Planet Kayfabe: Survivor Series 2017 | The Good/The Bad Submitted by Kayfabe Candyass on 11/20/2017 at 03:55 PM
Planet Kayfabe: Survivor Series 2017 Fallout The Good/The Bad
by 'KCA' Paul Matthews | @PlanetKayfabe
Hello, you've landed on Planet Kayfabe. Thanks for joining me as I put a bow on last night's Survivor Series live from the Toyota Center in Houston, TX. As usual with my PPV wrap ups I like to keep it simple and give my thoughts on what I liked and what I didn't like and then sum it all up at the end with my overall thoughts and rating for the show.
They started putting this over as a "Thanksgiving week tradition" and along with the strong build for this event, it felt like the first big Survivor Series in a while, with that, let's start...
In her match at TLC, I said they did it all wrong having someone like Asuka be introduced to the main roster by having a 50/50 (at best) match with someone at the level of Emma. Then the Emma marks came out en masse to Tweet me their outrage in return. Look, I didn't say Emma has no talent or no business being in the ring as Asuka. However, when it comes to how she was portrayed on TV she had no business going toe-to-toe with Asuka in her debut. Asuka should have felt special. The crowd wanted to see a massacre and instead they got a 50/50 match where it seemed like Asuka spent most of the time selling for someone who has barely been on TV and just wrestled her first PPV match in 3 years -- THREE YEARS! It should have been a squash but no, they protected Emma, because I guess that's what they thought the goal of ASUKA'S DEBUT MATCH ON THE MAIN ROSTER is -- to also try and get Emma over after years of doing shit with her but... UGH! I can't be mad because I was given sweet vindication when Emma was released by WWE like 2 weeks later. So, yeah all you geeks who bitched at me over my take on this, I'm not losing any sleep waiting for that apology.
Anyway, finally Asuka looked like a legit star here and in the end it was the right finish for this match, so there. Now I think that Emma stink is fully washed off of Asuka and she can continue to carry herself like the big deal she was on NXT instead of having to sell for a lady jobber, bubble popping, Wal-Mart shoplifting ditz.
Okay, I'm over it.
I'll admit they turned me around and I'll also admit that it happened fairly recently after their New Day feud. The Usos as your colorful babyface Samoan stereotypes were fun at first, but they stuck with that act way too long and it got stale. Then they turned heel and started wearing black and started acting like real people. What a crazy idea. Now, I know cartoony stereotypes always have a place in wrestling. I am not one of those people who bitch and complain about these things to come off as a self-apologetic SJW and then not say shit next time WWE has an Irish leprechaun gimmick or an Italian-American stereotype or the next southern wrestler they slap a cowboy hat on and have him come out to generic country music. However, the Usos this year have come off like stars and appear much more comfortable in their role. Even with a seeming babyface turn happening, that doesn't mean slap on the paint of old and have them come out wearing Orange Nickelodeon shirts, they can just be... themselves... and get over... what an idea.
So, good on the Usos turning their careers around for the better lately.
Brock Lesnar vs. AJ Styles:
At the end of a pretty lackluster year for Brock Lesnar consisting of a few matches people were looking forward to that turned out to be duds, Brock and AJ had the match of the night. I don't know if Brock loves AJ's work or if Paul Heyman had any influence but Brock sold for AJ so much that most fans thought he was legitimately hurt. In the end, even after an initial beat down, AJ looked like he could at least hang with "The Beast" which he should especially now since he is Smackdown's world champion.
I've probably said it a thousand times, but I hate the phrase "you're put over in a loss" people use in some situations... Like if HHH beats CM Punk, CM Punk is somehow still "put over" for just being in the ring with a double-digit world champion or some bullshit..., but this is as close as it gets because I don't think many people expected AJ to win, but I also don't think many people expected him to get in that much offense in the end and leave Brock LIMPING up the ramp instead of celebrating standing tall over AJ's beaten body. Also, I'm glad they didn't go over-board with the near falls because it seems the last few years that the by-numbers "good" WWE match has to have like 5 false finishes.
