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WWE Survivor Series 2021
by Scrooge McSuck
Presented LIVE on Peacock and Pay-Per-View outlets on November 21st, 2021, from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. We've got the usual cast of characters covering the action for Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown. This is the 25th Anniversary of the debut of one Dwayne Johnson, so there's a lot of tributes to him. NOT APPEARING: DWAYNE JOHNSON. OH... Um... Well, I'm sure they've got a surprise up their sleeve to make up for that. I haven't been a dedicated fan of WWE lately, so if I'm missing any key storyline threads, I apologize.
Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch:
This is Champion vs Champion (Flair representing Smackdown, Lynch from Raw), but non-Title for the obvious reasons. Becky returned from maternity leave, turning heel and defeating Belair for the Raw Women's Title at SummerSlam. Then the Draft happened, and things got ugly as the two got legitimately heated during a dumb segment no one wanted to do. No, I don't think Charlotte was trying to get herself fired. Becky is sporting all red gear to support the show she was drafted to literally weeks earlier. Charlotte strikes first at the bell. Becky backs Charlotte up but has the knee clipped. Natural Selection misses, but Charlotte blocks the Disarm-Her. Charlotte pops up with a Spear and unloads with some mounted right hands. They roll to the floor, with Charlotte being sent to the post. Back inside, Charlotte counters a slam and boots Becky on the back of the head. The crowd seems confused who to cheer and boo. Now it's Becky's turn to meet the post. Charlotte goes high risk and Lynch shoves her crashing into the security wall. Lynch can't capitalize as she's dropped back-first across the barricade. Back inside, they take turns slapping each other until Charlotte hits a clothesline. The referee forces a break in the corner, giving Becky the opening to turn things around. Whip to the ropes and Charlotte counters another Disarm-Her attempt with a stack-up slam for two. Becky with a surprise roll-up for two. Charlotte with a roll-up for two. Becky runs wild with strikes in the corner, but the Exploder is countered with Charlotte's own suplex into the turnbuckles. Charlotte wastes time trash talking. She misses a moonsault, but lands on her feet and (mostly) hits a standing moonsault for two. We get another exchange of slaps. Lynch counters a suplex with an inside cradle for two. Whip to the corner, Charlotte flips to the apron and hangs Becky across the top rope. How can Cole identify these women as "his generation" when he has 20 years on both? Lynch surprises Charlotte in the ropes with a guillotine leg drop. Becky hooks a modified arm bar before transitioning into a cradle for two. They smack heads in the middle and Charlotte covers for two. Big boot from Charlotte for another two-count. Lynch fights off a Figure-Eight and hits a reverse DDT for two. "Big Time Becks" goes to the top and misses a leg drop. Boot misses and Becky hits the MAN-HANDLE SLAM for two. It's just a Rock Bottom, by the way. Becky hooks a Figure-Four, but Charlotte reverses the pressure. Charlotte with a big boot, knocking Lynch to the ringside floor. She goes to the top rope again and connects with the moonsault (mostly). She gets way too much rotation; I'm surprise she hasn't messed up an ankle with these landings. Back inside, Charlotte steals Becky's finisher, hooking a Disarm-Her. Charlotte tries using the ropes in a roll-up, but the referee sees it. Becky counters, and she gets away with the same tactic for the victory at 18:15. Cheap finish to a good opener. Charlotte needs to give up on the moonsault spots, otherwise I can't complain too much about the action. ***¾
Team Raw (Bobby Lashley, Austin Theory, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, and Seth Rollins) vs. Team Smackdown (King Woods, Jeff Hardy, Sheamus, Happy Corbin, and Drew McIntyre)
