KELLER’S WWE SURVIVOR SERIES PPV REPORT 11/20: Goldberg vs. Lesnar, Raw vs. Smackdown, The Miz vs. Sami Zayn, more

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


NOVEMBER 20, 2016

Announcers: Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves, JBL, Byron Saxton.

(Keller’s Reax: Happy to see Ranallo getting the announcing gig on this big event. It’s important for the brands to seem equal that Michael Cole isn’t always the lead play-by-play announcer. It doesn’t mean he won’t be out later to call Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg, though.)

(1) WOMEN’S ELIMINATION MATCH: TEAM RAW (Charlotte Dana Brooke & Sasha Banks & Bayley & Alicia Fox) vs. TEAM SMACKDOWN (Becky Lynch & Naomi & Alexa Bliss & Carmella & Natalya)

Everyone came out except for Nikki. When he music played, she didn’t appear. They cut backstage to Daniel Bryan and a medic tending to her. She said she was hit from behind. Natalya said she would cover for her even though she was only supposed to be a coach. The Raw announcers said this felt suspicious and wrong. JBL called it an extenuating circumstance.

Charlotte tagged herself in against Lynch, but then Banks tagged herself in before any contact. Charlotte shoved Banks. Bayley played mediator. Becky then gave Charlotte a European uppercut. Chaos broke out with everyone brawling in the ring. Nia Jax managed to intimidate everyone into stopping fighting.

Lynch and Banks eventually battled one-on-one. Nia Jax did some damage on a number of opponents, then tagged in Carmella.

ELIMINATION: Alicia Fox (Raw) eliminated Carmella (SD) at 6:00.

ELIMINATION: Bliss (SD) then eliminated Fox (Raw) seconds later with her splash at 6:00.

ELIMINATION: Naomi was eliminated via countout at 7:00.

Charlotte and Natalya reignited their battle from NXT. Natalya gave Charlotte a nice released German suplex. Charlotte came back with her own suplex. Fans briefly chanted “Suplex City.” Natalya gave Charlotte a sitout powerbomb out of the corner for a two count, broken up by Jax. Natalya put Charlotte in a Sharpshooter, but Dana helped push the bottom rope to Charlotte. Byron generously called it a “slight assist.” Charlotte then gave Natalya a big boot for the win.

ELIMINATION: Charlotte eliminated Natalya at 10:00.

So it was down to Bliss & Becky vs. Jax & Bayley & Charlotte. As Becky and Bliss argued, Jax entered and gave them both a vertical suplex at once. Mauro declared a “mamma mia” moment. When Jax lifted Bliss for a bodyslam, Lynch dropkicked her off the top rope. Bliss and Becky tried to work together to double DDT, but Jax just fell down early and the crowd booed the awkward spot. Lynch then put Jax in the Disarm Her and Jax tapped out.

ELIMINATION: Lynch eliminated Jax at 13:00.

(Keller’s Reax: I would’ve had Jax get counted out, not tapout, as they’ve been building her as a killer heel in squash matches and that just felt like a moment that should have been saved. It was especially bad coming after a botched spot.)

ELIMINATION: Charlotte quickly eliminated Bliss with a boot at 14:00.

So it was down to Charlotte & Bayley vs. Lynch. Lynch showed nice fire against Charlotte rallied against her. She climbed to the top rope and landed a top rope legdrop for a believable near fall. Bayley broke up the pin attempt. Charlotte crawled over and tagged in Bayley. Bayley looked like this isn’t the fight she wanted, but then she made the first move to tackle Becky. Becky returned fire with another signature suplex, then a snap legdrop and snap elbowdrop. Bayley avoided a butt-drop and made a comeback. Bayley hit her Bayley-to-Belly to win for her team.

As Bayley and Charlotte were beginning to celebrate as Bayley’s music played, Charlotte attacked her and threw her out of the ring.

