The 24th Survivor Series event took place at a time when WWE realized they needed more young talent on the main roster, so they called up a bunch of rookies that they named The Nexus with the hope that they could get some main event stars out of it.
It didn’t work out exactly as they hoped, but Wade Barrett did get to main event this show after being on the main roster for less than six months.
By this point, the brand extension was still in play although you could tell that WWE was focusing less on it. There just wasn’t as much of an interest among the fans while the company decided to have wrestlers from both brands appear on every PPV. The previous month had a show called Bragging Rights with a Raw vs. Smackdown match that probably should have been on this show.
There were some new stars that had a good run that year such as Alberto Del Rio and Daniel Bryan, who was part of The Nexus, got fired and came back soon after as a face.
The main storyline was about John Cena as the referee for the main event. It was a lame angle that I remember bitching about often in the Raw Deal because they teased him being fired if he doesn’t count the pin for Wade Barrett to win the WWE Title. Did anybody believe Cena would really get fired? I don’t think so.
WWE Survivor Series
American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida
November 21, 2010
The opening video package focused on some Survivor Series history as well as Cena’s decision to try to do the right thing.
The pyro went off in the arena. It was not a sold out crowd because the attendance was reportedly at 8,000 people in a much larger arena.
Ted Dibiase comes from money and he comes from class according to his theme song. He walked out with Maryse for the first match. She looked amazing. They were never a couple in real life, but WWE wanted to put her with him to get him some heat as a heel. Maryse was dating her future husband The Miz by this point.
The announce team of Raw’s Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Smackdown’s Matt Striker welcomed us to the show.
Daniel Bryan was the babyface United States Champion that received a good ovation. Cole ripped on Bryan’s nerd music since that was Cole’s gimmick at the time.
United States Championship: Daniel Bryan vs. Ted Dibiase (w/Maryse)
Pre-match notes: Bryan is the face champion while Dibiase was the heel challenger.
Bryan hit a dropkick. Some of the lights went out briefly, but they came back on. Dibiase gave Bryan a suplex that sent him over the top to the floor. Bryan was laying on the apron, so Dibiase nailed an elbow smash off the middle ropes onto Bryan to knock him out of the ring. Dibiase tripped up Bryan to give him control in the ring. Chinlock by Dibiase. Dropkick by Dibiase for two leading to Cole ripping on Bryan. After another chinlock by Dibiase, Bryan got out of it and nailed a dropkick that sent him into the corner. Bryan avoided an attack with a back flip off the ropes leading to a clothesline. Bryan dumped Dibiase to the floor and hit a suicide dive onto Dibiase on the floor. Bryan jumped a little too far as he hit his shoulder against the barricade. Back in the ring, Bryan hit a missile dropkick for a two count. Bryan nailed some kicks followed by an inside cradle. Dibiase did his bounce off the ropes clothesline for a two count after Bryan did a great flip bump. Dibiase teased Dream Street as Bryan got a two count. Dibiase came back with a sitout spinebuster for a two count. They battled up top with Bryan crotching Dibiase up there. Bryan nailed a massive back suplex superplex for a two count. Bryan went for the LeBell Lock submission, but Dibiase countered into a slingshot that sent Bryan into the ring post. Bryan slapped on the LeBell Lock submission and Dibiase tapped out to give Bryan the win at the 9:57 mark.
Winner by submission: Daniel Bryan
Post match, Bryan grabbed his shoulder to sell the pain while I was sad that Maryse is gone.
Analysis: *** Good match right around ten minutes with both guys getting a lot of offense in and Dibiase nearly winning a few times. Bryan was such an awesome in-ring performer that was a rising star that was slowly building some momentum with the crowd rallying behind him. It was still early compared to what he would become in the next couple of years, but it’s nice to see what it was like for him earlier in his WWE run. I liked the finish with Bryan relentless in his attempts at locking on his submission move for the victory.
