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WWE Surivor Series 2015 Review!
Survivor Series is one of the Big Four events in World Wrestling Entertainment's yearly lineup of Pay-Per-Views, and the second series of PPV's produced by the company, following their flagship event, WrestleMania. Survivor Series has yearly been one of the greatest events on the WWE calendar, featuring huge matches such as the yearly Survivor Series Elimination match, the WWE debut of Sting and the long-overdue ending of the dreadful Invasion storyline.
Survivor Series was also the event where arguably the greatest professional wrestler of all time, The Undertaker, made his WWE Debut. This years event was hyped as the celebration of The Deadman's career, a tribute to the twenty-five years of blood and sweat and tears he spilled to keep the company alive and kicking, to entertain to so-called WWE Universe. The event was hyped beyond belief, with the Undertaker and his brother, Kane, battling the Wyatt Family in what could very well be the final match of the Undertaker's illustrious career.
The event also featured the finals of a tournament to crown a new WWE World Heavyweight champion, as the former champion Seth Rollins was sidelined several weeks ago after more-or-less murdering his knee. The hype surrounding this tournament was also very pronounced, with an ending that was absolutely not predictable at all... *cough cough*
So did this event live up to its hype? Let's find out.
Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio
The first match on the main card was Roman Reigns, the semi-talented, severely-uncharasmatic up-and-coming wrestler with a chip on his shoulder, versus the "Mex-American" Champion, Alberto Del Rio.
The match was fairly standard, with both men putting on a perfectly decent opener match for the show, while the completely inept and annoying commentary trio of John Layfield, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler paid practically zero attention and rambled on about things they also hadn't paid attention to on the previous episode of Monday Night Raw. There's really nothing to be said about the match itself, save for the fact that it was obvious the way it was going to end.
Of course Reigns was going to win. Despite the raucous booing and incredibly negative reactions he's been getting for months now due to his boring persona and limited in-ring ability, he still beat Del Rio completely clean, and the crowd went... Mild. Completely mild. There was polite applause for the athletes involved, but that was really it. There was an air of "yeah, alright, let's get it over with" about the whole match that really detracted from it.
You see, neither man was really backed by the crowd that night. Del Rio's "MexAmerican" gimmick and partnership with Zeb Coulter- who'd been playing an incredibly xenophobic character until being united with Del Rio- makes zero sense, especially since a gimmick involving uniting two countries and cultures is being booked as villainous. And we've already discussed why Reigns isn't widely liked.
Regardless, Roman Reigns walked away victorious and moved on to the finals of the tournament.
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose
The next match on the card was another tournament match between the WWE Intercontinental Champion, Kevin Owens, and Dean Ambrose.
Both Owens and Ambrose made their names on the independent wrestling circuit, under the names Kevin Steen and Jon Moxley, respectively. Owens was known for his surprising strength and athletic ability despite his size, and Ambrose was well-known for his participation in deathmatches and his erractic, unstable persona.
This match was incredibly fun the watch, as both Ambrose and Owens portray unstable brawlers, and both men brought the physicality in this match, wailing on each other and giving their all to the audience in attendance that night. They rocked the house and the crowd was loving every minute of it, though unfortunately the ending was once again predictable, and Ambrose went over cleanly by beating Owens with the Dirty Deeds DDT.
A very solid match, and I'll explain why the ending was predictable later on in the review. For now, Ambrose moves on to face Reigns in the finals.
Suvivor Series Elimination Match
This was the second of two traditional Survivor Series Elimination Matches, but it's the only one I can review as the first was on the pre-show and I didn't watch it because WWE pre-shows are awful. Seriously, they're really boring. Don't watch them.
Anyways, this match features two teams of five battling in the ring until all the members of one team are eliminated. While last years Elimination Match was widely hyped with incredibly stakes on the line, this one had absolutely zero story build and was likely just slapped together at the last second.
The first team consisted of The Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara and Kalisto, the latter of whom deserves better), Jimmy and Jey Uso, and Ryback. The second featured The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E, who all deserve better), King Barrett (who also deserves better), and Sheamus.
The match was fairly basic, with nothing too exciting happening in it. It was obviously meant to kill time. The only particularly exciting moment in this match was the finish, where Kalisto, Ryback and one of the Usos (they're twins, it's hard to tell) all took turns beating the Celtic Crap out of the Celtic Warrior, Sheamus, eventually putting him down with a Shell Shock from Ryback.
If only it'd kept him down...
Charlotte vs. Paige and Tyler Breeze vs. Dolph Ziggler
I'm going to be completely honest with you guys... I didn't watch the next two matches.
I couldn't. I refused to.
I love every single on of these wrestlers. Paige is a woman who set a new standard for how women a presented in WWE, and Charlotte is the greatest female athlete currently in the WWE. Tyler Breeze is an exciting character with a really diverse set of moves, and Dolph Ziggler is the perennial underdog! What's not to love about these matches, you ask?
Let's start with the ladies. For the last couple of months, every woman in WWE (called "Divas", of course) with the exception of Summer Rae have been involved in a storyline called "The Divas Revolution". What is this, you ask? It's simple. In a nutshell, it's the WWE riding the coattails of successful woman athletes like Ronda Rousey and patting themselves on the back for acknowledging the incredibly sexist way they've been treating women literally since their inception.
