The art of professional wrestling is one of the most socially active mediums of entertainment across the world. Millions watch men and women grapple for championships, financial success, accolades, celebrity status, and supposed immortality within the squared circle. The Hype Train provides a glancing review of WWE’s dual-branded pay-per-view, Survivor Series, which pits RAW and SmackDown stars against each other for one night of the year. All aboard.

WWE Survivor Series 2017: Predictions and Thoughts

Prior to Survivor Series, we were gutted that the WWE changed so much, just for this one show, a show that doesn't offer anything of significance in the long-term. Changing champions, albeit with better champs in place (like AJ and Charlotte), has made the card at Survivor Series offer some delicious match-ups, but with so much red and blue smudge in-between.

We went for RAW to win most of the matches, all but the main event. Maybe The Usos might pick up a win, but on the whole they'll big RAW up, they always do.

WWE Survivor Series Notes:

Here we go. We'll do a short recap, and our thoughts for each match. Don't expect magic. WWE gave us last minute matches, we're given last-minute reactions.

Opening Match: The Shield vs. The New Day

This six-man tag team match was awfully slow in its first 10-15 minutes, and took forever to get going. We can't emphasise how slow the action was. Michael Cole and Booker T aggressively sold the 'Superman Punch!', which was followed up with a 'Roman Reigns' chant. Typical WWE.

The match picked up when Xavier Woods saved Kofi Kingston after he ate Rollins's knee and Ambrose's DDT. The Shield then went for a triple power-bomb, but Big E rolled Reigns out of the ring. It looked like the New Day might have won the match, but were so slow when attacking Reigns.

The New Day showed some great innovation, when Big E was set on Woods, with Kofi using both to hit a big splash, with Big E then splashing onto Ambrose as well.

The midnight hour was hit on both Ambrose and Rollins, before Reigns stopped the win... The pair then absorbed the crowds love, squared off again, brawled in the ring until it boiled down to The Shield against Kofi Kingston. They triple power-bombed Kofi from the top-rope, with Ambrose scoring the pin.

A 20 minute match that had two paces. Slow to start, and strong to finish. A good match, but we know who was winning.

RAW Women (Alicia Fox {c}, Nia Jax, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Asuka) vs. SmackDown Women (Becky Lynch {c}, Tamina, Carmella, Natalya, Naomi)

The worst backstage promo with the RAW Women proceeded 10 entrances, with absolutely no heat or reaction... But back to that segment, it was utterly terrible having Bayley nodding in approval at

The captain's for both brands started the match, with Becky and Fox started. Fox was screaming, Becky was selling. It was so annoying hearing the women for each team chant 'let's go Becky' and 'let's go Alicia'. Becky was eliminated almost instantly by Bayley, before Natalya soured the screen with her annoying habits in the ring, like stretching out every word said.

Bayley and Natalya brawled for a while. That's all that happened there. Carmella hit a super-kick before tagging in Tamina, who splashed Bayley from the top-rop for the pin. Sasha Banks then over-acted as if the world had ended after Bayley's eliminations.

Jax and Tamina then squared off, with the commentary stating that 'family' were meeting for the first time. Jax got the better of Tamina, bullying her. Lana saved Tamina from potential elimination, with Tamina hitting Jax with three super-kicks. To keep Jax strong, they had her lose via count-out.

Naomi and Fox then went at it. Nothing happened except for a small-package on Fox, which pinned her, with Naomi eliminated second after with the Banks Statement.

Asuka and Carmella were in the ring together, and guess what? Asuka killed her with a kick for the pin. Nattie was then in the Banks Statement after a stand-off, saved by Tamina. Sasha was then put in Nattie's sharp-shooter and tapped after Tamina hit a sharp-shooter.

Asuka then predictably beat both Nattie and Tamina for the win. It was a nothing match with no good in-ring action, which is what we already expect with the women involved (bar Asuka, who has potential at least).

Order of Eliminations:

Bayley pinned Becky Lynch (5-4)

Tamina pinned Bayley (4-4)

Nia Jax eliminated via count-out (3-4)

Naomi pinned Alicia Fox (2-4)

Sasha Banks submitted Naomi (2-3)

Asuka pinned Carmella (2-2)

Natalya submitted Sasha Banks (1-2)

Asuka pinned Natalya (1-1)

Asuka pinned Tamina (1-0)

The Miz vs. Baron Corbin

Stephanie McMahon and Daniel Bryan went back and forth over something that doesn't matter - the fact that Survivor Series matters.

It made sense that Maryse appeared after all that Corbin has been saying about the Miz, which is the most notable thing to happen in the match. It sucked, and Corbin won with the end of days. End of for the end of days tonight.

(At least the finish got a huge pop)

After the match Corbin cut a monster-heel promo with Renee Young, before leaving. At this point the commentary team don't care, all they care about is the 'score', with RAW leading 2-1.

