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KELLER’S WWE SURVIVOR SERIES PPV REPORT
NOVEMBER 21, 2021
BROOKLYN, N.Y. AT BARCLAYS CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON PEACOCK & PPV
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Commentators: Jimmy Smith, Pat McAfee, Byron Saxton
(A) SHINSUKE NAKAMURAS (w/Rick Boogs) vs. DAMIEN PRIEST – IC Champ vs. U.S. Champ
Nakamura came out with Boogs first. When Priest came out, Smith noted he’s undefeated since coming to Raw. When Priest locked on an early armbar, Boogs played his guitar at ringside and DISTRACTED Priest. McAfee loved it. After two more instances, Priest warned Boogs not to do it again. “This is your final warning,” he said. They exchanged a variety of strikes mid-ring for a while. Nakamura took Priest down with a tornado kick and then a running Kinshasa for a two count. Nakamura fired at Priest with several more knees and kicks for another two count. Priest countered with his signature South of Heaven chokeslam for a near fall. Nakamura rolled into an armbar attempt, but Priest blocked it and went into mat hold wrapping Nakamura’s head with his legs. Boogs played more electric guitar. Priest, for some reason, decided breaking Boogs’s guitar was more important than winning. When Boogs yelled at him, he bashed him with part of the guitar. When Nakamura came to his aid, Priest bashed him to. The ref DQ’d him. McAfee asked, “Is this was Raw is all about? Temper tantrums?” McAfee was distraught over the broken guitar. The announcers played up that Priest’s temper surfaced again.
WINNER: Nakamura via DQ in 9:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good action in this, especially the second half. The finish made Priest look like a fool for not sticking with the attack on Nakamura when he had him down on the mat. They continue to tell the story that Priest’s temper is increasing a factor with him. Seems like it could be leading to heel turn where he’ll challenge Big E in Raw main events.)
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee, Corey Graves
-A five minute video package aired on Survivor Series.
-Cole introduced the show as the camera panned the crowd. He said they’d be starting with the Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte match.
(1) BECKY LYNCH vs. CHARLOTTE FLAIR – Raw Champion vs. Smackdown Champion
They aired the great video package on their rivalry and the latest promos from each in the lead-up to this match. Charlotte came out first in a new robe, wearing her title belt around her waist. She also had two braids along the side of her face. A real big star look that showed a ton of effort. They went briefly to Cole, Graves, and McAfee on camera. Graves said, “Things could get downright ugly in a hurry and I could not be any happier.” McAfee said it was an honor to sit next to Graves, especially with his Freddie Mercury mustache. Becky came out second to lots of cheers. She had a stern look and held up her title. She wore a red spiked leather jacket and red singlet with new boots that had an attachment that rose above her knees.
The bell rang and they went at each other fiercely. Becky went for an early Disarm Her. Charlotte escaped, so Becky executed a reverse sidekick to the head. Charlotte charged and speared Becky. They rolled to ringside and continued to fight. Becky shoved Charlotte into the ringpost. Becky reentered the ring and called on Charlotte to get into the ring. When Charlotte did, Becky stomped away at her. Fans chanted, “Becky! Becky!” Charlotte took over and rammed Becky’s head into the mat aggressively several times. Charlotte raised his arms and got booed as she walked around the ring. Becky avoided a big boot and kneed Charlotte. Charlotte drove Becky into the ringpost from the ring apron. Charlotte stood on the top rope, but Becky shoved her off the top. Charlotte crashed into the ringside barricade. When Becky went after her, Charlotte back suplexed her over the edge of the barricade.
As they stared at each other back in the ring, Graves said they have disparaged each other in media interviews all over the globe over the last week. Cole said Charlotte said there’s always been tension between them and it finally boiled over. McAfee said when you have two alphas in the same room, there’s going to be trouble. Charlotte countered a Disarm Her into a two count, then powerbombed Becky in one movement for another two count. Cole said Charlotte lives for moments like this, being the center of attention with millions watching around the world. They went to a wide angle of the crowd as Cole said there were 15,120 in attendance. A dueling chant broke out. Charlotte gave Becky an exploder suplex into the corner, then kipped up Charlotte raised his arms high. Cole said Charlotte is one of the greatest athletes they’ve ever seen in a WWE ring.
