WWE Survivor Series 2020 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights
On a night when the "best of the best" battled for brand supremacy at Survivor Series, WWE celebrated one of its greatest icons in a final farewell at the event in which he debuted 30 years earlier.
The Undertaker said one last goodbye to the company he reigned over for three decades Sunday night, with his Hall of Fame career lauded in grand fashion. The homage to one of the greatest to ever lace a pair of boots came on the same night that the Superstars of Raw and SmackDown battled for bragging rights.
Which brand emerged victorious from this year's Survivor Series pay-per-view and what did The Deadman's departure entail?
Find out with this recap of the November 22 spectacular.
WWE Survivor Series match card
- WWE champion Drew McIntyre vs. Universal champion Roman Reigns
- United States champion Bobby Lashley vs. Intercontinental champion Sami Zayn
- Raw Tag Team champions The New Day vs. SmackDown Tag Team champions The Street Profits
- Raw Women's Champion Asuka vs. SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks
- Team Raw (AJ Styles, Sheamus, Braun Strowman, Keith Lee and Riddle) vs. Team SmackDown (Jey Uso, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Otis and King Corbin)
- Team Raw (Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax, Peyton Royce, Lacey Evans and Lana) vs. Team SmackDown (Bianca Belair, Natalya, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Bayley)
- Kickoff Show: Interpromotional Battle Royal
Kickoff Show: Dual-Branded Battle Royal
Participants included: Dominik Mysterio, Rey Mysterio, Murphy, The Miz, John Morrison, Shelton Benjamin, Cedric Alexander, Bobby Roode, Dolph Ziggler, Chad Gable, Elias, Apollo Crews, Humberto Carrillo, Angel Garza, Kalisto, Ricochet and Jeff Hardy
Dominik Mysterio scored the first stunning elimination of the Kickoff Show match when he sent John Morrison over the top rope. Dolph Ziggler dumped Rey Mysterio, and The Hurt Business earned a few eliminations until Ricochet delivered a massive suplex that sent Cedric Alexander packing.
Apollo Crews got a measure of revenge on The Hurt Business, eliminating Shelton Benjamin to clear the faction from the match.
Murphy and Dolph Ziggler teed off on each other on the apron until Bobby Roode sent the former to the locker room. Dominik knocked Roode to the floor and paired off with The Showoff. An ill-advised blind charge into the ring post and a dropkick from Dominik led to Ziggler's departure.
Across the ring, Jeff Hardy eliminated Shinsuke Nakamura, then continued his intensifying rivalry with Elias by ending his night prematurely.
SmackDown's Chad Gable and Dominik teamed up to battle Raw's Hardy and The Miz.
Gable eliminated Hardy with a clothesline, while Miz countered a 619 attempt by Dominik with a big boot to the face.
Dominik appeared to have eliminated The A-Lister, only to endure a trio of suplexes by Gable. Mysterio junior recovered and eliminated Gable, only for Miz to slide into the ring and send the rookie over the top for the win.
Miz won the Battle Royal
Battle Royals are at their worst when guys are wandering aimlessly around the ring, punching and kicking, then occasionally pairing off with another Superstar en route to their inevitable elimination. There was a lot of that going on here as there was no story to speak of.
Sure, Miz staved off elimination in sneaky fashion to win but beyond that, this was just a bunch of bodies doing things with no rhyme or reason.
And worst of all, no one is really better off for having competed here. Their stars not enhanced or strengthened in any measurable way.
Men's Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Tag Team Match
The battle for brand supremacy kicked off with Team Raw's AJ Styles, Braun Strowman, Sheamus, Riddle and Keith Lee taking on Team SmackDown's Jey Uso, Otis, King Corbin, Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins in the night's opening contest.
The first drama of the night came when Rollins demanded to be tagged into the match and, after being despondent for the majority of the contest, sacrificed himself. A Brogue Kick from Sheamus sent The Messiah packing. (SmackDown's Rollins eliminated)
Otis and Lee teed off in a battle of super-heavyweights. They exchanged teases of superhuman feats of strength before The Limitless One tagged Strowman into the match. The Monster Among Men uncorked a shotgun dropkick on Otis and tagged Styles into the match.
