Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Random Network Reviews: Survivor Series 2012

Survivor Series 2012
November 18th, 2012 – Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana – Attendance: 8,500

2012 is a year that I rather enjoyed. While it did have some bad, as every year does, it had a lot of good. My favorite thing would be CM Punk’s title reign and it was put to a huge test at Survivor Series here against Ryback and John Cena. Also, I love Survivor Series Pay-Per-Views because I love traditional Survivor Series matches. I also feel like I’ve reviewed a bunch of these already. Let’s see, 1989, 1995, 1996 and 2002 have all already been covered by me and that’s just off the top of my head. They’ve all been damn good shows so I hope this continues that trend.

The opening promo starts with basic Survivor Series history stuff. Then it moves to focusing on Big Show vs. Sheamus, which should be good since they stole the show at Hell in a Cell the month before. It then moved into promoting the WWE Championship match and Punk’s quest to survive for day 365. Commentary is Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and JBL and this is the first time the three work together. I would grow to hate them as a unit.

Traditional Survivor Series Match
Brodus Clay, Justin Gabriel, Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara and Tyson Kidd w/ Cameron & Naomi vs. Darren Young, Epico, Primo, Tensai and Titus O’Neil w/ Rosa Mendes

This is considered a bonus because it was unadvertised. I watched the go home Raw before this show and the four tag teams involved put on one hell of an eight man tag. Tyson and Epico begin, doing some fun back and forth until Epico takes a breather. Tyson tries to kick him from the apron, but Epico catches his foot and slams him down. Kidd gets an arm bar in and tags Gabriel. Kidd comes back in quickly as they work some double teams. Rey and Young become the legal men as Rey baseball slides him in the groin area. I miss the Prime Time Players, I just wanted to point that out. It seems like everyone is going to get some shine early on as even Sin Cara works over Primo. He impresses with a double springboard cross body that he shockingly DOESN’T BOTCH. Tensai is tired of this high flying shit so he and Titus beat up Cara. He plays the face in peril, making the tag to Clay. Clay cleans house and we get stereo suicide dives from International Airstrike, before Rey and Cara hit moonsaults. The future Tons of Funk are left in the ring and Brodus gets shoulder blocked down. Tensai nails a senton and Clay is down and out at 8:25.

Justin Gabriel runs in as the new legal man but also gets run over by Prince Albert. Titus and A-Train work together to just pick apart the much smaller South African. Tensai misses a senton, allowing Gabriel to roll him up and eliminate him at 10:23. After the Prime Time Players work over Gabriel, Epico gets the tag and allows a hot tag to Kidd. The last graduate of the Hart Dungeon doesn’t fare too well as he ends up grounded. Kidd rallies and rolls up Titus to get rid of him at 13:51. So the faces have two roll up eliminations which isn’t the strongest look for them. Epico tries three back suplexes but Kidd slips free and slaps on the Sharpshooter, forcing Epico to tap at 15:02. I’m surprised to see this strong run from International Airstrike. Primo is in and leaps from the top right into a dropkick from Tyson Kidd. Kidd is the MVP so far. He makes the tag to Rey and he does his usual tricks. He ends up in a bad spot as Primo tries a superplex, but Rey headbutts him to the ground and gets him in 619 position. Primo blocks and goes for the Backstabber but Rey blocks and rolls him up to knock him off at 19:00. Darren Young is alone and he eats a 619 followed by a swanton from Cara, moonsault from Gabriel, springboard elbow from Kidd and diving splash by Rey to end this.

Winners: Justin Gabriel, Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara and Tyson Kidd in 20:10
Damn good opener that was a ton of fun. They let the big guys get in their stuff early before bowing out and allowing the exciting guys to do their thing. Getting to see International Airstrike survive and Tyson Kidd shine was tremendous. I wish this was advertised because it’s going to be hard to top that. ****

Kaitlyn is shown walking to the ring when she is attacked by a blonde woman in a hoodie. Kaitlyn bests her and pulls off a wig, revealing the woman to be Aksana! CONTROVERSY! Eve Torres comes up and acts concerned, but it’s clearly not genuine so Kaitlyn shoves her.