With Bryan on the apron holding up the US Title, Miz showed up with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Miz hit him in the back of the head with the briefcase. Bryan beat Miz for the US Title. Alex Riley was with Miz.
The Miz went into the ring with Riley for a promo. The lights went out briefly again. Miz said he’s a proud citizen of Cleveland, Ohio. He said the Miami Heat were arrogant, despised by millions and are hopelessly mediocre like The Nexus. He called LeBron James like Wade Barrett because they both feel they are entitled to a championship. Miz said LeBron will never be champion. Miz told LeBron to go back to Cleveland to apologize to Cavs fans. Miz said it’s a simple question of “when” he becomes WWE Champion. He ended it saying he’s awesome.
Analysis: Good promo for heel heat at the time. Of course, LeBron ended up going back to Cleveland after he left in 2010 and won them a title in 2016. Miz won the WWE Title on the Raw after this event.
Sheamus did an interview backstage with Josh Mathews talking about his match against John Morrison. He claimed that Morrison is jealous of Sheamus for being a former WWE Champion while Morrison never will be. Sheamus said he’ll break his will and break his body.
John Morrison vs. Sheamus
Pre-match notes: Morrison was the face while Sheamus was the heel. There was a bit of a storyline with Sheamus going on after he lost a match to Santino, who was a joke character.
Morrison was aggressive early on with a dropkick that sent Sheamus out of the ring followed by a dive onto Sheamus on the floor. Sheamus shoved Morrison back first into the barricade followed by running forearm to the face. Back in the ring, Sheamus took control with stomps followed by a clothesline, a headlock and then a running back elbow to the face. Sheamus with a backbreaker followed by another headlock. Sheamus worked over Morrison with forearms. Sheamus set up Morrison on the top rope, Sheamus with forearms to the back of Morrison and Morrison fired back with punches that knocked Sheamus to the mat. Morrison with a cross body block off the top, Sheamus rolled through and hit a Powerslam for a two count. Nice spot. Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick, Morrison avoided it and Morrison hit an enziguri kick to the head. Morrison with a jumping heel kick to the face for two. Sheamus stopped the momentum with the Irish Curse backbreaker for two. Morrison with a catapult that sent Sheamus into the turnbuckle followed by a side Russian legsweep for two. Sheamus launched Morrison to the turnbuckle and Sheamus hit a forearm to the back of the leg to stop the momentum. Sheamus slammed Morrison down while holding onto the injured left leg. Single leg crab submission by Sheamus led to Morrison grabbing the bottom rope. Morrison came back with a rollup, so Sheamus stopped him with a clip to the back of the injured left knee. Sheamus with slaps to the face, so Morrison kicked Sheamus into the turnbuckle. Morrison went up top only for Sheamus to stop him with a forearm. Sheamus set up for the High Cross, Morrison avoided that, Brogue Kick missed, Morrison hit a springboard kick and a Shining Wizard running knee to the face got the win for Morrison at 11:11.
Winner by pinfall: John Morrison
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a competitive match with Morrison getting a big win. The first part of the match was a bit slow, but they picked up the pace with a lot of good nearfalls for both guys with the crowd getting into the match more. They put together an exciting finishing sequence with Morrison going over.
Post match, John Morrison celebrated the win while the announcers pushed the idea that the bully Sheamus got his comeuppance.
John Cena was in the locker room with R-Truth showing up to talk to him. Truth pointed out that Nexus is banned from ringside for the match, but he is not. Truth said that there’s nothing stopping him from something accidentally happening to Randy Orton. Truth says it would be guilt free. Cena said he couldn’t live with himself and said that he’s calling this down the middle. Truth said he’ll believe it when he sees it.
Analysis: It was just a simple segment to show that Cena’s an honest man.
Kaval made his entrance. A clip aired of Kaval (aka Low Ki) beating Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match. Kaval mentioned that as the winner of NXT, he gets a title shot, so he was getting a title match against at Ziggler.
