Well……I’m back! Sorry about the absence, I moved back home from Texas back to Louisiana and I’ve been adjusting to a new overnight job, I’m moving into another house…….it’s CRAZINESS over here! However, I have been paying attention to what’s been going on: I know about the draft, the Brand Split, Foley and Bryan as the RAW and Smackdown GMs, Stephanie & Shane as the RAW and Smackdown Commissioners (Jesus, you add Vince and technically, Triple H, you have SIX Authority Figures!), I know about Roman Reigns’ suspension (tough break for the guy to be honest), I know about Brock Lesnar’s potential drug failure (no confirmation yet on what the hell he failed on but it’s definitely not good), I watched some Final Deletion (one of the greatest things I’ve seen in wrestling ever)…….so I’ve been keeping up. However, I decided for my return column to take a trip backwards to honor the big Shield Triple Threat match (a match we’ve all wanted to see), I decided to go back and review their very first night with the WWE: Survivor Series 2012. I’m doing that show for a few reasons: A) perfect timing to coincide with the Shield Triple Threat, B) this was the point I had gotten to in my WWE PPV viewing and C) I wanted to provide a snap shot of how much this company had changed in 4 years. I mean, this was just the start of the 3 hour era, the ratings were in the high 2s and low 3s and we take a look at the roster from what it was back then to where it’s come now. So sit back and enjoy by review of Survivor Series 2012!!!
Survivor Series 2012
Location: Banker’s Life Fieldhouse-Indianapolis, IN (8,500)
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & John Bradshaw Layfield
Coming off the monumental stakes of the previous year’s Survivor Series show (back in MSG for the first time on PPV since 2008 and The Rock’s in-ring return), this one is just a massive step down in anticipation and for a very good reason. With only three weeks of legitimate build to the show (which is RIDICULOUS given the 6 week build to Hell in a Cell, which is a lesser show compared to Survivor Series), you’d think that 26th annual Survivor Series was nothing more than just a throwaway show and in essence, it kind of was. The WWE decided to completely change up the original marquee match of the show (which was set to be Team Punk vs Team Foley) just 2 weeks before the PPV and thus, everything got turned around and fan anticipation was just sliced in half after a match that had been heavily looking forward to was taken away from them. The fact that the only real sense of enjoyment that fans got from this show at the time was the WWE debuts of three of the future top stars in the company at the tail end of the show speaks to the level of disappointment fans had here and thus, it’s kind of a shame. However, with that said, it is still one of the Big Four shows (whether WWE likes it or not) and thus, WWE decided to throw together a haphazard title match in the main event. For the 3rd time in 6 shows, CM Punk will be defending the WWE Title in a Triple Threat match…….this time, he’ll be defending against John Cena (who, if he doesn’t get a title shot, he pitches a fucking fit) and Ryback (after the injustice done to him at the previous month’s PPV). Yes, it basically has the potential to be the very same match we just saw back at Summerslam (just replace Ryback with Big Show) but I’m hoping these guys can actually pull it out and have a good match. In a rematch from Hell in a Cell, the Big Show will be defending the World Heavyweight Title against the former champion, Sheamus……can these two produce an even better match than their great encounter at Hell in a Cell? As for that aforementioned Survivor Series match, we do get it in the form of Team Foley (Randy Orton, Team Hell No, Kofi Kingston & THE MIZ) taking on Team Ziggler (Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett, Alberto Del Rio, Damien Sandow & David Otunga)……sure, it was thrown together at the last second but maybe it can be a show stealer on this card that not a lot of people had much faith in to begin with. We have another Survivor Series Elimination match as Brodus Clay, Justin Gabriel, Tyson Kidd, Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara face Tensai, the Prime Time Players, Epico and Primo while Cesaro defends the US Title against R-Truth and Kaitlyn finally gets her hands on Eve Torres for the Divas Title. I’m not really looking forward to this show at all but let’s see if it can surprise me and provide me with some entertaining to watch!
Side Note: The show did 212,000 buys, which was down from the 281,000 the year before. That doesn’t surprise me considering how jacked the previous year’s show was and given the fact that this card ended up getting changed at the last second so I’m sure fans weren’t into this one all that much.
Side Note: Two more things to note. First off, this was originally schedule to take place at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh but due to the fact that it was going to have to go head to head with the Pittsburgh Steelers/Baltimore Ravens game at Heinz Field, the WWE decided to move the show to Indianapolis (the Ravens won 13-10, by the way). The other note is that this is, sadly, the official PPV return to the booth of Jerry “The King” Lawler after his tragic heart attack on the September 10th RAW. I’ve said it many times: I’m glad Jerry survived his heart attack, I wish no ill will on the guy but I’ve HATED his commentary for a long time and this two PPV stretch without him on commentary was pretty solid stuff so I’m not enthused at all with having him back. Plus, get used to these three…..this will be the PPV commentary team for a good long while.
Pre-Show Match: Tag Team Match: Zack Ryder & Santino Marella vs 3MB w/Drew McIntyre
Set Up: Basically, it’s a battle of the jobbers but it’s perfectly fine to have this match on the Pre-Show. Instead of doing anything with McIntyre, Mahal and Slater…….the WWE just decided to throw them together to form the 3 Man Band. Slater and McIntyre fit because Slater just fits that country rock persona and McIntyre nicely pulls off the 80s hair metal look…….Mahal just looks like a jackass. Ryder and Santino are former United States Champions and this also allows Matt Striker to rip on Zack Ryder because apparently, he doesn’t like him…….I don’t like his creepy handlebar mustache so let’s call a spade to spade.
Standard opening stuff between Ryder and Mahal and the babyfaces work Mahal’s arm in the early going. Mahal CRACKS Santino with a hard forearm smash but Slater runs into an arm drag and gets double teamed in the babyface corner. Stanford has pretty good taste in music (Rush and Bon Jovi) while Striker snores and lists Leo Sayer as his favorite artist (who?). The heels isolate Ryder for a few moments until Santino cleans house off the tag. Santino scares Mahal off the apron but Slater cuts him off from hitting the Cobra and he just tosses the sock out of the ring. The heels isolate Santino now but Mahal wastes time to taunt Ryder and takes a back drop for it. Ryder cleans house off the tag and hits the Missile Dropkick!! BROSKI BOOT!!! Slater kicks Santino into the barricade, ROUGH RYDER!!! McIntyre decks Ryder from behind with his cast and Mahal drops Ryder with a Full Nelson Slam!! 1…….2…….3 AND THE 3MB GETS THE WIN AT 6:11!!!
Crater rating: 4.5 out of 10. Eh…..just a Heat match basically but it was nice to see the 3MB pick up a win. Well……at least these guys got time! Yea, just a standard order tag team match that you used to see on Heat or on TV every now and then. I’ve got no problem with it because the company really wasn’t going to do anything with none of these guys so just give them time to showcase themselves and that’s that. I mean, Ryder and Santino both held the United States Title at one point in the year but at this point, they were just becoming comedy fodder/jobbers while the 3MB is basically a bunch of jobbers thrown together, just without the self-awareness that the original JOB Squad had. I think the biggest disappointment about all of this was McIntyre, who clearly deserved better than this but at least he, Mahal and Slater were having a good time with this. Yea, just a pre-show match……nothing to see here.
