Written by: Samoa Rowe of Dawrestlingsite.com
From Boston, MA. Our hosts were Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler.
-I am writing this live review a full week after attending this show in Boston. I’ve been dragging my heels because the event, as well as the following night’s Raw, left me completely frustrated with WWE and killed my enthusiasm for recapping the event. Here goes something.
Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz
Boston is becoming a smarkier wrestling city with each passing year. The freshly turned heel Miz got a reaction from the fans as if he was a long lost friend we hadn’t seen in a while. Miz and Kofi put on a lively match, though they had a pretty much identical outing on Raw the next evening, and got the show off on the right note. They traded counters in the final stretch (and the crowd believed a Kofi near fall) but Miz scored the win to give his heel turn some momentum. It’s worth noting that a news report surfaced this week that WWE creative forgot that Miz had a cheesy Christmas movie premiering on ABC Family soon and the next night on Raw they seemed to backtrack on Miz as a bad guy just a bit, in an awful skit with Michael Strahan. Still, this was a **½ match and gave me hope that Survivor Series wouldn’t be a bust.
Winner at 8:35: The Miz
-The official pay-per-view kicked off with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon gracing us with their presence on the stage. They basically just welcomed the fans and announced the PPV would start with the Traditional Survivor Series match, in a disingenuous sort of manner. Triple H also promised that there would be no outside interference in any matches, especially in Big Show vs. Orton.
Traditional Survivor Series Match:
The Real Americans (Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger, with Zeb Colter) and The Shield (Roman Reigns, U.S. Champion Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins) vs. The Uso Brothers, WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Goldust, and Rey Mysterio
This was probably the match of the night and offered the Boston crowd another chance to not follow the script. The crowd was completely behind Antonio Cesaro, especially when he delivered the giant swing on both Uso brothers. The only baby face the crowd seemed to care for was Goldust, Mysterio and Cody both seemed oddly out of favor. When Cesaro was eliminated after a hot streak, there was an obvious deflation of energy in the air, but the match regained it’s heat when it came down to Roman Reigns alone against an Uso, Rey, and Goldust. Reigns winning the match by making an epic comeback and getting four eliminations with his spear was a great moment and gave me further hope the show was going to exceed my expectations. Solid ***¼ match here.
Survivor at 23:23: Roman Reigns
-It’s worth noting that Mick Foley, Bret Hart, and Booker T served as the All Star Panel and were stationed on a stage near my section. They were on the stage for the entire event and it was fun watching them watch the show, especially when they’d chuckle or shake their heads at various moments.
Big E Langston © vs. Curtis Axel
Both men received polite reactions from the crowd during their entrance but then the match started. Big E got the “You can’t wrestle” treatment from the fans. Lots of “We Want Ziggler” chants too. Axel wrestled like a man who was about to regain the IC title, which gave the match a needed sense of urgency, but Big E ended up winning pretty handily with the Big Ending. The match was too short to amount to anything special, but I thought it was a fine piece of filler, **.
Winner at 5:57: Big E Langston
-Renee Young (!!!!) entered the ring to interview Big E and he cut a cheese ball promo pandering to the Boston crowd.
-There was a cute backstage segment where AJ Lee tried to rally the diva troops against the reality show branch of the division. Kaitlyn addressed the elephant in the room that earlier in the year, AJ did everything she could to ruin her life, so why should they follow her lead? AJ covered her bases pretty well, turning them against the now way-more-famous Total Divas cast members.
Traditional Survivor Series Match:
Total Divas (Brie and Nikki Bella, Eva Marie, Jojo, Natalya, Cameron, and Naomi) vs. True Divas (Divas Champion AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka, Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox, Kaitlyn, Aksana, and Summer Rae)
The crowd was not nice at all to this one, with more “You can’t wrestle” and “Bathroom break” chants. The eliminations were rapid fire, and some surprising participants scored eliminations (I’m looking at Rosa Mendes, who nobody in my section recognized). Eva Marie has some impressive heel heat and knows it, making her a dark horse favorite to one day be a big star in the division if she continues to improve in the ring. Other highlights of the match included Tamina Snuka knocking poor little Jojo around like a rag doll, and the crowd “Fandangoing” while Summer Rae danced instead of try to wrestle. Natalya ended up winning the match on behalf of Total Divas by forcing Tamina and AJ to submit to the sharpshooter (while Uncle Bret watched on from the All Star Panel stage). Strangely enjoyable match here, though not good by any stretch of the imagination, *½.
