- Welcome to the Era of "Scrooge Wasn't Watching." Other than the Halloween night episode of Raw, featuring THE MUPPETS, I don't recall watching an episode of Raw or Smackdown in the calendar year of 2011. My hostility is definitely noticeable in that recap of Raw, to the point I feel ashamed for even submitting it. Without looking at the results (or back of the DVD case), I could only think of two matches that took place: The Rock and John Cena teaming up against Miz and R-Truth, and CM Punk versus Alberto Del Rio. To be fair, the latter only because of the recaps of Punk's 434 days as WWE Champion.
- Originally broadcasted on Pay-Per-View on November 20th, 2011 from the greatest arena in the World, Madison Square Garden, in New York City, NY. Michael Cole, Jerry "The King" Lawler, and Booker T are at ringside to call the action, unless otherwise noted. For the record: Yes, Cole was still working his heel persona at this point, but thankfully was starting to tone it down. WWE Survivor Series is presented by THQ's WWE '12... what is up with WWE being sponsored by their own products?!
They trade holds until Ziggler puts Morrison down with a dropkick. Headlock, and back to the bitter crowd cheering for someone not scheduled to be on the PPV. Two years later, these fans were screaming for Ziggler to cash in the MITB Briefcase, so really, they're a fickle bunch when it comes to long-term appreciation and commitment. Ziggler goes for another dropkick, but Morrison counters, sending Ziggler to the floor, and following with a twisting plancha. Ziggler shows-off with a jumping elbow drop and nip-up. Morrison offers a comeback, but a reverse slam gets two. Morrison blocks the Zig-Zag and connects with clotheslines. Jumping heel kick and goofy flipping neck breaker gets two. Another ridiculously contrived spot leads to Morrison springing off the ropes with an enziguri for two. Ziggler with a sleeper, Morrison fights out and hits a Tornado DDT for two. Vicki helps get Ziggler's foot on the ropes and gets tossed from ringside for it. Ziggler with a small package for two. They trade a series of pinning combinations for near falls. Ziggler with the Fame-Asser for two. Morrison with the running knee, but his stupid twisting splash hits knees. Ziggler with the Zig-Zag, and it's over at 10:41. Post-match, Zack Ryder shows up and clears the ring of Ziggler. Whatever. **1/4 Highlight of the match: the crowd's stubborn attitude on chanting for Zack Ryder. Decent match, but it looked more like two guys doing neat spots with little to no build, rendering it forgettable. It's like the imitation version of a Main Event match.
- David Otunga shows up to give CM Punk crap about attacking Michael Cole on the previous episode of Monday Night Raw. Don't care, but Punk's facial expressions mocking Otunga are pretty funny.
- The Rock cuts one of his famous "live, but probably not" promos, trying to sell the PPV to the people who already bought the damn show. Did he really need five-minutes to milk 90-seconds worth of material?
Once things calm down (including yet ANOTHER We Want Ryder chant), Mason Ryan shows off his skills at being able to walk, because his offense is pretty terrible looking. Hunico gets tagged in and thrown around, having nothing to do now that his true opposition, Sin Cara, is gone without ever actually doing anything in the match. Kofi plays face-in-peril, as things slow down with a bunch of chinlocks. When there's plenty of fresh bodies to keep the pressure on. Ryan gets the mild-tag and cleans house... of Hunico. Rhodes with the blind tag, and a Disaster Kick and Cross Rhodes finishes Ryan off at 8:51 to a babyface pop (myself included). Sheamus makes his first (legal) appearance of the match, working over Rhodes with his signature clubbing blows across the chest. He ends up on the wrong side of the ring, and gets punished on the floor by Barrett. Kingston with his own hot tag, working in his jumping clothesline and Boom Drop on Barrett. He sets up for Trouble in Paradise, but calls an audible with a roll up for two. Kofi gets cute on the apron and takes a boot to the face for it. Barrett with Wasteland, and Kofi is gone at 14:06. Orton comes in and instantly plays face-in-peril... I'm sensing a pattern. Swagger gets his first notable action in the match, nearly 15-minutes in. Sheamus gets the third hot tag of the match (the previous two leading to the eliminations of said hot tagger), and guess what... he pummels Swagger so badly the referee decides to call for the bell at 18:25, Disqualifying Sheamus.
That leaves Orton 4-against-1... but not for long, as Sheamus KO's Swagger with the Brogue Kick, allowing Orton to get the three count at 19:32 and bringing it back to 3-on-1. DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES! Rhodes stomps Orton down in the corner, no doubt still mad over being dumped from Legacy quite a while back. Orton battles back and takes Rhodes down with a snap Powerslam, followed by the middle-rope DDT (VINTAGE ORTON!). Hunico tags in, springs off the top rope, and eats an RKO. He's gone at 21:37. DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES! Orton with a back breaker on Barrett. He sets up for another RKO, but Rhodes runs in, taking the RKO instead. Barrett quickly plants Orton with Wasteland, and he's gone at 22:13, leaving Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes as the Survivors. *** I wasn't feeling the match for roughly the first half (as in, it's good, just not interesting), but there was some decent, if unspectacular, work, and I could've done for a lengthier "Orton against the Odds" segment, but it's a satisfying match, regardless.
