WWE Survivor Series 2014 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Jonathan Snowden@JESnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterNovember 24, 2014

WWE Survivor Series 2014 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    There was a feel of nostalgia in the air at WWE Survivor Series. After a decade of featuring the WWE Championship as the centerpiece of the show, the pay-per-view returned to its roots Sunday night with a classic five-on-five elimination-style match in the main event. 

    Team Cena versus Team Authority was a match reminiscent of collisions between the Mega Powers and the villains du jour in the glory days of the 1980s. It's the kind of bout that once distinguished this extravaganza from other mega shows, making Survivor Series an event with a very different look and feel.

    Adding to this old-school vibe, not to bury the lede, was WCW icon and 1990s era refuge Sting, who made his WWE debut. The 55-year-old grappler came out to a huge ovation at the close of the main event, immediately clashing with The Authority and helping give Team Cena's Dolph Ziggler justice and a big win over Seth Rollins, making him the last man standing after a fun, fast-paced bout.

    It was a match with very real stakes, the fictional future of the promotion hanging in the balance. The Authority loss removes Stephanie McMahon and her husband from power. Their reign of terror, at long last, will come to an end. 

    What happens next? We'll find out together on Raw.

    The main event, of course, was just one match. What follows is our trademark instant analysis and letter grades for every bout on the show. Matches are graded not just in comparison to each other, but they're also based on how well they live up to their potential and to fans' expectations.

    Disagree with our assessments? Feel free to sound off in the comments.

Fandango vs. Justin Gabriel

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Result

    Fandango pinned Gabriel with a top-rope leg drop. 

    Highlights and Quotes

    Fandango's new gimmick is apparently "Fandango went to J Crew." 

    Justin Gabriel is wearing half of the Cobra Kai Halloween costume from Karate Kid. This match is super stylish.

    The announcers argue about who has the least relevant and topical references. They are all terrible in this regard. But JBL is doing a heel announcer gimmick in 2014. That automatically makes him the loser in the "who's most dated" contest.

    Grade

    C

    Analysis

    Fandango's new gimmick seems to be that he's just like the old Fandango without any of the fun. Wrestling in pants and a partially unbuttoned shirt, he's pretty much guaranteed to fail. This was a relaunch without a single drop of rocket fuel.

Cesaro vs. Jack Swagger

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    Cesaro
    CesaroCredit: WWE.com

    Result

    Swagger made Cesaro tap to the Patriot Lock.

    Highlights and Quotes

    "Cesaro does what's best for Cesaro. So allow me this opportunity to announce my support of The Authority."—Antonio Cesaro. 

    Swagger counters the double foot stomp with the ankle lock. That was straight-up nifty.

    The WWE announcers are talking over this match like Swagger and Cesaro are luchadores, and this is hour one of WCW Nitro! No respect.

    Cesaro, after going suplex-crazy for a minute, starts nailing Swagger with some stiff crossfaces in the midst of working a headlock. Ouch.

    "Cesaro speaks German. That makes it easier for him."—JBL, explaining his copious German suplexes.

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    It was hard to see Cesaro, one of the WWE's best pure ring technicians, stuck in the pre-show match like this. It's difficult, even for the best of the best, to make much of a five-minute segment.

    But these guys, by goodness, gave it their best. It was a regular match squeezed tightly to fit into a truncated space. They still worked a mat segment, Cesaro still got heat on Swagger and Swagger still managed a comeback before the win—and they did it all in the time some matches get for introductions. 

    This match wasn't anything worth seeking out. But they did well with what they had—much more than I expected. Sometimes it's the small victories that mean the most.

Opening + Fatal Four Way Tag Team Match (WWE Tag Team Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Result

    Vince McMahon announces the stakes of the main event.

    Mizdow pinned Goldust after a stacked superplex to win the tag team titles.

    Highlights and Quotes

    Vincent Kennedy McMahon comes strutting into the ring to introduce the heads of Team Authority and Team Cena, respectively. That's a man's man right there.

    "We've learned so much, and tonight we're going to make you proud."—Stephanie McMahon kissing up to her dad.

    "Are you going to walk out on your own accord, or am I going to have to throw y'all out?"—John Cena to The Authority.

    This in no way resembles actual conversation between people. 

    John Cena's angry face was born to create a thousand memes.

    "In no way at all would you ever have any influence over the careers of WWE superstars."—Vince explaining the stakes.

    "I'm a McMahon like my father said. We thrive on adversity."—Stephanie McMahon.

