Five Good Things About WWE Survivor Series 2012
Survivor Series has become synonymous with ‘main-event screwjob’ since 1997, and last night’s edition proved no different. Three major debuts for the main roster and an absolute mess of a decision involving the World Heavyweight Championship made sure neither world title changed hands — but that didn’t stop the show from becoming one of WWE’s best shows of the year in terms of in-ring action. Without further ado, I give you the traditional Five Good Things list:
- A Pleasant Surprise from the Tag Team Division ~ WWE decided to pad out the show with an extra Survivor Series Match, and four different tag teams — The Prime Time Players, Epico & Primo, Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd, and Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara — had a chance to shine alongside titans Brodus Clay and Tensai. The good guys had more of a spotlight, and Tyson Kidd turned in an impressive performance that should raise his standing with fans, but even the PTP and Epico/Primo looked good in their losing effort. WWE has done a fair job of rebuilding the tag team division, and matches like this one go a long way towards aiding that rebuild. Maybe WWE will give us a huge Tag Team Gauntlet Match at WrestleMania this year…
- Eve Retains, Tamina Returns: A Good Night for the Divas ~ Between Eve’s successful defense of the Divas Championship in a better-than-average bout with Kaitlyn and the return of Tamina Snuka as Vickie Guerrero’s hired muscle, the Divas Division had some new life breathed into it last night. I expect a new challenger for Eve — other than Kaitlyn or Layla — soon enough, and an AJ/Tamina feud could do wonders towards establishing Tamina as the new ‘powerhouse Diva’ now that Beth Phoenix no longer occupies the role.
- Screwjob #1: The Hoss Fight ~ Big Show and Sheamus have wonderful chemistry in the ring, and that chemistry has saved their matches from becoming boring hossfights or the typical ‘small guy takes down the giant’ affairs. You can’t have a world title match without controversy at Survivor Series, however, and Big Show’s last-ditch attempt to save himself from the Brogue Kick — by pulling the referee into the path of said kick — ensured a screwy finish. Big Show ended up disqualified and retained the World Heavyweight Championship…but Sheamus got his revenge with a flurry of chair shots to the behemoth champion (thus ensuring a Chairs Match at December’s TLC pay-per-view). This makes for an interesting setup, especially considering who still has a Money in the Bank briefcase in his possession…
- He Showed the World ~ When WWE changed the major Survivor Series Match on the card to replace CM Punk with Dolph Ziggler, I don’t think anyone expected Dolph to become the sole survivor for his team. Randy Orton even tried to deliver The Punt to Ziggler to make sure it couldn’t happen. Orton’s violent tendencies got the better of him this time, though: thanks to his delay in setting up the concussion-causing kick, Ziggler managed to nail Orton with a picture-perfect Superkick and win the match for his team. Rumors have swirled about Orton, Ziggler, and the World Heavyweight Championship picture come next year, so this seems like the best possible way to set up a long-term storyline between the two. (Besides, if anyone can pull a watchable singles match out of Randy Orton, Ziggler can.)
- Screwjob #2: Tonight is the Night ~ Finally, the Internet can shut up about when Dean Ambrose will debut. After Ryback had taken out both Cena and Punk with the Shellshock, Ambrose — along with NXT stars Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins — rushed the ring and took Ryback down. The trio of attackers then took Ryback out with a triple-team powerbomb through the Spanish Announce Table before watching Punk pin a defenseless Cena to retain the WWE Championship and make it to 365 days as champ. (Congrats to Punk for the year-long reign!) While the Internet cleans itself up following Ambrose’s debut, several important questions linger about the NXT Three and their connection to either Punk or Paul Heyman — and about how WWE will treat the trio going forward. Can Ambrose live up to all the hype? Will Rollins drop the NXT Championship as a result of his main-roster debut? And just who is Roman Reigns, anyway?