Whoa, no replay of the Rollins announcement? You’re just letting Rich Brennan tell us? Jesus, Seth’s knee deserves a video package at the very least: that knee’s given us some fucking phoenix splashes. We’re getting a few tournament matches tonight, including Stardust vs. Alberto Del Rio: at least the WWE’s not afraid to go heel vs. heel on this.
Bray Wyatt and the rest of Duck Dynasty walk out, and I sincerely doubt we’re about to see the Undertaker show up again. Maybe Kane. Also, Harper and Rowan are going to have a tag team match against the Usos, so don’t ask me to see these two as heels: I remember what those matches used to be like.
The Brotherhood of Beards deliver a piece of the promo each. Stroman tells us to ‘look at his face’, and I don’t think anyone wants to do that. Ever. Basically, these guys have gone full cult, and I really shouldn’t have watched The Devil’s Rejects last night, because that’s what a terrifying group of psychopaths looks like. Bray challenges them to a…tag team match at Survivor Series. Wait, what the fuck? No traditional Survivor Series match? This had better fucking change, and change fucking fast.
Oh God, My Eyes
Rich, stop calling them the Manchester United. They’re just Manchester United. Or Man United. Or Man U. Anyway, Fandango shows up to the ring to take on Braun Stroman. Holy fuck, we’re about to watch a dancer die.
Fandango’s initial offence amounts to sweet Fanny Addams, and Braun more or less annihilates the guy. I mean…I guess it’s not terrible wrestling, but the less you let this guy do, the safer everyone will be.
The amount of offence Fandango did manage to hit on Stroman technically makes him a World Championship contender. 1.5 Stars.
By American Standards, These Guys Live In The Same House
Ah, here’s the crowd-pleaser match: Neville vs. Barrett. Both hometown boys, considering the relative size of England. They’re making a big thing about Barrett vs. Rooney, but I hope to hell it dies and dies soon.
Neville applies a headlock to Barrett; Wade tries to back suplex him, but Neville rolls through, keeping it on. Neville then runs the ropes, rolling him up, then applying a headlock again, but gets backed into a corner. He leapfrogs Barrett, flips across the ring and hits a crossbody.
Barrett hoists Neville out on the apron, using the count to drag Neville into the ring and slam his head off the mat. Neville falls out to the floor, and takes a boot to the face when he tries to climb back in. Barrett then follows Neville, slamming him off the announce table, the apron and the barricade before we go to a break.
Back inside the ring, Barrett slams Neville off the mat, then catches the man’s leapfrog attempt with a kick to the stomach. He chokes Neville on the ropes, then hits some knees to the face before following that up with a boot, knocking Neville out of the ring. He clubs away at Neville’s back, then hits another kick to the gut for a two count.
Wade applies a sleeper hold, but gets caught with a roll up when he tries to go for Winds of Change. Enranged, he hurls Neville out of the ring, and the Geordie lands hard: nice bump. Barrett tosses him back into the ring, then stops to bash the commentators. Neville, meanwhile, has run across the barricade and hits a senton to Barrett!
Neville slams Wade off every barricade, then hits a barrage of kicks back in the ring. Shooting star press gets two, then Barrett counters a German suplex, kick Neville in the stomach. Barrett gets another near fall, then accuses the ref of being bribed by Neville: that’s a new one. Neville manages to hit a German with a bridge for two, and then heads up for the Red Arrow.
Barrett gets to his feet; Neville leaps over him but gets caught with the Winds of Change. Barrett winds up for the Bull Hammer, stalking Neville, who rolls him up for the near-fall. Wasteland gets countered into a DDT, and then Neville hits the Red Arrow for the win!
That took a while to get going, but it was a great second half. Nice work by the Brits. 3 Stars.
Renee Young is backstage with the Usos. They seem psyched up for this one, which is definitely a good sign for the match.
