Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Late But Not Bad: WWE Survivor Series 11/24/19 Blog

Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson vs. The Revival vs. Wesley Blake/Steve Cutler vs. Bobby Roode/Dolph Ziggler vs. Montez Ford/Angelo Dawkins vs. Curt Hawkins/Zack Ryder vs. Tyler Breeze/Fandango vs. Gran Metalik/Lince Dorado vs. Fabian Aichner/Marcel Barthel vs. Otis/Tucker

ER: Oh man this is exactly the kind of thing I love to start a show. Gimme a big colorful 20 man battle royal with a long as hell entrance time, every single team getting a separate entrance but an abbreviated one. I'm not kidding here, I was into this from the second I heard there was a 10 team battle royal to start this PPV. I do prefer when BOTH members of a team have to be eliminated, it makes more openings for different psychology scenarios. And this was a good battle royal! I would have changed the order of several eliminations, and you bet your ass the first team eliminated would have been the team that won the damn thing. Wait, do I like this match? I would have rather seen any of these 9 teams win than Ziggler/Roode, so I can't like this match too much. But the work within the match was above average for battle royals. There were plenty of quick glimpses of nice battle royal close quarters striking; Gallows would punch Otis in the head, grateful to be here Curt Hawkins would throw a couple decent punches, people busied themselves well. We did get too much awful Ziggler 1996 HBK cosplay. Too much. How the hell is he allowed to do such hammy tribute? But guys really threw themselves into their eliminations, I was crushed when Otis had his Caterpillar interrupted before the elbowdrop, Aichner should have absolutely slaughtered  Ziggler while he was dangling over the top rope for the zillionth time. Worst possible team won, match was still fun.

Kalisto vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Lio Rush

ER: This was plenty fun, some nice go go go, kept the spotlight shifting to each of the three guys without ever feeling like an exhibition or outright showcase, a weirdly natural way for these three to show their specific skills. This had the feeling of a Amazing Red trainee match, in a good way, with Rush being one of the best post-2000s Red combo of fast precise bumps and great inventive kicks. Tozawa is always a great cog in these cruiser three ways, even when it feels like he's nowhere close to the focus. He's clearly good at helping direct these things, he winds up in good ones too often for that to be false. Kalisto gets all Fenix on us in cool ways, and I dug the Salida del Sol attempts and successes. We get Tozawa's big senton and one of the better sliding kicks in the company, Rush throws the nicest kicks of the match and his frog splash looked tremendous, just a fun match that left the party at just the right time.

Big E/Kofi Kingston vs. Kyle O'Reilly/Bobby Fish vs. Viking Raiders

ER: So far it feels like everything has been given a lot of time, guys getting time to try some new things and stretch out in some ways. This match felt longer than it needed to be, yet came with an absolute superstar performance from Ivar, a guy who has been improving every year for the past few years. This was one of my favorite performances of his, a total wrecking ball, looking bigger than I think I've ever seen him but still flattening with crossbodies, flipping over that top rope like a he was prime Berzerker, working this super fast lengthy hot tag where he just nailed every single mark. Big E takes a big bump on his missed spear to the floor, throws some big belly to bellies, then takes an even bigger bump when he hits his spear to the floor. Viking Raiders are so cool, really a team that was always fun and just keeps finding ways to improve, keeps tinkering with and tightening up offense, evolving. How did they never do a Vikings vs. Harper/Rowan match? What a colossal fuck up. But this was all fun.

Sasha Banks/Lacey Evans/Nikki Cross/Dana Brooke/Carmella vs. Asuka/Kairi Sane/Sarah Logan/Charlotte/Natalya vs. Bianca Belair/Rhea Ripley/Io Shirai/Toni Storm/Candice LeRae