Vickie Guerrero made her entrance doing her “Excuse Me” routine and then introduced her boyfriend Dolph Ziggler, who was the Intercontinental Champion.
Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. Kaval
Pre-match notes: Ziggler was the heel IC Champion and Kaval was the face challenger. Kaval could get a shot at ANY championship in WWE and he only chose the IC Title instead of the WWE Title. It made him look like a loser.
Kaval with a running shoulder tackle as Cole called him an “internet darling.” Ziggler with a running neck snap. Ziggler with a fireman’s carry takedown. Kaval came back with a rollup. Cole was doing his obnoxious heel gimmick a lot in this match. Kaval with a cartwheel into a forearm smash. Guerrero distracted a bit, so Ziggler tripped up Kaval to send him face first into the top rope. Ziggler with a neckbreaker for two. Kaval with two forearms, a kick to the back, forearm and a moonsault off the top for two count. Cole mocked Kaval calling himself the “World Warrior” and Cole said he was the greatest announcer in WWE history. Kaval with a cartwheel leading to a jumping kick to the face that looked like it connected a little too well. That looked rough for Ziggler. Kaval went up top, he jumped off with a corkscrew attack, Ziggler moved, Kaval landed on his feet and got a backslide pin for two. Ziggler came back with a Fameasser for two. Ziggler launched Kaval to the top and Kaval came back with a jumping kick to the head. That was a nice nearfall. Ziggler charged towards the turnbuckle, Kaval got a rollup, Ziggler rolled through and a small package got a two count. They did a rollup sequence where Ziggler landed on top and held onto the tights for the cheap pinfall win at 9:32.
Winner by pinfall: Dolph Ziggler
Analysis: **3/4 The match was okay with Ziggler getting the predictable win. The commentary was annoying. The crowd was dead for a lot of this match because Kaval didn’t have much of a character and was still new on the main roster. The pace picked up by the end of it leading to an exciting finish to put Ziggler over as a clever heel champion. I forgot how much the heel Cole gimmick hurt commentary, but this was an example of that.
Jack Swagger from Team Del Rio was interviewed by Todd Grisham. Swagger said that the only former World Champion on this team, they should be called the All-American Americans. Swagger said that Miami was like “Little Cuba” which led to boos. Cody Rhodes said he caught Jack Swagger trying to go in a club in Miami and ripped on his shoes, which Swagger said were his grandfather’s. Alberto Del Rio showed up with Drew McIntyre and Tyler Reks to try to motivate the team by saying that they are there to destroy Rey Mysterio and his team. Del Rio said he wants to see little kids cry when they destroy their heroes. Del Rio said after they win, he’ll buy the beers. Del Rio left and Cody told Jack that he hates to admit it, but Del Rio is good.
The face team was up first in this order: Big Show, Chris Masters (he was not over as a face at all), Kofi Kingston with Cole busting out the “controlled frenzy” phrase right away, MVP got a big pop since he’s from Miami and Rey Mysterio was up last as the team captain.
The heel team was next in this order: Cody Rhodes doing his “Dashing” gimmick with Cole saying he’s perfect, Jack Swagger was next, Drew McIntyre got a decent reaction and Tyler Reks got no reaction. Ricardo Rodriguez did the wonderful introduction of Alberto Del Rio, who entered in a vintage Rolls Royce car.
Team Mysterio: Rey Mysterio, Big Show, Chris Masters, Kofi Kingston and MVP vs. Team Del Rio: Alberto Del Rio, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, Drew McIntyre and Tyler Reks
Pre-match notes: I already mentioned it above, but Mysterio’s team were the faces and Del Rio’s team were the heels. Everybody on the Mysterio team has some blue attire.
