Welcome to “That Being Said”: Readers Choice. This is the show the won the popular vote, which makes me want to fight everyone who participated in the popular vote. Seriously. Big Show and Cody Rhodes prominently placed and Punk and Bryan fighting a nondescript tag-team? What did I ever do to you people?
I told Classy Ring Attire that if I were to recap WWE again, it would be Murphy’s Law that WWE would go all to hell before that show took place, and here we are. I’ve enjoyed most of the PPV’s since whatever the one that comes after the post-WrestleMania PPV is, but this card looks horrible on paper. I just wanna comment on this Punk / Bryan thing before we start – I’m not one of those alarmists who thinks that they’re being shot down the card, I think this is probably just a little break for them – albiet an odd one – before they probably receive their WrestleMania marching orders. I mean let’s face it, Punk has been fighting Curtis Axel and Ryback for months.
I’ve talked before about how Punk and Bryan are the only true stars that WWE has been able to make in years. Guys who made it on their own, because of the crowd. All the guys that WWE has tried to push on the fans – Shaemus, The Miz, Wade Barrett, Curtis Axel, Ryback, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, all the way down to the likes of Drew McIntyre and Vladamir Kozlov – have failed miserably. It’s not that I don’t think WWE would dump Punk and Bryan in a heartbeat if one of their pet projects DID hit the way they wanted them to, it’s just that I think they’re also painfully aware of the fact that NONE of their pet projects are hitting the way they want them to. Cody Rhodes will be the next pet project to hit the skids – as soon as his dad and brother hit the showers, he’s going to drown in the pool.
For my tastes (and this is just my opinion), looking at this card, WWE is back in the “painfully boring” state. I enjoyed the majority of the product for almost half of this year, and that’s a major rarity for me. So to see them go this way is sad, but not altogether unexpected. With Cena being back, and Orton and Big Show on top, I imagine Punk and Bryan probably WILL have something slightly higher-profile to do for WM30 (at least a lot higher-profile than they are now) but it probably still won’t be where they deserve. If Cena doesn’t fight Undertaker, then I could see Bryan losing to Undertaker, and who knows for CM Punk. I don’t believe they’ll be anywhere near the title picture though – I could see that going to Orton and Cena, in some sort of a WWE Title / World Heavyweight Championship unification match. After all, I’m still pretty sure that WWE sees those two guys as the avatars for the last decade.
Which is a shame. Because I believe that Punk and Bryan are the best guys WWE has, with The Sheild, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, Antonio Cessaro, and Big E ready to go to the next level. I doubt WWE will take them there though. I think we’re in for the next level of “no seriously people, The Miz and Shaemus ARE awesome. Let us show you again”.
Well, that was depressing. Look, in light of how depressing this card is, just do me a huge favour and lower your expectations for this one, okay? It’s gonna be tough for this to hold my interest. If more serious play-by-play is your thing, I refer you to Inside Pulse’s official live coverage.
Anyway, here’s your recap. Choke on it.
WWE Survivor Series 2013
We start the show with Triple H and Stephanie coming out to “King Of Kings”. That’s much cooler than his normal music. They guarantee that there will be no “physical interference” tonight. They say we’re starting with a traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination match. Then we get an opening video package.
Traditional Survivor Series Match
Rey Mysterio, The Uso’s, Goldust & Cody Rhodes .vs. Antonio Cessaro, Jack Swagger & The Shield (w/ Zeb Coulter)
Regarding people being upset about Mysterio coming back, I can’t agree more about how a guy at the end of his career, who has become extremely limited in the ring, especially in terms of his moveset and getting repeatedly injured, shouldn’t be featured on the show in any kind of prominent capacity. So I assume you will all be enraged when Mark Henry comes back, right? The crowd seems awfully quiet for the Uso’s horribly forced entrance routine (don’t get me wrong, Uso’s are cool but that entrance has to go) and I don’t hear a ton of crowd for Goldust and COH GOD I CAN’T EVEN TYPE OUT HIS NAME WITHOUT GETTING BORED. Zeb comes out and does his spiel, and Cody tries to get over with the crowd and talk him down and be funny. It doesn’t work. Good God, how did The Shield get this far down the card?
