It's time to dip into the ever-growing pile of WWE DVDs sent to me by the good people at Fremantle Media, and this time around we're going back in time to last November and the show with the much changed main event, Survivor Series 2012.
The show began with a traditional Survivor Series match with Brodus Clay, Justin Gabriel, Tyson Kidd, Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio taking on Tensai, Primo, Epico, and Darren Young and Titus O'Neil of the Prime Time Players.
This was apparently a last-minute addition to the card, and it was a great way to start the show. I was really impressed with the performances of the smaller guys in this one, particularly Kidd and Gabriel, with the Colon boys both put in a good showing. As for the eliminations.....
Clay was the first man eliminated. After a mini-mass brawl which saw Mysterio and his crew take to the skies Clay and Tensai were left brawling in the ring. Clay tried to take old Albert down with a suplex but failed somewhat, and when he missed an avalanche in the corner Tensai finished him off with a shoulder barge and a running senton for the pin.
Big Tensai went himself a few moments later. With his team having used Gabriel for target practice the big man missed his running senton when Gabriel rolled out of the way. He then reached back and pulled him over for the pin. He left his mark on the way out though by taking Gabriel down with a big clothesline.
With the scores even, Gabriel took further punishment until he got the tag to Kidd. The Canadian didn't fare much better until he crotched O'Neil on the top rope. He then flew over the top rope with a sunset flip-like move and used his feet to hook O'Neil's shoulders and pin him to the mat.
Kidd went on to take even more punishment, but when Epico went for a series of suplexes Kidd countered with a sharpshooter, with Epico tapping within seconds.
Kidd eventually made it back to his corner to tag Mysterio, and after a fast-paced series of moves which saw Primo avoid the 619 and Mysterio avoid the back stabber Mysterio rolled his man up for the three count.
This left Young against four opponents, and after Mysterio took him down with the 610 we saw a quick series of tags and high flying moves before Mysterio came back in and sealed the deal with his top rope splash, securing the win for his team.
The first title match of the evening saw Kaitlyn challenging Eve Torres for the Divas title.
Before the match began Kaitlyn was the subject of another mystery attack backstage, but this time around she managed to fight her off and grab her wig. Back in the ring she threw the wig into Torres' face, beginning an assault that saw the challenger dominate the action.
However, the wily title holder soon worked her way back into the match, and at one point she dipped into her martial arts training with a hold that resembled a triangle choke and armbar. But when she went to the top rope things went a little pear shaped when Kaitlyn knocked her down to the ring apron. Her comeback didn't last that long though, and when Torres took her down with a spinning neck breaker it was enough to get the winning pin.
The title action continued with Antonio Cesaro defending the United States title against R-Truth.
This was another impressive performance for the man from Switzerland. Everything he did just looked so crisp and smooth, with his power moves looking particularly impressive. He did a good job in controlling the action as he wore Truth down with a series of reverse bear hug-like moves.
He couldn't keep Little Jimmy's best mate down for long though as he came back with his fast-paced offence, but when he missed his patented axe kick Cesaro came back with a big uppercut before taking him down with his neutralizer for the winning pin.
After an in-ring segment with Vickie Guerrero and A.J. Lee it was on to the Smackdown main event as Sheamus challenged the Big Show for the World title.
These two had a lot to live up to following their great match the previous month, and they just about pulled it off. Although it featured a great deal of brawling it was also quite a different encounter. Sheamus tried to go toe to toe with the big man early on, but it wasn't long before Show took control with his big fists and a few wear down holds.
Things didn't look too bright for the Irishman. Each time he attempted a comeback Show took him down just seconds later. But when the big man climbed to the second rope, probably in preparation for a big splash, Sheamus managed to get back to his feet. He then showed a tremendous amount of strength when he put Show on his shoulders and took him down with an electric chair.
The strength was in display again a few moments later when Sheamus lifted him onto his back and put him down with white noise. But despite these two sterling efforts he couldn't get the pin.
So he decided to bring out his biggest piece of artillery, the Brogue Kick. But as he came across the ring Show pulled the referee into the way so that the official took the hit. A doctor and a couple of other referees then came down to check on the man's condition, but as Sheamus showed concern for the fallen official Show recovered and stood over him, and when he turned round the big guy connected with his knockout punch. Show then went for the cover, with one of the other officials making the title retaining three count.
Or so we thought. The officials began to confer in the ring, and the decision was reversed to a Sheamus win via disqualification, but not the title. The champion tried to plead his case, but as he did Sheamus clobbered him repeatedly with a chair. It got to the point where Show was begging him to stop, but that wasn't enough for him as he ended his assault with a brogue kick.
