Last night, WWE presented its 25th anniversary of Survivor Series, which certainly exceeded many's expectations of being nothing short of electrifying. Here, I will analyze each match and segment on the show, and where I believe these recent events will lead us in the foreseeable future.
United States Champion Dolph Ziggler def. John Morrison; Zack Ryder emerged
Unsurprisingly great match between United States Champion Dolph Ziggler and John Morrison given their excellent chemistry in the ring. The crowd hating on John Morrison did no favors for the Shaman of Sexy in this contest, but it just goes to show how over Ryder is now as compared to six months ago.
Smart move in having Ziggler retain the belt here and cut a nicely done promo, only for the New York native Zack Ryder to interrupt his celebration ceremony and get the better of the U.S. Champ. After that huge reaction Ryder received at the start of the show, they must fully capitalize on his popularity now more than ever by giving him the United States Championship.
Divas Champion Beth Phoenix def. Eve in a Lumberjill Match
Although it wasn't as great as their previous encounter at Vengeance last month, Divas Champion Beth Phoenix and Eve still provided a brief, painless match. The crowd wasn't buying into either Diva, but the extremely awesome finish with Beth Phoenix Glam-Slamming Eve off the top rope saved this contest for sure.
The Lumberjills at ring-side didn't do much besides provide eye candy for those in the front seats, but at least they avoided a usual over-booked finish. More importantly, Phoenix once again successfully retains the strap going into WrestleMania.
The Rock electrified the MSG crowd
Fun promo from The Rock that was mainly used to kill time, but also kept the hot crowd on their feet. It didn't do much for this viewer, but it's miles better than the "via satellite" promos we've been accustomed to over the past few months. It's segments like these that exemplify why the Rock the best talker in the history of the business.
Team Barrett def. Team Orton in a Survivor Series 5-on-5 Elimination Tag Team Match
Extremely enjoyable Survivor Series tag team elimination match that saw everyone receive their respective moment to shine. Aside from Sin Cara's unexpected injury early on, the story-telling aspect of this bout was at its highest, with the the survival stipulation making every elimination much more suspenseful.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes pick up the victory here, as it's pretty rare to see Orton ever take a pin-fall, but the commentators covered it nicely with Sheamus's disqualification and the numbers game coming into play at the end. Bonus points go to the Intercontinental Champion for finally giving in to the various requests by deeming the knee-pads that were so long overdue.
The reactions both Rhodes and Barrett received during the match get them over in a huge way, and it's only a matter of time before both of these strong heels are placed in the World Championship picture.
Big Show def. World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry by disqualification
The World Heavyweight Championship match was what you'd expect, given both Mark Henry and Big Show aren't the most exciting workers. Despite the "boring" chants from the MSG crowd, these two Goliaths made the best of their bout, especially Show's awe-inspiring elbow drop from the top rope.
Although the finish was a bit weak with the disqualification, at least Henry was able to retain the strap yet again. Show's post-match beat-down on Henry showed shades of intensity and was logical in the sense that it was used for Show to avenge his attack from Money in the Bank.
As long as this rivalry concludes with Henry emerging victorious, then I'm content.
CM Punk def. Alberto Del Rio to win the WWE Championship
Solid match between Alberto Del Rio and CM Punk as expected, with most of the contest being average up until the closing minutes. These two work so incredibly well together that this feud must continue if a rematch is anticipated by fans.
I was also psyched to see the Anaconda Vise submission hold be the move to win the match for Punk, which hasn't been seen in quite some time. Sure, I would have preferred for Del Rio to retain here to maintain momentum, but the crowd's reaction to the return of the Fink and Punk's title were truly phenomenal.
That is a moment that will be forever remembered as something that happened inside the Garden.
The Rock and John Cena def. Awesome Truth
Entertaining main event match with The Rock and John Cena shockingly co-existing to defeat the chaos-causing coalition of The Miz and R-Truth. Rocky showed minimal signs of ring rust, which added to the overall excitement to the bout.
I was quite shocked to see him get as much in-ring time as he did, which isn't a bad thing seeing that he proved to be impressive. The finish left a lot to be desired, but you just knew Creative wasn't going to turn Cena despite the various rumors and perfect opportunity. It's just one of those things that will never happen due to Cena's personal preferences.
Of course, the ball was dropped on Awesome Truth here big time, but they haven't meant anything since before this whole thing started, so itIt came off a bit anticlimactic, but at least Rock gets his moment before he predictably puts over Cena at WrestleMania in April.
Overall, a very strong show that produced excellent booking all night long that certainly lived up to the hype it's been given. With this being one of WWE's four biggest pay-per-views of the year, I'm tremendously impressed on how they managed to include great booking, historical moments, and not to mention an incredibly hot crowd that no doubt added to the atmosphere of the show.
Although the event didn't really give viewers much incentive to tune in for Raw the following night, I was shocked to see this show rightfully being considered as one of the best of the year. Fingers crossed that this is only the beginning of another exciting era in coming weeks as quickly approach the year's end.
Visit my website at Next Era Wrestling as well as my WrestleRant and Spoilers podcasts for more of GSM's thoughts and writings, along with WWE/TNA news, recaps and more. Follow me on Twitter @SAVE_US_GSM.