WWE Divas Championship
Eve Torres (c) vs. Kaitlyn

So it’s only been two matches and this is just two years ago, but neither of these girls are still around and none of the teams in the opener are still together. (I know Primo and Epico are technically Los Matadores, but still.) Kaitlyn attacks at the bell and the blonde wig is involved. Eve crawls to safety on the outside because Kaitlyn is just kicking her ass. She even tries to escape through the crowd but is stopped in her tracks. Some kicks allow Eve to turn things in her favor before choking Kaitlyn in the corner. She wears down the challenger until Kaitlyn knocks her outside again. Eve is back to playing the cowardly heel and is crying and begging for mercy. Kaitlyn responds with a slap and goes into a rally. She nails her Go to Sleep variation but only gets two. Eve is even pulling on the apron to avoid Kaitlyn. She suckers Kaitlyn in and hits her finisher to retain.

Winner and Still WWE Divas Champion: Eve Torres in 7:01
Kind of an odd match. Kaitlyn looked better than she usually does, but Eve was the star. She played both cowardly and cunning perfectly. I just think that the way this was built, Kaitlyn should have gone over. Oh well, Eve was a damn fine champion at this time. **

Clips are shown from the Pre-Show because Cody Rhodes is injured and has to miss the show, so Dolph Ziggler needed to find a replacement. He chose David Otunga, so there’s a swing and a miss. Cut to Team Foley’s locker room, which features Team Hell No arguing as always, Miz and Kofi arguing and Randy Orton sitting calmly. Foley gives them a pep talk to rally them. After the talk, Orton tells Foley “I hate you.” Continuity is appreciate by me.

WWE United States Championship
Antonio Cesaro (c) vs. R-Truth

I enjoyed Antonio Cesaro as United States Champion, but he was a product of a poor mid-card pool of faces and this is a prime example. Basic start until Cesaro strikes with a vicious looking headbutt. He starts to work a submission on Truth, who rallies behind a “USA” chant. The rally is short lived though as he ends up back in a rest hold. Commentary is discussing Cesaro’s potential as a rugby player, which I totally forgot was his character. He gets two with a gutwrench suplex. Truth gets a rollup for two but runs right into an uppercut. Truth starts getting in his offense with splits and spins but it’s not enough to garner the three. Suplex stunner like maneuver gets a near fall again ad then he misses the Scissors Kick. Huge uppercut from the Champion is followed up by the Neutralizer and that’s all she wrote.

Winner and Still WWE United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro in 6:56
Wasn’t that bad when it picked up near the end, but it was way too much downtime. Cesaro spent about half of the match with Truth in rest holds. *

A recap is shown of the SCANDALOUS angle between AJ Lee, John Cena and Vickie Guerrero. AJ Lee tweeted that she has evidence of her own to share tonight. And right on cue, here comes AJ Lee skipping to the ring. She badmouths Vickie and claims that Vickie is pointing the finger at her because she has a secret of her own. This brings out Vickie to the most heat of the night BY FAR. AJ shows some clearly fake photos of Vickie and Ricardo Rodriguez eating burritos together. I can’t tell if it’s a fat or racist joke. The next photo is of her eating BBQ with Jim Ross. I guess it’s a fat joke. While AJ and Vickie get in each other’s faces, Tamina Snuka runs in and takes out AJ. Interesting as they would be on the same side within the next year. I’m not a fan of promos on Pay-Per-Views so yea.

Josh Matthews interviews Paul Heyman about what tricks CM Punk will pull tonight. Heyman says there are no tricks, Punk is just that good.

World Heavyweight Championship
Big Show (c) vs. Sheamus

Both guys get right to it and just slug it out, but Sheamus is wisely using his speed advantage to avoid some big shots. Show gets some momentum until Sheamus comes off the ropes and clips his leg. Show gets tied up in the ropes like he’s Andre the Giant or something and Sheamus hits the ten beats of the chest or whatever it’s called. Brogue Kick is avoided when Show rolls outside but Sheamus doesn’t let up and takes it to him there. He tries to leap from the top but Show catches him with a spear! Show now methodically dominates Sheamus with his slow offense. Show gets GREAT height on a running elbow drop for two. Sheamus starts to rally and gets the sleeper hold locked in but Show is able to break it and gets two with the Final Cut. He looks surprised at this, but that doesn’t make sense since Sheamus kicked out of the WMD at Hell in a Cell. Show goes to the second rope and Sheamus is up. He goes under Show and hits a FUCKING ELECTRIC CHAIR DROP! Are you kidding me? A slugfest ensues that Sheamus wins. He takes Show down three times but the Brogue Kick is blocked. Chokeslam is reversed and White Noise connects but only for two! BROGUE! BROGUE! BROGUE! Scott Armstrong, who I call Finlay ref, ends up eating the kick by mistake. Medics and other officials come to check on him and while Sheamus is concerned, he turns right into a WMD. One of the other referees counts the three to close this but then the referees converge and decide to disqualify Show for pulling the referee into harm’s way.

