Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the only reviews that taste better the next day, Cewsh Reviews! We have a special treat for you to tonight, as we tackle one the oldest and most venerable active shows in existence with WWE Survivor Series 2012. Despite this pay per view having some rough times in the past few years, it has sort of become the show that gives you the first hints of what you’re likely to see come Wrestlemania season. WWE is starting to move the right pieces into place for the biggest push of their lives, and if we can take the build to this show to be representative of that, then Wrestlemania will be renamed RYBACKAMANIA any day now. And it is here that Ryback will get his second chance at the greatest prize in wrestling, as he goes head to head with the two biggest stars in WWE in a triple threat match that could well have era spanning ramifications. Add on to that some good ol’ fashioned elimination matches and literally the biggest test of Sheamus’ career, and we may just have ourselves a show.
MichaelC: I love Survivor Series. People claim that in the modern world it is an outdated concept, as we get to see people face off every week. Boo hiss to these people. No matter how advanced the art of pro-wrestling gets, there is always time for a 20 minute show case which puts over several people at once. Plus, I guarantee you the 2011 match was the only time we ever see a Hunico/Randy Orton pairing. What we have are Wars of Attrition with teams wearing each other down, and the number of ways you can book a 5 on 5 elimination is almost endless. Sometimes a good match is just a good match.
MichaelC: An extra Survivor match you say? Wonderful. Brodus comes out still looking like a surefire bet for the 2013 WWE deadpool. Thats a gimmick with a limited shelf life. Gabriel and Kidd are two talented youngsters that it is nice to see get a run out on PPV, and I’ve mentioned the Rey/Cara partnership before in Cewsh Reviews.
Bar the big guy, who I have to admit is fairly popular, and this is a hell of a team, despite my Rey Mysterio misgivings.
They’d have to put together a fine team to go against it.
Cewsh: I wish I could be sure if you were being sarcastic.
MichaelC: Ah, Tensai. How sad. I was so happy when he returned, as I liked Albert, and knew how improved he’d gotten in Japan. Saddled by a bad gimmick which fails to harness anything the former Giant Bernard can do very well and comme ce comme ca booking, and they’ve just about managed to blow one of the finest prospect returns in some time. I don’t want to say permanently destroyed, because I have seen the WWE pick their big men up from the event horizon before, (hi Mark Henry,) but its really not looking good, which is a terrible shame. General Primo and Epico are on his team, accompanied by Rosa Mendes, rapidly becoming our generation’s Tony Garea. And finally The Prime Time Players, who are utterly awesome in all the aspects of wrestling which don’t involve getting in the ring.
Cewsh: I think Gillberg had more wins than the combined efforts of the heel team here. More credibility too.
– Tyson Kidd seems to sell everything like it hurts like hell, even his own offence. He’s like the anti-Ken Shamrock.
– Six of the men in this match seem like ones who could get over with enough support, three are over, and the other is Tensai. As a result, this makes for an exciting match. The crowd gets louder when Rey is in there, but there are hints they want a reason to cheer for Kidd and Gabriel louder (eg. whenever the kicks or flippy moves hit).
– Titus O’Neill is in to make it a win, but before any sleeping kittens can shudder, he tags back out for General Primo. And the crowd really want Sin Cara to make the tag, and he finally gets Brodus in for our big man showdown.
– I should point out that for all his gimmick woes, JBL is doing his damndest to put Tensai over on the commentary as a monster of a man who honed his skills overseas. A commentator like a JBL really adds something to the show, I feel, getting the wrestlers over as much as they get themselves over.
– Titus is doing much better in the ring than he did in NXT, but in NXT he was awful, and now he’s Mean Street Posse level.
– So both the big men are gone (though Tensai whacks Gabriel with a nasty clothesline before going) and we’re down to the four tag teams. Well, if one has a division to revitalize…
– You know, these two teams Primo/Epico and Gabriel/Kidd remind me of early 1999, when I watched some tag matches on one of the Saturday shows (Shotgun or Metal I think it was back then) which had some very talented people but were rather heatless. Too Much vs Jeff and Matt Hardy, I believe they were. What I’m trying to say is that both teams strike me as having oodles of potential, but need that breakthrough moment that connects them with the fans. I genuinely think in those four, and the Usos, WWE have six fine tag teams they could do wonders with if they wanted to.
