Wednesday, 27 November 2013

WWE Survivor Series on Sky Box Office - TV Review

It's time to step into the territory of the mighty World Wrestling Entertainment once again as we take a look at the last "big four" pay per view of the year, Survivor Series, shown in the early hours of this past Monday morning on Sky Box Office here in Britain.

The show began with the first Survivor Series match as Rey Mysterio, the Usos, Goldust and Cody Rhodes faced Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro of the Real Americans and the Shield's Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.

This proved to be a very enjoyable opener, apart from Zeb Colter's whatever the hell you call it during his entrance. All ten men put in good performances and told a pretty good story as the match progressed and the sides became a little lop-sided at one point. As for the eliminations.....

Ambrose was the first to go. After stomping a mud hole on Rhodes in the corner he earned the ire of the referee for refusing to break off his attack, and while he was trying to intimidate the official Rhodes rolled him up for the pin.

Swagger followed a few minutes later. After Goldust took the punching bag treatment he managed to get the hot tag to Mysterio. Quick tags followed as Mysterio took Swagger down with a 619, Jimmy Uso scored with a superkick, and his brother Jey sealed the deal with a superfly splash.

A very dizzy Cesaro soon joined his partner backstage. Having taken both of the Usos out with his big swing Rhodes tagged in and took the pin with a sunset flip.

With the odds against them the Shield boys began to work their way back into the match, and having given Jey Uso a beating his brother Jimmy fell a few moments later when he failed to take Reigns out with a superfly flash. One spear later and it was all over for him.

Rhodes was the next to go just over a minute later. Having taken Rollins out with the cross Rhodes he didn't notice Reigns tagging himself back in. Another spear later and it was all over for him as well.

Jey Uso then joined his brother on the eliminations list. Having missed a flying bodyblock off the top Rollins tagged back in and took him out with the blackout for the pin.

Mysterio then took over the punching bag treatment for a few moments, but when Rollins lifted him onto his shoulders the masked man countered with a sunset flip roll up for the pin.

With the odds now firmly against him Reigns took his frustrations out on Mysterio until he managed to get the hot tag to Goldust. The tag champion looked like he was going to get the pin after taking Reigns down with several crisp moves, but another spear and pin from the big man soon sent the face painted one packing.

Just a few seconds later Mysterio countered Reigns powerbomb attempt with a hurricanrana that left him draped over the middle rope. But as he ran the ropes preparing for the 619 Reigns suddenly sprang into life and took Mysterio out with another spear. A three count later and Reigns was the sole survivor.

The first title match of the evening followed as former Paul Heyman guy Curtis Axel challenged Big E. Langston for the Intercontinental title.

Well, as I say in my Ring of Honor reviews you could say this was one of those short and sweet encounters. They may not have been given that much time but they certainly made good use of it.

Langston dominated the early going with some nice looking power moves until Axel came back into the match, almost getting the pin at one point with the perfect-plex. You know, I remember when people never kicked out of that. But I digress.

The champion then made his comeback, and although Axel came close to pulling off his finisher Langston countered and took his man down with his big ending for the winning pin.

Then it was on to the second Survivor Series match as the Total Divas team of the Bella Twins, Natalya, Naomi, Cameron, JoJo and Eva Marie took on the True Divas team of A.J. Lee, Tamina Snuka, Summer Rae, Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox, Aksana and Kaitlyn.

This one was okay, but for me it was a little too stacked (and I'm not talking about breast enhancement surgeries here). With so many Divas in this match, and with the majority of the eliminations coming every few seconds it kind of put me off a little. As for those eliminations.....

Fox was the first to go. After some quick exchanges with Naomi the Funkadactyl took the pin after a split legged moonsault.

Naomi's dancing partner Cameron quickly followed, with Mendes taking the pin after she tripped her opponent up and her head hit the bottom turnbuckle.

Then, as Mendes danced, Nikki Bella came up from behind and took her down with her Bella buster for the three count.

We then had a brief dancing contest between Nikki and Summer Rae, and when Rae did the splits Nikki took her out with a dropkick for the pin.

Eva Marie (who?) followed, taken out after Kaitlyn's fireman's carry gut buster. A few moments later she used the same move to take out Naomi as well. Her run of luck ended just seconds later when Brie Bella connected with a missile dropkick off the top rope for the pin.

Brie promptly took out Aksana with another dropkick, but when Lee distracted her as she ran the ropes Aksana caught her with the diva drop for the three count. Nikki then got a measure of revenge for her sister when Aksana fell to her backbreaker drop.

