With WWE Survivor Series 2018 concluded, it’s time to look back on what happened and assess the damage, praise the positives and talk about what went down.
Per usual, at the end of this post, you’ll see my regular Smack Talk Pay-Per-Viewpoint post-show podcast, which reviews the event in more detail, but for those who want a more condensed version of my thoughts, I present to you my “quicker than a hiccup” reaction to the different parts of the evening:
5-on-5 Tag Team Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: This was a damn good match overall. I’m really annoyed that WWE crapped all over it by saying, for some completely illogical reason, that it somehow “didn’t count” because that’s only hurtful to the SmackDown brand, the tag team division in WWE, all of the performers who did a good job here and the entire concept of watching the pre-show. Fans don’t have a reason to believe in any investment in any of those, cause WWE doesn’t care. But this was great. I could nitpick some things, like SAnitY not doing better, and it’s a shame Kalisto was injured, but overall, I feel like these guys did a clearly thankless task and pulled it off very well.
For that matter, the kickoff in general was great all-around.
Women’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Very good match with an obvious goal in mind that made the whole thing just “lol Nia Jax has heat from being dangerous, let’s go with it.” I don’t disagree with the booking, and I probably would have done it, but I know one thing I wouldn’t have done was to have Naomi and Tamina lose so fast like that. The rest of the match was great. Asuka looked better than she has in months, Mandy Rose stealing a pin was a nice touch and I think the right call was made in putting Sasha Banks and Bayley in there instead of Ruby Riott and Natalya.
Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins vs. United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura: Disappointed. I hate that Nakamura has less and less value as the year goes by. He started off so good and it’s like the Royal Rumble cursed him or something. They couldn’t have had Dean Ambrose interfere? They just had to have Raw win every match? That’ll convince those FOX executives they spent their money well.
Raw Tag Team Champions The Authors of Pain vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bar: Drake Maverick pissed himself. You’ve got to be kidding me. When the best thing your match has going for you is that Enzo Amore was kicked out of the arena during it, that goes to show how horrible the tag team division is looking and how little WWE cares about that and 205 Live.
Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Mustafa Ali: At least a few more fans should care about 205 Live after this performance, because, to no surprise, Ali and Murphy put on a fantastic performance. They always do, so I expected it, but that just goes to show how this is the norm and if you’re not watching the cruiserweights, you’re missing out and it’s your own fault (or WWE’s for not ever giving casual viewers a reason to want to check it out to begin with).
Men’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: I get it. You’re focused on making Drew McIntyre look strong, you want people to really hate Baron Corbin and sympathize with Braun Strowman, so that way, you can make it even more frustrating when Strowman loses to Brock Lesnar again at Royal Rumble. Knock it off. Stop making SmackDown look like garbage. Stop making Samoa Joe worthless. Shane McMahon didn’t need to be in this match, but neither did anybody, really, as only a few people mattered. Bobby Lashley couldn’t even have gotten pinned? Why not?! Ridiculous.
Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair: Great match with an interesting end to it, made interesting not from WWE’s booking, but because the fans went completely against it, again. Just like the Becky Lynch heel turn, this blew up in WWE’s face. They wanted Ronda Rousey to be sympathetic. Instead, the fans chanted “you deserve it” and “thank you Charlotte”, which proves that they didn’t want to boo Flair, they just wanted to cheer Lynch. And now, they’ll want to boo Rousey. Make HER the heel for WrestleMania. The fans are going to boo Rousey anyway, as she’s probably the new Roman Reigns in that regard after tonight.
WWE Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Universal Champion Brock Lesnar: At least it wasn’t just a German suplex and a pin, right? Can’t help but to think that this would have been even more effective had Bryan not turned heel, and I can’t imagine anything good is going to come out of this match having happened. SmackDown will just be heel Bryan arguing with AJ Styles and they’ll act like this was nothing. Lesnar takes time off, comes back in January, beats Strowman, takes more time off, same story as it always is. But hey, I was wrong, it wasn’t five minutes and it was better than I expected, so here’s giving credit where it’s due.
For more opinions on the show as a whole, check out the latest edition of the Smark Out Moment wrestling podcast SMACK TALK as the panel reviews Survivor Series with our immediate reactions following the event before the dust has fully settled.
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