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Posted in: Mr. Tito
Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Survivor Series 2017 Review with Match Ratings and Show Grade
By Mr. Tito
Nov 19, 2017 - 10:47:54 PM

Follow Mr. Tito on Twitter.com: @titowrestling

Bookmark Mr. Tito's Column Archive to read the current and past columns.

Welcome to Mr. Tito's PHAT review of WWE Survivor Series 2017 which is exclusively here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com. In fact, all of my unique reviews are featured exclusively here at LordsofPain.net/WrestlingHeadlines.com so please bookmark LoP, my Tito Column archive, and follow Mr. Tito/LoP on Twitter. We'll have you covered. Simply put, you won't find pro wrestling show reviews like mine anywhere else that's 100% honest, unfiltered, and has zero editorial agenda behind it. When you write on a voluntary basis because you absolutely want to write about the pro wrestling business that you love, no outside party can control what I write. You've known from day 1 since October 26th, 1998 and many imitators have come and gone.

Case in point, last night's NXT Takeover: WarGames. Many were praising it like it was the BEST SHOW THEY'VE EVER SEEN... But then you have me and I was bored. For much of the night, I kept asking "where's the psychology?". Since all of the talent eroded from the NXT per the Divas Revolution and then the RAW/Smackdown brand split, we've since replenished the roster with as many Independent wrestler free agents as possible. Now, I'm NOT HERE to mock independent wrestlers. Not at all... In fact, I admire any single person who attempts to be a pro wrestler. What's happened to NXT is that because the NXT shows needed wrestlers badly to replenish the roster, the wrestlers weren't retrained quick enough on the WWE style. Instead, they are retaining the more athletic, high speed, but heavy on spot wrestling style that has influenced other promotions since ECW and Lucha Libre swept the nation during the late 1990s. Then, it swept the WWE during the early 2000s with hardcore matches and TLC matches...

Sure, that WarGames match was a complete car crash and it actually improved in ratings (probably [ **** ]) on an additional viewing... But WHY does NXT have to do such a violent match with 2 rings, a cage, and weapons? I know that Triple H wants to bring back oldschool Dusty stuff, but why can't a regular match draw for NXT? Worse yet, the arena for NXT was rather empty when other arenas hosting NXT before major WWE Pay Per Views were sold out. You can give me Houston and that could be a valid point if that were in another state. But the state of Texas has 28 million people! Houston, TX itself has 2.3 million people. PLENTY of potential consumers who could have been willing and demanding to see that event live an attendance.

But they didn't... Wrestling fans AGREE WITH ME about the current state of NXT. Period, end of story.

It's funny how the people ripping my NXT Takeover: WarGames review have admitted love for certain Indy Darlings on the NXT roster. Thus, the internet fans hammering me for my NXT Takeover review have their own bias that would make them live NXT Takeover: WarGames no matter what. For me, it was just another indicator that the NXT promotion that PEAKED during 2015-2016 and the NXT promotion of 2017 is heavily reliant on spotfest style matches just to keep any interest.

Are you telling me that the Women's Division in NXT now is comparable to Becky Lynch, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Asuka, Nia Jax, Charlotte Flair, or even Alexa Bliss (better in WWE than in NXT) when they were competing in NXT?

How about the Tag Team division which used to have the Revival, American Alpha, or #DIY?

Are you telling me that Cien and Drew are on the level of Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, or even Bobby Roode?

No, they're not.

And because they're not, and that's NOT to the offense to the wrestlers who were RUSHED into these higher NXT positions because of the WWE RAW/Smackdown brand extensions, the NXT matches have to turn up the flash and the dangerous spots just to impress existing fans. Because Triple H set the NXT bar so high by having these Takeover events, he has to impress with each show... But the talent isn't what it used to because they are all under-developed for the WWE style. Everyone is working the style that they were taught on the independent circuits instead of slowing it down a bit, which Vince McMahon prefers. Vince doesn't want wrestlers taking high risk moves because he wants everyone to work 300 dates a year without injury.