ELIMINATION: Bayley eliminated Lynch in 18:00. (*3/4)

(Keller’s Reax: It’s about what you’d expect here. I’d say it felt a little more rushed than I hoped, and some of the quick finishes made those who were losing look bad. There wasn’t too much in terms of teasing dream match-ups, but that’s tougher to do in the Women’s Division than the Men’s Division at this point.)

-James Ellsworth was strutting around backstage. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows walked up to him and made a bunch of chin jokes. Mick Foley walked in and told them to stop picking on the little guy. He asked how would they like it if he picked on them for being bald. They said they shave their heads. Ellsworth marked out and told Foley how excited he was to meet him. He said he remembered him being tossed off the cage by Undertaker. Foley told him to say “threw off” because “toss off” can mean something else. Foley asked Ellsworth if he has any good memories that don’t involve him experiencing harm. Ellsworth brought up an example of him beating Rock. Ellsworth said despite loving Foley, he’s true blue and loyal to Smackdown. Foley left. Ellsworth turned around and bumped into Braun Strowman’s chest. Braun asked if he knows him. Ellsworth ran away.

-A commercial aired for the new Story Time series on WWE Network.

-They showed the exterior of downtown Toronto.

(2) THE MIZ (w/Maryse) vs. SAMI ZAYN – Intercontinental Title match

Michael Cole took over play-by-play here. Saxton said Zayn looked up to Pat Patterson growing up, and Patterson was the first IC Champion. Zayn caught Miz with a kick, so Miz bailed out to ringside. Zayn went after Miz. When Maryse distracted Zayn, Miz recovered and kicked his legs from behind. Miz focused on Zayn’s left leg for a while. At 6:00 Zayn tried to fight back, and eventually took Miz down with a clothesline. He limped on his left leg and clotheslined Miz over the top rope. Then he did a running dive over the top rope onto Miz at ringside. He clutched his left leg afterward. Back in the ring Zayn scored a two count after a Michinoku Driver.

Zayn went for a Helluva kick a few minutes later, but he was unable to get up any speed and Miz rolled to the floor. When Miz went for his Skull Crushing Finale, Sami countered into a victory roll for a near fall. He gave Miz an Exploder Suplex, then set up a Helluva kick again Miz avoided him and then applied the figure-four mid-ring. Zayn struggled for a while and eventually rolled Miz over. Miz screamed in pain, then rolled over again into the ropes, so they had to break.

They were both slow to get up. Miz stood first and he roundkicked Sami in the face and then the chest nearly a dozen times. Sami avoided a final kick and ten slipped on a sudden figure-four mid-ring. Maryse at ringside rang the bell. Zayn released the hold and assumed he won. The ref told Zayn he didn’t win. Miz then schoolboyed Zayn to get the three count.

WINNER: Miz in 14:00 to retain the IC Title. (**3/4)

(Keller’s Reax: Clever finish. I don’t have a big issue with it as it was an escape for doing a pin in a match where I wasn’t crazy about Zayn getting pinned clean. It gives Miz a tainted victory without it coming from a more typical interference or distraction finish. And it is Canada, so of course they got this out of their system early I hope.)

-Backstage A.J. Styles told Dean Ambrose to take his lead and they’ll be fine. Dean said tonight is fantasy warfare becoming a reality, and he has his own fantasies. Shane McMahon intervened and told them to settle this at another time, not tonight. He said they need to be on the same page because Smackdown can’t afford another loss. Shane said please.

(Keller’s Analysis: It’s a small thing, but at the end the camera lingered on Styles and Shane after Dean left, and it could have been awkward, but Shane did what you’re taught in acting class on the first week, which is always have a line in mind to speak if someone misses their cue so the play doesn’t come to a complete halt. Shane started another conversation with Styles when they cut away, which felt more realistic then both just standing there silently soaking up the moment.)

-A commercial aired for a jewelry store. Then for Hulu.