We get the opening video package that showcases the history of the Survivor Series…….which saddens me because of how awesome and how respected this PPV used to be before it goes into highlighting the major matches on the show.
Opening Match: 10 Man Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Brodus Clay, Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel vs Tensai, Epico, Primo w/Rosa Mendes & the Prime Time Players
Set Up: There’s s something old school about this match and something we don’t see often enough. This was just thrown together at the last minute but I don’t mind it whatsoever since it involves four tag teams (which was a rare sight) and two big guys. Sin Cara, obviously, should be looking to actually improve on his Survivor Series performance the year before since that was where he busted up his knee and took him out for a majority of the year but his teaming with Rey has been doing wonders for his career at this point. Tensai has completely shit the bed by this point as a character and no one really cares about him anymore so he’s just kind of toiling around in the lower mid-card. Oh and Epico and Primo have turned back heel……..don’t know when that happened nor do I really care…….although Rosa still looked good. On the 11/12 RAW, we had this same match happen but without the two big men (Brodus and Tensai) and the babyface team was able to defeat the heel team in the 8 Man Tag. The tag teams had basically been trading wins with each other so all of the teams have been doing a great job in staying relevant.
Kidd and Epico kick things off while the commentators talk about The Rock for some reason instead of focusing on the match happening at hand. Epico takes control by tripping Kidd face first onto the apron but Kidd avoids a slingshot hilo and gets the tag to Gabriel. The babyfaces isolate Epico with quick tags and high flying offense but Darren Young tags in against Rey. Rey trips Young into the buckles and hits a baseball slide to the inner thigh, WHEELBARROW/FACEBUSTER COMBO BY REY AND CARA!!!! Handspring Elbow by Cara on Primo and he follows up with a springboard hurricanrana, DOUBLE JUMP CROSSBODY GETS 2!!!! CODE RED GETS 2!!!! Primo cuts him off with a clothesline and Tensai tags in to squash Cara with body slams as the fans chant “Albert” at him. Nice leg drop on the arm by Tensai and Titus tags in to literally just dead lift Cara up for Primo to nail him. The heels isolate Cara until Brodus headbutts Tensai and cleans house off the tag! Primo and Epico get back dropped out of the ring then Rey and Cara lift up the middle rope, TOPE CON HILO/TOPE SUICIDA COMBO BY KIDD AND GABRIEL!!!! STEREO ASAI MOONSAULTS BY REY AND CARA!!!!! That leaves Tensai and Brodus all alone but they fuck up a T-Bone Suplex spot (at least the commentators shrug it off). Tensai runs through Brodus with a tackle and hits the back senton, 1……..2……..3 AND BRODUS CLAY HAS BEEN ELIMINATED AT 8:23!!!
Huh……I wasn’t expecting that. Tensai catches Gabriel on his shoulder but Gabriel slips off so Tensai just CRASHES into him with a vicious tackle!! The match slows down once again as Titus works an abdominal stretch on Gabriel! STANDING FALLAWAY SLAM BY TITUS!!! Titus cuts off a comeback with a backbreaker then hits the back senton on Gabriel but Gabriel kicks out at 2! Back Senton misses and Gabriel grabs Tensai in a crucifix, 1…….2…….3 AND TENSAI HAS BEEN ELIMINATED AT 10:20!!
Tensai takes Gabriel’s head off with a HARD clothesline before he leaves the ring!! The heels continue to isolate Gabriel on their side of the ring as Lawler already annoys me by bringing up the Gobbledy Gooker. Kidd cleans house off the tag until Epico dropkicks him off the apron and the heels retain control of the match. The match has kind of lost focus and lost the crowd a little bit at this point as Primo cuts Kidd off once again and tags Titus in. Kidd ducks and Titus crotches himself on a big boot before POPPING him with a kick then slingshots in with the Rolling Prawn Hold, 1……..2…….3 AND TITUS O’NEIL HAS BEEN ELIMINATED AT 13:50!!!
Young jumps on Kidd and the heels have been dominating the match so far……however, two of their guys have been eliminated out of nowhere. Epico hits some Rolling Back Suplexes but he wastes time taunting on the third one and Kidd flips behind him, SHARPSHOOTER!!!! EPICO TAPS OUT AND IS ELIMINATED AT 14:59!!! Cue the obvious Montreal references.
Primo pounds away on Kidd and grabs a chin lock as Kidd has gotten two eliminations out of nowhere. Primo stops Kidd from making the tag with a back suplex before he heads up top but Kidd dropkicks Primo out of the sky!! Rey cleans house off the tag and pops Primo with the roundhouse kick for 2!! Primo cuts Rey off up top but Rey headbutts him off, SEATED SENTON!!! Rey arm drags Primo into the ropes but Primo ducks the 619! Rey grabs the ropes to block the Back Stabber and grabs the La Magistral pin, 1……..2……3 AND PRIMO HAS BEEN ELIMINATED AT 17:30!!
Young places Rey on the top rope but Rey leaps off the middle rope into a hurricanrana on Young into the ropes, 619!!! SWANTON BOMB BY SIN CARA!!!! SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT BY GABRIEL!!!! SPRINGBOARD ELBOW DROP BY KIDD!!!! FLYING SPLASH BY REY!!!! 1……..2…….3 AND BRODUS CLAY, REY MYSTERIO, SIN CARA, JUSTIN GABRIEL AND TYSON KIDD GET THE WIN AT 18:25 WITH REY MYSTERIO, SIN CARA, JUSTIN GABRIEL AND TYSON KIDD BEING THE SOLE SURVIVORS!!!
Crater rating: 6.5 out of 10. I felt that it accomplished what it needed to do as an opening match and that’s kick off the show but I won’t like by saying that the pacing and structure was a little off. Pretty rare to see total domination like that!! If anything, I think it was a big plus to put this match on this card. It was a lot of fun, guys who we regularly don’t get to see got to shine here and everybody came out of the match looking pretty good. In fact, it’s kind of funny seeing Brodus and Tensai being the first two guys eliminated when you look back to the beginning of the year when they were two of the most heavily pushed guys on the roster…….my, how the mighty have fallen!! The match was good when they picked up the pace and the babyfaces shined with their offense but there was A LOT of dead time in this one with no real ebb and flow going on. I mean, Gabriel gets isolated for several minutes before he can tag in Kidd and then Kidd gets isolated for even a few more minutes, only throwing in eliminations to break up the monotony. I’m not saying this should have been more back and forth nor did we need a bunch of hot tags but I think more variety and better structure was needed……it doesn’t make sense for the heels to still be in control after losing two straight guys! Still, the final few minutes were fun and like I said, there was a fun, old school mentality to this one that I thoroughly enjoyed…….it felt like a throwback to the days of old when these Survivor Series matches were actually treated with importance and taken seriously. As for performances, I felt that Titus actually stood out on the heel team. Sure, Primo and Epico were good and Tensai was solid while he was in there but Titus really got to showcase his power and his charisma in this one and I thought that his elimination hurt the heels because it sapped the team of their charisma. On the babyface side, I felt that Kidd and Cara had standout performances because it seemed that both had something to prove and you could tell that Cara working with Rey has done nothing but wonders for him. Gabriel was pretty good as well, Brodus was ok for the short amount of time he was in there and Rey did his thing. Some people out there might like this one more than me but I felt that it was a match that could have been better than what it was but was still a fun opener.
