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Thread: WWE Survivor Series 2013 Review

  1. #1

    Survivor Series WWE Survivor Series 2013 Review

    Survivor Series
    November 24, 2013

    Team Shield w/Zeb Colter vs Team Brotherhood
    On Team Shield are all three members of The Shield and The Real Americans (Swagger/Cesaro). On Team Brotherhood are Goldust, Cody Rhodes, The Usos, and Rey Mysterio. Poor Rey is truly the fifth wheel on this brother heavy team. Speaking of poor Rey, he’s just coming back from one of his numerous injuries, this one having kept him out of action for the majority of 2013. Watching this in 2019, it’s pretty AEW heavy with 40% of the wrestlers now working for AEW, with it even kicking off with Cody vs Ambrose. You could break down the match into three parts. The first part was really fun with plenty of action and The Usos standing out with all of their dives and double team spots. What really surprised me is that the US Champion, Ambrose, was eliminated after just a couple of minutes after Cody surprised Ambrose with a roll-up for the quick elimination. This trend of the babyfaces absolutely getting the best of the heels continued with both Swagger and Cesaro following next. It was around when Cesaro (At his absolute peak for popularity for his giant swings) was eliminated that I was becoming a little bored with the match. There’s basically a five minute stretch where there weren’t any planned eliminations, but also the action had to be slowed down with the babyfaces just remaining in control. It’s a sign that the match could have been trimmed down some. The third part of the match saw the monster push of Roman f’n Reigns. While Rollins would get in a stray elimination of Jey with the Curb Stomp before being eliminated himself by Mysterio, everything else is total Reigns domination. A spear for Jey to eliminate one half of the Usos. A spear to Cody to knock him out. A spear to Goldust to make it even again after a brief period of it being 1-2 in favor of the babyfaces. Then Mysterio too was surprised with a monster spear from Reigns allowing Reigns to knock out four wrestlers on his own to win the match as the sole survivor. Between this performance and Reigns breaking Kane’s record for most eliminations a couple of months later at the Royal Rumble, it’s very clear that the WWE had huge plans for Reigns. This monster booking was allowing Reigns to get over similarly to how Diesel got over after a bunch of eliminations in the 1994 Royal Rumble match. Other than a dull period in the middle, this match was a mix of fast pace action in the first half and a great showcase for a soon to be major star. On top of that, this match is even responsible for a couple of highly memorable gifs. What more could you possibly want? *** ¼

    Since this is beyond my gif making skills, whoever made the following gif, my hats off to you. You’re a damn genius for having this clever idea.


    Big E © vs Curtis Axel - WWE IC Title
    A rematch from the go home edition of Raw where Big E defeated Axel for the title. If you’ve already run the title switch just days ago, why is this a match on the PPV? I know that Big E was teased with receiving a big push about this time before it was abruptly called off, but this was one poor looking match on paper. The IC Title is on the line at one of the Big Four PPVs and it’s this. I’m not even a fan of the two, but Kofi Kingston and The Miz are stuck working the Kickoff while these two are on PPV! Hell, at least make it some elimination match with say...Big E, Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, and R-Truth/Xavier Woods vs Curtis Axel, Ryback, Damien Sandow, The Miz, and Tensai. I think that even covers a few lowcard programs. The match was...fine. Big E is really athletic, which is always cool to see for a guy his size. The commentators couldn’t even pretend to care about the match, again, why would they when Big E already beat Axel for the title six days ago?! Instead, they talked about Axel’s family and when that well dried up, they brought up random Survivor Series moments like The Undertaker winning the WWE World Title in 1991. Axel would miss his wacky neckbreaker finisher, but the future New Day member would connect with The Big Ending just as he did on Raw to retain the title. What a gigantic waste of time. Perfectly fine for an episode of Raw though. **