ER: This really did feel closer to some of the overstuffed Survivor Series tags from 30 years ago, though it was also rife with some bizarre character contradictions (Charlotte is just never going to be the likable one in any situation, it does not work), Lacey Evans shunted WAY too far into the background and coming off like nothing (unfair for how far she's come over this year), I have no idea why Candice and Shirai's big plan was just to let their team almost get beat but then run out, and we got a weird tentative performance from Ripley literally one night after she was this Braveheart leader against the odds in War Games. Made no sense. Asuka is still popular than any woman in this match, Kairi Sane came off like the cool smallest/craziest member of a team, Belair should have been made the sole survivor of this and then shot to the top, but her star will be undeniable soon. Her 450 is so rock solid and she knew how to work team bragging better than most here. Carmella deserves a lot of credit for her genuinely good Survivor Series throwback performance, bringing levity but fine execution to all her segments. Dana Brooke also made the most of her actual airtime, thought she took some risks she normally doesn't. I didn't agree with some of the eliminations (Natalya should not be getting the better of her feud with Evans), and it felt like their attempt to keep at least 8 of them even stevens, wish they would have let someone come off more dominant while being confident.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Roderick Strong vs. AJ Styles

ER: This one had moments but was a little long in the tooth. I mentioned earlier how it felt like some people were allowed to stretch out on this show, but I could use a little editing at this point. This one had peaks and valleys, but did come into the peaks nicely. It's hard for me not to like Strong getting this kind of showcase; the guy might not be a trendy wrestler to like, but he's had a real phenomenal decade while still feeling underappreciated. Styles was really good at running into offense face first, and it was either all AJ or Nakamura was also throwing some of his nicest kicks in recent memory. Roddy had some big cool version of backbreakers, Nakamura is basically Japanese Randy Orton as it's annoying how good they can be sometimes while noticeably holding back on things. Styles has a brighter performance than he's been turning in lately, and this flows relatively smoothly for a 3 way. And I must say I LOVE Strong going over, even if it was of disputable means. A overall nice delivery.

Pete Dunne vs. Adam Cole

ER: This was a lot of what I didn't really want to see. This is a long show, too many matches, but this was the first one I wanted to skip past. Dunne is kind of a frustrating guy for me, and let's just say the Adam Cole Championship era is not something I am enjoying, or looking to more of. Both do a lot of Offense I Don't Like and this was filled with it, like a nightmare 2005 indy match that grew up watching 1999 offense and did it more dangerously in stupid evolved variations. So here we are growing up from doing a Burning Hammer onto a picnic table on an amusing Dateline special, you're a couple of dudes breaking out a flipping piledriver on the apron, in a company where the piledriver is a banned move. But we'll always have a bunch of close ups on derpy faces after unexpected kickouts. I will thank them for keeping this (barely) under 15 minutes, but I don't have to like it. This was not the match to work after War Games, and these two wouldn't realize that.

Daniel Bryan vs. The Fiend

ER: Man this PPV has run into a ditch and I am really hoping we right this rig before blowing a tire. The Fiend is just slow crawling death, the light is bad, and Bryan almost made this into something interesting. Bryan was interesting! Bryan worked with what he had, and it wasn't much, but he somehow got the fans semi-involved in something that The Fiends was actively trying to not court. Bryan's plancha looked great and was filmed great, Fiend did have a couple nice moments of catching Bryan in mid air and dispatching him, punching him out of the sky or just catching him with a slam. But Bryan was flying into any of that (and into the ringpost) like someone desperately trying to make lemons out of lemonade, and it just did not work. This may have been the worst match on the show, and that should never be the case with a Bryan match.

Roman Reigns/Braun Strowman/Chad Gable/Baron Corbin/Ali vs. Drew McIntyre/Ricochet/Randy Orton/Kevin Owens/Seth Rollins vs. Matt Riddle/Tommaso Ciampa/WALTER/Keith Lee/Damian Priest

ER: So, I did not like a lot of this. This PPV has turned into my own personal nightmare as time has slowed way down and this feels like I will never not be writing about the happenings of this show. Braun got to run ham on people on the floor leading to a big Lee collision, and the home stretch Roman/Lee battle felt like a real Clash of the Titans that SHOULD really elevate Lee. Lee got given a moment, and he made the moment. And there were good moments. But this took a long damn time and just felt hollow and incorrect for much of the runtime. Riddle got what looked like a big moment, and maybe it leads to an Orton feud that he wins, but Riddle is someone that fans are ready to get behind in the biggest way, a guy clearly primed to make the huge crossover jump from NXT. WALTER went out quick and that's really dumb. Rollins is someone I dread at this point. Gable got tricked into looking like a goof, sounding like a goof, and getting treated like a goof. Priest looked like a goof. This was just no good. This has been bad.

