WWE Survivor Series 2017 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights
Survivor Series is one of the premier sports entertainment extravaganzas on the WWE calendar, and Sunday night, it was the setting of brand warfare as Superstars of Raw and SmackDown Live battled for supremacy.
In a dream match of massive proportions, WWE champion AJ Styles of the blue brand battled universal champion Brock Lesnar of the flagship show.
It was the marquee match of a loaded show that featured two traditional Survivor Series elimination tag matches that pitted the men and women of Raw and SmackDown against each other, respectively, and several other interpromotional bouts.
An event steeped in controversy, from the Montreal Screwjob to Goldberg's seconds-long victory over Lesnar a year ago, was it once again the breeding ground for buzz and excitement as it has been in years past?
Which brand reigned supreme? How did each match grade out? How will the outcome affect WWE programming going forward?
Find out now with this recap of Sunday's annual fall classic.
Matt Hardy vs. Elias
Elias greeted the fans who had filed into Toyota Center in Houston, asking them who wants to walk with him. "I sure as hell wouldn't come to Houston on my own," he said, drawing heat. "Texans are the worst thing about the USA," he followed up, drawing more disdain from the live audience.
Matt Hardy's music interrupted, and the first Kickoff Show match of the night was underway.
Elias withstood solid wrestling from Hardy early, then used the ring ropes to his advantage, injuring his veteran opponent's shoulder. The Drifter worked the joint over, targeting the left arm and leaving the multi-time tag team champion screaming in agony.
Hardy fought back into the match and sent Elias face-first into the turnbuckles, then delivered a big running bulldog. The Side Effect followed, but Hardy was unable to make a complete cover due to his injured limb.
The popular babyface tried for the Twist of Fate but was unable to execute. Elias sent him shoulder-first into the steel post and delivered Drift Away for the pinfall victory.
Elias defeated Matt Hardy
For a match that was thrown onto the card at the last second, this featured some surprisingly strong selling from Hardy and registered as a big win for The Drifter.
Elias needs wins like this to build credibility. He is over, thanks to his ability to play the crowd, but he is lacking those signature wins that spawn legitimacy. Hardy is a fan favorite with a Hall of Fame resume. Beating him, even in a seemingly meaningless Kickoff Show match, will benefit him in the long run, more than it would have had he infuriated the crowd with a song and not actually won anything.
Cruiserweight Championship Match: Kalisto vs. Enzo Amore
Cruiserweight champion Enzo Amore channeled the frustration and anger of having his face shoved into Kalisto's birthday cake this past Tuesday on 205 Live, jumping the masked Superstar at the bell.
Kalisto fought back and delivered a sunset flip bomb for a two-count.
Enzo regained control and worked over his opponent, stomping, punching and headlocking Kalisto to relative silence from the WWE Universe already inside the arena.
A big moonsault allowed Kalisto to find a groove and mount a comeback. Headscissors and a big kick to the face, followed by a face plant hurricanrana for two.
Amore cut the onslaught off and retained his title moments later.
Enzo Amore defeated Kalisto
Amore just is not good enough to carry the majority of a match.
This was slow, plodding, had no heat whatsoever and ended with a thud rather than a bang.
While there will be those who blame the lack of crowd on the absence of heat, the fact is that the rivalry died out at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs when Amore cheated to regain his title.
Hopefully, this was the end of their program.
Breezango vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
"We didn't come to WWE to compete with two clowns like Breezango," Kevin Owens said before the match. Sami Zayn echoed the sentiments and said a Kickoff Show match against two jokes like Tyler Breeze and Fandango was a disgrace.
Owens reminded fans that he won both his first Intercontinental and Universal Championships in Toyota Center. Zayn reiterated that the war between Raw and SmackDown is not their fight and was looking to continue speaking when Breezango's music interrupted.
"It's violation time," Tyler Breeze said ahead of the opening bell.
Fandango sent Zayn to the floor when he joined Owens heading into the break.
The babyfaces continued to control the match after the commercial, working over Zayn as the complete and utter lack of energy in the arena continued to haunt the Kickoff Show bouts. The Underdog from the Underground caught Breeze with a boot to the side of the face, turning the tide in his team's favor.
Owens ran his mouth as he trapped Breeze in a side headlock, his frustration on full display.
Breeze countered the former universal champion and made the hot tag to Fandango, who unloaded on both opponents.
