11/22 Powell's WWE Survivor Series 2015 live review: Undertaker anniversary, new WWE World Heavyweight Champion crowned, Charlotte vs. Paige for the Divas Championship, Dolph Ziggler vs. Tyler Breeze, Survivor Series elimination match
By Jason Powell
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WWE Survivor Series 2015
Aired live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Atlanta, Georgia at Philips Arena
Eden Stiles introduced Lilian Garcia, who performed the national anthem in mid-ring...
Powell's POV: A nice touch by WWE to air the anthem given the security concerns. A huge thanks to Haydn Gleed, who filled in on the Kickoff Show coverage that you can find on the main page. The Kickoff Show match had Goldust, Titus O'Neil, Neville, and The Dudleys defeating The Miz, Stardust, Bo Dallas, and The Ascension in a Survivor Series elimination match. Neville was the only person eliminated from the babyface side.
A video package focussed on Undertaker and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament... There was a pyro display on the stage.. Michael Cole JBL, and Jerry Lawler were on commentary. Cole noted that there were 14,481 fans in attendance. The WWE World Heavyweight Championship was sitting on the podium next to the broadcast team...
1. Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Zeb Colter) in a WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament semifinal match. There were more boos than cheers Reigns during entrance. They went to ringside and Del Rio ran Reigns into the barricade. The announcers played up the idea of Del Rio targeting Reigns' shoulder to take away the Superman Punch. They also spoke about how Undertaker, The Rock, and The Shield debuted at Survivor Series.
Del Rio continued to target the shoulder by running Reigns into the ring steps. Triple H was shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Later, Del Rio ducked a Superman Punch and dropped Reigns with a Backstabber for a two count at 8:30.
At 10:45, Del Rio went for the double stomp finisher, but Reigns pulled himself in so Del Rio overshot him. Reigns performed the Superman Punch and then went for a spear, but Del Rio caught him with a superkick for a good near fall. Del Rio came back with a sit-out powerbomb for a two count.
Del Rio caught Reigns in the Cross Arm Breaker. Reigns quickly picked up Del Rio and set him on the ropes, and Del Rio held onto the move briefly. Del Rio kicked him before releasing the hold. Del Rio went for a move off the top rope, but Reigns avoided it and speared him for the win...
Roman Reigns defeated Alberto Del Rio in 14:10 to advance to the finals of the WWE Championship tournament.
Powell's POV: Very good match. The live crowd didn't seem to take Del Rio's chances all that seriously early on, but they were into his near falls as the match went on. It sounds like a mixed crowd in terms of support for Reigns. There are definitely vocal adult males booing him, but he has plenty of supporters as well.
An ad aired for WWE Breaking Ground, then the broadcast team recapped the Reigns win and questioned whether he will face Kevin Owens or Dean Ambrose in the finals...
Backstage, JoJo interviewed Reigns. Dean Ambrose showed up and bumped fists with Reigns to congratulate him. Reigns said that once Ambrose takes out Reigns, it will be the two of them in the finals just like it's supposed to be. Ambrose left without saying anything in response.
Kevin Owens showed up and mocked the idea of it being best buddies meeting in the finals. Owens said Reigns has come close before only to have Seth Rollins take the title away from him at WrestleMania, and then Bray Wyatt prevented him from winning Money in the Bank. Owens said he's the guy who will make him come up short this time. He reminded Owens that he beat John Cena on his first night in. After Owens left, Reigns told JoJo that Owens runs his mouth, but he's going to get his ass kicked by Ambrose...
2. Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens in a WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament semifinal match. At 3:00, Owens performed a cannonball in the corner and went for a cover, but Owens kicked out at one. Ambrose came back with a headbutt and chops. Owens came back choked Ambrose on the ropes briefly. Triple H was once again shown watching on a backstage monitor.
Ambrose and Owens traded punches in mid-ring and Ambrose got the better of the exchange until Owens hot-shotted him put him down, then missed a moonsault when Ambrose rolled away. Ambrose performed his top rope elbow for a two count.
