The Rope Break #25: WWE Survivor Series 2017 Review!!

By Curtis Suthard – 11/20/2017

 

After a huge weekend of wrestling, I’m sure we could all use a much needed breather. But…before doing that, let’s take a look back at the one of the most unpredictable and exciting Survivor Series ever. On paper the card was stacked and had a ton of potential with some great, unexpected match ups. Mix in all of the rumors of returns, betrayals and run-ins and who knew what to expect? Unfortunately, the one thing that this show was lacking in was any real surprises. I mean some of the winners were unexpected, but things went off without any major shocks and maybe only one or two twists, that were kinda just confusing. Anyway, with that being said, let’s jump right into this and go over it all match by match. I promise to keep it short…maybe.

Credit: WWE.com

WWE Survivor Series 2017 Review

Credit: WWE.com

Elias VS. Matt Hardy: Everything kicked off with this match that was just filler for the two hour pre-show. Elias continues to do a good job of drawing heat with his musical numbers, which usually involve insulting whichever city the show is in on any given night. The “Drifter” also continues to improve a bit in the ring as well. Matt Hardy basically did the job in this one, as Elias was in control for the majority of the match, working over Matt’s shoulder convincingly. Nothing special here, really. Elias scores the win and strolls away, guitar on his shoulder, as we all continue to dream of the day when Matt has the opportunity to display his Broken Brilliance in WWE

Credit: WWE.com

Winner: Elias

Credit: WWE.com

Kalisto VS. Enzo Amore (Cruiserweight Championship): If you were wondering why this one was relegated to midway through the pre-show, as opposed to being featured anywhere near the actual show, look no further than the first few seconds and Kalisto’s entrance.  Right off the bat, the guy botches his little trampoline assisted leap over the ropes and ends with him sort of hanging there, for what felt like For-EVER, until he managed to shift his weight and slowly flip over into the ring. Ugh. I try to be positive about almost every wrestler and always look for some good in their abilities, but c’mon Kalisto. You’re facing off with Enzo and you’re starting off the match by goofing up your entrance?

Credit: WWE.com

Anyway, Enzo, comes down and manages to do his whole shtick smoothly, unlike his opponent. What followed was a pretty sloppy, but short match. Enzo has been doing well, attitude-wise, as the Cruiserweight Champ, drawing heat and just being an all-around annoyance. Unfortunately, his in-ring work still sucks which I don’t get. The company puts a title on you and thrusts you into the spotlight, so why wouldn’t you work overtime to improve, especially when you know that you’ll be competing against other men who can run laps around you in the ring? I mean Enzo has been acting as more of a brawler, throwing fists and elbows and kicks, but it could be better if he just tightened it all up a little. In the end, this match seemed to be bookended by yet another odd little botch as either Enzo or Kalisto or both looked like they goofed up Enzo’s De-Feet finisher thing on the ring apron. After both guys just laid there for a moment, Enzo countered something Kalisto was trying, jumped into the ring and successfully hit him with the same move, this time, to finally put a merciful end to this whole thing.

Credit: WWE.com

Winner: Enzo Amore

Credit: WWE.com

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn VS. Breezango: Owens & Zayn came out to lament the fact that they had not been included in the Brand VS. Brand Main Event and laid the blame squarely at the feet of Shane McMahon, setting up the possibility of creating some chaos later in the night. After being interrupted by the Fashion Police, the two teams had a nice little match to round out the looooong pre-show. Owens & Zayn get the win to further the momentum that they seem to be gaining. All four guys did a decent job, which is really all that I can think of to really say about this one. I like Owens & Zayn working together. It seems that they’re in the running for the Tag Championship titles in the near future, which is kinda cool. Breezango, on the other hand, is finally doing more than just making some incredible vignettes and have been getting back to some in-ring action lately. Which is also a good thing.

Credit: WWE.com

Winner: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

Credit: WWE.com

The New Day VS. The Shield: Finally, the actual show begins and things start off with a bang as the two top trios in WWE over the last few years, square off in what was a high-energy and really fun match. Both teams worked like well-oiled machines, trading the momentum every few minutes. Every time that it seemed New Day was on top, someone from the Shield countered and things began to swing their way. There was almost no time to really catch our breath, as this match went at full speed from start to finish. There were really only two things of note that I feel may need mentioning.