There were a few different looks to the Survivor Series team lineups, so we'll just move on without worrying about those meaningless substitutions. I don't think anyone really cared if Dominik Mysterio made it to the PPV or not. I guess Theory's thing is humiliating someone and taking a selfie of it. How this modern-day behavior was cleared by Vince McMahon at the creative meeting is beyond me. The man probably just discovered what a smart phone is, but insisted it be called an intelligence phone-like device. At least everyone is spared having to wear their brand's shirt. Owens and Rollins argue who gets to start for Raw. Owens wins that and takes a walk for the elimination at 0:55. Rollins is so upset, McIntyre surprises him with a shoulder tackle. Woods works Theory over in the corner. Drop toe hold into the ropes and Woods with a dropkick to the back. McIntyre lights up Theory's chest with chops, and now everyone wants a turn. Rollins tags in and Happy Corbin lays him out with a clothesline. Jeff comes off the ropes with a double axe-handle. I can't express the disappointment that Jeff isn't wearing Smackdown colors. How am I supposed to know what team he represents this week?! Balor in, and his luck is no better, as Smackdown continues to control the action. Balor fights out of the corner and rolls up Corbin for two. Madcap Moss with a distraction, allowing Corbin to hit Deep Six for two. Everyone hits their sh*t and Balor nails Corbin with the coup de grace for three at 7:50. Jeff with an inverted atomic drop, leg drop and basement dropkick combo for two. Balor rolls through a sunset flip and hits his own dropkick for two. Lashley tags in for the first time, charging into the corner with a shoulder block to the midsection. Jeff fights off a double-team and hits Whisper in the Wind. Meanwhile, Lashley decides to pull McIntyre off the apron and slams him into the post. Jeff with a surprise cradle on Theory for two. Woods with the tag, running wild and hitting Theory with a Russian leg sweep. He hits Shin Music and discus forearm. Lashley straddles Woods on the top rope and hits the Spear. Hurt Lock applied and Woods is done at 13:26.
Heck breaks loose again with Rollins and Balor hitting synchronized sling-blades. McIntyre tags himself in to give the Almighty a receipt. They slug it out, with McIntyre getting the better of the exchange. Crisscross and Lashley with a flatliner. He charges into the corner with a shoulder tackle. Whip across the ring, McIntyre pops out with a clothesline and sends Lashley to the floor. McIntyre blocks the post and both men end up taking a tumble over the barricade. The fight continues and both men are counted out at 16:18. Drew gets the last laugh, though, hitting Lashley with a Claymore. Rollins acts like a dirtbag and eats a headbutt. HOW IS THAT LEGAL? Especially since Sheamus immediately covered for a near-fall. Balor with a sunset flip on Sheamus for two. Sheamus comes back with a powerslam for two. Balor with a sling-blade and shotgun dropkick. He misses the coup de grace and Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick for three at 19:32. Theory with a rolling dropkick to an unsuspecting Sheamus for two. Sheamus fights out of a chin-lock and hits a back breaker on Seth. Hardy in with elbows and clotheslines. He gets a double boot to the face and hits Rollins with a splash from the middle rope for two. Sheamus gives the assist for Poetry in Motion. I guess those accusations of being a reckless alcoholic are behind them, as they club Rollins and Theory across the chest with forearms. Theory with a distraction, allowing Rollins to hit Sheamus with a Super-Kick for two. Rollins yanks Hardy off the apron to prevent a tag, and Theory rolls Sheamus up with a handful of tights for three at 24:42. Team Smackdown, for the second time, takes a shot at an opponent after being eliminated. Then Sheamus lays out Hardy because HE'S A HEEL, FELLA. Rollins tries to capitalize and hits a Frog Splash for a near-fall. Hardy fights off another double-team and hits Theory with the Swanton Bomb for three at 26:54. Rollins escapes a Twist of Fate but is hit with a swinging neck breaker for two. Rollins with a pair of forearm strikes for two. Hardy blocks the Stomp and hits a Twist of Fate. The Swanton Bomb meets knees, and Rollins with the Stomp for three at 29:56, making Rollins the Sole Survivor for Monday Night Raw. A couple of cheap eliminations, but I'm OK with that since having 9 eliminations could use shenanigans here and there. Not a top-tier elimination match, but far from a bad one. Simply put, a fun 30-minutes. ***½
I'm ignoring the show-long storyline where Vince McMahon has a "100-million-dollar egg" from Red Notice (starring Dwayne Johnson). The egg is stolen, and the cliffhanger is solved the next night on Monday Night Raw. No, this wasn't as bad as the Gobbledy Gooker, but what a waste of time. At least this gave us some clever memes about Vince saving so much money by cutting half the roster throughout 2021.
