WWE Survivor Series 2018 Results: Reviewing Top Highlights and Low Points
Just days before WWE Survivor Series 2018, multiple matches on the card were drastically changed and the whole event was turned upside down.
We'll never know how good or bad the original plans would have been, but now that the pay-per-view has passed by, we can look back on what actually did transpire and assess the damage.
Was the annual battle for brand supremacy between Raw and SmackDown something that truly showed off the best of the two rosters, or was it more of a showcase of the crumbling state of affairs going on in WWE?
Were there lots of pleasant surprises, or did the negatives outweigh the positives? Which pros and cons stood out from the pack?
Presented in order of appearance, here are the highlights and low points of Survivor Series 2018.
Full List of Match Results
WWE Survivor Series 2018 results
- Tag Team Elimination Match: Team SmackDown defeated Team Raw
- Women's Elimination Match: Team Raw defeated Team SmackDown
- Seth Rollins defeated Shinsuke Nakamura by pinfall
- AOP defeated The Bar by pinfall
- Buddy Murphy defeated Mustafa Ali by pinfall to retain the Cruiserweight Championship
- Men's Elimination Match: Team Raw defeated Team SmackDown
- Ronda Rousey defeated Charlotte Flair by disqualification
- Brock Lesnar defeated Daniel Bryan by pinfall
Low Point: AJ Styles' Event Streak Comes to an End
Since his debut at Royal Rumble 2016, AJ Styles has wrestled in some capacity at every single event he was eligible, all up until Sunday's pay-per-view.
Excluding the all-female Evolution and brand-specific shows opposite his own roster, he had wrestled at 34 consecutive pay-per-views in a row.
That is an impressive feat and it's a shame it couldn't have gone on longer, particularly since he's one of the best performers in the company and his presence helps every event.
Knowing the streak could have continued had he been placed on Team SmackDown in Daniel Bryan's spot makes it an even tougher pill to swallow, as that would have likely increased the value of that segment.
Despite this being a negative, it's still worth celebrating this as a statistic, so hats off to Styles for being that good to reach this point.
Highlight: Survivor Series Kickoff
It's rare to be able to say the pre-show for an event was worth the watch, but this was one of the exceptions to the rule.
During the two hours, an angle was done to kick Ruby Riott and Natalya off the team after a fight broke out between the two, leading to Sasha Banks and Bayley being their replacements.
That was a nice way to spice things up, giving spots to two popular stars and working with the logic of how Riott and Natalya shouldn't be able to coexist on the same team.
There was also a hilarious backstage segment with R-Truth trying to be the final member of SmackDown's women's team, which was good for more than just a chuckle. It established Naomi as the new captain and addressed the missing teammate by announcing Mandy Rose as the fifth member.
Then, the 10-on-10 elimination match was a solid fight pretty much from start to finish.
Having The New Day start things with a good promo to build hype was a smart move. It was good to see some unity from Team Raw, too, with every member joining in on the "glorious" chant.
There could be some nitpicks, such as how Sanity wasn't able to look stronger and how Kalisto suffered an injury early on, although WWE lucked out in being able to replace him with Gran Metalik.
Chad Gable's German suplex off the top rope was a standout moment, and it was good to see The New Day, The Usos and The Revival come out of this looking strong.
For once, if you skipped the pre-show, you actually missed a few interesting things, instead of just an hour or two of nothing.
Low Point: The Kickoff Tag Team Match Didn't Matter to WWE
WWE promptly disregarded everything that happened on the Kickoff as inconsequential by saying Team SmackDown's win didn't count toward the final result.
Not only is that a slap in the face of everyone who performed but also to the fans who bothered to watch, as the company effectively told the audience they had wasted their time.
WWE should try to convince people to watch the Kickoff show, rather than telling them it doesn't matter.
There isn't even a logical reason for this. Quite the opposite in fact, as this defies logic, as it meant the Raw vs. SmackDown matches were then an even number and open to a tie.
It's also yet another example of how WWE does not care about the tag team division.
This is exactly the type of stupid decision the company has been making this year that makes people question if there is a saboteur trying to screw things up by doing things that make no sense.
Highlight: 5-on-5 Women's Elimination Match
For the most part, the women's traditional elimination match was a success.
However, it started off in a bad way. Eliminating Naomi so fast was likely WWE's attempt to make it seem as though SmackDown would be lost without its team captain, but that didn't translate, as there was never a lack of cohesion.
The underdog idea was immediately balanced out with Tamina's elimination, too, which just made those two look bad.
But ignoring those two eliminations, the rest of the match was solid.
It was good to see Mandy Rose steal an elimination from Sonya Deville, as that further pushes Rose's character as a vain heel who is looking for as much of the spotlight as she can, even if she has to deprive her former best friend of it.
Asuka was the most energetic she's been since WrestleMania 34, and special note should be given to her knee to Sasha Banks' face, which looked amazing.
The crowd was hot for this, especially in opposition of Nia Jax, which explains why she was booked as the sole survivor.
WWE is turning into the skid with the Becky Lynch injury and wants to give Jax as much heat as possible to build interest to her match against Ronda Rousey at Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 16.