(3) TAG TEAM RAW (New Day & Enzo/Cass & Shining Stars & Sheamus/Cesaro & The Club)  vs. TAG TEAM SMACKDOWN (Rhyno/Heath Slater  & Breezango & The Usos & Hype Bros. & American Alpha)

Mauro back on play-by-play here. Enzo & Cass did some mic work. Then New Day came out and spoke to the rest of Team Raw on the stage. Then they sang “Team… Raw Rocks!” Sheamus & Cesaro were bickering on their way to the ring already. When Team Smackdown came out, American Alpha walked behind the Usos. I would have been totally cool if Alpha jumped the Usos from behind to knock them out of the match. It was actually ridiculous that the Usos trusted Alpha enough to walk in front of them like that, given what they had been doing to try to knock them out of commission for weeks.

As Fandango was handing out fashion citations, New Day gave him their finisher for a quick elimination.

ELIMINATION: Breezango eliminated by New Day at 1:00.

Xavier gloated at ringside with his trombone. Jey Uso eliminated a distracted Kofi instantly. That deflated the crowd. The announcers sold it as a big development.

ELIMINATION: Uso eliminated New Day at 2:00.

As Team Raw beat up Mojo Rawley, the crowd chanted “We Want Slater.”

ELIMINATION: Hype Bros. eliminated with Magic Killer by The Club. when Gallows pinned Mojo.

Chad Gable tagged in against Luke Gallows. It did feel kind of novel to see those two battle given their separate paths in the industry up until that moment.

ELIMINATION: Shining Stars via American Alpha after an avalanche bulldog off the top rope from an electric chair.

A big brawl broke out with the rest of the teams right after. Cass and Rhyno backed into each other and began exchanging blows. Cass ended up tossing Enzo over the top rope onto a crowd at ringside. He threw Rhyno over the top rope, but Rhyno landed on the ring apron. Cass gave him a big running boot. Slater then leaped off the top rope with stage dive onto everyone at ringside.

Back in the ring, Cesaro gave Jordan a Cesaro Swing. Gable made the save. Then Jordan tossed Gable over the top rope onto a crowd at ringside. Gallows surprised Jordan with a kick and then The Club gave him a Magic Killer.

ELIMINATION: American Alpha via The Club with the Magic Killer on Jordan.

Slater entered against Karl Anderson, but when he celebrated taking out the interfering Gallows, Anderson gave him a suplex. Sheamus tagged in and worked over Slater. Gallows tagged in and accidentally knocked Enzo off the ring apron. Gallows turned and yelled at Enzo, which freed up Slater to tag in Rhyno. Rhyno gave Gallows his Gore for the pin.

ELIMINATION: Gallows & Anderson after a Gore by Rhyno.

Cass and Enzo then double-teamed Rhyno and scored a pin after a top rope splash by Enzo.

ELIMINATION: Rhyno & Slater via Enzo pinning Rhyno.

ELIMINATION: Enzo & Cass via The Usos quickly after the previous elimination after a top rope splash by the Usos.

It was down to the Usos vs. Sheamus & Cesaro. Sheamus pounded Jey Uso with a barrage of forearms to his chest. Jey came back with an enzuigiri and tagged in Jimmy. Uso superkicked Cesaro who saved Sheamus for taking the kick. Sheamus took control and set up a White Noise off the second rope. He hit it, but then Jey Uso nailed Sheamus with a top rope splash. Cesaro broke up his pin attempt. Sheamus hot-tagged Cesaro. He went at Jey with a series of uppercuts and a springboard elbow to the chest. He took Jimmy out of the ring with a dropkick, then hit Jey with a 619. He climbed to the top rope and landed a flying crossbody for a convincing near fall. A small “This is awesome!” chant broke out. Cesaro gave Uso the Cesaro Swing with over ten revolutions this time. When he applied the sharpshooter, Jimmy broke it up with a superkick from behind. Jey then put Cesaro in the Tequila Sunrise one-legged crab submission hold. Cesaro reversed it and applied a sharpshooter mid-ring. Jimmy entered to interfere with a kick, but Sheamus cut him off. Jey then tapped out.

