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Kevin’s Random Reviews: WWE Survivor Series 2014

January 4, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Kevin’s Random Reviews: WWE Survivor Series 2014  

WWE Survivor Series 2014
November 23rd, 2014 | Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri | Attendance: 12,000

It was the first Survivor Series of the WWE Network era. The Authority angle was in full swing and they put together a team to battle John Cena and his buddies. There was also the rumor of a certain WCW legend possibly appearing for the first time in WWE history. There was almost a guarantee this would be a buzzworthy evening. It was the 28th Survivor Series in history.

Thanks to the WWE Network, I have access to the Kickoff Show, where two matches took place. I only watched the matches and not the panel talk. Commentary consisted of Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL.

Fandango w/ Rosa Mendes vs. Justin Gabriel
This was the big repackaging of Fandango, where he was more of a Latin style dancer. Rosa Mendes was in no way an improvement over Summer Rae. Gabriel was such a jobber by this point, he didn’t even get his entrance shown. For being “new and improved,” Fandango didn’t change much. There wasn’t a lot to his game that felt new or different. Gabriel’s high risk stuff cost him as he missed a springboard attack and ate a clothesline. Fandango won with his flying leg drop in 3:18. Inoffensive, though mostly a squash. [*½]

Cesaro vs. Jack Swagger w/ Zeb Colter
At the start of 2014, these guys were a team. Cesaro seemed headed for a big face run after winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania, only to go heel with a Paul Heyman who only talked up Brock Lesnar and not him. No longer with Heyman, Cesaro cut a promo during his entrance saying he was rooting for Team Authority in the main event and reverted back to his 2012 heel run of speaking in different languages. The match was kept short, but featured solid back and forth action. Swagger looked for the Ankle Lock, while Cesaro used his power to his advantage. Cesaro escaped the Ankle Lock once, but couldn’t a second time and tapped out at 5:34. A solid match that featured a good amount of action for being so short. [**½]

To start the main card, Vince McMahon came out. I’ve never been a fan of promos on PPVs. He simply introduced Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, who sucked up to him big time. Vince wasn’t having any of that and introduced John Cena. HHH and Cena traded words over how Cena’s teammates will all be fired if Team Authority wins. Stephanie brought up how she assumed they’d still be running the show from behind the scenes even if Team Cena won. Vince told her that wasn’t the case. He then added the stipulation that if they lost, only Cena could give them back their jobs. This felt like a giant waste of time just here to help fill up the three hours the show had to take.

WWE Tag Team Championship: Goldust and Stardust [c] vs. Los Matadores w/ El Torito vs. The Miz and Damien Mizdow vs. The Usos
For most of 2014, the Usos were champs but dropped the titles to Goldust and Stardust in September. Mizdow was wildly over. Ever the master heel, Miz did everything he could to tease a Mizdow tag and not deliver. He just knows how to work a crowd. It’s entertaining as hell to watch Mizdow mimic Miz on the apron, even though he didn’t get the tag. Mizdow finally got the tag only for Goldust to tag himself in instead. Great stuff. The other three teams all produced in terms of quality in-ring work, but the story was mostly about Miz and Mizdow. There’s a section of the match that didn’t click great, with a Matador taking the heat. The crowd didn’t care enough about them for that heat segment to work. It should’ve been an Uso. We got treated to the obligatory multi-man match spot where guys do a bunch of dives after each other, as well as the Tower of Doom. Mizdow tagged himself in following that and got the pin on Goldust to become champions at 15:25. A fun way to start the show. They played the crowd perfectly for the Mizdow stuff and most of the match featured good action. With a better heat segment, thig would’ve been stronger and probably more memorable. [***¼]

It’s awesome, pun intended, to see Miz celebrate with both titles to boos, while Mizdow copied him with no titles and got cheered.

They ran an ad to hype Larry the Cable Guy hosting Raw tomorrow. A better ad ran to plug the Vince McMahon appearance on the Stone Cold Podcast.

