KELLER’S WWE SURVIVOR SERIES PPV REPORT
NOVEMBER 19, 2017
HOUSTON, TEX. AT TOYOTA CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK
-To close out the Kickoff Show, A.J. Styles talked about facing Brock Lesnar and then Jinder Mahal walked up to him and just chuckled.
-They showed New Day munching on cereal backstage on their way to the entrance stage.
-Renee Young, Jerry Lawler, Pete Rosenberg, and Shawn Michaels discussed how The Shield vs. New Day would be the first main card match. Renee said it feels like one of the Big Four, the panel agreed you can’t just pick one match as the main event.
Announcers: Michael Cole, Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Booker T
-A video package aired previewing the big line-up.
-New Day made their ring entrance. Xavier said they will show they are the most dominant and entertaining faction to ever step foot into WWE. Some cheers, some boos. They entered the ring. Kofi Kingston mock-applauded Raw’s retaliation against them on Smackdown. He said it took three weeks to steal their idea, and they didn’t do it as well as they did. Kofi said they have big, gigantic, dangling (pause) guts. Big E said it’s PG. Kofi said they’re dogs and they’re about to go Bob Barker on their asses. Xavier said to spay and neuter your dogs. Big E said Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, or Dean Ambrose will bite one of their own. He said there is no brotherhood greater than The New Day. Then the “New… Day Rocks!” chant.
-A video package aired on the Raw vs. Smackdown sieges.
(1) THE SHIELD (Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins) vs. NEW DAY (Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston & Big E)
Cole said The Shield debuted five years ago. Graves said it just feels right to see The Shield making their entrance together through the crowd. The Shield wore the half-Raw/half-Shield t-shirts. Cole touted New Day’s record-setting tag team title reign as evidence of their dominance as a unit. They opened with Kofi vs. Dean. After some punches, Cole said this will be a smash mouth match. Booker said it won’t be entertaining, it’ll be a fight. Cole and Graves quickly cleaned up that mess and said it’ll be plenty entertaining. (Only WWE, in the business of presenting simulated fights as the payoff to everything they do, would define “entertainment” and “fighting” as mutually exclusive things, leading Booker to his comment.) When Reigns tagged in to face Big E, a “You still suck!” chant broke out aimed at Reigns.
When Big E shoulder tackled Reigns to the mat, he pointed his butt at Reigns and waved his hand at Reigns’s face. A minute later all six were in the ring. The Shield cleared the ring of Big E and Kofi with a triple clothesline, and then turned to Xavier. Eventually Kofi tagged in and got on a roll against Dean. New Day isolated Dean and tagged in and out and stomped away at Dean in the corner. Booker was suddenly a stickler for the rules rather than doing whatever it takes to win, as his role was to be the Raw cheerleader. Booker said New Day needs a new idea. Byron said Steph Curry takes 3’s and if it’s working, he shouldn’t change just to change. Seth yanked Xavier off the ring apron and Roman went after Kofi. That left Dean to do a Tommy Dreamer comeback and suddenly be 100 percent after being stomped away, as he grounded Big E in the ring and then dove through the ropes at Xavier. Big E then leaped from the ring with a spear to take Dean off the ring apron to the floor.
Back in the ring Big E yanked off Dean’s Raw/Shield hybrid shirt and took him down with an elbow to score a two count. Big E set up Dean for a belly-to-belly off the top rope, but Dean broke free and knocked Big E to the mat, then dropkicked him. Reigns reached for the tag and Seth clapped. Kofi knocked Reigns off the ring apron, but Dean back bodydropped Kofi and then tagged in Seth. Seth hit a Slingblade for a two count. Cole said this match can build momentum for one of the brands. Reigns tagged in. Seth gave Xavier a buckle bomb. Reigns then hit him with a flying clothesline and made a cover like he expected victory, but Xavier kicked out. Reigns signaled for the Superman Punch, but Xavier ducked and schoolboyed Reigns for a two count. Reigns landed the Superman Punch, then looked to the crowd and drew cheers and boos. A loud “Roman sucks!” chant broke out. After all that stalling, Xavier recovered caught Reigns with a knee as he charged at him. Big E tagged in and gave Reigns a belly-to-belly. Dean tagged in, but Big E immediately lifted him and tagged in Kofi. Seth interfered and broke up their plans. Seth dragged Kofi into the ring and gave him a high knee. Dean hit Dirty Deeds. Set made the cover. Xavier broke up the pin. “This is awesome!” broke out.