– I know Cewsh likes to bring up the fact that it takes a lot of effort to bring up a division that might not work over all. However, I’d like to counter that by suggesting that they have been putting effort into building up their tag division since at least June when they formed the Prime Time Players and put tag matches on PPV regularly. The POP when Tyson Kidd finally puts away Titus O’Neill here suggests they have something on their hands if they keep at it.
– Speaking of which, Titus’s elimination was lovely. He straddled the top rope on a missed big boot, was dazed by an ENZIGURRRRRIIIIII (god bless Owen Hart) on the apron, then Kidd flipped into the ring and caught Titus with a modified Rolling Prawn Hold (which isn’t a pinning combination we see often these days) for three, and the crowd love it.
– Titus did well for the limited time he was in. Keep him simple and limited and let him grow.
– Then comes a moment I love, as the heels all go for Tyson Kidd and beat him down, and as hes looking for the hot tag, Epico misses a move and Kidd just manages to counter into the Sharpshooter, to which Epico has to submit immediately. That moment put over Kidd’s ability to think on his feet, and his will to win (and the devastating nature of the hold) better than an entire half-year of being tag champion in 2010 did.
Kidd is still in lots of trouble though, even if he did momentarily make it much better odds for his team.
Primo’s missile dropkick is met with a mutual dropkick, however (crowd: OOOH!) and Tyson slowly crawls over to make the hot tag duly deserved. And I can’t help but feel slightly we’ll look back at this match in years to come and think: “Remember when we started having proper inklings Tyson Kidd could be a star?”
– Michael Cole refers to Primo as the General of his team. As Rey Mysterio pins him off an inverted cradle, I can’t help but feel I’d rather follow General Custer…
– So its down to Darren Young vs Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd, and this goes just as well as you might think. The Rey/Sin Cara team swiftly see that man off to the back.
There was a nice subplot to this match, where it seemed for long periods Team Heel were occupied on keeping the less experienced Kidd and Gabriel in the ring, and to keep the fiery veteran Rey out. Even on doing so, they individually took their eye off the ball once too many times, and it allowed shock eliminations. And then, when Rey got in at the end, it was swiftly over. Then you have Captain Rey standing shoulder to shoulder with his young friends who gave it all for their team. There’s a nice story to the match which raises it from “stick a bunch of folk together at the last minute”.
In a way, this wasn’t a showcase of Rey and Sin Cara.
It was taken that the audience knew how great they were. It was to tell us Kidd and Gabriel were worthy equals. A 20 minute match where everyone in it came out looking better (bar Brodus) than they did coming in? I’d gladly take that kind of event on every PPV.
Cewsh: Ordinarily, I would follow along with the match relating the things that are going on and updating you on who got eliminated and how. But first of all, this show is like 3 months old, so I don’t think play by play is really necessary since you know full well what went down, and second of all this match really doesn’t warrant that much attention. Essentially, this was an extended squash match, that saw they team of high flyers relentlessly beat up the jobbing dream team. It was basically the Harlem Globetrotters against the Washington Generals, with the only deviation from that being the part where Tensai pinned Brodus Clay. Which was noteworthy mostly because in order to do it, Tensai had to survive Clay’s accidental attempt to maim him.
Having a match like this for midcarders to show off their skills and get some attention is great. And this match, while not really worthy of a lot of thought or analysis, was a perfectly enjoyable way to kick off a show where much more important things are bound to happen in more interesting ways.
73 out of 100
Cewsh: Well no, that’s not actually why. But I would rave about a storyline that addressed the fact that no woman that isn’t married to a Hall of Famer gets to have a goddamn last name at this point. No, Aksana attacks Kaitlyn because Eve has theoretically hired her to take Kaitlyn out or something like that. They revealed it dramatically on television and then just kind of forgot that it had happened and Aksana disappeared again.