Ambrose went for a superplex at 8:30. Owens fought him, but Ambrose battled back. Owens knocked Ambrose off the ropes with a headbutt, but Ambrose caught him with a forearm. Owens got the better of it and performed a swinging fisherman's suplex from the second rope. Owens barked at Cole to tell Ambrose to stay down. Ambrose slapped Owens, then followed up with his teetering clothesline. Owens rolled to the floor.
At 10:15, Ambrose performed a suicide dive. Owens went back inside the ring and rolled out the other side. Ambrose went for another suicide dive, but Owens caught him and slammed him onto the broadcast table. Back inside the ring, Owens connected with a superkick. Owens went for his finisher, but Ambrose dodged it. Ambrose connected with Dirty Deeds and pinned Owens to win the match...
Dean Ambrose beat Kevin Owens in 11:20 to advance to the finals of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament.
Powell's POV: A good match, but I enjoyed the Reigns vs. Del Rio match more. I am surprised by the outcome only because WWE didn't do a good job of teasing viewers with the possibility of seeing the first Reigns vs. Ambrose match. In fact, they didn't really go there until Thursday's Smackdown. It should be a fun tournament final. It will be interesting to see how much the boos for Reigns grow now that the popular Ambrose is in the finals with him.
A WWE video game commercial aired... An Undertaker video package aired...
3. Ryback, Kalisto, Sin Cara, Jimmy Uso, and Jey Uso vs. Kofi Kingston, Big E, Xavier Woods, Sheamus, and King Barrett in a Survivor Series elimination match. New Day delivered a promo on their way to the ring. They spoke about the glorious hairstyle that Woods sported, mocked the Atlanta sports teams, and their opponents. Woods wasn't happy when Jimmy Uso grabbed his hair early in the match.
Four of the babyfaces dove onto the heels at ringside, then Ryback went up top and dove onto everyone at ringside. A short time later, the heels worked over one of the Uso Brothers. Woods played his trombone and his partners danced on the apron. JBL said kings are not known for their rhythm. As a fellow king, Lawler took exception. King Barrett was eliminated by Sin Cara at 8:00. Poor Wade Barrett.
Kingston and Woods teamed up for a double team move on Uso in their corner. Jimmy Uso was eliminated by Woods in 9:25. Big E performed his big spear through the ropes and to the floor on Sin Cara, then rolled him back inside the ring. Sheamus tagged himself into the match and Brogue Kicked Sin Cara. Sin Cara was eliminated by Sheamus in 10:45.
Sheamus and E bickered about Sheamus tagging himself in. It sounded like there was an audible f-bomb as they were bickering. Big E was eliminated by Jey Uso. Woods and Kingston took Big E backstage, leaving Sheamus face three men.
Sheamus bullied Kalisto for a bit. Kalisto caught Sheamus with a kick and then tagged in Jey Uso, who performed a cross body block off the top rope for two. In the end, Kalisto went for a huracanrana, but Sheamus held on. Jey Uso had tagged in and caught Sheamus with a superkick. Ryback checked in and performed Shellshocked and pinned Sheamus for the win...
Ryback, Jey Uso, and Kalisto were the survivors in 17:50.
Powell's POV: Decent work, but it was really hard to care about the match when WWE didn't even bother to advertise it ahead of time. I think everyone was just hoping that Sheamus wasn't going to suddenly look dominant against three men, as we'd spend the right of the night fearing that he would cash in his Money in the Bank contract.
A video recapped the Charlotte and Paige storyline.
Powell's POV: They did not replay the Reid Flair line, so perhaps someone finally got through to Vince McMahon. Ric Flair was scheduled to be be backstage because of planned shooting for his 30 For 30 documentary, so I'm happy they didn't put him through that nonsense again.
4. Charlotte vs. Paige for the Divas Championship. Lilian Garcia handled the in-ring introductions for the title match. Charlotte landed with a big boot early. Paige came back with a kick of her own. Paige set up for a figure four (or eight) and let out a wooo. Charlotte kicked her off and applied a figure four of her own. Charlotte rolled over and through the ropes and held the hold as she was on the floor until the ref's count reached three. Charlotte dropped Paige face first onto the apron at 5:30.
