Did your favorite color win, everyone? Were you team Walmart or team K-Mart? I mean does it even matter? Doesn’t it always boil down to which store has the products you’re looking for and sometimes you have to make two trips to get everything you’re looking for anyway? Same thing with Raw and Smackdown. I could give a damn if I’m going to Walmart or K-Mart, both are washed with corporate sterilization, but you can still get some of your favorite things at an affordable price. (I usually go to Target for the atmosphere, anyways)
RISING STAR OF SURVIVOR SERIES: A.J. Styles
A story was told in this champion vs. champion match. Things started off with Lesnar flinging Styles around like Braun was flinging around James Ellsworth (was a good run, buddy, R.I.P.), but in true Georgia Under(bull)dog fashion Style came fighting back with patented babyface spirit and it absolutely paid off. Unlike one of our honorable mentions (three guess and the first two don’t count), the thing that is great about Lesnar is that he doesn’t care about ego, so he sold uncertainty for A.J. just as he would sell for the Undertaker, which is what came across during and after the Calf Crusher. Lesnar is the type of person (a true wrestling outlaw) and A.J. is the type of professional that makes this wrestling business so damn fun to watch. Match of the
Triple H: The main event of Cerebral Seri – ah, sorry, Survivor Series was only about one man and one man only: and that is “The Get Your Own Shirt Game” Triple H. After all, Hunter looked truly grizzled, truly badass in his leather jacket vest completing the “roadie of Slayer” look with his Sons of Anarchy beard, how couldn’t he be at the forefront of a 2017 WWE storyline? No one is that cool nowadays. That gold medalist dork, Kurt Angle wore a Raw shirt like a corporate stooge and got a pedigree just because he doesn’t know how to stick up for himself or his offspring. Thank goodness we still have guys like Hunter to keep us in tune with the product every WrestleMania season.
Stephanie McMahon: And what is a King of Cool without his Queen of Power? Michael Cole couldn’t have said “what a leader” any better after Steph just finished literally talking down to every Raw woman before their match against those Smackdown ladies. Moments like that make me wish that I was lucky enough as a Bayley or Sasha to just pluck one berry for Stephanie’s vast tree of knowledge. Like eager students ready to learn, you could see that they were all hanging on her every word. Don’t you see her passion for Raw, everyone? She had a red dress, A RED DRESS! Thank you, Steph. Wow, moments like these make me so happy I’m a Raw guy.
Baron Corbin: After Baron’s uncharacteristic stance of Smackdown allegiance, the big positive about the Miz and Corbin match was that it less about the brands and more about the barbs and brides. The match was solid and Corbin’s win was the appropriate choice. His post-match promo put him back into a spot where he should have always been: not giving any damns.
FADING STAR OF SURVIVOR SERIES: Kurt Angle
Text me how you make an Olympic Gold Medalist come across as a weak-willed, scared for his job wuss and I text you the Google Maps coordinates for Stamford, CT along with that “lady shrugging” emoji. The thought of something that ridiculous can only come from someone pushing an agenda of family name brand building, and WWE knows how to deliver that on the nines. Angle looks like a dope here and you combine that with the sad fact that his body can’t keep up like it once did and it’s just an overall depressing sight. Don’t worry, Triple H will know what to do.
Every wrestler in the main event who debuted post-2015 not named Braun Strowman: For clarification, I’m talking about Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, “Shin” Nakamura (as Cole likes to call him), and Bobby Roode. Could Vince, Hunter and whoever else make it any clearer that they don’t consider these guys on the same level as the Ortons, the Cenas and Shanes? Sure, let’s meld them into the main event with all these WWE veterans so they get some sort of rub, but let’s get them out of the way for the sake of the true powerhouses. So what if those guys have a combined experience of almost a century’s worth of in-ring work, they aren’t ready for the true spotlight that is WrestleMania. Imagine if WWE took the leap of having Shin be in place of Shane at the end of the night? Ah, that’s right, we got to make sure we build Triple H.
Oh, and Braun. Him too.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIEW COLUMN: RISING STAR & FADING STAR – WWE TLC: Finn Balor, Booker T, Braun Strowman, Enzo, Elias, Asuka, Angle