Powell’s WWE Survivor Series 2016 live review: Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar, three Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown elimination matches, IC and WWE Cruiserweight Title matches

imagesBy Jason Powell

WWE Survivor Series 2016
Aired live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Toronto, Ontario at Air Canada Centre

Survivor Series opened with a video package that focussed on Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar, and the Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown theme… Pyro shot off on the stage. Mauro Ranallo checked in on commentary and noted that there are 17,143 fans in attendance…

Bayley made her entrance. Ranallo, JBL, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton checked in on commentary from ringside. The remainder of the ring entrances followed. Nikki Bella was supposed to be the last person out. Her music played, but she didn’t come out. A cameraman ran backstage and found Nikki lying in a heap. A trainer told Daniel Bryan and Natalya that she couldn’t compete. Natalya said she could represent Smackdown. Bryan agreed to it. The Canadian fans popped for Natalya’s entrance…

Powell’s POV: So they have two Raw broadcast team members and two Smackdown broadcast team members. It looks like Michael Cole is getting a rare night off from play-by-play. By the way, the Kickoff show results were Noam Dar, TJ Perkins, and Rich Swann over Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese, and Drew Gulak in a six-man tag match, and Kane over Luke Harper.

1. Team Raw: Charlotte (w/Dana Brooke), Sasha Banks, Bayley, Alicia Fox, and Nia Jax vs. Team Smackdown: Natalya, Becky Lynch, Naomi, Alexa Bliss, and Carmella in a Survivor Series elimination match. Bayley was the only Team Raw wrestler who didn’t have to wear the bad red t-shirt. Once the match started, the Raw women had red gear and only Jax wore the t-shirt. Meanwhile, the Smackdown women wore blue with only Lynch wearing the Smackdown t-shirt.

Bayley and Lynch were about to have an exchange when Charlotte tagged herself in. However, Sasha reached in and tagged herself into the match. Charlotte and Sasha pushed and shoved with Bayley trying to play peacemaker. Eventually, all ten women ended up in the ring exchanging blows.

Alicia Fox eliminated Carmella at 6:25. The next elimination didn’t take long. Bliss hit a move off the ropes and eliminated Fox at 6:45. Naomi performed a dive off the ropes onto Jax on the floor. Jax came back by running Naomi into the ring post and then flinging her off the apron and down to the floor. Naomi was eliminated when she was counted out.

At 9:45, Banks performed a nice double knee press off the apron and onto Natalya on the floor. Back inside the ring, Natalya went for a suplex, but Banks blocked it. Sasha went for her finisher, but Bliss entered and blocked it. Sasha was distracted by Bliss, allowing Natalya to roll her up and eliminate her at 10:20.

Natalya and Charlotte had an exchange with the crowd wooooing. There was a Suplex City chant when Natalya performed a nice suplex on Charlotte. Natalya followed up with a powerbomb and had Charlotte pinned, but Jax broke it up at 11:25. Natalya applied the Sharpshooter. Banks held out the ropes for Charlotte to grab to break it. Charlotte came right back with a kick and eliminated Natalya at 12:00.

Bliss and Lynch bickered, but then teamed up for a double suplex on Jax, who got right up seconds later. Bliss and Lynch teamed up for the worst double DDT in the history of pro wrestling. Lynch applied her finisher to Jax, who tapped out at 13:40. Really?!? Jax roughed up Lynch briefly after she’d been eliminated. Charlotte caught Bliss with a kick and pinned her.

The remaining entrants were Charlotte and Bayley for Raw, and Lynch for Smackdown. Lynch got the better of Charlotte and went performed the Dublin Jam legdrop off the top rope. Lynch had Charlotte pinned. Bayley ran in late to break it up. There were some groans from the crowd Bayley tagged in and then had a staredown with Lynch. Bayley eventually hit the Bayley To Belly on Lynch and pinned her to win the match for her team.

After the match, Charlotte attacked Bayley in the ring, then dumped her to ringside where she ran her into the barricade twice. When Bayley stood up, Charlotte caught her with a big boot…

Charlotte and Bayley were the survivors for Team Raw in 17:30.

Powell’s POV: There were as many wooos as boos for the post match attack. There just wasn’t any heat for Charlotte’s attack. It was really odd to see Jax eliminated via submission when she was positioned as the beast of the division. Meanwhile, they didn’t really protect Lynch or the Smackdown Women’s Championship by having Bayley beat her clean to win the match. Will Natalya or Carmella be responsible for the attack on Nikki?

After a commercial, James Ellsworth was shown walking backstage. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson approached him and bullied him. Gallows called him “a real nerd.” Gallows recalled that Ellsworth pinned “our old friend” AJ Styles. Mick Foley showed up and told them to knock it off. He asked if they would like it if he picked on them for shaving their heads. Gallows said they shave their heads.

After Gallows and Anderson left, Ellsworth marked out for Foley, saying he remembered when Undertaker tossed him off the Hell in a Cell structure. Foley said Taker threw him, and noted that “tossing off” means different things in other countries. Wow. Ellsworth continued to praise Foley, yet told him that he is loyal to Smackdown Foley said he respected that, then wished him well. Ellsworth turned and walked into Braun Strowman. “Don’t I know you?” Strowman asked? Ellsworth split…

Powell’s POV: I’m not really sure what purpose Anderson and Gallows served, but the rest with Foley and then Strowman was fun. For those who may have forgotten, Ellsworth first became famous when Strowman squashed him on Raw. In case you’re wondering, yes, it was love at first sight, as you can discover by checking out my live review of Raw or the WWE Raw Hit List that followed that show.

Michael Cole sat in on commentary with JBL, David Otunga, and Byron Saxton. So much for Cole getting the night off…

2. The Miz (w/Maryse) vs. Sami Zayn for the Intercontinental Championship. The crowd sang along with Sami’s music, and the Spanish and German broadcast teams were shown prior to the match. Cole said Zayn has a 3-0 record against Miz. Zayn sold knee pain. At 6:15, Zayn caught Miz with a nice clothesline. Zayn limped before he performed a dive over the top rope onto Miz on the floor at 6:45. Zayn performed a Michinoku Driver for a two count at 7:15.