Ultimately, Zayn pulled Owens out of harm's way, and Owens delivered a Pop-up Powerbomb to Fandango for the win.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn defeated Breezango
A year ago, Zayn was involved in a really fun, underrated Intercontinental Championship match against The Miz. Owens was the universal champion. This year, they are relegated to the Kickoff Show against a comedy act that, while over, is nowhere near the level of either man.
Breezango was fine here, particularly late when Fandango exploded into the match off a hot tag, but no one bought for a second that they could conceivably beat the duo of Owens and Zayn.
Maybe the heels use this match as evidence of unfair treatment by Shane McMahon, but as it stands now, this was a complete and utter waste of their talent.
The Shield vs. The New Day
One of the most anticipated matches on the entire Survivor Series card kicked off the night's festivities, as The Shield and The New Day battled in a Six-Man Tag Team match that pitted the two most dominant trios of recent years against one another.
The Shield's Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns found early success against Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods. At one point, they cleared the latter two from the ring and dealt a beatdown to Woods.
Kingston turned the tide in the favor of The New Day, increasing the speed of the match and isolating Ambrose in his team's corner. Reigns and Rollins, tired of watching the three-on-one beating, ignited a brawl on the floor.
Big E delivered his jaw-dropping spear through the ropes to Ambrose, both men crashing on the floor.
The New Day continued to work as heels, beating Ambrose down and taunting the other Shield members. Big E tried for a top-rope belly-to-belly suplex, but The Lunatic Fringe fought out of it and delivered a missile dropkick.
He made the hot tag to Rollins, who exploded into the match. A buckle bomb by Rollins was followed by the lariat from Reigns, who only managed a two-count. A Superman Punch was countered by a roll-up from Woods, but The Big Dog fought out.
The action broke down, and the participants began hitting their trademark stuff.
Ambrose delivered Dirty Deeds but had the pinfall broken up in a strong near-fall. The overused "this is awesome" chants filled Toyota Center as the match continued on.
Just as The Shield was setting up for the triple powerbomb, The New Day recovered.
Big E disposed of Reigns, and Kingston blasted Rollins with Trouble in Paradise. Like The Shield had moments earlier, they attempted to turn the numbers game in their favor.
After a double Midnight Hour by The New Day, Reigns made a last-gasp effort to break the pin attempt up, delivering a spear to Big E and landing on top of the cover. Another brawl broke out.
With Big E and Woods indisposed at ringside, Reigns delivered a spear to Kingston, and The Hounds of Justice delivered a super triple powerbomb to pick up the impressive victory.
The Shield defeated The New Day
This was every bit the wild and chaotic Six-Man Tag Team match fans expected from these two teams.
It took a bit to get going, and that cost it an A+ grade, but when it finally did, the crowd was red-hot for everything the two teams did.
They one-upped each other until The Shield delivered that bone-crushing super triple powerbomb, a suitable conclusion to an explosive tag match that kicked off the show on the right foot.
Even in defeat, The New Day loses nothing. It matched The Shield the entire way through and, in the end, was simply outgunned by a unit that consisted of former WWE champions. There is no shame in the defeat.
Just shy of a Match of the Year candidate.
Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown Women's Match
Becky Lynch, Natalya, Carmella, Tamina and Naomi represented SmackDown Live against Raw's Alicia Fox, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Nia Jax and Asuka in the night's second main-show contest.
SmackDown captain Lynch was the first eliminated from her team when Banks made a blind tag to Bayley, who scored a roll-up for the fall.
Bayley found herself cut off from her team, the victim of signature moves from her opponents before a top-rope splash from Tamina ended her night and evened the numbers.
Nia Jax and Tamina squared off in the center of the ring, trading headbutts. Jax earned the advantage, firing up and squashing her opponent in the corner. A rolling senton did more damage to the second-generation competitor, but not enough to put her down for the count.
Tamina tried for the Samoan Drop, but Jax blocked. Jax proceeded to knock Lana off the apron, only to endure two straight superkicks at ringside. The fight between the biggest, baddest women in the match spilled to the floor. After a big crossbody from Tamina, Jax was counted out to a chorus of boos.
Fox cut off an offensive onslaught by Naomi momentarily, but the former women's champion scored a botched sunset flip roll-up for the elimination. Banks made Naomi pay immediately afterward, tapping her out to the Bank Statement.
