WWE Survivor Series 2020 took place from the Thunderdome, becoming the final PPV to be presented from the Amway Center. The PPV once again featured the brand warfare, which has been the format for the fifth year in a row. Last year’s winners, NXT, were absent from the PPV due to the pandemic concerns, which kept the competition just between the blue brand and the red brand.
A stacked card featuring the top talents from both divisions will undoubtedly produce a great PPV, although the problem of long-term storytelling haunted the show in general.
The matches were fantastic, but do they help the company in the long-term? Will winning the brand supremacy have any great profits for the brand? The absence of stakes often causes great matches to be overshadowed.
Let’s see how the show went down on Sunday night.
Kickoff Show | Battle Royal
WWE added a last-minute battle royal featuring the male superstars from both the brands, who couldn’t find a place on the main-card. Murphy made his entrance with Rey Mysterio and Dominik. The Hurt Business dominated for a while, before Apollo Crews and Ricochet cleaned them up. Ziggler and Roode were eliminated by Dominik, as the scene settled down to Elias, Jeff Hardy, Miz, Chad Gable, and Dominik.
Hardy got one up in his rivalry with Elias before Gable took care of him. Dominik eliminated Miz, but it ended up being a false elimination. Gable and Dominik had a great battle before Mysterio Jr. eliminated the Olympian, but Miz re-entered and eliminated Dominik to win the match.
Result: The Miz won by last eliminating Dominik Mysterio
Analysis: This was a fun battle with several callbacks to the previous rivalries. It was good to see Chad Gable back in action and get a much-needed rub by being in the final three. Dominik continues to impress in his initial few months, and WWE will be looking to put him in some sort of title feud very soon.
The Miz winning with the usual trope of false elimination is getting boring at this point, but it is not WWE-like to display creativity on the pre-show of an event.
Men’s Traditional Survivor Series Match
The top heavyweights from both the brands squared off in this mega ten-man encounter, which surprisingly went first on the main-card. After some initial exchanges, Seth Rollins asked to be tagged into the match, before kneeling in front of Sheamus and taking a Brogue Kick, for the ‘greater good’.
Keith Lee and Otis had a fun brawl before Lee brought in the Monster Among Men. Kevin Owens joined the action from the blue brand and ran wild on Team RAW, delivering a series of stunners, before eating a Phenomenal Forearm from Styles to be eliminated.
Matt Riddle delivered a senton to King Corbin, eliminating his former rival to send RAW up by 5-2. Otis delivered a barrage of suplexes but didn’t last long. He was eliminated after a powerslam from Strowman.
Jey Uso took out all the members with a dive outside the ring, delivered plenty of super-kicks, but a Spirit Bomb from Keith Lee was enough to secure the win for RAW.
Results: Team Raw wins with a clean sweep
Analysis: RAW won the match 5-0, a rare clean sweep in Survivor Series history. However, if one goes through the build for the event, RAW stood strong and seemed more unified than Smackdown, who had problematic individuals stacked up in their team.
There was plenty of good action throughout the match, and seems like the story of Jey Uso not being able to stand up to his family name will come into play later soon while Rollins seems to be on his way out for paternity leave.
Raw Tag Team Champions New Day vs. Smackdown Tag Team Champions Street Profits
New Day reunited with Big E for the show, making their entrance in Gears of War based attire after the recent announcement of their appearance in the video game series.
Kofi Kingston delivered a big dive to the outside to Ford, while Dawkins moved out of the way. Woods planted Dawkins from the apron, as the RAW champs worked a heelish style in the match. After a stretch of New Day having the upper-hand, Dawkins received the hot-tag and ran wild.
New Day took back the momentum with the Midnight Hour but couldn’t secure the win. Ford hit a frog splash, but his injured ribs didn’t allow him to go for the pin. Dawkins and Ford teamed up to hit Woods with the blockbuster for the win.
Result: Street Profits win via pinfall
Analysis: As mentioned earlier, Survivor Series features the best talents from the respective divisions. This guarantees a top-notch match almost every time, and this was just the case. The problems of face vs face matches were not seen in this battle, as New Day turned back the clock to work as heels, while the two young stars weathered the storm.
Street Profits are one for the future, and them getting a win over the future Hall of Famers is a good move.
US Champion Bobby Lashley vs. Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn took on the All Mighty, who was accompanied by his buddies from the Hurt Business. Lashley dominated the match in the initial stages, using his sheer strength to overpower the Great Liberator. Zayn resorted to his tricks, claiming to have vertigo after a suplex by Lashley, and used this distraction for a roll-up.
Zayn’s further antics were neutralized by Shelton Benjamin and MVP, and Lashley ended up locking the Hurt Lock to secure the win for Team RAW.
