Survivor Series 2018
Date: November 18, 2018
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Renee Young, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips
We’re finally here after what felt like the longest, most eventful two week build I’ve ever seen. The theme of the night is Raw vs. Smackdown and that likely means a lot of bantering between the commentators about the scoreboard and brand supremacy, which is all that matters around here. Let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Raw Tag Teams vs. Smackdown Tag Team
Raw: Bobby Roode/Chad Gable (captains), Revival, B-Team, Lucha House Party, Ascension
Smackdown: Usos (captains), New Day Colons, Good Brothers, Sanity
New Day handles the Smackdown introductions. Gable and Roode on the other hand promise a glorious victory. If one member of a team is eliminated, their partner is gone as well. Epico and Kalisto start things off with Kalisto tweaking his leg while flipping out of a belly to back suplex. Woods: “SWEEP THE LEG! SWEEP THE LEG!” The leg is fine enough to help Lince Dorado set up the planking splash for two and it’s off to Primo for the running crotch attack to the back of the head.
A blind tag brings in the Revival as Kalisto hurts his knee again, leaving Primo to walk into the Shatter Machine for the elimination at 3:09. It’s off to Karl Anderson vs. Curtis Axel as the fans are doing the Wave. Axel takes over with some stomps in the corner and a DDT gets two. Gallows gets in a cheap shot from the apron though and Anderson grabs a rollup to eliminate Revival at 5:00.
Next up is Killian Dain vs. Chad Gable with Chad not being able to suplex him. Instead it’s off to Eric Young, who walks into a neckbreaker from Roode. Gable adds a moonsault and that’s it for Sanity at 6:23. Big E. grabs an abdominal stretch on Konnor and throws in some spanking for good measure. Viktor has some better luck with a chinlock on Woods, with the hold lasting as long as you would expect. Woods drops him and lifts up Big E. for the splash and a pin at 8:48.
It’s Gran Metalik replacing the injured Kalisto (because he can) but he hands it off to Dorado, who has to escape the Magic Killer. A hurricanrana sends Anderson into (not through) the ropes, followed by a dive. Back in and Metalik’s rope walk Swanton gets rid of the Good Brothers at 10:55. The Usos finally get involved with Jimmy hitting Metalik in the mouth but getting moonsault pressed for two. Jey comes in and catches Lince in a nasty looking Samoan drop for the pin at 12:02.
So it’s the Revival/Gable/Roode vs. Usos/New Day. That means Dawson kicking away at Woods but getting missile dropkicked. Everyone else gets knocked to the floor and it’s Gable tagging himself in as Wilder is sent to the apron. A German suplex into a neckbreaker gets two on Big E. the Rock Bottom into a Backstabber gets two on Roode with Gable making a save.
Dawson suicide dives Woods and Kingston, followed by a series of dives to take out almost everyone. In your EGADS spot of the match, Gable German superplexes Jimmy off the top onto the pile. Back in and Gable’s moonsault is caught in the air, followed by Up Up Down Down for the pin at 18:43.
Woods’ tornado DDT falls apart so he settles for punching Wilder down, only to dive into the Shatter Machine for the pin at 19:54. It’s the Usos vs. the Revival with a Steiner Bulldog getting two on Jimmy. A PowerPlex gets the same and the Shatter Machine is broken up. Back to back superkicks drop the Revival and it’s the Superfly Splash (with the Roman Reigns tribute) for the win at 23:21.
Rating: D+. This got a lot better once it was down to the last few teams but my goodness the first two thirds or so was worthless. All it did was showcase how little these teams meant and how easy it is to get rid of them. This showed how meaningless the tag divisions are as this might as well have been Roode/Gable/Revival vs. Usos/New Day. If nothing else it would have been better and not wasted so much time in the beginning. The ending was pretty fun, but that rapid fire elimination with no flow to anything is annoying.
The opening video focuses on this being the ONLY NIGHT OF THE YEAR where Raw and Smackdown fight. They’re kidding with that being a serious line right?
Smackdown Women vs. Raw Women
Smackdown: Naomi (captain), Carmella, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Asuka
Raw: Bayley, Sasha Banks, Tamina, Nia Jax, Mickie James
So yes, they’ve actually changed out MORE names on this show, with Bayley and Banks taking the places of Natalya and Ruby Riott because those two can’t get along. When I said they would probably do that in the preview, I wasn’t serious. Are all these changes some kind of rib that I’m just not getting? I mean it’s not funny, so that likely makes it a WWE rib. Also Mandy is about as weak of a pick as you can get for the mystery partner, unless you can clone Tamina.
