By Jason Powell
WWE Survivor Series 2017 Kickoff Show
Aired live on WWE Network and social media
Houston, Texas at Toyota Center
-Renee Young served as hosts and was joined by Peter Rosenberg, Jerry Lawler, and Shawn Michaels. Apparently, it takes two Hall of Famers to replace one David Otunga.
-A video package chronicled The Shield vs. New Day. HBK said on paper it’s The Shield all day long every day, but he put over the growth of New Day for not being the same group of fun loving guys they were. He said they still have that part of them, but they are also gritty. Rosenberg said The Shield are bigger and stronger, but New Day have never turned on one another.
-HBK said he’s been a Raw guy for the 30 years he’s been with WWE. Lawler questioned which side dual brand announcer Corey Graves would pull for. Lawler said he moved to Smackdown after years on Raw and immediately felt Smackdown was the A show. All three panelists and Young predicted a Shield win.
-Charly Caruso checked in from the social media lounge. She will ask The Miz the very worst of the questions that fans submitted on social media.
-Sam Roberts checked in from outside the building where fans were doing dueling John Cena chants behind him. Back inside, Young noted that the doors to the venue just opened. The arena was nearly empty. A video focussed on the under siege angle. The broadcast team recapped Raw returning the favor on Tuesday’s Smackdown.
-Backstage, Becky Lynch was giving some of her teammates a pep talk when Natalya showed up and blew a whistle. She tried to take control, but Lynch cut her off. Natalya said she was clearly feeling insecure and told her to have at it. It ended with the teammates putting their hands together and chanting Smackdown. Rosenberg and HBK picked a Raw women’s team win, while Lawler picked Smackdown.
-Alexa Bliss joined the panel and took Lawler’s seat temporarily. She spoke about how she spent time preparing to face Natalya. Charlotte joined the conversation from backstage. Charlotte intensely said she doesn’t wake up and put on a superhero costume like Bliss does. She said she is a Flair. Charlotte said there was a queen before their was a goddess. Bliss said she beat three of the Four Horsewomen and Charlotte is next.
-The Raw broadcast team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T checked in. Elias was in the ring and did his pre-match guitar work. He had to deliver the line about it being the one night of the year when Raw faces Smackdown (drink). Hardy’s entrance music interrupted Elias’s song.
1. Elias vs. Matt Hardy. Cole said Jeff Hardy will return “in a couple of months” from shoulder surgery. They cut to a commercial less than two minutes into the match. Elias targeted Matt’s left shoulder. Hardy made a comeback, but Elias came back and hit Drift Away for the win…
Elias defeated Matt Hardy in 9:15.
Powell’s POV: A decent opener with the right guy going over in that they clearly view Matt as a tag team wrestler. They wisely had most of the arena lights down so that you couldn’t really see all of the empty seats as easily. The event is sold out, but they didn’t open the doors until this show was on the air.
-After airing a social media promo exchange by Baron Corbin and The Miz aired, Miz joined Caruso in the social media lounge. Miz said a man talking about your pregnant wife brings a person to a new level. He said he’s never been so focussed on a match. He rightfully mocked the questions that were selected. One asked about how the Raw crew would react if he lost, the second was about whether he felt pressure because of representing Raw, and the third was about brand superiority. “Charly, amazing questions,” Miz mocked. She pointed out that the questions were submitted by the fans. Miz truly is awesome.
2. Enzo Amore vs. Kalisto for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. The 205 Live broadcast team of Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness called the match. Enzo delivered some mic work about buying Kalisto a birthday cake and ended with the sawft bit. Enzo charged at Kalisto to start, but then went into retreat mode. Kalisto picked up an early near fall off a sunset bomb. Enzo clotheslined Kalisto with the top rope heading into a break.
Enzo was in offensive control for a couple minutes. Kalisto came back with a flurry that included a huracanrana that spiked Enzo’s face into the mat. Kalisto went for his finisher, but Enzo grabbed the top rope to avoid it. They fought on the apron where Enzo went for his finisher, but Kalisto held onto the middle rope to avoid it. Enzo pulled Kalisto’s head into the exposed middle turnbuckle and then performed his finisher for the win.
Enzo Amore pinned Kalisto in 8:45 to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
Powell’s POV: Enzo’s sawft line got a better reaction than anything that happened during the match. They tried, but the cruiserweight division is ice cold.
-The panel spoke about Survivor Series with Lawler recalling the year his team went unbeaten and Michaels recalling The Knights. Roberts checked in from inside the building with fans behind him. Another Raw vs. Smackdown video package aired. The panel discussed the men’s Raw vs. Smackdown elimination match. Michaels kept his gimmick alive by predicting a Raw win. Rosenberg and Lawler both picked team Smackdown.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn made their entrance. Owens delivered a strong pre-match promo in which he complained about he and Zayn having to face a couple of clowns. Owens also recalled winning the Intercontinental and Universal championships in the Toyota Center. When the fans cheered, he told them to shut up because those were his accomplishments, not theirs.
Breezango came out and claimed they had an anonymous tip about two men harassing the fans in Houston. He said their unmanageable facial hair was ten different violations at least. They had orange tickets…
3. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. Fandango and Tyler Breeze. The team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton called the match. Owens and Zayn took a quick powder. Fandango and Breeze threw the tickets at them heading into a break. Owens and Zayn isolated Breeze for a stretch. Breeze put his knees up when Owens went for a senton, which led to Fandango tagging in. Fandango went for a top rope leg drop, but Owens pulled Zayn out of the way. Owens tagged in and hit the Popup Powerbomb on Fandango for the win…
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn defeated Fandango and Tyler Breeze in 7:45.
Powell’s POV: The heel duo was more popular than the comedy babyface team. The fans didn’t seem to dislike Breezango, but they didn’t really cheer for them either. I’ll chalk it up to the fact that Owens and Zayn are so over with the adult male crowd.
Backstage, Charly Caruso interviewed AJ Styles, who said he is the underdog as Paul Heyman said. However, he said he’s not afraid of Brock Lesnar. He said he has to be better than good, he has to be phenomenal. Jinder Mahal showed up, laughed at Styles, and walked away…
Powell’s POV: Foreshadowing a Mahal interference finish?
A video package focussed on the Lesnar vs. Styles match. The panel discussed the match. Michaels said he’s never picked against Lesnar. He said he’s pulling for Styles because he’s the underdog, but it’s an uphill battle. He also spoke about being an underdog during his career and how you “wear that size thing” all the time. Michaels ended up picking Styles. Rosenberg and Lawler both predicted a Lesnar win. The panel ran through the pay-per-view lineup. They announced New Day vs. The Shield would open the show…
Live coverage of the actual Survivor Series event is available on the main page.