By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Survivor Series Kickoff Show
Aired live on November 24, 2019 on WWE Network and social media
Chicago, Illinois at Allstate Arena
-The Kickoff Show was hosted by Jonathan Coachman and the hour one panel of Charly Caruso, Booker T, and David Otunga. They ran through the Survivor Series lineup and noted that Shawn Michaels would announce the men’s Team NXT for the elimination match.
-A video package aired on the Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Bayley match.
-Sam Roberts and JBL checked in from the entrance ramp. JBL said Survivor Series started as a counter to Jim Crockett attempting to lock up Thanksgiving on pay-per-view. JBL said Baszler working a big match the night before Survivor Series is like the Patriots playing a football game the night before the Super Bowl.
Powell’s POV: It’s almost as silly as referencing the Patriots while they are playing the national television game against the Cowboys opposite this Kickoff Show (or naming it the Kickoff Show when you’re running opposite NFL football).
-A video package focused on the WWE Championship match feud between Brock Lensar and Rey Mysterio.
-Paul Heyman was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber on the backstage interview set. Heyman played up the “miracle or massacre” theme that he started on Raw.
-The panel spoke and Otunga predicted a Mysterio win and said it wouldn’t be a miracle at all after seeing what he did to Lesnar with a pipe.
-A cross branded tag team battle royal, plus the Raw Tag Champions The Viking Raiders vs. NXT Tag Champions Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly vs. Smackdown Tag Champions Big E and Kofi Kingston in a non-title match were announced for the Kickoff Show along with the previously advertised WWE Cruiserweight Championship match.
-The Raw wrestlers advertised for the battle royal: Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins, Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins. The NXT wrestlers will be Tyler Breeze and Fandango, Jaxson Ryker, Wesley Blake, and Steve Cutler, Fabian Aichner, Alexander Wolfe, and and Marcel Barthel. The Smackdown wrestlers will be Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder, Otis and Tucker, Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode, and Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik.
-The panel set up a video package that recapped the NXT Takeover: WarGames event.
-Roberts and JBL spoke at ringside and played up WarGames taking place the night before as a factor at Survivor Series. JBL said Randy Orton is the wildcard in the elimination match and he said that bodes well for Raw. Roberts played up the idea of the NXT crew being on a high and that potentially being a bigger factor than working back to back nights. JBL said they are beat up, but he thinks they can handle that due to youth. Still, he said it’s very hard to bounce back a night later.
-Shawn Michaels joined the panel and announced Team NXT for the men’s elimination match: Damian Priest, Matt Riddle, Keith Lee, Walter, and Tommaso Ciampa.
-NXT Champion Adam Cole was interviewed by Cathy Kelley on the backstage interview set and was asked if he was feeling 100 percent. Cole noted that he was on Raw, Smackdown, a ladder match, and a WarGames match. He said he’s not 100 percent. “But unfortunately for Pete Dunne, I’m still Adam Cole, bay bay.” Cole said Dunne was a great champion for NXT UK, but he’s going to show him what a superior champion on a superior brand looks like.
-Footage aired from Saturday night of Rhea Ripley announcing Team NXT for the women’s match.
-Bayley was interviewed from backstage by the panel. She spoke about being overlooked and said tonight is her night.
1. Tag Team Cross-Branded Battle Royal. Greg Hamilton announced that if one wrestler is eliminated then the tag team is eliminated from the match. The teams were Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins, Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins for Raw, Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder, Otis and Tucker, Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode, and Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik for Smackdown, and Tyler Breeze and Fandnago, Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler (w/Jaxson Ryker), Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel (w/Walter) for NXT. Each team received a televised introduction, meaning the poor fans were subjected to Ziggler’s awful entrance theme.
The broadcast team for the match was Vic Joseph, Corey Graves, and Nigel McGuinness. Cutler was eliminated first, so the Forgotten Sons were the first team out. Lince Dorado was out next, which also eliminated Kalisto. Barthel eliminated Ryder (and Hawkins). Roode eliminated Barthel (and Aichner). The Heavy Machinery duo were eliminated by The Revival and The OC. The Revival eliminated Breeze (and Fandango) to eliminate all of the NXT teams from the match. The Street Profits eliminated The Revival.
The final three teams were Anderson and Gallows, Roode and Ziggler, and The Street Profits. Gallows (and Anderson) was eliminated by a Ziggler superkick. Ford hit a top rope splash on Ziggler, but Roode quickly tossed Ford over the top rope to eliminate the Street Profits and win the match…
Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler won a tag team battle royal in 8:20 for Team Smackdown.