The Rock's 25th Anniversary 25-Man Battle Royal:
(Participants: A.J. Styles, Omos, Jinder Mahal, Ricochet, Angelo Dawkins, Montez Ford, Robert Roode, Dolph Ziggler, Mansoor, Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez, Cedric Alexander, Shelton Benjamin, T-BAR, Shanky, Angel, Erik, Ivar, Otis, Chad Gable, Humberto, R-Truth, Cesaro, Sami Zayn, and Drew Gulak)
In case this wasn't enough of a waste of time, the match is sponsored by Pizza Hut, so we get plenty of shilling for their mediocre frozen pizza dough with lukewarm toppings. OK, now everyone is a geek wearing Raw or Smackdown shirts. The Street Profits do Byron dirty and he's about to cry over it. I hope Vince ruptured something laughing at that. Styles ducks out of the ring and cheers on from the table. Omos tosses Gulak at 0:25, then Mr. Benjamin at 0:28. Humberto takes a shot at Omos and gets dumped at 0:32. Truth has left the match to grab a slice. He offers it to Omos, then to Otis (who looks like Francis from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure now). Otis eats the slice but isn't happy about the slap on the butt and tosses Truth at 1:41. Otis and Omos battle and Otis loses that one, getting dumped at 1:54. Cesaro knocks Gable out with a running uppercut at 2:25. Ricochet eliminates T-BAR at 2:40. Mansoor with a head-scissors to send Alexander out at 2:55. Angel Garza is victimized by Dawkins at 3:32. The Vikings dump Mahal at 3:40. Shanky sends Erik packing at 3:45, then Ivar at 3:50. Shanky wants some of Omos and gets tossed at 4:21. Mansoor presses his luck with Roode and Dolph and gets thrown out at 4:58. Omos tosses Roode at 5:31. Dolph tries sucking up and gets hit by a Phenomenal Forearm before being tossed at 6:02. Zayn tries to rally Cesaro and Ricochet as the last men standing for Smackdown. It doesn't go well for Sami, and he's dumped by the Street Profits at 7:18. Omos sends Azeez (God bless you) packing at 7:32. Styles with excessive trash talk, so he gets pulled out at 8:22. Does Omos get credit for that elimination, since he was holding Styles' legs at the time? He tosses Crews at 8:40. Omos fights off a 4-on-1 attack. Cesaro gets dumped at 9:35. Dawkins at 9:40. Ford is gone at 9:56. Ricochet gives his best effort, but Omos is too much of a colossus for him to handle, and Ricochet is gone at 10:38 to secure the victory for Omos
. Not much to this, other than to be a showcase for Omos.
RK-Bro vs. The Usos:
More Battles of Brand Supremacy. We're told Randy Orton is setting the record for most PPV matches wrestled in WWE history. I believe it. The Usos were born into a family of accolade... I guess Randy Orton isn't a 3rd Generation Superstar and one of the most decorated in the modern era. Riddle and Jimmy start. Waist-lock takedown and Riddle goes for the arm bar, but Jimmy fights free. Whip to the corner, Riddle avoids a charge and connects with a jumping high kick. Orton teases an RKO but Jimmy bails out. Jey tags in as we get our random fun fact that his 1st singles match in WWE was against Orton. Orton goes to the eyes and takes Jey over with a snap mare. Assisted moonsault from Riddle gets the first two-count of the match. Jimmy gets sent to the floor and Riddle follows with a corkscrew Asai moonsault. The distraction allows Jey to recover and knock Riddle into the barricade. Back inside, I'm surprised that they're doing the choke across the rope spot. WOAH, DID PAT MCAFEE NAME THE REFEREE? Jey with a running hip attack into the corner. He wastes time talking trash and runs into a roundhouse kick. Jimmy prevents the tag, hooking a chin-lock. Jimmy with a snap suplex for two. Riddle fights out of a second