This year’s WWE Survivor Series event continued the tradition of the last two years by making the show about Raw vs. Smackdown. There was nothing on the line at the show except bragging rights between Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and her brother, Smackdown Commissioner Shane McMahon. It ended up being a night where Raw dominated the main Survivor Series card with six wins compared to no wins for Smackdown. There was a bit of a problem with those numbers, though, which I’ll get to below.

The event had a run time of 3:34:07 on WWE Network, so it was about 20 minutes shorter than I expected. I didn’t mind that, though. I think going four hours is too long, and knowing WWE likes going over three hours for these PPV shows, I think the length of the show was just right.

Here are the results of the eight matches that took place:

  • Team Smackdown defeated Team Raw in a 10-team Tag Team Match on the Kickoff Show.
  • Team Raw Women’s Team defeated Team Smackdown in a 5-on-5 elimination match with Nia Jax as the sole survivor.
  • Seth Rollins (Raw) defeated Shinsuke Nakamura (Smackdown)
  • AOP (Raw) defeated The Bar (Smackdown)
  • Buddy Murphy defeated Mustafa Ali to retain the Cruiserweight Title
  • Team Raw Men’s Team defeated Team Smackdown in a 5-on-5 elimination match with Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre, and Bobby Lashley as the survivors.
  • Ronda Rousey (Raw) defeated Charlotte Flair (Smackdown) by disqualification
  • Brock Lesnar (Raw) defeated Daniel Bryan (Smackdown)

Raw went 6-0 in the matches on the main show and at the end of the night, a graphic was shown to remind us of that.

Here are my ten takeaways from Survivor Series in order of when the matches took place.

10. The Kickoff Show match was completely ignored in the standings of the night, even though it was a good match

There were five Raw tag teams facing off with five Smackdown tag teams during the Kickoff Show that started at 5pmET and 2pm locally in Los Angeles. Near the end of the Kickoff Show, the match took place and Smackdown won with The Usos as the sole survivors. That didn’t surprise me because they are arguably the best team in the company. What surprised me was how the rest of the night was booked.

If you watched Survivor Series, then you know that as soon as the first main card match was over, a graphic aired saying Raw was up 1-0 on Smackdown. Shortly after that, Corey Graves said that wasn’t right because Smackdown won the Kickoff Show match, so Michael Cole (likely being told to say this by Vince McMahon) said that they were talking about the main card.

The question is this: If WWE wanted Raw to win every match, then why book Smackdown to win this match? I don’t get it. I know Raw has the worse tag team division, so that might be the reason for that decision. I just think it’s ridiculous to say that Raw won every match on the card…if you ignore the Kickoff Show. You should be better than that, WWE.

To summarize all this: WWE let us know that the Kickoff Show doesn’t matter. It’s not a great way to sell Kickoff Show matches in the future. If you wrestled in that Kickoff Show match, be proud of the match, even if WWE wants to completely ignore your performance.

9. Former Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore getting kicked out of the arena provided some unintentional comedy

It was interesting watching this show last night and checking my Twitter feed at the same time because suddenly, there were tweets about how former Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore was in the crowd. He bought a ticket and sat in the second row with a hoodie on.

Enzo was fired earlier this year after sexual assault allegations against him. The charges were dropped due to a lack of evidence, but Enzo was on thin ice in WWE before that due to behavioral issues that caused him to be strongly disliked by a lot of people in the company.

In the video above, you can see Enzo standing up and trying to get attention from the crowd, but then he was pulled away by a WWE security guard. The fans in the arena stood up to see what happened. He appeared at Survivor Series to get some attention and that’s what he got, so I guess in his mind he was successful in that regard. I think he’s an idiot.

8. Wrestling in t-shirts to show what brand the wrestlers are on was completely unnecessary

I know the story of the night was about proving what brand was better than the other, but do we really need to see nearly every wrestler on this show competing in red or blue t-shirts? I don’t think so. We know what side the wrestlers are on, WWE. We are watching this show because we watch the other shows, so it’s not a good idea to insult the fans by doing this.

