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WWE Survivor Series 2019
by Scrooge McSuck
- Presented LIVE on the WWE Network on November 24th, 2019 from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL (though credited as Chicago). It's the night of BRAND SUPREMACY where Raw and Smackdown do battle. This year, NXT has thrown their developing hats in the ring, to grow the third-brand viewership and stick it to AEW. A bunch of people are calling the action, none of them Mauro Ranallo, because Corey Graves is a punk-sissy hiding behind his twitter account. Kickoff Matches featured Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler winning a Tag Team Battle Royal, Lio Rush retaining the Cruiserweight Title over Tozawa and Kalisto, and The Viking Raiders defeating The New Day and Undisputed Era, so each brand has one win to their credit.
Team Raw (Charlotte Flair, Natalya, Asuka, Kairi Sane, and Sarah Logan) vs. Team Smackdown (Sasha Banks, Carmella, Nikki Cross, Dana Brooke, and Lacey Evans) vs. Team NXT (Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm, Candice LeRae, Io Shirai, and Bianca Belair)
All the teams come out to their brands theme song, and no one is wrestling in stupid t-shirts. How did Sarah Logan get a PPV spot after doing NOTHING for 9-months? Dana Brooke has new gear, and I almost didn't recognize her. Team NXT didn't announce their team until AFTER War Games the night before. Not a WCW move, no sir. Evans, Logan, and Storm start. Okay, there's no way to call the action here without getting completely lost. Storm with a double German Suplex on Logan and Cross for the first big spot of the match. Sane and Shirai end up in there with Carmella in the background being obnoxious, so they take shots at her. Dana Brooke tags in and hangs back to let them fight. Shirai and Sane have a good minute or so. Brooke finally jumps in and hits a double handspring elbow and moonsault. LeRae lights up Evans with chops and manages to avoid an attack from Asuka. Asuka traps Ripley in the arm-bar but Belair saves. SIGNATURE MOVE SPAM PART 1 (including Shirai selling a spear like F'N DEATH). Shirai and LeRae sell on the floor like they're unable to continue, and sure enough, both are officially eliminated at 7:00 because VINTAGE SURVIVOR SERIES CHEAP ELIMINATIONS.
Team Raw and Smackdown unite to taunt the injured girls. NXT has mostly been treated as the heels, so it's natural for the babyface units to act like jerks. Play resumes with the three captains in the ring… then Ripley tags out to Belair Who Calls Herself the E-S-T of NXT. Sorry, I thought, based on Cole's cadence, that was her name. Cross back in, running wild on NXT. Ripley with a distraction, allowing Belair to roll Cross up for three at 7:38. Belair hits Carmella with her finisher, but Carmella no-sells long enough to get to the ropes before taking a nap outside the ring. Maybe she's retweeting Graves picking a fight with Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez. Belair with a 450 splash to eliminate Logan at 12:11. HOW IS CARMELLA NOT BEING COUNTED-OUT?! She sneaks back in after TWO MINUTES ON THE FLOOR and rolls Charlotte up for two. Honestly thought that was a fall. Carmella with a Franken-Steiner, sending Charlotte crashing into Belair, but neither is eliminated. Should've gone for another school-boy, that's like a Survivor Series Critical™. I'd complain about Carmella in there too much based on how bad she is, then I noticed her remaining partners include Brooke and Evans. As I type that, Natural Selection finishes Carmella at 15:40.
