Air Canada Centre – Toronto, Ont. – Sunday, November 20, 2016
Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Mauro Ranallo, JBL, and David Otunga are on commentary throughout the evening in various combinations.
~KICKOFF MATCH #1~
TJ Perkins, Rich Swann & Noam Dar defeat Drew Gulak, Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari. All six men get a chance to show off in the early going, with the babyface trio trying to work a faster pace with more high-flying moves, and the heel triumvirate slowing them down and keeping them on the mat. Dar gets isolated for several minutes before making the hot tag to Swann. The referee loses control as the match breaks down. Swann and Daivari end up alone in the ring together after a flurry of dives, and Swann lands the standing 450 splash to get the pin. Fun action for the kickoff show and a good preview for 205 Live.
~KICKOFF MATCH #2~
Kane defeats Luke Harper. This is Kane’s eighteenth appearance at Survivor Sereis. Both men show off their strength in the early going, as they pretty well-matched, physically. Harper surprises everyone with a suicide dive through the ropes to the floor, and follows with a big boot back in the ring. He keeps Kane grounded and is impressive in his offensive attack, but nothing will keep Kane down. When Harper tries the Discus clothesline, Kane blocks it with a Chokeslam to get the pin. Solid match here, but eventually Harper is going to have to beat guys like Kane in matches like this.
Team RAW (Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Nia Jax & Alicia Fox) (w/ Dana Brooke) defeat Team SmackDown (Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Naomi & Carmella) in a Survivor Series Match at 17:30. Nikki Bella was supposed to be the captain of Team SmackDown, but when her entrance music hits she’s shown in the back holding her neck from a sneak attack. Team Coach Natalya takes her place on the team, with GM Daniel Bryan’s blessing. Some early dissension in Team RAW leads to the referee losing control, so Jax comes in and shuts everybody up. Brooke takes a cheap shot on Carmella, which allows Fox to hit the Scissors Kick and score the first elimination at 6:25. Bliss quickly evens the score with the Stardust Press to eliminate Fox at 6:45. Naomi comes in guns blazing and she takes Jax out with a diving cross body from the top rope to the floor. Jax gets a hold of Naomi and slams her into the ring post, causing her to get counted out at 7:00. Natalya pays dividends when she catches Banks in a schoolgirl rollup for the pin at 10:20. Unfortunately for SmackDown, Natalya is next to go when Flair catches her with a big boot to the face for the pin at 12:00. Lynch and Bliss work together on Jax, and Lynch traps her in the Dis-Arm-Her to even the odds at 13:40. Bliss tags in and Flair destroys her with a big boot and pins her at 14:00. Lynch fights valiantly against the odds, but Bayley counters the Dis-Arm-Her into the Bayley-to-Belly Suplex to get the pin. Flair and Bayley are the survivors, but Flair attacks Bayley after the match and hurls her into the barricade multiple times and kicking her in the face just to reassert that she’s the Champ and no one steals her spotlight. The match was a bit disjointed, but it was never boring. It could’ve gotten more time to breathe and space out the eliminations better.
Intercontinental Champion The Miz (w/ Maryse) defeats Sami Zayn at 14:05 to retain the title. Miz has been the Champion since 11.15.16, and this is his first defense. Zayn is the aggressor in the early going, and Miz needs assistance from his wife to take control. Miz focuses on the leg, which is smart because he uses the Figure-Four Leglock, and it also theoretically takes away the Helluva Kick. Zayn makes several comeback attempts and even scores a couple of near-falls, but Miz is always right there to knock him back down. When Zayn traps Miz in his own Figure-Four Leglock, Maryse gets a hold of the timekeeper’s hammer and rings the bell. Zayn foolishly celebrates, and Miz rolls him up for the pin. Wow, way to make Zayn look like a total geek there. Match was solid if unspectacular until the garbage finish.
Team RAW (Big Cass, Cesaro, The Club (Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows), Enzo Amore, The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston, w/ Xavier Woods), Sheamus & The Shining Stars (Epico & Primo) defeat Team SmackDown (American Alpha (Chad Gable & Jason Jordan), Breezango (Fandango & Tyler Breeze), Heath Slater, The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley & Zack Ryder), Rhyno & The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) at 18:55 in a Survivor Series Tag Team Elimination Match. This is one insane mass of talent in the ring.
