The second longest-running PPV in WWE history, Survivor Series, featured some dream matchups and the fantasy warfare got real one more time. With the added twist of a third brand in NXT, this year promised to be a different ballgame altogether.
The show featured several inter-brand matchups along with a few championship defenses, and overall, it is safe to say that the PPV delivered. There were some low points in the show and quite a few questionable booking decisions, but the show ended up being memorable.
We look at how the PPV went down, with our grades and analysis for the PPV.
Pre-Show: Tag Team Battle Royal
A last-minute addition to the card, the tag-teams of all the three brands featured in the first match for brand supremacy. RAW and SD teams ended the quest of the NXT teams early in the match, and we were left with Revival, OC, Street Profits and Roode-Ziggler.
The Revival ended up being thrown out by the Street Profits, and Ziggler dropped Luke Gallows with a superkick. Robert Roode pushed Montez Ford to give Smackdown their first win of the night.
Result: Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler won
Analysis: There was nothing much to note in the matchup, as it was a typical pre-show match with no build-up whatsoever. The main tag-teams received the proper attention while the less popular ones like Lucha House Party nad Hawkins-Ryder were simply in there to fill the ring.
Ziggler and Roode have been on a roll recently, teaming up with King Corbin on SmackDown, and they could very well face the threat of the returning Usos soon, who will be the backup for Roman Reigns.
NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match: Lio Rush(c) vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Kalisto
The roster of 205 Live went at it once again on the pre-show, in yet another match with zero build and momentum whatsoever. All the three competitors dished out their fast-paced offense early on in the match, but couldn’t get the upper hand.
Lio Rush hit a double Spanish Fly from the top rope, following which Kalisto hit the Salina de Sol on the champion. Tozawa saved the matchup, only to receive the second Salina de Sol of the evening. Rush took advantage and hit the Final Hour for the win.
Result: Lio Rush retained via pinfall
Analysis: The story in this match was similar to probably every Cruiserweight Championship match ever. The competitors performed well and gave it their all, but the crowd was not really into the matchup. With rumors of 205 Live ending soon and the competitors finding solace on either of the three brands, the future looks bleak for superstars like Tozawa, who will find it difficult to get proper screen time on the main roster.
Viking Raiders vs. The New Day vs. Undisputed Era
The tag-team champions of the respective brands competed in the last match on the pre-show, with the scores 0-1-1, for RAW, SmackDown and NXT.
The heels were subjected to an assault by the babyfaces, less than 24 hours after their grueling match at WarGames. The RAW and SmackDown teams went at each other, giving the Undisputed Era to launch a counter-attack.
Kofi Kingston and Big E were taken out of the match in the closing moments, leaving the Undisputed Era and Viking Raiders in the ring. Erik & Ivar dodged a high-low attempt and hit the Viking Experience for the win.
Result: Viking Raiders defeated The New Day and Undisputed Era
Analysis: This was the first advertised match of the night, and it felt that way from start to finish. All the six competitors are tremendous athletes and brought their A-game to the fore, never letting the action slow down.
The Undisputed Era looked justifiably slower than usual, while the rest of the four individuals did what they do best. This match had all rights of being on the main show but sadly it had to be featured on the pre-show itself.