We do ANOTHER reset with Banks, Storm, and Sane in the ring. Sane and Storm trade strikes as I realize how little structure or storytelling this match has. INSANE ELBOW to Storm, then Banks with a METEORA to Sane for three at 16:48. Asuka runs wild on anything that moves. Roundhouse kick finishes Brooke at 17:25. Charlotte tags herself in, much to Asuka's displeasure. They get into a shoving match despite BRAND SUPREMACY on the line. Asuka spits the green mist in Charlotte's eyes and takes a walk at 19:00 despite count-outs not being a thing in this match. WOMAN'S RIGHT finishes Charlotte at 19:09, leaving Natalya as the lone Raw representative. She uses her Survivor Series knowledge to try and roll Evans up for three at 19:52. NXT is no longer the underdogs despite being credited with only two of the eight eliminations from both Raw and Smackdown. Natalya and Banks with a combo Sharpshooter and Bank Statement to eliminate Storm at 20:50. Hart Attack to Belair for three at 21:19. Wait, how can Natalya trust Banks and be all buddy-buddy WHEN BANKS RETURNED AFTER SUMMERSLAM, ATTACKED NATALYA, AND MOCKED HER DEAD DAD? Then Banks hits a right hand and covers Natalya for three at 22:03. Wow, YOU F'N GEEK. Ripley with a face-plant and dropkick on Banks for two. Ripley blocks a Tornado DDT but gets caught in a sleeper. Sloppy drop toe hold into the turnbuckle, followed by the laziest double-knees. VINTAGE SASHA BANKS. No, I'm not being an ass, Cole said it. Banks with a Meteora for two. Did that move get called a Meteora in WWE before AEW came around? Banks meets a boot coming off the top rope. Ripley ties Banks up with an elevated ankle-lock, but Banks counters with the Bank Statement. Suddenly, Shirai and LeRae come to ringside and ILLEGALLY PULL RIPLEY TO SAFETY. Wait, Cole now says they weren't eliminated. WHAT. THE. F*CK. EVER. Ripley rams Banks into the hardest part of the ring. Banks, the disgusting, evil heel, is now fighting from underneath, because none of this makes sense. Shirai hits a dropkick, behind the referee's back, because even though she wasn't eliminated, she still cheats behind the referee's back. Ripley with the Rip Tide to finally end this at 27:56. Except for a spot here and there, a complete cluster of moves without any reason to get invested in the action. Ripley and Banks had a decent few minutes, but that was ruined by the illogical booking and commentary. I'm already regretting covering this show. *1/2
A.J. Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (w/ Sami Zayn) vs. Roderick Strong:
It's US Champion vs. Intercontinental Champion vs. North American Champion. And all three are heels. And they replaced the kick-ass Intercontinental belt with a generic piece of crap. I was excited for this before the show, then remembered Styles and Nakamura disappointed us for months not too long ago. Credit is due to Sami, who gives so much effort into such a nothing role as Shinsuke's associate. In 2019, Ray Rougeau is still getting work doing French commentary. Warms your heart. Nakamura shines first with knee strikes and kicks on Strong Styles™. Styles pops Strong in the face with a dropkick and dives onto Nakamura with a clothesline. Strong whips styles off the ropes into a back breaker ("they call him the Messiah of the back breaker!") and hits Nakamura with one as well, sending him to the floor. Nakamura blocks a Phenomenal Forearm attempt and lands a series of knees. He brings Strong back in with a suplex, snap mares Styles, and drops a knee across the chest for two. Considering the talent involved, a surprisingly quiet crowd. Strong with a double knees into the midsection of Shinsuke for two. Styles grabs a sleeper, and fans are so excited, they're looking at their phones. Strong escapes, throwing rights and coming off the ropes with a clothesline. He hits Styles with a jumping knee strike and gives Shinsuke another back breaker. Strong monkey flips Styles into a dropkick from Nakamura for a near fall. All three men are laying around selling this like it's the hardest fought match in history. Nakamura rolls through a Calf Crusher but is caught with the Ushigoroshi for two. Strong blocks a Styles Clash with a dropkick and gives Styles an Olympic Slam and stack up Powerbomb for two. How many times is Nigel McGuinness going to say, "black and gold brand"? Shinsuke with a roundhouse kick to Strong, positioned on Styles' shoulders. That