Rhodes with a shoulder tackle on Mysterio followed by a jumping kick off the middle ropes known as the Disaster Kick. Del Rio tagged in with a kick to the ribs of Mysterio. Mysterio came back with headscissors, a drop toe hold that sent Del Rio into the turnbuckle and Mysterio with a running dropkick. MVP tagged in with a running kick on Del Rio for two. MVP avoided a Del Rio head kick, MVP with a boot to the face and he covered Del Rio for two. Kingston tagged in to a decent pop, he brought in Masters and the heels took over on Masters. McIntyre with multiple clotheslines that took down Masters. The fans chanted “we want Big Show” as Masters stopped Drew with a kick to the face. MVP back in with clotheslines and a suplex on McIntyre. MVP hit his Ballin’ elbow drop on Drew and a punch to Del Rio to knock him off the apron. Suplex by MVP, Del Rio grabbed his legs (the ref never saw it) and McIntyre covered MVP to eliminate him.
MVP eliminated by Drew McIntyre
Masters back in the ring with a Jackhammer slam on Del Rio for two. Del Rio hit a double knee attack to the left arm of Masters and the Cross Armbreaker by Del Rio led to the tapout elimination of Masters.
Chris Masters eliminated by Alberto Del Rio
Big Show went in for the face side for the first time with the fans cheering him. Show worked over Swagger with multiple chops to the chest, but Swagger hit a chop block to the knee. Del Rio slapped Show in the head, which was a big mistake as Show no-sold it and Albert slapped Drew in the chest to tag him in. Show hit a KO punch on Del Rio to knock him out. Show worked over McIntyre with a hard chop to the chest. McIntyre tried for the Future Shock DDT, Show powered out and hit a clothesline. Show bodyslammed Kingston onto McIntyre for a two count for Kofi, who was legal. Trainers were helping Del Rio at ringside. Rhodes tagged in, Kingston with a slap, so Rhodes freaked out about getting hit in the face and Rhodes freaked out outside the ring. Rhodes grabbed his jacket to check himself in the mirror that was on it. Kingston with another slap to Cody’s face. Show teased Cody with a punch, Cody blocked his face, Show with a slap to the back and Show hit Cody with a KO punch to pin him.
Cody Rhodes eliminated by Big Show
It’s 4 to 3 for Del Rio’s side although Del Rio is not at ringside anymore. The heels worked over Show in their corner. Swagger countered a Chokeslam into a roll through and into an Ankle Lock submission. That was impressive by Swagger. Mysterio tagged in with a seated senton off the top and a cross body block off the middle ropes for a two count. Swagger stopped Rey’s momentum with a boot to the face. Kingston sent Swagger into the ropes, which led to a 619 attempt by Rey and Swagger caught Rey leading to an Ankle Lock submission. Mysterio got out of that, Reks tagged in, Kingston back in with a clothesline off the top and a dropkick. Kingston with a boot to the face and a cross body block off the top for a two count. Kingston with another dropkick. Reks put Kingston upside down against the turnbuckle, Kingston with two boots to the face and he pinned Reks.
Tyler Reks eliminated by Kofi Kingston
Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise on McIntyre. Swagger was the legal man and Swagger managed to slap on the Ankle Lock, which led to Kingston tapping out.
Kofi Kingston eliminated by Jack Swagger
Show went back in with a shoulder tackle on Swagger. Mysterio tagged in, h went on Show’s shoulders and McIntyre kicked Show to take him down. Swagger hit a splash off the ropes for a two count. Mysterio hit a 619 on Swagger and then went onto Show’s shoulders leading to a splash for the pinfall elimination of Swagger.
Jack Swagger eliminated by Rey Mysterio
McIntyre was the last man left on his team, Mysterio sent him into the ropes and hit a 619. Show tagged in and hit a Chokeslam to pin McIntyre. That was the end of the match at 18:12.