Powell’s POV: A graphic showed that Smackdown has a 1-0-0 lead over Raw and NXT, so this match did count as far as the overall count is concerned. There’s not much else to say beyond that it was a tag team battle royal that got a lot of people on the show. Oh, and I had to listen to Ziggler’s music twice and I’m talking with an attorney about the possibility of filing criminal charges against WWE for making this happen.
-After some ads, they reset the Kickoff Show for the second hour. Christian replaced Otunga on the panel. The second loud “CM Punk” chant of the night broke out while the panelists were talking.
2. Lio Rush (NXT) vs. Kalisto (Smackdown) vs. Akira Tozawa (Raw) for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. The match was called by Byron Saxton and Aiden English (poor Tom Phillips). Rush performed a double Spanish Fly from the top on both opponents at 4:45.
A short time later, there was a cool spot with Tozawa performing a German suplex on Rush, followed by Kalisto trying to steal the pin. Kalisto hit Salida del Sol on Rush, but Tozawa broke up the pin. Tozawa performed a top rope senton on Rush, but Kalisto broke up the pin. Kalisto performed his finisher on Tozawa. Rush hit him with the Final Hour top rope frogsplash and scored the pin…
Lio Rush defeated Kalisto and Akira Tozawa in 8:20 in a Triple Threat to retain the NXT Cruiserweight Championship.
Powell’s POV: The match counted as a win for NXT in the brand supremacy battle. So it’s 1-1-0 for Smackdown, NXT, and Raw respectively. The match was entertaining yet rushed. I suspect I’ll feel that way several times tonight.
-Sami Zayn interrupted the panel and spoke about Shinsuke Nakamura and his Triple Threat with AJ Styles and Roderick Strong, which he said could be the match of the year.
-After some advertising, Kayla Braxton interviewed Kofi Kingston and Big E on the backstage go-home position set. Kingston had a platter of pancakes while he cut a promo about their Triple Threat match. Big E delivered a fiery promo reminding people of their longest tag title reign and claimed to be the greatest tag team in WWE. Big E did the New Day introduction…
3. Smackdown Tag Champions Big E and Kofi Kingston vs. Raw Tag Champions “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar vs. NXT Tag Champions Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly in a non-title match. The match was called by Joseph, Graves, and Jerry Lawler. There was a fun early exchange with Big E and Ivar that ended with E shoulder blocking Ivar to the mat. O’Reilly checked in and took a knee to the face from Erik.
At 6:00, Erik picked up Ivar and slammed him from the apron onto the other teams at ringside. At 10:30, Kingston performed a standing double stomp on Erik, then tagged in E, who performed suplexes on multiple opponents. A short time later, E held up Erik and then Kingston performed a top rope double stomp and went for a cover, but Ivar broke it up. E launched Kingston onto Ivar, Fish, and O’Reilly at ringside. E speared Erik through the ropes and off the apron to ringside.
New Day set up for their finisher, but it was broken up. Erik threw a knee to the head of Big E, then the Viking Raiders teamed up for a double team move. At ringside, Kingston went for Trouble in Paradise and ended up kicking the ring post. Fish and O’Reilly hit Total Elimination on Kingston. With both New Day members down, the Viking Raiders went at it with Fish and O’Reilly. The Viking Raiders performed a Viking Experience on O’Reilly, which slammed him onto Fish, then pinned O’Reilly to win the match…
The Viking Raiders defeated Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly and Big E & Kofi Kingston in 14:35 in a non-title Triple Threat match.
Powell’s POV: So the brands are tied 1-1-1 going into the main show. This match was given a decent amount of time and was the best match of the Kickoff Show. That said, I wish they could have been given 25 minutes. The live crowd is interesting. Chicago was a red hot crowd for NXT Takeover: WarGames, but the brand supremacy theme seems to be causing them to sit back and watch when there’s not a babyface vs. heel dynamic. They are definitely responsive for the big moves too.
-The panel spoke about the match and noted that it would be even in the brand supremacy battle going into the main card. They set up a video package on “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan.
-The panel spoke at their desk about the WWE Universal Championship match and ran through the main show card. Caruso announced that the women’s elimination match will open Survivor Series.
Join me for my live review of the WWE Survivor Series main show in a separate report that can be accessed on the main page.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ring of Honor's PJ Black discussing the ROH Pure Title tournament beginning on ROH Wrestling TV this weekend, ROH's COVID-19 safety precautions, his run in WWE as Justin Gabriel with The Nexus, wrestling as The Bunny, and more...