Seth superkicked Xavier. Both were slow to get up. Seth called for Dean to end it now. Reigns and Dean threw Big E hard into the barricade. Then they ran over and threw Kofi into the barricade. That set up Ambrose and Reigns entering and setting up the Triple Powerbomb, but Big E popped up and yanked Reigns out of the ring by his legs and threw him into the ringside steps. If only Reigns hadn’t stopped needlessly to let out the barbaric yell first. That seems to be costing him a lot in this match. Kofi went after Seth with a Trouble in Paradise. Xavier kicked Dean in the head. New Day attacked Reigns at ringside. Xavier then returned to the ring to go after Dean.
New Day isolated Dean once again in their corner. Xavier and Kofi double-kicked Dean in the head. Then Xavier lifted Big E onto his shoulders. Kofi then pressed himself off of Big E’s shoulders and splashed Dean. Then Big E leaped off of Xavier’s shoulders and splashed Dean. New Day looked tired and disorganized for a few seconds, which Booker T pointed out. Big E lifted Dean. He also lifted Seth when Seth charged at him. Kofi and Xavier leaped off of the second rope and delivered a double Midnight Hour . Reigns speared Big E which broke up the pin in the middle of the ring. “This is awesome!” broke out again. Cole said both teams were throwing everything they had at one another. Everyone looked exhausted. They gathered in their respective corner, caught their breath, stared at each other, and then charged and fought again.
Dean gave Big E a Dirty Deeds at ringside. Roman battled Kofi in the ring. Roman speared Kofi. That got a pop. Roman tagged in Seth. They signaled again for perhaps the Triple Powerbomb. Instead, Roman went to the top rope and Dean and Seth stood on the second rope and they delivered the Triple Powerbomb from there for the win.
WINNERS: The Shield in 21:00. (****)
(Keller’s Analysis: Excellent match. The crowd ate it up. The first tease for a Triple Powerbomb, which was broken up, only to be followed by a bigger Triple Powerbomb off the top rope was a cool way to end the match. New Day had big moments and big moves where it felt like they had a legit chance to win, but ultimately the heavy favorites ended up with the safely predictable in. New Day looked every bit to be in their league.)
-A commercial aired for “Ferdinand,” an animated movie with John Cena voicing the main character.
-Stephanie addressed the women’s Raw team backstage. She said it’s a great day to be Team Red. She said she was so impressed on Tuesday when she saw them knock down Smackdown’s door and lay down every woman in the Smackdown locker room. She said she wants Team Raw to win again this year, just as the women did last year. Stephanie towered over the women as she gave them patronizing pep talks. The women had to act like this meant the world to them to get a pep talk from the despicable Stephanie character. Stephanie said she is so proud of what Alicia did last week on Smackdown and said her doubts in her are gone. She led them in yelling excitedly and running toward the ring. Cole said, “Now that is a leader!”
(Keller’s Analysis: Why would the Bayley, Asuka, and Sasha Banks characters look at Stephanie with admiration and eagerness to please? And why, when the women wrestlers are in their wrestling boots, does Stephanie have to wear her 10 inch heels or whatever they are and tower over them? It’s completely ridiculous, when in every other instance they go out of their way to have wrestlers look talk, having announcers stand with their legs spread to drop an inch or two or have wrestlers stand on platforms? Stephanie made the women look small in more ways than one win that counter productive segment.)
(2) TEAM RAW (Alicia Fox & Asuka & Sasha Banks & Bayley & Nia Jax) vs. TEAM SMACKDOWN (Carmella & Tamina (w/Lana) & Natalya & Becky Lynch & Naomi)
Becky tossed Fox with an exploder suplex, but Bayley blind tagged in and rolled up Lynch for an early elimination just two minutes in.
Eliminated: Lynch in 2:00.
The Raw women celebrated in an over-the-top manner that just felt inauthentic and cartoonish. They were all acting like Jimmy Hart with a Red Bull and a Mountain Dew Big Gulp in them. Asuka tagged in next to a nice pop. Natalya went to work on Bayley next. Tamina splashed Bayley a minute later and scored the three count, making it four vs. four.