Del Rio recovers first, hanging Punk across the top rope. He charges in, only to take a boot to the face. They trade blows with Punk gaining the upperhand, and eventually taking Del Rio down with a jumping heel kick. Punk with a clothesline and swinging neck breaker for two. Running knee to the face by Punk, followed by the bulldog for another two count. Punk with springboard clothesline for two. He signals for GTS, but Del Rio slips out and connects with the Back Stabber for a two count. Punk with a surprise roll-up for two. Del Rio avoids the running knee and hits the enziguri for another near fall. Del Rio Back-Stabber to the arm, but it only gets two. Del Rio sets Punk across the top turnbuckle, but a slugfest sees Del Rio knocked down. Punk continues to the top rope, only to get crotched along the buckle, and kicked across the left arm. Del Rio charges, meeting post. Punk finally completes the sequence, coming down with the Macho Man Elbow for a two count. Thank you Big Show for killing the spot. If your fat ass can't finish someone with it, then Punk sure as shit isn't. Punk goes for GTS again, but Del Rio counters. He ducks a roundhouse kick and applies the Cross Armbreaker! Punk somehow, some way, finds his way to the ropes to force a break. Del Rio charges into Punk, but manages to avoid the GTS. He shoves Punk into Rodriguez, and rolls him up for two. Punk with a roundhouse kick for two. He quickly grabs the Anaconda Vice, and despite desperate clawing and hair pulling, Del Rio is forced to tap out at 17:15, giving the WWE Championship to CM Punk. ***1/2 Match started off a bit slow, but it picked up and delivered an amazing second-half. Hearing the Fink introduce Punk as the NEW WWE Champion is a cool moment. Punk, of course, would reign, uninterrupted, for 434 days, and is my reason for being a WWE fan, again.
The Rock and Miz start. Rock with the headlock and shoulder tackle, followed by arm drags on both Miz and Truth. Rock with an Oklahoma Roll on Miz for a two count, and sending Awesome Truth to the floor in frustration. Truth tags in to get him some, and has as much luck as Miz did. Rock with a Perfect-Plex, but Cena cutting off Miz distracts the referee, so Rock tags out with a douche slap to the back of the hand. Cena with snapmares on Miz to boos, followed by a monkey flip and dropkick. Crowd chants "You Still Suck." Cena teases a You Can't See Me, then does it in the Rock's direction, because they don't like each other. At 7:33, the heels get their first offense of the match. Truth and Miz control with some boring offense as we're reminded that they went over CM Punk and Triple H at Vengeance (with help from Big Poochie). Let me guess who took the loss at that one. Miz with a DDT for two. He dances around like a moron until hitting a diving clothesline. Double-team suplex gets two. Cena continues taking the world's least interesting beating as the crowd is just waiting for the Rock to tag back in. Cena rolls through a R-Truth body press, but can't finish and gets planted with a front suplex. Cena with the STF, but Truth runs in to break it. Truth attacks Rock, tricking him into the ring for some illegal double-teaming. After roughly 11-MINUTES of Miz and Truth in control, Rock finally gets the hot tag. Rock Bottom to Truth, Dragon screw takedown and Sharpshooter on Miz. Truth interrupts, only for Cena to tackle him out of the ring. Miz gets mouthy on the Rock, only to take a Spinebuster. Rock with THE MOST ELECTRIFYING MOVE IN ALL OF ENTERTAINMENT (Lawler seriously omits saying Sports), and it's over at 21:33. Well, that was about 8-minutes longer than it needed. Post-match, Rocky gives Cena a Rock Bottom, just 'cause. *1/2 Opening quarter of the match was some fun stuff, but the rest just dragged, and dragged, and dragged.
Final Thoughts: Despite a "once in a lifetime" Main Event, this is a very forgettable show. The Tag Match featuring Cena and Rock was underwhelming at best (and boring as shit most of the time), Punk's WWE Title win came in a good, but unspectacular, match with Del Rio, and the Elimination Match, while fun, relied on the same ideas over and over, again. Filling out the card is a terrible battle of the bulk over the World Heavyweight Title, a US Title Match that held zero interest other than a lack of Zack Ryder, and a LumberJILL Match where the idea of the gimmick is never utilized. It's not a bad show, just not very good. I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to see it, but you can find copies online for roughly 5-bucks.
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