Miz came back with a DDT for a two count at 8:05. Cole said he thought Miz had him even though no one in the building did. Miz threw a series of dropkicks in the corner, and followed up with his running clothesline. Zayn came back with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a good near fall at 9:35. Zayn performed an exploder supelx, but Miz avoided the Helluva Kick.

Miz applied the figure four. Zayn rolled it over. Zayn continued to sell knee pain as the hold was broken. Miz threw Daniel Bryan style kicks at Zayn at 13:00. Zayn ducked the big kick and then applied the figure four. Miz teased tapping. The bell rang and Zayn released the hold, but it was Maryse ringing the bell. Miz rolled up Zayn and pinned him…

The Miz defeated Sami Zayn in 14:05 to retain the Intercontinental Title.

Powell’s POV: An entertaining match and a clever finish. I’m sure plenty of people will hate the finish, but it’s true to the Miz and Maryse characters, and it gives Zayn an out for losing. I’m thrilled that the IC Title is staying on Smackdown. They don’t have the deepest mid-card, but Raw doesn’t need two secondary titles.

Backstage, AJ Styles told Dean Ambrose that if he and the other Team Smackdown members listen to him they will get a victory. They bickered until Shane McMahon entered the room and told them that Smackdown already lost one match and they can’t afford to lose another…

Multiple commercials aired…

Ezo and Cass did their mic work and were very over. They both have Mr. Kennedy style mics. Cass worked in a Tim Horton’s reference for the Canadian crowd. The crowd died the moment The Shining Stars’ music hit. JoJo was the ring announcer and has been rotating with Greg Hamilton throughout the show. Cesaro pulled his tuxedo off over his head rather than tearing it off for some reason. New Day were the final entrants for Raw and delivered some mic work about being team captains. Kofi Kingston said tonight is about “all of us” and putting a whooping on Team Smackdown. They led a “Team Raw Rocks” chant. Team Smackdown entered without anyone speaking (thank you). The Usos were back to acting heelish. American Alpha got a good reaction…

3. Team Raw: New Day, Enzo Amore & Big Cass, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows, Sheamus & Cesaro, The Shining Stars vs. Team Smackdown: Heath Slater & Rhyno, American Alpha, The Usos, The Hype Bros, and Tyler Breeze and Fandango in an elimination match. The Ranallo led team (you know, the good one) was back on commentary. Fandango and Breeze wore the cop outfits and passed out citations for fashion violations to both teams.

Kingston pinned Fandango roughly 45 seconds into the match, which also eliminated Breeze. New Day was eliminated at 1:10 when Jeyimmy Uso caught Kingston with a superkick and pinned him. Anderson and Gallows eliminated The Hype Bros when Gallows pinned Zack Ryder at 5:20. The Shining Stars were eliminated by American Alpha at 8:10.

The three remaining teams from each side entered the ring and jawed. Just when it looked like they were setting up a Raw commercial break, the teams traded punches. Cass threw Enzo over the top rope and he ended up landing on more Raw wrestlers than Smackdown wrestlers. Slater dove onto a group of wrestlers from both teams.

Alpha set up for a big move, but Sheamus cut off Chad Gable before he could do it. Cesaro performed the swing on Jason Jordan, but Gable broke it up and suplexed Cesaro. Jordan launched Gable onto a group of wrestlers from both teams. Jordan went for a dive, but he was cut off. Gallows and Anderson hit the Magic Killer and Jordan and pinned him to eliminate American Alpha at 10:40. Ugh.

Gallows accidentally knocked Enzo off the apron. After some back and forth between them, Rhyno checked in and gored Gallows before pinning him to eliminate Anderson and Gallows. Cass caught Rhyno and Slater with with boots, then launched Enzo onto Rhyno. Enzo pinned Rhyno to eliminate Rhyno and Slater. One of the Usos hit a Frogsplash on Enzo to eliminate Enzo and Cass at 13:30.

The match came down to Cesaro and Sheamus for Raw vs. The Usos for Smackdown. Sheamus hit White Noise on Jimmy Uso, but Jey had tagged in and splashed him. Cesaro saved Sheamus from being pinned. Cesaro went to his corner and clapped as he waited for Sheamus, who made the tag. Cesaro delivered uppercuts to Jey, who came back with one of his own. Cesaro came back with an springboard corkscrew uppercut.

Cesaro hit both Usos with uppercuts and then performed a top rope cross body block for a good near fall. Cesaro performed the swing on Jey Uso as the crowd counted along with the rotations. Cesaro went for the Sharpshooter, but Jimmy kicked his leg from behind and then took out Sheamus with a dive. Jey applied his leg hold on Cesaro, who eventually countered into the Sharpshooter. Jimmy tried to break it up with a superkick, but Sheamus caught him with a Brogue Kick. Jey tapped out…

Sheamus and Cesaro were the survivors and won the match for Team Raw in 18:55.

Powell’s POV: Good drama down the stretch. I think most of us suspected Team Smackdown to win that match to even things up going into the men’s match. It takes something away from the men’s match and would seem to indicate that Team Smackdown his going to win to avoid a sweep. I’m stunned that this wasn’t Alpha’s night. We’re nearly four months removed from the draft and they’re just another tag team on the Smackdown side. Weird.

Backstage, Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley celebrates their 2-0 advantage. They agreed to book Sheamus and Cesaro a tag title shot against New Day on Monday’s Raw. They also spoke about how Foley put the entire cruiserweight division on the line… A video package set up the cruiserweight match…

Powell’s POV: I guess the story will be that while Team Raw won both elimination matches, Team Smackdown won the IC Title and may end up winning the cruiserweight division, which would make it 2-2 heading into the men’s match.

4. Brian Kendrick vs. Kalisto for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship (if Kalisto wins, the cruiserweight division moves to Smackdown). Ranallo and company were on commentary, and he and Graves hyped 205 Live. The crowd was flat for Kendrick’s entrance. Kalisto got off to a quick start and got a few two counts. Kendrick came back with a rollup type of move that flung the back of Kalisto’s head into the corner. Kendrick placed him between the post and the steps and then kicked the steps.

