Review for WWE Survivor Series 2018
The Survivor Series PPV has become almost a Smackdown vs. Raw PPV. This is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact it allows for some interesting match-ups between the brand champs, but it could be argued that (apart from Bragging rights) it renders the PPV meaningless.
The three biggest stories going into this PPV were the removal of Becky Lynch from her match against Ronda Rousey due to injury, Brock Lesnar becoming Universal Champion again after Roman Reigns was forced to stand down due to illness and of course the Heel-turn and WWE Championship win of Daniel Bryan.
When I first watched this PPV I hated it. On reflection, I feel I was too harsh, however many of my comments do still stand. After her injuring Becky Lynch, derailing what was set to be an amazing confrontation between her and Rousey I was shocked and stunned that the WWE would reward Nia Jax with a win in the Women’s Traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Match. This match featured Bayley, Sasha Banks, Mickie James, Nia Jax, against Tamina vs. Naomi, Asuka, Carmella, Sonya Deville, and Mandy Rose. My biggest issue with this is that the Raw side was just stacked and the Smackdown side just felt too weak.
Following this, we had match of the night with the Intercontinental Champion vs. United States Champion match between Seth Rollins and Shinsuke Nakamura which was a fantastic match-up between the two and really showed why they were the workhorses for each brand. I was captivated throughout and at any given moment was cheering for one or the other which was great.
Shame the same can’t be said about the RAW Tag Team Champions vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions match with the AOP against The Bar. This match was a mess and such a shame as I genuinely consider The Bar to be one of the best teams at the moment. I don’t understand the inclusion of the Big Show and this did nothing for the match. Disappointing.
Once again it is up to the WWE Cruiserweights to show how to entertain a crowd with a Championship Match between Buddy Murphy and Mustafa Ali. I don’t watch 205 Live, but I feel like I should because this match was amazing.
The final Traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Match features Raw Team Braun Strowman, Finn Bálor, Bobby Lashley, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre against The Miz, Shane McMahon, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio and Samoa Joe. This was a passable match, with some good moments, but by this point the whole Smackdown vs. Raw thing was out of the window and so I’m not sure what the point of all that was. This could have been better and like much of the PPV had no real consequence to any of it.
My biggest issue with Ronda Rousey against Charlotte Flair is this felt like a wasted Wrestlemania moment. I would have put money on Flair winning the Rumble and challenging Rousey and this could easily be the main event. That being said, the match is fine, nothing special and really that’s why it’s so disappointing.
Finally and thankfully, the PPV ends with the Universal Champion vs. WWE Champion
match between Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan. I say ‘thankfully’ not because it is good, but because it means the show is over. It’s going to break me to say this, but, this was an awful Daniel Bryan match. That feels wrong saying that. The whole match felt mismatched and the outcome was predictable and not in a good way. Brock Lesnar wrestled in the same way he always did and I had hoped that Bryan would have gotten a more technical match out of him, instead this was just by the numbers and unmemorable.
Included in the extras are some segments from the Kickoff Show. It is odd that they don’t include the whole thing and maybe more, but this was fine. The extra segments are nice, but not something you would watch more than once. The additional Survivor Series match is actually pretty good it features Team Smackdown (The Usos, The New Day, The Colons and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson against Team Raw (The Ascension, Lucha House Party, The Revival, The B-Team and Bobby Roode and Chad Gable). The match did feel a bit overcrowded with everyone involved, but I can’t deny it was fun and exciting. Although it is odd that the outcome was not included in the PPV tally for victories?
Survivor Series 2018 was a disappointing PPV more because it had so many moments of greatness. There were some fantastic matches throughout with Seth Rollins and Shinsuke Nakamura and Buddy Murphy against Mustapha Ali being matches that should be watched again. However, these matches are just shining lights amongst a lot of disappointing matches. Maybe if they had played the Smackdown vs. Raw part better it would have been more enjoyable. As it is, if you miss this PPV it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things and this is such a shame.