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SMARK COUNTRY: Survivor Series 2016 Recap

There is a term in WWE known as the “Big Four”. This refers to the four most important pay-per-view events each year; the Royal Rumble near the beginning of the year, WrestleMania in the spring, SummerSlam in mid-August and Survivor Series right around Thanksgiving. While the first three have always been the marquee attraction that season, Survivor Series has not felt like a major event in several years. WWE went to a lot of trouble to book some rare main events for this year’s SS. How did the show fare?

TEAM RAW WOMEN (BAYLEY, ALICIA FOX, NIA JAX, SASHA BANKS & CHARLOTTE) vs. TEAM SMACKDOWN WOMEN (BECKY LYNCH, NAOMI, ALEXA BLISS, CARMELLA & NIKKI BELLA): During the ring intros, the Captain of Team SmackDown, Nikki Bella was conveniently absent. They cut to backstage, where doctors and General Manager Daniel Bryan were tending to an injured Nikki Bella. Her attacker was not yet known. Natalya filled in for the injured Bella. Alicia Fox started off the match against Carmella. Neither are the most skilled ring workers as Fox missed a dropkick that Carmella sold anyway. Fox followed it up with an impressive Northern Lights Suplex. Carmella nearly injured Fox with a Bronco Buster. Carmella tagged in Lynch. Fox tagged in Bayley. Before they could lock up, Charlotte gagged herself in. Then immediately Sasha Banks tagged herself in. Banks and Charlotte nearly came to blows. It wasn’t long before chaos broke out and all of the women began to brawl. Nia Jax showed her impressive strength, taking out multiple SmackDown competitors and forcing Team Blue to rethink their strategy. Lynch kept he technical offense and went for the Disarmer, but Charlotte made it to the ropes, forcing the break. Nia Jax was tagged in and devastated Becky Lynch, and then Carmella. Alexa Bliss tried her luck and was shoulder blocked into next week. Naomi didn’t fare any better. Natalya and Carmella both ate a double clothesline from Jax. Carmella and Fox both tagged in, her Bronco Buster attempt found no one home this time, as Fox dodged it, hit Carmella with a scissor kick and eliminated her. Bliss hit a beautiful splash to eliminate Alicia Fox.

Jax launched Naomi into the ring post and performed a variation of the Low Down to the floor outside the ring. Naomi was somehow eliminated via count out (count outs usually don’t occur in this match type. Sasha Banks delivers the double knees to both Bliss and Natalya, who were stacked in the corner. Natalya got a quick roll up pin on Banks. Charlotte and Natalya lit each other up with knife edge chops. Natalya nearly pinned Charlotte with a running powerbomb. She followed up with a Sharpshooter, but Dana Brooke helped Charlotte make it to the rope to break the submission. Charlotte drilled Natalya with a big boot and eliminated her. Lynch and Bliss tried to perform a double suplex to Jax, but Nia reversed it and catapulted both women. They botched a double team DDT, but Lynch locked in the Disarmer to make Jax tap out. Jax gave a going away present and hurled Lynch into the security barrier. Bliss was blindsided by a boot from Charlotte and eliminated. Lynch escaped a Figure Four Leg Lock attempt and mounted a comeback, hitting Charlotte with an Exploder suplex and a top rope leg drop. Bayley broke up the attempted pin fall. Lynch and Bayley went back and forth in the middle of the ring. In the end, Bayley weathered the repeated leg drops and Disarmer attempts and pinned Lynch after the Bayley to Belly suplex. WINNERS: TEAM RAW WOMEN

SAMI ZAYN vs. THE MIZ (Intercontinental Championship): The additional stipulation, stating that if Zayn won the IC title, the championship would then move to Raw, added some much needed dramatic weight to this seemingly “out of nowhere” match. These men locked up and, had this been weeks ago, I would have expected Zayn to wrestle circles around the Miz. However this reinvigorated Miz has been on fire. Zayn worked the arm for quite a bit before Miz went to the outside. Zayn attempted a moonsault off of the security barrier, but missed. Miz’ wife, Maryse, provided a quick distraction, allowing Miz to chop block the leg of Zayn. Miz continued to work the leg, hitting Zayn with a double knee stomp. Zayn catapulted him out of the ring and seemed like he was about to go for a Tope Suicida. But Miz grabbed his leg and slammed it into the ring post several times. Miz went for a Figure Four Leg Lock, but Zayn fought out of it. Zayn mounted a comeback once he nearly knocked Miz out of his boots with a devastating clothesline. Sami Zayn limped across the ring and launched himself to Miz, who was outside the ring, with a Tope con Hilo.