The penultimate match was the second Survivor Series elimination encounter, with Alberto Del Rio, Damien Sandow, David Otunga, Wade Barrett and Dolph Ziggler taking on Mick Foley's team of Kane, Daniel Bryan, Kofi Kingston, the Miz and Randy Orton.
Despite all of the changes to this match it certainly ticked all the relevant boxes, especially storyline-wise, because in my many years of watching this event I don't ever recall the babyface team beset with dissention, with everyone basically disliking and distrusting their team-mates, especially the Miz.
So with the background in place it led to some fine performances from those involved. The somewhat minor players did their part, and the big guns really stepped up to the plate as it were, and all of this made for a very entertaining encounter. As for the eliminations....
Sandow was the first to go. Having taken a beating from Bryan the brainy one tried to head for the hills, only to be dragged back to the ring by Kane. The Big Red Machine then tagged himself in and choke slammed Sandow for the pin.
Kane followed just a few seconds later. Bryan was still angry that he'd been tagged out of the match, and as the two of them began to argue in the ring Kane ended it by pushing his partner over the top rope throat first. It was then that Ziggler came up from behind and took him down with his zig zag for the three count.
Otunga was next. With Bryan having taking a bit of the punching bag treatment Otunga tagged in and took him down with a shoulder block. But when he went for the pin he began to pose, which left him open to Bryan's yes lock and the quick tap out.
Then it was Kingston's turn to go. He nearly took out Del Rio with a series of fast-paced moves, but when Barrett tagged into the match the Brit took control before sending him into la-la land with his bull hammer elbow for the pin.
Bryan was next. Having failed in his attempt to apply the yes lock to Del Rio the Mexican briefly targeted his man's arm before applying the cross arm breaker for the tap out.
The next elimination belonged to the Miz. Having spent most of the match on the ring apron he finally got in on the action against Barrett, and after countering his wastelands attempt he took him down with the skull crushing finale for the pin.
Miz's time was up a few moments later. Having missed his trademark corner clothesline Del Rio came up from behind with his enziguri before he rolled him up for the three count.
This left Orton alone with Ziggler and Del Rio, and after Foley took care of ADR's buddy Ricardo Rodriguez with a little help from Mr. Socko Orton countered Del Rio's cross arm breaker attempt with an RKO for the pin. But when he tried for the same move a few moments later Ziggler held on to the rope.
That didn't stop Orton from taking Ziggler down with his DDT, but instead of going for the pin the Viper took a few steps back as he looked to punt Ziggler into the middle of the following week. The momentary hesitation had given Ziggler time to recover, and as Orton came forward Ziggler connected with a superkick before getting the three count, winning the match for his team.
The main event saw John Cena and Ryback challenging C.M. Punk, accompanied by Paul Heyman, for the WWE title in a triple threat match.
This certainly proved to be a very dramatic encounter with three good performances and the debut of a faction that would go on to even greater things over the next few months.
All three combatants gave a very good account of themselves here. Punk put in his usual solid performance, and the exchanges between Cena and Ryback are now the perfect precursor for their post-Wrestlemania rivalry.
It really was a well thought out encounter, and unlike most triple threat matches I've seen over the years there wasn't much double team work, it really was every man for himself as all three men came close to getting the win on numerous occasions.
The real turning point was when Punk and Cena decided to team up and take Ryback down. This they did when they suplexed the big man through the commentators table, but as the old saying goes you can't keep a good man down. As they brought out their big guns and tried to put each other away Ryback soon recovered and came back into the match. But what happened next would go on to have a dramatic effect on WWE for months to come.
Having taken Punk down with his shellshock finisher he did the same with Cena. But as he was about to go for the pin three men rushed in from the crowd and attacked him. These three, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, then put him through the Spanish commentator's table with a three-way powerbomb, eliminating him from the match.
And while all of this was going on Punk had recovered enough to crawl back into the ring. He then covered the still-prone Cena, and a three count later he had the title retaining pin.
Just one extra on this release, a post-match interview with C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman.
In conclusion - when I first saw this show last November I enjoyed it a great deal, and now I've seen it for a second time I have to say that my opinion of it hasn't changed one bit.
All of the matches delivered here, and seeing them almost a year later you get to see how certain events were set in motion, such as the ongoing Shield storyline, and the future rivalry between Cena and Ryback. If you put all of these aspects together then you've got another quality DVD release from WWE here.
As for my match of the night I'm going for the aforementioned Punk/Cena/Ryback main event.
So with all of that out of the way there's only one thing left to do, and that's to give this release the big thumbs up.
With thanks to Fremantle Media and Fetch Publicity for supplying a copy of this release. WWE Survivor Series 2012 is available to buy online at www.wwedvd.co.uk.