The pace kicked up another notch with more slaps and exchanges. Charlotte snapped Becky’s neck over the top rope as she leaped to the floor. Becky fired back at Charlotte as she re-entered the ring, then legdropped her across the second rope for a two count. Fans chanted “This is awesome!” McAfee said it’s an instant classic that people will be talking about in 20 years and making documentaries about. Becky went for a top rope legdrop, but Charlotte moved. Becky popped up and delivered a Manhandle Slam for a near fall; Charlotte put her leg over the bottom rope to stop the count. Becky applied a leglock mid-ring. They slapped each other. Charlotte rolled over and reversed the pressure. Becky grabbed the bottom rope to force the break. Another “This is awesome!” chant broke out. Charlotte leaped off the top rope with a backflip toward Becky. As usual, her arm grazed her opponent as she landed but not much else. Becky bumped for her. Back in the ring, Charlotte scored a near fall, then went for a Disarm Her on Becky. Becky reached the blttom rope. Charlotte chopped Becky hard about eight times before the ref pulled her out of the corner. Charlotte rolled up Becky and used the middle rope for leverage. The ref saw it and stopped his count. Becky then rolled up Charlotte and used the ropes for leverage, and the ref didn’t see it and counted to three. McAfee lamented, “Smackdown takes an L because of that?” They replayed the pin and showed that Becky waited until she was sure the ref couldn’t see her before grabbing the rope for extra leverage. Charlotte sat up and smiled before leaving the ring. Becky trash-talked Charlotte from the ring.
WINNER: Becky in 18:00. (****1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: All things considered, since this was a match taking place because it’s November not because it was booked with intension otherwise, I didn’t expect a clean finish. The idea that Becky outsmarted Charlotte after Charlotte tried to cheat the same way made it more satisfying for Becky fans. Given that Charlotte was the one who broke from script in their controversial segments several weeks ago, I’m not surprised that politically she’d be the one booked to lose here. The was intense and compelling start to finish. It seemed stiffer than it otherwise might have been, but at this point they’re likely trying to play into people’s expectations that this could break into a “shoot” at any moment.) [c]
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-Highlights aired of Rocky Maivia’s debut on Survivor Series 25 years ago.
-An ad aired for NXT War Games.
(2) FINN BALOR & KEVIN OWENS & BOBBY LASHLEY & SETH ROLLINS & AUSTIN THEORY vs. SHEAMUS & HAPPY CORBIN & XAVIER WOODS & DREW MCINTYRE & & JEFF HARDY – Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown
Lots of bickering among Raw teammates at the start. KO started against Xavier, but then rolled out of the ring and walked to the back. Theory pleaded with the ref not to count, but KO was counted out. KO smugly bowed before leaving the stage.
ELIMINATION: Owens via countout.
Drew charged at Seth at ringside and knocked him over. Xavier yanked Theory into the ring and the match got going finally. Several minutes in, Corbin cut off a Balor rally with a chokeslam. Lashley broke up a Corbin cover on Balor. Chaos ensued with everyone taking turns hitting moves. Balor ended up kicking Corbin and landing a Coup de Gras for the elimination.
ELIMINATION: Corbin via pinfall.
Smith said the odds were evened up four-on-four “against all odds.” Balor and Hardy squared off. After several more minutes of action, Lashley yanked McIntyre to ringside and rammed him into the ringpost off his shoulders. Meanwhile, Theory had control of Hardy and scored a two count. Woods tagged in and rallied against Theory. Lashley knocked Xavier off the top rope, then tagged in and speared Xavier and applied a Hurt Lock. The ref said Xavier was out.