Kalisto came back with a Spanish Fly off the ring apron. Ranallo belted out an “Oh my God!” There was a tame “holy shit” chant from the crowd. They had more fun counting along with the referee’s potential count-out count. Kalisto performed a suicide dive on Kendrick at 8:10. Back inside the ring, Kendrick pulled Kalisto off the ropes and into the Captain’s Hook in a cool spot. Kalisto teased teasing, but reached the ropes to break it at 9:55.

Late in the match, Kalisto was setting up for a springboard move when Baron Corbin ran out and hit Kendrick from behind for the DQ. Corbin hit End of Days on Kalisto. Afterward, Kendrick celebrated his win while the broadcast team said the cruiserweight title was staying on Raw…

Brian Kendrick beat Kalisto by DQ in 12:25 to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

Powell’s POV: Wow, what a letdown. Kalisto and Kendrick worked really hard, but the live crowd just didn’t seem to care. I doubt it will get any better for them with the weekly champion and challenger segment, and the weekly cruiserweight six-man tag match on Raw. I think most people were hoping that the cruiserweights were changing nights because the formula on Raw is already a proven failure. Meanwhile, the big question now is how WWE intends to fill the remaining pay-per-view time with only one elimination match and the main event remaining.

The pre-show panel of Renee Young, Booker T, Lita, and Jerry Lawler checked in and discussed the show… Backstage, Daniel Bryan scolded Baron Corbin for costing Kalisto the match and Smackdown the cruiserweight championship. “So,” Corbin responded. He said he didn’t need those pests on Tuesdays. Bryan said he’d deal with him on Tuesday…

After some ads, Cole hyped WWE Roadblock. Cole boasted that it’s been all Team Raw at Survivor Series. They set up a video package for the men’s elimination match…

JoJo introduced James Ellsworth as the mascot of Team Smackdown. The fans chanted Ellsworth in Goldberg styles. Meanwhile, Cole introduced all of the other broadcast teams. Shane McMahon made his entrance to a good ovation and wore his own shirt. Bray Wyatt was out next and thankfully didn’t wear a Smackdown shirt. Cole noted this was his first Survivor Series elimination match. Randy Orton walked out with Wyatt and had a t-shirt on. AJ Styles was out next, and Dean Ambrose was the final entrant for Team Smackdown. The fans chanted for Styles.

Team Raw entrances started with Braun Strowman, who looked silly wearing the red t-shirt. Seth Rollins was out next to a good ovation. He wore half of his own shirt and half of a Raw shirt. Reigns was booed and didn’t wear a Raw shirt. Chris Jericho got a big reaction from the Canadian crowd. Cole said Jericho is 3-0 in Survivor Series elimination matches. He said only John Cena, Randy Savage, and Ultimate Warrior have better records than Jericho in elimination matches. Kevin Owens received arguably the biggest pop of all. He wore the Raw shirt over his shoulder.

5. Team Raw: Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Braun Strowman vs. Team Smackdown: AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, and Shane McMahon (w/James Ellsworth) in a Survivor Series elimination match. Owens put his Raw shirt on before the match, and started off with shirtless Styles. Strowman and Orton both ditched their shirts as well.

The crowd chanted “Stupid Idiot” and then Owens tagged in Jericho. They hugged to cheers. Jericho took his stupid idiot Raw shirt off. Jericho didn’t stay in long, as he tagged in Rollins. Styles teased locking up, then tagged in Ambrose, who worked in his Smackdown shirt. Jericho tagged back in and demanded the money that Ambrose owes him for his rug. The fans chanted stupid idiot again.

Shane tagged in at 7:15. Jericho fled to ringside to avoid Super Shane.Jericho returned to the ring and sold punches for Shane, who hit him with an elbow off the ropes. Shane performed a couple of odd arm drags before Jericho caught him with a boot and followed up with a dropkick. The broadcast team spoke about how Raw and Smackdown tied in the ratings. Cole pointed out that Raw had more viewers. No one cared.

Rollins worked over Shane and Reigns helped briefly. Shane backdropped Rollins and then made it to his corner to tag in Ambrose, while Owens tagged in for Raw at 10:40. Ambrose caught Owens with a clothesline and knocked Jericho off the apron. Ambrose performed a suicide dive onto Owens. Back inside the ring, Ambrose continued to get the better of Owens, who got help from Jericho when Ambrose set up for his finisher.

All the wrestlers entered the ring for the obligatory staredown moment. The crowd chanted Ellsworth and then the wrestlers in the ring traded punches. Most of the wrestlers ended up fighting at ringside. Strowman caught Ambrose, by Styles dove onto him to break it up. Owens went up top and dove onto wrestlers from both sides for a pop from the fans. Cole said that’s why he’s the WWE Universal Champion. Um, okay.

Shane went up top slowly. Strowman stopped him and shoved him back inside the ring. Strowman worked over Shane until Ambrose and Styles stopped him. Shane once again clotheslined Strowman over the top rope. Reigns entered the ring and was booed as he hit Styles, who was cheered when he performed a Pele Kick on Reigns. There was an AJ Styles chant.

Styles barked orders at Ambrose and poked his chest. They bickered. Shane tried to stop them. Ambrose tackled Styles. Shane intervened. Styles got up and hit Ambrose. Strowman performed a running power slam on Ambrose and pinned him at 16:00. The broadcast team pointed out that Styles didn’t break up the pin.

Styles took a bump over the top rope for Strowman. Orton went for an RKO, but Strowman cut him off. Wyatt stood in front of Strowman and struck the crucifix pose. Jericho barked that he is the captain. Strowman grabbed them both by the throat and shoved them down, then worked over Wyatt. Strowman threw a dropkick to the chest of Wyatt to knock him out of the ring.

Strowman prepped the German broadcast table, then Orton hit him with an RKO on the table. Orton helped Wyatt to his feet and they prepped Cole’s table. Wyatt and Orton placed Strowman on the table and held him. Shane McMahon magically recovered and then performed a top rope elbow that drove Strowman through the table for a big pop at 20:00. The fans chanted “this is awesome.”

Despite everyone fighting at ringside all this time, the referee started counting out Strowman. Ellsworth held his legs from underneath the ring, causing Strowman to get counted out around 21:30. Strowman chased Ellsworth up the stage and ended up throwing him off the side of the stage and through a table. It was a risky bump because there were stairs next to the table, but it looked like Ellsworth cleared them. Cole noted that both teams had four men left.