Naomi and Tamina start things off and the brawl breaks out in almost no time. Tamina is left alone to superkick Naomi out at 1:22 but Carmella rolls Tamina up to keep things tied at 1:33. And now, DANCE BREAK! Nia comes in (Cole: “Hashtag facebreaker!”) and gets kneed by Mandy and it’s off to Mickie for some forearms. A neckbreaker drops Mandy but she’s right back with an abdominal stretch. Asuka comes in for the showdown with Mickie, who grabs a headlock.
That just annoys Asuka who hits the hip attack and grabs something like an Octopus Hold. That’s broken up as well so it’s off to Sonya, who Cole thinks is the secret to the team. Mickie snapmares her down but Bayley tags herself in for the basement clothesline. Mickie is right back in but a blind tag lets Mandy hit a running knee for the pin at 7:37. Carmella moonwalks into a DDT on Bayley but spends too much time taunting Sasha, allowing Bayley to suplex her for the pin at 9:11.
It’s back to Mandy to hammer on Bayley in the corner until a missed clothesline allows the hot tag to Banks. The Bank Statement makes Mandy tap at 10:50, ending the run that Cole hyped up that wound up going nowhere. That leaves us with Sonya/Asuka vs. Nia/Sasha/Bayley and Sonya wraps Banks up in a bodyscissors. Banks slips out without much effort and brings in Bayley for the running knee in the corner.
Nia comes in but misses a charge into the post as the fans are very pleased to see her get hurt. Bayley gets two off a belly to back suplex to Sonya as Banks hits a Meteora off the apron to take Asuka down. Bayley and Deville fall to the floor and that’s a double countout at 15:27. Has Deville ever actually won a big match?
Anyway Asuka and Banks stare each other down on the floor before getting back inside with Asuka hitting a running dropkick. That lets her SHOW OFF THE SMACKDOWN SHIRT before sending Sasha flying with a German suplex. Nia is back up and gets hip attacked straight to the floor again. Banks fights back and hammers away before going up top, only to have Nia shove her off the top into the Asuka Lock for the tap at 19:35. Nia drops three legs on Asuka and hits the Samoan drop for the final pin at 20:24.
Rating: C. So obviously the story here is Nia…and I’m not sure how to think about that. I can certainly give them points for trying to put the major heat on her for injuring Becky, but do they really want to push someone based on their ability to legitimately injure someone? Also, since Raw and Smackdown ONLY FIGHT ONCE A YEAR, how can Becky get revenge before next year?
Apparently that puts Raw up 1-0, because the Kickoff Show match doesn’t count.
Stephanie McMahon, Baron Corbin, Paige and Shane McMahon do their annual bantering.
Shinsuke Nakamura (Smackdown) vs. Seth Rollins (Raw)
Rollins works on an armbar to start but Nakamura takes him to the rope for the head on his chest. An early Kinshasa misses and Rollins does a COME ON of his own. Rollins sends him outside and has a quick rest on the top rope. Nakamura gets Rollins to the apron but misses a high kick, allowing Rollins to hit a Fameasser to drop Nakamura face first onto the apron.
Nakamura is fine enough to hit a running knee to the face and Good Vibrations keeps Rollins in trouble. A double arm crank doesn’t get Nakamura anywhere so it’s back to the corner choke. This time Rollins grabs the foot and sends Nakamura face first into the middle buckle. Rollins dumps him out to the floor for the trio of suicide dives.
The top rope clothesline drops Nakamura but some kicks drop Rollins again. The reverse exploder is blocked and Rollins hits a superkick for two. Nakamura is right back with some more kicks to the head and a clothesline is countered into the triangle choke to put Rollins in real trouble.
That’s reversed into a buckle bomb but Nakamura wins a slugout and hits the Landslide for two. Rollins is right back up with the superplex into the Falcon Arrow and the Ripcord knee gets a rather close two. The frog splash misses and Nakamura hits the Kinshasa to the back of the head for an even nearer fall. Another Kinshasa is blocked with a superkick and the Stomp finishes Nakamura at 21:29.
Rating: B. I’m glad they got the time here but the fans waiting on Ambrose to run in didn’t do it any favors. The match itself was a good back and forth fight with both guys getting to hit their big stuff, but they never hit that next level that they needed to really make it work. It’s a good match, though I could go for Nakamura not losing clean when his title reign is already such a mess.
