The most notable moment from Survivor Series 2014, of course, was Sting finally making an appearance inside a WWE ring, delivering a Scorpion Death Drop to Triple H. The other huge takeaway is that this was really Dolph Ziggler’s show. With John Cena being eliminated after a knockout punch from the heel-turning Big Show, Ziggler was left to face three members of Team Authority by himself.
Alas, it was Dolph Ziggler – not John Cena – who overcame the odds last night.
While Sting placed Ziggler on top of Seth Rollins to get the final pinfall, it doesn’t take away from the fact that WWE made Ziggler look like a main event star last night.
The events of last night also set up a few programs moving forward, with John Cena and Big Show likely to square off and a potential Triple H-Sting showdown in the works. While WrestleMania XXXI seems the likely candidate, I could see the company not wanting to wait that long to get Sting on a pay-per-view card.
If I were picking nits (which I am about to) my only gripe with Sting’s appearance was that WWE gave him new theme music, even though his “Crow” theme was used in WWE 2K15 promotion and in the game itself. But it didn’t really matter. Once the crow noises hit, coupled with rumors that Sting was going to appear, the building erupted.
Below are my thoughts on the rest of the show:
– The Fatal 4-Way opener was a really solid match that kept the crowd hot. I missed the mark on my prediction of Goldust & Stardust retaining the straps but I really liked how the match ended, with Damien Mizdow finally getting in and stealing the pinfall from Miz. It’s a subtle nudge of things to come, when the pair inevitably breaks up because Mizdow is taking all of Miz’s spotlight, but that’s probably a little way down the line. Miz holding both belts and Mizdow still mimicking his celebration was great and I’m looking forward to what these two come up with as their reign rolls on.
– The Divas elimination match was… a match. I have no clue what the booking of this accomplished. The babyfaces (Is Alicia a babyface?) won in a clean sweep, with Naomi getting the final pinfall on Paige. The whole contest felt like a giant cluster with very little direction. I was hoping they would have Natalya and Paige be the final survivors for their respective teams, do battle for a bit, and set up a program between the two of them. It wasn’t meant to be.
– Roman Reigns appeared via satellite in one of his better interviews since his injury. That’s not saying much but this one at least wasn’t cringeworthy. Of note, Reigns said he’ll be back “this time next month,” meaning we’ll probably see him at TLC. My guess would be a match with Seth Rollins but time will tell if WWE holds him off pay-per-view until the Royal Rumble.
– I’m sure there was an uproar over AJ Lee losing the Divas Championship in the fashion she did (I stayed off Twitter for most of the show) but I’m fine with it. It was a nice tip of the cap to how Daniel Bryan lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Sheamus at WrestleMania XXVIII and Brie’s motivation made sense since AJ had DDT’ed Brie on Monday’s Raw, along with her marriage to Bryan.
There are still some questions. Is Brie a heel now and happily in the company of her sister once again? Or was this a one-off revenge move on AJ? Or did WWE not really think this out and just need a quick way to get the title off AJ, who is rumored to be leaving the company for another break?
Unanswered questions aren’t bad. Really, that’s the point. But do people really care much about the answers?
– Bray Wyatt defeated Dean Ambrose by disqualification when Ambrose hit Wyatt with a chair. During the post-match, Ambrose elbow dropped Wyatt through a table, then piled a bunch of chairs on top of him and climbed a ladder to mug for the cameras. The whole ladder thing was a strange and punch-you-in-the-face obvious way to set up another showdown between the two at TLC, which the broadcast team announced was official later on during Survivor Series.
– We got a surprise Bunny & Adam Rose v. Slater Gator tag team match, which was fine time-filler. I was hoping we would get our Bunny reveal but that will likely come on Raw. As silly as the Bunny’s involvement is, it’s a pretty well flushed out storyline and I’m actually interested in the payoff. I’m also excited about Adam Rose playing a heel, which seems to be a more natural fit for him.
– The pre-show Cesaro v. Jack Swagger match was pretty good and did well to get the crowd going early. That’s one thing that shouldn’t be understated: The crowd was great and that plays a big part in how the big moments of the show come off.
– I won’t make the “another heel turn for Big Show” joke. It’s a little strange, though, that we’re going to get another Cena-Show program, especially with Cena being the number one contender and Brock Lesnar rumored to be wrestling at TLC. Perhaps that isn’t the case and we won’t see Lesnar until the Rumble. If you don’t remember Brock Lesnar, he’s the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Yep, they still have one of those.
– All in all, WWE did a good job of making this feel bigger than it did going in. A lot of people didn’t like the Raw-style 15-minute opening promo, but it made the main event feel like more of a big deal. The follow-up will be important, as WWE could please a lot of fans by naming a new GM on tonight’s Raw that brings some excitement to the table. I’m not sure if I can buy in to the rumors of Sting being the GM just yet. We’ll see on tonight’s Raw.
– As for my predictions, I was 3-for-5. I was wrong on AJ Lee and Goldust & Stardust retaining their titles and three of the other matches were unadvertised or, in the case of Fandango, an opponent wasn’t named.