The 2013 Survivor Series was headlined by the WWE Championship match between challenger The Big Show and champion Randy Orton.
The match had been three months in the making and was the culmination of a main event for Big Show that was met with lukewarm response by a large portion of the WWE fanbase.
Would the two performers be able to overcome the negativity surrounding their main event battle, or would the apathy for the feud shown by fans be justified?
An overabundance of rest holds and no real flow to the match, coupled with a "boring" chant early on did the bout no favors.
Big Show botched the ropes-assisted DDT from the top rope but came back with a chokeslam that received a mild reaction.
The action, or lack thereof, spilled to the outside late as the match looked like it may finally net some sort of excitement.
Instead, a distraction provided by The Authority allowed Orton to catch Big Show with an RKO and the running punt to the head, putting the match—and the audience—out its misery.
Afterward, world heavyweight champion John Cena inexplicably made his way to the ring, receiving a decent pop from an audience desperate to cheer anything but the match they had just witnessed.
The champions closed out the show by standing and staring at one another.
Tension? Not so much.
Big Show and Orton delivered one of the most lackluster, lethargic matches in recent pay-per-view history.
The match was shockingly bad, despite a strong story behind it.
Over the past four years, Orton has proved himself to be one of the great in-ring workers in the company. He has pulled far better matches out of less talented individuals than Show, but on this night, in a main event he absolutely needed to carry, even he seemed to be going through the motions.
Was Big Show vs. Randy Orton the worst main event in recent history?
Big Show does not escape criticism. The giant appeared to be winded early in the match and is easily in the worst physical shape he has been in in three years. He looked slow and nowhere near a legitimate threat to the WWE Championship.
It was a match that was done no favors by a lack of gimmicks. Like the Triple H vs. Chris Jericho and Triple H vs. Orton WrestleMania main events from years past, the feud between Show and Orton was strong enough to warrant a specialty match.
Instead, the creative team sent two marquee performers to the ring to fail miserably in a flat, basic singles match that was significantly less satisfying than some of the outstanding main events from Raw and SmackDown over the past month.
A horrible showing that Big Show may never recover from, and one that Orton will likely be ashamed of when he watches it back in the days that follow.
They were few and far between.
The "Daniel Bryan" chants that permeated throughout the arena were a nice show of defiance to the program presented to the Boston audience.
To his credit, Orton did take a decent beating early on, with the chops to his chest being particularly vicious.
Orton breaking out the running punt to the head, which has been used very rarely due to the danger of concussions it presents, was a nice touch within the context of the story being told. With that said, given the poor match and the crowd's complete disinterest with it, perhaps it would have been smarter to call an audible and save the spot for a hotter, more deserving scenario.
The staredown between Orton and Cena to close out the show was definitely a highlight due to the silence and awkwardness it was met with.
Fans were left with several questions as Survivor Series went off the air. Is Cena the new "chosen one" with The Authority? Will this lead to a unification match? Are they going to do something or just look at one another?
Did I hop in the Tardis and travel back to 2009 by accident?
Social Media Feedback
The match that everyone has been waiting for: Big Show vs Randy Orton. And when I say everyone, I mean no one. #SurvivorSeries— Jim Lundy (@Yo_Jim) November 25, 2013
Yup in 2013 WWE put on a ppv with Big Show vs Randy Orton as a main event. Ziggler and Sandow wasn’t booked. #WWE— cerial442 (@cerial442) November 25, 2013
When the fans chant boring during your main event surely you have to realise SOMETHING is wrong? #SurvivorSeries— Adam Rose (@ultimogaijin) November 25, 2013
What's Next for Big Show and Randy Orton?
It appears as though a program involving Orton and Cena is on tap.
The two have outstanding chemistry with one another and have been responsible for some superb matches in recent WWE history. Their "I Quit" match in September 2009 at the Breaking Point pay-per-view delivered a completely new twist on the match type, while their Iron Man match the following month proved they could captivate an audience for an hour-long bout.
If left to do what they do extremely well, the matches should prove to be more than worthy of pay-per-view main events.
Big Show suddenly finds himself in limbo. After delivering one of the most uninspired, high-profile matches in his career, he surely cannot stick around the WWE title picture. The Survivor Series main event has significantly damaged him and erased any momentum he had leading into the show.
Perhaps he finds himself involved with The Shield or Kane in the coming weeks and months, but the company simply cannot have confidence in him after his latest championship opportunity.