We see Kaitlyn walking in the back for her match up next but then she gets jumped by a blonde chick with a hood over her head. Kaitlyn horribly fights her off and rips off the wig to reveal Aksana……Eve then runs up to “apologize” but Kaitlyn just shoves her down and mocks her.
Match 2: WWE Divas Title Match: Eve Torres © vs Kaitlyn
Set Up: This was Eve’s 66th day as WWE Divas Champion and this was her 5th title defense. So, this is still stemming from what happened at Night of Champions when Kaitlyn was supposed to have a Divas Title match against Layla. However, she was jumped backstage and she couldn’t wrestle so Booker T, the Smackdown GM, placed Eve in the match to take her place and it resulted in Eve winning the Divas Title. Obviously, suspicions started to arise and Teddy Long had Eve’s iPad, handed it to Kaitlyn and to do what she wanted with the information. Well, Kaitlyn didn’t like what she saw and this led to a Triple Threat match for the Divas Title at Hell in a Cell where Eve pinned Layla to retain the title. On 11/5, Kaitlyn earned pinned Eve in a tag team match and then on the 11/12 RAW, she pinned Layla in 45 seconds to earn a shot at the Divas Title. On 11/16, Kaitlyn, Layla and Natalya defeated Eve, Aksana and Alicia Fox in a Six Diva Tag so Kaitlyn was rolling at this point and you’d have to assume that she was going to walk out as the new WWE Divas Champion or was Eve going to get the better of her once again?
Eve’s little British wave during her entrance is amusing. Unintentional comedy line of the night (at this point) as Cole tells JBL that he’s going to talk to someone with some sense……then asks King what he thinks about this whole Eve/Kaitlyn situation. Kaitlyn throws the wig at Eve and aggressively assaults her to kick things off. Eve keeps trying to get the hell out of dodge but Kaitlyn keeps stopping her and kicking her ass on the floor. Eve cuts her off with a straight kick to the midsection and follows up with a jump kick to gain control of the match. Eve uses standard heel Diva offense to maintain control, including lifting Kaitlyn up in a choke while sitting on the top rope. Nice rolling Figure Four Headscissors by Eve then drives Kaitlyn’s head into the mat for a little Skull Fuck action! Kaitlyn eventually gets to the ropes as JBL continues to be surly with these other two jackasses on commentary……I approve. Kaitlyn shoves Eve off the top rope in a pretty ugly spot (I’m surprised she didn’t hurt herself on that) and Eve is practically crying as she begs off from Kaitlyn……..the commentators continue to act like jackasses, just in case you didn’t get my point earlier. Kaitlyn makes the comeback with sloppy offense and hits the Gutbuster but Eve kicks out at 2! Eve is holding onto the apron skirt to avoid Kaitlyn but she suckers Kaitlyn out to the floor so she can trip her up with the ring skirt!! TWISTING NECKBREAKER!!! 1……..2…….3 AND EVE TORRES GETS THE WIN AT 7:00 TO RETAIN THE WWE DIVAS TITLE!!! Best part of the match: Eve copping a feel on the winning pinfall……oh, I hate you Eve!
Crater rating: 4.0 out of 10. The match sucked with Kaitlyn looking like amateur hour out there and Eve just can’t find anybody decent to work with at this point. Oh goody, this storyline gets to continue……I was worried that they were going to end it here. As hot as Kaitlyn was, she was practically the second coming of Ashley Massaro and Christy Hemme (sadly, no Playboy shoot for Kaitlyn……although she doesn’t mind posing nude on her Twitter and Instagram apparently). For about 15 years (at this point), the WWE’s sole outlook on the Women/Divas division had basically been great tits and great ass. Sunny was the first one to really bring this in and Sable followed soon after……the problem was that Sable made the company so much money that they proceeded to try and replicate her success a thousand times over. They caught lightning in a bottle with Trish Stratus but Trish didn’t want to just be looked at as this slutty blond bimbo character…….she actually got in the ring, busted her ass and became one of the most reliable female workers of the last decade! Lita was also a good combination of looks and wrestling ability and there were also a few others (Molly Holly, Victoria, Mickie James, Melina, Gail Kim) but for the most part, the template for the WWE Diva had been skinny, great tits and great ass. Yes, both Kaitlyn and Eve Torres had great tits and great asses…….but when it comes to watching them wrestle, that’s when you get down to brass tacks and you realize that a majority of these ladies were just not good at their profession of choice. Hey, Angelina Jolie was one of the hottest actresses in the world years ago (she’s still very attractive, don’t get me wrong) but she was also a damn fine actress when she needed to be…….probably my favorite actress is Kate Winslet, who is a perfect mixture of sexiness and great acting ability……..my point is that I want them to be successful at their chosen craft and not just sexual objects for me to leer at because they aren’t porn stars (whose jobs ARE for me to leer at them for being sexual objects). The match sucked, Eve was the only competent Divas worker on the roster at this point, we are stuck in a massive dark age for the Divas division at this point, this feud should have been ended here where it needed to end and we had to continue to witness it for a few more weeks even though it should have been blown off here……let’s move on.
We cut to earlier on the night on the Pre-Show where Team Ziggler was arguing with each other. We cut to Team Foley and they, as well, are arguing with each other. Foley has to shut them up and Miz tries to mouth off but Foley shuts him down. Foley gives his guys a pep talk and they all do a Bang, Bang on 3…..except for Orton. Orton’s response to Foley: “I hate you.” I don’t know which was a better example of smart continuity: Mae Young and the Hand or this right here between Orton and Foley. Both made me chuckle to be honest.
Match 3: United States Title Match: Antonio Cesaro © vs R-Truth
Set Up: This was Cesaro’s 92nd day as the United States Champion and this was his 6th title defense. On 10/29, Cesaro faced Kofi Kingston in a Champion vs Champion match when The Miz slid in and helped Cesaro attack Kofi, forcing Truth to make the save. On 11/5, Truth teamed with Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara to face Cesaro and the Prime Time Players and the match ended with R-Truth hitting Little Jimmy on Cesaro and earning himself this title shot. On 11/12, Truth defeated Tensai after Cesaro cut a promo on him before the match and afterwards, Truth told Cesaro he was taking the US Title. On 11/16, Truth did commentary while Cesaro defeated Sin Cara in a non-title match and Truth led the crowd in a USA chant to set this one up. Also, Truth is a former United States champion when he defeated The Miz for the vacant US Title (Bret Hart beat Miz for the belt then vacated it and Truth beat Miz in the match to determine the new champion) but his reign only lasted three weeks as Miz regained the belt in a Fatal 4 Way match.
Cesaro cuts a promo before the match by ripping America apart for its failing economy and rising obesity.