Backstage, Adam Rose and the Bunny played with WWE action figures in front of the Exotic Express. I never played with my figures the way these two did. Rose got mad at Bunny for winning, but SLATER GATOR interrupted to talk smack. That led to a challenge being laid down for a tag match tonight.

Team Fox (Alicia Fox, Emma, Naomi and Natalya) w/ Tyson Kidd vs. Team Paige (Cameron, Layla, Paige, and Summer Rae)
Tyson Kidd, working his awesome new character from his NXT run, accompanied Natalya to the ring to steal the show. Early on, this was a case of each woman getting a chance to showcase their skills. Page bossed her girls around, taking the captainship seriously. Cameron was one of those girls who never got the wrestling down, but had a good heel personality. I’d have tried her as a manager. She was first to get eliminated via a Naomi rollup at 6:12. It got Naomi some revenge for a Kickoff Show loss to Cameron in July. Fox played up her crazy gimmick and sent Layla home with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker at 9:29. It was Emma’s turn to shine next and she got rid of Summer with the Emma Lock at 12:04. Paige was left all alone. Considering she was two months removed from being champion and had the crowd firmly behind her, you’d expect a big run to either win or at least cut the lead. She did well for a spell, but was suddenly bested by a Rear View and headscissors slam for the clean sweep in 14:32. Slightly better than I remember. The booking was still odd as Paige’s team getting swept made no sense. Kidd celebrated by standing in front of his wife on the turnbuckle like he won. Incredible. [**]

They threw to the Kickoff panel to kill some time. At least Renee Young looked like a complete snack here.

Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose
I hated this feud. On paper, it should have worked. Instead, it was dull and they sacrificed a MOLTEN hot Ambrose to feed Bray, only to then sacrifice his momentum to Undertaker. Anyway, onto this match. Despite both men being hot coming into this and there being excitement around the feud, the crowd was kind of dead for it. They did work a methodical pace and had a physical battle fitting of the feud. The highlight from a spot perspective was Dean stealing Wyatt’s signature pose. As things picked up, Bray got a microphone to tell Dean that they could’ve been special and unstoppable together, but Dean chose wrong. Unfortunately, everything was ultimately just a way to advance an angle. A chair came into play and Dean hit Bray with it to get disqualified in 13:59. Like most of their matches, this was okay. It just felt like part of a very good match instead of being one itself. [**¾]

Post-match, Dean beat on Bray with a bunch of chairs and put him through a table with the flying elbow. For no reason other than to advertise the next PPV (TLC), Dean brought a ladder into the picture. All he did was pose atop it while admiring Bray’s fallen body under a pile of chairs and broken table shards. The fight after the match was fine, but the ladder felt super over the top in advertising TLC.

The Authority gave their team a pep talk. Stephanie made a desperate plea to say they can’t lose, while Triple H warned them that a loss would lead to them wishing they had been fired.

Adam Rose and The Bunny vs. Slater Gator
Rose didn’t want to let the Bunny have the spotlight, so he tagged himself in. When Bunny did get the tag, he beat up Slater, as always. One issue with this was how commentary spent the entire time just shitting all over this. I get that it’s silly, but when commentary trashes something, it makes it a million times worse. Bunny rolled up Slater to win in 2:31. This happened. [¼*]

A special interview was conducted with Roman Reigns, who was out with an injury. It was odd because the entire commentary team held this interview with their microphones instead of doing it the traditional way. Anyway, Roman had a good reaction, they put over the record he set at the previous year’s Survivor Series, and Roman said “bitch” a few times. Again, this felt like filler.

Backstage, John Cena tried talking with his team. Erick Rowan was busy playing Rubix Cube. The rest of Team Cena didn’t need much of a talk because they understood what was at stake.