Eliminated: Bayley in 5:00.
Jax and Tamina entered. The announcers made a big deal out of this being the first time they’ve touched. Jax headbutted Tamina and both were staggered. Graves called it a headbutt stalemate. Jax lifted Tamina on her shoulders. Lana jumped onto the ring apron. Jax turned and knocked her hard off the ring apron. Tamina superkicked Jax twice. Jax bailed out to the floor. The ref held back Tamina. Naomi leaped onto Jax at ringside. The ref turned and began to count. Tamina then superkicked Jax at ringside. Tamina leaped off the steps and bodypressed her to the floor. Jax was counted out just as she began to re-enter the ring at 9:00.
Eliminated: Jax in 9:00.
A couple minutes later, Naomi countered Fox into a sunset flip type spot, but Fox lifted her shoulder before three. The ref, though, counted to three and shoved Fox out of the ring. Banks then surprised Naomi with a sudden Bank Statement. That couldn’t have been intended to look that bad. Either Fox should have kept her shoulders down or the ref was confused about whether it was a finish.
Eliminated: Fox in 11:00.
Eliminated: Naomi in 11:00.
Asuka tagged in against Carmella and landed a hip attack for an early two count. Cole said Asuka hasn’t been pinned since 2015. Carmella made a comeback by yanking on Asuka’s hair. She hit a bronco buster in the corner. She showboated and taunted Banks. When she slapped Asuka, Asuka smiled and stood and got fired up. She gave Carmella knee to the head and a kick to the face for the win.
Eliminated: Carmella in 13:00.
It came down to Banks & Asuka vs. Natalya & Tamina. Natalya landed a discus clothesline for a two count. Banks applied a Bank Statement mid-ring. Tamina broke it up. Banks turned to stare down Tamina, but Natalya rolled her up from behind. Then she threw Banks head-first into the turnbuckle and followed up with a sharpshooter. Booker said he didn’t like where this was going. Tamina knocked Asuka off the ring apron just as Banks seemed to get near a tag. Banks tapped out.
Eliminated: Banks in 16:00.
Fans chanted “Let’s Go Asuka” as she entered to represent Raw’s last chance. Natalya gloated and threw Asuka into her corner. Tamina tagged in. They double-stomped away at Asuka. Asuka avoided a Tamina splash a minute elater. She then put Tamina in her armbar and Tamina tapped out.
Eliminated: Tamina in 18:00.
Booker said it’s a new ballgame and it’s game seven. Asuka reversed Natalya into a kneeler. Natalya kicked free. Asuka up-kicked Natalya and landed a discus clothesline. She yelled out in celebration and dropped Natalya hard and put her in the Asuka lock for the quick tapout win. Cole said he smells a sweep.
Eliminated: Natalya in 19:00.
WINNER: Team Raw in 19:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: This was what you’d be right to expect. Even at 18 minutes, it still felt rushed with nine eliminations in that time. In the end, Asuka won, but she wasn’t in the match enough where it felt like some kind of showcase for her. Still, she looked good and her being the lone survivor is a talking point for her going forward.)
-Backstage Stephanie got all excited and predicted to Daniel Bryan that Raw is going to run the table. Bryan said maybe she just got lucky. He predicted the Smackdown Team would win because they have John Cena. Stephanie asked if they got Cena because he’s “almost his brother-in-law.” She said it might be nepotism. He said that is rich coming from her, considering she put Triple H on Team Raw. She told Bryan not to point his finger at him. Bryan noted that he beat Triple H go on to WrestleMania. They debated who had the stronger team. Stephanie said Shane is nowhere near 100 percent after the beating last week, and that’s something Bryan should think about because if Shane is incapacitated, Bryan would have full autonomy over Smackdown. Bryan thought about it as the camera stayed on him after Steph walked away.
-A commercial aired for WWE Shop.
PWTorch editor Wade Keller and a rotation of all-star cohosts break down Raw on Tuesday morning and Smackdown on Wednesday morning, then cover a wide range of topics on the Thursday Flagship, and ends the week with Interview Friday (featuring Sean Waltman last Friday and this Friday).
Subscribe for free right now in Apple Podcasts HERE or search “Wade Keller” wherever you listen to podcasts on Android or iOS. Or subscribe in the Podcast One App or stream or download on the Podcast One home page for the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast HERE.