Well I’ll Be Goddamned
Here comes Kalisto, ready to get fucking destroyed out there. And…holy crap, he speaks English? I mean…I guess I knew that, but I’ve never heard him do it, so it caught me by surprise. Ryback follows, and I can’t believe that we’re about to watch this. I mean, come on, guys: this is sketchier than a snuff film.
Bell rings, and let the sacrifice commence. The two of them shake hands, then Kalisto starts kicking away at Ryback. He attaches a headlock, gets thrown off the ropes, rolls out of a bodyslam and gorilla press attempt. Boot to the face of Ryback, and he gets up on the Big Guy’s shoulders, turning it into a standing shiranui!
Back from the break, Kalisto is still on the offence, but one of his kicks gets caught and Ryback hits a spinebuster, then a powerbomb, and then another powerbomb: just as the prophecies predicted. Kalisto rolls out of the ring, and Ryback throws him back inside, getting a two count. Kalisto takes a delayed vertical suplex, but manages to fight out, getting his face slammed off the mat regardless. This time the suplex hits, then a bodyslam.
Ryback hits a bunch of stomps to Kalisto’s stomach, and it seriously looks like he’s just bullying a young child. Bearhug, which doesn’t improve the image, then another spinebuster. Ryback misses a splash, then a boot, getting crotched on the ropes. Kalisto takes advantage, hitting a running dropkick to send Ryback out of the ring. Kalisto goes for a moonsault to the outside, but gets caught by Ryback and slammed onto the outside!
Kalisto escapes Ryback’s grasp, hitting a kick on to the thigh and bulldogging him back into the ring. He tries the spike-a-rana, gets set up for Shellshocked, and rolls Ryback up for two! Aaaand then gets decapitated with a Meathook…but gets his foot on the bottom rope! Ryback slams into a cornered Kalisto, then sets him up on the top rope…and Kalisto hits the Salida Del Sol for the win!
Holy shit, that was unexpected. And after a seriously good match, but at no point did I assume that Kalisto was going to get it done. Super surprising stuff. 3 Stars.
Ryback shakes Kalisto’s hand after the match, because he’s a hero we deserve, but not the title contender that we need right now.
It’s Hard To Know Which Of Them Is More Delusional
Here’s Alberto Del Rio and Zeb Coulter. Zeb’s trying to get under the UK’s skin by implying that the Scottish, the Welsh and the Irish hate each other, and also England. To be honest, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish get on pretty well, and just make fun of the British if they feel particularly garrulous that day. Del Rio tells us to imagine a hate-free Manchester, and that sounds goddamn boring.
Stardust arrives, and seeing as he’s from the Fifth Dimension, and Del Rio’s from Mexamerica, we’re watching a match between two men whose homes do not exist. Hm. Stardust tries to roll Alberto up, but pays for that in the form of getting the shit kicked out of him. Snap suplex to Stardust, then a bunch of fists to the face.
Cody catches Del Rio with the Rhodes Uppercut, and sends Del Rio out of the ring, but then gets caught with a step-up enzuigiri, and Del Rio drags him out of the ring, launching him into the barricade.
Back from a commercial break, Stardust eats a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, then takes a hard Irish whip into the corner. Another running enzuirgiri puts Stardust down again, and then Del Rio applies a cross-armbreaker across the ropes. Stardust manages to suddenly catch Del Rio with a slam, acting almost on instinct, and both men are down.
Stardust rallies, hitting some clotheslines and a back elbow before hitting some kind of inverted DDT off the second rope. Another slam almost gets two, and Del Rio suddenly counters with a backstabber. Clothesline to Stardust, but a Disaster Kick leaves Alberto laying, and he only avoids the loss by grabbing the bottom rope.
Del Rio fires back immediately, only to run into a pair of boots. The crowd is seriously dead for this match as Stardust heads up for a moonsault. Del Rio catches him, hitting the fucking stupid double-stomp for the win. Urgh.
