Electrifying Action at Survivor Series
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn was live with WWE’s Survivor Series last night. World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. has held this event annually since 1987. This year’s instalment focused almost exclusively on the wrestling, rather than gimmicks like backstage cutscenes and direct addresses from the superstars to the audience. The six-fight card was action packed with two notable Survivor Series elimination matches.
Opening the night was Charlotte Flair, the Smackdown Women’s Champion, fighting Becky Lynch, the Raw Women’s Champion. They are contemporaries turned enemies. Charlotte was the dominant wrestler, but Becky showed a great deal of heart. At one point, Becky was able to execute the figure-four leg lock on Charlotte, a subtle nod to Charlotte’s father and the one who made the figure four his special move, Ric Flair. Fans were captivated, chanting “this is awesome” as the two duked it out. In the end, it was Becky who won by pin, after using her arm on the ropes to unfairly secure the three count.
The men’s Survivor Series elimination match, which showcased many top-tier WWE superstars, was my fight of the night. Its lowest moment came at the beginning. Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins argued over who would start the match for Raw, with Owens winning the argument only to exit the ring and walk off, causing a 10-count elimination for the superstar. The remaining nine superstars displayed their athleticism and ability to capture a crowd. The fight ended when Seth Rollins countered a massive swanton bomb from Jeff Hardy and pinned him to secure the win for Raw.
The Rock’s 25th anniversary battle royal was half a showcase of Omos’s strength and half a shameless plug for Pizza Hut. Omos eliminated nearly everybody in the battle royal. Meanwhile, the Street Prophets did their walk in carrying a three-box stack of Pizza Hut. Omos won the battle royal, while the Prophets threw slices of pizza into the crowd.
The Tag Team Champions from Raw and Smackdown faced off in an exciting but by-the-numbers match. Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos controlled the fight, with flashes of brilliance from Raw’s Riddle, but it was an RKO from Randy Orton, delivered on the soaring-from-the-top-rope Jimmy Uso, that sealed the victory for RK-Bro.
The women’s Survivor Series elimination match was a great display of the power and finesse of WWE superstars. As the two groups battled, fans of the Barclay Center attempted the wave. Team Smackdown could not get on the same page, with their bad blood leading to the on-purpose elimination of team captain Sasha Banks. The standout for Raw, Bianca Belair, fought a terrific fight and ended up winning the contest after at one point being down to a three-on-one handicap.
Finally, after a three-hour program, it was time for the finale: WWE Champion Big E versus WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns (accompanied by Paul Heyman). Big E has made 2021 his breakout year, winning the title on the September 13, 2021, episode of Raw. There was back-and-forth action throughout, with Reigns regaining the upper hand every time Big E looked like he was beginning to take control. Various highlights were found in the match: Reigns piled full speed into the steel steps; Big E hit consecutive belly-to-belly suplexes on Reigns; repeated Superman punches were delivered by Reigns onto the skull of Big E. The fans were split, chanting back and forth between “let’s go Big E!” and “let’s go Roman!” Big E nearly had the win, but the pin was cut short when Reigns grabbed the bottom rope to stop the ref’s count. Finally, Reigns hit a definitive Superman punch on the beaten and battered Big E to win the match, thus affirming his dominance over the WWE Universe.