For the first time in many attempts, WWE’s big four PPV matched an incredible NXT Takeover the previous night. Survivor Series was outstanding from top to bottom with Brock Lesnar putting in his best match in recent history against AJ Styles, the two best trios in WWE facing off with The Shield vs New Day and a very entertaining, yet very puzzling Smackdown vs Raw Traditional Survivor Series Match.
A couple of quick notes before we get into the matches individually; five commenters throughout the whole show, in understand the split with Graves as the divider, but 3 is too much sometimes, five is ridiculous. Everyone wrestling in blue or red shirts is just corny and isn’t necessary; Shinsuke Nakamura in blue just feels wrong, and the first hour or two featured way too many backstage skits. Also, Booker T on commentary needs to go; he actively takes away from everything that occurs on the show.
Elias defeated Matt Hardy. Grade: C+ Elias focused heavily on the arm and shoulder of Matt Hardy and picks up another good win against a very notable name. Matt Hardy is in no man’s land at the moment and desperately needs something of interest; we can only hope this comes as the Broken Gimmick, but he needs to heat up before that gets going, even with the rights to the trademark.
Enzo Amore defended the Cruiserweight Championship against Kalisto. Grade: C- Kalisto botched his entrance terribly hanging himself up on the ropes as he jumped from his trampoline; why does he persist in trying that, it doesn’t look that special, we know its aided by a trampoline, and he botches it regularly. Kalisto made up for it with a couple of incredible spots, but this match was no different to many others they have had.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn defeated Breezango. Grade: C+ Sami Zayn and his over the top entrance while Kevin Owens is his calm and calculated self is genuinely hilarious. Owens & Zayn slammed Shane McMahon on the microphone showing that their feud may be far from over and perhaps teasing something later in the night. The match itself was fine but both teams deserve far better than a quick pre-show match.
The Shield defeated New Day. Grade: A. the two best trios in WWE today, and two of the best in history clashed for the first time ever, and it did not disappoint. An outstanding match from top to bottom; from the showdown of Big E & Roman Reigns feeling huge to multiple incredible near falls and high spots including an incredible finish with a Shield Powerbomb from the Middle Rope; this match will be hard to top. The way Roman is cheered as part of the Shield, but is booed so heavily individually is intriguing and the chants of “You Still Suck” should be seen as nothing but complements. It’s likely this will be a one-off match at least for the foreseeable future, and they made the most of it here.
Raw Women’s Team defeated Smackdown Women’s Team. Grade: B- Parts of this match were fantastic, other parts of this match were a complete mess. The botch with Naomi & Alicia Fox on Foxy’s elimination was diva search levels of bad and the count-out elimination of Nia Jax just feels so cheap. In saying that the showdown between Nia Jax and Tamina was great and felt like a big deal, and having Asuka fight back from the two-on-one did great to show her as the absolute very best of the division.
Baron Corbin defeated The Miz. Grade: B- The match was always going to be hurt with the heel vs heel dynamic and while Miz could have easily worked this match as the babyface with his wife at ringside, he continually resorted to heel tactics. Maryse at ringside brought out a much more aggressive side of Miz which was fantastic to see. Corbin really caught Miz with two big moves and so while Corbin gets a huge win here, Miz really isn’t hurt by this defeat.
The Usos defeated The bar. Grade: A- These are the two best tag team sin the WWE right now, and they showed why. Amazing back and forth with solid storytelling particularly given the fact it was again heel vs heel. Cesaro & Sheamus took turns saving each other from suffering big moves, while an Uso diving to the outside to take out his opponent while making the tag for the finish in the one motion was incredible. All four of these men are producing the absolute best work of their careers at the moment, and that showed in this wonderful match.
Charlotte Flair defeated Alexa Bliss. Grade: B+ Charlotte really brought out the best of Alexa Bliss here in what may be Bliss’ best match of her career (and we have said that a lot recently, goes to show how much she is improving). They really played up the height difference and Alexa looked smart to chop Charlotte down and keep her grounded targeting the ribs excellently. This match was really helped with the clear babyface vs heel dynamic that was missing through much of the rest of the show. Great match.
Brock Lesnar defeated AJ Styles. Grade: A+ Tell me again, I dare you, that AJ Styles isn’t STILL the very best wrestler in the world today, WWE or elsewhere. This felt huge with the proper championship introductions. The match begun like an absolute squash with Lesnar throwing Styles around similar to how he squashed Cena at Summerslam 2014, but soon enough AJ Styles fought back. Starting with targeting the leg and bringing Lesnar down to his size, Styles unloaded with a series of incredible spots and near falls including a Springboard 450, a Calf Crusher and his Phenomenal Forearm. Lesnar won catching Styles attempting another Forearm into a F5 for the win. Lesnar still looks unstoppable and Styles never sued the Styles Clash, so when these two clash again, there is something to go to. Absolute perfection.
Team Raw defeated Team Smackdown. Grade: B. The opening interactions between Finn Balor & Shinsuke Nakamura, Triple H & Shinsuke Nakamura, Triple H & Bobby Roode and Bobby Roode & Kurt Angle had the crowd going absolutely crazy and just goes to show how insane these two teams are! Nakamura looked great clearing house before he was eliminated by Strowman before Strowman quickly dismissed Roode. Samoa Joe was eliminated by Cena after two AA’s after Joe tagged himself back in refusing to be part of the team and let Balor finish Cena off; creates great tension between Joe & Finn moving forward. The Cena & Angle interaction was all a great flashback to the very beginning of Cena’s career, but courtesy of Finn & Kurt Cena found himself eliminated. Amazing that Cena could be such an afterthought in this match, just goes to show how stacked this match really is. Just as Shane was about to make the hot tag Owens & Zayn attacked the Smackdown Team Captain which ultimately cost Orton his spot in the match, Shane was able to chase off Owens & Zayn letting loose with a steel chair. Owens & Zayn’s interference is powerful however how Shane is able to clear off both Owens & Zayn all by himself after being attacked from behind and being a part of a match is puzzling. This left Shane all by himself against Angle, Triple H & Strowman. Angle had Shane beat but Triple H turned on Angle hitting him with a Pedigree and pulling Shane on top for the pin. It looked like Triple H would side with his brother-in-law, but he turned again and buried Shane with a Pedigree to get the win for Raw. Triple H claimed full credit for Raw but Strowman stood tall to end the show planting The Game with multiple Powerslams. A very entertaining main event, but very puzzling. No sight of Jason Jordan also seems like a missed opportunity. With all the star power of this match, one cannot but feel this match did not need this level of complication.