chin-lock and whiffs completely with a GTS. Orton with the hot tag, running wild on Jey with clotheslines and a snap powerslam. Snap powerslam to Jimmy. Jey pulls Orton to the floor and gets dropped across the announcer's table for his troubles. Back inside, Orton with the rope-assisted DDT. Jey blocks the RKO and hits a pair of Super-Kicks. Riddle tags himself in and unloads with kicks. Rip cord knee to the chin of Jimmy, followed by a T-Bone Suplex. Jey brings up the knees to counter a senton and hits a pop-up neck breaker for a near-fall. Riddle with a dead-lift German suplex for two. Blind tag to Jimmy, hitting the Samoan drop for two. Double Super-Kick to Orton. Double Super-Kick to Riddle for two. Riddle slips off the shoulders of Jey and sends him to the post. Orton gets the blind tag and eats another Super-Kick. Jimmy continues going after Riddle, unaware of the tag. He goes to the top for the splash and gets hit with an RKO OUT OF NOWHERE for three at 14:47. I wasn't expecting to enjoy the match as much as I did, but this was classic formula tag team action, and a nice breath of fresh air after being desensitized by over-reliance on high spots and finisher spams. ****
Team Raw (Bianca Belair, Carmella, Queen Zelina, Liv Morgan, and Rhea Ripley) vs. Team Smackdown (Natalya, Shayna Baszler, Toni Storm, Shotzi, and Sasha Banks)
Did we need two-minutes detailing the rules of a Survivor Series Match? WE LITERALLY SAT THROUGH ONE AN HOUR AGO. Nice to see Zelina traded in her tweets about unionizing for a crown leftover from the Spirit discount bin. Entrances only eat up 7-minutes, thanks to Smackdown all meeting at the top of the ramp. Any guesses which team is deemed more important? Carmella and Storm start. Carmella throws a right hand and tags out to put her mask on to protect her face. She tags back in, but Raw has a miscommunication and Storm rolls her up for three at 1:08. Don't worry, Raw had to fight from underneath earlier and won. Belair and Banks come in, but Shotzi decides she wants to be in there instead. Lockup and a clean break in the corner. Shotzi yanks the hair to take Belair down and hits a twisting splash for two. Belair doesn't care for Shotzi trying to be unorthodox for the sake of it and sits down across her chest. Morgan with a flying who-knows-what-the-f*ck for two. Natalya in to collect her social security check and hit Morgan with a snap suplex for two. They trade roll-ups, including the bridge into a back-slide spot. Morgan gets dropped on her bottom and Natalya hits the ropes for a basement dropkick for two. Ripley unloads on Natalya with short clotheslines and a headbutt. Shayna and Natalya with a double delay suplex for two. Ripley avoids the stomp across the elbow but gets planted with a tilt-o-whirl slam for two. Shotzi continues to disrupt the flow of her team, yanking Sasha off the apron to prevent a tag. Baszler blocks the Rip Tide and hooks the cross arm-bar. Heck breaks loose with everyone getting their sh*t in. Sasha and Belair in, and this time there's no stopping them. Sasha uses the ropes to arm drag Belair, but Belair lands on her feet and taunts Sasha with her posterior. Bank Statement applied, but Belair rolls through. She catches Sasha off the ropes with a fallaway slam. Belair blocks the Back Stabber but is caught with a tornado DDT for two. Belair with a spine buster for two. Is everyone still playing dead taking basic offense? Banks counters the KOD by pulling the hair. Zelina tags in and gets launched off the top with a cross body press for two. Sasha counters a Code Red and hits the Back Stabber. Storm with an inverted face buster to eliminate Zelina at 14:08.
