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Wrestling

2019 Survivor Series Review

What a difference a year makes. Remember last year? That ridiculous Survivor Series we got, where Raw swept SmackDown…but then again they really didn’t because SmackDown won a match…but it was on the pre-show so of course it doesn’t count? Yeah thank God we didn’t get that this year.

I’ll be honest, when WWE announced NXT would be apart of Survivor Series, I thought to myself, “wonderful, now NXT will get buried by the “main talent”. That wasn’t what happened here, and we actually got treated to a really nice show. So here is my review for Survivor Series 2019.

Pre-Show

The pre-show consisted of three matches, two of them seeming to have been added hours before the show.
– In the first pre-show match, we saw an interbrand 10-man battle royale. Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode won the match eliminating the Street Profits last. 1 point for SmackDown.
– The second match saw NXT Cruiserweight Champion Lio Rush defending his title against Raw’s Akira Tozawa and SmackDown’s Kalisto. Rush won the match, retaining his title. 1 point for NXT.
– The final pre-show match was the Survivor Series tag team match between NXT Tag Team Champions Undisputed Era (Fish & O’Reilly), Raw Tag Team Champions The Viking Raiders, and SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston). The Viking Raiders won the match, giving a point to Raw.

Women’s Survivor Series Match

NXT – Rhea Ripley, Bianca Belair, Candice LeRae, Io Shirai, Toni Storm
Raw – Charlotte Flair, Natalya, Asuka, Kairi Sane, Sarah Logan
SmackDown – Sasha Banks, Carmella, Dana Brooke, Nikki Cross, Lacey Evans
WWE

The action in the match was really good in my opinion, the booking however? I don’t know what was going on. First, Io Shirai and Candice LeRae were “hurt” on the outside of the ring and were taken to the back. There was no mention of them being eliminated or anything like that.

Then after that it just felt like one quick elimination after the other which really hurt the match. Rhea Ripley is a total bad-ass, but that finish could’ve hurt her. I mean, she overcame all the odds last night at WarGames and I feel it would’ve looked much better had Shirai and LeRae not came out to help her.

Not to mention, why the hell is Shirai and LeRae even standing next to each other let alone working together? I understand it’s for “brand supremacy” and all that, but these two have been in a blood feud and hate each other, so let’s just throw that all away? As I said, the action in the match was wonderful, but weird booking brought it down some for me.

Team NXT def. Team Raw and Team SmackDown
Raw – 1 Win | SmackDown – 1 Win | NXT – 2 Wins
Grade: B-

Mid-Card Champions Triple Threat

United States Champion AJ Styles (Raw)
Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura (SD)
NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong (NXT)
WWE

Many believed coming into this event that this match would steal the show, myself included. Although it may not have lived up to all the hype, it sure did deliver. You have three wrestlers who have made their names in three different companies by showing how talented they are throughout the years.

When the match started, I thought Shinsuke could come away with the win here, and during the match I was all but sure he would. He looked absolutely incredible in this match, and Sami Zayn being his manager has definitely worked out.

Styles is still one of the best performers on the roster, and being in the ring with two other wrestlers who can also put in great performances. After a grueling, hard hitting match last night at WarGames, Strong looked like he wasn’t affected at all. He covered Shinsuke after Styles hit him with a phenomenal forearm for the win.

Roderick Strong def. Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles
Raw – 1 Win | SmackDown – 1 Wins | NXT – 3 Wins
Grade: A

NXT Championship Match

Adam Cole (c) vs. Pete Dunne
WWE

I really hope you all understand how amazing Adam Cole is. Not just because his in-ring work has been some of the best for years, but because of his commitment. Triple H calls Cole, “NXT’s iron man” and it’s for definite good reason.

Cole took one of the craziest bumps when Ciampa hit him with an air raid crash, off the top of the cage through two tables at WarGames. Tonight, ribs taped up and all he put on another excellent match. Not to mention he was in another crazy match on Wednesday when he took on Dominik Dijacovic in a ladder match.

Not only is Cole incredible, but Pete Dunne has shown he is a top performer since he showed up in NXT. I didn’t really think he had a shot before the match, but during the match, I truly thought he was going to pull it off for a second.

An absolutely brutal looking Panama sunrise on the ring apron had Cole in line for the win. Then one of the craziest counters I’ve ever seen, where Dunne attempted to hit Cole with the bitter end, but Cole countered into a Panama sunrise for the win. A terrific match showcasing just what NXT has to offer.

Adam Cole def. Pete Dunne to retain the NXT Championship
Grade: A

Universal Championship Match

“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
WWE

This match shows me just how good Wyatt’s match against Seth at Hell in a Cell could’ve been. Wyatt looked as strong as he should and put on a great match for the Chicago crowd.