Miz then proceeded to mock Daniel Bryan’s YES chant and did repeated dropkicks in the corner to Zayn. Miz missed a top rope double axe handle and Zayn caught him with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Zayn missed the Helluva Kick and Miz locked in the Figure Four. Zayn reversed the submission, forcing the break. Miz took another page from Daniel Bryan’s playbook with the repeated kicks to Zayn’s chest. He missed the last one and Zayn dodged and then locked in a Figure Four of his own. The ring bell suddenly rang. Both competitors looked and saw that it was Maryse who rang it. While distracted, Miz got the roll up pin, keeping the IC belt on SmackDown. WINNER: THE MIZ

TEAM RAW TAG TEAMS (ENZO AMORE & BIG CASS, THE SHINING STARS, THE CLUB, SHEAMUS & CESARO and THE NEW DAY) vs. TEAM SMACKDOWN TAG TEAMS (HEATH SLATER & RHYNO, BREEZANGO, THE USOS, THE HYPE BROS & AMERICAN ALPHA): Both teams nearly came to blows before the opening bell even rang. Fandango started off against Big E, who, along with Kofi Kingston, eliminated Fandango immediately. Jey Uso immediately eliminated Kofi Kingston. Gallows, Big Cass and Epico all went to work on Jey. Jey got the tag to Ryder, who delivered a flap jack to Epico. Mojo Rawley tagged in and went wild, before Epico got a tag and hit a double team DDT. Rawley and Karl Anderson took each other out with a colliding cross body block. Anderson and Gallows hit Ryder with the Magic Killer. Gable and Jordan hit a double team top rope bulldog on Primo, eliminating him. Both teams began brawling all over ringside. There were so many high spots that it was hard to keep up. After Jordan catapulted his partner, Gable, over the top rope to the opponents outside, the Club hit Jordan with the Magic Killer, eliminating him. Slater made the hot tag to Rhyno, who hit Gallows with a Gore, eliminating him. But Amore caught Rhyno with a splash from the top rope, quickly eliminating him. Jimmy Uso hit Amore with a super kick and then Jey splashed him, eliminating Enzo. Sheamus wailed on Jey with repeated forearms to the chest. Jey caught Sheamus with an Enziguri. Then a double super kick was delivered to Cesaro. Sheamus caught Jimmy Uso with a Brogue kick. Sheamus made the hot tag to Cesaro, who delivered the Uppercut Train to Jey Uso. Cesaro paid tribute to Rey Mysterio by hitting Jimmy Uso with a 619. Cesaro did a big swing to Jey Uso that lasted seemingly forever. Jey Uso locked in a Tequila Sunrise to Cesaro. Cesaro countered it into a Sharpshooter. Jimmy tried to save his brother, but Sheamus hit him with a Brogue kick, allowing Cesaro to get the submission win. WINNERS: TEAM RAW TAG TEAMS

KALISTO vs. THE BRIAN KENDRICK (Cruiserweight Championship): Kendrick wisely tried to keep Kalisto grounded. But the offense went back and forth quite often. Kendrick went for Sliced Bread #2, but Kalisto escaped it. Kalisto went for Solida del Sol, but Kendrick avoided it at the last second. Kendrick did a roll up, catapulting Kalisto into the turnbuckle. He then placed Kalisto’s head in between the apron and the metal ring stairs and tried to crush Kalisto’s head with them. Kendrick locked in a reverse chin lock. This wore down Kalisto significantly. Kendrick went for the Captain’s Hook submission, but Kalisto evaded it. Kendrick vaulted Kalisto into the top rope, nearly choking him. Kalisto and Kendrick went back and forth on the ring apron, then Kalisto locked in Kendrick and did a Spanish Fly off of the apron to the floor. Kalisto followed up with a Tope Suicida. He rolled Kendrick back into the ring, but Kendrick cut off his tope rope Solida del Sol attempt by raking the eyes. He then locked in the Captain’s Hook submission from the top rope, but Kalisto made it to the bottom rope to force the break. Kalisto went on a tear with innovative offense, like a head scissors DDT. He hit Kendrick with the Solida del Sol, but Kendrick got his foot on the rope to force the break. Baron Corbin came out of nowhere and attacked both athletes, causing the match to end due to disqualification: WINNER: THE BRIAN KENDRICK

