WWE Survivor Series 2015
I suppose we should all be kinda thankful it took the creative team at WWE a full ten months to come up with something that makes this year’s weaksauce Fastlane look good. It gave us ten months of continued hope; ten months of the possibility that maybe, just maybe, they were about to turn the corner. Survivor Series this week took all that goodwill built up over a brace of impressive matches at last month’s Hell In A Cell and wasted it.
That said, you can’t really blame them. No one expected the reigning WWE Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins to injure his knee, who joins a growing hospital list including Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and Tyson Kidd. To make matters worse, even the so-close-to-main-event-status-it-must-be-killing-him Cesaro is set to sit out the next four to six months with shoulder surgery. Add on top of all that John Cena’s scheduled absence to film American Grit, and there isn’t much to put together a pay-per-view with.
So perhaps the badge of ‘worst event of the year’ is a little harsh given the circumstances. But nonetheless, even with the troubles laid before them, there’s a nagging sense that the WWE could’ve managed more with what they had. It’s 1am, so I’m probably gonna look at these thoughts in the morning and be pretty embarrassed with myself, but here goes nothin’.
The High Spots
Goldust came back to take an injured Cesaro’s place in the opening 5v5 elimination match, where he and brother Stardust plead their case for a Wrestlemania match together. It was thinking on their feet on the part of creative, and it worked fairly well.
Xavier Woods’ hairdo. That shit was Cash. Money.
The Ryback spot. Yes, I’m a simple man to please. When you’re in a five-man team with the Lucha Dragons and the Usos it’s sort of expected you’re going up top for something, even if you are a man-mountain like the self-proclaimed Master Of The Feed Me More. It’s also sort of expected that when a big guy crashes into eight men on the outside, someone’s gonna get injured, so kudos to creative for having the testicular fortitude to let it happen despite the long line at the infirmary as it is.
The Low Blows
Roman Reigns. When someone that isn’t John Cena walking on-stage to mixed cheers and boos is an encouraging sign, you know the character’s having trouble. His inconsistent selling of his left/right arm against Del Rio (who ended up covering by working both of Reigns’ arms) didn’t help, and by the time his final against Ambrose rolled around the crowd was baying for blood.
Charlotte’s feud with Paige. The two really fall short when it comes to chemistry, and the aborted “baby Flair” angle didn’t help build much of a story to the match. Again, make them go their seperate ways a bit, it’ll be best for both of them. With that said, Paige is a tremendous heel, and has plenty enough moxie to keep it going; here’s hoping it does.
Dolph Ziggler jobbing again. Twelve months ago, he Guile themed Kane, Seth Rollins and Luke Harper. This year, he’s going down to Tyler Breeze. At a time when damn near all the WWE’s top-card talent is injured, a solid proven talent like Ziggles can fill some gaps well. Such a shame he isn’t even getting the time of day these days.
The finish. Again, foregone conclusion, no tension. If Roman Reigns absolutely had to win the title, at least steer into the skid and package it with a heel-turn. Yes, it’s what everyone was expecting, but when the lack of one makes a work seem incomplete you’re better off just sucking it up and doing it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sheamus’ cash-in was an audible; Roman keeping the belt past the end of the show might’ve made his connection with audiences septic.
All in all the finish of the show was an apt representation of the whole enchilada; in the same way that Sheamus cashing in on Roman was not ideal but better than the alternative, it made the best of a bad situation, but it still left a sour taste in viewers’ mouths. With the injury list growing even longer, creative is going to have its work cut out for it over the next couple of months.