Monday, November 23, 2015

Survivor Series continues the trend: solid but predictable

One thing that cannot be said about WWE pay-per-views in the last few months is that they have been particularly bad. 80 to 90 percent of each show generally offers some great wrestling and even the backstage antics have proven far more oriented towards the product than the cheap comedy of yesteryear. In the ring, performers are going all out like never before with some stellar matches.

But while the show gives you great wrestling, it doesn't give you much in the way of surprise. Part of the wow of big events is the "anything can happen" nature of the live event. But in the post-SummerSlam run it has tended to be easy to guess the outcome of each match. And while Hell in a Cell offered the surprise return of Alberto Del Rio, Survivor Series didn't come with a spectacular debut or a shocking finish to a match. In fact, the only surprise on the card at all was the return of Goldust to the active WWE roster and that happened on the preshow.

I'm hugely excited that Goldust is back, but his return isn't exactly earth
shattering new. Image credit: 

Even the matches ended in fairly particular fashion. Both traditional survivor matches (each cobbled together from ten midcard stars not otherwise on the show) featured dominant babyface wins. Dean Ambrose beat Kevin Owens while Roman Reigns overcame Alberto Del Rio in arguably the match of the night. Tyler Breeze scored a big win in his first pay-per-view (while Dolph Ziggler looked like he cared more about his new outfit than his match) and an angered Charlotte dominated Paige. Even Luke Harper's inclusion in the Wyatt Family's battle with the Brothers of Destruction wasn't shocking as Harper made a convenient fall guy to leave Wyatt and Strowman looking not so weak.

Sadly that while a hundred scenarios could have played out to give the show an entertaining finish with a new champion, WWE even chose to go the route basically everyone on Earth predicted. Roman Reigns won the WWE World Heavyweight title for the first time only to lose it to Sheamus. In the process, WWE took one of the stars many fans don't want to see as the top star of the company and replaced him with a man no one wants to see as the top star of the company. Sheamus has some great assets, but carrying a main event storyline isn't one of them. Maybe he will prove me wrong in the three weeks between now and TLC, but I have my doubts.

Did anyone want to see this?
Overall, Survivor Series scored big with two great opening matches, two fun if pointless survivor matches and even great showcases for Charlotte and Tyler Breeze. And while the main events were blatantly predictable and at times dull, they still delivered on that big fight feel WWE does so well

If you're a fan of good wrestling with simply storytelling, check out the pay-per-view. Otherwise, it will definitely be an okay one to skip this year. Tomorrow I'll be back with a look at the other big wrestling event of the weekend: NJPW's World Tag League tournament.

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