Credit: WWE.com

1)      Roman seemed, at least to me, to be moving a bit slower than usual and was either occupied or laid out for some of the faster sequences. Maybe the guy is still recovering from the viral infection, so it’s totally understandable. If that was indeed the case, hats off to him for the effort he did put forward. He was just conspicuously absent during some of the bigger spots in the match.

Credit: WWE.com

2)      When is Big E getting a shot at a singles title? The guy was, in my opinion, the work horse of the match and looked great in there. At some point, it only seems fair that he deserves to get some opportunities to hold another singles title or two. I could even see the guy being a solid WWE Champion in the future and this match showed some of that potential off. Nothing against Kofi or Xavier, they’re great as well, I just feel like Big E has all the goods, from the look to the presence to the ability and athleticism to make a perfect Champion.

Credit: WWE.com

So, after countless near pinfalls, lightning fast hot tags and endless finishers, the Shield managed to hit the Shield Bomb and score the win. This was a fantastic way to start off the main show and set the mood for the rest of the night.

Credit: WWE.com

Winners: The Shield

Credit: WWE.com

Team Smackdown: Becky Lynch, Carmella, Natalya, Tamina & Naomi VS. Team RAW: Alicia Fox, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Nia Jax & Asuka (5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match): I should have seen the outcome for this one coming a mile away. I went with Team Smackdown in my predictions, by assuming that Asuka would be eliminated by either count out or some sort of DQ situation. The moment that Nia Jax was eliminated by a count out, I knew how this one was going to end. But, let’s back things up a bit.

Credit: WWE.com

Firstly, Becky Lynch turned out to be the first to get eliminated within really the first few minutes of the match. And, eliminated by Bayley, at no less. What has Becky done to be getting steamrolled like this constantly? Her only really significant win lately was beating James Ellsworth just the other week, in what was really just a goof match. At some point I hope someone realizes what they are wasting by sidelining one of the better female performers that WWE has on their payroll and gives Becky a chance to showcase more of that talent.

Credit: WWE.com

Going from someone who got the axe rather quickly to someone who shined a bit in this match: Tamina. Tamina got plenty of in-ring time which led to her eliminating Bayley next, with a Superfly Splash. She then squared off with Nia Jax and took Nia outside of the ring with a Superkick, after Lana provided a nice distraction. After Naomi hit Nia with a nice Slingshot Crossbody, Tamina delivered another Superfly Splash, this time from the ring steps, to Nia, which led to Nia getting counted out as I mentioned a paragraph or two ago. It’s good to see Tamina getting in on some of the action. We’ll just have to wait and see if that translates to anything following Survivor Series. Somehow, I don’t hold out too much hope.

Credit: WWE.com

Naomi then managed to eliminate Alicia Fox with a botchy looking pin, which she transitioned into her submission AFTER the ref counted three. This led to Sasha diving in and immediately slapping the Banks Statement onto Naomi, which led to her tapping and elimination. This left Sasha and Asuka on Team RAW, taking on Carmella, Natalya and Tamina. This wouldn’t last long as Asuka would soundly take out Carmella. Banks would then take it to Natalya, but, due to Tamina’s interference, Natty would slap the Sharpshooter on Sasha and force her to tap. Leaving Asuka alone to face off with the two remaining members of Team Smackdown, Tamina and Natalya.

Credit: WWE.com

Lest anyone think that this would be the place where the Empress of Tomorrow would have her undefeated streak ended, I ask you: Really? After, making Tamina tap with an Armbar that she slapped on by leaping into her, which was impressive, Asuka made short work of Natalya. Natty tried to slap on another Shapshooter, but Asuka countered with a Legbar. After a couple of kicks, Asuka snatched Natalya up in a Double-Underhook Bubba Bomb thingie, which she instantly transitioned into the Asuka Lock and won the match as the Sole Survivor. This was a really fun match, with only a few possible miscues.

