Survivor Series 2010 Review

Since 1903, Major League Baseball has held a championship series that it’s known colloquially as “the Fall Classic.” For the last 24 years, World Wrestling Entertainment has held its own Fall Classic known as the Survivor Series. One of the WWE’s “Big Four” pay-per-views, it is the second oldest annual show on the WWE calendar and always a good show. This year’s Survivor Series was live from American Airlines Arena in Miami and featured a continuation of the Nexus invasion angle that has captivated wresting fans since the summer. Find out how well that angle and the rest of the show played out after the jump.

United States Title Match – Daniel Bryan defeats Ted DiBiase Jr.
Ted Senior had Virgil as his valet. Ted Junior has a gorgeous French-Canadian blonde by the name of Maryse. And that’s the only upgrade Junior has made over Senior. Meanwhile Bryan came out to Ride of the Valkyries which could become as synonymous with him as Also Sprach Zarathustra is with Ric Flair. One thing I noticed in this match that wasn’t evidenced during SummerSlam is that Bryan is really good at selling and made DiBiase look like a million bucks here (pun intended). He injured his shoulder during the match and favoured it the rest of the match. The match ended when Bryan went from being pinned straight into a Crossface submission (which he calls the LeBell Lock). This match won’t be a match of the year contender but beginning wrestlers should watch this match to learn something about selling and stiff offence. And it was definitely a great way to start the show.
Rating: 8.5/10

In between matches, The Miz came out and talked shit about the Miami Heat and LeBron James. Miz is a native of Cleveland and took the opportunity to compare the Heat to the Nexus saying they were both arrogant, despised by millions, overrated and mediocre. He compared LeBron to Wade Barrett saying that they both feel they’re entitled to a championship. He went on to say that the difference between the two is that Barrett might win a championship but LeBron never will. It might have been done to draw heat from the Miami fans but I bet everyone at home was cheering Miz after that speech.

John Morrison defeats Sheamus
Near as I and the commentary crew of Cole, Lawler and Striker could figure, Morrison got involved in Sheamus’ feud with Santino Marella. Credit Cole for basically admitting that this match was thrown together to pad the card. Despite being a filler match, this was fairly well done. There were a lot of impact moves and very little wasted movement or time. Every punch, pose and hold in this match felt like it had a purpose. The finish came with a counter-counter-finish as Morrison countered Sheamus’ counter with a kick to the head followed by a running knee. Not the showy finisher you’d expect nowadays but the impact made it believable. And this show goes two for two to start.
Rating: 8/10

Intercontinental Title Match – Dolph Ziggler defeats Kaval
Hey look! It’s Low Ki! Well, the WWE calls him Kaval but he’s still Low Ki. There was even a small “Low Ki” chant from the TNA and/or ROH faithful in attendance. Meanwhile, Dolph Ziggler was accompanied by his valet Vicky Guerrero. Yes, that Guerrero family. Good on the WWE for giving her a paycheck, at least. And it’s important to note that she draws a lot more heat from the crowd than her charge. This match moved at a reasonably quick pace with Kaval unsurprisingly doing most of the fast moving. I’m not sure that anyone else in WWE history has his speed. The pace slowed considerably when Zigler took charge of the offence and the crowd seemed to become mute. The finish came when Zigler rolled through on Kaval’s rollup attempt and grabbed the tights for the pin. This match seemed so different based on who was controlling the pace. The Low Ki parts were at least 9 but the Zigler parts were 5. Let’s split the difference on this one.
Rating: 7.5/10

Survivor Series Elimination Match – Team Mysterio (Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, Chris Masters, Big Show and MVP) defeats Team Del Rio (Alberto Del Rio, Tyler Reks, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger, and Cody Rhodes)
Interestingly, this is the only classic elimination match on the card. Vince McMahon had originally wanted to kill off the Survivor Series after 2009 but was convinced to give it another year’s run. Anyway, this match moved at a far slower pace than the last one. The team captains started surprisingly seeing as the heel thing to do would have been to start in and immediately tag out before any action. It was the heels that got the first fall as Del Rio tripped MVP as he was attempting a suplex and held his feet so he couldn’t kick out. The next fall came very quick as Del Rio countered a Masterlock attempt by Masters into an armbar submission for the second fall.

