Standing in stark contrast to the lean five-match show that was NXT TakeOver: WarGames II, this year’s Survivor Series is a massive show in every sense of the word. Nearly six hours long with the Kickoff Show, and matches that include a bevy of WWE’s superstars, it’s a show jam-packed with wrestling, so let’s not waste any time and get right to the rundown of one of the biggest cards of the year.
The Usos, New Day, Sanity, Gallows and Anderson, and The Colons defeated The Revival, Lucha House Party, The Ascension, The B Team, and Chad Gable and Bobby Roode
As if throwing it back to the early days of Survivor Series, the Kickoff Show begins with an old school 10-Man Tag Team Elimination Match. The ring can barely hold all those men, and it isn’t long before we have our first few eliminations. The Colons are the first to go when Primo gets hit with The Revival’s Shatter Machine. Then SmackDown LIVE! hits back by eliminating The B Team and The Ascension. It’s fast and furious to start, as the teams battle back and forth, but it eventually comes down to New Day and The Usos vs. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable and The Revival, and that’s when things really pick up.
They’re four of the best tag teams in WWE, and they don’t disappoint. The Usos and New Day get the early advantage, using their quickness to lay out the RAW team. Things are really looking up for SmackDown when New Day eliminate Gable and Roode after Big E catches Gable from the top rope and delivers the Big Ending. But The Revival fights back, getting rid of New Day when, in the match’s best spot, Woods gets caught with a Shatter Machine while trying to deliver his signature walking springboard elbow. Then it’s a mad dash to the finish for The Usos and The Revival. They trade blows, but it’s one superkick too many for The Revival, as they fall to The Usos. Unfortunately for SmackDown, the Survivor Series scoring doesn’t start until the main show.
Nia Jax, Mickie James, Tamina, Bayley, and Sasha Banks defeated Naomi, Asuka, Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose, and Carmella
Naomi is on a roll to start the match, but that changes real quick when Nia Jax provides a distraction that allows Tamina to hit a superkick and eliminate the former SmackDown Women’s Champion. SmackDown gets immediate payback when Carmella rolls up Tamina, and suddenly the teams are tied. Asuka and Mickie James have a great battle early on, trading blows, chops, and locks, as do Bayley and Sonya Deville, the former NXT talent meeting on the main roster.
As the match rolls on, there’s obvious discord within each team. The RAW competitors can’t decide who’s going to be in the match, constantly tagging themselves in, and Mandy Rose steals a pin from Sonya Deville over on the SmackDown side. Rose’s need for the spotlight comes back to haunt her though, as she quickly taps out to a Banks Statement, which gives RAW the numbers. But SmackDown has a not-so-secret weapon: Asuka, aka. the Sole Survivor of last year’s women’s elimination match, and the winner of this year’s first ever women’s Royal Rumble. To say she can outlast others would be an understatement. It’s a good thing
That leaves Asuka to go against not only Sasha
Survivor Series Score: 1-0 for RAW
Seth Rollins defeated Shinsuke Nakamura
Speaking of dream matches, this is another one. The Japanese veteran going toe-to-toe with the Architect has all the hallmarks of a classic match, and the two seriously deliver. You can tell the two have a shared respect for each other, as the early part of the match sees the two competitors hesitant, feeling each other out.
With these two though, that pace won’t last. Rollins is the one who’s itching to get things going, wanting to use his speed to keep Nakamura on his heels. He does just that but runs into trouble when he gets overambitious with a suicide dive and runs right into a kick from Nakamura. Rollins fights back with a few lariats and a
Creating that distance is important for Rollins, as evidenced by the fact that Nakamura regains the momentum by delivering one brutal kick after another to Rollins’ chest. Then, when Rollins attempts to hit a clothesline, Nakamura shows off his prowess, rolling it through to an armbar and then a triangle submission. Rollins escapes though, using his power to deliver a Buckle Bomb to the United States Champion.
The near falls begin when Nakamura kicks out of Rollins’ superplex into a Falcon Arrow, and Rollins somehow kicks out of Nakamura’s deadly Kinshasa. It’s a flurry of finishers to end the match, each man dodging multiple finishers before Rollins finally connects with the Black Out.
Survivor Series score: 2-0 for RAW
The Authors of Pain defeated The Bar
After a few matches that could be described as fast and furious, this is one defined by four dudes just hitting each other really hard. Look, Cesaro can pull off all sorts of beautiful, athletic moves, but the other three guys? There’s nothing pretty about their offense, and that’s exactly why it works. Authors of Pain finally made their mark on the main roster when they demolished a lonely Seth Rollins to win the RAW Tag Team Championships, and they look to make an even bigger statement at a Big Four PPV against the SmackDown Tag Team Champions. Sheamus and Rezar really throw down, hitting each other with their massive forearms until Rezar finally staggers out of the ring.
The Authors of Pain actually have trouble getting going, so Drake Maverick steps in and tries to swing the momentum the other way. Maverick running into Big Show and, um, peeing his pants is enough to cause a distraction, allowing the Authors to catch their breath and then put away Sheamus for the win.
