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Survivor Series XXXVII : WarGames - 11/25/2023


Dolfan in NYC

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Survivor Series quickly became one of my favorite events when I started watching wrestling. I liked all the random pairings of faces and heels, some of which furthered angles and others were just thrown together out of convenience. I rented all the 80s events and would look forward to it every year. When they started phasing out the 4 on 4/5 on 5 elimination matches in the 00s I was really bummed. The Only Time Raw And Smackdown Go Head To Head brought them back, but the forced brand loyalty was always annoying. If they want to do Wargames matches now then fine, but that makes three PPVs with cage-centric gimmick matches and like Eivion said upthread, booking the angle to fit the event rather than letting it come up as a logical feud blowoff also diminishes it.

The women's match was nothing memorable but there weren't any serious botches or anything either. There was a bit too much of various members laying around while the other wrestlers hit their spots, as is typical of a lot of these matches.

Miz/Gunther overdelivered. The story of Gunther taking Miz too lightly and leaving himself open to underhanded tactics was a nice story. Gunther gets credit for his brutish intensity while on offense (a simple powerslam looks devastating when he does it) but I don't think he gets enough credit for how good he sells.

Dragon Lee/Santos was a fun match showcasing what both guys can do.

The women's title match had a pretty foregone conclusion, but Stark was able to hang in there.

The men's Wargames went about as predicted with the heel team dominating until the "will he or won't he" return of Orton. The possible MITB cash-in was an interesting wrinkle, even if a match between two guys already in a match is a little hard to wrap your head around. If Orton was going to come back I'd hoped it would be to put over some new guy (perhaps a debuting Bron Breaker) their first feud. He got a good pop and this ended up being a wise choice to bring him back. Once the sides evened up, the faces pretty much ran through everyone else. I get they wanted the faces standing tall and Orton to have a successful comeback, but the last of it was too one sided for my liking.

I thought the end was a bit anticlimactic and then...holy shit...

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Pretty lame show overall. Iyo's Sasuke dive was cool though. Nothing really seemed to hit a second level.

I can't bring myself to care about Punk anymore, but what a weird way to debut him. So all those dudes just had to stand in the ring while he took the spotlight from them?

Edited by elizium
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Things I remember from the Survivor Series:

I think the last PLE I watched was the Puerto Rico one but I look at enough Twitter feeds to get some of the jist of things.

The women's wargames match felt really spotty. But there were some impressive multiwoman spots. The camera did not believe Charlotte could hit a moonsault. They probably went back to some of last year's cliches too quickly (like every competitor digging for weapons) but at least they all looked in the right place this year. Shotzi looks different from the last time I saw her. Bayley ate the fall, as 

FUCK.... (more on this later)

anyways... we all expected Bayley to eat the fall.

Gunther vs the Miz was a match where if you didn't like the Miz's work in this match, you're pretty much never going to like the Miz. Miz laid in some shots (for the first time in his life?). Gunther reacted like a larger cat who is confronted by a kitten wanting to wrestle him. Miz took some shots. The fans got into the concept that the Miz could actually beat Gunther. But then Gunther just snuffed out the poor guy and made him tap out. I don't know what the Miz's previous "all time best match" was but.

Santos vs Dragon Lee was a good one sorta plagued by the fact that anybody who actually had some awareness of recent WWE TV knew Santos Escobar was winning that one. Some good spots. For some reason they worked this match in the left ring but Gunther/Miz and Rhea/Zoey in the right ring.

Rhea Ripley mauled Zoey Stark eventually. This company really does have a lot of "the champion has been the champion forever and we don't know how to change that" types around right now. Zoey did some stuff that looked dangerous and then Rhea won anyways.

The men's WarGames had some of the same cliches but somehow someway Seth Rollins doing Seth Rollins stuff actually looked better than usual. WWE WarGames is never ever gonna be worked like 1986 in Crockett and not just because of the lack of blood. It just isn't, so I don't know how much to really complain without beating dead horses. We got some actual drama but then Randy Orton arrived. Smart move by Randy to not spend a half hour standing in a cage. Randy Orton did stuff and then faces won the match.

Also as alluded to earlier, CM Punk came out while I was typing this post. Nice to see a local legend getting a cameo.

I don't know if I'll see which super-serious "we are reeeeal journalists" types are punching air after that.