Ambrose and Cody start out, do some lame back and forth stuff, and then before a match can really start, Cody rolls him up from behind and pins him. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Holy fuck. That’s hilarious. We are off to an awesome start. Cody Rhodes just pinned Dean Ambrose after nothing. Welcome to the future. Ambrose is eliminated, then Uso’s clear the ring before doing a double dive to the hells on the outside. Goldust tags in, and gets a huge reaction – Real Americans tag in and take him out. They double team him for a while but can’t get a pin. Goldust eventually takes down Cessaro, Rey gets tagged in (to a way bigger pop than Goldust or Cody, by the way) and he does a triple-team with the Uso’s that leads to a splash off the top rope and a pin for one of the Uso’s. Swagger is eliminated.
Cessaro does the spin to one of the Uso’s, and then the other – the crowd counts along with him. Cody tags in, and of course he rolls up Cessaro in five seconds and pins him without doing any moves. Holy fuck, this is hilarious. Rollins & Reigns are the only ones left on the heel team, and the Uso’s double-team Reigns. Regins takes down an Uso and Shield double-teams for a bit. The Uso fights back, but Reigns overcomes him and pins him after a spear. Cody tags in, and of course cleans house despite being terrible – Cody gets a near-fall on Rollins, and then hits a moonsault for another. Rollins reverses CrossRhodes and tags Reigns, who hits a spear and pins Cody. Thank fucking God. Rollins takes out another Uso with his kneedrop finish – I love Rollins and all, but not a huge fan of that finish. Anyway, at least Shield aren’t jobbing anymore.
We are down to Rey and Goldust against Rollins & Reigns – and I am just happy Cody is out of this thing. Rey teases a jump, but Rollins hits a dropkick and Rey falls from the ropes. Reigns tags in, and dominates until Rey dodges a dive and Reigns runs shoulder-first into the ringpost. Rollins tags in, and takes Rey up on his shoulders, but Rey rolls him up and pins – Rollins is eliminated. Rollins jumps Rey after the bell for a ton of heat from the crowd. Reigns says to Rey that he came back to get “jobbed out”. Okay, that’s odd. Rey kicks Reigns in the face and eats a drop-toe-hold, and Rey tags Goldust who comes in and starts working on Reigns. Spinebuster by Goldust on Reigns gets 2, and he gives him 10 punches on the turnbuckle. Powerslam by Goldust gets 2, and then a top-rope-cross-body gets 2 as well.
Goldust rallies the crowd, and Reigns ducks a clothesline and hits a spear for the pin. Goldust is eliminated, and Rey dumps Reigns into he ropes, goes for the 619 but runs right into a Reigns spear for a HUGE pop and the pin.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Match wasn’t bad, I always like Elimination stuff. The Cody stuff was just laughable, I mean he did all right, given that it’s Cody, but really, it’s Cody, so it’s not all that good either. He definitely sucked the life out of the start of this match for me. It was surprising and good to see Shield get some cred by winning this match after being down 5-2, and I thought Reigns and Rey in particular looked fantastic. Reigns hitting the spear after the 619 attempt got a bigger pop than any babyface in the match… which should tell you something.
Backstage, HHH tries to rally Orton for his match against Big Show.
Intercontinental Championship Match
Big E (c) .vs. Curtis Axel
I didn’t know Big E won the IC Title. I haven’t seen a ton of Big E, but what I have seen has been pretty good, but ANYTHING is better than the black hole that is Curtis Axel. The chalk thing is kinda stupid. Slow start takes way too long, they go to the outside and then Axel takes control and dives off the apron onto E. Sleeper in the ring by Axel, aaaaaaannnnnd… I zoned out. Big E won.
Winner: Big E Langston
Backstage, AJ is acts all CRAZY with those great acting chops we’ve come to expect from her. A bunch of girls I don’t recognize and are offended by her speech, and they try to act as well. It’s… yeah.
