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American Airlines Arena – Miami, FL – Sunday, November 21, 2010
Michael Cole, Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler, and Matt Striker are on commentary.
WWE United States Champion Daniel Bryan defeats Ted DiBiase (w/ Maryse) to retain the title at 9:59. Bryan has been the Champion since 9.19.10, and this is his second defense. They wrestle on the mat, and that’s going to be an advantage for Bryan. DiBiase slows the pace down and works Bryan over both in and out of the ring. When the pace quickens, that’s good for Bryan so DiBiase slows him right back down. Momentum shifts back and forth and DiBiase almost gets the pin with a schoolboy rollup, but Bryan counters that into the LeBell Lock! DiBiase taps out and Bryan retains. This was a hot opener and a good showing from two men that needed one. They showed good chemistry together and their different approaches to the match both worked but Bryan’s just worked better.
As Bryan makes his way to the back, The Miz attacks him for no reason and threatens to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase tonight.
John Morrison defeats Sheamus at 11:15. This is a great feud for both men, since even though Sheamus is already a two-time WWE Champion, both men seem poised to break on through to the other side in terms of being main event players. As of this writing in 2015, we all know how that ended up but that’s how it felt at the time. It’s a pretty obvious style clash here, with the powerhouse Sheamus doing what he can to keep the high-flying Morrison grounded. Sheamus goes works the leg for frequent covers and Morrison continues to kick out at two. Down the home stretch they trade moves and reversals back and forth until Morrison delivers a Shining Wizard (with the non-injured leg!) to get the pin. These two wrestled with something to prove, and were definitely well-matched as opponents both in terms of style and personality.
WWE Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vickie Guerrero) defeats Kaval at 9:39. Ziggler has been the Champion since 8.6.10, and this is his eighth defense. Kaval earned this title shot by winning season two of NXT. He also beat Ziggler in a non-title match on SmackDown. Both men wrestle an athletic, high-energy style, but they are also very, very different. Ziggler tries several times to put Kaval away with a Sleeper, but Kaval is able to escape out of it and continue assaulting Ziggler with his unique offense. The crafty Ziggler is able to reverse a victory roll and he grabs a handful of tights to go with it for the pin. These two meshed well together and spent very little time resting, which made for a good mid-card title defense.
Team Mysterio (Rey Mysterio, Big Show, MVP, Kofi Kingston, & Chris Masters) defeat Team Del Rio (Alberto Del Rio, Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger, & Tyler Reks) in a Survivor Series 10-Man Elimination Tag Team Match at 18:10. MVP is from Miami, and he gets a giant pop for his entrance. Since MVP has never been more over in his life and the crowd is loving everything he does, typical WWE logic dictates that he gets eliminated first, as McIntyre and Del Rio play Rick Rude and Bobby Heenan to his Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania V. So not only did they eliminate him first, they did it in a super sissy way. Nice job everyone. Next to go is Masters, who taps out to the Del Rio Cross Armbreaker at 6:45. Del Rio gets cocky and Show makes him pay for it, knocking him out with the WMD. Trainers take Del Rio to the back, and that’s actually how he gets eliminated. A few minutes later Show hits another WMD to eliminate Rhodes at 11:00. Kingston gets a chance to shine here, flying all over the ring on Reks and eliminating him by delivering a backwards mule kick out of the Tree of Woe at 15:10. It was pretty cool looking. Swagger comes in and counters the Trouble in Paradise to the Patriot Lock and Kingston is forced to tap out. Show and Mysterio work together to eliminate Swagger after Mysterio hits a 619 and a splash from Show’s shoulders at 17:35. McIntyre looks frazzled and he’s pretty easily put away by a 619 from Mysterio and a Chokeslam from Show. Mysterio and Show are the survivors. This was inconsequential as a match, and the eliminations of MVP and Del Rio in particular were pretty silly. But once we got past that it was a pretty high-energy throwback to Survivor Series matches of yore, and I’ll always enjoy that.
Natalya defeated LayCool (Unified WWE Divas Champion Michelle McCool & Layla) at 3:41 in a Handicap Match to win the title. McCool has been the Champion since 9.19.10, and this is her second defense. LayCool obviously has an early advantage, but Natalya works to fight both of them off in and out of the ring. Natalya is able to send McCool into Layla on the apron, knocking her down. That gives Natalya the chance to lock McCool in the Sharpshooter to win the title for the first, and to date, the only time. That’s a Nice moment for Natalya there, but the match was much too short to really get invested in.
After the match LayCool attacks the new Champion, but Beth Phoenix makes her return from injury to save her friend Natalya and run LayCool off.
World Heavyweight Champion Kane and Edge wrestled to a Double Pin at 12:41. Kane has been the Champion since 7.18.10, and this is his fifth defense. Edge has the mental advantage here because he kidnapped Kane’s father Paul Bearer on SmackDown. Only in pro wrestling folks. When Kane takes over on offense the match grinds to a halt, as Kane slowly works on Edge while asking him the location of Paul Bearer. Edge makes the occasional comeback and Kane cuts him off multiple times, as the crowd occasionally shows signs of life. Finally, Edge clips out of a Tombstone Piledriver and hits the Spear to apparently get the pin and win the title, Tony Chimel even announces it, but the referee waves it off and hands the belt to Kane. I guess that both pairs of shoulders were down and the ref was counting both, so it’s a tie and Kane retains. To do that finish after Edge hit his major offensive maneuver may be the dumbest possible choice they could have gone with. I mean why wouldn’t Edge cover like he always does? Why would he just lay there when he was clearly in control? The match was brutal leading up to that too.
WWE Tag Team Champions The Nexus (Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel) (w/ David Otunga, Husky Harris, & Michael McGillicutty) defeat Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov at 5:09 to retain the titles. Slater and Gabriel have been the Champions since 10.25.10, and this is their first defense. Glory days of the tag team division, this is not. Santino gets a few little moves in to start and then the Champs take heat on Kozlov. After a little bit of that Santino gets the hot tag and sets up the Cobra, but the Nexus distracts and Slater is able to hit Sweetness to get the pin. I don’t fault anyone’s efforts, but that was a TV style match placed in the death slot of a pay-per-view. Nothing to see here.
WWE Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton defeats Wade Barrett at 15:14 to retain the title. Orton has been the Champion since 9.19.10, and this is his third defense. John Cena is the Special Referee. Cena has been forced to be part of the Nexus, and If Barrett doesn’t win the title, Cena is fired, but if he does win then Cena will be freed. Orton and Barrett have a solid if unspectacular back and forth match, and Cena calls it right down the middle. While Orton and Barrett are wrestling, the crowd helpfully chants “Let’s Go Cena / Cena Sucks.” Everyone is just waiting to see what Cena will do. Barrett gets fed up with Cena calling it down the middle rather than favoring him and he shoves him. Cena gets mad and shoves Barrett back, right into an RKO. He then counts the pin, allowing Orton to retain. That was not terrible, but the crowd was pretty dead up until the finish.
The Nexus tries to attack after the bell, but Orton and Cena run them off. Cena then presents Orton with the belt, and Orton celebrates briefly before allowing Cena to have one last (ha!) moment in the sun.
Tags: John Cena, Randy Orton, survivor series, Wade Barrett, WWE