Truth grabs some early roll ups to fluster Cesaro and he has the definite early advantage. Cesaro finally cuts that off with a headbutt and takes Truth down with a clothesline! Cesaro works over Truth’s midsection with a combination of strikes and headbutts before he stretches Truth’s ribs out on the mat. Truth gets fired up by the USA chant but Cesaro silences them with a corner clothesline. Double Stomp by Cesaro gets a near fall before he wears Truth down with a reverse bearhug. JBL yells at Cole for repeating what he just said seconds earlier and King blames it on the fact that they are talking about Rugby…….well, that makes sense because God forbid this company know about anything (sports, wrestling, way of life) outside of the United Freakin States of America! Les Artess Lift by Cesaro gets another near fall and he’s been wearing the challenger down for several moments but Truth comes back with a sunset flip for a 1 count. They either fuck up a spot or Cesaro just tripped and fell over Truth’s leg but either way, Cesaro catches Truth with a European uppercut for 2. The crowd wills Truth out of the reverse bearhug and he makes the comeback with the Lie Detector! Cesaro gets a high knee up on a corner but Truth catches him with the leg lariat for a near fall! Truth or Consequences gets 2 but Truth misses the Ax Kick and Cesaro CRACKS him with the European uppercut, NEUTRALIZER!!! 1…….2…….3 AND ANTONIO CESARO GETS THE WIN AT 6:58 TO RETAIN THE UNITED STATES TITLE!!
Crater rating: 5.0 out of 10. The match was ok and the crowd is usually a sucker for the pro-Americana stuff but it was just time filler. Cesaro rolls along! It’s funny but this feud reminded me a lot of (and this is totally fucking random but follow me on this) the feud between William Regal and Hardcore Holly back in 2000 over the European Title……..I don’t know why either. Basically, it’s a throwaway feud to give Cesaro and Truth something to do. The match was technically fine, the crowd was ok for it, the commentators bickered and so on. Cesaro worked a technically solid match like he always does but he hasn’t really been given something to really sink his teeth into at all……there’s only so many lower mid-card guys he can beat before eventually someone above him is going to have to take a shot at the title. Truth was fine in his role here and he basically is just where he’s at here in his career……he is just there to have decent matches and put people over and he does that very well. The match was really nothing, however, it was more time filler and guess what? It leads into MORE time filler……GOODY!!
Side Note: Ok, so we have an in-ring segment coming up about the AJ Scandal and let’s document what this has been. This whole thing started when Vickie Guerrero started making accusations that AJ sucked at her job as RAW GM (she did suck at her job but that’s beside the point) so she was going to do whatever she could to get AJ fired and put herself in the RAW GM seat. First, she baited AJ into physically assaulting her and that made Vince question her mindset. However, AJ ended up resigning when Vickie started a rumor that AJ had been fraternizing with one of the wrestlers…….apparently, that wrestler was John Cena (I know, I know, Vickie did the EXACT SAME FUCKING THING IN 2008 but just role with it) and Cena obviously didn’t like that too much. Apparently, he and AJ had a business dinner one time and Vickie decided to spend the next few weeks gathering evidence against AJ and Cena to prove that they committed fraternization. On 10/29, Cena tried to explain himself, claiming it was a business dinner, but Vickie had video evidence that proved these two were making whoopee: they were flirting in the hallway AND………they rode the same elevator DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUN!!! On 11/5, Cena confronted Vickie in the middle of the ring (he does make a pretty funny dig at himself where he says that Vickie running a clean show is like him learning another wrestling move…..it ain’t happening. I got a giggle out of that……jokey pandering John Cena sucks but self-aware Cena is usually pretty funny) but Vickie showed more video footage, this time of AJ walking in a hotel lobby in her robe to another hotel room and we don’t see who opens the door……the next camera shot is of Cena in his towel putting a “Do Not Disturb” sign on his door while sporting a towel. On 11/15, we got the infamous voice mail segment where apparently, Cena has the biggest open space for voice mails on the planet and apparently, that cell phone has the greatest sound quality known to man. AJ just revealed that they were just friends and left it at that. So, to recap: AJ lost her GM job because of alleged fraternization, Vickie got the job but continued to try to prove said fraternization, AJ and Cena have been denying it even though it’s pretty obvious that they are fucking each other and Vickie looks like a raving lunatic coming up with weeks and weeks of evidence against them. Remember, there is no real reason for Vickie to continue to showcase evidence because she already HAS THE FUCKING JOB (if somebody corrects me about her title being “Managing Supervisor” and she’s technically not RAW GM, I’m going postal) but she wants to continue to try and prove that Cena and AJ are fucking for whatever goddamn reason.
The AJ Scandal Continues: King calls this stuff fun……..I call it anal bleeding. Still, AJ always looked good in those cut off jean shorts. She pretty much trashes Vickie and says that Vickie has a secret……so AJ has some evidence of her own. Vickie makes her way to the ring and she’s all pissed off (Vickie’s still a heat magnet…..but it’s hard to tell if it’s legitimate heat or “GO THE FUCK AWAY” heat). Obviously, it’s time for the WWE to play its favorite: PHOTOSHOP FUN TIME!! We get damning pictures of Vickie eating burritos with Ricardo, eating BBQ sauce with JR (JR’s deadpan face in the photo almost makes me laugh) and Vickie dancing in a leopard print bikini with Brodus Clay (she actually looked pretty good in that one piece). AJ tells Vickie to knock it off with the fucking scandal but Vickie threatens to slap her in the face. AJ doesn’t fall for Vickie’s set up and AJ reminds her that if she touches AJ, she will lose her job. All of a sudden, AJ gets jumped by Tamina (who’s the daughter of Hall of Famer, Jimmy Snuka…..if you didn’t already know, they only remind us EVERY SINGLE TIME SHE APPEARS ON CAMERA), SUPERFLY SPLASH!!! Vickie laughs at AJ’s fallen carcass on the mat. Let’s see: you’ve got all this talent on the roster that is just biting at the chance to get showcased on PPV and you decide to waste 10 minutes of paid time for the audience to continue to force feed this bullshit angle down people’s throats. I am so glad this angle was ended was very soon after this.
Josh Matthews interviews Paul Heyman. He asks if Punk has any tricks up his sleeves to defeat Cena and Ryback on this night. Heyman corrects him by saying that Punk has used no dirty cheap tricks to keep the belt and to become the 8th longest reigning WWE Champion of all-time. While Cena’s been banging AJ, Punk’s been WWE Champion and while Ryback’s been going back to the Stone Age days, Punk’s been ending his undefeated streak. He says that Punk is prepared to thrive and survive against Cena and Ryback. Paul Heyman could sell me on a cheap piece of toilet paper…..that’s how good he is at putting people over.
Match 4: World Heavyweight Title Match: Big Show © vs Sheamus
Set Up: This was Big Show’s 22nd day as World Heavyweight Champion and his first title defense. We get a video package for this match. At Hell in a Cell, these two big bulls crashed into each other and for 20 minutes, it was a very physical war! Both men connected on their big knockout blows but both men survived each move. However, Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick one more time and Big Show KO’d him in mid-Brogue Kick to become the new World Heavyweight Champion (it’s a VERY underrated gem and one of the best matches of the year, I highly recommend it!). On 10/29, Sheamus came out with a smile on his face, despite losing his World Title the night before, but Show came out to interrupt his speech and brag about being the World Champion……..Sheamus responded by dropping him with the White Noise. On 11/2, Show teamed with Miz to take on Sheamus and Kofi but Show gave Kofi the WMD and Miz covered Kofi for the win……afterwards, Sheamus responded with the Brogue Kick to Miz to level the playing field. On 11/5, Sheamus defeated Miz and since they were in the UK, he invited William Regal out with him for a pint. Well, there was cell phone footage leaked of Show attacking Regal and Sheamus at the pub so obviously, Sheamus wanted revenge. On 11/6, Sheamus teamed with Regal to face Show and Wade Barrett but Show connected with the WMD on Regal for the victory. On 11/12, Show defeated Regal very quickly in a match and later on, Sheamus defeated David Otunga but Show decided to send a message to Sheamus by assaulting Regal backstage and knocking him out with the WMD! On the 11/16 Smackdown, these two engaged in a vicious garage brawl where both men destroyed the hood and windshield of a nearby car so now, it’s time for this heavily anticipated rematch!