Raw 2, Smackdown 0
Braun Strowman doesn’t like any of his teammates, save for Finn Balor (Strowman to Lio Rush: “I don’t even know who you are.”). Drew McIntyre doesn’t care for this and calls Strowman a mindless meat castle, though he’s not sure what that means. Baron Corbin comes in and says chill while reminding Strowman that he can’t touch him. Strowman is cool with that and throws Rush at him, but here’s R-Truth to calm things down. Corbin tells Truth that he’s not on this team…and there’s no “my bad”.
AOP (Raw) vs. The Bar (Smackdown)
Drake Maverick and Big Show are here as thirds. Akam powers Sheamus around to start and the fans are distracted by something in the crowd. Cesaro comes in for a swing but it’s the side slam/middle rope stomp to put the Bar in trouble. The chinlock doesn’t stay on long so Akam lifts Cesaro up and throws him into a knee from Rezar. Sheamus gets drawn in so Cesaro can be held back in the corner in a smart move. Some uppercuts don’t get Cesaro anywhere as he gets clothesline for two.
The second chinlock works a bit better but this time Cesaro comes back up with the springboard spinning uppercut. That’s enough for the tag to Sheamus for the ten forearms to Rezar. The Brogue Kick gets two with Drake putting the foot on the ropes. Show grabs Maverick by the throat…and his pants are suddenly wet. That’s enough of a distraction for the suplex/powerbomb combination to finish Sheamus at 9:04.
Rating: C-. Just like the previous match, this could have been something fun but it never hit that level they could reach. AOP winning makes sense here on its own but I’m not exactly looking forward to Smackdown winning the next few matches with no drama. Not too bad, but the Maverick thing was more stupid than anything else.
Raw 3, Smackdown 0
Shane McMahon gives Team Smackdown a pep talk when R-Truth comes in to try and get on the Smackdown roster. Shane points out that he’s already in and says that’s a relief. Miz promises autographed Marine DVDs if the team wins and Truth is thrilled with the idea of getting a Becky Lynch autograph. Anyway Shane says we have to win so Stephanie can’t. There’s the important part you see.
We recap the Cruiserweight Title match. Buddy Murphy won the title at Super Show-Down in Australia and Mustafa Ali has been chasing the title for most of the year. Murphy doesn’t think much of the much smaller Ali but he’s ready to fight again.
Cruiserweight Title: Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy
Murphy is defending. Ali hits him in the face a few times but gets tossed into the corner. That just earns Murphy a hurricanrana to the floor, meaning it’s a big flip dive to take him down. Ali goes up top again but Murphy shoves him all the way into the barricade for a great looking crash.
Back in and Murphy hammers away at the head and we hit the chinlock. Ali fights up and hits a dropkick but the rolling X Factor is countered with a big toss to the floor. That means the running flip dive from Murphy but Ali is right back with a spinwheel kick to drop Murphy. Now a hanging DDT can connect for two on the champ but the 054 is countered with a shove off the top.
Murphy loads up the announcers’ table but Ali is right there with a Spanish Fly off the table to the floor. That gets a rather hearty 205 chant and Murphy keeps the fans’ interest with back to back powerbombs. Murphy’s Law is countered so Murphy knees him in the face, setting up Murphy’s Law to retain at 12:20.
Rating: B. This was the usually awesome Ali match but the loss took away so much of the energy they had built up. I’m really not sure what the point was in having Ali lose again here but that’s been the case for him every single time. It’s a shame that he’s stuck on 205 Live where no one gets to see how good he really is.
Daniel Bryan has nothing to say.
Lars Sullivan is coming. No brand is mentioned.
Raw Men vs. Smackdown Men
Raw: Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, Finn Balor, Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley
Smackdown: The Miz (captain), Samoa Joe, Shane McMahon, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio
Shane, the guy pushing the heck out of Brand Supremacy, isn’t in a Smackdown shirt. Strowman and Joe start but McIntyre tags himself in. The argument lets Joe grab the Clutch on McIntyre but he rolls out and hits the Claymore to get rid of Joe at 36 seconds. Hardy comes in next and gets dropped as well so it’s off to Ziggler. Shane comes in as well and armdrags Ziggler down, only to walk into a dropkick and Fameasser. The Zig Zag gets two with Miz making a save.