The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro) vs. The Usos

Great tag team work from two teams who are hot property in the WWE currently, really brought the crowd to their feet in sizable portions of the match. Lots of ‘This is Awesome’ chants, and the crowd weren’t wrong. Either team had claim to be the better team, selling their moves well, but the Usos were next level against The Bar. An intense ending to the match saw Smackdown draw level with Raw, and deservedly so. Currently, this encounter was match of the night so far.

RAW 2-2 Smackdown

Alexa Bliss vs. Charlotte Flair

Huge pops for both the Women’s champions of respective brands, which made sense about giving the belt to Charlotte to ensure they could have a down and dirty fight between both women who have held both RAW and Smackdown Championships. Once again to put Charlotte in the face position was feigning an injury, which is a popular tactic with the creative team, this ploy was there to give Bliss the cutting edge and slow down the match. After a competitive bout, albeit a very long contest, the winner was Charlotte to give Smackdown the lead after a bone crushing Figure-8. Quite frankly we were surprised that Smackdown had any points on the board at this point in the show.

RAW 2-3 Smackdown

Brock Lesner vs. AJ Styles

One line from Booker T made us embrace this match: “He don’t want no water, he just wants the meat!” The story from the beginning of the match was hardcore brutalisation, and for most the match AJ was legitimately victimised by Lesnar. Thrown around like a ragdoll the size disparity was evident, and AJ couldn’t cope with Lesnar’s intensity, it wasn’t even a fair fight. Eventually AJ got into the match and countered perfectly, and the pop of the night was when AJ had him in the calf-crusher after reversing an F5. The crowd were moved out of their seats in the last few minutes of this incredible match, AJ nearly had Lesnar pinned after a Rocky style performance, but in typical AJ fashion he had the Phenomenal Forearm reversed, and turned into an F5 for Lesnar to pick up the win.

Expectedly RAW tied Smackdown, but the match which had no expectations turned out to be the best of Survivor Series. A much better match than Lesnar vs. Mahal would have been, and WWE’s gamble to put the belt on AJ Styles paid off.

RAW 3-3 Smackdown

Team RAW (Kurt Angle, Triple H, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman) vs. Team SmackDown (Shane McMahon, Bobby Roode, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, John Cena)

The promo package introducing this match was too long. Considering it was shown twice during the show, nearly fifteen minutes of a four-hour event were dedicated to selling the forced agenda. Kurt Angle started off proceedings looking like a wounded gazelle with his whole leg bandaged up, and after all the entrances were made it was clear that the building was firmly behind Team RAW. Bobby Roode has fitted in perfectly in the main event, as does Samoa Joe, and we don’t need to mention Kurt Angle rounding up the former TNA stars in this ten-man match.

Here are the key points of a ridiculously long match:

  1. Braun Strowman dominated from the beginning.

  2. Nakamura and Balor had an amazing mini-match in the match, a nod to their success in Japan. Chants of ‘NXT, NXT!’ would have pleased Triple H.

  3. Bobby Roode went over like a storm when he faced off against Triple H. Really cemented his place on the WWE roster.

  4. Braun Strowman eliminated two men in quick succession, Nakamura and Roode.

  5. John Cena applied his lethal jobbing method to eliminate Samoa Joe.

  6. Kurt Angle made a CLEAN pin on John Cena.

  7. Braun Strowman then eliminated Randy Orton, leaving Shane McMahon as the lone survivor against Strowman, Triple H, and Kurt Angle.

  8. Triple H betrayed Kurt Angle to eliminate Kurt Angle, building tension with him and Braun Strowman. The King of Kings was protecting Shane McMahon before winning it all for himself. The Game did this all for the glory, for himself, and his ego.

  9. Braun Strowman then manhandled Triple H with a fiery message of intent, and then hit the Game with repeated powerslams to walk away the big winner from Survivor Series.

In summary, the final match of the night proved CM Punk was right all along…it was about Vince McMahons airhead daughter, and doofus son-in-law.

RAW 4-3 Smackdown

Order of Eliminations:

Braun Strowman pinned Shinsuke Nakamura (5-4)

Braun Strowman pinned Bobby Roode (5-3)

John Cena pinned Samoa Joe (4-3)

Kurt Angle pinned John Cena (4-2)

Randy Orton pinned Finn Balor (3-2)

Braun Strowman pinned Randy Orton (3-1)

Shane McMahon pinned Kurt Angle (2-1)

Triple H pinned Shane McMahon (2-0)

*Triple H and Braun Strowman are the sole survivors*

WWE Survivor Series: Overall Thoughts and Opinions

Survivor Series has showcased some very good in-ring entertainment, but was bogged down by a lot of what makes WWE a product with a glass ceiling. There was too much forced agendas and branding, which at times makes the very good talent in the ring look corny and second best.

Match of the night by far was the Brock Lesner and AJ Styles encounter, whilst the Tag Team Champions match, and the opening match with The Shield and The New Day, were very entertaining. Everything with the women was just kind of there, and was expected to be a low-caring affair.