Fandango tries handing out tickets, but he receives the Midnight Hour for his troubles and Kingston eliminates him at 0:45. Then, in a huge shocker, one of the Usos hits Kingston with a superkick and pins him at 1:10! The RAW captains are gone, and that’s fantastic. The Hype Bros are gone next, when The Club hits Ryder with the Magic Killer and Gallows gets the pin at 5:20. Alpha evens the odds when they hit Primo with the Avalanche Bulldog and Gable pins him at 8:10. Gable and Jordan build some momentum, but the Club halts that with a Magic Killer on Jordan, and Anderson gets the pin at 10:40. Slater tries to fight back but finds himself stuck in the wrong corner. Dissension on Team RAW allows Slater to tag Rhyno, who destroys Gallows with a Gore to eliminate the Club at 12:30. Cass drills Rhyno with a big boot, and then hurls Enzo off the top rope with a Rocket Launcher and the SmackDown captains are gone at 13:00. Enzo runs right into a Superkick and then a Samoan Splash, and we’re down to two teams at 13:30. It’s the Usos versus Cesaro and Sheamus, and the action is red-hot. In the end, Cesaro traps one of the Usos in the Sharpshooter, and Sheamus wrecks the other one with a Brogue Kick. The one in the Sharpshooter taps out, and Team RAW gets the win. This was fun, and then the last two teams really kicked it into another gear. It’d be great if we got a chance to see a match with just those two teams facing each other.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Brian Kendrick defeats Kalisto by disqualification at 12:25 to retain the title. Kendrick has been the Champion since 10.30.16, and this is his second defense. Also, if Kendrick loses the title here, the entire Cruiserweight division will be moved to SmackDown. Kalisto flies around to start, but Kendrick grounds him and slows down the pace. They spend some time fighting outside the ring, where Kalisto hits a Spanish Fly off the apron. Back in the ring that only gets two. Kendrick locks on the Captain’s Hook and Kalisto reaches the bottom rope. When Kalisto starts building momentum, Baron Corbin runs out and attacks both men for the DQ. Well, if they wanted both guys to look terrible, mission accomplished.
Team SmackDown (AJ Styles, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton & Shane McMahon) (w/ James Ellsworth) defeat Team RAW (Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman in a Survivor Series Match at 52:55. Styles is the WWE Champion, Owens is the Universal Champion, and Reigns is the United States Champion. Styles and Owens start it off and the crowd loves both show’s main champions despite their heel status. Many tags are made as everyone gets a chance in the early going. Things break down and chaos erupts, with all 10 men brawling in the ring. Everyone quickly takes it to the floor, where Owens wipes them all out with a dive from the top rope. Back in the ring, arch-rivals/teammates Ambrose and Styles get into a fight, and Styles lays Ambrose out from behind. Strowman follows with a Running Powerslam to pin Ambrose at 16:00. With SmackDown down 5-4, Orton and Wyatt make their first impact by laying Strowman out on a table at ringside, and McMahon follows with the flying elbow from the top rope! Everyone comes over and fights, resulting in bodies all over ringside. Strowman almost makes it back to the ring, but Ellsworth holds onto his ankle from under the ring and Strowman is counted out at 21:30! Strowman catches up to Ellsworth and hurls him off the stage! That looked awesome. Team RAW isolates McMahon for a while, but eventually Styles gets a tag. When it looks like Styles is going to eliminate Jericho, Owens busts in and hits Styles with the List of Jericho, getting himself disqualified at 29:30. Jericho tries to collect The List, and that distraction allows Orton to hit a perfect RKO to eliminate him at 30:15. Now it’s 4-2 in favor of SmackDown.
Reigns and Rollins work really well together as a team, staving off the SmackDown four. When McMahon tries his coast-to-coast dropkick, Reigns catches him in midair with a devastating Spear, legitimately knocking McMahon out and eliminating him at 40:00. Rollins and Styles do battle in the ring, and there’s a dream match that needs to happen. Ambrose runs back out to attack Styles, his own teammate, and referees have to run him off. Reigns and Rollins come to Ambrose’s aid and fight off security! The Shield reunites to hit the Triple Powerbomb on Styles through the announce table! Rollins rolls Styles back in the ring for the pin at 42:30! Luke Harper shows up to distract Reigns and Rollins, and he interferes as soon as he gets a chance. Rollins goes up for a Frog Splash on Wyatt, but Orton catches him in an RKO and Wyatt gets the pin at 46:00. Reigns is all by himself against the Wyatt Family. When he goes for a Spear on Wyatt, Orton sacrifices himself and takes the bullet. Wyatt then hits Sister Abigail to eliminate Reigns and give SmackDown the win. Well that certainly got enough time to tell a story and they had a lot going on, all of which worked. Ambrose and Styles fighting each other, the Shield reunion, Ellsworth helping eliminate Strowman, and the Wyatt Family cohesion was all very good stuff. Not to mention that the action was fast-paced through almost the entire runtime. I love old school Survivor Series matches!
Goldberg defeats Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) at 1:25. Lesnar backs Goldberg into the corner and Goldberg simply shoves him down! Goldberg follows with a Spear! He hits another one and then lands the Jackhammer to get the pin! That was a huge shock, but really, Goldberg had no need to work a match much longer than that. Lesnar was overconfident and Goldberg made him pay, simple as that.
The main event wasn’t a classically good match or anything, but it was cool to be surprised for a change, and it was the right match to do. The elimination matches were generally good to great here, and giving the men’s match nearly an hour was a great call. The Cruiserweight and Intercontinental Title matches were pretty blah, but I get why they were on the card. This is a long one to sit though, but there’s enough good to recommend.