Survivor Series Score: 3-0 for RAW
Buddy Murphy (c) defeated Mustafa Ali for the Cruiserweight Championship
The complete opposite of The Authors of Pain vs. The Bar is Buddy Murphy putting his Cruiserweight Championship on the line against Mustafa Ali. Murphy has a ton of power, but the match itself is buil around speed and agility. The story is this: Murphy wants to keep his opponent grounded, and Ali wants to use his speed to keep momentum in his favor. The two have put on a few classic matches this year alone, and this one is no different.
Murphy takes control early on by doing exactly that, keeping Ali grounded. He gets in his own high-flying moves,
Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, Bobby Lashley, and Finn Balor defeated The Miz, Shane McMahon, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, and Samoa Joe
With RAW boasting a 3-0 lead and the SmackDown women failing to win their elimination match, SmackDown comes out hot here, desperate to earn a win. But RAW is a formidable foe, especially when Braun screams at everyone on his team that he’ll be starting the match.
You know who’s having none of that though? Drew McIntyre. He tags himself in, and the show of ego nearly costs him, as Samoa Joe locks in the Coquina Clutch. In a shocking turn of events though, McIntyre counters out of the submission and eliminates Joe with a Claymore to the chin. Losing Joe early is tough for SmackDown, but Shane McMahon tries to battle back for the Blue brand, squaring off with his Best In The World tournament opponent Dolph Ziggler. The two battle to a stalemate and that leads to the biggest story of the match: Team RAW breaking down as McIntyre once again tags himself in when Strowman finally gets back in the ring.
That inability to work together means SmackDown takes control. Rey hits a 619 on Strowman, and the Blue brand sets Strowman up on an announce table so that Shane can drop an elbow on him from the top rope, effectively taking him out of the match. RAW simply can’t get along, and that’s their undoing. Every man selfishly wants to win it for himself, which doesn’t bode well for Baron Corbin, who told Stephanie McMahon he’d have no trouble captaining the team. Balor gives McIntyre a taste of his own medicine, tagging himself in and running over everyone until he comes up against Mysterio, who pins Balor and evens the teams at four-a-piece.
After McIntyre lays a beating on Balor for, you know, getting eliminated, the teams struggle to gain the upper hand. It’s perfectly even for a while until Shane McMahon eliminates Dolph Ziggler. It’s part of a hilarious story that goes across the whole match, which is team captain The Miz trying to kill Shane. He gets him to do the elbow off the top rope, and then he coaches him to two straight Coast to Coast jumps, the second of which sees him take a brutal clothesline from Strowman, allowing the big man to get into the match to eliminate Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, and The Miz all in a row.
That leaves the bruised and battered Shane McMahon against Strowman, Lashley, and McIntyre, which is, to say the least, bad news. Shane can’t even put up a fight. Strowman hits him with a running powerslam and that’s it. He eliminates four of the five SmackDown members and gets the win for RAW.
There’s little glory in the win though, because Corbin attacks him after the match. Corbin knows Strowman has been gifted a match with some sort of stipulation in the future, and this is his way of getting one over on him while he can. Realistically though, a small attack after a match isn’t going to do much.
Survivor Series Score: 4-0 for RAW
Ronda Rousey defeated Charlotte Flair via DQ
After Becky Lynch was ruled out of this Champion vs. Champion match with a broken nose and a concussion suffered during SmackDown’s invasion of RAW, The Rowdy One had to set her sights on a new competitor, and one of the most decorated women in WWE history: Charlotte Flair. You can read all about that epic match here.
Survivor Series Score: 5-0 for RAW
Brock Lesnar defeated Daniel Bryan
After winning the WWE Championship by delivering a low blow to AJ Styles this past Tuesday, Daniel Bryan goes up against the seemingly unbeatable Brock Lesnar for the first time ever. What’s remarkable is that when Bryan comes to the ring, he seems happy. He’s practically giddy about getting the opportunity to take down The Beast. He even taunts Lesnar as he comes to the ring, following him around the outside of the ring, raising his championship in the air. He’s all confidence.
Bryan spends the first chunk of the match on the outside, taunting Brock, and why not? Everybody else has lost in minutes trying to confront him, so why not try getting in his head first? The confidence doesn’t last long though. Lesnar eventually gets his hands on him, lays him out with a clothesline, and then delivers one vicious suplex after another. Brock is so dominant he even has time to raise his Universal Championship during the match because Bryan is simply incapacitated.
It gets to the point of being uncomfortable, as Lesnar slings Bryan’s lifeless body around the ring. But then Bryan has a surge of life, kicking Brock in the face and, after Brock hits the ref on an F5, hitting him with a low blow just like he did against Styles. That doesn’t get him the win, but it gets him back in the match.
Not for long though, as Lesnar eventually snuffs out the rally, smashing Bryan against the ring post and regaining control. His need for blood gets the better of him though, and momentum shifts back when The Beast runs into the ring post himself, this time with the steel stairs in his hands. That gives Bryan time to lay out Brock and start working on his legs, keeping The Beast down and hurt.
Bryan fights hard, pushing Brock further than most in recent memory. He nearly has the win when he puts Lesnar in the Yes Lock, but Brock is just too powerful. He escapes, throws Bryan up on his shoulders, and delivers the F5 that ends the match.
That makes it a clean sweep for RAW, and yet another win and title defense for Brock Lesnar. Now Lesnar has to worry about Stowman, and Bryan has to worry about Styles.