WWE Survivor Series 2014 HITS:
Sting Debuts: This year’s installment of Survivor Series was promoted as a one-match show; Team Authority vs. Team Cena. But, last night, that one match boiled down into one moment. That moment was the debut of “the last WCW hold-out”, Sting. There have been a number of reasons why Sting has held out signing a WWE contract over the years, including a personal goal of elevating TNA to relevance. However, when it was all said and done, the debut of Sting felt like a huge, huge moment and a moment many will be talking about for years to come. There aren’t many “dream matches” left, as many-if-not-all have been done in WWE over the past ten years (save Hogan/Austin, or Goldberg/Austin). But there are plenty of possibilities that could happen with Sting. Will we finally be treated to Sting/Undertaker? The inevitable HHH/Sting confrontation? Maybe Sting/Wyatt? The sky is the limit, here.
Team Authority vs. Team Cena: Lets get this part out of the way. Big Show turning on his teammates was a total miss. Nevermind that the man has had more face and heel turns than any other professional wrestler in history, the timing of the turn was really poorly executed. Big Show spent half of the match seemingly fighting in favour of Team Cena including eliminating Mark Henry less than 1 minute into the match. Then, at the elimination of Erick Rowan (of all people), he decides to abandon all hope, and turn on his partners, seemingly in effort to save his job should the Authority win? Really, really poor.
That said, that wasn’t nearly enough to spoil what was probably the best Survivor Series elimination tag match in the history of the Pay Per View. Unbelievable action from bell to bell. One has to applaud WWE for not going with John Cena as the sole survivor of his team, as he would have been the obvious choice. Instead, they picked Dolph Ziggler, who had a career showing in absolutely tearing the house down. The near-falls towards the end of the match had me hook-line-and-sinker, every single time. Luke Harper also took his opportunity to shine against the shadow of The Wyatt Family with an excellent showing. Rusev was also incredibly impressive, and showed range in his character having to adapt to his teammates and opponents. This was a one match show, and you absolutely have to go out of your way to seek this match out, if you missed it.
Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose: Although personally highly anticipated, the build towards this match somehow got lost in the promotion of Team Cena vs. Team Authority. That said, it delivered an excellent first chapter to what will likely be a feud through January’s Royal Rumble. The finish was lackluster, in that it didn’t provide a satisfactory conclusion to the feud, however in looking at this as a series of matches, it was an intriguing step towards where ever they go next.
Nikki Bella vs. AJ Lee: I’m actually surprised, myself, that I’m putting this in the HITS column. However, the ambiguous turn of Brie Bella, as well as a memorable finish lands this in the hits column. The immediate comparison to Daniel Bryan’s WrestleMania loss thanks to a AJ Lee kiss was a nice touch, and leaves lots of questions headed into tonight’s Monday Night RAW. Should the internet rumours be true, this was AJ’s final WWE appearance. If so, at least it has us talking about it the next day.
Goldust and Stardust vs. The Uso Brothers vs. Los Matadores (w/El Torito) vs. The Miz and Mizdow: A hot opening match, and the right act went over. Each time they teased involvement by Damian Mizdow, the crowd popped louder, and louder. When he scored the final pinfall, you would have thought the St. Louis Rams had won the Super Bowl (ha! Fat chance!) There was a ton of hard work in this match, proving yet again that Goldust hasn’t aged a day in 15 years. It might be time, however, to pull the plug on Los Matadores. While both excellent athletes, the re-birth of Primo and Epico has actually been a step backwards for them. They have a ton to offer a reinvigorated tag team division.
Survivor Series 2014 MISSES:
Pre-Show: If that mess was supposed to entice me to order the WWE Network, free or not, it was horrible. For the first time since its inception, the pre-show panel actually hurt the build towards the PPV, especially Booker T. I love me some Booker T, but his lack of preparation for this panel really hurt what is usually a solid build. The reboot of Fandango is an absolute step backwards (eliminating the music was a HUGE mistake), and Bad News Barrett, while undeniably over with the live crowd, sucks.
Natalya, Alicia Fox, Naomi, and Emma vs. Paige, Cameron, Summer Rae, and Layla: Gah! What a mess this was. Cameron has no business in a wrestling ring. Sloppy doesn’t even begin to describe her work. How can you travel with a company for 3-plus years and not take advantage of some of the best training available to anybody worldwide? Summer Rae isn’t much better. At least the other ladies are competent. This match suffered from the crowd being burned out from the Tag Team Championship changing hands, and the overall clumsiness of what was happening in the ring. The live crowd couldn’t wait for it to be over and neither could I.
Adam Rose and The Bunny vs. Slater Gator: I’ll go ahead and leave this image here as to how I feel about Rose vs. Bunny.