WWE Survivor Series 2016 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterNovember 20, 2016

WWE Survivor Series 2016 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Brock Lesnar and Goldberg did the impossible at WWE Survivor Series 2016—they produced a worse match than their universally panned WrestleMania XX bout.

    It wasn't either titans fault, though. WWE decided to go for shock value at Sunday's pay-per-view rather than see if Goldberg and The Beast Incarnate could outdo their first meeting.

    Hype overflowed heading into this bout. It was over in seconds. 

    Survivor Series was on course to be one of the best editions of the PPV in a long time. 

    Brian Kendrick and Kalisto showed excellent chemistry in a battle for the cruiserweight title. Sami Zayn nearly gutted out a win over The Miz. Raw banged heads with SmackDown in a frenetic, wild match.

    And then the night fizzled out. A monster fell in mere moments. And to a man not likely to be around much longer.

    From the latest six-man cruiserweight action to the main event, read on for a breakdown of what worked and what flopped when Survivor Series invaded Toronto.

Rich Swann, T.J. Perkins, Noam Dar vs. Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese, Drew Gulak

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    Six-man tag cruiserweight action kicked off the pre-show.

    The two squads shook hands before locking horns. Rich Swann and T.J. Perkins took turns tangling with Tony Nese. Drew Gulak slugged it out with the babyfaces.

    Momentum shifted back and forth to each team. 

    Noam Dar took a good amount of punishment thanks to Ariya Daivari and his teammates. When Swann reentered, he revved up the crowd with some electric offense.

    Swann finished off Daivari with a standing 450 splash.

    Result

    Swann, Perkins and Dar win via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "That's what I'm talking about, T-Dot!"—Swann to the Toronto fans.
    • Daivari knocks Dar out of the ropes with a kick to the head.
    • Perkins leaps over the referee and out of the ring onto his foes.

    Grade

    C-

    Analysis

    A brief showcase of each wrestler with some high-flying action failed to connect with the crowd for the most part. You can't blame the fans.

    This had no buildup. The cruiserweight division's storytelling outside Brian Kendrick has been non-existent. There was little that distinguished this from the other six-man cruiserweight bouts recently.

    205 Live can't come fast enough.

Kane vs. Luke Harper

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    Kane manhandled Luke Harper early on. He wrenched and smashed the bearded bruiser's arm.

    After flooring Kane with diving moves, Harper slowed the bout down. He issued a methodical attack. The big men traded blows until Kane landed a chokeslam for the three-count.

    Result

    Kane wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Harper dives over the top rope to hit a senton.

    Grade

    D

    Analysis

    Harper showed off some impressive athleticism, but unfortunately it was in a pointless, thrown-in bout.

    It's baffling that WWE continues to underuse and undercut Harper. Why not get him a touch of momentum with a win here? Why not find some direction for him, and let him be the compelling monster he can be? 

Women's Survivor Series Traditional Elimination Match

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    Team Raw (Nia Jax, Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, Bayley and Alicia Fox) vs. Team SmackDown (Carmella, Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella and Alexa Bliss) 

    After a sneak attack backstage, team captain Bella was unable to compete. Natalya took her place.

    Banks and Flair bickered before a brawl broke out between both teams. The chaos cooled. Jax soon blasted everyone on SmackDown's squad.

    Fox eliminated Carmella. Bliss took out Fox.

    Naomi ended up on the wrong side of a brawl with Jax, and the referee counted her out as she lie prone near the entrance ramp.

    Natalya rolled up Banks to oust her from the match. Flair eliminated Natalya soon after.

    Lynch's Dis-Arm-Her spelled the end for Jax, but the powerhouse assaulted the SmackDown women's champ afterward. And after Flair pinned Bliss, Lynch was left to take on both Bayley and Flair.

    After Bayley knocked off Lynch to win the bout for her brand, Flair pounced on her teammate, smashing her into the security barricade.

    Result

    Team Raw wins. Bayley and Flair survive.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Jax simultaneously clobbers both Carmella and Nataya with clotheslines.
    • Naomi dives out onto Jax outside the ring. 
    • Banks hits Natalya with diving knees on the outside.
    • Jax suplexes Bliss and Lynch. 