The point is that now Kaitlyn is mad going into her big title match with Eve, who also doesn’t get to use her last name. Got it? Okay, let’s move on.
Cewsh: I know that it’s sometimes hard to tell, since storytelling in the Divas division has a distinct, “When we remember that we employ women,” vibe about it, but there’s actually a long term storyline brewing here between Kaitlyn and Eve. And since we have the privilege of writing this about 3 months into the future, we know how that storyline is eventually going to end.
Basically, the idea is that back in the beginning of the year, everything was coming up Eve. She had secured herself a spot as John Laurenitus’ trusted assistant, and was beginning to wield a level of power over events that she found intoxicating. She turned her focus to Teddy Long and abused him mercilessly for fun. But when the evil regime of Johnny Ace was thrown down, and Eve was now at the mercy of the people whom she had abused, Eve only had one choice. Be punished for her actions, or apologize and become a better person. She chose neither.
Instead, for the next several months, she convinced everyone in WWE that she had reformed her ways, and was ready to put the past behind her and be a happy and friendly babyface. But one person never bought this for one second, and set about exposing Eve for the fraud she was. That person is Kaitlyn, and Eve immediately set about trying to destroy her. Kaitlyn uncovered the fact that it was Eve who had orchestrated the attack that cost Kaitlyn her title match at Night of Champions, the very one that Eve used to become Divas Champion. And with that out in the open, Eve became an demented version of the nice girl persona she had been keeping up. Grinning sardonically at everyone, and posing with the unconscious bodies of the people she beat.
So this is Kaitlyn’s first chance to take Eve on one-on-one. And it doesn’t disappoint. Eve concentrates on grounding Kaitlyn, and using her mat experience to control the match, while Kaitlyn just throws Eve around like garbage whenever she can make it to her feet. It looks like Kaitlyn really might win and put Eve in her place once and for all, until Eve pulls the ring apron out from under Kaitlyn’s feet and sends her crashing in a miserable heap to the floor. One spinning neckbreaker later, and Eve retains her championship and leaves immediately, blowing kisses to the presumptive challenger to her throne.
As a match, this was a little short for what they were trying to accomplish, and there’s no getting around the fact that Kaitlyn is still green, and Eve hasn’t magically transformed into Manami Toyota overnight. But with the storyline fueling an interesting rivalry, this really was better than it had any right to be. And that’s plenty good enough for me.
72 out of 100
MichaelC: I like to think I talk up the divas division on these reviews, but I’m not a fan of either Kaitlyn or Eve and so this match suffered for me as a result. Eve is slowly starting to show character and some in ring nuance, mind you. Kaitlyn has many fans online but I’ve yet to see it. Sorry, Cewsh, give it a few months and we might see AJ and Tamina in the mix and I’ll be much more enthused.
Well, actually it wasn’t THAT bad, it was just a bit meh. Compared to some matches I’ve seen, (involving, say, Sable and Torrie Wilson,) it was Flair/Steamboat. Hearing Jerry Lawler trying to give informed dissection of a divas match when pushed to do so was a strange experience, though.
Though even with my acknowledgment Eve is improving, Michael Cole calling her a veteran is still daft.
Cewsh: We go backstage and Team Foley are all hunkered around a monitor watching Team Ziggler squabble from earlier. Mick gives everyone a big pep talk and they all seem fired up except for Randy Orton, who, in an act of direct defiance against all wrestling law, tells Foley to go fuck himself since they were blood rivals in 2004. Do you understand what this means? It means a wrestler who is supposed to be an anger fueled sociopath actually acted like an anger fueled sociopath for reasons which are completely valid and touch of famous past events.
Seeing this actually take place on a WWE program blew my mind so hard that I had to go and lie down.*
MichaelC: Foley gets everyone all together for a mutual “Bang Bang”** except Orton who remembers his issues with Foley from 2004.
*And by lie down I mean drink a bottle of Cewsh Reviews Rum, the refreshing official beverage of Cewsh Reviews. That’s Cewsh Reviews Rum, with that famous tagline: “Keep Drinking Until It All Makes Sense.”