(3) THE MIZ (w/Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas) vs. BARON CORBIN – Battle of IC and US Champions
Miz kissed Maryse, who was at ringside. They showed a clip of Miz cutting a promo on social media about Corbin. He said Corbin is “just another generic big man who will be gone in two years while I’m carrying this show for the next ten and if you ever talk about my pregnant wife again, I’ll knock your (bleeped) teeth down your throat!” The announcers discussed the comment by Miz that Corbin will be gone soon. Graves said Corbin is the future of WWE. Booker said people like Corbin are just flashes in the pan. Corbin took it to Miz early. Corbin slipped under the bottom rope when Miz avoided a slidekick. He stared down Miztourage. Miz kicked Corbin, but Corbin fought back right away and tossed Miz around ringside. Corbin walked up to Maryse and said, “That’s what a real man does.” Miz jumped Corbin for getting near his wife and clotheslined him over the top rope. Miz then went after Corbin at ringside aggressively.
The fast pace continued for several minutes. When Booker began rooting on Miz for his relentlessness and having Miztourage help him, Graves tried to point out how Booker was a stickler for the rules in the Shield-New Day match earlier. Miz slid fo the floor and took a shot at Curtis. Then he beat up Bo in the ring, including an End of Days. Miz rolled up Corbin for a two count. Corbin popped up and kneed Miz in the chest. Miz came back with a kick and a DDT off of Corbin’s knees for a two count. Miz hit a series of Yes Kicks, but Corbin fired back with an End of Days out of nowhere for the three count. Corbin sat up selling his left knee. He stood and limped around. The ref told him to take it easy.
WINNER: Corbin in 10:00. (**3/4)
-Renee Young interviewed Corbin about scoring the first win for Smackdown Live tonight. Corbin gloated over Miz’s fallen body. “My hand went up and your mouth went closed,” he said. He pointed at the fans and said he just shut their mouths too. Boos.
(Keller’s Analysis: The crowd didn’t really pick sides consistently, but they were into the match. It was fast-paced and well executed. Good move giving Corbin the win as Miz is the type of act who loses and just gets his heat back with promos, whereas Corbin losing to Miz would have defined him down since he’s less established at this point and wins and losses matter more to how he’s perceived.)
-A Clash of the Champions PPV ad aired. It airs live on Dec. 17 on WWE Network.
-Charlie Caruso interviewed Paul Heyman who said A.J. Styles is phenomenal over and over, but said he’ll realize later he’s in the ring with a conquerer who will rip him apart. Heyman said Styles will live to regret beating Jinder Mahal because it meant facing Lesnar tonight.
(4) THE USOS vs. THE BAR (Sheamus & Cesaro) – Battle of Tag Team Champions
The Usos wore their Smackdown Blue and The Bar wore their Raw Red t-shirts. They had an early intense brawl that spilled to ringside, but then the pace settled. Cole said Sheamus looks like Red Rooster, and noted he saw Terry Taylor at NXT Takeover last night. When Booker said Sheamus & Cesaro are called the A-Team, Graves said they’re actually called The Bar. Cesaro yanked on Jey’s leg from ringside, opening up Cesaro to put him in the Cesaro swing into a sharpshooter. Sheamus cut off Jimmy trying to break it up. Jey powered tot he bottom rope to force a break. Rapid-fire sequences followed. Cesaro and Sheamus double-teamed Jey with a power-White Noise. Jimmy broke up the pin. Cesaro put Jey on his shoulders and brought him to Sheamus on the top rope. Jey fought out of it and gave Sheamus a Samoan Drop off the top of Cesaro’s shoulders. That was good for a believable near fall on Shemaus. The crowd applauded and gave the match a “This is awesome!” endorsement chant.
When Cesaro shoved Shemaus out of the path of a double superkick, the Usos double superkicked him. Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick, but Usos ducked and then the Usos gave him a double superkick. Byron said it’s a superkick party. Jey flew over the top rope to hit Cesaro and tagged Jimmy in mid-flight, and then Jimmy landed a top rope splash on Sheamus for the win. Phillips asked, “Who is better in the tag team world than the Smackdown Tag Team Champions the Usos?”
WINNERS: The Usos in 16:00. (***1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match. It was pretty methodically paced in the middle, but they built to some nice four-way spots and the finish was innovative with Jey tagging Jimmy as he flew out of the ring to take out Cesaro.)
