Welcome to WWE Weekly. During this series, we will be looking back at the best and worst of WWE’s programming: Raw, SmackDown Live and occasionally a pay-per-view. This week gives us fallout from Survivor Series, so we have a lot to talk about. Let’s get into it.
Kicking things off with Survivor Series, we saw a lot of bad. The general response to WWE’s Survivor Series show was not good at all. If you watched, you know that things were absolutely out of hand.
Starting off with strictly matches, there were a few good matches. The men’s traditional match was good, yet very chaotic. Shane McMahon put his body on the line and got absolutely mauled in this match to the point where he couldn’t continue. Braun Strowman nearly almost killed poor little James Ellsworth, a Shield reunion of sorts took place and surprising eliminations took place, leading us to Bray Wyatt picking up the win for Team SmackDown. Now, if I were to give out a MVP award for this match, there’s no doubt it’s going to Shane McMahon for Team SmackDown–just for putting himself through so much and never actually being pinned to be eliminated. As for Team Raw’s MVP, I’d have to give it to Seth Rollins who looked so good in this match, which is a shocker because ever since his return he wasn’t doing his best. The match itself was something amazing. I’d say it was the best traditional match of the night.
MVP’s: Shane McMahon, Seth Rollins
The tag team traditional match was another good one. Not as good as the men’s, but still good. Right away we got two eliminations from the jump. Fandango turned around after passing out “Uggo slips” right into Big E and the rest was history. Kofi actually made the pin then turned right into a superkick from an Uso to get eliminated. Yes, the shocker elimination of the night goes to the Team Captains New Day, who were eliminated in such short order. Jordan and Gable were killing it as usual and even ended off a huge dive fest with one of the most insane assisted dives I’ve ever seen in my life. As the teams got slimmer, the action got better. That’s why my MVP awards for this match go to the two final teams: The Usos and Cesaro/Sheamus. These two teams absolutely killed it out there. It felt like they were really trying to out do each other to see who really is the best tag team out of both brands. In the end, Cesaro and Sheamus, the most dysfunctional team in the whole match won and they were the sole survivors.
MVP’s: The Usos, Cesaro & Sheamus
The women’s traditional match was very upsetting. If I’m being completely honest I didn’t like it at all. Nikki was attacked backstage and Natalya ended up taking her place. We still don’t know who attacked Nikki so that’s a bit of a mystery there and as we found out on SmackDown, it wasn’t Carmella. Put two and two together. Then the match started. And it went down hill fast. There’s really not much I can say about this. The whole set up of the match and the way people were eliminated was just horrible and I’m giving no one an MVP award for this. The girls that I thought would shine either didn’t, or didn’t get a chance. The final three ended up being Becky vs. Charlotte and Bayley. Instead of having Bayley go then having champion vs champion in the finals, they just had Bayley eliminate Becky. Why? Why did Bayley get the win and not Charlotte? The world may never know. But, Charlotte did attack Bayley after the match and stood tall in the end.
Then we get to singles action. The two pre-show matches were good. Luke Harper and Kane put on a pretty good match that was enjoyable for a pre-show but Kane won. I repeat, Kane went over the incredible Luke Harper who is apart of SmackDown’s main focal points in the Wyatt’s. A man who we rarely see, or when we do we see him he’s in random matches, Kane, won. I’m shaking my head. The other pre-show match was a Cruiserweight six man that was entertaining. Not much more to say.
In main show singles action, Sami Zayn had a fantastic match against the intercontinental Champion, The Miz. These two had such a good match that had me on my feet cheering for Zayn to win the title. Then they screwed him. A classic Montreal screwjob type finish (Because of course, they’re in Canada! They have to do it!). Zayn had Miz in a submission, Maryse rung the bell, yet Miz didn’t tap. He took advantage of Zayn and retained. In hindsight, it made Miz more hated and helped him get heat with the Canadian crowd after screwing their guy, but I just can’t stand the screwjob finishes.
Speaking of screwed up finishes, Brian Kendrick defended his Cruiserweight Title against Kalisto. This match was actually good, yet the crowd seemed to not be into it. Even for the big high flying spots where usually crowds pop for, “The Six” barely did. I enjoyed it though. Kalisto hit a Spanish Fly off the apron onto the floor, Kendrick pulled off the captains hook submission from the top rope and Kalisto fought an epic comeback. He looked to have the match in the bag; then another screwy finish. Baron Corbin ran in and destroyed both men to make the match end in a DQ, Kendrick retained. Then, Corbin was talking to Daniel Bryan backstage and buried the Cruiserweights vocally. Good job, WWE.