**On an unrelated note, Cewsh Reviews will be trending on the porn Twitter all through January now. My deepest apologies.
Cewsh: Don’t apologize for that. Gay fan fiction is a proud Cewsh Reviews tradition.
Cewsh: NOPE. DON’T CARE. DON’T CAAAAAAAAAAAARE. I’M GOING TO KEEP MY FINGERS IN MY EARS UNTIL YOU GIVE ME A NEW FUCKING MATCH. LALALALALALA.
MichaelC: I like Cesaro. I don’t particularly like Truth. Truths promo on the pre-show however is worth looking up. It is strange how they play up the anti-USA element and suddenly Cesaro has heat. His finisher is still awesome though.
This reminds me of Survivor Series 2000, when Hardcore Holly took on newcomer William Regal for the European title. Holly came up short then, and R-Truth does here too.
Cewsh: There you go. A match happened, I whined about it and Michael referenced something from over a decade ago. Now if we could just get Vice to invent a word to describe Cesaro’s nipples and have Mrs. Cewsh write a sonnet about R-Truth’s abs, you’d pretty much have the whole Cewsh Reviews experience.
Cewsh Note: Vice has informed me that the proper name for Antonio Cesaro’s nipples is now “nippolas.” Pronounced “NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPOLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS.”
68 out of 100
MichaelC: Josh Matthews: “CM Punk has been champion for some time.”
Yeah, a year in fact. One year. Even for math failures like me, its not the hardest segment of time to remember!
Segment 8 – WWE World Heavyweight Championship – The Big Show (c) vs. Sheamus
Cewsh: As I get older, both as a human and as a wrestling fan, there are certain things about wrestling that I grow more and less tolerant of. For example, you can go back to the start of Cewsh Reviews and find a younger version of me spazzing out every time a match doesn’t end with a clean finish or every time my groveling prayers for John Cena to lose aren’t answered, but neither of those things bother me in the slightest now. On the other side of the spectrum is the WWE feud formula, which I understand better that I ever have at any other point in my life, and which I nevertheless froth with rage about at this point in it’s shelf life. Rather than just describe it, though. Here’s a glimpse at closely held document that has recently been floating around WWE Headquarters for new writers.
Okay then. Now as for the match, what happened was…
Hmm. Well aside from my general complaints, it appears that this match was completely nondescript in every meaningful way, as both of these guys went out of their way to leave room for the blow off match to improve on. Well this is the sort of thing I pay the rest of this staff for, (Cewsh Note: I don’t pay them.) Alright now, Michael. Give me 5 things worth knowing about this match aside from the fact that it happened.
79 out of 100
1. It was nice to see William Regal for his annual small run. Funny how people hated Sheamus’s winning streak, and now moan when he shows vulnerability.
2. This went exactly the same way as Big Shows title match a year previously. Treading water…
3. Sheamus has only faced four men on PPV all year in singles matches.
4. At least, with shades of the Mark Henry feud, Sheamus is getting even more over with the crowds.
5. The finish was dreadful.
MichaelC: So, we started off with Mick Foley and CM Punk having an argument in the ring, which led to a 5 on 5 survivor match being decided on, between Team Foley and Team Heyman/Punk. That night on RAW, both men forged their own teams, who just so happened to hate each other. However, Vince McMahon returned, and was upset there was no WWE title match on the PPV, so took Ryback and Punk out of this match, leaving 2 empty spots. Punk’s spot was taken by Ziggler, who immediately took over control of the team from Heyman and co. However, The Miz had walked out on Paul Heyman before hand, and so his spot on Team Heel was up for grabs, so Wade Barrett took that. The Miz later walked into the empty spot on Team Foley set up by Rybacks entry into the WWE title match, when he was voted in by the fans on twitter. All was set, except that the week before the match, Cody Rhodes suffered a concussion in a match against Bryan and Kane, and so had to be replaced by David Otunga.
The last unfortunate injury aside, all of this confusion could have been avoided if Vince McMahon was able to change his mind BEFORE broadcasting what the PPV feuds and matches will be that month.
