Last night Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson made his in ring return at WWE’s twenty-fifth annual Survivor Series pay-per-view. Despite the hype around the Rock’s return, we declined to watch the show live and instead read all the results over at sescoops.com. It’s unfair to judge the matches sight unseen, but it sounds like there were some big spots to dazzle the audience in many of the matches. It is fair to judge the outcomes of those matches and the card in general, however, and the show had its share of hits and misses. Regardless, there’s a lot to build on tonight on Raw from the Giant Center in Hershey, PA with guest star Johah Hill.
PTB: We’ve been critical of the opening segments for Raw over the last few weeks and it seems to be carrying over to the pay-per-views now as John Lauinaitis opened last night’s twenty-fifth annual Survivor Series with a welcoming statement. I don’t really remember seeing him on Raw at all last week. That’s by no means a complaint.
Brian: “I’m John Laurinaitis: Executive Vice President blah blah blah.. ”
PTB: Dolph Ziggler and John Morrison for the US title was the first match, and the first of Ziggler’s two appearances on the card. I know you said you don’t really care for the double booking, but for a championship match and a gimmick match I’m ok with it.
Brian: There was no US title match announced for the show prior to Ziggler replacing Christian in the traditional Survivor Series match. The way that they had everything booked until that point, it would have made sense to have a #1 contenders match between Morrison and Zach Ryder. Ryder is already over with the fans and having him beat Morrison would give him more credibility.
PTB: If they wanted Ryder on the bill, your suggested number one contenders match would have been a better option. I was glad to see Ziggler retain the title, but the post match confrontation with Ryder isn’t typical pay-per-view material. Seeing that on the show makes me wonder why they went with Morrison as the challenger at all over Ryder in front of a hometown pro-Ryder crowd.
Brian: I was thinking the same exact thing. From what I’ve heard, Morrison’s contract is expiring shortly and there’s a good possibility that he won’t be resigned. If that’s the case, why interrupt the feud between Dolph and Ryder to insert Morrison?
PTB: Ziggler’s second appearance of the night in the Survivor match didn’t last too long and Sin Cara made an early exit as well due to injury. Any idea of the extent of his injury?
Brian: @WWE reports he has a ruptured patella tendon and will be sidelined for months.
PTB: Sheamus managed to get himself disqualified for repeatedly attacking Jack Swagger, leaving Orton on his own against four remaining opponents. The DQ seems like a cheap way to keep Sheamus from being pinned or submitting.
PTB: I don’t mind Orton having a good showing against difficult odds, but I was happy to see him lose cleanly to Barrett and Rhodes.
Brian: Agreed. Has this added any credibility to Rhodes and his “vintage” IC title?
PTB: I think the win keeps him headed in a good direction as we discussed heading into last night.
I’m sure we’ll see highlights tonight, but a top rope “Glam Slam” from Beth Phoenix in her defeat of Eve holds the promise of good things in the ring for the Divas.
Brian: I’m hoping so. Some of the divas a really talented and can put on some great matches. Unfortunately, the ones that have no business in the ring are pushed due to their looks.
PTB: The Big Show and Mark Henry hit a number of big spots last night too including Henry putting show through the ringside barrier and Show hitting a top rope elbow drop! I’m sure it will make for a great highlight reel.
Brian: I take back what I said in our previous post. Big Show is a phenomenal athlete that can do amazing things in the ring. Unfortunately, he’s been hindered by having to wrestle the WWE style which would require him to lumber around and throw headbutts and punches. We saw how agile and quick he was in WCW. I just wish we could see more of that now.
PTB: Going into Survivor Series, I was hoping for the Big Show to take the World Championship from Mark Henry. After more thought, keeping the title on Henry is actually more appealing. It puts Henry over and I think building to an encounter with Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania could be a lot of fun.
Brian: They’ve really dropped the ball with Bryan since he won the Money In The Bank briefcase. He’s won a handful of matches on TV and they haven’t really done much to build up his character.
I don’t know how Bryan vs Henry could be an exciting match after we’ve watched Henry roll through much bigger guys in recent months. I think we’re leading to a Henry/Undertaker showdown at WrestleMania, while Bryan will challenge a much smaller opponent.
I appreciated Del Rio saying C.M. Punk looked like he should be part of Occupy Wall Street, but the highlight of their pre-match build up had to be Punk’s personal ring announcer, Howard Finkel.
Brian: So awesome!!
PTB: The greatest failing of last week’s three-hour show was coming away feeling like Punk and Del Rio weren’t even a factor on the show. I know they appeared, but as I feared it got lost in “Raw gets Rocked.” Their match and Punk’s submission victory with the Anaconda Vice to become the new WWE Champion may have stolen the show at Survivor Series.
Brian: That’s my biggest gripe (and possibly Punk’s) with WWE’s booking around the title. It seems as if the belt is unimportant and not as exciting as the special feature of the month (returning superstar, grudge match, etc).
PTB: Madison Square Garden, as expected, was described as a very pro-Rock / anti-Cena environment. It’s a far cry from the Rock’s reception at his debut at a Survivor Series in the Garden in 1996, and the crowd must have been very happy with the Rock getting the win over Miz with a People’s Elbow of all things.
Brian: Really? Really? REALLY?
What a horrible way to end the match.
Brian: Why not have Truth and Miz get a sneaky win and then have the confrontation between Cena and Rock afterwards? Seems like a win-win for all superstars involved.
PTB: There was an opportunity for everyone benefit from different booking, but I’m sure many were happy to see the Rock simply put “boots to asses.” I was a little surprised that the returning Mick Foley and Kevin Nash weren’t involved in any way but I’m sure we’ll be getting more of them tonight. I have no idea what we’ll be getting from Jonah Hill.
Brian: I can’t see where you would insert either of those guys and have it make sense. I’m pretty sure we’ll see a Nash/HHH match at TLC.
WWE Monday Night Raw returns tonight at 9PM on the USA Network and is sure to feature all the fallout from last night and more. Below is a complete run down of results from last night’s WWE Survivor Series. All photos courtesy of WWE.com
- John Cena & The Rock defeated The Miz & R-Truth
- The Big Show defeated World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry by disqualification
- C.M. Punk defeated Alberto Del Rio to become the new WWE Champion
- Team Barrett (Dolph Ziggler, Hunico & Jack Swagger with Survivors Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes) defeated Team Orton (Sin Cara, Mason Ryan, Kofi Kingston, Sheamus & Randy Orton) vs. in a 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Tag Team Match
- Divas Champion Beth Phoenix defeated Eve in a “Lumberjill Match”
- United States Champion Dolph Ziggler defeated John Morrison
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