Miz comes in legally but can’t get the Figure Four on Ziggler. McIntyre tags himself in again and that means a brawl with Strowman. For some reason the Smackdown guys break it up and a 619 sends Strowman outside. Shane loads up the announcers’ table for the big elbow to drop Strowman and we cut to Stephanie and Paige watching in the back. Back in and McIntyre headbutts Miz but he won’t tag Balor.
Balor tags himself in and kicks McIntyre but gets rolled up for two. A kick to Miz’s head sets up the Coup de Grace but Miz bails to the floor. Balor Sling Blades Hardy on the floor and dropkicks Miz into the barricade. Rey comes in and the fast pace continues but he misses the 619. That earns him a Sling Blade and Balor shotgun dropkicks him into the corner. Another Coup de Grace misses and the 619 into the springboard splash gets rid of Balor at 12:06.
McIntyre throws Balor to the floor but Lashley breaks up the 619 with a big boot to Rey. The delayed vertical suplex is countered with some knees to the head and a DDT. It’s back to Ziggler but Rey brings in Hardy to punch him in the face. Hardy can’t hit the Twist of Fate but goes after McIntyre, allowing Ziggler to grab a DDT for two. Now the Twisting Stunner can connect and the Swanton hits raised knees. Miz comes in for the running corner clothesline to Ziggler and Shane adds Coast to Coast for the pin 18:10. Renee: “Shane is taking years off his career tonight alone!”
I’ll leave that one alone for how dumb it was and go to Lashley stomping Shane in the corner to make myself feel better. Lashley suplexes him into the corner for the tag to Miz, who avoids a charge to send Lashley into the corner. A second Coast to Coast is knocked out of the air by Strowman and Lashley gets two on Shane with Rey making the save. It’s off to Hardy vs. Strowman and the powerslam gets rid of Hardy at 20:46.
That leaves us with Strowman/Lashley/McIntyre vs. Shane/Mysterio/Miz but Strowman reverses the 619 into the powerslam for the pin at 21:22. Miz panics when Strowman is waiting on him and tells Shane to go get him. Strowman catches Miz instead and powerslams him for the pin at 22:37. Shane pulls himself to his feet and says bring it so Strowman dropkicks him into the corner for a splash. There’s the powerslam for the final pin at 24:01.
Rating: C+. This was more like it, assuming you ignore Smackdown being beaten like a drum all night. I was worried when Shane was the last man standing for Smackdown but at least they only went kind of crazy (sure Shane can outlast a bunch of World Champions). I’m sure there’s some kind of a point to having Raw crush them like this, though I’m almost scared to hear that explanation.
Post match Corbin jumps Strowman.
How to help with California wildfires.
Rollins is proud of his win and ready to hit an ice bath. Not so fast though as he’s told that he’ll be defending the Intercontinental Title against Dean Ambrose at TLC. Rollins is cool with that, because Ambrose won’t be able to hide.
We recap Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte. This was supposed to be Becky Lynch vs. Rousey but Nia Jax broke Lynch’s face so Charlotte is taking her place. This is pretty much a dream match and something that could headline some big pay per views.
Ronda Rousey (Raw) vs. Charlotte (Smackdown)
Rousey has some very striking red makeup around her eyes. Charlotte shoves her into the corner to start but has to fight out of the armbar. The Figure Eight doesn’t work either and it’s a standoff. Charlotte rocks her with a face first whip into the bottom buckle and it’s time to start in on the legs. An STF without a facelock has Rousey in trouble and Charlotte busts open the mouth with some elbows to the face.
Rousey fights up with an enziguri and chokes her over the top rope to put Charlotte in some trouble. Something like a triangle has Charlotte in trouble but she stacks it up for two. Now the regular triangle goes on, only to have Charlotte reverse it into a Boston crab. That’s reversed as well but Rousey can’t get the armbar. Instead Charlotte kicks her in the face out of the corner but the moonsault hits raised boots.
The spinning Samoan drop plants Charlotte, who pops up with a spear for two. Charlotte reverses another armbar attempt into the Figure Four but Rousey turns it over. They head outside with Rousey throwing her into the barricade and unloading with strikes back inside. Charlotte chops her right back and the big boot gets two.
The triangle is escaped again and the spinning Samoan drop (apparently the Piper’s Pit) looks to set up the armbar. That’s blocked as well and Charlotte bails but is smart enough to break the count. Rousey goes after her…and charges into a kendo stick shot for the DQ at 14:08. Cole: “A five star match unfolding here!” No Cole. Stop.
