by Nate Dimit, you can catch part one here
The first match on the card was a Fatal 4-Way match for the tag team championship. This involved four tag teams competing all at once, nine people total, but only two competitors in the ring at a time. The teams included:
· Goldust and Stardust: the tag team champions going into the match. Goldust is over 40 years old and can move like he’s half his age and Stardust is his real-life younger brother, Cody Rhodes.
· The Miz: a former Real World contestant-turned straight to DVD movie star and his “stunt double,” Damien Mizdow (aka Damien Sandow).
· The Usos: a pair of Samoan twins distantly related to The Rock.
· Los Matadores: a masked pair of bull fighters accompanied by a dwarf luchador in a bull costume. Remember when I said this show is for children?
This match was full of high flying action and lots of interacting with the live audience. Damien Mizdow’s gimmick is that he is the stunt double for his tag team partner and popular movie star, The Miz. His real film accolades include The Marine 3: Homefront and the ABC Family original film Christmas Bounty. The Miz is the bad guy because he believes he is a big movie star for being in sub-B movies, get it? Damien Mizdow copies most of the moves that The Miz does, and the crowd has really connected to his shtick and as such has become an endearing character. So, of course, Mizdow tags his way into the match at the end and steals the win from his partner, setting up even more tension in the team. A fun and exciting match to get the live crowd hyped up for the rest of the show.
4 on 4 Traditional Survivor Series
Going into the show there were only four matches announced for a 3-hour time slot. They had lots of time to work with and plenty of space to fill. The next match was a 4 on 4 Traditional Survivor Series match featuring the Divas, the female wrestlers of the WWE. This featured Team Alicia - Alicia Fox, Natalya, Emma and Naomi - versus Team Paige - Paige, Summer Rae, Cameron and Layla. This match was a little sloppy and had some mistimed spots. The girls really worked hard and I could tell they wanted to put on an entertaining show, but it just fell flat for me and the live audience. It’s hard for the audience to care when there’s nothing substantial at stake. This was also the victim of the show being lightly loaded. This match went about 15 minutes when they could have gotten the same results in about 6 or 7.
Bray Wyatt versus Dean Ambrose
Up next was Bray Wyatt versus Dean Ambrose. This feud was hastily put together and hasn’t had much development put into the story other than Bray telling Dean that his father is an alcoholic, a character trait that has never been mentioned or referenced for Dean until now. Bray Wyatt is a cult leader from the bayou, not unlike Charles Manson, with a New Orleans accent, but without the murder. Dean Ambrose is referred to as “the lunatic fringe,” as he is a crazy man and isn’t afraid to put his body on the line. Even with the lackluster build to this match, they worked like they really had drama and a reason to fight. The match was serviceable and showed that these two can work well together. Nothing in this match was going to set the world on fire and this was essentially meant to set up their rematch at the next pay-per-view in December, TLC (Tables, Ladders and Chairs.) Bray brought a chair into the ring and goaded Dean into hitting him with it, causing a disqualification loss for Dean and the win for Bray. I’m a fan of both of these characters and would like to see where they go next, before the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania season comes. Hopefully, they will be moved into more high profile plot lines. Both men are fairly new to the company and have shown good signs for the future of WWE; two performers could that could potentially feature as a main event at Wrestlemania.
Tag Team Match
The next match on the card was a tag team match featuring Adam Rose, a fun-loving party animal and his Bunny, a guy in a bunny costume. This show is TV-PG and young children attend their events. Rose’s team squared off against Heath Slater, a rocker/country boy and Titus O’Neil, a 6’4’’ former Jacksonville Jaguar. This match was added to the show earlier in the night during a backstage segment involving a ploy to pedal WWE action figures. The main story here is the dissension between Adam Rose and The Bunny, and I can’t believe I’m writing more than five words about this. Adam is the leader of his band of partying idiots and the bunny is starting to steal his thunder. This is the WWE’s “entertainment” half of “sports entertainment.” The match was short enough to get the idea over, but this was obviously time filler.