looked awkward to hit and a rough landing. Styles prevents the KINSHASA~~, allowing Strong to hit Nakamura with a knee strike for two. Nakamura with a GTS, triggering a weak CM Punk chant. Strong springboards off Nakamura to hit Nakamura with a forearm. Everyone trades strikes. Nakamura with a KINSHASA~~ but Styles saves. Styles and Nakamura trade blows. Nakamura with a flying knee and sit-out tiger driver for two. Styles and Shinsuke escape finishers until Styles hits the Forearm, but Strong tosses Styles and steals the cover at 16:46. NXT is now up 3-1-1, including Kickoff matches (which they didn't do in 2018 because Vince McMahon). I hate triple threat matches, but this was fine, minus the lack of crowd heat. ***
NXT Championship Match:
Adam Cole (BAY-BAY) (c) vs. Pete Dunne:
Dunne won a triple threat match at NXT Takeover to earn this spot, so it's a match for the sake of having a match. Cole has his ribs taped up, as does Dunne's knee. Lockup and Dunne doesn't waist time going for SMALL joint manipulation. Beth Phoenix is terrible at her job, she doesn't have anything to add. Crisscross and Dunne with a clothesline. This crowd is terrible, not even reacting to Dunne bending the fingers. I guess this match not being about BRAND SUPREMACY makes it even harder to be invested in for the WWE stans (and yes, I just used the stan insult, I'm an old man trying to be hip. I don't care anymore). Cole Super-Kick's Dunne off the top rope, hurting the already injured knee in the process. Cole hooks a knee bar, but Dunne fights him off with some finger bending. Cole with a basement dropkick to quickly bring Dunne back to the canvas. Dunne with the release suplex and a flurry of strikes. Whip to the corner, Dunne flips over a charge and throws Cole with a release German suplex. Double stomp to the hands and roundhouse kick, followed by a Liger-Bomb for two. Cole bails and Dunne follows with a moonsault from the second rope. Back inside, Cole with a Super-Kick to the knee. Dunne lands on his feet to avoid a German suplex and lands a kick to the back of the head. Dunne to the top rope and he meets knees on the way down. Cole with a shining wizard (The Last Shot) for two. Dunne avoids a Panama Sunrise, but the Bitter End is countered with an Ushigoroshi for two. I love how it's OK to call it that for Cole, but when Styles does it, it's a neck breaker. Cole rolls through an arm bar and stacks Dunne up for two. Bitter End connects for two. Dunne lays into Cole with slaps to the chest. They trade high kicks and Cole catches Dunne mid-flip with a Super-Kick for two. Dunne nails Cole coming off the ropes with a forearm and hits a sit-out X-Plex for two. Cole hits a Panama Sunrise ON THE APRON. OH MY GOD, DUNNE IS DEAD! THAT'S THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING! Back inside, Cole with a Super-Kick for two. Dunne loses the mouthguard. Cole counters a Bitter End with the Panama Sunrise and finishes with the Last Shot at 14:08. These two should be convicted of grave robbing, because they just stole the show from a dead crowd. ****
WWE Universal Championship Match:
"The Fiend" Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan:
I don't even want to get started on the horror franchise monster they're presenting the Fiend as, because they've established NOTHING CAN BEAT HIM. Bryan turned babyface over the Fall, because… I don't know, honestly. It just happened. The Universal BELT has traded in the Cherry taffy strap for a blue-raspberry taffy strap now that it's an exclusive BELT on Friday Night Smackdown Live. WWE is standing their ground, holding Fiend matches under the old red light that they tried with Kane 20+ years ago. I don't mind it, but I can see why everyone else loathes it like they're watching Raw and Smackdown on a weekly basis. Bryan attacks out of the gate with a dropkick and kicks to the chest. The Fiend shrugs it off and whiplashes Bryan with a lariat. Whip and the Fiend with a charging headbutt. To the outside, Bryan is sent face-first into the post. Back inside and the Fiend plants Bryan with a uranage and suplex throw. Fiend with the neck snap, but it's unsuccessful, since Bryan is both alive and mobile. Bryan avoids an avalanche, causing the Fiend to ram himself into the steps. The Fiend blocks a tope, but Sister Abigail is blocked. Bryan sends him into the post and hits the running knee off the apron. Bryan