The final PPV of the year is now over and done, and what a great show it was. Survivor Series feels like it has now been brought back to some prominence after years of Survivor Series not mattering. This year, War Games was the twist and it was fantastic. The U.S title changed hands while AJ Styles and Finn Balor put on a great match.
Women’s War Games
Going into this, the build wasn’t all there for this match, partly due to how indifferent Damage CTRL is right now. But the match itself was good, had some nice spots, it just wasn’t entirely memorable. Becky Lynch was also the big thing for this match which somewhat hurt the rest of the match. However, Rhea Ripley was fantastic in this, which is a big positive and I am very happy to see Nikki Cross in the character that she is back in.
Belair and Dakota Kai started the match out. Bianca took control early, Kai then gained the upper hand after she delivered a boot to Bianca into the cage from the corner.
Before the next entrant came in, Belair sent Kai into the cage. That next entrant was Iyo Sky. It gave Damage Ctrl an obvious advantage for what was three minutes. Which they were able to take control of, up until Asuka made her way in. She took care of Dakota Kai for a period of time, before Asuka and Iyo Sky went at it, which was enjoyable, a one on one match that will hopefully happen sooner rather than later.
Nikki Cross was the next woman to join the fray, and immediately she went under the ring for kendo sticks and trash can lids. Alexa Bliss was the next to enter, took control of the match for her team. Nikki Cross soon after climbed up the cage and went and jumped off the cage onto everyone, taking everyone out. This was another positive, the fact that Nikki Cross is back to doing this is great, its only been a few weeks but she is leagues better than her last gimmick.
About 20 seconds later, Bayley entered the match and picked ladder from underneath the ring, which she then got into the ring. A table followed, which she then targeted Bianca right away. By the time Mia Yim came out, the rest of the team was taken out, but she then brought trash cans into the ring. Mia Yim made a difference, and was able to even the odds before Rhea Ripley was scheduled to come in.
As soon as Rhea came in, she dominated the match, which is a really good thing to see, because Rhea has this threatening presence to her. So just before Becky Lynch entered, Mia Tim took out Rhea. Becky entered the match and War Games began officially.
Iyo eventually got to the top of the cage, she performed a moonsault from the top, onto Belair and Mia Yim.
A table was set up by Becky and Bianca parallel the far right corner of the ring, which Becky climbed the cage, jumped off through the table which had Iyo and Dakota on it. This got team Bianca the win. Which was a bit of a surprise, because it did look set up for Damage CTRL to finally get their win.
Now after this, I really don’t know how Damage CTRL go on from here. I figured because Bayley lost to Bianca twice now, surely the heels would get the win here. The babyfaces took the win to basically end the feud and honestly, it feels like Damage CTRL are finished after this. It obviously hasn’t worked, and part of that is the booking, but they are just so indifferent and they aren’t over with crowds. Not to mention, the Women’s Tag Team titles are basically worthless, which hasn’t helped.
Becky Lynch with her return, was very good and winning the match for her team helped. Becky will probably be at the top of the division going forward. Maybe not necessarily against Belair for the title as that has already happened, but she will definitely be positioned as a favourite for the Women’s Royal Rumble.
AJ Styles vs Finn Balor
Absolutely great match between two guys with a lot of history that Michael Cole brought up on commentary, which was a really nice thing to hear. It started out a little slow but picked up in the middle of the match after Gallows and Anderson got Damien Priest and Dominik away from ringside. From there it was a great match that stayed in the ring for most of the match.
There was a moment in this match where Styles had Balor in the calf crusher, and Balor looked like he was about to tap. He then did the spot where he smashes Styles head into the mat multiple times to break the hold in the same way Lesnar did back at the 2017 edition of Survivor Series. In the end, Styles got his win, which is apparently his first PPV win in 3 years, which is a ridiculous stat. But its good for Styles to win this, Balor loses nothing here because Judgement Day have been booked so well.
I still don’t see this whole feud being over, because Edge still has unfinished business with them after what happened at Extreme Rules. I could see Rhea Ripley having to deal with Beth Pheonix eventually. Not to mention the slow burn with Rey Mysterio up until Wrestlemania. I look forward to see what will happen next with all these elements as we look ahead to the Royal Rumble.
Ronda Rousey vs Shotzi Blackheart – Smackdown Women’s Championship
This was poor, there is no way to say otherwise. Ronda clearly hasn’t improved since winning the title and there is nothing interesting around her except Shayna. She just has not reached the heights of her first run with the company, and its very obvious that the division is hurting on Smackdown with her as champion in possibly a worse way than it was under Liv Morgan. In truth Shotzi has got to improve too, and hopefully that will come in time.
I would not at all be surprised to see Charlotte return to face Ronda again, which is not at all interesting, but it may be the direction that they are going.