Cole spoke about everything Paige put Charlotte through and referenced "the personal comments from last week" without specifying. Paige came back and threw her off the ring apron and down to the floor. Paige eventually rolled Charlotte back inside and remained on the offensive. Paige applied a couple of holds. The crowd remained as flat as they had been throughout the match, aside from a We Want Sasha chant.
Charlotte came back with a neckbreaker for a two count. The crowd reacted a bit when they traded punches. Charlotte caught Paige with a spear and there were some boos. Later, the crowd got fired up near Paige as she stood on the barricade. Charlotte came up there with her and speared her to the floor. Back inside the ring, Charlotte applied the Figure Four and eventually arched into the Figure Eight. Paige eventually tapped out...
Charlotte defeated Paige in 14:10 to retain the Divas Championship.
Powell's POV: The women worked hard, but the live crowd just wasn't into it. The Reid Flair stunt didn't lead to any heat from this crowd. I enjoy Paige's work, but she has been overexposed with too many character turns. Meanwhile, Charlotte should have been pushed as a sensation and instead was treated like a background player even after she won the title. Factor in years of WWE treating the women like a joke and this is the crowd reaction you get.
The Kickoff Show team of Renee Young, Booker T, Byron Saxton, and Cory Graves spoke from their desk about the finals of the tournament..
A JoJo interview with Dean Ambrose aired. She asked about facing Reigns in the finals. Ambrose said everyone knew this day was coming. He said Reigns isn't going to pay his bills, so he's going to fight him. Reigns entered the picture and said he would normally hug him, but not tonight. He said he would see him out there...
5. Tyler Breeze (w/Summer Rae) vs. Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler wore some type of gear that appeared to be inspired by Shawn Michaels and Motley Crue. The crowd was flat for the entrances. Breeze had Ziggler covered and held the ropes for leverage, so the ref broke it up. They traded near falls and the crowd was still flat.
Ziggler went to the corner and tuned up the band (yes, really). He went for the superkick, but Breeze caught his foot, so no Sweet Chin Music for Dolph. A short time later, Breeze performed the Unprettier and pinned Ziggler...
Tyler Breeze beat Dolph Ziggler in 6:40.
Powell's POV: I was looking forward to this match a lot more than the live crowd apparently did. I can't really blame them since even big Ziggler believers have lost faith in WWE making him more than a mid-card act at this point. If nothing else, Ziggler's attire gives the Breeze character plenty of promo material.
A video package aired on the Undertaker and Kane vs. Wyatt Family feud... The Wyatt Family made their entrance and the broadcast team questioned which two men Wyatt would choose for the match. The fans chanted for Undertaker. Kane made his entrance. The fans chanted "Undertaker" after Kane's entrance. The gong sounded a few times and then Kane raised and lowered his arms. Pyro shot off and Taker made his entrance. There were various shots of Taker's looks over the years on the big screen. JBL compared Taker's entrance to Babe Ruth walking out at Yankee Stadium or Wyatt Earp in Tombstone.
Powell's POV: Thank goodness the live crowd is hot for this. The atmosphere was atrocious for the last three matches. Again, though, I blame WWE for that more than this particular crowd.
Once in the ring, Taker and Kane double chokeslammed Erick Rowan...
6. Undertaker and Kane vs. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper (w/Braun Strowman). Wyatt told Strowman to stay back. Rowan wasn't visible after being chokeslammed, but he may have still been at ringside. Taker went for Old School early, but Harper cut it off and the crowd booed. Taker performed the move a short time later. The fans chanted "you've still got it" for Taker.
A short time later, Kane had Wyatt by the throat on the floor, but Strowman threw Kane over the broadcast team's table. Taker came over to help, but the referee told him to go back to his corner. Wyatt and Harper isolated Kane once they returned to the ring. Wyatt set up for his finisher and stopped to mock Taker with a throat slash gesture. Kane fought out of it and made the tag, just as Wyatt did to Harper at 7:00.
Taker was knocked to ringside after Strowman interfered. Kane cleared Wyatt and Harper, then joined Taker in double chokeslamming Strowman through the Spanish broadcast table. Wyatt and Harper took brief advantage, but Taker and Kane did their simultaneous sit up and dominated. Taker performed the Tombstone piledriver on Harper and pinned him...
Undertaker and Kane defeated Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper in 10:20.
