WWE Survivor Series 2017 Review
The 31st edition of WWE Survivor Series took place in 2017 with WWE once again relying on the Raw vs. Smackdown format for the card.
The main matches will see Universal Champion Brock Lesnar face WWE Champion AJ Styles and five Raw superstars face off with five Smackdown stars in men’s and women’s elimination tag team matches.
This review was written live when it took place in 2017.
WWE Survivor Series
November 19, 2017
Toyota Center in Houston, Texas
The opening video package aired hyping up the key matches and the Raw vs. Smackdown theme of the show.
There was a shot of the live crowd in Houston. It looks full this time unlike at NXT Takeover one night earlier.
The New Day trio of Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods made their entrance. Big E dumped cereal on some fans like usual. They’re wearing their UpUp DownDown video game channel gear.
The New Day did a promo on their way to the ring with Woods saying they would prove they were the most dominant faction in WWE. Kingston said “bravo” to Raw for taking three weeks to steal Smackdown’s idea and couldn’t do it as well as they did. Big E said it’s a dog eat dog world and very soon when WrestleMania season starts creeping up, either Roman, Seth or Dean will bite the other. Big E said there’s no greater brotherhood in WWE than The New Day and that’s because…New Day Rocks.
Analysis: It’s a four-hour show. Plenty of time for a pre-match promo. They make a good point about being a cohesive unit and a brotherhood.
A video package aired showing all the Raw vs. Smackdown issues in the last month.
Analysis: Bathroom break early. Thanks WWE.
The five announcers were calling the action from the side of the stage. It’s Michael Cole, Booker T, Corey Graves, Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton. Graves works on both shows, so of course he’s sitting in the middle.
Analysis: Five announcers calling the show is not going to be easy for them. It may not be good for us either.
The Shield trio of Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins made their entrance through the crowd like usual. Great ovation for them.
The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose) vs. The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods)
Rollins and Ambrose are wearing the half Raw/half Shield t-shirts while wrestling. Reigns was just going with a vest look. Ambrose slapped Kingston and they tagged out. Rollins clothesline on Woods. Big E and Roman Reigns got a chance to lock up with Big E hitting a shoulder tackle. Reigns came back with a back elbow. Big E ran the ropes and Reigns hit a Samoan Drop for two. Kingston and Ambrose tagged in with Ambrose hitting a clothesline on Kingston. The Shield did a three-man clothesline that sent Big E and Kingston out of the ring. Reigns was booed a bit when he was in there, but not that loud as Reigns hit a clothesline on Woods. Rollins tagged in with a punch off the top rope. Ambrose clothesline, Rollins knee drop and Ambrose elbow drop earned a two count on Woods. Kingston got the tag and was on fire with a dropkick as well as a running clothesline on Ambrose. Boom drop leg drop by Kingston on Ambrose. That led to Ambrose nearly hitting Dirty Deeds, but Kingston drove him into the corner and Big E pounded Ambrose in the corner. The New Day trio did their unicorn stampede stomp on Ambrose in the corner. Booker wanted the ref to do something about it, but the announcers correctly told him it’s legal since they were tagging out. Ambrose broke free by avoiding a Kingston attack and hit a clothesline on Big E. Woods tagged in to keep Ambrose in the corner. New Day did the unicorn stampede again and Booker said they were running out of material. Rollins and Reigns had enough, so they attacked the guys on the apron. Ambrose hit a suicide dive to take out Woods on the floor. Ambrose was on the apron, so Big E hit a Spear to take him out as they went crashing to the mat.
They went back into the ring with Big E taking off Ambrose’s t-shirt, so Ambrose was wearing a black tank top. Big E back elbow on Ambrose for a two count. Woods slapped on an armbar and you can see Ambrose talking to him to set up the next spot. Woods hit Ambrose with a headbutt to prevent a tag. Ambrose slammed Woods down as they battled on the top rope. Big E tagged in with a belly to belly tease off the top, but Ambrose fought it off and Ambrose hit a missile dropkick. Kingston tagged in, knocked Reigns off the apron and Ambrose tagged in Rollins. That led to Rollins on fire with a blockbuster followed by the Slingblade for a two count on Kingston. Woods was legal again, Reigns got the tag, Rollins sent Woods into the corner with a Buckle Bomb and Reigns hit a hard leaping clothesline on Woods for a two count. Woods avoided a Superman Punch from Reigns and Woods got a rollup for two. They had a nice exchange that ended with Reigns hitting a Superman Punch. Crowd was cheering. Reigns charged, Woods kick to the face, Ambrose tag in, Big E tag in and Big E hit a belly to belly suplex on Reigns. Big E and Ambrose went at it, but Rollins got in there with kicks for Big E and Kingston. Rollins hit his knee to the face and Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds on Kingston for a two count as Woods made the save. Rollins knocked Woods down with a superkick. Rollins told his teammates to end it now. Reigns and Ambrose sent Big E into the barricade. They sent Kingston into the other barricade on the other side of the ring. Shield went for the Powerbomb, but Big E got back up to send Reigns into the steel steps. Woods nailed a kick on Ambrose. Kingston nailed a running kick on Reigns on the floor. Big E sent Ambrose into the turnbuckle while Kingston and Woods kicked Ambrose in the head at the same time. Woods had Big E on his shoulders, Kingston jumped over them and hit a splash. Big E also hit a splash. That was unique! Big E managed to get Seth and Dean on each of his shoulders. That led to Kingston and Woods jumping off the ropes with a double Midnight Hour. Another really cool spot. Reigns hit a Spear on Big E to break up the pin. All six guys were down. Crowd loved all of this as did I.