So now we have Dolph Ziggler leading a team that Paul Heyman set up for CM Punk, against a team led by Mick Foley on the outside who has little beef with any of the folk opposite him, as his whole reason for being here was CM Punk.
Cewsh: Oy vey.
– The ever popular Ricardo introduces Alberto Del Rio, who was as stale as a stale thing* at this point, but I sense things might change in the future. Events involving a hit and run of a beloved childhood icon, perhaps. Predicting is easy when you are in the future! /Criswell.
*Yes, a tribute to a guy, David McMaster, who doesn’t even read these, and who I last saw about 9 years ago. My references get obscurer and obscurer.
-I love the moniker “Intellectual Saviour of the Masses” for Sandow incidentally. The Genius gimmick is brilliant when done well, and terrible when handed to Shane Douglas.
– Does Cewsh still love David Otunga? He’s kind of fallen down the pecking order this year.
Cewsh: A Poem To David Otunga:
MichaelC Notes Continued:
– Wade Barrett is a main event waiting to happen. Honest. Whereas Dolph Ziggler IS that main event. I don’t even mind him these days.
– Mick Foley comes out for his traditional mega pop and to be in the corner of his team. I recently re-read Have a Nice Day, and yes, the slightly egotism does kind of show up in it. Funny how the two most interesting characters in the entire book though are Terry Funk and Collette Foley, for opposite reasons. Funk retains his position as most fascinating man in pro-wrestling, and as for Collette, well, I know who my boss is, and I gather Mick kind of does too…
– JBL references Miz as a future World Champion. Its as if he forgot Miz WAS a World Champion.
Randy Orton is my least favorite person on Team Foley, and is one of the most over. Go figure.
There are no slouches in this match, however, so it promises to be a cracker.
– Otunga starts off to prove his worth to his new team mates and is nearly pinned inside three seconds, before getting his ass kicked by Kofi.
– Daniel Bryan is so OVER it beggars belief. People have Chris Jericho worry over him, in that any loss will be a burial, but believe me, this man will make Jericho’s career look like Tito Santana. He’s too good in the ring, and too able to connect with the fans, to fail, short of bad injury. The fans chant at his every move. Its…forgive the comparison, but damn near Kurt Angle levels.
– Sandow tries to leave, but fails, but Kane sends him up and down for a chokeslam and he gets to leave anyway.
– Did I mention Kane was one of the best big men of all time?
Cewsh: In every review we’ve ever done, including ones you didn’t even work on.
MichaelC Notes Continued:
– Ah ok then!
– Kane and Bryan fight, then Ziggler hits a sneak Zig Zag to pin Kane. So we are down 4 on 4 now.
Cole and JBL put over that Randy Orton is often the sole survivor in these types of matches. I wonder if this will be foreshadowing of any kind.
You know Kofi is the only man on Team Foley who never won a World title? Curious. I might even suggest at this point “Watch this space” because I’d be more shocked if he finished his career without a reign at some point. Not because I think Kofi Kingston is World Championship quality, but because hes on the level where everyone seems to get a World title reign at some point, and even above it if we count Swagger.
That sound you can hear is Ms Cewsh’s head exploding…
– Otunga gets eliminated quite stupidly, posing instead of putting Bryans shoulders down on the mat properly, so Bryan swiftly makes him tap to the Yes Lock.
– Del Rio was apparently captain of a team at Survivor Series one year, a moment I had completely forgotten about.
– I would like to say Kofi’s selling has improved, and that all the people in the match who weren’t Orton and Ziggler were nice to have around while they lasted. This was the kind of match that needed to go 30 minutes or so in the 80s and 90s to get over the folk involved. These days its in half the time, with half the story, and thus have the reaction.
– All the men in this would make fine Rumble participants though. My money is on Daniel Bryan for the Iron Man in that. (And for Ryback, Punk and Cena to certainly lose, as Cewsh has picked them in the annual Cewsh v MichaelC Review Rumble bet…)
– I was so convinced Randy Orton would turn on Miz here. Ortons face run is all but run out, and a heel turn could help invigorate his career, I feel.