Rey Mysterio vs. Brock Lesnar

ER: We know this was going one way or another, and it went the way nobody wanted it to go. I was genuinely excited about this match. We knew Brock was going to destroy Rey. Obviously he was going to snap him in two. But with the added No Holds Barred stip I was expecting Rey to make WAY more inroads than he made. Rey got steamrolled. Rey looked great getting steamrolled, but this was a real flattening. You want to see Brock destruction, but Brock is one of the great selling monsters, so you get more excited to see how small old Rey is going to take a pipe to Brock's balls and maybe somebody gets shoot busted open somehow and Brock ends up beating Dominic with a chain. We get the destruction; Brock throws cruel short arm clotheslines and big Germans and Rey gets ragdolled unprofessionally over the table and into the barricade, but the comeback that comes is just a blink, and comes off more like Barry Horowitz ducking an Undertaker lariat and landing a couple punches before shitting his pants when his luck runs out. We knew this was a possibility, but the thought of the great possibilities was too intriguing.

Bayley vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Becky Lynch

ER: I cannot get over how bad Bayley's haircut is. It is so dated on arrival, the worst kind of late 2000s mom framing, and the battle of The Man vs. The Mom cannot interest me. And they did not do much in this match to interest me. This goes WAY too long - the central theme of almost this entire show - and is just total Dullsville. I thought this was fairly interminable at times, and early this year there was nobody hotter in the company than Becky Lynch and a former MMA crossover star. Now Lynch feels ice cold and Baszler has gone from being a super aggressive asskicker in her 2018 matches to just hanging so far back in the mix in 2019 that it almost feels like she's injured and working 50%. The story was Baszler dominating Bayley but I don't think it came off great other than the nice hanging choke over the apron. This needed to be a real statement and it feels like this just continues a trend of bad main event women's trios. Now the main takeaway - the fair takeaway - is that 3 WAY MATCHES ARE ALMOST ALWAYS TERRIBLE. In some ways the women have been completely upended by these dismal main event PPV 3 ways. But it's only because they won't commit to one or two women that we keep getting these main event 3 ways and multimans that just blow. This never shifted into 2nd gear, and I'm not sure it's they're fault. None of them feel like they're being put in a position to succeed.

ER: This show started promising and had some on paper goodwill, but it just wasn't happening for me. I like some of the wins given to NXT, but a lot of this felt like a flop. And it's tough to sit still during such a long show that also feels like a flop.

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Blogger Yerfuneral said...

I went into this with my now usual habit of low expectations. Of the Monday and Friday shows still pretty much fast forward except for invasion angles, Kabuki Warriors (well all the lady stuff really), and whatever site reviews make sound interesting.
NXT since it has gone two hours pretty much put on in the background instead of watching intently.
So rely on the opening show to fill in me on what the matches are and the general storylines I am not following.
NXT Takeover was a bit of a dud as far as what I expect from NXT and just hope that energy shows up here.

1) Tag Team Battle Royal for brand supremacy

I found this a really fun match. Though shed a bit of a tear with everyone coming out because we can plainly see the actual tag team is pretty healthy but wasted with so many thrown together teams for some agenda to advance some solo story line.
With that said having the one thrown together team win it all was a big disappointment. Roode/Ziggler are not The Bar and never going to be either.

2) Cruiserweight Title match?

I wasn't clear if this was an actual title match or something for simply the brand vs brand vs brand thing.
Never liked Lio in his brief original NXT appearances or as a hype man plus have trained myself to tune out cruiser matches so didn't pay attention especially with Kalisto and Tozawa. I am indifferent to those two but was afraid would be visiting old territory we just had Rush replace TJP, Kendrick, or whoever use to be the other dance partner.

3) Tag Team Champs established brand supremacy

All the tag teams put into the preshow. New Day in the preshow again and this is with Kofi?
I still am finding it kind of weird WWE putting over there not home grown talent. I guess it isn't all that rare anymore when I remember guys like Samoa Joe, Roode, and others were outside the system but NXT helped put a stamp on them.
Viking Raiders stay in NXT was kind of quick and they were called up while still kind of getting established.
The Viking Warriors aren't the team that reminded me of the first time saw Road Warriors and like their predecessors have gotten WWEified where they don't seem as vicious as when saw them in ROH/NJPW but happy they are around.

