The 26th edition of Survivor Series is in the books! Jim and I both ended up 3-3 in our picks on Sunday night, so the deficit for Tom remains the same (down 1, with 1 pay-per-view remaining) and the overall records are as follows: Jim 40-24 to Tom 39-25.
Here are our thoughts in the aftermath of Survivor Series:
3MB of Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal vs. Santino Marella & Zack Ryder
TOM: As expected here, 3MB pick up the win. Will it be built on in the coming weeks or not. I think this group against Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel or Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara would be a lot of fun.
JIM: Well, I thought they’d go with a “faces start the show winning” formula, and clearly, I was wrong! We almost lost this match from our picks as after we’d recorded the podcast, WWE had changed it to 3MB vs. Gabriel/Kidd, but then switched back, presumably to add the extra elimination tag. Wish they hadn’t…or I’d have had a 2 match lead going into TLC! Darn WWE! 3MB was the right pick though for going forward.
Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Brodus Clay, Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel vs. Tensai, The Prime Time Players of Darren Young & Titus O’Neil, Primo & Epico
TOM: Nice little added match and would have been better if they had done more on TV to build it up. Rey, Cara, Kidd & Gabriel being the sole survivors is the right move. Can we get a good, competitive tag match between those two teams? It could do a world of wonder for Kidd & Gabriel.
JIM: Man, how far has Brodus Clay fallen? First he was being built on Superstars as a monster heel, then they finally debut him (After teasing him for what seemed like forever), and give him the “Funkasaurus” gimmick. He gets a bunch of squash wins and seems to be firmly entrenched in the mid to maybe even upper mid card, and now, I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets released in the next few months. When you’re the only one eliminated on your team, it’s not a good sign. Once the Team Hell No thing runs it’s course, I fully expect to see Rhodes Scholars (who will win the belts from them) feuding with Mysterio/Cara and Gabriel/Kidd, which will be really fun matches.
Divas Title Match: Eve Torres (C) vs. Kaitlyn
TOM: Pick was wrong here, as I guess WWE does not see Kaitlyn ready to hold the Divas Title. Appears as well she moves into a feud with Aksana.
JIM: Yeah, it seems they are headed towards Aksana/Kaitlyn, though I still think Aksana is working with Eve. Rumors of Eve vs. AJ coming down the line, which would be a fun Divas Title feud (as AJ is by far the most over Diva they have right now). I figured Kaitlyn would get a short run, but it appears it won’t be anytime soon if she does.
United States Title Match: Antonio Cesaro (C) vs. R-Truth
TOM: Match and outcome as expected. It is almost too bad that Rey Mysterio and/or Sin Cara are in their tag roles, because I could see both being terrific opponents for Cesaro and give an even bigger, bolder and more meaningful United State Title feud to the WWE Universe.
JIM: I’d love to see Mysterio or Cara feuding with Cesaro too, but alas it’s not to be for now. Maybe this would be a great spot for Christian to return and feud with Cesaro, those would be good matches. Cesaro is obviously headed places in time. Easily the right call to keep the title on Cesaro.
World Heavyweight Title: Sheamus vs. The Big Show (C)
TOM: I figured Show would retain here, but clearly WWE showed that they did not want to have Sheamus look weak by taking another loss. The post-match aftermath set up just as I anticipated and alluded that it might and I expect we get a re-match for the World Title in a Chairs Match at TLC next month.
JIM: Yep, good call on that one Tom! I like that they’ve given Sheamus back his edge lately. His “aw shucks” demeanor just didn’t fit, so it’s good to see a harder edge to him again. While I hate Big Show holding the title, it made sense to leave it on him at least here, and then setup for the gimmick match at TLC, which I believe will also be a Chairs Match as well. Regardless as to who wins there…I think it might be time to cue Dolph Ziggler after the match, much like Daniel Bryan last year at TLC.
Team Ziggler vs. Team Foley Elimination Match: Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett, Alberto Del Rio, David Otunga & Damian Sandow vs. Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton, Team Hell NO of Kane & Daniel Bryan & The Miz
TOM: This match made great sense and I think all of the eliminations were spot on, though I was surprised by the Miz elimination of Wade Barrett. The final two should have been Ziggler & Orton, so I was really happy it came down to them. As you know if you’ve followed my thinking all year here, I’ve been waiting for Dolph to get his “true” shot and maybe we really saw it here and perhaps it is his road to cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase next month and ending 2012 as World Heavyweight Champion.
JIM: I actually figured I’d get this wrong after I thought more about it after the podcast, as it seems they are pushing The Miz and are getting behind him as a babyface, so I thought to get him over in that role, he could be the sole survivor. But, Ziggler needed the big win, especially if he is (as Tom and I both suspect) going to be World Heavyweight Champion by the time the year ends, so this was absolutely the right call, and I’m glad I stuck with my guns and made it! Good stuff here with everyone.
WWE Title Triple Threat Match: CM Punk (C) vs. Ryback vs. John Cena
TOM: This match was the expected vehicle I stated it would be last week on the podcast; Punk retains, ends his feud with Cena, we get good teases of Cena & Ryback and we even got the bonus of the NXT talent Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns all debuting and laying waste to Ryback. I am really eager to see how they are featured in WWE and what role(s) they play. Are they aligned with CM Punk or are they just anti-Ryback? Is this a new wave of a Nexus-type group? I very much look forward to what comes next and also send congratulations to CM Punk in completing 1 full calendar year as WWE Champion.
JIM: I too loved the debut of Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns. I would have loved it even more with Kassius Ohno in Reigns spot, but that’s ok, Reigns has the pedigree being Afa’s son, and they probably wanted a powerhouse in the group too (whether the group is aligned with Punk or not). This is a nice way to remove Ryback from the title situation for a bit too if they decide to, while also keeping him strong since he’s had the title won twice now, but outside forces have kept him from winning it. I’m curious who challenges Punk at TLC though if they move towards Cena/Ziggler (involving the AJ/Vickie thing), and if Ryback gets sidetracked with Ambrose, Rollins & Reigns. What does Punk do next month? Clearly whatever it is, it’s academic, as we’re headed towards CM Punk vs. The Rock at the Royal Rumble, which I can’t wait to check out! The promos alone leading up to that are going to be a ton of fun to watch!