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WWE Survivor Series 2020
by Scrooge McSuck
- Presented "live" from the THUNDERDOME on November 22nd, 2020. It's "The Best of the Best" as Superstars battle for brand supremacy literally 6-weeks following the draft that realigned a good chunk of the roster and their home show, but BRAND SUPREMACY B*TCHES! Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Samoa Joe, Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton are taking turns calling the action. The Miz won a pre-show Battle Royale doing the only finish WWE does (this guy won, no wait, THIS GUY WAS NEVER ELIMINATED), tossing out Dominik Mysterio for the honors.
TEAM RAW: A.J. Styles (w/ Omos), Riddle, Keith Lee, Braun Strowman, and Sheamus vs. TEAM SMACKDOWN: Jey Uso, Kevin Owens, Otis, Seth Rollins, and King Corbin:
Good to see King Corbin is still a thing (that was sarcasm). Most of the players involved have to wear Raw and Smackdown shirts like the geeks they are. Rollins and Riddle are the only ones spared the humiliation. OH MY GOD, the shirts also have the NETWORK they are on. GEEKS. Styles (the self-proclaimed captain) and Uso start. Lockup to the corner and a clean break. Uso grabs a side headlock. Crisscross and Styles connects with a dropkick. Uso counters a whip to the corner and unloads with rights. Styles ducks the 360-enzugiri but misses the Pele Kick, allowing Uso to cradle him for a near-fall. Styles nips up into a head-scissors but Uso quickly recovers and hits a pop-up Samoan drop for two. Corbin misses a charge to the corner but intercepts Styles' springboard with a right hand. Otis (minus the Money in the Bank briefcase) tags in and misses an avalanche. Riddle grabs a side headlock but gets bulldozed with a shoulder tackle. Riddle (minus Matt) counters a suplex with a sleeper, but Otis snap mares him off his back. Otis shrugs off Riddle's kicks and flips him literally on his a$$. Owens goes to work on Riddle's foot (because that actually makes sense). Riddle fights free and tags in Sheamus as Owens literally stands there watching. Rollins wants in and Owens obliges. Then he has second thoughts and willingly eats the Brogue Kick for three at 6:05. Well, that was creative, I'll give them that.
Team Friday Night Smackdown on FOX at 8pm ET have a group huddle at ringside, and amazingly aren't counted-out. Strowman interrupts the huddle, running through the group and tosses Corbin into the ring. Strowman hypes his team up and tags in Riddle to lay into Corbin with kicks. Keith Lee (wearing a singlet since being promoted to the main roster) steps in to face off with Otis. They have a long lockup with Lee grabbing a side headlock. They meet in the middle with shoulder tackles, and Otis won't go down. Otis avoids an avalanche and throws some rights and lefts. He blocks a double chop from Lee and gives him a belly-bop. Lee with elbows and fireman's carry, but Otis slides off his shoulders. Strowman tags in to end the battle of the bulldozers and pounds away. Strowman comes off the ropes with a dropkick and tags in Styles. Otis creates separation with a jaw breaker and tags in Owens. He unloads on Styles with chops and lays him out with a clothesline. Whip to the corner and Owens meets the boot charging in. He catches Styles with a tilt-o-whirl back breaker for two. Styles avoids the Pop-Up Powerbomb but gets knocked off the apron. Lee comes in and eats a Stunner. Stunner to Sheamus. Stunner to Riddle. Phenomenal Forearm to Owens and he's gone at 12:18. Corbin hits End of Days on Styles but Team Raw on USA Network makes the save. Deep Six to Sheamus. Styles flips through a second End of Days and hits the Pele Kick. Riddle tags in and comes off the top with a corkscrew moonsault for three at 13:09.
