WWE Survivor Series 2014 looked like nothing special and while everything we got was at least adequate, this was by and large a one-match show. Luckily for all of us, that one match delivered in a huge way. There was something for everyone:  a miraculous 2003 HBK-esque comeback from internet darling Dolph Ziggler, Big Show turn #765 (may be an accurate number), booking to protect certain guys, individualized mini-matches, Luke Harper breaking out on the main stage and perhaps the biggest story — the WWE debut of Sting.

As a result of the main event, Triple H and Stephanie are “out of power” and judging by the interaction from Triple H and Sting, we may have our first official WrestleMania match booked. Elsewhere on the show we had two title matches, two Survivor Series matches, Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt, Slater Gator makes an appearance and Roman Reigns cocks his fist and makes it reign up in this bitch (actual quote). Let’s get to the action.

Pre-Show Kick Off
Fandango w/ Rosa Mendes def. Justin Gabriel

Warren Taylor: I plead guilty to not watching this due to a Kentucky basketball game. I’m sure the fifty point blowout was better than this match. NR

Taylor Mitchell: Fandango debuts his new look and dance partner here. Fandango’s attire and new persona looks like he could the super villain of a Zorro movie complete with the damsel in distress, Rosa Mendes. This was a glorified squash match to put over Fandango’s new shtick. Gabriel bumped really well for the ‘Dango here as the ‘Dango wins with a Guillotine Leg Drop. Decent stuff. Still doesn’t look like Fandango will be anymore than a “Jobber to the Stars” undercard-er. **

Rob Barry: Is Fandango Billy Zane? Is Justin Gabriel a walking skeleton? Is Rosa Mendes completely useless? The answer to all three is yes. New and improved Fandango? No just new attire. At least this wasn’t on the main show and it was a fairly quick squash. Now I’m upset I missed the Kentucky basketball game.

Joe Lanza: Rosa is utterly useless, yet this company has been paying her since 2006. Think about all of the talented people that have been cut or not signed in that (almost) NINE year period. *¼


Jack Swagger def. Cesaro

Warren Taylor: The Battle of the former Real Americans. I like both guys. I don’t like how both guys are wrestling on the main show. Regardless they both worked hard and made the match a contest of holds and suplexes. In a spot that won’t get the justice it deserves Swagger turned a blocked springboard splash into a Patriot Lock. The former ECW Champion got the win with the same move a few minutes later. The free fall of Cesaro continues. **¼

Taylor Mitchell: For two guys that wrestled together for a number of months you would think these two would have better chemistry in matches against one another. I have yet to enjoy any of the “Real Americans EXPLODE!” matches these two have had post-break up of their team despite both of these men have excellent in-ring years in 2014. This match had too many heat sucking rest holds in the bulk of the match for my liking. *3/4

Rob Barry: Wasn’t Swagger injured? He must have miraculous healing powers, good on him. Here I go thinking we may have a hoss battle but we get a ridiculous amount of rest holds and some Cesaro/Swager throws. You can move along as we witness Cesaro’s never ending free fall.

Joe Lanza: Remember when Swagger was too injured to participate at Survivor Series? *3/4


WWE Tag Team Championship
The Miz & Damien Mizdow def. Gold and Stardust © vs. The Usos vs. Los Matadores

Warren Taylor: All four teams are defined by goofy gimmicks and all four teams work hard. Man did they work hard tonight. There was a dive fest, a tower of doom and a Mizdow! A solid and fun match but one we all have seen many times before and will forget by the end of the night. **¾

Taylor Mitchell: This match started off with some good ol’ WWE-styled tag teams tropes and sequences. The crowd is hot tonight with plenty of “We Want Mizdow!” chants. I may be his only fan, but I am continuing to enjoy Stardust’s super-villain shtick. The last few minutes were really fun to watch with some fast paced high flying shenanigans. Mizdow stealing the win from Miz was intriguing and The Miz’s reaction to said win was classic. ***1/2

Rob Barry: A by-the-numbers match with the fans actually wanting Mizdow the whole time. The place near exploded when Mizdow got the tag. I was bored to tears watching this and we even got a Grumpy Cat reference from commentary. I didn’t know The Usos were doing a Young Bucks Superkick Party tonight. We get dives and a Tower of Doom spot and shenanigans and new tag champs. **½  

Joe Lanza: The Usos have now faced the Rhodes Brothers 12 times on TV or PPV, officially surpassing the overdone Killer Elite Squad/TenKoji matchup in New Japan (11). A pretty dry match until a hot closing sequence. **3/4


