RAW Dialogue: Reigns Wins! Sheamus carries a briefcase to the ring! Reigns loses!
This week we’re trying something different: A pay-per-view recap! Survivor Series, one of WWE’s “Big 4” events, aired Sunday, Nov. 22 live from Philips Arena in Atlanta. Here’s what happened:
Semi-Finals match for WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio
Reigns and Del Rio had no in-ring chemistry in this match and it showed.
It wasn’t a bad match, but it wasn’t a good match to kick off what was supposed to be one of the “Big 4” pay-per-views.
Everybody knew Reigns was going to win this match, and that helped to suck all momentum out of it.
Semi-Finals match for World Heavyweight Championship
Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens
I thought Ambrose and Owens would tear the house down, but they just didn’t. Sure, it had some decent spots, but I guess I expected more from two guys competing for a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
It was pretty much a given Ambrose was going to win. WWE should have booked the tournament differently — had it been Reigns vs. Cesaro and Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler, matches would have been some of the best of the year.
5 vs 5 Survivor Series Elimination Tag Match
The New Day, King Barrett and Sheamus vs. The Usos, The Lucha Dragons and Ryback
These guys have been across the ring from each other for the last few weeks, but this still felt like a patchwork match that served as a quick fix for a Survivor Series almost lacking its namesake.
After pre-match fun and a bit of action, the eliminations came in a hurry. Xavier Woods’ defeat resulted in the departure of his two stable mates. Sheamus was left alone and lost what boiled down to a three-man handicap match. His eventual loss looked logical instead of weak, thus preserving his image. This would prove to be an important detail later in the show.
Winners: The Usos, The Lucha Dragons and Ryback
Divas Championship Match
Charlotte vs. Paige
This feud turned personal over the last few weeks of RAW. Charlotte and Paige literally ripped and clawed at each other, and took their brawl outside the ring into borderline disqualification territory.
Charlotte beat Paige clean. If this feud continues, Paige will have to do something dastardly to reassert herself as a threat. We’re talking Dr. Doom level stuff. Otherwise, it’s on to the next for Charlotte.
Tyler Breeze vs. Dolph Ziggler
These competitors haven’t interacted for two weeks, but their feud was thrust back into the spotlight with this contest. Breeze looked consummate on his biggest stage to date, and Ziggler was Ziggler. Sadly, nothing special about this match made it stand out—it had great buildup, abandoned so Ziggler could take part in the title tournament. That hurt the storyline.
The Wyatt Family vs. Undertaker and Kane
What could have been an all-out war between two supernatural tag teams turned out to be a glorified beatdown.
I loved Wyatt and Harper teaming up. Unfortunately, WWE used Undertaker’s 25-year reign to bury the Wyatts. They got little offense in during the match and Undertaker looked invincible.
WWE continues to make him and the Wyatt Family look more and more meaningless, and it’s a real shame.
Winners: Undertaker and Kane
WWE World Heavyweight Championship match
Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose
Reigns and Ambrose worked such a frantic pace, it actually took away from the match. There was no chance to manifest into something special.
The ending was lazy — Reigns hit a surprise spear out of nowhere, the ref counts three, and we have our new champ. The crowd was hardly enthused, aside from a mediocre pop.
Winner: Roman Reigns
WWE World Heavyweight Championship match
Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus
WWE made it feel like a legitimate celebration for Reigns.
That made for some great disappointment when Sheamus cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase with a little help from Triple H.
This made the ending that much worse. Fans don’t boo Sheamus because he’s a good heel — they boo him because he’s boring, has a stagnant moveset and can’t work the mic.
It’s no secret WWE sees Reigns as “the guy.” So make him the guy, and spare us Sheamus.
Gene Reacts: Uncharacteristic performances, lapses in stories we were supposed to somehow reinvest in and disappointing payoffs to big buildups highlighted this event for me. It isn’t like Seth Rollins went down days before the event — the WWE had weeks to build a credible, coherent Survivor Series. They didn’t.
Travis Reacts: The WWE kicked off the WrestleMania season with a very sub-par pay-per-view. The booking was predictable at best, and once again, WWE relied on veterans instead of investing in their future and allowing the young guys to shine.
If last night’s pay per view is any indication of how things will be moving forward, I’ll have a hard time tuning in.
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts