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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Survivor Series is Sunday and the name of the game, ladies and gentlemen, is teamwork. After pitting various fractions of Raw’s Survivor Series teams against each other, Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and General Manager Mick Foley saw at least one set of rivals put their differences aside to get a much-needed win. Good thing, too, as Stephanie promised “changes” for any partners who couldn’t get it together.
In a development so ironic it may as well have emanated from Brooklyn, Cesaro & Sheamus put their differences aside and worked together while thrown-together teammates Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns were the ones left bickering among each other for the duration of Raw’s opening contest. Despite that, however, and despite Owens trying to steal Reigns’ thunder, The Big Dog put the team first after KO took a Brogue Kick by Superman Punching Sheamus and pulling Owens’ limp body on top of him for the pin.
Sami Zayn is still set to challenge the Intercontinental Champion at Survivor Series. Though given that Dolph Ziggler will defend the title against The Miz tomorrow night on SmackDown LIVE’s 900th episode, whether Zayn still faces Zig Man on Sunday remains to be seen. That said, The Underdog from the Underground looked ready for any opponent, handing Bo Dallas his first loss since the former Social Outcast launched his “Bo-lieve in Bo” campaign earlier this year. Dallas’ smothering offense initially held Zayn in check, but he turned it around real fast with an exploder suplex, blasting Bo with a Helluva Kick seconds later to send himself to Survivor Series with a win.
If there is one crew that does NOT possess The Power of Positivity, it is Seth Rollins, Chris Jericho and Braun Strowman. But that doesn’t mean they can’t win. The craftiest, nastiest and, well, brawniest members of Raw’s Men’s Survivor Series team managed to find unity against the record-setting Raw Tag Team Champions, leading to an impressive win over ya boys.
Perhaps the teams’ pre-match displays had clued the WWE Universe in to a different outcome — New Day hawked their merch in unison while their foes squabbled over scarves. But if anyone held out hope for New Day, it was dashed the second Strowman took out Big E and Kofi Kingston, leaving Xavier Woods to the mercy of his collected foes. A running powerslam from Strowman ended the match, but a Pedigree to Rollins from Jericho put an end to the victors’ partnership. At least until Sunday.
In a bizarre sequence of events, The Brian Kendrick will not only defend the WWE Cruiserweight Title but the entire division when he faces SmackDown LIVE’s Kalisto at Survivor Series. If The Wizard of Odd performs anything like he did against Sin Cara on Raw, however, Monday nights should rest secure in their sole possession of the sub-205 dynamos.
Sin Cara was the sole Cruiserweight to challenge Kendrick’s status as the “standard-bearer” of the division earlier on Raw. Kendrick didn’t even wait till the bell to beat him up, throwing the luchador shoulder-first into the ring post during his entrance. Sin Cara gamely chose to continue and even held the advantage for a while, but Kendrick again went dirty, wrenching Sin Cara’s mask askew before trapping him in the Captain’s Hook.
We knew, thanks to last week’s dispatches, that Brock Lesnar is less-than-impressed with Goldberg’s do-it-for-my-son motivation heading into Survivor Series’ designated “Mega Match.” But perhaps The Beast and Paul Heyman made a mistake in prodding Goldberg about his family in the first, last and only confrontation between the two gladiators heading into Sunday’s collision. Goldberg held his composure well enough until Heyman dropped the final bomb: After the match, Goldberg’s would be so beaten that his son “will be calling Brock Lesnar ‘daddy.’ ” At that point, Goldberg battled through a Mick Foley–mandated wall of security to cut a clear path to Lesnar. But when it came time to throw down, The Beast Incarnate simply smiled and walked away.
Even with Raw’s various rivals embracing the spirit of teamwork, this one was surprising: Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks put aside their very severe differences for an intra-squad battle among Raw’s Women’s Survivor Series team, defeating team punisher Nia Jax and wild-card Alicia Fox while Bayley sat on commentary. Granted, Sasha initially left Charlotte alone against Nia by dodging an early tag and eventually even punched Charlotte.
But The Boss came through in the clutch by helping to force Nia Jax out of the match, then locking Alicia Fox in the Bank Statement after Fox attempted a high-risk crossbody on both Banks and Charlotte. As if to illustrate the breadth of the divide between Charlotte and Sasha, The Boss accepted a post-match hug from Bayley. Charlotte, however, did not. The horror.
How’s this for a strange sentence: Enzo Amore & Big Cass shelved their differences with Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson to take out Survivor Series teammates The Shining Stars (who scammed their way onto the team) and The Golden Truth (who the Stars scammed off of it). To be fair, it’s not like anyone expected The Golden Truth & Shining Stars to get along. The question, rather, was whether the good brothers and realest guys would tear each other apart and cost themselves the match.
In that case, the answer was … yes and no. Enzo & Cass and Gallows & Anderson’s alliance was tentative at best, but it got the job done, especially when Big Cass took control and planted Primo with the Empire Elbow. With nothing to lose but pride to maintain, Golden Truth decided to take Epico out of the match, and Primo was left to suffer the Magic Killer. Gallows looked like he would tag Enzo in to seal it with the Rocket Launcher … but it turned out he was just joking, and The Suntan Biker Man unceremoniously pinned Primo to win the match.
We knew SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Maanger Daniel Bryan were coming to Raw. We didn’t know they wouldn’t be coming alone. What was initially a face-to-face between Raw and SmackDown LIVE’s brain trusts was poised to turn into a mugging when Raw’s Men’s Survivor Series team surrounded Shane and Bryan … until Team Blue revealed their collected aces in the hole: their Men’s squad of WWE World Champion AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton and Team Blue “mascot” James Ellsworth, who stormed through the audience to even the odds.
It didn’t take long for hostilities to arise in the impromptu confab between the two teams, from a pointed confrontation between Wyatt and Braun Strowman to a jaw-jacking between the two heavyweight champions. Still, cooler heads prevailed … until Dean Ambrose straight-up punched Chris Jericho in the face to instigate an all-out brawl that ended with Seth Rollins saving Roman Reigns from a Styles Clash and the two former brothers executing a Double-Powerbomb of The Phenomenal One over the top rope. To coin an old phrase, maybe the dysfunctional Team Raw is something to believe in after all.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Roman Reigns & Kevin Owens defeated Sheamus & Cesaro (13:00)
- Sami Zayn defeated Bo Dallas (2:26)
- Seth Rollins, Chris Jericho & Braun Strowman defeated The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) (14:00)
- Brian Kendrick defeated Sin Cara by submission (12:00)
- Sasha Banks & Charlotte Flair defeated Alicia Fox & Nia Jax by submission (8:00)
- Big Cass & Enzo Amore and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson defeated The Golden Truth (Goldust & R-Truth) and The Shining Stars (Primo & Epico) (8:00)
Special guest from SmackDown Live:
- SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan.
- Team SmackDown Men (AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Shane McMahon and "mascot'' James Ellsworth)
Other on-screen talent