ELIMINATION: Xavier via Hurt Lock.
A brawl with everyone else broke out when Lashley didn’t break right away. Balor dove at Sheamus at ringside, but Sheamus caught him. Seth dove through the ropes and speared Sheamus down. Drew and Lashley tagged in against each other, and they milked it like it was a “moment.” They stared at each other and exchanged some words. Lashley backed away and looked for a partner to tag. No one was there. Drew then went after him. He knocked Lashley over the top rope to ringside. Lashley lifted Drew and tried to ram him into the ringpost again, but Drew blocked it. Lashley clotheslined Drew over the ringside barricade. Drew backdropped Lashley back into the ringside area. The ref informed them that they were both counted out. Saxton said the personal issues between Drew and Lashley trumped their team loyalty. Drew gave Lashley a Claymore mid-ring.
ELIMINATIONS: Drew and Lashley via countout.
Seth came up behind Drew and tapped him on his shoulder. Seth waved “bye.” Drew headbutted him, then left. Sheamus covered Seth for a believable near fall. Smith declared loudly, “It’s now two-on-two!” A sighing Graves corrected him: “It’s three-on-two.” Smith said Hardy was out of the ring and he couldn’t see him, even though he was standing on the ring apron nearest the announce desk as Smith miscounted. Sheamus avoided Balor’s leaping Coup de Gras and then hit the Brogue Kick for the three count.
ELIMINATION: Balor via Sheamus.
Seth and Theory represented Raw against Theory and Hardy at this point. Hardy caught a charging Seth with boots to the chest followed by a splash for a two count. Hardy leaped off of Sheamus as he kneeled and splashed Theory and Seth in the corner. Sheamus pounded his chest and charged at Theory, but Theory rolled out of the ring. Seth caught Sheamus with a superkick for a near fall. Theory rolled up Sheamus, who was looking at Seth and Hardy battling at ringside, and yanked on his tights and got a three count. Sheamus clobbered Theory afterward, then clotheslined his own partner Hardy.
ELIMINATION: Sheamus via Theory.
Seth tagged in and climbed to the top rope and landed a frog splash, which Hardy was nice enough to shuffle himself into position for. That led to a two count. Hardy fended off both Austin and Seth when they were setting up a suplex. He then dove onto Theory with a Swanton Bomb for the pin. McAfee said Hardy looked like Kirk Cousins with that Swanton Bomb.
ELIMINATION: Theory via Hardy.
It came down to Seth vs. Hardy. Fans chanted “Hardy! Hardy!” Seth trash-talked Hardy. Hardy got a leverage near fall on Seth seconds later. Seth set up a Stomp a minute later, but Hardy blocked it and then hit a Twist of Fate. He yanked off his shirt and played to the crowd before leaping off the top rope with a Swanton. Seth lifted his knees, though, and hit the Stomp for the three count.
ELIMINATION: Hardy via Seth.
WINNERS: Team Raw in 30:00 with Seth Rollins as the sole survivor.
(Keller’s Analysis: Theory got considerable attention in the match, and getting a pin on Sheamus and being in the match until near the end. The crowd was into the match pretty much start to finish. Good action and it the various eliminations weren’t predictable. Giving Hardy that much of a spotlight seemed to pay off in terms of crowd investment even if by then, Seth winning became a safe bet.)
-A clip aired of Survivor Series 23 years ago featuring The Rock vs. Mankind, with Rock revealing he was working with Shane McMahon and Vince McMahon, crowning The Corporate Champion.