It was so awkward watching guys like Shinsuke Nakamura and Seth Rollins wrestling in t-shirts. Nakamura’s pants looked like he was a hospital worker. Okay, so it wasn’t that bad and I’m exaggerating a bit, but it just made Nakamura look less cool than he is.

This is something WWE has done for the last three years at Survivor Series, and I hope they stop doing it next year because it looks silly. It doesn’t tell us anything about “brand supremacy” that WWE loves to talk about. It just shows us how WWE thinks their fans are stupid.

7. Nia Jax was hated more than anybody on the show as she led Team Raw to victory

The women’s elimination match that opened the main Survivor Series show was just an average tag team match. The crowd cared about it a little bit, but really they only reacted to one woman in a major way and that was Nia Jax. There was also a change on the Raw team with Ruby Riott and Natalya replaced due to fighting on the Kickoff Show, so captain Alexa Bliss used Bayley and Sasha Banks to replace them. The WWE creative team loves changing their mind, as we all know.

The reaction to Jax was not a surprise to me since one of my predictions for the show (right here on The Comeback) was that Jax would get booed more than anybody on the show. That’s because Jax broke Becky Lynch’s nose on Raw with one punch and Lynch is as popular as anybody right now, so the crowd hated that Lynch was off Survivor Series due to Nia punching too hard. Every time Jax did anything, the crowd responded with boos or “Becky” chants.

A lot of people were upset with the Jax win, which is what WWE wants. After all, she’s a heel. I think that it’s okay to be upset because Jax legitimately hurt Lynch with an errant punch, so why reward her with a victory? They could have put somebody else over in the match. It was likely done because Jax was already the number one contender to the Raw Women’s Title after her battle royal win at Evolution last month, so this was WWE’s way of putting Jax over huge. Jax got the win after she shoved her teammate Sasha Banks off the ropes into the Asuka Lock submission by Asuka. With Banks out of the way, Jax finished off Asuka with multiple leg drops and a Samoan Drop to get the win for her team.

Even though I am not a Nia Jax fan, because I find her to be incredibly boring, I give her credit for reacting to the boos well when she was in the match and in the post match video above. She likely feels terrible about hurting Lynch, but that doesn’t mean fans are going to stop giving her a hard time.

6. Seth Rollins defeated Shinsuke Nakamura in a competitive match with surprisingly no interference

Rollins and Nakamura had a very even match that had some good moments, although it never reached the point where I would call it a great match. They kept busting out some of their best moves leading to believable nearfall spots. In the end, Rollins got the win thanks to The Stomp on the back of the head. Basically, the story was the at the first guy to hit their finisher was going to win, and that ended up being Rollins.

I thought Dean Ambrose was going to interfere in the match to cost Seth Rollins the victory. If he didn’t do that then I figured he would show up for a cheap attack after the match was over. Ambrose did none of that. In fact, Ambrose wasn’t even the show. It was announced that Rollins will face Ambrose for the IC Title at TLC next month, so at least that was some progress on their rivalry.

As for what’s next for Nakamura, I think a feud with Rey Mysterio for the US Title would be a smart move. I can see Rey winning the title from him perhaps as soon as TLC. Mysterio could feud with a younger guy in Andrade “Cien” Almas after that, and that would be a way to get the title onto Almas to build him up down the road.

5. The matchup of Tag Team Champions turned into a joke

The worst match of the night honors goes to the matchup of Tag Team Champions with AOP from Raw facing off with The Bar from Smackdown. The crowd had no interest in this match because they are both heel teams, so when they did stuff like Sheamus getting the hot tag from Cesaro, the fans didn’t cheer at all.

The match ended up becoming a joke when AOP’s manager Drake Maverick saved his guys by putting a foot on the bottom rope after a Brogue Kick from Sheamus. Maverick ran away from Cesaro, but Big Show was there to knock him down. Show put Maverick on the apron to tease a Chokeslam and then…Maverick pissed himself. I don’t know how they gimmicked it, but that’s the finish they came up with as liquid appeared in Maverick’s pants with the idea that was he was scared of Big Show so much that he felt he had to relieve himself.

Shortly after that, AOP attacked Sheamus and hit a double team Powerbomb move to win the match. It was the shortest match on the card at around nine minutes, and was also the worst match on the show.

