NOVEMBER 20, 2017
HOUSTON, TEX. AT TOYOTA CENTER
By Joey Galizia (@RamJam89), PWTorch contributor
ANNOUNCED BY WWE.COM
- Triple-H addresses the controversial ending to Survivor Series.
- How will Miz, Alexa Bliss, and The Bar cope with their losses last night?
- What’s next for the Shield?
“IT’S ALL ABOUT THE GAME… NO REALLY… IT’S LITERALLY ONLY/ALL ABOUT HIM”
Sometimes the WWE just cannot get out of its own way. After what was a pretty solid PPV (and following a fantastic showing from Lesnar/Styles) the finale’ came down to the five-on-five elimination match between Team Raw led by Kurt Angle and Team Smackdown led by Shane McMahon with the brands tied at 3-3 for the evening. Like the Royal Rumble the benefit of this traditional Survivor Series bout (especially between competing shows) is the promise of fresh matchups that may never get to see the surface on the main roster. Things started out pretty excitingly with showdowns between Samoa Joe and Randy Orton, Bobby Roode and Triple-H, and a very satisfying sequence between Shinsuke Nakamura and Finn Balor. (New Japan chants a plenty.) After Shinsuke ran wild on all members of team Raw, he hit a wall called Braun Strowman who eliminated Shinsuke with his signature running powerslam. It is here where things took a turn for the worst.
Why is Shane McMahon not the first person to be eliminated? A question that millions of wrestling fans are asking, and yet we sit perplexed awaiting a legitimately reasonable response. It’s not even a “give the rub to younger talent” argument. It’s that Shane by all means is an entertaining character, but is he really the BEST competitor on his team? The answer is no, but HE was the final member to eat a pinfall. That happened after a swerve that is so irritatingly cringe-worthy that it makes me want to skip Raw all together. If you missed it, Angle had Shane in the ankle-lock until Triple-H decided to Pedigree the Olympic Hero and place Shane on top for the elimination. Why? Well, that’s what we will find out tonight. Stephanie did inform Kurt that he might be out of a job if he failed to lead his team to victory. Will her argument have validity since technically it wasn’t Kurt who won the match?
OH BUT WE ARE STILL NOT DONE.
After that stupidity, Triple-H stared down Braun Strowman standing at Shane’s side, pretending to be a turncoat. Pretending very badly, as he would then pedigree Shane and win the match giving Raw a 4-3 victory for the night. Trips tried to tell Braun that he swerved him for the good of the team, but Braun was having NONE of that. He grabbed Aitch and told him that if he ever did such things again, Braun would swallow him like the Monster that he is. When the Game tried to attack Braun, he received a few running powerslams as a receipt. This brings up another question:
If the main purpose of this match was to solidify a Braun Strowman face turn, is this really the route they thought would work best? I thought the story up until that point was the battle for ultimate brand supremacy? It’s baffling and incoherent, but I suppose I have only myself to blame considering the long history of this inconsistent company. Notice that John Cena has barely even been mentioned considering that his presence really added no massive fanfare except of course to show-off his Neon Green shirt while everyone else on his team was sporting the Smackdown colors. My head still hurts from trying to make sense of it all, so the main thing to prime you on for tonight is that GOD I HOPE SOME OF THIS SH*T GETS EXPLAINED.
“THE REAL MAIN EVENT”
While the elimination matchup may have gone on last, the real main event in my mind was the bout that preceded it: Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. WWE Champion A.J. Styles. To me, nothing drives home this competitive nature between Raw and Smackdown more then having the two top guys square off. Whether you want to believe this or not, I think it deserves to be said out loud:
Brock Lesnar is one of the greatest attractions and champions in WWE history.
For years Lesnar has been such dominant force in this industry that there are those who are begging to step into the ring with him. One of those somebodies was the Phenomenal A.J. Styles, who gave Lesnar one of the toughest fights he’s had in recent memory. I’m not telling anyone that they should like Lesnar. One of the best perks of being a fan of this sport is the variety of characters that we consider to be the best. I am also totally aware that when Brock doesn’t have a good showing, half the time it’s because of the amount of effort he deems it worthy. But something I will not subscribe to is the flack he gets for working part-time. HE’S EARNED IT, and he’s worked a hell of a lot more this year then any year prior. Last night he proved that he can still compete at the highest levels with those on the highest level. This praise I share now I equally share with Styles, who literally is one of the best in the world right now. He brought a fire out of Brock we haven’t seen in a very long time. (And I really liked the GBOF fight against Samoa Joe!) LONG STORY SHORT:
Brock will not be returning to the Toyota Center this evening. He now waits for his next challenger at the big show in Philadelphia on the road to Wrestlemania. (It’s coming faster then you think.)
“AS FOR EVERYONE ELSE WHO ISN’T THE GAME”
-Finn Balor and Samoa Joe starting butting-heads once again during the main event, and unfortunately it got the Samoan Submission Machine eliminated. Will these two reignite their NXT feud now that they no longer have the Raw team to worry about?
-What is next for the Hounds of Justice? Roman, Dean, and Seth finally got the full squad together to take care of the New Day, but will they now remain a unit or branch off to pursue their individual pursuits? With the build to the Royal Rumble coming, I wouldn’t be surprised if they mutually parted their separate ways.
-Alexa Bliss, The Miz, and The Bar are all still holding gold, but none of them were victorious last night. Cesaro & Sheamus put in a good effort, but the tandem offense of the Usos was too much for them to handle. Bliss’s loss was a haymaker back to reality. The Raw Women’s champion had convinced herself that she was on the same level as her opponent Charlotte, and talked a mean game up until that point. The truth is that the only reason Alexa is on top is because Charlotte wasn’t there to challenge her. The worse of these losses has to be The Miz, who had his entire entourage to assist him and yet he still couldn’t defeat the Lone Wolf Baron Corbin. For someone who calls himself the A-lister, he sure isn’t coming off as one.
-The Raw women’s division (aside from Bliss) are happy to have represented their team well in victory. Alicia Fox may credit herself for “leading” the team last night, but in actuality it was the Boss and the Empress who were the MVPs. The Goddess better clutch her title for as long as possible, because there is no denying the inevitable: NO ONE IS READY FOR ASUKA.
-Enzo Amore defeated Kalisto retaining his Cruiserweight Title. This was most likely the end of this program. Tonight in Houston the “Zo-Train” will look towards the future, as a new contender will most likely emerge.
-Jason Jordan wasn’t too happy about being kicked off of Team Red, but does anyone really care? I like Jason, but the answer is no.
-Meanwhile the drifter Elias continues to grow his following, and he even managed to squeeze a victory out over a very lost Matt Hardy. 2017 is a weird year folks.
Fallout from Survivor Series. I’m still riding the high from Takeover that Survivor Series nearly matched, had it not been for that final half hour. You watching?
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: RAW PRIMER 11/13: Spoiler-free preview of tonight’s episode including the return of The Big Dawg Roman Reigns, final women’s Survivor Series slot filled, Lesnar reacts to facing Styles