Hey guys, so today I had the privilege of seeing Survivor Series in person at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and wanted to give my review of the show in addition to other observations I made. I hope you guys enjoy, and I will also be putting out a vlog of me in person and detailing my experience there, so stay tuned for that. With that, here is my official review of Survivor Series 2021.
Shinsuke Nakamura def. Damian Priest by DQ
Being that this was the crowd opener in Brooklyn, the energy was hot for this. Priest and Nakamura put together a basic, but pretty well worked match. Damian Priest seems to be one of the superstars WWE is hell bent on protecting at the time being, so I was suspecting he would either win or get protected in defeat, and sure enough, he took the easy way out. I don’t know if what he did last night will lead to a full heel turn, but it is a start. Priest hasn’t really resonated with me in his current state. I mean, look at him. He looks like a heel, so why not make him become one? Then again, RAW has too many top tier heels in my opinion anyway. Regardless, the match was fine and it accomplished its purpose. **3/4
Becky Lynch def. Charlotte Flair
Becky and Charlotte have fought each other numerous times over the years. I’ve seen better performances, but even one of their more unmemorable matches are some of the most well worked between two superstars because of the chemistry they have with each other. There were a few miscues, such as Charlotte’s missed moonsault on the outside, to which my section (Section 9), started chanting, “you f*cked up”. I also thought the finish kind of came out of nowhere and was a bit repetitive since Becky won in similar fashion at Crown Jewel. I suppose I shouldn’t have expected Flair or Lynch to tap out or take a clean pinfall, but I barely had my bearings when I realized the match was over. All that said, it was intense, physical and some neat spots with Flair and Lynch stealing each other’s finishers. ***3/4
Team RAW (Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Bobby Lashley and Austin Theory) def. Team SmackDown (King Woods, Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Jeff Hardy and Happy Corbin)
This was probably my favorite match of the night just because of how it consistently kept the crowd engaged all match long. My particular favorite part was the final interactions between Rollins and Hardy. We knew that Rollins would be getting the better of him, but it’s just something about seeing Seth and Jeff in the ring with each other that made the match more intense. One other thing that I’d like to point out was that Austin Theory looked like he belonged and has potential as a star here.
Subbing him in for one of the Mysterios was the right move. He already has the look of a heel that appears innocent, but is actually insufferable, and he did a lot of good stuff in this match. Hardy pinning and eliminating Theory was also good for the sake of continuity since Austin had been beating Hardy on his way out of RAW. Past that, the Lashley/Drew stuff, Lashley tossing people around like a ragdoll and other moments in this match made it a very fun watch in my opinion. Kevin Owens walking out did kind of sour the crowd a bit, but that’s what I kind of expected would happen. But this was fun. The crowd was particularly hot at the end. ****
Omos wins Dwyane Johnson Memorial Battle Royale
So, I actually didn’t watch this match because my phone was starting to run low on battery, and the moment I saw all the members of the various tag teams coming out, that was my opportunity to replenish my phone, so I can’t say much here. I did hear AJ, Ricochet and the Street Profits make their entrances from the food court and I did hear the moment Omos won, so I assumed he just eliminated a lot of people. By the time I came back, someone sitting in the row below me got a slice of pizza from Montez Ford, which kind of took me by surprise and made me wonder what happened.
RK-BRO def. The Usos
This was the match I was actually looking forward to the most. I wouldn’t say it disappointed per say, but it also kind of felt bare bones and basic. There was none of that near-fall, finisher kickout kind of action that I was expecting. Which of course isn’t to say they weren’t good. Both teams were rock solid. Orton got quite a few “Randy’s sleeping” chants, which Orton actually acknowledged while he was getting ready to make the hot tag. Past that, there really isn’t much that I was able to say about the match past the finish, which got a pop from the crowd, but was also heavily telegraphed. RK-Bro is more popular than people realize, by the way. Solid tag team match, but not the barnburner I was expecting. ***
Team RAW (Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, Carmella, Rhea Ripley and Queen Zelina) def. Team SmackDown (Shayna Baszler, Sasha Banks, Toni Storm, Natalya and Shotzi)
This was the match people kind of crapped on the most. Fans took the opportunity to do the wave, chant “CM Punk”, “AEW” and any other obnoxious chant they could think of. While I hate it when crowds do that, the action in the ring was kind of dull with the exception of the Bianca/Sasha portions. Once we got down to Bianca facing four members of team SmackDown, we all knew what was about to take place. The whole dissension on team SmackDown felt incredibly forced and not natural at all. They all just started pulling each other from the ring and did the predictable Shotzi/Sasha fighting. I would have preferred Bianca to start fighting back on her own, and then maybe have Sasha and Shotzi fight when it’s one on two. Instead, they just have all four women fight each other and have Bianca easily pick them off, which makes Bianca look more opportunistic than skillful. Nothing memorable I can remember off hand aside from the crowd entertaining themselves to pass the time here. **1/2
Roman Reigns def. Big E
So, Roman Reigns got the biggest pop of the night by far. The match did have a big fight feel, and from the seat I was able to get, Roman and Big E are two incredibly large human beings, so I could feel the impact on their strikes right up close. This wasn’t the heavy powerhouse match I was expecting, but it did have quite a few bright spots. It just kind of felt more like the two putting on their biggest hits. If you look at Roman’s Universal Title reign, you will see that he has had way better performances than this one, which isn’t an indictment, but rather an observation. I enjoyed Big E’s performance more against Drew McIntyre at Crown Jewel. Also, my enjoyment of the match was somewhat ruined with a few fans next to me annoyingly calling out Heyman’s name. It was beyond irritating and was damn near tempted to get security to tell him to shut up. Everything also happened so quickly I couldn’t get the finish on camera. And also sure enough, my iPhone ran out of space so I couldn’t record it even if I wanted to. But it was indeed intense and it did get good towards the end. They just kind of shaved some time to get to that point. I also found myself zoning in and out of the match because we were pushing it time wise. It was damn near midnight by the time Big E left the ring after the match. Very solid, but unspectacular main event. ***1/2
So first, just to detail my experience at the Barclays Center, I highly recommend if you have the chance to see a WWE (or AEW) event live if they are coming near you, you should go. There really is nothing like the live experience. Seeing superstars and how big they actually are up close, the pumping music, the pyro and the entire production makes the live experience something you won’t forget. I was at SmackDown at MSG, and I had so much fun there too. The thing is, even if the show isn’t great, you come there for the experience and not necessarily the in-ring product. The crowd seemed to relatively enjoy themselves. However, they were a bit bummed that we didn’t get Brock Lesnar, or the man they were teasing all night, The Rock. After the Vince/Roman backstage segment, people were practically guaranteeing themselves The Rock would make an appearance. I wasn’t counting on it, but a part of that was just me lowering my expectations so I can be pleasantly surprised if his music did hit. So the experience itself can never be beat.
As for the actual show itself, the best way to describe it would be solid, but inconsequential. The thing with Survivor Series is that it is now a show that basically amounts to superstars from the same company pretending to hate each other for a few weeks. Being that Survivor Series now doesn’t involve any titles on the line or any matches with high stakes past bragging rights, the show kind of felt like a live event, more or less. The matches themselves were solid and it was an okay show overall, but far from anything to write home about. You can easily miss this show and not miss a beat on what’s going on at RAW or SmackDown. So it’s a thumbs firmly in the middle for me. Hopefully I’ll have the vlog out soon (As well as my experience at MSG) so all of you can see for yourself. Until next time.