Credit: WWE.com

Winner: Team RAW (Asuka)

Credit: WWE.com

Baron Corbin VS. The Miz (Champ VS. Champ Non-Title Match): So, I wasn’t really expecting a whole lot from this one, honestly. But, I was definitely hoping for something a little more. I’m not saying that this was a bad match, it wasn’t. It was just that this match seemed to be an odd choice, with both guys being heels and not really the most popular guys on either roster. Granted, I have been crowing about just how good the Miz is for a while now AND I do talk up the potential I see in Corbin on the regular. But, this match just didn’t have a real “Wow”-factor to it, with the exception of the finish and seemed out of place in the overall scheme of things.

Credit: WWE.com

Anyway, Corbin pretty much dominated this match. The Miz managed to only have a few moments of real offense. A nice chunk of the match seemed to be taken up with the Miz-tourage, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas, interacting with Corbin and setting him up with plenty of distractions. One major distraction came when Dallas threw an elbow into the back of Corbin’s knee, which Miz would exploit and slap on the Figure Four. But, Corbin just overpowered the Intercontinental Champ nearly every time that he got the upper hand. The match did end with a nice sequence though. After delivering a series of “Yes” Kicks to Corbin, Miz delivered two running Dropkicks to Baron Corbin as he stood in the corner of the ring. But, as Miz went for a third, Baron would come alive and hit him the End of Days for a surprising win. I’m a little surprised that Baron Corbin won, to be honest, as I was certain that Miz was being built up for a possible feud with Roman Reigns, which is a big deal, but that may have been set aside for now.

Credit: WWE.com

Winner: Baron Corbin

Credit: WWE.com

The Bar VS. The Usos (Champs VS. Champs Non-Title Match): Speaking of matches that just seemed to be lacking a bit. With the caliber of matches that both of these two teams have been having over the last few months, you’d expect this one to be an “Edge of Seat”-type affair. Instead we got a slow, methodical, grounded match for the first half and only a taste of the expected excitement for the finish. Again, I’m not saying that this match was horrible, it wasn’t. It just felt dragged out, as if they may have been stretching for time. It seemed like nonstop Headlocks and Chinlocks for the first bit.

Credit: WWE.com

Eventually, things would pick up though and that is where both teams began to shine. The Usos, who had been on the receiving end of a lot of that “grounding”, finally got the upper hand and just began to out maneuver The Bar. One of the more spectacular moments came when Sheamus & Cesaro had set up one of the Usos (I don’t remember which and I ain’t gonna look it up, so there!) for an assisted double team Powerbomb-type thingie from the turnbuckle. Fortunately, the Uso countered and with the unwitting help from Cesaro, who was doing the slamming part of the Powerbombing, Jimmy or Jey, managed to deliver a Samoan Drop to Sheamus from the top rope. This led to series of Superkicks and Bodysplashs and resulted in the Usos getting the win.

Credit: WWE.com

Winners: The Usos

Credit: WWE.com

Charlotte VS. Alexa Bliss (Champ VS. Champ Non-Title Match): This was a really good match and far better than the potential Bliss VS. Natalya, that was originally scheduled, probably would have been. I’m not always a big fan of Charlotte, though I do respect her abilities and stuff. I just think that she can be real sloppy in most matches. She seems to constantly have a moment or two, where something goes wrong, or she gets thrown off a bit and has a hard time getting back into the swing of things. With that being said, though, this may be my favorite match of hers, so far, and I feel that a lot of the credit goes towards Bliss.

Credit: WWE.com

I know that there are plenty of people out there who really don’t dig “The Goddess”, but I would recommend to any of them that they give this match, in particular, a closer watch. Alexa was fantastic in this one. Whether she was on the offense or selling everything that Charlotte threw her way, Alexa was on point. And, in those moments when Bliss was in control she looked to be very relaxed and comfortable the entire time. Even all of her temper tantrums, teeth-gritting scowls and screams at the ref only helped the flow of this whole match. These two women work extremely well together and I can’t wait to see more.