Uso attacks Riddle but is backed up with forearm strikes. Uso ducks a roundhouse kick and sends Riddle to the corner, only to meet a foot charging in. Sheamus with the Brogue Kick but Uso kicks out at two. Sheamus tears off the shirt of Jey and gives him the clubbing forearms that have a gimmicked name I can't bother to type. Uso makes the comeback, hitting the roundhouse enzuigiri and tags in Otis. He runs through Sheamus with a shoulder tackle and tosses Styles over-head with a belly-to-belly suplex. More of the same for Lee and Sheamus. Strowman tags himself in as both men tear their shirts off. They meet in the middle at slow motion and Strowman nails him with a big boot. Strowman misses the avalanche and Otis plants him with a slam. Otis with the Caterpillar Elbow. He climbs the ropes but Riddle with the distraction, buying Strowman time to recover and plant Otis with the powerslam for three at 16:40. Uso runs wild with Super Kicks (call it a Super Kick PARTY). With the ring cleared, he launches himself onto the entire Raw team. Someone not named Matt and Nick Jackson continues to completely over-kill a move, but its WWE, so it's OK, right? Back inside, Strowman goes for the Powerslam but Uso slips out and sends him to the post. Styles in to eat ANOTHER Super-Kick. Uso goes to the top but Omos pulls Styes to safety. Styles gets hung up going for the Forearm, but Lee makes the blind tag and catches Uso in mid-air. Spirit Bomb finishes at 19:00, meaning the entire team for Raw, which had a "we can't trust each other" storyline entering the show, has survived. Some good action, though the eliminations seemed a little rushed. **1/2
The New Day vs. The Street Profits:
Big E accompanies Kofi and Woods to the ring but leaves ringside before the bell. Here's a dumb moment in WWE history: Raw drafted the New Day, Smackdown's Tag Champions, and Smackdown drafted the Street Profits, the Raw Tag Champions. The solution? TRADE BELTS, OF COURSE. New Day has Gears of War gear on for their entrance. Remember when Kofi was WWE CHAMPION? Its babyface vs. babyface and not a hint of a heel turn, so, you know… Dawkins and Woods start. Lockup and Woods goes for the arm. Kofi tags in but Dawkins quickly escapes. He goes to the arm and tags Ford with the same end result for the spot. Ford grabs a side headlock on Kofi and comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle. He's got a Michael Jackson glove on and gives a "he-he" like MJ. Kofi flips through a slam and after a lengthy crisscross gets sent to the floor. He dives back in and Ford surprises him with a right hook. Dawkins comes off the ropes with a splash and hooks an arm bar. Dawkins and Ford get sent to the floor and Kofi follows with a tope on Ford while Woods wipes out Dawkins. Back inside, Ford gets worked over in the corner. Woods with a stomach buster for two. Kofi taunts Ford with one of his cups while Woods controls with a chin-lock. Ford fights free but is quickly cut off and Kofi continues to keep things on the ground with a waist-lock. Ford hits a DDT and makes the hot tag to Dawkins. He runs through Woods with clotheslines and diving elbow. One-man flapjack to Kofi, followed by a pair of T-Bone Suplexes. He goes from corner to corner with spinning Stinger Splashes and hits Woods with a twisting butterfly suplex for two. Woods fights out of the corner, but Ford catches him from behind with a back suplex for two. Whip to the corner and the Street Profits with a pair of splashes and a Sliced Bread for two. Woods escapes a double-team attack and tags in Kofi to hit the Midnight Hour for a near-fall. Kofi with three BOOM drops on Ford. He signals for Trouble in Paradise, but Dawkins picks the ankle. Ford nails him with a dropkick in the midsection. Dawkins with the spine-buster and Ford hits a Frog Splash for two. Kofi recovers and hits SOS for two. Woods sends Dawkins out of the ring with a missile dropkick. Ford ducks Trouble in Paradise and hits Kofi with his own version. Woods with a press slam into a stomach buster for two. Dawkins gets the blind tag, gets Woods on his shoulders, and Ford hits a Mega-Block Buster for three at 14:04. Post-match, everyone makes nice. Solid match that was a little dull in the middle. ***1/4
Sami Zayn vs. Bobby Lashley (w/ The Hurt Business):