Winner via disqualification: Sheamus in 14:42
Not quite on the level of their Hell in a Cell classic but I still liked it. Big Show had some slow offense that dragged things down, but when Sheamus was up, this was a badass brawl. The ending was kind of dumb though. ***

Sheamus is up and he gets a chair that he uses to wear out Big Show. I guess they’re moving onto a Chairs match at TLC. Show still manages to get to one knee so Sheamus Brogue Kicks him. Commentary sounded like morons as they question why the second referee could count the three, like that hasn’t happened a million times in wrestling history.

Team Foley (Randy Orton, Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston, The Miz and WWE Tag Team Champions Hell No) vs. Team Ziggler (Dolph Ziggler, David Otunga, Alberto Del Rio, Wade Barrett and Damien Sandow)
Alberto Del Rio is introduced as the “Real Deal”, which I always liked. The two black guys start as David Otunga takes on Kofi Kingston. Kofi gets a quick near fall and then dives outside onto the Harvard graduate. Daniel Bryan gets the tag and eats a powerslam before Otunga tags Damien Sandow. Sandow connects with a Russian leg sweep and the Elbow of Disdain. Bryan fires away with kicks so Sandow takes a breather and says “good luck” as he tries to walk out. Kane grabs him and rolls him inside for a big kick. Kane tags in and nails a Chokeslam to get rid of Sandow at 4:49. Team Hell No argues and Kane knocks Bryan outside. The distraction allows Dolph Ziggler to sneak in and strike Kane with a Zig Zag, eliminating him at 5:47! We get some in and out stuff as multiple guys get to do their stuff. Bryan misses a big dropkick in the corner and Wade Barrett hits him with some big knee strikes. Barrett makes the grave mistake of tagging in the awful Otunga, who taps instantly to Bryan at 10:11.

I can’t believe that David Otunga wasn’t first out. Alberto Del Rio enters and starts to work over Bryan. JBL is all like “ITS MEXICO’S GREATEST EXPORT MAGGLE!” They do a weird spot in the corner where it seems like Del Rio lands awkwardly and falls outside. Kofi becomes the legal man and gets a near fall with a springboard cross body. Barrett is in and hits the Winds of Change before connecting with the Bull Hammer to knock off the Intercontinental Champion at 15:04. Barrett and Miz would trade the IC Title a few months after this. Randy Orton comes in and it’s been nearly a year since they had a big rivalry on Smackdown. Orton tags Bryan who gets in his offense and a two count with a missile dropkick. He goes in with the kicks but gets clotheslined over and out. Del Rio gets the tag and, with Bryan’s injured elbow, is forced to submit to the Cross Armbreaker at 19:02. Miz is in for the first time and shows that he can work well with Orton despite their differences. After some tags, Miz is trying to rally the crowd but he is DREADFUL as a face. He gets a hot tag and takes out Barrett with some left hands. Awesome Clothesline connects and then Miz goes 1980’s with a double axe handle. Barrett blocks a Skull Crushing Finale with a big kick but his pump handle slam is countered into the Skull Crushing Finale and he’s out at 24:03.

