WWE Survivor Series 2015
November 22, 2015
Survivor Series 2015 promised to be a historic event as a new WWE Champion would be crowned but ultimately The Roman Empire would begin on a deflating, confusing note while The Authority has once again taken back control of WWE.
Meet Our Review Staff!
- Rich Kraetsch (@VoicesWrestling): Rich is one of the primary owners of Voices of Wrestling and co-host of the flagship Voices of Wrestling podcast.
- Warren Taylor (@WarrenETaylor): Warren is Voices of Wrestling’s independent wrestling PPV reviewer and columnist.
- Bryan Rose (@br26): Bryan is Voices of Wrestling’s utility man. Former WWE Raw reviewer and frequent New Japan Pro Wrestling live reviewer.
- Joey O’Doherty (@AwesomeOJoe): Joey is one of Voices of Wrestling’s primary column writers focusing on WWE and NXT wrestlers.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Semifinal
Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio
Rich Kraetsch: This wasn’t as bad as I had suspected it would be when we previewed it on this week’s podcast. With that said, it didn’t get me excited on any level and was a bit of a whimper for Reigns’ last step before the finals. I like the focus on Reigns’ arm and I’m interested to see if it carries over to the Finals or if it’s simply just a vehicle to move this match along. **3/4
Warren Taylor: The crowd was silent as stone during ADR’s control segment. It’s amazing how quickly he’s lost steam. Anyways, a hot closing stretch saved this one from being a total disaster. Reigns’ comeback worked the crowd into a frenzy and you know that had to make the boss happy. **1/2
Bryan Rose: The first half of this match was suuuuuuuuuuuuper boring. Like, I was yawning ready to go to sleep. Del Rio’s offense, quite frankly, is flat. Doing rest holds doesn’t help. Thankfully it picked up towards the end with some hot offense. Really like the one arm powerbomb stuff Reigns used here. The heir apparent one, so no real surprise here. People need to learn if you don’t want to be pinned, you shouldn’t go to the top rope with Del Rio. ***
Joey O’Doherty: While it took a while to get going, it was a solid enough match once both men got into their groove. I felt Alberto went down too easily in the end, just as Cena went down too easily in Del Rios re-debut last month. Surprised Alberto didn’t do any post match beat down on Reigns following the bell or even in the backstage segment. **3/4
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Semifinal
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose
Rich Kraetsch: God, Kevin Owens is so good right now. Ambrose held his own but Owens really did the heavy lifting here. The ending shocked me not because Ambrose won but rather just when it seemed like they were going into the closing stretch… it ended. I expected far more back and forth, especially for the semifinals of a WWE Title tournament. Yet, it was worked like a RAW match. A very good RAW match, but a RAW match nonetheless. ***1/4
Warren Taylor: Only Kevin Owens’ magnificent trash talking can make a headlock entertaining. I thought this match was similar to the opening, slow and then red-hot, but differed because Owens was able to keep the crowd engaged with his personality. That’s what makes him a special talent. Like the rest of the panel, I think that the ending to this match was sudden but Owens’ mini superkick party was something to behold. ***
Bryan Rose: This was fine, but it seemed clear to me that they were conserving for the main event. Everything here looked good, Owens was great but it wasn’t as great as I thought it would be going on. Just fine for what it was. Owens is so above everyone here tonight in terms of confidence and ability it’s pretty amazing. Slow build, got pretty good towards the end but kind of felt like it ended abruptly. Oh well, the real story of this tournament will be the main event anyway. ***1/4
Joey O’Doherty: Kevin Owens was the star of this match, with his highly entertaining offence and his ability to run his mouth so much that the crowd have no choice but to wake up. Really enjoyed the finish, even if Owens went down to easy for my liking. Imagine what these two could do in a heated storyline match. Also, Owens moonsault technique is a thing of beauty. ***1/4
The New Day, Sheamus & Wade Barrett vs. The Usos, Lucha Dragons and Ryback
Rich Kraetsch: I’m convinced Woods’ Little Richard hair is a direct result of him bingeing on Fallout 4 all week. It makes me love him that much more. This was a match highlighted by entrances, The New Day’s opening promo, King Barrett dancing and Sheamus’ awkwardness. While it had a fun opening and closing stretch, the middle was completely meaningless and way overstayed its welcome. It was curious how much time this match got while the two semifinal matches seemed to fly by. But, seriously, Xavier Woods’ hair, everyone. **1/2
