- It's the battle for brand supremacy! Live from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on November 20th, 2016. Everyone and their mother is sitting at ringside to call the action. For the opener, we've got Mauro and JBL for Smackdown Live, and Corey and Byron for Raw. The Kickoff Show featured two matches: TJ Perkins, Rich Swann, and Noam Dar defeated Drew Gulak, Tony Nese, and Ariya Daivari, and Kane defeated Luke Harper.
Charlotte runs in and Alexa quickly hops on her back with a sleeper. Naomi in with a sit-out jaw breaker. Naomi takes shots at the entire Raw team, heads to the top rope, and comes flying off with a body press on Nia Jax. Jax rams Naomi into the post and throws her off the apron, and Naomi is counted-out at 8:21. Alexa throws Sasha down by the hair and body surfs her while stomping her face into the canvas. Sasha fights out of the corner and drives a knee to the face of Natalya. She stacks up Nattie and Alexa in the corner for the double knees spot, but Nattie escapes. Sasha follows her to the floor with the double knees from the apron. Back inside, Natalya cradles Sasha. Alexa interrupts the back stabber, and Natalya rolls up Sasha for three at 10:21. Charlotte and Natalya trade chops until Natalya connects with the Discus Clothesline. Charlotte goes to the top rope, but Natalya takes her down with a sit-out Powerbomb for two. Natalya with the Sharpshooter, but Charlotte makes it to the ropes. She kills Natalya with a running boot, and the Player-Coach is gone at 11:59. Becky sneaks in with a back suplex. Alexa tags herself in, and they argue. Nia misses a double clothesline, but manages to counter a double suplex. Jax misses a charge to the corner. Alexa with a body press, and Becky assists with a missile dropkick. They botch a Double DDT spot. Becky with the Disarm-Her, and Jax taps at 13:35.
We're down to Becky and Alexa against Charlotte and Bayley. Nia Jax wipes out Becky before she officially leaves the ring area. Charlotte with a boot to the head of Alexa Bliss, eliminating her at 14:09 and leaving Becky alone. Charlotte stomps her down in the corner and covers for two. She goes for the Figure-Four, but Becky counters with a forearm. She comes off the ropes with clotheslines and a leg lariat. STRAIGHT FIRE FOREARM and Exploder Suplex. Becky goes to the top rope and hits the Dublin Jam for two. Bayley tags in and wins a slugfest. Becky comes back with an Exploder for two. Becky with a snap leg drop and elbow drop. Bayley avoids another leg drop and hits the sliding clothesline, followed by an elbow to the back for two. Bayley avoids the Disarm-Her and takes Becky over with a suplex. Becky goes for the ropes again, but Bayley grabs the ropes. BAYLEY-TO-BELLY and we're done at 17:54, leaving Bayley and Charlotte as the Survivors. Charlotte attacks Bayley post-match, because she didn't get the glory spot. *** Some eliminations seem a bit rushed, there was no point of having Dana Brooke at ringside, and of all the people to protect, you do it with Naomi? Other than that, non-stop action with some cute spots and a lot of clean jobs to not make the Survivor Series matches a joke (yet).
- James Ellsworth is wandering around backstage before he's met by Gallows and Anderson. What is the obsession with quoting FAIRY TALES?! Gallows and Anderson do their best to make as many chin jokes as possible. Great, someone on Vince's staff watched an episode of Tosh.0 and found his "20 seconds to make as many puns as possible" sketch the funniest thing in the world. Ellsworth then shares a moment with Foley, and then Braun Strowman shows up to scare him off (with callback to when Strowman squashed Ellsworth on the 1st split episode of Raw).
