Survivor Series Reviews
Updated: Jan 11
Reverse Hipster’s Reviews
Women’s WarGames 9.52/10 A
This match didn’t have a long sustained story. However, it did have flashes of old rivalries, and it made up for the lack of story with insane action. Iyo Sky, Nikki Cross, and Becky Lynch all jumped from the top of the cage. There was moment after moment in this match. This was one of those matches you just want to go on forever. There were a few moments with clear errors, but the actions outweighed those moments. All the women had a great showing. In the end, it was Becky who got the pin and solidified her return.
Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles 7.8/10 C+
The match was good, but it just felt like this could be a Raw match and maybe not even the main event. Outside of the ropes, the match meant nothing. AJ Styles won, but so what?! It breaks AJ Styles's PPV losing streak, but does nothing in the storyline. Also, AJ just won with a Phenomenal Forearm. It felt like wow, that was it. I just think on PPV they should push harder than that. AJ should have to go to another level to win, and I didn’t feel that in this match.
Ronda Rousey vs. Shotzi, SmackDown Women’s Championship 7.9/10 C+
This is a hard match to grade because it had moments of excitement and a good story like Ronda taking Shotzi lightly, and Shotzi being better prepared than Ronda and taking big risks to try to win the match. However, it was pretty sloppy. There was a huge moment where Shotzi just fell outside of the ring trying to do a move on Ronda, and I don’t see how it could have possibly gone right. Also, nothing was fluid in this match. It was very clunky. I like Shotzi, but I just don’t think she was ready for this spot.
Outside of the things the women did, the booking was questionable. Why was Shayna Baszler interfering in the match so much? Why would Ronda need that? Also, in theory, Shayna saving Ronda was a cute moment, but the ref saw it. He could have, and should have, called a DQ in favor of Ronda for the push. Plus, the big spot where Shotzi jumped on Ronda, Shayna, and some crowd members should have been a count out. Even the commentators had to make note of it. This is a match that could have been better.
Seth Rollins vs. Austin Theory vs. Bobby Lashley, United States Championship 8.7/10 B
This match took a little while to get going, but once it did every competitor was shown at their best. Seth was going back-to-back on suicide dives and hopping off Theory to deliver a Super Curb Stomp. Bobby got both Seth and Theory in the Hurt Lock. Bobby was using Theory to attack Rollins. Bobby was a beast. Austin Theory pulled off one of the best blockbusters I’ve ever seen. Also, Theory won the match in an exciting fashion. Seth was doing the falcon arrow to Theory when Lashley speared Rollins. Then, Theory rolled over and got the pin. The surprise pin was shocking in the best way possible and an excellent exclamation point on the match. Theory still has the worst cash-in of all time. However, at least now he has gotten the prize he was after, and he is somewhat vindicated.
Men’s WarGames Match 8.1/10 B
Interestingly, unlike the Women's WarGames match, this match focused too much on the story. The story was about Sami Zayn proving his loyalty to The Bloodline by not holding back against Kevin Owens. In the final sequence, Sami did just that by low blowing Owens and taking him out. Then, Sami presented Owens to Jey Uso, who did a splash and got the pin. The moment and celebration with The Bloodline at the end was cool. However, it felt unearned. By the time the match finished, it didn’t feel like enough had happened to finish the match.
Reverse Hipster’s Final Grade 8.4/10 B
This PPV had some exceptional to great matches. One good match and a few mediocre ones. It’s a solid PPV, but I’d say, in the future, WWE should have more team-oriented events. The Judgement Day could have fought The Club in a 6-Man Elimination Match. Instead of a Women's Title Match, they could have had Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler face Raquel Rodriguez and Shotzi in a Tornado Tag Match.
However, what we got was good, and it did make me excited for the weekly TV shows on both brands.
Women’s WarGames Match
This match did a good job wrapping up the story between Damage Control, Bianca Belair, and Becky Lynch. There were sloppy moments, but it was an overall solid War Games match. Lynch looked great in her return, and she had the moment of the match with her leg drop off the top of War Games. With another definitive win for Team Belair, Damage Control will have to do something to regain its credibility, and Belair will have to find a new challenger moving forward.
Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average
Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles
It’s always hard to follow up an extreme gimmick match, especially a multiman gimmick match like War Games. Finn Balor and AJ Styles did it by slowing down the work rate and relying on good old-fashioned wrestling and the organic story between them. I love Styles, but you’re going to have a hard time convincing me that he should have won. Balor is just starting to get his stride back, and the Judgment Day could be the hottest faction on Raw if they keep their momentum.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
Ronda Rousey vs. Shotzi (SmackDown Women’s Championship)
This match was always sort of predetermined, as WWE didn’t do much to build up Shotzi. It admittedly made Ronda Rousey look like a badass heel champion with Shayna Baszler in her corner. It was still a cool spot for Shotzi on the card.
Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average
Seth Rollins vs. Austin Theory vs. Bobby Lashley (United States Championship)
They didn’t have a ton of story going into this match, but they all played off the story they did have. Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley have been the MVPs of Raw this year. They have some of the best matches every week, and it felt appropriate to see them feuding over the title near the end of the year. Austin Theory is the rising star of the year. Even though WWE flopped his cash in, they recovered well by giving him the championship here. I’m not sure why the booking took this route, but it opens up Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley as possible challengers or open up other storylines going into Royal Rumble and WrestleMania season. This match was about five minutes short of being a classic. The crowd was way into it, and the match was still very good. If I’m WWE, I would keep putting Rollins into triple threat matches because he always seems to turn it into a match-of-the-night contender.
Final Grade: 7/10 Good
This match had the best story going into the night and the best story coming out of it. It was unclear all night if Roman Reigns trusted Sami Zayn or if he should. Throughout the match, Zayn proved himself as deserving of being the Honorary Uce. He helped out enemy Jey Uso and even fully betrayed Kevin Owens, taking him out to give his team the win. The result was heartbreaking, but it should be. Zayn was the best actor of the night. His performance told the story of a guy who sold out one of his longtime friends to be part of the popular crew. The story going forward will decide if it was all worth it for Zayn or if he can still go back to his old beloved self and side with his friend Kevin Owens. Owens looked amazing, and he has claimed to be one of the only people who could beat Reigns clean. My only downside is that the Brawling Brutes and Drew McIntyre didn’t look that good. Overall, this was still my match of the night.
Final Grade: 8/10 Great
Rob’s Final Thoughts
Survivor Series WarGames did a great job combining the Survivor Series and WarGames gimmicks to make what felt like a novel PPV. I think WWE would have been smarter to spend more time building the teams and stories, but it’s hard to complain with the result we got. The rest of the card was kind of shallow, but the final match made me want to see every minute of WWE TV going forward.
Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average