Considering I fully expected Brock to win and he should since it was non-title anyway and he's the one WWE has been protecting, AJ looked about as good in the loss as you could and Brock got his best match of 2017.
And now... THE BAD
Of course, right? What did you expect? She plasters herself on this show in high heels wearing this ridiculous dress that made her look like a huge f***ing barn and like always she does nothing for the show other than try to make herself look superior to the actual talent who are out there taking bumps, working matches, trying to get over, trying to make a living... ya know... THEM?!
Before the Women's Elimination match, they show Stephanie TOWERING over the other girls giving them a pep talk. All the other wrestlers came off like a bunch of little minions who when fled like a bunch of school children going out to recess when Stephanie said GO GET 'EM! To top it all off Michael Cole being his usual ass kiss self said "no that's a leader" once the camera cut back to the arena. I nearly laughed the roof off my house. What a joke.
Seriously... Anyone out there who likes her, leave your comments and tell me what she has to offer on this show. She doesn't get anyone over. She doesn't put one ass in one seat. At least on this show, she looked like boiled shit on television especially when standing next to a bunch of younger and more attractive women. Everything that's wrong with her involvement on this show was in this one segment. She's the BIG STAR and all the other women are just little workers who are lucky to be on World Wrestling Entertainment and have a boss like the natural leader that is Stephanie McMahon. Give me a break.
The 5 Man Commentary Team:
Your usual 3 man clusterfuk was upped to a 5 man cluster. On a recent edition of Edge and Christian's podcast, they did a segment with Tommy Dreamer where they did their Mt. Rushmore of best wrestling commentators. They listed off your usual suspects. Whatever. Go listen to it.
I thought it was going to get fun when Tommy Dreamer suggested they do a Mt. Rushmore of worst commentators and E&C didn't really bite. Instead they buried the deceased the AWA's Larry Nelson who I don't think has called any action since 1990 and Edge generically stated a lot of "some old regional stuff" had bad commentary.
Wow. Way to go out on a limb. Drop the name of a guy most people listening don't even know because he hasn't been on TV in almost 30 years and then bury nameless "regional stuff" from 30+ years ago. WHOAH! Are you sure you wanna touch that hot take? Sound the alarms. It's heating up in here!
You want the Mt. Rushmore of worst commentators? Watch this show. There they are. Maybe exclude Corey Graves from the "worst" but he's not as great as some people think he is. He's just better than the bumbling idiots he has to share a booth with every week. While I may include the recently released (or left on his own, whatever) John "Bradshaw" Layfield on that dubious mountain, Michael Cole, Booker T and Byron Saxton are right there. I guess you could include Tom Phillips too, but he's just a WWE manufactured Michael Cole clone so it almost doesn't matter. They just cancel each other out. What a shitty era for commentary this is.
The Kay Jewlers spot
Yeah, yeah congrats to the newly engaged couple, blah blah whatever. This was so unintentionally funny. They have this geek propose to his girlfriend with the help of Bayley. They go to an empty arena and Bayley says "this is your WWE moment" in the middle of the ring to an adoring crowd of empty seats. Wow what a moment. I'm sure the rats in the arena were all touched (not including his fiancee HEYOO!)
The Shield: Yay / Roman Reigns: Boo
In recent weeks it looked like spraying some of The Shield dust on Roman Reigns was working. It may have for a while, but it didn't work on this night in Houston. The fans chanted "you still suck" when Roman tagged in. The unit was cheered but Roman was booed any time he was working alone. Ehh... Enjoy selling some new Shield merch because it really is going to be back to the same old; same old once they disband again.
Speaking of shirts, I find it funny how WWE tells you who the "real stars" based on these ridiculous brand shirts. Everyone else has to wear a brand shirt but not Roman Reigns! Nope! He's special. He gets to wear his normal gear. I also liked how Triple H made a compromise with his shirt. He still wore a bright red shirt to represent Raw, but had to "cool" it up by having skulls and metal things and Latin phrases that no one understands but will assume they have some deep meaning just because... ya know. It's Latin. It has meaning. I guess. Whatever.
