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Pantoja’s WWE Survivor Series 2022 Review

November 26, 2022 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
WWE Survivor Series 2022 - WarGames Main Event 2 Image Credit: WWE
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Pantoja’s WWE Survivor Series 2022 Review  

WWE Survivor Series 2022

November 26th, 2022 | TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts

War Games: Alexa Bliss, Asuka, Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair & Mia Yim vs. Bayley, Dakota Kai, IYO SKY, Nikki Cross & Rhea Ripley

The Women have only had BANGERS in War Games to this point. 2019 (****½), 2020 (****½), and 2021 (****) were all great. Bianca started for the faces, while the ALL-TIME War Games MVP Dakota Kai started for her team. That made for a good start to things as they had some fun exchanges with Dakota bumping for Bianca and getting in some nice offense herself. IYO came in next but Bianca was still kind of kicking their ass. She’s on a Roman Reigns level of dominance. Asuka joined the fray next to give us the showdown with IYO that always gets a pop. Nikki Cross was in next and got no reaction until she pulled out weapons. I loved that Alexa was next because it gave us a call back to the days of Bliss Cross Applesauce. Nikki casually sitting atop the cage enjoying the violence below her was great. Bayley joined in next though she mostly just brought a table into play. Mia Yim was next in for her team, setting the stage for Rhea to enter last for the heels. She was a game-changer, giving the heels a major advantage until Becky Lynch officially got this started. A highlight was that this led to a Becky/Bayley encounter. Bayley was the one who “injured” Becky and it’s also the only Four Horsewomen feud we haven’t really gotten. We got plenty of big spots afterward, including IYO stealing the show with a moonsault off the cage. There was a moment where Bliss and Cross got mixed up with handcuffs and Asuka pit the mist at Rhea a bit after. I loved that Nikki ruined the Tower of Doom spot because I’ve grown so tired of those in wrestling. The finish saw Bayley tossed aside so Becky could beat Dakota and IYO with a leg drop off the top of the cage through a table after about 39:39. The app froze a couple of times during the match so I could be off. Another great, chaotic War Games match though it might’ve been the worst the women have had so far. [****]

Backstage, Jey Uso brought Roman Reigns the news that Sami Zayn was talking to Kevin Owens last week and lied about it. Roman asked Paul Heyman to bring Sami over.

AJ Styles vs. Finn Bálor

Well, I thought I started my stopwatch here but it didn’t go through so I’m likely off by a minute or two. Anyway, their match in 2017 ruled (****¼) but was right before AJ started a rough patch of his career in 2018 in terms of match quality. This got off to a slow start with Finn taking control and wearing AJ down. Heel Finn has rarely ever worked for me as his matches suffer. It worked in NXT in 2019-2020 but not really in New Japan or now. As AJ got going, Dominik interfered, sparking a brawl between the OC and him and Priest. They fought to the back, leaving AJ and Finn alone. AJ blocked Finn from using his own Styles Clash in a memorable spot. Finn’s leg was the focus and when he missed the Coup de Grace he really found himself in trouble, yet managed to slam AJ’s head into the mat to break the Calf Crusher. Styles still managed to hit the Phenomenal Forearm soon after to win around 18:23. That was good but felt like a lot of AJ’s work since 2017. It peaked at just being very good and never sniffed great. [***¼]

WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey [c] vs. Shotzi

It has been hard for people to get into this because Shotzi has barely had any build and doesn’t feel like a threat. That’s the issue with the division Smackdown in general as it is much weaker than the Raw side of things. I like Shayna taking a dive for Ronda to save her friend. Ronda was in full control otherwise though, rolling around the ring and never really taking things seriously. I expected that to open the door for Shotzi but it didn’t. Outside of one bad-looking apron DDT, she didn’t get much in and Ronda won with the armbar in 7:13. It was a match and another one that isn’t helping Ronda, who also hasn’t been helping herself. I do like her with Shayna though. [*½]

Sami Zayn spoke with Roman Reigns, admitting that he interacted with Kevin Owens but withheld that information from Jey because Jey doesn’t trust him and he didn’t want to get in Jey’s head ahead of his title match. Sami stressed how much it means to be part of the Bloodline and that he won’t turn on them. The two hugged afterward.

WWE United States Championship: Seth Rollins [c] vs. Austin Theory vs. Bobby Lashley

Seth Rollins is NEXT LEVEL over. I need him to be the guy to beat Roman at Mania next year more than I need anything else in all of wrestling. Lashley knocked Theory out of the ring at the bell, setting the tone for the typical “one guy outside” trope for this match type. Logically it works but I’m over that concept. The one-on-one stuff was still good though, with Lashley being dominant, Seth being one of the best on the planet, and Theory showing his more aggressive side. The closing stretch saw things pick up with each guy hitting big moves like the Pedigree, Hurt Lock, Blockbuster, Phoenix Splash, and more. Pins were broken up, so the biggest moves weren’t just being kicked out of either. Lashley’s double Hurt Lock was a great spot. I also loved the play on the trope of someone stealing the pin as Theory tried to do it but Seth cut him off. The finish saw Seth have Theory up for a suplex only for Lashley to Spear him. Theory fell on Seth and got the three count in 14:49. A really good match with a creative finish. [***¾]

Backstage, Jey Uso asked Roman Reigns about Sami Zayn and Roman said he got the answer he wanted. Or something along those lines, I couldn’t really hear.

War Games: The Bloodline vs. The Brawling Brutes, Drew McIntyre and Kevin Owens

Kevin Owens was out in a Dusty Rhodes shirt. Butch and Main Event Jey Uso got us started and their exchange was good. Ridge Holland came in next since the faces have the advantage. Things got interesting when it looked like Jimmy was going to enter next only for Sami to get sent in instead. The idea was to test Sami’s loyalty as he’d have to work with the one Bloodline member who he hasn’t bonded with. They had some tension but managed to take control until McIntyre entered. Jimmy brought a table in when he got to the ring but he had to spend time keeping Jey and Sami from fighting, which pissed off Roman. They managed to right the ship before Kevin Owens hit the ring with chairs. KO dominated and came face to face with Sami after beating up the Usos though Holland hit Zayn. Solo Sikoa turned the tide again and we got to have him go one-on-one with McIntyre, who he screwed out of the title. Sheamus entered last for his team and the Brutes took over. As Roman was the final man in, both teams stood across from each other in opposite rings. We got 50 Beats of Bodhran as all of the faces did it once which was cool. There was also KO and Reigns reigniting their feud from 2020 including KO saying he wasn’t done with him. KO had Roman pinned after a Popup Powerbomb but Sami stopped the referee from counting and ultimately hit KO with a low blow. Sami added a Helluva Kick and allowed Jey to hit the splash on KO for the win in 38:32. That was an anti-climactic finish though it worked with the story. Where the earlier War Games match had more wild spots, this had way better storytelling and I was hooked throughout. [****¼]

Post-match, Sami hugged Roman and finally got embraced by Jey Uso as the Bloodline celebrated.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Once again, WWE delivers a great major event. This one nailed both War Games matches, Finn/AJ was good, and the US Title was pretty great. The only thing I’d say was worth skipping was Shotzi/Ronda.