Owens worked over Shane and took time to mock him by performing Shane’s dance. Owens tagged in Jericho, who applied a chinlock. Jericho had a bloody nose. Jericho performed Codebreakers on Shane and then Orton. Jericho got a two count on Shane. At 27:00, Shane avoided a top rope splash by Jericho. Shane finally tagged in Styles.

Styles applied the Calf Crusher, but Jericho slammed Styles’s head to the mat to break it at 28:40. Styles took a shot at Owens, who was on the apron. Owens brought Jericho’s list into the ring and struck Styles with it, then performed the Popup Powerbomb. Owens was disqualified from the match at 29:30. There were some boos over Owens being eliminated.

Jericho scrambled to round up all the pages of his list. Orton snuck up behind Jericho and hit him with the RKO. Jericho was pinned and eliminated by Orton at 30:15. Rollins and Reigns were the last wrestlers left on Team Raw. Shane lied on the apron through all of this. Shane finally started to pull himself up after Orton performed a superplex on Rollins around 33:10, but Shane went back down.

Reigns tagged in to boos and worked over Orton, Styles, and Wyatt while Shane finally pulled himself up to one knee. Reigns performed a crucifix sit-out powerbomb on Styles for a two count at 34:20. Owens set up for a Superman Punch, but Styles cut him off with a kick. Styles tagged in Shane.

Shane miraculously recovered and threw a series of punches at Reigns. Shane ate one punch, but he came right back with a DDT on Reigns. Shane dodged Rollins and then clotheslined him. Shane caught Rollins going for a kick and then slammed Rollins’ head into his own knee repeatedly. Vomit. Shane avoided a charing Reigns and ran him into the corner. Ridiculous.

Shane set up for Coast to Coast. Cole said it’s the move that Shane made famous (Rob Van Dam just rolled over in his grave and he’s alive and well). Shane went for the move and Reigns speared him on the way down. The referee started to make the three count, but he stopped his count at two and instead declared that Shane was unable to continue. You can’t pin Super Shane!!! Two trainers helped Shane out of the ring and up the ramp.

Rollins performed a blockbuster on Styles and caught him with a high knee moments later. Rollins dove onto Wyatt at ringside. Back in the ring, Rollins shouted “come on” to get a reaction from the crowd, then went back working over Styles. There were anti Reigns chants. Orton broke up a pin attempt and then worked over Rollins until Reigns punched him. The fans booed again.

Reigns said something to the Spanish broadcast team about liking or not liking them, then took their table apart. Styles hit Reigns from behind before they could powerbomb Orton. Ambrose ran out and attacked Styles from behind like a tool. Several referees cut off Ambrose. Security tried to escort Ambrose away, but Rollins and Reigns stopped them. Reigns, Rollins, and Ambrose performed the Shield powerbomb on Styles and drove him through the Spanish broadcast table. Rollins rolled Styles back inside the ring and pinned him at 46:00.

The match was down to Reigns vs. Orton and Wyatt. Harper tried to get involved at ringside, but Reigns ducked a clothesline and then speared him. In the ring, Wyatt went for his finisher, but Reigns eluded it and caught Wyatt with a Superman Punch. Reigns went for a spear on Wyatt, but Orton shoved Wyatt out of the way and took the spear himself. Wyatt got up and hit Sister Abigail on Reigns and then pinned him. Fans cheered the heel going over…

Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton were the final survivors for Team Smackdown in 52:55.

Powell’s POV: They really wanted to establish that Orton his with the Wyatts. I’m not sure what they hope to get out of this because it’s such an oddball fit. One would think it involves Taker, but he has no reason to be pissed since his suddenly beloved Team Smackdown got the win. The match was clearly the best of the elimination matches and the highlight of the night thus far. It was fun if you just want to sit back and watch a bunch of moves and characters without having a real rooting interest in the match. I’m happy the Survivor Series elimination matches are finished and things can get back to normal. They managed to kill a lot of time with that match.

A WWE Network commercial aired. Cole pimped the network to viewers watching on cable. Cole was joined by Graves and Saxton, and noted that the Raw team was going to call the Raw match. They hyped the main event, and then a video package aired…

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman made their entrance to a strong ovation. Once in the ring, there were loud Goldberg chants. Goldberg’s music hit and there was a big pop. Goldberg was shown emerging from his locker room in his trunks and boots. He was accompanied by security as he was shown making his way through the backstage area. There were loud chants of Goldberg throughout his entrance. Goldberg was shown walking through the curtain and into the Gorilla position, then his pyro flared up on the stage and he walked through it and blew smoke…

6. Bill Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman). JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the main event. Goldberg jawed at Lesnar. The bell rang to start the match and Lesnar picked up Goldberg and carried him to the corner. Lesnar glared at Goldberg, who shoved him down. Lesnar looked up suprised, then smiled at Goldberg, who speared Lesnar as he stood up. Lesnar got up and Goldberg speared him a second time. Goldberg got Lesnar up and hit the Jackhammer and pinned Lesnar clean…

Goldberg pinned Brock Lesnar in 1:30.

Goldberg celebrated his win and went to ringside to enjoy it with his family. Cole said Goldberg became the second man to beat Lesnar twice and the other is John Cena. Goldberg brought his shirtless son inside the ring and raised his hand. Cole spoke about what a shock it was and Goldberg’s wife was shown clapping as her husband and son celebrated. Goldberg hugged his son and kissed his head. They left the ring and Goldberg left his son with his wife before heading up the ramp as Cole closed the show…

Powell’s POV: Well, that should get some mainstream headlines, but I really don’t understand why they would have Goldberg be the first guy to beat Lesnar since he ended The Streak. Are they working toward a WrestleMania rematch? It just doesn’t make sense to have Goldberg beat Lesnar and walk away, so I assume that’s the direction they are going, but who knows? My non-fan girlfriend summed it up well. “All that hype for that?” Overall, Survivor Series will be remembered as a strange show on so many levels. I’ll have more to say in the audio review that Jake Barnett and I will be recording for members shortly, and in Monday’s WWE Survivor Series Hit List. Will Pruett will also be by with his Survivor Series Pause on Monday as well. Thanks for watching along with me.

