A look at all of the WWE Survivor Series 2016 results and the booking implications.
WOMEN’S RAW VS. SMACKDOWN
GOOD BOOKING: Bayley survives
Bayley had been presented as the weak link for the past few weeks. So for her to not only survive the match, but pin the opposing brand’s champion to win the match greatly boosts her momentum. She needed something to push her in the right direction and this was it. It seems as though Bayley is finally on track to be in contention for the title.
BAD BOOKING: Nia Jax is submitted
This is not what needed to happen. Nia Jax needed to be eliminated, but in the manner in which Naomi was eliminated. She shouldn’t have been beaten cleanly, even if it was by a champion. It doesn’t matter if she’s still booked as a monster. To have lost cleanly this early hurts her momentum. Though there shouldn’t be a problem with her getting it back.
BAD BOOKING: Sasha Banks is eliminated early
This is something that’s tough to categorize. RAW’s team was so stacked that there was no way that RAW could have four women surviving, but at the same time, with Alicia Fox being the obvious first elimination, it was tough to book who would go next. The backstage word is that Vince McMahon was blaming Sasha Banks for the Hell in a Cell finish, so this could be a form of punishment. If so, this is an even worse call.
GOOD BOOKING: Natalya is involved in the match; Eva Marie isn’t
Eva Marie’s suspension has been up and there was a possibility that she would return. Thankfully, that didn’t happen and Natalya was moved into the match. So why is her in the match over Nikki Bella good booking? Because she’s the hometown girl. It would’ve been a misfire to not have Natalya be included. Though it’s a shame that it comes at the price of Nikki Bella.
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE: THE MIZ(c) VS. SAMI ZAYN
GOOD BOOKING: The Miz retains the title
With the United States title staying on RAW and the cruiserweights getting their own show after Smackdown, Smackdown needs to have their secondary title. And the feud with Dolph Ziggler is far from over and this opens the possibility of Sami Zayn making the jump to Smackdown to chase the title as well. But sooner or later, The Miz will need to be booked to win cleanly. Eventually his credibility will begin to fade if Maryse and The Spirit Squad continue to help him win and his booking will turn into bad booking.
TAG TEAM RAW VS. SMACKDOWN
GOOD BOOKING: The New Day is eliminated first from their team
The New Day being eliminated early is a major upset and made the match unpredictable. The New Day going down early might be seen as bad booking by most since it was expected that they would be one of the survivors, but in terms of long-term booking, this is great for a stale division. With their early elimination, this gives the other tag teams on RAW a chance to shine and stake their claim to challenge for the titles with some momentum.
GOOD BOOKING: The Usos and Sheamus & Cesaro are the final teams
This was another tough call since The Usos are already established as a top tag team and American Alpha could have really used the spot to show their trademark gusty performances, even in defeat. But this worked out surprisingly well. The match had to possibility of being extremely messy like the women’s match, but it went surprisingly well. Realistically, Sheamus & Cesaro and The Usos should be the next in line to challenge for the titles. With their respective performances, they now have a claim to the titles for their brands. And if they can both pull off the victory, the tag-team divisions will thrive again.
CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE: THE BRIAN KENDRICK(c) VS. KALISTO
GOOD BOOKING: The cruiserweights are given time to tell a story
The main problem with the cruiserweight division is the lack of time they are given to perform and the lack of a story to tell. Though there wasn’t a lot of time to build the feud, the entire division being on the line as well as Brian Kendrick’s fantastic character gave the match enough story to be invested in. This also gave a boost to Kalisto as he was booked as a valiant underdog throughout.
BAD BOOKING: Baron Corbin interferes
This could be seen from a mile away. It’s such a poor use of Baron Corbin to remove him from a main event match to interfere in another match. Is he supposed to feud with the entire cruiserweight division now? If he wasn’t medically cleared to compete at Survivor Series, why wasn’t he at least selling his leg injury a bit? If they wanted to have Corbin interfere, it should have been on Smackdown Live. This is short sighted booking that ruined a great match.