WWE Divas Championship: AJ Lee [c] vs. Nikki Bella w/ Brie Bella
After AJ and Paige disappointed in their feud (adding Nikki gave them their best match at Night of Champions), we transitioned to this feud. Brie was with Nikki after losing to her at Hell in a Cell and being forced into “personal assistant” duties. The bell rang and Brie hopped on the apron with the Divas Title. When AJ went after her, Brie kissed her. Nikki hit a forearm and the Rack Attack to win the title in 0:33. [NR]

I’m honestly okay with that as a finish/match if it made sense within the Brie/Nikki angle. Brie went from a bitter (bad, but still bitter) feud with her sister, to helping her. They could’ve played it off as Brie only doing this so she could eventually take the title from Nikki. Instead, Brie and Nikki were just fine as if no feud had ever happened. It made absolutely no sense.

Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt in a TLC match was announced for TLC.

Team Authority (Kane, WWE Intercontinental Champion Luke Harper, Mark Henry, WWE United States Champion Rusev, and Seth Rollins) w/ Lana, J&J Security, Stephanie McMahon & Triple H vs. Team Cena (Big Show, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, John Cena, and Ryback)
In almost a repeat of the previous match, Mark Henry got knocked out and eliminated by a Big Show right hand at 0:48. It was a great idea because it gave us a stunned version of the Authority, who were so used to being in control. In fact, Team Cena kind of dominated for the first five minutes until the undefeated Rusev entered. Ryback had spent the past few weeks being built back up, only to be the first guy eliminated for his team. He fell to a Curb Stomp and Machka Kick at 7:47. Here, we got a lengthy segment without an elimination. Dolph Ziggler got isolated and took the heat for his guys. Cena finally got the hot tag and the match broke down into more of a brawl. Rusev cleared off the announce tables and looked to put Ziggler through one. However, Dolph moved and Rusev crashed through on his own, getting counted out at 20:01. The match remained hectic as we got former teammates Harper and Rowan as the legal men. Rightfully, it was Harper who won out (with help from Seth) using a lariat to beat Rowan at 23:05. Then, the twist of the century came. That was sarcasm, because it was Big Show knocking out Cena to cause his 572197th alignment turn. Seth pinned Cena at 24:01. Show, who seemed to have struck a deal with the Authority, walked away to get counted out at 24:38. That left Ziggler alone down 3-on-1. Team Authority played with their food, taunting Dolph for being alone. Dolph was getting dominated, yet found a way to hit a desperation Zig Zag and eliminate Kane at 28:09. Again, out of desperation, Dolph survived some Harper shots and rolled him up at 30:03 to even the score. It was down to him and Rollins. Dolph nearly pulled out more upsets with rollups but Seth survived. Triple H sold the hell out of each near fall. When Dolph hit the Zig Zag, HHH pulled the referee out and clocked him. That set up shenanigans with e Authority throwing everything at Dolph, including J&J Security. Dolph avoided the Curb Stomp and hit the Zig Zag, but there was no referee. When one showed up, HHH also took him out. HHH attacked Dolph and hit the Pedigree. He draped Seth over Dolph and brought out crooked ref Scott Armstrong. Before Scott could count, a crow sound was heard and for the first time in WWE history, STING HAD ARRIVED! I remember seeing this and losing my mind. It was such a surreal moment. He and HHH had a LONG staredown before Sting hit the Scorpion Death Drop. He then placed Dolph over Seth to end the match at 41:07. A great match that I overhyped on my initial viewing because I was going nuts about Sting. It’s still damn good, with plenty of emotional highs and lows. Dolph’s last stand was great and the Sting appearance was a stellar surprise. However, it was odd to just have Dolph and Seth out for several minutes leading to the finish. There should’ve been a move or something to punctuate Dolph’s win. [****¼]

The Authority threw a fit about being out of a job for a cray long time to end the show.

The final score: review Average
The 411
I remember liking this show more. It has strong points, but there’s also a fair amount of issues. Nikki/AJ got cut super short, the booking of the women’s tag was odd, Dean/Bray disappointed, and there was a lot of filler. On the flip side, we got a great main event, a fun Tag Title match, decent kickoff stuff, and a memorable moment with Sting’s debut.