30 Years in the making!
This year’s Survivor Series will not only be the Best of the Best, it will also be a time in which we put The Undertaker to rest. 30 years after making his debut as part of Ted DiBiase’s Survivor Series team, the Dead Man will give his final farewell to the WWE Universe.
Remember, it was The Undertaker replacing Bad News Brown as a member of The Million Dollar Team (The Honky Tonk Man, Greg Valentine, Ted DiBiase and The Undertaker with Brother Love, Jimmy Hart and Virgil) as they defeated The Dream Team (Bret Hart, Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware and Jim Neidhart). It was The Undertaker eliminating Dusty Rhodes before getting counted out to end his debut.
Here’s hoping the WWE puts together an evening that’s deserving of the most decorated WWE Superstar of all-time. It has to be better than the 25 years of Triple H that they aired on SmackDown right? That one was funny but way too many inside jokes for a night honoring The Undertaker.
Survivor Series – Updated Card:
- WWE Champion Randy Orton vs. Universal Champion Roman Reigns
- Raw Women’s Champion Asuka vs. SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks
- Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Street Profits
- United States Champion Bobby Lashley vs. Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn
- 5-on-5 Women’s Survivor Series Elimination Match (RAW – Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Dana Brooke, Mandy Rose, Lana vs. Ruby Riott, Bianca Belair, TBD, TBD, TBD)
- 5-on-5 Men’s Survivor Series Elimination Match (Keith Lee, Sheamus, Braun Strowman, AJ Styles, TBD vs. Kevin Owens, Jey Uso, King Corbin, Seth Rollins, TBD)
Star of the Week:
Pat McAfee – The former Colts punter continues to make his mark on NXT. This week, McAfee and his newest faction of Pete Dunne, Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan took out Killian Dane & Drake Maverick while sending a burning message to The Undisputed Era. I’m looking forward to more from Mr. McAfee and friends!
- Guitar on a Pole Match: Jeff Hardy defeated Elias
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defeated Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke to retain titles
- Non-Title Match: Bobby Lashley defeated R-Truth
- 24/7 Match: Drew Gulak defeated R-Truth
- Triple Threat Match for Survivor Series spot: Braun Strowman defeated Keith Lee & Sheamus to earn spot on Team RAW for Survivor Series
- Nia Jax defeated Lana
- Non-Title RAW Tag Team Championship Match: Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin defeated The New Day
- Ricochet defeated Tucker
- 2-on-1 Handicap Match: Drew McIntyre defeated The Miz & John Morrison
RAW is all about one storyline at this moment. It’s a trilogy as Randy Orton tries to take on a three-headed monster called Drew McIntyre, The Fiend and The Miz. Whether it’s the former WWE Champion, the diabolical Bray Wyatt with his whimsical sidekick Alexa Bliss or the Money In the Bank holder, The Miz, The Viper has to keep his head on a swivel these days. And we LOVE it. Give me chaos. Give me upheaval. Give me an uncertain rode each week with the strongest personalities on Monday night interwoven each Monday night. Plus, we get to throw Roman Reigns into the mix for Orton to for one night at Survivor Series. It’ll be interesting which way the WWE decides to go with this one.
What is disappointing though is the consistent use of The Miz as someone who is not strong at all. We just had the last month of The Miz talking how much better a contender to the WWE Championships than Otis was, yet here we go again with The Miz and John Morrison again proving folly for McIntyre, losing a 2-on-1 handicap match. The MITB contender should look strong is he’s going to be taken seriously to knock off Orton or Reigns.
Lana. Tables. #7 and counting. Oh yeah, how clunky was the end of that Women’s Tag Team Title match?
Sure, I’ll take The New Day vs. The Hurt Business for a bit. These guys could bring it in and out of the ring. Strong promos are coming our way on Monday night! Speaking of The Hurt Business, I thought they missed an opportunity to groom R-Truth for a potential addition to the team. Lashley beat up R-Truth, quickly, and then threw Drew Gulak on top of him to take away his 24/7 Title. I thought Lashley was coming back in the ring to turn it around and have R-Truth regain the title, but it wasn’t meant to be. It would’ve been a good thing too, IMHO. R-Truth joining MVP and crew could be some comic relief and another edition to fight RETRIBUTION.
As for RETRIBUTION, what did Ricochet and Tucker ever do to them? Sure, bad ass RETRIBUTION, pick on RICOCHET, one of the smallest guys on the roster.
