Here are my final thoughts on Raw, SmackDown Live and NXT’s WWE Survivor Series 2019!
Inter-Brand Tag Team Battle Royal
Reactions: I gotta say this before anything else – The Forgotten Sons and Dolph Ziggler’s slick new gear must be commended. Looking good, fellas! Now let’s get onto the match itself – it was cool. SmackDown got the first win of the evening after a hot finish that saw Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode go to war with the Street Profits. The rest of this tag team battle royal was mildly entertaining thanks to some fun moments that were delivered throughout by Breezango, Heavy Machinery, and Imperium. This was a decent Kickoff Show opener.
Rating: 2 & a Half out of 5 Stars
Lio Rush (c) vs. Kalisto vs. Akira Tozawa (Triple Threat Match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
Reactions: NXT’S ON THE BOARD! And it all came thanks to an impressive performance (no surprise there) from Cruiserweight Champion Lio Rush. This was a solid three-way match between three athletes I was used to seeing put on great matches on 205 Live. The multi-man exchanges featured here resulted in some crazy moments, plus Kalisto and Akira Tozawa were more intense than they usually are for this matchup. With more time, it could have been something truly special. But the card for this event is pretty packed, so I can see why they didn’t let this match run too long. This was still a good title affair, though.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) (Raw Tag Team Champions) vs. The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (SmackDown Tag Team Champions) vs. The Undisputed ERA (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly) (NXT Tag Team Champions) (Brand Supremacy Triple Threat Tag Team Match)
Reactions: And what we got here was hands down the best Kickoff Show match of 2019! Now Raw finally got a W, which ties up all the brands on the scoreboard. I loved this triple threat tag-team match. The Viking Raiders powered through their rivals, The New Day used their raw power and speed to put down off the competition and The Undisputed ERA picked their spots carefully with their strikes/submissions.
While there were a few noticeable moments of communication here and there, most of the match flowed smoothly and allowed for some truly memorable moments. Watching Ivar and Big E pull off a cruiserweight exchange was pretty wild, plus the big splashes delivered to the outside and Ivar’s cartwheeling antics stood out even more. There was never a moment of slow action to speak of here, which helped this match move at a fast pace and keep the crowd enthralled all the way through. The Viking Raiders pulled off the win in a very cool way with their signature finish to cap off this awesome Kickoff Show contest.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Team Raw (Charlotte Flair, Natalya, Asuka, Kairi Sane and Sarah Logan) vs. Team SmackDown (Sasha Banks, Carmella, Dana Brooke, Lacey Evans and Nikki Cross) vs. Team NXT (Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae, Bianca Belair, Io Shirai and Toni Storm) (5-on-5-on-5 Women’s Survivor Series Triple Threat Elimination Match)
Reactions: Damn, this was long! That’s not a knock on the match as a whole, though – I actually quite enjoyed it. With 15 women in the ring, there was bound to be a few awkward spots here and there. The complete stoppage in the middle that saw Io Shirai and Candice LeRae get taken to the back killed the flow for a bit, but the match picked back up pretty quickly once that moment subsided.
The moments that saw three women pull off a pretty impressive maneuver with each other was cool, plus I popped big time once Asuka started running wild. The dissension between Charlotte Flair and Asuka was hilarious to see play out and Bianca Belair put on a great showing throughout. The finishing sequence that saw Sasha Banks forced to put up with Io and Candice while still having to take on Rhea ended things on a high note. This was better than expected, but still a bit rough in parts.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
AJ Styles (United States Champion) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Intercontinental Champion) vs. Roderick Strong (NXT North American Champion) (Brand Supremacy Triple Threat Match)
Reactions: We got another quality matchup here. This is the type of triple threat match you’d see on an ROH or NJPW PPV card. All three men bashed each other relentlessly and filled most of this match with intense action. Shinsuke Nakamura stood out as the clear MVP of this encounter as his kicks were more lethal than usual, plus he got a good majority of his offense in.
AJ Styles looked good as well, but Roderick Strong showed him up with his bevy of sick suplexes and backbreakers. The extra-long sleeper hold AJ locked in on Roderick was kind of a downer, though. I enjoyed watching AJ and Nakamura rekindle their feud during the final moments of this match the most. Kudos to Roderick for playing it smart and waiting for the perfect moment to slide in and steal AJ’s winning pinfall. This triple threat matchup was an enjoyable, hotly contested affair.
Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars
Adam Cole (c) vs. Pete Dunne (NXT Championship)
Reactions: This NXT Championship match was on the level of the great title defenses you usually see on a Saturday night NXT TakeOver. There was great selling from both guys, insane spots that are replay worthy, and a nice flow that never slowed to a snail’s pace. Pete Dunne did his best to break Adam Cole’s fingers, while Adam snuck in some big moves when Pete was least expecting it.