This latest installment of the PPV followed suit from last year, not really keeping to the cannon of WWE's overall storyline. It is an event that sticks out like a sore thumb, and stands on its own merits, and tonight, we enjoyed the show the longer it went on.

As usual the pay-per-view went way too long, but the final hour and a half was well worth watching. RAW won all the 'important' matches, whilst SmackDown were victorious in the mid-card matches.

WWE SummerSlam 2017 Results: 19/11/2017

The Shield def. The New Day

Team RAW (Fox, Bayley, Asuka, Jax, Banks) def. Team SmackDown (Lynch, Tamina, Carmella, Natalya, Naomi)

Baron Corbin def. The Miz

The Usos def. The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro)

Charlotte def. Alexa Bliss

Brock Lesner vs. AJ Styles

Team RAW (Angle, Triple H, Samoa Joe, Balor, and Strowman) def. Team SmackDown (Shane McMahon, Nakamura, Roode, Cena, Orton)

Survivor Series: The Good:

  • The New Day: Their totem stack move, and double-midnight hour was ingenious, really held their own against The Shield. Shame about them losing, they walk away with their heads still held high.

  • Baron Corbin: Typical, brutish heel; but a brilliant showing of him beating the Miz.

  • Paul Heyman: The Walrus had a great promo belittling AJ Styles, it was classic Heyman mic work. Ramping up an event like a promoter should do.

  • White Ring Ropes: Rarely featured, but the classic white ring ropes made a return which was a nice touch.

  • Commentary Team: The setup of the commentary team was a great little nod to the brand split with Corey Graves placed as the neutral ground between the two commentary teams.

  • Brock Lesnar & AJ Styles: Match of the night belonged to the clash of champions between AJ and Brock. A dominant beast, and a Rocky-esque performance by AJ was insane. They stole the show and delivered a thrilling match you couldn’t stop watching.

  • ‘Free Agent’ John Cena: Sticking out like a sore thumb we love that John Cena came out without Smackdown merchandise in favour of his own, cementing his status as a free agent in the company. He couldn’t have picked a greener shirt to announce himself.

  • Nakamura Hype: The man of the hour for Team RAW vs. Team Smackdown was the Japanese king of strong-style. He received one of the best receptions at a PPV this entire year every time he entered the ring.

  • Braun Strowman: The best booked member of team RAW was the Monster of Men Braun Strowman who was a legitimate powerhouse in the whole match. Made three eliminations, wasn’t eliminated himself, and made Triple H bow to him at the end of the show.

Survivor Series: The Bad:

  • Forced Feeling: The opening of the show emphasised the ‘#UnderSeige’ angle, which has been a terribly forced agenda for the past month to sell this fake rivalry between the brands. Also, the line “The only night of the year when RAW and Smackdown superstars compete in one-on-one competition” is equally as irritating at this point; Michael Cole saying this as the first thing on the show made us feel as if the company didn’t know the concept of the show.

  • Recaps: There are too many recaps, it took until 13 minutes and 55 seconds until a match started. The shows are too long for this reason, among others.

  • Stakes: There is nothing on the line, so there is very little to get behind. These bragging rights are so, for forced. We understand that it is to help justify the brand split, but it doesn’t do it any justice if you don’t have your heart in it.

  • Shield Shirts: Terrible, not authentic Shield attire. These three are meant to be an independent unit that do what the Shield want to do, not what Stephanie McMahon wants to do.

  • McMahon Hour: The whole show was about the McMahon’s war with one another, and it was boring, too forced, too scripted. No legitimacy behind it. Triple H quite literally mocked everyone when he pinned Shane McMahon to put the Authority’s stamp on the current state of things in WWE.

  • Team Women’s Raw Segment: Stephanie hyping up the RAW’s Woman Team was cringe and embarrassing. That’s all we can say about it.

  • Booking: Survivor Series in many ways is a throw away event with the booking heading into the event bent to fit just one night of wrestling. Most long-term storylines are canned, and usual heel/face personas don’t mean anything.

  • Vintage Orton: Randy Keith Orton has been used in big main event matches a lot in 2017 without having justification for his place being at the top. In the elimination match it was more about Orton, Cena, and Shane; and not Roode and Nakamura who were the ones getting the crowd reactions. Meanwhile, Orton drew the lowest possible reaction from anyone the whole night which shows how far detached he is with modern fans.

MVP: Braun Strowman

The last man standing of the event was Braun Strowman, the Monster Among Men, and he rightfully walks tall after making three eliminations in the classic Survivor Series match, and then beating down on Triple H to punctuate his dominance to close the show. Braun looks even more unstoppable leaving the event, and we’re glad they didn’t botch Strowman’s booking. He made Triple H look inferior in a few minutes of being in the ring of him, and the whole affair between the two men was an entertaining face-off.

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