All six guys got back to their feet on opposite sides and it became a slugfest. Rollins hit Woods with his knee to the face on one side of the floor. Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds on Big E on the other side of the floor. Kingston missed an attack on Reigns in the ring, so Reigns hit a Spear on Kingston. All three Shield guys were in the ring. Reigns sat on the turnbuckle. Rollins and Ambrose hoisted Kingston up and Reigns delivered the triple Powerbomb off the ropes. Ambrose covered Kingston for the pinfall win at 21:20.
Winners by pinfall: The Shield
Analysis: **** Excellent tag match that was four stars out of five. The outcome was obvious to anybody that watches WWE regularly because we all knew they weren’t going to have The Shield lose in their second match on TV (they won last Monday on Raw too). I liked how they did some cool spots like the double splash spot by The New Day that we haven’t seen before. There was also that cool moment where they reset the match as everybody went back into their corners and that set up the obvious finish with The Shield getting the win. It was an exciting match from start to finish. Nice job by everybody involved. I expected an awesome match and a long match, which it was. Glad they got time to do their thing like that.
The Shield celebrated the win. A scoreboard said Raw 1 – Smackdown 0, so I guess WWE is going to keep track this year.
A commercial aired for some animated movie called Ferdinand starring John Cena, who talked about the movie.
There was a shot of Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon in a red Raw dress as she gave a pep talk to the Raw women’s team. She said that last year Raw’s women’s team won and they are going to do it again. Stephanie gave a pep talk to each individual woman on the team. When Stephanie got to Alicia Fox last, she said she had her doubts about her, but after seeing her last Tuesday she has no more doubts and she is so proud of her. Stephanie fired them up and off they went.
Analysis: Good way to put over the “us vs. them” story.
The Smackdown women’s team made their entrances individually: Captain Becky Lynch, Carmella, Natalya as a replacement for Charlotte Flair, Tamina with Lana and Naomi.
The Raw women’s team was led by Alicia Fox as they showed a clip of the Raw women attacking Smackdown’s women this past Tuesday. Fox was wearing a hat that was like a holiday gift basket. Bayley was up next followed by Sasha Banks, Nia Jax and then Asuka was last as expected.
All Smackdown women had blue SD Live gear on and all Raw women had red Raw gear on.
Women’s Elimination Match: Team Smackdown – Becky Lynch, Carmella, Natalya, Naomi & Tamina (w/Lana) vs. Team Raw – Alicia Fox, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Nia Jax & Asuka
Lynch started with Fox since they are the captains. Lynch won that battle as she hit a leg drop off the top rope for a two count. Lynch got a Bexploder on Fox. Bayley tagged in without Becky seeing it and Bayley did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Lynch to eliminate her.
Becky Lynch eliminated by Bayley
Analysis: The dreaded ROLLUP OF DEATH~! strikes early.
Natalya worked over Bayley for a bit. Tamina tagged in against Bayley and that led to Asuka tagging in against Tamina. Fans cheered loudly for Asuka as she kicked and punched Tamina repeatedly. Bayley back in, but she was met with a punch from Tamina to stagger her back into the SD corner. Bayley sent Natalya into the turnbuckle. Bayley with a neckbreaker on Naomi using the ropes as an assist. The SD team made a lot of quick tags. Bayley tried to fight out of the corner, but Carmella nailed Bayley with a superkick. Tamina was legal and she hit a Superfly Splash off the top to eliminate Bayley.
Bayley eliminated by Tamina
Nia Jax went into the ring for a face off with Tamina as the crowd cheered their staredown. They had an exchange of headbutts because Samoans tend to no sell those if you know your wrestling history. Jax took off her Raw shirt (she had her leather gear underneath) and hit a running splash in the corner. Jax hit a running cannonball on Tamina for a two count. Tamina tried a Samoan Drop, but she couldn’t get Jax up. Jax picked up Tamina, Lana on the apron and Jax knocked Lana off the apron. Tamina hit two superkicks that sent Jax out of the ring. Naomi hit a cross body block over the top onto Jax on the floor. Tamina nailed another superkick on Jax on the floor. Tamina went onto the ring steps and jumped onto Jax to take her down. Tamina went back in, so Jax was eliminated by countout.