Survivor at 11:33: Natalya (and technically Nikki Bella)
-Ryback interrupted the talking heads of the All Star Panel and issued an open challenge. Mark Henry made a surprise return to a nice pop from the fans.
Ryback vs. Mark Henry
This was the second time I saw this pairing live (I was at Wrestlemania 29) and this time was a marked improvement (shorter match, less resting) but it had a similar outcome as Henry scored the victory. The crowd didn’t give them a hard time (other than the obligatory “Goldberg” chants at Ryback) probably due to respect for Henry. This was more passable filler and kept the show rolling, **.
Winner at 4:48: Mark Henry
World Heavyweight Championship:
John Cena © vs. Alberto Del Rio
I was stunned that this wasn’t the main event, despite being for the World Heavyweight Championship, which by this point WWE has hammered into our heads is not on the same level as the WWE title. The crowd gave both men a hard time in the early going with more “You can’t wrestle” and “Overrated” chants. No one was buying Del Rio as a threat to the title, but the man worked his ass off to get the match over. Seriously, one of the problems throughout the evening was that very few performers seemed all that interested in having an above average match, but Del Rio was a workhorse and put on a good match with Cena, despite a clunky start. There was a bit of an audible groan in the arena when Cena finally delivered the Attitude Adjustment for the victory, but they can feel proud of a ***½ match.
Winner at 18:48: John Cena
Daniel Bryan and CM Punk vs. Erick Rowan and Luke Harper (with Bray Wyatt)
It felt good seeing Bryan and Punk in a more prominent spot on the card than John Cena after Cena headlined over them throughout 2012 despite not being in the title picture. The fans were really behind Punk and Bryan and this ended up being an okay match with crowd heat that surpassed the actual match itself. Punk and Bryan took turns as the isolated baby face, and Harper and Rowan both looked more than competent beating them up. Bryan ended up dropping Rowan with the flying knee to the face while Punk hit the GTS on Harper for the win. Disappointing match in it never exceeded second gear, but enjoyable for the live audience, **¾.
Winners at 16:51: CM Punk and Daniel Bryan
Randy Orton © vs. Big Show
Whew, where to start with this one… The build to this match was awful and WWE sure paid for it here. Randy Orton got total “Go away” heat from the Boston fans, and Big Show got “You’re not Daniel Bryan” heat. The match started off typically, with Orton wrestling like a coward, and Big Show catching him with open hand slaps. About 3 minutes into it, the “boring” chants started. They didn’t do themselves any favor with lots of resting and before too long the boring chant was drowning out everything else. Triple H’s music played at about the 10 minute mark to serve to distract Big Show, allowing an RKO and the Punt from Orton to finish Big Show off with about 20 minutes of PPV time remaining. I honestly think they called an audible to cut the match short due to the hostile reaction in the arena. This was one of the most pathetic pay-per-view main events I can ever recall, poor effort, even poorer booking, DUD.
Winner and still WWE Champion: Randy Orton
-Orton’s celebration was cut short by World Champion John Cena coming to the ring to challenge him to a match. They dragged this one out for all it was worth to run out the clock. Orton declined Cena’s offer and took off. After the cameras stopped rolling, they did a wacky skit where various members of The Authority tried to storm the ring to fight Cena and had to be restrained by the others. Triple H, Korporate Kane, Vince McMahon, and even Stephanie wanted a piece of Cena. It was a nice try to salvage the atmosphere in the building, but not too many fans were buying.
Final Thoughts: Despite some decent matches in the undercard, the main event is the defining moment of Survivor Series 2013 and it’s not a good moment whatsoever. I can’t remember any other year besides 2013 where fans at WWE events rebelled against the direction of the company on a more consistent basis. WWE needs to get back into the business of listening to the fans and stop trying to force feed storylines and characters that they think should be more over than they are. Thumbs down for a frustrating Survivor Series, capping off a frustrating fall season.