What up wrestling fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at WWE Survivor Series 2011. With the entire PPV being built around Rock and John Cena, would this be a worthwhile evening or full of disappointment? Well, let's find out and start the review.
Match #1: Dolph Ziggler vs John Morrison for the US Championship
John Laurinaitis started the PPV by talking about how this is his tenth anniversary in working for WWE. That has to be the worst attempt at getting cheap heel heat that I've ever seen before. Laurinaitis doesn't seem to give a s*** anymore.....or, maybe he does? Hard to tell with is lack of showing a human emotion. Maybe he's a robot? Actually, THAT would explain a lot. Okay, I'm really getting off track now. Back to the review. Lots of "we want Ryder" chants for this match. It was expected since Zack Ryder is from Long Island. This was a pretty good match to open up the PPV. Vickie Guerrero was sent to the back after she put Dolph's foot on the ropes and the referee caught it. It was at this moment where I felt Ryder would show up, but glad that wasn't the case. The finish comes when Dolph counters Star ship Pain, which allows him to hit Zig Zag for the clean victory. After the match, Dolph cuts a promo in how it isn't showing off if you can back it up. Yeah, Dolph was showing off quite a bit as the match progressed. After Dolph cut his promo, Ryder showed up and hit Rough Ryder on Dolph. Ryder was sporting some blue trunks. Expect for Robbie E from TNA to start wearing blue in the next few weeks. Glad to see Dolph get the clean victory here. Dolph should be getting more clean victories. Yeah, he may be a bad guy, but if you want to put him in the main event, he needs a better resume. The only reason I say that is it feels they are trying to move Dolph up the rankings, but they kept changing their minds. It's pretty obvious when Dolph loses the majority of his matches on free TV, but still manages to hold onto the US title. I still feel his place is the mid card division, but he should be used better against main event talents. Yeah, so you can imagine my disappointment later in the evening. Then again, I will talk about that when the time is right.
Winner via pinfall and still US Champion: Dolph Ziggler
Match #2: Beth Phoenix vs Eve; Lumberjill match for the Divas Title
So.....what was the point of this being a lumberjill match? Seriously, there was one point where they actually put Beth back in the ring, but they were really a non-factor for the rest of the match. Well, I guess this is your fanservice match of the night? The match was nothing special, but the ending was pretty awesome. The finish comes when Beth hits Glam Slam from the top rope for the clean victory. Despite this being a very average women's match, the finish was totally worth it.
Winner via pinfall and still Divas Champ: Beth Phoenix
Backstage where CM Punk is talking to David Otunga. David wants Punk to apologize to Michael Cole for the attack he did on Raw last week. Punk says he will think about it, but his world title match is more important. Where does Otunga keep finding these sweaters? There was also another backstage scene. The Rock talked about Madison Square Garden, hanging out with Andre the Giant, his grandfather, his father, his legacy, Awesome Truth and Cena. This was just a promo to get the crowd hyped up for the Rock's return. It was successful. I think Rock got the loudest ovation for the night. Punk was a close second, but no doubt people were aching to see the Rock. I wonder if "lady parts" ending up trending worldwide after Rock's promo?