They should job Punk to Roman in 5 minutes at the Rumble. Make him humble, old country-style.

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This was a good show. Women's WarGames match was fun and hard hitting and you gotta know Bayley's last days with DC are coming up maybe even Friday.

Miz put on a great match with Gunther. Santos and Lee had a fun match and Rhea and Zoey was good even if you knew the ending.

The men's match had the plunder Randy got to play the hits. I'm not even sure how you manage Raw with Cody, Randy, Judgement Day, Gunther's eventual move up the card, Punk, Jey, Drew. That's a heck of a problem for Punk.

Also with the press conference auto playing, Byron does a really job handling this hosting stuff. He's a meh at best announcer,  but he's killing this.

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I'm nowhere near Punks biggest fan.

I've said multiple times that he's turning into everything he hated when he left WWE.

He wants to be the main event. He wants to overshadow guys that deserve it more than he does. He wants things booked his way or not at all.

I still fucking marked out.

If Hunter can actually get this douche to play ball, if Punk can slow down and stay healthy, if he can ride the line of smark/shoot WITHOUT actually cutting the legs off his opponent in a promo...

Then this could be amazing.

My only caveat: DO NOT let this signing derail the Priest World Title run.

Unless Priest is cashing in on Punk, there's no need for Punk to win the title any time soon.

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Thought it was a pretty middling show. The gals stole the show. Bayley taking the bullet for Kairi was really interesting given what it seems like all this is building too. I'm not the biggest fan of Bianca but thought she should have pinned Bayley based on how this match came about. 

Iyo falling out of the sky with a trash can over her feels like it has great meme potential.

Thought it was odd Miz had to cheat in that one. Wondering if it's setting up a rematch sometime where if he's gonna win he's gotta do it the right way. Really surprised by how invested they are in WALTER. I guess with years of the IC title not really meaning much and seeing it on such a great, great wrestler is just a little shock.

Honestly checked out during Dragon Lee and Santos which I felt bad for since I do really like both guys. This was a great showcase for Zoe too, she's really got something.

Main was.... fine. The bait and switch on the cash in was really interesting, that would have been a hell of a way to do a cash in. I liked the little fake outs for Punk all night with "WELL IF RANDY ISN'T HERE" only for..... The ending was a little anti climactic and but feels like more of the drama was on Randy and Jey than the faces vs. Judgment Day.

And, the straight edge elephant in the room. Punk was one of my favorite wrestlers for a long time. I don't drink because my father is an alcoholic. I really admired him for walking out on WWE the way he did and I was really into this idea of an older and wiser Punk finishing up his career right on Wednesdays but.... After the way everything went down with him over the past year for him to end up back in a place he (rightfully) went scorched earth on... I popped in the moment but I'm just wondering... what now? What's really there for him?

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two extra things

1) expanding on part of my longer post.. I'm guessing any independent wrestling journalist types should have figured out a few years ago that companies will probably lie to them if they could get away with it and that they probably don't wanna burn their sources in retaliation so..

2) Guess Tony shouldn't have fired Punk this time around. Just do what you did last time. It's not like Punk would have been the only guy drawing a paycheck from AEW to do nothing.

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4 minutes ago, Cobra Commander said:

two extra things

1) expanding on part of my longer post.. I'm guessing any independent wrestling journalist types should have figured out a few years ago that companies will probably lie to them if they could get away with it and that they probably don't wanna burn their sources in retaliation so..

2) Guess Tony shouldn't have fired Punk this time around. Just do what you did last time. It's not like Punk would have been the only guy drawing a paycheck from AEW to do nothing.

Firing Punk was the right move, or you set yourself up as the guy who gets walked all over. I have a hard time seeing how this increases WWE's business, but if it does, good for them. Then both companies are better off.

Anyone who thinks that's a "Wreddit-level take" needs to reevaluate how they look at things.

Edited by Dog
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Here is how this story goes:

1) Punk does shoot-y style promos and they are irritating because the WWE doesn’t really do that right now and it hasn’t missed a beat. There are quickly diminishing returns but people pretend to like it anyways.

2) Punk gets hurt in about six weeks.

3) Punk comes back and some drama happens and he’s gone by SummerSlam.

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3 minutes ago, Nineteen said:

 What's really there for him?

You really think the pettiest mother fucker in wrestling history was gonna let getting fired and "feared for my life" slide?  

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