Last night I attended Survivor Series at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. I have been to dozens and dozens of wrestling shows from small VFW halls to multiple stadiums for Wrestlemania. With that said Survivor Series 2017 is one of the most fun wrestling shows I have attended.
One of the most fun aspects of the show was the fact the whole show was full of Raw vs Smackdown matches. There are many wrestlers who are very popular with the crowd but there is also a bit of brand loyalty. There were many dueling chants of “Let’s go Raw” “Let’s go Smackdown” that added a very fun element of the show that not many other shows have.
Whenever me and friends made it to the show the pre-show was halfway over. We missed Elias vs Matt Hardy and Enzo Amore retaining the Cruiserweight title against Kalisto. However, if one does not care about those matches does one really miss them? We heard Amore’s music as my friends headed for a smoke break. As we went to our seats we could hear Kevin Owens on the mic and then Fashion Police’s music. When we got to our seats we saw a majority of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs The Fashion Police (Tyler Breeze and Fandango). This was a decent match. The Fashion Police got some offense in but they were no match for the team of Owens and Zayn. I was happy see them win but it just seems strange that Owens and Zayn were a major part of the main event at the last Smackdown PPV but they were on the pre-show of the next major event.
When the main show started WWE decided to put on a match between two of WWE’s best trios in recent history, The New Day and The Shield. These two teams put on a really great match. The support for each team was split pretty even, except for when Roman Reigns was in the ring. Whenever Reigns was in the ring a majority of the crowd viciously booed him. It was surreal to see the fans take such a drastic turn whenever Ambrose and Rollins tagged Reigns in. This match was very back and forth with each team getting very riveting comebacks against each other. This long but great match was capped off with a super triple team powerbomb from The Shield that earned them the victory.
The next match was the Raw vs Smackdown Women’s elimination Survivor Series match. This match was pretty fun. The real highlight was seeing Nia Jax and Tamina in the ring with each other. Tamina seemed to finally get some credibility as she eliminated Bayley with a frog splash and Nia Jax via count-out. Jax is someone who seems to on her way big things so this was a surprise. There was a very strange moment when Naomi hit a move on Alicia Fox. It looked like Fox kicked out but she was eliminated. It was never announced so a lot of people were confused. It came down to Tamina and Natalya for Smackdown against Asuka for Raw. This was the best part of the match as Asuka really got to shine and eliminated both women to become the sole survivor for Raw giving them a 2-0 advantage.
Now that Smackdown was behind the next match had added importance. The Miz wrestled Baron Corbin in a match that my friends and I really looked forward too. The issue was that it did not seem that many other fan in the arena cared as much as we did. This match was okay but The Miz looked pretty weak in this match. Corbin defeated Miz pretty easily and picked up one a big win for both him and Smackdown.
After the weakest match I saw on the show The Uso took on Sheamus and Cesaro in a battle of two of the best tag teams in WWE. The match started off slow but these two ended up delivering the great tag team match that I hoped they would. It was a very heated match that included many superkicks from The Usos. My section loved that as we had our Bullet Club shirts on and proclaimed it a superkick party. The Usos ended up picking up the win and helped Smackdown tie it up at 2-2.
I was really looking forward to Alexa Bliss from Raw facing Charlotte from Smackdown but I have to say it was just there. These two women have had great years so far but this was not their best night. There was nothing wrong with it but not a whole lot happened. I wanted Bliss to win because she has had such a breakout year but I figured Charlotte would win, and she did. Considering her dad Ric Flair just had a near death experience and he was the subject of a recent ESPN 30 for 30 it makes sense that Flair’s daughter got the win.
With everything else already taking place that left only the two most anticipated matches. Once the graphic for Brock Lesnar vs AJ Styles was shown there was an energy that in the crowd that was unlike anything all night. Styles got a huge reaction but it was not to be outdone by Lesnar’s reaction. This was such an amazing match to see live. Styles and Lesnar delivered a great match that was unlike any Lesnar match in a long time. Styles getting offense in on Lesnar was great to see. Styles looked like such a threat to Lesnar that the crowd was on the edge of their seat as Styles had Lesnar in a submission. Styles seemed to be an actual threat to Lesnar as he wore him down but there are few that can truly beat Lesnar. When coming in with a springboard Styles was caught and given a F-5 for the win. This match was one the most exciting Lesnar matches in a while and Styles proved he is one of the best in the world with this performance.
Now that Raw had a tied it up 3-3 it was time for the men’s Raw vs Smackdown Survivor Series elimination match. It was great to be able to chant “You suck!” as Kurt Angle came out in his red, white, and blue singlet. While that entrance was fun the one that got a huge reaction was Triple H’s. The match itself was really interesting as there were many unique interactions. Shinsuke Nakamura had great interactions with everybody including Finn Bálor that elicited New Japan and NXT chants. Nakamura’s run was short-lived as he was the first one eliminated in the match. From there Bobby Roode was also eliminated but I did really enjoy his interactions with Triple H. After these eliminations Team Smackdown all got together to suplex Braun Strowman through the table. It was weird to see live as we saw Strowman laying on the ground for almost ten minutes. With Raw having the advantage Cena came in and delivered two AAs to Samoa Joe causing him to be eliminated. Shortly after Cena was eliminated by a Bálor double foot stomp and an Angle slam. Cena barely did anything in this match so it strange they even brought him back. There was a commercial on the show for his movie coming out in December so that must be the explanation. Orton eliminated Bálor with a RKO before getting eliminated when Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn came out to attack Shane McMahon.
Seeing Shane as the last hope for Smackdown was not encouraging for fans like me that were cheering for Smackdown. After Triple H turned his back on his teammate Kurt Angle, he helped Shane eliminate him. This was weird but when Triple H beat Shane, who he just helped, to earn him and Strowman the victory for Team Raw it was even more underwhelming. Thankfully the show ended with Strowman picking up Triple H and giving him a running powerslam to send the fans home happy. After the show went of the air Stephanie McMahon came out to console her husband but every time he got up he fell down in a comical fashion.
This show finished in under 4 hours which I was thankful for that considering I have had to sit through 6 hour Wrestlemanias live. Overall Survivor Series was a great show with a very fun dynamic. While there was nothing at stake the Raw vs Smackdown theme allowed for a fan dynamic you would not get on other shows. I am attending Smackdown Live as well on Tuesday so I will give my live perspective of that as well.