Traditional Survivor Series Match
Total Divas .vs. Other Divas
7-on-7? What are you, fucking kidding me? How the hell did they even come to employ this many women? I don’t recognize three quarters of them. Anyway, we do the entrances, and show some Total Divas clips, and then The Governor is running through the forest with his new family, who don’t realize he’s slaughtered hundreds of people. He goes into a pit to save the one girl, and then single-handedly takes out a bunch of zombies, ripping the throat out of one of them with his bare hands. He somehow manages to take all the zombies out, but then his former employees find him and we come to the end of last week’s episode. Fucking Governor, man. You know, I think this Total Divas season has been pretty lame so far, at least the Governor stuff is a bit different but it’s still awfully slow.
The new episode starts after we get the advisory warning about this Divas match being too violent and graphic for some viewers. Governor is playing chess with the little girl he saved, and then we flash back to when he was in the pit. He lifts her out and back up to her mother, and his old buddy tosses a rope down to him. Back to playing chess with the little girl, and she is complaining that he never lets her win. Back to the pit, and Governor climbs out – back to the little girl, and she asks him if his dad was mean or if he was a bad kid. Back to the pit, and his buddy asks if he’s been on the road all this time. His lady friend calls him Brian, so naturally Governor’s friend is confused. Back to the chess game, and little girl asks Governor if she’s bad, because her dad was always mean to her – Governor tells her she’s good, and at the pit, Governor’s old buddy says he can come live with them but that he’s in charge and they don’t tolerate dead weight. Sorry, but this dude saw Governor slaughter a ton of people who were with him in cold blood. For not shooting him in the pit, he’s one of the stupidest TV characters I’ve seen tonight, and I’ve seen Curtis Axel and Jack Swagger, who, if you’ll remember, is a slow adult.
It’s Governor’s turn to make a move at chess. He thinks about this as the opening credits roll. Since we’re going for commercials, I have a chance to get this out – I know it’s never gonna happen, but I really hope they phase out the whole of Rick’s group. Glen and Maggie just need to go, and I’m sick of everyone who isn’t Darryl and that one random blonde girl who has somehow managed to survive. Carl is a douche. I don’t particularly want to watch Governor for a long time, but at this point, any change is… what?
Oh. Right. The match. Natalya won.
Winner: Farting Girl
Yeah. There was no way I was covering that. I don’t mind making jokes at Divas expense, but I LITERALLY didn’t recognize 75% of the women in the ring. It’s hard enough to string something coherent together during a Divas match, there’s no way anything I could have written would have made sense. It would have been like trying to cover Abyss .vs. Abyss from last week.
Backstage, Randal Auton talks to that little Ric Flair referee who still looks twelve. Does he reverse age, or is that a time travel thing? I just watched “Day Of The Doctor” this weekend, so I’m sci-fi enchanted enough to believe just about anything at the moment.
The panel talks for a while, and it’s Bret Hart, Booker T, and Mick Foley. Ryback comes out and gives a heel promo that is right on par with the quality mic skills that we’ve expect from this inbred toolbox. He makes an open challenge. Ryback is horrible. I don’t even care who comes out, as long as it isn’t Mark Henry.
Ryback .vs. Mark Henry
Mark Henry comes out to a massive pop. I enjoy this, because now I can listen to people complain about Henry in the same way they complain about Mysterio! Anyway, this match happened at WrestleMania, and the crowd reaction and ring-work is right on par with that fantastic match. The crowd dies down completely about ten seconds into this, at least until they start shouting “GOLDBERG” at Ryback, because Ryback is so over that people chant for a wrestler who hasn’t been with the company in eight years. They… club at each other for a while. Literally, that’s what happened – clubs. Then Ryback put on a sleeper before he runs into Henry and goes down. Henry powerslams Ryback and gets 2.
Henry tries to rally up the crowd. He gets nothing. Ryback hits a spinebuster, and people start “GOLDBERG”ing again before Henry hits… something. JBL calls it a “cross body”. Don’t believe him. Nothing could be further from the truth. He then powerslams Ryback and pins.
Winner: Mark Henry
Just when I thought the show couldn’t get any more awesome! Henry tries to get some crowd again after the bell, he still gets nothing. Another triumphant return. I guess he has a lot of experience returning since he gets injured so often.
The panel talks about Cena / Del Rio.