I lost my shit right along with the crowd during that Flip Piledriver to the ring apron and the one that Adam pulled out as a reversal in the ring. This match would be perfect as the main event on an NXT TakeOver, which tells you everything you need to know about its overall quality. Even after wrestling in some brutal matches the night before, these NXT stars delivered a match befitting of its superior WWE brand. We got a MOTY contender here!
Rating: 4 & a Half out of 5 Stars
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE Universal Championship)
Reactions: THOSE DAMN…RED…LIGHTS! WWE is quickly killing my interest in watching “The Fiend” wrestle cause of that insanely annoying red arena lighting they always put on for him. So yeah – even with that lame lighting setup, this easily surpassed Bray Wyatt’s previous bouts since rebooting his gimmick. And that doesn’t surprise me one bit since Daniel Brayn can damn near get a good match going with a wet paper bag.
Bray’s lack of selling wasn’t all that annoying this time around – Daniel actually laid in some stiff kicks and other nasty strikes that actually made the crowd believe that he could do the unthinkable. The hope spots that came from Daniel’s offensive string added some life to this longer than usual Bray squash match. I’m worried about who’s next up for Bray since I can’t see anyone else getting the type of good outing with “The Fiend” like Daniel did here.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Team Raw (Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens, Randy Orton and Ricochet) vs. Team SmackDown (Roman Reigns, Mustafa Ali, Braun Strowman, King Corbin and Shorty G) vs. Team NXT (Damian Priest, Matt Riddle, Keith Lee, Tommaso Ciampa, and WALTER) (5-on-5-on-5 Men’s Survivor Series Triple Threat Elimination Match)
Reactions: I’m not the only one that feels some type of way about WALTER getting eliminated first, right? That was just all types of wrong, bruh. Besides that puzzling moment, this traditional Survivor Series match was friggin’ amazing! The Chicago crowd was loud and appreciative of every big move and storyline advancing moment that took place during this classic contest.
There were shocking eliminations, surprise finishers being dished out, plenty of madness transpiring out the ring and a whole hell of a lot of high-flying action to boot. Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Tommaso Ciampa, and Keith Lee stood tall as this match’s MVP’s, but the rest of the field was just as energetic and entertaining. The last 15 minutes or so was full of heart-stopping moments, especially the strongman struggle put on between Roman and Keith. What. A. Damn. MATCH!
Rating: 4 & a Half out of 5 Stars
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Rey Mysterio (No Holds Barred, No Disqualification Match for the WWE Championship)
Reactions: This was lowkey one of the more entertaining handicap matches I’ve ever seen. It didn’t start off that way, though – Brock Lesnar was expectedly manhandling Rey Mysterio and treating him like a bothersome insect. We got our usual Suplex City torture segment with Brock and some brutal shots to Rey on the announce table, too.
Once Rey’s son Dominique came running out and lent his father some help, this match turned into a pretty wild 2-on-1 brawl. For a split second there, I really thought Rey had it in him to beat Brock with his son’s aid. This WWE Championship match was short, sweet and straight to the point with its simple story. This started off like every other Brock title defense but quickly evolved into something a bit more worthwhile near its conclusion.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Becky Lynch (Raw) vs. Bayley (SmackDown) vs. Shayna Baszler (NXT) (Brand Supremacy Triple Threat Match)
Reactions: This had no business being in the main event. It just didn’t have anything going for it, honestly – Bayley’s offense was sleep-inducing and the other two participants didn’t do enough to add any life to it. There weren’t any crowd popping or unique multi-women spots to go crazy for and the match’s uninteresting action made it seem longer than it actually was. Even the announce table spot with Shayna Baszelr slamming Becky Lynch into the table was kinda lame. This match ended a show that was damn near flawless on a sour note. Becky’s post-match assault on Baszley didn’t come off well since it just made Becky look like a sore loser. What a disappointment…
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Match of the Night
Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown vs. Team NXT (Men’s)!
This year’s Survivor Series easily takes top honors when it comes to best PPV of the year consideration. The inclusion of WWE’s third brand easily puts this show above last year’s installment and gave the hot Chicago crowd a reason to cheer excitedly through the entire evening…right up until the lame main event. I was actually looking forward to seeing Becky Lynch, Bayley and Shayna Baszler prove their worth on a major show once again, especially since they got to close the show.
But their slow and plodding matchup ended an otherwise amazing event in the worst way possible. Ignore the main event and check out everything else that took place on this quality show, especially the NXT Championship match and the men’s version of the Survivor Series Elimination match. WWE Survivor Series 2019 was definitely worth the price of admission. It’s just too bad that the main event couldn’t hold a candle to the rest of the show’s awesome bouts.
Final Score: 4 out of 5 Stars