Austin Theory vs Bobby Lashley vs Seth Rollins – United States Championship
As far as triple threat matches go, this one was brilliant. Three top tier performers in this company that went out and may have delivered the match of the night. Rollins looks to be more of a babyface as the weeks go on, and seems like now that is cemented with the result here in this match.
From the start, both took out Theory. There was the same sequence of events from RAW. Rollins did multiple suicide dives either side of the ring onto Lashley and Theory. So the match was fast and furious from the off, so it was a good pace. Lashley put the hurt lock on Rollins, then theory applied the sleeper to Lashley, eventually was broken up and Rollins hit a pedigree on Lashley for a 2 count. Then the last five minutes of this match was insane, so much action. At one point Rollins was looking for a curb stomp on Theory and as he was looking on, Lashley was in a similar position a little further away. So he jumps off Theory and hits the stomp on Lashley.
Theory then tried to take advantage of this, but Rollins seen it coming. Rollins then delivered a rolling superplex into what usually would be a falcon arrow, but Lashley came back, hit a spear on Rollins, but Austin Theory falls onto Rollins for the win in one of the most creative finishes for a triple threat. So Theory is once again US champion, which is something I thought may happen, just based on how he has been booked coming out of the horrendous cash in attempt. But positive signs for him.
Where Rollins goes, I assume he’ll stay in the US title picture. But also with the Rumble coming up, there is a very good chance he’ll enter the rumble match, and probably be a favourite to win as well. The thing that will be important to keep an eye on is a potential Cody Rhodes return. Now it should happen in the Rumble itself, where he should go onto win, but with the world title situation up in the air at the moment, you never know.
Men’s War Games
Before the main event, and throughout the show, Jey told Roman about Sami Zayn’s conversation with Kevin Owens on Smackdown. This led Roman to want to talk to Sami, which happened a little later. Roman wanted to know whether Sami was loyal to The Bloodline or Kevin Owens as he described The Bloodline as his family. These were incredible backstage segments, and just before the match there was one more which showed Roman as knowing where his loyalties lied.
Just based off the segments before the match, things were heating up and were about to get really interesting. With Jey coming to Roman, Sami owning up to the truth when confronted by Roman. It was all so perfect, but it got even better as the storytelling got taken further in the War Games match.
Butch and Jey Uso start the match off. Both standing in separate rings to begin, which was a fun visual. Butch used his joint manipulation on Jey, and then using the cage to assist with it. Come the time for a new entrant, Ridge Holland was the next to enter. The Brawling Brutes using the 2 on 1 advantage for the time the had it extremely well taking out Jey.
The next member of The Bloodline to come in was Sami Zayn. Jimmy Uso was originally going to come in but Roman sent Sami out instead. This was a fascinating bit of plotting by Roman, which saw Sami Zayn needing to help out Jey as a way to prove his loyalty by helping the one who hates him most, I thought it was absolutely brilliant.
Drew McIntyre was the next man to enter War Games, who took control of the match on his own. Jimmy out next and like Bayley earlier in the show, he goes under the ring to get some tables. But as they go to set up a table, another disagreement between Sami and Jey happens, almost coming to blows this time with Jimmy needing to get involved.
Kevin Owens up next for the Brutes, and he grabs some chairs from under the ring. Takes out both Usos. Sami and Owens then see each other for the first time in the match, this distracts Owens enough for The Usos to gain the advantage on him.
As expected up next came Solo Sikoa, with only Sheamus and Roman left to enter the match. As Sheamus tried to enter the cage, Sami tried to hold the door shut. Sheamus used his strength to slam the door in his face.
As Roman entered the match, The Bloodline were standing in one ring, with all the Brutes in the other. A brawl ensued between both teams as Roman started to take control.
In a very cool spot, all of the Brutes team had every Bloodline member on the ropes. They all delivered 25 beats of their own in sync. A very cool visual. What was a big moment in the match, was when Jey Uso attempted to hit a super kick on Butch, who ducked, and ended up hitting Sami.
Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns had a great back and forth which ended up in Kevin Owens hitting a stunner on Reigns. As Owens went for the pin, Sami stopped the ref count. All this resulted in a low blow to Owens by Zayn, a helluva kick in the corner. Jey hitting the splash of the top rope and The Bloodline getting the win.
The storytelling was on another level in this match. Then even after the match it got better, with Jey Uso embracing Sami Zayn twice following the match, therefore solidifying Sami Zayn’s position in The Bloodline. The crowd gave the biggest reaction of the night for this. It was fantastic moment, and this is now going to be extremely interesting going into the Royal Rumble. With The Bloodline all the same page now, Smackdown is going to be worth watching, because there will be a point where something happens that causes a rift once again. This time between Roman and Sami, which will be unintentional. Not to mention, the Kevin Owens element is far from over in this story, which is going to be brilliant.
Survivor Series succeeded in what it set out to do, which was show off War Games on the main roster. At the same time we now build to the Royal Rumble in January, in around 2 months from now. But RAW and Smackdown this week should be shows worth watching for the Survivor Series fallout.