Surviving the Game: 2017 Survivor Series Recap
November is good for football, turkey, and Survivor Series. The 31st iteration of the Fall spectacular took over Houston, Texas. It marked the in ring return of Triple H since his defeat at the hands of Seth Rollins. Other than the cruiserwieght title, no titles are at stake. Interest (as well as ticket sales) picked up after the stunning title win by AJ Styles to supplant Jinder Mahal. Which brand will prevail? Let’s dive in!
Elias vs. Matt Hardy
This impromptu match was added to the kickoff show just before the start of the evening’s proceedings. There was no history, buildup, or anything for this one. This random match was pedestrian throughout. Matt Hardy hurt after getting his arm slammed by Elias on the ring apron. The injury ultimately cost him the match after Elias targeted it and followed it up with a Drift Away for the win.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Kickoff Show Match: Enzo Amore vs. Kalisto
The main feud on 205 Live carried onto Survivor Series and for once, Enzo had the physical advantage. He dominated the match for the most part physically. The match was generic and added nothing to the feud. Both guys hung on the top rope to evade the other’s finisher. Enzo wound up retaining the title after sending Kalisto into an exposed turnbuckle and connecting with a Jaw-Done-Zo.
Winner: Enzo Amore
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. Breezango
The unlikely duo was thrown into this match unexpectedly against Breezango. The match was pretty pedestrian until a hot tag to Fandango happened and Breezango began to rally. KO and Sami’s teamwork proved to be the undoing of Breezango as KO saved Sami from a Last Dance and tagged himself in to land a pop-up powerbomb for the win.
Winners: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
The Shield vs. The New Day
Survivor Series officially kicked with one of the matches that had big expectations. The match was intense and high impact. The Shield’s official return seemed like they never left. The Hounds were as vicious and as cohesive as they were when they were dominating just a few years ago. This one definitely set the tone. The New Day also brought it, as they have been doing consistently on PPVs. They had one of the most creative spots of the year during the match when Big E sat on Xavier Woods’ shoulders and Kofi Kingston leaped over both of them from the top to land a splash on Dean Ambrose. Big E followed up with a splash that would’ve ended things had Roman Reigns not broken up the pin. The Hounds ultimately took down their prey by giving Kofi a triple powerbomb. This match was a great opener.
Winner: The Shield Score: Raw-1 SmackDown-0
Team Raw – Alicia Fox, Nia Jax, Asuka, Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Team SmackDown – Becky Lynch, Carmella, Tamina Snuka, Naomi & Natalya
Asuka made her Survivor Series debut as a member of Team Raw. There has been criticism regarding her main roster debut but this match wound up going a long way towards turning the tide. The match had great energy and while the buildup could’ve been better, the match was a winner overall. There was a case of Botchamania when Alicia Fox was “eliminated” when the ref rang the bell despite there not being a three count. Tamina was a juggernaut. She eliminated Nia Jax via count out and she also took out Bayley with a Superfly Splash. Asuka, however, ultimately wound up being the MVP. She was the sole member of Raw left and she had to fend against Tamina and Natalya. The Empress already pinned and eliminated Carmella. She wound up eliminating Tamina and Natalya with an arm bar and by reversing a Sharpshooter into an Asuka Lock respectively.
Winner: Team Raw Score: Raw-2 SmackDown-0 Order of elimination: Becky Lynch (by Bayley), Bayley (by Tamina), Nia Jax (via count out), Alicia Fox? (by Naomi), Naomi (by Sasha Banks), Sasha Banks (by Natalya), Tamina (by Asuka), Natalya (by Asuka)
WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. WWE US Champion Baron Corbin
This battle between the two mid card heels was solid as well. Baron looked very good in this match. He trash talked Maryse by blowing her a kiss and decking Miz. The Miztourage injected themselves in the match and they and The Miz attacked Baron’s left knee. Baron rallied back and beat The A-Lister by reversing a dropkick attempt into an End of Days.
Winner: Baron Corbin Score: Raw-2 SmackDown-1
WWE Raw Tag Team Champions Sheamus & Cesaro vs. WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos
This match had the potential to be the sleeper of the night coming in. Both teams are pretty good cohesively and quite savvy. The match was filled drama as near falls and high-octane offense were the norm in this battle. The buildup led to spectacular finish. Cesaro sacrificed himself by taking a double superkick from the Usos for Sheamus. Sheamus was unable to rally back and fell to a splash from Jay for the win to tie things up.
Winner: The Usos Score: Raw-2 SmackDown-2
WWE Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs. WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair
Though this feud hadn’t been going on for long, Charlotte and Alexa went at each other as if they were beefing for years. The match showed why they both are among the top 4 best female wrestlers within the company. The match was very physical and full of counters and near falls. Charlotte ultimately won the day by countering a Twisted Bliss attempt by Alexa by kneeing her and following up with a running kick and a Figure Eight. As usual, Charlotte attempted and missed yet another moonsault, but she did give The Blue Brand the lead with this win.
Winner: Charlotte Score: Raw-2 SmackDown-3
WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. WWE Champion AJ Styles
The co-main event surpassed expectations. In fact, it was a WrestleMania caliber main event match. The match was dominated for the first by Brock. He simply manhandled AJ. AJ sold the hits and German Suplexes like they were iPhone Xs. He eventually turned things around and rallied back. AJ used two springboard forearms to weaken Lesnar. He really energized the crowd by hitting The Beast with a 450 splash that got a huge pop from the crowd. Lesnar attempted to counter a Styles Clash but AJ countered that attempt into a Calf Crusher. Brock got out of that by slamming AJ’s head against the canvas. Brock got hit with a Phenomenal Forearm afterwards but he caught AJ when he tried again and gave him a F5 to win and tie things up again between the brands.
Winner: Brock Lesnar Score: Raw-3 SmackDown-3
Team Raw – Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe & Triple H vs. Team SmackDown – Shane McMahon, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode & John Cena
The other half of the main event was somewhat underwhelming, especially after the succession of very solid preceding matches. The match started out solid but lost steam not long after to become a bit of a letdown. The newer guys, Balor, Joe, Roode, and Nakamura were eliminated rather quick. Braun hung around until the end, which was the one bright spot in this head scratcher. The match wound up largely dominated by the older guys, Shane, Triple H, Angle, and Cena towards the end. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn showed up and sabotaged Team SmackDown, which will surely lead to implications on this week’s edition of SmackDown. Triple H ultimately won it for Raw by tricking Shane after he was left alone with he and Strowman. Strowman wound up attacking Triple H after he let his displeasure be known after he eliminated Kurt Angle and by trying to run things. Strowman gave Triple H two power slams and left him lying in the ring as the show drew to a close.
Winner: Team Raw Score: Raw-4 SmackDown-3
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