Result: Bobby Lashley wins by submission
Analysis: This was a glorified squash match between Lashley and Zayn. Although no one is complaining about Lashley’s win, Zayn is a much better wrestler than what he was presented with during the match. The story was to present Zayn’s sneaky character but some more wrestling could have helped to create a better match.
Raw Women’s Champion Asuka vs. Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks
Both the stars tried to counter each other quickly, trying to apply their respective submission maneuvers. Banks delivered a backstabber for the two-count and continued targeting the Empress’ arm. Asuka picked up some momentum and delivered a flurry of offense, ending with a Hip Attack to throw Banks to the outside.
The two stars tussled outside the ring, barely making it to the ring to beat the ten-count. Another backstabber fetched a nearfall for Banks. She locked in the Banks Statement but was unable to win the match. A series of pinfall attempts by both the stars ended with Banks taking the win, after applying the jackknife cover on the RAW champion to win the match.
Result: Sasha Banks wins via pinfall
Analysis: Asuka and Banks have delivered plenty of fantastic encounters in the past, most recently during their battles for the Women’s Tag Titles and the RAW Women’s Title over the summer. Sasha Banks is finally getting a proper run with the title, after winning it on several occasions in the past for limited duration.
Asuka has often been the star who doesn’t need a lot of wins to look good, while Banks is continuing her momentum as the star of Friday nights.
Women’s Traditional Survivor Series Match
Nia Jax dominated the early part of the match, before Lana tagged herself in, much to the anger of Jax, and delivered some offense of her own. Peyton Royce entered the proceedings and took big blows from Bianca Belair and Bayley but survived.
Royce delivered a superplex to Bayley, followed by a De Ja Vu in the ring to eliminate the Golden Role Model from the match. Natalya locked in the Sharpshooter on Royce to eliminate her, before herself being eliminated following a Woman’s Right by Lacey Evans.
The Riot Squad took the fight to Nia Jax, who brought in Shayna Baszler. Baszler applied the Kirifuda Clutch on Riott to eliminate her. A pumped-up Morgan avenged her partner’s exit by hitting a Crucifix Bomb on Lacey Evans for the pin.
Morgan was eliminated after a Samoan Drop from Nia Jax, leaving Bianca Belair alone against the Tag Champions and Lana. Belair put up a good fight and survived Baszler’s submission but Baszler was disqualified for not breaking the hold. While Belair and Jax fought outside the ring, both the stars got counted out, leaving Lana as the sole survivor for Team Raw.
Result: Raw wins with Lana as the sole survivor.
Analysis: This was a great match overall, with the tag champions leading the charge on the RAW side, and other stars like Liv Morgan and Peyton Royce getting some quality in-ring time. Lana winning the match was quite an interesting decision, as she didn’t do anything throughout the match.
Bianca Belair is set to receive a push to the moon, and WWE did the right job by protecting her in the elimination. A victory for the blue brand with Belair as the sole survivor could’ve been a better decision, but this would do.
WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. WWE Champion Drew McIntyre
The two of the very best superstars from their respective brands faced off in the main event, as they looked to get the advantage at the beginning of the match. A big shoulder tackle from McIntyre forced The Tribal Chief to retreat to the outside for a breather.
The two stars brawled for a while before Reigns took over and slowed things down. McIntyre looked to rally a comeback with a belly-to-belly and set up for the Future Shock DDT, but Reigns countered with a Samoan Drop.
Both the stars exchanged big strikes before McIntyre eventually hit the DDT. Reigns came back with the Superman Punch, but the Scot stood tall and hit another suplex.
McIntyre locked in the Kimura but the Universal Champion made it to the bottom rope, and the action began to spill to the outside.
Reigns hit Samoan Drops and two spears but it wasn’t enough. McIntyre hit a Claymore but Reigns accidentally hit the referee, knocking him out. Jey Uso ran in, hitting a superkick on McIntyre, while Reigns hit a low-blow and locked in the guillotine choke. McIntyre passed out, giving Reigns the win.
Result: Roman Reigns wins by submission
Analysis: This is what WWE’s future looks like. Two superstars in their prime, in the shape of their lives, giving one of the best matches we have seen in 2020 so far. It is almost impossible to imagine their match with roles reversed, which took place at WrestleMania last year.
Both the stars look as strong as possible, which is what the company needs from their top two stars on RAW and Smackdown. There was a lot of story to this matchup, which wasn’t the case with most of the other battles on the card, which could mean a future rivalry is possible between Reigns and McIntyre, possibly a Wrestlemania main event.
The Undertaker’s Farewell
Several big-name personalities like Mick Foley, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, etc. stood in the ring for The Undertaker’s farewell. A video package aired with Undertaker’s greatest moments before Vince McMahon introduced the Deadman.
The Undertaker made his entrance in his usual avatar, said it is time for him to rest in peace. A hologram of Paul Bearer appeared as The Undertaker did his trademark pose in the ring. He made his exit for one last-time to end the Survivor Series PPV.