Drew McIntyre eliminated by Big Show
Winners: Team Mysterio – Rey Mysterio and Big Show
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a pretty good elimination match. I think any time you get nearly 20 minutes in a match like this it’s going to fun to watch. The Del Rio elimination was weak, but it was likely done to protect him by not having him get pinned or submitted. I thought the story could have been better if Show and Mysterio had to come back against three or four heels to win the match. The way it was done made the heels look like losers. I think the point of it was to just put over the most popular guys on the face team, so that’s what happened.
Randy Orton was shown in the locker room looking at his WWE Championship. Josh Mathews showed up for an interview. Orton said he’s sick and tired of talking about John Cena. Orton said he’s thinking about Wade Barrett, he’s going to beat him and retain the WWE Championship. Orton said he didn’t care about Barrett or Cena, all he cared about what was walking out of there as the WWE Champion. Orton said tonight’s about Wade Barrett whether it’s a punt to the skull or RKO.
Analysis: Decent promo from Orton. It was not his strength, especially as a face.
The co-WWE Divas Champions known as Laycool are Michelle McCool and Layla – they walked out with their titles. I used to refer to Michelle as McTaker since she was married to The Undertaker. I would like to refer to Layla as ridiculously hot because she is. Natalya was up next as the challenger.
WWE Divas Championship: Michelle McCool and Layla vs. Natalya
Pre-match notes: McCool and Layla were the heel champions. Natalya was the face. The champs had to tag in and out.
The heels were in control early with McCool starting and then Layla kicking Natalya to the apron. Layla distracted the referee, so McCool pulled Natalya off the apron and onto the mat on the floor. Back in the ring, Natalya with a suplex on both women. The action spilled to the floor with McCool hitting her with a forearm to the back. McCool missed a kick on the floor and Natalya dumped her over the barricade. Natalya whipped Layla into McCool to take them out on the floor. Back into the ring, Natalya got a rollup on McCool. Natalya slapped on the Sharpshooter on McCool and McCool tapped out quickly at 3:38.
Winner by submission and New WWE Divas Champion: Natalya
Analysis: * It was just a quick match to have Natalya get some revenge on the heels by winning the title. The divas division did not have long matches in this era as most of you probably know. It was Natalya’s first time winning the title.
Post match, Natalya was emotional as she held the title in her hands. McCool and Layla attacked after the match was over. Beth Phoenix ran down to the ring make the save for Natalya. Beth knocked McCool out of the ring. Beth hit the Glam Slam on Layla. Beth and Natalya hugged in the ring. Beth put Natalya on her shoulders as Natalya posed with both Divas Titles. The crowd cheered.
Analysis: It was a good way to bring back Beth after she was gone for a few months with an injury. She was best friends with Natalya, so that set up a feud with Laycool.
A commercial aired for the movie Knucklehead starring Big Show. I never saw it.
The video package aired for Kane as the World Heavyweight Champion defending against Edge, who was in the face role. This was a Smackdown feud. Edge abducted Paul Bearer and was shown torturing him multiple times while Kane was in search of daddy Paul.
Analysis: I thought the storyline was stupid. They had the face Edge abduct Paul Bearer, but not only that, he was nice enough to fly him to different cities to attend Smackdown every week. I hated it so much that it won the “Worst Feud” award in my 2010 WWE Johnny Awards column. It was that bad.
Kane entered first as the World Heavyweight Champion and he was on his own without Paul Bearer. Edge was up next to a good pop from the crowd. He was a heel for most of his main event run, but by this point he was a face that the fans loved. Edge did his posing on the ramp, then the pyro went off and Edge went to the back with an empty wheelchair.
World Heavyweight Championship: Kane vs. Edge
Pre-match notes: Kane was the heel World Heavyweight Champion and Edge was the face. This was a Smackdown feud.
