WWE has turned Survivor Series into a big event again. Over the last two years especially, the company has built up Survivor Series as one of the true “Big 4” pay-per-view events.
And at the end of the show, who were two of the last three men standing? Triple H and Shane McMahon … because of course they were.
Shane should be the biggest heel in the company right now. He’s using power and influence to be on the card. No way he’s on the show otherwise. Despite being on a Survivor Series team full of guys who, you know, are on his roster, it was McMahon left as SmackDown‘s sole survivor. You know why? His last name is McMahon.
Triple H, a McMahon in-law who doesn’t wrestle more than a handful of times each year, was also positioning in a big spot, costing Kurt Angle a pin and then taking the win for his team by covering Shane.
However, the biggest gag came after the match, when Braun Strowman attacked Triple H to set up a future match or program.
Triple H’s argument would be, “this was to get Braun over,” but don’t let him fool you. All he’s done is work his way into a main event program. Maybe more than one. Triple H now has easy matches set up with Strowman and Angle.
You might watch last night’s main event and say, “Look, Triple H is putting over Braun Strowman.” I saw it as Triple H taking a crowbar and forcing his way in to a main-event level program.
The Shield beat New Day
WWE is really playing up the Raw vs. SmackDown vibe, letting the viewers know that Raw is up 1-0 after this match.
The match itself definitely lived up to expectations. The action was really good and you could tell these guys were trying to steal the show. Reigns was even more “over” than I anticipated. There was a negative reaction, but it wasn’t nearly as strong as usual. The fans were very much into his spear at the end of the match, which didn’t vibe with the boos heard earlier in the match, and the crowd was very into the finish, with the triple powerbomb from the ropes.
Team Raw beat Team SmackDown in the women’s Elimination match
After going 50-50 with Emma only a month ago, Asuka was set up nicely to plow through some heels at the end. It felt weird that Becky Lynch was eliminated first. Hopefully she’s not getting pushed aside in the storyline.
It could have been that they wanted to keep some of the perceived “stronger” heels, like Tamina, to go deeper in the match in order to set up Asuka’s run at the end.
You could tell that the whole idea behind this match was to shine a light on Asuka, and that’s a smart play by WWE, especially after her lackluster callup against Emma.
Baron Corbin beat The Miz
This match was short and sweet, which is what it needed to be considering the heel vs. heel dynamic. I was actually a big fan of this setup. Having a convenient heel vs. babyface matchup would have felt too convenient.
That being said, the crowd wasn’t into the match as much. They didn’t necessarily pick a heel to cheer for, and instead just reacted to some big moves.
The Usos beat Sheamus & Cesaro
I’m genuinely surprised at some of the clean finishes, given the Raw vs. SmackDown dynamic. I figured there would be a lot of protection so that they wouldn’t bury one show too much.
Charlotte beat Alexa Bliss
Bliss looked really strong in defeat, as she was given most of the offense in the match until Charlotte came out on top late. That’s a tactic, obviously, to protect Bliss taking the clean finish loss.
Brock Lesnar beat AJ Styles
Wow! This was a very good match, and easily the match of the night. It’s somewhat disappointing, in the sense that they are clearly on high gear for Reigns vs. Lesnar at WrestleMania, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some of the stops along the way to what will have an incredibly disappointing end.
Lesnar dominated early but Styles came back late and the mood was good. They need to rematch at some point, because the matchup was good and there’s more of a story to tell.
Lesnar was also really great selling the calf-crusher from Styles. Lesnar also limped to the back and looked beat up after the match. He sold for Styles, despite the smaller size, and everyone came out of the match looking stronger.
Team Raw beat Team SmackDown in the men’s elimination match
It’s WWE, so it’s all about the McMahon family. The heel authority figure idea needs to go away. Now. It’s been so overdone, for 20 years. Wrestling needs to come up with something new, because this is getting boring.