WWE Survivor Series did a tremendous job of building up a main event pay-per-view match that could have opened up a litany of buzzworthy possibilities, from John Cena turning heel to the Miz cashing in the Money in the Bank.
Apparently the WWE did too good of a job teasing its consumers looking to buy Survivor Series as the ultimate payoff was a safe, deflating finish that will prove to be inconsequential moving forward.
As special guest referee in a match where fellow babyface Randy Orton going over would cost John Cena his job, John Cena called the match right down the middle culminating in an anti-climactic finish that, given the WWE's imaginative teases and builds, rendered Survivor Series 2010 nothing more than the hot virgin you meet at the bar who leaves with her friends after hours of stimulating conversation.
The countdown to Wrestlemania 27 might need new batteries.
Survivor Series 2010 Results
Daniel Bryan over Ted DiBiase. This was a strong match as Daniel Byran seems to have carved a temporary niche as a pay-per-view curtain jerker and Ted DiBiase may be on his way back to being taken seriously as a wrestler.
This looks like a feud that will continue and possibly culminate in a ladder match come "TLC". With Ziggler and Bryan both enjoying lengthy reins as Intercontinental and United States champions (respectively) and going over consistently, the WWE's secondary titles are actually starting to mean something.
After Bryan's win, Miz attacked Bryan with his Money in the Bank suitcase and heavily teased the Miami crowd that he would be cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase.
Dolph Ziggler over Kaval. At least Kaval had something to do here, which has been a far cry from his duties as a glorified jobber since moving to Smackdown. I, personally, forgot about his NXT stipulation that he gets a title shot at any pay-per-view he wants, but this was good use of such a clause by Kaval (and the WWE) as he was showcased on one of their biggest pay-per-views of the year in a solid contest.
Seeing Kaval pull off so many innovative and athletic moves in this contest would make it that much more of a waste if the WWE waits too long to do something meaningful with Kaval. And don't look now, but Dolph Ziggler's Intercontinental Championship is slowly becoming one of the more meaningful championships in the WWE
John Morrison over Sheamus. The crowd took a while to get into this well-paced contest, and the finish was rather surprising as Morrison went over Sheamus clean. Sheamus did an excellent job playing the bully as he used brute force throughout, yet Morrison used innovative counters and eventually won the match after Shemaus missed the Brogue kick and was straddled on the top rope.
For those of you who think that Morrison is getting his long awaited push, I wouldn't put too much stock into this win as Shemaus is clearly in no-mans land waiting for Triple H to return and needs something to do in the mean time.
Natalya over LayCool. The stories of this match were A. Natalya is your new Diva's Champion and B. Beth Phoenix hath returned, meaning tens of thousands of fans in attendance at American Airlines center who took their piss breaks during this match all missed the monumental return.
Beth Phoenix hit the ring to make the save on behalf of Natalya, who was taking a postmatch beatdown. The two celebrated together, and at one point Phoenix hoisted Natalya up on her shoulders, prompting me to think she was going to turn heel and set the stage for the only Diva's match with any semblance of money drawing potential currently in the WWE.
The WWE may still go in the direction of Natalya/Phoenix as Matt Striker talked up their friendship (just because they're both muscled out blondes, they're friends?), so perhaps this will be one of those mutual-respect turned contempt angles between two babyfaces.
Edge and Kane battle to a draw. This was a ho-hum match that was slotted in the "comedown" position as the fans were anticipating the WWE Championship main event to see what Cena would do. It didn't help that the build up for this match saw Edge kidnap Paul Bearer and torture him.
The Dusty finish (Edge speared Kane and pinned him, but both men had their shoulders down), combined with the fact that we still do not know of Paul Bearer's whereabouts leads me to believe this feud will continue.
Gabriel and Slater over Koslov and Santino. Santino Marella actually looked very good in this match from a wrestling standpoint, but his superior talent in the field of midcard comedy will prevent him from ever being taken seriously as a 'rassler. NXT won this match in five minutes after their strength in numbers routine.
Team Mysterio over Team Del Rio. This match was pretty much booked the same way it was this past Friday on Smackdown as Rey Mysterio and Big Show were the sole survivors. MVP, despite being the hometown favorite and receiving tremendous support from the crowd, was the first man pinned as the WWE showed Miami who really runs this show.
The job was obviously designed to get more heat on the heels, namely Del Rio who was instrumental in MVP's early demise, but the crowd defiantly chanted "MVP" as MVP retreated to the back in defeat.
Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger shined in this match with innovative spots and counters, while Del Rio was protected by being escorted to the back (instead of being pinned) after taking a Big Show punch. The spot of the night came when Cody Rhodes flipped out after being slapped in the face by Kofi Kingston. At one point Rhodes insisted on looking at himself in the mirror on the back of his jacket. Cody Rhodes' heel antics were on point.
Randy Orton over Wade Barrett (with John Cena as the guest referee). During this match, I joked "what if John Cena just called this match down the middle and nothing interesting happened?"
Unfortunately, that joke became reality as Cena called the match right down the middle, contributing to a deflating and money-wasting end to Survivor Series on many fronts. At the matches, um, climax, Cena pushed Wade Barrett into an RKO in retaliation to a shove by his former temporary boss.
Knowing how legitimate "firing" storylines are in wrestling provided we haven't heard of the wrestler in question failing a drug test or asking for his or her release, the anti-climactic finish pretty much means that anybody who paid their money to see the outcome of "Free or Fired" made a piss poor investment; John Cena isn't going anywhere.
With Barrett's loss to Orton, what was once the hottest storyline in wrestling and ripe with potential to kick start interest in Wrestlemania 27, has now gone up in flames. The WWE has once again squandered an opportunity to sink their teeth into a story with substance as they stayed safe with Cena's character throughout the whole CeNexus angle. Rest assured, future pay-per-view buy rates will continue to suffer.