    Stardust is a great character, but I'm not sure it doesn't ultimately limit Cody Rhodes. Goldust meanwhile, at 45, is the best worker in the ring. His comeback has been amazing.

    Mizdow's gimmick can't help the team win matches can it? He takes the same bumps The Miz does! If he was actually a stunt double, wouldn't he take these bumps in The Miz's stead? Rather than alongside him? Am I overthinking this?

    "We want Mizdow! We want Mizdow!"—the fans not yet sick of the one-note gimmick.

    A series of reversals leads to one of the Matadors planting Stardust with a tornado DDT. Cool spot.

    Improbably everyone ends up outside the ring, and the dives begin, including one from El Torito. Fun times.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    The match was essentially a collection of spots surrounding a simple story—the crowd wanted Mizdow in the match, and it was driving The Miz crazy. He wasn't having any of it. The tease was done several times, and Mizdow even got in for just a moment, only to be tagged right back out.

    The crowd was primed and ready—but left unsatisfied.

    Finally, just when The Miz was about to get the pin and all the glory, Mizdow broke character, tagged himself in and won the match. The crowd, of course, went wild with joy. A thing of beauty is a joy forever—and so was this match.

Cameron, Summer Rae, Layla and Paige vs. Naomi, Natalya, Emma and Alicia Fox

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Result

    Naomi eliminated Cameron; Foxy eliminated Layla; Emma eliminated Summer Rae; Naomi eliminated Paige with the Rear View.

    Highlights and Quotes

    "This is my house."—Paige. The crowd's complete ambivalence does not, however, support this contention.

    "Alundra Blayze went down in flames."—JBL dropping a Aja Kong reference. Hardcores unite!

    "We want Mizdow! We want Mizdow!"—the Universe turning on this match. Or else just really into Mizdow. Or both.

    Naomi kicked Summer Rae right in the face. I mean right in the face. Face.

    "Foxy just did the chicken spot."—JBL. The announcers had fun with that one. At least someone was having fun watching this. 

    Emma with a Tajiri-style submission on Summer Rae. 

    Grade

    D+

    Analysis

    There was an occasional cool spot in this match, including Naomi's amazing Rear View finisher. In those moments you could see the potential in these women. There is talent here worth cultivating.

    But, simply put, they just aren't ready to put together a coherent and consistent match at this point in their careers. This was a meandering mess, lacking anything resembling structure or psychology. The crowd turned on it—and for good reason.

Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Result

    Bray Wyatt beat Dean Ambrose by disqualification when Ambrose hit him with a steel chair. After the match Ambrose put Wyatt through a table with a flying elbow. 

    Highlights and Quotes

    "You can't game-plan for Dean Ambrose because even he doesn't know what he's going to do."—Jerry Lawler. That's deep.

    Dean Ambrose, the bastard son of Terry Funk in spirit, was born to hate. He's our greatest "angry" wrestler since "Stone Cold."

    Wyatt steps on Ambrose's hand. So simple—but it just works. That's Heel 101.

    Wyatt collides with Ambrose running the ropes in pure Vader mode. These two are playing for keeps.

    "In these guys' minds it's someone a great thing to be the craziest guy in the WWE."—JBL. 

    This is probably Stan Hansen's ultimate wrestling match. There have been 100 clotheslines ,and everyone of them was stiff as a board.

    Wyatt slams Ambrose on the ring steps. This match is making my back hurt, and I'm in a really comfortable chair.

    After the match Ambrose buried Wyatt in tables and then brought a giant ladder into the ring. Unfortunately he didn't jump off the ladder Jeff Hardy-style. Once you tease it you kind of have to deliver don't you?

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    In theory I love the Bray Wyatt character. I love the "ode to True Blood" promos. I love the creepy intro. I love the stilted delivery on the microphone. And I love the way he makes wrestling look like it's supposed to hurt.

    Something, however, is missing. His relationship with every opponent is exactly the same. Wyatt has the same relationship with every opponent, though. One note even. "Aw babyface. We could have been friends and ruled the universe together. I understand you like no one else does." 

    I've seen it. Show me something new.

    Ambrose, meanwhile, is the great missing 1980s wrestler. From his crisp punches to his vintage moves like the bulldog, it feels like he could have been Tully Blanchard's tag team partner against the Rock and Roll Express or something. Just a great talent. 

Titus O'Neil/Heath Slater vs. Adam Rose/The Bunny

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Result

    Bunny pinned Heath Slater after a missile dropkick.