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Powell’s WWE Survivor Series 2016 live review: Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar, three Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown elimination matches, IC and WWE Cruiserweight Title matches

imagesBy Jason Powell

WWE Survivor Series 2016
Aired live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Toronto, Ontario at Air Canada Centre

Survivor Series opened with a video package that focussed on Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar, and the Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown theme… Pyro shot off on the stage. Mauro Ranallo checked in on commentary and noted that there are 17,143 fans in attendance…

Bayley made her entrance. Ranallo, JBL, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton checked in on commentary from ringside. The remainder of the ring entrances followed. Nikki Bella was supposed to be the last person out. Her music played, but she didn’t come out. A cameraman ran backstage and found Nikki lying in a heap. A trainer told Daniel Bryan and Natalya that she couldn’t compete. Natalya said she could represent Smackdown. Bryan agreed to it. The Canadian fans popped for Natalya’s entrance…

Powell’s POV: So they have two Raw broadcast team members and two Smackdown broadcast team members. It looks like Michael Cole is getting a rare night off from play-by-play. By the way, the Kickoff show results were Noam Dar, TJ Perkins, and Rich Swann over Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese, and Drew Gulak in a six-man tag match, and Kane over Luke Harper.

1. Team Raw: Charlotte (w/Dana Brooke), Sasha Banks, Bayley, Alicia Fox, and Nia Jax vs. Team Smackdown: Natalya, Becky Lynch, Naomi, Alexa Bliss, and Carmella in a Survivor Series elimination match. Bayley was the only Team Raw wrestler who didn’t have to wear the bad red t-shirt. Once the match started, the Raw women had red gear and only Jax wore the t-shirt. Meanwhile, the Smackdown women wore blue with only Lynch wearing the Smackdown t-shirt.

Bayley and Lynch were about to have an exchange when Charlotte tagged herself in. However, Sasha reached in and tagged herself into the match. Charlotte and Sasha pushed and shoved with Bayley trying to play peacemaker. Eventually, all ten women ended up in the ring exchanging blows.

Alicia Fox eliminated Carmella at 6:25. The next elimination didn’t take long. Bliss hit a move off the ropes and eliminated Fox at 6:45. Naomi performed a dive off the ropes onto Jax on the floor. Jax came back by running Naomi into the ring post and then flinging her off the apron and down to the floor. Naomi was eliminated when she was counted out.

At 9:45, Banks performed a nice double knee press off the apron and onto Natalya on the floor. Back inside the ring, Natalya went for a suplex, but Banks blocked it. Sasha went for her finisher, but Bliss entered and blocked it. Sasha was distracted by Bliss, allowing Natalya to roll her up and eliminate her at 10:20.

Natalya and Charlotte had an exchange with the crowd wooooing. There was a Suplex City chant when Natalya performed a nice suplex on Charlotte. Natalya followed up with a powerbomb and had Charlotte pinned, but Jax broke it up at 11:25. Natalya applied the Sharpshooter. Banks held out the ropes for Charlotte to grab to break it. Charlotte came right back with a kick and eliminated Natalya at 12:00.

Bliss and Lynch bickered, but then teamed up for a double suplex on Jax, who got right up seconds later. Bliss and Lynch teamed up for the worst double DDT in the history of pro wrestling. Lynch applied her finisher to Jax, who tapped out at 13:40. Really?!? Jax roughed up Lynch briefly after she’d been eliminated. Charlotte caught Bliss with a kick and pinned her.

The remaining entrants were Charlotte and Bayley for Raw, and Lynch for Smackdown. Lynch got the better of Charlotte and went performed the Dublin Jam legdrop off the top rope. Lynch had Charlotte pinned. Bayley ran in late to break it up. There were some groans from the crowd Bayley tagged in and then had a staredown with Lynch. Bayley eventually hit the Bayley To Belly on Lynch and pinned her to win the match for her team.

After the match, Charlotte attacked Bayley in the ring, then dumped her to ringside where she ran her into the barricade twice. When Bayley stood up, Charlotte caught her with a big boot…

Charlotte and Bayley were the survivors for Team Raw in 17:30.

Powell’s POV: There were as many wooos as boos for the post match attack. There just wasn’t any heat for Charlotte’s attack. It was really odd to see Jax eliminated via submission when she was positioned as the beast of the division. Meanwhile, they didn’t really protect Lynch or the Smackdown Women’s Championship by having Bayley beat her clean to win the match. Will Natalya or Carmella be responsible for the attack on Nikki?

After a commercial, James Ellsworth was shown walking backstage. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson approached him and bullied him. Gallows called him “a real nerd.” Gallows recalled that Ellsworth pinned “our old friend” AJ Styles. Mick Foley showed up and told them to knock it off. He asked if they would like it if he picked on them for shaving their heads. Gallows said they shave their heads.

After Gallows and Anderson left, Ellsworth marked out for Foley, saying he remembered when Undertaker tossed him off the Hell in a Cell structure. Foley said Taker threw him, and noted that “tossing off” means different things in other countries. Wow. Ellsworth continued to praise Foley, yet told him that he is loyal to Smackdown Foley said he respected that, then wished him well. Ellsworth turned and walked into Braun Strowman. “Don’t I know you?” Strowman asked? Ellsworth split…

Powell’s POV: I’m not really sure what purpose Anderson and Gallows served, but the rest with Foley and then Strowman was fun. For those who may have forgotten, Ellsworth first became famous when Strowman squashed him on Raw. In case you’re wondering, yes, it was love at first sight, as you can discover by checking out my live review of Raw or the WWE Raw Hit List that followed that show.

Michael Cole sat in on commentary with JBL, David Otunga, and Byron Saxton. So much for Cole getting the night off…

2. The Miz (w/Maryse) vs. Sami Zayn for the Intercontinental Championship. The crowd sang along with Sami’s music, and the Spanish and German broadcast teams were shown prior to the match. Cole said Zayn has a 3-0 record against Miz. Zayn sold knee pain. At 6:15, Zayn caught Miz with a nice clothesline. Zayn limped before he performed a dive over the top rope onto Miz on the floor at 6:45. Zayn performed a Michinoku Driver for a two count at 7:15.