Finally, we get to the main event. Some people hated it, some loved it and some were so shocked they still can’t figure out how they feel. Goldberg dominated Brock in 1 minute 26 seconds. Right off the bat, the star hit a spear, followed by a second spear and a jackhammer. Match over. That’s it. That’s how you end one of your “big four PPV’s”. A one minute match ending your show. Your beast. Your conqueror of Undertaker’s precious streak. Your badass monster Brock Lesnar just lost to a 49-year-old man who hasn’t wrestled in 12 years. Okay. At first, I liked this. I was in shock, I was amazed and I don’t even hate Goldberg so I was happy for him. But, after everything settled down, I realized that was so stupid. I don’t know how they’re going to get out of this hole they dug themselves into, but I hope they have something planned. Overall, the show didn’t feel like a big four pay-per-view. Besides the men’s traditional match, it didn’t even feel like the brands were actually competing. It was just a way to build new stories for each brand.
Heading into Raw, I didn’t have high hopes for a good show, yet I was looking forward to it strictly because I wanted to see how things would play out between Goldberg and Brock. Sadly, Brock wasn’t on the show. But we did kick things off with Goldberg. He talked about how all good things must come to an end and how he did what he set out to do. He also said that Stephanie McMahon knew he had one more spear and jackhammer left in him. But, she wanted to know if he had one more title run left in him. Goldberg said “you bet your ass I do” and I blew up. I had no clue where they were going with this or when it was going down–but I was intrigued. Then he told us who’s next. EVERYONE. Goldberg entered himself into the 2017 Royal Rumble match and will now compete among (assuming) 29 other men to see who will main event WrestleMania. Talk about a good way to kick off the show.
We then saw Enzo naked which (I’m not going into detail about) but was funny. It involved Lana which set up a match with Rusev that lasted 45 seconds with Enzo being destroyed.
Cesaro and Sheamus got their tag team title match which was a damn fine match and was one I was really enjoying. But, New Day cheated and snuck away with the win to retain their titles as the record breaking finish line is drawing closer.
Cedric Alexander took on Daivari in a good Cruiserweight match. Cedric always delivers.
The Golden Truth got Squashed by The Club, so now Gallows and Anderson get a tag team title match next week.
Jericho had a entertaining Highlight Reel segment with Kevin Owens, Rollins and Reigns which turned into an all out brawl. Foley interrupted and made our main event. No, surprisingly not a tag team match. Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens in a No DQ match for the WWE Universal Championship with Jericho and Roman banned from ringside.
Braun Strowman had a match with my Raw MVP of the week, Sami Zayn. Now, this may be a shocker because Zayn got beaten to the point where he couldn’t continue. He got little to no offense in this match at all and Braun wrecked his life for a solid couple of minutes until the match was called off due to Sami being unable to continue. Now, the reason I’m giving him MVP is: HE MADE BRAUN LOOK LIKE A MILLION BUCKS. Sami took a beating, sold his ass off and made Braun look like a believable (if the image doesn’t make him believable already) monster. Sami has heart, he has guts and he damn sure can sell like a champ. Now, he’s earned this.
Raw MVP: Sami Zayn
Up next we saw more Cruiserweight action between TJ Perkins, Noam Dar and Rich Swann. The winner of this match gets a championship match on 205 Live’s first episode next week. This was so damn good and Rich Swann was killing it. He definitely outshined his opponents, which earned him the win. Swann is now the number one contender for the Cruiserweight Title.
Sadly, the low part of the show came next. Again, just like Survivor Series, the women didn’t do good. It’s sad because I want to like the women. I want to be invested but I just can’t because they keep feeding us Charlotte vs Sasha and showcasing the four horsewomen. I can’t take it anymore. Then, we got something new. Nia Jax interrupted Sasha and Charlotte. I thought this was her chance to get into the title picture, but NOPE. Nia said she didn’t want the championship. Um, okay? She was there for Sasha. This prompted Sasha getting beat down by Nia, Charlotte and Dana until Bayley made the save. Then we got a tag match. Bayley and Sasha were victorious against Charlotte and Nia in a ‘meh’ match. Sasha gets a Raw Women’s Title match next week in Charlotte, NC. Yay!… not.