Alicia Fox, Emma, Naomi and Natalya def. Paige, Cameron, Layla and Summer Rae

Warren Taylor: No one cared about this match. The announce team kept talking about women’s wrestling legends like Aja Kong. The fans in the crowd chanted for “Mizdow.” To their credit, the ladies really did try hard but the fact is many of them are atrocious in the ring. Whoever made the decision to have the match run as long as it did made an irresponsible decision because this match not only killed the crowd but also killed a lot the credibility that Divas Division had left. **

Taylor Mitchell: This match was the best Divas Survivor Series styled match ever — but it still wasn’t that great. The Divas division continues to improve. The Sara Del Rey era of Divas wrestling is looking positive, but largely this match was just okay. Clean sweep for the babyfaces and I am so glad that Paige is a define heel. **

Rob Barry: Total Divas vs. Total Assorted Divas. The ladies did try hard and if we lost Summer Rae and Cameron and made this a Trios match it may have been better. Crowd didn’t care and I’m pretty sure most of the viewing audience didn’t either. Clean sweep was interesting and Paige was impressive, probably the most impressive she has looked in a while. Sara Del Rey saving the Divas day by day and doing God’s work. **

Joe Lanza: New Japan hysteria took over Twitter during this match when an AXS TV YouTube video made the rounds featuring a few seconds of New Japan footage, which means apparently New Japan is coming to North American cable. This match wasn’t bad at all. Usually clean sweeps stink, but this was given time, and while the work wasn’t always crisp, I loved the hard pace they worked. Paige looked good, and I’m not just talking about the fishnets. **1/2



Bray Wyatt def. Dean Ambrose (via DQ)

Warren Taylor: The internet howled and moaned when Dean Ambrose was paired with Bray Wyatt — internet eat crow — this match was tremendous. Wyatt’s usual plodding pace was kept to a minimum and Ambrose’s unorthodox offense was a treat to watch. I liked seeing Wyatt panic when he could not put Ambrose away. It made sense that he would resort to head games to try and weasel his way out of the match. Except this time he pushed the wrong person to far when he tried to goad Ambrose into hitting him with the chair and as a result got the holy hell beat out of him. Credit to the WWE for making a non-finish work for a change. Dean Ambrose stays hot and remains the best thing going in the company. ***½

Taylor Mitchell: This match was really entertaining, largely in part to Ambrose and his erratic and unique offense. Rarely do two Dean Ambrose matches look the same and that is refreshing when watching “the WWE main event style”. Of course, we couldn’t get a clean match, Bray has to cut a promo mid-match and then beg Ambrose to hit him with a chair. What does Bray gain from Ambrose hitting him with a chair? It made more sense when Bray did this to Cena when he was trying to get Cena to cross the line into the dark side, but Ambrose is “the lunatic fringe”. Why wouldn’t he plow into Bray’s brains with a steel chair? It is this kind of story telling with gaping logic holes that takes the Bray Wyatt gimmick from being memorable and historic to being lame and nonsensical. The post match stuff with Ambrose pulling out tables, ladders, and chairs obviously alludes to a TLC match between these two next month. Bray is better in protected no DQ matches. ***1/4

Rob Barry: Ambrose looked like a million bucks and Wyatt even carried his end of the bargain well. Why did Bray have to cut a promo mid match? Wyatt was not his usual slow plodding self and as long as WWE doesn’t screw up (They have a proven track record) Ambrose will be a star. This was entertaining while it lasted and we are building to a match at TLC, pretty sure that was obvious from the beat down from Ambrose. Ah Bray you used to be so special and now the honeymoon period is over and the luster has worn off.  Head games do not work on a lunatic a genius once said. ***½  

Joe Lanza:  They were having a perfectly good little brawl, until the Bray does what Bray does portion of the match, which is turn matches into a WWE “story”. Then Dean did exactly what Cena should have done when offered the same deal months ago, which is kill Bray with a chair when Bray offered the opportunity, followed by a pretty hellacious beating to set up TLC. Careful now WWE, Ambrose may just get over if you aren’t careful. ***



Adam Rose & The Bunny def. Slater Gator

Warren Taylor: The ongoing narrative of the show was misused undercard talent. Heath Slater and Titus O’Neil give it their all and are pretty entertaining. Their reward? Losing to Peter Cottontail. DUD

Taylor Mitchell: Well, much to Joe Lanza’s chagrin, Slater Gator is officially a non-factor in the WWE tag team ranks. The Bunny pins Slater here and Rose is ticked off as the Bunny is carried out by the Exotic Express. This was filler and nothing else. NR

Rob Barry: Total filler and a total waste of Slater Gator, why Lord why? Rose turning heel would make sense but WWE logic people. Leo Kruger was better and we still have not solved the mystery of who is under the bunny suit.  NR

Joe Lanza: I think the impending Rose heel turn is the best thing for him. The Russell Brand knockoff act is never getting above the prelim. level, and adding a little heelish megalomania and Leo Kruger like edge to his character could wind up being pretty cool. NR


WWE Divas Championship
Nikki Bella def. AJ Lee (c)

Warren Taylor: This match lasted a few seconds and involved a female on female kiss between the spouses of Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. I am sure the result greatly pleases the deep dark bowels of the internet. NR.

