminded that he was the best guy ever at doing that move.

Goldberg brought his son into the ring. He took his shirt off even though his son didn’t seem thrilled about it. Smile, kid! Goldberg thanked the crowd and hugged his son. Goldberg walked up the ramp as the show came to a close.

The show ended with a run time of 3 hours, 26 minutes.

Analysis: I mention that last point because there were a lot of fans that were unhappy about the main event going under two minutes. I know it may not seem that way because of all the Goldberg chants, but trust me as people were emptying out of the ACC, there were some fans chanting “bullshit” because they wanted the show to go longer. Tickets were expensive for this event and when you’re told it’s going to run four hours for the PPV that’s what you expect. It went about 20 minutes shorter than what a lot of people were expecting.

The only thing I can compare the match finish to was Lesnar vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania 30 in 2014. I was at that show too. Most of us didn’t expect Lesnar to beat Undertaker just like most of us didn’t expect Goldberg to beat Lesnar in under two minutes. The difference is that Lesnar was the heel against Undertaker, so there wasn’t really a lot of cheering when Undertaker stayed down. In this case, there was a lot of cheering over the result since Goldberg is clearly positioned as the face in the match. In terms of shocking results, though, the only other match I can compare this to is Lesnar/Taker.

(I was shocked by the result. It would lead to the rematch at the next WrestleMania with Lesnar getting the win back, but I was definitely surprised they booked this match this way.)

Final Thoughts

It gets a 7.5 out of 10 from me.

I think that score is fair. There might be some people reading this that think I’m being “too nice” because I was there and that’s fair if you think that. I just think in terms of in-ring action there was a lot of good on this show and the main event left us with a moment that we will never forget.

I thought the men’s elimination and tag team elimination matches were the highlights of the event when it comes to the performances in the ring.

My predictions for this event were horrible. I can admit that. I usually do much better with them, but I was off the whole show. That doesn’t make me like or dislike a show more. I think being unpredictable is better anyway.

Five Stars of the Show

1. Seth Rollins
2. Bray Wyatt
3. Randy Orton
4. Cesaro
5. Goldberg

That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.


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John Canton


Twitter @johnreport