Roman Reigns defeats Alberto Del Rio to advance to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament finals:
This was probably the most obvious outcome of the night, because no matter what would happen in the main event, it was all going to concern Roman somehow. It’s a smart opener, too, as they could get a good pop out of the crowd with Roman coming out to kick off the PPV, although he got pretty soundly booed, so maybe not the best with this crowd. This actually ended up to be my favourite match of the night and I think definitely Albert’s best since he came back to the company a month ago. The finish was never in doubt, but both were good enough together to really sell the near-falls.
Dean Ambrose defeats Kevin Owens to advance to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament finals:
Another good match, not as good as the first, and actually a bit disappointing given the talent between the two guys, but it was never anything outwardly bad, just could have been better. It was pretty certain that Dean was going to advance, to push the whole Roman vs. Dean thing, but I don’t think a Kevin Owens win would’ve been too far out of the picture (especially with how things eventually ended). It seems like Owens and Ambrose were going to feud for the Intercontinental title into this PPV anyways, until the Rollins injury mucked everything up and I’d imagine they’ll continue this going forward. Hopefully the matches get better, I have no doubt that they won’t, and from the in ring work to the matches this could be a top mid-card feud that has the potential to be the best thing going for the company right now.
Ryback, The Usos and the Lucha Dragons defeats The New Day, Sheamus and King Barrett:
This was the “oh, damn, this is Survivor Series and I guess that means we need a 5v5 elimination match, so, uh, what scraps do we have around the locker room to fill this out.” Seeing as we had no clue who the participants were going into the match I thought they might have some mini-storyline reason of choosing these people, but nope it was just random leftover heels and faces to fill out the card, who are just a bit above working the pre-show. The match was actually pretty fine, at least until the New Day left with an “injured” Big E to leave Sheamus stranded alone, which I thought was setting them up coming back or complaining when they eventually lost that technically they hadn’t been eliminated, but nope, Sheamus just eventually got beat by the faces.
Charlotte defeated Paige to retain the WWE Divas championship:
Man, I barely remember this match, and I guess it makes sense because their feud is nothing to really retain either. Besides the lame attempt at giving this feud some depth and teeth with that random Reid Flair death comment on the previous RAW, there isn’t much that really makes you invested in any of this. I don’t think Paige is a particularly good heel in the first place and I’m not the biggest fan of hers either, and as well Charlotte is clearly lacking on the mic. You’d think since they’re such great wrestlers within the ropes they’d be able to at least put on something good, but unfortunately it was unforgettable with Charlotte eventually winning after an awkward submission spot. I’d hope this thing would be done here, but I imagine they’d want to keep pushing with Paige at the title.
Tyler Breeze defeats Dolph Ziggler:
I was looking forward to this a lot, actually, but it kinda just felt like a dud all the way around. The crowd seemed long sucked from the building and they only got just over five minutes to make this thing work. It was a fine enough match, but I was just expecting more given the calibre of performers in the ring. I’m glad Tyler got the win, even though I’m sure they’ll harp on his pseudo-cheating with tripping Ziggler for the win. I don’t see this thing ending anytime soon, so hopefully like Owens/Ambrose they can only improve on things.
The Brothers of Destruction (Undertaker and Kane) defeats The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper):
I wasn’t expecting much from this, but I’m surprised it was even worse than I was expecting. I was 99% sure that Undertaker would get the win since this PPV was centred around his 25 years in the company, but a part of me thought they might flip the script and have the Wyatts triumph when everything was seemingly against them. But, nope, this was just a glorified squash match for Undertaker and Kane going through their greatest hits for a short ten minutes with the easy win by an eventual tombstone to Undertaker. Taker and co. were taking it super easy, and hopefully this was just an easy stepping stone to honour his 25 years and he’ll prepping for a more worthy match at WrestleMania, since we know he still has some good matches left in him given his last two against Brock. And who knows where the Wyatts go from here, given that they’re basically glorified jobbers by now, with WWE trying to give them the illusion that they are all high and mighty powerhouses, yet they lose every feud they’re in, losing all their credibility.
Roman Reings defeats Dean Ambrose to win the WWE World Heavyweight championship, but…
I was really looking forward to this, given the whole storyline business of Reigns and Ambrose being best buddies and everything coming down to them taking each other on one-on-one to see who’s the best, and beyond that it’s a fresh match for once! I guess the theme of the night was short matches and I was astonished how short this thing was. I couldn’t believe how early they were going for their finishing moves, telegraphing the end, I thought it might just be an entertaining close call for the middle of the match, but nope eventually Reigns got the spear on Ambrose in just under ten minutes for the win. Don’t get me wrong, the match was good for what it was, but it felt so condensed and rushed, and for what reason I have no clue, since by the time ended the show was still a good 20 minutes short of the 3 hour window.
I was certain that the big angle here would be the Dean Ambrose heel turn on his best buddy that I thought was going to happen way back at SummerSlam, giving the main event a big feud with a backstory and cementing the big heel with Rollins out of the picture. Instead, they decided to go the whole other route, and actually stick with it, so outcomes Triple H to congratulate Reigns who responds with a spear to Triple H all to turn around from a brogue kick from Sheamus and him cashing in his Money in the Bank contract. Sheamus kicked out of the first brogue, and I thought, “oh, okay, now they’re just going strengthen Reigns by having him best Sheamus’ attempt at the title,” until another brogue kick smashed in Reigns’ face and Sheamus got the three for the title.
I’m really not up in arms about this finish as most are, mainly stemming from how much people hate Sheamus. I used to, too, I mean I still don’t necessarily like him, but he’s an actual heel in this day-and-age who actually gets legit heel heat, has a stiff moveset and can be used correctly. Now, I don’t really think this is the best move to put at the top of your card, but I mean it is the deadest period of the year where people tune out, and I’d be surprised if they had Sheamus with the title going into Mania.
With Rollins out it seemed the no. 1 thing WWE wanted/needed was to establish a no. 1 heel and that’s what they did (or at least tried to do) with Sheamus. They needed a top heel (in their eyes, anyways) to go against Reigns, and in doing so gave him the belt to help generate that. Obviously, they’re trying to build sympathy for Roman with the fans and try to build him up and actually get people to cheer and like him before they put the belt on him, because apparently Vince sees him as the face/top of the company for the foreseeable future and he wants to set everything up right. If Reigns isn’t standing tall with the belt at the end of WrestleMania 32 then either something drastic happened, but I would be stunned if that wasn’t the case. I’m interested to see how they work this thing and if they can actually get Reigns over, or at least moreso, this time, because if they screw things up or fail to pull the trigger it might be too little too late with Roman. He’s still pretty terrible on the mic, but his ring work is very solid and I can definitely see him succeeding and winning over the fans to be a draw on top for all fans, but the booking will ultimately decide this in the coming months. I’m fascinated to see how this plays out.
Ultimately, I didn’t hate the PPV like most did, largely stemming from the Sheamus ending, but mostly I just felt underwhelmed. I was actually looking forward to a bunch of these matches, none of them were terrible, but the only one I really liked was the Reigns/Del Rio one, one that I wasn’t even looking forward to. Reigns/Ambrose was good, but seemed so much like a tease at an actual full length match in the future, possibly when one is heel, and I can’t wait for that.
It’s going to be an interesting an interesting time in the WWE due to how uninteresting things are right now. They’re heading into December, their biggest dead time, with no Rollins or Cena (along with the load of other injured stars) with a new champion that everybody hates and a no. 1 contender that most are just so-so on at best. I’m being like The New Day and trying to stay positive!