Back in the ring, Miz with a boot to the back of the head for two. Zayn blocks a Figure-Four attempt. They trade blows until Miz kicks the knee. Miz off the ropes and Zayn lays him out with a clothesline. Zayn with another clothesline, sending Miz to the floor. He hobbles his way into hitting a somersault senton, and to my shock, MIZ WAS THERE TO CATCH HIM! Mostly. Back inside, Zayn with a Michinoku Driver for two. Miz avoids the Blue Thunder Bomb and goes for the Figure-Four, but Zayn cradles him for two. Miz with a DDT for two. Miz chooses this moment to channel his inner Daniel Bryan, connecting with a trio of running dropkicks into the corner. Miz with the Awesome Clothesline. Zayn counters an axe-handle attempt with the Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Zayn sets up for the Helluva Kick, but the leg is bothering him. Zayn counters the Skull Crushing Finale with a roll-up for two. Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckle. Miz avoids the Helluva Kick and slaps on the Figure-Four. Zayn goes for the ropes, but Miz pulls him back to the center of the ring. Zayn turns it over, and then Miz turns it back, but they end up in the ropes. Miz with Yes!-Kicks. Zayn ducks the roundhouse, sweeps the leg, and applies his own Figure-Four, and it's EVEN WORSE THAN MIZ EVER DID. The bell rings out of nowhere, and it turns out to be Maryse. Zayn released the hold, thinking he had won, and Miz rolls him up for the real victory at 14:15 to retain. *** Good match, but nothing spectacular. The right move was made to keep the Intercontinental Title on Smackdown.
American Alpha with a double dropkick to Gallows and Anderson. Epico saves Gallows in the corner, and now Gable gets worked over in the corner. Sheamus stomps him down, and I can't tell what's more blinding, his red shirt and trunks or white skin. Epico with a slingshot elbow drop for two. WHO GRABS A CHIN-LOCK WITH SEVEN PARTNERS TO TAG?! Gable escapes with a takeover, but gets caught with a series of suplexes (a back, a German, and delayed vertical) for two. Gable avoids a charge and dumps Epico over the top rope. Jordan lifts Primo onto his shoulders, and Gable comes off the top with the bulldog to eliminate the Shining Stars at 8:08. The remaining 12 men come in for a rumble, leaving Slater and Rhyno and Enzo and Cass for their own spotlight slugfest. Cass launches Enzo over the top rope onto a pile. Cass with the big boot to take Rhyno out. Slater to the top rope and he dives onto the pile with a wicked stage dive. Jordan and Gable look to add to the fun, but Sheamus lays out Gable with an axe-handle. Jordan with the Alpha-Plex on Sheamus. Cesaro with the Giant Swing. Gable takes him down with the rolling German Suplex, and Jordan launches him over the top with a somersault plancha. Gallows with a boot to Jordan and the Magic Killer eliminates American Alpha at 10:39.
Slater takes on both Club members by himself. Running high knee to Anderson and a leg lariat to Gallows. Anderson recovers quickly, planting Slater with a spine-buster. Slater tries slugging it out with Sheamus, unsuccessfully. Sheamus meets the post on the charge, but Gallows cuts off the tag. He plants Slater with a slam and drops a series of elbows. Gallows accidentally on purpose knocks Enzo off the apron, and the distraction buys time for Rhyno to tag in and the GORE~! to Gallows means The Club is gone at 12:28. Big Cass with boots to Rhyno and Slater. Enzo comes off the top with the Rocket Launcher on Rhyno, and the Smackdown Champs are gone at 12:50. Enzo pounds away at Jimmy Uso, but runs into a Super-Kick. Jey from the top rope with the Splash and Enzo and Cass are gone at 13:26. Sheamus with the clubbing forearms across the chest of Jey, followed by a rolling fireman's carry. Brogue Kick misses and Jey hits an enzuigiri. Double Super-Kick to Cesaro. Sheamus hits Jimmy with a Brogue Kick, tosses Jey, and covers for two. Sheamus with White Noise, but Jimmy with the blind tag and he comes off the ropes with a splash. Cesaro with running uppercuts to Jey, followed by a springboard twisting elbow. Cesaro dropkicks Jimmy off the top rope, to the floor, and 619 to Jey. Cesaro from the top with a diving body press for two. Cesaro with the Giant Swing and I'm getting sick watching it. He transitions to the Sharpshooter, but Jimmy with a Super-Kick to the knee and tope suicida to Sheamus. Jey with Tequila Sunrise, but Cesaro rolls through and applies the Sharpshooter. Sheamus intercepts Jimmy with the Brogue Kick, and Jey taps at 18:54, leaving Sheamus and Cesaro as the Survivors. Sheamus won't shake Cesaro's hand, though. ***1/2 Way too rushed considering the amount of talent involved, but it was non-stop action except for the stupid chin-lock spot by the Shining Stars. I'm shocked the Usos and American Alpha didn't fight mid match, but Team Raw made up for it with the Club and Enzo and Cass, and the classic "partners who don't care for each other" in the European Invasion.