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    Natalya earned some notable momentum in a solid opener. The forgotten member of SmackDown's women's division made some news in the bout, and likely had a hand in the attack on Bella. 

    Oddly booked eliminations undercut Jax and Banks, on the other hand. It looked as if this going to be an announcement of Jax's rival, but WWE didn't follow up on what it started.

    Flair's post-match beatdown kickstarted her feud with Bayley. It was smart to give Bayley the final pin and have her create some pathos by suffering at the hands of the Raw's women's champ. 

The Miz vs. Sami Zayn (Intercontinental Championship)

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    Sami Zayn and The Miz jostled for position in what began as a mat-wrestling-based match.

    The challenger soon had The Miz reeling. A distraction from Maryse halted Zayn, though. The Miz attacked and then focused on his foe's left leg.

    A limping Zayn dove over the top rope onto The Miz.

    He gutted out the match. Despite his bad leg putting him at a disadvantage, Zayn scored a number of near-falls. The champ's figure-four leglock worsened the injury, though.

    Maryse rang the ring bell, distracting Zayn and allowing her husband to steal a win.

    Result

    The Miz wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Toronto fans sing Zayn's theme music.
    • The Miz slams Zayn's leg into the ring post.
    • "An Everlast punching bag takes a lot of punishment. It's never won any titles."—John "Bradshaw" Layfield.
    • Zayn locks in the figure-four leglock.

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    A gimmicky ending followed some superb in-ring storytelling. The Miz and Zayn were well on their way to having the match of the night before Maryse got involved.

    It was a disappointing climax to a promising clash.

    Zayn is likely to keep pursuing the title after this, even though he is on Raw. This felt like a precursor to a full-on feud. If WWE builds on this story, the fluky ending will make more sense.

10-on-10 Tag Team Survivor Series Elimination Match

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    The Shining Stars, Cesaro and Sheamus, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, The New Day and Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno, The Hype Bros, Breezango, American Alpha and The Usos

    Fandango handed out fashion violation tickets to both Team Raw and SmackDown. Kofi Kingston responded by eliminating him. The Usos surprised Kingston and forced The New Day to leave the match early, too.

    The remainder of Team Raw beat up on Mojo Rawley. Gallows followed up by pinning Zack Ryder to take The Hype Bros out of the mix.

    Jason Jordan eliminated Primo just before a brawl broke out.

    Anderson and Gallows took out American Alpha. Rhyno took advantage of Team Raw's bickering to fell The Club. But soon, it was only The Usos and the Cesaro-Sheamus pairing remained.

    Cesaro escaped Jey Uso's Tequila Sunrise, clamped on the Sharpshooter and led Raw to a victory via submission.

    Result

    Team Raw wins. Cesaro and Sheamus survive.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "SmackDown, you better be on your Toron-toes."—Amore.
    • The Usos eliminated The New Day in just seconds.
    • Corey Graves calls Rawley "Tuesday night's blithering idiot."
    • Slater dives onto Team Raw from off the top rope.
    • Gable hits a nasty German suplex on Cesaro.
    • Crowd chants "He's got kids!" about Slater.
    • Cesaro hits a 619 on Jey Uso.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    Big moments and an electric energy powered a fun, fast-moving bout. The eliminations were on top of each other at some points, but that last chapter with Cesaro and Sheamus colliding with The Usos was a compelling stretch.

    It's odd, though, that WWE didn't look to showcase American Alpha or some of the emerging teams more. SmackDown's tag division certainly could have used a boost from this night. 

Brian Kendrick vs. Kalisto (Cruiserweight Championship)

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    Brian Kendrick stared into Kalisto's eyes as they shook hands to open the match.

    The champ and the challenger then went back and forth, each man scoring near-falls. Kendrick smashed Kalisto's head against the ring post before crushing him between the steps and the apron.

    Kendrick held tight to his foe, grounding The King of Flight. 