Nia Jax eliminated by Countout
Analysis: The countout elimination protects Jax from being pinned and doesn’t make her look that weak.
Fox nailed Naomi with a kick to the head. They messed up some spot, but then they went back to it with Fox hitting a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Naomi rolled up Fox and the ref counted to three even though the girls didn’t think that was it.
Alicia Fox eliminated by Naomi
Analysis: That was sloppy. There was definitely a mistake in there.
Sasha Banks in the ring, Bank Statement on Naomi and Naomi tapped out easily.
Naomi eliminated by Sasha Banks
Asuka worked over Carmella with her usual array of strikes. Asuka hit a running hip attack on Carmella for a two count. Carmella took control with a hair whip followed by a bronco buster in the corner. Asuka fired up against Carmella with a knee to the face and a kick to the head leading to her pinning Carmella.
Carmella eliminated by Asuka
It’s down to 2 on 2. Banks and Natalya had a slap exchange. Natalya nailed the discus clothesline for a two count. Running dropkick by Banks. Double knees in the corner by Banks on Natalya in the corner. Banks slapped on the Bank Statement submission and Tamina was there to break it up. Natalya got a rollup on Banks for a two count. Natalya sent Banks face first into the middle turnbuckle. Natalya slapped on the Sharpshooter on Banks, Tamina knocked Asuka off the apron and Banks tapped out.
Sasha Banks eliminated by Natalya
It’s Asuka for Raw vs. Natalya and Tamina for Smackdown. Natalya and Tamina hit a double suplex on Asuka as the fans cheered for Asuka. Powerslam by Tamina. Slam by Tamina near the corner. Tamina went up top, she jumped off for a splash and Asuka moved. Asuka slapped on an armbar on Tamina’s right arm and Tamina tapped out.
Tamina eliminated by Asuka
It’s Asuka for Raw vs. Natalya for Smackdown. When Natalya went for a Sharpshooter, Asuka went for a knee bar submission. Natalya got out of that and Asuka nailed a spin kick to the face. Asuka hooked Natalya’s arms and slammed her. Asuka slapped on the Asuka Lock and Natalya gave up to give Asuka the win for her team at 18:35.
Natalya eliminated by Asuka
Winner and Sole Survivor: Asuka (Team Raw)
Analysis: **3/4 It was solid with the crowd firmly behind Asuka from the moment the match started. They wanted to see her kick ass, so of course that’s what she did. The spot with Fox and Naomi was messed up. I’m surprised the crowd didn’t boo it because a lot of crowds would react to it in a negative way. It was a predictable match (just like the opener) because they are not going to book Asuka to lose a match like that. Asuka eliminated three people and got rid of the final two easily. It makes her look like a badass. I thought the match could have been better.
Asuka celebrated the win with the crowd cheering her.
That means it 2 for Raw and 0 for Smackdown so far.
A commercial aired for WWE Network. It’s so weird seeing them advertise their content and there’s hardly anything new. It’s just older stuff because they have budget cuts, so there’s not that much new content.
Stephanie McMahon from Raw and Daniel Bryan from Smackdown were in the “office” talking about what happened. Bryan said they got John Cena and Stephanie wondered how they got Cena whether it’s because of Angle or because Bryan is almost brothers in law with Cena. Stephanie said that was nepotism, so Bryan questioned Triple H on Team Raw and he mentioned beating Triple H at WrestleMania. Bryan said that he got to beat The Authority in one night. They continued the trash talk with Steph talking about the attack on Smackdown and how awesome it was. Bryan said that Shane is going to be fired up and that’s why Smackdown will win. Stephanie said that Shane won’t be 100% percent and if Shane is too injured to compete then Bryan would be left with full autonomy over Smackdown. She left while Bryan was left to ponder that.
The United States Champion Baron Corbin made his entrance wearing the Smackdown Live shirt. Clips aired of his Twitter trash talk with Miz.
There was a shot of the Spanish and German announce teams at ringside. They said “read TJRWrestling.net” and “don’t break our tables you jerks.”
Intercontinental Champion The Miz made his entrance with Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas by his side. There was a shot of The Miz’s pregnant wife Maryse at ringside sitting in the crowd. They are having a baby girl. A clip aired of The Miz doing his Twitter trash talk.
United States Champion Baron Corbin vs. Intercontinental Champion The Miz (w/Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas)
Corbin was aggressive early on. He trash-talked Maryse at ringside. Miz fired back by attacking him at ringside. Corbin nailed Miz with a boot that knocked him off the apron. Corbin drove Miz back first into the barricade. They went back into the ring with Miz kicking Corbin in the knee. Miz pulled down the apron, so Corbin went over the top to the floor. Axel is wearing a red neckbreaker by the way, which is funny. When Corbin was on the apron, Axel was on the other side of the ring distracting the ref and Dallas hit the back of Corbin’s leg with a forearm shot. Miz worked stomped away on the left leg on Corbin. Miz slapped on the Figure Four Leglock submission. Corbin managed to get to the ropes easily. Corbin hit the Deep Six slam for a two count. Miz kept going for the knee, but Corbin fought out. Miz sent Corbin to the floor, then Corbin punched Axel and a clothesline for Miz. Corbin tossed Dallas into the ring and hit the End of Days slam on him. Miz rollup got a two count. Miz avoided the End of Days, kick to the knee and snap DDT for Miz got a two count. Miz hit his kicks to the chest. Miz went for his corner attack, Corbin stopped it and hit the End of Days slam for the pinfall win at 9:35.