Afterward Cesaro was going to celebrate with Sheamus, but Sheamus pulled his hand away and ran it through his hair. Cesaro then competed with Sheamus for cheers and clearly won.

ELIMINATION: The Usos via Cesaro & Sheamus.

WINNERS: Team Raw with Cesaro & Sheamus as the lone survivors in 19:00. (**3/4)

(Keller’s Reax: A lot of good action start to finish with a some big dives mid-match and then some novel interactions between teams from different brands the rest of the way, with an effective finishing sequence with the final four. If anyone came to see New Day, they might have been bitter. This did show that WWE has pretty good tag team depth company-wide, and that if the tag division was all on one brand, it’d be pretty strong at this point. I saw this match as an opportunity to “make” a new tag team like American Alpha, but they were lost in the mix. I suppose heating up the Usos is a good purpose for the match, though, and they now have bragging rights to eliminating the New Day quickly, too. Now if they can just get some mic time on Smackdown to get themselves over.)

-Stephanie and Foley high-fived backstage. When Foley brought up Charlotte attacking Bayley, Steph blew it off and said she’s just keeping score. Steph said Cesaro & Sheamus earned a tag team title shot against New Day. Then they talked about what’s coming up later.

-The Rock had a message for WWE fans.

-Mauro and Graves hyped the Cruiserweight Title match.

-A vignette aired with Brian Kendrick saying anyone can do what he does, but they won’t because they’re full of excuses for their laziness. He said Kalisto is just like the fans because he’ll fall short.

(4) BRIAN KENDRICK vs. KALISTO – Cruiserweight Title match

During the handshake before the match, Kendrick mouthed off to Kalisto in a patronizing way. Kalisto opened up with a flurry of offense. Graves said Kalisto has to have a perfect match for the Cruiserweight Division to be lost to Smackdown. They bathed the fans in the stands with purple light. The ropes were purple. The canvas had the Smackdown log in each corner. Kendrick put Kalisto’s head between the ringpost and ring steps and then kicked the steps. Graves said Kendrick dances on the fine line between madness and genius.

At 5:00 Kalisto made a comeback. He gave Kendrick a Spanish Fly off the ring apron. Mauro sold it big time. There was a small “Holy sh–!” chant afterward. It was a pretty cool move with a big impact. Kendrick knocked Kalisto off balance on the top rope. Kendrick then went for a suplex off the ropes. Kalisto resisted. Kendrick flipped Kalisto off the top rope while having him in a headlock onto the mat right into a Captain’s Hook. Kalisto tried to escape, but Kendrick held on and cinched it tighter. Kalisto reached the bottom rope for a small pop. Kendrick applied that hold with 100 times more force than all STF’s in Cena’s history combined.

Kalisto made a full comeback and hit a nice sequence of flashy offensive moves. He hit his finisher Salida del Sol, but Kendrick put his right leg on the bottom rope to avoid a three count. Baron Corbin entered the ring and attacked Kendrick and then Kalisto. The ref called for the bell. Graves thanked Corbin for saving the Cruiserweight Division for Raw.

WINNER: Kendrick retained the Cruiserweight Title via DQ in 12:00. (**3/4)

(Keller’s Reax: A flat finish to a good match. It’s hard to get too excited about a match that lacked any crowd investment in the action. Kalisto just isn’t over, nor is the division’s championship. Still, the two wrestlers get credit for a very good 11 minutes of action that was crisply executed. On another note, why is Corbin too injured to wrestle on Team Smackdown, but healthy enough to attack Kalisto and Kendrick?)

-They went to the panel with Renee Young, Jerry Lawler, Booker T, and Lita to briefly discuss the show so far.

-Backstage the camera was tracking Baron Corbin. Daniel Bryan walked up to him and chewed him out for costing Smackdown the entire Cruiserweight Division. “The last thing we need is a bunch more little pests running around (Smackdown),” Corbin said. Bryan said he’d see him on Tuesday.