    Kicks and gutsiness allowed Kalisto to stave off defeat. He survived Kalisto's merciless attack, responding with a foot-on-the-pedal pace.  

    Baron Corbin charged in and drove Kalisto into the mat.

    Result

    Kendrick wins via disqualification to retain the cruiserweight title. 

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Kendrick kicks the ring steps, crushing Kalisto against the ring.
    • "There's a fine line between madness and genius; Brian Kendrick dances on it."—Graves.
    • Kalisto hits a Spanish Fly from the ring apron.
    • Kendrick throws Kalisto from the top rope and clamps on the Captain's Hook.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    Kendrick's heel work was stellar. He is the ideal man to hold this title and let the emerging cruiserweights chase him.

    Kalisto was excellent here, showing why he should be a part of the division. SmackDown hasn't been kind to him. He could instead be putting on stellar showings like this.

    Kalisto and Kendrick were on their way to a certified show-stealer when Corbin arrived. That's clearly a way to restart the rivalry that injury derailed before SummerSlam. The attack let the air out of the bout's sails, though.

Men's Survivor Series Traditional Elimination Match

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Shane McMahon, Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton (with mascot James Ellsworth)

    Owens and Styles began the bout for their respective teams.

    Infighting distracted Team Raw early. They moved past that as Reigns, Rollins and Jericho took turns beating on McMahon.

    Chaos broke out as everyone battled in and out of the ring.

    Ambrose and Styles brawled with each other as McMahon tried to keep the peace. It didn't work. Strowman took advantage, ousting Ambrose.

    The powerhouse then demolished Team SmackDown. It took Orton, Wyatt, McMahon and Ellsworth all working together to eliminate Strowman.

    Owens got himself disqualified after using the List of Jericho as a weapon. That distracted Jericho, opening the door for an Orton RKO and Y2J's exit.

    Reigns blasted McMahon with a spear, leaving him seemingly legitimately injured. 

    Ambrose returned to attack Styles. Security tried to take him to the back, but Reigns and Rollins aided him in sending The Phenomenal One through a table. 

    Luke Harper emerged to help Team SmackDown. Orton pinned Rollins after an RKO. On his own, Reigns was unable to fend off The Wyatt Family.

    Result

    Team SmackDown wins. Orton and Wyatt survive.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "We're watching a hockey fight!"—Graves on Styles vs. Owens.
    • "You owe me $15,000!"—Jericho to Ambrose.
    • Owens flips from the top rope onto Team SmackDown.
    • Strowman hurls Styles out of the ring.
    • McMahon hits a diving elbow onto Strowman through a table.
    • Strowman throws Ellsworth off the entrance ramp.
    • Owens attacks Styles with The List of Jericho.
    • Reigns hits McMahon out of the with a spear.

    Grade

    A+

    Analysis

    Given more space and more time than the other two elimination matches, this bout was a chaotic, dramatic work of art. It harnessed the Survivor Series match format by creating moment after moment. 

    Strowman flexed his muscles. The Shield reunited for a moment. Reigns swatted McMahon out of the sky. 

    The match set up a potential Jericho-Owens rivalry and added fire to the flames between Ambrose and Styles. 

    And it was refreshing to see WWE commit to The Wyatt Family. Wyatt's crew came out with armfuls of momentum, looking like the fearsome predators they should be.

Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar

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    Brock Lesnar and Goldberg began their showdown with a shoving match. 

    Goldberg ran over The Beast Incarnate. He floored him with a jackhammer for a quick win.

    Goldberg brought his kid into the ring to celebrate.

    Result

    Goldberg wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Goldberg hits two spears in the opening seconds. 

    Grade

    F

    Analysis

    What a cop-out. Rather than actually build on all the massive hype of the past few weeks, WWE ended Survivor Series with a 30-second match.

    Yes, it's shocking, but stunning the audience isn't the same as satisfying them. 

    After selling fans on Lesnar being an unstoppable monster as he took down Undertaker and John Cena, WWE let a guy who may wrestle one or two matches in his life get the career-making rub. 

    This was the worst decision WWE has made on PPV this year.