Survivor Series was WWE‘s best non-NXT pay-per-view of the year. When the company invests time and effort to build something, they do an exceptional job doing it. Unfortunately, it is a rare occurrence nowadays. There have been some great pay-per-views across the globe recently, like Full Gear and Bound For Glory, but it is impossible to match when it comes to WWE‘s scale of production. NXT got a great showing, new stars were made, and future storylines were progressed in the event.
Survivor Series was always seen as the weakest of the ‘Big 4’ WWE pay-per-views because the pay-per-view doesn’t mean anything for the wrestlers moving forward. It was the case this year as well as all the ‘brand loyalty’ will be forgotten by next week and everyone will start fighting against each other in the build-up to TLC. But, as a wrestling fan, watching Survivor Series was a great way to spend a Sunday evening. Let’s Here is my assessment of the show and what I think was the best and worst things coming out of Survivor Series.
Best: Both Tag Team Elimination Matches
It is very easy as a fan to get lost in a 15 men/women tag team elimination match. Sometimes you don’t even know who is legal, who have got eliminated and how many members are remaining from each team. But, credit where credit is due, WWE does a commendable job with such multi-man matches. Whether it is the experienced production team or the talented roster, one of WWE‘s USP is such big matches. After watching AEW‘s messy Diamond Dozen Battle Royale my respect for WWE‘s production has increased immensely. All the combined thirty wrestlers involved in both the matches got the time to shine and showcase their ability in front of a hot crowd.
These matches made Rhea Ripley, Bianca Belair, Keith Lee, and Tommaso Ciampa big stars and if WWE‘s plan with NXT’s inclusion in Survivor Series was to introduce these relatively unknown wrestlers to a wider audience, then they have done a praiseworthy job in doing so. Seth Rollins put over Keith Lee and Roman Reigns just know how to make stars by wrestling against them. By the end of the men’s tag team match, we saw the crowd cheering for NXT’s Keith Lee in front of WWE’s two biggest stars and founding members of their biggest factions in recent history. Need I say more.
However, the women’s tag team elimination match had a glaring mistake, which I am getting into.
Worst: Women’s tag team elimination match’s blunder
In the middle of the match, Io Shirai and Candice LeRae were taken out of the match because for some reason they were knocked. Commentator stressed the fact that after last night’s WarGames, both the competitors were incapable to compete. But, they didn’t take any of the deadly finishing moves or tag team offense, which would have taken them out. On the same night, Adam Cole, who literally fell from the top of the cage on tables successfully defended his title against Pete Dunne, then why can’t Io Shirai and Candice, who took relatively less punishment compete in a tag team match.
It became even worse at the end when both Io Shirai and Candice came at the end to help her teammate, Rhea Ripley. It was never made clear if both of them were eliminated or not. Because if both of them were indeed eliminated, then by interfering in the match later they caused disqualification for their team. And, if they were not eliminated, then why was Asuka who too left the match in the middle after turning on her teammate, Charlotte Flair, got eliminated?
Best: NXT Championship match
NXT championship showed how good you have to be as a wrestler if you want to be involved in the top of the Black and Gold division. After putting on an incredible show on Saturday’s WarGames, Adam Cole and Pete Dunne met on Sunday’s Survivor Series with the NXT’s most prized possession on the line. It seemed that the crowd had died at the start of the match but were completely behind the wrestlers by the end of the match.
It never felt like both men were involved in precarious matches just 24-hours earlier. They gave everything they had to put on the match of the night. This just shows how much freedom NXT wrestlers get to go out and put on an absolute banger.
Worst: A Botchy kick-off show
— WWE (@WWE) November 24, 2019
The kick-off show didn’t do justice to the main card. It was filled with botches and everyone involved in it looked unprepared. Shawn Micheal was reading the names of the NXT’s team members in the wrong order with the wrong graphics appearing on the screen. And then Charly Caruso later said that NXT won the first point when it was SmackDown who clearly won the first match of the night.
Everything in WWE is choreographed to perfection that such mistakes often stand out. You cannot make such errors if you are global leaders in the wrestling industry. Also, do we really need a 2-hours long kick-off show? Furthermore, why is Kofi Kingston wrestling there? He was the WWE champion until a couple of months ago and was one of the most protected wrestling since February this year. He deserves to be on the main-card.
Best: WWE Championship
As good as the other matches were on the card, WWE championship match Brock Lesnar and Rey Mysterio was my favorite one of the night. From a wrestling point of view, it was a typical Brock Lesnar match, but what made this match so special was the involvement of Rey’s son Dominick. We always knew that this match was not going to be a clean one, thanks to ‘No Holds Barred’ stipulation, but we didn’t know who was going to interfere to help Rey. As much flak as Brock gets for his part-time status, most of his matches this year have been great.
The synchronized 619 and back to back frog splash was a treat to behold and credit to Lesnar for agreeing to be part of that moment.
Worst: A disappointing main-event
All the three women involved in the main event has the ability to steal the show on any given day. Becky Lynch, Shayna Baszler, and Bayley are all top class athletes who deserved that main event spot, but honestly, that was the weakest match on the card. They had a decent storyline going into the match, but the chemistry was just not there. The crowd was never into it and the rumor that was doing the rounds just made it even worse for the women.
The rumor was that Ronda Rousey was going to show up at the end of the match. That never happened and all we got was an underwhelming ending to a great pay-per-view. Well, at least the match didn’t end in a no contest.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch Survivor Series via the WWE Network.