    Team Total Divas vs Team WWE Divas
    On Team Total Divas are the original cast of E!’s Total Divas - Natayla, The Bellas, The Funkadactyls, Jojo, and Eva Marie. Meanwhile, Team WWE Divas are pretty much every other diva in the company - AJ Lee, Kaitlyn, Tamina, Alicia Fox, Aksana, Summer Rae, and Rosa Mendas. The whole idea is that there’s a war between those who were selected for the Total Divas television show and those frustrated over being overlooked to join the show. In reality, it’s really the Divas Champion, AJ Lee, being fearful of some of the Total Divas, so she’s conjuring up this war to not only give the Total Divas someone to fight besides herself, but it also keeps the non-Total Divas from focusing on AJ’s title as well. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who wins because the true winner is AJ Lee for her title is safe. This match also shows off just how utterly weak the women’s division was at this point. Out of all fourteen women, what’s the absolute best singles match you could even put together? AJ Lee vs Kaitlyn? AJ vs Natayla? It’s brutal. The eliminations came really quickly, sometimes the least experienced women not even getting any time on offense, instead being hit with one simple move to get them out of harm’s way like in the case of Eva Marie. Before even the six minute mark, there’s a total of eight (!!!) eliminations and absolutely none of them are memorable. It’s a terrible sign when my favorite exchange was between Tamina and Jojo as it at least had a story. Not only was Jojo the least experienced of the fourteen women, but she’s also the smallest. Meanwhile, she’s in the ring with the largest woman! That’s a fine story that will always work. Surprisingly, Jojo was even given a bit of time in the ring to work with Tamina, nearly upsetting the second generation Diva (Did you know her father was Jimmy Snuka?) by countering a Samoan Drop into a crucifix pin attempt. It didn’t work though and Jojo was soon killed off with Tamina’s Samoan Drop. Naomi’s level of talent was perfect for this era as even today, I wouldn’t say she’s good, but she is clearly very athletic. In 2013, just being able to show off your athleticism made you look like a megastar in the Diva’s division. As crummy as the match was, the finish was pretty spectacular for how badly it was messed up. At one point, Nikki Bella tagged out to Jojo and Nikki just sorta disappeared. Everyone forgot that she hadn’t been eliminated and at the very end, she helped out Natayla to beat AJ Lee with Natayla forcing the champion to submit to the Sharpshooter. The commentators nor the ring announcer ever refer to Nikki as being one of the sole survivors. It reminds me of Vengeance 2003 when Bradshaw won The APA Invitational Bar Room Brawl despite Faarooq still being on his feet. Considering how much we hear about Vince McMahon always being in the ear of the commentators, I can’t imagine it just went over the commentator’s head that Nikki hadn’t been eliminated. WTF happened with this finish when it comes to Nikki? Was she a sole survivor with Natayla or was it just Natayla? How do you mess up something so basic? The best part about this match is just the realization that at this point in time, things were happening in NXT. Paige was in the middle of her NXT Women’s Title reign, Charlotte/Sasha/Bayley were wrestling on TV, and Becky Lynch had just started working NXT house shows. So help is coming to the main roster, you just have to be patient and endure this awful era of Divas struggling to work watchable matches. ½ *

    From there, we’re introduced to the guests on the pre-show panel including Bret Hart, Mick Foley, and Booker T. Ryback ends up interrupting, issuing an open challenge to anyone in the back. That led to…

    Ryback vs Mark Henry
    Please kill me. Wasn’t it bad enough that these two had the worst match at Wrestlemania 29? This is Henry’s surprise return after not being seen on TV since August. It’s also the first match after shaving his head bald. Henry looked great with the new look that it’s a bit of a shame he only shaved his head so late in his career. This was a power based match with Ryback controlling the first half until he missed a charge in the corner, resulting in Ryback ramming his own shoulder into the ring post. From there Henry took over with the sole fun spot seeing Henry drop to his hands and knees and ram a headbutt at Ryback ala Junkyard Dog. The commentators went crazy over Henry countering another Ryback charge in the corner with a cross body, but it was literally just Henry doing a tiny jump. It’s hardly The Big Show coming off of the top rope, Earthquake hitting a drop kick, ect. Henry would hit the World’s Largest Slam. Was this as bad as their Wrestlemania match? Eh, the WM match was a bit of a trainwreck. This was lame moreso for the fact that it was booked in the first place. Much like Big E/Axel, you can’t help, but to question why this was even a match especially when The Miz/Kofi was booked on the Kickoff. Again, there were plenty of guys free to work another classic Survivor Series elimination match instead of giving us some dull, short singles match that could have taken place on literally any edition of Raw or Smackdown. At least their match at Wrestlemania somewhat mattered. This was pure filler, but hardly the sort of filler that could have been fun. * ¾