Edge was aggressive early on with a spin kick to the head. Kane threw Edge out of the ring where Edge pushed the empty wheelchair, which taunted Kane. Edge whipped Kane into the barricade. Edge with a chop block to the back of Kane’s left leg. Kane got some momentum going with a kick that sent Edge off the apron onto the floor. Kane choked Edge on the bottom rope while asking where is his father? Kane whipped Edge into the turnbuckle. Kane slapped on a side headlock. Edge with a shoulder tackle to the ribs and Edge went up top with a cross body block for a two count. Kane went up top for his clothesline, but when he jumped off, Edge countered with a dropkick. Finally, there was something interesting in this match. Edge with a drop toe hold into the ropes, then a cross body block to the back and a rollup got two. Edge jumped off the middle ropes, which ended badly as Kane hit him with a punch. Edge with a neckbreaker for two. Kane with a sidewalk slam. Kane went back up top, Edge stopped him with punches and Kane shoved Edge onto the top rope in a crotched position. Kane jumped off with his clothesline for a two count. Edge came back with a DDT. Kane got back up, Edge set up for a Spear, but Kane stopped him with a kick to the head. Kane with a Chokeslam for just a two count. That was Kane’s finisher sometimes. Kane wanted a Tombstone Piledriver, Edge slipped out and hit a Spear. Instead of covering, Edge laid down beside Kane so each guy had a hand on the other guy’s chest while both of their shoulders were down, so the referee Chad Patton counted the pin at 12:50.
Match Result: Draw (Kane is still World Heavyweight Champion)
Analysis: *1/2 Boring match. I told you this feud sucked. The crowd was dead for a lot of it because it was not an exciting match at all. They wrestled at a slow pace and it never got to that next gear where it might be considered a good match. I like Edge a lot as one of my all-time favorites, but Kane was not a good opponent for him. Kane was better against smaller guys. The finish was controversial to keep the feud going. The finishing spot was weak with Edge hitting a Spear and landing on his own back after. It was not a natural movement, but they did it that way to set up the draw.
Edge was announced as the new World Heavyweight Champion, but the referee waved his hand at announcer Tony Chimel. The ref handed the title to Kane. The referee explained to Chimel that it was a draw because both men’s shoulders were down.
Kane attacked Edge with a punch from behind and then he tossed Edge out of the ring. Edge whipped Kane into the ring post and then put Kane in the wheelchair. Edge wheeled Kane into the barricade, which broke. Those barricades have thin padding on them as we have seen many times over the years. Edge left standing tall while Kane was down in the wreckage.
Analysis: The feud continued from here. Edge would go on to win the World Heavyweight Title for the last time at TLC one month later. That was a 4-way TLC match with Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio also in the match.
John Cena was in the locker room with a referee shirt with Wade Barrett showing up to talk to him. Barrett reminded Cena of June 7th in the same building when he and the Nexus gave Cena the worst beating of his entire career. Barrett said now Cena is part of the Nexus and will be instrumental in helping Barrett becoming the WWE Champion. Barrett told Cena to do the right thing. Cena said tonight, no matter what happens, when the time is right, he knows exactly what he’s going to do. Cena left.
Analysis: The storyline wasn’t that great, but I give them credit for building up the angle well in terms of making it hard to predict what the finish of the main event would be.
Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel entered as the WWE Tag Team Champions. They were joined by Nexus members David Otunga, Michael McGillicutty (later Curtis Axel) and Husky Harris (later Bray Wyatt). The challengers are the comedic duo of Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov. They got a nice pop from the crowd.
WWE Tag Team Championships: Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel (w/David Otunga, Michael McGillicutty and Husky Harris) vs. Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov
Pre-match notes: The Nexus guys were the heels while Santino/Kozlov were an odd couple face tag team.
Santino started for the face team, he didn’t do much and Kozlov tagged in with some power moves on Gabriel including a shove that sent Gabriel across the ring. Gabriel came back with a neckbreaker on Kozlov. Slater with a knee drop. The heels stomped away on Kozlov in their corner. Gabriel grounded Kozlov with a headlock while fans chanted for Santino. Slater tagged in leading to his headlock on Kozlov. When Kozlov broke free, he decked Slater with a clothesline and tagged in Santino. The crowd was on fire as Santino hit a hip toss and a headbutt for two with Gabriel breaking up the pin. Kozlov tackled Gabriel out of the ring. Santino teased The Cobra attack, the other Nexus guys distracted Santino and Slater hit a neckbreaker move similar to the Zig Zag for the pinfall win at 5:11.