Warren Taylor: The New Day and King Barret’s antics made a ho-hum elimination match interesting. Once they were gone so was my interest in the match. **1/4
Bryan Rose: Woods’ hair is amazing. This was all substandard stuff. I mean aside from some cool dives at the start and Big E’s big spear to the floor, this match was just there. The booking was so weird at the end. So The New day take away Big E and all get counted out. Sheamus is the last guy left. So suddenly he plays babyface and valiantly fights until they gang up on him and pin him. What? Who booked that finish? If you were trying to be creative, no, bad. Don’t agent again. Wrestling isn’t that hard, guys, it really isn’t. **3/4
Joey O’Doherty: Could Sheamus have looked more awkward during the entrance? He looked so out of his natural comfort zone yet King Barrett on the other hand certainly embraced the positivity. Also I loved the majestic hairdo on Xavier Woods which made him resemble The Cat from Red Dwarf!
The match itself was an easy watch. A few nice spots and a some solid work from all involved, nothing show stealing but fairly enjoyable. **3/4
WWE Divas Championship
Charlotte © vs. Paige
Rich Kraetsch: After the Reid angle on Monday, this match needed to be different from a normal wrestling match. It needed to have an extra level of intensity. Charlotte needed to be out for ultimate revenge. Yet, none of that happened. Charlotte cartwheeled her way into the ring, smiled and went on like business as usual. You can’t do that.
There was a lot of spears from Charlotte (which, by the way, why do so many people on the roster have this as a primary move?), there were a bunch of Figure Fours and Figure 8s but it didn’t feel different from any other Divas pay-per-view match. That the crowd also didn’t react at any point only exacerbated the point that the Reid angle was utterly worthless. You can’t help but be disappointed by what you got here. **3/4
Bryan Rose: They hit hard. But man this match was just a mess and pretty sad. Not only was there zero heat for the match, they just kind of spent most of the match doing aimless brawling. I mean, some of it worked, but some didn’t, and it just felt sloppy at times. Very hard to get into and not at all interesting in any conceivable way. For all the hubbub about the angle that closed RAW Monday, there was zero intensity in the match or in the crowd. So, with that said…what was the point? **
Joey O’Doherty: I just couldn’t get into this match. While I can’t fault either girl for effort, this match was devoid of any of the intensity that should have followed the closing RAW angle. Charlotte should be trying to rip Paige’s head off, instead she’s waiting politely for the bell.
The layout of the match seemed odd and most of the spots lacked any real flow. I feel both Paige and Charlotte need to be in their with more experienced opponents and their lack of in-ring maturity was clear to see. *3/4
Dolph Ziggler vs. Tyler Breeze
Rich Kraetsch: The absolute fucking state of Dolph Ziggler right now. The leather rhinestone look is just too much to handle. The Nurse and I can’t be the only one who miss the jean jacket era. I was shocked by the ending in that it was super clean and Breeze looked great in the victory. It wasn’t a match you need to go out of your way and see but it set the stage for Breeze to have a solid run, provided they you know, don’t book him how they book everyone in their mid-card. **1/2
Bryan Rose: I could not get into the first half of this match because I was astounded that someone would wear gear like Dolph Ziggler’s and go “yes, I will be televised wearing this.” It’s like if a 1980s teen movie jock met a raider from Fallout 4 (credit Les Moore). This was fine, but absolutely nothing special. The real star of this match honestly was the bizarre Ziggler gear. Breeze won clean though, so at least they’re giving him something resembling momentum for the time being. **1/2
Joey O’Doherty: The right man won and the match was as good as it could have been considering the amount of time it had. With a better crowd and more time, these two could really tear it down. The commentary was the dirt worst throughout this match. Jerry Lawler and his awful jokes need to be retired as they add nothing to the product in 2015. **1/4
The Brothers of Destruction vs. The Wyatt Family
