Kickoff Match Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. The Fashion Police
RESULT: Owens & Zayn win via pinfall
THOUGHTS: Fine little entertaining match to pep up the crowd before the main show, with Owens and Zayn staying fresh in the viewers' minds with a clean-as-a-whistle victory over Breezango, and it may serve a deeper purpose, making viewers think their night's over and keep their potential involvement in the Men's Elimination match a semblance of a surprise.
Six-Man Tag Team Match The Shield vs. The New Day
(RAW leads 1-0)
RESULT: The Shield win via pinfall; Reigns pinned Kofi Kingston after a spear and a Super Shield Bomb.
THOUGHTS: Perfect choice for the main show's opener, as New Day have been a proven commodity when it comes to firing up the live crowd, and this encounter with The Shield was no different. Fun individual exchanges at the start, including a nice power-vs-power clash with Big E versus Reigns, then going into the "greatest hits" from either trio (which is still pretty good, considering who's involved).
The match would go into overdrive at the end with a nice false finish off of New Day's THREE-MAN Midnight Hour on Rollins and Ambrose, followed shortly by Reigns dispatching Kofi with a spear, then a top-rope Shield Bomb to finally polish off the New Day and give RAW the early lead. Fun, action-packed opener for Survivor Series.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 6 pts Julie - 1 pt Greg - 0 pts Nick - 0 pts Prakhar - 1 pt
Traditional Survivor Series 5-on-5 Women's Elimination Match Team RAW (Sasha Banks, Asuka, Alicia Fox, Nia Jax & Bayley) vs. Team Smackdown (Naomi, Natalya, Becky Lynch, Carmella & Tamina Snuka)
(RAW leads 2-0)
RESULT: Team RAW wins; Asuka last eliminated Natalya via submission with the Asuka Lock. Asuka is the sole survivor for Team RAW.
THOUGHTS: A rather all-around disjointed effort from the women here. Becky getting eliminated first took a lot of energy out of the audience, and the Tamina-Nia Jax face-off didn't do much to pick the pace back up. Asuka running roughshod was fun and her standing tall at the end over Smackdown as RAW's sole survivor was expected by many, but I wouldn't have gone with Natalya and Nia Jax to close out things for the blue brand.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 6 pts Julie - 1 pt Greg - 5 pts (LOCK) Nick - 0 pts Prakhar - 1 pt
Champion versus Champion Singles Match WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz w/The Miztourage vs. WWE United States Champion "The Lone Wolf" Baron Corbin
(RAW leads 2-1)
RESULT: Baron Corbin wins via pinfall; Corbin countered a corner dropkick into the End of Days for the pinfall.
THOUGHTS: I appreciated the call back to Miz and Corbin's social media feud with Corbin mouthing off to Maryse at ringside, trying to undermine the Miz with mind games that the latter is usually known for; good continuity there. The match itself wasn't much to write home about, as I've discussed the issue of heel-vs-heel matches and how the audience can feel handcuffed deciding whom to get behind, and it was a similar circumstance here. The post-match was perfectly fine, with Corbin keeping to his "selfish" character and not giving a damn about getting one over RAW, but rather getting one over the fans.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 7 pts Julie - 1 pt Greg - 6 pts Nick - 1 pt Prakhar - 1 pt
Champions vs Champions Tag Team Match RAW Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Smackdown Live Tag Team Champions The Usos
RESULT: The Usos win via pinfall; Jey Uso pinned Sheamus after a Double Superkick and a Samoan Splash.
THOUGHTS: This turned out to be right up there with The Shield versus The New Day in terms of aggression and overall talent. Great intense exchanges to start out the match, good, solid tag team psychology from both teams throughout the match, and a fun, fast-paced and aggressive finish with the double superkick (Two Sweet!), a nice mid-air tag by Jimmy as he took out Cesaro at ringside, and a Samoan Splash by Jey to put down Sheamus and knot things up at two wins apiece.
An overall entertaining bout, and I would love to see these two teams face off again in a rubber match of sorts after splitting victories at this and last year's Survivor Series. I think they could really ramp up the intensity and quality if given the time.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 7 pts Julie - 2 pts Greg - 6 pts Nick - 1 pt Prakhar - 2 pts
Champion vs Champion Women's Singles Match WWE RAW Women's Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Smackdown Live Women's Champion Charlotte Flair
(Smackdown leads 3-2)
RESULT: Charlotte wins via submission; Charlotte locked in the Figure Eight on Alexa after a big boot for the tap out.