If the 2015-2017 NXT call-ups are struggling to impress Vince McMahon and they were more carefully taught on the WWE style... How will the current NXT roster do? Particularly a roster that seems a big undersized (not above 6'0" which Vince wants) and not fully trained in the WWE style of wrestling (more psychological, safer style, less risk on regular shows). At the end of the day, what Vince McMahon WANTS matters... And with the 2017 NXT current roster, I 100% agree with him on how it could be assessed. That said, I full disagree with how he's sabotaged much of the 2015-2017 call-ups and am alarmed to how quickly he's destroyed Asuka and Shinsuke Nakamura (almost "can't miss" talents).

That's my take on NXT Takeover: WarGames... It was just a "sugar high" show and I'm getting old... Sugar isn't a healthy thing to keep feeding someone over time or certain health risks can develop. For pro wrestling, it's DECLINED ATTENDANCE and DECLINED VIEWERSHIP because nothing amazes or impresses wrestling fans any longer. If you've seen a wrestler crash through an announcer's table once, you've seen it all... If you do a crazy spot like the Suplex one in the WarGames match, how do you top it at the next event? It's hard to feed a kid something else if you've been letting him eat sweets full of sugar all day long. That WarGames match was super-violent and it instantly raises expectations on how top it. What will happen if the next NXT Takeover show is headlined by a regular one-on-one match and no specialty matches on the undercard?

ANYWAY... Let's talk about some real excitement with a show that has STAR POWER of wrestlers that you've known for a while and a pretty good card that was revised often for the past few weeks. It's the kind of show that erases Long-Term plans but for 1 night, it looks fun and pretty loaded. However, it's a veteran dependent show and there's no guarantee that Shane, Triple H, Angle, Cena, or Lesnar will be at any December shows or avoid anything for the next 6 months besides Rumble/Wrestlemania. Yet, they dominate the WWE's roster...

BUT - This card, on paper, looks fantastic other than the Miz vs. Baron Corbin match. That said, if Corbin vs. Miz delivers somehow and complements what should be a good night... Win for everyone.

Just to compare WWE to NXT again... What WWE has is star power who DON'T have to do crazy things in the ring to get noticed. THAT SAID, the WWE roster has years upon years of wrestlers developing their characters to get to this point. John Cena took 3 freakin' years to become the Main Eventer that you still see today. Took a while for Braun Strowman to click as a badass and now he's over. New Day had a ton of trial and error to get their midcard characters over. Look at how much time Sheamus and Cesaro have spent as a team to get to where they are now.

That's what NXT's roster needs... TIME... Time for those wrestlers to develop characters and personalities so that they don't have to rely so much on spots or violence to WOW fans. I feel that I don't know the NXT wrestlers of 2017 but I knew NXT's roster from 2015-2016 quite well. In fact, the first full NXT show that I saw was NXT Brooklyn 2015 and all I needed to see was a vignette of Bayley vs. Sasha history and I felt that I knew both characters. Bayley was the babyface who was struggling to climb the ladder and Sasha Banks was the evil heel who called herself the "Boss" and put many obstacles in Bayley's way just to get a NXT Title match. That sold it for me in 1 night... I had no idea why those teams were wrestling in a WarGames match last night and felt NO "Sense of Urgency" as to why they needed to have that match. I didn't see much hunger to win the Women's NXT Title in that Fatal 4 Way. Vacated belt, yes, but why do any of you 4 want to be the new champion? I didn't see it... Again, wrestlers are getting rushed to roles after the NXT roster is repeatedly raided.

I keep talking about NXT... I wanna talk about WWE Survivor Series 2017 which is what I've been anticipating all weekend long.

AND I don't care if Survivor Series is 5 hours long. What else do you have going for you on Sunday Night? Isn't it fun to see a longer wrestling event full of QUALITY matches and ZERO commercials shoved down your throat (besides the WWE promoted ones)? If you can endure 3 hours of Monday Night RAW on the USA Network that is full of 2-4 minute commercial breaks, then you can enjoy 5 hours with BETTER matches and fewer commercial breaks. Maybe it's the World of Outlaw sprint car in me that is used to an extensive timeframe for a sporting event when I'd show up at 6pm for hotlaps and then the A-Main feature race would be over by Midnight. I'm used to it and honestly, I have nothing better to watch on a Sunday Night (not the NFL lately). And you should enjoy it, too. LOOK AT THAT LOADED CARD!

Or so we thought.

-------------------------

Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 2017 REVIEW

I did not watch the Pre-Game Show because, well, I didn't want to... Ha!

OPENING MATCH was the Shield vs. New Day. As good of as a match as we expected although its placement on the card made it really feel like a midcard match and nothing serious. Of course, that's due to the WWE's poor booking of the New Day as a trio for the last 2 years instead of taking a serious tone with the group every once and a while... Personally, I'd let Kofi/Woods remain a tag team but start pushing Big E as a heavyweight singles wrestler with some seriousness attached to it. Crisp match with lots of action but the psychology of it being a big deal is negated for how rushed the booking of this match was and for how weak WWE has made the New Day appear on their own brand, let alone wrestling a team from the other brand. [ **** 1/4 ] Shield, of course, won the match. In fairness to this match, I may upgrade its rating because I was watching it from a Smartphone as I was trying to get the kiddos ready for bed. Geesh, don't they know that Mr. Tito needs to write an instant column? Bunch of savages... I need to rewatch and focus on the audio of it without any distractions.

Second match was the 5 on 5 Women's Elimination Match - Team RAW vs. Team Smackdown. I could just hear the entire internet wrestling community VOMIT when Bayley was quickly eliminated. I'd agree, but I stopped caring a while ago after WWE Creative ruined her quickly. I liked Tamina and Nia Jax confronting each other but then the wrestling between the two didn't quite living up... Then, you had some sloppy work by Alicia and Naomi while featuring the usual dull work from Natalya. I'm still not sure if Alicia was pinned or not because it looked so poorly executed. Funny how WWE has a weird chemistry balance between the ladies who have been in the WWE for a while and the recent NXT call-ups. Chemistry is off and how WWE Creative inconsistently treats each group makes things confusing as well. FINALLY, though, they made Asuka look strong as she was the sole survivor but this follows weeks upon weeks of poor usage on RAW to display what a big deal she could be. [ **1/2 ]

Up next, it was Miz vs. Baron Corbin. Honestly, this match was better than I thought it would be and was only ruined somewhat by the constant interference by the Miztourage. Then again, Baron Corbin looks strong by overcoming said interference and beating Miz anyway. Good booking for him, weak booking for Miz... But hey, someone has to lose in these matches and it's not like Miz is high on the pecking order for RAW. Smackdown needs Corbin to be something, however, so thus I'm OK with the strong finish for Corbin especially since he looked relatively good in this match whereas other matches have been underwhelming. Just build on this momentum... [ *** ]

Usos vs. The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) was up next... Don't like that "bar" name. Just like Miz vs. Corbin, both teams are heels and the fans are indifferent for cheers. That said, both veteran tag teams worked well together even if they couldn't build any momentum from the crowd's heat. By the way, I'm disturbed by the frosted tips of Sheamus's mohawk tonight. Towards the end, both teams hit several wild spots including a Powerbomb/Samoan Drop combo from the top rope. Great sequence to end the match with the Usos nailing Superkicks, "meeting in the middle" on poor Sheamus, and then the leaping tag (hits Cesaro on the outside) to set up a body splash on Sheamus. That finish had a lot of moving parts and it was beautiful to see. Match lacked heat from the fans for the most part because of heel vs. heel but it ended well. [ *** 1/2 ]

Funny how the RAW and Smackdown announcers say that the next match is "critical" for RAW vs. Smackdown... How? Exactly what is their sense of urgency ot one-up each other? Is there money on the line? Just doesn't seem like we have any real competition between the brands aside from this month.

And now for a match that I was hyped for, even though we barely had any time to hype it... Charlotte Flair vs. Alexa Bliss who, in my opinion, are the two best female workers in the company right now. I think Becky Lynch could be the best, but WWE isn't booking her at all to matter (what a shame). Bliss may be short, but she more than makes up for it in personality and heat drawing ability. Good worker, too... With the WWE finally being OK with embracing Charlotte's family legacy AND from Charlotte having proved herself in spite of that, the time is now to push her HARD as a babyface and dominant women's champion. Match, from a heat standpoint, works out because the heel and face are clearly defined and Alexa is working like a genuine heel by taunting her opponent and getting in cheap shots here and there... Funny how Alexa is using some of Charlotte's dad's own heel tactics years later against Charlotte! Perfect sunset flip bomb and then later, Charlotte Flair muscling Alexa into a Powerbomb. Finish saw Alexa take the knees on her flipping bodysplash and then Charlotte wins with a big boot + a devastating Figure 8 leglock. Holy cow was that bridge high on that submission! That was a DAMN GOOD women's match and lived up to its expectations. [ **** ] I only wish that these ladies were on the same roster to get a tad more experience against each each other. A rematch or two between them would be off-the-charts.