Styles and Owens quickened the pace until a fired-up KO unloaded with Stunners to the rest of Team Raw. Styles seized the opening and delivered the Phenomenal Forearm, eliminating his longtime rival. (SmackDown's Owens eliminated)
The action broke down and Riddle pinned Corbin to send him to the locker room. (SmackDown's Corbin eliminated)
Otis exploded into the match late, suplexing and clotheslining his way through the competition before coming face-to-face with Strowman. The former universal champion flattened him with a big boot, but Otis recovered and delivered the caterpillar. He set up for the Vader Bomb but Riddle ran interference and Strowman powerslammed him for the fall. (SmackDown's Otis eliminated)
A desperate Uso unloaded on the competition, wiping them out with a dive at ringside. He followed up with superkicks to everyone in sight, including one that left Styles hung up on the ropes.
However, a blind tag to Lee saw The Limitless One deliver the Spirit Bomb for the clean sweep. (SmackDown's Uso eliminated)
Team Raw defeated Team SmackDown (5-0)
The story of Uso nearly pulling things out and finding renewed strength within himself was a nice story late on, but for the most part, this was all about Raw proving it could stay united long enough to win.
While that played out effectively enough, it was the least interesting story it could have told and led to the equivalent of a 35-0 Chiefs shutout of the Jets.
It was one-dimensional and may well go down in Survivor Series history as the least compelling of these Raw vs. SmackDown matches.
Raw Tag Team Champions New Day vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions Street Profits
What started as a fun-loving exchange between Raw tag team champions Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods and SmackDown counterparts Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford, gave way to a steadily increasing battle that saw The New Day gain the upper hand following a dive by Kingston onto Ford on ringside.
The Raw tandem targeted the midsection of Ford, working him over while cutting the ring off. Commentator Corey Graves put over the aggression shown by Kingston and Woods just in time for Ford to create some separation and tag Dawkins in.
The biggest competitor in the match exploded into the bout, using his power advantage to toss Kingston around and deliver an underhook neckbreaker to Woods. The SmackDown champs fired off a flurry of offense, but The New Day fought back and delivered Midnight Hour. Ford kicked out.
Late, Dawkins downed Kingston and Ford delivered the frog splash. His previously injured ribs proved costly as he failed to immediately make the pin, allowing Kofi to kick out. Ford unleashed Kingston's own Trouble in Paradise against him, and Woods followed with a gutbuster for a quality near-fall.
The finish came when Dawkins blindly tagged in and hoisted Woods up on his shoulders. Ford came off with a blockbuster for the hard-fought victory.
The Street Profits defeated The New Day
This was the best match of the show—at least to this point.
High-energy, strong in-ring content and a story revolving around Ford's injured midsection that nearly cost his team the victory led to a captivating encounter.
The match had the unenviable task of being babyface vs. babyface, telling a story and living up to lofty expectations. Not only did the performers find a way to tell that story, but they also did so in a way that never forced either of the teams to play the de facto heel.
That is a testament to those involved in the match itself and those who laid it out.
United States Champion Bobby Lashley vs. Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn
United States champion Bobby Lashley made his way to the ring accompanied by Hurt Business teammates MVP, Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin for his showdown with intercontinental titleholder Sami Zayn.
The All Mighty dominated early, punishing Zayn with his power while his stablemates prevented the SmackDown star from escaping.
Citing the same vertigo he suffered at the hands of Lashley two years ago, The Great Liberator begged off, only to deliver a cheap roll-up for two. The Hurt Business, though, provided a momentary distraction and Lashley resumed his beating of Zayn.
The IC champ sought to make the most of an opening with a Helluva Kick, but Lashley grabbed hold of him and obliterated him with a spinebuster.
Zayn tried to escape but MVP tripped him and rolled him back into the ring, where Lashley applied the Hurt Lock for the submission win.
Lashley defeated Zayn
This was a really fun take on a squash match.
Lashley obliterated Zayn for the most part, but by the end of the match, the intercontinental champion had a logical complaint about the interference of MVP and Co.
For a match that was overlooked heading into the show, this was much more fun than expected and should add fuel for Zayn's conspiracy-theorist character.