Asuka entered the match for just the second time and unloaded on Carmella with a series of kicks and a hip attack. Carmella cut the onslaught off and unloaded with her own intensity on her opponent. She mocked Banks, infuriating The Boss.
Asuka obliterated Carmella with a kick to eliminate her, leaving Asuka and Banks against Natalya and Tamina.
Nattie tapped Banks out to the Sharpshooter, leaving Asuka against the former SmackDown women's champion and the intimidating Tamina.
The Empress of Tomorrow weathered the storm, forcing a tapout from Tamina with the cross armbreaker and followed with the Asuka Lock to beat Natalya and win the match for Raw.
Team Raw defeated Team SmackDown (sole survivor: Asuka)
This was not a match without its flaws.
Some of the rapid-fire eliminations led to sloppiness in key spots, particularly during the Fox-Naomi exchange. The booking also left a lot to be desired, as it was decided that eliminating Bayley and Lynch early was the best option despite their being among the best workers in the match.
On the flip side, such booking decisions allowed Asuka to fend off two heels to win the match, ensuring fans would be solidly behind her in the closing moments.
Asuka continues to impress, even if the opposition is probably getting more offense in on her than it should.
Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. United States Champion Baron Corbin
A rivalry that intensified on social media, where intercontinental champion The Miz took exception to United States champion Baron Corbin's talking about his pregnant wife Maryse and their unborn child, exploded Sunday night as The A-Lister represented Raw against SmackDown's Lone Wolf.
Miz stalled early, but Corbin took the fight to Miz on the outside and even talked trash to Maryse, who was sitting ringside. He blew her a kiss, incurring the wrath of Miz, who unloaded with frustration and fury on the U.S. champion.
Corbin regained control, sending Miz back-first into the guardrail. Corbin continued his attack until Miz got a foot up, catching his opponent's knee. Even a hurt limb was not enough to slow the big man, though, as he flattened Miz with a hard right hand.
Miz refocused his attack on the knee and took control, targeting the base of his larger opponent.
Corbin survived a figure-four leglock and delivered Deep Six for a quality near-fall.
On one leg, Corbin obliterated Bo Dallas with End of Days. Miz tried for a slick roll-up, but Corbin kicked out. A short DDT delivered Miz another two-count.
Miz unloaded on Corbin with a series of Daniel Bryan-inspired kicks, followed by a series of corner dropkicks right out of the SmackDown general manager's playbook. On the third attempt, though, Corbin delivered End of Days from out of nowhere to score the win.
Baron Corbin defeated The Miz
This was an interesting match in that neither guy really controlled for long periods of time and instead exchanged the advantage throughout.
Given Corbin's words about Maryse, one would have assumed this match was tailor-made for Miz to go over. With that said, Corbin's scoring an undisputed victory of this sort is exactly what he needs to help his United States Championship reign.
He needed momentum in the worst way, especially after an uninspiring midcard feud with Sin Cara. Hopefully WWE Creative can help him build on this win with some strong booking come Tuesday night.
Raw Tag Team Champions The Bar vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos
The Usos cut a braggadocios promo prior to the match but soon found themselves at the mercy of the Raw tag team champions.
Jimmy Uso was grounded and kept away from brother Jey as Sheamus and Cesaro sought to prevent the SmackDown duo from utilizing its speed and agility advantage.
Cesaro, always thinking, caught Jey with a big boot that prevented Jimmy from making the hot tag.
Jey eventually did explode into the match, but a big uppercut from The Swiss Cyborg halted his roll momentarily. The second-generation star fought back into the match and scored several near-falls on Cesaro, but a momentary distraction in the form of Sheamus' attack on Jimmy outside the squared circle caused him to freeze.
Cesaro capitalized, catching him with another uppercut and applying the Sharpshooter in a throwback to last year's match. This year, Jey was able to make it to the ropes and break the hold. Cheap shots and underhanded tactics, though, kept The Bar in control.
The Raw tag champions delivered a White Noise/springboard legdrop combination to Jey, but Jimmy broke the pin up at the last second.
In a cool spot, Cesaro hoisted Jey in an electric chair position, only to have the SmackDown competitor grab Sheamus into a Samoan Drop. The Celtic Warrior barely shot his shoulder off the mat to prevent the loss.