from the top rope with a flying body press. The Fiend is down, BUT AT WHAT COST?! Back inside, Bryan with three missile dropkicks. He unloads the YES-Kicks, but the Fiend is a MONSTER. Bryan loads up in the corner and hits the knee for two. The crowd is completely behind Bryan, unfortunately for him, the Fiend's selling comes and goes at the wrong time. The Fiend hooks the Mandible Claw, but Bryan counters with a hanging arm bar. Bryan is nailed coming off the top rope but has enough to counter Sister Abigail with a roll-up for two. The Fiend grabs the Mandible Claw out of nowhere, and that finishes Bryan at 10:00. Daniel Bryan's career record vs. Wyatt is 0 and Then-Now-Forever, and the only guy who can get anything out of the Fiend. I'm sure this new push for Wyatt ends with a clean job to Roman at WrestleMania XXXVI. ***
Team Raw (Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Ricochet, Randy Orton, and Kevin Owens) vs. Team Smackdown (King Corbin, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Mustafa Ali, and Shorty G) vs. Team NXT (Tomaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Matt Riddle, Damian Priest, and WALTER):
Another cluster to look forward to. Why is Kevin Owens on Team Raw after teaming with Ciampa on NXT Takeover? Who did Chad Gable piss off to get this stupid Shorty G nickname and hand-me-down gimmick from Slam Master J? Who finally realized shortening Mustafa Ali to "Ali" was dumb, and decided to give him his full name back? Why won't the king gimmick die and go away forever? Why should I care about this match? ANYWAY, this should be no worse than the women, since almost all these guys can work at a high level. Ali goes for the cheap pop, carrying around the hometown flag. Rollins, Strowman, and Ciampa start. Strowman is the unstoppable force, so the other two double-team, unsuccessfully. McIntyre and WALTER in for the Hoss Fight of 2019. Once again, 2-on-1 against Strowman, this time it works out better for Raw and NXT. McIntyre doesn't hesitate throwing strikes at WALTER and we get ourselves a chop (the flesh) off. Whip and WALTER with a shoulder tackle, followed by a big boot and seated splash. Strowman bulldozes WALTER while he poses. WALTER rocks Strowman in return until the Claymore connects out of nowhere to eliminate the NXT UK Champion at 2:58. Priest in to spam the taunt button, hoping to build his special quickly. He gets the better of an exchange with McIntyre and sends Strowman into the post. Shorty G… sorry, I can't. CHAD F'N GABLE comes in with a moonsault on Priest. Ricochet in for a flashy sequence ending with a killer German Suplex from Gable. Riddle in for some amateur grappling and this is a much better start than the Women. They trade ankle-locks but neither can maintain control. Ciampa with a blind tag and boot to the face. Ricochet with a double handspring Pele kick. Owens with a Frog Splash on Gable for three at 6:27.
Roman wants in next, but Corbin argues with him, allowing Owens to knock Roman out of the ring with a Super-Kick. Owens follows him out of the ring and hits a cannonball against the barricade. STUNNER TO CORBIN! Ciampa catches Owens coming back in with a draping DDT to eliminate Owens at 7:42. Orton stalks Ciampa but doesn't strike from out of nowhere. Orton blocks a draping DDT, which makes a lot of sense since it's one of his signature spots and throws Ciampa into the barricade. Back inside, Orton stomps on the joints of Ciampa and hits the RKO. Priest comes in and eats the RKO for the elimination at 10:16. Riddle avoids an RKO and rolls Orton up for three at 10:29, then eats an RKO like a geek. Corbin in for the easy pin fall on Riddle at 10:53. Keith Lee and Strowman tease our next Hoss Battle but McIntyre ruins that fantasy. Strowman goes wild and laps the ringside area, running through all the opposition, including the most fantastic bump from Ricochet since Paul London's famous Royal Rumble elimination back in 2006. Strowman goes for a second lap, but Lee interrupts it with a MALFUNCTION AT THE JUNCTION. McIntyre with the Claymore and Strowman is counted out at 13:16, despite count outs NOT BEING A THING in the opener. If you're going cheap, be consistent. Ricochet comes in and is so ridiculously athletic it's impossible to call it. I can call him wiping out Roman with a twisting tope suicida. Back inside, Ricochet walks into End of Days and he's gone at 14:31.