This was not a good night for WWE’s tag team division after the Kickoff Show match was completely ignored and then ending this match due to a dude pissing himself. Weak booking, even though it was mildly entertaining.

4. Buddy Murphy retained the Cruiserweight Title in one of the most exciting matches of the night

The problem with WWE’s cruiserweight division on a night like this is that you’ve got all these matches featuring Raw and Smackdown stars, and then you also have this match. The audience for WWE’s 205 Live brand is much smaller than Raw or Smackdown, so as soon as these guys got out there, the crowd was dead. The good news is that once the match got going, the fans really got into it because the action was great.

Murphy and Ali did a lot of cool high-flying moves, as well as a few scary bumps. Any time a guy is launched over the top floor leading to a bump on the legs, there’s always a chance for an injury. These guys work so well together and they avoided any injuries, so that’s a positive. The match turned a corner when Ali hit a Spanish Fly off the announce table, which drew a huge reaction from the crowd. Murphy ended up winning soon after in a match that was given 12 minutes.

Some people that I interacted with on Twitter thought this was the match of the night. I wouldn’t agree with that because I liked the last two matches better, but this was up there as one of the better matches. Hopefully it leads for more of a spotlight for 205 Live. Realistically, though, nothing’s going to change. I don’t see the cruiserweight division really growing that much in the WWE Universe any time soon.

3. Braun Strowman led Team Raw to victory in the most dominant performance of the night

The most predictable match of the night was the men’s elimination 5-on-5 Raw vs. Smackdown match because of the presence of Braun Strowman. The Smackdown team featured guys that weren’t being pushed the right way, while Raw had Strowman and Drew McIntyre, both of whom win nearly every match they are in (unless Braun is in the ring against Brock Lesnar).

McIntyre eliminated Samoa Joe in the first 30 seconds of the match, which made Joe like such a loser instead of the badass that he should be. I don’t know why WWE’s creative team has soured on Joe so much, but they have. After that elimination, the Smackdown guys had a nice run where they worked together well and eliminated both Finn Balor and Dolph Ziggler, and even took out Strowman temporarily. The move used to take out Strowman was a Shane McMahon elbow off the top rope that put Strowman through the table. It was especially impressive since Shane is 48 years old.

Others on the Raw side like Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre looked good while they were in there, but they were just taking up time until Strowman got back into it. Strowman ended up using a Powerslam to pin Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, and The Miz leading to Shane as the lone Smackdown guy against Strowman, Lashley, and McIntyre. Strowman beat Shane easily as well, so Strowman was responsible for three eliminations in about three minutes. I thought the match was okay, but hardly anything special. It was just an average elimination match that was given 24 minutes.

After the match was over, Baron Corbin attacked Strowman from behind with a forearm to the back. Corbin retreated before Strowman could get his hands on him. It’s expected that Strowman will face Corbin at TLC next month, so the next four weeks of Raw will build to that.

I hope there’s a good reason for booking Smackdown as the inferior brand all night long. The above tweet from Shane McMahon suggests that maybe WWE will move ahead with his heel turn to make him more like Stephanie to motivate the talent on the show.

2. Charlotte Flair snapped after she was unable to beat Ronda Rousey

If I were to give an award for the combination of best match and storyline after the match, it would go to the first ever Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair match. I was so impressed by this match. They only had about five days to prepare for it, yet they managed to tell an incredible story featuring a nice mix of technical wrestling with each woman going for submission finishers and also some good nearfalls throughout the match as well.

My expectation was that Rousey would get the win in a hard-fought match that got around 10-15 minutes. What happened was a shock because Flair attacked Rousey with a kendo stick to the ribs at around the 14 minute mark. It was officially a disqualification win for Rousey, so that meant Raw was 5-0 on the main Survivor Series show.

After the match was over, Flair continued her kendo stick again, breaking it over Rousey’s back and then attacking her with another kendo stick. Flair also used a chair to beat down Rousey. The crowd response to all of this was interesting, because they cheered Flair for most of it, probably because the crowd supported Smackdown most of the night. The attack intensified with Flair putting a chair around Rousey’s throat and stomping on it. The whole thing was outstanding. The fact that it was unexpected made it even better.