(Keller’s Reax: Just a production suggestion. Instead of having the camera following Corbin backstage for no apparent reason until the happy coincidence occurs when Bryan appears out of nowhere to confront him, why not start with the camera on Bryan from the start as he is clearly on a mission to find Corbin. It makes much more sense.)

-A commercial aired for the move “Incarnate.”

-A commercial hyped “Roadblock” with a graphics package of Superstars jamming up traffic on a bridge, apparently inspired by the New Jersey governor’s office.

-They went to Cole, Otunga, Graves, and JBL at ringside. They bickered over the results of the Raw vs. Smackdown battle so far. Cole said Team Raw would be going for a clean sweep of Smackdown.

-A long video package aired on the history of the roster split.

(5) TEAM SMACKDOWN (Shane McMahon & Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton & A.J. Styles & Dean Ambrose) vs. TEAM RAW (Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho & Braun Strowman & Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns)

The ring announcer introduced James Ellsworth first, calling him Smackdown’s mascot. Then Shane came out wearing his “Shane-o-Mac” baseball jersey, not a Smackdown t-shirt. Not setting the greatest example for team leadership. Thankfully Bray and Orton came out without team blue shirts, either. For some reason Ambrose came out last, right after Styles. At least Shane didn’t come out last after Styles.

Seth came out wearing a t-shirt that was half a Raw red t-shirt and half his own Seat Freakin’ Rollins t-shirt Reigns came out in his usual ring outfit, but with the Raw t-shirt hanging out of his side pocket or tucked into his waist. Jericho came out wearing a sleeveless Raw t-shirt with a scarf over it. Owens had his own t-shirt on and he had a Raw t-shirt folded over his shoulder.

Styles and Owens opened against each other. The crowd chanted “Stupid Idiot” at which point Owens tagged in Jericho. Owens pulled Jericho in for a hug. Jericho took off his Raw shirt. Styles dropkicked him. Jericho and Seth got into an argument. Jericho tagged Seth in. Styles invited Seth in, but then turned and tagged in Ambrose to avoid a lock-up. After some babyface-style exchanges, Jericho tagged himself in. Jericho yelled that Dean owes him $15,000. A “Stupid Idiot” chant broke out.

When Jericho slapped dean, Dean slapped him back and took control. He mounted Jericho in the corner and pounded away at his head. Shane tagged in and danced , then went after Jericho with some fists. Jericho rolled to the floor, kicked the ring steps, and then re-entered the ring. Shane dropped Jericho with a flying elbow to the chest, then a couple armdrags. Jericho caught him with a boot to the chest which stopped a brief “You still got it!” chant. Jericho hit Shane in the face with a dropkick. Shane tried to crawl over and tag out, but Jericho dragged him to his corner. Seth tagged in and he suplexed Shane, who continued to wrestle like Insane Clown Posse, with strange “backyard wrestling” style selling after he landed on the mat. Reigns tagged in and got booed as he beat up Shane in the corner with forearms. Cole said, “Shane’s gotta wonder why he got involved in this thing.”

Shane backdropped Seth and crawled over and tagged in Dean. Dean entered against a fresh Owens. Dean missed on a dive onto Owens at ringside. When Ambrose set up Dirty Deeds, Jericho intervened. Braun tagged himself in. Everyone in the match stood opposite of one another. They had a long five-on-five staredown. The crowd chanted “Ellsworth.” A brawl broke out. Strowman was on one side of the line-up and Bray on the opposite, so their paths didn’t cross. The action spilled to the floor. Strowman caught Dean on a dive over the top rope. Styles dove onto a crowd at ringside. Owens then did a flip dive off the top rope onto a crowd at ringside. It was Shane’s turn next. When he climbed to the top rope, Braun shoved him off the top rope. Shane landed on his feet off balance and fell backward. Styles and Dean entered and attacked Strowman before he could beat up Shane anymore. Shane then dove at Strowman and clotheslined him over the top rope. He bumped over the top rope, too.