By the way, my WWE Network has glitched out a few times tonight by dropping framerates and THEN showing a previous match. Did that during the Women's 5 on 5 match with Shield vs. New Day and then during Bliss vs. Flair by cutting to Bar vs Usos. What the hell?

NEXT, we have AJ Styles vs. Brock Lesnar which I approximate starting just before 9:33pm. Lesnar goes on the attacks and dominates early with brawling and just beats Styles down easily. Then, a release Belly-to-Belly on AJ... First German Suplex joins the match and AJ landed weird. Instead of going for more Germans, Brock tosses AJ Styles over the top rope and then Lesnar follows that up by ramming Styles into the announcer's table. Ouch! Lesnar is taking his time and is sizing up how to dominate AJ next... German #2 and Styles got serious air on that one. Wow... 4 minutes in, AJ has one punch against tons of offense by Lesnar. Knee to the face on poor AJ in the corner! Lesnar is taunting AJ much like Ivan Drago taunted Apollo Creed. AJ somehow got up and threw a few punches and then Lesnar delivered a knee. CONGRATS TO AJ Styles for lasting longer than Bill Goldberg and Kevin Owens in a Lesnar match! Lesnar missed a flying knee to the corner and Styles followed that up with a dropkick. Hey, we have psychology! Styles is attacking the knee as a means to equalize himself against a bigger wrestler. Couple sloppy sequences with Brock catching a moonsault and then a botched tornado DDT. Then, AJ Styles gets Lesnar GOOD on the back of the neck with the Pele Kick. Styles then tries for the Forearm from the ropes and Lesnar catches him to murder Styles with German #3. Another weird looking sequence when Lesnar was "tossed" over the top rope by AJ Styles and that didn't look good. Afterward, AJ then hits his forearm on Lesnar to the outside. Lesnar gets shoved into the steel steps next and sells the knee (good). Back in the ring, Lesnar gets in a punch but Styles returns that with a Flying Kick and then a Moonsault. 450 Splash is next and we get a 2 count only. Styles foolishly goes for the Styles Clash and Brock then reverses that into the F5. Styles reverses the F5, though, into his Calf Crusher... Then, a devastating counter to that Calf Crusher. Lesnar seriously bounced Styles head off the ring apron like a basketball! Holy cow! F5 attempt again but Lesnar was too close to the ropes and Styles held on. Flying Forearm is then hit and 2 count only. AJ attempts another Forearm but of course he's caught in midair and receives the F5 in response. That was 15 minutes... That works. [ **** ] A few botched moves in this match keeps me from going higher but that's as a result from only having a brief time to prepare. After all, Lesnar thought he was wrestling Jinder Mahal a few weeks ago. I'm confident in my 4 star rating here because Jinder didn't interfere and we got a clean finish. There is NO SHAME losing to Brock Lesnar, especially when he sells the the leg injury and the hard effort after the match as he's walking away from the ring. Maybe that could give it a bump in my match rating? I appreciate that a lot... It's the psychology that I'm looking for in pro wrestling these days that I didn't see at last night's event.