Powell's POV: The live crowd was hot for Taker and enjoyed his signature spots. Taker getting the win was the right call, but I honestly have no idea why they played the game they did with Wyatt waiting until the show to name his team. Did they think people would pass if Strowman wasn't involved? It was a bit disappointing that Taker pinned Harper rather than Wyatt given that's who his real beef was with. Will there be repercussions for Harper on Raw for losing the match? Probably not. That said, it really is amazing to think that Taker debuted 25 years ago. What an amazing run he has had.
An ad aired for the TLC pay-per-view, the Stone Cold Podcasts with Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels, the new Ride Along series, new episodes of Breaking Ground, and the Edge & Christian show...
Powell's POV: It looks like the Austin interviews are going to be pre-taped, which is disappointing. There are some pros to pre-taping, but I really enjoyed the live format and I hope this is just temporary due to Austin's schedule.
The broadcast team spoke about WWE Breaking Ground airing after the event and spoke about Mojo Rawley briefly...
Ring entrances for the main event took place. Reigns entered through the crowd and they had a camera up there with him briefly before cutting to the usual hard camera shot. Ambrose made his entrance to a flat reaction. Lilian delivered the in-ring introductions for the title match. Ambrose received the better reaction, but this is not a hot crowd...
7. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The bell rang and Reigns and Ambrose went right at one another with punches. Reigns suplexed Ambrose, who fought back with strikes. Ambrose went for a move off the ropes, but Reigns knocked him down. Dueling "let's go" chants broke out for the wrestlers with louder chants for Ambrose.
After some back and forth, Ambrose dodged a charging Reigns, who slammed his shoulder again. Ambrose caught Reigns with Dirty Deeds for a two count that most in the crowd didn't seem to buy as the finish. Both men sat up and traded punches while seated, then got back to their feet and continued to fight. Ambrose threw punches, then Reigns spun him around and clotheslined him, and then Ambrose spun him around again and caught him with punches and kicks. Ambrose went to the opposite corner and charged at Reigns, who speared him and pinned him...
Roman Reigns defeated Dean Ambrose in 9:05 to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Powell's POV: Wow, that was not a memorable match by any means. There's still plenty of time left for a MITB cash-in or some type of angle.
Reigns celebrated with the title belt as Ambrose recovered. Ambrose congratulated Reigns and then left the ring. Confetti fell from the ceiling as Reigns celebrated his title win.
Triple H's music played and he headed to the ring. Hunter offered Reigns a congratulatory handshake. Reigns speared him instead. Sheamus appeared and Brogue kicked Reigns, then officially cashed in his Money in the Bank contract...
8. Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Sheamus covered Reigns, who kicked out. However, Sheamus caught Reigns with another Brogue kick and pinned him.
Sheamus pinned Roman Reigns in 0:35 to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Afterward, Sheamus and Triple H shook hands. JBL said 14,000 fans in the building are stunned (no, they were that quiet before all of this). The broadcast team recapped the Sheamus cash-in. A shot aired of Reigns looking manic as he rubbed his temples, then he looked at Hunter and Sheamus leaving and made a mean face. Reigns put his face in his hand and looked dejected as the show went off the air for a second.
They aired the "Made in Georgia" graphic and then cut back to Reigns with no commentary. Reigns got back to his feet and left the ring. He slapped a young fan's hand and walked dejectedly toward the entrance. He stopped and looked back at the ring, then slowly walked backstage as then the show ended again...
Powell's POV: Ugh. I have been a Sheamus apologist at times, but this does nothing for me. The Reigns vs. Ambrose match was disappointing, and the thought of Sheamus leaving the show as the new champion is hard to get excited by. If they were going to take this approach, then why not have Sheamus cash in during the Reigns vs. Ambrose match? It would have protected Ambrose, and it would have kept Reigns' in pursuit of his first championship rather than having him win his first title here and lose it seconds later.
Overall, the show started strong with the two tournament semifinal matches and the Taker anniversary was cool, but the crowd atmosphere was lousy throughout most of the night and the tournament final was really disappointing and the Sheamus cash-in was also a head scratcher that didn't leave me anxious to see Reigns get his rematch at TLC. Thanks for watching along with me tonight.
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