Match #3: Team Barrett vs Team Orton; Survivor Series Style match
Sin Cara was wearing a white mask and pants for this match. Based on what would happen later in the night, you might want to label these the bad luck gear. Within minutes of the match starting, Randy Orton hits RKO on Dolph to take him out. This is what doesn't make much sense. You have Dolph cut promo after promo, meaning you're trying to build him up to bigger and better things. You have him win clean title defenses, but then he gets killed by Orton in a matter of seconds? That doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It would work a hell of a lot more if Dolph stayed in this match a lot longer. I am fine with Orton getting a quick elimination on someone, but I would've used Hunico or Jack Swagger since Dolph has higher stock than either of those guys. Very serious matter happened during the match. As Sin Cara was attempting a high risk move, he ended up falling down in a very quick manor. Officials checked up on Sin Cara and they took him to the back. At first, I didn't know what to make of this, but as the scene would play out, I got the idea. It appears that this is a pretty legit injury to Sin Cara. It would later be reported that Sin Cara had a ruptured patella tendon and might be out for 6 to 9 months. I went back and saw the replay to find out when this injury occured. I bet the IWC smarks are already nagging on how Sin injured himself because he botches his moves. And the IWC wonders why they get such a bad reputation with all their complaining and smarky responses? Anyway, it appears this injury occurred as Sin was running to attempt the high risk move. If you watch how Sin followed through with the move, it looked like he was trying to stop, but his forward momentum made him go over the ropes. This is why his high risk moved didn't look right since Sin didn't get any height off his jump. I figured the injury had to be real as the match didn't continue for a while. There was a point where both teams just stopped doing anything while they were waiting for the medics to send Sin Cara to the back. Definitely not a good night for Sin. Wish him the best on the road to recovery. Anyway, the match would continue as Mason Ryan and Hunico are fighting. Cody would get a blind tag and use it to his advantage. As Mason is getting ready for the Full Nelson Slam on Hunico, Rhodes hits the kick and Cross Rhodes to take out Mason. I like this elimination since it shows off Cody's cunning. Kofi Kingston would put up a fight against Wade Barrett, but the bare knuckle brawler was too much for him. Wade hits Wasteland and Kofi is gone. Sheamus would be the next to go as he lost his cool, turned into a Super Saiyan, and wouldn't listen to the referee as he continued to kill Jack Swagger. This is good booking since Sheamus doesn't lose any stock as he took himself out. WWE has been building up that Irish temper when it comes to Sheamus lately, so I guess it's something to pay attention to. Before leaving, Sheamus hits Brogue Kick on Swagger. Orton would pick the bones and Swagger is gone. It is down to a 3 vs 1 fight. See what I was talking about earlier with Dolph being eliminated? We have Orton vs Barrett, Rhodes, and.....Hunico? Seriously, what's wrong with this picture? Hunico would be the next to go when he does a springboard, but jumps into an RKO. Once Cheech Marin is out of the match, it is down to a 2 on 1 attack. The finish comes when Orton hits RKO on Cody, but Wade comes from behind and hits Wasteland for the victory. Cody and Wade are the remaining survivors for their team. I like WWE giving this one to the bad guys. Orton and most of his team members didn't have much to gain from winning this match. Cody and Wade had the most to gain, and nice to see WWE giving them a big win like this. At the moment, Wade is looking like a strong candidate to win the Royal Rumble, if his hot streak continues. Cody was also very impressive in his performance tonight. In my eyes, he was the star wrestler in this match. Despite the early Dolph elimination and the Sin Cara injury, this match got back under control and it was pretty good.
Winner: Team Barrett
Backstage where the Bella Sluts (Come on. They hit on everyone in the back) are talking to Alberto Del Rio. They talk about their day and how they have other stuff planned. Laurinaitis arrives in the scene to speak to Del Rio alone. He tells Del Rio that he isn't taking this match seriously and needs him to start caring. Del Rio says he will be champion for a long time. Is WWE giving you possible spoilers?
Match #4: Mark Henry vs Big Show for the WHC
Crowd was chanting lots of random stuff for this match. They chanted "Daniel Bryan", "Undertaker" and "boring". I will admit, the match was pretty dull for the first half. That would change as Henry tackled Show through the barricade. That seem to wake up the crowd...somewhat. There was a potential Super Plex attempt, but it didn't happen. Then again, there was still something to witness. Show actually got to the top rope and hit a flying elbow. I think the last time Big Show did that was 300 pounds ago. Still, that was awesome. Considering their size, this was not a bad match. Still, I think seeing a fat man fly is totally worth watching. Show couldn't get the victory as Henry kicked out at two. Lots of back and forth action. The finish comes when Henry kicks Show right in the testicles....