Winner by pinfall: Baron Corbin
Analysis: **1/4 It was a decent match that had some issues in terms of getting the crowd into the match. Tough for both guys because they are both heels, so the crowd didn’t have anybody to root for. They didn’t side with Miz as much as I thought they were going to. The finish was well done. I’m not surprised that they got under ten minutes because in a heel vs. heel match there’s no reason for them to go longer without the crowd getting into the match more. I picked Corbin to win because Miz is a bigger star, so having Corbin win makes him look better.
That win means it’s 2 for Raw and 1 for Smackdown.
Corbin was interviewed in-ring by Renee Young. Corbin said that his hand went up and Miz’s mouth went closed. Corbin said everybody in this arena and everybody watching at home, he just shut our mouths too. Corbin left with his US Title.
A commercial aired for Smackdown’s Clash of Champions on December 17 featuring Charlotte Flair.
A Kay’s Jewellers video aired with Bayley helping a fan pick out a ring for a girl he wants to propose to. They did last year too. They had a moment where Steven proposed to Valerie in an empty WWE arena as Bayley and others cheered them on.
Analysis: They did that last year too with a couple. Good luck to them in their future marriage endeavors.
Paul Heyman was interviewed by Charly Caruso outside of Brock Lesnar’s locker room. Heyman said that a lot of things about this night are phenomenal, but then what happens is the bell rings and AJ Styles will realize he’s in the ring for a fight. Heyman got all serious talking about how Brock Lesnar was going to win.
Sheamus and Cesaro, the Raw Tag Team Champions, made their entrance first. Sheamus has the mohawk looking even bigger than normal with some sort of extensions on it.
Jimmy and Jey Uso, Smackdown’s Tag Team Champions, entered with a promo about “bars” since they are facing The Bar.
Analysis: It’s another heel vs. heel match. The Usos may get cheered if either team does.
Raw Tag Team Champions Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)
Sheamus hit a shoulder tackle on Jimmy early on. Cesaro and Sheamus worked on Jey for a bit. Jimmy got a kick to the back of Sheamus. Cesaro hit an uppercut on Jey to knock him down. Jimmy with a suicide dive took out Cesaro on the floor. Sheamus hit Jimmy with a rolling senton on the floor. Back in the ring, Sheamus hit a clothesline off the top rope for a two count. Sheamus and Cesaro did the double kick to the chest of Jimmy followed by a headlock that kept Jimmy grounded. The announcers were bickering about something I didn’t pay attention to. There’s too many of them. Running clothesline by Sheamus in the corner on Jimmy followed by a backbreaker for a two count. Cole climbed that Sheamus is underrated while mentioning his credentials. Cesaro kicked Jey off the apron, so Jimmy couldn’t tag out. Uppercut by Cesaro on Jimmy and Sheamus covered for a two count. Jimmy managed to break free and the crowd got behind him as he tagged in Jey against Cesaro. Jey hit a leaping clothesline on Cesaro, punch to the head and a Samoan Drop. Jey missed the running hip attack in the corner because Cesaro moved and Cesaro hit an uppercut. Jey hit a back body drop that sent Cesaro into the turnbuckle. Jey connected with the running hip attack in the corner for two. Jey held up Cesaro and Jimmy hit a superkick for a two count after Jimmy took out Sheamus by tackling him to the floor. Sheamus sent Jimmy into the barricade. Jey was on the top distracted by that, so Cesaro hit an uppercut to stun him. Sheamus tripped up Jey, Cesaro with the Swing and Cesaro slapped on the Sharpshooter on Jey. Jimmy went back in the ring and Sheamus nailed a Brogue Kick on him. Jey managed to break the hold by crawling to the bottom rope. Sheamus kicked Jey while Cesaro distracted the ref and Cesaro hit a clothesline for two. Sheamus tagged in, Jey rollup and Jey avoided an attack leading to Sheamus hitting shoulder first into the ring post. Sheamus caught Jey and Cesaro tagged in with the double team White Noise for two as Jimmy made the save. Sheamus and Cesaro sent Jimmy into the middle turnbuckle to send him out of the ring. Cesaro picked up Jey while Sheamus was on the top and Jey ended up giving Sheamus a Samoan Drop off the top. Great move. Jimmy kicked Cesaro out of the ring and Jey covered Sheamus for a two count. Fans chanted “this is awesome” for it. Jey hit a kick to Sheamus to finally tag out and bring in Jimmy.