The Divas Title Match
The Divas Title Match came up after that. This was a regular match between reigning and defending champion AJ Lee and Nikki Bella, one half of The Bella Twins. Both of these girls are very competent in the ring and I was looking forward to an entertaining match, but the WWE swerved us here. Brie Bella, Nikki’s sister, started the match by kissing AJ and pushing her into Nikki who quickly hit her finishing move for the win. The match was over in 20 seconds and basically told the fans that there is more to come here.
THE MAIN EVENT
The main event was set to start and the time on my phone read 9:02pm. WWE pay-per-views typically end around 9:45 to 9:50pm, so I knew this match was going to go long.
Team Authority came out first, featuring Seth Rollins, Mark Henry, Rusev, Luke Harper and Kane. In addition to them were Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Rusev’s manager Lana and backup security goons Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury. Coming in ten people deep was already a way to make them look more menacing and jacked up the intimidation factor.
Team Cena came out next and consisted of The Big Show, Erick Rowan, Ryback, John Cena and one of my personal favorite characters, Dolph Ziggler. Dolph is almost like a modern day Shawn Michaels. He fits the role of a fiery baby-faced good guy and scrappy underdog very well. He possesses an undersized stature when contrasted with most of his opponents and teammates, but I think this is something that sets him apart and makes him more unique.
Mark Henry was eliminated by The Big Show immediately as the match started, after being built up as a monster and a force to be reckoned with. This match was a prime example of WWE wrestling, featuring a solid mix of action and storyline drama. The Big Show knocked out John Cena and turned on his team and sold out to The Authority, turning to the dark side. Massive brawls and states of disarray happened between the teams until the numbers were brought down to 3 to 1: Kane, Seth Rollins and Luke Harper vs a lone Dolph Ziggler. With the rest of his team eliminated and three intimidating foes in front of him, it was very easy for the crowd to get behind Dolph and have a new hero to root for. Dolph kicked out of finishing maneuvers and fought valiantly to eventually take out Kane and Luke Harper, levelling out the playing field to just him and Seth Rollins. They fought back and forth and just as it looked like Dolph had the match won, Triple H interfered and pulled the referee out of the ring, showing that he’s willing to do anything to win and keep his job. Triple H entered the ring and wreaked havoc on Dolph and a few more referees before finally hitting Dolph with his finishing move, The Pedigree. This took Dolph out long enough for Triple H to pull Seth Rollins onto him, forcing a referee to make the three count. At the count of two however, the arena went dark and a figure appeared on the Titantron.
Sting had entered the building.
His music hit and the crowd went nuts, as my eyes widened and I had a mild stroke. Sting came to the ring, circled around with Triple H a few times and you could feel the tension in the air. I had a dopey grin on my face as I had just regressed back into a 7-year-old boy. Sting hit Triple H with the Scorpion Death Drop, moved Dolph back onto Seth Rollins and helped Team Cena get the big victory.
The show went off the air, leaving the viewer with a sense of urgency to see what would happen next. Sting had been a major name in WCW, WWF’s rival promotion from the mid 1990’s, and had never stepped foot in a WWE ring until Sunday’s show. Dolph Ziggler came out of the show looking like a million bucks and a real MVP. John Cena was an afterthought. Normally a main event player and the focus of the show, Cena took a step back and passed the torch to Dolph for the night.
I am very interested to see where they go from here. The Authority had been around for far too long and their act was getting stale and repetitive. Dolph Ziggler finally gets his moment in the sun and moves up the totem pole of main event status. Sting debuting was a huge moment for the company and the fans, and they’re obviously hinting at a match with Triple H somewhere down the line.
It’s really quite incredible how a 55 year old man in face paint showing up can make me feel like a kid again. Sting was my hero when I was younger. My dad and I watched WCW religiously and we always wanted to see Sting win and overcome the villains. Seeing him show up again nearly 15 years later really sent me on a nostalgia trip, enough that I called my dad the next day to tell him what had happened.