Credit: WWE.com

Both women came off looking strong in this one. Bliss losing was really only a result to her taking too much time to climb the ropes and go for Twisted Bliss, which Charlotte managed to counter and slap on the Figure Eight Leg Lock for the win. Even after the match ended there seemed to be a little moment of respect, possibly, as Charlotte seemed to be standing in the ring and nodding toward Alexa who was sitting in the corner. I’m just going to go out on a limb here and invite any and all criticism by comparing this one to Flair VS. Sting at Clash of the Champions I. Anyone got complaints? Send them all to Jack@nerdnationradio.com.

Credit: WWE.com

Winner: Charlotte

Credit: WWE.com

A.J. Styles VS. Brock Lesnar (Champ VS. Champ Non-Title Match): At some point you’d think I’d learn to stop betting against Brock Lesnar. Since Wrestlemania, this year, I have been pulling for his opponent, each and every time. I know, eventually, someone, besides Goldberg or Reigns has got to beat the guy. Right? So, why not Styles? The guy is easily one of the best wrestlers currently working today and a huge fan favorite. Winning this match would be incredible for both the fans, as well as, WWE itself, as I am almost certain that it would turn some heads and draw some attention to the product. But, alas, we didn’t get it and I’m fairly certain that when Brock does eventually get put down it’ll be Reigns to do it. Which will in turn illicit a collective yawn from most fans.

Credit: WWE.com

With that being said, this match turned out to be pretty good. The whole “Underdog”-gimmick was played up extremely well, as Styles took nonstop punishment for what seemed like hours in the beginning of the match. Lesnar threw the guy all over the ring, stopping only long enough to throw some fists, ram some shoulders and just generally stomp the “Face that Runs the Place”. All this only helped to make the comeback of A.J. Styles just that much sweeter. After taking a truly disheartening pummeling, Styles finally showed some signs of life and began to chop the “Beast” down.

Credit: WWE.com

It was then that Styles began to make me a believer as he seemed to be completely in control. A.J. threw everything, but a Styles Clash, at Lesnar for a lot longer than possibly all of Lesnar’s matches from this year combined. This may be the longest match that the guy has had, since returning to WWE. After a couple of Phenomenal Forearms, slapping on the Calf Killer (or Crusher, whatever) and the always awesome, Springboard 450 Splash, it seemed like Styles was poised to steal this one. Unfortunately, as Styles went for one more Phenomenal Forearm, Lesnar managed to catch the guy and hit him for an F5 for the finish. This was a surprisingly good match that pretty much delivered on all of the hype. Plus, no Jinder interference, which I thought was all but assured, but probably would have taken away from the match as opposed to adding something to it.

Credit: WWE.com

Winner: Brock Lesnar

Credit: WWE.com

Team RAW: Kurt Angle, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman & Triple H VS. Team Smackdown: Shane McMahon, Randy Orton, Bobby Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura & John Cena (5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Match): Finally, we get to the Main Event and what I expected to be a truly chaotic match. Little spoiler: Not so chaotic. Instead what we got was a relatively straight-forward Survivor Series match, if you don’t count the head-scratcher that was the finish. The highlight of this match, for me at least, were all of the little moments when two wrestlers who everyone was wishing for faced off in the ring. Whether it was Nakamura & Balor or Roode & Triple H or, eventually, Cena & Samoa Joe, this match was filled with some very special, but very short, moments.

Credit: WWE.com

Everything started off with Shane attacking Braun from behind, which only resulted in Braun throwing Shane back across the ring and into his corner. Joe and Orton went at things for a bit, only for Balor to tag himself in to the match. Orton then, at the pleading of the crowd, tagged in Shinsuke Nakamura and we all got treated to a minute or two some incredibly good stuff. After both men went through a great sequence, in which both countered everything, Balor tagged in Triple H as Shinsuke seemed to have a “moment” of his own. It would then be Roode’s time to tag himself in and square off with “The Game”. After trading some shots and a “Suck It” crotch chop from H and a “Glorious” from Roode, Angle would tag in and Triple Suplex Roode.