-Backstage Roman Reigns walked up to a security guy standing in front of Mr. McMahon’s office door. Reigns walked in and shook hands with Vince. There was already a camera in McMahon’s office filming him typing on a phone. Vince showed Reigns a golden egg which he said was for his cousin, The Rock, who appeared on Survivor Series 25 years ago. He said he came to WWE with seven bucks in his pocket, and look at him now. He said the golden egg is the real thing worth 100 million dollars. Reigns said, “That’s as much as my next contract.” He got up and left as McMahon looked shocked by such a suggestion. [c]
(3) BATTLE ROYAL
The wrestlers in the match were wearing red Raw t-shirts and blue Smackdown t-shirts. The Street Profits brought pizza to ringside. They offered some to Saxton, who was very excited about the prospects. Then they shifted and gave it to Cole instead. Omos tossed out Drew Gulak and Shelton Benjamin in the opebing seconds. Otis and Chad Gable were out early, treated like a unimportant comedy wrestlers. T-Bar was eliminated early, too. A.J. Styles stood on the announce desk rather than participate. Graves praised his strategy. Angel Graza was out next followed Jinder Mahal, via Shanky. Shanky also threw out Ivar. Shanky and Omos faced off mid-ring for a “moment.” Omos won that battle, tossing Shanky out. Roode and Ziggler tried to team up against Omos, but he easily shoved Roode over the top rope. Ziggler tried to sweet talk Omos, but Styles caught Ziggler with a flying Phenomenal Forearm. Styles tossed Ziggler out.
Sami tried to talk Cesaro and Ricochet into working with him since they were from Smackdown. It didn’t go well, and the Profits tossed Sami out seconds later. Raw was represented by Styles, Omos, Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez, Montez Ford, and Angelo Dawkins. Omos eliminated Azeez next. Azeez and Omos had a tug-o-war over Styles, and with help from Crews, Azeez yanked Styles over the top to the floor. Omos eliminated Azeez in retaliation. Cole gave Omos credit for the Styles elimination since he was the last legal wrestler to touch him (like getting credit for a goal in the NHL if the puck bounced off of you on its way, I suppose). Omos eliminated Cesaro and Dawkins next. Ford backfisted Omos and then slapped him. Omos tossed him over the top rope next. It came down to Ricochet vs. Omos. Ricochet ducked a charging Omos and tried to dump him over the top rope, but Omos resisted and then tossed Ricochet out. Cole said he had 12 eliminations and called it one of the most dominant battle royal performances he ever witnessed.
WINNER: Omos in 12:00.
-Afterward, Styles and Omos eyed the pizza. When Styles reached for a piece, Ford hit Styles. Ford and Dawkins ran back to the stage with the stack of pizza boxes. They began eating the pizza and also tossing pieces to the fans. Cole thanked the national chain that sponsored the pizza inclusion in the battle royal.
(Keller’s Analysis: The battle royal was designed to get Omos over and give him a “memorable moment” while also wedging in product placement for a pizza sponsor. The rest of the battle royal was a bit of a letdown, with very little regarding Sami Zayn who was the other storyline played up on TV going into the PPV.)
-A recap aired of the Nakamura vs. Priest match during the Kickoff Show.
(4) THE USOS vs. RK-BRO (Randy Orton & Riddle)
A few minutes in, the Usos took over and got sustained offense against Riddle. Orton eventually got the hot-tag. Riddle tagged himself back in as soon as the Usos got the better of Orton. Riddle took on both Usos in the ring with a flurry of offense. He then landed a senton splash. Jimmy landed a pop-up neckbreaker to stop his momentum for a two count. The Usos delivered a double-team neckbreaker for a near fall. A minute later, Jimmy went for a top rope splash, but Orton caught him out of mid-air with an RKO Out of Nowhere for the win.
WINNERS: RK-Bro in 8:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Basic formulaic stuff here. Not bad, as they’re all good wrestlers and they hit their spots. But ultimately it could have been a filler TV match any given week.)
-Another Rock video aired.
-Backstage Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville were raving about how smooth the show was going. The camera panned over and showed they were sitting at Vince’s desk. Vince arrived. He was upset that his $100 million egg for The Rock was missing. He yelled for them to go call the cops. “We are here in Brooklyn,” Vince said. Pearce said could have been one of the Superstars. He ordered Pearce to go find out who did it, and if he doesn’t find out who did it, he’ll be on Raw to get to the bottom of it. Vince said, under his breath, “Thieves!” Cole said it sounds like every Superstar from Raw and Smackdown will be at Raw tomorrow night.