The MAIN EVENT was Team RAW vs. Team Smackdown with 10:00pm hitting on my clock. Wow, we have time to develop for this match. Look at the STAR POWER HERE with Finn Balor, Kurt Angle, Triple H, Braun Strowman, and Samoa Joe vs. Bobby Roode, Shane McMahon, John Cena, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Randy Orton. The Brand Split has actually weakened the WWE's ability to draw with 1 touring brand! Look at that talent! Feels good to see Triple H and Kurt Angle entrances for the same match... Member berries taste good! GREAT to see Randy Orton in a serious match and also to have John Cena back. CLASS OF 2002, baby! Sauce it! What I love about this match so far is that you have Triple H and Kurt Angle, all-time Attitude Era greats, mixing it up with many wrestlers who have debuted with the company in the last 3 years. That's what made Survivor Series GREAT is that it was often the first time that a midcarder would ever mix it up with a Main Event guy in a 5 on 5 match. No offense to Bobby Roode, but he feels like the "weak link" for star power in this match yet interacting with Angle/HHH and them selling for him made it feel like a big deal. Sadly, Roode was eliminated first after a botched (or blocked?) Blockbuster attempt on Braun Strowman and Strowman slammed him for the elimination. After that fall, Team RAW can't get along between Strowman and Joe and Angle and Triple H and that causes Team Smackdown to take advantage. We're then left with a COOL moment when Cena/Orton have to team up to dare challenge Braun Strowman. How about that? Both of those wrestlers are selling fear of the newer wrestler. That's how it's done! Cena/Orton then need help suplexing Braun onto the announcer's table and require the other 3 members of Team Smackdown to help. That puts over Braun nicely. Shane tries to dive off the top rope onto Braun but Joe catches him. Shane tags in Cena and now we have Cena and Samoa Joe doing battle. Super Cena makes an appearance and gives Joe an Attitude Adjustment, then a splashing Finn Balor is caught to also receive the AA, and then Cena gives another to Joe. He must have hit the analog stick for "Special" to hit that many finishers in a short time. What, am I showing my age by doing a Wrestlemania 2000 Nintendo 64 game reference?

Mind blowing to see John Cena and Kurt Angle wrestling... And then, Angle eliminates John Cena! How about that? Could we see something cool like Cena vs. Angle in the near future? I would welcome that. Finn and Orton mix it up next and Finn missed from the top rope only to receive the RKO. He's gone. Now, we have Triple H vs. Randy Orton which is cool to see given their history. Orton tries to get a tag to Shane McMahon but Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens arrive and attacks Shane McMahon! Meanwhile, Braun Strowman has got back up and he sees Randy Orton alone in the ring with nobody to tag. Uh oh. Powerslam and Randy Orton is DONE. So we have Shane McMahon vs. Triple H, Braun Strowman, and Kurt Angle... Triple H wants in to wrestle Shane but then Kurt Angle tags himself in to attack Shane. Backyard wrestling Shane is somehow able to manhandle a former Olympian and WWE World Champion, especially with those WEAK punches. Angle overcomes it and then locks in the Anklelock... Somehow, Shane has amazing pain tolerance. Triple H, however, enters the ring and hits the Pedigree on Kurt Angle to allow Shane McMahon to pin Kurt Angle. Braun Strowman is baffled and stares HHH down... But the plan was HHH to put the SCREWS to both Kurt Angle and also Shane McMahon. Pedigree to Shane McMahon and Strowman/Triple H win the match for Team RAW. Strowman is baffled by what happened as Triple H wants to celebrate. Match seemed to stall towards the end but it was fun for the most part. [ *** 1/2 ]

And then, to send the fans happy, Braun Strowman grabs Triple H by the throat and threatens him... Triple H tries to sneak a Pedigree afterward but Strowman counters that into a POWER Slam! Cool... Not sure where that will lead, but it's curious... Fans chant "one more time" and we get another by Strowman. To emphasize what he did, Strowman tears off the RAW t-shirt and the show is done.

LAST WORD: THAT'S HOW YOU DO IT, son! A Pay Per View full of regular, by the rules matches that didn't need excessive use of weapons or a cage. Just STAR POWER and wrestling involving psychology. Sadly, the WWE limped into this Pay Per View by rewriting lots of booking just to staple together this show. Oh well... Live and learn. WWE should read the POSITIVE comments from this show and start to figure out what fans want. In my opinion, this show proves that the WWE roster cannot be split into 2 if the Creative Team is unable to make new stars. The Women's 5 on 5 was the most sluggish match yet it provided a good result... Hard for me to cause that to be a blemish on possibly the best Survivor Series Pay Per View of all time and by a margin! [ A+ ] grade and upon more viewings, we'll have to consider how it ranks all time by the WWE. HOT DAMN! Give me more of this! Star power rules, brother!

SO JUST CHILL... 'TIL THE NEXT EPISODE!

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© Mr. Tito and LordsofPain.net/WrestlingHeadlines.com - 1998-2017

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