-Caruso interviewed Jason Jordan. The crowd booed when they saw him. She asked if it was hard to watch this and not be involved. He said he might never be able to team with his father because of this. He said he was still rooting for Team Raw, but he hopes Raw wins only after Triple H is eliminated.
-They showed hip hop artist and Houston-native Travis Scott at ringside. Somebody might have been high.
-Cole touted the crowd of 14,448 and then plugged Survivor Series would be in Los Angeles at Staples Center on Nov. 18.
(5) CHARLOTTE vs. ALEXA BLISS – Battle of Women’s Champions
Bliss took it to Charlotte a minute in, yanking her hard by her arm off the ring apron. Cole said Bliss is “five feet of fury.” Booker said she’s proving she packs a big punch. Back in the ring Bliss concentrated on Charlotte’s arm. When Charlotte made a comeback, she climbed to the top rope to set up a flip, but Bliss knocked her off balance. Charlotte dropped backwards and got hung upside down in the corner. Bliss dropkicked Charlotte. Bliss hit a nice sequence of moves and scored a near fall. Bliss kicked Charlotte’s arm and then hit Code Red for another near fall.
Charlotte made a comeback, but Bliss soon took over again when she avoided a Charlotte moonsault. Bliss hit a DDT for a two count. Bliss yelled at Charlotte. The crowd chanted “Let’s Go Charlotte / Let’s Go Bliss!” When Charlotte broke free, she speared Bliss. Both were slow to get up. Bliss methodically climbed to the top rope, but Charlotte lifted her knees on impact. Charlotte clutched her sore ribs, but smiled and stood. She then went for the big boot which seemed to come up short, but Bliss bumped on it. Charlotte then applied the Figure-Eight. Bliss tapped. That gave Smackdown a 3-2 lead.
WINNER: Charlotte via tapout in 15:00. (**1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: They gave Bliss so much offense, it was very likely she was losing because that’s how WWE does things when they want to “protect” the eventual loser. This was good, but nothing more than that.)
-A soundbite aired with Jinder Mahal taunting Styles and letting him know he’ll be waiting for what’s left of him.
This Survivor Series report continues after this special note…
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(6) A.J. STYLES vs. BROCK LESNAR (w/Paul Heyman)
Lesnar tossed Styles around and outpowered him early. Cole said this is the most focused he’s seen Lesnar since he faced Goldberg at WrestleMania. Booker said Lesnar doesn’t want no water and no bread, just meat. Byron wondered if Styles could absorb this early storm. It’s strange that the first-ever Lesnar-Styles match isn’t ending the show. I guess you add John Cena and Triple H to a match like that and it becomes the main event in WWE. Early on the crowd did a battle-chant of “Let’s Go Styles! / Suplex City!” It came back and intensified after Lesnar’s first overhead suplex of Styles across the ring. Lesnar delivered another suplex. Styles couldn’t even stand up. Graves said the referee might think about calling this off. Lesnar tossed Styles over the top rope to the floor. Lesnar jogged in place. Graves said Styles has never encountered anyone like Lesnar before in his 15 year career. Lesnar threw Styles into a ringside table. Cole said this is why he loves to call Lesnar matches.
Lesnar threw Styles back into the ring. Graves said Styles looks like a child right now. Lesnar threw some running knees into Styles in the corner. He verbally taunted Styles to “come fight.” He ducked two sings by Styles and then caught a kick and clubbed Styles across the chest, knocking him down hard. Heyman patted the WWE Universal Title belt at ringside and was all smiles.
They were at a split screen replay as Styles began to show signs of life with a flurry of punches. Lesnar kneed Styles and dropped him to the mat to cut off the hope spot. Lesnar went for an F5, but Styles slipped free and then avoided a charging Lesnar. He dropkicked Lesnar’s knee and then DDT’d him. Both were slow to get up. Phillips yelled, “A.J. has floored The Beast!” Graves wondered if Styles had anything left. A loud “A.J. Styles” chant broke out. Styles springbaorded off the second rope. Lesnar caught him mid-air. Styles slipped free and shoved Lesnar into the corner and went for a DDT. Lesnar twisted Styles and drove his face into the mat. Ouch. Styles landed a Pele kick as Lesnar began to stand.