Not to mention, Daniel Bryan showed us exactly why many believe he is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. He had a great comeback where he actually looked like a viable threat to The Fiend….well, not really but you know what I mean.

People seem to really hate the red lighting during Wyatt’s matches, but if you pay attention to his Twitter, I think it gives us some clues as to why it shows up during his matches. I think the red light is where he get’s his power from, it’s what makes him this unkillable monster. I’m sure that’s how WWE will make Wyatt drop the title, in a match where the lights can’t go red or something.

Bryan looked great in this match, and Wyatt continues to be one of the best things in WWE. It’ll be very interesting to see just who they have planned to take him on at TLC.

Bray Wyatt def. Daniel Bryan to retain the Universal Championship
Grade: B+

Men’s Survivor Series Match

NXT – Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Damian Priest, Matt Riddle, Walter
Raw – Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens, Randy Orton, Ricochet
SmackDown – Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman King Corbin, Ali, Shorty G
WWE

This match eventually got really good, but it did take some time. Fans were definitely upset that the first man to get eliminated was NXT UK Champion Walter and the crowd let WWE hear it. Then, Braun Strowman gets eliminated via count out…in a triple threat match. How? I have no idea.

Ciampa looked great here and really got a chance to show the WWE fans just what he could do. But he’s not even the one I feel looked the best. Keith Lee became a star tonight. He went up against some of the biggest names in the WWE today and won the people’s hearts.

The action in the match was good, not great, but definitely not bad. I think this match completed a couple of things. It showcased how much of an idiot Baron Corbin can be, and it made Roman look like the real top dog. But most importantly, it showed that the NXT is not the minor leagues, and it’s just as much a part of the main roster as Raw and SmackDown is.

Team SmackDown def. Team Raw and Team SmackDown
Raw – 1 Win | SmackDown – 2 Wins | NXT – 3 Wins
Grade: B-

WWE Championship No Holds Barred Match

Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
WWE

Honesty time. I’m watching Rey Mysterio get his ass handed to him in a hand basket, and here comes his son Dominick. Rey Mysterio and his son Dominick hit Brock with a double 619, and back to back frog splashes. If that match would’ve ended right there I think I would’ve shed a tear.

But of course it didn’t. Dominick ate a German Suplex from Brock and Rey was served an F-5 for his troubles. I’m not gonna sit here and say I truly thought Rey was going to win, because I didn’t. But this was a great story told in the match and Rey had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand.

I saw some rumblings that Dominick could’ve turned on his father Rey, setting up a potential match where Dominick retires his father, but I’m glad it didn’t happen here. Brock is still one of the most dominant booked wrestler on the roster, and it’s going to take more than Rey and his son to dethrone the beast incarnate.

Brock Lesnar def. Rey Mysterio to retain the WWE Championship
Grade: B

Women’s Champions Triple Threat

Raw Women’s Champion – Becky Lynch
SmackDown Women’s Champion – Bayley
NXT Women’s Champion – Shayna Baszler
WWE

I don’t know why, but I wasn’t interested in this match at all. Maybe the show was too long, or maybe I was tired, but this match just didn’t garner my attention. The wrestlers wrestled a great match, and I’m really not trying to take anything away from that, but I couldn’t get into it.

Bayley looked great in the match, but unfortunately a lack of build for her in this match hurt. Lynch and Baszler was the feud everything was built around, and even though she did great, Bayley just didn’t seem to gel in the match.

Baszler winning the match was a great moment for NXT, but the post match beat down is just…confusing. Like why? Why have Baszler take a beating from Becky and not have Ronda Rousey or the other horsewomen come to her aide?

Sasha and Charlotte were in a match earlier, and Becky and Bayley are in this very match. They just showed Duke and Shafir backstage before the match. This would’ve been a perfect time to plant the seeds for a Horsewomen vs. Horsewomen feud, in my opinion.

The match was ok, the post-match beat down was confusing. It makes one ask the question if the match would’ve been better suited earlier in the night.

Shayna Baszler def. Bayley and Becky Lynch
Raw – 1 Win | SmackDown – 2 Wins | NXT – 4 Wins
Grade : C

Final Thought

Survivor Series 2019 was an overall success. As I said, many believed NXT was going to be buried here for the Raw and SmackDown talent. They all showed exactly what they have to offer to a much larger stage.

Maybe there’s an underlying reason why WWE booked NXT to go over so strongly (*cough* AEW) but it was great to see. Those men and women put their bodies through hell 24 hours ago, and still showed up to steal the show. I loved this show, despite a lacking main event.

Final Grade: A-

Featured Photo: CBS Sports

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