Raw Women's Champion Asuka vs. SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks
Raw women's champion Asuka and SmackDown counterpart Sasha Banks rekindled their rivalry from this past summer in yet another battle between red and blue brand champions.
Early chain-wrestling could not net either woman a sustainable advantage as reversals and counters reigned.
Asuka applied an ankle lock, booted Banks in the midsection and delivered a running kick to the face. She delivered her hip toss into a knee to the face but a shining-wizard attempt missed and Banks tried for the Bank Statement. Asuka fought it and The Boss settled for a modified abdominal stretch, then an octopus submission.
The action spilled to the floor, where Asuka answered The Boss' Meteora attempt with a codebreaker. Back inside, they traded quick pinfalls but neither could score the win. Banks finally executed the Meteora in the corner but a frog splash failed to land. Banks countered a double knee into the Bank Statement. Asuka fought out into an Asuka Lock.
A second codebreaker earned The Empress a two-count.
A series of near-falls ensued as the drama built. Asuka delivered a big kick to the face, but Banks recovered and answered with a modified victory roll for the win.
Banks defeated Asuka
At the risk of jinxing them, it is seemingly impossible for Asuka and Banks to have a bad match.
The chemistry here was off the charts. They executed reversals and counters that lesser talented wrestlers would stumble and fumble their way through, and they kept fans on the edge of their seats.
Banks winning was the right move to further solidify her title reign, especially since Asuka has been at the top of the red brand for months now.
Considering the lack of obvious direction for The Empress , the outcome here was a no-brainer.
Women's Traditional Tag Team Elimination Match
Team Raw's Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax, Lana, Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce battled Natalya, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Bayley and Bianca Belair of SmackDown in the next bout.
Early, Jax sought to dominate, only for Lana to tag herself in. After some spirited action on the part of The Ravishing Russian, she tagged Royce into the match and proceeded to be berated and degraded by Jax.
The former IIconic ate snake eyes from Belair and a top-rope elbow drop from Bayley, but Evans made the save.
Royce delivered a superplex from the top rope, driving Bayley into the pile of bodies on the floor. Back in the ring, Royce delivered De Ja Vu to Bayley for a surprise elimination. (SmackDown's Bayley eliminated)
Royce continued her roll, unloading a flurry of offense on Natalya and putting her down for two. After an ugly exchange with a botch or two, The Queen of Harts applied the Sharpshooter for the first Raw elimination. (Raw's Royce eliminated)
Evans missed a springboard moonsault and Natalya tried for the Sharpshooter. She took her eyes off Evans just long enough for The Sassy Southern Belle to deliver the Woman's Right for the pinfall. (Natalya eliminated)
Belair entered and powered Evans down. A distraction by Baszler allowed The Lady to recover and deliver a super Spanish Fly for two.
The Riott Squad partnered to take the fight to Jax, rekindling their rivalry with the women's tag team champion.
Riott rocked Jax with the Riott Kick, forcing her to tag Baszler back into the match. The Queen of Spades applied her trademark clutch and, despite Riott countering into a pinfall, eventually put her away. (SmackDown's Riott eliminated)
Morgan responded to her partner's elimination, delivering a crucifix bomb to Evans for the elimination. (Raw's Evans eliminated)
The New Jersey native's onslaught came to a sudden halt on the receiving end of a Samoan Drop by Jax, who sent her packing. (SmackDown's Morgan eliminated)
Belair impressed, looking to keep SmackDown's hopes alive as she laid out Jax at ringside. Unfortunately, she springboarded her way right into Baszler's grasp. She powered her way to her feet and stumbled into the ropes. When the former NXT women's champion refused to break the hold, she was disqualified. (Raw's Baszler eliminated)
Belair and Jax fought outside the ring and failed to make it back into the squared circle ahead of the referee's 10-count, leading to a double count-out and Lana's unlikely victory as the sole survivor.
Team Raw defeated Team SmackDown (Lana the sole survivor)
That was...not a good finish.
Yes, Lana winning as the sole survivor was the right call given the story heading into the show, but a lazy double count-out was hardly the best option at WWE's disposal. Worse, such a finish does more to make her a useless-yet-lucky babyface than an underdog fans can actually get behind.