(Keller’s Analysis: This is the most TV time Vince McMahon has had in years. Interesting.) [c]
(5) BIANCA BELAIR & RHEA RIPLEY & QUEEN ZELINA & CARMELLA & LIV MORGAN vs. SASHA BANKS & SHOTZI & TONI STORM & NATALYA & SHAYNA BASZLER – Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown
A video during ring entrances showed the tension between Shotzi and Banks. Carmella and Storm started. Carmella tried to call a timeout to get her mask. She tagged in Zelina and then dropped to ringside where the mask was put on by her assistants. Zelina kicked away Storm in the corner. Carmella asked to get tagged in, but she was worried about her mask coming loose. Storm then rolled up Carmella for the three count. Carmella yelled at Ripley for some reason afterward. Storm tagged in Sasha who squared off against Belair next. Shotzi tagged herself in before the lock-up. They wrestled several more minutes including an extended stretch with Ripley and Baszler. Shotzi kicked Ripley as she set up a Riptide. Chaos ensued with everyone taking turns hitting moves. Then Baszler leaped onto Ripley’s back with a sleeper. Ripley leaped backwards to break it. Both crawled over and tagged in Sasha and Belair as the fans were entertaining themselves with a wave. Ripley broke up Sasha’s cover on Belair a couple minutes later.
(NOTE: Alright, some sort of glitch led to some of the details for this match being lost. I can say it went on a long time, fans did the wave at one point. So I’m going to insert Brandon LeClaire’s detailed report on this match below, then pick up my coverage with the next match…)
Toni Storm tagged in Sasha Banks as Bianca Belair stepped in for Raw. Shotzi tagged herself in and cornered Banks back to the apron. Sasha let it go. Belair locked up with Shotzi and took her down to the mat as the crowd opened up a small “EST” chant. Shotzi took Belair down and gave a quick standing splash for a one count. Shotzi grabbed an arm lock. Belair rolled through it and used her lower body to sit Shotzi. Belair tagged in Liv Morgan.
Shotzi caught Morgan with a pair of jawbreakers, then quickly tagged in Natalya. Nattie slammed Morgan and covered for a two count. Morgan rolled up Natalya for a two count of her own. The two traded another set of roll ups. Nattie deadlifted Morgan off the mat, stomped on her foot and hit a tossing backdrop. Nattie stepped over Liv, ran the ropes and hit a basement dropkick for a two count.
Liv Morgan battled back with a basement dropkick on Nattie. She cornered Nattie and tagged in Rhea Ripley. Ripley gave Natalya a pair of short arm clotheslines, then a ripcord headbutt. Ripley dropkicked a seated Natalya and covered for two as the match approached 6:00. Nattie and Rhea traded a pair of punches. Natalya hit a release German suplex, then tagged in Shayna Baszler. Shayna and Nattie executed a double suplex. Baszler worked over Ripley’s arm and tried to stomp on her hand, but Ripley blocked it, rose to her feet, and punched Baszler in the face.
Ripley set up for the Riptide, but Baszler blocked it and hit a reverse gut wrench. She covered for two. Baszler sent Ripley to the corner and ran for a knee. Ripley sidestepped it. Banks put herself in position to receive a tag. Shotzi pulled her off the apron and shoved her to the mat. Back in the ring, Baszler and Ripley traded back elbows. Ripley set up for Riptide again, but Shayna elbowed out of it. Rhea positioned Baszler on the top rope, but Shayna caught her in a triangle to the mat. She tried to transition into the Kirifuda Clutch, but Ripley blocked it. Women from both teams spilled into the ring, but were handled one by one. Baszler and and Ripley were left alone, each crawling to their corners.
Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks were tagged in, stopping the crowd’s ongoing attempt to entertain themselves. Belair and Banks traded quick holds and counters. Banks tripped Belair into the Bank Statement as the crowd led a dueling chant. Belair managed to reach the ropes, but Bianca rolled through and lifted her up for the K.O.D. Banks elbowed her way out of it. Belair managed to hit a Fallaway slam. She kipped up, then knocked Natalya off the apron. Banks tried for the Backstabber, but Belair dumped her in the corner.
Banks hit a tornado DDT off the middle rope and covered. Rhea Ripley made the save. Banks knocked Ripley to the outside. She went for the Bank Statement, but Belair tossed her aside and caught her with a Spinebuster. Belair folded her up for a two count. Belair set up for the Kiss of Death. She flipped her, but Sasha held onto Belair’s braid. Belair stumbled toward the corner. Zelina Vega tagged herself in. Belair body pressed her onto Banks for a two count.
Banks fell to her corner while all of her partners watched from the apron, pretending to be hurt. The crowd began a “C.M. Punk” chant. Toni Storm finally climbed to the apron, tagging in. She slammed Vega and covered her for three at 14:05. 5-3 Smackdown. Liv Morgan entered. She and Toni traded quick roll ups. Morgan appeared to have Storm beat, but Baszler broke it up. Morgan caught storm with Oblivion and pinned her for the elimination at 15:18. 4-3, advantage Smackdown.
Shayna Baszler entered. Liv Morgan hut a flurry of offense, but Baszler caught her in the Kirifuda. She dragged her toward the corner and allowed Shotzi to tag in. Shotzi splashed Morgan but not before Banks tagged herself in. Sasha splashed Morgan and eliminated her at 16:29. Smackdown maintained the advantage, 4-2. The crowd booed.
Rhea Ripley took over for Team Raw and caught Banks with a headbutt. She deadlifted Banks by the lower body, then transitioned into a stalling suplex. She covered Banks for two. Ripley climbed to the top rope and hit a flying missile dropkick. Banks tagged in Shotzi, then hit Ripley with the Backstabber. Shayna tagged in and kicked Ripley in the face, pinning her for three at 17:59.
Shayna tagged in Natalya, who quickly pounced on Bianca Belair, Raw’s only remaining member. Nattie hit a spinebuster and tagged in Sasha Banks. Shotzi got in the ring to argue with Banks. Sasha tossed Shotzi out. Shotzi pulled Banks to the outside. Banks shoved Shotzi into Shayna Baszler. Baszler shoved Banks. Banks shoved Baszler and tried to get back in the ring. Natalya pulled her out. The referee counted Banks out at 20:00. The crowd booed with discontent.
Natalya stepped in the ring to take over for Smackdown. She applied a Sharpshooter on Bianca Belair. Belair kicked Nattie away, then rolled her into a small package for a there count at 21:25. 2-1, advantage Smackdown. Shayna Baszler grabbed the Kirifuda Clutch on Belair, but Bianca slipped out of it, front-slammed Baszler and pinned her at 22:10.
The match came down to Bianca Belair and Shotzi. Shotzi wrapped Belair up in the ropes, choking her. She used the referee’s full count. Shotzi climbed to the top rope and hit a weak looking cross body, but Belair rolled through it and hoisted her up. Shotzi used the hair to slide down Belair’s back and regain control. She tripped Belair into the ropes and threw her body onto Bianca’s neck. Shotzi went for a tornado bulldog, but Belair blocked it, flipped her over and hit the Kiss of the Death for a three count.
It came down to Shotzi vs. Belair, and Belair won with the KOD.
WINNERS: Team Raw in 23:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Clunky at times with the people you might guess. It was just too long. The show’s pushing three hours and given how little was accomplished in this match storyline-wise, it was 10 minutes too long. The crowd not being engaged in this most of the way just made it worse.)
-Another Rock video aired.