Sheamus is still sporting welts and bruises on his chest. Sheamus goes right at Show early on but Show cuts him off with one body shot. Sheamus avoids a chop in the corner but Show cuts him off once again with a headbutt and he cracks Sheamus with a short arm clothesline. Show starts dominating the match but Sheamus cuts him off with a chop block and he ties Show up in the ropes, BEATS OF THE BODHRAN!!!! Brogue Kick avoided with Show bailing outside but Sheamus flies off the apron at him and continues to pummel Show on the floor! Sheamus flies off the top INTO A SPEAR FROM SHOW!!! Show whips Sheamus into the steps and Show has slowed the pace down to what he usually likes: slow and methodical. Show switches up his strategy in this match by working over Sheamus’ left arm as JBL asks who can beat Big Show (Ooh, I KNOW, I KNOW!!! JOHN CENA!! Show hasn’t beaten him yet on PPV). Show continues to dominate the match but Sheamus fights back with a hot shot then follows up with the Slingshot Battering Ram! Show cuts him off again with a Super Kick, RUNNING ELBOW DROP GETS 2!! Nerve pinch applied by Show for a few moments (Sheamus’ left arm is already discolored) and he cuts off a Sheamus comeback with a sidewalk slam for 2! Show keeps clubbing the crap out of Sheamus but Sheamus leaps onto his back with a Sleeper! Show eventually throws him off (oh come on, Floyd Mayweather wore Show down with a Sleeper and he’s 100 pounds lighter than Sheamus) and sidesteps Sheamus to send him into the post! FINAL CUT GETS 2!! Show climbs the ropes BUT SHEAMUS COUNTERS WITH THE ELECTRIC CHAIR!!!! 1……..2……SHOW KICKS OUT!!!! They exchange blows from their knees until Sheamus makes the comeback as this is just breaking down into a slugfest!! Brogue Kick caught, Chokeslam avoided, WHITE NOISE!!!!! 1………2…….SHOW KICKS OUT!!! Sheamus preps for the Brogue Kick BUT SHOW PULLS THE REFEREE IN THE WAY AND REFEREE SCOTT ARMSTRONG TAKES THE BROGUE KICK!!!!! The doctor and several referees slide in to check on him but Show’s up and he’s pissed, WMD!!!!! 1……..2…….3 AND BIG SHOW GETS THE WIN AT 14:55 TO RETAIN THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE!!!! Cole whines about the injustice while JBL has a pretty good argument: the match was never officially stopped so technically, Show could still hit the WMD and win the match…….but this is WWE Land! One of the other referees goes to tell Justin Roberts something AND THE BIG SHOW HAS BEEN DISQUALIFIED DUE TO PULLING THE REFEREE INTO THE WAY BUT SHOW STILL RETAINS THE WORLD TITLE!!!!
Crater rating: 6.5 out of 10. The match was going along just fine until that fucking cop out finish that was just so fucking retarded on numerous levels. Oh, I’m just going to let my fellow referee count the 3 and THEN I’m going to have them reverse the decision! Ok…..so I thought this was a step down from their Hell in a Cell match. The physicality was still present but I felt it was missing the in-depth story that the original match had. I’m guessing, in an attempt to differentiate this match from their previous match, they were trying to work in a different strategy with Show on offense but Show just looked unfocused with what he wanted to do by constantly switching things up from pummeling the crap out of Sheamus to arm work that went nowhere. I did think these two had very good chemistry and it was evident again here with Sheamus pulling the crowd into it with his great comeback down the stretch (including two massive feats of strength) and I dug that Spear from Show as Sheamus flew off the top. With that said, I feel almost the exact same way about this match as I felt about the Mark Henry match at the previous year’s Survivor Series…….it felt like this match had to take a backseat to set up a rematch with a stipulation in place and they did it in the most contrived nature ever. The finish really hurts this match because it was so fucking stupid…….yes, Show pulls the referee into the line of the Brogue Kick and due to the history and violent nature of the move, everybody and their mother ran out to check on him. If that was the case, why didn’t they call for the bell there? Why let the referee count the fall just so, seconds later, the other referee could say “NO!! THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENED!!” I think there was another way to have gone about this and that was just have Sheamus snap on Big Show, get all fired up (due to Show attacking his friend and such) and get DQ’d as a result and he has to earn another title shot…….I thought that would have been a natural progression with Show pushing Sheamus to the point of getting pissed off and taking it out on Show and it cost him the World Title…….that’s an interesting story! The ending of this match was a fucking cop out finish to save face for Sheamus and it honestly detracts from, what was, a pretty good match, albeit several steps below their previous encounter.
Show gets into the argument with the referee (“This is for the World Heavyweight Title, you dumbass!”) but that allows Sheamus to sneak up from behind and viciously assault Show with a steel chair!!! Show has to beg off but Sheamus is relentless (see? They went and did that fucking ending anyway……at least there would have been better context behind it if Sheamus got DQ’d for his troubles……here, he just looks like a dick head) and JBL complains about none of the referees stepping in to save Big Show (I know, right?). The fans cheer for him to hit Show one more time AND SHEAMUS ASSAULTS SHOW’S LEGS WITH THE CHAIR!!!! Sheamus demands that Show beg to save himself and that’s exactly what Show does so Sheamus just tosses the chair, BROGUE KICK!!!! Show struggles to his feet as the crowd chants “We Want Ziggler” but they don’t get Ziggler. And do you wonder WHY everybody was complaining that Sheamus was basically just Triple H 2.0?
We get a trailer for the Attitude Era DVD (I’ve heard mixed things about it).