Henry would get DQed for his actions. Show wins the match, but Henry keeps his title. I knew this one would end in some sort of DQ/shenanigans since TLC is the next PPV and all Show vs Henry matches so far have been regular matches. It is appropriate for this rivalry to end in some sort of gimmick match. Then again, after seeing a fat man fly, not sure if I want to see a fat man fall off a ladder. In other words, I hope they don't make it some sort of ladder match. After the match, Henry was going to take out Show with the "steel chair in leg" deal, but Show moved out of the way. Show would then Falcon Punch Henry in the face. Show would use the steel chair on Henry's leg, to which he hits a legdrop on his leg. I think they may have set up Show vs Henry at TLC to be a chairs match, if you think about it. By the way, it would've been an opportunity for Daniel Bryan to cash in MITB. The opportunity was definitely there. Then again, Bryan got killed on Smackdown, so no cash in tonight.
Winner via DQ: Big Show; Mark Henry is still WHC
Backstage where Wade is talking about winning until Awesome Truth interrupt. Miz talks about how they are sick of being overshadowed by everyone in the WWE, especially Rock and Cena. R-Truth talks about....pigeons? I think Truth and Charlie Sheen should have a contest to see which one is more bats*** crazy, but entertaining at the same time? I would watch that. Anyway, Truth says pigeon crap is gonna get GOT!!! Personally, I wouldn't be trying to get crap, but I'm not gonna stop it.
Match #5: Alberto Del Rio vs CM Punk for the WWE Championship
Punk had his own personal ring announcer for tonight. It's none other than Howard Finkel. Punk does make the show more interesting. Nice to see the Fink make a special appearance. MSG was huge for Fink and Punk. There was even an "ice cream" chant. Which reminds me.....where the f*** is my ice cream? This was the Match of the Night, in my opinion. Great back and forth match between the two. The finish comes when after a ton of near falls, Punk locks in the Anaconda Vice and Del Rio finally taps out. After the match, Punk jumps into the audience as if it were Lambeau Field. Punk should play for the Green Bay Packers. Part of me is glad to see Punk get the title back. I do admit that Punk is probably my favorite current wrestler at the moment. On the other hand, it really drives down the stock of Del Rio. Then again, I've said many times that Del Rio is a pretty boring world champion. The guy can wrestle and talk, but he never has anything interesting to say and is very cliche. I think at this point, Del Rio has been given the label of a transitional world champion. Well, time to see now how the show will go now that Punk is now the champ once more.
Winner via submission and NEW WWE Champion: CM Punk
Match #6: Rock and John Cena vs Awesome Truth
One thing I haven't talked about is how vocal the crowd was tonight. Seriously, I've said in the past that a wrestling event can only be as memorable as the audience participation, and the MSG audience definitely let their voice be heard. Last time I heard a crowd be this vocal was back in Chicago for Money in the Bank. The Rock was definitely the main star for this match. I can definitely say I was pretty excited to see the early going of this match. Rock showed us that he still has it. On the other hand, the audience didn't hate anyone as much as they hated Cena tonight. Cena could've killed a terrorist in the ring and they still would've booed him. It was clear that this audience didn't want to have anything to do with Cena. This match was a mixed bag. When the Rock was involved, it was exciting and edgy. When Cena was in the match, it got pretty boring. Cena was on his back for most of this match, but that is pretty custom for a Cena match. He spends most of the time getting his ass kicked, then he powers up...
Then, he starts kicking ass and wins the match in the final 2-3 minutes. Cena really became a punching bag as this match kept going. Once the Rock got back in the match, the crowd woke up (and so did I), and the match got interesting again. Rock pretty much takes out Miz and Truth on his own. The finish comes when Rock hits People's Elbow on Miz for the clean victory. After the match, Cena wants to leave the ring to let Rock have his own moment. It also seemed like Cena was a little overshadowed in the process. Rock wants him back in the ring to pose for the crowd. Rock is clearly owning Cena in this department. After one more round of applause for the Rock, he ends the show by hitting Rock Bottom on Cena. Everybody Hates Cena, now a show being pitched for the WWE Network.