-Kalya Braxton startled Paul Heyman backstage. He said if she’s going to ask what happened to the $100 million golden egg, ask the fans in the arena because they’re all from Brooklyn. Braxton said she wasn’t going to ask about the egg, but rather about the rumor that Brock Lesnar’s suspension is no longer in effect. Heyman spit in her face on purpose as he overenunciated that she should check with Pearce about that.
(6) BIG E vs. ROMAN REIGNS – WWE Champion vs. Universal Champion
They circled each other and felt each other out for a minute. Reigns bailed out to regroup with Heyman. After a leapdrop/dropdown sequence, Big E took over for a minute. When he went for a splash on the ring apron, Reigns avoided him and then took over. He settled into matholds as the crowd grew restless again. The announcers said this is the pace Reigns likes (but what about the fans?). McAfee said he’s squeezing the energy out of Big E. Big E fought back around 5:00, but as he charged Reigns, Reigns caught him with a boot. Reigns kicked Big E and scored a soft two count. Both were slow to get up. Reigns yelled at fans at ringside, then tossed Big E to ringside. Graves said Reigns isn’t focused and showing signs of being rattled. Cole said he looks focused because he’s got control of Big E. He threw Big E into the ringpost, then looked around and was booed. He threw Big E into the ringpost again. After some trash-talking, Big E reverse-whipped Reigns into the ringside steps. Big E rallied in the ring and landed his big splash after some gyrating over Reigns. He clapped and set up a move, but Reigns ducked and then landed a sudden Samoan Drop for a two count.
Reigns took over with clotheslines into Big E’s chest in the corner. Cole asked Graves if this was the pace he expected. Graves said yes, this deep in the match. Big E exploded out of the corner with a uranage for a two count. Graves said wrestlers this powerful know they have to pick their spots and be disciplined about their pace to keep from using up too much energy early. Reigns powered Big E up to counter an armbar attempt and landed a one-armed sitout powerbomb for a two count. After Big E ducked a Superman Punch, Reigns hit a “Rock Bottom-like move” on Big E for a two count, as Cole described it. Graves said he went to the family playbook. Reigns followed up with a Superman Punch, which knocked Big E to one knee. Reigns hit another Superman Punch to take Big E down completely. However, Big E fired up. Reigns looked at Heyman at ringside in disbelief. Reigns hit a third Superman Punch, then played to the crowd. When he turned around and yelled for a spear, Big E was on his feet and set up a Big Ending. Reigns blocked it, but Big E tossed Reigns through the ropes and then dove through the ropes with a spear that almost went wrong. Back in the ring, Reigns surprised Big E with a spear for a believable near fall.
Both were slow to get up. Reigns sat up and trash-talked Big E. He said he didn’t deserve to be in the ring with him. He applied a guillotine, but Big E lifted Reigns and shoved him off. Big E went for another spear through the ropes, but Reigns blocked him and snapped his neck over the middle rope. Back in the ring Reigns applied a guillotine. Big E powered out and landed the Big Ending. Reigns grabbed the bottom rope to stop the ref’s count. Reigns rolled to ringside. Big E went after him. Cole said Big E was taking things to a higher gear. Reigns reversed Big E into the ringside steps. Reigns landed a leaping Superman Punch, then tossed Big E into the ring. Reigns slipped out of a Big E powerslam set-up and then hit a spear for the three count. Graves said it was a tremendous effort by the WWE Champion. Cole signed off.
WINNER: Reigns in 22:00. (***)
(Keller’s Analysis: Okay match if it weren’t needed to give this event a lift, an event that went needlessly long at 3.5 hours of PPV time plus the Kickoff Show. They just kept it simple with the finish and had Reigns win clean. Big E is, in a way, defined down as beneath Reigns, but he already was, so in another way, just being in a PPV main event with Reigns lifted him.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: The Vince McMahon egg controversy was a teaser on PPV for Raw, and no Rock appearance, just clips of his career. Not a good show.