The Divas Revolution is meant to both shake up the storyline hierarchy of women in the company and the real-life perception of women's wrestling, and with the addition of NXT standouts Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, it looked extremely promising. But here we are, months later, and the so-called revolution has done absolutely nothing.
Female characters are still portrayed as whiny, bratty, overemotional sexist archetypes. They're still referred to as "Divas" instead of wrestlers. They're still barely given any time to show off their wrestling ability, and they're still basically being portrayed as the sideshow attraction that WWE has always seen them as. It's disgusting and quite frankly, insulting to the intelligence of wrestling fans everywhere.
Now onto Breeze and Ziggler... Oh the mess of a story this is.
It all started when Lana, the manager of Rusev, left him for being a huge piece of crap (in storyline, of course). She then started dating Dolph Ziggler, and Rusev and Ziggler started to feud over her. That's fair enough, I suppose. But then Rusev decided to bring in Summer Rae and have her replace Lana, even going as far as to have her dress up as Lana. Then Lana and Summer Rae got into a couple of catfights, Rusev got injured and then married Lana in real life, so that already terrible storyline was scrapped.
In comes Tyler Breeze! Another NXT standout, filled to the brim with talent and potential! He comes in as Summer Rae's new boy toy after Ziggler rejects her advances, and boom! The boring soap-opera story continues. It's so bad...
So in a nutshell, that's why I skipped those matches. I recommend any intelligent fans do the same.
The Brothers of Destruction vs The Wyatt Family
The next match is the one we've all been waiting for! The one that the Pay-Per-View was hyped around! The Undertaker, and his brother Kane, battling the Wyatt Family as the latter attempts to destroy them and use their legacies to create their own!
Was it good?
First and foremost, the most entertaining aspect of this match was the entrance of Kane and The Undertaker. Kane entered first, and after triggering his pyro out came The Undertaker! With blue fog and lights, plenty of thunder and lightning, and a massive coffin hanging in the air that displayed every persona the Undertaker had ever had! It was chilling, and exciting, and almost as long as this entire match...
Nothing about the match itself was exciting. First and foremost, the lineup was changed on the fly; fans were expecting Braun Strowman, the newest and scariest member of the Wyatt family, to fight with Bray Wyatt against the brothers, but he was instead replaced by Luke Harper, a much less exciting member.
Undertaker and Kane then proceeded to wreck Erick Rowan, the most interesting and underutilized member of the Wyatt Family, by choke-slamming him so hard he then proceeded to run from the arena... With the commentary pointing it out about ten minutes later. Hmph.
Oh, at some point they also took out Strowman at some point too, completely undermining his previous portrayal as an unstoppable monster by defeating him with like... Two moves.
The Brothers won because of course they did, and the match left the memory of everyone watching only minutes later.
Not exactly the amazing celebration of one of the greatest careers of all time, now was it?
Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose
Finally, thankfully, it's time for the main event. The finals of the tournament for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship, with the former brothers in arms of the previous champ battling in out in a fitting end and--
Wow, they are booing the crap out of Roman Reigns!
This match was super, super dull. Which is sad, because the build up was really good! Reigns and Ambrose have been portrayed as best friends for months, both willing to fight alongside the other against any odds, and now they're put into a match to prove who truly is the best of them with the grandest title in the company on the line... And Reigns won it with a spear just... Out of the blue. It was even shorter than the last match! And twice as disappointing.
Let's be honest here, we all knew Reigns was going to win... But wow, did the fans at the arena not like it. They booed him half to hell, and Dean Ambrose just kinda... Disappeared. For some reason. I think he congratulated Roman and then crawled away.
But then, Triple H, the COO of WWE appeared! And when he went to congratulate Reigns, Reigns attacked him! For some reason... I'm not sure, really. It was kind of random. I know that Triple H had been making it difficult for Reigns recently but the attack was still kind of uncalled for.
Then Sheamus cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase and beat Reigns for the title!
And the crowd went... Mild. Again.
And that's how the show ended. With the least wanted champion in the history of the WWE. Poor Sheamus... His new character had so much potential. If only he'd received that little thing called character development... Oh well.
And the show ended with Sheamus raising his new title high while the fans just kind of mildly blew air at him. So exciting, right?
To be completely fair to WWE, it's only about 80% their fault that Survivor Series sucked this year. Half their roster is out with injuries, including their former world champ! It left them with nobody really beloved by the fans to work with, and they horribly mistreated the few they had that are.
Honestly, it's not really difficult to see why WWE's ratings are in the toilet lately. 2015 has been one of the worst years they've had, and at this point it's too late to make it better. And well, since the Royal Rumble they were really in trouble anyway, if we're being honest with ourselves.
At the end of the day, this years Survivor Series gets a solid two stars from me. I am sincerely sorry to anyone who bought this monstrosity on Pay-Per-View instead of getting it on the WWE Network. That hard-earned money would've been better spent buying fifteen ghost peppers and eating all of them at once.
© 2015 Jason Gardner