Back inside, Kendrick with a snap suplex for a two count. He hooks a modified chin-lock. Kalisto rallies to his feet, but Kendrick rolls with him to keep the hold applied. Kalisto escapes with an arm drag and lays into Kendrick with kicks. Kendrick grabs hold of the arm and uses the rope to clothesline Kalisto. Kalisto with a dropkick to knock Kendrick off the apron. They trade kicks until Kalisto shoves Kendrick into the post and takes him off the apron with a Spanish Fly to the floor! Kalisto rolls Kendrick back in the ring and covers for two. Kendrick rolls back to the floor, so Kalisto follows with a tope suicida. Kalisto to the top rope, but Kendrick straddles him across the top rope. Kendrick climbs up with him, but Kalisto fights him off and goes for the Salida del Sol. Kendrick goes to the eyes to block, takes Kalisto off the top and hooks the Captain's Hook. Kalisto goes for the rope, but Kendrick rolls him back. Kalisto makes one last stretch and grabs the rope to force a break. Kendrick with a sledge across the back. Charge to the corner is met with a boot. Kalisto unloads with kicks and drives a knee to the midsection. Kalisto with a Cartwheel fireman's carry and seated senton, followed by the Short-Rana. Salida del Sol, but Kendrick gets a foot on the bottom rope. Kalisto to the top rope, bur Corbin runs in, nails Kendrick, and plants Kalisto with End of Days to end the match at 11:43. Kendrick is officially awarded the match by DQ. *** I still don't care for Kendrick as the Champion of the Division, but everyone tonight has been working extra hard, even if we're not getting all-time classic matches. I knocked half-a-star off for the crap finish, even if it did make sense.
Styles and Owens start. They go through a series of holds and counters. They trade blows, with Styles getting the better of it. Owen goes for the Powerbomb, unsuccessfully. Styles misses the Pele Kick and Owens avoids the Styles Clash. Jericho in to the best babyface pop of the night. Jericho with a side headlock and shoulder tackle. Crisscross and Styles with a dropkick. Jericho yells at Rollins for laughing and tags him in. Styles tags in Ambrose. They trade go-behinds and do their own sequence of counters. Dirty Deeds and the Pedigree both go unsuccessful. Jericho is back in to yell at Ambrose for ruining his $15,000 jacket. Ambrose teases the Lunatic Lariat but it's stuffed. Jericho with an enzuigiri for two. Ambrose takes exception to being slapped and pounds away in the corner. Shane tags in for the first time and unloads with some sorry looking punches. Whip to the ropes and Shane with a diving elbow. Shane with a pair of arm drags. Jericho gets a boot up on a charge and comes off the middle rope with a missile dropkick. Rollins willingly tags in and takes Shane over with a suplex for two. Reigns in for a Wish-Bone. He unloads with clotheslines in the corner. I see all the time was allotted for this match. Rollins with a fist from the top rope. Snap mare into a chin-lock. Shane fights free and tags out to Ambrose. He greets Owens with a clothesline and diving forearm. Owens counters the bulldog, and Ambrose counters the Cannonball. He sends Owens to the floor and tope suicida mostly misses, but Owens sells it anyway. Back inside, Owens with a Super-Kick. Ambrose counters the Pop-Up Powerbomb with a hurricanrana. Strowman tags himself in as we get a stand-off between both teams. BEDLAM! BEDLAM! Owens goes to the top rope and hits the somersault senton onto the pile. Shane goes up next, but Strowman shoves him back into the ring. Ambrose and Styles come to make the save. Styles with a diving forearm and Shane takes him over the top with a clothesline. Seth and Roman have a mini match with Styles and Ambrose with Team SD still standing tall. Styles and Ambrose start fighting each other. Strowman recovers and Power-Slams Ambrose for the 1st elimination at 16:05.