What is Del Rio going to do in a match where his opponent doesn’t go to the top rope with his back to him? Use an actual finishing move? 2.5 Stars.
Renee is backstage with Roman Reigns, asking about having to face Cesaro. Reigns is just up for a challenge and he doesn’t take handouts from the Authority. Looks like he’s going to be facing Cesaro, then Del Rio, and then Owens: pretty sweet tournament run for him, and it’d be good to have him facing a crop of genuinely great wrestlers.
I Think The Usos Sort Of Wrecked The Wyatts’ Mystique
Here come the Usos, ready to help us remember a time when the opening tag-team match was the best match on a PPV card. Then the Wyatts teleport into the situation, and we’re about ready to go.
Rowan and Harper charge the ring, going after the Usos, tossing one of them out of the ring and double-teaming the other before throwing him out to. The brawl continues on the outside, with the Usos leaving the Wyatts laying and waiting on them in the ring.
Rowan and Jey start off, with Jey going right after the big man. Rowan sets Jey up in the corner, then hits a fallaway slam from the second rope. Harper follows Jey to the outside, hitting a big boot to the face as we got a commercial break.
Jey is in the ring when we come back, getting his head fisted by Rowan. Harper tags in, catapulting Jey face-first into the bottom rope and cheap-shotting Jimmy. Jey fires back with huge uppercuts, but gets a punch to the face that almost knocks him out of the ring. Rowan tags in, wrenching back on Jey’s head. Jey tries to slam Rowan, but the big man’s too heavy, falling back onto him.
Harper tags in, but Jey ducks a big boot, and tags in Jimmy! Jimmy is all fired up, hitting a kick, an uppercut and a dragon whip to Harper. He wants the Samoan wrecking ball, but Rowan drags him out of the ring. Jey gets involved, and Jimmy climbs up to the top rope, taking out Harper with a crossbody! Rowan hurls Jey into the steel steps, and Jimmy nails Harper with a Samoan drop!
Jimmy takes Rowan out with a corkscrew moonsault, and both Wyatts roll out of the ring. Jimmy leaps out onto them, his foot catching the rope as he does so. Rowan catches him and slams him against the apron, but probably saved Jimmy from a nasty injury in doing so (Good Guy Wyatts), and Harper superkicks him.
Harper hits a Batista Bomb to Jimmy, and then Jey breaks up the pin with a splash from the top rope, because fuck yo rules, ref. Rowan hits a splash of his own to Jey. King says he has no idea who’s legal, because he’s a shitty commentator (it’s Harper and Jimmy).
Harper goes for a discus clothesline and gets his ass superkicked out of the ring. Rowan tries to interfere, and both Usos kick him out too. They launch themselves out of the ring and take out Harper and Rowan. Then all the Wyatts charge the ring, because even if they are an unstoppable heel stable, they ain’t got shit on the Usos.
This was really good, and the second surprise result of the night: I assumed the Usos were about to get fed to the Wyatts, but apparently WWE still has much-deserved faith in them. Different style of match, which was refreshing. 3 Stars.
The Wyatts beat down the Usos, with Harper and Rowan hitting a double chokeslam to Jey and Stroman hitting the Black Sheep to Jimmy, followed by a Sister Abigail from Bray. He’s about to hit a second one, when the gong sounds. The Undertaker’s voice sounds, and says that the Wyatt Family will rest in peace. He unfortunately did not say ‘and we’re having a traditional Survivor Series match, you fucking idiot’. He’d better, that’s all I’m saying.
This was a really good show: plenty of good matches and everything moved at a good pace. Sort of like with Seth gone, they employed all of their attentions elsewhere and came up with a tight show. Nice work. 9/10
Tags: Alberto Del Rio, Booker T, Braun Stroman, Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, Fandango, Jerry Lawler, Kalisto, Luke Harper, Neville, Renee Young, Rich Brennan, ryback, smackdown, Stardust, the usos, The Wyatt Family, Wade Barrett