Lesnar charged at Styles when he was leaning against the ropes, but Styles ducked and Lesnar spilled to the floor. Heyman looked less confident. Styles slingshot himself onto Lesnar at ringside with a Phenomenal Forearm. Next Styles shoved Lesnar into the ringside steps at ringside. Byron said Styles should go for a countout victory. Cole said Styles wouldn’t settle for that. Styles launched off the ringside steps with a flying forearm. Styles rolled Lesnar into the ring. Lesnar punched Styles. Styles came back with an enzuigiri. He landed a springboard moonsault off the middle role. Styles rolled to the other ring apron and landed a slingshot 450 splash for the first two count of the match. Styles then signaled for the Styles Clash, but Lesnar stood and signaled for the F5. Styles countered with a Calf Crusher mid-ring. Lesnar yelled out in pain. Referee Charles Robinson looked to ringside and was ready to call for the bell. Lesnar, instead, arched over and rammed Styles’s head into the mat three or four times hard. The crowd chanted “This is awesome!”
Lesnar went for an F5, but Styles grabbed the top rope and elbowed Lesnar in the tie of his head. Then he hit the Phenomenal Forearm for a near fall. The crowd popped. Styles leaped at Lesnar, but Lesnar caught him mid-air and hit the F5 for the pin. Lesnar favored his left knee. Byron wondered what meant for the future or Raw if he was injured. Cole said Styles isn’t even moving around, so what could that mean to Smackdown. The announcers immediately went into talking about how great Styles was and how he doesn’t have anything to be ashamed of. Lesnar kept selling his leg convincingly as he went from the ring to ringside. He couldn’t put weight on it and yelled out “shit” and winced in pain. Heyman gave Lessar his WWE Title belt. Cole said Lenar is still feeling the effects of the Calf Crusher.
WINNER: Lesnar in 15:00. (****1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Well, we didn’t get the 20+ minute epic classic I was hoping for, but that said this was excellent. Lesnar dominated early and then Styles made a spirited and convincing comeback, hitting his key moves. This told a really good story that fit the two wrestlers. The announcers were right in that even though Styles lost, he showed a lot in that match, and it’s not like Styles drawing power comes from being perceived as unbeatable. This was Lesnar’s most multi-dimension match in a long time, and he showed he still has it in him. He sold really well for Styles, including the Calf Crusher long after the match ended, assuming he wasn’t really hurting from something.)
-A commercial aired for the Kevin Owens “WWE 24” special on WWE Network.
(7) TEAM RAW (Kurt Angle & Finn Balor & Triple H & Samoa Joe & Braun Strowman) vs. TEAM SMACKDOWN (Shane McMahon & John Cena & Shinsuke Nakamura & Bobby Roode & Randy Orton)
Team Raw Order of Entry: Angle, Balor, Joe, Braun, Triple H. Cole said you can’t say Triple H sin’t in ring shape as he wrestled on the recent European tour. Team Smackdown Order of Entry: Shane, Orton, Roode, Nakamura, Cena. The crowd booed in anticipation of Cena’s music, but when the music started, there was an eruption of cheers. His new color is lime green. His t-shirt says “Never Give Up: Earn It.” Cena ran to the ring and slid under the ropes and looked around. Cenadidn’t wear Smackdown t-shirts. Shane wore a Smackdown blue baseball jersey. The announcers noted that Raw and Smackdown are tied and this is the deciding match.
There was a five-on-five staredown before the match. They noted that Braun was staring down Shane. When he turned his back, Shane attacked him. The ref called for the bell. Shane quickly tagged out of the match and Orton entered. Shane looked around bug-eyed. Hunter laughed. Joe tagged in against Orton. Cole said Byron switches quotes around to suit him. Graves said he “suburbanizes them.” Graves said this is the first time Joe and Orton have ever been in the ring together. Cole said that’s what Survivor Series is about – match-ups you never thought you’d see. Joe applied a Coquina Clutch. Orton tossed Joe over his shoulder to escape. Balor tagged himself in. Joe stared him down as he left. Nakamura wanted in. The crowd cheered. Cole said there’s history there. Orton tagged Shinsuke. Crowd pop. Graves said: “The biggest stars to ever make a name for themselves in Japan.”