    John Cena © vs Alberto Del Rio - World Heavyweight Title
    After losing the WWE World Title to Daniel Bryan at Summerslam 2013, Cena took a couple of months off to deal with an elbow injury. He made his return at Hell in a Cell, where he defeated Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Title. Cena’s bad elbow was the target of Del Rio’s early offense. Although I dug the early limb work, it was quickly forgotten for the rest of the match with the exception of Del Rio locking in the cross armbreaker late in the match, but since it’s his finisher, I don’t know if he was so much playing to the injury or not. Besides the arm work, the early going also had Del Rio cutting Cena off every time Cena seemed to be ramping up some momentum. For the early going to a match, it was solid stuff, but by the midpoint in the match, they had moved on from it. From that point on, I couldn’t care much as Cena got in more and more offense. They worked a tired multiple attempted finishers sort of main event level match, but it didn’t connect. The finish was smooth though as Cena attempted the FU, but Del Rio countered into an attempt of the cross armbreaker, but Cena countered that into a successful FU to win the match. I don’t recall Del Rio doing much following this until his summer 2014 sudden firing. Average match for an average wrestler. ** ½

    CM Punk and Daniel Bryan vs The Wyatt Family w/Bray Wyatt
    I can’t even recall how this program started, but I do know that it’s what led to Bryan briefly becoming a member of The Wyatt Family before ditching the faction in that memorable cage match moment on Raw. Regardless, this match looks rad on paper. The execution is mostly good, but the “This is Awesome'' crowd was a bit over the top for my liking. When the babyfaces were in control, things were pretty awesome. Bryan and Punk showed some fun synchronicity as they unloaded dual Yes Kicks and kept tagging in and out at a good pace. Eventually Punk would be overwhelmed for our first of two face-in-peril sequences. Although I dig Harper, The Wyatt Family being in control wasn’t all that exciting. Harper and Rowan’s best offense was whenever they were cutting off either a flurry of offense or a hope spot so that the big men could perform some big, powerful spot whether it’s delivering a middle rope power bomb to Bryan or just lifting Punk up and flinging him over the top rope. Bryan’s hot tag and clearing house lasted a bit before it was his turn to play the face-in-peril. Again, things died down with the Wyatt’s in control. This meant having to wait until Punk could get the tag and we saw action with all four men before things could become interesting again. The nice thing is that meant things ended on a hot note with Bryan taking care of Rowan while Punk hits Go 2 Sleep on Harper to score the pinfall. Looking back, despite only working three editions of Survivor Series, Luke Harper got really lucky. First year was against Bryan/Punk, second year was an elimination tag with John Cena and Sting’s WWE arrival, and third year was against The Brothers of Destruction. Not bad. An enjoyable match, despite only being fun when the indie dream team was in charge. ***