Match 5: 10-Man Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Foley (Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Kane, Kofi Kingston & The Miz) vs Team Ziggler (Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, Wade Barrett, Damien Sandow & David Otunga)
Set Up: This was Team Hell No’s 66th day as WWE Tag Team Champions and Kofi Kingston’s 33rd day as Intercontinental Champion. So…….LOTS to discuss here. This whole thing originally came about on the 9/24 RAW when Mick Foley made a surprise appearance on RAW and proceeded to chastise Punk for not beating John Cena at Night of Champions then decided to try and bait Punk into putting the belt on the line against Cena at Hell in a Cell. Well…….Punk did defend the title at Hell in a Cell in a Hell in a Cell match…….just not against Cena but against Ryback. At the PPV, Punk retained when referee Brad Maddox gave Ryback a low blow and Punk rolled him up for the victory. Well, on 10/29, Foley was APPALLED that Punk retained the belt in such a nefarious fashion and that Punk failed to live up to the tradition of the Cell match (I agree……he didn’t bleed, he didn’t get his flesh ripped by the steel and he didn’t get tossed off the roof……BLASPHEMY!!!) so Punk, out of nowhere, challenged Foley to a Survivor Series Elimination match. So……at the end of the show, we had the match announced: it was to be Team Punk (Punk, Miz, Alberto Del Rio and Team Rhodes Scholars) vs Team Foley (Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton, Ryback & Team Hell No). People were not too happen at the sudden nature of the announcement but on paper, this looked to be a pretty cool idea. Well, on 11/5, The Miz got a little upset at Punk abandoning the team the week before then said that both Heyman and Punk were full of crap AND QUIT THE TEAM!! BUT WAIT…….THERE’S MORE!!! Later on in the night, Brad Maddox was giving his reason as to why he screwed over Ryback at HIAC when Vince McMahon interrupted, called him a liar and said that he was working with Punk and Heyman. Vince then brought Vickie out and complained that Punk was hiding behind his Survivor Series team and got a little upset that Punk wasn’t defending his belt at the PPV………so he made a title match between Punk and Ryback on this show instead of them being in the Survivor Series match…….Vickie one upped that by inserting Cena into the match (because Cena wasn’t going to have anything to do, you see) and thus, our Survivor Series Elimination match was completely buttfucked because Vince McMahon changed his mind (more on that in a second). Dolph was made the new leader of the team and on 11/6, Miz actually showed respect to Kofi after losing a match to him and extended his hand in respect……only for Kofi to dropkick him in the mouth. Well on 11/12, Miz was voted to be the final member of Team Foley and thus, he haphazardly turned babyface!! Also on that night, Cody suffered a concussion on a botched back drop from Kane, taking him out of the match and he was replaced earlier in the night by Otunga. Miz and Orton picked up a big win on 11/16 against ADR and Ziggler in Miz’s hometown of Cleveland (although there was dissension and Orton dropped him with the RKO afterwards) and so, that is the story leading us into this match.
Side Note: Apparently, the reasoning behind Vince’s sudden change of heart was due to the low buyrates of the previous year’s show (despite having the Rock on and being at MSG, the show did disappointing buys) so he wanted to change things up and just put the WWE Title on the line, hoping that would help make the show more important. I understand that logic…….the problem is that they wasted an entire episode of RAW hyping up one match and then the next week, they completely retconned it. Why should fans care when people make decisions on RAW when Vince could just come out and change things up on a whim whenever he feels like it? Obviously, this PISSED people off and probably was the reason for the low buyrates that followed for this show but I digress.
We even get a replay before the match of the NASTY botched back drop on Cody from RAW. You know what else I just noticed: 4 of the wrestlers in this match are no longer in the company and the other 6 that are still with the company are in the exact same spot (or in a lower spot) that they were in this match 4 YEARS AGO!! Poor Foley can barely even walk at this point due to the years of abuse to his knees…..and he’s really starting to resemble Captain Lou Albano at this point. Oh, and just to let you know, Bryan is one of the most over guys in the entire match. Kofi immediately rolls Otunga up but only gets a 2 count out of it. Trouble In Paradise avoided, SPRINGBOARD DIVE TO THE FLOOR BY KOFI!!! Bryan tags in to work Otunga over and the crowd goes BALLISTIC for him as Otunga hits a powerslam. Russian Leg Sweep by Sandow sets up the ELBOW OF DISDAIN FOR 2!!! Sandow grabs an early chin lock but Bryan battles back with a running elbow shot, IED!!!! I’m digging Bryan’s white tights with the red on the side for this one. Bryan lands the kicks but Sandow bails outside and decides to take a walk but Kane throws him back into the ring, ROUNDHOUSE KICK!!! Kane tags in, CHOKESLAM!!!! 1……..2…….3 AND DAMIEN SANDOW HAS BEEN ELIMINATED AT 3:08!!
Bryan and Kane argue with Bryan shoving Kane but Kane physically shoves him out of the ring, ZIG ZAG!!!! 1……..2…….3 AND KANE HAS BEEN ELIMINATED AT 3:47!!!
Miz and Orton argue now but Orton goes at it with Ziggler and hits a nice Slingshot Suplex for 2! Cole says that Team Orton beat Team Barrett the year before……I’m sorry but that’s WRONG!! Ziggler face plants off a Kofi monkey flip before Bryan comes in and Ziggler cuts him off with a knee lift. Barrett tags in as King sounds a fucking idiot, IED MISSES!!! Barrett hits the knee strikes in the ropes, ADR adds a cheap shot and Barrett boots Bryan to the floor! Otunga runs through Bryan with a tackle and wastes too much posing instead of covering, YES LOCK!!!! DAVID OTUNGA TAPS OUT AND IS ELIMINATED AT 7:10!!!
ADR comes in to grab a chin lock on Bryan and Bryan haphazardly runs into a tilt a whirl backbreaker. Bryan dumps ADR to the floor and Ricardo runs over to check on him. Kofi cleans house off the tag, BOOM DROP!!! Kofi knocks Ziggler off the apron, DOUBLE JUMP CROSSBODY GETS 2!!! Ziggler trips Kofi from the floor, WINDS OF CHANGE!!!! BULLHAMMER!!!! 1……..2…….3 AND KOFI KINGSTON HAS BEEN ELIMINATED AT 9:43!!
Orton comes in with a dropkick for 2 as JBL and King bicker (mostly it’s King being a fucking moron). Orton hits a suplex and follows up with a trademark knee drop then offers a tag but Miz doesn’t tag in. Bryan accepts the tag, MISSILE DROPKICK GETS 2!! Barrett clotheslines Bryan out of the ring but Bryan catches ADR in a Yes Lock attempt! ADR escapes, CORNER ENZIGURI!!!! CROSS ARMBREAKER!!!! DANIEL BRYAN TAPS OUT AND IS ELIMINATED AT 12:36!!
Just like the previous Elimination match earlier in the night, there isn’t much of a flow at all to this match. Miz finally enters the ring for the first time but he and Orton are still hesitant with each other as JBL mocks Cole’s constant use of the phrase “Vintage Orton”. JBL also says that if you build a sports entertainer from scratch, it would look like Randy Orton (is that a compliment or an insult?)……King just makes racists jokes towards Ricardo that Cole laughs at like a moron. Orton elevates Ziggler high into the air and lets him fall before getting the hot tag to Miz! Miz cleans house and hits the Awesome Clothesline on Barrett before booting Ziggler off the apron! SCF avoided by Barrett and he pops Miz with a kick to the midsection but Miz avoids the Pumphandle Slam, SKULL CRUSHING FINALE!!! 1……..2…….3 AND WADE BARRETT HAS BEEN ELIMINATED AT 16:05!!!
SNAP DDT ON ADR GETS 2!!! ADR fires back with a Bridging German Suplex for 2and he goes to the middle rope but Miz jerks his leg out from under him in a pretty nasty spot! Awesome Clothesline avoided, NASTY CORNER ENZIGURI!!!! 1……..2……3 AND THE MIZ HAS BEEN ELIMINATED AT 17:14!!!