Miz came back with a DDT for a two count at 8:05. Cole said he thought Miz had him even though no one in the building did. Miz threw a series of dropkicks in the corner, and followed up with his running clothesline. Zayn came back with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a good near fall at 9:35. Zayn performed an exploder supelx, but Miz avoided the Helluva Kick.

Miz applied the figure four. Zayn rolled it over. Zayn continued to sell knee pain as the hold was broken. Miz threw Daniel Bryan style kicks at Zayn at 13:00. Zayn ducked the big kick and then applied the figure four. Miz teased tapping. The bell rang and Zayn released the hold, but it was Maryse ringing the bell. Miz rolled up Zayn and pinned him…

The Miz defeated Sami Zayn in 14:05 to retain the Intercontinental Title.

Powell’s POV: An entertaining match and a clever finish. I’m sure plenty of people will hate the finish, but it’s true to the Miz and Maryse characters, and it gives Zayn an out for losing. I’m thrilled that the IC Title is staying on Smackdown. They don’t have the deepest mid-card, but Raw doesn’t need two secondary titles.

Backstage, AJ Styles told Dean Ambrose that if he and the other Team Smackdown members listen to him they will get a victory. They bickered until Shane McMahon entered the room and told them that Smackdown already lost one match and they can’t afford to lose another…

Multiple commercials aired…

Ezo and Cass did their mic work and were very over. They both have Mr. Kennedy style mics. Cass worked in a Tim Horton’s reference for the Canadian crowd. The crowd died the moment The Shining Stars’ music hit. JoJo was the ring announcer and has been rotating with Greg Hamilton throughout the show. Cesaro pulled his tuxedo off over his head rather than tearing it off for some reason. New Day were the final entrants for Raw and delivered some mic work about being team captains. Kofi Kingston said tonight is about “all of us” and putting a whooping on Team Smackdown. They led a “Team Raw Rocks” chant. Team Smackdown entered without anyone speaking (thank you). The Usos were back to acting heelish. American Alpha got a good reaction…

3. Team Raw: New Day, Enzo Amore & Big Cass, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows, Sheamus & Cesaro, The Shining Stars vs. Team Smackdown: Heath Slater & Rhyno, American Alpha, The Usos, The Hype Bros, and Tyler Breeze and Fandango in an elimination match. The Ranallo led team (you know, the good one) was back on commentary. Fandango and Breeze wore the cop outfits and passed out citations for fashion violations to both teams.

Kingston pinned Fandango roughly 45 seconds into the match, which also eliminated Breeze. New Day was eliminated at 1:10 when Jeyimmy Uso caught Kingston with a superkick and pinned him. Anderson and Gallows eliminated The Hype Bros when Gallows pinned Zack Ryder at 5:20. The Shining Stars were eliminated by American Alpha at 8:10.

The three remaining teams from each side entered the ring and jawed. Just when it looked like they were setting up a Raw commercial break, the teams traded punches. Cass threw Enzo over the top rope and he ended up landing on more Raw wrestlers than Smackdown wrestlers. Slater dove onto a group of wrestlers from both teams.

Alpha set up for a big move, but Sheamus cut off Chad Gable before he could do it. Cesaro performed the swing on Jason Jordan, but Gable broke it up and suplexed Cesaro. Jordan launched Gable onto a group of wrestlers from both teams. Jordan went for a dive, but he was cut off. Gallows and Anderson hit the Magic Killer and Jordan and pinned him to eliminate American Alpha at 10:40. Ugh.

Gallows accidentally knocked Enzo off the apron. After some back and forth between them, Rhyno checked in and gored Gallows before pinning him to eliminate Anderson and Gallows. Cass caught Rhyno and Slater with with boots, then launched Enzo onto Rhyno. Enzo pinned Rhyno to eliminate Rhyno and Slater. One of the Usos hit a Frogsplash on Enzo to eliminate Enzo and Cass at 13:30.

The match came down to Cesaro and Sheamus for Raw vs. The Usos for Smackdown. Sheamus hit White Noise on Jimmy Uso, but Jey had tagged in and splashed him. Cesaro saved Sheamus from being pinned. Cesaro went to his corner and clapped as he waited for Sheamus, who made the tag. Cesaro delivered uppercuts to Jey, who came back with one of his own. Cesaro came back with an springboard corkscrew uppercut.

Cesaro hit both Usos with uppercuts and then performed a top rope cross body block for a good near fall. Cesaro performed the swing on Jey Uso as the crowd counted along with the rotations. Cesaro went for the Sharpshooter, but Jimmy kicked his leg from behind and then took out Sheamus with a dive. Jey applied his leg hold on Cesaro, who eventually countered into the Sharpshooter. Jimmy tried to break it up with a superkick, but Sheamus caught him with a Brogue Kick. Jey tapped out…

Sheamus and Cesaro were the survivors and won the match for Team Raw in 18:55.

Powell’s POV: Good drama down the stretch. I think most of us suspected Team Smackdown to win that match to even things up going into the men’s match. It takes something away from the men’s match and would seem to indicate that Team Smackdown his going to win to avoid a sweep. I’m stunned that this wasn’t Alpha’s night. We’re nearly four months removed from the draft and they’re just another tag team on the Smackdown side. Weird.

Backstage, Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley celebrates their 2-0 advantage. They agreed to book Sheamus and Cesaro a tag title shot against New Day on Monday’s Raw. They also spoke about how Foley put the entire cruiserweight division on the line… A video package set up the cruiserweight match…

Powell’s POV: I guess the story will be that while Team Raw won both elimination matches, Team Smackdown won the IC Title and may end up winning the cruiserweight division, which would make it 2-2 heading into the men’s match.

4. Brian Kendrick vs. Kalisto for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship (if Kalisto wins, the cruiserweight division moves to Smackdown). Ranallo and company were on commentary, and he and Graves hyped 205 Live. The crowd was flat for Kendrick’s entrance. Kalisto got off to a quick start and got a few two counts. Kendrick came back with a rollup type of move that flung the back of Kalisto’s head into the corner. Kendrick placed him between the post and the steps and then kicked the steps.