Finally it was time for the main event. Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens had such an amazing match. They did NO DQ like it’s supposed to be done and Rollins again looked better than he has in recent months. There were points were I thought Rollins was actually going to win. After multiple table spots, as well as diving out of the crowd, Rollins had Owens nearly beaten to a point of no return, the he was attacked by Sin Cara. Kidding. Kind of. No, he wasn’t attacked by Sin Cara but he was attacked by Chris Jericho wearing a Sin Cara mask. Rollins ended up disposing of Jericho, who wasn’t supposed to be at ringside anyway (so that’ll be interesting to see if they bring that up next week). Owens took advantage of the distraction and powerbombed Seth on the apron before taking the victory to retain his prized possession. Such a good match and that’s why it gets my Match of the Week award. This was better than anything on Survivor Series and SmackDown. Congrats Owens and Rollins.
Match of the Week: Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens
Speaking of SmackDown, what a show this was. SmackDown really stepped it up this week too. We kicked things off with Shane kicking Ambrose out of the building and giving him the night off for basically turning his back on SmackDown at Survivor Series and almost costing them the match. Then, he gave James Ellsworth a full time contract for helping them eliminate Braun. But, he wanted to fight for the contract and really earn it. So in the main event, Ellsworth would take on Styles in a contract ladder match.
Due to The Miz cheating to win at Survivor Series, Daniel Bryan punished him by making him put up his championship against a man who was screwed out of a title win at the PPV, Kalisto. The match itself was good, but Corbin interfered again and cost Kalisto the Intercontinental Championship. Corbin attacked Kalisto after the match. Then, Miz was super kicked by Ziggler on the stage. A decent post-match angle.
Natalya took on Becky Lynch next which was a decent match. Nothing special, Becky won. She will defend her title against Alexa Bliss at a TLC. Speaking of TLC, it was announced that Nikki Bella will go against Carmella in a No DQ match at the PPV, as well as Ziggler vs. Miz in a ladder match.
Due to Corbin interfering again, he was punished and put in a match against Kane. We barely saw much of a match because it ended in a DQ when Kalisto took a page out of Baron’s book and ran in. Kalisto ended up fighting off Corbin and even kicked a chair into his face. These two will battle at TLC in a chairs match.
All throughout the night, Dean Ambrose (who was supposed to be kicked out of the building) kept showing up. He’d have funny little segments which ended in Shane screaming at him to leave. He showed up with pizza, he tried to hang with Ellsworth and he even was dressed as a Mountie which made Daniel Bryan laugh–when he was trying to be serious. Due to these funny moments, Dean Ambrose did great and that’s why he gets my next award.
Segment of the Week: Dean Ambrose
Up next we had a Tag Team Turmoil match which was super fun. It started out with The Hype Bros vs. Ascension and ended with American Alpha vs. The Usos. American Alpha got the win in exciting fashion, after killing it since they entered the match, getting a total of three eliminations during the match’s tenure which was the most. Though they won tonight, they were interrupted by The Wyatts post-match. Next week Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton take on American Alpha and the winner of that match becomes the number one contenders.
SmackDown MVP: American Alpha
The time has come. Main event time. AJ Styles wasted no time laying in a beating on poor Ellsworth. He beat him up the entire match. But, when he went to climb the ladder to win, things changed. A man dressed as an Ottawa Senators player, who turned out to be Dean Ambrose attacked Styles and tried helping Ellsworth. But, Styles fought Ambrose off and headed back up the ladder. By this time, Ellsworth was up and pushed the ladder over, causing AJ to take one of the nastiest ladder bumps to the outside that I’ve seen in quite some time. Styles did recover though, but ran into a No Chin Music which led Ellsworth to get the contract and win the match. A feel good moment ended this week’s show as Ellsworth cried and celebrated his WWE contract win.
THIS WEEK IN WWE (NOVEMBER 23, 2016)
Decent - 6/10
This week was a good week for WWE. Raw and Smackdown were the best they've been in some time, especially Raw. This week gets a 6/10 rating. Though I loved Raw and Smackdown, I sadly can't go higher due to Survivor Series being as bad as it was. This leaves room for improvement and there's always next week. Thanks for reading!