    Randy Orton © vs The Big Show - WWE World Title
    The narrative that I saw following this match is that everyone hated it. The match was a dud, the crowd trashed it with a ton of Daniel Bryan chants, and in general the WWE looked awful. Watching this for the first time, nothing was as bad as I expected. Were there some Daniel Bryan chants? Sure, they were pretty small. The crowd also reacted positively at points too. Was the match dull? Absolutely, but I also wouldn’t say it was notoriously boring. They worked a ten minute match where there wasn’t much structure other than Big Show trying to use his size and Orton trying to figure out ways to combat it. Throughout the entire night, Orton had been paranoid about getting reassurance from The Authority that they’d have his back tonight. Instead, it seemed as if The Authority was going to force him to go at it alone, to fend for himself. Based on how the match was playing out, it seemed obvious that Show was going to win tonight at least in terms of Orton being unable to beat him on his own. While Orton kept failing to hit the RKO, Show was successful at connecting with a choke slam in the middle of the ring, but it was too early to score the pinfall. Later, on the outside, Show again bested Orton by hitting the WMD. Again, Orton was lucky in that he was knocked out outside of the ring. It’s only a matter of time before Orton’s luck runs out and Show proves his superiority and beats the champion. Instead, as Orton is tossed back into the ring, Triple H’s music hits with The Authority (Hunter, Stephanie McMahon, and Corporate Kane) walk out to the entrance way before stopping. Being the numbskull that he is, Show allows this event to distract him for several moments before finally deciding to climb back through the ropes to get his hands on Orton again. As Show is stepping between the ropes, Orton surprises him with an RKO before getting back to his feet to knock Show out with a Punt that didn’t look like it connected with the camera angle the WWE used. That allowed Orton to win. So, was The Authority lying about refusing to help Orton or do they feel as if just coming out at an opportune time doesn’t constitute helping? Perhaps the better question is, “Does anyone actually care?” For a match built entirely around Show easily having Orton’s number, Orton sure did quickly beat Show following a momentary distraction. My biggest disappointment for this match was that it wasn’t a worst match of the year contender like people made it out to be. Instead, it was merely an uninspiring match that felt like a filler program for Orton despite making it out as if it was an impossible feat for him to conquer The Big Show. Hell, half the show is roughly this quality. * ¾

    After the match, John Cena’s music hits and the World Heavyweight Champion heads out to the ring to hold his title up in defiance of the WWE World Champion and his belt. When I originally heard about this segment, I absolutely did not think that it would lead to an unification match at TLC 2013. Unifying the two titles that had been on WWE TV for eleven years is such a big deal that you couldn’t possibly hype it for just three weeks. I was convinced that this would be the start of a build towards Wrestlemania 30’s main event.

    Back in 2013, no one went out of their way to praise Survivor Series and years later, no one really brings this PPV up. It’s understandable too as it’s not particularly good and it feels fairly unimportant. Part of the flaw of that is the announcement of the WWE World Title and World Heavyweight Title unification match for the next PPV. It’s not as if either title saw a new champion declared tonight either. The IC Title match, that was announced at some point in the past, randomly occurred on the go home edition of Raw to see Big E winning the title there and then have to wrestle Curtis Axel again six days later on PPV. Why bother having Big E win the title on Raw when that just takes away a tiny shred of importance reserved to the PPV? It’s kind of cool seeing Daniel Bryan and CM Punk team up together, but they weren’t given good enough opponents to create a classic. The best match of the night was the opening Survivor Series elimination tag which continued The Shield’s hot streak in 2013. Where Survivor Series especially fails is the fact that it’s a PPV literally three months before the launch of the WWE Network on February 24, 2014. While a lackluster PPV like this is adequate for the WWE Network era, it’s a massive let down when you reflect on the fact that anyone who bought the PPV dropped $50 for…this

  2. #2
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    Ed's Avatar

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    Re: WWE Survivor Series 2013 Review

    Other than the opening match, you put a gun to my head I couldn't name another match on this show it is that forgettable. I had no idea they ran back Henry Vs Ryback 7 months later

    I do rate that opening elimination higher than you though, I thought it was a tonne of fun, 3.75 for me.

  3. #3

    Re: WWE Survivor Series 2013 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Other than the opening match, you put a gun to my head I couldn't name another match on this show it is that forgettable.
    With the exception of a few key matches here and there, that applies to me for every PPV of the last decade.

  4. #4
    The Only 2x WC HOF
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    Re: WWE Survivor Series 2013 Review

    I'm not sure but I think the audio for the main event sounds like it has been altered. I know WWE had done that around this time with the 2014 Rumble and 2015 Rumble. I remember the crowd being solidly against the Orton vs Big Show.

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  5. #5

    Re: WWE Survivor Series 2013 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    I'm not sure but I think the audio for the main event sounds like it has been altered. I know WWE had done that around this time with the 2014 Rumble and 2015 Rumble. I remember the crowd being solidly against the Orton vs Big Show.
    Now that's something that would explain a lot. Watching it on the WWE Network, you wouldn't think it was a notorious match at all.

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