It's Intercontinental Champion vs. U.S. Champion, and now we're going HEEL vs. HEEL, though the Hurt Business at times are booked as babyfaces against stables like RETRIBUTION. Zayn disappeared for months following the lockdown but returned to reclaim the belt he never lost. I love that Zayn is the chicken-sh*t heel in a match with another heel. He taunts Shelton Benjamin and makes a kissy face for him. At least Cedric Alexander knocks the average age of Hurt Business under 40 (maybe). Lashley gives chase and gets caught him back in with a series of boots. Whip to the ropes, Lashley runs through a clothesline and turns Zayn inside-out with a clothesline of his own. Hard whip to the corner, followed by a Biel throw that sends Zayn to the floor. He wants to take a walk, but Cedric and Benjamin block his exit. Unfortunately, he didn't choose any other alternate routes. Zayn gets more shots in and drops an elbow for a one-count. Lashley with an overhead throw, series of shoulders to the midsection and a neck breaker. Zayn brings up a boot to counter a charge but unwisely sets up for a suplex. Lashley counters with a delayed version and Zan claims injury until going for a roll-up. Lashley lays him out again, with Zayn rolling to the floor and daring the Hurt Business to hit him. They show restraint as Lashley sends him into the barricade. The brutality continues, with Lashley throwing him into the barricade. He tries sending Zayn into the post, but he slips off the shoulders and sends Lashley into the post instead. Sami goes for a turnbuckle pad, but Shelton makes sure he doesn't finish the job. Lashley counters the Helluva Kick with a spine-buster. Zayn keeps trying to run, unsuccessfully. He tries to say MVP tripped him, but the referee doesn't buy it. Back inside, the Hurt-Lock finishes Sami at 7:49. I don't get why Zayn is being booked like late 80's Bobby Heenan. Also, HEEL VS HEEL DOESN'T WORK. *1/2
Asuka vs. Sasha Banks:
Sasha Banks, babyface Champion. Maybe the 4th time is a charm. At least they finally did the big split with her and Bayley, and who would've guessed a few years ago it would've been Bayley as the conniving heel? Lockup and Asuka goes for the arm. Banks and Asuka go through a series of counters on the canvas. Whip to the ropes and Asuka stands her ground on a shoulder tackle. Sasha with a short hip toss into a cover before grabbing an arm bar. Sasha rolls into a cross arm bar, but Asuka blocks the grip. A back-and-forth goes Sasha's way, attempting the Bank Statement before going to a crucifix cradle for two. Asuka with a fireman's carry into the Asuka-Lock but Sasha snaps the arm across her shoulder. Banks with a spinning head-scissors into a Back Stabber for two. Sasha invites Asuka back in and goes into attack mode, but Asuka outsmarts her and sends Banks to the floor with a hip attack. Now it's Asuka holding the ropes open for her opponent. She taunts Sasha with some dancing and traps the Smackdown Women's Champion in an Ankle-Lock. Banks fights out of an arm-lock but gets caught with a knee to the face for a near-fall. Asuka with kicks to the chest. Sasha avoids the shining Wizard and pulls back on an arm bar. Sasha busts out the Octopus Stretch but Asuka fights to the corner to force the break. Sasha sends Asuka through the ropes with a head-scissors. She catches a kick from Asuka, then Asuka catches a kick from Sasha. Asuka with the hip attack, knocking Sasha to the floor. Sasha surprises Asuka with a roundhouse, followed by a baseball slide. She tries a dive from the barricade but is caught with knees to the body. They tease a double count-out, but both get back in at 9. As if they'd do a finish on this PPV with a double count-out. Sasha avoids a hip attack and nails a kick to the back of the head, followed by a Back Stabber for two. Sasha hits the drive-thru knees in the corner. She fakes Asuka out on a Frog Splash and applies the Bank Statement but Asuka escapes and applies the Asuka-Lock. Banks with the escape but Asuka nails her with the double knees for another two-count. She sweeps Sasha out of the corner and goes back to the Ankle. They trade pinning combinations for a series of two-counts. Sasha with a kick to the face but runs into a back-slide for two. Asuka with a kick to the face but it's Sasha catching her off the ropes with a cradle for three at 13:08. This was just a sprint and easily the best match of the night… so far. ****
- Akira Tozawa pins the Gobbledy Gooker for the 24/7 Title (DON'T ASK), then R-Truth pins Tozawa to regain the belt for his 45th reign ("HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!"). As I type that, THEY CONFIRM THE NUMBER, A NUMBER I WAS BEING A SMART-A$$ ABOUT. KILL ME.