Styles used a Pele Kick to knock Reigns out of the ring. Dean and Styles cleared the ring. The crowd chanted “A.J. Styles!” Styles cupped his ear and taunted Dean. The two got into a fight. Shane tried to break them up. Styles hit Dean from behind. Strowman entered and gave Dean a powerslam to eliminate him. Cole noted that Styles didn’t even try to break up the pin.

ELIMINATION: Dean via Strowman.

Strowman threw Shane into the ring. Shane ducked Strowman and punched away at hi in the corner. Strowman brushed him off, thankfully, and pummeled him in the corner. Strowman splashed Shane in the corner. Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Strowman caught him and threw him over the top rope in a scary bump to the floor. Orton tried to give Strowman an RKO out of nowhere, but Strowman blocked it and shoved Orton away. Bray tagged in against Strowman. They stared each other down. Bray extended his arms and tried to control him. He told Strowman to tag out. Jericho entered and told Strowman he’s his captain. Strowman turned and choked Jericho. But he also grabbed Bray. He shoved Jericho down, then clotheslined Bray. Strowman went after Bray. He dropkicked him barely waist level and knocked him to the floor.

Strowman went after Bray at ringside. Orton gave Strowman an RKO out of nowhere onto the ringside table. Orton and Bray cleared the table and then put Strowman on it. They help him in place for Shane to climb to the top rope and leap off with a big splash. They backed away and Shane landed a big flying elbow, driving Strowman through the table. Seth then attacked Orton and Reigns attacked Bray at ringside as a “Holy sh–!” chant rang out. “There are bodies strewn everywhere!” said Cole. The crowd chanted “This is awesome!” The ref counted Strowman out at ringside. Someone held his leg from underneath the ring. Strowman yanked the culprit out from under the ring and it was Ellsworth. JBL told Ellsworth to run. Graves said, “Your mascot just took out our monster.” Strowman chased Ellsworth down and beat him up on the stage. He tossed him off the stage and onto a table and equipment at ringside. A “Holy sh–!” chant rang out.

ELIMINATION: Strowman via countout.



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Back in the ring, Jericho covered Shane and got a two count. It was just four-on-four at this point, nearly 15 minutes into the match. Owens tagged in against Shane and pounded his forehead. Jericho went for a Lionsault, but Shane lifted his knees. Jericho loudly called for a small package, and then Shane small packaged him for a near fall. Jericho had a bloody nose. Shane avoided a Jericho splash. Shane eventually tagged in Styles.

Jericho tried to put Styles in the Walls of Jericho, but Styles countered with a calf crusher. Jericho rammed Styles’s head into the mat three times, then went back to a Walls attempt. Styles small packaged him for a near fall. Styles took a cheap shot at Owens on the ring apron. Owens entered and bashed Styles with the List of Jericho clipboard. He then gave Styles a Pop-up Powerbomb. The ref DQ’d Owens.


Jericho reassembled the paperwork of his list. Orton came up behind Jericho and gave him an RKO.

ELIMINATION: Jericho via an Orton RKO.

Reigns and Seth stared at each other. They were the final two for Raw. Team Smackdown had everyone but Dean still. Orton snap powerslammed Seth mid-ring. Bray tagged in and went to work on Seth. Reigns tagged in against Styles and was, predictably, booed. He scored a near fall with a Niagara Driver. Styles caught a charging Reigns with a kick. He then tagged Shane back in. Shane went to work on Reigns. Reigns returned fire. Shane countered with a DDT. Seth tried to interfere, but Shane caught his leg and bashed Seth’s face into Seth’s knee. Then he lifted and slammed Seth hard on the mat. Seth rolled to ringside. He turned a charge by Reigns into driving Reigns shoulder-first into the ringpost. Otunga said so far the MVP is the commissioner himself. Shane then climbed to the top and went for his corner-to-corner dropkick. Reigns, though, caught him mid-air with a spear. Reigns was selling that he knocked out, so Shane managed to roll his shoulder up. The ref checked on Shane. The ref then said Shane was eliminated. Two medics came in to check on Shane as everyone else battled at ringside. They slid Shane out of the ring and almost dropped him backwards on his neck. They helped him to his feet and aided him all the way to the back. The crowd chanted “Shane-o-Mac.”