Jimmy and Jey hit a double superkick on Cesaro after Cesaro pushed Sheamus out of the ring. Two more superkicks for Sheamus and a double team superkick by The Usos on Sheamus. Jimmy hit a dive over the top onto Cesaro on the floor and Jey hit a top rope splash on Sheamus. Jey covered Sheamus for the pinfall win. It went 15:50.
Winners by pinfall: The Usos
Analysis: ***1/2 Very good tag match as you would expect from quality teams like these guys. It was a bit weird to watch because the crowd wasn’t firmly behind either side since they are both heels. The crowd was too quiet at times for that reason, but they really got the fans behind them after that top rope Samoan Drop. Jimmy was on fire after the hot tag. I liked a lot of the near finishes as well. That was my first incorrect prediction because I went with the Raw guys winning, but I have no problem with The Usos going over. Both teams are very good and I think The Usos are the better of the two, so having them win makes a lot of sense. Plus it was all about evening things up on the show.
The win by The Usos means it is 2 for Raw and 2 for Smackdown.
Jason Jordan was interviewed by Charly Caruso in the interview area. He said he’s collected his thoughts and he feels terrible that he may never get to compete with his dad Kurt Angle. Jordan says that he’s 100% healed and 100% behind his teammates. She asked if that includes Triple H. Jordan said he hopes Triple H is eliminated and then Raw goes on to victory.
Analysis: Planting those seeds, Jason. Good job of teasing something for down the road.
There was a shot of hip-hop star Travis Scott at ringside. I don’t know him, but good seats for him.
They mentioned Survivor Series 2018 is going to be in Los Angeles, which was in the news in the last week.
The announcers set up Alexa Bliss vs. Charlotte Flair with a clip of Charlotte winning the SD Women’s Title from Natalya on Smackdown this week.
Charlotte Flair made her entrance as the Smackdown Women’s Champion.
The international announcers were shown in the arena: Portuguese, Russian, Japanese (hi Funaki), Hindi, French and Mandarin.
Alexa Bliss made her entrance as the Raw Women’s Champion.
Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss
It was a physical match early on. They battled on the apron with Bills pulling down Charlotte by the arm and Charlotte landed hard on the floor. When Charlotte got back in the ring, Bliss kicked her out of the ring. Bliss with a running dropkick that sent Charlotte into the steel steps. Bliss slapped on an armbar as she remained in control. Charlotte managed to get a rollup, Bliss kicked out and Charlotte bumped into the middle turnbuckle. Charlotte managed to get some offense with an overhead release suplex that sent Bliss going leg first into the turnbuckle. Charlotte went up top for a moonsault, Bliss tripped her up and Bliss hit a running dropkick to the ribs. Bliss went up top, knees to the back and a flip into knees to the ribs for a two count. Bliss went for a sunset flip, Charlotte powered out and Bliss hit a hurricanrana for a two count. Bliss managed to hit the flipping sunset flip into a pin for a two count. Charlotte got some chops in as the crowd chanted “WOO” to show they are awake for this math they have been quiet for. Bliss slapped on a guillotine headlock submission. Charlotte powered out of it and hit a sitout Powerbomb for a two count. The crowd woke up with a “Let’s go Charlotte/Let’s go Bliss” chant. Charlotte went for her Figure Eight, but Bliss nailed a forearm to break it up. Both women were down. Charlotte hit the Natural Selection neckbreaker and covered for a two count. Best nearfall of the match.
Charlotte went up top for the moonsault, she jumped off and Bliss moved out of the way. Bliss covered Charlotte for the two count. They did a spot in the corner with Bliss hitting a DDT for two as Charlotte got her right leg on the bottom rope to force the break. Bliss yelled at her and told her to give up. Charlotte shoved Bliss into the ropes and hit a Spear when Bliss bounced off the ropes. That didn’t look that good because there was very little room to do the move. Bliss hit a running dropkick to the ribs of Charlotte with the story being that Charlotte’s ribs were hurting. Bliss stomped on the back of Charlotte. Bliss went up top, took way too long and missed Twisted Bliss as Charlotte got her knees up to block it. Charlotte hit a running boot to the face that didn’t look like it came close to connecting. Charlotte slapped on the Figure Eight submission and Bliss tapped out at 15:01.
Winner by submission: Charlotte Flair
Analysis: *** It was slow early on to the point that the crowd didn’t react to anything they did other than Charlotte’s chops, but the crowd got into it. Story of the match was about Bliss working over Charlotte’s ribs for most of it. If they shaved off about five minutes, it may have been a better match because the crowd didn’t care about all of it. Part of the problem is no storyline, so people didn’t care enough. The last five minutes were really good after Charlotte missed the moonsault, Bliss missed her Twisted Bliss move off the top and they went into the finish soon after. Charlotte was my pick to win because I figured they would want her to have momentum coming out of the last Smackdown where she just won the title.
