WWE Survivor Series 2015 Reaction
In a night that chronicled the 25th anniversary of The Undertaker’s 1990 Survivor Series debut, we were left with an underwhelming series of events that failed to match the level expected for a usual Survivor Series show, sans the ending that didn’t do much to protect Vince McMahon’s biggest pet project, Roman Reigns.
Take note that we didn’t refer to him as the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion. More on that below.
It wasn’t even that – a lot of this show didn’t feel “major” or “Big Four”-esque. Past the first two matches, it was barely passable.
Who’s to blame? The dead crowd? Both of the traditional five-on-five elimination tags weren’t even advertised as far as its participants. WWE Creative? Sure, they’ve been backed into a corner with a parade of injuries and guys off TV – Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Rusev, Lana, John Cena, possibly even Cesaro now, but they have a deep roster and there was no reason not to showcase somebody new.
As we’ve said, this show was a mess, a wound begging to be stitched up.
– The pre-show traditional five-on-five between The Miz/Bo Dallas/Stardust/The Ascension and Neville/The Dudley Boyz/Titus O’Neil/Goldust provided the night’s first surprise – Goldust’s return. The crowd popped big for this and it seemed to promise a night of jaw-drops from this point. The Goldust-Stardust sibling rivalry took the front seat during the whole time and it made sense given the competitors, but we wonder if it’ll be a program going forward or just a one-night occurrence. It appeared that Stardust was set to feud with Cesaro, but with the latter possibly sidelined with a shoulder injury, was this an emergency response on WWE’s behalf? Time will tell, but the match provided some bits of fun thanks to the fast-paced aerial assaults via Neville who unfortunately suffered the only elimination from the babyface side. Would it kill WWE Creative to give him one shining moment? The guy tore down the house with WWE Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens on Raw this past week and gets nothing to show for it. It also must be mentioned that O’Neil had a strong showing and with Darren Young’s absence, it makes us wonder if a singles push is in the cards for him.
– The opening video did a worthy job of hyping The Undertaker’s different looks and did this time lapse-esque effect of him raising his arms to turn the arena lights on and Tombstone Piledriving a catalogue of opponents over the years, even doing the same effect for Kane and clashing it with The Wyatt Family and their whole feud, which definitely had the looks for a pretty video package even if the storyline itself was without substance. Also highlighted was the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament and how its “Final Four” of Owens, Reigns, Dean Ambrose and WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio got to this point.
– The WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semifinal match between Reigns and Del Rio looked too melodramatic on paper for us to truly invest in, but natural in-ring chemistry between these two worked to shake up a ho-hum crowd and got them into it towards the ending. Zeb Colter/Del Rio saved their arena promo for something pre-taped, perhaps to avoid a good reaction for the heel, but it wasn’t anything important anyway. The match was pretty basic, but we liked how Del Rio consistently targeted Reigns’ shoulder throughout and his avoidance of Reigns’ signature moves helped sell the near-falls towards the finish, which took some work to get to, but was a better call that way, since the final Spear felt more dramatic for the three-count that the fans actually chanted along with. These two had good chemistry and we hope a feud could be in the cards once we get past all this Mex-America nonsense.
– The backstage interaction between Reigns, Ambrose and Owens was appropriate given the tournament and was an immediate hype for the Ambrose-Owens match. Reigns and Ambrose were clearly rooting for each other for a “fair showdown,” even though Reigns struggled with his lines. Owens walking up to Reigns fit his brash character and it made sense for him to bring up that Reigns was best-known for coming close, but not getting the job done. Important to note that Owens was uber over with this crowd.
– The WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semifinals match between Ambrose and Owens was another great match from these two, maybe on a shorter time scale, but with higher stakes. Their conflicting ideologies provide perfect foils while their brawling in-ring styles also mesh, which was cool to see in some of the spots. The crowd was also 50/50 here and they were vocal for much of this. Have to commend both men for the fast-paced final minutes, as it made us unsure of just what’d happen before Ambrose got the pinfall on the first Dirty Deeds. This promised a “brotherly showdown” and our pipe dream of Owens in the finals remained just that.
– The traditional Five-On-Five elimination match between Ryback/Lucha Dragons/Usos and the WWE Tag Team Champions, The New Day/Sheamus/King Barrett was something that we called in a recent review as potential midcard filler. The opening promo by New Day was an entertaining hot mess between Xavier Woods’ colonial-esque hairstyle, Barrett bopping around to New Day’s theme and even Sheamus trying to be cool, but utterly failing. As you’d expect with the talent, it was interesting while it went on and was more competitive than the opener elimination tag. Obviously, there was some beef between Sheamus and Big E that ended up with Kofi Kingston/Woods abandoning Sheamus, leaving him out to dry to cost them the match. Given the night’s ending, we wonder if Sheamus gets any payback on them.
