Survivor Series 2016 was all about Raw vs Smackdown.
This year’s Survivor Series was all about brand supremacy. With almost all the matches in the card featuring competition between Raw and Smackdown superstars and the mega mainevent between The Beast Brock Lesnar and the returning Goldberg who stepped in the ring after 12 years to face his last opponent in a rematch from Wrestlemania 20. Therefore, let us take a brief look at this year’s Survivor Series event.
Match No.1: TJ Perkins, Noam Dar & Rich Swann vs Drew Gulak, Tony Nese, and Ariya Daivari
Build-Up: This match was announced for the Kick off show on the wwe network.
Review: As expected this was all about high flying action which saw Swann pick up the win for his team after a Standing 450 on Daivari . An average show opener which probably deserved a spot on the main show but nevertheless the cruiserweights did their job perfectly to kick off the show in brilliant manner.
Match No.2: Kane vs Luke Harper
Build-Up: Another match announced on the network, which saw Wyatt Family’s Luke Harper face Kane in singles action.
Review: This match was probably a filler on the show but the outcome certainly didn’t help Harper as he lost within 10 minutes after Kane nailed a chokeslam.
Match No.3: Women’s Survivor Series Elimination Match:
Team Raw (Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Alicia Fox, and Nia Jax) (with Dana Brooke) vs Team SmackDown LIVE (Natalya*, Carmella, Alexa Bliss, Naomi, and Becky Lynch)
Build-Up: As announced by WWE management this was the first of the three elimination matches of the night featuring all the top ladies in the company.
Review: A decent match and a good opener to the main show. Raw’s Nia Jax was the target of poor 50/50 booking as she did look like a monster but tapped out to Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch. Natalya also replaced Smackdown captain Nikki Bella, who was attacked backstage. The match otherwise was pretty enjoyable and decent and saw Raw’s Bayley pick up the win for her side after she eliminated Becky with the ‘Bayley-to-Belly’ and was the last of two survivors alongside Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte. After the match though, Charlotte attacked Bayley brutally which is most likely to start her feud with Bayley.
Match No.4: The Miz (With Maryse) vs Sami Zayn (Intercontinental Championship)
Build-Up: Zayn who beat Rusev on Raw earned himself a IC Title shot, the challenge was originally thrown by then champion Dolph Ziggler but a week prior to Survivor Series, Dolph lost his belt to The Miz, thus setting up Miz vs Zayn for the event.
Review: A pretty solid match which saw Miz use his heel tactics and target Sami’s left leg. However, all of the confusion was created by Maryse when she rung the bell, making Sami think he made Miz tap out but that wasn’t the case as Miz rolled up Zayn to retain the belt.
Match No.5: 10-On-10 Survivor Series Elimination Match:
Team Raw (The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston), Sheamus and Cesaro, Enzo Amore and Big Cass, The Shining Stars (Primo and Epico), and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) (with Xavier Woods) vs Team SmackDown LIVE (Heath Slater and Rhyno, The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley), American Alpha (Jason Jordan and Chad Gable), Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango), and The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso)
Build-Up: The second of the three elimination matches which featured all the top tag teams from both brands.
Review: As many people predicted this to be a real mess surprisingly it was not. A 20 man match with some pretty good spots, there was definitely some odd booking as Raw champions were the first one to be eliminated from Team Raw but on the other hand Cesaro & Sheamus, The Usos who were the last two survivors put on a real show alongside teams like American Alpha and The Club who showed great in ring chemistry. After an 18 minute match Cesaro made Jay tap out to ‘The Sharpshooter’.
Match No.6: Brian Kendrick vs Kalisto (Crusierweight Championship)
Build-Up: Announced by WWE management, Smackdown’s Kalisto had a real opportunity to win the Cruiserweight belt and bring the entire Cruiserweight division to Smackdown.
Review: A very athletic and but little slower in pace match, with some great jaw dropping spots. Kalisto did his best to beat Kendrick and almost won until Baron Corbin showed up and beat up both men, helping Kendrick retain the belt via disqualification and giving the fans a very weird finish to the match.
Match No.7: Men’s Survivor Series Elimination Match:
Team SmackDown LIVE (AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, Shane McMahon, and Bray Wyatt) (with James Ellsworth) vs Team Raw (Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Braun Strowman)
Build-Up: The last elimination match of the evening and by far the best match of the night which featured almost all the top men from the company, including the WWE Champ, Universal Champ and even the US Champ and various other talented men.
Review: The match started off with two champions squaring off against each other, Kevin Owens and AJ Styles. The highlights of this match were: Styles and Ambrose’s in-fighting, which saw Strowman eliminate Dean. Soon after that team Smackdown composed themselves and got back on track after Randy Orton hit a running ‘RKO’ on Strowman and then Shane Mcmahon putting Strowman through an announce table via an elbow drop, it seemed like the big monster would make his way back into the ring and beat the 10 count but Smackdown’s mascot James Ellsworth did his team a favor and prevented Strowman from getting back thus eliminating him.
After few back and forth action, which saw Jericho hit a few ‘Codebreakers’ to Orton and Shane O’Mac but soon found himself in trouble as Styles had him in position for a ‘Styles Clash’, in came Kevin Owens and hit Styles with ‘The list of Jericho’ followed by a ‘Pop up powerbomb’ thus saving his friend but also getting himself disqualified and eliminated in the process. Jericho was left in shock and then was hit by a ‘RKO’ by Orton and got himself eliminated, leaving team Raw in deep trouble as they found themselves 4-2 down.
After some more action, Smackdown’s Shane O’Mac had Roman Reigns in position for a ‘Coast to Coast’ as Shane took jumped off from the top rope he was caught with a wicked ‘Spear’ by Reigns and got himself a concussion and thus finding himself being eliminated. Smackdown still had 3 men.
AJ and Rollins then exchange few blows with some great back and forth action, soon out came Dean Ambrose and attacked AJ, the two once again went at it, referees and securities came to escort Ambrose out but were taken out by Reigns and Rollins and then the three men savagely beat up the guards and put AJ through an announce table, with the ‘Triple powerbomb’ giving fans a brief Shield reunion. Rollins then eliminated the WWE champ.
It then came down two the former Shield member and the two current Wyatt Family members, Orton and Wyatt who were joined the very next moment by Luke Harper. The Wyatts had the 3-2 advantage but Team Raw showed signs of come back and as Rollins went top rope to hit a ‘Frogsplash’ on Bray, Orton caught him in midair with a ‘RKO OuttaNowhere’. Wyatt then covered Rollins to eliminate him.
Reigns was all on his own now, Roman shows signs of courage but the numbers game was a big factor. But Roman took out Harper and Roman momentarily, and was set to hit Bray with a ‘Spear’ as Roman charged off in came Orton and sacrificed himself and Reigns spears Orton. Wyatt then hits the ‘Sister Abigail’ on Roman and eliminates him and picks up the win for Smackdown with The New Wyatt Family standing tall. A brilliant 53 minute match, with perfect booking by creative.
Match No.8: Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar (With Paul Heyman)
Build-Up: This was Goldberg’s return match and first in 12 years.
Review: A completely unexpected squash match that saw Goldberg pick up the win in 1 minute 25 seconds, after two ‘Spears’ and one ‘Jackhammer’ and leaving everyone in shock.
Photo by TheChanel