Ali comes in and hits Ciampa with a spinning heel kick. Rollins sends him to the corner but finds nothing in the corner charging in. Ali comes in through the ropes and gets launched for an X-Factor on Ciampa and plants Rollins with a Tornado DDT. Ali hits the ropes and a tope suicida knocks Corbin, Ciampa, and Rollins into the table. Corbin takes offense to Ali's offense hitting him, and we get more bickering, allowing Rollins to hit the Curb Stomp to eliminate Ali at 16:16. Roman and Corbin bicker until McIntyre takes Roman out and Rollins hits Corbin with our 85th tope of the match. Back inside, McIntyre with an inverted Alabama Slam on Ciampa for two. Roman from out of nowhere to Spear McIntyre for three at 17:43. Rollins from behind with a schoolboy for two. Roman intercepts the tope with a right hand and follows with the Drive By. Superman Punch to Ciampa. Corbin knocks Lee off the apron before he could receive the tag, then tags himself into the match. Roman hits him with a Superman Punch and Spear, allowing Ciampa to eliminate Corbin at 19:56. Roman, Rollins, and Ciampa trade strikes until it becomes a 2-on-1 on Ciampa. Lee saves, only to get pounded out of the ring. Roman and Rollins put their differences aside to rip off a spot from 2016 where they unite and clear the table for some old school Shield punishment. Considering both are babyfaces here, it's less impressive. Lee makes the save for Ciampa to keep Team NXT alive.
Back inside, Ciampa with a running knee strike and Project Ciampa (powerbomb across the knees) for a near fall. He goes for the Fairy Tale Ending but Rollins escapes and hits a pair of Super-Kicks. Ciampa avoids the Curb Stomp and hits a jumping knee strike. Reigns in with a Superman Punch, and Rollins with the Stomp to eliminate Ciampa at 24:03. Lee in with shoulder tackles and a Biel throw. He fights off Roman and Rollins and hits a double slingshot body press. Rollins chops Lee down to size and hits a Frog Splash for two. Rollins jaw-jacks and teases another Stomp, only to run into a Jackhammer and be eliminated at 26:37. That's what you get for your wannabe Michael Jordan cosplay. We're down to Roman Reigns and Keith Lee and the longest stare down of all time. Roman avoids a jumping roundhouse and nails Lee with a pair of Superman punches for a near-fall. Lee catches Roman with a Pop-Up Liger-Bomb for two. Lee misses a moonsault and the Spear knocks him into next week for the final fall at 29:19, making Roman Reigns the SOLE SURVIVOR for Team Smackdown. That's 3 wins for NXT and 3 wins combined for Raw and Smackdown with one match left. Post-match, Roman and Lee bump knuckles out of respect. Much better than the women's match, with only one head-scratcher (the count-out) and much better cohesiveness from the in-ring work and booking. ***3/4
WWE Championship; No Holds Barred Match:
Brock Lesnar (c) (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Rey Mysterio:
So WWE and/or FOX wasted whatever money they spent on Cain Velasquez for a 2-minute trash match at Crown Jewel, and are trotting Rey out here, on one of the "Big Four", after weeks of humiliation and beatdowns, including the mauling of his son, Dominik? Rey is treating tonight like WrestleMania, cosplaying as the Joker, but he looks more like Doink (the Clown) to me. Maybe it's me, but Heyman is looking beefier than I remember. Rey bails at the bell to grab a lead pipe. Good to see we aren't wasting time, except for watching the show in the first place. Brock bails in response. He suckers Rey into a chase and lays him out with a clothesline. GEEK. Brock uses the pipe to pull Rey into two more short clotheslines and throws him out of the ring, then over one of the announcer's tables. Overhead belly-to-belly suplex onto one of the cardboard table-tops. Brock is so concerned he takes the time to tie his boot laces. Rey slides off Brock's shoulders and sends the Beast into the post. Rey makes the slow crawl for the pipe, but Brock cuts him off and throws him with a German Suplex