TEAM RAW: Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Lacey Evans, Peyton Royce, and Lana vs. TEAM SMACKDOWN: Bayley, Bianca Belair, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Natalya:
The hype video focuses on the fact Nia has put Lana through a table NINE WEEKS IN A ROW. Peyton and Evans are a last-minute sub for Mandy Rose (injury) and Dana Brooke (awful), but I doubt it makes the match any better. Natalya has the record for most eliminations in Women's Survivor Series Matches, which was expected since she's been around for 40 years. Bayley and Evans start. Lockup and Bayley works the body. Evans turns it around, putting the boots to Bayley in the corner. Natalya comes in with a side headlock. Evans counters but Natalya nips up. She deposits Evans on her rear and hits a basement dropkick for two. Royce tags in and gets cradled for two. Belair in for a double suplex as Corey incorrectly tells us Peyton has decided to go on her own instead of being forced apart from Billie Kay due to a match stipulation. Morgan in for a double clothesline spot. Riott and Baszler have a go. Baszler hits a unique hip toss into a back breaker and unloads with kicks. Riott comes off the ropes and unloads with lefts. Jax misses a lunge and gets worked over in the corner but does the tired King Kong spot. Lana tags herself in and whiffs a clothesline. Liv and Lana do the bridge and back-slide spot WITHOUT BOTCHING IT. Lana and Natalya have a face-off after a 2-month association was broken that nobody cared about. Crisscross and Lana cradles Natalya for two. Snap mare out of the corner and Lana with a kick to the back. She hits a soft boot to the face while doing the splits. Jax wants back in and scalds Lana like an adopted child. Don't believe me, watch it. Bayley works on Peyton, who with 10 years' experience still looks at the level of Lana. Bayley with a snap suplex for two. Graves takes a shot at Shawn Spears, giving Peyton a "Perfect 10" for a tarantula in the ropes. Belair with a press slam, dropping Royce across the turnbuckle. Bayley with a bad elbow but Evans saves. EVERYONE HIT THEIR SH*T SPOT, with almost everything missing or looking butt-a$$ ugly. Bayley climbs the ropes again, but Peyton meets her there with a kick to the face. She climbs up too and suplexes Bayley onto the pile (sans Lana, still standing in the corner with the dunce cap on), or that was the idea, as Bayley goes SPLAT between them. Phillips gives some exposition about the Royce and Bayley risking being counted-out because they're the legal women. Back inside, Royce with Déjà vu on Bayley for three at 9:55. I mean, she already killed her on the floor.
Natalya runs in and gets cradled for two. Whip is reversed and Peyton hits an elbow, followed by spinning heel kick for two. Natalya goes for the basement dropkick but Royce counters into a single-leg crab. Belair with the assist in breaking the hold. Natalya ties up the legs, and the spot falls completely apart, so it's Sharpshooter time for the tap at 11:48. Evans sends Natalya to the corner and hits a short-clothesline. Natalya avoids the moonsault but a distraction from Baszler allows Evans to land the Women's Right for three at 12:36. Belair sweeps the legs out and plants Evans face-first. She climbs the ropes but Baszler with another distraction. Evans climbs up with her for the slowest transition into a Spanish Fly but Morgan and Riott save. Nia no-sells Riott and Morgan. At least they're going for quick tags. Morgan goes for the knee and they continue to use quick tags to try and get something going. Baszler tags in and tackles Riott into the corner. Knee strike to the chest, followed by a Shining Wizard for two. Riott with a desperation roll-up for two. Baszler catches her off the ropes in the Kirifuda Clutch. Riott counters, but the referee doesn't see it, and she passes out… and the just stand there until Baszler covers for three at 16:54. I guess the referee forgot the spot. Morgan trips up Evans and smashes her face into the canvas. Step-up enzuigiri and a double stomp across the back, followed by a missile dropkick. Morgan with a crucifix bomb and Evans is gone at 18:02. Lana hops on the apron but she's not allowed to touch the Peach and sent back to her room. Morgan gets Jax to her knees and hits a DDT. Jax counters a double knees and hits the Samoan Drop for three at 19:05, leaving Belair alone. "Right now the E-S-T means the Loneliest." OK, that was a good line.
Belair takes a shot at Baszler and drives a series of shoulders to the midsection of Jax. Whip across the ring and Belair runs circles around her until connecting with a dropkick. She pounds Nia to the canvas but knees going for a leaping frog splash. Jax plants her with a slam and comes off the ropes with a leg drop for two. Jax climbs the ropes but gets booted to the floor. Luckily, Baszler made the tag. She gets the Kirifuda Clutch, but Belair is able to escape with a back suplex. Belair with a handspring right back to the Kirifuda Clutch. She fights to her feet with Baszler on her back and carries her to the ropes to force the break, but Baszler refuses and gets Disqualified at 22:30. Got to protect the young up-and-comer. Jax pulls Belair out of the ring, setting up a Samoan drop on the table, but Belair escapes and sends her to the steps. They keep each other from getting back in the ring, and it's a Double Count-Out at 23:20… making LANA THE SOLE SURVIVOR. WOW, THEY WENT THERE WITH THAT FINISH? Lana celebrates like she accomplished something. The only part of the match worth a crap was putting the shine on Belair, and they make her look like a goof in the end for the sake of a dumb finish. Kudos, WWE. KUDOS. *
Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns (w/ Paul Heyman):
For the third time in four years, the major men's title changed hands a week or so before Survivor Series, as McIntyre regained the WWE Title from Randy Orton this past week on Raw (the others being Styles over Mahal, and Bryan over Styles in '17 and '18). Don't forget, the Miz, HOLDER OF THE MONEY IN THE BANK CONTRACT, is lurking. THEY WOULDN'T. The canned heat is early 90's level of obnoxious right now. They circle the ring before locking up, with neither man getting the advantage. They trade waist-locks, with Reigns going to the ropes for the break. Roman grabs a side headlock, taking McIntyre to the canvas. McIntyre counters and comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle. Crisscross and Roman catches McIntyre on the jaw with an elbow. McIntyre comes right back with another shoulder tackle, sending Reigns to the floor for a breather. Back inside, Roman unloads with right hands. McIntyre turns it around, punishing Roman in the corner. Roman fires back with a headbutt and more rights, with the referee forcing them apart. McIntyre with a whip to the corner. Roman sends him to the apron, hangs him up across the rope and sends him into the post. Roman follows him to the floor, whipping him into the steps. Back inside, Reigns covers for two and grabs a chin-lock. He lands a series of knees to the side of the head and takes Drew over with a snap suplex for two. Roman with some ground ‘n' pound for another two-count. McIntyre tries fighting out of another chin-lock but Roman throws him down with a handful of hair, Whip to the ropes and Roman with a diving lariat for two.
