Powell’s WWE Survivor Series WarGames Hit List: The Bloodline vs. Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens, and The Brawling Brutes in a WarGames match, Bianca Belair, Becky Lynch, Asuka, Alexa Bliss, and Mia Yim vs. Rhea Ripley, Nikki Cross, and Damage CTRL in a WarGames match, Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Austin Theory for the U.S. Title

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Survivor Series WarGames Hits

“The Bloodline” Roman Reigns, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Solo Sikoa, and Sami Zayn vs. Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens, Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch in a WarGames match: The backstage segments involving Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn, and Jey Uso were brilliant and set up the excellent mystery of whether this would be the night that The Bloodline would finally turn on Zayn. I love that they kept it going by having Zayn show his allegiance to the point that even Jey finally hugged him. The match was filled with action and yet it was the storytelling that stands out as being truly memorable. There’s a lesson here for the entire industry to learn. Nearly all of the weekly pro wrestling television shows have good to even great matches. In this modern era, good matches are forgotten and even great matches occur so frequently that most don’t stick with fans the way they once did. Strong storytelling is the key and always has been.

It was a rough night for the babyfaces in that they had the WarGames advantage and still came up short. Worse yet, they were all left lying at the end of the night while The Bloodline celebrated around them. Butch’s joint manipulation spots came in handy for the story of Jey’s broken fingers, but I hope he pulls back on the silly finger snapping spots that are rarely sold for more than a few minutes. Holland entering second for his team was a bad idea in that he was the weak link of the match. It’s just one show, but I can’t remember a live crowd being as lethargic as this one was for a McIntyre entrance. Granted, the lack of entrance music didn’t help, but hopefully the creative forces have a plan to heat up McIntyre again.

Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Austin Theory for the U.S. Title: A Triple Threat gem. Everyone involved worked hard and they really pulled off some impressive three-way spots, including the totally unexpected finish that saw Theory regain the championship. The title change took me by surprise, as I figured it was simply too soon for Rollins to drop the title he won just last month. This was another big step in the transformation of Theory from bumbling doofus manchild to becoming a major player.

Bianca Belair, Becky Lynch, Asuka, Alexa Bliss, and Mia Yim vs. Rhea Ripley, Nikki Cross, Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky in a WarGames match: Lynch’s return gave this match a needed boost. The feud between Belair, Asuka, and Bliss with Damage CTRL never got out of second gear and overstayed its welcome. There were some rough and even frightening spots, but everyone involved worked hard and got the show off to a strong start. While I was hoping that Ripley would be spotlighted more than she was in this match, she was protected and continues to feel like a potential WrestleMania challenger for Belair if the creative forces choose to wait that long.

AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor: A soft Hit for a well worked match that felt rather trivial. The broadcast team finally told viewers the story of the Bullet Club history between the two rather than dancing around it. It was a nice touch and yet it’s still just another company’s ancient history that doesn’t feel significant today. Ultimately, this felt like just another match in what will ultimately feel like an endless series of matches in the OC vs. Judgment Day feud.

WWE Survivor Series WarGames Misses

Ronda Rousey vs. Shotzi for the Smackdown Women’s Championship: While it’s admirable that Rousey chooses to work so frequently, she would mean more to the company if she were featured as a part-time special attraction. Her appearances would pack more of a punch and the reduced schedule would give her more time to rehearse her matches at the WWE Performance Center. Rousey is much better as a yeel and yet her matches are still clunky and feel predictable. While Shotzi gave a spirited performance, Rousey had some botches (that DDT spot was especially rough) and the fans had zero reason to view Shotzi was a threat to win. On the bright side, things should get better as we enter WrestleMania season when Rousey will work with top names that fans will see as strong contenders to her championship.



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