ELIMINATION: Shane via spear by Reigns. Not clear if it was a three count or just a ref deciding he couldn’t continue or what.

(Keller’s Analysis: Because the finish wasn’t decisive or clarified, my interpretation of this is that Shane really got knocked out. The replay showed he landed hard on his back and hit his head. I think Fantasy Wrestling Camp should be over for Shane. He looked bad in this match almost all the way through, other than successfully landing the flying elbow through the table at ringside. At 47 years old, he just shouldn’t be out there pretending to be a trained pro who belongs in the ring with guys moving at a speed he just can’t keep up with safely at this point.)

The match continued with Bray giving a running senton to Reigns. Seth tagged in and went to work on Styles. He dove through the ropes to drive Bray into the barricade at ringside. Lots of fan chants here. Seth gave Styles a superplex off the top rope followed by the Falcon Arrow. Orton broke up the pin attempt. Seth threw Orton to the floor, but when he dove toward him, Orton punched him. Orton set up a DDT off the ring apron. Reigns intervened and stomped Orton. Seth patted Reigns and pointed at Orton, suggesting they put him through a table at ringside. The Spanish announcers weren’t thrilled. They wanted their table in tact for the Lesnar-Goldberg match! Styles attacked Reigns from behind to stop the Shield Powerbomb. Dean ran back to the ring and attacked Styles from behind. He stomped him out of the ring. Five referees tried to get Dean out of the ring. Dean rolled to the floor. The crowd chanted “Stupid idiot” at him. Not sure that’s what WWE was going for. Security dragged Dean to the back. Graves suggested they let Dean keep sabotaging his own team. Seth and Reigns attacked the security guys and helped Dean. Graves said they know Dean was intent on helping Styles. They reunited for a moment to give Styles the Shield Powerbomb through the table. “This is the best thing that could possibly happen!” said Graves. Styles took the powerbomb through the table. “What a moment!” yelled Cole. Seth threw Styles into the ring and scored the pin.

ELIMINATION: Styles via Seth pinfall after the Shield powerbomb.

It was two-on-two – Seth & Reigns vs. Orton & Bray. Luke Harper then showed up at ringside seemingly out of nowhere. As Seth battled Bray, the crowd chanted “This is awesome!” Seth eventually dove off the top rope toward Orton, but Orton popped up and delivered an RKO. Bray then scored the legal pin.

ELIMINATION: Seth via Bray after an Orton RKO.

It was down to Reigns vs. Bray & Orton. Reigns whipped Orton into the ringside steps, then reversed a charging Bray into the barricade. Reigns then gave Bray a Drive-by. Reigns speared Luke at ringside when he tried to illegally interfere. Some boos rang out for Reigns’s display of dominance. When he entered the ring, Bray popped up and set up Sister Abigail. Reigns escaped and gave Bray a Superman punch. Bray took a comical somersault bump. Reigns then signaled for the Spear, but Orton shoved Bray out of the way and ate the Spear himself. Bray then gave Reigns Sister Abigail and scored the pin. Cole said the story here is Orton sacrificed himself for Bray.

ELIMINATION: Orton via Bray’s Sister Abigail.

