Here are my final thoughts on Raw and SmackDown Live’s Survivor Series 2020!
Dual Brand Battle Royal
Reactions: I’m so happy that Kalisto and Rey Mysterio gave us a tease of what they could do together for all of a minute. Book that match on ‘Mania next year, WWE! Anyways, this battle royal was actually halfway decent. Ricochet pulled off a dope sequence with Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin.
Dominik Mysterio really stepped his game up. And Chad Gable is back to his amateur wrestling gear and badass persona (thank God he got rid of that horrid high school basketball uniform shtick). Even The Miz got to shine here (I wasn’t too fond of John Morrison’s quick elimination, though). The last few moments between Gable and Mysterio were pretty good, plus I had no issue with The Miz winning. This was a fine battle royal.
Rating: 2 & a Half out of 5 Stars
Team Raw (AJ Styles, Keith Lee, Sheamus, Braun Strowman, and Riddle) vs. Team SmackDown (Kevin Owens, Jey Uso, King Corbin, Seth Rollins, and Otis) (Traditional Survivor Series Match)
Reactions: A clean sweep for Raw from the jump, huh? Happy to see them rebound after getting embarrassed on the previous Raw. While this wasn’t on par with last year’s excellent traditional men’s Survivor Series match (NXT is sorely missed this year…), I still got a kick out of watching it unfold. Everyone played a huge part in adding a lot of life to this multi-man affair.
Seth Rollins’ self-sacrifice, the big hoss showdowns, Jey Uso’s Superkick Party, and Kevin Owens’ stunning spree were the most noteworthy highlights. I was pretty shocked to see Team SmackDown get bodied so hard, but them’s the breaks. This was a fun serving of multi-man mayhem. I just wish it was a bit more competitive with eliminations on both sides.
Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars
The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) (Raw Tag Team Champions) vs. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) (SmackDown Tag Team Champions) (Champions vs. Champions Match)
Reactions: THAT CUSTOM NEW DAY GEARS 5 IS FLAMES! Make sure y’all go play with them boys when you get a chance. I also gotta show love to The Street Profits for their all-blue drip and super hype promo. The good vibes delivered by this bout were certainly through the roof. That comes as no surprise considering the plentiful servings of positivity these teams regularly produce.
So both of these teams ended up producing an exciting bout. While it may have started off with some brief moments of miscommunication, both duos finally got on the same page later on and kicked things up a notch. What made this match stand out was the extended time it received, which allowed The New Day and The Street Profits to go extra hard and put on an entertaining sprint. And hey, the right team won as well! Good stuff here.
Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars
Bobby Lashley (WWE United States Champion) vs. Sami Zayn (WWE Intercontinental Champion) (Champion vs. Champion Match)
Reactions: Eh…this was okay at best. The storyline surrounding it was pretty cool, though. Due to Sami Zayn constantly have to watch his back due to The Hurt Business sticking close to the ring, the IC Champion was clearly off his game. That factor definitely played into Bobby Lashley’s gameplan of pure domination, which played out fine throughout. This champion vs. champion contest was more storyline driven and more of a showcase for The Hurt Business’ cohesiveness. The match itself was just a time filler, to be honest.
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Asuka (Raw Women’s Champion) vs. Sasha Banks (SmackDown Women’s Champion) (Champion vs. Champion Match)
Reactions: While good, this meeting between Asuka and Sasha Banks fell a bit short when compared to their spring-summer series. This one really focused on back and forth counter sequences instead of the more impactful affairs both women are known for. There weren’t too many big moments to speak of here – it was pretty much a fast moving game of cat and mouse. This was quite easily the weakest matchup between the two, though. Asuka and Banks are incapable of having a bad match together, but they seemed to be holding back a bit here.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Team Raw (Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Lana, Lacey Evans, and Peyton Royce) vs. Team SmackDown (Bianca Belair, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Bayley, and Natalya) (Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match)
Reactions: The participants in this mach certainly tried their best to give us a great traditional women’s Survivor Series match tonight. But one too many slip up’s on behalf of this bout’s weaker competitors and a horrible ending kept it from achieving greatness. And what made it even more of a letdown was its entirely too long runtime.
The action seemed to go on forever and really didn’t get any better as time wore on. Peyton Royce and Bianca Belair came off looking the best here, while the rest of the pack didn’t really do much to make this any better. Nothing really came off looking smooth and concise here – a lot of the interactions on display here looked rushed and a bit too botchy. The less said about the sole survivor, the better. I wasn’t a fan of this one.
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Drew McIntyre (WWE Champion) vs. Roman Reigns (Universal Champion) (with Paul Heyman) (Champion vs. Champion Match)
Reactions: Compared to their lame duck ‘Mania 35 match, this heated encounter between Drew McIntyre and Roman Reigns was miles better. It may have taken a while to really get going. But once both men entered the second half of this main event, the action stayed constant. Both men looked to put their superiority on display with some big moves and slick reversals. Both men competed as equals and presented their meeting as a clash of the gods.
Once they took their assault to the ringside area, Roman went into beast mode and used two of his signature moves to incapacitate the WWE Champion. Even still, Drew kept holding on. Even the ref bump and interference played a part in adding to the intrigue this match built up during its duration. This was a great main event befitting of both brands’ top champions.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Match of the Night
Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns!
The build and hype for this year’s Survivor Series were definitely a step below last year’s tri-brand spectacular. But most of the actual in-ring performances were pretty damned good. The Kickoff Show battle royal, the men’s traditional Survivor Series match, the battle of the tag champs, and the main event were the standout bouts of the entire evening. Asuka/Banks was good, but felt like a step below their much better bouts from earlier this year.
The Lashley/Zayn match simply existed, while the women’s traditional Survivor Series match was a disappointing mess. Even with those obvious pitfalls, Survivor Series 2020 ended up being a pretty good show thanks to four worthwhile bouts and a legendary sendoff for The Undertaker. Seeing all those familiar faces come out to celebrate a proper farewell for a bonafide WWE Hall of Famer was the perfect way to close off this year’s Survivor Series.
Final Score: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars