Wrestling Review: WWE Survivor Series (2019)

The Windy City plays host to the third consecutive night of WWE action, following last night’s War Games insanity. Tonight, at WWE Survivor Series, for the first time ever, it is Raw versus SmackDown Live versus NXT. Each brands’ top championship will be on the line in a respective singles match — Brock Lesnar defends against Rey for the WWE Championship on Raw; SmackDown Live’s Universal Champion “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt will face Daniel Bryan; and NXT Champion Adam Cole fights Pete Dunne for the yellow and black brand’s top title. At the same time, the women’s champion of each show will do battle, when Raw’s Becky Lynch, SmackDown Live’s Bayley and NXT’s Shayna Baszler fight for bragging rights, while the middle men’s champions of each show will do the same a AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura and Roderick Strong go face to face to face.

But that’s not all, as each show will have five men and five women, represent them in two separate five on five on five elimination tag team matches; the Tag Team Champions of each brand will also be in a match with each other to determine the number one team of champions in the WWE; and three of the top cruiserweights will be in action, as both Kalisto and Akira Tozawa vie for Lio Rush’s NXT Cruiserweight Championship.

+ Team Raw vs Team Smackdown vs Team NXT (Men’s Survivor Series Elimination Tag Team Match): there was some horrendous, outlandish elimination decisions, but that is to be expected in a match which necessitates between 10 and 14 eliminations. If you can look past that (and frankly, I could, but it took a lot of effort) then the action here was great
+ Adam Cole (c) vs Pete Dunne (NXT Championship): this was fine, but in many ways, unnecessary. Dunne looked really good, but Adam Cole is treated as a huge step above everyone else, and while I don’t really know if I agree he is the second coming that some others do, he was great in this match. This was a good match and I am listing it as a positive, but Cole is clearly exhausted after his month, and even Dunne had a very long match the night before. If this wasn’t a match, I wouldn’t have missed it
+ AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura vs Roderick Strong (Champions Triple Threat): this was really good, as you may have expected from the competitors involved. Styles is great, Nakamura can be great when he wants to, and Strong is a cardio monster, so the pace was at a breakneck speed almost the entire time. There wasn’t much surprising in this match, but everything that was done was great
+ The War Raiders (Erik & Ivar) vs The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) vs The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish): I am really disappointed that this was relegated to the pre-show, because it had match of the year potential with a hot crowd behind them. Bobby Fish has taken some extreme punishment over the last week. The interactions between Ivar (fka Warbeard Hanson) and Big E were great, and O’Reilly and Kofi had a few great trades, and overall this was a good match with a pretty good finish

Becky Lynch vs Bayley vs Shayna Basler (Champions Triple Threat): this was a really bad match. The crowd was not interested, the match itself was sloppy and the story made almost no sense going on, or on the way out. There is no reason this should have gone on last instead of the Men’s Elimination Tag, Lesnar/Rey or evne Wyatt/Bryan
Brock Lesnar (c) (w/ Paul Heyman) vs Rey Mysterio (No Holds Barred match for the WWE Universal Championship): I did not enjoy this at all, because I can’t get over how dumb these wrestlers are (in their own storylines!). This was short, not very eventful and not fun
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship): The Fiend’s horrendous red lighting has got to go, immediately. Wyatt has gained back all of the weight he lost on his Firefly Fun House hiatus a few months back, and it shows. This was not good, despite the live crowd being hugely behind Bryan
Team Raw vs Team Smackdown vs Team NXT (Women’s Survivor Series Elimination Tag Team Match): this match opened the show, and for the first few minutes it was great, with everyone involved being given a chance to shine. But it quickly absolutely fell off a cliff, with some nonsensical injury angles, poor eliminations and the same old crap that people hate WWE for booking themselves into a corner. What a disappointment
Lio Rush (c) vs Akira Tozawa vs Kalisto (NXT Cruiserweight Championship): I am not a fan of Lio Rush, and he was the weakest link by a wide margin in this match. Tozawa is better than his position would suggest, and this was a nothing match in the middle spot on the pre-show
– Pre-Show Tag Team Battle Royale: this was not good. Tag Team battle royales are never good, and this was no exception
– not in regards to a match, but I’m flabbergasted that the concept of scoring on the show the number of wins each brand got felt entirely unimportant. The last months have been entirely about brand supremacy and the pride these wrestlers feel for their show, but there was absolutely nothing on the line for whichever brand won, and no specified consequences for the loser or losers. What was even the point of all this?

Should you watch this event: Overall, this was about as average as it gets. The Men’s Elimination Tag, Cole/Dunne and especially the men’s title triple threat were all good, but the rest was pretty forgettable. With nothing on the line, it felt like even the commentators were struggling to find reasons for anybody to care about the results of any brand supremacy matches.

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