WINNER: Team Smackdown in 53:00. (****1/4)

(Keller’s Analysis: That was a hell of a spectacle, intricately booked with various chapters that all told different stories and played off of the various dynamics and histories between the wrestlers. Other than aspects of how Shane was booked and how he executed some spots, this was good. The crowd mostly ate up what Shane did, too, so his sloppiness and the absurdity of his holding his own the way he did at times ultimately didn’t matter as fans have a different set of rules for him anyway. Braun was treated as a big deal throughout. This match really did expose how wrestlers are cast by WWE in roles that fans are rejecting. Dean Ambrose was booed when he came out and Styles was cheered against him. The crowd booed Reigns, as usual, despite the match being built largely to make him look strong. There’s a level or stubbornness or denial when it comes to McMahon and Reigns I just have never seen to this degree before. Kevin Owens looked like a schmuck and a sidekick to Jericho’s comedy games, and that’s not affirming for the wrestler carrying the Universal Championship. I don’t sense that the nostalgia for the Shield is what it once was. Dean was booed against Styles, Seth’s character is flat, and Reigns continues to be rejected by the fanbase as a top babyface. Putting them together doesn’t solve any of that.)

-A WWE Network commercial aired.

-A video package aired on Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar.

(6) BROCK LESNAR (w/Paul Heyman) vs. GOLDBERG

The crowd chanted “Goldberg! Goldberg!” as he came out and during a staredown right after the bell rang. Cole said only one man has multiple PPV victories against Lesnar, and that’s John Cena, and Godlberg is looking to add his name. Lesnar lifted Goldberg into the corner. Goldberg shoved Lesnar, who bumped onto his back. Lesnar looked up in shock. Then he laughed and stood up. Goldberg speared him immediately. “Lesnar’s hurt! Lesnar’s hurt!” yelled Cole. Goldberg speared Lesnar again. Lesnar writhed on the mat. Graves said nobody expected this kind of dominance from Goldberg out of the gate. Loud chants of “Goldberg!” Lesnar struggled to get to his feet. Goldberg then delivered a Jackhammer and a three count. Cole: “A monumental upset. After 12 years, Goldberg returns to the ring and absolutely destroys The Beast!” Graves said he couldn’t believe what he just witnessed. Cole said Lesnar didn’t even get in one offensive move. Lesnar was still writhing on the mat for several minutes as the crowd chanted for “Goldberg.” Goldberg celebrated with his son and slapped hands with fans on his way to the back. Cole said, “This is monumental any way you look at it!” Goldberg brought his son into the ring to celebrate with him. His son was shirtless and might have been a tad self-conscious.

WINNER: Goldberg in 90 seconds.

(Keller’s Reax: The crowd loved that finish live. They were in shock, but they knew they had witnessed an official “WWE Moment” for the ages. This finish indicates strongly that Goldberg will be back, and part of that agenda will be a rematch against Lesnar at some point. Stay tuned. This finish will be debated for years, but it can’t fully be evaluated until we see where they are going with it and how they frame it starting tomorrow.)

-Then they signed off.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Good show. Maybe a very good show, given the nearly one-hour long ten-main tag that preceded the brief Goldberg-Lesnar match. As absurd as the hype was for the Raw vs. Smackdown rivalry, and as hit-and-miss as the booking of the actual Raw vs. Smackdown matches was, most of the matches were good to very good, and the crowd gets co-MVP for staying energized and reacting with an independent spirit without being a self-indulgent distraction.

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4 Comments on KELLER’S WWE SURVIVOR SERIES PPV REPORT 11/20: Goldberg vs. Lesnar, Raw vs. Smackdown, The Miz vs. Sami Zayn, more

  1. I am not sure how to feel. I honestly have mixed emotions. The first is the wrestling purist side of me which is outraged. Not only do you build this up as the fight of the century and then give us a popcorn fart but the guy who broke The Streak has been squashed. That kills all of the momentum you have been building with him! However, there is the fanboy side of me that admits that was freaking awesome and shocking. One of the criticisms that WWE gets alot of times is that they get too predictable, so they truly are going out of their way to get unpredictable and shock fans and this result certainly did that. So they should at least get credit for doing something different and unexpected. I honestly feel like this was better than what would have been a 10-12 minute snooze fest of shoulder blocks and suplexes. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I really am on the fence about this result. Any comments?

  2. You completely forgot to write down the awful early pin on Sasha Banks, that proves how much she is disliked by Vince McMahon.

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