Rating: B. This was getting awesome at the end with neither of them being able to do anything to put the other away but they went with the cop out ending instead of anything concrete. I can go with that, but again it’s not like this is the match that people were dying to see at the time anyway. The ending is far from terrible as you don’t want either of them taking the clean loss and it sets up a rematch down the line, but I was hoping for something more definitive.
Raw 5, Smackdown 0
Post match Charlotte destroys her with the stick before grabbing a chair. The Natural Selection drives Rousey into the chair and Charlotte beats up the referees. Rousey’s neck gets Pillmanized, drawing a LOUD THANK YOU CHARLOTTE chant. Rousey gets helped out but the fans don’t seem to have much sympathy. The turn makes sense as Charlotte couldn’t beat Becky and couldn’t beat Rousey but still believes she’s the best in the world. Also, the best part of this: the reaction from the production guy when Charlotte bent over in front of him to get the chair.
We recap Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan. This was going to be AJ Styles vs. Lesnar II but Bryan turned heel and won the title on Tuesday, setting up a match we were going to get four years ago.
Brock Lesnar (Raw) vs. Daniel Bryan (Smackdown)
The fans want AJ. Bryan mocks Lesnar during his entrance but Lesnar doesn’t seem to notice. The bell rings and Bryan dropkicks the knee before bailing to the floor in a smart move. Lesnar finally goes after him so Bryan comes in and mocks him even more. He even does Lesnar’s bounce…and gets punched in the face. The first German suplex drops Bryan on the back of his head so Lesnar shouts SUPLEX CITY.
There’s a second one and Bryan’s elbow is cut open. The third German suplex and an overhead belly to belly makes it even worse as Bryan is kicked out to the floor. Back in and Bryan rolls outside as this is complete destruction. Brock tosses him into the barricade and grabs a bearhug back inside. Lesnar drops him and then hits another German suplex. Fans: “SAME OLD S***!”
The bearhug goes on again and there’s another belly to belly. The F5 connects and Lesnar pulls him up at two. Bryan gets in a kick to the head but another F5 hits the referee. That means a low blow and the running knee gives Bryan two. Bryan unloads with kicks and stomps at the head and Lesnar is rocked….but the running knee is countered into an F5. That’s countered as well and Bryan sends him outside.
Lesnar gets posted and there’s the running knee from the apron. Brock drives him into the post twice in a row but the steps hit the post. That means another running knee from Bryan and the real one gets two on Lesnar. A chop block takes Lesnar’s knee out and Bryan wraps it around the post. The missile dropkick as Lesnar in trouble as Bryan is a full on face all over again.
The running corner dropkicks stun Lesnar and another F5 is countered into the YES Lock as Brock’s knee gives out. Lesnar panics for a bit until he just grabs the hand for the break. Bryan blasts him in the face and gets the hold in again, followed by a triangle choke. That’s reversed into an F5 though and Bryan is done at 18:44.
Rating: A-. It was almost the exact same formula as AJ vs. Brock from last year but hey, we can’t have Lesnar lose a match that means absolutely nothing. It was nice to see Lesnar selling for a change and it was an awesome match, but I can’t help laughing at Smackdown getting shut out. I also have no idea why the heel turn needed to happen as Bryan was a full on face here, save for the low blow. Great match with Bryan wrestling smart but not being able to pull it off, because Lesnar is going to Lesnar.
Raw 6, Smackdown 0.
Overall Rating: B+. I don’t know what to think of this show but egads that final score is either a rib or WWE finally doing what they’ve wanted to do for years now. The main event is very fun and might even be better than the AJ match from last year. Otherwise you get some good matches, but the announcers telling you that a lot of them didn’t matter might not have been the best way to sell them. They set up a few things going forward and the wrestling was entertaining, but the Brand Supremacy thing was even more of a waste of time than usual. Still though, very solid show and it flew by instead of crawling for a change.
Raw Women b. Smackdown Women – Samoan drop to Asuka
Seth Rollins b. Shinsuke Nakamura – Stomp
AOP b. The Bar – Powerbomb/suplex combination to Sheamus
Buddy Murphy b. Mustafa Ali – Murphy’s Law
Raw Men b. Smackdown Men – Powerslam to McMahon
Ronda Rousey b. Charlotte via DQ when Charlotte used a kendo stick
Brock Lesnar b. Daniel Bryan – F5
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