Morgan rolls through the same and gets a back-slide for two. Morgan ducks a boot and rolls Storm up for two. O'Connor Roll only gets two. Morgan with a flatliner and that finally finishes off Storm at 15:13. Baszler tries to attack from behind and gets caught with a weak cradle for two. Baszler counters the flatliner with a Kirifuda Clutch. Shotzi tags herself in and hits a terrible splash. Banks does the same, and her splash looks bad too, but it's enough for three at 16:26 to eliminate Liv. Ripley rocks Sasha with a headbutt and goes through an unnecessary sequence to hit a delayed suplex for two. Ripley hits a missile dropkick, sending Sasha into her own corner. Back Stabber connects. Shotzi with assisted slice bread, and a knee from Baszler finishes Ripley at 17:54. Belair gives Natalya a delayed suplex for two. I like that Natalya sells shoulders to the midsection before they hit and when they aren't even attempted. Powerbomb out of the corner (called a spine buster) for two. Shotzi and Sasha still won't get along, and the in-fighting causes Sasha to get counted out at 20:04, even though Banks got her entire body into the ring at one point, but you know, stupid booking. Natalya with the discus clothesline. Belair escapes the Sharpshooter and cradles her for three at 21:23. Baszler pops Belair on the chin with a knee. Belair counters the Kirifuda Clutch and slams Baszler on her face for three at 22:01. Shotzi with a hanging head-scissors, and I half-expected her to get counted out. Belair rolls through a flying body press but is caught with a sling-blade bulldog. Belair blocks sliced bread and hits the KOD to finish off the Smackdown geeks at 23:45. Team Smackdown earned that loss. This was fine until rapid-fire eliminations and illogical storytelling took place. **½
Big E vs. Roman Reigns (w/ Paul Heyman):
Will Big E complete the clean sweep for Monday Night Raw? Spoilers: Nope. Big E defeating Lashley for the WWE Championship was a great feel-good moment, but then WWE forgot they had to protect Big E as Champion and had him lose match after match, tipping their hand that the title change was a last-second ratings ploy than long-term storytelling unfolding. Lockup into the corner and Big E gives a clean break. Corey Graves notes their history in WWE dates to the days of FCW. Lockup and Big E sends Roman to the corner. Roman powders to get words of wisdom from Heyman. Back inside, Roman with elbows to escape a waist-lock. They trade forearms until Roman comes off the ropes with a jumping clothesline. He punishes Big E with mounted right hands and boots to the chest. Crisscross and Big E with a back elbow for a one-count. Big E pulls Roman to the apron and misses the big splash. THAT'S THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING! Roman takes advantage and connects with the Drive-By. You'd think WWE would have a more PG name for that move after all these years (see: FU becoming the AA). Back inside, Roman throws more right hands in the corner. Big E fights out of a chin-lock, only to run into an elbow. Roman with a boot in the corner, followed by a second boot coming off the ropes for a two-count. Big E gets dumped to the outside and sent face-first into the post. Roman appears to have the match won, but willingly breaks the count at 9. He talks more trash and gets sent into the steps for his overconfidence.
Back inside, Big E with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Big E hits two more and comes off the ropes with a high elevation splash. He rallies the crowd, teasing the Big Ending. Roman cuts him off, hitting a Samoan drop for two. Roman with a flurry of short clotheslines in the corner. He blocks another belly-to-belly attempt but is caught charging into the corner with a uranage for two. Big E applies the stretch muffler. Roman rolls through and hits a sit-out powerbomb for two. Big E avoids the Superman Punch but walks into a Rock Bottom-like move for two. So... a Rock Bottom. Roman finally hits the Superman Punch, but all it does is drop Big E to one knee. A second Superman Punch puts Big E on his back, but he's still got fight in him. Roman hits him for a third time, finally keeping him motionless for at least a few seconds. The camera deliberately avoids showing Big E has returned to his feet, showing no signs of giving up. Roman avoids a Big Ending but is nailed with the spear through the ropes. Big E will never stop doing that move. Back inside, Roman comes right back with a Spear for two. Big E drives Roman into the corner to break the guillotine choke. Sorry, "guillotine submission." Roman counters the spear by hooking the guillotine. He lets go to re-enter the ring and apply the hold legally. Big E powers out, hitting the Big Ending for a near-fall. Big E takes things to the floor and pays for it, having his knees clip the stairs. Roman launches himself for a Supersized Superman Punch. Back inside, Roman avoids the Big Ending and hits a Spear for three at 21:56. This was a modern day hoss fight. However, there was a lot of laying around and the match easily could've been trimmed by 5-minutes to tighten up the action. ***½
Final Thoughts: While I'm not too high on the product WWE has presented lately, you can't argue the effort of the wrestlers working for them. Not everything is a hit (a Battle Royal is usually just a piss break filler match now), but the good far outweighs the bad. No, there's no stakes as far as championships changing hands, but like the old school Survivor Series PPV's, if you accept this is just a 3-hour show to have fun, then you'll find something to enjoy.
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