The win means that Smackdown leads Raw 3 to 2.
A video aired for Clash of Champions – a Smackdown PPV – on December 17.
There was a shot of Houston Astros outfielder Josh Reddick at ringside with two titles on his shoulders. He’s a big WWE fan and the Astros just won the World Series a few weeks ago, so of course, the people loved him.
Brock Lesnar vs. AJ Styles is up next. A video package aired to tell their story.
AJ Styles, the WWE Champion, made his entrance to a huge ovation. Styles had on a Smackdown Live blue shirt like everybody else on Smackdown. When he got into the ring, they showed a clip of Jinder Mahal doing a pre-tape promo about how he wants Smackdown to win, but wants Lesnar to beat up Styles and he wants his WWE Title back.
Brock Lesnar, the Universal Champion, made his entrance with Paul Heyman. If you’re wondering, no red Raw shirt for Lesnar like nearly everybody else that has been in these Raw vs. Smackdown matches. That’s no surprise. Good reaction for both men.
They did the pre-match introductions while both guys were in the ring. Jojo did the intro for AJ Styles while Paul Heyman introduced Brock Lesnar. Each man held up their titles.
Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. WWE Champion AJ Styles
There was an “AJ Styles/Suplex City” chant to start the match. Lesnar drove Styles into the turnbuckle and tossed him across the ring. Lesnar tossed Styles across the ring again. Lesnar hit an overhead belly-to-belly suplex that sent Styles across the ring. Fans did the chant for both guys again. Lesnar picked up Styles around the waist and hit a release German Suplex. Lesnar tossed Styles over the top to the floor. That was a rough landing for Styles. Lesnar left the ring and he whipped Styles into the side of the announce table at ringside. Back in the ring, Lesnar hit another release German Suplex for Styles. Lesnar continued his offense with a running knee to the face. Lesnar told Styles to fight him. Styles tried to attack, but Lesnar avoided it and Lesnar punched him hard in the chest. Styles finally got going with some punches and chops, but Lesnar stopped him with a knee to the gut. Lesnar wanted an F5, Styles avoided it, Lesnar missed a knee attack in the corner, Styles kicked the knee and Styles hit a DDT. The fans chanted for Styles as Styles kicked the legs of Lesnar. Kick to the head by Styles. They did a spot where Styles tried a moonsault, Lesnar caught him and sent him into the corner. Styles went for a Tornado DDT, but Lesnar shoved him off. That may have been a slip, but it looked good. Both guys were down and Styles hit a Pele Kick to the back of the head that Lesnar sold well. Styles went to the apron, jumped off and Lesnar hit a German Suplex with Styles landing over on his stomach. Lesnar tried a punch, but Styles managed to dump over the top to the floor. Styles did a slingshot dive over the top into a forearm smash on Lesnar on the floor. Styles continued the attack on the floor by running, jumping off the ring steps and hitting a forearm to the face.
They went back into the ring, Lesnar hit a punch and Styles came back with an enziguri kick. Styles hit a moonsault off the middle ropes. Styles went to the apron and hit a Springboard 450 Splash for a two count. The announcers noted that it was the first cover attempt of the match 12 minutes into it. Styles teased the Styles Clash, Lesnar teased the F5 and Styles countered into the Calf Crusher submission. The crowd was going wild for this. Styles pulled on the leg of Lesnar while Lesnar was screaming in pain. Lesnar fought out of it by ramming Styles’ head into the mat several times. Nice spot. The crowd was really into this. Both guys got back to their feet, Styles hit a kick to the head and Styles hit the Phenomenal Forearm for a two count. Awesome nearfall. The crowd was going crazy here. Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm again, Lesnar caught him on his shoulders, Lesnar was selling his left knee injury by limping and Lesnar hit the F5. Lesnar covered to win at 15:31.
Winner by pinfall: Brock Lesnar
Analysis: ****1/2 Excellent match. Lived up to the hype as a fight between the best of the best. That’s the best singles Lesnar match since SummerSlam 2013 with CM Punk. Styles is such an amazing performer. He brings out the best in anybody and always puts on the best matches any time he’s in a big match on a PPV. They had a lot of cool moments throughout the match with the crowd getting louder the entire show. There were so many parts of the match that I loved. Lesnar was dominant for the first seven minutes or so. When Styles finally got control, it was when Lesnar hurt the knee and Styles worked on it relentlessly. When Styles did the Calf Crusher, the fans went wild for it because it looked like it might end it. Lesnar fought out of that. Lesnar also had some great kickouts. It would have been nice if Styles kicked out of the F5 at the end, but I don’t mind that it ended the match with one F5 because it puts it over as a deadly move. Lesnar selling that knee on the F5 is also awesome to see because it shows how the story of the match affected the finish with Lesnar looking like he was in pain. Fantastic match. Styles kills it on another PPV and Lesnar reminds us of how great he can be.
The win by Lesnar means that Raw has 3 wins and Smackdown has 3 also.