Winners by pinfall: Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel
Analysis: 3/4* A quick match that didn’t mean much. The tag team division was not a strength in this era. Santino was by far the most over guy in this match, so it made sense that he got the hot tag. The finish was weak.
After the match, the Nexus guys kicked Santino out of the ring.
The anonymous Raw General Manager sent an email leading to Cole reading a sheet off the laptop instead of the actual laptop. He read that Nexus is banned from ringside in the upcoming WWE Championship match. If anybody in the Nexus interferes, the entire group will be suspended, so the GM wants the Nexus to leave the ring immediately. The guys left the ring.
Analysis: I always found that to be so awful about the anonymous Raw GM gimmick. They would have Cole read off a sheet of paper on the laptop instead of the laptop even though he said he got an email. That’s WWE, though. They are notorious for not caring about the minor details in their storylines. Also, reading the emails got Cole so much heel heat, which helped his heel character get over more.
The video package aired to tell the story of John Cena having issues with The Nexus and now he has to be the referee of the match where he’ll either be free or fired. The focus became about what Cena might do rather than making people care about Orton or Barrett.
Analysis: Firing angles are lame and nobody really bought the idea that Cena was going to get fired. I thought it was a poor storyline.
John Cena was up first without the usual posing to the crowd because he had a serious look on his face. Wade Barrett was up next. The Nexus theme song was pretty good. It was one of my favorites during this time period. Randy Orton was up next as the WWE Champion with a serious look on his face. Cena held up the WWE Title in the air as the referee of the match and he called for the bell.
WWE Championship: Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett (John Cena is the referee)
Pre-match notes: Orton was the face WWE Champion, Barrett was the heel challenger and Cena was the face referee. The stipulation was that if Barrett became WWE Champion then Cena was a free man, but if Barrett lost, Cena would be fired.
Orton was in control early with a running clothesline followed by forearms to the chest. Cena was not wearing the earpiece that referees usually wear to give them cues during a match. Orton punched Barrett against the turnbuckle repeatedly, so Cena pulled Orton away and Barrett hit a boot to the face to take control. Barrett stomped on Orton against the turnbuckle, so Cena pulled him away and Orton capitalized with a dropkick. Orton kicked Barrett out of the ring, they battled out of the ring with Barrett taking control as he sent Orton into the side of the apron repeatedly. Cena was not counting them out of the ring as Barrett whipped Orton into the steel steps. Barrett with a hard whip that sent Orton into the turnbuckle. Barrett stayed in control with a headlock, a knee to the ribs and a kick to the face. Barrett slapped on another long headlock, which Orton countered with a belly to back suplex. Orton got an offensive burst with two clothesline and the snap powerslam with the crowd getting into the match more. Orton with a running clothesline that sent Barrett over the top to the floor. Barrett sent Orton back first into the ring post. They went back into the ring with Orton hitting a modified backbreaker for two. Cena’s pin counts were all at normal speed. Barrett with a boot to the face followed by a clothesline. Barrett jumped off the middle ropes with an elbow drop for two. Barrett complained about the count, so Cena told him it was 2.5 on the pin. Barrett hit a pumphandle slam for a two count with Cena telling Barrett the shoulder was up. Barrett hit a Bossman Slam for a two count. Barrett got in Cena’s face again to complain about the pin.
The crowd started the familiar “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” chants as Orton hit a draping DDT off the ropes. Barrett bailed to the floor, so Orton decked him with a clothesline. Barrett hit Orton with a knee to the head when Orton was trying to get back into the ring. Barrett hit the Wasteland slam that was his finishing move. Barrett covered Orton for one…two…and Orton got his right hand on the bottom rope. Barrett complained about it while Cena noted he saw the hand on the rope. Cena saw it. Barrett shoved Cena in the chest, which drew a big pop from the crowd. Cena shoved Barrett back and Orton capitalized with a RKO leading to the pinfall win at 15:10.