I’d like to note that Michael Cole had the nerve to call the pump handle slam attempt the Wasteland. VINTAGE COLE! Miz gets a quick near fall on Del Rio and goes for another Awesome Clothesline. He misses and Del Rio strikes with an enziguri to the back of the head to knock off Miz at 25:08. Orton is down 2 on 1 against his two biggest rivals over the past few months. JBL states that Orton has been the sole survivor three years in a row, which is odd since he lost the previous two years. Maybe he meant that he was the last remaining guy. Del Rio hits one of the weakest double stomps ever and goes up top. This is a clear mistake as Orton dropkicks him in mid-air. He is coiled and hits some clotheslines before snapping off his beautiful powerslam. Ricardo gets on the apron so Foley evens the odds and gives him some of Socko. Dolph dropkicks Del Rio by mistake and gets taken out. Del Rio is quickly up though and tries the Cross Armbreaker but it’s countered into an RKO, eliminating Del Rio at 28:23. Ziggler is in trouble as he’s stuck in the corner, so Orton prepares to strike. He goes for the RKO but Dolph holds the ropes to block. He nails the Zig Zag but Orton gets his shoulder up! He tries a Fameasser but Orton dodges and hits the rope hung DDT. He seems to prepare for the RKO but stops and instead wants to try the Punt. THAT MAN HAS A FAMILY! Ziggler greets him with a sick superkick and wins!

Winners: Team Ziggler (Sole Survivor: Dolph Ziggler) in 30:51
It’s hard to mess up one of these big Survivor Series matches, especially one with as much talent as this. Really good stuff, everything made sense and the right guy went over in the end.***3/4

We get stupid TOUT video clips of ridiculous fans, some of who actually wanted to see Ryback win the main event and take on The Rock at Royal Rumble. Clowns.

WWE Championship
CM Punk (c) w/ Paul Heyman vs. John Cena vs. Ryback

Entering this show, John Cena was 7-0 at Survivor Series and I had no idea. Oddly, Ryback comes out last and CM Punk comes out second. Punk wisely exits the ring and is chased by both guys separately until they catch him and pound away. The challengers don’t want to share Punk so they end up coming to blows. Punk is knocked outside so Cena and Ryback have their big face off in the ring. After some stalling, they finally do battle, with Ryback gaining the early advantage. After Cena is taken out, Punk gets Ryback down and taunts but it costs him as he eats a fallaway slam. Cena enters and goes straight for Ryback. After hearing CM Punk on Colt Cabana’s podcast, every single time I see Ryback hit Punk, I wonder if it hurt more than it should have. After Ryback is taken out, Punk and Cena have their usual tremendous exchange. Punk locks in a submission, so Ryback just lifts him from that position and slams him. Cena tries for the Five Knuckle Shuffle but his set up for it is no sold by Ryback. The two powerhouses trade shots in the middle of the ring until Punk pulls out Cena and sends him into the steel steps. Punk and Ryback go at it, and Ryback hits the Meat Hook clothesline. FINISH HIM! Shellshock is stopped by Cena tripping him up and locking in the STF. Punk breaks this with a top rope elbow. Punk signals for the GTS but Cena slips out and they trade shots, with the fans behind Punk. Ryback ends that with a double clothesline. Like a moron, Ryback throws both guys out of the ring and yells FINISH IT! Uh, this isn’t Falls Count Anywhere dude. Cena and Punk team up to take down Ryback and agree to clear off the announce table. They manage to double suplex Ryback through the table. They get in the ring and Cena connects with the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Punk slips out of the AA and hits the GTS but Cena kicks out. As they get up, Cena hits the AA but now Punk kicks out! HOLY FALSE FINISH BATMAN. Punk’s bulldog is countered into a knee breaker and then the STF but Ryback pulls Cena out. He enters and hits the Meat Hook Clothesline. Shellshock works this time but the cover is broken up by Cena. Shellshock is now hit on Cena but before a cover can be made, three men jump in and attack Ryback. IT’S SETH ROLLINS, DEAN AMBROSE AND ROMAN REIGNS! They take Ryback outside and hit their first Triple Powerbomb on him through a table. In the ring, Punk crawls over Cena and earns the three.

Winner and Still WWE Champion: CM Punk in 17:59
Pretty good main event. CM Punk and John Cena helped Ryback along to a good main event, and their interactions were the best. The ending was interesting, there were false finishes and everyone looked good. ***1/4

Obviously Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns would go on to be The Shield and have a year and a half run of amazing matches and just overall greatness. CM Punk has successfully reached day 365 as WWE Champion.

Overall: 8/10; Great. That was better than I expected. The only trash of the night was the United States Title match. Other than that you got two good title matches, a really good Survivor Series match, a standout/show stealing opener and even a not so bad Divas match. Plus, this gets extra history points for featuring the official debut of one of the greatest stables of all-time in the Shield. According to my randomizer the next “Random Network Review” is set to be Saturday Night’s Main Event from 2/23/90!