– The WWE Divas Championship match between Paige and Charlotte received close to 15 minutes and had decent albeit flawed storyline support, but it wasn’t enough to get this crowd into it. They were vocal for Paige, but it didn’t amount to anything noteworthy. Charlotte won by submission to retain and we wait to see who her next challenger is.
– The Ambrose-Reigns backstage promo hyped their mutual battle for gold revolving around respect. Did like how Reigns restrained himself to not hug Ambrose.
– The Tyler Breeze-Dolph Ziggler match was pretty good in showcasing the repertoire of “Prince Pretty,” as he needed a credible victory to get over as a threat. Ziggler tried to get the crowd on his side, but they weren’t enthusiastic by any means, which is ironic given how he was a sole survivor at last year’s big match. A year can make a deadly difference, huh?
– Beyond the bone-chilling entrances of The Undertaker/Kane and The Wyatt Family, the in-ring story didn’t provide as many oohs and ahhs. It was all pretty formulaic with its presentation, which made for predictable stuff, which wasn’t bad per se given the event’s theme, but it still felt like it was missing something special. The only protection Bray Wyatt had was that he didn’t take the pinfall (which actually would’ve made more sense since the feud is directly Taker-Wyatt) and that it was Luke Harper teaming with him and not powerhouse Braun Strowman.
– The WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Finals between Ambrose and Reigns should’ve received more than nine minutes. Both guys tried to make it appear as even as possible, but there’s only so much that can be done in that time. It was back and forth, but Reigns winning so quickly felt anticlimactic and nowhere around the expected pop happened, even despite the falling confetti. That said, from the way Michael Cole was talking for so long, it appeared something was going to go down. Triple H coming down to the ring to congratulate Reigns by offering his hand seemed sketchy sure, but on the surface, it appeared to be a sincere gesture. Reigns Spearing him made him come off as an unprofessional brat, but Sheamus coming from behind made it appear to be a predetermined plan to get the belt off Reigns and not before long, we had an official Money In the Bank Briefcase cash-in. After a brief 35 seconds of drama, Sheamus stood your new Champion and Reigns was laid out on a confetti-bred canvas, looking up at the arena lights nearly in tears and confusion. The image of that alone was cool, but down the road, this might’ve been a bad decision to make it happen this way. First off – you’ve soured the moment of Reigns winning the Championship. It’s already happened now. When it happens again, it won’t feel as momentous. This was one of those instances where it would’ve been okay to have Sheamus cash-in mid-match because it would’ve protected Ambrose and Reigns. We would’ve felt sympathy for Reigns either way because it would’ve been like, “Oh my god, it happened to him again!” but now, we’ve already seen him fairly win the Championship and have it taken away from him. There were no heel turns, nothing else to walk away from this with. Let’s hope the era of Sheamus isn’t a painful one, eh? Either way, we’re stuck with it for the meantime.
- Pre-Show – Traditional Survivor Series Five-On-Five Elimination Tag – Neville/Titus O’Neil/Goldust/The Dudley Boyz def. Stardust/The Ascension/The Miz/Bo Dallas
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament – Semifinals – Roman Reigns def. Alberto Del Rio (w/Zeb Colter) via pinfall to advance
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament – Semifinals – Dean Ambrose def. Kevin Owens via pinfall to advance
- Traditional Survivor Series Five-On-Five Elimination Tag – Ryback/The Lucha Dragons/The Usos def. The New Day/Sheamus/King Barrett
- WWE Divas Championship – Charlotte (Champion) def. Paige via submission to retain
- Tyler Breeze (w/Summer Rae) def. Dolph Ziggler via pinfall
- The Brothers Of Destruction def. Bray Wyatt/Luke Harper (w/Braun Strowman, Erick Rowan) via pinfall
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament – Finals – Roman Reigns def. Dean Ambrose via pinfall to become new Champion
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Sheamus def. Roman Reigns (Champion) via pinfall to become new Champion via Money In The Bank Briefcase Cash-In
Posted on November 23, 2015, in WWE and tagged Alberto Del Rio, Bo Dallas, Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, Charlotte, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Goldust, JBL, Jerry Lawler, Kevin Owens, King Barrett, Luke Harper, Michael Cole, Neville, Paige, Roman Reigns, Ryback, Sheamus, Stardust, Summer Rae, Survivor Series, The Ascension, The Brothers Of Destruction, The Dudley Boyz, The Lucha Dragons, The Miz, The New Day, The Undertaker, The Usos, The Wyatt Family, Titus O'Neil, Triple H, Tyler Breeze, WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament, Zeb Colter. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.