Lesnar sat in the ring for a while staring at Styles as a sign of respect. Lesnar slowly got out of the ring. Lesnar was favoring his left knee because he was selling the attack by Styles. Styles was selling in the ring as the announcers put over Lesnar’s performance.
Analysis: A post match handshake out of respect would have been cool since they are both faces, but that’s okay. I loved it. No knee injury for Lesnar if you’re wondering. He was just selling.
A commercial aired for WWE 365, a new WWE Network show focusing on the last year of Kevin Owens’ career.
A video package aired to set up the Raw vs. Smackdown men’s elimination match.
Team Raw was up first for the main event with Kurt Angle entering to a huge ovation. Finn Balor was up next. Samoa Joe is the only clear heel on the team (Triple H is a bit of both), but people chant “Joe” for him. Braun Strowman got a big ovation. Triple H was up last for the Raw team.
Team Smackdown made their individual entrances with Shane McMahon up first as the captain of the team. Randy Orton was the second man for the Smackdown side with Phillips mentioning that Orton has the record for Survivor Series eliminations with 14. Orton is Mr. Survivor Series based on his success in these matches. Orton noted on Twitter he’s the youngest guy on his team at 37 and he’s a few months older than me, so this match makes me feel young. Bobby Roode made his “Glorious” entrance. Shinsuke Nakamura got a massive reaction for his entrance as well. The last man up for Team Smackdown was John Cena, who got a huge ovation as usual. New green merch for him. No Smackdown shirt for him. Way to be a team guy, John. All ten men squared off in the ring.
Men’s Elimination Match: Team Raw – Kurt Angle, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman & Triple H vs. Team Smackdown – Shane McMahon, Randy Orton, Bobby Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura & John Cena
Shane tried to attack Strowman with a punch to the back, but Strowman tossed Shane across the ring. Triple H laughed about it. Orton and Joe tagged in. Each men went for their finisher, but Orton slipped out of the Coquina Clutch attempt. Balor tagged in and Nakamura wanted to go in, so Nakamura went in with the crowd going wild. Fans chanted “NXT” for them since they are former NXT Champions. Nakamura sent Balor into the ropes, Nakamura taunted him with his head to the chest and Balor did a “too sweet” to his head. Nakamura avoided a Balor attack with the fans cheering loudly. Triple H tagged in against Nakamura, who he brought to WWE. Nakamura told him to “come on” so Triple H shoved him back into the corner. Nakamura shoved Hunter into the corner with knees to the ribs and a hard kick to the face by Nakamura. Triple H hit a facebuster to Nakamura. Roode tagged in to a big ovation from the crowd. Hunter shoved him, Roode shoved back and did his “Glorious” taunt, but Hunter punched him in the face leading to laughter from Booker. Roode nailed Hunter with chops in the corner followed by a clothesline for two. Hunter hit a Spinebuster on Roode. Triple H did the suck it gesture and wanted a Pedigree, but Roode fought back with a Spinebuster of his own. Crowd chanted “Glorious” with Roode and neither man could get their finisher. Angle tagged in with three German Suplexes on Roode. They did a double clothesline to knock them both down. Nakamura tagged in with a running knee to Triple H. Nakamura knocked Strowman off the apron. Hard kick by Nakamura to the head of Angle. Running knee by Nakamura followed by a knee lift in the corner. Joe charged Nakamura and Nakamura kneed him. Nakamura with a knee to Balor too. Nakamura avoided the Pedigree and kick to Hunter. Angle tagged in Strowman. Nakamura hit the running Kinshasa to Hunter, who rolled away. Strowman hit Nakamura with a Running Powerslam.
Shinsuke Nakamura eliminated by Braun Strowman
Roode was next in for his team, but he didn’t get very far as Strowman hit him with a Running Powerslam and that eliminated Roode.
Bobby Roode eliminated by Braun Strowman
Joe tagged himself in for his team, told Strowman to get out and that led to Hunter arguing with Angle. Orton nailed Hunter with a DDT. Powerslam by Orton on Joe. Orton and Cena were in the ring against Strowman. Graves said this was “their first encounter” with Strowman even though Cena wrestled him on Raw a few months ago. The action spilled to the floor. Strowman cleared off the two announce tables at ringside. It led to Orton and Cena trying to suplex Lesnar, so Nakamura, Shane and Roode joined them as the five of them gave Strowman a suplex through the German announce table. Big spot with the announcers complaining about Nakamura and Roode being in there when they were eliminated. Shane McMahon climbed to the top rope, Samoa Joe went after him and Joe hit Shane with an overhead suplex into the ring. Cena was legal for his team as he battled Joe with Joe hitting a senton splash. Joe hit the uranage on Cena. Balor tagged himself in, Joe tagged himself back in, yelled at Balor and that allowed Cena to recover with an Attitude Adjustment on Joe. Cena with an AA on Balor. Cena hit another AA on Joe to eliminate him.