With that said, there were positives.
Belair looked fantastic as she showcased her athleticism and powered through Baszler's clutch. Royce also impressed in a rare opportunity to prove herself. Bayley losing to her was an interesting decision and makes one wonder if The Role Model may be on her way to a hiatus of sorts—even if it's just from the title picture on Friday nights.
While the action was fine enough for what it was, the execution and layout left quite a bit to be desired, and the finish didn't exactly accomplish what WWE hoped it would.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre vs. Universal Champion Roman Reigns
In a main event heavily hyped by the commentary team, WWE champion Drew McIntyre battled universal titleholder Roman Reigns.
Reigns stalled early and ate a big shoulder block from his opponent that forced him to reevaluate on the arena floor. Back inside, he caught the Raw Superstar with a big boot and clubbed away in the corner. He drove the Scot into the post and continued to control the encounter.
Reigns dominated, wearing McIntyre down and further rocking him with a jumping clothesline. The Scot fought back, delivered a big neckbreaker and teased the Claymore. Reigns hesitated to get up, McIntyre tried for Future Shock and The Tribal Chief delivered a Samoan Drop for two.
Reigns tried for the Superman Punch but McIntyre caught him with a spinebuster for another two-count.
McIntyre drove Reigns into the ring steps on the arena floor, only for The Tribal Chief to stun him with a kick to the chest. The WWE champ caught his rival in another Superman Punch attempt and delivered the Future Shock for two.
Reigns answered a Claymore attempt with the Superman Punch. McIntyre fought out of a guillotine choke but still couldn't execute the Claymore. Reigns posted McIntyre, sending the WWE champion shoulder-first into the steel post.
Reigns went for the spear, but McIntyre rolled through and applied a Kimura but the stunned Big Dog made it to the ropes.
On the floor, Reigns caught McIntyre and drove him through the announce table after two attempts. He speared the Scot through the guardrail, rolled him into the ring but still only kept him down for two.
Reigns delivered another spear and the referee delivered another two-count.
McIntyre finally delivered the Claymore but Reigns bumped the referee. Jey Uso appeared, Reigns delivered a low blow and Uso followed with a superkick. Reigns then hit a Superman Punch and applied the guillotine for the win.
Reigns defeated McIntyre
And Reigns' string of Match of the Year candidates continues.
The Tribal Chief has been involved in the three best matches WWE has produced this year, including this heavy-hitting battle between two titans. He was the dominant assassin while McIntyre was the gutsy, resilient babyface one Claymore away from proving himself worthy of sitting at the head of the table.
Unfortunately for Drew, Jey Uso picked this match to prove his loyalty to the family, furthering his story in the process.
That tale is as good as anything WWE has produced in years, and this match lived up to the weighty expectations set for it after a fantastic promo on Friday's SmackDown.
This was a legitimate main event fit for any arena in the country and a battle between two stars riding an incredible wave of momentum.
Farewell to The Deadman
Jeff Hardy, JBL, Kevin Nash, Rikishi, Big Show, Shane McMahon, The Godwinns, The Godfather, Savio Vega, Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels, Booker T, Ric Flair, Triple H and Kane all hit the ring for the Final Farewell to The Undertaker.
A Metallica-fueled video package gave way to the introduction of Vince McMahon, standing in the center of the ring with a somber look on his face. After briefly reflecting on the magical career of The Deadman, he introduced his company's greatest creation one last time.
The Phenom took to the squared circle and cut a brief promo, acknowledging that now it is time for The Undertaker to rest in peace. He knelt down as a holograph of Paul Bearer appeared.
One last time, he made his way up the ramp and raised his hand in respect of his fans as the show went off the air.
The Undertaker is an iconic character, one whose creativity and showmanship captivated entire generations of fans. His career is unparalleled, the respect he has elicited from fans and peers is incomparable.
He earned this farewell and while some will argue it should have been bigger and grander, it fit his character and was everything you could have hoped for from The Phenom—except for one last match in front of fans.
Still, on a night when much was made about his goodbye, committing the character to rest in peace was the perfect line to wrap things up.