Rousey is amazing, especially considering she only wrestled her first match back in April at WrestleMania. For her to be able to put on matches of this quality already shows how great of an athlete she is. You need to be more than an athlete to be successful at pro wrestling because of the mental aspect involved. Clearly, Rousey loves what she is doing now and she’s having a lot of success at it. Hard work pays off. She took that beating by Charlotte so well. It’s part of the story to have her take that beating so that she can come back stronger than ever.

Is Flair a heel after that attack? I think she should be because what she did were the actions of a heel. In today’s wrestling world, especially in the women’s division, it’s harder than ever to be a true heel because fans want to cheer them. It happened with Becky Lynch. It might happen with Flair following her actions against Rousey. I would say she’s a heel in theory, but I don’t know if the crowd will react to it that way.

I’m not sure when we’ll see Rousey vs. Flair II, but I think the Royal Rumble would be a good spot for it. They can do Rousey vs. Becky Lynch at WrestleMania as rumored. That sounds nice to me.

1. Brock Lesnar defeated Daniel Bryan in the main event that was surprisingly competitive

I really enjoyed the main event of Survivor Series, featuring Raw’s Universal Champion Brock Lesnar facing off with Smackdown’s WWE Champion Daniel Bryan. There was some concern going into the match about Lesnar possibly hurting Bryan due to Lesnar’s famous German Suplexes where he tosses guys across the ring and they have to take a back bump that sometimes ends up being a head/neck bump.

Lesnar dominated this match for the first eight minutes. After Bryan tried to use his speed to get away from his much larger opponent, Lesnar hit Bryan with multiple German and belly to belly suplexes that gave Lesnar control of the match. Lesnar even hit his F5 finishing move on Bryan, but instead of pinning him, Lesnar picked up Bryan to beat him up some more. That’s what jerks like Lesnar do. It also led to a change in the match with Bryan getting his momentum back.

The spot in the match that I liked the most was when Lesnar went for a F5, but Bryan ended up bumping into referee Mike Chioda, who was right there to take the bump. With the referee disorientated, Bryan capitalized with a low blow kick to the balls (his new specialty!) and a running knee to the face. Bryan covered for a two count that the crowd got really excited about because it looked like Bryan was going to win that. It was the best nearfall of the match.

Bryan also nearly won with the Yes Lock submission move. When Lesnar broke it, Bryan hit him with forearms to the face that looked nasty. Bryan applied the Yes Lock again, but Lesnar got out again. Lesnar managed to get back up, hit another F5, and this time he covered to win after about 19 minutes of action.

The match was similar in booking and style to the Lesnar match with AJ Styles at last year’s Survivor Series. The difference here is that Bryan is a heel while Styles was a face, but it really didn’t hurt the match in any way. In both cases, I expected Lesnar to win. Also in both cases, I’m glad they had competitive matches instead of a five minute easy win for Lesnar.

I thought this was the match of the night, although Charlotte and Ronda had the most interesting story to go along with their match. Bryan was the star of this match, but Lesnar more than held his own while reminding us he can be a great pro wrestler when he wants to be.

After the show was over, Bryan walked away with a smile on his face in a video that WWE released on Youtube. I think it shows how Bryan’s character is going to evolve now that he’s in the role of a heel WWE Champion. I assume Bryan vs. Styles is next at TLC, which is great because they always have awesome matches together.

Final Thoughts

Survivor Series was a good show that I enjoyed a lot, especially the last four matches. The first half dragged a bit, but when the most memorable parts of the night are the last two matches that’s a good thing because it shows that the show ended the right way.

My fave WWE PPV of the year was the women’s only Evolution show last month. After that it’s the Royal Rumble and Survivor Series is right there with Money in the Bank as some of the better PPVs of the year.

The next WWE pay-per-view event available on WWE Network is WWE TLC (Tables, Ladders and Chairs) on Sunday, December 16th. That’s the last WWE PPV of the year.

About John Canton

John has been writing about WWE online since the late 1990s. He joined The Comeback/Awful Announcing team in 2015. Follow John Canton on Twitter @johnreport or email him at with any comments or questions. For more of his wrestling opinions, visit his website at Cheap pop!