Rich Kraetsch: Nothing more than a showcase match for The Undertaker. Half my rating will be to the awesome entrances which was essentially a “Best of” Undertaker. There was fire, there were flaming cros…Undertaker symbols and a coffin with a slideshow showing past images of ‘Taker. It was super cool but the match just lacked any level of heat. It was a squash match and a way for the crowd to give Taker a standing ovation. I want to criticize this but why bother, it was an awesome moment, I’m an Undertaker fan and I’ll miss when he makes his extremely slow walk into the sunset. ***
Warren Taylor: If I were writing the entry on this match for “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Professional Wrestling” it would simply read “mostly harmless”. This match existed purely to be a tribute to the Undertaker. The Deadman played all his classics and the fans ate it all up, there is nothing wrong with that. **1/2
Bryan Rose: They punched. And kicked. Then they punched and kick some more. Strowman got chokeslammed into a table, which was the coolest part of the match. Then Undertaker and Kane got laid out, did the sit up spot and destroyed the Wyatts. I just saved you like ten minutes of your life because it was about as interesting as a pet rock. Taker’s entrance was pretty cool at least, but that and the big bump were about it here. *3/4
Joey O’Doherty: Was it just me or was I the only one thinking Taker was going to somehow appear from the door in his titantron screen?, Only me? Great!
It felt more like a RAW main event rather than a special PPV match. While the match was passable, the lasting damage done by once again putting the old guys over continues. WWE’s lack of star creation is already highlighted by this Network special and it will forever be a problem with booking like this. *3/4
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Final
Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose
Rich Kraetsch: From beginning to end, this entire segment was absolute garbage. First, the tourney final went nine minutes. Nine minutes as the final of a mutli-week tournament. Why even bother? The match had no drama, no intrigue, no real back and forth, it was anti-climatic a major title win as you’ll ever see. This being the shining moment of Reigns’ first title win was as lackluster as you can even imagine. Then, the cash-in. As I’ve said with many of these same night, next night cash-in title losses, you can never put the toothpaste back in the bottle. That was Reigns’ first title win, you need to make that moment special, especially if he’s YOUR GUY of the future. I’m no Reigns fan but WWE has not put him in a position to succeed at any point during this supposed run to the top. He deserves better and we deserve better. The star making machine is broken. WWE doesn’t know how to tell stories or create stars anymore. This was terrible on all levels. DUD
Warren Taylor: I never thought that I would criticize a match for moving too fast but there is a first time for everything. Ambrose and Reigns have outstanding chemistry and I think with a moderately paced match they would deliver an outstanding match. The spots and in ring narrative were there for this contest to be that. Unfortunately, from the opening bell I could tell this was warp speed to the closing angle, which was a complete rehash of Triple H screwing Daniel Bryan a few years ago. Listen we all knew this was a possibility so there is no reason to work ourselves into a shoot. The tragedy of the entire situation was that fans seemed to take to Reigns’ win. Reigns sold the moment well and the spear on Triple H had the Atlanta faithful even further in his pocket. Twice the WWE has had the chance to make Roman Reigns a star and they’ve failed for reasons that make sense only to Vince McMahon and his brain trust. **3/4
Bryan Rose: WWE is stupid. I don’t care.
Joey O’Doherty: Of all the possible outcomes WWE had 3 weeks ago when Rollins vacated the Championship, WWE really did an extraordinary job of booking the worse tournament possible. I could go into explicit detail about every bad move WWE made since this competition began, but I’d be here all night. In the end, WWE gave us a shitty ending to a poor show and showed once again that the are out of touch with the modern-day fan and couldn’t create a new star if their company depended on it. Ambrose isn’t a star because they dropped that ball months ago and Reigns isn’t a star because they cut his legs from under him at every opportunity and Sheamus is far from a top heel because everyone hates Sheamus (in that X-Pac kind of way, not a top heel kind of way). Well done WWE, you’ve made me tune out once again. *
Catch the Shake Them Ropes reaction to WWE Survivor Series on YouTube!