World Heavyweight Championship Match
John Cena (c) .vs. Alberto Del Rio
So, I kind of zoned out during this match as well, but the thing is, this one I’ll apologize for. It actually was a decent match, but Cena just sucks the life out of me when he goes into superman mode. Del Rio did awesome in this match though, I still say Del Rio has had the best work all year, but yes, I know I’m in the minority there. Del Rio had some great reversals, kicks and counters, but of course, you can’t really get one over on Cena, especially when he’s in “he’s the injured underdog” status. It unfolded exactly how you’d think it would have, but again, for a Cena match in these circumstances, it wasn’t bad at all. Del Rio helps a lot, like he does with most things.
Cena won with the AA.
Winner & Still World Heavyweight Champion: John Cena. Duh.
During the match, myself and Martin Shaw discussed in what capacity we actually WOULD watch John Cena in. We figured he’d be okay on a daytime talk show, but Shaw thinks he’s more of a Regis and I think he’s more of a Ryan Seacrest.
Backstage garbage featuring R-Truth, Santino, the masked dudes, and Fandango.
Quite a great video package is done for Wyatt’s / Punk & Bryan. However much I don’t think this gimmick resonates in an arena setting, the video packages have all been solid. This one is no exception.
CM Punk & Daniel Bryan .vs. Luke Harper & Eric Rowan (w/ Bray Wyatt)
Great reactions for Punk & Bryan, not a whole lot of heat for the Wyatt’s. I’ve actually seen this Wyatt tag-team before, I think they’re pretty good, although seeing Punk and Bryan here is just weird. Rowan dominates Bryan for a bit, chopping him in the corner. Chants for Bryan, as he ducks a charge and hits some kicks to the “YES” chants. Punk tags in, and Rowan beats him down too until Harper tags in. Punk with a cross-body and some chops, but Harper hits some chops of his own and Punk goes down and Rowan tags in – he hits some kicks and a bearhug. Punk fights back and tags Bryan, but they get double-suplexed by Rowan? Uh… okay.
Bryan eventually gets up and fights his way to the corner. He and Punk double-team Rowan in the corner, because apparently they can’t take the dudes out on their own… which is silly. They double-team again and Punk tries to pin Rowan, but he kicks out hard and bodyslams Punk. Chants for Punk, but the crowd is quite dead for this. Punk tags Bryan, and Rowan tags Harper – Punk and Bryan double-team again. This is just weird. They hit a double dropkick, and Bryan hits some kicks and the crowd wakes up again. Punk tags in and Harper takes him down with a big kick. Rowan back in and he works on Punk for a bit, and he hits a backbreaker for two. Harper tags back in, and the crowd has been mostly dead but they come alive to clap for a Punk comeback. Resthold by Harper on Punk.
Punk fights back with some kicks, but Harper cuts him off again and powerslams him, but only gets 2. Harper tags Rowan, and he works on Punk for a while – Punk gets some boots and a swinging DDT on Rowan, and tags Bryan. Bryan hits some kicks, and flies around Harper and hits a hard mule kick. He takes Harper out of the ring and hits an awesome dive on him, and the crowd is coming back alive chanting “YES”. Giant missile dropkick off the tope rope by Bryan gets 2. Bryan hits some more kicks on Harper, wearing him out and then reverses a Harper move into a hurricanrana – Bryan takes Harper up top and goes for a frankensteiner, but Harper saves it and powerbombs Bryan off the top rope.
Rowan comes in and dumps Punk to the outside, and now we have a “THIS IS AWESOME” chant? Seriously? The crowd has been dead for most of this. Big splash by Rowan on Bryan gets 2. 3 scoop-slams in a row on Bryan, that he sells like death. Punk tries to get back on the apron, but Rowan knocks him off. Seriously, these two henchmen are dominating Punk and Bryan. I don’t get it, man. Plus, with a couple small exceptions, this has been really boring. The crowd is dead now again, and the Wyatt’s are double-teaming Bryan in the corner. Bryan tries to fight back, but Harper hits a GREAT suplex on him. Punk hits Harper from behind, and successfully rallies the crowd to chant “YES” for Bryan – Bryan tags, and Punk dives in and starts taking out Harper. Crowd is awake now again, as Punk keeps working on Harper and goes for a top-rope elbow – then he dives on Bray and Rowan on the floor to a big pop. He laughs and looks like he’s having fun, then takes Rowan down again and hits a top rope elbow and gets 2.