Kalisto came back with a Spanish Fly off the ring apron. Ranallo belted out an “Oh my God!” There was a tame “holy shit” chant from the crowd. They had more fun counting along with the referee’s potential count-out count. Kalisto performed a suicide dive on Kendrick at 8:10. Back inside the ring, Kendrick pulled Kalisto off the ropes and into the Captain’s Hook in a cool spot. Kalisto teased teasing, but reached the ropes to break it at 9:55.

Late in the match, Kalisto was setting up for a springboard move when Baron Corbin ran out and hit Kendrick from behind for the DQ. Corbin hit End of Days on Kalisto. Afterward, Kendrick celebrated his win while the broadcast team said the cruiserweight title was staying on Raw…

Brian Kendrick beat Kalisto by DQ in 12:25 to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

Powell’s POV: Wow, what a letdown. Kalisto and Kendrick worked really hard, but the live crowd just didn’t seem to care. I doubt it will get any better for them with the weekly champion and challenger segment, and the weekly cruiserweight six-man tag match on Raw. I think most people were hoping that the cruiserweights were changing nights because the formula on Raw is already a proven failure. Meanwhile, the big question now is how WWE intends to fill the remaining pay-per-view time with only one elimination match and the main event remaining.

The pre-show panel of Renee Young, Booker T, Lita, and Jerry Lawler checked in and discussed the show… Backstage, Daniel Bryan scolded Baron Corbin for costing Kalisto the match and Smackdown the cruiserweight championship. “So,” Corbin responded. He said he didn’t need those pests on Tuesdays. Bryan said he’d deal with him on Tuesday…

After some ads, Cole hyped WWE Roadblock. Cole boasted that it’s been all Team Raw at Survivor Series. They set up a video package for the men’s elimination match…

JoJo introduced James Ellsworth as the mascot of Team Smackdown. The fans chanted Ellsworth in Goldberg styles. Meanwhile, Cole introduced all of the other broadcast teams. Shane McMahon made his entrance to a good ovation and wore his own shirt. Bray Wyatt was out next and thankfully didn’t wear a Smackdown shirt. Cole noted this was his first Survivor Series elimination match. Randy Orton walked out with Wyatt and had a t-shirt on. AJ Styles was out next, and Dean Ambrose was the final entrant for Team Smackdown. The fans chanted for Styles.

Team Raw entrances started with Braun Strowman, who looked silly wearing the red t-shirt. Seth Rollins was out next to a good ovation. He wore half of his own shirt and half of a Raw shirt. Reigns was booed and didn’t wear a Raw shirt. Chris Jericho got a big reaction from the Canadian crowd. Cole said Jericho is 3-0 in Survivor Series elimination matches. He said only John Cena, Randy Savage, and Ultimate Warrior have better records than Jericho in elimination matches. Kevin Owens received arguably the biggest pop of all. He wore the Raw shirt over his shoulder.

5. Team Raw: Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Braun Strowman vs. Team Smackdown: AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, and Shane McMahon (w/James Ellsworth) in a Survivor Series elimination match. Owens put his Raw shirt on before the match, and started off with shirtless Styles. Strowman and Orton both ditched their shirts as well.

The crowd chanted “Stupid Idiot” and then Owens tagged in Jericho. They hugged to cheers. Jericho took his stupid idiot Raw shirt off. Jericho didn’t stay in long, as he tagged in Rollins. Styles teased locking up, then tagged in Ambrose, who worked in his Smackdown shirt. Jericho tagged back in and demanded the money that Ambrose owes him for his rug. The fans chanted stupid idiot again.

Shane tagged in at 7:15. Jericho fled to ringside to avoid Super Shane.Jericho returned to the ring and sold punches for Shane, who hit him with an elbow off the ropes. Shane performed a couple of odd arm drags before Jericho caught him with a boot and followed up with a dropkick. The broadcast team spoke about how Raw and Smackdown tied in the ratings. Cole pointed out that Raw had more viewers. No one cared.

Rollins worked over Shane and Reigns helped briefly. Shane backdropped Rollins and then made it to his corner to tag in Ambrose, while Owens tagged in for Raw at 10:40. Ambrose caught Owens with a clothesline and knocked Jericho off the apron. Ambrose performed a suicide dive onto Owens. Back inside the ring, Ambrose continued to get the better of Owens, who got help from Jericho when Ambrose set up for his finisher.

All the wrestlers entered the ring for the obligatory staredown moment. The crowd chanted Ellsworth and then the wrestlers in the ring traded punches. Most of the wrestlers ended up fighting at ringside. Strowman caught Ambrose, by Styles dove onto him to break it up. Owens went up top and dove onto wrestlers from both sides for a pop from the fans. Cole said that’s why he’s the WWE Universal Champion. Um, okay.

Shane went up top slowly. Strowman stopped him and shoved him back inside the ring. Strowman worked over Shane until Ambrose and Styles stopped him. Shane once again clotheslined Strowman over the top rope. Reigns entered the ring and was booed as he hit Styles, who was cheered when he performed a Pele Kick on Reigns. There was an AJ Styles chant.

Styles barked orders at Ambrose and poked his chest. They bickered. Shane tried to stop them. Ambrose tackled Styles. Shane intervened. Styles got up and hit Ambrose. Strowman performed a running power slam on Ambrose and pinned him at 16:00. The broadcast team pointed out that Styles didn’t break up the pin.

Styles took a bump over the top rope for Strowman. Orton went for an RKO, but Strowman cut him off. Wyatt stood in front of Strowman and struck the crucifix pose. Jericho barked that he is the captain. Strowman grabbed them both by the throat and shoved them down, then worked over Wyatt. Strowman threw a dropkick to the chest of Wyatt to knock him out of the ring.

Strowman prepped the German broadcast table, then Orton hit him with an RKO on the table. Orton helped Wyatt to his feet and they prepped Cole’s table. Wyatt and Orton placed Strowman on the table and held him. Shane McMahon magically recovered and then performed a top rope elbow that drove Strowman through the table for a big pop at 20:00. The fans chanted “this is awesome.”

Despite everyone fighting at ringside all this time, the referee started counting out Strowman. Ellsworth held his legs from underneath the ring, causing Strowman to get counted out around 21:30. Strowman chased Ellsworth up the stage and ended up throwing him off the side of the stage and through a table. It was a risky bump because there were stairs next to the table, but it looked like Ellsworth cleared them. Cole noted that both teams had four men left.

