WWE Survivor Series Review: Sting returns, Dolph Ziggler big push, more

wweSting finally made his WWE debut at Survivor Series Sunday night, and it wasn’t a one-off interview or nonsense backstage vignette.

Oh, no. Sting had his WWE moment, and it was the moment of the year in wrestling.

With Team Authority about to finish off Team Cena in the main event to take full storyline control of the direction of the company, Sting’s music hit, and The Icon appeared, sauntering to the ring to confront Triple H in a lengthy staredown.

Eventually, the staredown became physical, with Sting delivering a Scorpion Deathdrop on Triple H, setting up the surprise pinfall win by Dolph Ziggler on Seth Rollins, which will surely result on Monday Night Raw tomorrow night with Triple H, his wife, Stephanie McMahon, and ostensibly others, including turncoat Team Cena member Big Show, getting their pinkslips.

From the apparent ending to The Authority storyline to the Sting debut to the Ziggler elevation, wow, there was a lot to this Survivor Series, easily the best pay-per-view event, if we can still call them that, of the calendar year.

 

Survivor Series Winners and Losers

Big Winner: Sting I’ve used this word already, but it fits again. Finally. And I’m not just referring to the 10 months between Sting leaving TNA and his debut in WWE. We’re talking at least 13 years since the demise of WCW, and longer if you consider how long Vince McMahon coveted WCW’s cornerstone. The fear was that his first appearance on WWE TV would be some silly backstage episode or a throwaway interview in-ring that would mean nothing in the end. And then creative has him play the pivotal role in the resolution to the long-running Authority storyline, so … so much for that thinking. It was a debut befitting The Icon. Great move by WWE.

Big Winner #2: Dolph Ziggler Ziggs gets the second big push of the night as the last man standing on Team Cena against a trio of Authority members following the surprise turn by Big Show, who delivered a KO to John Cena that eliminated the former champ. Facing the big odds, Ziggler eliminated Kane and Luke Harper before putting on a nice exhibition with Rollins before the storyline endgame took over the show. It will go down in the record book that Ziggler gained the pinfall for his team.

Cameo: Roman Reigns Reigns finally sounded like a top-level star in a live interview with the announce team during the show. He’s always had the look and the charisma in-ring, but has been lacking in workrate and on the mic. His time off recovering from hernia surgery has been well-spent in terms of his acting ability. The in-ring part of his game still remains a work in progress.

Daily Doubles: Mizdow and The Bunny Both scored pinfall wins for their tag teams to the disdain of their mentors. Mizdow’s fall over Goldust won his team the WWE tag titles, which partner The Miz celebrated by carrying both belts around the ring. The Bunny earned the fall over Heath Slater, to the consternation of Adam Rose. Here’s an idea: pair them off next in a tag-title match.

The Kiss: Yowza. That’s all I can say to the turn in the Nikkie Bella-AJ Lee match that saw Nikki win the Divas title. Brie Bella, almost done with her servitude to her sister, climbed the ring apron to distract Lee, and then distracted the rest of us when she planted one on Lee’s kisser. Nikki took advantage to score the quick fall and win the belt, and the Bellas left the ring together as if the past few months of family feuding had never happened. Nice swerve.

TLC Preview: Dean Ambrose lost to Bray Wyatt by DQ after taking a chair from Wyatt and using it as a weapon. Then Ambrose went ballistic, throwing several chairs into the ring, before getting out a table that he put Wyatt through. Later a ladder came into the mix, though it didn’t factor into the physicality. And so it is that we have our first match announced for the December TLC pay-per-view, a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match between Ambrose and Wyatt. More good writing.

Biggest Winner of the Night: WWE I had no expectations coming in that this pay-per-view would be worth the time watching it. I left it thinking that it was the pay-per-view of the year. I can’t wait for Monday Night Raw, and am excited for TLC, the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 31. In three hours, they made me a fan again.

– Column by Chris Graham



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