Powell's WWE Survivor Series Hitlist: Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns interrupt the C.M. Punk vs. Ryback vs. John Cena main event, Big Show vs. Sheamus, two Survivor Series elimination matches

Posted in: Powell Editorials, MUST-READ LISTING
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:40 AM

By Jason Powell

Dot Net Members were told in the November 1 Dot Net Weekly audio show that NXT call ups were planned before the end of 2012. They are currently listening to the 87-minute audio review of WWE Survivor Series that Chris Shore and I recorded on Sunday night. They will also be listening to my audio review of WWE Raw after the show tonight. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.

WWE Survivor Series Hits

C.M. Punk vs. Ryback vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship: A good outing for Ryback. The Triple Threat format allowed him to spend some time at ringside so he was never in there longer than he needed to be. The timing of three-way matches can be tricky with all of the pinfall breakups by the third man, and Ryback held up his end of that. The match definitely benefitted from the outside interference at least from my point of view. After all, I think everyone and their brother predicted that Ryback would take out Cena with Shellshocked and then Punk would steal the pin somehow. Thus, had it not been for the NXT attacks, everything about it would have felt predictable. I was surprised to see Cena sell Shellshocked as long as he did considering all the time it took for the NXT attack on Ryback. Now that Punk has made it to Day 365 in his title reign, can we please debut the new belt tonight?

NXT debuts: In addition to helping the main event from a hardcore fan perspective, it also breathes some new life into WWE. I don't think this finish played well with casual viewers who aren't familiar with Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns. Granted, Michael Cole identified each wrestler by name, but it's not like casual viewers are watching NXT on Hulu Plus every week. The live crowd was clearly confused and disappointed. They didn't have the benefit of the live commentary, so to many of them it appeared as though three security guard types hit the ring and attacked Ryback. Fortunately, Ambrose is a hell of a talker, and he should be able to get under the skin of casual viewers right out of the gate if he gets mic time.

Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Justin Gabriel, Tyson Kidd, and Brodus Clay vs. Tensai, The Prime Time Players, Primo, and Epico: A good unadvertised opener. I was pleasantly surprised to see the heavyweights eliminated quickly even though Clay seemed to be the most over guy in the match. Brodus appears to be dropping weight and hopefully he will get a chance to move away from this one note gimmick. The rest of the babyface wrestlers delivered a high energy opener that was filled with crowd pleasing high spots and got the show off to a good start.

Big Show vs. Sheamus for the World Hvt. Championship: This wasn't as hot as their Hell in a Cell match, but I still enjoyed it. This is the Sheamus character I want to see. He took a beating from Show early and worked himself into an intense frenzy by the time he went for the Brogue Kick. I would like to see him show that side of his persona on the mic more often. The happy go lucky Sheamus character is a likable guy, but this Sheamus is money. The chair attack afterward clearly sets up a Chair Match at the TLC pay-per-view.

Team Ziggler vs. Team Foley: The Survivor Series matches always have that moment when I remember that while the match looked pretty good on paper, the matches are inconsequential. I didn't like the way both teams were bickering going into the match. There could have been a story to tell there if one team was bickering and the other appeared united, but this was just a bunch of petty bitching that didn't make anyone look good. The match held my interest and the outcome was a nice surprise. I want to believe this was a big turning point for Ziggler. The problem is that we just saw him lose to Orton in three minutes on Raw and countless times before that. They rushed their way out of the match so it didn't feel like a huge moment. The key to this is the followup. Ziggler has to be protected. A loss to Orton or anyone else in the near future will make this finish as forgettable as it is in retrospect that Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes beat Orton in the Survivor Series match last year.

Eve vs. Kaitlyn: A better than average Divas match. Eve worked really hard and took some tough bumps while selling for Kaitlyn down the stretch. The finish with Eve using the ring apron to trip up Kaitlyn was creative. The problem with the Divas continues to be that Eve is the only one with an actual character.

Overall show: The NXT trio debuting brought the show up from a C-plus to a solid B grade for me. It may have had the reverse effect on casual viewers, but it left me feeling good about my pay-per-view purchase and excited about what comes next. One can only assume that the trio are tied to Brad Maddox for now, and we will probably find out later that Paul Heyman and/or C.M. Punk are pulling the strings. I understand the reader concern that these guys will be fed to Ryback. It's a fair concern and while that could happen over time, they seem to be in a pretty good spot, perhaps even in a faction with Punk.

WWE Survivor Series Misses

Antonio Cesaro vs. R-Truth: Zzzzzz. I didn't have much interest in this match coming into the show and I lost whatever I had when they did the Little Jimmy backstage segment. For every 25 Little Jimmy jokes they tell, it seems like one of them get a laugh out of the live crowds. The rest are greeted with the same silence that this match generated. Meanwhile, Cesaro's character isn't going to click with the cliche material he's delivering on the mic. Cesaro is a talented guy and he's capable of so much more than we've been seeing.

A.J. and Vickie Guerrero: Painful photoshop jokes. Was I the only person who expected the comedy to improve when Brian Gewritz was sent home? In fairness to Gewirtz, he's delivered some Grade A moments via The Rock's promos and elsewhere, but he definitely had his share of "Vince is the only one laughing" moments. The comedy we've seen in these A.J. and Vickie segments is beyond bad and it's even more painful to suffer through these skits on a pay-per-view. Here's hoping the Tamina attack is WWE's way of shifting A.J. into the ring and away from the dead on arrival Vickie Guerrero accusations story. Granted, I feel A.J. is most valuable as a mentally unstable, vindictive heel personality, but I'll settle for anything that puts a stop to Vickie's weekly evidence reveals.

© Copyright 2012 by PROWRESTLING.NET