    Highlights and Quotes

    "He's very positive. He's a Hoptimist."—JBL, with the best of a series of rabbit jokes. Yes, the best. 

    "The bunny is actually a man wrestling in a bunny suit."—Michael Cole. Thanks, Michael.

    Grade

    C-

    Analysis

    Not only did Heath Slater get pinned by The Bunny, but Adam Rose seemingly lost his place at the top of the pecking order in his own entourage. Well, that was five minutes of my life spent watching a Bunny wrestle two jobbers.

AJ Lee vs. Nikki Bella (Divas Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Result

    Nikki Bella pinned AJ Lee with the Rack Attack to win the Divas Championship.

    Highlights and Quotes

    Brie starts off the match by making out with AJ Lee. Against her wishes. That's dubious y'all.

    Well, for a 10-second match that wasn't half-bad.

    Grade

    C

    Analysis

    Many a young wrestling fan has no idea what to do about the strange feeling he's experiencing right about now. That was an intense 30 seconds. Unfortunately it wasn't long enough to be either good or bad. It just was.

Team Cena vs. Team Authority

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Result

    Team Cena beat Team Authority after Sting intervened and knocked out Triple H with his Scorpion Death Drop.

    Complete Results: Big Show eliminated Mark Henry in seconds with a knockout punch; Rusev eliminated Ryback after Seth Rollins hit him with a sneak-attack Curb Stomp;

    Rusev was eliminated after he knocked himself out putting Ziggler through the announce table; Harper pinned Rowan after Rollins hit him with a flying knee; Rollins pinned Cena after Big Show turned and knocked him out;

    Big Show is counted out after he walks away; Ziggler pinned Kane with the Zig Zag; Ziggler pinned Harper with a school boy; Ziggler pinned Rollins to win the match after Sting brought much-needed justice to the WWE Universe.

    Highlights and Quotes

    "When you cross the Rubicon you better take roll. Because there is no turning back."—JBL with a Caesar reference. Soon he'll be writing a book with Bill O'Reilly or something.

    All the angry scowls on the faces of 10 big, bad wrestlers—but Stephanie McMahon's is the meanest

    Great bump by Mark Henry after the Big Show knockout. Love the looks on The Authority's faces after the quick exit.

    Know how everyone wondered how over Goldberg would be after he started doing jobs? Well—now we have Ryback. Answered. Not very.

    It's worth pointing out that Rusev has some awesome stomps. And knees. And everything.

    "His entire career at this juncture is all about The Authority."—Michael Cole on Seth Rollins, somehow making me want to cheer for the heels. 

    Great schmozz ends up with Rollins being backdropped out of the ring to the floor with Ziggler being power-bombed to the floor shortly after. High. Spots.

    This match has a lot going on. Suffice to say guys are getting their stuff in.

    Big Show's hand engulfs Triple H's, sealing his betrayal.

    "Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah."—Stephanie's taunting in the wake of Cena's loss is epic.

    Triple H pulls the ref out the ring after Ziggler makes the comeback of the century. Or the week. Whatever.

    "This is despicable."—Jerry Lawler after Triple H interfered for the second time. Somewhere good ole J.R was damning him to hell.

    "Why is Stinger here?"—Cole as WCW icon Sting makes his first-ever WWE appearance.

    "This is awesome! This is awesome!"—the crowd as Triple H and Sting stare at each other for what feels like hours.

    I understand Cena couldn't come back to help Ziggler so that Sting would have more of an impact. But it sure made him look like a terrible leader!

     

    Grade

    A

    Analysis

    "We lost everything!" The tears in Stephanie McMahon's eyes glistened as reality set in. Her birthright, legacy and position in the world was stripped from her by force, victim of a 55-year-old Sting who inexplicably made his WWE debut at the most inopportune time imaginable for The Authority.

    As a piece of storytelling it left a bit to be desired. Why was Sting there? Why does he care about who runs WWE? Just a big Dolph Ziggler fan? I guess we'll find out on Raw.

    As a match, however, it delivered in a major. They had nearly an hour in the ring and made the most of it. Everyone looked good with the notable exception of Cena. The face of the WWE botched a spot and just seemed off. Luckily he wasn't involved enough for it to matter. When he refused to come back out and help Ziggler, it somehow seemed appropriate. He had taken the rest of the night off too.

    This worked for me. Whether it continues to work will be determined in the writers' room. 

    Fingers crossed!