Survivor Series is one of the more unique pay-per-view programs, and the 2012 version was no different.
The early action wasn't necessarily knock-your-socks-off good, but as the night wore on, the PPV only continued to get better.
There were powerful high-flying moves. There were entertaining matches. There were shocking finishes, and most importantly, there were a couple debuts from some highly anticipated young wrestlers.
Let's get to the action.
3MB Defeats Santino Marella and Zack Ryder
It looked like Marella and Ryder were going to get this PPV started off with a victory. Long Island Iced-Z nailed a missile dropkick, the Broski and the Rough Ryder on Heath Slater.
But Jinder, who was the legal man, stepped in and landed a huge full nelson slam on Ryder for the win.
Bonus Survivor Series Match: Brodus Clay, Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel defeat Tensai, The Prime Time Players, Primo and Epico
We were treated to a bonus match, and although there were no marquee names, it was a Survivor Series match, so it's hard to be upset.
How would you grade this elimination match?
Tensai got things started by hitting a body senton on Brodus for the first elimination. He proceeded to hit another one on Gabriel, but The Daredevil returned the favor with a Crucifix for the pin.
Then Gabriel's partner, Tyson Kidd, got going in a big way.
The electrifying Kidd hit Titus O'Neil with a monstrous kick to the head and then landed a springboard to get the pin. Moments later, he locked in the Sharpshooter, Bret Hart-style, on Epico, who was forced to tap out.
Primo came in and got some revenge on Kidd, but Tyson was able to tag Rey Mysterio, who, as always, landed some death-defying moves. Mysterio eliminated Primo before every member of the winning team dropped a huge move on Darren Young to finish things off.
WWE Divas Championship Match: Eve (champion) defeats Kaitlyn
Not much to see here. It was mostly a slap fest with a few slams mixed in. The two went back and forth with some aggressive action, but in the end, Eve hit Kaitlyn with a neckbreaker and got the pin.
United States Championship Match: Antonio Cesaro (c) defeats R-Truth
Cesaro retained his championship belt once again after hitting Truth with the Very European Uppercut and the Neutralizer for the pin.
This one didn't last very long, but it was still an entertaining match and had some very solid wrestling all around.
AJ and Vickie Guerrero
AJ bounced happily down to the ring in order to reveal some pictures of Guerrero. First, there was one of Guerrero eating burritos with Ricardo, then one of her eating ribs with Jim Ross. Finally, one of her with Brodus Clay in a hotel room.
After some screaming at each other, Tamina Snuka shockingly ran out and destroyed AJ.
World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus defeats The Big Show (c) via DQ
Sheamus is officially the winner by DQ, but The Big Show still retained his title. Here's how it happened:
After some huge back-and-forth action, Sheamus had Show set up for the Brogue Kick, but the big seven-footer tossed the referee in the way. Sheamus connected with the ref, knocking him out cold.
As The Great White and several other referees attended to the fallen zebra, The Big Show drilled Sheamus with the knockout punch and got the pin.
Once the referees announced Show had been disqualified, he looked set to do some damage on the officials. But Sheamus knocked Show around with about 15 hits with a steel chair and then nailed him with the Brogue Kick.
Ziggler did not cash in.
Surivor Series Match: Team Ziggler defeats Team Foley
Things got started when Damien Sandow tried to bail on his team. Kane wasn't having that, as the big man tracked Sandow down, threw him back in the ring and gave him the chokeslam for the pin.
But when Kane and teammate Daniel Bryan got into a scuffle right after, Ziggler hit Kane with the Zig Zag and scored the pin.
David Otunga was the next person to be eliminated when Daniel Bryan got him into the No Lock for the tapout.
Up next was Kofi Kingston. Wade Barrett hit Kofi with the Winds of Change and Bull Hammer to score the pin.
After Wade Barrett and Miz were eliminated, Randy Orton was left to take on both Alberto del Rio and Ziggler. It appeared as though Orton was in trouble when Ricardo distracted him, but Mick Foley took care of that when he pulled Ricardo outside and gave him Mr. Socko.
Orton responded with the RKO to eliminate Del Rio.
Then there were two.
Both wrestlers landed some absolutely monstrous moves and landed some near pinfalls, but Ziggler grabbed the much-deserved win after connecting with a massive Superkick.
WWE Championship Match: CM Punk (c) defeats Ryback and John Cena
This was one was full of pretty epic action throughout, but let's flash forward to what you really want to know.
Favorite match of the night?
Ryback drilled both CM Punk and John Cena with Shell Shocks. With both men nearly out cold, it appeared Ryback was on the verge of taking Punk's belt.
Not so fast.
Three men from NXT (later revealed to be highly touted prospects Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose) appeared out of nowhere and mauled Ryback. They got him outside the ring and put him through the announcers' table.
Back in the ring, Punk rolled over Cena to retain the title.
During the first Survivor Series elimination match, there was quite a bit of diversity in the ring (via Joey Styles of WWE.com):
Countries represented in this @wwe match: USA, Puerto Rico (USA commonwealth), Costa Rica, Canada, Mexico, South Africa and Japan (ex-pat)— Joey Styles (@JoeyStyles) November 19, 2012
When Tamina Snuka laid out AJ and proceeded to drill her with the Superfly Splash off the top rope, WWE trainer Bill DeMott wasn't surprised:
DeMott (@BillDeMott) November 19, 2012
CM Punk had a huge title defense on his hands during the night's main event, but he didn't appear all that nervous. First, Paul Heyman tweeted this nice picture of a TV:
Heyman (@HeymanHustle) November 19, 2012
Then Punk himself found time to tweet this clever hashtag:
#364— CM Punk (@CMPunk) November 19, 2012
It took a little bit of help, but Punk walked away from Survivor Series with his belt and on Monday will hit a full calendar year as WWE champion.
Matt Striker added this final tweet of the night, summing up the excitement around the new prospects:
This is what PPV is all about.Controversy & intrigue. B4 things were "trending" they were simply called a buzz. I think theres a buzz in WWE— Matt Striker (@Matt_Striker_) November 19, 2012