Pruett's Pause: WWE Survivor Series 2012 - C.M. Punk retains the WWE Championship with help from the debuting Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns, Dolph Zggler survives, and more!
By Will Pruett
- The set for this show was all sorts of awesome. I liked the more circular area for the wrestlers to walk out of. I also appreciated the arrangement of the different screens. WWE's production department did something new here and it was great.
- The opening video package for this show did a nice job of highlighting the major feuds, as well as the history of Survivor Series. It's always great to see some older footage used to make a pay-per-view feel more historic.
- I'm glad that Jerry Lawler is back, but he really seemed to be missing a step on this show. There were multiple moments where he seemed out of it, or seemed to be noticeably phoning it in. Lawler is great when he is motivated and on, but this show leaves room for concern about his future performances.
- The surprise Survivor Series match that opened the show excited me. After their match on Raw, I wanted to see more of Primetime Players, Primo, and Epico vs. Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Justin Gabriel, and Tyson Kidd. We got that, with the addition of some chubby dudes.
- Actually, Brodus Clay seems to be getting less chubby. I appreciate that.
- Don't worry though, Tensai is still quite large.
- The portion of the opening match that included a bunch of outside dives, until it was just Tensai and Clay in the ring was very good. Mysterio and Sin Cara, especially, seem to be clicking more and more.
- Sin Cara's pink gear looked pretty good. I like seeing him in flashier colors. Maybe soon, we'll see him get a flashier character as well. It all matches his flashy move set.
- WWE chose to get the Diva's match out of the way early. That surprised me.
- Eve worked very hard around Kaitlyn in an attempt to make her look good. Kaitlyn didn't look bad in this match, but she definitely wasn't good. I know that WWE has women that can work on their roster. It's time to match Eve up against them.
- Mick Foley's backstage pep talk to his team was decent. Randy Orton's delivery of "I hate you" to Foley was masterful. I've enjoyed the nods to their 2004 rivalry in Foley and Orton's interactions.
- Antonio Cesaro's war on holidays is not as entertaining as WWE may think it is.
- There was nothing wrong with Cesaro vs. R-Truth, but the match wasn't exactly inspiring. Cesaro isn't doing much to make us hate him, so why cheer for the men that sand against him?
- The A.J. Lee segment didn't impress me, but I do like the development of the A.J. and Tamina Snuka rivalry. Hopefully Tamina is more impressive in the ring than she was during her recent run. They could add something fun to the Diva's dynamic. Tamina defending Vickie Guerrero could be exciting to watch.
- Paul Heyman's promo about C.M. Punk's opponents was some nice, basic work. It is still a treat to see Heyman work in this role.
- Big Show and Sheamus battled higher expectations with this match and it lived up to, but did not exceed them. The match was almost as good as their Hell in a Cell effort, which was great. It just couldn't surprise me the way the other one did.
- It also seems like Show and Sheamus are going towards a Chairs Match at the TLC pay-per-view. This concept as been loosely defined and very poorly executed since the first one in 2009 (the only bad match from Batista and Undertaker's series). Show and Sheamus may be able to make it entertaining.
- One of the best things about Sheamus and Show together is their timing. They seem to be able to do no wrong timing-wise.
- The crowd may have wanted to see Dolph Ziggler, but I'm going to stick with him cashing in sometime after WrestleMania. He has the contract until July and this can be used to spice up the post-WrestleMania season with something new. It also gives WWE time to tell the Big Show vs. Ryback story for WrestleMania, if they desire.
- Speaking of Dolph Ziggler, his performance in the ten man tag was great. Ziggler has had so many chances to impress and he usually does. The difference here is that this performance will be impressive to everyone, not just insider fans.
- David Otunga might have been the weakest choice for a replacement on WWE's roster. He would probably play a manager really well, but Otunga in the ring is not compelling.
- Of the eight original Nexus members (and season one NXT competitors), six were on this show. One was on the preshow. Only one member of the original group has been completely eliminated from WWE. Three members were in this match (a semi-main event) and one member actually main evented the show. Those aren't bad stats for a group that is remembered for going out with a whimper.
- This match got to the eliminations rather quickly. I expected a solid ten minute build to the first one, but we saw four eliminations happen before the first ten minutes expired.
- As the match boiled down, I was slightly disappointed. I was hoping to see the early elimination of Randy Orton, which would allow for Kofi Kingston and The Miz to tell a story about coexisting. Sadly, that story was Orton and Miz's to tell.
- How did Randy Orton end up winning so many Survivor Series matches in the mid-2000's?
- Despite my dislike of who ended up surviving on the babyface side, the end of this match was perfect. Dolph Ziggler needed a big win and he needed a clean win. He got both of those things here. The trick now is the followup.
- Does Kofi Kingston's push continue from here? WWE was invested in the Miz vs. Kofi feud. Are they willing to invest in another feud to that level? I hope so.
- Is the return of the punt kick a sign of things to come from Randy Orton? That's definitely a heel move, but does it mean that a change could be coming from Orton? I'd love to see him return to his heelish ways, since that's where the character is more comfortable.
- John Cena's new gear is actually not terrible. I like the darker shirt and the change to khaki shorts instead of the always-maligned jorts, as well.
- The video package and the announcers did a great job of selling the monumental occasion reaching one year as WWE Champion is for C.M. Punk. This title reign is being made to seem like a big deal in every way. This is where the WWE machine really shines.
- The construction of the triple threat was great. Ryback was never exposed and he continually looked like a beast. Punk and Cena worked hard around him and were given enough time on their own to elevate the quality of the match. All three of these guys worked to the best of their ability, which elevated the match as a whole.
- The marching before Ryback hits Shell-shock is impressive in a squash match, but it looks dumb in a main event. Lose the marching and focus on hitting the move.
- Who had the English announce table being broken prior to the Spanish one? When was the last time that happened?
- John Cena sold Shell-shock for an extremely long time. That only does good things for Ryback.
- The debut of Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns was a major moment. It was also very Nexus-esque. I don't believe the group itself is going to be like The Nexus, but this moment on this show was. They did a really nice job with what they had, but the excitement it generated is more from the potential they have than the moment itself.
- If this group is with C.M. Punk, will they be elevated by the association? Remember that Bam Neely, The Basham Brothers, Chavo Guerrero, Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder, Manu, and Orlando Jordan were all parts of different champions factions. They didn't walk away from those factions any better off than they went into them, so it's possible Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns won't either.
- With those two negative points, I have to say I'm ecstatic to see Seth Rollins make it to the main roster of WWE. He's amazing talented, very unique, and he brings energy and athleticism to any show he is on. Rollins has worked hard for this moment and I hope (for his sake) that the story is worth the work it has taken him to get there.
- Will the NXT Championship be mentioned on WWE television?
- The end of the WWE Championship match was a fitting one, but the quality of it will have to be judged with the followup. We know who the assailants are, but starting a story like this is always the most exciting. Look at what happened to The Nexus over time. WWE has a lot of history to learn from with these three wrestlers.
This show was very newsworthy and the prospects coming out of it are very exciting. They also make me extremely nervous. WWE hasn't exactly booked factions well in the past (aside from Evolution), so confidence in this feels like it'd be slightly misplaced. I do believe in the men in the story (Punk and Heyman, especially) and their ability to keep it on track though.
The actual action on the show was solid as well. The final three matches, which comprised more than half of the show, were entertaining and told diverse stories. This wasn't a gem of a pay-per-view, but it was a solid B.
Let's do some good old fashioned talking about this show! Feel free to email me at email@example.com or to follow me on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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