Nornally, I don’t do Kickoff matches, but since this one had implications for the rest of the night, I thought I’d give it a try. This match was actually pretty impressive to me, and probably would have been better if they had just done The New Day and The Usos vs. Roode/Gable and The Revival, because that sequence was just awesome work.
There was a few sloppy bits down the stretch, but I was surprisingly not bored with it. This was a rockin’ solid effort and a great way to get the crowd warmed up. Solid start. ***1/2
Nia Jax, Sasha Banks, Mickie James, Bayley and Tamina def. Asuka, Sonya Deville, Naomi, Carmella and Mandy Rose
As we can all see, the focus was put around Nia Jax, as we all know she’d get serenaded with loud boos for obvious reasons. I actually thought it was genius to capitalize off of her heat and have her win the match, even though she does suck so bad. Overall, the match was pretty solid, but nothing really special. I did like that Deville got extended time in the match and wasn’t just an afterthought.
There really wasn’t any storyline development in the match other than building up Nia as Ronda’s next challenger, and I think they did a decent job of that. I think it can do Nia a lot of good if she embraced being a dirtbag heel instead of switching between good and evil every other month. Solid, if not unspectacular match to begin the show. **3/4
Seth Rollins def. Shinsuke Nakamura
One of the benefits of this Survivor Series format is that we get to see matches such as this one that we would never otherwise see. I’m pretty sure everyone and their mother were expecting Dean Ambrose to interfere and give Shinsuke the victory.
The reason why I picked Seth to win the match was because I never thought Ambrose would actually come out. If Ambrose was going to interfere, I would have expected him to do so in the World Cup, but he didn’t.
As for this match, while it didn’t reach the level of top notch awesomeness that they are capable of, this was still a VERY quality outing. They complimented Shinsuke’s physical style with Rollins’ highflying ability greatly. I especially liked the sequence where Rollins was going for a clothesline and it turned into a pretty looking triangle choke. Hopefully it won’t be too long before these two meet again.
Overall, while this wasn’t some of the top level stuff I was expecting, this was still a VERY good match. ***3/4
AOP def. Cesaro and Sheamus
I mean, the match ended off a “midget pisses himself” distraction and Big Show laughing. Pretty self explanatory isn’t it?
I’m not sure what else to say other than that Sheamus and Cesaro tried to make gold out of dirt, but it wasn’t happening. It could probably pass as a RAW or Smackdown match, but this match wasn’t up to par. Not like I was expecting anything big anyway. *1/2
Buddy Murphy (C) def. Mustafa Ali – Cruiserweight Championship
I was initially scared that this match was scrapped because I thought it was a pre-show match. Kind of surprising that they put the CW match on the main card, but not only did they leave an interbrand match on the pre-show, it’s not being included in the final tally.
Seth Rollins and Finn Balor. Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa. Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy. Those are three pairs of superstars this year that I never get sick of watching no matter how many times I watch them.
I am so glad Ali and Murphy got the chance to wrestle a 205 Live style match and not just wrestle as heavyweights. This was balls to the wall great from the get-go, and the scary thing is they have another gear in them if you watched their No DQ match. This match was about the same quality as the Nakamura/Rollins match, and it took them nearly 10 less minutes to reach there.
I haven’t heard “205” chants on a main roster show until tonight. Bravo to both men for taking advtange of the platform given to them. ****
Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McyIntyre and Finn Balor def. The Miz, Shane McMahon, Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe
I mean, even if you take it out of WWE storyline context, Team Smackdown had no chance. Strowman and Drew probably weigh more than all of Team Smackdown combined. I chose Smackdown to win this match because I thought Team RAW would turn on each other. But here’s the thing. WWE never really makes sense. Team RAW managed to not only turn on themselves but still have on man eliminate four other guys.
The whole thing just seemed kind of pointless, and the thing is that the crowd was hot for the match. Even if Team RAW won, I think they were expecting a competitive match. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. I was also perplexed at just how stupid Team Smackdown was at times.
You had things such as The Miz saving Shane McMahon from getting pinned but not saving Samoa Joe, your strongest guy. Then, Drew and Braun were literally throwing hands in the middle of the ring and instead of letting them tear each other apart, they insert themselves in the middle.
The actual match itself was fine, but I’m just disappointed at how one sided it was. And I’m so fucking sick of the yearly tradition that is non-wrestler, late 40s Shane McMahon being the final survivor of his team. I just fail to see what the purpose was, and it just seems like a great waste of time. Shane McMahon won the World Cup for what? He pinned Ziggler again here for what?
Again, overall, the match was pretty solid. But pointless in the outcome. **3/4
Ronda Rousey def. Charlotte Flair by DQ
This is how you do a non-finish. Considering that this wasn’t the planned match for the evening, this is about as great a consolation as you can get. Just look at the story.
Charlotte has failed multiple times to procure the Smackdown Women’s Championship from Becky. Then, Becky picks her to fight her match for her. In this match, Charlotte eventually realizes she can’t even beat Becky’s original opponent. So what does Charlotte do? She fucking snaps and loses her sanity.