WWE's Survivor Series is one of the most innovative pay-per-views in professional wrestling history. The elimination-style matches offer an unparalleled way to put a wrestler over, as numerous individuals have reached new heights by defying the odds.
Sunday night, WWE produced one of the most widely panned events of the year. Some enjoyed the show, but there were a number of viewers who were left asking for more from a pay-per-view that once guaranteed glory.
The question is, what were the biggest hits and misses from Survivor Series?
Hit: Roman Reigns' Push Begins
The first match of the night was the most significant of all. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins overcame a five-on-two deficit, with the former eliminating four of the five opponents to be crowned as the lone survivor.
And thus, the push of Roman Reigns has begun.
Reigns is one of the most complete Superstars in recent memory, possessing an extraordinary combination of size, strength and athleticism. His ability on the microphone is relatively unproven, but he has the look and in-ring skill to be something special.
This type of performance is exactly what he needed to be propelled to new heights. The question for WWE will be: How will he be pushed?
Rushing Reigns into the World title picture would be a premature step, but that doesn't mean he's out of the question for a title match. The most likely occurrence would be for The Shield to disband with Reigns receiving a face turn.
In turn, he could compete for Dean Ambrose's United States Championship belt.
There's a legitimate possibility that Reigns, who has been in the main event scene for more than a year, could remain heel. He could also become a face and be built up in the same manner as a Brock Lesnar, destroying top talent without stepping into the World title scene in an immediate manner.
One way or another, Reigns' major push has finally begun.
Miss: Sloppy Finishes
The pre-show kickoff match for Survivor Series featured The Miz picking up a victory over Kofi Kingston. The Miz pulled out a roll-up victory over Kingston without using any noticeable cheating tactics, which was puzzling considering he turned on Kofi during the previous edition of Raw.
That started a night of questionable finishes.
Not everything was sloppy or head-scratching, but there were a high number of them. From The Miz's clean roll-up to Randy Orton winning via interference after a night in which Triple H and Stephanie McMahon shut him out, too many endings were downright confusing.
All in all, it was a disappointing evening at a storied event.
To make matters worse, the night ended with John Cena hitting the ring and going face to face with Orton. The two didn't exchange blows but instead held up their belts in something of a symbolic manner.
It's clever to hint at a potential title unification or a battle for being the "Face of the company," and I personally enjoyed it. As fresh faces rise up, however, WWE went back to what has been universally panned.
Orton and Cena are world-class competitors, but the youth movement has all resulted in the same storyline we've grown accustomed to seeing. That's a miss.
Hit: Big E Langston Retains
On last week's edition of Monday Night Raw, the dawning of a new era began when Big E Langston defeated Curtis Axel to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship. It was the evolution of a star who reigned supreme over NXT and is rapidly becoming one of the most over faces in the company.
At Survivor Series, WWE had a major hit with Langston retaining the IC belt against Axel.
Langston pulled down the straps and defeated Axel by hitting the Big Finish and picking up the triumphant three-count. He'll now move forward with one of the most prestigious belts in the world, and that will inevitably keep him on pay-per-view cards.
My proposal: Give him back his five-count gimmick.
For those unfamiliar, Big E Langston was the NXT champion while using a gimmick in which he'd pin his opponents for five seconds instead of three. That type of approach on main shows would lead to massive overness amongst crowds, specifically as the Intercontinental champion.
His win at Survivor Series simply confirmed what the world had been hoping for: WWE believes in this man's upside.
Miss: Lack of Survivor Series Style Matches
When it comes to Survivor Series, the PPV has long been about that very format: the Survivor Series elimination tag team match. Rather than building the program around those matches, WWE opened the show with one and had a Divas match for the other.
What happened to the prestige?
This is no slight on either match, especially not an entertaining opener that allowed Reigns to create a brighter future for himself. Instead, it's an acknowledgement of the fact that this show has long been about the best in the company joining sides in a common goal.
Instead, the opening match featured the WWE Tag Team champions and the WWE United States champion. The latter was eliminated first, and the Tag title holders were both disposed by one dominant individual.
That's a swing-and-a-miss.
The WWE had the opportunity to create a high-profile main event with Team Big Show going up against Team Randy Orton. Orton would've ideally teamed with The Shield and Kane, the supporters of The Authority, while Big Show would've created his own team.
Instead, this was just another event. So much for that.
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