– Instead after a nice finishing sequence, Ziggler caught Orton with Sweet Chin Music (!) unguarded, and picked up the win. So much for Orton being sole survivor!
– Hang on? Cewsh warming to Kofi? Me warming to Ziggler? The world is going topsy turvy.
Its funny. This match had the more people I liked, but the first Survivor match I preferred, as it went out of its way to try and get its story and people over, whereas this one seemed to take our interest in all of those at face value so just went for the big spots and eliminations. What do you think, Cewsh?
Cewsh: I’ve always had a bit of trouble in trying to figure out exactly what Survivor Series matches are FOR. Back in the olden days of yore, it was the only chance you’d get each year to see groups of stars together in this way, but that really isn’t the case anymore, and Elimination Chamber achieves that same purpose with more on the line. Is it to give midcarders a chance to hobnob with the big stars? Because if that’s the case, then what the hell was that match earlier tonight all about? And this match specifically is such a broken mess of substitutions and conflicting storylines that its impossible to say that it’s meant to settle some kind of actual beef between these teams. So what is it?
I have to think that the idea, as it it stands today, is to use these eliminations in this special kind of match as a way of getting people over without having to take a risk. Like, Damien Sandow could pin John Cena in a Survivor Series match and it wouldn’t be all that weird, because there is so much chaos going on that stuff like that happens. But at the same time, it would still make Sandow look good for having done it. So what you get is a match intricately designed to get the most bang for the WWE buck out of every elimination until the end, which highlights the person, or people, that WWE really wanted to get over from this match. Previously that’s been Orton quite a few times, and last year it was Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes. This year it’s Dolph Ziggler, and he looks FANTASTIC in beating Randy Orton with a devastating superkick and winning the whole thing as the sole survivor.
Along the way the match was just generally a rollicking good time, and even if all the match accomplished was a good time and more credibility for Dolph Ziggler to stand on, you have yourself a damn successful match by any standards.
83 out of 100
Cewsh’s Seal of Approval
Cewsh: I want to talk to you guys for a second about what makes wrestling special to me.
There are a lot of outlets in the world where you can find anything that you might need entertainment wise. Enough that nobody ever has any need to become a wrestling fan, and enter this extremely niche and derided fandom unless they really, really want to. And while you can find elements of just about every other form of entertainment every time you turn on a wrestling show, professional wrestling has maintained something about it that makes it stands out. It’s something that sucks young boys into it’s grip like a musclebound vacuum, it’s something that that keeps us watching long past the age when it’s considered acceptable to do so. It’s something nothing else has ever provided me.
I wish I had a word to describe it other than something cheap and Disney-sounding like “Magic”, but I wouldn’t even know where to begin. It’s just the feeling you get when professional wrestling is perfect, and you find that incredible sweet spot at the end of a match where you’re exhilarated, satisfied and exhausted, just from the emotional commitment that it has pulled out of you. Whether you’re a child staring dumbfounded at moments that your worldview is too small to process, or an adult having your closely guarded walls of cynicism blown down by things too great to deny. Wrestling can deliver this, and it can give it to all of us in different ways, (yeah it can.) So much so that the crux of every wrestling argument or debate you will ever have with anyone, is just a fundamental disagreement over how to go about producing those moments.
Wrestling is special. We’re all just the followers of its siren song.
The reason I bring this up now, is because this match is sort of the intersection of two things that make wrestling amazing. Let’s use MMA as an example. On one hand you have a generational feud between two of the top fighters in the world who are completely philosophically opposed, (let’s say Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock back when anyone cared about that,) and, on the other hand, you have a crazy, new badass who has come up through the ranks with lightning speed and is smashing everything in front of him, (let’s use Brock Lesnar here so MMA and Wrestling fans are all on the same page.) Now, in actual MMA there are infinite reasons why you would never see these three fight each other at the same time, and why, due to weight classes and title hunting, a match between Lesnar and the other two wouldn’t have happened even in their respective primes. And even if it did occur, there’s no guarantee that the fight would live up to its premise. But this is professional wrestling, and we can, and do, have pretty much that exact thing with different faces. And it is AWESOME.