Strowman pulls Shane in from the apron. Shane peppers him with rights and lefts, but Strowman mostly no-sells it. Strowman blocks the Phenomenal Forearm and tosses Styles over the top rope. Orton tries for the RKO, but fails. Wyatt stands in Strowman's path and tries to manipulate him mentally. Strowman grabs Jericho, but turns his attention to Wyatt. Strowman with a dropkick, sending him to the floor. No, I didn't make that up. Orton out of nowhere with an RKO, dropping Strowman across the announcer's table, but not breaking it. WHERE'S THE COUNT-OUT?! Wyatt and Orton lay Strowman across the table, and Shane comes flying off the top rope with the big elbow drop. Rollins and Reigns wake up from their coma to fight with Wyatt and Orton. NOW THE REFEREE COUNTS. Styles physically puts Shane into the ring, and Strowman is Counted-Out at 21:19 (thanks to Ellsworth hooking his ankle from under the ring, preventing him from beating the count). Strowman gives chase and catches up to Ellsworth at the top of the ramp, then throws him off into a pile of tables. Still give him credit for the assist.
Back to the ring, and everyone is playing dead. Jericho covers Shane for a near fall. Owens in with short rights and a running senton for two. Jericho with a push-off dropkick for two. Jericho with a snap mare into a chin-lock. Shane teases a comeback, but misses a dropkick. Lionsault connects, but Shane cradles him for two. Jericho with the Code Breaker. Orton runs in and eats a Code Breaker, too. Jericho finally covers, but Shane kicks out at two. Jericho has a bloodied nose. Rollins stomps away. Rollins with a slam and Jericho comes off the top, missing a splash. Styles with the tag and nails Jericho with clotheslines. Diving forearm into the corner and a fireman's carry across the knee gets two. Jericho counters the Styles Clash, and Styles counters the Walls of Jericho with the Calf Crusher. Jericho slams Styles' head into the canvas to force a break. Jericho goes for the Walls again, but Styles cradles him for two. Styles with a flurry of strikes. Owen runs in with the List of Jericho and smashes Styles with it. Whip to the ropes and he connects with the Pop-Up Powerbomb. No bell rang, but its announced that Owens has been Disqualified at 29:30. Jericho sulks over the destruction of his List of Jericho, gathering the remains rather than going after Styles. Orton tags in and surprises him with an RKO OUT OF NOWHERE, and Jericho is gone at 30:27, leaving Roman and Rollins for Team Raw.
Rollins trades blows with Orton, but gets caught coming off the ropes with a snap Power-Slam for a near fall. Wyatt throws him into the corner and connects with an avalanche for a near fall. Rollins tries fighting out of the corner, but Orton straddles him across the top rope and takes him over with a Super-Plex. Reigns in with clotheslines to Styles. Orton whiffs on a clothesline and takes a Samoan drop. Samoan drop to Wyatt, Samoan drop to Styles. Reigns with the Niagara Driver for two. Styles counters the Superman Punch with an enzuigiri. Shane tags in, and might as well call for the bel now. Shane surprises Reigns with a DDT. He slams Rollins into his own knee and plants him with a spine-buster. Shane continues fighting and rams Reigns into the post. Shane makes the climb to the top rope for the Van Terminator, but Reigns pops up and nails him with a Spear. Referee counts two, but Shane's shoulder was never down. The referee checks on him and calls Shane unfit to continue at 37:11.