It wasn't a perfect match, but it was about as good as one could ask for.
Low Point: Shinsuke Nakamura Takes Another Loss
For months, Shinsuke Nakamura has been nothing. He's been holding the United States title, but he hasn't had a single feud and has only sparingly been used, mostly to lose.
Would it have killed WWE to have him win against Seth Rollins on Sunday?
It wouldn't have been hard to set up, as there was a built-in way to keep Rollins looking strong and excuse the babyface coming up short.
Had Dean Ambrose interfered to cost The Architect the match, it would have been predictable, but it would have given Nakamura his first positive in months and helped to build more heat toward the inevitable clash between Rollins and The Lunatic Fringe at TLC.
Instead, WWE decided to drive home the point that Nakamura wasn't as important in comparison to Rollins, as if anyone needed that reiterated to them.
Low Point: AOP vs. The Bar
Hopefully, whoever thought it was a good idea to have Drake Maverick wet himself got a good laugh out of it and is OK with making a joke of this segment.
Now, though, the babyface 205 Live general manager is a laughing stock, which only hurts The Authors of Pain for being associated with him.
This did no favors to either team, the tag team divisions on Raw or SmackDown, or Sunday's card itself.
All it did was give those with a lowbrow sense of humor a momentary chuckle and further prove that the tag teams in WWE are worthless to the people calling the shots.
Highlight: Buddy Murphy vs. Mustafa Ali
To no surprise, the Cruiserweight Championship match received a "this is awesome" chant from the crowd, which is what happens when they're actually given an arena filled with people to watch them.
205 Live has been the brand with the most consistent high-quality in-ring action, and Buddy Murphy and Mustafa Ali have been at the forefront of those amazing matches.
From top to bottom, this match had great pacing, and the energy was infectious as the crowd popped for all of the high-flying maneuvers and athleticism between the two.
Most people don't even know this is the norm. They're unaware of what they're missing because zero effort is given to pushing 205 Live to the general audience and convincing them there is a reason to watch.
It's a shame, as being overlooked all the time means they never get the recognition they deserve, so here's hoping the WWE Universe has finally woken up and will be paying attention to 205 Live going forward after this great performance.
Low Point: 5-on-5 Men's Elimination Match
If WWE's goal for this event was to make sure everybody knew SmackDown was the B-show, that mission was certainly accomplished and this match was the final proof.
The blue brand's only win was erased from the event's tally before this, and any semblance of a comeback was quickly dashed with the men's team's complete lack of a chance here.
It started with the immediate dismissal of Samoa Joe, who was sacrificed to make Drew McIntyre look strong and to reiterate the point that The Samoan Submission Machine has never and likely never will accomplish a thing on the main roster.
Apparently, WWE can't multitask; and much like the women's match was solely a vehicle to push Nia Jax, the same thing happened here with the surviving members of Team Raw.
Clearly, the only takeaways the writers wanted the audience to have were that Strowman and McIntyre are powerful, Baron Corbin is a jerk and they value Bobby Lashley more than everyone on SmackDown by not even having him take a pin.
After doing this time and again, WWE officials will still be confused how fewer people tune in on Tuesday nights, even though it's obvious the company itself doesn't seem to value it.
Highlight: Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair
Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey proved they would have had a great match at WrestleMania, which still might be in the cards.
Whether it was a byproduct of practicing in advance, having the right chemistry together or just enough talent to go around, these two went back and forth in a way that ensured they both came out of it looking like gold.
It's also interesting to see where they go from here.
If this was WWE's attempt to position Flair as the heel, we have another Becky Lynch situation going on, as the crowd was not following that train of thought whatsoever.
Instead, they were booing Rousey and chanting "you deserve it" and "thank you Charlotte" to take this in the opposite direction.
But while this could fly in the face of WWE's plans, this company has had so many problems recently that that may be the best thing possible and this could have been a massive boost to what's to come.
With Banks, Bayley, Lynch and Flair all babyfaces to the crowd, and Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir clearly heels, all that is left is for WWE to go with the flow and make Rousey a heel to give us a Four Horsewomen vs. Four Horsewomen match somewhere down the line.
Rousey won't be the villain against Jax at TLC, but WWE can revisit this and make her the heel heading into WrestleMania 35, giving that angle a different twist.
Highlight: Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan
Giving credit where it's due, even if it took a while to get there, at least Brock Lesnar finally wrestled a match that had more to it than German suplexes and a single F-5.
It's confusing why WWE booked Daniel Bryan to turn heel ahead of this, as he was the sympathetic fan favorite for this entire segment, and everything would have been even more effective had he been a true babyface, rather than the lesser of two evils.
However, in the grand scheme of things on an event with multiple major flaws, that is just a nitpick and can be brushed aside in favor of the positives in this match.
At least Bryan didn't look like a complete joke, eating one suplex and getting pinned in a complete squash. Now, we just have to hope no reports come out about him suffering any injuries from the match.
It shouldn't be a highlight for things to just not be as bad as expected, but that's what WWE is nowadays.
Tell us your highlights and low points in the comments section below.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.