THOUGHTS: This was another solid RAW vs. Smackdown affair between the Women's Champs, but it could've stood to have a few minutes trimmed off of its match time. It was an all-around good match, with Alexa playing to her wily strengths to combat a larger opponent in Charlotte and focusing on the midsection and ribs, taking away the core of Charlotte's flexibility and strength.
I'll never complain about the woman getting more time to display their in-ring abilities, but it seemed to stretch on for a little too long, and the focus around Charlotte's midsection felt somewhat sloppy and inconsistent. Time and focus issues aside, a fine match to continue the brand rivalry. If asked to do so, a rematch that's more wound together and concentrated in terms of time and energy could really bring the best out of these two.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 8 pts Julie - 3 pts Greg - 6 pts Nick - 2 pts Prakhar - 4 pts (LOCK)
Champion vs Champion Singles Match WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman vs. WWE World Champion "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles
RESULT: Brock Lesnar wins via pinfall; Lesnar caught Styles mid-air off of a Phenomenal Forearm attempt and hit an F-5 for the win.
THOUGHTS: A fantastic match between WWE's two top heavyweight champions, marred only slightly by a couple of miscommunications and a bad spill by Brock to the outside midway through the match. I'm honestly surprised this didn't make the main event, as both men brought their A-game for this one.
Brock certainly brought his working boots for this one, as it felt like he was really motivated versus Styles, and it showed in his aggression, throwing big striking knees, a variety of throws and suplexes, and basically dominating Styles in the early going to the point where it legitimately seemed like Styles couldn't find the strength to get to his feet, an excellent selling point there by Styles which only drew the crowd in more once he eventually made his comeback.
AJ looked almost crazed running wild in the closing stretch of the match, with a great near fall off the asai moonsault/springboard 450 combo, as well as a beautiful exchange of counter-wrestling resulting in him getting the Calf Crusher on Lesnar, which popped the crowd nicely as well. AJ had plenty of answers for the F-5 too, slipping away onto the apron after one attempt to hit a Phenomenal Forearm for another great near fall. Lesnar would eventually catch AJ the next time around and hit a brutally sweet F-5 for the three count. Suffice to say, I would LOVE to see these two former IWGP champs square off again in the future.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 9 pts Julie - 3 pts Greg - 7 pts Nick - 2 pts Prakhar - 4 pts
Traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series Men's Elimination Match Team RAW (Samoa Joe, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman & Finn Balor) vs. Team Smackdown (Bobby Roode, Randy Orton, Shane McMahon, John Cena & Shinsuke)
(RAW wins 4-3)
RESULT: Team RAW wins; Triple H last eliminated Shane McMahon with a Pedigree for the pinfall. Braun Strowman and Triple H are the survivors for Team RAW.
THOUGHTS: This was a rather bittersweet main event in my mind, a "tale of two matches", if you will.
The first half was a fun jaunt, with lots of different, interesting encounters and exchanges, like Balor-Nakamura, Nakamura-Triple H, Roode-Triple H, Cena-Angle, all with their own individual histories, which I thought was a nice, little touch by commentary (when they wern't up each other's asses about who was the better team).
However, once the "clutter" (i.e. anyone from NXT) was eliminated, the match really slowed down and lost a lot of its luster as it went on. The animosity between Trips and Angle, while understandable given the recent happenings on RAW with Jordan, was rather overblown, and you could virtually hear a pin drop when HHH turned on Kurt and delivered a Pedigree to absolutely no surprise or shock from the crowd.
The Owens-Zayn interference didn't surprise me all that much, as I indicated earlier, but it did its job in disrupting Team Smackdown (though Shane looked rather stupid in merely looking on as Orton got pinned by Strowman) and keeps Owens and Sami's feud with Shane at the forefront of Smackdown for this Tuesday
Things only seemed to pick up after Triple H pulled an additional swerve on a confused Shane and Pedigreeing him as well, indicating he wanted the glory of RAW's victory for himself (shocker, I know). This didn't sit well with RAW's other survivor Braun Strowman, who didn't appreciate being overshadowed by "The Game" and warned him as such, leading to Triple H trying for a third Pedigree and getting a pair of running powerslams in kind, getting a definitive wake-up response from the live audience to send them home moderately happy.
Long story short, it got interesting, declined a little in the middle, and fell completely flat near the end. Given the array of veteran, current, and former NXT top-tier talent, I had better expectations for this match; while overall it was at least solid, it nonetheless left a bitter aftertaste in my mouth.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 10 pts (WINNER) Julie - 4 pts Greg - 7 pts Nick - 3 pts Prakhar - 5 pts
Your Winner... ... And NEWWW WK King of PPV Champion... ... ...