Once again, we are in familiar territory with Orton as the sole man remaining for his team. Orton and ADR tee off on each other then he knocks Ziggler off the apron but ADR pops him with a kick for 2! The heels isolate Orton but ADR takes his time going up top and leaps off into a dropkick!! Orton makes the comeback and Ricardo distracts him, CORNER ENZIGURI GETS 2!!! Foley decks Ricardo and pulls out Socko, MANDIBLE CLAW!!!! Ziggler accidentally dropkicks ADR and Orton tosses him into the post but Orton avoids the Cross Armbreaker, RKO!!!! 1……..2……3 AND ALBERTO DEL RIO HAS BEEN ELIMINATED AT 20:59!!!
We’re down to Orton and Ziggler now. Ziggler still out over the middle rope but Orton signals for the RKO and Ziggler grabs the ropes to block, ZIG ZAG!!!!! 1……..2…….ORTON KICKS OUT!!!! Fame Asser avoided and Orton pitches him to the apron, VIPER DDT!!!! Orton’s bleeding from the mouth and it seems like he really wants to make Ziggler pay for that. So guess what? IT’S PUNT TIME!! Orton goes for the Punt, SUPER KICK BY ZIGGLER!!!!! 1………2…….3 AND TEAM ZIGGLER GETS THE WIN AT 23:43 WITH DOLPH ZIGGLER BEING THE SOLE SURVIVOR!!! Foley’s in complete disbelief after that and Orton’s pissed off but that’s probably Ziggler’s 2nd biggest win on PPV, right behind winning MITB earlier in the year.
Crater rating: 7.5 out of 10. I felt that the match lacked focus and structure in the early going but once it got down to the final five, I believe the match picked up immensely! Hey look, Dolph finally won!! Well, he was going to have to get that monkey off his back eventually if he was to be taken seriously and beating Randy Orton on PPV CLEAN was a big deal for Dolph! I felt the first half of the match lacked structure and felt that the pacing and the timing of the eliminations was off. There didn’t really seem to be a focused story in sight at all and it was just guys doing things before an elimination would occur out of nowhere. However, once it got down to Miz and Orton against Barrett, ADR and Ziggler, I think the match found the focus that it had previously lacked and allowed everybody to shine well enough. I thought Miz looked pretty good in his first PPV match as a babyface…….but it would NOT take long for that to wear off very quickly once he became a pandering doofus. I thought the time away really energized Barrett but it kind of sucks that he’s still just in the same place of where he was earlier in the year…..hell, I felt he was in a better place earlier in the year because there was the potential of him and Sheamus feuding over the World Title so he’s just kind of stuck doing nothing at this point…….the same could be said for ADR as well, who was just floundering at this point as a heel and needed something DESPERATELY!! As for Orton, I think his babyface run was starting to lose its luster because unless he was going to challenge Show for the belt, he really wasn’t going to do anything…….that’s kind of the problem of when your top guys don’t give a shit about the secondary belts and it just leaves everybody stuck in limbo. However, one thing was certain and that was the amount of fan support Bryan was garnering at this point in time……..they could NOT keep this man a heel for much longer and it shows that they were going to be soon deviating from him and Kane arguing very soon. However, the stand out and the man who DESPERATELY needed the win the most was Dolph and boy, did he get it in a big way!! I mean, he pinned Randy Orton CLEAN with the Super Kick! You don’t get those kinds of victories often and you’d think that Ziggler looked like a world beater after that! Still, the build to this match was pretty much a clusterfuck and the first half of the match didn’t have much flow but I felt they pulled it together down the stretch and the final 10 minutes were actually pretty damn entertaining, making this the match of the night so far!
We get some Touts of people selecting who they would like to see face The Rock at the Royal Rumble with the WWE Title on the line. King asks for them to all say their pick at the exact time and neither Cole nor JBL follow as King says “John Cena” (you moron……that would mean that you expect them to say the exact same thing that you want them to say)……Cole picks Cena as well (ever the corporate puppet) while JBL picks Punk.
Main Event: Triple Threat Match for the WWE Title: CM Punk © w/Paul Heyman vs John Cena vs Ryback
Set Up: This was CM Punk’s 364th day as WWE Champion (tying him with #8 all time with Hulk Hogan) and this was his 32nd defense……if he wins, he will be going after Cena’s very own 380 day reign as champion from 2006-2007. So, at Hell in a Cell, Ryback was chosen to face Punk after Cena was injured and was not cleared to compete. Well, Brad Maddox ended up costing Ryback the title with a low blow and Punk rolled Ryback up for the win. Afterwards, Ryback assaulted Punk and gave him the Shell Shock on top of the Cell in a pretty big spot! Well, on 11/5, Brad Maddox explained why he did what he did. He said that he wanted to be a WWE Superstar all of his life, been to events, sent in tapes and even paid $2,000 for a WWE tryout. He finally got a developmental contract but was told he wasn’t good enough so he decided to make it to the WWE and become a referee……but that’s not what he truly wanted. He really wanted to make an impact so he decided to make an impact at the expense of costing Ryback the WWE Title and said that he acted alone. Vince didn’t believe him but he did give Maddox his match with Ryback and forced Punk to defend the belt in this Triple Threat match. Later in the night, Ryback and Cena beat Punk and Dolph Ziggler in a tag team match with Ryback pinning Punk. On 11/12, King made his return after his heart attack and this led to the infamous moment of Heyman faking a heart attack to mock Jerry Lawler while Ryback got his match with Maddox and proceeded to almost kayfabe and legitimately kill the man during the match. Cena beat Punk later in the night and then Ryback and Cena argued over the belt to end the show. This was easily the most lackluster build to a WWE Title match thus far this year if you ask me and part of the problem is because they were having Punk feud with Foley and then decided to just their minds on it a week later just to get Cena on the card. One thing to note: Cena is 7-0 at Survivor Series.
Cena and Ryback proceed to play a game of Chase with Punk until the babyfaces take turns teeing off on Punk. Punk shoves Cena into Ryback but Ryback drops Punk with a big boot. Ryback lifts Punk up in a double handed choke but Punk escapes and Cena gives him a bulldog. Ryback clotheslines Punk out of the ring, leaving Cena and Ryback alone in the ring (remember, Cena advocated for Ryback to face Punk at HIAC then bitched and moaned about a conspiracy to hold him down because he couldn’t compete in the match……no wonder Ryback turned on his ass later on). Cena runs through Ryback with a tackle but Ryback avoids the AA and hits his own tackle. Ryback whips Cena hard to the buckles to take him out but Punk jumps Ryback from behind. Snap suplex by Punk but Ryback no sells, FALLAWAY SLAM!!! Cena plants Ryback with a belly to belly suplex and he hops on Ryback’s back with a chin lock! Punk breaks it up with a double ax handle then knocks Cena off the apron with a Roaring Elbow. Ryback catches him flying off the top and drives him into the buckles but Punk cuts him off with a leg lariat. Cena rolls Punk up for 2 but Punk avoids the AA and hits the DDT for 2!! Bridging Chin Lock by Punk but Ryback casually just scoops Punk up in a funny spot for the Running Powerslam!! Cena connects with the Protobomb but Ryback no sells, leading to a slugfest between the two. Punk cuts off the Cena flurry and sends him into the steps, SPRINGBOARD LARIAT ON RYBACK GETS 1!!