TEAM SMACKDOWN (SHANE MCMAHON, BRAY WYATT, RANDY ORTON, DEAN AMBROSE & AJ STYLES) vs. TEAM RAW (SETH ROLLINS, ROMAN REIGNS, BRAUN STROWMAN, CHRIS JERICHO & KEVIN OWENS): Styles started off facing down Owens. Both men went hold for hold in the opening minutes. The crowd was split, half chanting “AJ STYLES, the other chanting “FIGHT OWENS FIGHT”. Owens went for the Package pile driver, but Styles countered. Styles went for the Styles Clash, but Owens evaded. Owens tagged in Jericho and the crowd showed their adulation for the native Canadian superstar. Styles caught Jericho flush with a beautiful dropkick. Jericho gave a hard tag to Seth Rollins. Before they could lock up, Styles tagged in Ambrose. Both men went for repeated standing switches. Arm bars reversed into hammer locks reversed into side headlocks, Ambrose and Rollins know each other well. Jericho tagged back in, still upset at Ambrose for destroying Jericho’s $15,000 light up jacket. Jericho went for the Walls of Jericho, but Ambrose countered. Shane tagged in and lit Jericho up with rapid fire jabs to the face and abdomen. Shane-O-Mac delivered several deep arm drags, but got caught with a missile dropkick from Jericho. Rollins tagged back in, then quickly tagged in Reigns as they double teamed McMahon. It wouldn’t take long for both teams to all pile into the ring and unleash on each other. Owens went to the top rope and did a cannonball to all of the opponents outside of the ring. Shane attempted to do the same, but Strowman tossed him from the top rope. Styles and Ambrose couldn’t work together long before they began to brawl. This allowed Strowman to get the pin on Ambrose. Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Strowman tossed Styles over the top rope so sloppily that AJ may have re-injured his back. Bray Wyatt finally faced off with his Frankenstein monster, Strowman. He convinced Strowman to attack his teammate, Jericho. But Strowman then attacked his former master. As Strowman was clearing the announcers table, Randy Orton hit an RKO out of nowhere, to Strowman. He and Wyatt placed Strowman on the announcer’s table. Shane McMahon then did a leaping elbow drop from the top rope to Strowman, through the table. Styles rolled Shane back into the ring, but Strowman couldn’t make it back into the ring in time because of James Ellsworth, SmackDown’s mascot, hiding under the ring and holding Strowman’s feet. This caused Strowman to be eliminated. Styles attempted a Styles Clash, but Jericho countered into a Walls of Jericho, but Styles countered back into a Calf Crusher.

Styles sucker punched Owens. Owens grabbed Jericho’s “list” and hit Styles with it and then delivered a pop up powerbomb. Owens was then disqualified. While Jericho was preoccupied with recovering the strewn pages of his list, Randy Orton delivered an RKO and eliminated him. After Reigns cleaned house, Shane hurled him, shoulder first, into the ring post. Shane went for the Van Terminator, but Reigns speared him in mid air. McMahon was not in good shape, as doctors came to the ring to help escort Shane, who was eliminated, out of the ring. Rollins hit a top rope Superplex to Styles and then followed it up with a Falcon Arrow. Ambrose came back into the ring and started attacking Styles. Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins were on the same page for all of five minutes and hit a triple team power bomb to Styles, through a table. This allowed Rollins to pin Styles. Luke Harper appeared out of nowhere to assist Wyatt and Orton, delivering a massive side kick to Reigns. Rollins went for a Frog Splash to Wyatt, but Orton nailed him with an RKO in mid air, eliminating Rollins. Vince McMahon made the foolish mistake of once again forcing the crowd to cheer for Reigns by making him the last survivor for Team Raw, much like last year. The crowd saw right through this and started chanting “Let’s Go SmackDown!” Reigns went for the spear, but Orton sacrificed himself by jumping in front of Wyatt and taking the hit. This allowed Wyatt to deliver Sister Abigail and get the win. WINNERS: TEAM SMACKDOWN

BROCK LESNAR vs. GOLDBERG: I do not know how to describe what I witnessed. After missing in-ring action for 12 years, Goldberg, after getting tossed into the corner pushed Lesnar, sending the Beast careening. Goldberg delivered two powerful spears. Lesnar was out of it after those. Goldberg grabbed Lesnar and held him high up for several seconds before drilling him with a Jackhammer, for the 1…2…3. WINNER: GOLDBERG

Despite some incredibly long matches, some good, some bad, that main event was not quite what I expected. Normally, I would be angry at the final match of a pay-per-view ending so abruptly. But with the unexpected Goldberg win, I doubt that he’s going to call it a wrap after that and expect a follow up to this match. What were your thoughts on Survivor Series 2016.

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