“Randy Savage” chant as Punk signals for the GTS. Rowan comes in to break it up, and Bryan kicks his shit in. Punk then hits the GTS on Harper anyway, and pins.
Winners: CM Punk & Daniel Bryan
The match had a couple good moments, but was for the most part quite boring. The Wyatt’s were really dominant, which I really don’t get, but Punk and Bryan looked dominant at the end. Still, very strange. Bray teases getting in the ring after the match, and the crowd chants “YES”, but Wyatt backs off. Possibly signalling that we haven’t seen the last of this. Oy.
WWE Championship Match
Randy Orton (c) .vs. The Big Show
Show dominates to start, taking Orton out of the ring a few times. Orton gets in a cheap shot, but Show takes him down again and hits some hard chops and an elbow for 2. Orton with another cheap shot, and Show goes down. Orton tries to keep Show down with kicks, and drops a knee. Orton slaps a sleeper on Show, and a HUGE “THIS IS BORING” chant breaks out. Thank you so much, crowd from whatever city this is in. Then “WE WANT BRYAN” gets a quieter chant. Big Show powers out of the sleeper and tries to fire up the crowd, but it doesn’t work and he actually get some boos. The crowd is actually turning on him.
Show takes Orton down again, and goes to the top rope. Orton goes and DDT’s him down, in a neat spot. Crowd boos and Orton does a really good job of antagonizing them, but then runs into a Big Show chokeslam that gets 2. Crowd is just absolutely dead – Orton escapes the ring, and Show grabs him and throws him into the ropes but he hits the ref, who goes down. Orton pushes Show into the steps, and grabs a chair with the ref out, but Show kicks him and slaps it out of his hand with his giant ham hock. Big Show throws Orton over the barricade and goes after him, slaps him, and tosses him back into ringside. Orton knocks Show’s head against the barricade. Big Show hits the Ham Hock Of Death, and Orton is down and out at ringside.
Show rolls Orton into the ring, and Triple H’s music hits. HHH, Steph and Kane come out, and this distracts Big Show, and Orton hits an RKO from behind. “DANIEL BRYAN” chants are much louder now, as Orton gets up and gears up for the punt of death, which he hits. He pins.
Winner & Still WWE Champion: Randy Orton
The announcers say that there was no actual “physical” interference.
Aaaaaaaand John Cena music hits.
He comes out with his belt, and he and Orton have a staredown with their respective World Titles.
I called it. I fucking called it. You all see it up there. I didn’t think I’d see it this soon, but there you go. I’m not happy about it, but I still called it. Dance, monkeys. Dance for your king.
Show over. Pretty dull for me, so I’m interested to hear what other people thought. The only match I thought I’d enjoy, I didn’t, and it only had one or two moments I found interesting, and that was kind of killed by the idea that Punk and Bryan needed any kind of luck to beat Bryan Wyatt’s henchmen. “THIS IS BORING” during the main event says a lot, and when they chant for the dude in the filler match during the main event, that says a lot too.
For the record, I’m not happy with the recap. I feel like there wasn’t a lot to it. I don’t like being just a typical play-by-play guy, but this show just really sucked the life out of me. Sorry guys. If there was any kind of a sign that I maybe shouldn’t be covering current WWE shows, at least under the current way things seem to be going, this might have been it. Just wow. Like night and day from the PPV’s from middle of this year.
For the record though, this was still better than Thursday’s TNA show.
I had fun doing Reader’s Choice though – maybe I’ll do another vote one of these days. If this latest series should have illustrated anything to you, though, it’s that next time you should all probably vote for historical shows rather than current ones. I think they’re a lot more interesting, and, current shows are painful to watch.
To put it another way, if one more person suggests I recap a current WWE or TNA show, I will set their goddamn house on fire.
I’ll be in my trailer. I’ll see you when I see you.
Tags: alberto del rio, big show, cm punk, Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, goldust, john cena, randy orton, triple h, WWE