Sunday, November 20, 2011, in Madison Square Garden will be a night we never forget.
We have had some good pay-per-views lately. We have had some great PPVs lately.
However, none match up to Survivor Series 2011.
Not Extreme Rules, Royal Rumble, SummerSlam or even Wrestlemania.
In fact, Survivor Series was better than Money in the Bank.
Why? Because there has never been a more memorable night this year. Everything that happened on Sunday will affect WWE for the long haul.
Let me run down the night and explain what made this night so great.
First, the opener was far and away the best opener of the year as Dolph Ziggler and John Morrison took each other to the limit.
While there were two bigger and better matches by the end of the night, this was by far the most athletic contest as these men showed off everything they had.
While I now fear more than ever about Morrison leaving (reminds me of Kaval right before he left), Ziggler made the rest of the segment shine as he showed great charisma in his quick mic segment and allowed Ryder his big moment for the crowd that chanted Ryder's name most of the night.
Next, we had a memorable Divas match. It deserved to be at least five minutes longer as both women wrestled without flaw up to the end, but what we saw was good work. Also, the most brutal spot of the night came here.
I am completely serious. Beth Phoenix hit the Glam Slam off the top rope, and Eve sold it amazingly. She was dead. Looking to the future, this win was crucial.
Following was the best non-wrestling segment of the year on PPV as the Rock gave us the promo of a lifetime. He just threw it all out there with classic Rock shots and some seriousness that he never could have shown before he left.
Each word was real yet awesome, and it also elicited some fun moments. I would recommend that every current star watch this promo to learn something from the master.
Now, on to the elimination match which I thought would steal the show. I'll be honest, it wasn't as good as it should have been. Ziggler did not deserve the jobber elimination to Randy Orton.
Also, Sin Cara's injury derailed the match a bit. Also, according to reports, Sin Cara will be out six to nine months which means Mysterio-Cara will not be happening this year. The sad thing is that he was really starting to get over. The crowd gave him a decent pop when he first came out.
However, after those first few minutes, the match jumped gears and became so much better. Everyone in the match got a chance to shine (besides Mason Ryan who almost got squashed).
Coming out of that match, Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes looked phenomenal. Also, Hunico, who lasted much longer than expected, gave a surprisingly impressive performance as well.
Orton played a good baby face role at the end as the underdog who simply could not overcome the odds (though he did officially match Shawn Michaels who holds the most elimination of all time with 12 total career eliminations). Great storytelling after the beginning.
Now, this is once again a polarizing topic, but Mark Henry and Big Show for me came out and gave the performance of a lifetime. These guys were just hitting on all cylinders.
Big Show's big spots were incredibly effective and got huge crowd reactions. The whole contest worked. Even the ending (which was a lame disqualification finish) was complemented by Show's attack on Henry. This feud has one more match in it.
Minor shout out to the Awesome Truth segment as the two were funny, and Truth was better than he has been in months. His commentary on pigeons was hilarious.
My day, however, was made by the WWE Championship match. It was a phenomenal contest between two great competitors at their best. As a technical contest, it may have been better than Cena-Punk at Money in the Bank though it got less time.
Beyond that though was the moment of the night. CM Punk is about to come out when his "personal ring announcer" is named: Howard Finkel. The reaction from the crowd and Finkel's whole performance was too great for words.
That moment was amazing, and it was coupled with Punk winning the WWE Title. I admit I marked out for about five minutes. I cannot wait to see where this leads as Punk takes the company into his grasp.
What was the best PPV of the year?
Finally, the main event. The tag match could not have been better. The Rock was phenomenal. In fact, he may have looked even better than when he left. He did not wrestle long, but he was beyond amazing in what he did.
The win for Cena and Rock actually doesn't damper my opinion of the PPV at all. If I had been in the crowd, I would have marked out when Rock won as well. This was entirely about giving the audience a moment, and they did just that.
Beyond these matches, we had the best crowd I have ever heard while watching a WWE event live. Wow, they were electric. They made every match better. Their cheers for Punk before, during and after the match were incredible.
As far as reactions go though, the tag team match main event would not have been the same without them. Rock was given a pop of astronomical proportions while Cena was booed worse than when he entered Chicago at Money in the Bank.
What a night!
Start to finish, it was phenomenal and never missed a beat. If Money in the Bank was great for what it did for Punk, then Survivor Series was great for how it finally gave us the conclusion. Now, Punk is champion and at the top of the world.
I could not be more excited for Cena-Rock than now. This night delivered more than I could have imagined. An amazing Punk-Del Rio contest, an electrifying tag team main event and the best crowd reactions in years made Survivor Series a must-view for all WWE fans.