Punk wears Ryback down with a chin lock but Ryback gets motivated by the “Feed Me More” chants and he makes the comeback! MEAT HOOK!!! Cena trips Ryback up on the Shell Shock, STFU!!! Ryback doesn’t even look like he’s in any pain in the hold (probably because Cena can’t apply the fucking move correctly for shit), MACHO TRIBUTE ELBOW!!! I think Punk hurt his knee again on that but he slugs it out with Cena until Ryback takes them both out! Ryback tosses both guys out of the ring and wants a Double Shell Shock but Punk and Cena fight him off! They set up the announce table, DOUBLE SUPLEX THROUGH THE TABLE!!!! Cena makes the comeback in the ring, FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE!!! AA avoided, GO TO SLEEP!!!!! 1……..2…….CENA KICKS OUT!!! Cena pops up, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT!!!! 1……..2……PUNK KICKS OUT!!! Punk fires off some kicks but Cena trips him up so Punk kicks him away, CLIMBING WIZARD!!! Bulldog countered with the Kneebreaker, STFU!!!! Ryback pulls Cena out of the ring, MEAT HOOK ON THE FLOOR!!! MEAT HOOK ON PUNK!!!! SHELL SHOCK!!!!! 1…….2……CENA MAKES THE SAVE!!! AA avoided, SHELL SHOCK ON CENA!!!! BUT WAIT A SECOND!!!!! SETH ROLLINS, DEAN AMBROSE AND ROMAN REIGNS JUMP RYBACK IN THE RING!!!!! They beat the crap the crap out of Ryback and set up the Spanish announce table, TRIPLE POWERBOMB THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE TABLE!!!!!! AND THE SHIELD HAS MADE THEIR DEBUT!!!! Punk pulls his carcass over to cover Cena, 1……..2…….3 AND CM PUNK GETS THE WIN AT 18:00 TO RETAIN THE WWE TITLE!!!! And once again, Punk has defeated John Cena and he’s officially done with Cena as long as he’s been WWE Champion. Cena just gets the hell out of dodge as Punk celebrates but it’s obvious that he hurt his knee because he’s limping around pretty badly……BUT, he has made it to one year as WWE Champion!
Crater rating: 6.5 out of 10. The ending is VERY memorable in today’s WWE lore and the match did kick into a higher gear in the second half…….but as a whole, I thought this wasn’t all that great. The Hounds of Justice have finally come to serve notice to the WWE! The actual match itself was fine but it’s not like we haven’t seen this type of match before. I mean, it wasn’t all that much different from the Triple Threat Match with Big Show back at Summerslam……the only real exception is that Ryback didn’t dominate as long as Show did and the match had more Cena/Punk back and forth. Still, it was a very familiar formula and thus, it really didn’t have too many surprising moments and didn’t really capture my imagination that much. Once they suplexed Ryback through the table, I thought the match picked up but that’s only because Punk and Cena have such great chemistry with each other and even with a busted up knee, Punk still put on a solid performance in this one. Cena mostly felt like an afterthought here but that was to be expected because he didn’t need to be in this match and his time was coming later on down the line…….the full focus was on Ryback and Punk with Cena sort of getting in the way. Ryback looked impressive and he played the big man role of the match very well but you could tell that he was still very green and rough around the edges. Like I said, the match is actually pretty damn solid but there’s nothing about it that truly makes it stand out as a match from the rest of the Triple Threat matches we’ve seen in the past nor from any Punk/Cena match we’ve seen in the past…….it basically felt like a match on autopilot for the most part. However, this match and this show will forever be remembered as the day The Shield made their WWE debut. A lot of people balked at the fact that it was Roman Reigns and NOT Kassius Ohno as the third member of the group but the WWE wanted their guy in the mix and eventually, it really didn’t matter since Roman adapted quite nicely to his role as the group’s muscle. What you have with this group is three future WWE Champions and one of them was pegged as the eventual successor to John Cena (heh heh, key word is “was” if you believe the recent rumors)…….immediately, this group caught the fans’ attention and immediately, these guys were set as the company actually DIDN’T FUCK WITH THEM, let them get over and guess what? THEY GOT OVER!!! Sure, they sacrificed Ryback for that cause but it ended up paying off in the end. So yea, the match is by the numbers and mundane for the most part but The Shield’s debut is one of the biggest moments in wrestling history and that can’t be denied!
36/60 = 60
According to the rating, I have given Survivor Series 2012 a 60, a C+, a 6.0 out of 10 and it’s a solid show. Yea, that pretty much sums up a show that only had three weeks of build and one of the key matches of the show being changed up just two weeks before the show! It’s the fourth worst PPV of the entire year (above Over The Limit, the Royal Rumble and No Way Out in that order) and once again, it continues the theme that the WWE just has no more real respect for the Survivor Series PPV anymore. I mean, Money in the Bank has pretty much replaced it as the fourth biggest show of the year by this point and people even look more forward to shows like Extreme Rules or TLC moreso than this PPV……and that’s a damn shame. However, that’s the WWE’s fault and they wonder why no one cares about this PPV anymore……maybe if they didn’t go changing the fucking card up two weeks before then people would actually pay to watch the show and give it respect. If anything, this feels like a massive placeholder show for the Royal Rumble, along with TLC. We already know the big money match with Rock vs Punk for the WWE Title so basically, we just had to get there and Punk was already going to be the champion going in…….there was no more drama and the WWE was stupid in attempting to create drama because it wasn’t going to happen. Still, this show is just depressing to see the landscape of this company back in 2012……..and realizing two sad realities: A) the booking and the actual shows haven’t changed all that much because we’re still complaining about the same things and B) all of the missed opportunities and all of the wrestlers that are no longer with the company. Rey Mysterio, Mistico (original Sin Cara), Justin Gabriel, Tensai, Brodus Clay, Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, David Otunga, Ryback (technically), Eve Torres, Kaitlyn, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are all GONE from the company as I type this up and they make up more than half of this fucking card……that’s a damn shame! Especially when you look at some of the names of these guys and the fact that some of them should have been in higher spots of the card than where they were here…….instead, things remained the same and people got sick and left (or in Bryan’s case, got injured and left). The roster had lots of talent but the booking was just horrible and this year had been massively disappointing to watch from a general perspective. The Shield coming in added a lot of depth to the roster and they were the kick in the ass the company needed so kudos to them but they couldn’t save the whole company. This card is just lackluster and this show is not of any kind of necessary viewing outside of the debut of the Shield. Team Ziggler/Team Foley is the only good match on the show and that was by hook or crook down the stretch and Ziggler picking up a huge win over Orton. The opener was fun as well but suffered from some slow spots that hurt it……it did have one of the better finishes of the night so I give it credit there. Cesaro picked up a big win over R-Truth in a bleh match, the saga of Eve and Kaitlyn will sadly continue, the saga of AJ and Vickie will sadly continue and the sucky commentary will continue. Sheamus/Show should have been good but fuck that stupid finish! And the main event is only remembered for what happened in the final few minutes of the match, as it should be. Thankfully, TLC got a lot of positive feedback so I’ll be looking forward to doing that show but as for this show, I give it a Thumbs in the Middle, leaning downward for this one.
Thank you for reading. I plan on doing a column on the results of the draft, give my thoughts on the Brand Split get an idea of where this is going so stay tuned for that!