After so many quick eliminations the action settled down a little as Snuka took JoJo (who?) to the proverbial wood shed for a few moments, ending her assault with a Samoan drop. She then tagged Lee into the match so the Divas Champion could pin the newcomer.

With the sides now even, Snuka tagged back in to take on Natalya, but after she missed with the superfly splash Natalya locked in the sharpshooter for the submission win.

Miss Snuka decided to hang around while Lee tried to take down Natalya, but after Nikki sent her packing a series of roll-up attempts saw Natalya locking in the sharpshooter again, with Lee tapping out within seconds to give the Total Divas team the win.

Then it was on to the impromptu match of the night. Ryback appeared on the scene, and after throwing a few insults to the all-star panel of Bret Hart, Booker T and Mick Foley he issued an open challenge. It was a challenge that Mark Henry was only too happy to answer.

What followed was what you could probably call the filler material of the evening. It was basically two big blokes beating the proverbial out of each other, and like the Divas match it fitted firmly into the "okay" category, and it probably won't be remembered by this time next week.

As I've pretty much summed up what happened let's move straight to the finish. After Henry countered Ryback's meathook clothesline attempt with a cross bodyblock the big man took the slightly smaller man down with the world's strongest slam for the winning pin.

It was back to title action for the next match as Alberto Del Rio challenged John Cena for the World title.

As far as title matches go this was pretty good. Both protagonists played their parts well, and as the match went on it certainly made for an interesting story.

As expected ADR began to centre his attack on the champ's arm, and as the action moved along and as Cena made his comebacks the challenger became increasingly frustrated with his inability to put his man away.

Eventually they moved on to the big guns as they tried their trademark submission holds. Del Rio barely made it to the ropes when Cena locked in the STF, and when ADR locked in the cross armbreaker Cena lifted him up and powerbombed his way out.

A few moments later it was all over. After initially countering out of the move Del Rio found himself on the receiving end of Cena's attitude adjuster. A three count later and Cena had retained his title.

The penultimate match saw C.M. Punk and Daniel Bryan taking on Bray Wyatt's boys Luke Harper and Erick Rowan.

What we had here was a battle between brawlers and technicians, and it was pretty damn good. From start to finish these four put on an excellent piece of storytelling, with the maniacal Wyatt adding a little flavour to things from his old rocking chair.

It began with Bryan and Punk doubling up to good effect before the big boys began to use Punk for target practice. These giants impressed the hell out of me, and I really can't believe how far Harper has come since his days as Brodie Lee in Ring of Honor, because he really wasn't that good back then.

As the fans in attendance voiced their approval and the hottest acts in the company went into overdrive things only got better, and the displays of power from Harper and in particular Rowan were a sight to see.

But pure power wasn't enough to put the best and the beard away. After Bryan took Rowan out with his running knee Punk finally took Harper down with the GTS for the three count and win.

Afterwards an angry Wyatt took off his Hawaiian shirt, but just when it looked like he was about to accept Punk and Bryan's challenge he backed down.

The main event saw the Big Show challenging Randy Orton for the WWE title.

The story of this one was actually quite simple, that of the cowardly champion against his giant challenger, and although it was actually quite short it was executed quite well.

As soon as the match began Orton did anything he could to avoid contact with the big man, but eventually Show caught up with him so he could deliver some powerful blows. It wasn't long before Orton took control though following a dropkick as Show came off the ropes.

The action moved along nicely, with Orton bolting from the ring whenever Show looked like he was going to bring out the big guns. This tactic worked up to a point. After Orton tried to escape through the crowd while the referee was taking a snooze Show caught up with him, and a few moments later he took him down with his knockout punch.

But just when it looked like Show as going to get the winning pin Triple H's music played as the Authority appeared on the scene. Now distracted, Show quickly fell to an RKO before Orton backed up and connected with a punt to the head. All of this was enough to give the Viper the three count and the win.

That wasn't all. As Triple H and his missus stood at ringside applauding their boy's win John Cena's music hit. The World Champion came out and entered the ring for the inevitable stare down as both champions raised their belts in the air.

In conclusion - so what's the final verdict on the final "big four" show of the year.

Overall I found this year's Survivor Series to be a very enjoyable show. Okay, I wasn't exactly enthralled with the Divas match, but everything else was pretty good, and the Cena/Orton stare down at the end was a good way to keep the Authority storyline going, as well as a good way to end the show.

As for my match of the night no-prize there was only really one contender, and that was the Punk/Bryan/Wyatts match. The crowd got it right with they aimed a certain chant at this one.

So with all of that out of the way there's only one more thing left to do, and that's to give this show the thumbs up.

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