The remaining participants brawl on the floor while Shane is tended to, with Wyatt, Orton, and Styles in control. Wyatt with a running senton to Reigns for two. Reigns interrupts an avalanche with a jumping clothesline. Rollins tags in hot and nails Styles with a Block Buster. Rollins with a kick from the apron and springboard knee. He takes Wyatt out with tope suicida. Back inside, Rollins with a diving forearm into the corner. He sets Styles across the top rope, but Styles escapes and sweeps the leg. Styles goes to the top, but Rollins slows him with an enzuigiri. Rollins goes up again for a Super-Plex and Falcon Arrow combo, but Orton breaks the pin attempt. Rollins tosses Orton, but meets a forearm going for another dive. Orton drags him out for the draping DDT, but Reigns makes the rescue. Rollins and Reigns give each other the look and Reigns decides he wants to destroy the Spanish Announce Table instead of the Germans. Styles from behind to make the save. Ambrose returns to the ring and attacks Styles from behind. More referees and security come out to break things up, but it's not over yet. Rollins and Reigns attack the security to help Ambrose out and we have a SHIELD REUNION (for one night only) as they Triple Powerbomb Styles through the table! They roll Styles back inside, and Rollins covers him for three at 46:07.
We're down to Rollins and Reigns vs. Orton and Wyatt. Luke Harper shows up at ringside to create an unfair advantage and takes a shot from the remains of the Shield to allow Orton and Wyatt access to the ring. Harper sends Reigns into the post and lays him out with a Super-Kick, behind the back of the referee, of course. Rollins stops what he's doing to lay him out with a somersault plancha. Wyatt from behind with a roll up, but Rollins follows through and hits a Super-Kick. Rollins to the top rope but a Frog Splash is countered with an RKO OUT OF NOWHERE, and Wyatt covers for three at 49:36, leaving Reigns alone for Team Raw. Reigns hits Orton off the apron with a Superman Punch and sends him into the steps. Wyatt charges (as fast a winded man can go) and meets the barricade. Roman with the Drive-By on Wyatt. Harper misses a clothesline and eats a Spear. Wyatt pops up for Sister Abigail, but Roman blocks. Reigns with the Superman Punch. He sets up in the corner for the Spear. Orton takes the bullet, Wyatt hits Sister Abigail, and Team Smackdown wins at 53:00, with Wyatt and Orton as the Survivors. **** Hot action from bell-to-bell, but not without flaws. The referee allowing excessive brawling at ringside and still counting someone out was such a mess, and they probably could've trimmed this by 10 and given it to the tag teams, but again, everyone was working hard and this felt like what it was meant to be, a chaotic fight.
OK, so you sacrifice the Undertaker's winning streak to put Brock Lesnar over, with the end game being Brock's next loss would put someone over huge. That someone turns out to be 49-year old Goldberg who likely won't be working many more matches. Way to go WWE, you just "Because WCW" yourself on that decision. I don't know how you can mess up such an easy game plan, but they did it. Putting over washed up, mostly retired workers, instead of using it to make a star NOW who can help sell tickets and merchandise more than 3 days out of the year. I guess Goldberg will be working future dates, so there's the explanation for putting him over Brock so decisively. Still would've liked a full-time, younger worker, getting the honors.
Final Thoughts: Outside of the Men's Survivor Series Match, this was a completely throwaway show, but it was a lot of fun, with everyone clearly bringing their A game, even if the star rating suggest otherwise. It's hard not to enjoy a wrestling show when everyone is going all out, and the crowd was hot for almost everything on the show except for the Cruiserweight Match. There's some booking choices I would've changed, like giving more time to the 10-on-10 Match and clipping a little off the 5-on-5 Men's, and jobbing Brock to Goldberg in 90-seconds.
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