Winner via pinfall: Rock and Cena
I can see a lot of people upset at the booking for this match. I do admit that Miz and Truth had more to gain than Rock and Cena, but you had to figure this match was going to be a stepping stone for the WrestleMania match. By having the match go the way it did, it tells a couple of things from a storytelling perspective. It shows how maybe Cena wasn't taking the Rock seriously since he had been out of action for so long. By Rock looking as dominate as he was tonight, it really puts in the mindset that Cena really needs to up his game in order to defeat the Rock. This adds more fuel to the fire that is Rock vs Cena at WM. It's amazing how people already seem to forget that this Survivor Series match was most likely put into place to build up Rock and Cena and nothing more. In other words, while the match wasn't great, it did exactly what it was suppose to do. Am I the biggest fan of it? Not really. Do I think it could've gone better? Of course. There is always room for improvement. Do I think this was a horrible segment? Not at all since the match was tolerable and it built up the tension between Rock and Cena. Plus, audience participation really helps you get interested. Still, I can see people not liking this match because Cena didn't turn heel. First of all, there wasn't a ton of stock building up to a heel turn. You have to be a hardcore IWC member (or a lot of extra time on your hands) to piece together all the clues, and even MacGyver would think you're trying too hard to pull that one out of your ass. While smarks and older wrestling fans want to see a Cena heel turn, part of the reason I think it will never happen is because of all the merchandise Cena sells as the face of the company. Cena in eyes of older fans might be a guy who has done the same thing for 7-8 years and has become stale, but those children fans don't see it like that and eat up anything he does. The only reason I bring up a Cena heel turn is the door is once again set up. Rock continues to badmouth Cena and people praise him. On the other side of the coin, it seems like Cena can't do anything to stop all the negative chants he gets. I don't see a point of turning Cena heel when people already hate his guts. If he turns heel, some smarks might cheer, but he will still get boos. Cena gets more heel heat than some of the heels in pro wrestling, so what's the point of turning him heel if he already gets heat? Can Cena end up turning heel as this thing between him and Rock continues? Yeah, it's possible, but I still don't see the WWE pulling the trigger at the end of the day. Rock vs Cena will most likely be a face vs face match up, no matter how much Miami s***s all over Cena.
This was a pretty good showing by WWE. There was a ton of great action to watch. Not all the matches were perfect, but most were tolerable while others are definitely deserve a second look. The audience really made this show that much better. Again, a wrestling show can really stand out if the audience is going to get invested in it. If the energy of that audience is going to show off to the people watching at their houses, they are definitely going to be a little more invested with what's going on with the show. Not sure how well this ranks up in terms of previous Survivor Series PPVs, but I think it was a fun evening all around. Not sure how to rank this showing. I can say this show is worth a replay, if you're really enjoyed the show. When I grade PPVs, I score it on a scale of 1-10, with 5 being average. I also don't do decimal points because decimal points are for people who can't make up their minds and I like to do something that isn't as cliche as how the wrestling websites grade the shows. I will give WWE Survivor Series a 7 out of 10. I gave it the same score as WWE Vengeance, if you remember. While I loved Survivor Series, Vengeance is still at the back of my mind and I think Vengeance was a better overall evening. Still, that isn't a knock on Survivor Series, as I am just speaking out of personal opinion. In many eyes, I can see many people thinking Survivor Series was better than Vengeance, and there is nothing wrong with thinking that. Still, I will admit that I almost gave it an 8, but I think it was missing a thing or two. Generally speaking, anything higher than a 7 on my review show is something I highly recommend watching. Anything around 4-6 is around the average territory, while anything below 3 is something that scars you for life. Either way, a very fun evening of wrestling, which sets up the show pretty well for the next few weeks. CM Punk is now the WWE Champion and Laurinaitis doesn't like him. How will that be played up on the show? What happens to Del Rio? How about Cena's reaction to working with the Rock last night? How about Barrett continuing to take the WWE by storm? There's plenty of interest in this reviewers eyes to get me invested in the action. That's going to do it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. As always, tell me what you thought of my review or tonight's show. In case you missed it, I wrote a Top 20 Legend of Zelda Theme songs list, so check it out if you haven't seen it yet. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time and finally time to open up that Skyward Sword box....
WrestlingNerd's Official Score of WWE Survivor Series 2011: 7 out of 10