McIntyre with another escape. Whip to the corner and McIntyre comes exploding out with a lariat of his own. Whip to the ropes and McIntyre with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, followed by a neck breaker. Roman counters the Future Shock DDT and hits the Samoan drop for two. McIntyre avoids the Superman Punch and hits a spine-buster for two. McIntyre follows Reigns to the floor and sends him into the post. Back inside, Roman punts Drew as he comes through the ropes and drops him with an uppercut. McIntyre surprises Roman with a headbutt and the two trade boots until Drew hits the Future Shock DDT for a near-fall. He sets up in the corner for the Claymore, but Roman counters with a Superman Punch. Roman goes for the Guillotine but McIntyre escapes with a belly-to-belly suplex. Charge to the corner and Roman with a boot to the face. He sends McIntyre's shoulder into the post. McIntyre counters the Spear and hooks the Kimura, but Roman is able to get to the ropes for the break. They fight to the floor with Roman giving McIntyre a Samoan drop onto the table (and it doesn't break). Roman scoops him up again and puts him through on the second attempt. This referee is being very lax on the count. McIntyre finally gets to his feet, only to take a Spear through the barricade. Back inside, Roman covers for two. I honestly forgot the crowd isn't there at this point. McIntyre counters a Spear with a kick to the face, only to get hit coming off the ropes with a Spear for another two-count. McIntyre hits the Claymore, but Reigns wipes out the referee on his way to the canvas. Here comes Jey Uso, but Drew sweeps him off the apron. Roman recovers and hits a low blow. Jey nails a Super Kick and Roman unloads with a Superman Punch. He hooks the guillotine and McIntyre is out at 24:52. Sorry Asuka and Sasha Banks, but this was the match of the night. Great fight with an old-school feel of two warriors trying everything they can to put the other man away. ****1/2
- WWE honors the Undertaker with one last FINAL FAREWELL. We've got Shane McMahon, The Big Show, JBL, Jeff Hardy, Mick Foley, The Godfather, Henry and Phineas Godwinn (spelled incorrectly as Godwin), Savio Vega (looking the same age he did 20 years ago), Rikishi, Kevin Nash, Booker T, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Triple H, and Kane (paid vacation from Knox County?) here for the occasion. We get a video package set to Metallica's "Now That We're Dead". We come back with Vince McMahon alone in the ring. He gives us a "notwithstanding" for old time's sake. He even says "WWF". He calls it the end of an era, and one that will never be duplicated. "They say nothing lasts forever. I think they're wrong. The legacy of the Undertaker will live on eternally." The Undertaker comes out for the big entrance, and they have a silhouette of Paul Bearer to go along with his pose. He leaves and throws up the hand one last time on the way out.
Final Thoughts: Quite a bit of ups-and-downs to this one. Survivor Series traditionally has never been known to be the show of the year, so there's no high mark set. I do think the Brand Supremacy stuff needs to end, with zero stakes and a tired concept. The best matches on the card were the solo champion vs. champion matches, but what reason is there to get excited? I love good wrestling, but there's no storyline reason to get into anything on this show. It was match after match using a tired crutch, and there was some especially dumb stuff too, like the way Sami Zayn is booked like a 50 year old manager or the entire Women's Elimination Tag. At the end of the day, Roman/McIntyre, Sasha/Asuka, and New Day/Street Profits all are strong enough matches to lean this show positive, and even the men's Elimination was OK, if a little puzzling. Mildly Recommended.
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