WWE Senior's Tour:
The average age of everyone in the men's Survivor Series main event is 41. Braun Strowman was the youngest man in the match at the age of 34. Shinsuke Nakamura (or "Shin", if you're an idiot like Michael Cole) at age 37 was the youngest man on Team Smackdown, a month and a half younger than Randy Orton. At least he's a fresh face to WWE fans, though.
Watching this match it felt sad at times. It was not a good main event. This show was plagued by a few sloppy moments, but in this match it just looked old. The main players all looked old. Sure Triple H and Kurt Angle look to be in great shape but they both moved pretty slow and just looked old. I hate to say it because I'd like to see Kurt have at least one big one-on-one match in WWE but now I'm curious if he can do it. Even his lift on the Olympic Slam has looked very slow and clunky.
They brought in John Cena for... what exactly? He came back just to get pinned by Kurt? It's a pay day I guess. Shane McMahon always looks out of place. He looked out of place when he was younger, too. He especially looks out of place now as a near 50 year old executive with grey hair in the ring with guys like Hunter, Kurt and Strowman how could kill him in their sleep. Instead we had to watch Kurt slap his signature submission hold, the ankle lock, on Shane-O for what seemed like a half hour without him tapping out. Of course, right? He's a McMahon so he's put over as strong as some of the WWE's most noteworthy world champions. This was just wild to me. I don't get the booking here, but that's besides the point.
I've been saying it for a few years when most of the Wrestlemania cards of the 2010's have been dominated by age and comebacks from older guys soaking up one last top match on the biggest show. Now we see a WWE where they established the big stars are the guys you remember from the 90's who work part time and the rest are just a bunch of assholes sports-entertaining you for the hell of it somewhere in the middle of the card.
Speaking of the 90's this company used to poke fun at the "dinosaurs" in WCW who were working main events in their mid to late 40's. Shit. That's just another day in WWE in 2017. It's not even like I'm fully against part timers like Brock. Plus there's exceptions to the rule. AJ Styles is 40 but he's been delivering some of his best work since joining WWE last year. However, I can live without ever seeing Shane McMahon wrestle. I can even live without seeing Triple H in another match ever again and given what I've seen of Kurt in WWE in his last 2 outings, I think I'd be happy just seeing him have one big WrestleMania match and that being the end of it. Int he 2010's they coasted by on these older guys and it has worked at times, but during this match the WWE has never looked older and it was hard to watch at times.
There's my thoughts on the 2017 edition of Survivor Series. To bring it home, I thought it was a pretty good show. Maybe a C+, but on the higher end. Like a grade of 79/100.
The show had its up's and down's but it was mostly enjoyable. The pre-show was nothing. Yeah, that's right I said "pre-show" not "kickoff" like the WWE says. What exactly is WWE "kicking off". They use this phrase in NFL pregame shows because it leads to something actually being kicked off. Don't give me this "idiom" bullshit either. In baseball do their call their pregame shows a "kickoff" show? No. They say the "first pitch" show or something like that. In hockey is it a kickoff? No. Puck drop show. How about in basketball? The tip off show. Whatever, do you think it's nitpicking? Fine. I'm still standing by this, though.
I'm sure a guy like Triple H who works closely with the young talent can tell the business is in good hands in the future if given the opportunities to be the big stars of tomorrow. They just have to allow it. You can't let the new greenery grow if there's a bunch of dead brush and hollowed out trees blocking the way. You need to clear that crap out and let new life thrive. Like Paul Heyman once said about TNA, if he were there he'd fire every wrestler over 40. I'm not saying they need to go to that much of an extreme, but put SOME faith in your current talent. I mean, sure at the end of the match Braun Strowman was the last man standing, but ya know what would have been better? If he was the guy who got to win the match for Raw like Asuka did for her team. Instead the whole story was about 3 guys that are pushing FIFTY!!!
Thanks for reading this Survivor Series edition of Planet Kayfabe. If you have a question, comment or idea for a future column leave a comment in the section below or follow me on Twitter @PlanetKayfabe
Until next time I'm Paul Matthews for NoDQ.com -- See you here next time.