ONTO the pipe. When did the crowd officially give up on the Suplex count? WrestleMania 32 when the numbers appeared on jumbo screens? Dominik runs in, trying to throw in the towel, but Brock won't have any of that. AEW SHADE! Rey with a low blow from behind, then Dominik with one. Mysterio whacks at Brock like a pinata with the pipe, and Dominik adds a chair shot. SYNCHRONIZED 6-1-9 from Mysterio and Dominik, followed by a pair of frog splashes, but even their combined weight can't keep Brock down. Brock pops up, throws Dominik with a German Suplex, and finishes Rey with the F5 at 6:55. Well, cool points for the spot with Dominik, otherwise your standard Brock affair. **
Becky Lynch vs. Bayley vs. Shayna Baszler:
The final match of the night, and Team NXT can do no worse than tie with Smackdown, while Raw is clearly out of contention. I don't know what to say about the Bayley heel turn, other than she looks miserable, and a constant reminder how WWE managed to mess up what should've been the easiest babyface female to book in years to fall into their lap. I'm surprised Vince hasn't changed Shayna's hometown from Sioux Falls, SD since he's obsessed with "places people heard of." Bayley with the weakest sucker strike from behind, "knocking" Baszler into Lynch. Shayna with a leg sweep and ground ‘n' pound on Bayley. They roll to the outside where Becky greets Bayley with a dropkick, and somehow Baszler sells it too. Must've been a huge gust of wind. Bayley avoids the leaping leg drop and gives the softest pin, allowing the most obvious bridge out of a cover. They do a sunset flip into the corner despite no room for maneuverability. These three women are all over the place, and not in a good way. Another match with lacking crowd heat. Baszler with the hammerlock and stomp on the elbow of Bayley. Becky interjects herself into the action, allowing Shayna to have her ringside power nap. Bayley and Becky go at it for a solid 2-minutes and there's nothing worth calling. Becky tosses both women with exploders and hits a combo DDT. Flying leg drop on Bayley for two. Bayley with a roll-up for two. Lynch with the Disarm-Her but Baszler saves. Bayley with a sliding knee on Baszler for two. Bayley-to-Belly gets two. Baszler comes back with more ground n' pound and a suplex for two. Becky with a missile dropkick, knocking Bayley into the Phantom Zone. Becky and Baszler trade rights until Bayley recovers and wipes both out with a body press. Baszler grabs the Kirifuda Clutch on Bayley, but Becky saves and spikes Baszler with a Powerbomb for two. Roll-up into the Disarm-Her. Baszler rolls through into the Kirifuda Clutch and dumps an interfering Bayley over the top rope. They have a free for all on the floor, with Baszler wrecking everyone. She powerbombs Becky onto a table, and thankfully she only landed on a tablet edge instead of a giant monitor. Back inside, Baszler with the Kirifuda Clutch on Bayley. Bayley counters with a back suplex and climbs the ropes, but the elbow drop misses and the Kirifuda Clutch finishes at 18:05. Post-match, Becky attacks Baszler from behind because she's a sore loser. NXT wins the night with 4 wins to Smackdown's 2 and Raw's 1. Match was fine, but it started off really bad, with sloppy and loose work with little cohesiveness. **1/2
Final Thoughts: Technically not a bad show, but one I found little enjoyment from, thanks to my disinterest from the current WWE product. The excessive use of triple threat booking killed the gimmick immediately, and it wasn't one I'm fond of in the first place. Despite the decision to overstuff the show, there's a few matches worth checking out. Dunne vs. Cole stole the show, and the men's Elimination, while a rush-job, was solid action and nothing stood out for being of poor quality. There's other matches that were acceptable, but a serious lack of crowd interest negates any positivity when they're working at a funeral or inside a library. Mild Recommendation to Avoid.
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