And this where things fall apart for Team Del Rio. The Big Show knocked Del Rio cold with a punch when Del Rio wasn’t the legal man so he was effectively out. Then Show got an actual elimination when he did the same to Rhodes. The pace slowed again as Show was isolated but eventually Kingston managed to kick Reks in the face while hanging in the tree of woe. His triumph would be short-lived as his Pele kick attempt was countered into a Swagger Ankle Lock to level the numbers at two. Then Swagger got dropped quickly with a 619 followed by a splash off Show’s shoulders. McIntyre was the last one left and was quickly bounced thanks to a combination of a 619 into a chokeslam. While Del Rio wasn’t technically legally eliminated, it was all over with Team Mysterio winning and Rey and Show being the two survivors. This match wasn’t the quality of the last three matches but it’s hard to book ten men into a match. Del Rio was the best part of this match and he wasn’t there for half of it. Not a sign of a stellar match.
Rating: 6/10

Divas Title Handicap Match – Natalya defeats Team Lay-Cool (Layla and Michelle McCool)
Fun fact of this match: Natalya is actually Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart’s daughter. Sadly, no Anvil sighting at this show though the champs made a reference to the Anvil’s trademark goatee stroke. Shockingly, Natalya tried grappling and chain wrestling which I’m not sure I’ve seen in a women’s title match ever. The match showcased Natalya’s power against Lay-Cool’s heelish double team tactics as they tried to ground her by focusing on her back. The finish came when Natalya foiled some double-teaming by running Layla and McCool into each other and locking McCool in the Sharpshooter for the submission win. It was short but it was definitely better than most of the recent women’s matches I’ve seen.
Rating: 6.5/10

World Heavyweight Title Match – Kane fights Edge to a draw
Hey look! It’s Paul Bearer! He came back with the Undertaker and turned his back on him to join forces with Kane. I’m pretty sure I saw this in the 90s. And Edge might have been tangentially involved in that somehow as a member of the Brood/Ministry of Darkness. Edge spent the match taunting Kane having kidnapped Paul Bearer previously on SmackDown, going so far as to bring an empty wheelchair to ringside, in order to goad him into a mistake. Meanwhile, Kane tried to beat the shit out of Edge. The match ended in a draw when Edge slid out of a Tombstone attempt and speared Edge but the two ended up with their arms on top of each other so the ref declared a draw. I don’t understand how the WWE can do a non-finish to a world title match at a big paper view. Sure, it’s not WrestleMania but a big stage like one of the traditional big four pay-per-views at least deserves a proper finish to a title match. It wasn’t a bad match but it was a bad finish.
Rating: 5.5/10

Tag Team Title Match – The Nexus (Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater) defeats Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov
Team Nexus came to the ring accompanied by the tonight’s non-wrestling members. Cole mentioned something about one guy laying down to swap who in the Nexus held the titles. It sort of surprises me that there wouldn’t be an application of the Freebird rule where any two members of the Nexus could defend the titles in a match. Then again, the last time I saw Santino, he was dressing in drag as his “twin sister.” Surprisingly the larger Kozlov played face in peril and kept the fans in the match from the apron. When Santino did come in, he was dispatched quickly thanks to a distraction by the Nexus. It was a quick little filler match to give everyone time to go to the washroom or concessions before the WWE title match. It wasn’t anything better than you’d see on TV.
Rating: 6/10

WWE Title Match – Randy Orton defeats Wade Barrett (with John Cena as Special Guest Referee)
All the pre-show hype was about this match as Cena had a sort of soliloquy about should he or shouldn’t he let Barrett win. If Barrett won, he was released from his obligation to the Nexus. If Barrett lost, Cena was fired. The pre-match video montage was also about Cena. Early on, the match changed momentum as Cena intervened to enforce what little rules this match had as it was no count outs and no disqualifications. However, the announce team took a while to remember that part. Barrett controlled the better part of this match by taking advantage of the no DQ rules. Gotta give credit to Striker, though, for calling a Barrett side slam a Boss Man Slam in reference to the Big Boss Man and a Black Hole Slam in reference to TNA’s Abyss. That won’t make Vince happy.The finish came when Barrett hit his finisher for a two count. He argued with Cena which prompted Cena to slug him and turn Barrett right into an RKO for the win. The match, again, wasn’t anything special. Most of it was dominated by the “free or fired” angle with Cena. You would be forgiven if you forgot that there was a WWE Title match going on in the background here.
Rating: 6/10

Well, this pay-per-view started out strong and slowed as the night wore on. The best match of the night was the US Title match that opened the show. When you average out the scores on the night, the show gets a 6.75 and I don’t think that’s too far off the mark. The heavyweight title matches were let down by the finish and the angle, respectively. Fortunately, the young guys looking to prove something went ahead and stole the show.
Event Rating: 6.5/10

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