Survivor Series 2016 Recap

Women’s Elimination Match: Team RAW (Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Nia Jax, and Alicia Fox) vs Team Smackdown (Becky Lynch, Naomi, Alexa Bliss, Carmella, and Nikki Bella) 

We get our first swerve of the night as Nikki Bella doesn’t make it to the ring .and is found backstage laid out.  Natalya conveniently offers to take her place and heads to the ring.  The match was decent in that the in ring stuff was good but the eliminations had some head scratchers. Sasha went out way too early and the Smackdown ladies didn’t get much in the way of set pieces to show them off.  Nia Jax got multiple segments to get her over as a monster, and I think it’s working.  Your survivors were Charlotte and Bayley for team RAW, and Charlotte’s post match attack on Bayley made it obvious what’s coming next there. Meanwhile on the Smackdown side a Nikki/Natalya feud looks to be brewing.  

OK match, wish they’d gotten more time (although I gotta throw in they didn’t get shortchanged relative to the men so much as everyone got time shaved off to save space for the men’s singles elimination match) shown the Smackdown team some more booking love.  But as has been the case all year I will continue to say that the Women’s division has improved by light years in a short time and that it’s good to speak about what a good product can do to be great as opposed to how crappy that part of the show is.  Two years ago this match would have barely gone 10 minutes and had no storyline development.

Intercontinental Title Match: The Miz (c) vs Sami Zayn 

The hook here was that if Sami won the title he would take it back to RAW.  I figured that wasn’t gonna happen, and I was right. The match was OK; Sami and Miz don’t click the way Miz and Dolph Ziggler do so coming off of that this was somewhat of a letdown.  Given the dirty finish with Maryse getting involved on her husband’s behalf I hope that my suspicions are true that this is a vehicle to get Sami over to Smackdown.  

10 team elimination match: Team RAW  (New Day, Enzo & Cas, The Club, Shining Stars, Cesaro & Sheamus) vs Team Smackdown (Slater & Rhyno, The Hype Bros, The Usos, American Alpha, Breezango) 

Another pretty good match that could have used five more minutes.  Some really quick early eliminations, including New Day, which was puzzling.  This was the high flying, car crash pileup match of the night as there were multiple sequences where guys went flying over the ropes to land on people outside.  American Alpha went out a little early for my tastes, but thank God for Cesaro & Sheamus and The Usos for some really sequences in the closing minutes.  Cesaro & Sheamus are your sole survivors and really showed out well here. I can easily see them being the guys to finally dethrone New Day.  

Cruiserweight Title Match: Brian Kendrick (c) vs Kalisto 

I felt like this match was a step in the right direction for the Cruiserweight Division. Kendrick continued his work as a conniving, cheating heel champion while Kalisto brought the kind of stuff that RAW-only viewers expect when you schedule cruiserweight matches. This is what they’re gonna need to do to get this division over on a mainstream basis.  The finish was what it was – Baron Corbin and Kalisto are in a program so a run-in to squash Kalisto’s chances shouldn’t be a shock here.  Match was pretty good overall.

1o Man elimination match: Team RAW (Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman) vs Team Smackdown  (AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Shane McMahon)

Great match here. Match of the weekend and the best elimination match in years, maybe ever.  Going in this match had convoluted overbooking written all over it, given the many sequences/set pieces that were being teased: 

  • Jericho/Owens shenanigans 
  • Shield reunion
  • James Ellsworth involvement
  • AJ/Dean storyline advancement
  • Shane-o-Mac crazy stunts
  • Bray/Strowman confrontation

But they managed to fit all that in along with a bunch of other cool spots and sequences while putting together a coherent match that had no big lulls, and go for almost an hour (52 minutes and change according to Wikipedia).  

This is the first Survivor Series elimination match in years that I’ll watch again and probably the only one I’ll put in my ‘punch it up at random just because’ box.  It was that good.  There’s a right way and a wrong way to overbook a match and this one falls firmly in the right way column.  Even the finish was unique and well done with Randy Orton sacrificing himself so that his teammate could pull out the victory .   

Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar 

This was a shocker. Of all the possible results, Goldberg squash victory was not on my list.  But that’s what we got, and it was awesome.  I marked out like it was 1998 again.  If you’re one of those Debbie Downers who want to complain about long term booking or whatever….let it go.  This is supposed to be fun, a distraction from the serious things in life.  Let it be that and stop playing amateur TV writer for once.  

Overall Verdict

The first four matches range from  ok to good,.but you won’t feel the need to watch them again. The last two…..way different story. Best elimination match ever and a true mark out moment in the final match.  Those are worth the pay per view money if you were paying it.



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