In an alternate reality, tonight’s event could have been extremely different. If Seth Rollins didn’t get injured earlier this month, perhaps this year’s Survivor Series would have been much different for Roman Reigns. Tonight was his coronation onto the next level, but WWE’s plans for the future aren’t going to be so easy as just handing him the keys to the castle. He’s going to have to fight for those keys for a while.
Tonight, Goldust made a surprise return to WWE. Tyler Breeze got a really good win over Dolph Ziggler, and WWE continues to push Ryback and the Lucha Dragons. The New Day continues to rock despite not having a feud. WWE has cleared up the mess that Rollins’ injury caused, but now for better or worse, we’re on track with whatever WWE has planned for the future and last night’s Survivor Series was a night of great change. What changed? What moments of history did we witness?
Here are the top five moments from 2015’s Survivor Series:
5. Semifinals: Ambrose and Reigns Over Del Rio and Owens
WWE started off the night with Alberto Del Rio vs. Roman Reigns. That was a good call because it was more predictable than Ambrose vs. Owens. WWE was obviously trying to get Del Rio vs. Reigns out of the way, and then immediately throw Ambrose vs. Owens at us to make us think over the rest of the show about who is going to win. Unfortunately, this came off too predictable.
Both matches were solid, but neither match had that much tension. Reigns was obviously making the finals from the first match of the tournament, but I genuinely thought Owens had a chance to beat Ambrose. I understand why Ambrose vs. Reigns is the direction WWE wanted to go, but Owens vs. Reigns was classic face vs. heel. There is drama in that, and that match would have built Reigns and Owens together. Owens looked good, and Del Rio is still the United States Champion. They’ll be fine.
I just want to see Goldust vs. Owens now. I think that would be great for both men.
4. The Brothers of Destruction Win War Against The Wyatt Family
The 25th anniversary of The Undertaker created the perfect opportunity for The Deadman and Kane to put over the future dark characters for an entire generation of wrestling fans. Instead, we got a pretty good tag team match that frankly wasn’t nearly as interesting in the ring as it was on paper.
The match was totally fine. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, but maybe the expectations were far too high. This was a fun match, and it was good to see all these character interact. I’m just left a little dumbfounded because I don’t see where the Wyatt Family goes now. I was shocked The Undertaker didn’t put over the Wyatt Family. I thought the entire point of having Kane there was to be able to steal a victory and make Wyatt look unstoppable.
3. Charlotte Defeats Paige to Retain Divas Championship
This match was a pivotal victory for Charlotte. I’m a fan of Nikki Bella, but her storytelling in the ring isn’t up to the level of Charlotte. For NXT fans like myself, this was the type of match I got used to seeing her in every week. Paige is a master of dominating in the ring, and it takes a lot to beat her when the match quality is higher than it has been for several months.
Paige was able to breathe, and Charlotte had a good opponent to work with, especially after the way Raw’s promo mentioning Reid Fliehr went over this week in the build to the match. It was a good match that felt personal. I would never have let Charlotte beat Paige clean. I think this feud has legs, but I’d want Charlotte to have to earn that victory and challenge Paige for her spot. If this is “her house,” Charlotte should have to kick the door down and claim it over time, not in one night.
I’m just throwing this out there, Sasha Banks is undefeated on the main roster and defeated Paige like three times clean in singles matches. Why did Paige get the shot before Banks? Doesn’t make sense to me, but The Boss is next in line in my book.
2. Roman Reigns Wins WWE Championship Tournament
I can only come at this honestly. The main event was extremely disappointing. It didn’t feel like a WWE Championship match, which is a huge problem for me after almost a month of build up. The match was barely nine minutes long. Only the Breeze vs. Ziggler was shorter. That’s unacceptable. I know WWE didn’t have much time left, but they have to do better.
This whole tournament became too predictable from the opening segment three weeks ago. Reigns and Ambrose were the obvious choices for the finals, but WWE didn’t sacrifice a superstar in the entire bracket to make me believe that Reigns can lose. If WWE had sacrificed Ambrose in the first round or the second, I would have believed something unique could happen.
Instead, WWE went with Ambrose vs. Reigns because it was easy. Did they build it up for three weeks after Rollins’ injury to have brother vs. brother in a nine-minute match with no swerve whatsoever? That’s tremendously disappointing for me. I didn’t have any issues with Reigns winning, but he needed to feel like a champion. He wins tonight, but the second you heard “King of Kings” fill the arena, you knew what was coming next.
1. Sheamus Cashes in MITB to Become WWE Champion
Again, I don’t necessarily have a problem with Sheamus as the WWE Champion, but it was just so predictable that it’s tough to get excited about it. Reigns is obviously on the long-term build here. Sheamus will find a way to hold onto the title until WWE needs him to drop it to Reigns, Cena, or whoever they want to set up for WrestleMania. It’s a good plan, but I’m not the target audience for this story.
I’m a fan, but I’m not a Sheamus or a Roman Reigns guy. I’m not as emotionally invested in their characters. The Roman Reigns story to the top of the mountain will be two-year build by the time he has his biggest moment this April in Dallas. It’ll be a great story that I’ll appreciate greatly, but it isn’t going to be genuine and it isn’t going to have an impact on me if WWE continues to do the predictable.
Taker wins, Reigns wins, and two face teams wins the Survivor Series Elimination matches. The big swerve was the most obvious choice. Hopefully, this is just Survivor Series part one and Raw tonight has the next part. I’m expecting more than this.