Taylor Mitchell:  AJ Lee gets the Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 28 treatment here. I don’t understand the point of this. It’s not like the WWE didn’t have time to give this match. Nikki Bella is the new Divas champion. NR

Rob Barry: Yeah what was that? 10 seconds, a female on female kiss and AJ Lee is Daniel Bryan for one night only. At least it was quick. NR

Joe Lanza: The match was like 10 seconds, so I’ll just take this opportunity to talk about how AJ has so obviously picked up Punk’s mannerisms, gestures, speech patterns, cadence, etc. It borders on spooky. That’s what inevitably happens when you live with somebody. NR


Team Cena (John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Big Show, Erick Rowan and Ryback) def. Team Authority (Seth Rollins, Kane, Luke Harper, Rusev and Mark Henry)

Warren Taylor: John Cena being eliminated early was the biggest surprise of this match. Everyone played their roles well, highlighted by Dolph Ziggler who finally got the chance to be the hero. The crowd was into the match and then some guy who looked like The Crow debuted which caused them to go ballistic. Heck, the new guy even got to take Triple H out, he must be going to be a big deal pretty soon. Good WWE style main event with Steph screeching like Rita from Power Rangers to end the show. ***¼

Taylor Mitchell: Big Show finally smartens up and KO punches his opponent (Henry) right when the match begins, Rusev belly flops through the Spanish Announce table to give him the protected count out loss, Big Show turns heel for the 147th time in his career,and Ziggler gets put in the Shawn Michaels of Survivor Series 2003 role by being the final member of Team Cena left vs. three members of Team Authority. Triple H’s reactions throughout the match were well done and really put over how important the match result was to him and Stephanie. The story of Triple H and Stephanie relying on Seth Rollins was a neat dynamic that built some really good drama towards the end of the match with some near falls. The crowd was HOT for the closing segments of the match complete with Triple H going nuts by destroying every referee that dared to try and count Rollins down for three. Crooked referee Scott Armstrong comes out to count Ziggler down after a shady Triple H pedigree. Then the man who will never make it into the WON Hall of Fame, STING debuts in the WWE and takes Armstrong out. Sting and Triple H have a historic staredown that gets some “This is Awesome!” chants and then Sting takes out Triple H with the reverse DDT. WWE has successfully completed a year+ story arc of the Authority being in corrupt power and losing everything to transition into an inevitable Triple H vs. Sting match at WrestleMania. I hated the storyline going in, but the payoff was entertaining and Triple H and Stephanie ended their reign of largely great character work with an entertaining send off selling disbelief, anger, rage, and plenty of Stephanie McMahon signature screeching.This will go down as a classic and memorable Survivor Series elimination match. Something that hasn’t been said for 20+ years.  ****1/4

Rob Barry: Ziggler becomes Shawn Michaels of Survivor Series 2003, Big Show turns heel, Triple H’s expressions were brilliant. Rollins was great here, Kane was tolerable and Harper is fantastic. Cena being out before Ziggler was fairly shocking and the near falls down the end definitely added to the drama. The crowd was behind the whole thing and man is Ziggler beloved or what? Everyone played their roles great, the booking even made sense in WWE world, ain’t that something? Man, was Triple H brilliant here and people know I’m not super high on Authority Triple H. Then we have evil Scott Armstrong return and the debut of STING! Goosebumps man, goosebumps! Fun send off to the Authority and of course we get the mandatory “Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Goodbye” chants. One of the best Survivor Series matches in a while. A big match that had big match feel and actually delivered. WWE may do many things wrong but for one match and one night they got it right and that my friends is commendable. ****¼

Joe Lanza: A really good match that turned into the kind of overbooked mess that isn’t my cup of tea, but it led to a pretty cool moment with Sting making his official WWE debut. A minor booking gripe would be Big Show with the quick KO on Mark Henry, which made no sense if he was planning on joining The Authority. It probably would have been smarter to have Ryback score the quick elimination on Henry, to give him some rub since he was ultimately being eliminated early. The rest of the story was great until it got silly towards the end, and Dolph was the perfect guy not named Sami Zayn to take the long beating and make the comeback. Overall, I enjoyed the entire spectacle. ***¾