Owens worked over Shane and took time to mock him by performing Shane’s dance. Owens tagged in Jericho, who applied a chinlock. Jericho had a bloody nose. Jericho performed Codebreakers on Shane and then Orton. Jericho got a two count on Shane. At 27:00, Shane avoided a top rope splash by Jericho. Shane finally tagged in Styles.

Styles applied the Calf Crusher, but Jericho slammed Styles’s head to the mat to break it at 28:40. Styles took a shot at Owens, who was on the apron. Owens brought Jericho’s list into the ring and struck Styles with it, then performed the Popup Powerbomb. Owens was disqualified from the match at 29:30. There were some boos over Owens being eliminated.

Jericho scrambled to round up all the pages of his list. Orton snuck up behind Jericho and hit him with the RKO. Jericho was pinned and eliminated by Orton at 30:15. Rollins and Reigns were the last wrestlers left on Team Raw. Shane lied on the apron through all of this. Shane finally started to pull himself up after Orton performed a superplex on Rollins around 33:10, but Shane went back down.

Reigns tagged in to boos and worked over Orton, Styles, and Wyatt while Shane finally pulled himself up to one knee. Reigns performed a crucifix sit-out powerbomb on Styles for a two count at 34:20. Owens set up for a Superman Punch, but Styles cut him off with a kick. Styles tagged in Shane.

Shane miraculously recovered and threw a series of punches at Reigns. Shane ate one punch, but he came right back with a DDT on Reigns. Shane dodged Rollins and then clotheslined him. Shane caught Rollins going for a kick and then slammed Rollins’ head into his own knee repeatedly. Vomit. Shane avoided a charing Reigns and ran him into the corner. Ridiculous.

Shane set up for Coast to Coast. Cole said it’s the move that Shane made famous (Rob Van Dam just rolled over in his grave and he’s alive and well). Shane went for the move and Reigns speared him on the way down. The referee started to make the three count, but he stopped his count at two and instead declared that Shane was unable to continue. You can’t pin Super Shane!!! Two trainers helped Shane out of the ring and up the ramp.

Rollins performed a blockbuster on Styles and caught him with a high knee moments later. Rollins dove onto Wyatt at ringside. Back in the ring, Rollins shouted “come on” to get a reaction from the crowd, then went back working over Styles. There were anti Reigns chants. Orton broke up a pin attempt and then worked over Rollins until Reigns punched him. The fans booed again.

Reigns said something to the Spanish broadcast team about liking or not liking them, then took their table apart. Styles hit Reigns from behind before they could powerbomb Orton. Ambrose ran out and attacked Styles from behind like a tool. Several referees cut off Ambrose. Security tried to escort Ambrose away, but Rollins and Reigns stopped them. Reigns, Rollins, and Ambrose performed the Shield powerbomb on Styles and drove him through the Spanish broadcast table. Rollins rolled Styles back inside the ring and pinned him at 46:00.

The match was down to Reigns vs. Orton and Wyatt. Harper tried to get involved at ringside, but Reigns ducked a clothesline and then speared him. In the ring, Wyatt went for his finisher, but Reigns eluded it and caught Wyatt with a Superman Punch. Reigns went for a spear on Wyatt, but Orton shoved Wyatt out of the way and took the spear himself. Wyatt got up and hit Sister Abigail on Reigns and then pinned him. Fans cheered the heel going over…

Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton were the final survivors for Team Smackdown in 52:55.

Powell’s POV: They really wanted to establish that Orton his with the Wyatts. I’m not sure what they hope to get out of this because it’s such an oddball fit. One would think it involves Taker, but he has no reason to be pissed since his suddenly beloved Team Smackdown got the win. The match was clearly the best of the elimination matches and the highlight of the night thus far. It was fun if you just want to sit back and watch a bunch of moves and characters without having a real rooting interest in the match. I’m happy the Survivor Series elimination matches are finished and things can get back to normal. They managed to kill a lot of time with that match.

A WWE Network commercial aired. Cole pimped the network to viewers watching on cable. Cole was joined by Graves and Saxton, and noted that the Raw team was going to call the Raw match. They hyped the main event, and then a video package aired…

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman made their entrance to a strong ovation. Once in the ring, there were loud Goldberg chants. Goldberg’s music hit and there was a big pop. Goldberg was shown emerging from his locker room in his trunks and boots. He was accompanied by security as he was shown making his way through the backstage area. There were loud chants of Goldberg throughout his entrance. Goldberg was shown walking through the curtain and into the Gorilla position, then his pyro flared up on the stage and he walked through it and blew smoke…

6. Bill Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman). JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the main event. Goldberg jawed at Lesnar. The bell rang to start the match and Lesnar picked up Goldberg and carried him to the corner. Lesnar glared at Goldberg, who shoved him down. Lesnar looked up suprised, then smiled at Goldberg, who speared Lesnar as he stood up. Lesnar got up and Goldberg speared him a second time. Goldberg got Lesnar up and hit the Jackhammer and pinned Lesnar clean…

Goldberg pinned Brock Lesnar in 1:30.

Goldberg celebrated his win and went to ringside to enjoy it with his family. Cole said Goldberg became the second man to beat Lesnar twice and the other is John Cena. Goldberg brought his shirtless son inside the ring and raised his hand. Cole spoke about what a shock it was and Goldberg’s wife was shown clapping as her husband and son celebrated. Goldberg hugged his son and kissed his head. They left the ring and Goldberg left his son with his wife before heading up the ramp as Cole closed the show…

Powell’s POV: Well, that should get some mainstream headlines, but I really don’t understand why they would have Goldberg be the first guy to beat Lesnar since he ended The Streak. Are they working toward a WrestleMania rematch? It just doesn’t make sense to have Goldberg beat Lesnar and walk away, so I assume that’s the direction they are going, but who knows? My non-fan girlfriend summed it up well. “All that hype for that?” Overall, Survivor Series will be remembered as a strange show on so many levels. I’ll have more to say in the audio review that Jake Barnett and I will be recording for members shortly, and in Monday’s WWE Survivor Series Hit List. Will Pruett will also be by with his Survivor Series Pause on Monday as well. Thanks for watching along with me.

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