4) Womens Survivor Series match

This was booked so weird. It was like we want NXT to go over and look strong but not at a detriment to the main brand rosters. That seemed to be the mission statement and this is what they came up with.
Belair and Ripley got good showings though with the whole Io and Candace thing pretty much killed all of Ripleys gains all to protect Sasha. It turned NXT from a team of underdog faces to heels of sorts too. Like I stated at beginning it was all weird.
Belair should have at least been one of the survivors. If they are trying to get Belair ready to join the main roster to join her husband unlike what they done with Killian Dain it has worked for me. Strong showing in both specialty matches of the weekend and good surprise for me since I thought she wasn't part of the team based on who Ripley had with her on I think it was Smackdown.

2:14 AM  
Blogger Yerfuneral said...

5) Secondary Title Holders duking it out for brand supremacy

The technical aspects of this was good but I wish Dream was in this rather than Strong. It was a Takeover/WWE ppv weekend without an appearance of the Velveteen Dream. Wassup with that?
Both Strong and Styles do so much with their posses of late was waiting for that to somehow play into the match so this preconceived moment in my head distracted me.

6) NXT Title Match

One of my issues with NXT is a lot of talent is getting overexposed. They mention everything Cole has been up to this week numerous times and perfectly captures my reason I am down on Cole.
I like the idea of the Bruiserweight and Cole is definitely more in a cruiserweight vein but the joint manipulation makes more sense to me with larger guys to bring some kind of hurt to overcome the odds.
It was amazing how they turned a pindrop crowd into a mass of cheers and 'this is awesome' chants; but not a match in my taste range.

7) WWE Universal Title Match

Get rid of the red lighting already! Are we getting a lesson on photography processing or a wrestling match it is hard to tell. It is becoming like the cruiserweight title matches if I am not hooked immediately I just don't pay attention.
Like I said for Hell In the Cell if they were covering for blood (real or hollywood) I would get it but all it does is turn me off.

8) Men's Survivor Series match

Once again was booked weird though we had some actual pins though other than elevate Lee I didn't get what this was trying to do.
I should be happy the pins seemed to be coming fast and cutting the length of this style of match but they rarely made sense. Braun going out on a countout? I guess that gives us the unofficial decision on explaining Asuka's elimination.
Walter is a big guy and should be up McMahons alley but maybe this was the first time he saw him.
Lee from what I seen deserved the good exposure he has picked up during this invasion stuff and didn't waste anything and fit in. Was great to see though again like the ladies much not much was peppered in to obviously build on.
Unlike War Games the two matches that carries the ppv's name were the among the worst of the bunch.

2:47 AM  
Blogger Yerfuneral said...

9) WWE Title Match

I had high hopes for a surprising Brock match but in the end guess should be happy their was no Cain involvement. We get Dominic instead.
It was most interesting when it felt like Mysterio had a chance but that was taken away and pretty much quickly ended. In the end to much of a tease. Would have been better if it went one way or the other as Heyman put it a massacre or a miracle. I needed it to go clearly in one way or the other.

10) Womens Title holders battle for brand supremacy

Bayley to me has always been a stronger character than a wrestler. One of her finishers is a belly to belly for goodness sakes. Unlike a Bliss she is given to much of a chance to show off the wrestling side because the character face or heel just come across boring to adults. Though can't imagine heel is still attracting the kids. The heel change has done wonders for many women of late to get me to pay attention but still Bayley is just there for me.
With that out of the way I am realizing despite what I said in the intro I had some expectations in some matches and this was one of them. Expecting some how this being a piece to build toward something in the future but we got none of that really. I thought maybe we were getting something with the aftermath but was just Lynch recapturing some of what she lost by pretty much being a non factor in the match.
I didn't expect a Rousey return but at least some kind of building block for a horsewomen vs horsewomen somewhere down the line. At least a start to mending the fences between Lynch and Bayley.
Unfortunately it was an uninspiring main event and didn't have any real go home happy moment.

I like to think this was a middle of the road show but some fun matches and some good showcase and shine on some talent aren't enough to make up something that was so bad in a lot of places. Both shows this weekend left me out to dry as far as what I like but lots of positives for some NXT talent and presented in a way to not completely throw them to the wolves and maybe get more people to check out NXT.

3:22 AM  
Blogger Discotortoise said...

Bayley's hair is good heel heat.

12:47 PM  

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