Finally, Alexa Bliss and the swear jar joining the Firefly Funhouse. YES! Bliss is on fire these days as a shining spotlight of Monday nights.
- Dakota Kai defeated Ember Moon
- KUSHIDA defeated Cameron Grimes
- Drake Maverick & Killian Dain vs. Ever-Rise ended in no-contest
- Toni Storm defeated Shotzi Blackheart
- Tommaso Ciampa defeated The Velveteen Dream
First things first, NXT was another good show this week. As usual, it’s the best in-ring stuff on Wednesday nights and this week did not disappoint.
Every match, minus the tag team match delivered and you could argue that the Dain/Maverick vs. Ever-Rise match served its purpose as a no-contest giving Pat McAfee’s new faction the chance to beat up Dain & Maverick and give them a new foe in addition to The Undisputed Era. McAfee’s a beast on the mic already in his early NXT career. No matter the platform, he kills it!
What I didn’t like though was the constant use of distraction to end matches. In the opening match of the night, Raquel Gonzalez distracts the ref to let Dakota Kai get the pin on Ember Moon. Then, to interrupt a very good Shotzi Blackheart vs. Toni Storm match, Candice LeRae runs over Blackheart’s beloved tank. Sure, I get the storyline of revenge for LeRae to get back at Shotzi for interfering in his championship match vs. Io Shirai last week on Halloween Havoc, but it took away from a really good match. I’m thinking Storm joins forces with Shotzi to take on LeRae and Miss Scream Indie Hartwell down the road too. That should be fun!
KUSHIDA continues to impress, but I’ve got one gripe. Wasn’t he getting the edge as a heel? Suddenly, he’s clapping and getting cheered against Cameron Grimes? I’d rather see him keep the nastiness.
Tommaso Ciampa is non-stop action. So, he feels like NXT isn’t quite the same these days? Well, what better way to start to get things back in sync than to take out The Velveteen Dream and his me-first persona. It’s a fairy tale ending for TVD to end the night! Who’s next on Ciampa’s radar?
- SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Sasha Banks defeated Bayley
- Survivor Series Qualifying Match: King Corbin defeated Rey Mysterio
- Survivor Series Qualifying Match: Ruby Riott defeated Natalya & Zelina Vega
- Survivor Series Qualifying Match: Seth Rollins defeated Otis
- Jey Uso defeated Kevin Owens
If this was the end to the Banks vs. Bayley feud, and no I don’t think it is, it was one hell of a finale! Given nearly a half hour to start Friday night SmackDown, they tore the house down again! Banks retains her title but gets a face full of Carmella as The Untouchable One returns to the blue brand to stake her claim to the Women’s Title. I wonder what Bayley thinks of all this. Things could get even more interesting.
On the Survivor Series front, King Corbin and Seth Rollins have joined Team SmackDown. Rollins got a little surprising help from Murphy in distracting Otis to give the Messiah the win. But alas things are exactly how they appear says Murphy to his new love, Aalyah.
For the women, Ruby Riott claims an unlikely spot on Team SmackDown, joining Bianca Belair on the blue team. Where’s Naomi? Where was Belair this week? And yes, I need more of Big E and The Street Profits than just a cameo with Billie Kay.
So, how many parts is this Lars Sullivan interview? Does he need a different interviewer each week too? Freakish indeed.
It wasn’t as dramatic as the past few weeks, but we get another chapter of the family drama as Roman Reigns joins Jey Uso in putting Kevin Owens in his place after Owens mocked Uso earlier in the night. A very heelish victory for Uso – distraction, low blow, big splash! It’s a step forward in uniting the Tribal Chief’s reign over all his relatives. It also further plants the seeds of dissention on Team SmackDown between Owens and Uso as well.
After a couple of months of being the standard show of the WWE week, SmackDown was still very good, not great. After all, we’ve come to expect greatness these days on Friday night.
Paul Heyman as the new co-host of Talking Smack? Interesting. If he keeps bringing the shoot style realism that he brought the past few weeks as a guest to his new co-hosting duties, well just sign me up!
Coming up this week:
A Moment of Bliss: Drew McIntyre guest
Second Chance Survivor Series Qualifying Match: Riddle vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Elias
NXT North American Championship Match: Johnny Gargano vs. TBD
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs. Breezango
Survivor Series Qualifying continues / Go Home Show
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