After some exchanged between Balor and Nakamura, Triple H wanted in. Cole said Triple H is responsible for bringing Nakamura to WWE. Hunter punched away at Nakamura in the corner. He turned his back. Nakamura pounced on him and kneed him in the corner a few times. Hunter shoved him off and then kicked him in the chest. Roode then tagged in and had a staredown. He did his “Glorious” arm gestures. Triple H punched him in the face. Good for him. Booker said,”Some guys have to learn the hard way.” Roode popped up and took it to Hunter. He clotheslined Hunter and scored a one count. Hunter came back with a spinebuster. Cole called it “Vintage Triple H!” Cole said he gets better and better. Triple H then mocked Roode’s “Glorious” routiine and turned it into a suck it crotch chop. Roode came back with a spinebuster of his own. The crowd then chanted “Glorious!” Triple H went for a Pedigree, but Roode blocked it.
Angle tagged himself in. Roode punched away at him. The announcers didn’t acknowledge their relatively recent battles in TNA. New Japan exists, TNA doesn’t, in WWE’s official history. Angle went for an Olympic slam, but Roode escaped. They double-clotheslined each other. Nakamura tagged in and took a quick shot at Braun on the ring apron. Then he kicked Angle a few times and landed a corner splash. He set Angle on the top rope and gave him a running knee. Joe interfered, then Finn ran in. Nakamura got rid of both of them. Triple H then went for a Pedigree, but Nakamura avoided it and kicked Hunter. Angle tagged in Braun. Nakamura ducked Braun and landed a forearm. Nakamura gave Braun a flying knee to the chin off the second rope. Braun came back with a powerslam for the three count.
Elimination: Nakamura. (5-4 Raw advantage)
Roode entered against Braun and hit a blockbuster. Braun kicked out at one. Roode caught Braun with two boots as he charged. Braun avoided a Roode dive and then powerslmmed him for the pin.
Elimination: Roode. (5-3 Raw advantage)
Joe tagged himself in. That led to dissension. Triple H and Angle got into a shoving match. Orton shoved them into each other. Shane went after Joe and chaos broke out. Orton gave Joe a powerslam. Cena played cheerleader as Orton and Cena took control of the ring. Braun then entered the ring and stared down Orton and Cena. Cena gulped. They double-teamed him. Braun shoved them off. They went back. Cena lifted Braun, but Braun battered his back. Orton and Cena shoved Braun through the ropes to the floor. They fought him at ringside. Braun KO’d Cena with a punch, then began taking apart an announce table. The crowd cheered. Cena and Orton recovered and double-teamed Braun. Then went for a suplex. Shane, Nakamura, and Roode helped lift Braun and suplex him through the table. Cole said Roode and Nakamura were supposed to be back in the locker room by now.
Shane then climbed to the top rope to try to elbow Braun below, but Joe met him up there and suplexed him of the top rope into center ring. Joe then went for a Coquina Clutch, but Shane dropped down and tagged in Cena. Joe and Cena went at it, and Cole said this is another match you never thought you’d see. Byron said they back to their “humble beginnings in California.” Joe got the better of Cena. A loud Cena battle-chant broke out. Joe gave Cena a urinage. Balor tagged himself in. Joe and Finn argued. Cena gave Joe an AA. Balor leaped at Cena, but Cena aught him and delivered an AA. Cena then gave Joe a second AA for the win.
Elimination: Joe. (4-3 Raw advantage)
Angle tagged in against Cena. Cole talked about their history. Angle took Cena down. Cena smiled. Cena took Angle down. Cena waved his hand in front of his face. They exchanged punches mid-ring. Cena shoulder tackled Angle twice and then landed a side slam. He bent over and said “You can’t see me.” Angle grabbed Cena’s ankle and applied an ankle lock. Cena powered out a few seconds later, then went for an AA. Angle countered with an Olympic Slam. Shane broke up the cover. Balor landed a Coup de Grace as the ref escorted Shane out of the ring. Angle hit another Olympic Slam and scored the pin.
Elimination: Cena. (4-2 Raw advantage)
Balor went to work on Orton, then went to ringside and deliver a quick running dropkick to Shane, sending him hard into the barricade. Balor back in the ring went for a pin, but Orton kicked out. He hit the slingblade and then tried a top rope double stomp. Orton avoided it and hit an RKO out of nowhere for the pin.