MEN’S RAW VS. SMACKDOWN
GOOD BOOKING: Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman needed strong booking here. And Strong Booking he received. He destroyed the entire Smackdown team, including his former master Bray Wyatt. He also eliminated a major player in the form of Dean Ambrose, making the former Heavyweight champion the first casualty of the match. And when it came down to it, he wasn’t pinned or submitted, keeping his unbeaten streak alive. It required an RKO and a top rope elbow drop through a table to truly phase Strowman. However…
BAD BOOKING: James Ellsworth eliminates Strowman
Say what you want, but James Ellsworth is so over with the crowd it’s almost unbelievable. And one can even argue that it came full circle as Ellsworth was the first victim of Strowman’s wrath. Having said that, Strowman’s booking may or may not have taken a hit with how he was eliminated. Sure he was RKO’d and driven through a table courtesy of a top rope elbow from Shane McMahon. But ultimately, it was James Ellsworth that prevented him from returning. This one was tougher than I thought, but ultimately, Strowman needs to look as strong as he can and Ellsworth being the factor that eliminated him makes him look silly.
GOOD BOOKING: Kevin Owens disqualified
Another questionable one, but ultimately the right way to go after much thought. Because WWE is still trying to bring credibility to Kevin Owens and by extension, the Universal Title, he needs to be protected more than AJ Styles. Having the Universal Champion be pinned or submitted would not only hurt Owens’ credibility, but the title’s credibility as well. Using “The List of Jericho” also teases the much anticipated dissent between the two buddies as Jericho has been on fire as of late.
BAD BOOKING: Shane McMahon lasting that long
Booking Shane McMahon in the match to begin with was already questionable, but one could see that he was meant to be the guy to take out Strowman while sacrificing himself. However, Shane McMahon should not have been in the match that long. He should have been eliminated when he drove Braun Strowman through the table. That spot with Reigns was clearly a botch waiting to happen. Not only is Shane McMahon most likely injured, but Reigns’ image is further tarnished, something that WWE definitely does not want to happen.
BAD BOOKING: Roman Reigns is the final survivor
Owens and Rollins would’ve been a better fit for the final man position, especially Rollins. Hell, at this point, any of the four other RAW superstars would be fine. But WWE is set on Reigns still being their guy. At this point, it’s a failed experiment. And adding insult to injury, he was involved in one of the worst botches of the night, so with him as the last man standing, it was obvious for the crowd which brand they wanted to win.
GOOD BOOKING: The Wyatt family reigns supreme, Smackdown wins
I predicted this from the get-go. Bray Wyatt would survive thanks to Luke Harper and Randy Orton. And I was right, just with the addition of Randy Orton. Don’t believe me? Check out my blog, https://botchmechanic.wordpress.com/. Literally from the start of my predictions to my final one. But I digress. If there was one guy on the squad that needed it, it was Wyatt. And with Smackdown down 2-0, they needed this match to avoid the clean sweep. His booking has been so inconsistent. But with the seemingly genuine addition of Randy Orton, the Wyatt family is now a true threat and can take this momentum moving forward towards title contention.
GOLDBERG VS. BROCK LESNAR
QUESTIONABLE BOOKING: Goldberg doesn’t just win, but squashes The Beast
What the hell just happened? Not only did Lesnar lose, but he lost inside 2 minutes and didn’t mount any offense. No free trips to Suplex City. No tornados of violence. Just two spears and a Jackhammer. What happens now? Why did this happen? Where do we go from here? Was this really Goldberg’s last match? Was Lesnar being punished for failing a drug test back in the summer for UFC? Will there be a third match at Wrestlemania? Is The Undertaker pissed that Goldberg won so easy and that’s who he’s going to face at Wrestlemania? Will it be a triple threat match featuring Lesnar? Where does John Cena fit into this? Someone please comment and discuss because it’s boggling my mind!