See, the basic premise of this match is that Punk wants to keep his title at all costs, Cena wants to lay a beating on Punk and Ryback just wants to crusherize people until dinner’s ready. So while Cena and Punk are trying to get on with the business of having another one of their epic matches with all of the counters and one upsmanship, Ryback just keeps throwing a gigantic monkey wrench into the whole affair by being the elephant in the room at all times. Time after time, at the start of the match, Punk and Cena get distracted by one another and completely forget about the out of control power machine in the ring with thing. Which results in things like this:
It doesn’t take long for Punk and Cena to realize that they have much bigger problem on their hands than each other, and to begin teaming up on Ryback to get him out of the match. They even go so far as to double suplex him through the announce table, while Punk throws angry looks at Cena like this whole thing is all his fault.
Then we get down into the Punk and Cena match we know and love, but this only weakens the two of them up for RYBACK 2: TIME FOR DESSERT. Some serious ass kickings are done, (mostly by Ryback,) some big bumps are taken, (mostly by Punk,) and some intense staredowns are had, (mostly by Cena,) as two of the biggest stars in the wrestling industry are knocked around like bowling pins by the insane force of nature that they’re pitted against. Finally, Ryback signals for the damn thing to be over and done with, and destroys CM Punk with a Shell Shock. John Cena tries to intercept, seeing perhaps his last chance to salvage the worst year of his career slipping away, only to get Shell Shocked right out of his shoes, (metaphorically, though how awesome would that be?)
But before Ryback can pin one of them and take his rightful place at the top of the WWE food chain, three dudes in urban combat gear jump into the ring and start beating the holy hell out of him.
Ryback fights them off as best as he can, but eventually they catch him off guard, stun him, and then group powerbomb him through the OTHER announce table as the crowd looks on stunned. Then they turn and stand in a line in front of Ryback, staring into the ring as a befuddled Punk recovers enough to fall on top of Cena and get the three count.
After winning, Punk seems unfazed by the whole situation, and does a seagull mating dance to show his dominance after having retained his title.
So who are these mystery men who changed the course of wrestling history here tonight? Well now, that’s the mystery, isn’t it?
And after this terrific match between these iconic characters, we’re given a new wrinkle to keep our attention rapt, as the magicians prepare their next trick. Because wrestling IS like magic in a way. If you suspend your disbelief and cynicism for as long as you can, it will never cease to amaze you.
84 out of 100
Cewsh’s Seal of Approval
MichaelC: So once again, Ryback nearly wins the title, but then HOLY SHIT! WHO ARE THOSE GUYS? FUCKING HELL!!!!!
To say the end angle overshadowed the match is putting it mildly. The Shield, (or internet love item Dean Ambrose, internet pariah Seth Rollins, and internet who’s that? Roman Reigns,) interfere and kill Ryback, and in the midst of that, Punk retains. Now that is how to debut folk and make an impact.
Cewsh: As it usually does, Survivor Series this year served mainly as a transitional show, halfway between Summerslam and the Royal Rumble, and featured a lot of feuds and pushes that aren’t quite finished yet, and won’t be until it’s time to wrap them up for Wrestlemania season. As such, it was a show that had some solid quality, but has the feeling of a stopgap put into place until Vince sets off the Wrestlemania alarm and everyone has to snap all of these divergent storylines into a coherent product that people will actually be watching. For that, it was quite good. And if we just wait a biiiiiiit longer, we’ll be exactly where we want to be. Nestled cozily in the protective bosom of Vince McMahon’s freaked up magic show where we belong.
Actually, that mental image is too much for me. We know how much baby oil he uses. OH GOD WHERE’S MY RUM?!
That’ll do it for us this time, boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed the month of November as we blow right past it into December to finish off the year 2012 with next week’s review of WWE TLC 2012. Seth Rollins will wrestle on PPV for the first time, Ryback will murder his face, and I will smile, in addition to a number of other things that I’m sure won’t be near so satisfying as that. But until then, as always, remember to keep reading and be good to one another..