Samoa Joe eliminated by John Cena
There are 4 men from Raw and 3 from Smackdown. Angle stepped into the ring against Cena with Cena telling him it’s been a long time. The announcers talked about their history with Phillips saying that they are as good as they’ve ever been. That’s pretty ridiculous to say about Angle considering his age and how good he was in his prime, but that’s how WWE announcers have to talk. Cena hit two running shoulder tackles on Angle followed by the suplex into a slam. Cena teased the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Angle tripped him up and slapped on the Ankle Lock. Cena reversed by kicking out of it. Angle hit the Angle Slam for a two count as Shane McMahon made the save. Balor hit the Coup de Gras double foot stomp on Cena. Angle hit another Angle Slam on Cena and eliminated him.
John Cena eliminated by Kurt Angle
Balor was aggressive as he battled Orton in the ring. Balor hit a running dropkick on Shane that sent Shane into the barricade. Balor took care of Orton with a dropkick that sent him into the turnbuckle. Orton avoided the Coup de Gras and Orton hit a RKO to eliminate Balor.
Finn Balor eliminated by Randy Orton
There was a spot where Orton was in the ring and he was trying to tag in Shane, but Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn showed up to attack Shane. The attack didn’t go well because Shane destroyed Kevin and Sami with a steel chair. When Owens went into the ring, Orton hit a RKO on Owens. Shane managed to chase Zayn and Owens to the back. Strowman recovered as he tagged into the match and hit a clothesline on Orton. Strowman hit a Running Powerslam on Orton and pinned him.
Randy Orton eliminated by Braun Strowman
Shane McMahon was the last man left for Smackdown against Braun Strowman, Triple H and Kurt Angle. Triple H tagged himself in to face his brother-in-law Shane. Angle tagged in for his team. Shane got a rollup on Angle for two. Shane with a Russian legsweep on Angle for a two count. Flying back elbow by Shane got a two count. Shane kept getting nearfalls including a DDT for a two count. Angle hit the Angle Slam. Angle slapped on the Ankle Lock. Shane nearly tapped out, Angle pulled him to the center of the ring and Triple H got in the ring and gave Angle a Pedigree. The guys were shocked by it. Triple H put Shane on top of Angle.
Kurt Angle eliminated by Shane McMahon
Triple H stared at his partner Strowman. It looked like Triple H was going to side with Shane while the announcers wondered what was going on. Triple H turned his body, hit a Pedigree on Shane and covered him to win the match at 33:27.
Shane McMahon eliminated by Triple H
Winners: Triple H & Braun Strowman (Team Raw)
Analysis: **3/4 It was okay for the most part, but overall a disappointing match. With that much big-name talent you would think that they could book an incredible match where they tell the story of the younger guys getting the upper hand on the older guys. Instead, they featured Triple H and Shane McMahon too much. The big moment in the match early on was putting Strowman through the table to keep him out of it for a while, which is a similar spot they do to Brock Lesnar in multi-man match. When Shane was alone for his team, the big spot was Triple H attacking Angle because he wanted to be the one to win for his team. The announcers were all confused by it thinking that maybe Triple H was aligning with Shane, but he ended up eliminating him. It was a surprise that there wasn’t interference from Kane or Jason Jordan either. It just felt like a weird match. It should be an easy match to book, yet it felt off most of the way.
The victory means that Raw wins the night 4 matches to 3 for Smackdown.
Triple H celebrated with Strowman. It didn’t look like Strowman was in the mood to celebrate. Strowman grabbed him by the throat and drove him to the corner. Triple H told him not to play him. Strowman walked away. Triple H tried an attack from behind and for the Pedigree, but Strowman fought out of it. Strowman hit the Running Powerslam. The crowd loved it. Triple H got back to his feet again, Strowman gave him a Running Powerslam and that was it. The crowd loved it.
Strowman left up the ramp to end the show.
Analysis: That ended the show on a positive note because the fans like Strowman kicking people’s ass like that. It could lead to Triple H vs. Angle at some point down the road like a WrestleMania, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they go with Triple H vs. Braun Strowman at WrestleMania either. It set up matches for Triple H, who is nearly 50 years old and a part timer. I guess it was done to make Strowman a bigger star too. Other than that, it felt like a waste of time.
This event had a run time of 3 hours, 47 minutes.
It gets a 7.5 out of 10 from me.
The show was carried by Lesnar vs. Styles and Shield vs. New Day as the best matches. Lesnar vs. Styles was a special match and I loved that six-man tag. The rest of the matches were all fine with nothing that was that bad all night. I was disappointed with the main event Survivor Series elimination match because the amount of talent in that match could have produced a much better match and ended up having just an average match. It was still a fun show with a lot of enjoyable moments.
Five Stars of the Show
- AJ Styles
- Brock Lesnar
- The Shield
- The New Day
- Braun Strowman
That’s more than five people. Oh well. It’s a long show, so I felt like picking more.
That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.