Credit: WWE.com

Nakamura would head back in and hit everyone on Team RAW with some kicks, before succumbing to a Powerslam from Strowman and becoming the first to be eliminated. Roode would then jump back into the ring and also get a Powerslam for his trouble and become the second to be taken out. That’s when things broke down. Cena and Orton took on Strowman and, after getting him outside of the ring, they managed to suplex him through one of the announce tables with assistance from the rest of Team Smackdown. This would take Braun out for a bit, but just a bit. And, because no match with Shane McMahon in it just wouldn’t be right without him leaping/falling off of something, Shane climbed up to the top turnbuckle, in the effort to possibly leap onto the prone Strowman, who was still laid out at ringside. Unfortunately, Samoa Joe would catch Shane and give him a Belly to Belly Suplex from the top rope.

Credit: WWE.com

As things were looking up for Team RAW, things also started breaking down. Finn and Samoa Joe were too busy exchanging some words after tagging each other in, that it opened them up to Cena and a set of AA’s, which resulted in Joe being eliminated. Cena and Angle would then go at it for a moment or two. But, Angle just ain’t as young as he used to be and Cena seems to be playing things safe due to him being involved in filming some movies right now. This was a nice moment of nostalgia the ended with an Olympic Slam, a Coup De Grace from Finn and one more Olympic Slam and the pin from Angle. Leaving only Shane and Orton on Team Smackdown.

Credit: WWE.com

Balor would then take it to both members of Team Smackdown. Though, as Finn went for another Coup De Grace on Orton, Randy would roll out of the way and hit an RKO on Finn for the pin. That’s when Zayn and Kevin Owens would show up and attack Shane. But, Shane would retaliate with a couple of chair shots and Orton would hit an RKO on Owens, sending the two of them to the back. That’s when Braun got back in the match. After another Powerslam, Orton was gone and Shane was the only man left for Smackdown, facing off with Angle, Triple H and Strowman. That’s when things got screwy.

Credit: WWE.com

Triple H tagged himself in, which didn’t sit well with Braun. But, before anything could really get going, Angle would tag himself in instead. Shane would go to work on Kurt with his patented sloppiness, but Angle would end up getting the Ankle Lock slapped on. Just as it seemed inevitable that Shane was about to tap, Triple H would come in and Pedigree Angle, sliding Shane on top of him for the pin. Triple H would then stare down a confused and annoyed Braun Strowman, giving the impression that he was helping Shane. But, it was all a ruse and Triple H would go on to Pedigree Shane-O-Mac for the win. Which…makes sense? I guess.

Credit: WWE.com

Afterwards, Triple H would seem to try and convince Braun that this was all a good thing or “Best For Business”, as I’m sure that we are going to hear that a few time too many Monday night. But, Braun really didn’t seem to care about “Business” as he then wrapped his hand around Triple H’s neck and backed him into the corner threatening him to “Never screw me again”. As Strowman turned his back, Triple H would go for a Pedigree, which resulted in not one, but two Powerslams from Braun, who then ripped his RAW shirt off and stood there in all of his beefy goodness.

Credit: WWE.com

Winners: Team RAW (Triple H & Braun Strowman)

Credit: WWE.com

With all of the potential craziness, as well as the endless stream of rumors, that we had going into this one, Survivor Series came off as just a standard big WWE event with very few, if any, real surprises. None of the matches were really bad (I’m not counting the Pre-show), but some kinda fell flat. Though a couple of others exceeded my expectations like Styles VS. Lesnar and Charlotte VS. Bliss. All in all this was a good show that could have been just a tad bit better, but not by adding pointless interference and/or shock returns and the like. Instead, some of the matches should have had more focus and a better build up then a few harsh words being thrown around on social media. I mean there’s like five hours of regular, weekly WWE television to do all of that in, in the month that they had to put this show together. It is for those reasons that I, speaking as the resident Wrestling Nerd here, give WWE Survivor Series 2017 a 4 out of 5 on the Official Nerd Nation Radio Pocket Protector Scale!

I’ve rambled on too long and I’m still under the weather, so let’s just say:

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