Elimination: Balor (3-2 Raw advantage)
Triple H entered next and hit Orton from behind with a forearm. For some reason Angle climbed to the top rope. Orton shoved Hunter into the corner and Angle crotched the top rope. Orton gave Hunter a backbreaker. Both were slow to get up. Strowman had been down at ringside for a long time. Orton crawled over to reach to tag Shane, but Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn attacked Shane They threw him over an announce table. Byron asked if for one night they could not be selfish. Shane grabbed a chair and bashed Owens and Sami with it. Owens ended up inside the ring where Orton gave him an RKO. Shane bashed Sami until he rolled up the ramp. Braun returned to his corner and tagged himself in by patting Angle on the skull. Braun approached Orton from behind and then delivered his running powerslam for the pin.
Elimination: Orton (3-1 Raw advantage)
Shane watched from ringside. Cole said Shane asked for this when he took over Raw and attacked them. He said now he is going to face the consequences. Shane held a chair and absorbed the situation. A ref yanked the chair out of his hands. He paced at ringside. He took a deep breath and stepped into the ring. Cole said Shane won’t give up, he’ll dig down and do what he has to do to try to win. Triple H tagged himself in. Braun didn’t like that, but he stepped to the ring apron. Shane looked suddenly more confident. Shane danced around a little. Angle then tagged himself in before there was any contact. Cole said it’s captain vs. captain. As Hunter argued with Angle, Shane rolled him him up for a two count. Shane hit a Russian leg sweep for another two count. Shane punched away at Angle, and Angle flat back bumped. Shane scored a two count. And another. Then he hit a DDT and scored another two count. Angle then hit the Angle Slam and applied an ankle lock. Shane yelled in pain and reached for the bottom rope. He held on and fought of tapping but stopped short. Triple H then entered the ring and gave Angle a Pedigree, turning on his Team Captain. Triple H looked over at Braun to get his read on his reaction. Shane grabbed at his ankle. He put Shane onto Angle and the ref counted to three.
Elimination: Angle. (2-1 Raw advantage)
Graves wondered if the two brothers-in-law are working together. The crowd didn’t know how to react. Hunter and Braun stared at each other for an extended stretch. Hunter stood next to Shane. Cole said he doesn’t think Shane knows what in the hell is going on. Braun still looked on, tilting his head, trying to figure this out. Triple H bent over and helped Shane up. Graves said a hush fell over Toyota Center. Shane seemed to think Hunter was on his side, but as soon as he let his guard down, Triple H gave him a Pedigree and scored the three count.
Elimination: Shane (2-0 Raw wins)
Cole said Triple H played Strowman. Strowman entered the ring and Hunter raised his arm. Triple H was pleased with himself. Triple H’s music played. Cole said Triple H did that because he wanted to be the dominant man in the match. Byron said Hunter played Strowman. Hunter explained to Braun why he did what he did. Braun didn’t seem to buy in, but he did raise Hunter’s arm. Hunter gloated to the fans and circled the ring, but with his back turned to Braun. Braun then grabbed Triple H by his throat and shoved him into the corner. Braun said if he ever crosses him again, he will never play this game again. “Do you hear me?” he said. Hunter went red faced in fear and cowered in the corner. Braun released his grip and turned his back. Hunter went for a Pedigree, but Strowman blocked it and gave Hunter a running powerslam. He let out a roar and the fans roared back and cheered. Hunter got up and Strowman gave him another running powerslam. Then he tore off his t-shirt and left.
WINNER: Team Raw in 33:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: You aren’t a student of the game if you didn’t think in the end this would revolve around Triple H in the end. Flat finish that just didn’t work. And the match overall ended up being what was feared – not about getting the newer guys over, but focused on the McMahon family drama, with the phony-bolony “but it was all for Braun” cover story. And could John Cena have given less of a f—? I mean, if he didn’t have his lime green line of t-shirts to promote, would he have even bothered to have shown up? He’s clocked out which is werid to see from someone who was once as committed as anyone to his craft and WWE in general. The code for this event was if you’re wearing the school uniform, you’re not as important as the people who get to break the dress code.)
— Bruce Mitchell (@mitchellpwtorch) November 20, 2017
— Bruce Mitchell (@mitchellpwtorch) November 20, 2017
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