Winner by pinfall: Randy Orton
Analysis: **1/4 It was just an average match that was more about the story of Cena’s decision as the referee instead of the guys in the ring. The finish was well done in terms of putting over the story with Barrett trying to manipulate Cena, but Cena wouldn’t do it and when Cena put his hands on Barrett, that led to the finish with Orton getting the win. The nearfall after Barrett hitting the Wasteland finisher was a good spot. Most of the match was pretty boring, though.
Matt Striker yelled: “Cena’s free!” Cole: “Cena’s fired.” Striker: “You’re right. I’m sorry.” Way to mess up, Striker. That led to the announcers arguing with Striker saying that Cena had no business putting his hands on Barrett with Lawler defending Cena’s actions saying he was fed up with Barrett.
Post match, Cena tossed off his referee shirt and his Nexus armband. The other Nexus members ran down to the ring, but Cena and Orton fought them off easily. The Nexus guys all went to the back with Barrett.
Cena was given the WWE Championship at ringside. He walked into the ring with it and presented it to his buddy Randy Orton. That led to Orton’s music playing and Orton celebrated with the WWE Title while he stared at Cena. Orton left the ring with the WWE Title while Cena was left alone in the ring.
Analysis: Orton’s WWE Title reign lasted one more night because The Miz cashed in Money in the Bank on Raw to become the WWE Champion.
Cena took off his purple wrist bands and left them in the center of the ring. He saluted the crowd. Cena hugged Michael Cole at ringside, but didn’t really acknowledge the other announcers. Cena hugged Rick the Sign Guy at ringside. Cena hugged another fan that was in the aisle. Cena pointed to a camera and said “thank you” as if he was talking to the viewer at home. Cena saluted the crowd one more time. Cena got up to the ramp and then he walked into the crowd to greet some of the fans. He walked around the arena with a spotlight on him while security guards led the way to make sure it was a clear path for him. He ended up walking all around the arena and then he walked to the back. That was the end of the show.
Analysis: It was a good acting performance from Cena, but I don’t think anybody really believed that Cena was fired from WWE or that he would be going away for long when he was 33 years old and clearly the top guy in the company. Firing angles in wrestling are generally pretty lame, though, and this was another example of that.
The storyline would see Cena appear on television as much as he usually did even though he was fired, which again made no sense, but I don’t think WWE cares about making sense sometimes. At live events, he even wrestled under a mask as “Juan Cena” so that at least the fans got to see him wrestle since he was main eventing all of the live events.
The show had a run time of 2:47:33 on WWE Network.
It was an average show with a bunch of matches around the three-star level throughout the night, but nothing really stood out as the best match. I liked the traditional Survivor Series match the most. The opener with Bryan/Dibiase was well done and if they had a few more minutes it would have been the best.
The Edge/Kane feud sucked. It might have been the worst feud of Edge’s career. I hate pointing that out because he is one of my all-time favorites, but I’m just speaking the truth.
The main event was boring. That’s the most important match on the show and it was all about the Cena firing storyline. It was as if the two guys in the actual match meant nothing. Like I said earlier, it was a weak angle.
Want a highlight from the show? Maryse’s outfit. Fine looking woman. As for Juan Cena, I’m just glad he didn’t stick around for that long.
Show rating (out of 10): 5.5
Best Match: Team Mysterio vs. Team Del Rio (***1/4 out of five)
Worst Match: Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel vs. Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov (3/4*)
Most Memorable Moment: Orton hits Barrett with RKO after a shove from Cena.
- Rey Mysterio
- John Morrison
- Daniel Bryan
- Ted Dibiase
That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.
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