A double superkick to the prone Sheamus, followed by the top-rope splash, earned the victory for The Usos.
The Usos defeated Sheamus and Cesaro
This probably should have been better than it was, but even with that said, it was still a strong match that played to the strengths of the Superstars involved.
Given the dynamics of the teams and the crowd support of The Usos, it made sense that they played the role of default babyfaces. They thrived, and the match benefited more than it would have if the roles were reversed.
Another really good match in a string of them Sunday night but, like everything else, hardly up to par with the clinic put on by the NXT stars at last night's TakeOver: WarGames.
Major props to both teams for playing on the finish of last year's elimination tag match in which they were the final two teams involved. This time, the right team went over.
At least to this point.
Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss vs. SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte
Raw women's champion Alexa Bliss stalled early, trying to avoid intense and aggressive SmackDown women's champion Charlotte, but she finally gained control of the match after luring The Queen into a trap.
She worked the rib area of the SmackDown star, controlling the middle portion of the match. At one point, Charlotte tried for a roll-up, only for Bliss to send her face-first into the top turnbuckle.
The second-generation star finally created some separation, delivering a suplex that sent Bliss into the corner. Her advantage lasted mere moments, as Bliss delivered a dropkick to the exposed ribs of Charlotte, who had become hung up in the ropes.
Little Miss Bliss continued her surprising dominance, delivering a Code Red for a near-fall.
Charlotte avoided Bliss' DDT and lit her up with a series of chops. Bliss, again cutting Charlotte off, trapped her in a guillotine. Charlotte powerbombed her way out of the move and may have turned the tide in her favor.
The SmackDown representative delivered Natural Selection from out of nowhere and nearly scored the victory. A resilient Bliss kicked out.
Playing possum, Bliss begged off, only to blast her opponent with a hard right hand and deliver a big DDT. An aware Charlotte draped her foot over the bottom rope, leading to a temper tantrum on the part of the Raw champion.
A spear from Charlotte earned her a two-count, but Bliss immediately recovered and refocused her attack on the ribs.
Bliss tried Twisted Bliss, but Charlotte got the knees up. A big boot and the Figure-Eight ended Bliss' night on a losing note.
Charlotte defeated Alexa Bliss
This was a much better match than it initially looked like on paper.
The heel work by Bliss was superb, as usual, and Charlotte did a phenomenal job of making the Raw champion look like a legitimate threat to beat her.
The work on Charlotte's ribs was effective and played to the skill set of Bliss, whose Twisted Bliss finisher would have earned her a victory had she been able to hit it.
The only gripe with the match is that Charlotte, after suffering the rib attack throughout, was able to bridge as spectacularly as she did during the Figure-Eight. It should have been difficult, if not impossible, yet she showed no signs of it affecting her as she applied the trademark submission.
Both women came out of the match looking like strong, quality wrestlers. That is the ideal outcome, regardless of who has her arm raised in victory.
WWE Champion AJ Styles vs. Universal Champion Brock Lesnar
Raw universal champion Brock Lesnar returned to pay-per-view Sunday for a showdown with SmackDown WWE champion AJ Styles. The match, a dream match, was the most anticipated of a loaded card.
Dueling chants filled the arena, creating an incredible atmosphere for the contest.
Lesnar unloaded early, ramming Styles in the corner and tossing him around the squared circle. The Beast Incarnate obliterated The Phenomenal One, sending him across the ring with a belly-to-belly suplex. A German release suplex followed as the prospects of a Styles victory grew grimmer and grimmer.
The decimation of Styles continued as Lesnar suplexed him, then delivered a jumping knee in the corner as the arena grew silent.
Styles survived an F-5 attempt, delivered a dropkick to the knee and planted his larger opponent with a DDT.
The Phenomenal One worked the knees, thighs and calves of Lesnar, negating his base. A botched tornado DDT slowed what was a spirited comeback attempt by Styles, but the WWE champion answered with a Pele Kick to the back of the head.
Styles attempted the Phenomenal Forearm, but Lesnar caught him and obliterated him with another release German suplex. Styles recovered and delivered a forearm to the floor. He sent Lesnar knees-first into the ring steps and delivered another Phenomenal Forearm.
Moments later, a springboard 450 splash nearly put Lesnar away, but the Raw brand Superstar was able to escape.
Lesnar got his hands on Styles and tried for an F-5, but Styles rolled through with the Calf Crusher, causing Lesnar to scream in pain. The Beast grabbed Styles by the head and repeatedly slammed it into the mat.
Moments later, in the best near-fall of the match, Styles delivered a Phenomenal Forearm for a dramatic two-count. Another attempt at the finisher ended with him trapped in the grasp of Lesnar, who finally delivered the F-5 for the win.
Brock Lesnar defeated AJ Styles
Lesnar has a tendency to perform up to the level of his opponent, and Sunday night, he worked a strong wrestling match with Styles that not only saw Raw tie the score in the battle for brand supremacy, but also reminded fans that when he is motivated, he can put in the effort and work extraordinary matches with the current roster's most talented Superstars.
Styles busted his ass to make the match more than the typical Lesnar squash.
He took enormous bumps but also utilized his incredible timing to work in a few spots that had even the most skeptical fans second-guessing a Lesnar victory. That is the sign of a talented worker. Styles' ability to push aside preconceived notions and have fans guessing whether he will pull it out has always been a strong suit of his.
He put it on full display here, and it benefited the overall presentation.
The best match of the night, in this writer's humble opinion.
At least to this point.
Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown (Men's Match)
Team Raw featured Triple H, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman and general manager Kurt Angle. Team SmackDown, conversely, was captained by commissioner Shane McMahon and featured John Cena, Bobby Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura and Randy Orton.
With the scorecard knotted at three, the winner of the battle for brand supremacy would be determined by this, the Survivor Series main event.
Early interactions that involved Roode and Triple H, Balor and Nakamura, and Randy Orton and Samoa Joe were fun and set the stage for an explosive main event.
After unloading on all of Team Raw, Nakamura was rolling. Then came Strowman, who caught him in midair and delivered a massive powerslam, ending The Artist's night and scoring the first elimination. He followed up with another powerslam, this one to Roode, to eliminate a second consecutive NXT champion and put SmackDown at a serious numbers disadvantage.
Nakamura and Roode would get a measure of revenge moments later, joining Cena and Orton in suplexing Strowman through the announce table.
Dissension between Joe and Balor led to Attitude Adjustments for both men and the elimination of the Samoan Submission Machine.
Angle delivered an Angle Slam to Cena, followed by a Coup de Grace by Balor. A second slam from the Raw general manager scored the most shocking elimination of the match and left the blue brand's chances of victory to McMahon and Orton.
Balor was the next to go, courtesy of an RKO.
At ringside, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn came from out of nowhere to beat McMahon down and toss him over the announce table. McMahon fought back, using a chair to pummel Owens and Zayn.
Strowman re-entered the match and obliterated Orton with a running powerslam, leaving McMahon to battle The Monster Among Men, Triple H and Kurt Angle.
Angle punished McMahon, trapping him in the ankle lock. The SmackDown commissioner tried to fight through the agony and nearly made it to the ropes. Suddenly and inexplicably, Triple H entered the ring and planted the general manager of Raw with a Pedigree.
McMahon eliminated Angle, leaving Triple H to stare at Strowman, almost daring him to test him.
The announcers questioned the motivations of The Cerebral Assassin as he stood side-by-side with his brother-in-law. Revealing that he wanted to take out McMahon himself, Triple H delivered a Pedigree and scored the win.
After the match, a dumbfounded Strowman looked at a braggadocios Triple H. When The Game attempted to sneak attack The Monster Among Men, the big man planted him with two powerslams and stood tall to close the show.
Team Raw defeated Team SmackDown (Braun Strowman and Triple H survived)
This was, by far, the biggest disappointment of the night.
A match brimming with talent was hurt significantly by booking that left fans scratching their heads.
Why were Nakamura, Roode, Balor and Joe sacrificed to put over the likes of Triple H, Angle, Cena and Orton? Did WWE Creative forget that this was not, in fact, the year 2006?
Why bring Cena back just to have his impact on the match be minimal and largely unnecessary?
Did we really need a pay-per-view main event in 2017 to descend into another chapter in McMahon family melodrama?
About the only thing this match did correctly was its use of Strowman.
The Monster Among Men was a beast who could only be tamed when the entire Team SmackDown banded together to put him through the table. His powerslams of Triple H after the match set him up to be a foil for The Authority, if that is the direction WWE Creative wishes to take him.
If not, it renders the entirety of the match even more useless.